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MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL V O L U M E 1 1 I S S U E 3 / M AY 2 0 1 9

MBJ

PLUS: SMALL BUSINESS BRIEFCASE / HOW OUTSOURCING WORKS

MONTGOMERY AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

COME ON IN MGM’S REAL ESTATE & MORTGAGE INDUSTRY IS ROLLING OUT A WARM WELCOME

NEWS ON THE STREET: SEE WHO IS TALKING ABOUT MGM

+

NEW LEADERSHIP: MEET THE CHAMBER’S NEW PRESIDENT AND CEO


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CONTENTS MAY 2 0 1 9

THIS ISSUE: 10 14 20 40

Tourism Pays Meet the Chamber’s New President & CEO Longstanding Chamber President Retires At Home in the River Region Real Estate Industry Overview

Realtor Emeritus • CRS Emeritus • CRB Emeritus

24 Powerhouse Q&A: Todd Pa r n e ll 27 Member Profiles:

Passion for Excellence in Real Estate Kahn is a trusted family name serving Alabama businesses and families since 1871

B ra n don D r is coll, D r. Fe licia A. B e ll

30 GiveBack: Fa u lkn e r Un ive rs it y 36 #MyMGM: MGM Me lt in g Pot 70 Small Business Briefcase: Ou t s ou rcin g Resources

CHAMBER NEWS:

08 Events 72 Connect: Member FAQ 79 Connect: Chamber News 84 Connect: Past Events

Montgomery: 2157 Taylor Road Prattville: 225 N Memorial Drive 334-207-0876 24/7 Availability www.davidkahn.com

86 Members on the Move 89 Members in the News 92 Business Buzz 100 Ribbon Cuttings 102 New Members 106 Intel


S


MBJ

THE NUMBER ONE BUSINESS SOURCE FOR MONTGOMERY AND THE RIVER REGION

MONTGOMERY AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PRESIDENT Anna B. Buckalew DIRECTOR OF PUBLICATIONS Jina Miniard

exploreMedia PUBLISHER Pam Mashburn

MANAGING EDITOR Jennifer Stewart Kornegay

ART DIRECTOR Erika Rowe Tracy

DESIGN Heather Cooper, Shelby Berry Shubird

CONTRIBUTORS EDITORIAL Jennifer Stewart Kornegay, Minnie Lamberth, Savanna Pruitt, Melissa Warnke, Gene Crane, Anne Ferrell Dalton, Barry Prim, Bobby Trott PHOTOGRAPHERS Bryan Carter, Nick Drollette, Robert Fouts, Donna Wallace King, David Robertson Jr., Paul Robertson, Eric Salas ON THE COVER Cover design by Erika Rowe Tracy ADVERTISING Christina Bennett and Kristina Boddie / exploreMedia / 334-578-7810 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL c/o Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Post Office Box 79, Montgomery, Alabama 36101 Telephone: 334-834-5200 • mbj@montgomerychamber.com © Copyright 2019 exploreMedia and the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. MONTGOMERY AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MISSION STATEMENT

Committed to exceptional service, the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce works to improve the economic well-being of the business community and enhance the quality of life of the area through the creation and preservation of jobs. The Montgomery Business Journal (USPS NO. 025553) is published bi-monthly by exploreMedia for the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, 41 Commerce Street, Montgomery AL 36104, (334) 834-5200, www.montgomerychamber.com. Periodicals Postage Paid at Montgomery, Alabama, 36119+9998, USPS NO. 025553. Volume 11, Issue3. POSTMASTER send address changes to Montgomery Business Journal, c/o Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 79, 41 Commerce Street, Montgomery, AL 36101, or email mbj@montgomerychamber.com. The Montgomery Business Journal welcomes story ideas from its readers. Email to: editor@montgomerychamber.com. Subscriptions are a part of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce dues structure. Subscriptions and bulk subscriptions can also be purchased per year at www.montgomerychamber.com/mbjsub.


CHAMBER NEWS

MAY

03

Events +

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

MAY

Military Salute at Riverwalk 6:35 - 9 pm Biscuits Baseball Stadium

09

Women In Business Meet Up 5:30 - 7:30, Capital City Club

60 Minute Coffees & Business After Hours

This unique event connects women from dif-

Chamber and business leaders join the city’s

ferent industries and allows them to network,

elected officials to host military leaders at River-

learn, grow and uncover new opportunities

walk Stadium in recognition of the military’s vital

and collaborations.

role in our community.

Presenting Sponsor: Morgan Stanley

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

Presenting Sponsor: HCS Group

MAY

07

Eggs & Issues with Congressman Mike Rogers 7:30 8:30 am, RSA Activity Center

MAY

15

STAR Watch Information & Registration Event, 9:30 -

5/16

10:30 am, Chamber BRC

Business After Hours Sponsor & Location: Montgomery Regional Airport

The Chamber and the Montgomery Police

Join the Chamber, city and county leaders,

Department have teamed up to promote the

business stakeholders and military officials for

city’s public safety initiative, STAR Watch. This

this exclusive and popular Eggs & Issues event

voluntary program allows businesses, citizens,

featuring Congressman Mike Rogers.

schools and neighborhoods to share cameras

Gold Sponsor: Balch & Bingham LLP

with a state-of-the-art facility that utilizes video

6/5 60 Minute Coffee Sponsor & Location: Brantwood

surveillance to enhance response time and provide accurate information for officers.

MAY

07

6/20

TechMGM Forum

Business After Hours Sponsor: Jerry Kyser Builder, Inc. Location: Staybridge Suites, Downtown

5:15 - 7:15 pm, MGMWERX Join community leaders for a

JUNE

discussion on how Montgomery is embracing its tech talent, public-private projects focused on IT/Communications infrastructure, and its strong culture of innovation to fuel its emergence as a Smart Community and a key destination for new investment, tourism, and fulfillment.

06

Diversity Dialogue – June 6, 10 - 11:30 am, Rosa Parks Museum Auditorium

features forums and networking opportunities that harness the power of diversity. Representatives from both

Sponsored by: Commerce Consulting

7/10

The Chamber’s new Diversity Dialogue series

large and small and tech

60 Minute Coffee Sponsor & Location: Troy University Montgomery

A NEW EVENT THIS YEAR

and traditional companies will share their experiences on diversifying not only their workforce but their workplace to increase productivity and employee morale. Presenting Sponsor: Balch & Bingham LLP

Upcoming Workshops

BUSINESS Resource Center Business 101: Start it Up!

JUNE MAY

09

20

Chamber Golf Classic 7 am - 7 pm , Wynlakes Golf & Country Club

The Chamber Golf Classic is the River Region’s premier business golf event. Come network on a beautiful golf course with Chamber members, elected officials, community leaders and potential

FAMILY FUN!

25th Anniversary Military Family Appreciation Day, 9 am -

May 21; June 18; July 16 from 8:30 - 9:30 am

4 pm, The Montgomery Zoo

or existing business. Topics covered include

Establish a strong foundation for your new

The Chamber’s Military Appreciation Day at

locating financing, writing a business plan

the Zoo is a fun day for military personnel and

and finding expert advice. No registration

their families. With a valid military ID (active

required, but there is a fee of $10. Please

duty and retired), the entire family can enjoy a

arrive to sign in by 8:15 am.

great day at the Montgomery Zoo with FREE

Sponsor: River Bank & Trust

lunch and admission. Presenting Sponsor: Guardian Credit Union

+

Register Now!

All Chamber and BRC event details and a registration link are listed on montgomerychamber.com.

clients. Presenting Sponsor: Wynlakes Golf & Country Club

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Visitors to Montgomery bring with them some real value, in both dollars and cents and quality of life.

TOURISM PAYS

"2018 Top Destination" "52 Places to go in 2018" "Undeniably Relevant"

"Journey Through American History in Montgomery, AL"

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WORD ON THE STREET

"Alabama’s Capital is on the Move"

Montgomery and the River Region have been press darlings recently, racking up coverage in trusted and widely read news sources that is the equivalent of almost $3 million in paid marketing or advertising.

"National Memorial for Peace and Justice named a 40 must-see U.S. landmarks under 40 years old."

PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRYAN CARTER AND ERIC SALAS

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ACCOLADES IN SPADES: In 2018, the Chamber's CVB was awarded the State Tourism Partnership Award along with the Equal Justice Initiative's Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice. In the last 10 years, the CVB has been named “CVB of the Year” twice by the Southeast Tourism Society.

The Chamber's

IT COUNTS:

2 PEOPLE

aggressive media

per travel party

strategy combined

= 8,440

with the opening of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice and

$1.5 MILLION

travelers each night

MORE BEDS FOR MORE HEADS: All our visitors have

the Legacy Museum

spent nightly by tourists in

to have a place to

drove hundreds of

Montgomery

keep announcing

thousands of new

= $554 MILLION ANNUALLY

visitors to Montgomery last year. Numerous national media outlets have been here too,

sleep, and new hotels

8,440 PEOPLE dining daily at $75

= $633,000 daily dining revenue

Here are a few highlights that show how a booming tourism industry positively impacts residents and businesses.

growing demand. Staybridge Suites and Springhill Suites will open this year, and a number of other hotels both downtown

sharing Montgomery’s story with the world.

and opening to meet

and in the EastChase

>>SIGNIFICANT STATS:

area are in the

What do these tourism numbers really mean? Dawn Hathcock,

planning stages. The

Vice President of the Chamber's Convention and Visitor Bureau

city’s current hotels

explained. “There’s a quote I love: 'If it’s a good place to live, it’s a

are operating, on

good place to visit.’ The opposite is equally true,” she said. “The

average, at 67 percent

things we want as residents for quality of life, those are the things

occupancy, totaling

people are looking for when they visit, and more visitors often lead

4,220 rooms sold

to more entertainment and dining options, more shops and other

each night.

businesses opening here.” They also affect bottom lines. “State tourism saves each household in Alabama 405 tax dollars each year,” Hathcock said. “We see similar savings on a local level."

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POWER IN PARTNERSHIP “The Chamber is a powerful catalyst that connects people to people and people to resources. And the best way for me to set that tone is to connect with as many people as I can right now.”

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PARTNERS IN PROGRESS The Chamber’s new President and CEO Anna B. Buckalew lays out her vision of a prosperous Montgomery and the way she’ll lead the Chamber in its collaborative efforts to make it a reality.

BY JENNIFER KORNEGAY / PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRYAN CARTER & PAUL ROBERTSON

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After decades occupying various roles in The Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, Anna B. Buckalew just recently stepped up and stepped into the shoes of President and CEO. The position puts her leading one of Alabama’s “Big Five” metro chambers, and she has the distinction of being the first female to do so. MBJ sat down with Buckalew to get her thoughts on the transition,

What are some “points of pride” for you related to your Chamber work thus far? I’ve worked across the spectrum of all our departments during my career, and that has been a great privilege: to be able to understand the Chamber literally inside and out. I’m at my happiest when I’m creating something new, and many of the programs we have in place today are things that I can trace back to initiatives I worked on originally. But more importantly, when I look back on those new programs and capitalizing on opportunities for our city and region, it was the business leaders and elected leadership who I worked

her new job and the increasingly vital part

with that made those experiences so rich. For instance, we

the Chamber will play in the future of

created a brand-new governmental affairs program and fed-

Montgomery and the River Region.

MBJ: You are taking over from Randy George, who

eral initiative to build relationships and carry agenda items to our congressional delegation. The Chamber at the time just wasn’t involved in federal affairs and was only nominally involved in state legislative matters. But it wasn’t about what

served as president for 31 years and acted as head of eco-

“I” built, it was about the exceptional business and elected

nomic development prior to his tenure as president. What’s

leaders we had at the time who shared that vision, and they

the most important thing you’ve learned from Randy while

used their expertise and contacts to stand up a brand-new

working with him over the years?

program that has yielded untold benefits to our community over many years.

AB: Randy has been a daily living example of servant leadership in action. He fostered a culture in the organization where he didn’t ask anything of the staff team that he himself wouldn’t do. His level of loyalty and support for the team was unwavering. He would make you fight hard for the programs and initiatives you wanted to implement, but he respected the staff leaders who had the passion to fight for what they believed in and wanted to create something new. He would give you freedom to innovate and achieve your objectives, but expected results. He never second-guessed you if you failed at something, either. If you made a mistake, he would help you figure out where you went wrong and how to make sure you don’t make that same mistake twice.

What are some of the significant changes you’ve seen in your time at the Chamber?

Chamber Chairman Willie Durham, Chamber President & CEO Anna B. Buckalew and Chamber Past President Randy George

What is your favorite part of working for the Chamber, and what are you most looking forward to in your new role?

Well, the fact that women were not allowed to wear pants

Hands down, the best part is working with tremendous

or open-toed shoes and that pantyhose were mandatory

leaders who love Montgomery and the River Region. It is a

when I first started now makes me chuckle! It was definitely

rare gift to have worked beside some of the icons of busi-

a very traditional environment when I first came here in

ness and statesmen that I have over the years. I have learned

1988.

so much from these insightful, gracious, brilliant, tough, visionary people who have worked to move Montgomery,

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17 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


I’m at my happiest when I’m creating something new, and many of the programs we have in place today are things that I can

trace back to initiatives I worked on originally. But more importantly, when I look back on those new programs and capitalizing on opportunities for our city and region, it was the business leaders and elected leadership who I worked with that made those experiences so rich.

the region and our state forward. I count myself truly lucky

How is the Montgomery Area Chamber dif-

that I’ve had that opportunity. And I am deeply honored to

ferent from other major metro chambers?

have been selected by our leadership to lead the Chamber

Our Chamber is an innovative, consolidated organization

as its President and CEO moving forward.

that addresses tourism, economic development, business

growth, workforce development and community strategies

You officially took the reins April 2. Have

under one umbrella. In many cities and regions there are

you encountered any surprises during the

duplicative entities that focus on pieces of that mission.

transition once you were named President

Here in Montgomery, we link the public and private sector

and CEO elect and during this first month on the job? The only surprise has been how overwhelmingly positive everyone’s response has been. I have been blown away by the genuine sincerity of so many people who are excited not only for me but also for the future of the Chamber. It is beyond people extending polite congratulations; these are the most heartfelt conversations, letters, notes and calls. When I say how incredibly humbling it has been, that is an understatement. But it’s more than just excitement for me. Everyone has been so excited for the Chamber and what the future holds.

unified organization, and as a result, we achieve far greater results at a tremendous value to our investors and public sector partners.

What do you see as your initial priorities? There is an energy in Montgomery right now, and so many opportunities at hand. My first priority is getting out and visiting with and listening to as many people and groups as I possibly can. I want to sit down with all of our major stakeholders and let them know how much we value their partnership, and I genuinely want to know what’s on their mind, what they’re facing in their business or organization,

Why do you feel the work the Chamber does is important? The Chamber’s mission statement talks about creating jobs and improving the quality of life. And that is exactly what we do, but the “how” is where the real power is. We create jobs and improve the quality of life by catalyzing leadership around opportunities — opportunities that create prosperity and a better future for our city and region. We bring leadership together to grow Montgomery and the entire region, and that grows business for everyone.

around a shared vision, execute that work through one

and what they believe Montgomery’s greatest challenges and opportunities are. I want to hear from our members and our small and minority businesses and understand what they need to be successful. The Chamber is a powerful catalyst that connects people to people and people to resources. And the best way for me to set that tone is to connect with as many people as I can right now. Internally, our awesome staff team is working together to be sure we are operating at our highest capacity, and that we are focused around those initiatives that can yield the greatest results. We have a great board and executive committee, and they are working to complete a facility plan

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We create jobs and improve the quality of life by catalyzing leadership around opportunities — opportunities that create prosperity and a better future for our city and region.

that provides consolidated operations for the Chamber and fosters new economic development efforts within the Innovation District downtown. And, our leadership, elected officials and staff are very aggressively working on some game-changing projects for our community.

How do you plan to reach your goals and ultimate vision? In a word, partnership. As President and CEO, it’s my role to lead the staff team and the operational side of the Chamber and work with the leadership of our community to build the vision and define the priorities. Our partners the City of Montgomery, the Mayor, the Montgomery County Commission, our state legislators, the Governor’s office, the congressional delegation, joined with the strength of the business community create an incredibly powerful coalition to move Montgomery forward. The Chamber is a business association, and keeping the business community aligned and working in concert with the public sector is a top priority. Anna has had a love of horses since she was young and even though life is hectic, she says riding and barn time are essential. Image by Paul Robertson.

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A FOND FAREWELL TO CHAMBER PRESIDENT RANDY GEORGE


A LEGACY OF LEADERSHIP For more than four decades, Randy George has served the River Region with his work

– in multiple positions – at the Montgom-

developed. The Chamber was engaged with a large portion of the others which located there. Interstate Industrial Park was newly developed by the Industrial Development Board, and Hager Hinge was the first company I worked with to locate there. Today, there are

ery Area Chamber of Commerce. In April

many others the Chamber successfully located. Another I’m proud of

2019, he stepped down as the organization’s

Electric that located a huge Lexan chemical plant there; it was the

is the SABIC plant in Lowndes County. Formerly, SABIC was General

president, a title he’d held for 31 years. MBJ

largest project I had ever been responsible for, until Hyundai located

asked George to reflect on his time at the

its automobile plant in Montgomery.

Chamber and the good work it has

Why have you always stressed the value of

accomplished during his long tenure.

partnerships and how has that paid off ? In the economic development business, success comes from united

MBJ: What significant changes in the Chamber

and the way it does its work have you seen during

entities working together to make the investments often required to successfully attract the company with its jobs and economic growth. The State, City, County, Industrial Development Board and the

your time there?

Chamber have always worked closely together to successfully attract and sustain growth from manufacturing facilities that are primary

RG: The basic areas of Industrial/Economic Development, Military,

generators of jobs and resulting market growth. Over my 46 years

Education, Conventions and Tourism, Membership and Administra-

at the Chamber, all of these government entities and the Chamber

tion were all here, but the scope of the activities and size of staff were

have trusted each other to worked as partners in the economic

far more limited.

development effort. This partnership has resulted in untold jobs and

economic opportunity, not just from the initial companies attracted,

Name a few milestones Montgomery and the area have hit thanks to the Chamber’s work.

but across the economic spectrum, i.e. from jobs and dollars created

When I came, Gunter Industrial Park was really new, and Rheem Manufacturing was the primary company there. Today, it is fully

by the growth of suppliers, wholesalers, retailers and others servicing the demand from the economic growth.

By Jennifer Kornegay / Photography by Bryan Carter

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“You cannot achieve the kind of success Montgomery and the region have had without everyone being committed to making it happen. Over my 46 years at the Chamber, all of these government entities and the Chamber have trusted each other to worked as partners in the economic development effort.”

– Randy George

MANY MILESTONES FIRST PROJECT

1984

1975 American Sterilizer Co. (AMSCO) [now STERIS] $4M investment 100 employees Today: 340 employees

General Electric Co. (GE), now SABIC 280 employees $50M annual payroll 6,300 acres Today: 320 employees

Chamber past President Randy George’s strong leadership and strategic coalition-building, have helped the Chamber play key roles in many of the region’s major economic development accomplishments.

2002

A BIG DEAL

HMMA

$1B investment 2,000 employees $279M annual payroll Today:3,000 employees

At that time, it was the most modern plastics manufacturing facility in the world.

STILL GOING STRONG

2004 - PRESENT Downtown Revitalization $200+ Million

This was Hyundai’s first North American production facility and it now has an annual economic impact $4.82 billion in the state.

What do you think your legacy is?  

of Smart City technology now being put into place. The tech activities

Legacy is a profound word. I don’t know that I leave anything worthy of

at both Maxwell and Gunter Air Force Bases are establishing technolo-

that word. I am proud though of the Chamber and the team with whom

gy activities in the downtown area now, and WiFi service highlighting

I have worked these many years. I hired all of them, and I’m proud of

consumer and visitor services and activities in downtown has launched.

every last one. They are the most competent and dedicated individuals

The Chamber is working diligently on quality of place projects that will

anyone could possibly ask for. I would like to say just how long the

make Montgomery even more attractive to young professionals as a

tenure so many of them have, but I’m afraid they would let a contract on

place to live. Our leadership must solve our public education issues.

my demise were I to do so.

Our business and political leadership are taking the proper steps with a

new Board of Education and innovative new education approaches like

Where would you like to see the Chamber in 10

charter schools.

years?  I would like to see it successfully orchestrate Montgomery’s

recognized as offering a “high quality of place,” especially for young

What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your time with the Chamber?  

professionals. We are on our way. The mayor has led the establishment

Probably the value of partnerships, especially among public and private

move to a nationally recognized technology center and as a location

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FROM THE MAYOR:

For the past five decades, River Region business leaders have looked to Randy George for leadership, answers and good ideas. Randy and his staff have been instrumental in building an even greater Montgomery by bringing new businesses and opportunities to the River Region, while also working to expand existing

2007-2018

RECENT HIGHLIGHTS:

Riverfront Riverwalk Stadium Convention Center The Alley Dexter Avenue

Diversity Summit 11 successful years of a nationally acclaimed event This event has made conversations about diversity and the open exchange of multiple perspectives and ideas commonplace in Montgomery businesses.

industries. Not only did BIG IMPACT

2018 F-35 jet program & new Maxwell Control Tower

1993-1994

President, IDAA Industrial Developers Association of Alabama

President, CCAA Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama

President, Southern Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives

city, but he developed an exceptional Chamber team who have as one of the South’s commercial and technological leaders. Randy continues to demon-

Randy George has racked up a long list of awards and prestigious positions. Here are just a few:

1981- 1982

development across our

positioned Montgomery

AWARDS & ACHIEVEMENTS 1980- 1981

Randy drive economic

ONE HIGH HONOR

JANUARY 2007 Jamie Wallace Award

strate his commitment to Montgomery by serving as a catalyst connecting businesses and resources to our entire community. We thank him for his decades of

sector activities. When trust and understanding exist among government and business, many great things can happen. The other is creating

What has been the most rewarding part of or aspect of your work?   As I drive around town and see the many cars in

service and wish him all the best! We are eager to build on this legacy of

for employees a true sense of teamwork, helping

the employee parking lots of companies that the

success under the lead-

them recognize that all employees are important

Chamber played a part in successfully locating

ership of Anna B. Buck-

to the organization or their job would not exist,

here, it is quite gratifying to know that in some

and that watching another team member strug-

alew as we work to make

meaningful way, we played a part in making

gle when you can help makes no sense because

the Capital of Dreams

those individuals’ lives more rewarding.

the best it can be.

the economic well-being of the entire organiza-

- Mayor Todd Strange

tion is put at risk.

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VESTOR IN

PR

OFIL

PO WERHOUSE

Q&A

E

TODD PARNELL Todd “Parney” Parnell isn’t from Montgomery. He doesn’t live in Montgomery. But he’s fallen in love with Montgomery, and as co-owner and President of the Montgomery Biscuits, he’s working hard to ensure current fans stay enamored with the team while also attracting new ones. These efforts, combined with a big personality and even bigger smile, are prompting the capital city to return the affection. Question? Answer. Where are you from?

the guys doing the day-to-day here are doing the hard work.

I was born and raised in Locust, North Carolina, between Big

Brendon Porter is our COO and Mike Murphy is our General

Lick and Frog Pond, no lie. At 13, my family moved to Philadel-

Manager. Both moved here from Virginia, so they are putting

phia. I now live in Richmond, Virginia, where I’m co-owner and

roots here.

operate the Richmond Flying Squirrels baseball team.

What is your goal for the team? One goal is to get When did you get interested in baseball?

crowds back to what they were in early days. We’ve increased

I’ve always loved all sports. Growing up, I successfully broke

attendance by 8 percent, and that sounds great, but that’s slow

every window in our house by throwing balls and other sports

growth. We can do more, and I think this is going to be year we

objects through them. At some point, I was told I wasn’t good

really see even more growth. We also have a strong commit-

enough to move to the next level of play, so I transitioned into

ment to be much more than a baseball team; we want to be an

this side of things. I remember learning about “this side” early,

active business leader in the community. We want the ballpark

when my dad took me to a minor league baseball game in

to be a go-to spot in the community, not just for games, but

Charlotte, North Carolina. There was a guy with a logo shirt on,

for other events and outreach too. We’ve done several events

doing promotions, talking to and laughing with fans. I asked my

here, like trick-or-treating in October, that turned out amazing.

dad who that was and was that his job. My dad told me he was

We believe doing those things for the community pays divi-

the general manager, and that he got paid to do those things. I

dends. Our philosophy is to do the right thing. That’s how we

thought that sounded like the greatest job in the universe.

connect with people, and that’s how we engage and encourage people to get involved with us.

How long have you been working in baseball? This April will be my 30th season. I’ve been going to ballparks and

What’s changed in minor league baseball? Players

doing the greatest job in the universe for three decades. My

have significantly changed. On the marketing side, everything

worst day is still better than many people’s best days.

has changed, and it changed after the movie “Bull Durham.” It showed that minor league baseball is about more than the

Why buy the Biscuits? In September 2016, I was in

game; it’s about promotions and crazy mascots and activities.

Birmingham for a conference, and my partner talked me into

The game is important, but everything else is too. We’re not just

driving down here to check out the Biscuits. I was not very

in the baseball business, not just in the entertainment business;

happy about it; I was ready to head home. But when I got here,

we are in the memory-making business.

the ballpark, it was a magical moment for me. I fell in love. After

What do you love about your job? For the three hours

meeting with Sherrie, the previous owner, for several hours,

that people come here to a game, they forget their problems.

I immediately told my partner, “We have to buy this team. It’s

They’re having fun, laughing at Big Mo, enjoying the fireworks.

perfect for us.”

We are a baseball team, but we play a larger role in the quality of life in this community too. I love that.

As President, what are your main duties? Lou the director of culture. I am here a week or so each month, and

What is your impression of Montgomery’s business climate? I brag about it everywhere I go. The leader-

my role is to be a cheerleader and the face out front increas-

ship on the political side is amazing, and the Chamber does an

ing recognition of the team and the brand. I’m the leader, but

amazing job in multiple aspects.

DiBella, my partner, is the managing partner. My job here is like

24 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROBERT FOUTS

as soon as I drove around the bend and saw downtown and


Home Base “Parney” hopes that in the near future, when people think of Montgomery’s community partner, the Biscuits will be top of mind. He’s also striving for the continued growth of the attendance numbers at games.

“I still bounce out of bed every day to go do my job, and that passion sets the tone for the rest of the group. That’s part of leadership.”

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M EM BER profile

BRANDON DRISCOLL Inspirien Chief Business Officer Brandon Driscoll and his family have enjoyed a warm welcome since moving here in October 2017. It’s a welcome that’s also evident at his company; Inspirien is a Fortune-rated “Great Place to Work” in the small-to-medium-size category and has recently expanded into five other states.

What are Inspirien’s primary services?  Inspirien offers insurance and risk management solutions to the healthcare community here in Alabama.   

Who are Inspirien’s primary clients?  We work with hospitals, physicians and other healthcarerelated professionals, providing workers’ compensation and malpractice insurance. 

What sets Inspirien apart? There really aren’t other companies like Inspirien. You have traditional insurance companies, who offer policies to healthcare entities in exchange for premiums, and if there’s a claim, the insurance company pays it. Inspirien works with its customers to uncover the root causes of potential claims. We also offer our customers solutions to help them keep their claims low and, in turn, reduce the amount they have to spend on their insurance.  

What does your role at Inspirien entail? My role as Chief Business Officer is to help our leadership team come up with new business opportunities and help bring these new opportunities to life. Our team has done a great job laying out our short-term and long-term strategy,

Happy to Be Here

and I really enjoy being part of the challenge of making things work. My job is to make sure the “business econom-

“My wife and kids got involved in the

ics” of our strategy line up with our corporate goals.

community so quickly after our move,

from church to school and jobs, which

What’s your favorite part of your job?

made it that much easier to get

Hands down, the people. Every day is a new challenge and

settled here in Montgomery. This is a

a new adventure. And having those around me energizes

special town with tremendous growth

me and the rest of the team to keep things moving forward

and opportunity, and we really love

and to progress as fast as we do.

being here.”

PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID ROBERTSON JR.

What are your interests outside of work? I enjoy spending time with my family, staying active, working on my old Mustang, and I pretend to like to golf. inspirien.net

27 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


M EM BE R profile

DR. FELICIA A. BELL Director of the Rosa Parks Museum Dr. Felicia A. Bell has been immersed in history for decades. Her work at the Museum to help others connect with the past brings her the hope that increased understanding will shape our future for the better.

How long have you been with the Museum? Almost four years. I hail from Hinesville, Georgia. I have been a museum professional for 20 years as a museum educator.   

What does your job at the Museum entail? My work includes managing the annual budget; supervising the staff; creating and developing educational programs; selecting and curating exhibitions for the gallery; cultivating and securing major gifts, grants and acquisitions; developing partnerships; and more.  

What makes Rosa Parks’ story such an important piece of Montgomery’s story? The story of Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott is essential to the story of Montgomery. Everyone should experience this historically significant place to learn about her courage and that of the many “foot soldiers” of the boycott, which changed the course of American history and inspired generations all over the world.   

How does the Museum “tell” this important story? Through its permanent exhibition, which features a film re-enactment of the December 1, 1955, arrest of Rosa Parks on a bus from the 1950s, a station wagon or “rolling church” used during the boycott, and interactive videos of protester interviews

Setting the Record Straight On November 7, 2007, Dr. Bell presented expert witness testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee Construction of the United States Capitol: Recognizing the Contributions of Slave Labor. Her testimony led to the inclusion of enslaved labor in the interpretation of the history of the Capitol.  

make this story relevant today by organizing educational and outreach programs, which address current issues related to the legacy of Rosa Parks.

What’s your favorite thing about your work? Seeing visitors engaged and moved by the art exhibitions and programs at the Museum. I like to see people reading labels, examining the artwork, asking questions and sharing stories. We encourage our visitors to think critically about Rosa Parks, the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the ongoing struggle for equality. troy.edu/rosaparks

28 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID ROBERTSON JR.

on House Administration’s Hearing on the

and footage from the boycott. The staff at the Museum


29 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


GiveBack

A SOARING SENSE OF COMMUNITY

/ by MELISSA JOHNSON WARNKE

IMAGES COURTESY OF FAULKNER UNIVERSITY.

Learn how Faulkner University’s commitment to its community is earning an A+ with one local school.

Faulkner University students host a “Welcome Back” pep rally for Davis Elementary students.

When Mike Williams stepped into the role of Faulkner Univer-

are not the cavalry coming in with all the answers,” said Wil-

sity’s eighth president in June 2015, one of his first priorities

liams. “We started with the goal of listening to better under-

was to ensure Faulkner was deeply

stand the needs of this community.”

embedded in its community. To

Through interviews with parents and

Williams, it made sense to carry out that commitment by linking arms with a local school. He shared that vision with Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange in one of his first visits to the capital city, and the mayor immediately connected Williams with Camille Anderson-Fin-

Sharing Joy “When they see the Faulkner students coming, the kids jump to their feet.” - Interim Principal Janice Harvey, Davis Elementary

ley, Director, Family and Community

teachers, Faulkner’s leaders became aware of the school’s biggest needs. One came as a surprise to Williams and his staff — parents asked for help parenting. Teachers, on the other hand, needed help providing nurturing relationships, positive role models and mentors for their students. With these things in mind, the univer-

Engagement for Montgomery Public Schools. After a series of

sity began planning some special events. The first was a “Wel-

conversations, Anderson-Finley identified Davis Elementary

come Back” pep rally for Davis Elementary students on the

as a school that would benefit. A partnership quickly began

first day of school in 2015. Faulkner athletes, cheerleaders,

taking shape.

band members and even the Faulkner mascot, Baldwin the Eagle, stood along the sidewalks and hallways of the school,

“One of the things that we talked about before we ever

high-fiving, clapping and cheering for students as they walked

stepped foot on the Davis Elementary campus was that we

into the building. “You could see the students’ faces just light

30 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


Special events and an afterschool program with students from Faulkner University offer opportunities for the students to connect and build relationships.

up,” said Stacy Robinson-Williams, Davis

to come to Davis from 3:30 to 5 p.m. and

Elementary’s Technology Coordinator. “The

hang out with kids,” said VP of Student

support they have given us — our whole

Services Jean-Noel Thompson, who co-co-

school— it just means so much.”

ordinates the after-school programming

Good Life Lessons “They see that there are

between Davis and Faulkner with Ander-

no quick fixes, and things

The pep rally has become a beloved annual

son-Finley. “Sometimes it’s to read books,

can’t be changed overnight,”

tradition. Faulkner also hosts movie nights

and other times it involves crafts or activities.

at the school, a Christmas celebration for

The main thing is, they get to know and

students and families and a Fall Festival.

encourage these kids after school. It’s about

For that event, the entire Davis Elementary

the relationships.”

student body is bused to Faulkner’s campus

Williams said. “What a great learning experience to come back and say, ‘How does a

for a day of fun with arts and crafts, games

While Faulkner started the partnership to

and hay rides. “When they see the Faulkner

positively impact the school and commu-

students coming, the kids jump to their feet.

nity, the college students have immensely

It is when we all attack

They are excited and can’t wait for them

benefited from it as well. “Last year’s point

to come to their class,” said Davis’ Interim

guard Marquis Grays was so dedicated to

the problem together.’”

Principal Janice Harvey. “They love the one-

this program,” said Williams. “If he wasn’t

on-one interaction with the students.”

on the basketball court or in class, he was

when we all attack the problem together.’ We

here. When I thanked him for all he’d done,

can say all that every day in a classroom, but

Through the coordination of Faulkner’s

he said, ‘Oh, I am the one that is blessed.’

until they come and experience it in real life,

Dean of the College of Education, Dr. Leslie

Another student told me that this has been

it is theoretical.”

Cowell, faculty members also help teachers

one of the most transformative experiences

inside the classroom. Recently, they carried

of her education.”

out two days of STEM programming at Davis,

community get better?

Now nearly four years old, this mutually beneficial partnership will keep going and keep

emphasizing science, technology, engineer-

Williams believes Faulkner’s students are

bringing rewards to all involved. Williams

ing and mathematics.

learning things that can’t be taught in a

hopes it inspires other groups, organizations

college lecture hall. What’s more, he said,

and businesses to do something similar.

In addition, Faulkner students mentor

they’re seeing what it truly means to be a

“We hope to positively impact a genera-

school children during and after school.

part of a community. “They see that there

tion of students and beyond,” he said. “It

“We learned that dozens of students were

are no quick fixes, and things can’t be

is not just community service. It is not just

standing around after school for an hour to

changed overnight,” he said. “What a great

service-learning. It is taking our students and

an hour and a half. We developed a program

learning experience to come back and say,

saying – ‘God has blessed you. How can you

where Faulkner students sign up as mentors

‘How does a community get better? It is

be a part of a solution?’”

31 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


GiveBack GIVEBACK

BRIEFS

River Bank & Trust’s Contribution to River Region United Way Exceeds $50,000 River Bank & Trust announced that this year’s River Region United Way Campaign contribution will total $53,347.53. Since the community bank’s opening in 2006, corporate and

Jackson Thornton Celebrates 100 Years

employee contributions

Jackson Thornton, a certified public

demonstrates our commit-

accounting and consulting firm, is cele-

ment to make life better for

brating two big milestones in 2019: its

our friends and neighbors

100th birthday and the roll-out of a new

in the communities we

corporate brand identity and tagline

serve,” said River Bank’s

across all its entities.

CEO Jimmy Stubbs. “With our success comes a responsibility to share a portion of our blessings

with those who are less fortunate. Supporting the River Region United Way and its 40 + affiliate

Jackson Thornton was founded in

agencies, provides us with a wonderful avenue to do that.”

total over $330,000. “The generosity of our team

1919 in Montgomery, Alabama, which remains the location of the firm’s corporate headquarters. In honor of its

MAX Supports Wetumpka Disaster Relief

centennial, Jackson Thornton’s staff will celebrate with a special year of giving back in each of the communities it serves. “As we begin our second century, we wanted a way to show our appreciation to the communities who have been so welcoming of us,” said Ned Sheffield, President and Managing Principal of Jackson Thornton. “We thought what better way to say thank you than to donate our time, talents and gifts to worthy organizations across our service areas.” Jackson Thornton’s 200-plus person

To provide disaster relief for those affected by the January 19 tornado in Wetumpka, MAX asso-

team kicked off its “100 Years | 100

ciates held a supply drive for the Elmore County Food Bank and made a donation of $5,000 to

Acts of Service” by packing more than

the Central Alabama Community Foundation and its Wetumpka Tornado Relief Fund. With the

34,000 meals for Rise Against Hunger.

support of the community, more than 650 items were collected during the supply drive. Items

The firm is evaluating additional large-

collected were delivered to the food bank by MAX associates on February 28.

scale opportunities in its service areas with many smaller service projects

“At MAX, giving back to the communities we serve comes in various forms. We are committed to

already completed.

making our communities better and to provide support when it is needed most,” said Community Relations and Foundation Coordinator Brooke Foster. 32 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


GiveBack Regions Foundation Announces Donations Supporting Tornado Recovery In late January, the Regions Foundation, a nonprofit initiative of Regions Bank dedicated to supporting a wide range of community investments, announced a donation of $10,000 to the Central Alabama Community Foundation (CACF) to support immediate and long-term recovery efforts organized by CACF following the EF-2 tornado that destroyed parts of Wetumpka on January 19.   “Regions Bank and the Regions Foundation are committed to serving and supporting our communities during both good times and bad,” said Arthur DuCote, Montgomery Market Executive for Regions Bank. “Wetumpka is a special place in the River

up again, this time announcing a donation

are committed to supporting our commu-

Region. We are proud to be a part of this

of $25,000 to support immediate and long-

nities,” said Rett Moncrief, Auburn-Opelika

community, and we will stand with our

term recovery efforts following an EF-4 tor-

Market Executive for Regions Bank. “Re-

customers and fellow community members

nado that destroyed areas in Beauregard,

gions is proud to be a part of these commu-

throughout the recovery from the storms.”

Smiths Station and nearby communities.

nities, and we will stand with our neighbors throughout the recovery process.”

Just over a month later, the bank stepped

w

Professional Clerical (334) 265-4100 Industrial (334) 265-0100 300 Arba Street Montgomery, AL 36104 www.walkerworkforce.com

“Regions Bank and the Regions Foundation

WorkForce “Since 1957” Walker Personnel, LLC

Over 62 Years

of serving the River Region! Call us for all your staffing needs! PROFESSIONAL

CLERICAL

33 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM

INDUSTRIAL


GiveBack Balch & Bingham Aids Local School As Booker T. Washington Magnet High School rebuilds from the tragic fire that destroyed most of its facilities, one Montgomery law firm was honored to lend a helping hand. Balch & Bingham’s Montgomery office worked with the school’s law classes to offer insights and resources to the next generation of lawyers. Balch was honored to present the class with funds to send the school’s first-ever mock trial team to the YMCA’s statewide Youth Judicial Program. The firm also connected BTW with a LexisNexis subscription and collected books to rebuild the classroom’s library in an effort to maximize the legal resources available for the students. Balch partner Kelly Pate spoke to a group of students with legal aspirations, discussing life as an attorney, pro bono work and how to create a path to

BTW’s Youth Judicial Team members and Elizabeth Bowles, BTW Law Magnet Teacher.

law school.

The Chamber wants to share the good news of businesses doing good. Please send story ideas to jminiard@montgomerychamber.com.

34 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


35 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


MyMGM

MGM MELTING POT / by MINNIE LAMBERTH The arrival of Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama and its multiple suppliers provided an enormous boost to the River Region’s (and beyond) business community. But it’s affected more than the local economy; the area’s automotive industry has also spurred sharing of cultures.

In multiple ways, Koreans are plugging into the Montgomery community. IMAGES COURTESY OF A-KEEP.

In recent years, the Korean population in the

hair salons and martial arts studios. There

lationships with diverse communities to find

Montgomery area has grown significantly,

is a Korean-owned grocery store and gas

out needs and bridge gaps, she noted that

thanks primarily to Hyundai Motor Manufac-

station, as well as a catering company. More

the Alabama-Korea Education and Econom-

turing Alabama and Korean-based supplier

Korean-owned professional services include

ic Partnership, or A-KEEP, is an important

manufacturing companies that are located in

real estate offices and medical clinics, as

resource for her office.

this part of the state.

well as a law office, accounting firm and computer network office. The community

Meesoon Han, Executive Director of A-KEEP,

At the same time, other retail and profes-

has also seen the opening of more than a

said that her organization is “connecting

sional businesses have opened to serve

dozen Korean churches, and Koreans are

local Alabamians to Koreans and Koreans to

families in the Korean community. As a

attending American churches as well.

Alabamians.” They are here to assist Amer-

result, the automotive industry is not only

Nichelle Nix, director of the Governor’s

ican businesses who want to do business

making a nearly $5 billion a year economic

Office of Minority Affairs, welcomes this

with Koreans and Koreans who need ser-

impact on the state – half of which is in

addition to our cultural mix. “The more diver-

vices from Americans. “We are information

Montgomery County – it has also created a

sity, the more colorful,” Nix said. “It’s adding

providers,” Han said.

growing cultural influence.

beauty to a palette. We have so much to learn from each other.”

As she noted that Korean retail business has grown tremendously in the eastern part

Today, 70 Korean-owned businesses are operating in the greater Montgomery area.

Nix’s office was designated as a cabinet-lev-

of Montgomery, she also pointed out that

This number includes more than a dozen

el position in 2016, and part of her role is

local businesses have added bilingual staff.

restaurants, along with beauty supply stores,

cultural awareness. As Nix seeks to build re-

“American banks, insurance companies,

36 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


their body languages,” she said. “When you are dealing with two different cultures, when they have totally different backgrounds, it is much more cautious to approach how we communicate.” A-KEEP also offers after-school and summer KSL programs for youth. Being able to learn a foreign language is a critical piece in brain growth, according to Dr. Charles Ledbetter, superintendent of Pike Road Schools and A-KEEP board member. “The part of the brain you use for language is the same part of the brain you use for mathematics and computation,” Ledbetter said. In addition to the A-KEEP offers after-school and summer KSL programs for youth . IMAGES COURTESY OF A-KEEP.

intellectual benefit, he said, “It helps students to learn, understand and value different cul-

large retail stores and medical professionals,

beginner Korean speakers to build a solid

for example, are increasing bilingual services

foundation of the Korean language.

for Koreans. Korean bilingual education is the biggest topic for us,” Han said.

tures and ideas from around the world.” The summer KSL session will be held this

Cultural exchanges are more than restau-

year at Pike Road Schools and is open to any

rants and retail, Han pointed out, but also

youth. As students participate in programs

A-KEEP has recently begun a Community

about issues of daily living. “They want to

like this, Ledbetter said that they find, “We’re

KSL (Korean as a Second Language) Class,

know more about Koreans and how they

really not that different. We really have a lot

providing help for non-Korean speakers and

can connect or communicate or how to read

in common.”

37 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


38 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


There is a lot of available information on home mortgage loan rates and terms, but we often hear our customers wanting guidance beyond just what mortgage products are available. We are often asked these questions:

W H AT A R E T H E A DVA N TAG E S O F P R I VAT E M O R TG A G E I N S U R A N C E ? Mortgage insurance is required on all conventional loans where the loan to value is above 80 percent to provide additional security for the lender. For the borrower, PMI is an excellent tool to help purchase a house with less than a 20 percent down payment. A good mortgage lender can help a borrower compare the cost and benefits of utilizing PMI rather than using a second mortgage loan and can determine the best way to pay the premium. We help our borrowers analyze three ways of using mortgage insurance to determine the

W H AT A R E T H I N G S I N E E D TO B E AWA R E O F W H I L E I N T H E P R O CESS OF FINANCING A HOUSE? THIS IS IMPORTANT: A loan decision

is based upon information provided at the time of application. If financial circumstances change after the application is created, it can affect your loan. Once the mortgage process begins, it is important to avoid incurring new debts when possible (for example: a car, a boat, maybe even appliances), co-signing on a loan, or making a job change with a change in income, as these can delay a closing. Similarly, it is smart to keep your lender informed if your income changes, if you make a large bank deposit or sell investment assets. If home buying, building or refinancing is on your mind, let the experienced team of bankers at River Bank help you get started.

best solution. The most common approach is Monthly Mortgage Insurance, which is simply a monthly premium added to your payment,

MEET THE EXPERT

and it drops off once the loan is paid down to 78 percent of the value. The second option is Lender Paid Mortgage Insurance in which the borrower opts for a slightly higher interest rate, and in turn, the lender pays on behalf of the borrower a one-time mortgage insurance premium. The third option is a Borrower Paid Upfront premium, whereby the borrower will prepay the mortgage insurance premium at closing and will never pay monthly for mortgage insurance.

W H AT O P T I O N S D O I H AV E TO FINANCE THE CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW HOUSE? Home construction is generally a two-step process of first arranging a construction loan

Gene Crane has worked as a banker in Montgomery for 31 years. In 2011, he joined River Bank & Trust, a local community bank, where he is an Executive Vice President and a member of the bank’s management team. GCrane@river.bank / NMLS 708667

and then transitioning into a fixed-rate mortgage loan once the house is complete. We

GENE CRANE,

provide both of these steps, which is a great

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT

convenience to the borrower and provides

RIVER BANK & TRUST

cost savings as well.

39 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM

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

M O R TG A G E L E N D I N G


AT HOME IN THE RIVER REGION

THE REAL ESTATE AND MORTGAGE INDUSTRIES HOUSE MULTIPLE PROFESSIONS AND SERVICES UNDER THEIR ROOFS, AND ALL COMBINED, THEY ROLL OUT A WELCOME MAT THAT BRINGS THOUSANDS OF JOBS AND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO THE RIVER REGION’S DOOR. BY JENNIFER KORNEGAY

SOME GREAT AMENITIES: Living and working in our city is a collection of real estate professionals that make an impressive mark.

>>> CHECK OUT THEIR EXPERT ADVICE


INDUSTRY OVERVIEW: Real Estate & Mortgage

Home is where the heart is, and for most, it’s certainly

A look back at the most recent recession – and the way real

where a majority of their money is tied up, making the

estate factored into it – shows how crucial healthy real estate

business of buying and selling houses, receiving and granting

markets are, a fact Kelley Hall, Sales Manager at American Mort-

home loans and developing entire neighborhoods quite weighty

gage Service Company, elaborated on. “I believe the mortgage

work. Here in the River Region, the multiple companies and indi-

and real estate industries are the building blocks of our econo-

viduals working in the real estate and mortgage industries take

my,” she said. “One real estate transaction involves a multitude of

their respective roles in these operations seriously. Kim McElroy,

people to get the transaction closed. And when people buy real

Associate Broker and Realtor with McElroy & Company outlined

estate, they are investing in the community and not just financial-

how members of the Montgomery Area Association of REAL-

ly. They also invest emotionally, spiritually and with their time.”

TORS (MAAR), of which she’s currently president, contribute. “As a whole, our Realtors have one objective: to provide the best

Steve Kermish, President of Fairway Independent Mortgage

service for their clients who are in the process of buying or sell-

Company, concurred with both Weeks and Hall, highlighting not

ing their largest monetary, and sometimes, their most emotional,

just the employment opportunities and revenue generated by

asset,” she said. “I feel that Realtors keep everyone grounded in

real estate and mortgage activities, but less tangible benefits too.

this process.”

“The mortgage industry has enjoyed tremendous growth in the last 30 years in the River Region,” he said. “It has not only provided job opportunities for so many, but has also been a leader

FIRM FOUNDATION McElroy describes an important responsibility, but the impact of the real estate and mortgage industries doesn’t end with each profession’s specific duties; it reaches farther than the clients they serve. Sherry Weeks, Broker and Owner, ERA Weeks & Browning Realty, has been a Realtor for 40 years and spent half of those in the Montgomery area. She pointed to the wide net her industry casts. “The real estate industry in the River Region consists of 1,723 active licensed agents with more than 430 offices,” she said. She stressed the integral part this plays in our local economy. “Real estate as a whole provides a source of revenue for millions of people. Lenders, appraisers, repair companies and pest control companies are just a few examples of the many jobs favorably affected by the real estate industry,” she said.

when it comes to seeing women achieve high-ranking positions.” Before anyone can buy or sell a home, the home has to exist, and the hard numbers behind residential real estate development are powerful. “Per the National Association of Home Builders, the estimated one-year impact of building 100 single-family homes in a typical state includes $30.4 million in income for residents of the state, $6.1 million in taxes and other revenue for the state and local governments in the state, and 419 jobs in the state,” said Anita Carter, Vice President, Jim Wilson & Associates. Last year alone, more than 700 new homes were constructed in the River Region, totaling an impressive influx of jobs and revenues pumped into the economy.

“Construction of real estate plays a part too because it is labor intensive.”

What one piece of advice would you give a prospective home buyer when it comes to the process of finding the right home?

ADVICE FROM LOCAL EXPERTS:

“Work with an agent you trust, and let him or her guide you through the entire process all the way through closing.” Bill Davis, Owner, Davis & Copeland

“When meeting with prospective buyers and sellers, I find that it is very important for them to have a clear vision of what their goals are and how to reach them. They are then able to utilize a Realtor’s professional expertise to guide them throughout the process to find the right home, sell their home or perhaps do both and ultimately are able to realize their vision.” Ann Michaud, Broker/Owner, AEGIS-Michaud Properties, Inc

41 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


INDUSTRY OVERVIEW: Real Estate & Mortgage

BEYOND YOUR FRONT YARD Whether you’re currently engaged in any real estate transactions or not, our area’s real estate and mortgage professionals still likely touch you or your business in some way. People working in every facet and at every level put considerable time and energy into making the River Region a better place to live, work and play.

are still based in Montgomery and have assembled a collective legacy of positively shaping their hometown that others in our area are now adding to. “The Aronov, Wilson and Lowder families have been vital to the River Region’s economy,” said TJ Williford, Broker

Jim Wilson & Associates explained why. “Our never-ending goal is to

venture marked a new relationship between two long-respected

place is vital to their own success, but it goes

developers, and we think the

beyond that too. “The industry is involved in

addition of Lowder New Homes to

most all areas of the city’s civic and charitable

New Park, a new home community

endeavors and understands that its welfare

in East Montgomery, is a powerful

WE LOBBY FOR LEGISLATION TO BETTER HOME OWNERSHIP. WE DONATE

nationally in VA loans originated in 2018.”

OUR TIME AS AN ORGANI-

According to McElroy, the MAAR’s mem-

AS INDIVIDUALS IN MANY

ZATION AND PARTICIPATE

bership is equally committed to the future

COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES.

of its hometown. “We do more than people

- KIM MCELROY, PRESIDENT, MONTGOMERY AREA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS

home ownership. We donate our time as an

ments. Anita Carter, Vice President,

with Lowder New Homes. The

Helping create an attractive and appealing

may think. We lobby for legislation to better

partner on neighborhood develop-

we had the opportunity to partner

philanthropic efforts of our community.”

American Warrior Initiative and ranked fifth

in our area have put that aside to

the right time,” she said. “In 2017,

way those organizations continue to lead the

leader in supporting our military through its

petition in real estate develop-

pursue the right opportunities at

and Owner of Partners Realty. “I applaud the

the community,” said Kermish. “Fairway is a

There’s always been robust comment, but some of the heavy hitters

Some of the biggest names in real estate in the Southeast were born and

is directly related to the overall welfare of

COME TOGETHER

organization and participate as individuals in many community activities,” she said. “Last year, we had work days at the Alabama Sheriff’s girls ranch in Tallapoosa County, at the Montgomery Zoo, and we sponsor Catoma Elementary School and the Children’s Center

combination.” The collaboration has proved successful for both developers but has also given area homebuyers more options, adding to the appeal of the New Park neighborhood. Jimmy Rutland, President of Lowder New Homes, sees these efforts as strategic on multiple levels. “We have formed partnerships with other developers in an attempt to diversify and combine marketing forces,” he said.

School throughout the year. We are a very active organization.”

N eighborhooD N ecessities

“The Aronov, Wilson and Lowder families have been vital to the River Region’s economy.

BANK

I applaud the way those organizations continue to lead the philanthropic efforts of our community.” - TJ WILLIFORD, BROKER AND OWNER, PARTNERS REALTY

42 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


43 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


IN 2018, MAAR Realtors averaged nearly

4,000 LISTINGS.

BY THE NUMBERS The Montgomery Area Association of REALTORS (MAAR) encompasses the counties of Montgomery, Autauga, Elmore, Lowndes, Dallas and the southern part of Chilton.

WHO’S WHO: HIGH RISE:

MAAR CURRENTLY has approximately

1,250 ACTIVE

MAAR REALTORS HANDLED

Realtor members and about

6,492

members.

TRANSACTIONS AND SAW

TOTAL SALES REACH

$898,581,971.

75 AFFILIATE


INDUSTRY OVERVIEW: Real Estate &Mortgage

SELLING

MGM

GOING UP:

Realtors and real estate agents are ambassadors for our area. We asked a few for their thoughts on this role.

“We are a very strong influence as to where consumers purchase property. We are ambassadors every single day, and we should take that responsibility very seriously. I feel it is our responsibility to build up and support the River Region.  I feel that the River Region should form an ambassador program for our industry, selecting a Realtor from each neighborhood that can inform everyone of the good or bad changes to expect in that particular area. As Realtors, we rely on what we have been told, so if we had an informative group of ambassadors that could share knowledge, we could

BIG DEALS: Buyers on MAAR MLS (multiple listing service) got, on average, approximately

98 % OF THEIR LIST PRICE when their property sold. Source: The Montgomery Area Association of REALTORS

Real estate sales volume in Montgomery increased by more than $2 million from Jan-March 2018 to Jan-March 2019. Not only that, but this year's sales volume has nearly doubled that of Jan-March 2014.

JAN-MAR 2019:

$78,574,594 JAN-MAR 2018:

76,241,131 JAN-MAR 2014:

$49,474,278

come together and make positive changes.”

– Sherry Weeks, Broker and Owner, ERA Weeks & Browning Realty

“If I didn’t believe in this city, I would not be in this business. I grew up here and am so hopeful and energized about the future of Montgomery. There are so many positives happening in our city, and we cannot get lost in the obstacles. Bell and Corwin uses its social media platforms to promote and share the wonderful people, organizations and events that

“A good Realtor is a cheerleader for the River Region

make Montgomery an exciting place to live.”

or the area they are selling.

– Sara Elizabeth Burnham, Realtor, Bell and Corwin, Inc.

Yes, you are selling a home but also a quality of life.” - ANITA CARTER, VICE PRESIDENT, JIM WILSON & ASSOCIATES


46 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


Real Estate Estate Leader || Real NDUUST STRY RY Leader I IND

American Mortgage Service Company Founded: American Mortgage Service Co. was started on

What Sets Us Apart: Service is always number one,

July 9, 1975, in Cincinnati, Ohio, by Emil and Elvera Bergdolt.

which is why it is part of our name. Today American Mortgage

Their dream was to help individuals realize the dream of

Service Co. is still privately held with a commitment to honesty,

homeownership, and they felt it was critical for those people to be

integrity and great service. We are not just in our communities, we

able to deal with a reputable, honest and family based company.

are part of them. The company invests in many charities where we live and serve. We plan on continuing to serve our customers, as

Since those humble beginnings, American Mortgage has grown

we have since 1975, for many more years to come.

into a large multistate lender, but we’ve always kept our focus on our core mission. The company now has more than 30 licensed

Milestones and Accomplishments: We have

locations.

been in business for 44 years and are licensed in 16 states. A large portion of our business is from residential home purchases. Our

Montgomery Employees: 4

significant growth over the last few years can be attributed to the constant focus we put on high-quality service.

Primary Products and Services: Residential mortgages. Our annual company lending approaches $1 billion, and we have mortgage products to serve any customer. American Mortgage has successfully focused its business development on relationship growth with real estate agents, home builders and former customers. Home-purchase business has consistently been around 90 percent or higher for the company. The company offers low down payment loans across conventional, FHA, VA and Guaranteed Rural Housing lending products.

47 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM

® NMLS ID: 8246; AL License #21620


INDUSTRY OVERVIEW: Real Estate & Mortgage

Cassandra Andrews, Broker and Owner

PERPETUAL MOTION Continual activity is indeed a hallmark of

NEED TO KNOW

the industry; everyone involved must keep moving to stay on top of constant changes in trends, regulations and more, many that have been either driven by or made possible by advances in technology. Weeks remembers her start in 1979. “There were no electronic lock-box systems, so you had to drive to each company’s office to pick up keys in order to show properties. There was no email,” she said. Fast forward four decades, and the landscape is so different it’s almost unrecog-

MOST BUYERS nizable. Before cell HAVE SEARCHED phones, business was ONLINE AND FOUND THE done during business HOUSE THEY hours, and clients were DESIRE BEFORE kept more at arm’s EVEN TALKING length. “With the advent TO AN AGENT of social media, clients,

as well as other people in our industry, ‘friend’ us and are more a part of our lives,” Weeks said. And she sees positives in this blurring of lines. “This benefits us by enabling us to more effectively reach and serve one another and become a part of our clients’ everyday conversations, which boosts our relevance in their lives.”

of Chosen Realty, has been in real estate since 2005, and along with multiple ups and downs in the market, she’s watched technology greatly influence her industry. “Most

About to apply for a mortgage? If you haven’t been through the process in a while, you’ll notice some differences. Most regulation changes made in the last several years were put in place to protect consumers, like this recent one. “The TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure, also known as TRID, requires the borrower to confirm receipt of the initial closing disclosure three business days prior to closing,” said Allison Bird, Vice President at Regions Bank and Mortgage Sales Manager for Central Alabama. “This was initiated to protect customers from any potential surprises at closing, as fees are not allowed to change by any more than .125 percent overall, and other charges cannot change at all.”

buyers have searched online and found the house they desire before even talking to an agent,” she said. “And we no longer have to meet face-to-face when signing documents thanks to the convenience of electronic signatures and more.” But technology has also brought a new set of challenges. The internet is giving consumers an abundance of instantly available information, raising the bar on what’s expected from real estate agents and mortgage professionals. “This access to information means customer expectations and client service are very different than they were even five years ago,” Weeks said. “And we expect even more changes to come.” And sometimes the information floating around online is misleading or even inaccurate. “The first place a consumer starts their home search is online,” Carter said. “One thing that negatively affects the residential real estate market is the incorrect information on websites such as Zillow and Trulia. To get the most updated information, a consumer should refer to an actual company’s websites or websites such as realtor.com or their local MLS website.”

ADVICE FROM LOCAL EXPERTS:

When it comes to getting a mortgage, what one piece of advice would you give?

“Consult and establish a relationship with a lender to determine your mortgage loan options before you shop for your new home.” Reba Curtis, Mortgage

“The single piece of advice that we give to our clients is stay local. By using local Realtors, builders and mortgage lenders, the homebuyer will assure themselves of quality treatment and total service from start to finish.”

Loan Originator,

Steve Kermish, President, Fairway

Trustmark Bank Mortgage

Independent Mortgage Company

48 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


Real Estate Estate Leader | | Real I NDUUST STRY RYLeader I ND

ARC Realty River Region Employees: We have a total of 90 agents and staff in the

Milestones and Accomplishments: We are

River Region, and another 250 agents in our Birmingham division.

members of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World (LeadingRE), a global, invitation-only network of independently

Primary Products and Services: Residential

owned real estate firms that represent the best companies in

real estate, commercial real estate, new construction homes,

each of their local markets. We are the largest independent real

relocation and corporate services.

estate company in the state of Alabama and have been named as the area’s only member of the “Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate”

What Sets Us Apart: ARC Realty shines in the

network.

Montgomery area real estate market due to its longevity, level of professionalism and focus on relationships over transactions. Our team of agents goes back to 1986 and is deeply rooted in the local community. Over the years, the team has grown and developed, eventually joining forces with Birmingham-based ARC Realty in 2017. We are the only real estate firm in the region with a full-service relocation and corporate services department, as well as a full-time, in-house marketing professional.

49 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM

8191 Seaton Place, Montgomery, AL 334-213-2532 / arcrealtycosouth.com


INDUSTRY OVERVIEW: Real Estate & Mortgage

A lot of these changes result in a faster pace, and increased

on your cell phone and then come in for a face-to-face meet-

speeds are evident in the mortgage industry too. It also

ing,” he said. “You are not just a number and data to Fairway.”

makes home lending’s multi-step process more seamless and gives loan officers more ways to enhance the client’s

Hall echoed Kermish. “Sometimes people have important

experience. Regions recently launched an online mortgage

questions that are best discussed

portal that allows clients to receive real-time updates on the

verbally or in person versus

status of their application via text or email. It also lets them

emailing or texting,” she said. “It

securely upload documents from anywhere at any time. “We

is very important that a buyer still

believe this new portal will make the

has access to their real estate

entire process easier, and it get clients

professional.

into their new homes faster,” said Allison Bird, Vice President at Regions

TECHNOLOGY HAS STREAMLINED THE PROCESSES TREMENDOUSLY. BUT IT HAS NOT REPLACED THE PERSONAL SIDE.

Bank and Mortgage Sales Manager for

REINFORCED RULES

Central Alabama.

In the last decade, the mortgage industry has faced a slew of chang-

According to Kermish, technology

es that have little to do with smart

has become the single biggest game

phones and social media. Reg-

changer in the mortgage industry. But

ulations are more stringent than

it can’t do the job alone. “Fairway has

in the past, and informing buyers

embraced the changes,” he said, “and

and sellers on this topic is a key

combined the speed of technology with real hometown

piece of real estate and mortgage

people.”

professionals’ jobs. “There haven’t been any significant mortgage

“THE FORMATION OF THE ALABAMA ENERGY & RESIDENTIAL CODES BOARD THAT WAS FORMED IN 2010 HAS HELPED MOVE ALABAMA TO BE A LEADER IN BUILDING ENERGY EFFICIENT HOMES.”

Like her colleagues, McElroy feels that technology has made

regulation changes in the last few

- JIMMY RUTLAND, PRESIDENT,

real estate work more efficient but also agrees that it will

years, but the mortgage process

LOWDER NEW HOMES

never make relationships obsolete. “It has streamlined the

is much more rigid and structured

processes tremendously,” she said. “But it has not replaced

than at any other time in history,” McElroy said. “Underwriters

the personal side, making sure all steps in protecting our

check, re-check and sometimes check again! It is an exhaust-

buyers and sellers are not overlooked.” Kermish sees the two

ing process, but so worth the effort.”

working in tandem. “We make it possible to apply for a loan

ADVICE FROM LOCAL EXPERTS:

What one piece of advice would you give a prospective home buyer when it comes to the process of finding the right home?

“Select the right agent to work with and use them as a resource to find the right home instead of calling a different agent every time you see a home that is of interest to you. A professional, well-trained agent who has your best interests at heart will outperform a series of random meetings with multiple agents as you look for the perfect home.” Norman Schlemmer, Managing Partner, ARC Realty River Region

50 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

“Determine your must-haves in your desired home and seek a local Realtor who is very knowledgeable and can provide a plethora of information on the current local market and options. This professional also has a network of industry professionals needed for the entire process.” Dennis Barnes, Broker, Keys Realty


It can be confusing too, which underscores the need for industry professionals with experience and expertise. “Our mortgage loan originators range in experience from 15 to 45 years,” Kermish said. “That means we’ve seen it all.” And many area lenders have taken on an additional duty and made educating consumers a top priority. Regions currently offers financial education courses through HUD Counseling Agencies, Genworth and FDIC Money Smart. “These courses can be conducted online or in person and are a great resource for people who want to buy a home,” Bird said. “Our goal is to completely inform and prepare our clients to be homeowners.” The home-building sector of the real estate industry has been saddled with regulations and rules too, and local developer Jimmy Rutland, President of Lowder New Homes, believes that while some have been positive, others are burdensome. “Government regulation, both federal, state and local, has had a tremendous impact on our industry in the last 20-plus years,” he said. “Some of that impact has been good, like the formation of the Alabama Energy & Residential Codes Board that was formed in 2010 has helped move Alabama to be a leader in building energy efficient homes. However, overburdensome regulations and red tape that builders and developers have to deal with are driving the cost of housing to a point where it is no longer affordable for your average citizen. It is estimated that more than 24 percent of the price for a new home is due to regulations imposed by government, and that needs to change.”

“Buying a home is complicated. Before buying a home seek the advice of a competent Realtor.” Jean Williams, President, Montgomery Metro Realty, Inc


“CONSUMERS WHO ARE DOWNSIZING ARE LOOKING FOR SMALLER LOTS, LESS YARD MAINTENANCE AND HEALTHY OPTIONS TO FIT INTO THEIR LIFESTYLE.”

ADVICE FROM LOCAL EXPERTS:

TRENDS & STYLES As with everything in life, from clothes and hairstyles to

What one piece of advice would you give a prospective home buyer when it comes to the process of finding the right home?

music, the home styles and structures that appeal to different demographics continually change. While much is still a matter of personal preference, there are noticeable

“Ask for referrals for realtors, lenders and inspectors. The best source of knowledge is people you know and trust, and no one will refer someone they had a bad experience with.”

trends. Sherry Weeks, Broker and Owner, ERA Weeks & Browning Realty, pointed to a new group of buyers, Gen Z (born 1995-2001), and noted that they’re the group looking for spaces like lofts in the city center. “This age group will hit the marketplace loaded with debt and

Morgan Bell, Manager,

will prefer a more urban lifestyle,” she said. While Gen

Bell & Corwin

Z looks for lofts, open concepts and smaller lots, many millennials are now starting families and are on the hunt for the more traditional “American dream home.” “Millennials are looking more in the suburbs for family-friendly neighborhoods that meet their ideal quality of life and budget,” Weeks said. And contrary to what some market watchers once predicted, many Baby Boomers seem to be staying put. “We all thought they’d be looking to retire to those warm-climate communities and enjoy their wealth,” Weeks said. “However, most Baby Boomers are continuing to work through retirement age by necessity or choice.”

“Do your homework first. Start with the pre-approval process so you can know if you are able to purchase and what price range you are approved to buy. A Realtor can help connect you with a lender as well. Once you have been pre-approved, start making a list of the ‘must-haves’ and things that you would like to have, but that are not mandatory, in your new home. Choose the right agent who cares about you and your needs and that displays expertise and professionalism. Then, go house shopping and have fun doing it!”

But some are making a move within the River Region in

Cassandra Andrews, Broker and Owner, Chosen Realty

an effort to simplify their golden years. Carter sees this as a major untapped market. “There is a large segment of Baby Boomers getting ready for retirement and looking to downsize,” she said. “This creates an opportunity

smaller lots, less yard maintenance and healthy options

“Call a Realtor with experience, or at the very least, one who is surrounded by leadership with experience.”

to fit into their lifestyle.”

TJ Williford, Broker and Owner,

in the River Region where there are not enough mature living choices. Consumers downsizing are looking for

Partners Realty

No matter what River Region homebuyers are after, according to McElroy, the area has them covered. “As far as the River Region goes, we have everything from estate homes to lofts downtown,” she said. “Our inventory is very broad.”

52 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


Re a l Estate Esta te Leader || Real IIN NDDUSTRY U ST RY Leader

New Waters Realty Founded: New Waters Realty opened its doors in 2010 as

Milestones and Accomplishments: Our

the exclusive new home agency for The Waters community in

Qualifying Broker was named as a 2018 River Region’s Women of

Pike Road. We have since expanded to provide residential and

Achievement. We’ve been ranked as one of the top five agencies

commercial real estate services through the entire River Region.

for volume of sales in Montgomery County in Multiple Listing

With the expansion of services outside of The Waters, we have

Service (MLS) for multiple years. We were named as finalist in

grown our brokerage from three to 13 agents.

the MGM 2018 Impact Maker Awards. And we’ve been voted Best New Home Community & Development in The Montgomery

Employees: 16

Advertiser Readers’ Choice awards for multiple years.

Primary Products and Services: Residential and commercial real estate services

What Sets Us Apart: We don’t just sell real estate, we’re in the business of building our community. Starting out as a small boutique real estate agency, we have grown into one of the premier agencies in the River Region. Through this growth, we have been given the great opportunity to invest in our community and serve through volunteerism.

53 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM

NEW WATERS REALTY An

Partner

2239 Marler Road, Pike Road 334-272-3200 / NewWaterRealty.com


INDUSTRY OVERVIEW: Real Estate & Mortgage

When it comes to getting a mortgage, what one piece of advice would you give? “Buying a house is an important investment, so I advise all my friends and family to get with a mortgage lender that they trust and is very experienced with a wide variety of mortgage options. Before looking at houses, it is important to get pre-qualified for a mortgage so they can know their price range to consider. Many Realtors also require a prequalification letter from a mortgage lender before they will spend time showing houses. Getting pre-qualified is easy.” Allison Bird, Vice President, Regions Bank, and

BEFORE YOU BUY:

Mortgage Sales Manager, Central Alabama

MORTGAGE ADVICE FROM LOCAL PROS

IN THE MARKET: REAL ESTATE ADVICE FROM LOCAL PROS

What one piece of advice would you give a prospective home buyer when it comes to the process of finding the right home?

“Use a local, professional expert!” Kelley Hall, Sales Manager, American Mortgage Service Company

Jennifer M. Atkins,

“HGTV makes it look easy to find the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood at the perfect price—and all within an hour minus time out for commercials. Real-world home buying requires time, effort and, hardest of all, compromise. Stay flexible, and your experience will end up being a great one. And once you’ve found your ideal home and are getting a mortgage, don’t buy anything but toilet paper!  An innocent mistake like ordering some furniture can kill your deal, because your lender will be monitoring your bank balance and credit report periodically throughout the process—right up to and including the day of closing.  Any change might create a huge stumbling block.”

Vice President/Broker,

Sandra Nickel, Founder and CEO,

The Waters / New Waters Realty

The Hat Team

“Do your research online to determine the town and/or neighborhood you are interested in and then connect with a local Realtor to help you find the perfect home. Realtors are experts in the local market and can help you sort through some of the misinformation that is on the Internet from algorithm-driven websites. In addition, Realtors are held to a strict code of ethics and have savvy negotiation skills. Your time is so valuable. Choosing to hire a professional to help you with your home-buying decision will give you extra time. From contract writing to coordinating the closing, a Realtor will become your trusted advisor and often, your friend.”

“I advise never to call the agent who is on the sign in front of the house you like. That agent represents the seller and you need buyer representation.” - SHERRY WEEKS, BROKER AND OWNER, ERA WEEKS & BROWNING REALTY 54 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


Real Estate Estate Leader | | Real I NDUUST STRY RY Leader I ND

Pictured from left to right: Allison Prillaman, Kelli Moore, Steve Kermish, Vicki Williams, Jan Boyd, Helen Ralph, John Mills.

Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation Founded: Fairway Mortgage was founded 25 years ago

hometown understanding of the buyer’s needs. We make it

in Madison, Wisconsin. The Montgomery office opened in 2011

possible to make application on your cell phone or come in for a

when Residential Mortgage Corporation (founded in 1994)

face-to-face meeting to make sure all questions are answered.

blended into Fairway. The Montgomery office has since grown

Milestones and Accomplishments: Fairway

with the joining of Anchor Mortgage Services.

nationally collaborates with American Warrior Initiative and

Employees: 13. Seven loan originators and six support staff.

has raised nearly $3 million to help wounded warriors. The Montgomery office has worked with the Montgomery Area

Primary Products and Services:

Association of Realtors to sponsor several events benefiting

Fairway Mortgage is a residential mortgage lender offering a

our area’s veterans. Locally, our employees are engaged in the

full array of loans to finance primary residences, second homes

community with the Chamber of Commerce, Junior League of

and investment properties. We provide FHA, VA, USDA and

Montgomery and other local non-profits.

conventional financing.

What Sets Us Apart: Fairway offers nationwide lending and retains servicing on many of the loans it originates. Technology has become a game changer in the industry, and Fairway has welcomed this with open arms. It is our mission to wed the speed and efficiency of this technology with a real

6845 Halcyon Park Drive, Montgomery, AL 334-270-9100 / FairwayAlabama.com

55 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


INDUSTRY OVERVIEW: Real Estate & Mortgage

BUILDING BETTER

ADVICE FROM LOCAL EXPERTS:

What one piece of advice would you offer someone when it comes to choosing a home builder for their project?

BEFORE YOU BUILD: BUILDER ADVICE FROM LOCAL PROS

“When choosing a home builder for your project,

“In a word: research. These days it

I would strongly suggest

is so easy to ‘Google’ a name or a

you hire a licensed, insured

company and find out a lot about

builder who is a member in

them. Check the normal places

good standing of their local

like their reviews and their BBB

HBA. Along with that, I would

history, if any. But you could go a

suggest obtaining references

step further and call a couple of the

(both from prior clients as well

local businesses who they would

as trade references) to be sure

likely do business with and ask

they have a good reputation

about them. After your research

and that they have a proven

and when you have narrowed

history of paying their bills on

your possibilities to a few builders,

time. If you do those things,

interview them to see if you “click”

you should be well on your

with one in particular.

way to insuring yourself of a

What one piece of advice would you give a prospective home buyer when it comes to the process of finding the right home? "Use an experienced full-time Realtor—a Certified Residential Specialist—who knows the greater River Region market and

successful project.”

who can educate you on your ideal location based on your lifestyle, as opposed to just trying to sell you a house.” David Kahn, President and Owner/ Broker, David Kahn & Co.

- David Lisenby, Lisenby Construction Inc., - Doug Fuhrman,

2019 President, Home Builders

2019 President,

Association of Alabama

Greater Montgomery Home Builders Association

“More than

24 PERCENT

OF THE PRICE FOR A NEW HOME is due to regulations imposed by government on all levels.” - JIMMY RUTLAND, PRESIDENT, LOWDER NEW HOMES 56 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


57 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


Member of Alabama Association of Realtors Member of National Association of Realtors

• Serving the River Region and surrounding communities since 2001 • Over 30 agents ready to help you find the home of your dreams • Special team of agents trained under the Cartus Network Relocation program helping clients with USAA Real Estate Rewards Network • Navy Federal Realty Plus program • Assists with relocation and corporate moves • Instructor for the Alabama Real Estate Commission C: (334) 558-1064 O: (334) 215-4470 www.eraweeksandbrowning.com | 8221 Old Federal Road | Montgomery, AL 36117

58 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


Real Estate Estate Leader| | Real I NDUUST STRY RYLeader I ND

ERA Weeks & Browning Realty Founded: 2001

Milestones and Accomplishments: We have achieved the 2018, 2017, 2016 Circle of Success Bronze

Employees: 30 licensed agents

Company with ERA and were the 2013 Point of Light recipient

Primary Products and Services: Real estate sales and property management

through the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce. In 2018, Stephanie Schulte received the Leader’s Circle award through ERA, meaning she closed more than $10 million in residential sales in 2018. Stephanie Abrams, Edward Farrior, Jean Forbus,

What Sets Us Apart: We have more than 30 agents who are ready to help you find the home of your dreams. We also have a special team of agents who are trained under the Cartus Network Relocation program

David McLeod, David McLeod II, Lauren Jones and Sherry Weeks all received the ERA Circle of Success award, meaning they closed more than $3 million in residential sales in 2018.

who help those clients who use USAA Real Estate Rewards Program and Navy Federal Realty Plus or who are referred to us by their corporate jobs. We maintain a family environment and love having new people join our family. We manage more than 120 rental homes in the tri-county area. We thoroughly screen each and every tenant to ensure that your rental property will be well taken care of, while managing the financial aspects that come with owning a rental home.

8221 Old Federal Road 334-215-4470 / eraweeksandbrowning.com

59 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


Estate Leader| Real | RealEstate IN DU STRYLeader IND U STRY

Partners Realty Founded: 2008

diverse experience and local knowledge. The associates and staff members of Partners Realty are insightful, properly trained

Employees: 30

real estate professionals and responsible members of the local community. We have positioned ourselves as trusted industry

Primary Products and Services: Partners Realty

leaders through our commitment to surpassing our clients’

is a full-service real estate firm. Our dedicated team provides

expectations and providing them with an honest and enjoyable

real estate solutions for our clients in several different areas

real estate experience.

throughout Alabama. We offer innovative real estate marketing options for all of our residential, land and commercial properties.

Milestones and Accomplishments:

We are invested in the development of local communities through

Recipient of the 2018 MGM Impact Maker Award in the Mid-Size

the management of 11 homeowners associations and property

Business category.

management for more than 1,000 units.

What Sets Us Apart: We sincerely believe that our clients’ best interests and real estate goals are our most important priority and responsibility. As industry innovators, we utilize the newest technology and digital resources to produce impressive final results. Our clients benefit from our creative and modern culture as well as our

12 W Jefferson Street, Suite 200, Montgomery, AL 334-277-1077 / PartnersRealty.info

60 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


I ND Real Estate Estate Leader| | Real I NDUUST STRY RYLeader

From Left to Right: Butch Driver, Reba Curtis, Bill Cox, Matthew Stringfellow.

Trustmark National Bank Founded: 1889

What Sets Us Apart: At Trustmark, we believe in building strong customer relationships, and we work hard to

Employees: 52

know and understand our customers and their financial needs.

Primary Products and Services: Our personal deposit and loan accounts fit any lifestyle, preference and budget. Deposit accounts include simple, no-frills checking to interest-bearing options and relationship accounts complete with special benefits. Our loan products include installment loans, lines of credit, credit cards and a number of home-financing options.

We are a community-focused, values-guided organization making a difference in the lives of our customers and communities.

Milestones and Accomplishments: Trustmark National Bank received the highest score in the South Central Region in the J.D. Power 2016 and 2018 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Studies.

Our commercial banking services help meet the needs of commercial customers of all sizes and complement a variety of business functions. Along with deposit and loan products and services, we offer comprehensive business solutions, including Merchant Services, lockbox service, Bank-at-Work, Remote Deposit Express and Fraud Protection Services. Trustmark also provides wealth management services, as well as commercial and personal risk management services.*

401 Adams Avenue, Montgomery, AL 334-223-1500 / trustmark.com *Tailored Wealth and Risk Services products are: Not FDIC Insured | Not Bank Guaranteed | Subject to Loss in Value Not Bank Deposits | Not Insured by any Federal Government Agency

61 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


62 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


M EM BER Spotlight

HOME BUILDERS ASSOCIATION OF ALABAMA With nearly 8,000 members in 26 local associations across the state, The Home Builders Association of Alabama is a strong unified voice for the industry. Current HBAA President David Lisenby of Lisenby Construction, Inc. explained the group’s goals and how its benefits extend far beyond its membership.

  WHAT IS THE MISSION OF THE HBAA? The HBAA serves as an advocate for Alabama’s housing industry and as a corporate channel through which home builders contribute time, money and services to local community service projects and education initiatives. HBAA members include builders, remodelers, developers, suppliers, manufacturers, architects, engineers, real estate brokers, lenders, attorneys and other industry professionals. Right now, we’re focusing on workforce development. The homebuilding industry has experienced a trade labor shortage for quite a while, and it’s vital that we recruit young people into our industry. The Alabama Home Builders Foundation, the HBAA’s charitable arm, is devoted to promoting careers in the building industry and providing opportunities for young people to get the skills education they need to succeed. HOW DOES THE ASSOCIATION ACCOMPLISH ITS MISSION? The HBAA’s Governmental and Regulatory Affairs program is designed to give Alabama’s home building industry a voice on the local, state and national stages. The HBAA accomplishes this through supporting legislation and regulatory rules that strengthen the industry and have a positive impact on the state’s economy while keeping housing in Alabama safe and affordable for all. HOW DOES THE HBAA BENEFIT ITS MEMBERS? As a longtime builder and remodeler member, one of the greatest benefits I’ve received is the networking and information shared between my colleagues from across the state.   HOW DOES HBAA BENEFIT THE GENERAL PUBLIC? Your home is likely the largest investment you’ll make, and you need to entrust it to licensed professionals like HBAA members who can help build, remodel, repair and service it so that you enjoy it for many years. The HBAA frequently conducts consumer awareness campaigns to help consumers prevent being taken advantage of.   ANY RECENT AWARDS OR HONORS? The HBAA is not only large in size (the fourth largest state Home Builders Association), but is also known as one of the most highly respected state associations in the nation.

7515 HALCYON SUMMIT DRIVE, SUITE 200 / 334-834-3006 / HBAA.ORG 63 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


IN RealEstate Estate Leader| | Real INDU DUSTRY STRYLeader

Back Row Left to Right: Linda Browder, Anna Kate Bowen, Sally Byrd, Rita Pickette Front Row Left to Right: Nam Kim, Ann Michaud, Lee Goodwyn (Not Pictured: Doris Wolfe, Sue Dismukes)

AEGIS-Michaud Properties, Inc. Founded: in 1995

Milestones and Accomplishments: All AEGIS agents are $1 million producers. Two are ranked in the top 3 for

Employees: The AEGIS team consists of 12 dedicated

existing home sales in Montgomery. As Zillow Premier Agents,

agents and staff.

Trulia 5-Star-Agents, a Montgomery Reader’s Choice 10-plus-year award winner and a Nextdoor.com “Neighborhood Favorite,”

Primary Products and Services: Specializing

AEGIS agents are highly respected and prominent fixtures in the

in residential sales including high-end luxury homes, the AEGIS

River Region. The combination of their professional education,

team ensures that clients view the best homes available to meet

real estate expertise and community involvement is tantamount to

their needs, helps them maneuver through the negotiations and

AEGIS’ success in real estate.

guides them through the closing process. Their outstanding marketing program with an extensive online presence provides the highest top-of-mind visibility for their listings.

What Sets Us Apart From the Competition: The outstanding performance of AEGIS-Michaud Properties is a direct result of the company philosophy: Excellence, Pure and Simple. Expect It!

AEGIS-Michaud Properties, Inc. 8116 Old Federal Road, Montgomery, AL 334-271-2230 / AnnMichaud.com

64 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


Real Estate Estate Leader || Real I IND NDUUST STRY RY Leader

Pictured left to right: Rachael Gallagher, Katharine Harris, Sammy Bell, Morgan Bell, Sara Elizabeth Burnham, Molly Drumwright (Not pictured: Linda Hughes, Marilyn Gillespie and John Matthews)

Bell & Corwin Inc Realtors Founded: 1981

well versed in negotiating and helping both buyers and sellers navigate the real estate process. We have been at the forefront

Employees: 9

of marketing the finest developments in Montgomery, including Vaughn Meadows, Rosemary and Lockwood. Bell & Corwin

Primary Products and Services:

Realtors are appreciated by those who value excellence.

Real estate sales

What Sets Us Apart: Through our decades of real estate work in this market, we have earned a reputation for being completely honest and reputable. We also have a vast knowledge of real estate condition, pricing and value, and we consistently sell our listings quickly and at a high per-foot price.

Milestones and Accomplishments: We have been in business for almost 40 years. Thanks to this longevity, our firm and its agents know a lot about the market and are

65 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM

1713 Graham Street, Montgomery, AL 334-279-0220 / bellandcorwin.com


Leader INID Estate Leader| Real | RealEstate NUSTRY DU STRY

Montgomery Metro Realty, Inc. Founded: Montgomery Metro was established in 1981 by 17

service to our clients and customers that is second to none. As

top-producing agents who were committed to providing the best

the tri-county area has changed, we have changed with it by

service in the River Region.

embracing the latest trends and technologies.

Employees: Montgomery Metro Realty also owns Our Town

Milestones and Accomplishments: Our name is

Realty and has two locations. The main office is centrally located

synonymous with real estate in the River Region. Our biggest

at 4180 Carmichael Road. Our Town Realty is located at 1779

accomplishment is the people we have nurtured and trained over

Taliaferro Trail near Eastchase. Together, the two branches have 53

the last four decades. Many of our competitors are owned and

sales people and five staff members.

operated by people who either began their career or worked at Montgomery Metro Realty, Inc.

Primary Products and Services: We offer a full range of real estate services, including residential and commercial sales, property management, and real estate classes through Capital Real Estate School, which offers pre-license, post-licensing, and CE classes. The CE classes are free to all of our associates.

What Sets Us Apart: In a word – experience! We are one of the oldest firms in Montgomery. We have remained in business through several recessions and many challenges by providing

4180 Carmichael Road, Montgomery, AL 334-277-9100 / montgomerymetro.com

66 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


I ND U ST RY Leader | Real Estate I ND U ST RY Leader | Real Estate

Top Row (left to right) PHELPS REID, BETH LUBIN, ED WEBB. Front Row (left to right) BILL DAVIS, ANNA DEES, JANE TAYLOR ALBRIGHT, MISSY MATHIS, STACI ROGERS, SUSAN COWART.

Davis & Copeland Realtors Founded: 1987

presence and help our customers and clients. As a relatively small group, we take pride in our dedication to working together to help

Employees: We employ an office manager, and our agency

each other take care of all of our customers and clients, while

has eight sales agents, all working as independent contractors,

continuing to develop our expertise in an ever-changing industry,

per broker/owner, Bill Davis.

both as a company and as individual agents.

Primary Products and Services:

Milestones and Accomplishments: Broker/owner

Our agents are all licensed through the Alabama Real Estate

Bill Davis is Member Emeritus of National Association of Realtors

Commission to act as agents for the buying and selling of any

with 40 years or more in the business. The company has been a

type of real property in Alabama. Most of our agents specialize in

member of Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce for 31 years.

residential sales, but we sell a range of property types, including

Davis & Copeland is consistently at or near the top in sales volume

commercial, rural and land.

annually for boutique real estate firms in the tri-county area.

What Sets Us Apart: All of our agents are well trained, with a vast range of experience in the business. We have one agent with 41 years experience, one with 39 years, most with 10 years or more, and our newest agent is also our social media specialist with extensive experience in utilizing the various social media outlets to enhance our online

2815-A Zelda Road, Montgomery, AL 334-244-0550 / davisandcopeland.com

67 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


68 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


A recurring question we hear from clients as they approach retirement pertains to their personal residence. To borrow (somewhat) from Shakespeare, what we typically hear is, “To sell, or not to sell, THAT is the question!” It’s a great question that’s often not easy to answer. It is, however, a very significant decision. Consider this: As most people approach retirement, one of their primary assets is their home. According to 2014 U.S. census data, home equity comprised 66 percent of net worth for people between the ages of 65 and 69. With increasing life expectancy, access to this portion of wealth could play a major factor in many people’s quality of life.

H OW C A N YO U ACC E S S T H E E Q U I T Y I N YO U R H O M E ? HERE ARE A COUPLE OF WAYS:

REVERSE MORTGAGE: A reverse mortgage allows qualified homeowners the ability to take out a loan, either in a lump sum or as a line of credit, against the value of their home (assuming their home equity is high enough). The difference between a reverse mortgage and a traditional mortgage (or home equity line of credit) is that repayment of the reverse mortgage loan typically is not due until the homeowner sells the property or passes away. While a reverse mortgage can be expensive, complicated and require financial counseling before executing, it can work well in specific situations. We always recommend that clients consult their financial advisor before going down this path. Determining what to do with a family home is an important decision that will need to be addressed, and the solutions will be different for each person. So don’t be afraid to tackle the question, and most importantly, don’t be afraid to get help from your financial advisor.

SELLING: After paying taxes that may be due, the proceeds from the sale should pro-

MEET THE EXPERT

vide a cash payout you can invest to provide additional income during retirement. While this approach sounds simple, it often is not. There are many factors to consider when deciding to sell your home, including a few considerations mentioned below:

• Is there a suitable replacement home that meets your needs?

• Are there emotional reasons or family considerations that could create tension if the house is sold?

• Is renting a viable option, and are rental rates affordable?

Barry Prim is a Senior Client Consultant for Warren Averett Asset Management. 334-260-2340 / Barry.Prim@waasset.com

BARRY PRIM, MBA, SENIOR CLIENT CONSULTANT, WARREN AVERETT ASSET MANAGEMENT

69 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM

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

S H O U L D YO U C O N S I D E R YO U R H O M E E Q U I T Y A S YO U APPROACH RETIREMENT?


Small Business Briefcase +

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

OUTSOURCING RESOURCES Outsourcing can save your small business big bucks and give you a competitive edge. Does your small business have a creative team, social media expert and multiple skilled assistants? No? Well, no problem. All of these duties and more can be outsourced. We asked the owners of three Chamber-member small businesses to share some their favorite outsourcing resources.

EXPERT PICKS FOR OUTSOURCING:

Terry Barber:

Ashley Jernigan:

Pam Mashburn:

Owner of Little Engine Broadcasting

Owner of JBD Hospitality, helping

Owner of exploreMedia and

with three local radio stations

clients with their marketing efforts

publisher of several magazines

JAMMRESOURCES.COM offers a virtual assistant and social media management for the

FIVERR.COM

TEXTBROKER.COM

entrepreneur who needs help but

Producing content is one of the

not overhead. The Jamm team

hardest things for a small business.

Part of our success has come from

allows for consistency in social

being able to outsource many

Creating blog posts, press

media messaging, allowing me to

releases and even website content

things that would require addi-

focus on other areas while

tional full-time staff or expensive

is time-consuming (and not always

keeping me on deadline.

investments in ever-changing

ROI measurable). However, the more

content we have, the more traffic and

technology. We use fiverr.com to do things like create logos, lay

QUICKBOOKS SE

out sales pieces, convert files

This app monitors every

and produce promotional videos.

transaction you make, including

Originally, we were attracted to

deposits, and you can categorize

the site because of the cheap

between personal and business

$5 starting price. But now, we’ve

expenses. Also, it tracks your

dug deeper and found quality

mileage and records receipts by

entrepreneurs that we don’t need

email or scanning. And it tracks

to invest in regularly, but when we

your expenses and profits and

do, we can get quality work in a

tells you how much you should be

timely fashion.

paying in taxes.

COST: $5 starting price

COST: $11.99 / month

70 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

higher SEO we reach. Most small businesses can’t afford a copywriter on staff, and freelancers are hard to find. This online copywriter site (and there are others like it) lets you pay as little as $.15/word. A caveat: You need to cultivate relationships with the site’s writers to find the one who works best for your business. It costs a little more to request specific writers, but costs less than sitting down to write it yourself.

COST: Starting at $.15 per word


M EM BER Spotlight

ALABAMA ORTHOPAEDIC SPECIALISTS For almost 40 years, Alabama Orthopaedic Specialists has been providing the River Region with precise, professional and compassionate orthopaedic care.

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 47  

DOCTORS: Steven A. Barrington, MD, Total Joint Surgery; Michael E. Davis MD, Spine Surgery; Charles W. Hartzog Jr. MD, Sports Medicine; Donald D. Thornbury MD; Foot and Ankle Surgery; Hussein W. Turki MD, Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery; George D. Walcott Jr. MD, Sports Medicine.

WHAT ARE AOS’ PRIMARY SERVICES? Diagnostic and corrective surgical services for orthopaedic problems. We offer a full range of operative and non-operative treatments for sports medicine, orthopaedic spine issues, hand and upper extremity (including shoulder) issues, foot and ankle issues, total joint replacement, arthritis, injuries and all musculoskeletal problems. We also have on-site wholebody MRI and physical therapy services. WHAT IS AOS’ PATIENT-CARE PHILOSOPHY? Our mission is to provide a full range of orthopaedic specialty care to our patients and to remain at the forefront of orthopaedic advancements and techniques. We strive to provide each patient with precise, cost-effective and respectful care with the ultimate goal of improving our patients’ quality of life. We always strive to treat our patients, their families, our community and each other with respect, compassion and discretion.   HOW HAVE CHANGES IN TECHNOLOGY AFFECTED THE WAY AOS APPROACHES PATIENT CARE? AOS was an early adopter of the EHR (Electronic Health Record) and has been using it for 10 years. This has allowed for a more complete and accessible patient record. AOS also uses digital X-ray images, making them instantly available to the doctor and allowing for quick retrieval of previous images for comparison. WHAT SETS AOS APART? We are a sub-specialized orthopaedic practice where each physician has completed a fellowship (extra training following residency) in a specialized area of the musculoskeletal system. We are a one-stop orthopaedic campus for most orthopaedic problems. There is little reason to travel to Birmingham for orthopaedic care when we have this caliber of expertise here. And we’ve simplified the process. At our Montgomery location, we have an orthopaedic campus with two clinic buildings, AOS Physical Therapy Center and an MRI facility, so there is no need to bounce between multiple offices for the care you need. AOS also sees patients by appointment in Prattville and Wetumpka. 4294 LOMAC STREET / 334-274-9000 / AOSONLINE.NET 71 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


CHAMBER NEWS Member FAQs D ISCOV ER W H AT YO U R C H AMBER CAN DO FOR YOU AN D YOUR BUS IN ESS .

Q: Why should residents consider

bringing their meetings to Montgomery?

A: When meeting planners seek a destination for their meetings,

GET READY!

THE CHAMBER CVB’S APPROACH: Our sales team has a multi-prong approach to selling Montgomery as a meeting destination:

it’s critical that they work with a team of knowledgeable destination experts and hospitality professionals who can ensure that the event will be a memorable

TRADE SHOWS: Each sales manager attends

experience for their delegates. Our team of experts at the Montgomery Chamber’s

approximately four trade shows throughout the

Convention and Visitor Bureau (CVB) is educated and experienced, and they each have a passion for what they do. They work very closely with our hotel and hospitality partners to ensure a smooth and seamless process during the meeting planning phase.

year to meet with meeting and event planners who are seeking a destination for their meeting or sporting event. After meetings and relationship building, we review their Request for Proposals (RFPs) that outline their meeting requirements. This helps us determine if

Bring it Home!

HOW WE DO IT: Meetings and events make up a crucial piece of the city’s tourism pie. MBJ asked Ron Simmons, Vice President Sales for the Chamber’s Convention and Visitor Bureau, to outline how he and his team can help planners pull off a great

If you’re interested in bringing a meeting, reunion, tour group or sporting event to Montgomery, contact the Chamber’s Convention and Visitor Bureau at 334-261-1100. Ron Simmons and his team will be happy to assist you.

event.

we should invite the planner to the city for an official site visit.

SITE VISITS: A site visit is when we do our best work! We are able to spend time one-on-one with the planner as we showcase our city, hotels, meeting space, restaurants and entertainment options. We are able to determine if this would be a good fit for the city and the group. The goal is to have a win-win for everyone

The city has changed so much in such a short period of time. We have so much to offer, and that’s what the delegates and planners love about our city. It’s important that our team understands what groups want and need during and after their meeting or event. Our job is to identify their needs and match them up with the right solutions. Each sales manager is assigned specific

Social, Military, Educational and Fraternal

involved.

FAM TOURS: Familiarization Tours are very simState Associations, Government and Military Regional and National Associations, Corporate and Education Leisure and Tourism: reunions, weddings, motorcoach and international travel groups

market segments, and they are “Subject

ilar to site visits, except we are hosting several meeting planners from different organizations in different markets. There is always a temptation to show all Montgomery has to offer in such a short time (usually two days), but we can’t overwhelm the planners on a FAM. The Montgomery CVB sales team is known for hosting excellent FAMs and generating great results!

Matter Experts” in these areas. The

Sports: youth, college and

RESEARCH & PROSPECTING: The CVB sales

markets are:

adult sporting events

team attends educational sessions throughout the year at the trade shows we attend in order to learn more about the changing industry and

YOUR CONTACT:

its needs. We conduct hours of research on the internet and meet with local organizations to

Ron Simmons, Vice President, Sales

learn more about the conferences, conventions,

Chamber Convention and Visitor Bureau

meetings and sporting events they attend.

334-230-8356

Many of the local groups and organizers are

rsimmons@montgomerychamber.com

proud of Montgomery and want to showcase their city.

72 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


M EM BER Spotlight

WSFA From its first telecast on Christmas Day in 1954 all the way to today, WSFA-TV has been serving our area as a trusted source of hyper-local news, weather and sports information for nearly 65 years. WSFA 12 News is the market leader in central and south Alabama on TV and on all its digital platforms.

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 108 HISTORY: WSFA-TV signed on the air on December 25, 1954. Before it was a television station, the call letters W-S-F-A were familiar in Montgomery. Gordon Persons (who went on to become an Alabama governor) opened Alabama’s fourth radio station in 1930, locating it at what was then the city’s airport. He publicized the station with the slogan, “With the South’s Finest Airport,” hence, WSFA. WSFA leads the way when it comes to innovation and technology. In August 2006, WSFA was the first television station in Alabama to upgrade to digital, non-linear video news gathering equipment, and it was the first television station in Montgomery to begin broadcasting in high-definition in 2008. We were also first in the market with local news and weather apps in 2011 and added a state-ofthe-art mobile weather lab in 2014 – Storm Tracker – to cover severe weather. In 2015, the station added the ability for viewers to watch us on Roku and Amazon Fire. In January 2019, Gray Television acquired Raycom Media making Gray the third-largest television owner in the United States.     WHAT SERVICES DOES WSFA PROVIDE? Local news, weather and sports coverage; NBC news, entertainment and sports programming; and syndicated programs. WSFA 12 News works hard to bring area events live from all over our 15-county designated market area.   WHAT SETS WSFA’S NEWS AND WEATHER TEAM APART? Our people. For more than 64 years, WSFA 12 News has employed the right people at the right time to do the job right – with trusted, fair, accurate and balanced coverage.   HOW HAVE CHANGES IN TECHNOLOGY AFFECTED WSFA? Our WSFA 12 News and weather apps bring news directly to the palm of your hand wherever you are. Our First Alert weather app gives viewers instant access to severe weather. One of our biggest advances is the Baron Radar system, the most advanced precision storm tracking technology available.

12 E DELANO AVENUE, MONTGOMERY, AL 36105 / 334-288-1212 / WSFA.COM 73 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


74 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


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

G R O U P H E A LT H P L A N S : YO U R Q U E S T I O N S A N S W E R E D

We constantly hear from employers that their

with the group’s primary health insurance

health insurance premiums are skyrocketing

plan. The strategy consists of substantially

year after year.

raising the deductible on the primary health insurance plan (typically to $5,000), which

W H AT I S T H E R O OT C AU S E O F C O N T I N UA L LY R I S I N G R AT E S ?

creates significant premium savings. Next,

There are numerous reasons why healthcare

purchase the secondary plan. We design the

costs continue to be on the rise. For one, the

secondary plan to cover much, if not all, of the

cost of “delivering” care has continued to

primary plan’s new, higher deductible. Since

increase, most notably in the pharmaceutical

rates are based on claim utilization, shifting

space. More importantly, however, is that

the claims away from the primary insurance

Americans, by and large, are still poor “con-

carrier is vital. The net result is a “Cadillac”

sumers” of their health care.

type plan at a “Yugo” type price.

W H AT C A N E M P LOY E R S D O TO C H A N G E T H I S “ P O O R C O N S U M E R ” C U LT U R E W I T H I N T H E I R WO R K F O R C E ?

S O, C A N E M P LOY E R S A F F O R D TO “KEEP THIS UP?”

One of the most important things employers

in the right direction by helping them with

can do is EDUCATE their employees. We are

their health plan design, and then educating

big proponents of not only educating them

their employees on how to best utilize their

on how their health benefits are designed but

health benefits. We are ready, willing and able

also on how to best utilize those benefits.

to do just that.

W H AT T Y P E O F H E A LT H P L A N S T R AT E G I E S D O E M P LOY E R S H AV E AT T H E I R D I S P O S A L TO D E C R E AS E A N D C O N T R O L H E A LT H I N S U R A N C E P R E M I U M S ?

we take a portion of the savings and use it to

Yes, they absolutely can. The key is partnering with an advisor, like myself, that can lead them

MEET THE EXPERT

For years, employers and employees alike as a “Cadillac” type of health insurance plan. However, year after year, these plans have continued to become less affordable, forcing employers to make difficult decisions like whether to shoulder the burden of the increase in premium themselves, pass the increase on to the employees or slash the benefits in order to maintain the same premium cost. Enter secondary insurance. Secondary

Bobby Trott is a Health & Employee Benefits Risk Advisor at Harmon Dennis Bradshaw. 334.517.1859 / btrott@hdbinsurance.com

insurance has been our strategy of choice for our fully insured clients for many years now.

B O B BY T R OT T, H E A LT H & E M P LOY E E B E N E F I T S R I S K A DV I S O R ,

Secondary insurance works in conjunction

H A R M O N D E N N I S B R A D S H AW

75 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM

Q&A WITH AN EXPERT

have been accustomed to what I refer to


You’re unique. Just like our wealth solutions. Regions offers customized, world-class wealth planning right in your neighborhood.

When it comes to ensuring your financial security, you want solutions that are as unique as you. Which is exactly what your local Regions Wealth Advisor can provide. Backed by a team of specialists, your advisor will work with you to create a comprehensive plan to meet your specific goals.* Ready to take your next step? Contact your local Regions Wealth Advisor for a personal consultation.

Robert W. Birmingham Regions Private Wealth Management 201 Monroe St. Montgomery, AL 36104 334.230.6100

*Investment, Insurance and Annuity Products: Are Not FDIC Insured | Are Not a Deposit | May Go Down in Value JOURNAL 76 MONTGOMERY Are NotBUSINESS Bank Guaranteed | Are Not Insured by Any Government Agency Are Not a Condition of Any Banking Activity

Š 2018 Regions Bank. Only deposit products are FDIC insured. I Regions and the Regions logo are registered trademarks of Regions Bank. The LifeGreen color is a trademark of Regions Bank.


TRANSITIONING TO RETIREMENT

PLAN EARLY AND OFTEN While it’s never too early to start thinking

MAKE YOUR WITHDRAWALS TAX-EFFICIENT

about retirement, the most important planning

Ideally you will have savings in several types

for your transition into retirement should start

of accounts by the time you retire, such as

at least five to 10 years in advance. Early

IRAs and 401(k)s, Roth IRAs and taxable

planning gives you time to catch up—or adjust

accounts. When you start pulling money to

your retirement date—if your savings and

live on, you want to keep an eye on which

investment strategy is inadequate. It also al-

account the money is coming from to manage

lows you to start investing in different types of

your income tax rate. After all, it’s not how

accounts—taxable, tax-free and tax-deferred—

much you have, it’s how much you keep—after

that will give you more flexibility in retirement.

paying Uncle Sam—that matters. In years that you are going to spend more, you might want

Planning is also a chance to consider full

to dip into Roth IRAs, which provide tax-free

details of your retirement picture. When and

withdrawals. In years that you spend less, you

where will you retire? Will your home be

can take more out of accounts that are taxed

paid off, or will you have a mortgage or rent?

more heavily, since you’re still likely to be in a

Diving into these details will help create a

lower tax bracket.

long-term spending and investment plan. After you create your plan, you should revisit it at least once a year.

BE SMART BUT FLEXIBLE Life has a way of throwing curve balls. If something big happens—you get divorced or

CONSIDER A STRESS TEST

are diagnosed with a serious illness—seek out

Do this by first determining the gap between

your advisors right away. Being proactive is

your reliable, paycheck-like sources of retire-

the key to managing life changes.

ment income, such as pensions and Social Security, and the amount you plan to spend. Most people should expect to spend about as

MEET THE EXPERT

much as they do now. That gap is where your investment portfolio comes in. Evaluate that portfolio and see how much of a hit it could sustain from a prolonged bear market while still providing you with the monthly income you’ll need. See how that same portfolio would serve you in a conservative low-risk, low-return scenario, factoring in inflation. Consider “longevity risk,” or what would happen to your plan if you live far lon-

Anne Ferrell Dalton is a Wealth Advisor

ger than you expect. These tests should help

at Regions Private Wealth Management.

ensure you’re taking a reasonable amount of

334-240-1345 / anne.dalton@regions.com

risk to keep your portfolio growing enough to fund your goals.

77 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM

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

While the commentary accurately reflects the opinions of the author, it does not necessarily reflect those of Regions Bank. This presentation is solely for information and educational purposes and nothing contained in this presentation constitutes an offer or solicitation to purchase any security, the recommendation of any particular security or strategy or a complete analysis of any security, company or industry or constitutes tax, accounting or legal advice. Commentary and opinions provided in this presentation reflect the judgment of the author as of the date of this presentation and are subject to change without notice.

BY A N N E F E R R E L L D A LTO N , R E G I O N S P R I VAT E W E A LT H M A N AG E M E N T


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

78 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


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

THE LATEST BUZZ: LOOK WHO’S TALKIN’

LONGSTANDING CHAMBER PRESIDENT HONORED AT RETIREMENT PARTY

MAKING HEADLINES: Montgomery continues to garner praise and recognition from major media outlets around the world. A few of the most recent and notable articles and coverage include:

NEWSWEEK: Journey Through American History

The Chamber hosted a community-wide retirement party for its

in Montgomery, Alabama

out-going President, Randall (Randy) L. George, on April 1 at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa downtown. Several hundred people were in attendance, and during the celebration, George received several proclamations and honors for his years of service.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: Take a Green Book-inspired road trip through Alabama’s civil rights history

“Working with this Chamber for 46 years has been an honor and a privilege,” said George. “I have been truly blessed to have worked with incredible business and elected leadership and the most talented and dedicated team of professionals any organization could

FORBES: Montgomery: Alabama’s Capital Is On The Move

hope for.”

BOSTON GLOBE: Sudbury woman is at center of restoration

DESTINATION MGM HOSTED A MEETING PLANNER FAM TOUR

and reconciliation in Montgomery, Ala.

WALL STREET JOURNAL:

The Chamber’s CVB Sales Team hosted a two-day familiarization tour in late March in conjunction

In the South, New Monuments Look to Honor

with the Connect Diversity Con-

Victims of Lynching

ference, held in Birmingham. Ten planners from across the United

SMART CITIES COUNCIL OF NORTH AMERICA:

States toured downtown hotels

MGM Makes Smart Readiness Challenge Top Ten

and visited several local attractions including the Equal Justice

WASTE TODAY MAGAZINE:

Initiative’s Legacy Museum and

Getting Smart. The city of Montgomery, Alabama,

National Memorial for Peace and

overhauled its waste collection efforts through

Justice. Many of the planners

investment in new technology.

represent multiple organizations, and as a result of the conference and the tour, the CVB sales staff is working to bring several meetings to Montgomery. 79 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


CHAMBER NEWS

Connect +

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

THE LATEST BUZZ: THE CHAMBER JOINED REST OF THE “BIG 5 CHAMBERS,” THE CCAA AND THE BCA IN SUPPORT OF THE REBUILD ALABAMA ACT The “Big 5 Chambers” of Alabama and the

“Transportation infrastructure is vital to

Chamber of Commerce Association of Ala-

the economic vitality of our region and the

bama (CCAA) united with the Business Council

State.  We applaud the efforts of Governor Ivey,

of Alabama (BCA) to show support for Gov-

Speaker McCutcheon, Senate Pro-Tem. Marsh

ernor Kay Ivey’s Rebuild Alabama Act. The

and members of the Alabama House and

Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA), Chamber

Senate for crafting the Rebuild Alabama

of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County, Mo-

Act,” said Chip Cherry, President and CEO of

bile Area Chamber of Commerce, Montgomery

the Huntsville-Madison County Chamber of

Area Chamber of Commerce and The Chamber

Commerce.  “The increase in funding for trans-

of Commerce of West Alabama

portation infrastructure projects

supported the legislation to

will make the roads safer for our

strengthen Alabama’s infrastruc-

“GOVERNOR IVEY

citizens, support economic de-

KNOWS THAT

velopment, and provide one of

ture.    “Rebuild Alabama is critical in

INFRASTRUCTURE IS KEY TO

order for local communities and

to mention providing a better

needed for future growth and development.”

CREATING JOBS,

our state to be competitors in economic development, not

the key foundational elements

AND WE APPLAUD

quality of life and safety for our citizens,” said Willie Durham,

HER FOR HER LEADERSHIP.”

Chairman of the Montgomery

“The road to our future must be of Alabama President and CEO

A BITE FROM ANNUAL EGGS & ISSUES

Katie Boyd Britt. “Alabama’s

The Chamber hosted the longest

transportation system is crucial

running state senator, Richard

paved,” said Business Council

Area Chamber of Commerce. “Governor Ivey

to our economic growth, and BCA was proud to

Shelby, at the annual Eggs & Issues

knows that infrastructure is key to creating jobs,

stand united with these chambers and so many

event on March 11. The sold-out

and we applaud her for her leadership.”

others to support Governor Ivey and the legisla-

event had a standing-room-only

Greg Curran, Chairman of the Firm, May-

ture to Rebuild Alabama.”

crowd that listened as new President

nard, Cooper & Gale, P.C. and Vice Chairman of

of the Business Council of Alabama

the BBA’s public policy committee echoed

“Chambers of Commerce are the pillars of our

and former Shelby Chief of Staff Ka-

Durham. “The BBA supported the Rebuild Ala-

communities, and we are strongest when we

tie Boyd Britt introduced the senator

bama Act and its intended purpose of increas-

stand together,” said Jeremy Arthur, president

and then as Shelby spoke about the

ing Alabama’s public investment in transporta-

and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Asso-

F-35 program being on track, which

tion infrastructure, promoting economic growth

ciation of Alabama. “We can no longer sit idling

is partly thanks to his efforts. He

and increasing public safety on Alabama’s

while every other state around us improves their

also touched on the funding of the

roads,” he said.

infrastructure and lands the jobs and industries

Air Traffic Control Tower at Max-

that otherwise would come to Alabama.”

well-Gunter Air Force Base, recog-

Increasing Alabama’s public investment in

nized Maxwell and Hyundai as being

infrastructure is a top priority critical to the

The BCA, the five largest chambers of com-

major drivers of the Montgomery

economic development community. The Rebuild

merce throughout the state and CCAA all agree

economy, and spoke at length about

Alabama legislation will help fund projects

that increasing Alabama’s investment in trans-

the Air Force and his role in funding

across the state, ultimately spurring job growth

portation infrastructure to sustain and promote

the many missions and initiatives

and ensuring that Alabama is able to success-

economic growth, job creation, quality of life

that are Air Force-focused. Overall,

fully compete for new business. The Governor’s

and public safety is a necessity.

he showed his keen awareness of

plan will provide a long-term solution to improve

Montgomery’s major areas of focus

transportation infrastructure in Alabama. 

and an eagerness to stay engaged. 80 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


CL Tru

DE Sm

Small business. Big impact. We’re not just invested in your financial matters, we’re fully invested in you and your business. That’s why Trustmark tailors every plan around your goals by offering a broad mix of products and services– everything from small business loans and cash management services to payroll planning and more. Learn how we can help you leave your mark at trustmark.com today.

MEMBER FDIC

81 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM

PU Mo Jo

TR 7.5

CO 4C


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

TECHMGM NEWS & UPDATES: TECHMGM HOSTS CAMPIT, ANNOUNCES NATIONAL BEST ROBOTICS COMPETITION

IT’S BRILLIANT The Montgomery Smart Community Alliance, a public-private partnership focused on advancing smart city initiatives in the City of Montgomery, has been formed and launched. The alliance held its kickoff meeting in mid-February and is coordinating a smart community strategic plan to identify community priorities and solutions that address them, with several initiatives already underway. While this effort will start with the Living Lab on Commerce Street, it is an effort that is designed to grow and

TechMGM, the Chamber’s initiative to connect and

Science and Technology, is a national program in

include numerous projects,

leverage Montgomery’s unique technology assets,

its 26th year and aims to initiate robotics programs

an expanded footprint and

provided hands-on Science, Technology, Engineer-

at no cost in middle and high schools. The Mont-

additional partners.

ing, Mathematics (STEM) experiences to 200 stu-

gomery BEST Robotics Competition will host up to

dents at the annual CampIT held on March 1, 2019, at

24 schools from the River Region and the central

Alabama State University. Sessions on cloud com-

Alabama area. BEST is successful because of its em-

puting, cybersecurity, website design, robotics and

phasis on student and team involvement and be-

INFORMATION EXCHANGE MADE EASIER

more were given by industry leaders for students to

cause it encourages creative thinking, problem solv-

TechMGM formed the Uni-

learn, participate and engage in STEM and Informa-

ing and goal-directed learning. Students got a sneak

versity Technical Steering

tion Technology activities.

peek into the competition at CampIT, as they were

Group, and Faulkner Univer-

able to interact with a robot used in the 2018 BEST

sity is the latest organization

Robotics Competition.

to join, which includes Ala-

This year’s event also featured an announcement by Alabama State University, the hosting education-

bama State University, Au-

al institution of the upcoming Montgomery BEST

“Seeing robots that were made for the BEST com-

burn University Montgomery,

Robotics Competition to be held October 18-19,

petition at CampIT was exciting and made me want

Trenholm State Community

2019. “Montgomery has a growing tech communi-

to participate in this year’s competition,” said Will

College and Troy University

ty, and we believe we can get students interested

Owen, eighth grade student at Trinity Presbyterian

Montgomery. The group

and prepared for these job opportunities at an

School.

will implement programs to

early age through programs like CampIT and the

prepare area students for a

BEST Robotics Competition,” said Charisse Stokes,

This fall, teams participating in Montgomery’s BEST

higher-wage, skilled-work

Executive Director of TechMGM. “We have received

Robotics Competitions will build robots that task

environment that is growing

great feedback on the camp and BEST Competition

students with the same design challenges, time and

in Montgomery. The group

and believe these fun events will excite students

material constraints and competitive pressure that

will bring together local and

about a future in the tech industry.”

real-world engineers face. This year’s game, Off the

regional community col-

Grid, is designed by BEST Robotics in partnership

leges, universities and top IT

with Texas Instruments.

employers.

BEST, which stands for Boosting Engineering,

82 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


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

THE LATEST BUZZ: MGM HOSTS MONTGOMERY IT SUMMIT

MONTGOMERY REVEALS STRONG FIRST QUARTER

Tech and IT initiatives are all the buzz in Montgomery

Because the Chamber links the public and private sector around a shared

lately, and the Montgomery IT Summit held May 20-

vision, it achieves far greater results at a tremendous value to its investors,

22, along with the Air Force Information Technology

as the first quarter of 2019 has shown:

Conference, held in August, puts Montgomery on the

* So far this year there have already been seven expansions to

forefront of technology and innovation and positions the city as a leader in the tech space. This year, as in previous years, the Montgomery IT Summit highlights up-to-the-minute trends in Air Force programs and technology and features the best and brightest DoD and

existing businesses yielding $52.3 million in capital investments

OPEN TO ALL PUBLIC AND PRIVATE TECH INDIVIDUALS, COMPANIES AND BUSINESSES

Industry Leaders to inform attendees of

and 287 new jobs. * In the past 18 months, Montgomery has achieved more than $3M in earned media exposure, elevating and improving the city’s image on a national scale. * A recent Milken Institute report ranked Montgomery 1st in the nation

the current state of Information Technology

in High Tech GDP Growth for 2016-2017 — besting cities like

and its use within the U.S. Air Force. The event speak-

San Francisco, Austin and Chattanooga.

ers and panel members close the loop by pointing out future growth areas and newly developing business

The wheels of commerce are turning quickly in Montgomery and together,

opportunities for industry participants. For information

with your continued support and partnership, the city and region are head-

or to register visit afceamontgomery.org/MITS.

ed for a prosperous future.

83 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


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

SMALL AND MINORITY BUSINESS

MEMBER EVENTS:

INITIATIVE RECEPTION – FEBRUARY 26

at DoubleTree The City, County Commission and the Chamber hosted a reception to highlight the Small and Minority Owned Business Initiative. Attendees were able to gain insight into the initiative, get a progress report on its activity, and connect with local elected officials, as well as other like-minded small and minority business owners.

FEB 07

60 Minute Coffee at RSA Activity Center Sponsor: Montgomery Rotary Club

FEB Business After Hours 21

at Dreamland Bar-B-Que Sponsor: Dreamland Bar-B-Que

GRANT WRITING 2.0 – MARCH 7

at the Chamber BRC

This proposal workshop focused on how to effectively write proposals and included steps to strengthen your grant writing skills, and ways to master the techniques of preparing and writing winning proposals for various funding agencies.

WOMEN IN BUSINESS MEET UP MARCH 12

at EATSouth Downtown Farm Presenting Sponsor: Alabama AG Credit

These professional women in business

MAR 06

60 Minute Coffee at Jason’s Deli

Sponsor: Jason’s Deli

MAR Business After Hours 21

at Dream Field Farms

Sponsor: Dream Field Farms

meet-ups are unique events that connect women from different industries to network, learn, grow and uncover new opportunities and collaborations.

STAR WATCH INFORMATION

See you there! Twice a month, join fellow Chamber members at monthly networking events. They are the perfect place to exchange business cards and meet potential customers. Visit montgomerychamber.com/events for a schedule of upcoming events.

& REGISTRATION EVENT – MARCH 20

at the Chamber BRC

The Chamber and the Montgomery Police Department have teamed up to promote and execute the city’s new public safety initiative STAR Watch. This voluntary program allows businesses and citizens, schools, and neighborhoods to share cameras with the STAR Center, a state-of-the-art facility that utilizes video surveillance to enhance

APR 60 Minute Coffee at Brewbaker KIA 03

response time, and provide accurate information for responding officers.

Sponsor: Brewbaker KIA

84 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


M EM BER Spotlight

GUARDIAN INSURANCE SERVICES Founded in 1958 for Alabama National Guardsmen and their families, Guardian Credit Union has since grown into a full-service credit union for all members of the community, offering a wide variety of services. Its list of services recently expanded again with the launch of Guardian Insurance Services.

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 4. Torey Hatfield, Kenny Laneaux, Mia Rollins and Amanda Geris WHAT ARE GUARDIAN INSURANCE SERVICES’ PRODUCTS? Auto, home, life and business insurance.   WHO ARE THE PRIMARY CLIENTS/CUSTOMERS?  Guardian Insurance Services is for clients interested in more than just buying insurance because they have to. We want to work with individuals, families and business owners searching for a partner they can trust to honestly and thoroughly evaluate their risks and offer smart, effective insurance solutions as well as outstanding policy and claims service. We are truly a “people helping people” organization.   WHAT IS GUARDIAN INSURANCE SERVICES’ BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY? Guardian Insurance Services is committed to providing honest, informed and effective solutions for the insurance needs of our prospects, clients and community. The agency will provide these solutions with innovative and positive leadership, polite and responsive customer service and well-trained, client-focused staff. We have partnered with SUNUP Insurance Services to provide offerings through reputable companies such as Travelers, Safeco, TransAmerica, Minnesota Life, Progressive, MetLife and more.   WHAT SETS GUARDIAN INSURANCE SERVICES APART?  We are unique in the sense that our insurance agents do not work off of commission. Our agents’ main goal is to find the best insurance option available for the client in need. We have national companies represented, and our clients are matched for the best fit, flexibility and affordability.

Torey Hatfield and Kenny Laneaux.

Mia Rollins and Amanda Geris.

616 MADISON AVENUE / 334-819-7555 / MYGUARDIANCU.COM

85 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


CHAMBER NEWS Members on the Move K EEP U P W I T H O U R M EM B ER S W ELCOMIN G N EW HIRES AN D ACCEPTIN G N EW POS ITION S

Jerusha T. Adams Joins Capell & Howard

gomery Taylor Road office. Duncan

Capell & Howard P.C. recently welcomed Jerusha T. Adams

received a Bachelor of Business

to the firm as a shareholder. Ad-

Administration degree from Faulkner

ams’ practice includes general lit-

University.

igation, appeals, employment and labor relations, and health care.

Edmund Bradley Driver has been

Adams previously worked as an

named Commercial Relationship

Assistant United States Attorney

Manager at Trustmark’s downtown

and as Senior Litigation Counsel

Montgomery office, where he

for the United States Attorney’s

previously served as Mortgage Loan

Office for the Middle District of

Officer. Driver joined Trustmark in

Alabama in both the Civil and Criminal Divisions.

2016. He has more than 37 years of experience in the banking indus-

Sasser, Sefton & Brown Welcomes New Associate Sasser, Sefton & Brown, P.C. welcomes Jae Reong “Jael” Kim as a new associate. Kim

try, with extensive knowledge and expertise in commercial real estate, mortgage lending and commercial banking.

graduated from Emory University School of Law in May 2016, where

Trustmark also announced that

she was a member of Emory Cor-

Jason Kocher, Assistant Vice

porate Governance and Account-

President, has been named Private

ability Review. Prior to joining the

Banking Relationship Manager

firm, Kim worked as an associate

Associate at its downtown Mont-

at a law firm in Georgia focusing

gomery office, where he previously

her practice primarily on financing and real estate law with an emphasis on commercial lending transactions.

served as Branch Manager. Kocher has 22 years of banking experience and attended Auburn University.

The Gift of Life Foundation Appoints Exec Director The Gift of Life Foundation (GOL) Board of Directors has appointed veteran maternal child health administrator Dr. Regina Traylor, DHSc, as the

Lynn Swink Joins Palomar Palomar Insurance recently announced that Lynn Swink has joined the company as Director of Personal

organization’s interim executive

Lines Sales. Swink will be responsi-

director. Traylor, who also serves

ble for creating and implementing

as GOL’s director of family coach-

strategies to drive new personal

ing programs, brings a diverse

lines business and create insurance

breadth of experience to the role

solutions for families with more complex portfolios.

with more than two decades of leadership in public health nursing, maternal child health program management, quality improvement, program evaluation, and nursing education programs.

Healthcare Center Welcomes New Administrator Capitol Hill Healthcare Center has announced the hiring of a new administrator. Michael Burnett will

Trustmark Announces Staff Moves

manage operations for the 284-bed

Trustmark recently announced that Cathy Duncan, Vice

skilled nursing center in Montgom-

President, has been named Branch Manager II at its Mont-

ery. Burnett is a dedicated health-

86 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


care professional with more than 14 years of experience in long-term care. He has been with Capitol Hill since 2014.

Longleaf Wealth Management Team Grows The Longleaf Wealth Management team at UBS Financial Services recently added Dustin Hatfield as a Wealth Strategy Associate. Hatfield is a recent graduate of Auburn University at Montgomery with a degree in economics. While at AUM, he was involved with the Economics and Investment Clubs, along with being on the dean’s list.    

Dennis Nabors Joins Rushton Stakely Rushton Stakely announced that Dennis Nabors has become Of Counsel to the firm. Nabors joins Rushton Stakely after enjoying a distinguished career that has included service as Chief of Staff to Governor Guy Hunt, Assistant Attorney General for Alabama’s White-Collar Crime and Civil Rights Division, City Attorney for Montgomery and Executive Vice President and Chief Lobbyist for the Alabama Hospital Association. 

AUM Selects New College of Business Dean Auburn University at Montgomery will welcome Ross N. Dickens as its new College of Business Dean in July. Dickens, who has served as dean and professor of finance at the University of Tennessee at Martin College of Business and Global Affairs since August 2013, will assume the deanship on July 1. Dickens will succeed Rhea Ingram, who will return to a faculty role after serving as dean since August 2011.


88 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

Community

sourcing industry, the Best of GO100’s results were centered upon an evaluation of The Global Outsourcing 100 program.

Max Honors Baptist Health

The GO100 list is based on applications received, and judging is then based on a rigorous scoring methodology; this includes a review by an independent panel of IAOP customer members, with extensive experience selecting outsourcing service providers and advisors for their organizations.

Pate Landscape Co., Inc. Earns Recognition

On January 17, MAX held its 16th Annual MAX Community Reception, an annual event that brings together business, political and community leaders to celebrate community successes and recognize organizations and individuals who have made a significant difference in the quality of life in Central and East Alabama. MAX honored Baptist Health for its efforts in contributing to a better River Region community by providing exceptional healthcare and striving to teach the community and local businesses how to stay healthy and reduce the risk of illnesses and diseases.

Pate Landscape Co., Inc was recently named the recipient of a 2019 BuildSouth Award by the Alabama Associated General Contractors (AGC) for its work on the John and Joyce Caddell Sculpture Garden at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts in Montgomery. The BuildSouth Award honors projects that are difficult jobs, excel in project management, feature innovative

Along with providing great healthcare, the Baptist Health Care Foundation is an essential part of Baptist Health’s work to provide better services and programs to the state. The Foundation holds fundraisers throughout the year to help provide scholarships, hospice care and other medical assistance. The organization as a whole supports philanthropic activities both internally and externally.

construction techniques or materials and show sensitivity to the environment and surroundings. Established in 1982, Pate Landscape Co. is a commercial landscape and irrigation contractor known for completing high profile projects within budget and on time. Pate is proud to have partnered with the museum on this unique project that will be enjoyed for years to come.

Achievements

Local VP Named Next Top Credit Union Executive

Alorica Named One of the World’s Best Outsourcing Service Providers Celebrating its 20th year in business, Alorica Inc., a global leader in customer experience solutions, recently announced it has secured a coveted spot for the fifth year on IAOP’s 2019 Best of The Global Outsourcing 100 (GO100). This list recognizes the world’s best outsourcing service providers and advisors from across all industries, areas of specialization and sizes.  Featuring companies that have led the development of the out-

MAX recently announced that Vice President of Organizational Development Lynette Cupps was named the CUES 2018 Next Top Credit Union Exec. The Next Top Credit Union Exec is a competition that allows young credit union professionals under the age of 35 who have not yet reached the CEO level to pitch a current project or program they are working on at their credit union. The

89 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

winner is determined through a four-part scoring process,

views by actual car shoppers over the past year. Reviewers

including judging panel results, a measurement of social

evaluated Pigg Enterprises on its customer service, quality

media engagement, audience and online voting.

of work, friendliness, pricing and overall experience.

Cupps’ project provides insight on developing strategic

“The DealerRater Dealer of the Year Award is determined

partnerships with local nonprofit organizations by providing

based on actual customer experiences, and we strive each

business training or processes to help support their mission.

and every day to provide a unique car-buying experience

After being named one of five finalists, she presented

for our customers, one that is simple, hassle-free and

suggestions on how credit unions of any size can imple-

enjoyable, the way car-buying should be,” said Robert Pigg,

ment their own strategic partnerships with local nonprofits.

General Manager at Pigg Enterprises.

Cupps was announced as the winner of the competition at the CEO/Executive Team Network Conference in Nashville,

Four Star Freightliner Awarded

Tennessee.

In February, Four Star Freightliner sent a team to Austin,

Rushton Stakely Announces New Shareholders

included 325 Continuous Improvement Coordinators from

Rushton, Stakely, Johnston &

across the country. Four Star Freightliner dealer principal

Garrett, P.A. announced that Aman-

Jerry Kocan, who is a member of the Elite Support Dealer

da C. Hines and Philip A. Sellers

Advisory Group, addressed the group and discussed the

II were made shareholders in the

process in forming the 2019 Elite Support criteria. Two team

firm effective January 1, 2019.

members also received awards.

Texas, for the annual Elite Support CIC summit, which

Hines joined the firm in 2012. She has significant experience in

“We are very proud of our group of leaders (CICs) that

virtually all areas of civil law, with

represent Four Star Freightliner,” said Jerry Kocan. “Two of

her primary focus on healthcare

our locations were awarded with special distinctions at the

and medical liability, professional

summit with our Montgomery leader, Sonny Hartley, and our

liability, labor and employment law,

Tifton leader, Jason Guess representing their teams.”

and general civil defense litigation. Sonny Hartley, Montgomery Service Advisor, accepted the Sellers joined the firm in 2012 as

Achievement Award on behalf of that location for its com-

well. His practice is devoted to

mitment to operational excellence in pursuit of a superior

civil litigation with a primary focus

customer experience.

on medical malpractice, insurance defense, professional liability, and

Beasley Allen’s Greg Allen Honored

employment law.

Beasley Allen Law Firm’s Greg Allen was presented with the Southern Trial Lawyers Association’s “War Horse” award

Awards & Honors

on February 21 during the group’s 31st Annual Conference

Pigg Enterprises “Dealer of the Year” for Alabama

in New Orleans. The award recognizes the nation’s most

In late January, Pigg Enterprises was awarded the 2019

outstanding trial lawyers who have been active in practice

DealerRater “Dealer of the Year” award, which recognizes

for more than 30 years. Allen joins Beasley Allen founder,

auto dealerships across the United States and Canada that

Jere Beasley, who was also honored with the “War Horse”

deliver outstanding customer service, based on consumer

award in 2011.

reviews written on DealerRater.com. “Car buyers have spo-

ken and have identified Pigg Enterprises as the best used

“This award is well-deserved,” said Beasley Allen attorney

car dealer to do business within Alabama,” said DealerRater

and STLA president, Gibson Vance. “Greg is a true advocate

General Manager Jamie Oldershaw. “The quality and num-

for his clients and his character and leadership within the

ber of reviews for Pigg Enterprises speaks volumes about

profession serve as guides to his colleagues, as well as

the top-notch experiences it provides to customers.”

aspiring attorneys. He has touched so many lives and is a

The DealerRater Dealer of the Year Awards are based on re-

pillar within the profession.”

90 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

Award honorees are nominated by members of the STLA in recogni-

The renovation of Broun Hall at Auburn University and the DeKalb

tion of their exceptional commitment to furthering the cause of justice,

County E-911 facility were both awarded the Honor Award. An Honor-

as well as demonstrating outstanding skill as an advocate and leader

able Mention Award was also received for the Dexter Avenue Pocket

inside and outside of the courtroom. They also have the highest repu-

Park in Montgomery. The Honor Award is the highest level of rec-

tation in terms of ethics and honesty.

ognition that the Alabama Council AIA bestows to firms for projects displaying exemplary design.

Chambless King Honored

ServisFirst Bancshares, Inc. Awarded Raymond James Community Bankers Cup ServisFirst Bancshares, Inc. recently announced that it received the 2018 Raymond James Community Bankers Cup, which recognizes the top 10 percent of community banks. For the fifth year in a row, ServisFirst Bancshares has been ranked in the top five community banks. Additionally, ServisFirst Bancshares is the only bank in the Southeast to receive the 2018 award. ServisFirst Bancshares, Inc., with its subsidiary ServisFirst Bank, is a full-service professional business bank headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, with offices across the

On February 28, Chambless King Architects was honored by the

Southeast.

Alabama Council of the American Institute of Architects for three design projects. The awards were presented to Chambless King at the

ServisFirst Bancshares ranked fourth out of 258 community banks

Council’s annual Excellence in Design award gala held at the historic

nationwide that are exchange-traded domestic banks with assets

Florentine building in downtown Birmingham.

between $500 million and $10 billion as of December 31, 2018.

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

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

LE T’S CE LE BR ATE ! Renew Our Rivers Celebrates 20th Year In February, Renew Our Rivers kicked off its 20th year of lake and river cleanups. Renew Our Rivers began in the spring of 2000 with Gene Phifer’s vision to clean a stretch of the Coosa River near Alabama Power’s Plant Gadsden, where he worked. Since then, more than 117,000 volunteers have joined the effort and collected more than 15.5 million pounds of trash and debris from waterways across the Southeast.

Women’s Leadership Summit Soars On International Women’s Day – March 8

sessions after lunch, hearing from additional

“As we begin the 20th year of Renew Our

– more than 320 women joined the Junior

influential women including Leslie Sand-

Rivers, it’s time to celebrate this environ-

League of Montgomery for its second annual

ers, Vice President of Southern Division,

mental success story. And what better way

Women’s Leadership Summit. The 2019

Alabama Power Company; Sharleen Smith,

than with more cleanups,” said Mike Clel-

Summit’s theme, “Changing Forward,” was

Director of Continuing Education for Troy

land, an Alabama Power Environmental

best summed up by keynote speaker Liz

University; Anna Buckalew, President and

Affairs specialist. More than 30 cleanups

Huntley. “We can always get better. We can

CEO of the Montgomery Area Chamber of

across the state are planned for 2019.

always learn from one another. Today, the

Commerce; Nicole Sloan, owner of Nicole

women in the room were encouraged and

Sloan Realty; and Ashley Morrow, founder

In 2018 alone, 4,000 volunteers removed

uplifted, and those things give you new en-

and owner of Click Synergy.

more than 268,000 pounds of trash from

ergy and a new fire to keep going,” she said.

Alabama lakes, rivers and shorelines. In order to help women advance in their

Huntley’s moving address was a celebration

careers and personal lives, the Summit also

of education and the role it played in her life.

provided information about a new grant op-

She capped off the day by sharing her re-

portunity called the EmpowHERment Grants.

markable story of overcoming the adversity

Through money raised during the shopping

of an abusive childhood to become a suc-

opportunities at the Summit, the Junior

cessful attorney, child advocate and member

League will offer grants to League mem-

of the Auburn University Board of Trustees.

bers and non-profits through an application

In addition to Huntley’s powerful speech,

process.

Giraffe Calf Makes Debut at Montgomery Zoo

those who attended split into breakout

The Wellness Coalition Celebrates 20 Years The Wellness Coalition (TWC), a nonprofit based in Montgomery, is celebrating 20 years of

The Montgomery Zoo recently announced

service to the River Region in 2019. In conjunction with this milestone, TWC is launching new

the birth of a male reticulated giraffe calf

programs to improve the health and wellness of residents in Montgomery, Lowndes and

who was introduced to the public on

Macon counties as part of a five-year, $3.9 million cooperative agreement with the Centers

March 1. This male giraffe calf was born

for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “This is a big year for The Wellness Coalition,” said

at the Montgomery Zoo on December

Molly Stone, Executive Director of The Wellness Coalition. “We are not only celebrating the

31, 2018, and is named Alvin, after Alvin

vision of our founders, but we are also moving our mission forward with new programs as part

Williams, a long-time Zoo employee who

of the REACH cooperative agreement.”

works at the Zoo’s Giraffe Encounter.

92 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


POWER OF MAGA ZINES

When more than 1,400 U.S. advertisers were asked which medium offers the highest ROI, which was on top?

What % of U.S. adults said they’ve read magazine media in the last 6 months?

90%

MAGAZINES WITH

$3.94 RETURN FOR EVERY $1 SPENT

THE HIGHEST OF ALL TIME This includes 93% of those under 35 and 95% of those under 25.

50% higher than the $2.63 ROI from digital display and more than double the $1.52 from digital video

(GfK MRI, Fall 2015)

(Nielsen Catalina Solutions, Multi-Media Sales Effect Studies from 2004 - 2015.)

80%

CATALOGUES RADIO

76% 71%

OUTDOOR SEARCH

69%

20-25 MINUTES

61%

POP UPS 25% (Marketing Sherpa, 2017)

(Digital First Content Marketing: the Return of Print - CMO by Adobe, 2016)

9

7

Number of times medium ranks #1 among affluent influential consumers across 60 product categories (GfK MRI, Spring 2017)

PR I NT I S M E M OR A BLE . Print creates an emotional connection. Print builds relationships. Physical material is more “real” to the brain, involves more emotional processing, and is better connected to memory, with greater internalization of ads—all important for brand associations. (FORBES)

For advertising information, call Christina Bennett at 334-221-4619 or email christina@exploremedia.org 93 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

4 TV

TV

18

RADIO

82%

in reaching influential consumers.

22

NEWSPAPER

PRINT

T H E AV E R AG E T I M E S PE N T R E A D I N G A M AG A Z I N E I S

MAGA ZINES LE AD

INTERNET

PRINT.

The average time spent on a website is 2 minutes.

PRINT MAGAZINES

Of all media, which do U.S. internet users say they TRUST THE MOST?


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

Montgomery Zoo Celebrates Education Docents

VOLUNTE E R S R O CK!

Free Diabetes Prevention Classes Offered For a second year, The Wellness Coalition is helping people in Montgomery, Macon, Lowndes, Elmore, and Autauga counties lose weight and prevent diabetes by offering free diabetes prevention classes. The program, known as “Change Your Lifestyle. Change Your Life” (CYL2) helps participants lose 5 to 7 percent of their body weight by eating healthier and being more physically active. This can improve health and cut the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.  

Annually, the Montgomery Zoo and Mont-

winner was Jillian Betts, and the 10-year

Participants in the program got their

gomery Area Zoological Society honors

service awards went to Wayne Brantley,

own coach to teach them how to eat

the Zoo’s Education Docents and Zooteen

Emily Duke and Michelle Johnson.                

healthy foods and increase physical activity. Classes began in Novem-

team. On February 5, a banquet and award ceremony were held in their honor

The two biggest awards were awarded

ber 2018 and meet for a full year. In

thanking each of them for their dedica-

to Wayne Brantley, Docent of the Year,

the first six months of the program,

tion to the Montgomery Zoo’s Education

and Harley Gezzi, Zooteen of the Year.

classes will meet 16 times. In the final

Department. Those celebrating one year

Both of these volunteers give countless

six months of the program, class-

of service awards include: Sidney Anton-

hours of their time and talents to share

es will meet six more times to help

elli, Cari Bundy, Erin Carmack, Jonathon

their wildlife knowledge with Zoo patrons,

participants maintain healthy lifestyle

Chappell, Peyton Courson, Hannah Cross-

schools, and community clubs and orga-

changes.

field, Emily Johnson, Alex Koda, Kathryn

nizations. “Our Zooteens and docents are

Leonardi, Jalen McDade, Molly Presser,

the true super heroes and ambassadors

CYL2 is conducted in partnership with

Avery Sigmon, Jane Waters and Kristen

of the Montgomery Zoo,” said Montgom-

the Black Women’s Health Imperative

Waters. The five-year service award

ery Zoo Director Marcia Woodard.

(BWHI) through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease

CodingSolutions Gives Faulkner Students Experience

Control and Prevention (CDC).

Faulkner students studying computer sci-

River Region Generals Finish First Season

ence are discovering mentorship and job opportunities through CodingSolutions,

Montgomery’s first men’s professional

a new highly competitive job-readiness

basketball team, the River Region

program in the Montgomery area. The

Generals, finished its inaugural season

students are joining networking groups

with a 12-9 record. The team’s owner

with fellow peers, college students

Syreeta Bailey also recently added a

around the state and experts who have

minor league team. The Montgomery

been in the tech and cyber industry for

Knights is affiliated with the Minor

years. Together, the group is learning how

League Basketball Association and be-

to solve coding issues to accomplish a

Javan Rampersad helps a fifth-grade student

project. Four Faulkner students are cur-

code as a volunteer mentor for a Day of Coding.

rently involved in the program as a way to gain hands-on knowledge of the tech

their resume and push them to the top of

industry, create and complete projects for

the hiring list with thriving companies. 94 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

gan play on March 30. The Montgomery Knights season continues through June. And in August, the city gets its first women’s professional basketball team, the Montgomery Lady Magics.


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

Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar Opening at EastChase Jim Wilson & Associates, LLC, recently completed the sale of a 1.5acre site at EastChase, adjacent to EastChase Market Center near the intersection of Eastchase Lane and Eastchase Parkway, to WalkOn’s Bistreaux & Bar, a leading full-service family sports restaurant, new to Central Alabama. The hot spot aims to provide residents

Caddell Construction Awarded New Projects

a go-to community restaurant that

In late January, Caddell Construction

dormitory and a dining/classroom facility

embodies the go-getter spirit of

announced it has been awarded a

that supports two BMT dormitories.

a walk-on athlete while providing

$143.5 million contract for construction

In February, the company announced

superior service and mouthwa-

of the Airman Training Complex Dorm

it has been awarded a $224 million

tering “All-American” menu items

#5 and Dining Classroom Building #3 at

contract by the U.S. Department of State’s

with a taste of Louisiana. Walk-

Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. Under

Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations

On’s is set to open in late 2019.

the new contract, Caddell will construct a

to design and build the new U.S. Embas-

1,248-person basic military training (BMT)

sy Compound in Nassau, Bahamas.

MORE LIFE

95 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


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

Montgomery Business Aids Tornado Victims In the wake of the devastating tornado that hit Lee County in March, Turenne PharMedCo, a Montgomery pharmacy and medical supply business, held a donation drive to collect items for tornado victims. Employees donated money, personal hygiene goods, cleaning supplies, pet food and other supplies during the two-week drive. The effort collected 578 items. Turenne also reached out to one of its vendor partners for donations. The vendor contributed 37 cases

Mural Honors Nat King Cole

Nat King Society Chairman John McGowan

In March, community leaders dedicated a

and Rozelia Harris, widow of the Society’s

mural honoring Montgomery native and

founder.

international music icon Nat King Cole on the

eve of the late crooner’s 100th birthday. Local

“Legends like Nat King Cole are truly unfor-

artists Sunny Paulk and Corey Spearman

gettable, and as the birthplace of this musical

collaborated on the project made possible

icon, our community has the privilege of

through a public-private partnership between

sharing his story, music and legacy with the

the City, the Montgomery Public Art Commis-

world,” Mayor Strange said.

sion, Midstate Advertising and Kyser Property

Management, who offered the building at

Titled “Unforgettable,” the mural is the latest

435 Maxwell Boulevard for this installation.

in a line of art installations honoring Montgomery’s history to be completed thanks to

Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange marked the

the coordination of the Montgomery Public

occasion by presenting a proclamation estab-

Art Commission and City and County leaders.

lishing Nat King Cole Day in Montgomery to

Faulkner’s Speech Language Pathology Program Provides Direction Esther Barahona’s heart is in Honduras. As

Barahona will spend much of her time in

a student at Faulkner University, she plans

the newly opened SLP clinic, gaining crucial

to take what she learns in Montgomery and

hours of hands-on clinical experience. She

share it with the people of Central Amer-

was especially impressed with Faulkner’s

ica. As one of the first students studying

program and its mission to serve the whole

in Faulkner’s new department of speech

person, not just their disability. The faculty’s

and language pathology (SLP), Barahona

goal is to train speech and language pa-

is on track to become a licensed speech

thologists who have a humanitarian heart

and language pathologist and return home

for serving others. “Interacting with the

to Honduras to serve. “I am really looking

faculty, I can just see that they are excited to

forward to taking what I learn back home to

serve the community and to teach us, and

Honduras,” she said.

that makes me excited to be a part of the program,” Barahona said.

96 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

of diapers and personal care items for children and adults. Lauren Wright, Human Resources Director at Turenne, said that there are employees with friends and family in the Lee County area who lost everything to the recent tornado. “The people of that area have gone through so much. The stories of devastation and loss are heartbreaking, and we knew that we wanted to help in any way we could,” Wright said.

WANT YOUR NEWS IN THE MBJ? Submit information for consideration to Jina Miniard at jminiard@montgomerychamber.com. Please attach press releases 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: JULY ISSUE: MAY 31 SEPTEMBER ISSUE: AUG 26


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

The owner of LAF (Learn. Active. Fun), a com-

suites, a lounge area, common area, confer-

POPEYES Coming to Wetumpka

pany that rents gigantic board game pieces

ence room, multipurpose area for business

POPEYES is being built on

for children’s parties and adult gatherings,

events or desk rentals, a breakroom, a sound

Highway 231. The Wetumpka

launched a second business in April on the

room for webcasts, podcasts and recording

store is the company’s first in the

one-year anniversary of his first business.

commercials, as well as 24/7 access for

Wetumpka area. POPEYES was

members with one- or two-year leases.

founded in New Orleans in 1972

Entrepreneur Combines Office, Pop-up Retail Space

and distinguishes itself with a

Julian Petty’s new venture is work|SHOP, which combines pop-up retail space with

Petty has scheduled several business own-

unique New Orleans-style menu

both shared office work space, private

ers for “Empowered Speaker Series” and

featuring spicy chicken, fried

offices and office suites. It’s located in the

plans to hold networking meet-and-greet

shrimp and other regional items.

Hampstead community.

events called “Meat and Treat.”

The chain’s passion for its Loui-

The front of the building is dedicated to

Petty, who is active-duty Army and currently

has allowed it to become one of

small business owners selling merchandise

working on a master’s degree at Auburn

the world’s largest chicken quick

by renting wall space, rack space or table

University at Montgomery, said the reason

service restaurants with over

space. Petty is locating his LAF headquarters

behind this business concept is his mother,

3,000 restaurants. Gene Cody,

in work|SHOP as well.

Johanna Petty. “She was always there for

CIIM Vice President of Moore

her sons,” he said. “It’s just my way of giving

Company Realty, said, “We are

back to my mom.”

excited to help bring POPEYES to

siana heritage and flavorful food

In addition to coworking space and dedi-

the Wetumpka market.”

cated desks, there are private offices, office

97 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


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

HCS Group to Perform Engineering for Neonatal ICU in Zambia

Faulkner Law Provides Conflict-Resolution Classes

Montgomery-based HCS Group has

munity stepped outside its classrooms and

been selected to work with a team of

into the Montgomery Public Schools (MPS) to

professionals for the U.S. Agency for

help equip students with communication and

International Development’s Mission

conflict-resolution skills through Words Work,

to Zambia (USAID/Zambia) in support

a program designed to promote learning

of the USAID Health Integrated Infra-

and civility among youth. As a part of the

structure Design Activity. The intent

program, law students, professors and com-

is to provide high quality facilities

mission members volunteer for an hour and a

and infrastructure to improve mater-

half once a week.

This academic year, the Faulkner Law com-

son-Finley, Director, Family and Community

nal and neonatal health services. The new neonatal ICU facility will directly

One of the goals of the undertaking is to

Engagement MPS. “We believed our efforts

lead to a reduction of infection, im-

encourage students who participate to share

could help our students understand conflicts

prove quality of care and dramatical-

what they learn with others at school, in their

and how to manage them.”

ly cut the neonatal mortality ratio in

homes and in their neighborhoods. “In re-

Zambia. HCS Group is serving as the

sponse to the rising levels of school conflict,

Sixth and eighth grade students at Bellingrath

electrical and mechanical engineer-

we looked to incorporate conflict resolution

Middle School are the first to participate in

ing team lead.

in an authentic way,” said Camille Ander-

Words Work in Montgomery.

25th Anniversary

MILITARY APPRECIATION DAY

THURSDAY JUNE 20TH 9AMM4PM Come join the Chamber and enjoy a great day at the Montgomery Zoo and Mann Museum with lunch served from 11:30 to 2:00.

* FREE WITH A VALID MILITARY ID

98 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

Presenting Sponsor:


99 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


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

REPOWER SOUTH MONTGOMERY

THRYV

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

423 River Oaks Drive, Wetumpka, AL 36092 334-220-3131, www.thryv.com Bobby Hebson, Business Advisor Advertising, Web Design/Web Hosting

ASHLEY FURNITURE HOMESTORE

NECTAR BRIDGE, LLC

2001 Eastern Boulevard, Montgomery, AL 36117 334-676-2656, www.ashleyfurniture.com Zahi Abdelaziz, Owner; Aaron Shaffer, General Manager Furniture, Mattress

445 Dexter Avenue, Suite 4050, Montgomery, AL 36104 334-595-9874, www.nectarbridge.com Gary Smith, President Consulting Services

SHEPHERD’S MINISTRIES, INC.

DIRECT AUTO & LIFE INSURANCE

600 S. Court Street, Suite 314, Montgomery, AL 36104 352-257-3691 Robert Brown, Bishop Associations/Non-Profit

3415 Atlanta Highway, Montgomery, AL 36109 334-649-8260, www.DirectGeneral.com Cynthia Hartwig, Regional Sales and Marketing Manager Insurance Companies/Services

100 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


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

COPPERWING DESIGN 3158 Parliament Circle, Montgomery, AL 36116 334-244-2250, www.copperwing.com Brian Key, Partner/Director of Client Solutions Advertising/Marketing/Media

THAT’S MY DOG JR. AT THE SPOT 2414 Lower Wetumpka Road, Montgomery, AL 36110 334-239-7434, www.thatsmychildmgm.org Charles Lee, Executive Director Associations/Non-Profit

ALABAMA HOMEFINDERS, INC. 2025 Berry Chase Place, Montgomery, AL 36117 334-239-7600, www.ahfhomes.com Kelly Colley, Owner/Broker Real Estate-Agents


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

APAR TM ENTS

CO M P U T E R S - SA L E S /S E RV IC ES/ CO M P U T E R S - CO N S U LT IN G

The Grove at Stone Park Amy Owens 160 Stone Park Boulevard Pike Road, AL 36064 334-277-8770 www.matrixresidential.com

Innovations Technology Group, Inc. Jason Cullins P.O. Box 231614 Montgomery, AL 36123 334- 538-4832 innovationstechgroup.com

ASSOC IATIONS/N ON -P R OF I T

CO N S U LT IN G

VOICES for Alabama’s Children Stephen Woerner 400 S Union Street, Suite 230 Montgomery, AL 36104 334-213-2410 www.alavoices.org

Economics Research Services, Inc. Keivan Deravi 172 Tensaw Road Montgomery, AL 36117 334-318-7462 www.keivanderavi.com

B E AUTY SALONS/SPAS , B E AUTY SALONS/SPAS/BAR B E R

Beloved Queen Beauty Dawn Hurst 5757 Atlanta Highway Montgomery, AL 36117 334-531-5006

MAY NEW MEMBERS C ATE RIN G S E RV IC E S , R E STAU R A N TS , R E STAU R A N TS - BA R /G R IL L

Xscape Tapas Grille Frank Walker 109 Eastern Boulevard Montgomery, AL 36117 334-399-3661

ATTR AC TIONS-ENTE R TA I N M E N T, ATTR AC TIONS-AR TS & C ULTUR E , THEATR ES

C L E A N IN G S E RV IC E S , H OM E R E PA IR /IM P R OV E M E N TS

Cloverdale Playhouse Campbell Parker 960 Cloverdale Road Montgomery, AL 36106 334-262-1530 www.cloverdaleplayhouse.org

Auburn House Wash Spencer Mann 221 Lee Road 10, Suite 1 Auburn, AL 36830 334-826-9274 http://AuburnHouseWash.com

B E AUTY SALONS/SPAS , LASER & SKINC AR E

COF F E E BR E A K S E RV IC E /S U P P L IE S

AESTHETICA Caroline Abolade 1310 Old Oak Place Montgomery, AL 36117 334- 247-1669 www.aestheticamontgomery.com CAR WASH & DETA I L , C A R R E N TA L , TRUC K RENTALS/L E AS I N G

A&J Car Wash and Rentals Jeannie Smith 501 East Main Street Prattville, AL 36067 334-365-9376 www.aandjrental.com

Harmon and Sons Coffee Allen Harmon P.O. Box 681354 Prattville, AL 36068 334-491-9241 www.harmonandsonscoffee.net

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

D'Liteful Trends Darlene Hill 5517 Chardin Drive Montgomery, AL 36116 334-868-0137 www.dlitefultrends.org CO N T R AC TO R S

Burton Mac, Inc. Tom Burton 638 Oliver Road Montgomery, AL 36117 334-262-6262 CO U N S E L IN G , CO N S U LT IN G , CO N S U LT IN G S E RV IC E S ,

Coopers’ Mental Health Consultations, LLC Aisha Cooper 2421 Presidents Drive, Suite B21 Montgomery, AL 36116 334-539-7017 www.coopersmentalhealth.org

COM M U N IC AT IO N S E Q U IP M E N T

E M P LOYE E BE N E F IT CO N S U LTA N TS , F IN A N C IA L SERVI CES, IN S U R A N C E - H E A LT H , IN S U R AN CE-LI FE

Darden Communications Consultants, Inc David Darden 8111 Faith Court Montgomery, AL 36117 334-300-5553 www.dccicomm.com

Nappier Consultant, Inc. Steve Nappier 600 S Court Street, Suite 321 Montgomery, AL 36104 334-275-5227 www.alabamaveteransaid.com

102 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


103 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


CHAMBER NEWS New Members WELCOME TO OUR N EWEST MEMBERS

F IN A N C IA L S E RV IC E S , M O R TG AG E /F IN A N C E

Titan Financials William Beason 445 Dexter Avenue, Suite 4050 Montgomery, AL 36104 334-245-4473 www.titanfinancials.com F U R N IT U R E , M AT T R E SS

Ashley Furniture Homestore Zahi Abdelaziz 2001 Eastern Boulevard Montgomery, AL 36117 334-676-2656 www.ashleyfurniture.com H O M E C A R E BU S IN E SS , H O M E H E A LT H S E RV IC E S , H E A LT H C A R E S E RV IC E S

Care Help Homecare, LLC Shaleta Freeman 3086 Woodley Road, Suite D Montgomery, AL 36116 334-676-1400 IN D IV ID UA L S

Jo Bonner, Jr. Josiah Bonner 600 Dexter Avenue Montgomery, AL 36104 334-242-7100 IN S U R A N C E CO M PA N IE S / S E RV IC E S ,

Direct Auto & Life Insurance Cynthia Hartwig 3415 Atlanta Highway Montgomery, AL 36109 334-649-8260 www.DirectGeneral.com Colonial Life & Accident Dhixie Duncan 7480 Halcyon Pointe Drive, Suite 102 Montgomery, AL 36117 334-472-9464 www.coloniallife.com

L A N D S C A P IN G/ L AW N S E RV IC ES, L A N D S C A P E DESI GN

Vinson Market Lauren Vinson 3025 Carter Hill Road Montgomery, AL 36111 (334) 462-2424 L E G A L S E RV ICES AT TO R N E YS

Kotouc & Vogel Law Firm Doug Vogel 310 Eastdale Circle, Suite 200 Montgomery, AL 36117 334-409-0088 www.kotouc.com O F F IC E S PAC E/ COWO R K IN G SPACE

workSHOP, LLC Julian Petty 5027 Mercer Street Montgomery, AL 36116 334-440-6448 www.workorshop.com P E T BOA R D IN G/ G R O O M IN G /DAYCARE

Camp Bow Wow Lauren Gold 3712 Malcom Drive Montgomery, AL 36116 678-896-1594 www.campbowwow.com P SYC H IAT R ISTS

Alabama Psychiatry Carmen Knox 7125 University Court Montgomery, AL 36117 334-239-2622 www.alpsychiatry.com


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

P U BLISHING COM PA N I E S , P U BLICAT IONS

BOOM!, Jim Watson P.O. Box 6203 Montgomery, AL 36106 334-324-3472 www.riverregionboom.com RE AL ESTATE-AGENTS , MO RTGAGE/FINAN C E

LanMac Companies Barbara Lancaster 155 Coliseum Boulevard Montgomery, AL 36109 334-277-5546 www.LanMacRealty.com

R E A L E STATE -B R OKE R

R E STAU R A N TS - A M E R IC A N

Keys Realty Dennis Barnes 600 S Court Street Montgomery, AL 36104 334-201-7155 www.keysrealty.realtor

Waffle House Tom Fritz 301 Madison Avenue Montgomery, AL 36104 334-293-9939 www.wafflehouse.com

R E A L E STATE COM M E R C I A L / I N V E STM E N TS

R E STAU R A N TS - M E X IC A N , R E STAU R A N TS , C AT E R IN G S E RV IC E S

National Land Realty Jerry Ingram 10270 Highway 80 E Montgomery, AL 36117 334-300-4273 www.nationallandrealty.com

El Taco Shop Taqueria Leidi Espinosa 3271 Malcolm Drive Montgomery, AL 36116 (334) 649-4202

Diestelhorst Properties LLC David Diestelhorst 5956 Carmichael Road Montgomery, AL 36117 334-717-7135

R E STAU R A N TS - S E A FO O D, C AT E R IN G S E RV IC E S

Capitol Oyster Bar at Montgomery Marina Lewis Mashburn

105 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

617 Shady Street Montgomery, AL 36104 334-239-8958 www.capitoloysterbar.com S IG N S

FASTSIGNS Chad Norman 115 Brown Springs Road Montgomery, AL 36117 (334) 245-1135 www.fastsigns.com/ 2236-montgomery-al T U TO R IN G S E RV IC ES

International English Prep Academy, LLC. Cathy Madison 8301 Crossland Loop Montgomery, AL 36117 334-239-9544 www.iepaonline.com


Numbers reflect February 2019 over February 2018.

Economic Intel TOURISM TOTALING

4,220 ROOMS SOLD

68%

LODGING TAX

+ 16.37% YEAR-TO-DATE INCREASE

EACH NIGHT

OCCUPANCY RATE

+ 1.10% ROOM DEMAND

TURN TO PAGE 10

TOURISM: MGM IS ON THE MAP!

HOUSING FEBRUARY 2019

Source: Smith Travel Research Report, City of Montgomery

WINGS UP!

+ 22%

LOTS OF FULL SEATS!

TOTAL HOME SALES

71,716

PASSENGERS

TOTAL HOMES LISTED FOR SALE

116

+ 10.2%

+ 11%

OVER 2018

+

1,812

BE DIRECT: DIRECT SERVICE T0 DCA AND SFB

AVERAGE SALE PRICE

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

Source: MGM (Montgomery Regional Airport)

EMPLOYMENT BY SECTOR

+ 0.6% CIVILIAN

+ 1.0% EMPLOYED

LABOR FORCE

LABOR FORCE

173,549

166,810

3.9% UNEMPLOYMENT RATE

Source: Alabama Department of Labor, MGM Metro Area

SECTORS GOING UP

LABOR FORCE

PROFESSIONAL AND BUSINESS SERVICES

+ 2.8%

OTHER SERVICES

+ 2.2%

FINANCIAL ACTIVITIES

LEISURE & HOSPITALITY

Source: Alabama Department of Labor, MGM Metro Area

106 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

+ 1.3% + 1.2%


MBJ

MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

Post Office Box 79 Montgomery, AL 36101

108MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

Profile for Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce

Montgomery Business Journal - May 2019  

Montgomery Business Journal - May 2019