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MONTGOMERY AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0

MBJ

MGM’S NEXT STEPS New leadership & bold goals for a new decade

BANKING’S FINANCIAL FOOTPRINT & TACKLING TOUGH HR ISSUES

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10

CONTENTS JAN/FEB 2020

THIS ISSUE: 10

Ready, Set, Go. 2020 Chamber Chairman Arthur DuCote

16 22 44 56

2020 Board of Directors and Chairman’s Circle Annual Meeting Wrap Up & Impact Makers Bank On It: Banking Industry Overview The Difference Diversity Makes

26 Powerhouse Q&A: Leslie Sanders 28 Member Profiles: Melissa Smith, Dennis Barnes,Bobby Poundstone 34 Military Profile: Sheryl Gordon 36 GiveBack: Feeding the Need 40 #myMGM: Sipping & Sealing Deals 42 Regional Impact: Trail Blazer 58 Small Business Briefcase: HR Policies

CHAMBER NEWS:

08 Events 60 Connect: Chamber FAQ 64 Connect: Chamber News 72 Connect: Past Events 78 Members on the Move 80 Members in the News 85 Business Buzz 92 Ribbon Cuttings 95 New Members 98 Intel


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MBJ

THE NUMBER ONE BUSINESS SOURCE FOR MONTGOMERY AND THE RIVER REGION

MONTGOMERY AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PRESIDENT Anna B. Buckalew 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 Jennifer Stewart Kornegay, Sharleen Smith, Melissa Warnke, Keith Ellis, Jennifer Luster, Brett Wilkinson and Dianne Wilson PHOTOGRAPHERS Bryan Carter, Nick Drollette, Robert Fouts, Donna Wallace King, David Robertson Jr. ON THE COVER Montgomery Chamber Chairman Arthur DuCote. Photography by Robert Fouts ADVERTISING & COMMUNICATIONS Christina Bennett and Kristina Boddie / exploreMedia / 334-578-7810 Racheal Lunn 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. Periodicals Postage Paid at Montgomery, Alabama, 36119+9998, USPS NO. 025553. POSTMASTER send address changes to Montgomery Business Journal, c/o Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 79, 41 Commerce Street, Montgomery, AL 36101, or email 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

NEW!

60 Minute Coffees & Business After Hours SEE YOU THERE.

FEB

State of the State – 11:30am1:00pm, Embassy Suites Governor Kay Ivey will provide an update on Alabama's major initiatives, key legislative projects and discuss challenges affecting our state government.

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FEB

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TechMGM Forum – 5:15 pm-7:15 pm, Work Together Business Studio

Join community and business leaders for a discussion on how Montgomery is embracing its tech talent, public-private partnerships focused on IT/communications infrastructure, and how its culture of innovation is fueling its emergence as a Smart Community and a destination for diverse, inclusive investment and tourism opportunities. Sponsored by: Trenholm State Community College

STAY CONNECTED: Check our website for dates, times and locations for these exclusive 2020 events:

These popular networking events are the perfect place to exchange business cards and meet potential customers.

1/15 60 Minute Coffee Sponsor & Location: Newk’s Eatery

1/30 Business After Hours Sponsor & Location: Staybridge Suites Montgomery Downtown

2/12 60 Minute Coffee Sponsor: Montgomery Rotary Club; Location: RSA Activity Center

2/27 Business After Hours Sponsor & Location: Belmont Assisted Living

3/11 60 Minute Coffee Sponsor & Location: Montgomery Area Council on Aging

EGGS & ISSUES SERIES Sponsored by Balch & Bingham, LLP STATE OF THE CITY & COUNTY Sponsored by Baptist Health GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS RECEPTION Sponsored by Alabama Interactive DIVERSITY DIALOGUE Sponsored by Balch & Bingham, LLP

+ Sign up! Register and pay online for these events and stay up to date on business announcements, ribbon cuttings, happenings and more at montgomerychamber.com/events.

Upcoming Workshops Grant Writing 2.0 February 4, 8:30 am-12 pm at the Work Together Business Studio Are you a Non-Profit looking for specific grant money for a program? This proposal workshop is geared toward those who wish to strengthen their grant writing skills, learn how to master the techniques of preparing and writing winning proposals to various funding agencies. Presented by: River Region United Way

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PROGRAMMING & EVENTS Work Together is a new space at 600 S. Court Street for place makers, creatives, small businesses, entrepreneurs, freelancers and the community to connect, innovate, create, train and empower. Small Business Briefcase – January 21, March 17, 12 pm-1 pm Enjoy a live business tactics event centered on the Montgomery Business Journal’s content, featuring a panel of local business experts as they dive deeper into the many tips and tools small businesses and entrepreneurs need to be more efficient, and ultimately more successful. January’s topic will be “HR – How to Deal with the Tough Stuff” and will feature Troy University Continuing Education and Outreach. Presented by: Montgomery Business Journal Small Business First Friday & Culture Builder – ­ February 7; March 6, 3:30 pm-5 pm Aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners will have the opportunity to hear from makers, store owners and creators of regional and national brands who all have a story that’s uniquely their own and who have helped shaped the community in which we live. Empowering testimonials will be followed by a social that will feature wine tastings and tap takers. Sponsored by: Elizabeth Ellen Digital; Goat Haus Biergarten Small Business Boot Camp – February 18, 9:30 am-12 pm Each Boot Camp will feature a panel of small business experts, entrepreneurs and local place makers who will discuss real-life experiences, tools and tips and provide business and development education on a number of topics. Sponsored by: Troy University Continuing Education and Outreach


Ready, Set,Go. The Chamber’s new Chairman describes Montgomery as a strong city, one that’s perfectly positioned and ready to run in front of the pack to reach continued progress. Regions Central Alabama Market President Arthur DuCote has been in banking for almost 30 years, but he recently slipped on and laced up another set of shoes for 2020, adding Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Chairman to his list of roles and responsibilities. He’s watched Montgomery grow and change ever since he got here in 2001, but he believes his Chairman term will preside over some of the capital city’s most exciting days, and he’s thrilled to help his community get a jumpstart toward the great things he sees coming.

by JENNIFER KORNEGAY photography by ROBERT FOUTS

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Regions Central Alabama Market President Arthur DuCote

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Q&: A

Are you originally from Montgomery? No. I grew up in a small, rural community between Baton Rouge and New Orleans in south Louisiana. I came to Montgomery via being

Part of the Chamber’s mission is to drive growth and

transferred here with Regions 18 years ago.

prosperity in Montgomery

How and when did you get into banking?

and the River Region, which

I am an LSU finance graduate, and right out of school I was recruited by Barnett Bank in Florida,

is exactly consistent with

so I moved there to start my banking career.

what makes for a successful

When did you start at Regions and what drew you to the company? I began at

bank in any community.

Regions in 1992 via its purchase of the bank I

was the flat management structure that allowed

Why are you (and Regions) so involved in and supportive of the Chamber?

for local leadership and the autonomy to run

Part of the Chamber’s mission is to drive growth

your business in the community in which you

and prosperity in Montgomery and the River

operated.

Region, which is exactly consistent with what

was with in Florida. What drew me to Regions

makes for a successful bank in any community.

What do you love about your work?

The two are completely linked together in what

The part I really love is that I am able to play a

they are trying to accomplish.

small role in helping our customers achieve their of our associates. And both are very gratifying.

Would you encourage others to get involved in the Chamber? Yes. The Chamber

To help people achieve their business and

is the way to get engaged in the business

career goals is the best part of my job.

community. It handles everything from economic

business goals. I also get to do that as a leader

development, tourism and industry recruitment

How are you involved in the community and why? In addition to serving on the

to supporting small business start-ups and

Executive Board of the Chamber, I’m on

River Region, and you want to be a part of any of

the board of directors of the Montgomery

that, the Chamber is your place to be engaged.

military relations. If you’re in business in the

Business Committee for the Arts, and I’m member of The Alabama Shakespeare Festival,

What are your thoughts on where the city is now? Montgomery is well positioned to

The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, The

capitalize on a bright future. Its business climate

Montgomery Symphony Orchestra and Troy

is good, and with the city’s new leadership, we’re

University Montgomery. I’m also a past member

ready to continue the progress of the past and

of the Alabama State Banking Board. Being

take it to the next level.

on the Committee of 100. I’m a past board

involved in the community is a core part of Regions’ culture. A successful and prosperous

What are your hopes and goals for the city?

community makes for a successful and

I would like to see Montgomery continue to be

prosperous bank, so it makes good business

a vibrant community with a growing population,

sense. But it is also simply the right thing to do to

one that provides economic prosperity and

make your home the best it can be.

educational prosperity to all of its citizens.

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“It is my privilege to serve as the Chamber’s Chairman at this important and exciting transition time in our community with a new Chamber President and a new mayor,” he said. “Montgomery is poised to achieve heights that we could have only dreamt about in the past.” 14 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


Goal Highlights from Chairman Arthur DuCote Goal 1: Build Competitive Regional Talent

Communities have been focused on the competition for jobs. That’s still an issue,

Out of Office

but the bigger competition in today’s economy is for talent. Montgomery and the River Region must focus on keeping our talent and recruiting new talent. That means investing in public education, reinvesting in our neighborhoods and building quality of place.

Goal II: Strengthen and Diversify the Economy

Montgomery is in an enviable position. We have a stable base of government and military along with a strong automotive and service sector. Hyundai’s decision to invest in the production of a new vehicle here sends a signal that Montgomery is committed to its existing industry and is a preferred location for global commerce. But we can’t rest. We are working to accelerate our pace of economic growth with new kinds of opportunities through TechMGM, public/private partnerships with the military and DoD and investments in infrastructure and innovation. These efforts are getting the attention of both military and corporate leadership. When you start hearing the term “Silicon Valley of the South,” you know we’re on to something. Another focus is enriching the entrepreneurial ecosystem, identifying gaps and building resources to create fertile ground for start ups.

Goal III: Transform the Image of Montgomery

Montgomery has received unprecedented international media exposure over the past two years, and the world is changing how they think about us. My challenge to every person in 2020 is, “Are you wildly optimistic about our city and our potential? You should be!” It’s time for Montgomery to believe in how great our city and region is and to share that with the rest of the world. I can’t stress

While his long list of duties at both the bank and his multiple community involvements keep him plenty busy, Arthur DuCote does have some free time, most of which he spends with family (wife of 30 years, Denise, and his two sons in college) and among Mother Nature.

enough the impact destination tourism has on our economic growth. Driving visitors to spend an extra day here and intentionally crafting their experiences remain core priorities. New visitor data will tell us who our customer is, how we can give them the best experience and in turn, get the most from their visit.

Goal IV: Build Community Capacity

Diversity and inclusion are strengths. That is a fact in every aspect of life. And no community has a better opportunity to leverage those strengths than Montgomery. We’ve got a powerful story to tell. We are the Cradle of the Confederacy and the Birthplace of Civil Rights. Think about our history: what we lived, pushed through, survived, overcame and the progress we’ve made.

“In my spare time, I grow trees,” he said. “My family has a small tree farm, and I get tremendous joy from being there and just being in the outdoors in general.

At a time of tremendous divisiveness in our country, think of the beacon of

I’m happiest with a little

togetherness we can be. If Montgomery can come together, work as a team

mud on my boots.”

and make room for all to build a more fulfilling and prosperous community for everyone, anyone can do it. And we have been doing it. And we are. And most importantly, our best days are in front of us. We will continue to gather momentum, push harder, and we will be that beacon of togetherness — for ourselves, our children and others. Let’s join hands and go make it happen!


2020

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

MR. RICHARD T. ALDRIDGE Program Executive Officer Business & Enterprise Systems

MRS. ANNA B. BUCKALEW President & CEO Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce

MR. HENRY HAMMOND COBB Executive Director Serquest

MR. VLADIMIR V. AVERETT Manager/Owner, Heritage Barber & Style Shop

MR. G. CARLTON BARKER President & CEO ServisFirst Bank

MR. JAMES E. BUCKALEW Chairman/President Alabama Real Estate Holdings/PCH

MR. MARK P. BUNTING Vice President & General Manager WSFA TV

MR. JOSHWON BUSH President & CEO, Up and Running

MR. A. BRUCE CRAWFORD Montgomery CEO BBVA

MR. GILBERT DARRINGTON CEO Health Services, Inc.

MR. MIKE COSTA General Manager Alabama News Network

MR. CARL J. BARTLETT JR. Executive Vice President Jim Wilson & Associates, LLC

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MR. JUDKINS D. BLOUNT SR. President Vintage Hospitality Group Inc.

MR. CEDRIC T. CAMPBELL Project Manager Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood, Inc.

MR. BRIAN DAVIS Regional Manager Spire


2020 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (Front Row) Arthur J. DuCote, 2020 Chairman of the Board, Executive Vice President, Commercial Banking Market President, Regions Bank; Leslie L. Sanders, Vice Chairman, Vice PresidentSouthern Division, Alabama Power Company; (Second Row) Alvin H. Dees, Chairman Elect, Executive Vice President, Marketing, Alfa Companies; John D. Yelverton III, Chairman Elect, President & COO, Dixie Electric, Plumbing & Air; Riley W. Roby, Chairman Elect, Managing Partner, Balch & Bingham, LLP; Anna B. Buckalew, President & CEO, Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce; Willie Durham, Immediate Past Chairman, Agent, State Farm Insurance

MR. TERRY G. DAVIS Managing Member Davis & Hatcher, LLC

THE HONORABLE ELTON N. DEAN SR. Chairman, Montgomery County Commission

MR. JOE FRIDAY President & CEO Whitfield Foods, Inc.

MR. ARTHUR J. DUCOTE Executive Vice President, Commercial Banking Market President , Regions Bank

MR. MICHAEL DUNN Managing Director Stifel Public Finance

MR. WILLIE DURHAM Agent State Farm Insurance

MR. ZACHARY GIBBS Executive Vice President of Development Halstead, LLC

MAJOR GENERAL SHERYL GORDON The Adjutant General Alabama National Guard

MR. RICHARD E. HANAN Board Chairman Water Works & Sanitary Sewer Board

LT. GENERAL JAMES HECKER Commander & President Air University - Maxwell AFB

MR. ROBERT F. HENRY III President Robert F. Henry Tile Company, Inc.

MR. ANDRE F. HOWARD Owner/Manager Howard’s Hair Stylists & Designers

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MR. ROBERT M. HARDWICH JR. Chairman, Industrial Development Board of the City of Montgomery

MR. LANCE D. HUNTER CEO Hodges Warehouse + Logistics

MR. ALVIN H. DEES Executive Vice President, Marketing Alfa Companies

MR. MICHAEL GALVIN President, Montgomery Advertiser-USA Today Network

MR. BARRIE H. HARMON III Founder & CEO Harmon Dennis Bradshaw, Inc.

MRS. ASHLEY BRANDLE-JERNIGAN Owner JDB Hospitality LLC


2020

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

MR. BYUNGJIN JIN President & CEO Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, LLC

MR. JAMES K. LOWDER Chairman The Colonial Company

MR. JERRY C. KYSER CEO Jerry Kyser Builder, Inc.

MR. COLEMAN LARLEE General Manager, SABIC Polymers

MR. TROY MAXWELL District Manager, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama

MR. JOHN B. MAZYCK Principal & Owner The Frazer Lanier Company

MR. GREG MCCLELLAN Administrator Alabama Credit Union Association

MR. THOMAS J. METHVIN Principal & Managing Attorney Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.

MR. QUINCY P. MINOR President & COO Information Transport Solutions, Inc.

MR. JEROME T. MOORE III President Moore Company Realty

MS. ANDREA ROGERS MOSLEY Director Small Business Development Center

MR. JAMES L. PARNELL President & CEO Alfa Companies

MS. ESSENCE J. PHENIX President Smoothie King

THE HONORABLE CHARLES PRICE Senior Advisor to the Mayor City of Montgomery

MR. DAVID B. REED Executive Vice President & Chairman of the Board Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood, Inc.

THE HONORABLE STEVEN L. REED Mayor City of Montgomery

MR. ED REINHARDT Vice President Reinhardt Motors, Inc.

MR. JOE B. RILEY President & CEO Jackson Hospital & Clinic, Inc.

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MS. STACIA ROBINSON Agency Principal The BeneChoice Companies

MR. RILEY W. ROBY Managing Partner Balch & Bingham, LLP

MR. QUINTON T. ROSS JR. President Alabama State University

MRS. LESLIE L. SANDERS Vice President, Southern Division Alabama Power Company

MR. PATRICK SIDHU President & CEO, Premier Kings, Inc.

MR. J. MARK SNEAD JR. President & CEO Sterling Bank

MR. RICHARD M. STABLER Managing Member, Warren Averett, LLC

MR. JIMMY STUBBS President & CEO River Bank & Trust-Montgomery

MRS. LIZ SADIE SUTTON President Alabama World Travel/ Sutton & Associates

MR. MARSHALL J. TAGGERT, JR. Montgomery Regional Airport

MR. RUSH THOMPSON Finance Manager/Caffco International Southern Homes and Gardens

MR. EUGENE TINKER JR. CEO Certified Technical Experts, Inc.

MS. RUBY TUCK President & CEO Program Management and Technology Services, Inc.

MR. BILL TURENNE Owner Turenne PharMedCo., Inc.

MR. W. RUSSELL TYNER President & CEO Baptist Health

MR. ADOLPH WEIL III Associate John Hall and Company

MRS. VIRGINIA WHITFIELD Owner Whitfield Consulting

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MR. JOHN D. YELVERTON III President & COO, Dixie Electric, Plumbing & Air


2020 CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE

A SPECIAL THANKS TO THE 2020 MEMBERS OF THE MONTGOMERY CHAMBER CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE.

ASHLEY D. AARON Lane Corporate Group

BRAD ARMAGOST ServisFirst Bank

ANITA CARTER Jim Wilson & Associates

JENNIFER ATKINS New Waters Realty Company, LLC

KEITH BAZZLE Buffalo Rock Pepsi

NAKIMA BOLEWARE Guardian Credit Union

BRIAN BONIKOWSKI Avis & Budget Rent A Car

LYNN CARTER Southeast Cherokee Construction, Inc.

MIKE COSTA Alabama News Network

GILBERT DARRINGTON Health Services, Inc.

CLARK FINE Fine, Geddie & Associates

BILL GUILFORD WOW!

JOHN F. HALEY VT Miltope

DENISE HAVILAND ARC Realty

MERLE HENKEL Trinity Presbyterian School

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MATT FLURRY Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED, Inc.

PERRY O. HOOPER JR. Palomar Insurance Corporation


RAY INGRAM Jack Ingram Motors, Inc.

JIM MASSEY III Jim Massey’s Cleaners

SHANNON MAXWELL Enterprise Rent-A-Car

MARCEL MCELROY Marcel McElroy’s Job Connection

DR. LARRY MCLEMORE Saint James School

JOHN MCWILLIAMS The Montgomery Academy

ANN OSTEN Sadie’s Global Travel, Ltd.

BOBBY POUNDSTONE Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP

ED REINHARDT Reinhardt Motors, Inc.

JOE B. RILEY Jackson Hospital & Clinic, Inc.

JAMAR STANFORD AAA – Alabama

LIZ SUTTON Alabama World Travel/ Sutton & Associates

MARSHALL J. TAGGART JR. Montgomery Airport Authority

DR. YU-TUENG TSAI Regitar U.S.A., Inc.

DENNIS WATERS Envolve Communities, LLC

CLARE WEIL The UPS Store

DR. MICHAEL WILLIAMS Faulkner University

RUSS TYNER Baptist Health

BETH WALKER-MCBRIDE WorkForce Walker Personnel, LLC

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2019 RECORD-BREAKING ANNUAL

MEETING

GROWTH

At a packed Annual Meeting lunch,

Newly elected Montgomery Mayor Steven

the Chamber celebrated another great

Reed delivered the keynote address, sharing

year and laid out its vision and plans for many more good things to come. The Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce’s 147th annual meeting on December 10 put a spotlight on the second consecutive year of recordbreaking growth. • For the second year in a row, Montgomery experienced recordbreaking announced industrial capital investment, this year reaching over $1 billion and over 1,200 announced new jobs. • Montgomery’s largest-ever expansion announcement came just weeks ago with the announcement that Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama will invest $410 million to bring production of the Santa Cruz to the Montgomery plant, resulting in 200 new jobs with local suppliers projected to employ an additional 1,000 workers.

• Travel-related expenditures topped more than $972 million, representing a 15.5 percent increase, the largest percentage of growth ever recorded by the Alabama Tourism Department. • The Chamber’s Destination Sales team sold 63,257 room nights, a 4.4 percent increase over 2018. Citywide, • Montgomery sold more than 25,000 more rooms this year than in 2018. • The Chamber has continued to achieve national media attention for the city’s tourism, economic development and technology initiatives, earning more than 1.5 billion media impressions since 2017 through its targeted public relations activities.

his vision for Montgomery’s economic future with the crowd of more than 600 business, military, community and elected leaders in attendance. 2019 Chairman Willie Durham presented the Chairman’s Award to Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, for the transformative and positive impact he and his organization have had on the city and the nation.

Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed delivered the keynote.

• Enplanements at the Montgomery Regional Airport grew by 14.3 percent in 2019, and an additional direct flight to Washington, D.C., will begin service in January.

2020 Chairman Arthur DuCote presents outgoing 2019 Willie Durham with the Chairman’s Plaque.

Moore Company Realty

A packed house for the 147th Annual Meeting in December.

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Change Agents

The Chamber also presented its second annual Impact Maker Awards, sponsored by Sabel Steel, which honored individuals and companies making a significant difference in the region. Congrats to all!

Nonprofit

Individual

HE B E TN GE CHA

Mid-size Business Small Business

Large Business Left Column: Individual Winner: Charles Lee, That’s My Child Small Business Winner: Montgomery Zoo Right Column: Nonprofit Winner: Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama Mid-Size Business Winner: Guardian Credit Union Large Business Winner: Alabama State University

Be on the lookout for the call for nominations for the 2020 MGM Impact Maker Awards.

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VESTOR IN

PR

OFIL

PO WERHOUSE

Q&A

E

LESLIE SANDERS When your job provides multiple ways to live out your passion for bettering communities, you don’t need an escape. It’s why Leslie Sanders doesn’t have a hobby (unless you count cuddling her new granddaughter). She finds fulfillment in the day-to-day duties of her role as Vice President, Southern Division for Alabama Power Company. When did you begin Question? Answer.your career with Alabama Power? I started working for Alabama Power in 1986. My

rewarding. The needs of every customer are important, be it an individual, a small business or a big corporation.

job was to promote all-electric homes. Then, I moved into the public information representative position and did that for

I’m now Chairman of the County Development Authority, the

several years. Next, I was offered the position of first female

entity that will be working on putting the new whitewater

lobbyist for Alabama Power, and I was skeptical at first, but

project together. That’s going to be huge. I’m so happy to be

tried it, and it was the best decision I ever made. I got to know

part of things like this and like the F-35 effort. I’ve also been

people from all over the state and work on issues that I felt

fortunate that my position has allowed me to serve on boards

could make meaningful differences in people’s lives. I spent

like that of Brantwood Children’s Home and others. I’m blessed

21 years doing that before I moved into my current position in

to be involved with so many fulfilling things. But also fulfilling,

2011.

and really the best thing about my job, is working with our people: our linemen, our engineers, our marketing reps.

What does your current job entail? This is primarily the place where we focus on customer needs. I work with

Finally, working with the military here is really a great honor;

marketing and with the accounting functions, but the largest

I am in awe of these people and what they do. Today, we are

part of my job is external. Southern Division runs from Selma

really working hand-in-hand with them, through initiatives like

to Auburn and from Georgiana to Clanton. It is my job to

TechMGM and more. That’s as cool as it gets.

working with multiple organizations, from nonprofits, chambers

What is your impression of Montgomery’s current heading? We’re in a truly good place. I like the emphasis

of commerce and industrial development boards to mayors,

on start-up tech companies. In terms of the new industries

city councils, counties and more to do what we can do to help

and expansions announced just this year, we have had a

support job creation and a higher quality of life. Whatever part

phenomenal 2019. We have to continue to prove to companies

I can play to lead those efforts, that is my job. And it is the

that their leadership and employees want to live here, and I

most fun ever. It is an exciting period for Montgomery right

think our focus on quality of life has us set. With the foundation

now. I’m fired up about our new mayor and excited to see

laid by TechMGM and MGMWERX and the new mayor, we are

what resources we can bring to play a role in this time and to

poised to go in the direction of progressive tech cities, and that

help revitalize all parts of our city. I look at it a bit selfishly too;

will attract newer types of businesses. I think we’ll see next year

continued job growth is the only way my business grows.

that we are ready to bust out.

What do you love about what you do? On a macro

What are your interests outside of work? My

level, I love seeing things happen in communities that make life

hobby is not having a hobby. I’m an old movie buff and a

better for people and instill in them pride for their communities.

“Mouseketeer" at heart — I love Disney — but really, it’s quite

I love seeing people wanting to invest in their community. I

special when the things you care deeply about are woven into

also love being a force for collaboration. No single business or

what you do, day in and day out. That satisfies any desire to

person can do everything, but when we bring the right people

“get away.” I just love my job. I should mention that I’m about to

together, we can do so much. On an individual level, every

have a hobby. I’ve got a new granddaughter named Lucy.

the quality of life in our service territory. A large part involves

time I can help someone with their power bill, that is equally

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROBERT FOUTS

collaborate with internal and external entities to enhance


Smart Move “Supporting the Chamber

is a no brainer; it does such a great job being the conduit for everyone to have a seat at the table. It’s got such expertise in all things military, economic development, quality of life initiatives and tourism. You can see that our Chamber has done an incredible job.”

“I love being a force for collaboration. No single business or person can do everything, but when we bring the right people together, we can do so much.”

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M EMB E R profile

MELISSA SMITH Melissa Smith opened her restaurant Island Delight to share the tantalizing tropical tastes of her Caribbean home and heritage with Montgomery.

Are you from Montgomery? I am from Manchester, Jamaica, and I came here in 2000 to join my husband who was stationed at Maxwell Air Force Base.

When did you open Island Delight? I opened in 2002. This came about after my husband asked me to make some jerk chicken for an office party for his squadron. The general at that time fell in love with it and suggested we open a restaurant.

Please describe the restaurant’s food and atmosphere. At Island Delight, we serve authentic Caribbean food such as jerk chicken, jerked red snapper, beef oxtails, beef patties and a large selection of island juices, sodas and a natural juice bar. Our motto is “Your Passport to the Caribbean.” There is a sign outside that says, “Welcome to the Caribbean,” and upon entering, our guests feel as if they have escaped to a tropical island. The colors are as bright and vibrant as sunshine and the Caribbean Sea. If you listen carefully, you can hear Bob Marley singing in the background.

What is your main role? Since this is our “mini-island,” I am the Prime Minister of Island Delight. However, I am also the main cook and event planner.

What’s the most popular dish? Jerk chicken started out being our most popular dish, but now there is a tie between the jerk and beef oxtails. If I had to choose my favorite, it would be Escoveitch snapper.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your work? Seeing the satisfied look on my customers’ faces and speaking to them. I have met a lot of amazing customers who I now consider family.

“I am in the process of starting an organization to help and empower teenage mothers. I was a teenage mother, and I faced a lot of obstacles to get where I am today because many people tried to tell me I wouldn’t amount to anything. They broke my heart, but they didn’t break my spirit; for that reason, I want to empower these young ladies and break this cycle.”

Awards: We recently won The Peoples’ Choice award at a Mardi Gras Cajun cookoff. Last year, we won the Peoples’ Choice award at Culinary Fight Club and got to go to The World Food Championship. And we were honored to receive the Small Business of the Year award from the SBDC. islanddelightcaribbeaneats.com

MONTGOMERY BUSINESS BUSINESS JOURNAL JOURNAL 28MONTGOMERY 28

PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID ROBERTSON JR.

Empowering Others


29 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


30 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


M EM BER profile

DENNIS BARNES Dennis Barnes started working in real estate 15 years ago. In 2018, a dream he had when he first entered the industry was realized: He opened his own company, Keys Realty.

Are you from Montgomery? No. I was born in Chicago, Illinois, and grew up in rural Southeast Louisiana.

How long have you worked in real estate? I obtained my real estate license in 2004 and have been an active realtor since.

Do you specialize in residential or commercial real estate? I have extensive experience in residential real estate with a limited amount of experience in commercial real estate. Additional training and experience in commercial real estate is something I am currently pursuing.

What sets Keys Realty apart? Keys Realty has more than 80 years of experience collectively. Our team includes members who have managed real estate companies, trained real estate agents, worked with investors, staged homes, listed properties for foreclosure entities and more. We have a wealth of knowledge and experience. We also share that expertise with each other and therefore improve the skills of all of our team members. We often collaborate on listing and selling

Welcome All

strategies. So, when a consumer utilizes our services, they get more than a lone Realtor; they get a team of

“Keys Realty is a veteran-

experts.

owned company that believes in inclusion as well as cultural

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your work? Most rewarding to me is helping a client reach

and generational diversity.”

their goal of selling, buying or investing in real estate with the many tasks that arise during a transaction. By keeping the client’s goal a priority, it is very rewarding when that’s accomplished and ideally, with the least amount of stress.

What are your interests outside of work? PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID ROBERTSON JR.

I’m mainly involved in church activities and some form of exercising (it varies). I also enjoy sporting events and live jazz music. keysrealty.realtor

31 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


32 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


M EM BER profile

BOBBY POUNDSTONE Bobby Poundstone, Managing Partner of the Bradley law firm, has been practicing law for 20 years in Montgomery and names the relationships with his colleagues among the highlights of his career.

What are Bradley’s primary areas of focus? Bradley is a full-service national law firm primarily serving business clients and other organizations. The primary practice areas of the lawyers in the Montgomery office are litigation, business transactions, tax, trusts and estates and governmental affairs.  

What are your primary areas of focus? I am a general litigator with most of my cases falling under commercial litigation. I routinely handle litigation matters, including class action lawsuits for businesses, not-forprofit organizations and municipalities. 

  What’s the most rewarding aspect of your work? As a litigation attorney, clients are almost universally unhappy at the prospect of needing my services. No one wants to be in a lawsuit, and that is especially true of the defendant in a lawsuit, which is the position most of my clients find themselves in. With that said, litigation presents an opportunity to help solve a client’s problems. It is always rewarding when you can turn the client’s initial angst over being in litigation into a final resolution about which the client feels positive.   

Any recent honors? There are plenty of recognitions and awards that are all, obviously, great honors, but I am even prouder of the quality of the people we have in the Montgomery office. I am thankful to have the opportunity to work with great lawyers who are also great friends.   

What are your interests outside of work? My wife and I have two children in 7th and 9th grades at Montgomery Academy, so their activities keep us very busy. I serve as a committee chair in the American

PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID ROBERTSON JR.

Bar Association Section of Litigation and am also a

College Connections

representative to the ABA’s House of Delegates. In

“I have always been active with Auburn

addition, I am on the board of the Jason Dufner

University and am a former National President

Foundation, which fights childhood hunger.

of the Auburn Alumni Association, and my son and I regularly attend Auburn football and

bradley.com

basketball games.”

33 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


M I L I TA RY profile

SHERYL GORDON Major General Sheryl Gordon serves as Adjutant General of the Alabama National Guard, a position and responsibility she takes seriously, working tirelessly to ensure the soldiers and airmen under her command have what they need to succeed, both professionally and personally.

When did you join the Alabama National Guard? I joined the Alabama Army National Guard April 12, 1980.

What are your primary duties as Adjutant General of the Alabama National Guard? The Adjutant General of Alabama is the governor’s senior military advisor. The Adjutant General (TAG) is responsible for the readiness, training and operations of the Alabama National Guard, which is comprised of approximately 12,000 soldiers and airmen. I ensure that Alabama National Guard airmen and soldiers are trained and ready to fight our nation’s wars abroad or at home and support and assist Governor Ivey and the citizens of Alabama during natural or man-made disasters. I provide personnel support that affects soldiers’ and airmen’s overall welfare and well-being, while assisting commanders by accounting for and keeping soldiers and airmen combat ready.

What’s your favorite thing about your work? I enjoy the interactions with the soldiers and airmen. The most important thing I can do is to take care of my soldiers, airmen and their families. I try to give them the tools and opportunities to be successful in the military and civilian life. Also, as a female leader, I understand the impact I can have as a role model for our female soldiers and airmen. It is my hope that I can instill confidence and desire in people so that they establish high goals, believe

Proud Partners “The Alabama National Guard participates in the State Partnership Program sponsored by the National Guard Bureau to promote security cooperation between the United States and other countries. Our State partner is Romania, and the relationship

in themselves and achieve their goals.

What are your interests outside of work? My biggest hobby is reading. I manage to combine that with my other hobbies of deer hunting and going to the beach. I enjoy sitting in my deer stand or under the beach umbrella with a good book. al.ng.mil

celebrated its 25th anniversary last summer while I was in Romania. We are looking forward to the next 25 years!” 34 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


GiveBack

FEEDING THE NEED / by MELISSA WARNKE The Montgomery Area Food Bank is based in the capital city, but it serves almost half of the state, helping hundreds

IMAGES COURTESY OF RIVER REGION UNITED WAY

of thousands of hungry people and addressing food insecurity head on.

The Montgomery Area Food Bank serves needs in 35 of our state’s 67 counties.

“I used to have a certain picture of who might be coming to a

support extends to more than 800 local community agencies

food bank for help. Now, poverty is more of a mosaic to me.

throughout 24,921 square miles of metropolitan and rural

It can look like any one of us because we are all just one lost

areas of our state.

job away,” said Richard Deem, Chief Executive Officer of the Montgomery Area Food Bank (MAFB). Deem and his team serve more than half the state, covering 35 of Alabama’s 67 counties. Included in its service areas are 300,000 food-insecure residents, meaning 300,000 people who don’t have reliable access to food. “There are hungry people out there. They are children; they are seniors; and they are everything in between,” said Deem. “That’s why it’s so important to me every day to make sure this

While emergency food boxes are available

A community of partners “If you tell the River Region you have a need, people here show up to meet that need.” - Richard Deem

story is told.”

for those who might walk up to the food bank’s office in Montgomery, most of the food from the MAFB is distributed to its partner agencies, which then put it in the hands of people in need. The organization’s entire philanthropic and logistical efforts are orchestrated by a team of 30 employees, aided by a dedicated group of volunteers and board members. “Last year, our team distributed 28 million pounds of food,” Deem said, “All done at no cost to those receiving assistance.”

Grown to Serve

With the substantial growth of its service area, the food bank

When the MAFB opened its doors in 1986, it served around a

itself has gone through multiple expansions to meet the

dozen counties in and around the River Region. However, as

needs of those they serve. In the early 90s, the warehouse

nearby Central Alabama food banks closed over the years,

was around 24,000 square feet. Today, MAFB has more than

Montgomery picked up their service areas. Today, the MAFB’s

100,000 square feet of warehouse space, and another 19,000

36 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


drives. “WSFA and the Montgomery Area Food Bank have had a wonderful partnership over the years with our annual Summer Fund and Food Drive as well as the WSFA 12’s Day of Giving event,” said Mark Bunting, General Manager for WSFA 12 News. “MAFB is vital to the welfare of those less fortunate in our community. Our goal in partnering with them is not only to minimize the need but also to create awareness of the growing hunger crisis in the River Region.”

Strength Of Support The Montgomery Area Food Bank has more than 100,000 square feet of warehouse space, and another 19,000 will soon be available.

Learning of the dire situations facing people in our community has heavily impacted Helen Crump Wells, a

will soon be available thanks to the recent

donations, providing buying power to

shareholder with Rushton Stakely and

purchase of an adjacent building.

secure heavily discounted foods. “The

board member for MAFB. “Serving on the

Montgomery Area Food Bank can acquire

board has opened my eyes to the sheer

“We don’t bring food in here to keep it

6.5 pounds of food for every $1 donated.

prevalence of hunger in Central Alabama,

forever. We move it in here, and it’s quickly

To put that into perspective, when you

with approximately 25 percent of the adult

sent out again. However, we always

purchase a can of soup or corn, the least

population and one-third of children being

have to have the ability to store more

you’d probably pay for that can is $0.48.

food-insecure,” she said. “Rushton Stakely

food,” Deem said. “For example, we were

We can purchase that same can of corn

participates in food drives, and many have

recently contacted by FEMA to accept a

for $0.18 thanks to our partnership with

supported the food bank in other ways. I

donation of 100 pallets of food. If we didn’t

Feeding America and our ability to bid on

believe our efforts to help the hungry help

have the space, we might have had to turn

trucks of food and negotiate lower prices,”

us to appreciate how fortunate we are.”

it down. With this additional space, we

Deem said. This and other examples of community

shouldn’t ever have to do that.” For that reason, monetary donations are

support are things Deem will never take

Maximizing Donation Dollars

the most cost-effective way to make the

for granted. “I brag on the support of the

Food donations from agencies, businesses

biggest impact. It’s why the MAFB hosts

River Region almost everywhere I go,” he

and individuals are just one way the

what they call Fund and Food Drives,

said. “We get support from a lot of outlying

MAFB acquires its food. They also have

driving home the point that monetary

places, but if you tell the River Region

partnerships with the U.S. Department of

donations are just as important, if not more

you have a need, people here show up to

Agriculture as well as Feeding America,

important than food donations.

meet that need.”

which is the nation’s fourth-largest charity. The connection with Feeding America is

Local businesses, like WSFA 12 News,

vital to its ability to maximize monetary

regularly host these types of donation

GIVEBACK

MAX4Kids Charity Golf Tournament Raises More Than $30,000

BRIEFS

In October, the MAX4Kids Foundation hosted its 20th Annual MAX4Kids Charity Golf Tournament at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Prattville. With 172 golfers and 70 dedicated sponsors, the fundraising event was a huge success and netted more than $30,000. At this year’s event, the MAX4Kids Foundation presented Tie and Doll with a $1,000 donation and Kid One Transport with a $5,000 donation. “The MAX4Kids Charity Golf Tournament is our biggest fundraiser each year,” said Kenneth Hill, VP of Mortgage Services and MAX4Kids President. “We are thankful for the continued support of MAX’s vendors, customers, and the community.” The MAX4Kids Foundation benefits children’s charities in the River Region and East Alabama, as well as the MAX4Kids Scholarship Program.

37 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


GiveBack GIVEBACK

BRIEFS

River Region Rotary Club Donates Thousands Rotary Park in downtown Montgomery will soon see improvements and increased greenspace thanks to a $12,000 donation from the Montgomery Rotary Club, Montgomery Sunrise Rotary Club and Montgomery Sunset Rotary Club.  Coming improvements will further activate the space as a gathering place for those living, working or visiting downtown. Plans call for new picnic tables, umbrellas for shade, improved signage, streetscape enhancements providing for permanent food truck parking and more.   Opened in September 2017, Rotary Park inhabits an existing greenspace adjacent to the parking deck at Montgomery City Hall at the corner of Coosa and Bibb Streets. Development officials chose the site due to its central location, size, treescape and underutilization. The park preserves the original fountain and mature flowering trees. Pet and Playground Products, a national company based in the River Region and owned by Montgomery resident Robert Price, provided all fencing, equipment and pet agility amenities for the dog park portion of Rotary Park.

38 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


No matter the business, we believe if we do what’s right for clients, we’ll help them achieve success while also realizing our own. It’s that simple.

Services Offered: • Alternative Investments • Banking & Lending Solutions • Business Planning • Corporate Retirement Plan Consulting • Estate, Charitable Giving & Trust • Financial Planning • Investment Solutions • Portfolio Management • Retirement Planning • Risk Management

7460 Halcyon Pointe Dr, Suite #101 Montgomery, AL 36117 (334) 213-4200 Raymond James & Associates, Inc., member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC 39 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


MyMGM

SIPPING & SEALING DEALS Check out these tried-and-true tips and common-sense rules for negotiating

SHELBY STRINGFELLOW

business deals over drinks.

TIPS:

DEALS OVER DRINKS

• Always be prepared: Have an agenda, talking points and know your audience. • Know your role. Are you selling? Being sold to? Brokering the deal? • Don’t jump right into business. Take your time with the introductions, get the pleasantries out of the way first. Let the other person do most of the talking. • Always be prepared to pivot. The deal may not work the way you envision it, but there may be alternative ways to structure it that still work for everyone. • Always follow up in writing. Summarize your conversation in an email within a few days of your meeting. Be sure to include action items, deliverables and a schedule. • Don’t give up too soon. Very few deals worth making are solidified in one meeting.

We work hard to transform our offices into spaces that push productivity. And thanks to technology, we don’t even have to limit our work to only one place. We can accomplish

• Don’t burn bridges. If this deal doesn’t

a multitude of tasks with a phone call, a text message and via email and do it all from our

work out maybe the next one will or

car, in an airport or on our couch.

maybe you’ve just made a great business contact. There are relationships that I

But sometimes, the old ways are still the best ways. Every day across this country,

have formed through business proposals

countless deals are being discussed and sealed face-to-face, and those faces are often

that did not come to fruition that have

located in a bar or restaurant where they’re downing a drink or two.

turned into some of the most valued members of my social and professional

So how can you use this semi-social but still-serious setting to your business advantage? We asked two deal-making pros at The Chamber — Director of Corporate Development Shelby Stringfellow and Destination MGM Director of Sales Keely Smith — for their tips.

40 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

network.


Keep It Clean If the person you’re “dealing” with is staring at your mouth, they may be looking at the food wedged between your two front teeth, not listening

BAR

intently to your pitch. “If you order bar food, don’t choose popcorn

BUSINESS ETIQUETTE

or anything with spinach in it. The temptation to pick your teeth will be over whelming with popcorn. Spinach is another dental disaster; it gets

HOW TO

MIX & MINGLE WITH BUSINESS ON THE TABLE

stuck in your teeth unknowingly. No green specks in your teeth.” – Keely

Mixing booze and business is not always profitable.

Smith

Too much of a good thing can go real bad,

one can take you seriously with little

real fast. Stick to these rules when it comes to deals over drinks.

Do Make It Clear. Ensure everyone understands that adult libations are part of your plan for the meeting. That way, if your client or colleague doesn’t drink and would be uncomfortable in the situation, you can change the plan.

Do Consider Some Quiet. Don’t pick a restaurant or bar that’s always crowded and noisy. If you’re going to talk business, you’ve got to be able to hear each other.

Don’t Forget Your Objective. You may not be in an office, but professional

KEELY SMITH • Do your homework long before you order a drink. Know what you

behavior is still smart. While it doesn’t hurt, having fun is not the primary goal. Don’t let • Don’t be in a hurry. Let the negotiations percolate and do more listening than talking.

need to get out of the deal and know at what point you would walk away if the deal isn’t in your company’s best interest.

• Always be honest and have your client’s best interest at heart. You may sell something, but you won’t make a friend or a long-term

• Begin lightheartedly; make

business relationship if you are the

easy conversation and build some

only one that comes away with the

rapport by revealing a little about

win.

• Keep your drinks to a minimum and order something middling,

lull you into forgetting why you are there: to get some business done.

Don’t Wait. The point of getting out of the office and sharing a few drinks is to have some social time, but don’t let that part go on too long. Get down to business after the first drink if not before.

Do Be Prepared.

yourself while asking more about the other person.

the more relaxed vibe of a “drinks” meeting

• When the time is right, make the first offer, leaving room for negotiation if needed. Aim high and expect the best solution. In the

nothing too exotic, too strong or too

end, have fun, make a friend, and

expensive. Deals over drinks can

don’t take yourself too seriously! If

go awry quickly.

things need to be more formal meet in the board room, not the bar.

41 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM

If the meeting goes long, and your client keeps drinking, feel free to slow down and always have some water and maybe even some appetizers on hand to ensure you can keep from getting too buzzed. And on the flipside, if your client isn’t up for ordering another round, don’t push another drink on them.


Regional Impact

TRAIL BLAZER The capital city’s rich civil rights heritage continues to draw visitors who are eager to experience the places on the leading-edge of history.

Tourism is a big business in the capital city. Nearly three million

listed on the trail: the City of St. Jude; the Civil Rights Memorial

visitors make their way to Montgomery each year, and it’s estimated

Center at the Southern Poverty Law Center; Dexter Avenue King

those tourists spend about $1.5 million per day on hotel stays, food,

Memorial Baptist Church; the Dexter Parsonage; First Baptist

fuel, shopping and admission for local attractions. While it’s hard

Church on Ripley Street; the Freedom Riders Museum; the Equal

for tourism leaders to track exactly what brought those visitors

Justice Initiative’s (EJI) National Memorial for Peace and Justice

to Montgomery, they can say for certain that the city’s civil rights

and the Legacy Museum; the National Center for the Study of

history has put it on the world’s radar for sightseeing appeal.

Civil Rights and African American Culture on the campus of Alabama State University; and the Rosa Parks Library, Museum and

“You have to acknowledge that Montgomery’s place on the Civil

Children’s Wing.

Rights Trail has made it a destination for travelers who want to experience the places and the sites where foot soldiers changed

The newest sites, EJI’s National Memorial for Peace and Justice

the world,” said Dawn Hathcock, Vice President of Destination

and its separate Legacy Museum, have landed Montgomery in

MGM and Brand Development for the Montgomery Area Chamber

the international spotlight, thanks to the media attention they

of Commerce. “We know that is a huge reason why people are

garnered. “In the year and a half since EJI opened, 650,000 people

coming here.”

visited it. Many of those people who came to see and learn about EJI’s mission were new, first-time visitors who had not been to

Alabama, and Montgomery in particular, have claim to an important

Montgomery,” Hathcock said.

piece of the Civil Rights Trail. Alabama has more sites on the trail than any other state, and Montgomery has more sites than any

Its opening has also led more people to discover the city’s other

other city on the trail. In total, there are 10 sites in Montgomery

historic sites and attractions, including the site where Rosa Parks

42 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


IN TOTAL, THERE ARE

UPCOMING CIVIL RIGHTS EVENTS

10 SITES

IN MONTGOMERY LISTED ON THE CIVIL RIGHTS TRAIL.

SELMA BRIDGE

refused to give up her seat on a bus.

CROSSING JUBILEE

“We have definitely seen an increase in

February 27-March 1

attendance since our neighbors have come

This year marks the 55th

along – EJI’s National Memorial for Peace

anniversary of Bloody Sunday,

and Justice and the Legacy Museum. We

when marchers were attacked

are located geographically right between

on the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

the two sites, so many of their visitors come

The day is honored and

here and enjoy this experience too,” said Dr. Felicia Bell, Director of the Rosa Parks Museum.

“When people come here, they are reminded that everyday people – including

That museum, located at the site where Rosa Parks was arrested on December 1, 1955, is on the campus of Troy Montgomery, which owns and operates it. It serves as a living memorial to Parks, with a permanent exhibition as well as year-round programming and temporary art exhibitions focused on topics that elevate the legacy of Parks in the place where it all began. “It is important for visitors to come to Montgomery – to see where so many sacrificed so much for 382 days of not riding those buses. This place is significant because it allowed foot soldiers to gain a little more toward equality and human dignity. It was the catalyst for it all,” Bell said.

each one of us – have the power to bring about change by standing up and speaking out,” added Tafeni English, Director of the Civil Rights Memorial Center, which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary.

celebrated at the annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee in Selma. It is the largest annual civil rights commemoration in the world. selma50.com

SELMA TO MONTGOMERY RELAY

While civil rights tourism is the heart of

March 21

the city’s economic engine, Montgomery’s

Part of the Civil Rights Race

history is intertwined in every initiative

Series with events all over

– including its strides in place-making,

the South, this race takes

technology and entrepreneurism. “Our

runners, walkers and cyclers

goal is to make sure every business owner,

along the same 54-mile

employee and organization understands

route traveled on the famous

their role in our story. It’s up to us to be

Selma-to-Montgomery march.

ambassadors for our city’s history and to

selmatomontgomeryrelay.com

make sure the true stories that changed the world continue to bring people here to experience them firsthand,” said Hathcock.

EXPLORE AROUND

Learn more about other sites on the Civil Rights Trail at civilrightstrail.com, and visit these nearby spots.

BIRMINGHAM

SELMA

The church was the site of the 1963

The first AME church in Alabama,

bombing that killed four young black girls.

Brown Chapel was the site of

16th Street Baptist Church:

Brown Chapel AME Church:

preparations for the march to

Edmund Pettus Bridge: Now a National Historic Landmark, the bridge was the site of the brutal Bloody Sunday

Montgomery.

beatings of civil rights activists

rendition of a segregated city in the

Lowndes Interpretive Center:

rights.

1950s, a replica of a Freedom Riders

This museum is dedicated to

bus and even the actual door to the jail

those who peacefully marched

cell that held Dr. King.

from Selma to Montgomery to

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute: This modern museum features a

gain the right to vote. 43 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM

during the first march for voting


MAKING A BETTER MGM:

AN INDUSTRY OVERVIEW

The banking industry’s impact on the capital city continues to earn interest as it deposits both tangible and intangible benefits in the entire area. BY JENNIFER S. KORNEGAY

44 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


Industry Overview: BANKING ccess to capital

opportunity to stand out in the crowded

is necessary fuel

field and target a particular audience.

for any type and

And even head-to-head competition is

size economy,

healthy and beneficial to both bankers

and thanks to the

and consumers, according to Arthur

River Region’s many banks, the funds and

DuCote, Executive Vice President of

services required to do business are right

Regions Commercial Banking. “Choices

here. But these financial institutions and

and competition are always good,” he said.

the thousands of people they employ do

“It certainly makes it more challenging for

so much more in our community than store

bankers, but it makes for better bankers

and lend money. They’re engaged citizens

and better outcomes for customers.”

working hard to better the quality of life where they (and we) live. That’s a fact you

Carl Barker, Montgomery Regional CEO/

can take to the bank.

President of ServisFirst Bank, agreed with Petty, Knight and DuCote, noting how

Another truth: If you’re a banker in the

facing worthy “opponents” is personally

River Region, no matter which institution’s

rewarding. “While we have 25 banks, and

name is on your business card, you’ve

we all deal with the same basic commodity,

got stiff competition all around you. With

which is money, we are all different in

more than 20 distinct banks, the banking

the way we present that commodity in

industry is big and robust in our area,

the form of products and services, so

and each bank is constantly vying for

customers have many choices,” he said.

customers. And as veteran local banker

“It makes it exciting for me to come to

Ray Petty (he’s been in the business

work every day knowing that I have strong

since 1972 and now sits on the board of

competitors out there.”

ServisFirst Bank) explained, they all do basically the same thing. “Montgomery is blessed to have a lot of very good banks,

Compounding Good

Our area bankers are mostly friendly

the whole lineup from large national banks

adversaries, understanding how, as an

to small community banks to everything in

industry, they have the ability to affect and

between, but at the end of day, all banks

shape the entire region. “It takes all of us

serve the same purpose and offer mostly

to meet the banking needs of the region’s

the same products and services,” he said.

businesses and individuals,” DuCote said. “All of the banks work together to

Yet the way they deliver these products

promote the well-being and progress

and services does vary, sometimes

of our community, including tangible

widely, and that’s a great thing for

banking product and service delivery and

consumers. “All of these institutions are

substantial community support in the form

here to serve the community and have

of charitable donations, sponsorships,

different business models,” said Pete

and contributions. Taken as a whole, no

Knight, Montgomery Market President of

other industry in the community is more

Renasant Bank. “Some focus on general

charitable and supportive than the banks.”

community banking, some small business banking, while some are experts in retail

Bruce Crawford, Montgomery CEO of

and consumer banking. This means the

BBVA, echoed DuCote on the industry’s

Montgomery area should have plenty of

role in the River Region’s philanthropic and

financial alternatives to meet its needs.”

quality of life arenas. “Bankers have long been considered some of the leaders in

For bankers, putting emphasis on

the community as they are often deeply

specific markets or niches gives them the

entrenched in community activities. Board

45 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM

MGM CHAMBER #ATWORK The Chamber team works every day to stay a trusted and valuable partner to all of our area’s businesses and industries, and our community’s banks are no exception. Here’s how local bank industry leaders rank the Chamber’s role in their success. There is an old saying, “A rising tide floats all boats.” The Chamber works to support and improve the economic well-being of the business community — that is its mission. Why is that important? Because it seeks new partners (both national and international) to come to our area, and it encourages the economic development that enhances quality of life for our citizens. Expanding business in our area helps bring economic stability to families.

- Bruce Crawford, Montgomery CEO of BBVA


Industry Overview: BANKING

MGM CHAMBER #ATWORK We have one of the most active and most respected Chambers in the Southeast. Our ability to grow and prosper as a bank is largely dependent on the Chamber’s success. This

service, volunteer work, fundraising,

Barker shared a similar sentiment but

church and civic groups — check the

noted that regulations are equally applied

roster, and you are likely to find the name

and now, are simply a part of doing

(or names) of bankers in every area of

business. “There were some additional

service,” he said. “That’s a big part of

regulations that were imposed on the

what having a multitude of banks adds to

industry at the time of the recession and

the community — people who genuinely

some of them can be viewed as a bit

care and work to make the River Region a

excessive,” he said. “But we all have to

better place.”

deal with them, so we adapt and move on.”

A long list of banks also adds to a local

Beyond the Branch

economy in quantifiable ways, employing many and by virtue of the services they provide, enabling other industries and companies to come here and grow here. “A thriving banking industry is critical to any community economy,” Petty said. “They contribute greatly to the creation of jobs because as other businesses expand

helps our

or locate here, they have to borrow money

consumer

to do so. The vibrancy of the business

and commercial

community is dependent on banks and

initiative. Our

their ability to provide that funding.”

Chamber is constantly

In It Together

recruiting industries to our

Evolving with the times and rolling with punches is nothing new to the banking industry. For decades, interest rates have risen and fallen; rules have been altered and revised, but one change unique to the last 20 years is the rise of banks’ reliance on technology, a switch that comes with pros and cons, as Petty explained. “If you have a smart phone, you have a bank in your pocket,” Petty said. Today, cash deposits and withdrawals are the only reasons anyone has to go to a physical bank. Mobile and online

While all banks may do essentially the

banking make things faster and easier for

same things, they also face many of the

consumers, and technology is leveling

encouraging, but just as important

same issues, some of the most challenging

the playing field, allowing smaller banks

is its support to existing industries

market, and the pipeline is very

are the always shifting regulatory

to do more with less and therefore better

in helping with plant remodeling

environment and the cyclical ups and

compete with large banks. But it’s not all

and expansions. This may or may

downs of the economy. Petty pointed

gain; there are concerns and costs, as

to the old adage, “The only constant is

DuCote explained. “We want you to be

constant change” to describe where his

able to bank when you want to, where you

industry stands — and where it has always

want to and with ease. Secondly, we want

investment in our community

stood. “The industry is going through

the use of our technology to keep your

increases. If businesses are

changes now, but it has always gone

business with our bank safe. We invest

expanding or investing in their

through changes,” he said. “I hear some

the resources necessary to accomplish

physical plant, they most likely will

say things about ‘the good ole days,’ but

that, which is no small task,” he said.

banking was changing every year even

Regions annually spends $675 million on

back then.”

technology. Next to employees, it is the

not include additional employment opportunities or equipment purchases, but the key is the total

not leave.

- Carl Barker, Montgomery Regional CEO/ President of ServisFirst Bank

bank’s largest operating expense. Still, current regulations are seen by some as cumbersome at best and strangling

Barker pointed to the rise of cybercrime

at worst. “We share some of the concern

as a consistent tech-specific threat. “Being

within the U.S. banking industry that

able to pay bills, handle other transactions

financial regulation has become too

with an app on a mobile device and have

complex and burdensome,” Crawford said.

instant access to information about an

“We support efforts to modify regulation

account is extremely valuable,” he said.

in a way that would support more robust

“But there are challenges. Cybercrime is

job growth, increased lending and capital

the biggest. We work hard every day to

creation.”

protect our customer’s accounts.” Continued on page 50.

46 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


Industry Overview: BANKING BANKING INDUSTRY

MGM CHAMBER #ATWORK The Chamber in Montgomery plays a truly unique role in our community that a lot of people do

BY THE NUMBERS AUTAUGA COUNTY Number of banks: 11 Total number of offices: 16 Deposits (as of June 30, 2019): $610,465,000

not understand. The Montgomery

ELMORE COUNTY

Chamber of Commerce is our

Number of banks: 10

primary

Total number of offices: 20

industry

Deposits (as of June 30, 2019):

development

$853,725,000

entity for our city and has

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

been for many

Number of banks: 20

years. Many

Total number of offices: 63

cities have

Deposits (as of June 30, 2019):

this function

$6,925,707,000

broken into several areas in their communities. Ours is one

“Our business model

team and the results show it. The

is that we get out and

Montgomery Chamber is THE entity that takes the lead on the region’s efforts to maintain and grow our

see customers rather

SIZE SNAPSHOT

businesses, working directly with the State, the County, the City, adjacent communities and the

Carl Barker on the number of ServisFirst branches:

BANK

Number of Branches

River Region

Number of Employees

than have them come to us. While branches are important, we kind of compare them to

(In the River Region)

the old pay phones

Alabama Retirement System. It is

REGIONS

19

200+

that you used to see

a one-stop shop that drives that

BBVA Montgomery MSA

7

75

mobile phones have

VALLEY BANK

6

46

changes in technology

SERVISFIRST

2

35

we don’t need to have

RENASANT BANK

2

18

effort for the benefit of us all. I have had the pleasure of working in multiple communities in my banking career and have never seen a more effective, lean, team-oriented Chamber than the one found in Montgomery.

RIVER BANK & TRUST

6

- Arthur DuCote, Executive Vice President of Regions Commercial Banking.

48 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

93

on every corner; replaced them. With

as many branches as we once had.” - Carl Barker, Executive Vice President Montgomery Regional CEO of ServisFirst Bank


49 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


Industry Overview: BANKING

MGM CHAMBER #ATWORK

And, according to Knight, some things are lost in the transfer to heavy technology use. “We have cheaper, more efficient delivery methods for banking products, but the challenges center around the lack of

RISING STARS:

customer contact because there is virtually no need for visits to our branches where we can interact,” he said.

River Region Bankers to Watch

Petty has seen the same decline in bankerconsumer engagement. “Back before the

We asked some area banks to

rise of computers, regular visits to the

share the names of their team

bank used to be social in addition to a necessity for most people,” Petty said. It’s a key point. While almost every banking

We have the best Chamber that I have worked with over my career. It fosters growth

function and transaction can be carried

by working to bring new

out remotely, some people still choose

business to town, and it also

to do some of their banking face-to-face;

assists existing businesses

forging and cultivating relationships

by providing all kinds of

with consumers is still a vital part of the banking business model. “People bank with people, not with a sign out front or comes to lending, relationships make a big difference. And that’s another reason

different ways of doing things,” Petty said.

Relationship Manager LaShenna Clayton, Branch Anne Dalton, Private Wealth

a much better place for businesses and residents. - Pete Knight,

people click with different people and

Draper Stanford, Commercial

also works hard to create

Chamber makes Montgomery

is of such benefit to consumers. “Different

REGIONS

Manager Western Branch

tourism to the area. Our

having access to multiple banking choices

shining.

assistance. The Chamber an environment that brings

a logo,” Petty said. “Particularly when it

members under 40 who are truly

Montgomery Market President of Renasant Bank

Knight offered evidence of how personal connections remain integral to success

will never disappear. “The business of

in banking. “The banking industry was

banking has actually changed very little. It

challenged during the last recession,

has always been a relationship business.”

and in markets like ours where small

And according to DuCote, the correct

businesses and consumer business

use of technology by banks enhances

dominates, the strong winners were the

relationships; it doesn’t replace them.

community banks and local bankers who

“Banks today accomplish developing and

held onto these relationships,” Knight said.

maintaining those relationships with old

More proof? Bank buildings aren’t empty;

school face-to-face visits and utilizing new

they haven’t been totally supplanted by

technological tools,” he said.

websites and apps yet. “Twenty-five years after online banking was first introduced,

As the pace of advances keeps

bank branches are still around, and people

quickening, there’s little doubt that 20

still use them because they appreciate that

years from now, many everyday tasks will

human interaction, the human assistance

be done differently, but again, some things

and expertise,” Crawford said.

never really change. “Consumers bank differently now than just a few years ago,

DuCote agreed with his colleagues,

but banking will never stop being a service

pointing out that an emphasis on

business and a people business,” Petty

relationships is an aspect of banking that

said. 50 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

Relationship Manager

BBVA Jonathan Avant, Business Banker Ahmee Mun, Commercial Relationship Associate

SERVISFIRST Christian Ware, Commercial Banker

RENASANT BANK Chapman Barranco, Assistant Relationship Manager

RIVER BANK Chase Chambliss, Vice President & Relationship Manager Shannon Webster, Associate Relationship Manager Clay Cook, Financial Advisor at River Financial Services

VALLEY BANK Chase Hardy, Vice President, Commercial Banker


I ND U ST RY Leader | Banking

Trustmark When was your company founded? 1889

What sets your company apart? We are a community-focused, values-guided organization making a

How many employees do you have in the River Region? 40 What are your primary products and services? Trustmark offers a comprehensive range of personal and business banking services — from personal banking and

difference in the lives of our customers and communities. We are committed to service excellence and strive daily to exceed expectations. Our associates take measures to strengthen customer satisfaction, deepen customer relationships and grow the value of the Trustmark franchise.

wealth management to small business checking and large, complex commercial loans. Our personal banking products are designed for every lifestyle and preference and include checking, savings, loan and online banking services. We deliver business deposit and loan products to complement a variety of business functions and to meet the needs of all sizes of commercial customers. Our Tailored Wealth division offers personalized strategies to assist clients in the accumulation, preservation and transfer of wealth, while our insurance subsidiary, Fisher Brown Bottrell Insurance, Inc., provides appropriate risk management strategies to protect personal or commercial assets*.

51 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


Industry Overview: BANKING

State of the Industry & Economy Despite some challenges, “strong and stable” is the consensus answer when MBJ

Strong Spending

asked River Region banking leaders about the state of their industry and about our national and local economies.

“The current state of our industry

On Solid Footing

“The current state of the banking industry is on solid footing, having

is strong and stable. We are

the strongest balance sheets and capital in modern history. Banking

currently in a declining rate

is a cyclical business, so it is important to be prepared for good times

environment, which creates

and bad times, at all times. The state of the local and national economy

uncertainties that bankers typically

is good, while showing signs in some sectors of slowing after a long,

do not like. Even though we

record period of growth. Business, whether in your household or

have political and global issues,

company, thrives in consistent and positive environments. The current

national consumer spending is

political and social environment of growing polarization is probably our

strong, and our unemployment

greatest challenge to a positive outlook which impacts actual business

numbers are very good, which

results. As we all know, an environment of everyone working together

always supports our outlook.”

for the betterment of their community supports a stronger economic

- Pete Knight, Montgomery Market

and social environment for everyone.” - Arthur DuCote, Executive Vice

President at Renasant Bank

President Regions Commercial Banking

Small Banks Stand Out The River Region offers a wide range

a very customized

differentiator is the people who

of sizes when it comes to banking,

way. When it

work at the bank. A banking

and that’s a good thing. But when it

comes to our small

relationship that’s based solely

comes to business banking, should

business customers,

on transactions will only get

big companies work with big banks

we have extensive

you so far. At Valley, we pride

and small businesses seek out smaller

experience with

ourselves on the relationships

banks? We asked Caryn Hughes,

Small Business

we make with our customers

Senior Vice President and Alabama

Administration (SBA)

and the community. We strive

Commercial Lending Executive at Valley

lending. In fact,

Bank, if size really matters.

we’ve previously ranked as one of

- Caryn Hughes, Senior Vice President and Alabama Commercial Lending Executive of Valley Bank

for customer loyalty — and we do that by getting to know them.

How does your bank stand out,

the top three SBA

particularly when it comes to what it

lenders in Alabama,

can do for area small businesses?

based on loan volume figures provided

might typically turn to us for loans and

Valley is unique in a sense that we’re

by the SBA Alabama District Office.

ways to maximize funds, but it’s our job

large enough to provide the products

Sure, small business owners

to have first-hand knowledge of that

and services of a big bank, while

Do you think that smaller banks can

business’ successes, challenges and

maintaining the feel of a community

better serve local small businesses?

opportunities. It’s about the people, not

bank. We have the balance sheet and

All banks can compete with their

necessarily the size of the bank.

capacity to serve large customers but in

products and services, but the

52 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


Industry Overview: BANKING

Stable Local Economy

Declining Interest Rates

“We are very fortunate to have a stable local

“While declining interest rates create a difficult operating environment for the banking industry as a whole, it has created mixed results for our customers. The interest rate environment is beneficial for businesses and consumers who are looking to borrow money, but obviously less so for investors in money market accounts and CDs. Here in Montgomery, we continue to have good opportunities for growth across a number of sectors, including consumer,

strong military presence and strong support of our business markets. Some argue we suffer from a lack of wealth because we have a limited supply of higher paying jobs, but we have a strong middle class that keeps us from having big swings in our economy. Our local unemployment rate is at a record low and indications are we have good job opportunities on the horizon for the coming year.”

business banking, corporate and commercial real estate.” - Bruce Crawford, Montgomery CEO of BBVA

Model Growth: River Bank

economy, mostly thanks to our state government,

- Pete Knight, Montgomery Market President at Renasant Bank

In 2006, a new bank burst on the

he said. “The opportunities have provided

scene: River Bank & Trust. Founded in

both balance sheet growth and increased

Montgomery, the bank has grown into

earnings per share for our shareholders.”

one of the largest state-chartered banks

River Bank’s most recent merger — with

in Alabama, with current assets exceeding

Trinity Bank — was finalized at the end of

$1.1 billion and 200 employees in 16

last October and marked the third since

locations, including 93 in the River Region.

2015.

President Jimmy Stubbs calls the growth both “organic and strategic.” Much of its

Yet it’s not just facts and figures factoring

success has been the natural result of its

into River Bank’s M&A decisions. Stubbs

ability to attract customers, thanks to an

and his team have taken great care to

emphasis on relationship-driven hospitality

preserve River Bank’s community-centered

and involvement in the towns and cities it

philosophy. “We’ve merged with banks

serves.

that have similar cultures and communityfocused values; that has been key when

But a large part of its growth game plan

it comes to integration and assimilation,”

- Jimmy Stubbs, President

has relied on mergers and acquisitions, as

Stubbs said.

of River Bank & Trust

Stubbs explained. “River Bank has utilized M&A opportunities and de novo startups as a significant part of our growth strategy,”

53 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


Industry Overview: BANKING

Ask the Expert:

With the prevalence of online and mobile banking, are relationships still important in banking? If so, why?

“We are a relationship bank, that’s what we’re

“The short answer is absolutely. Like most industries, banking has

about. So of course, I believe relationships are still

evolved with the cyberage. In addition to online and mobile banking,

important in banking. But it isn’t a question of ‘either

debit card transactions, third-party payment options, remote deposit

or’ for us. As customer expectations change, we’re

options and a host of other traditional banking

redefining how we engage with customers to build

operating updates have put distance between

and nurture these relationships, and technology is a

customers and brick and mortar banking

huge part of this. Our customers want to feel valued

associates. Research confirms that customers,

and appreciated, and they want access to a team of

particularly younger generations, want the

experts – but they want it all on their terms, whether

ease and flexibility associated with automated

in person or through our mobile banking app.”

services. Nevertheless, the same research indicates that customers across all generations still want and appreciate competent advice when they have questions, encounter problems or need guidance on the nuances of their various banking options. The latter makes relationship

- Mark Snead, President & CEO of Synovus

banking even more important than before.” - Tod Etheredge, Executive Vice President, Retail & Commercial Banking Manager – Montgomery Metro, Trustmark

54 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


55 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


The

A Firm Foundation

Difference Diversity Makes

At the June 6 event, the panelists shared strategies for creating a diverse culture. They began by encouraging businesses to first, know and understand their existing culture and their employees; next, make diversity a core value; and finally, to provide the physical spaces necessary to support this value. The panel explained that building the concept into every aspect of a workplace makes it easier to create and maintain a diverse community and environment. The panel also pointed out that true diversity is not measured by the demographics of an office; it’s more of

An intentional emphasis on diversity makes a positive

a mindset than a number, and successfully adopting this

difference in today’s businesses, but how can you

mindset helps shape the narrative for a business, affecting

actually achieve a diverse and inclusive workplace? Let

both its internal and external perceptions.

the Chamber’s diversity programming show you how. Diversity (or the lack thereof) can make a major impact on businesses of all types and sizes. In keeping with its mission to support local businesses by helping them

What Does Diversity Mean?

grow and thrive, the Chamber is providing multiple educational events that outline how to embrace

At the next Diversity Dialogue on October 30, the definition

inclusivity and enhance diversity to reap both tangible

of diversity was explored, with the panel stressing that

and intangible benefits.

diversity means so much more than differences in race and gender, the two categories that most often come to mind.

Last year, two enlightening Diversity Dialogues featuring panels of local leaders delivered a wealth of information,

Diversity of thought, which stems from different ages,

covering a wide variety of topics but focusing on why

backgrounds, cultures and life experiences, is every bit as

creating diversity in the workplace is important and

important, particularly when it comes to solving problems

offering advice on the most effective ways to do so.

and fostering innovation. A truly diverse workplace appeals to and accommodates all of these audiences.

56 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


LEARN FROM LOCAL LEADERS The 2019 Diversity Dialogues featured these local experts.

The Bottom Line The October event touched on topics that prove how increased diversity can lead to increased profits and broader success, offering tips on how to:

• Widen your audience and scope of work to include other sectors.

• Harness the power of female and minority ownership to go after more corporate contracts.

JUNE 6 Ashley Jernigan, Owner, JDB Hospitality LLC (facilitator)

• Gain a competitive advantage by serving a wider variety of

Felix Gilbert, Program Manager, Fearless

people.

Gindi Prutzman, Executive Director, Central Alabama Works Julian Petty, Owner, LAF Game Company & work|SHOP

• Engage more businesses and be more intentional.

Wade Preston, Co-Owner, Prevail Union Montgomery

• Be flexible and adaptable, remembering that while your

OCT 30

clients and audience may not look like you, you must meet them where they are.

• Spread a wider net for recruiting talent and score more opportunities by leveraging your diverse culture.

How to Build a Culture of Diversity In addition to discussing why diversity matters, both Diversity Dialogues included concrete steps that lead businesses to their diversity goals, advising:

• The use of personality tests to help build a positive and successful culture.

• The evaluation of personalities to make sure they fit

Brit’tney Powell, Owner, Kay Couture Clothing & Cosmetics Vladimir Averett, Owner, Heritage Complex Joyce Vaughn, MGMWERX (facilitator) Jordan Franklin, CEO, Stratice, LLC Anwar Shahid, President & CEO, Propelled Technologies

COMING IN 2020

WANT MORE? Don’t miss the Chamber’s upcoming diversity-centric events, including the first 2020 Diversity Dialogue:

Women Leading in Business

March 4, 10-11:30am / Work Together Business Studio

with the culture you’ve created.

• A focus on helping everyone on your team understand the diverse personalities around them and training them how to adapt and best communicate with these differences.

The Diversity Summit

September 22, 2020 • Renaissance Hotel “Leadership that Transcends: Diversity, Unity and Shared Prosperity” with luncheon speaker Carla Harris, Vice Chairman, Global Wealth Management and Senior Client Advisor with Morgan Stanley – New York.

57 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


Small Business Briefcase +

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

HR POLICIES: DEALING WITH THE TOUGH STUFF Expert answers to human resource issues. HR issues can be complex and ever-changing, prompting plenty of questions on a wide variety of topics. We asked for answers to just a few from

Q:

a local who’s in the know, Sharleen Smith, the Director of Troy University Continuing Education and Outreach.

Q: A:

A:

I have less than 50 employees, so we are not bound by the Family Leave Act, but I don’t want to lose a great employee because she wants to take time to be with her baby after the birth. What are some options?

If an employer is not under the purview of FMLA, they should have some type of maternity leave. It

may include time before or after the birth. Of course, an What does it mean to “onboard”

employee can be allowed to take unpaid leave or even a

an employee, and are there key actions

combination of paid and unpaid leave. Please note two important

that I should take both legally and

aspects of this answer: • Whether you create a maternity policy or not, all women who are pregnant

professionally?

must be treated similarly, and any policy must be administered consistently.

Onboarding is the process

• Allowing an employee to have more generous maternity leave could

of bringing on a new

give your company a competitive advantage in recruiting and retaining

employee and preparing them for

employees.

employment. This includes specific new hire paperwork, including but not limited to forms for immigration, insurance, citizenship, tax and payroll that must be attended to. However, onboarding means more than paperwork. Onboarding done well helps you set the stage for a positive first impression. Here are some recommendations for the first few days.

• Spend time acquainting the employee with

Q:

It has come to my attention that an employee who was recently disciplined (written reprimand) has posted a less than favorable comment on social media regarding my

company. Should I: A Hold a discussion with the employee immediately.

his/her job responsibilities.

• Introduce the new employee to others in the office. • Walk the new employee around the building(s) to include copy and supply room, human resource

B Leave the situation alone because the comment

is on the employee’s personal social media. C Check to see if my company has a policy or

procedure covering social media comments.

office, supervisor or director’s office and more.

• Review the employee handbook with the

D Seek a copy of the post.

employee. Remember to allow them to ask

E Come to the Small Business Briefcase Live panel discussion on

questions and have them sign a form stating

January 21, 2020 to find out the best practices for this situation.

policies and procedures were reviewed.

Want More Expert Advice?

MEET THE EXPERT PRO TO KNOW

Sharleen Smith is the Director of Continuing Education and Outreach at Troy University. She has more than 30 years of experience. Her training includes more than 250 topics, and she has presented to more than 300,000 people at 15,000 conferences, workshops and seminars.

58 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

Learn more about all of these topics and others – like “me too” matters and interviewing do’s and don’t’s – at the first Small Business Briefcase Live event on January 21, 2020. This event, and others throughout 2020, will feature a panel of local experts who’ll be sharing tips and best practices for common issues faced by small businesses.


59 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


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 .

KNOW THE NEWS FIRST You don’t have to be a member of the Chamber to follow any of our channels, but we encourage you to do so, because that will ensure our posts show up in your feeds. You can take it a step further on Facebook by choosing to have our posts always show up first on your timeline when we share new ones.

Here’s how to set it up: On your desktop/laptop, go to our page, hover over the “Following” tab, and select “See First” in

Q: How and why should I follow

All the Chamber’s social media channels

the Chamber socially?

are steadily growing. This is significant

On your mobile device, go to our page, tap the

because it gets all of these items plus

A:

button that has three dots, tap “Following,” then

other posts sharing member news in Following the Chamber socially

is an effective way to keep up with Chamber news and events, ribbon cuttings and new members, plus it provides the perfect space for you and your business to engage with us, our staff and our community. Increased exposure is one of the biggest benefits you and your business can gain.

Here’s how we do it: • New and renewed members are featured in our weekly New Member Monday posts. • We share photos from their ribbon cuttings, along with info about the members. • We promote member events and initiatives. • We feature two Ambassadors weekly, which is a great way to show our appreciation for their commitment to promoting the Chamber’s mission, as well as highlighting the businesses that support the Chamber.

the drop-down menu.

tap the image that reads “See First.”

front of more eyes, delivering more value and exposure for our member businesses. And because each channel’s

WE’RE EVERYWHERE

key demographics are different, our message is going out to people who

Find us on your favorite social media channel

might not have engaged with us in the

with these handles.

past.

Our social strategy is simple: We strive to highlight our members and

@montgomerychamber

investors, showcase their businesses and services, and document Chamber activities and events. Posts for each platform include reminders of upcoming

@mgmchamber

Chamber and partner events, media coverage featuring the Chamber, City,

POPULAR TAGS TO FOLLOW: #MYMGM #MGMCAPITALCOOL #MGMCHAMBER

County and members, along with additional news and announcements important to our overall business climate and community.

BIG TIME!

And connecting and engaging with us is

@mgmchamber Our Facebook page is our largest platform and recently exceeded 7,000 likes.

equally simple. Just search “Montgomery

We looked at the Facebook pages of 10

Area Chamber of Commerce” on any of

other Chambers in cities close to

these social platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

60 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

Montgomery’s size and found that only three of them have more Facebook likes than ours.


61 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


M EMBE R Spotlight

BERN BUTLER CAPILOUTO & MASSEY, P.C. Offering accounting services for almost four decades, Bern Butler Capilouto & Massey, P.C. prides itself not only on its longevity, but also on its personal commitment to each and every client.

WHEN WAS YOUR COMPANY FOUNDED? February 1, 1982   NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 25 WHAT ARE YOUR PRIMARY SERVICES? Our firm offers a wide range of services to our individual and business clients, including tax preparation, payroll services, tax planning, IRS representation, sales tax services, estate and trust tax preparation and more. Because our firm is relatively small, our clients benefit by getting personalized, quality service that is beyond comparison. WHAT IS YOUR FIRM’S BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY? Our firm is fully committed to our clients’ progress, and we specialize in helping businesses of all sizes grow and prosper. Our firm’s philosophy stresses both hard work and technical expertise as the prerequisites for providing our clients with results. When we are effective, then you are more profitable. Our business may be with numbers, but we can assure you that as a client of BBC&M, you will never be treated as one. WHAT SETS YOUR FIRM APART? What sets our firm apart from others is our work in tax planning and compliance. We perform audits and bookkeeping just like other firms do, but tax is by far our largest practice area. We are proactive in helping our clients arrange their tax transactions so as to yield the best possible results for them. We want to be out in front of tax changes and help our clients understand the changes and benefit from any potential tax saving strategies.

334-244-4100 / BBCM-CPA.COM 62 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

Jerry W. Grant, CPA, PFS


63 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


CHAMBER NEWS

Connect +

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

NEWS & UPDATES: YOUR CHAMBER AT WORK CHAMBER NAMES NEW SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, MILITARY AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT In mid-November, the Chamber named

opportunities,” said Buckalew.

retired Brig. Gen. Trent H. Edwards as Senior Vice President, Military and

The general comes to the Chamber with a

Community Development. Edwards

distinguished career in the Air Force, most

will focus on the viability and growth of

recently as the Air Force Director, Budget

Montgomery’s military missions while

Operations and Personnel, responsible

leading new community-wide initiatives

for an $80 billion budget. Prior to that

that fuel the regional economy and quality

assignment, he was the Comptroller

of life for all.

TRC HIT ITS TARGET What an amazing year! The 2019 Total Resource Campaign wrapped up in late December and featured strategic and aggressive sponsorship opportunities for Chamber members. The Chamber would like to personally thank the team of volunteers and thank each of our members for making it another successful campaign year. The Chamber is extremely excited about being part of your marketing and branding strategies in 2020.

and Programmer for Air

Trey Hayes, Alabama Power Company

Force Space Command in

Ann Osten, Sadie’s Global Travel

“Trent is an incredibly skilled

Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Liz Sutton, Alabama World Travel/Sutton & Associates

and experienced leader, and

He has commanded two Air

Brad Armagost, ServisFirst Bank

we are so fortunate to have

Force Wings, including the

Judy Jones, Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood, Inc.

recruited him and his family

largest Training Wing in the

Kelly Pate, Balch & Bingham LLP

back to Montgomery,” said

Air Force at Lackland Air

Arlinda Knight, Trenholm State Community College

Anna Buckalew, Chamber

Force Base and the 42nd

Chris Carver, River Bank & Trust

President and CEO. In

Air Base Wing at Maxwell

Carol Gunter, Camellia Bowl

addition to protecting and

Air Force Base from 2012-

Brenda Hellums, Warren Averett, LLC

leveraging the River Region’s

2014. He has extensive

Brian Key, Copperwing Design

extensive military footprint, Edwards

congressional experience, serving as the

Jason Gardner, BBVA

will be building new strategies to fuel

Air Force Chief of Congressional Affairs.

Josh Vick, Spire

economic and entrepreneurial growth

Chase Chambliss, River Bank & Trust

around Montgomery’s thriving Air Force

“I have spent 30 years serving my country

Tony Graydon, MAX Credit Union

innovation hubs. “We want Montgomery

and am proud to return to Montgomery

Crystal Smith, Jackson Thornton

to be recognized as a destination where

and serve the community we adopted as

Jason Goodson, W. K. Upchurch Construction

military families want to locate, where

home,” said Edwards. “One of my primary

Adam Warnke,

public/private partnerships fuel innovation

goals will be changing the perception of

Brent Slay, Regions Bank

and where small businesses and start-

Montgomery and spreading the word that

Guy Davis, BB&T

ups find fertile ground. Trent Edwards is

Montgomery really is the best hometown

Travis Jordan, Alabama Ag Credit

the perfect leader to capitalize on these

in the Air Force.”

*in order by campaign standings

THE BUSINESS CASE FOR DIVERSITY: A NEW LOOK AT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT The Chamber’s second Diversity Dialogue event featured local business leaders who led a conversation on how diversity helped them expand their markets and how it positively impacts their bottom line. The event included moderator Joyce Vaughn, MGMWERX, and panelists Vladimir Averett, Owner, Heritage Complex; Jordan Franklin, CEO, Stratice, LLC; Brit’tney Powell, Owner, Kay Couture Clothing & Cosmetics; and Anwar Shahid, President & CEO, Propelled Technologies. They discussed a wide range of topics covering how increased diversity can lead to increased profits success, including how businesses can widen their market and scope of work, better harness the power of female and minority ownership, gain an advantage by serving a wider variety of people and widening their net when recruiting and more. 64 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


CHAMBER NEWS Connect T H E L AT EST H EAD L INES, U P DATES AN D IN S IDER IN FO FROM YOUR CHAMBER

NEWS & UPDATES: YOUR CHAMBER AT WORK GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS RECEPTION Business stakeholders and community representatives recently attended a networking reception for the newly elected and current state and area elected officials. Representatives from Governor Ivey’s cabinet, state representatives and senators, county commissioners, Mayor Reed, city councilmen, school board members, Probate Judge Love and local congressional staffers

THANK MILITARY YOU! APPRECIATION

took the opportunity to talk with and hear directly from

WEEK

the business community. Every newly local elected and

and re-connect with the Chamber’s mission

The Chamber hosted a Military

appointed official attended.

as we work to improve the quality of life in the

Proclamation Signing Ceremony

community through economic development,

on November 6 at City Hall

The reception was an opportunity for

military stability, recruitment/expansion of small

in conjunction with Military

Chamber members to acknowledge long-term

and large business, innovation/technology,

Appreciation Week, November

partnerships that exist with our elected officials

quality education and quality of life.

10-16. Each mayor from the River Region recognized the contributions of the Armed

LONG-STANDING CHAMBER MEMBER RECEIVES GOLD AWARD

Forces of the United States of America by signing a Military

The Chamber of Commerce Association of

Proclamation and presenting it

Alabama and the Business Council of Alabama

to the Air University Commander

announced the 12 “Alabama Small Business

and to the Adjutant General for

of the Year” and “Emerging Small Business of

the State of Alabama. Each mayor

the Year” award winners during the CCAA-BCA

also had an opportunity to thank

annual meeting in early December.

the service members and explain what they mean to the city. The 151st Army Band entertained

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

Larry Puckett receives CCAA-BCA 51-100 employee category Bronze Award.

the crowd of more than 100 with patriotic music. After the signing, Major General Sheryl Gordon surprised Mayor Strange

employees. Montgomery’s Dixie Electric, Plumbing & Air received the Gold Award in the

presented annually by the BCA and the CCAA

with a certificate naming him an

51-100 employee category and Larry Puckett

recognize small businesses in employee-

honorary colonel in the Alabama

Chevrolet located in Prattville was recognized

number based categories. They are considered

National Guard.

as the Bronze Award recipient.

to be the state’s very best small businesses based on a variety of civic and professional

“Alabama’s Small Business of the Year” awards

standards. 65 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


CHAMBER NEWS Connect T H E L AT EST H EAD L INES, U P DATES AN D IN S IDER IN FO FROM YOUR CHAMBER

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT NEWS HMMA ANNOUNCES $410M EXPANSION IN MONTGOMERY On November 13, the Chamber, along with

parts processing areas of

local and state leaders, joined Hyundai

the manufacturing complex.

Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA) to

While direct employment at

announce a $410 million expansion that will

HMMA will increase by 200

create 200 jobs at Hyundai’s U.S. automotive

jobs, Hyundai projects that its

assembly plant in Montgomery. Beginning

local suppliers and logistics

in 2021, the Hyundai Santa Cruz will be built

companies will employ an

in Montgomery, joining the Elantra, Sonata

additional 1,000 people in

and Santa Fe. “Bringing the Santa Cruz to

Montgomery and the River

HMMA demonstrates that Hyundai Motor

Region. Hyundai intends to

Company is confident our more than 3,000

begin filling the new positions

team members are ready to build a quality

being created by the latest

to Seoul as part of an economic development

crossover for the U.S. market,” said HMMA

expansion project during the second half of

delegation including former Mayor Todd

President and CEO Byungjin Jin.

2020.

Strange,” said Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed. “I look forward to continuing to

Hyundai says the $410 million investment

“I recently had the honor of experiencing

strengthen this vital relationship in the coming

will create an additional 230,000 square

first-hand the long-standing partnership

years and working with our partners to

feet of space in the stamping, welding and

between Hyundai and Montgomery on a visit

support this tremendous investment.”

66 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


67 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


68 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


A LOOK INSIDE: Human Resource departments handle

controls to greatly reduce risk. When

many business nuances—from choosing,

selecting an independent, licensed CPA

retaining and training the right employees,

firm to perform plan audits, it’s important

to selecting benefit packages and

to obtain references and confirm that their

choosing a 401k auditor. If you’re looking

license is current. Selecting an experienced

to tighten up your business costs, consider

auditor helps you avoid an incomplete,

taking a look at how your company is

incorrect or delayed audit report and helps

managing HR. The decisions that you

you comply with the complex IRS and

make when it comes to human resource

Department of Labor guidelines.

strategies and benefit plan packages can play a significant role when it comes to

Choosing the right 401k auditor is one

boosting your company’s bottom line.

of the most important steps in avoiding risks and costly plan mistakes. In the long

Attracting and keeping the right

run, partnering with an experienced HR

employees in this competitive market can

consultant who can help you take a good

be challenging and expensive for any

look at your current situation and HR

company. Companies must develop a

strategies can set your organization on the

strategy to not only hire top talent but also

path to success.

cost-effectively retain current employees. One way to assess your current talent base is to work with an HR consultant who

MEET THE EXPERTS

is experienced in performing workplace assessments to pinpoint your overall strengths and weaknesses. HR consultants can also help identify ways to optimize your talent development strategies, develop your future leaders, and retain your current staff to combat new hire costs. While employees are looking for a great retirement plan with diverse, wellperforming investment choices, employers are looking to control costs and minimize risks with minimal impact to the bottom line. The impact of the IRS and Department of Labor penalties makes it critical for HR professionals to partner with the right legal team, outside investment advisor and 401k auditor. As a partner with your HR team, your 401k auditor can help you implement internal

Dianne Wilson is an HR Consulting Manager for Warren Averett Workplace with over 30 years of Human Resources experience. 334-260-2362 Dianne.Wilson@warrenaverett.com Brett Wilkinson is a member of the firm with over 30 years of experience in employee benefit plan audits. He serves as the leader of the Montgomery office’s Employee Benefit Plan audit practice. 334-260-2355 Brett.Wilkinson@warrenaverett.com

69 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM

ACCOUNTING

BY D I A N N E W I L S O N A N D B R E T T W I L K I N S O N , C PA

E X P E R T I S E A N D A N S W E R S TO C O M M O N B U S I N E S S Q U E S T I O N S F R O M LO C A L S I N T H E K N O W

H O W H R C A N B O O S T YO U R B OT TO M L I N E


70 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


BY J E N N I F E R L U S T E R

Commercial cards can give your employees

activities. There are specific configuration and

a level of independence and flexibility while

integration points with each commercial card

giving your organization an effective solution for

program, so it’s important to understand how

expense and budget management. As you weigh

your accounting systems connect to those of

your options on the right commercial card, keep

your card provider to easily access information.

these basics in mind.

That integration also gives you clear visibility into how and where employees are spending

FUNCTION: WHY DO YOU NEED A COMMERCIAL CARD?

money, which could lead to smarter purchasing decisions.

Commercial cards have various functions and features. The main types include:

REWARDS: WHAT PERKS DO COMMERCIAL CARDS OFFER?

Purchasing cards. Primarily for your back office,

Based on the volume of purchases over time,

these cards are used to cover accounts payable

your card provider may share a portion of the

and pay for equipment, goods and services.

revenue they receive back to your company.

Travel and entertainment cards. For team

This provides an organization’s accounts payable

members who spend a lot of time traveling, these

department the ability to generate revenue,

cards can be used for expenses such as hotels,

acting as a discount on current purchases.

flights, rental cars and meals on the road.

Additionally, organizations can leverage their

Fleet or fuel cards. For companies with a fleet of

buying power to reduce expenses and potentially

vehicles to manage, these cards can be used for

find opportunities to consolidate purchasing

transportation and maintenance.

around vendors offering various financial

All-in-one solutions. Many banks offer a single

incentives.

card that can be used for all of the functions above, streamlining management for your

At Regions, our Commercial Banking team is

organization.

available to help you review options and make informed decisions. Perhaps it’s time for an

PROTECTION: HOW CAN YOU MANAGE SPENDING AND SECURITY?

updated conversation with your banker about options available to you.

Commercial cards give companies a way to enable—and control—employee spending on behalf of the business. They also typically feature

MEET THE EXPERT

built-in protections to help guard against misuse or fraud. By leveraging real-time authorization alerts, transaction reports and spending controls, organizations gain clear visibility into their expenses and quickly identify unauthorized

Jennifer Luster

transactions.

INTEGRATION: CAN YOUR CARD IMPROVE YOUR PROCESSES? Commercial cards can integrate with existing enterprise resource planning systems and

Jennifer Luster is Senior Vice President,

accounting processes, making it easy to

Treasury Management Relationship Manager

reconcile transactions and accounts payable

for Regions Bank.

71 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM

BUSINESS

CHOOSING THE RIGHT ONE FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION

EXPERTISE AND ANSWERS TO CO 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

COMPANY CARDS:


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

CONVERSATIONS: ROUNDTABLES

MEMBER EVENTS:

FOR PROFESSIONAL WOMEN –

October 15 at the Wynlakes Country Club Conversations are an engaging and impactful speaker series for professional women, and the October event featured Nichelle Nix, Director, Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs. Grand Presenting Sponsor: Valley Bank

OCT 24

Business After Hours at Auburn University Montgomery Sponsor: Auburn University Montgomery

NOV 06

60 Minute Coffee at ALFA Sponsor: Alabama AG Credit & ALFA

INNOVATEMGM – October 22 at the Work Together Business Studio The Chamber’s annual half-day InnovateMGM event featured local visionaries and innovators who are seeding new ideas, meeting challenges head-on and thinking differently about how delivering for their customer base and stakeholders translates to delivering for their community. Presenting Sponsor: Troy Cable

NOV 14

Business After Hours at Raymond James Sponsor: Raymond James

DEC 04

Business After Hours at AUM Technacenter Sponsor: Auburn University Montgomery

GRANT WRITING 101: WHERE DO NONPROFITS BEGIN – October 22 at

the Chamber’s BRC

This workshop aimed to help them navigate the process and included: preparation for the grant writing process; how organizations can find grants; and tips for success. Presented by: River Region United Way

CHAMBER ROI: MAXIMIZE YOUR INVESTMENT FOR A GREATER RETURN

October 31, November 13 at the Work Together Business Studio A business development program targeted to help businesses increase their netWORTH by gaining practical tips for netWORKing.

MILITARY APPRECIATION WEEK -

WOMEN’S MEET-UP: WORK LIFE

November 10-16

BALANCE – November 13 at the Work Together Business Studio

Every year in conjunction with Veteran's Day, River Region businesses join in a public display of support for the military, both active duty and retired.

This session featured professionals who discussed caring for a loved one, work-life balance, how to avoid burnout, caring for

Presenting Sponsor: Caddell Construction

oneself and life recovery after being a care

CHAMBER ORIENTATION – November 20

Event Sponsor: Williams Loving Care, LLC

at the Work Together Business Studio

Montgomery Chamber members attend this informal orientation to connect and engage with other members and key Chamber staff. Sponsored by: exploreMedia

Presented by: Gibraltar Solutions 72 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

provider stops.


73 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


74 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


Disasters come in all shapes and sizes. They’re

Benefits of the cloud include lower cost,

not just catastrophic events like hurricanes,

easier deployment and the ability to test

earthquakes, tornadoes and fires but also

plans regularly. However, this could come

incidents such as cyber-attacks, equipment

with increased bandwidth needs or degrade a

failures and even acts of terrorism. It is

company’s network performance.

imperative that companies and organizations stay prepared for any of these events by

To assist in your backup services, you can

creating and maintaining a disaster recovery

centrally manage and automate backups using

plan that details actions to take and processes

AWS (Amazon Web Services). AWS Backup is

to follow to resume mission-critical functions

a fully managed backup service that makes it

quickly and without major losses in revenues or

easy to centralize and automate the back up of

business.

data across AWS services in the cloud as well as on premises using the AWS Storage Gateway.

WHAT IS DISASTER RECOVERY? In the IT space, disaster recovery focuses on the

AWS Backup automates and consolidates

IT systems that help support critical business

backup tasks previously performed service-by-

functions. The term “business continuity” is

service. With just a few clicks, you can create

often associated with disaster recovery, but the

policies that automate backup schedules and

two terms aren’t completely interchangeable.

retention management.

Disaster recovery is a part of business continuity, which focuses more on keeping

AWS Backup integrates with AWS Storage

all aspects of a business running despite the

Gateway, a hybrid storage service that enables

disaster. Because IT systems these days are

your on-premises applications to seamlessly use

so critical to the success of the business,

AWS cloud storage. You can use AWS Backup

disaster recovery is a main pillar in the business

to back up your on-premises environment to the

continuity process.

secure AWS cloud.

A DISASTER HAS HAPPENED. NOW WHAT?

MEET THE EXPERT

If a disaster has occurred, it’s time to start your incident response. Incident response involves assessing the situation (knowing what hardware, software, systems, etc. were affected by the disaster), recovery of the systems and follow-up (what worked, what didn’t work, what can be improved).

ESSENTIAL ELEMENT: BACKUP Once you get to the recovery phase of your incident response, it’s time for your backups

Keith T. Ellis is CEO and President of Innovation

to play their key part. But what’s the best way

At Work, Inc. (IAW). Ellis has  a master’s degree in

to handle backing up your information? In the

Business Administration and has also served as

cloud or onsite?

the Vice President and Chief Operations Officer at Certified Technical Experts, Inc. for almost 10 years.

75 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM

TECHNOLOGY

ENSURE BUSINESS CONTINUITY I N T H E WA K E O F D I S A S T E R BY K E I T H T. E L L I S

EXPERTISE AND ANSWERS TO CO M M O N B U S I N E S S QUESTIONS FROM LO C A L S I N T H E K N OW

HOW TO:


76 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


M EM BER Spotlight

MERRILL LYNCH One of the oldest wealth management firms in the city, and one of the largest (with more than $3 billion in assets and liabilities under management) Merrill Lynch in Montgomery is celebrating 85 years of providing financial advisory services to its clients.

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 36 WHAT ARE MERRILL LYNCH’S PRIMARY SERVICES? Merrill Lynch provides a variety of financial and investment products and services – more than 200 – like estate planning, insurance, mortgages and more to a diverse array of clients. In every instance, helping clients reach their unique financial goals is the priority. Investment professionals create a wealth outlook for clients that focuses on seven key areas and can grow and evolve with them. It’s a handson, custom approach that’s at the foundation of the firm’s clientcentered philosophy. WHAT MAKES MERRILL LYNCH STAND APART? We are not just financial advisors. We ask our clients “What do you want the power to do?” and we guide them through the steps to do it. Thanks to the committed service we provide and the trusting relationships that develop as a result, our clients become like family, and we treat them as such. Merrill Lynch is also heavily involved in this community, donating individually and offering corporate support, serving on boards and volunteering our time and talents to a variety of causes and organizations. Finally, our use of technology is on the leading edge of our industry. We spend millions each year on cyber security to safeguard our clients’ information. TO WHAT DO YOU CREDIT ML’S LONGEVITY IN MGM? First, the strength of the Merrill Lynch brand, the firm’s proven responsibility and solid leadership. Secondly, our management has made us fortunate to find and keep good employees here, and they are a reflection of this community; they are key to our success. Finally, we stay on the forefront of our industry, whether it is digital engagement or our system capabilities for our clients. WHAT’S ON THE HORIZON FOR MERRILL LYNCH’S NEXT 85 YEARS? We will continue with our commitment to our clients and to this community. We are excited about the future of Montgomery and the River Region. There are so many positives now and so many wonderful things on the drawing board. We have grown with the city and want to continue to be a part of that growth. And we will continue to work hard to have a meaningful presence here, in our home, by staying connected and involved. We always have been; we always will be.

334-409-5800 / WWW.ML.COM 77 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


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

The Bloom Group, Inc. Welcomes New Associate

New Leadership at Alabama Pharmacy

Sara Elizabeth Burnham has joined The Bloom Group, one

Sarah Barker, Pharm.D. has been

of Alabama’s most respected

chosen as Turenne PharMedCo’s

governmental relations firms, as its

new Vice President of Pharmacy. A

newest associate. Burnham brings a

provider of pharmacy and medical

proven track record of relationship

supply services, PharMedCo

building and a fresh energy to the

serves long-term healthcare

firm. Time spent working on Capitol

businesses across the nation.

Hill in Washington, D.C., gave her a

In addition to management

thorough knowledge of government

of pharmacy operations in

processes, and her years of

Montgomery and Birmingham and in Nashville, Tennessee,

experience working in real estate give her a broad perspective

Barker plans to spearhead a number of initiatives aimed at

on the area’s business climate as well as experience in

increasing efficiency and enhancing customer service. Barker

successfully listening to, advocating for and representing the

has been with the company since 2007 and has served in

best interests of a diverse range of clients.

various positions, including general manager of PharMedCo’s Montgomery pharmacy and lead consultant on the consulting pharmacist team.

Stamp Idea Group Adds Executive Montgomery-based marketing agency Stamp Idea Group development role while assisting

Peden Barber Named Operations Manager

with Stamp’s public relations efforts.

Little Engine Broadcasting Owner

Hall comes to Stamp with more than

and Manager Terry Barber

15 years of marketing experience

announced that Peden Barber

working with Birmingham-based firms

has joined the company as

such as Intermark Group, Birmingham

Operation Manager. Peden has 10

Advertising Kitchen and Jeffrey

years in retail management in the

Dungan Architects. A Montgomery

Montgomery area.

has added Luke Hall to its team. Hall is working in a business

native, he and his wife Rachel recently moved from Birmingham.

Jerusha T. Adams, a shareholder at Capell & Howard P.C., has

Capell & Howard Attorney Selected as Judge

Transportation Industry Veteran Joins Palomar Insurance

been selected by the Judges of

Palomar Insurance Corporation announced the addition of

the Middle District of Alabama as

Pat Hart to the firm as President of the Palomar-Hart Group, a Division of Palomar Insurance. Hart brings 30 years of highly specialized, large fleet risk management experience in the transportation industry. The PalomarHart Group is a national transportation risk management and insurance consulting firm headquartered in Kennesaw, Georgia. 

the United States District Court for a full-time Magistrate Judge. “The firm is very pleased to congratulate Jerusha on her selection as a Magistrate Judge for the United States District Court, Middle District of Alabama. Although Jerusha’s time with Capell & Howard has been short, we have watched her accomplish great things in her professional career and in the local community,” said Managing Partner Courtney Williams.

78 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


Harmon Dennis Bradshaw Adds JR Eason Johnston Robert (JR) Eason has joined Harmon Dennis Bradshaw, Inc. as a Commercial Property & Casualty Risk Advisor. Eason was born and raised in Montgomery and graduated from the

COMPUTER DATA

&

NETWORK SERVICES

Let us improve the performance of your IT networks.

prestigious Loveless Academic Magnet Program (LAMP) before attaining a Bachelor of Science degree from Troy University, where he graduated with Cum Laude honors. Eason left his management position at Troy University to come aboard at HDB.

New Waters Realty Grows Again Jennifer Atkins, Qualifying Broker and Vice President

The Value of Managed IT Services • Better financial planning • Our team is your team 24/7 • Your systems stay optimized • Faster problem resolution

for New Waters Realty Company recently welcomed Denise Golson, Realtor, to the team at New Waters Realty. Golson earned her Real Estate License in 2009. Since then she has continued to enhance her

Total IT Care

understanding of the market and all aspects of real estate and sells residential properties in Prattville, Montgomery, Pike Road, Millbrook, Wetumpka and the surrounding areas.

Shannon Webster Promoted to Assistant Vice President & Relationship Manager Shannon Webster has been promoted to Assistant

• Maintain 24/7 watch over your entire environment • Identify and analyze server “events” for potential problems • Remediate processes or services that fail • Ensure security patches, services packs, and antivirus definitions are up to date • Ensure that data back-ups are complete

Vice President and Relationship Manager at River Bank & Trust. Webster will continue to work in the East Montgomery office under the direction of Executive Vice President Polly Hardegree. Since joining the bank in 2012, she has served in several roles including Customer Service Officer, Assistant Office Manager and Lending Assistant. Webster is a lifelong member of the Montgomery community and an alumnus of Montgomery’s Leadership Torchbearers.

334-874-8324 managedIT@cdns-tech.com www.cdns-tech.com 445 Dexter Ave Suite 4050 Montgomery, AL 36104


CHAMBER NEWS Members in the News A Q U IC K LO O K AT O U R M EM B ER S’ MAN Y ACCOMPLIS HMEN TS , AWARDS AN D HON ORS

“I commend TROY University for bringing people from all nations

Community

and cultures together to forge mutual understanding and appreciation,” Ivey said in the commendation. “TROY University, as Alabama’s International University, is to be commended for assuming a major leadership role in international education.”

Achievements Gilpin Givhan Named a 2020 “Best Law Firm” Gilpin Givhan received top rankings in the U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers® 2020 “Best Law Firms” list, and three attorneys have been included in the 2020 Best Lawyers in America list. The annual publication named Gilpin Givhan Alabama Retail Association Chairman Jacob Shevin, President of Standard Furniture Co.;

as a Metropolitan Tier 1 firm, the highest ranking a law firm

Lee and Mike Vinson of Adams Drugs; and Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown.

can receive, in the practice area of Health Care Law. The firm

River Region Retailers Recognized

Litigation-Tax and Tax Law.

received a Metropolitan Tier 2 ranking in the practice areas of

The Alabama Retail Association recognized 17 retail businesses with operations in 23 Alabama cities as Alabama Retailers of

Three Gilpin Givhan attorneys representing four areas of law

the Year or Centennial Retailers. Together, these businesses

were named by their peers to the Best Lawyers in America

employ 791 people at 51 locations in Alabama. More than 70

2020 list. Robert E. L. Gilpin: Litigation and Controversy – Tax,

nominations were submitted for the 2019 Retailer of the Year

Tax Law; Robert M. Ritchey: Closely Held Companies and Family

awards. The presentations were made in Birmingham during

Business Law; and John Ward Weiss: Health Care Law.

the 2019 Retail Day luncheon last fall, and several Montgomery retailers were honored, including Capitol’s Rosemont Gardens, awarded as an Alabama Centennial Retailer. Mike and Lee Vinson, co-owners of Adams Drugs, were presented with a Gold Award.

Alabama Power Recognized for Commitment to Skilled Trades Alabama Power will be the focus of a national campaign promoting Apprenticeship Readiness Programs (ARPs). North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) recently announced it has selected Alabama Power CEO Mark Crosswhite as spokesperson for its upcoming national public relations campaign to promote workforce development through ARPs in local communities. “We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Alabama Power to change more lives in the state of Alabama. We know the power of investing in local workers, and we appreciate Alabama Power’s commitment to do this with us,” said Sean McGarvey, NABTU President. Sponsored by NABTU, ARPs give students hands-on training

Governor Recognizes TROY University Alabama Governor Kay Ivey recently praised TROY University for its leadership role in international education. Ivey’s commendation recognized the University’s international efforts, including the nearly 800 international students who study on the TROY Campus, the University’s international teaching sites and partnerships, study abroad opportunities, the Confucius Institute and campus organizations such as the International Student Cultural Organization.

and educational services that introduce union crafts and the construction industry before they select a specific career trade. More than 150 of these programs nationwide develop plumbers, electricians, ironworkers and other skilled professionals, supporting economic growth and providing contract workers for companies including Alabama Power. “I’m honored to join forces with NABTU leadership and the millions of skilled tradespeople,” Crosswhite said. “Investing

80 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

in our local communities through educational resources like the

Times’ annual survey – the most comprehensive school-by-school

Apprenticeship Readiness Program helps develop the highly skilled

assessment of veteran and military student services and rates of

workforce we need.”

academic achievement – as well as a detailed review of public data collected by federal agencies. About 500 colleges took part in this

Felicia A. Long Selected Among America’s Top 100 Civil Defense Litigators

year’s survey.

was selected to America’s Top 100 Civil

Bradley’s Montgomery Attorneys Named Super Lawyers or Rising Stars

Defense Litigators for 2019. Selection to

Three Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP attorneys in the firm’s

America’s Top 100 Civil Defense Litigators

Montgomery office have been named 2019 Mid-South Super Lawyers

is by invitation only and is reserved to

or Rising Stars. Partner Charles Stewart (Business Litigation) was

identify most exceptional Civil Defense

named a Super Lawyer. Partner Rudy Hill (IP Litigation) and associate

Litigators throughout the nation. Long’s

Sarah Sutton Osborne (Civil Litigation: Defense) were named Rising

practice focuses on the defense of

Stars. Across all the firm’s offices in Alabama, Mississippi and

complex civil litigation matters, with

Tennessee, 151 Bradley attorneys were named Mid-South Super

particular concentration in insurance defense.

Lawyers or Rising Stars.

2020 Benchmark Litigation Recognizes 52 Bradley Attorneys

Sasser, Sefton & Brown, P.C. Lawyers Named Super Lawyers or Rising Stars

Hill Hill Carter shareholder Felicia A. Long

Fifty-two Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP partners are listed in the 2020 edition of Benchmark Litigation as “Local Litigation Stars” or “Future Stars,” including four attorneys who are listed as “National Practice Area Stars.” In addition, Bradley is ranked nationally for Product Liability and is “highly recommended” as a litigation firm in Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee, and “recommended” in North Carolina. Charles Stewart in the firm’s Montgomery office was named

Three Sasser, Sefton & Brown, P.C. attorneys have honored by Thomson Reuters as Mid-South Super Lawyers or Rising Stars: Bowdy J. Brown, Creditor/Debtor Rights; Patrick L. W. Sefton, Banking Law; and William R. Cunningham, Rising Stars, Real Estate. Only the top 5 percent of lawyers in Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee are named Mid-South Super Lawyers. No more than

a “Local Litigation Star.”

2.5 percent of lawyers in these states are selected as Rising Stars,

Welch Hornsby Honored

or fewer years.

who must be 40 years old or younger or have been in practice for 10

Welch Hornsby has been named to the 2019 CNBC FA 100 List, which recognizes the country’s top financial advisory firms as leaders and innovators in the industry. The firm was ranked No. 45 on the list and

Beasley Allen Attorneys Receive Super Lawyers & Rising Stars Recognition

credits the recognition with its team’s dedication.

Twenty-four Beasley Allen lawyers received recognition by Super

Beasley Allen Selected to Elite Trial Lawyer List

lawyers were named to the 2019 Super Lawyers list including the

The National Law Journal has recognized Beasley Allen as an Elite

firm’s Principal and Founder, Jere L. Beasley, as well as Principals J.

Trial Lawyer award winner for its work representing Travaris D. Smith

Greg Allen, Michael J. Crow, J. Cole Portis, Daniel W. “Dee” Miles III,

against Ford Motor Company. The award recognizes lawyers and

Andy D. Birchfield Jr., Rhon E. Jones, Benjamin E. Baker Jr., David B.

law firms that have demonstrated repeated success in cutting-edge

Byrne III, Kendall C. Dunson, R. Graham Esdale, Benjamin L. Locklar,

work on behalf of plaintiffs from January 2018 through April 2019. The

Ted G. Meadows, P. Leigh O’Dell, W. Roger Smith III and Frank

winners were selected from more than 300 submissions across more

Woodson.

Lawyers rating service for 2019 for the Mid-South Region. Sixteen

than 20 categories. Additionally, four other Beasley Allen trial teams were recognized as finalists.

In addition, eight Beasley Allen attorneys were included on the Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” list, which recognizes the top up-and-coming

TROY Ranked a Top 20 “Best For Vets” School TROY University has been ranked in the top 20 universities in the country as being “Best for Vets” by the Military Times news organization and is the only university in Alabama to be named to the list that includes 134 four-year universities or colleges.

attorneys. Beasley Allen’s Rising Stars are Alison Douillard Hawthorne, Jon Ryan Kral, Stephanie S. Monplaisir, Leslie Pescia, Jennifer Day Fulk and Tiffany Roberts Birley, and for the first time, Ryan Beattie and Warner Hornsby.

Bradley’s Montgomery Practice Areas Receive Top Rankings In their 10th year, the rankings are based on the results of Military

The 2020 edition of the U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers

81 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


82

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

“Best Law Firms” has awarded nine Tier 1 metropolitan

students they have from so many different nations, and that

rankings for Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP’s practice

is admirable.”

areas in Montgomery. In addition, Bradley was named the nation’s “Law Firm of the Year” for Construction Law, and

Dr. Hawkins said the award was further recognition of the

the firm was ranked in Tier 1 nationally for its Commercial

work TROY University is doing as Alabama’s International

Litigation, Construction Law, Litigation - Construction and

University. “The award presented today is not an award for

Mass Tort Litigation / Class Action - Defendants practices. In

Jack Hawkins; it is an award for TROY University and what

total, Bradley earned Tier 1 metropolitan rankings across 70

we have become as Alabama’s International University. It

practice areas and in all 10 of its offices.

is another endorsement that people are recognizing that TROY is an international institution, and we are growing in

The firm received Tier 1 metropolitan rankings for

our role in the global village,” he said.

Montgomery in the following practice areas: Bet-theCompany Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Employment Law – Management, Litigation – Insurance, Litigation - Labor & Employment, Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, Product Liability Litigation – Defendants, Public Finance Law and Tax Law.

Horace Horn Honored with 2019 Power of Service Award Yellowhammer Multimedia gave the 2019 Power of Service Award to Horace Horn of PowerSouth Energy Cooperative at its annual Power of Service event in October. Horn currently serves as Vice President For External Affairs at PowerSouth. Yellowhammer is honoring Horn in recognition

Awards & Honors

of his years of exemplary service to the state of Alabama. “Horace Horn has an incredible record of economic development success stories, and he has been a champion for rural Alabama throughout his entire career,” said Tim Howe, Owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia. “We are thrilled at the opportunity to recognize Horace for the work he has done to improve our communities across the state.” This is the fifth year that Yellowhammer has presented the Power of Service Award.

Four Star Freightliner Employees Honored Two sales managers at Four Star Freightliner, Inc. have

TROY University Chancellor Receives Global Leadership Award Global Ties Alabama recognized TROY University

been named “Elite Trip Winners” in the Freightliner Leland James Sales Program. This is his seventh consecutive win for Truman Ingram, Four Star Freightliner Utility & Municipal Account Manager. And for the first time, Sales Manager Jay

Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr. for his continued commitment to internationalization. Dr. Hawkins was one

Morrison was also named an “Elite Trip Winner.”

of two recipients of the organization’s Global Leadership

The Leland James Sales Achievement Program, named

Award, sharing the spotlight with his longtime friend former

after the founder of Freightliner, recognizes the best sales

Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange. Jacquelyn Shipe, Global

representatives and managers in the Freightliner Dealer

Ties Alabama’s Chief Executive Officer, and Dr. Drew

Network. The awards are based on the number of units sold.

Reynolds, chair of the group’s Board of Directors, presented

Morrison and Ingram are two of only 32 Elite “Trip” Winners

the award during the organization’s annual meeting and

in North America who were recognized for their sales

diplomacy luncheon at the Capital City Club in Montgomery.

excellence, customer service and industry leadership. Morrison, who works primarily out of the Dothan location,

“We are so thankful Dr. Hawkins is the Chancellor of TROY

is Four Star Freightliner's Western Star Brand Manager. He

University,” Shipe said. “He has been a catalyst for the

also sells new and used trucks. Ingram has been with Four

evolution of TROY as an international institution. When you

Star Freightliner for more than 10 years and works from the

think of TROY, you think of the diversity and large number of

Montgomery location.

83 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


www.gotscrap.com 334-272-0767 430 Air Base Blvd. Montgomery, AL 36108

Our recycling services include: ✓ Manufacturing Scrap Services ✓ Appliance Recycling ✓ Automobile Recycling ✓ Certified Destruction ✓ Demolition Scrap

84 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


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

B USI N E SS BUZ Z River Bank & Trust Completes Merger with Trinity Bank River Financial Corporation, parent company of River Bank & Trust, has completed the merger with Trinity Bancorp, Inc., parent company of Trinity Bank. Trinity Bank offices in Dothan and Enterprise will now operate as River Bank & Trust. There are now 17 River Bank & Trust locations across Alabama. “We are very excited to have completed the merger Michael Maibach, (center) stands with (left to right) Center Director Dr. Jason Jewell, Dr. Allen Mendenhall, President Mike Williams and Dr. Grover Plunkett.

Faulkner University Creates Center for Great Books and Human Flourishing Faulkner University has opened a Center

advance understanding of the good life and

for Great Books and Human Flourishing.

the good society. “We see a growing need

“Participation in our Great Books Honors

across Alabama and the rest of the country

Program is a high point of many students’

for a renewed appreciation of traditional

Faulkner experience,” said President Mike

virtue, civil discourse, good citizenship

Williams. “This new center will create even

and the institutions of civil society that

more opportunities for all Faulkner students

have always been so important in shaping

and members of the broader community to

American character,” Williams said. “The

take part in this tradition.”

Center for Great Books and Human Flourishing is part of Faulkner’s effort to

The center will focus on student

spread that message in the River Region

programming and public events meant to

and beyond.”

with Trinity Bank, a committed partner who shares the same vision of what community banking should be,” said Jimmy Stubbs, Chief Executive Officer of River Bank & Trust.

Local Tech Start-Up Announces New Partnerships CodingSolutions has entered into partnerships with two Montgomery technology companies: Propelled Technologies, a veteran-owned cloud compliance and cybersecurity solutions firm, and Integrated Computer Systems (ICS, Inc), a technology integrator focused on delivering IT solutions. CodingSolutions is a job accelerator

ASU Band Performs at NFL Halftime Show

national television shows and movies and

Alabama State University’s Mighty

the band perform during an NFL game

Marching Hornets went “pro”

is yet another giant step forward for the

on October 20, when the band

University band and its students.

professional careers with Alabama

HMMA Workers Give $335K to United Way

CodingSolutions partnership brings

performed at halftime during the Atlanta Falcons vs. Los Angeles Rams football game at Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium. “The invitation for our marching band to perform is an important tribute to Alabama State University’s excellent band program and to its superb student musicians,” said Dr. James Oliver, Band Director.   Oliver, who has led the band to win

at iconic national events, said that having

and talent refinery program that recruits and transitions computer science graduates (along with other majors) with programming experience into companies and organizations. The together an innovative recruitment

Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama’s

strategy.

employees and plant leadership donated

more than $335,000 to United Way of

“Our partnerships with established

Alabama in mid-November. The plant’s

companies, and the relationships we’re

nearly 3,000 workers pledged $265,600,

building are paramount for growing

and the company added another $70,000

Alabama’s workforce,” said Jasmine

to aid the United Way’s work in the state.

Dickerson, CodingSolutions Community Director.

countless awards and appear in numerous 85 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


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

BR AVO ! City of Montgomery Sees Big Energy Savings Even with last fall’s record high temperatures, the City of Montgomery saw record low utility usage and record savings. Thanks to this success, the City received the Energy Pacesetter Award from Cenergistic, an energy optimization company partnering with the City to reduce consumption. Montgomery is the first City to receive this award and was the first City to implement such a program, which dates back to March 2016. With approximately 100 participating City facilities, Cenergistic’s program

More MGM Public Art

has resulted in more than $2.5 million saved

The City of Montgomery recently

funding of a grant from AL 200.

over three years. Seven facilities are realizing a

unveiled its latest public art project:

reduction of 35 percent or more.

two creative bus wraps designed

Ford’s design, titled “A River Runs

by River Region-based artists to

To It,” commemorates the past 200

commemorate the City’s history and

years of Montgomery’s history. Hardy’s

Palomar Insurance Corporation Celebrates 65 Years

celebrate its bicentennial. Originally

design, “All Together Now!,” uses

Palomar Insurance Corporation recently

presented to the City’s Public Art

the expressive nature of graffiti to

celebrated 65 years of service to its

Commission by 21 Dreams founder

communicate the vibrant future of

customers. Founded in 1954, Palomar has

Kalonji Gilchrist as a way to celebrate

Montgomery and Alabama.

grown from its home and auto insurance roots

the bicentennials of both the City of

to become a leader in commercial, agriculture,

Montgomery and State of Alabama,

The bicentennial bus wrap project

the artistic wraps were designed by

marks the latest in a line of art

artists Bill Ford and Chris Hardy. Along

installations by the Montgomery Public

with the City’s support, this project was

Art Commission and City and County

made possible through the generous

leaders.

Ag Credit Boosts Alabama-Grown Initiative Sweet Grown Alabama, the state’s

stores will be listed in an online

new agricultural branding initiative,

searchable database coming spring

welcomed Alabama Ag Credit as a

2020.

transportation and employee benefits insurance.

WANT YOUR NEWS IN THE MBJ? Submit information for consideration to Jina Miniard at jminiard@montgomerychamber.com. Please attach press releases

founding member of the program. Sweet Grown Alabama is a non-profit

Alabama Ag Credit operates in 40

foundation that enhances marketing

counties in central and south Alabama

opportunities for Alabama farmers by

as a borrower-stockholder financial

connecting retailers and consumers

cooperative that finances the growth

to Alabama-grown foods and other

of rural Alabama, including the special

agricultural products. Funds will

needs of young and beginning

be used to encourage purchasing

producers. “Our board and team of

of locally grown products through

employees are thrilled to be a part of

traditional and digital marketing.

this new initiative,” said Doug Thiessen,

Member farmers, restaurants and

CEO of Alabama Ag Credit. 86 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

as a Word document or a PDF (Word documents preferred), and please include high-resolution (at least 300 dpi) photos with your press release if possible.

SUBMISSION DEADLINES: MARCH ISSUE: JAN 21 MAY ISSUE: MARCH 23


87 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


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

TROY Receives $2.7 Million Grant The National Institute of Standards and

E AT UP:

Technology has awarded Troy University a $2.7 million research grant to be used by the University’s Center for Materials and Manufacturing Sciences to research new methods for recycling plastics. The four-year grant will fund instrumentation, staffing of scientists and research stipends for students. This grant, which follows a $3.2 million NIST grant in 2018, will fund research into recycling of waste polymers into new hybrid materials; using hemp fiber to reinforce plastics; and the characterization

Baumhower’s Victory Grille Opens in EastChase Baumhower’s Victory Grille, the sports-themed restaurant concept

and testing of recycled polyethylene. territories throughout the Southeast.

New Restaurant and Event Space Coming Downtown

TROY Gets Childcare Grant For many of Troy University’s working adult students, a significant obstacle to completing

Vintage Hospitality revealed plans

their degree is the cost of childcare, but a new

for its restoration of 36 and 46

grant from the U.S. Department of Education will

Commerce Street in downtown

help ease that burden for some. Troy University

Montgomery, called City Fed, with

has received $246,526 from the Department

a groundbreaking on November 6.

of Education to form a Child Care Access

Partnering with renowned architect

Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) Program.

Tom Blount, the company hired

The program will provide subsidized childcare

Shoppes at EastChase.

Pfeffer Torode Architecture, R.F.

for student-parents enrolled at all of TROY’s

Pruett Construction and Laura

campuses in Alabama (Troy, Dothan, Montgomery

“It’s an exciting time for us and

Dockery Design to restore the

and Phenix City).

known for its commitment to scratch-made cooking and unrivaled gameday experiences, is adding another location to its roster. The chain will unveil a brand-new prototype and its eleventh location in the state in the spring of 2020 at The

Montgomery has been so wonderful to us throughout the years. I’m happy to be able to bring this fresh new look and feel to our restaurants for the people in this community,” said founder Bob Baumhower. “It’s not your typical ‘sports bar.’ I think folks

historic structure to its original grandeur, with ornate plaster crown moulding, tall ceilings, and marble

CDC Recognizes The Wellness Coalition Diabetes Programs

floors.

The Wellness Coalition has been recognized

The space is set to open late this

Prevention (CDC) for its diabetes prevention

by The Centers for Disease Control and

year and will house an Italian

are really going to be surprised.”

restaurant, Ravello, plus event space,

Wharf Casual Seafood Announces Expansion

overlooks the restaurant, and a

including two mezzanines, one that

and self-management programs. CDC provides recognition for organizations that deliver evidence-based type 2 diabetes prevention programs in communities across the United

courtyard, cellar and ballroom.

States. Such programs have agreed to use

doubling the size of its company

“Ravello will feature simple,

duration, intensity and reporting requirements

footprint over the next three to

thoughtful dishes inspired by

five years, opening five additional

Italy’s Amalfi Coast,” said Vintage

company restaurants in Florida,

Hospitality Group Executive Chef

Alabama and Georgia. In addition

Eric Rivera. “With an old-world,

to company store growth plans,

ingredient-driven approach,

Wharf Hospitality Group, Inc. will

Ravello’s authentic Italian dishes will

immediately begin offering franchise

highlight local Southern ingredients.”

Wharf Hospitality Group, Inc. is

a CDC-approved curriculum that meets the described in the CDC Diabetes Prevention Recognition Program Standards and Operating Procedures (DPRP Standards). Full recognition, which was awarded to The Wellness Coalition, means that a program has demonstrated effectiveness by achieving all the performance criteria detailed in the DPRP Standards.

88 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


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

ASU Hosts Town Hall Meeting  & U.S. Congressional  News Conference

reform, Title IX funding, voter suppression

On November 1, Alabama State University hosted a U.S. Congressional

on college campuses and ways to

MGM Director Joins Leadership of Aviation Council of Alabama

strengthen HBCUs' endowments, facilities

Members of the Aviation Council of

and academic offerings.

Alabama (ACA) have elected

news conference and a stop on the

Faulkner Hosts EagleHack

Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Town

Faulkner University’s Computer Science

Hall National Listening Tour. U.S. Rep. Terri

Department recently hosted a hackathon,

Sewell (AL-07) was the official host of the

calling it EagleHack. EagleHack was done

event that featured CBC’s Chairwoman,

in conjunction with a group called Major

U.S. Rep. Karen Bass (CA-37) in attendance

League Hacking (MLH). As Faulkner was

along with U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee

hosting its EagleHack on October 12, over

(TX-18) and U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop (GA-

150 MLH events were happening on the

02).  

same day and were designed to be a

Montgomery Regional Airport’s (MGM) Executive Director Marshall J. Taggart Jr., C.M. to serve on the prestigious Council’s Board of Directors. The ACA held elections during its

learning-focused developer conference. The meeting highlighted the importance

Faulkner’s hackathon focused on learning

of HBCUs and engaged ASU students,

about Amazon Web Services (AWS) and

faculty, staff, administrators and the

Github.

annual Alabama Airport Conference and Membership Meeting in Birmingham in on October. Taggart brings nearly two decades of industry experience to this new

public on a variety of national topics,

role. He will serve on the ACA’s legislative

including student loan debt, inadequate

Students from Faulkner University and

funding for HBCUs, career readiness,

Alabama State University participated in the

workforce development, criminal justice

event.

and membership/public relations/ marketing committees.

What do MA graduates look like? Diverse in every way, yet they share surprisingly similar qualities. As early as kindergarten, The Montgomery Academy looks ahead to the kinds of qualities a young adult needs to succeed. Programs are structured, and experiences are designed around creating lifelong learners who challenge themselves. Co-curricular involvement is planned to champion honor, ethics, diversity and service. We do all this—but if you ask our first graders what they

EFFECTIVE

C O M M U N I C AT O R ,

do in school, they’ll simply tell you they have fun. And show you their paintings.

CRITICAL THINKER AND MASTER OF THE COLOR WHEEL [ PORTRAIT OF A GRADUATE—THE BEGINNING ]

Th e M o n t g o m e r y A c a d e m y The Pursuit of Excellence in K-12 Education Contact Rachael Gallagher, admissions@montgomeryacademy.org 334.272.8210 | montgomeryacademy.org

89 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL MA05-47793-MBJ Half Pg Ad Jan2020.indd 1

11/18/19 5:01 PM


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

A S PEC IAL G UEST

Rheem Elevates Its Partnership With Christopher Bell

reading groups for both faculty and

Rheem will continue its

jurists. Dr. Hadley Arkes of the

longstanding commitment to

James Wilson Institute, a professor

NASCAR and its relationship with

emeritus at Amherst College,

driver Christopher Bell in 2020.

directed the seminar. The subject

The company will sponsor Bell as

of the seminar was the natural law

he joins Joe Gibbs Racing alliance

tradition in the United States of

partner, Leavine Family Racing

America.

students throughout the year and hosted its second seminar for state

(LFR) for the 2020 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)

The Center also recently cohosted,

season as the driver of the No. 95

with the Hugh Maddox Inn of

Toyota Camry.

Court, a celebration of civil rights icon Fred Gray, the lawyer for Rosa

Bell is currently competing in his second full-time NASCAR Xfinity

Nikki Haley Speaks to Sold Out Crowd

Parks and Martin Luther King Jr.

Series season for Joe Gibbs

Conner Industries Expands

Racing, where he’s amassed 15

Conner Industries, Inc., a leading

career-series victories and in

provider of lumber, industrial

2018, set the record for most wins

wood crates and pallets and

(seven) by a rookie in the series.

packaging solutions, opened

He is the winningest driver in

a new manufacturing facility in

Rheem Racing’s 11-year history.

Montgomery in November. Conner expects to employ more than 100

Women and history were

of the 19th Amendment,

recognized at the Faulkner

which granted women the

“Christopher is exceptionally

people at the Montgomery plant

University Annual Benefit

right to vote.

talented, and we are thrilled that

within the next year.

Dinner held in early

Rheem will continue to support him

October and featuring

Haley provided a word

as he moves up to the next level

keynote speaker, Nikki

of encouragement to all

in his already impressive career,”

Baron and Dave Show Has New Home

R. Haley, the former

the young women in the

said Chris Peel, President and

The Baron and Dave radio show

United States Permanent

audience who aspire to be

CEO, Rheem. “The Rheem Racing

has moved up the dial to 95.5

Representative to the

leaders. “Push through the

program has been a hallmark

WRBZ. Hosts Baron Coleman and

United Nations.

fear,” Haley said. “The truth

of our business for more than a

David Mowery are heard each

is if you push through the

decade.”

weekday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.,

For the first time in many

fear, and you just do it, you

years, the guest speaker

will find out that you are so

for one of the River

strong on the other side.”

Region’s largest social

The Blackstone & Burke Center Continues to Grow The Blackstone & Burke Center

events of the year was

Faulkner also lauded

for Law & Liberty at Faulkner

a female; the evening’s

several alumnae, as part of

University Thomas Goode Jones

events provided a subtle,

the night’s program.

School of Law was busy last year,

yet moving recognition

There were nearly 2,000

welcoming three new Sir Edward

of women, in particular

guests in attendance, and

Coke Fellows, young law students

women’s suffrage. Last

proceeds from the dinner

who will work with the Center

year marked the 100-year

go toward funding student

during their three years of law

anniversary of the passage

scholarships.

school. The Center also hosted

90 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

and the podcast is available at wrbzradio.com and Itunes.

New CBD Store Open in Montgomery Your CBD Stores are the largest CBD retailer in the country, now with more than 500 locations. The Montgomery store opened last fall and offers natural and organic hemp-derived CBD products.


91 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


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

SACRED SOUL WELLNESS LLC

BURLINGTON

445 Dexter Avenue, Suite 4050, Montgomery, AL 36104 334-333-1632 Dr. Tiffany H. Taft, Executive Director / Beauty Salons/Spas, Health & Fitness, Health Care Services

7721 East Chase Parkway, Montgomery, AL 36117 334-781-6403 • www.burlington.com Antoinette Brown, Store Manager / Clothing & Accessories-Retail, Gifts & Specialty-Retail, Retail Shop/Distribution

HOPE INSPIRED MINISTRIES

VALIANT CROSS ACADEMY

145 Coliseum Blvd., Montgomery, AL 36109 334-649-4330 • www.hopeinspiredministries.org Michael Coleman, Founder & Executive Director / Associations/ Non-Profit, Community Services/Agencies

136 Catoma St., Montgomery, AL 36104 334-301-0478 • www.valiantcross.org Anthony Brock, Head of School Private Schools

ELEVATE 5050

CBDIVINE

5050 Bell Road, Montgomery, AL 36116 334-288-5655 • www.elevate5050.com Cheryii Pickett, Community Manager Apartments

3457 Malcolm Drive, Montgomery, AL 36116 334-440-6490 • www.cbdivine.com Lydia Heisler, President-Owner / Health & Nutrition, Laser & Skincare, Retail Shops/Distribution 92

MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


93 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


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

WORKABLE SOLUTIONS INVESTIGATIVE & PROTECTIVE SERVICES, LLC 2778 Gunter Park Drive East, Suite A-B Montgomery, AL 36109, 334-262-0432 www.workable-solutions.org Tryon Works, CEO / Security Services

FAMILY GUIDANCE CENTER OF ALABAMA 2358 Fairlane Drive, Building F, Montgomery, AL 36116 334-270-4100 • familyguidancecenter.org/ Dr. Walter White, Executive Director / Family Services

BEST BUY OF MONTGOMERY

WALK-ON’S BISTREAUX & BAR

7701 EastChase Parkway, Montgomery, AL 36117 334-272-1552 • www.bestbuy.com/ Brent Sweat, General Manager Appliance-Sales/Service, Computer-Sales/Services/Supplies, Electronic Equipment & Supplies, Telecommunications

7801 EastChase Parkway, Montgomery, AL 36117 334-356-9128 • walk-ons.com Ryan Ambrose, General Manager Restaurants, Restaurants-Bar/Grill

MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL S E P T E M B E R / O C TO B E R 2 0 1 9

MBJ

CELEBRATING WOMEN IN BIZ SMART SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

MONTGOMERY AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

+

MISS AN ISSUE?

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019

Find past issues online at montgomerychamber.com

MGM GIVES

NONPROFITS MAKING A DIFFERENCE

94 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


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

ACCOUNT ING-CERTI F I E D P UB L I C

D IA LYS IS C L IN IC S

Brianne C. Smith, CPA, LLC Brianne Smith 2740 Central Parkway Montgomery, Alabama 36106 (334) 235-6045 www.briannecpa.com

Fresenius Kidney Care Capitol City Stacey Nelson 255 South Jackson Street Montgomery, AL 36104 (334) 263-1028 www.fmcna.com

2020 CHAMBER MEMBER BELIEVE in a Greater Montgomery BELONG to the Chamber

ASSOC IATIONS/N ON P R OF I T

Montgomery Capital Rotary Club, Inc. Joe Hamilton 7900 Wynlakes Boulevard Montgomery, Alabama 36117 (334) 233-9086 www.montgomerycapitalrotary.org Sun Belt Conference Herbert Carter 1500 Sugar Bowl Drive New Orleans, Louisiana 70112 (504) 299-9066 www.sunbeltsports.org The Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr. Institute Thomas Rains P.O. Box 100 Montgomery, Alabama 36101 (334) 954-3695 www.thejohnsoninstitute.org Women of Refined Gold, Inc. T’sharin Moncrief 4758 Woodmere Boulevard, Suite A Montgomery, Alabama 36106 (334) 877-7013 www.worginc.com B UILDER S-COM M E R C I A L

Ingram Construction, LLC Lee Ingram 1775 Taliaferro Trail Montgomery, AL 36117 (334) 244-1440 CARPET/UPHOLST E RY C L E A N E R S

On The Spot Carpet And Upholstery Cleaning LLC Corey Elliott 620 B Oliver Road Montgomery, AL 36117 (334) 314-4893 www.onthespotcarpetnupholstery.com

montgomerychamber.com 334-834-5200

JANUARY 2020 NEW MEMBERS C E L LU L A R /W IR E L E SS P H O N E S E RV I CE S

Wireless Time Brad Bowen 7331 Brisbane Place Montgomery, AL 36117 (334) 657-0213 www.metropcs.com

Fresenius Kidney Care Montgomery Baptist Stacey Nelson 3625 McGehee Place Drive N Montgomery, AL 36111 (334) 286-3766 www.fmcna.com Fresenius Kidney Care Montgomery Home Services Stacey Nelson 114 Mitylene Park Lane Montgomery, AL 36117 (334) 244-1478 www.fmcna.com Fresenius Kidney Care Taylor Road Stacey Nelson 100 Mitylene Park Lane Montgomery, AL 36117 (334) 274-4300 www.fmcna.com

CON CR E T E

Grout, Inc. Ben Jackson 8782 County Road 26 Hope Hull, Alabama 36043 (334) 288-1078

E M P LOYM E N T AG E N C IE S

Job Konnections, LLC Alex Castanza 55 North Burbank Drive Montgomery, AL 36117 (334) 356-9536

CON SU LT IN G S E RV IC E S

Divine Global Consulting LaDonna Brown-White 138 Lakebend Drive Elmore, AL 36025 (704) 516-1299 C R E D IT U N IO N

APCO Employees Credit Union Katrina Lovett 244 Dexter Avenue Montgomery, AL 36104 (334) 832-3822 www.APCOCU.org

95 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

E N T E R TA IN M E N T & R E C R E AT ION

Wine & Design Monica Virgil 8416 Faith Lane Montgomery, Alabama 36117 (334) 718-5501 www.wineanddesign.com G R O C E R IE S - R E TA IL

Knicker Knacker Market & Grocery Ron Dean 163 Lee Street, Unit A Montgomery, AL 36104 (334) 261-4003 www.c1corpunlimited.com


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

HEALTH & FIT NE SS

I N S UR A N C E CO M PA N IE S /S E RV IC E S

iNFUSION Wellness Center Ryan Turner 249 Winton Blount Loop Montgomery, AL 36117 (334) 296-1662 www.infusioncryoandlaser.com

The Bentley Agency Brent Bentley 400 East Boulevard, Suite 107 Montgomery, AL 36117 (334) 288-2000 www.agents.allstate.com/brent-bentleymontgomery-al.

HOM E HEALTH S E RV I C E S L I G H TI N G - R E TA IL

Jennings Professional Services, LLC Vernita Jennings 2921 Marti Lane, Suite 1-H Montgomery, AL 36116 (334) 239-7469 jenningsprofessionalhomecare.com HomeCare Assistance of Montgomery Kristy Butler 7742 Vaughn Road Montgomery, AL 36116 (334) 593-3988 www.homecareassistance montgomery.com HOT ELS/M OTELS

Springhill Suites Montgomery Downtown Debbie Bozeman 152 Coosa Street Montgomery, Alabama 36104 (334) 245-2088 www.marriott.com/mgmsm INFORM AT ION TECHNOLOGY FI R M S

1 Sync Technologies Eric Sloan 2770 Bell Road, Suite 7 Montgomery, Alabama 36117 (334) 219-3921 www.1synctech.com

Net Zero USA of the River Region Terdell Sims 5767 Darien Drive Montgomery, Alabama 36117 (334) 223-4899 www.netzero-usa.com LUM B ER /WO O D P R O D U C TS - M F R .

Conner Industries, Inc. Brent Morris 3321 Thomason Avenue Montgomery, AL 36108 (817) 226-0024 www.connerindustries.com M A R KE T IN G /M A R K E T IN G R E S E A RC H

TALKINTABLES Brian Andujar 4519 Woodruff Road, Suite 4 Columbus, GA 31904 (334) 595-8501 www.talkintables.com P H A R MAC Y S E RV IC E S

Pharmacy Care Associates Lauren Harrell 545 Cotton Gin Road Montgomery, Alabama 36117 (334) 396-9466 www.pharmacycareassociates.com

INDIVIDUAL

Alabama Industrial Development Training Ed Castile One Technology Court Montgomery, Alabama 36116-4158 (334) 280-4400 www.aidt.edu

R E A L E STAT E - D E V E LO P E R S

CC & I Frank McGough 640 Timberlane Road Pike Road, AL 36064 (334) 315-3411 96

MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

Providence Partners, LLC” Jeffrey Falletta 5251 Hampstead High, Suite 202 Montgomery, Alabama 36116 (205) 541-7286 R E TA IL S H O P S /D IST R IBU T IO N

Best Buy of Montgomery Brent Sweat 7701 EastChase Parkway Montgomery, AL 36117 (334) 272-1552 www.bestbuy.com Bottle Paradise Krupesh Patel 8743 EastChase Parkway Montgomery, Alabama 36117 (334) 356-8740 Leap Dancewear LLC Christelle Louis 6152 Atlanta Highway Montgomery, AL 36117 (334) 593-9835 www.leapdancewear.com R E STAU R A N TS

Buffalo Wild Wings Robert Johnson 1414 Taylor Road Montgomery, AL 36117 (334) 272-5547 www.buffalowildwings.com Salad Express Gourmet Salad & Grill John Kang 7030 EastChase Parkway, Unit C-46 Montgomery, AL 36117 (334) 416-8865 www.thesaladexpress.com Sommer’s Place Steven Sommer 7972 Vaughn Road Montgomery, AL 36116-6673 (334) 279-5401 www.sommersplace.com


CHAMBER NEWS New Members W E LCO ME TO O U R NEW EST M EM B ER S

Frutta Bowls Montgomery David Lamb 7056 EastChase Parkway Montgomery, AL 36117 (334) 356-5107 www.fruttabowls.com Panda Express Recep Yildirim 7781 EastChase Parkway Montgomery, AL 36117 (626) 777-2209 www.pandaexpress.com Pita Mediterranean Street Food Risha Momin 8735 EastChase Parkway Montgomery, AL 36117 (334) 356-9785 McAlister’s Deli Dane Guadagino 2747 Legends Parkway Prattville, AL 36066 (334) 285-3334 www.mcalistersdeli.com Martin’s Restaurant Mary Anne Merritt 1796 Carter Hill Road Montgomery, AL 36106 (334) 265-1767 www.martinsrestaurant.org Walk On’s Bistreaux & Bar Ryan Ambrose 7801 EastChase Parkway Montgomery, Alabama 36117 (334) 356-9128 www.walk-ons.com Wintzell’s Oyster House Matt Harris 105 Commerce Street Montgomery, AL 36104 (334) 262-4257 www.wintzellsoysterhouse.com

R OOF I N G COM PA N IE S

Southern Roofing Company John Sullivan 2551 Lower Wetumpka Road Montgomery, AL 36110 (334) 269-9917 ww.southernroofing.net TR A N S P OR TATI ON S E RV I C E S

Careavan Mark Porterfield 4183 Carmichael Road, Suite A Montgomery, Alabama 36106 (334) 244-8968 www.careavan.care TR AV E L AG E N C I E S/ S E RV I C E S

Carol’s Excursions Carol Bridgers 9109 Castle Pines Circle Montgomery, AL 36117 (334) 215-0345 www.carolsfunexcursions.com V E TE R I N A R I A N S , P E T B OA R D I N G / G R OOM I N G / DAYCA R E

Partners for PetsRobinson Hill Frank Aman 1615 Robinson Hill Road Montgomery, AL 36107 (334) 264-2414 www.partnersforpetsal.com


Numbers reflect October 2019 over October 2018. CHAMBER NEWS

Business Buzz

CO M MUN ITY + COMMERCE N EWS

Economic Intel TOURISM

LODGING TAX

+ 5%

YTD JAN-OCTOBER INCREASE

64.8%

OCCUPANCY RATE OCTOBER 2019

20,550 more hotel rooms have been sold YTD 2019 than YTD 2018

LODGING TAX COLLECTIONS YTD JANUARY - OCTOBER 2019

GO MGM!

$10,210,250

Source: Smith Travel Research Report, City of Montgomery

HOUSING OCTOBER 2019

TRANSPORTATION

78,366

PASSENGERS

+ 3.8% OVER OCTOBER 2018

+ BE DIRECT:

DIRECT SAME-DAY SERVICE T0 DCA

Source: MGM (Montgomery Regional Airport)

IN JANUARY 2020

1,816

410 TOTAL HOME SALES

+ 7.2%

AVERAGE SALE PRICE

TOTAL HOMES LISTED FOR SALE

89 AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET Source: Alabama Center for Real Estate, Montgomery Area

SECTORS GOING UP

EMPLOYMENT BY SECTOR PROFESSIONAL & BUSINESS SERVICES

MINING, LOGGING AND CONSTRUCTION

THAT'S 23,900 JOBS.

LABOR FORCE

+ 9.6%

2.4%

+ 3.2%

UNEMPLOYMENT RATE

LEISURE AND HOSPITALITY

+ 2.4%

TRADE, TRANSPORTATION, WAREHOUSING AND UTILITIES

+ 1.7%

+ 2.6% CIVILIAN

+ 4.0% EMPLOYED

LABOR FORCE

LABOR FORCE

176,808

172,493

Source: Alabama Department of Labor, MGM Metro Area Source: Alabama Department of Labor, MGM Metro Area

98 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


99 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


MBJ

MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

Post Office Box 79 Montgomery, AL 36101

100MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

Profile for Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce

Montgomery Business Journal - January 2020  

Montgomery Business Journal - January 2020