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Chamber Members in the News

MAX HOLDS GROUNDBREAKING FOR WETUMPKA BRANCH

WETUMPKA – MAX Credit Union celebrated the groundbreaking for its new branch in Wetumpka.

The branch, which will be at 94 Captain Crommelin Road, replaces an existing site on Highway 231. The new branch is expected to open in the spring.

The branch will feature the latest in modern design and technology. A concierge will greet customers and individual kiosks staffed with employees will offer customers one-on-one service. The branch will also feature the MAX Perks refreshment center, offering free coffee and bottled water, and the MAX Business Center, where clients can organize paperwork, send a fax or make copies of documents.

 

CHUCK E. CHEESE’S OPENS AT EASTDALE MALL

MONTGOMERY – Chuck E. Cheese’s family entertainment center has opened at Eastdale Mall.

The new 13,000-square-foot family entertainment center is located between LensCrafters and Dillard’s.

“We are so pleased to add Chuck E. Cheese’s to our retail and entertainment mix at Eastdale Mall,” said Owen Aronov, president of Aronov Realty Management Inc., which owns Eastdale Mall.

“This new Eastdale Mall location is the second in the U.S. to include their newest digital stage format that debuted recently in Dallas. We are pleased to introduce another new and exciting family-friendly offering to create even more excitement when customers throughout our region come to Eastdale Mall to shop, eat and have fun all under one roof.”

Store hours for the new Eastdale Mall Chuck E. Cheese’s are 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday.

“Montgomery has a vibrant, growing population of young families and Eastdale Mall is the perfect location for Chuck E. Cheese’s to offer our unbeatable value to these families,” said Michelle Chism, director of corporate communications for Chuck E. Cheese’s.

The nearly 1 million-square-foot Eastdale Mall features 90 specialty retailers.

 

WARREN AVERETT EXECUTIVE RECEIVES CERTIFICATION

MONTGOMERY – Warren Averett, LLC, executive Brenda Hellums has obtained certification as a professional daily money manager. She is director of the daily money management services.

Daily money managers help individuals and families with their personal paperwork. This may include bill paying, checkbook balancing, filing, organizing and budgeting as well as submitting and tracking medical insurance claims.

Certification by the American Association of Daily Money Managers (AADMM) supports the organization’s commitment to promoting high standards of client services provided by members.

Warren Averett has become one of the largest accounting firms in the Southeast and ranks among the top 30 firms in the United States. The firm has 800-plus employees, 350 certified public accountants and 15 offices.

 

WARHAWK HALL OPENS AT AUM

MONTGOMERY – Auburn University at Montgomery kicked off the fall semester with the grand opening of Warhawk Hall, a new five-story residence hall.

The 144,740-square-foot building is located near the main entrance to campus on Taylor Road, across from the Wellness Center.

"Warhawk Hall is not a dormitory, it's a residential community that changes the face of our campus," said AUM Chancellor John Veres, an AUM alumnus. "With Warhawk Hall and the Wellness Center book-ending the main entrance, AUM's student-centered focus is evident from the moment one arrives on campus."

The new residence hall joins the Courtyards, built in the 1970s as the first housing offered on campus, and the Commons, which opened in 2003. Warhawk Hall boasts a two-story recreational center – The Nest – which offers all campus housing residents a place to study and participate in student activities.

The building was designed and constructed by Williams Blackstock Architects and B.L. Harbert International. It was fully occupied this fall.

 

KIDNEY FOUNDATION’S SOIREE RAISES $5,000-PLUS

MONTGOMERY – The Alabama Kidney Foundation raised more than $5,000 with its inaugural Summer Soiree.

More than 200 people attended the “Beach Party” themed event. The Alabama Kidney Foundation serves kidney patients by providing financial assistance, education and support services. The foundation promotes public education to prevent kidney disease and raise organ donation awareness.

For information, contact Amy Godsoe at (334) 241-0003 or visit www.alkidney.org.

 

CENTRAL CHEF PARTNERS WITH DOWNTOWN FARM

MONTGOMERY – Central Executive Chef Leonardo Maurelli III created a dining concept called Desde el Jardin or “From the Garden.”

The Friday night only a la carte menu is offered from 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m. The concept evolved out of Maurelli’s relationship with EAT South Downtown Farm and his commitment to buy local fresh ingredients for Central’s changing seasonal menu. Every Friday, EAT South Farm brings fresh produce to Central and Maurelli creates a menu with those ingredients.

“I love to keep my diners included in my process,” Maurelli said. “I get more excited each Friday when EAT South arrives with all the fresh produce.”

Diners may receive an email Friday with the Desde el Jardin menu by joining Central’s mailing list at: www.central129coosa.com.

 

RIDESHARING MAY CUT COSTS

MONTGOMERY – Many businesses and consumers are searching for ways to save money. There’s a possible solution to help both: Ridesharing.

The first step is to visit the free commute-cost calculator available on www.commutesmart.org (+City) which will calculate how much commuting is costing you.

If you have computed your numbers, is getting to work costing more than you thought? If you're commuting more than 15 miles a day to work, have you considered a rideshare partner?

Ridesharing and vanpooling are available to employees and may save businesses money and help with recruitment and retention. When employees carpool, it reduces congestion on the roads and frees up parking spaces in parking lots and garages. To register for the online ride-matching program for Montgomery, visit www.commutesmart.org. The program will match you with other interested carpoolers at no cost.

Vanpooling is an arrangement by a group of commuters to drive together in a van to their place (or places) of business. Full-size vans and minivans carry seven to 15 passengers. For information on setting up a vanpool for your organization, contact T. Ray Mauldin at TMauldin@RPCGB.ORG.

If you would like a representative to come to your place of business to talk about the rideshare program, contact Liz Cochran with the Energy Division of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs at liz.cochran@adeca.alabama.gov.

 

ALABAMA CHRISTIAN ACADEMY INTRODUCES NEW LOOK, BRAND

MONTGOMERY – As Alabama Christian Academy (ACA) inaugurates its 2013-14 school year, it is also introducing a new look and brand.

The school, which celebrated its 70th year in 2012, worked closely with creative consultancy Copperwing Design to craft a new brand identity, including a revised school logo, updated website at

www.alabamachristian.com and new positioning: “Thrive in wisdom. Serve in spirit.”

“The positioning really sums up our mission here at Alabama Christian Academy,” said ACA President Ronnie Sewell. “Academic excellence is extremely important for the development of our future leaders and citizens, but alone, it’s not enough. Along with that focus, we integrate the formation of faith and character in all we do from the classroom to the athletic field. Academically, socially and spiritually – we want them to thrive.”

Alabama Christian Academy, which was founded in 1942, teaches students from pre-kindergarten through the 12th grade.

 

TRUSTMARK BANK ANNOUNCES ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER

MONTGOMERY – Bill Wallace has joined the Trustmark Community Bank Advisory Board of Directors in Montgomery.

Wallace has 32-plus years experience in the architecture profession and is a partner with Montgomery-based Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood. The firm has grown into one of the largest privately held, multi-disciplined architecture and engineering firms in the Southeast and the largest architectural practice in Alabama.

As executive vice president for architecture and a member of the firm’s executive committee, Wallace’s primary roles are strategic planning, business performance and geographic diversification through acquisitions.

 

SASSER, SEFTON, BROWN, TIPTON & DAVIS ATTORNEYS NAMED TO SUPER LIST

MONTGOMERY – Sasser, Sefton, Brown, Tipton & Davis, P.C., shareholders Pat Sefton and Bo Brown have been named to the 2013 Alabama Super Lawyers List.

Sefton is listed in Alabama Super Lawyers in the primary practice area of banking litigation. Brown is listed in the area of bankruptcy and creditors’ rights.

Alabama Super Lawyers is published by Thomson Reuters in cooperation with the publishers of Business Alabama magazine.

 

TOURNAMENTS RAISE $110,000 FOR JACKSON HOSPITAL FOUNDATION

MONTGOMERY – More than 220 golfers and 28 tennis players participated in the Swinging FORE Healthcare golf and tennis tournament benefiting the Jackson Hospital Foundation.

With 14 vendor sponsors, the tournament at Wynlakes Golf & Country Club raised nearly $110,000 for the foundation.

“Swinging FORE Healthcare is one of the best tournaments in the River Region,” said Patrick Wood, development director for the foundation. “We continue to be humbled by the support of our vendors and participants. Our vendors go the extra mile to provide entertainment that makes this tournament truly unique.”

Proceeds from this year’s event will benefit cardiovascular services at Jackson Hospital.

 

CAPELL & HOWARD LAWYERS NAMED TO 2014 BEST LAWYERS LIST

MONTGOMERY – Seventeen lawyers at Capell & Howard, P.C., are included in the 2014 edition of Best Lawyers.

The attorneys were selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America. Of these 17, four were named as Lawyers of the Year in five categories: William D. Coleman, litigation-environmental and mediation; Henry H. Hutchinson, litigation and controversy-tax; D. Kyle Johnson, corporate law; and William K. Martin, real estate law.

The following attorneys were also named as Best Lawyers: Frank H. McFadden, Bruce J. Downey, Henry C. Barnett, K. Palmer Smith, Robert T. Meadows, Shap D. Ashley, Robert F. Northcutt, J. Lister Hubbard, James N. Walter, Debby D. Spain, R. Brooke Lawson, M. Courtney Williams and James M. Scott.

The attorneys selected practice in the areas of arbitration, mediation, construction law, labor and employment law, family law, real estate, trusts and estates, tax law, commercial litigation, banking and finance litigation, litigation-construction, corporate law and employee benefits law.

Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession.

 

BEASLEY ALLEN ATTORNEYS NAMED TO BEST LAWYERS PUBLICATION

MONTGOMERY – Seventeen Beasley Allen attorneys were selected for inclusion in the 2014 edition of Best Lawyers in America.

Included on the list are the firm’s founding shareholder, Jere L. Beasley, as well as shareholders J. Greg Allen, Michael J. Crow, Thomas J. Methvin, J. Cole Portis, W. Daniel “Dee” Miles III, Andy D. Birchfield Jr., Rhon E. Jones, Benjamin E. Baker Jr., Julia Anne Beasley, LaBarron N. Boone, David B. Byrne III, R. Graham Esdale Jr., P. Leigh O’Dell, Roman A. Shaul, W. Roger Smith III and C. Gibson Vance.

Additionally, Jere L. Beasley has been named the Best Lawyers’ 2014 Montgomery Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs “Lawyer of the Year” and Methvin has been named the 2014 Montgomery Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Plaintiffs “Lawyer of the Year.”

Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which almost 50,000 leading attorneys cast nearly 5 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas and because lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed, inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor.

 

GOODWYN, MILLS AND CAWOOD SEEKS ENTRIES FOR SOCIAL DESIGN BUILD COMPETITION

MONTGOMERY – Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood Inc. (GMC) announced a Call for Entries to high schools in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee for the 2013-14 Can Do Good Social Design Build Competition.

Each school will host a canned food drive, then design and build an original structure using the collected items and submit a photo of the final Can Do Good Structure. One school from each state will be selected by popular vote through the Can Do Good Facebook page and will advance to the final round of the competition, judged by GMC architects and engineers.

GMC will award the title of Best Can Do Good Structure in the Southeast plus $2,500 to the overall winning school, along with matching the donation of the winning school from each state.

Entry forms are due Oct. 10 and structure submissions are due Dec. 10. Online voting to determine state winners is Dec. 12-Jan. 6 and the overall winner will be announced Jan. 23.

For information, contact Abby Basinger at abby.basinger@gmcnetwork.com. Forms and competition submissions should be sent to candogood@gmcnetwork.com.

 

ALABAMA POWER FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES GATEWAY GRANTS

The Alabama Power Foundation has awarded more than $33,000 in Gateway grants to provide materials for signs that greet visitors to cities, towns and communities across the state.

This year, the Gateway grant program will help 16 communities welcome visitors and potential new businesses by providing funding to support well-designed entrances. The program helps communities remain beautiful and vibrant. Montgomery is one of the 16 communities.

"The Alabama Power Foundation has a goal of strengthening the communities we serve," said John Hudson, president of the Alabama Power Foundation. "Providing an attractive gateway into these communities can help spur economic development and maintain civic pride."

In its second year, the Gateway grant program has already impacted more than 30 communities in Central and South Alabama.

 

LAW FIRM ANNOUNCES HIRE

MONTGOMERY – The law firm of Sasser, Sefton, Brown, Tipton & Davis, P.C., announced that William R. Cunningham Jr. has joined the firm.

A native of Montgomery, Cunningham returned to the region after graduating from the University of Alabama School of Law in 2007. His practice is focused in the areas of real estate, financial services and credit transactions, environmental law and civil litigation.

 

UNITED METHODIST CHILDREN’S HOME NAMES VICE PRESIDENT

MONTGOMERY – The United Methodist Children’s Home recently appointed Michelle Byrd as vice president of finance and administration.

Byrd, who will be in charge of the overall management of the agency’s business operations, will report to UMCH President and CEO Blake Horne. She brings more than 18 years of experience as an accountant. Most recently, she worked in corporate accounting with Colonial Bank and BB&T.

UMCH, which was founded 123 years ago, has helped transform the lives of thousands of abused, neglected and traumatized children, young mothers and struggling families.

 

SMARTBOOKS ACCOUNTING SOLUTIONS HIRES EXPERIENCED ACCOUNTANT

MONTGOMERY – SmartBooks Accounting Solutions, LLC, has hired accountant Jennifer Sullins.

A Troy University graduate, Sullins has 18-plus years of experience in accounting management. Her industry experience includes both public and private accounting management in personal and corporate taxation, health care, hospitality, transportation, retail, new business development, agriculture, financial software conversion, forensic accounting, and cost accounting for food/beverage implementation.

Sullins has designed and co-managed multiple corporate initiatives, budgeting and streamlining costs by creating accurate reporting procedures for existing business as well as working closely with the Small Business Administration to assist new businesses with this same focus.

SmartBooks Accounting Solutions offers professional accounting services including small business accounting, bookkeeping, traditional or online payroll, QuickBooks setup, help and training, tax preparation, budget and forecasting.

 

PARTNERS REALTY EXPANDS WITH THREE HIRES

MONTGOMERY – Jenny Smith has been promoted to operations manager for Partners Realty as the company has also announced three hires.

Smith, who has been with the firm since 2010, oversees a growing office administrative and accounting staff as well as the property management, homeowners’ association management and field maintenance departments.

Staff additions include David Savage, project manager; Chase Stewart, accounting associate; and Melissa Wagner, operations coordinator.

 

BAPTIST HEALTH NEUROLOGICAL CLINIC. ANNOUNCES NEW DOCTOR

MONTGOMERY – Dr. William Lievens has joined the Baptist Health Neurological Clinic.

He received undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Miami in Coral Gables and Miami. He completed neurology residency at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He continued his education at UAB, completing fellowships in clinical neurophysiology (EEG/epilepsy track) and sleep medicine.

Lievens is a board-certified neurologist and board eligible in clinical neurophysiology, epilepsy, sleep medicine, and EEG. In addition to general neurology, his special interests are treating patients with epilepsy/seizures or sleep disorders.

He is accepting new patients, who may call (334) 281-7299 to make an appointment.

JACKSON THORNTON ANNOUNCES PROMOTIONS

MONTGOMERY – Certified public accounting and consulting firm Jackson Thornton announced several promotions.

Joseph Vickery, Jason Davis and Adam Causey were all promoted to senior manager; and Brian Davis was promoted to director of information technology. Jackson Thornton also promoted Will Jones and William Sheffield to manager of the firm’s utilities group; and Ashley Taylor, manager of the business valuation and litigation consulting group. Jones, Sheffield and Taylor are all certified public accountants.

Vickery, who joined the firm in 1998, specializes in not-for-profit and government audits, and manages the employee benefit plan audit practice. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Auburn University. He is a certified public accountant (CPA).

Davis, a CPA, received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Auburn University and is in his second year of the three-year Alabama Banking School. He joined Jackson Thornton in 2001 and specializes in financial institution and cotton industry audits.

Causey provides tax and consulting services for small businesses and individuals. The certified public accountant joined the firm in 2006. He received a bachelor’s degree from Auburn University at Montgomery.

Davis joined Jackson Thornton Technologies in 2003 as a network engineer and was promoted to manager of internal IT for all Jackson Thornton companies in 2008. He received a bachelor’s degree from Auburn University at Montgomery.