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
MGM’S NEXT STEPS New leadership & bold goals for a new decade
BANKING’S FINANCIAL FOOTPRINT & TACKLING TOUGH HR ISSUES
CONTENTS JAN/FEB 2020
THIS ISSUE: 10
Ready, Set, Go. 2020 Chamber Chairman Arthur DuCote
16 22 44 56
2020 Board of Directors and Chairmanâ€™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
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
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 • firstname.lastname@example.org © 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 email@example.com. The Montgomery Business Journal welcomes story ideas from its readers. Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subscriptions are a part of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce dues structure. Subscriptions and bulk subscriptions can also be purchased per year at www.montgomerychamber.com/mbjsub.
MA RK YO UR CALENDAR S FOR THE SE UP COMING C HAMB E R E V E NTS
60 Minute Coffees & Business After Hours SEE YOU THERE.
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.
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
8 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
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
10 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
Regions Central Alabama Market President Arthur DuCote
12 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
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
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.
“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!
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
16 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
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 Howardâ€™s Hair Stylists & Designers
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
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
MR. JOHN D. YELVERTON III President & COO, Dixie Electric, Plumbing & Air
2020 CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
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
20 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL 20 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
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
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.
24 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
The Chamber also presented its second annualÂ Impact Maker Awards, sponsored by Sabel Steel, which honored individuals and companies making a significant difference in the region. Congrats to all!
HE B E TN GE CHA
Mid-size Business Small Business
Large Business Left Column: Individual Winner: Charles Lee, Thatâ€™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.
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,
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
26 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
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.”
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.
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
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-
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
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
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
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
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
MAX4Kids Charity Golf Tournament Raises More Than $30,000
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.
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. Â 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. Â 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
SIPPING & SEALING DEALS Check out these tried-and-true tips and common-sense rules for negotiating
business deals over drinks.
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
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
intently to your pitch. “If you order bar food, don’t choose popcorn
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
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.
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
• 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.
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.
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
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
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
IN MONTGOMERY LISTED ON THE CIVIL RIGHTS TRAIL.
refused to give up her seat on a bus.
“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
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
ambassadors for our city’s history and to
make sure the true stories that changed the world continue to bring people here to experience them firsthand,” said Hathcock.
Learn more about other sites on the Civil Rights Trail at civilrightstrail.com, and visit these nearby spots.
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
beatings of civil rights activists
rendition of a segregated city in the
Lowndes Interpretive Center:
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 industryâ€™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
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,
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
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
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
or locate here, they have to borrow money
to do so. The vibrancy of the business
community is dependent on banks and
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
technology. Next to employees, it is the
not include additional employment opportunities or equipment purchases, but the key is the total
- 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
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
Chamber of Commerce is our
Number of banks: 10
Total number of offices: 20
Deposits (as of June 30, 2019):
entity for our city and has
been for many
Number of banks: 20
Total number of offices: 63
Deposits (as of June 30, 2019):
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
businesses, working directly with the State, the County, the City, adjacent communities and the
Carl Barker on the number of ServisFirst branches:
Number of Branches
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
that you used to see
a one-stop shop that drives that
BBVA Montgomery MSA
mobile phones have
changes in technology
we don’t need to have
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
- Arthur DuCote, Executive Vice President of Regions Commercial Banking.
48 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
on every corner; replaced them. With
as many branches as we once had.” - Carl Barker, Executive Vice President Montgomery Regional CEO of ServisFirst Bank
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
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
Manager Western Branch
tourism to the area. Our
having access to multiple banking choices
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
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 â€” 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*.
Industry Overview: BANKING
State of the Industry & Economy Despite some challenges, “strong and stable” is the consensus answer when MBJ
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
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
ourselves on the relationships
banks? We asked Caryn Hughes,
we make with our customers
Senior Vice President and Alabama
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.
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
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
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,”
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
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; itâ€™s more of
An intentional emphasis on diversity makes a positive
a mindset than a number, and successfully adopting this
difference in todayâ€™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 Chamberâ€™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
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
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.
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
a local who’s in the know, Sharleen Smith, the Director of Troy University Continuing Education and Outreach.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
Our social strategy is simple: We strive to highlight our members and
investors, showcase their businesses and services, and document Chamber activities and events. Posts for each platform include reminders of upcoming
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
card that can be used for all of the functions above, streamlining management for your
At Regions, our Commercial Banking team is
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
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.
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
CHAMBER NEWS Connect A LO O K B AC K AT T H E FACES AN D PLACES OF RECEN T CHAMBER EVEN TS
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
Business After Hours at Auburn University Montgomery Sponsor: Auburn University Montgomery
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
Business After Hours at Raymond James Sponsor: Raymond James
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
transportation and employee benefits insurance.
WANT YOUR NEWS IN THE MBJ? Submit information for consideration to Jina Miniard at email@example.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
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,
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
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
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
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
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, firstname.lastname@example.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
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
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
fear,” Haley said. “The truth
of our business for more than a
David Mowery are heard each
is if you push through the
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
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
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
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
CELEBRATING WOMEN IN BIZ SMART SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
MONTGOMERY AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
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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. Tâ€™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
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
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
CO M MUN ITY + COMMERCE N EWS
Economic Intel TOURISM
YTD JAN-OCTOBER INCREASE
OCCUPANCY RATE OCTOBER 2019
20,550 more hotel rooms have been sold YTD 2019 than YTD 2018
LODGING TAX COLLECTIONS YTD JANUARY - OCTOBER 2019
Source: Smith Travel Research Report, City of Montgomery
HOUSING OCTOBER 2019
+ 3.8% OVER OCTOBER 2018
+ BE DIRECT:
DIRECT SAME-DAY SERVICE T0 DCA
Source: MGM (Montgomery Regional Airport)
IN JANUARY 2020
410 TOTAL HOME SALES
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.
LEISURE AND HOSPITALITY
TRADE, TRANSPORTATION, WAREHOUSING AND UTILITIES
+ 2.6% CIVILIAN
+ 4.0% EMPLOYED
Source: Alabama Department of Labor, MGM Metro Area Source: Alabama Department of Labor, MGM Metro Area
98 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
99 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
Post Office Box 79 Montgomery, AL 36101
100MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL