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Business Buzz, Summer 2012

Will WilsonJIM WILSON & ASSOCIATES NAMED PROPERTY MANAGER FOR HIGH POINT TOWN CENTER

MONTGOMERY – Jim Wilson & Associates has been named the property manager for High Point Town Center in Prattville.

The shopping center, which opened in 2008, has more than 175,000 square feet of retail space available; 20,000-plus square feet of available office space; 12 outparcels for sale or lease; and a 38-acre adjacent site for development.

High Point Town Center features Bass Pro Shops, Belk, JCPenney, Publix and Best Buy as well as a number of small retailers.

“High Point Town Center provides a unique opportunity for Prattville and Central Alabama to add new retailers who complement Belk, JCPenney, Publix and Best Buy,” Wilson & Associates President Will Wilson said in a statement. “Jim Wilson & Associates’ efforts will focus on making a positive impact to the project with new retailers.”

The company is currently developing the $1 billion Redstone Gateway, adjacent to Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville. The long-term project will feature 4 million-plus square feet of office space, two hotels and 125,000 square feet of retail space.

Montgomery-based Jim Wilson & Associates developed EastChase in East Montgomery. Other Montgomery projects are Wynlakes Golf & Country Club; New Park subdivision; Lakeview Center; and Sterling Centre.

High Point Town Center was bought by Dallas-based Clearview Investments Ltd.

Daniel HugesSUMMIT HOUSING PARTNERS, BAILEY PROPERTIES MERGE

MONTGOMERY – Summit Housing Partners, LLC of Montgomery has merged with Little Rock, Arkansas-based Bailey Properties, LLC.

The two formed a new company, BSR Trust, LLC, creating a portfolio of 111 multifamily properties located in 10 states with almost 600 employees.

The management of BSR Trust will be a combination of executives from Bailey Properties, LLC and Summit Housing Partners, LLC. Daniel Hughes, founder of Summit Housing Properties, LLC will serve as the new company’s CEO. Patti Bailey and John Bailey, CEO of Bailey Properties, will both serve on the BSR’s board of directors. John Bailey will also serve on BSR’s finance committee.

“We are pleased to announce this merger of two industry leaders to create a stronger company with a focus to provide an exceptional living experience for each of our communities,” Hughes said. “We will rely on the traditional values that built our two companies and look for opportunities to continue to grow our business in the future.”

The merger is the result of many months of planning and research to align both companies and plan for future growth. Together, the companies bring combined assets of $1 billion-plus, representing 18,689 units. The company’s strategy for growth will be centered at growing markets with below-average unemployment rates including Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Shreveport, Louisiana, Houston, Dallas, Little Rock, New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

BSR Trust will continue to maintain corporate offices in Montgomery, Birmingham and Little Rock.

“BSR Trust has a bright future and we are excited about the opportunity to continue to provide value to our residents while building value for our shareholders,” Hughes said.

The merger has been approved by both companies’ board of directors and remains subject to regulatory approval and project lender consent.

Peter SelmanBAPTIST MEDICAL CENTER EAST NAMED ONE OF TOP 100 HOSPITALS

MONTGOMERY – Baptist Medical Center East has been named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by Thomson Reuters.

Baptist East is the only hospital in Alabama to receive the designation.

The Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals study evaluates performance in 10 areas: mortality; medical complications; patient safety; average patient stay; expenses; profitability; patient satisfaction; adherence to clinical standards of care; post-discharge mortality; and readmission rates for acute myocardial infarction (heart attack), heart failure and pneumonia. The study has been conducted annually since 1993. This is the second time Baptist East has been recognized.

“We are incredibly proud of this recognition,” said Peter Selman, CEO of Baptist Medical Center East. “We are committed to providing our community with quality health care and this award recognizes that dedication.”

Baptist Medical Center East is a 150-bed acute care hospital providing a broad range of health care services. It is one of three hospitals which comprise Baptist Health, the largest health system in Central Alabama. Baptist Health was recently named a Thomson Reuters Top 15 Health System and was the only system in Alabama to receive the prestigious recognition.

Thomson Reuters researchers evaluated 2,886 short-term, acute care, non-federal hospitals to name the top 100 hospitals.

Todd StrangeMONTGOMERY LISTED AMONG HARDEST-WORKING CITIES

MONTGOMERY – Montgomery was ranked No. 23 on Parade Magazine’s list of the “25 Hardest-Working Towns in America.”

Parade’s editorial team analyzed the total number of hours worked, commute times, unemployment rates, the number of dual-income families and the likelihood of people giving up personal time for work to determine the rankings.

They found a high percentage of Capital City residents scored four points above the national average by stating that they did not mind giving up personal time for work hours.

The study also showed Montgomery as a city working harder than others to keep unemployment rates lower through both government policies and private sector opportunities.

“I believe the partnership and commitment of city leadership, along with the county and the Chamber has proven to be instrumental in creating opportunities for our residents,” Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange said. “We work every day to help ‘prime the pump’ to ensure our community can continue to have quality jobs and good quality of life for our work force.

“I believe the Korean companies that have located in Montgomery have taught their team members a strong work ethic. These companies continue to win national quality awards for products and company productivity and the result speaks volumes.”

Bob HowellVETERAN NEWS ANCHOR RETIRES FROM WSFA

MONTGOMERY – Long-time news anchor Bob Howell retired from television, ending more than 32 years working at WSFA 12 News.

He has been a fixture on television sets in Central Alabama for more than five decades.

“Since first arriving in Montgomery in 1976, I’ve been honored to have anchored our news coverage of just about every major event in Alabama.” Howell said. “I’m resigned to the fact that I’ll miss the excitement of working at WSFA and in television news, but I plan to enjoy other opportunities and challenges following my retirement from television news. I feel I still have a lot to offer.”

After starting in radio during high school in his home town of Geneva – and five years in TV news in Dothan – Howell’s career at WSFA began in August 1976 anchoring the 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts. He spent the next 22 years anchoring more than 10,000 live newscasts and serving as the news department’s managing editor.

He also reported news from major cities around the country and had several foreign assignments covering stories in England, France, Germany and Kuwait. During that time Howell also produced award-winning documentaries, hosted WSFA’s “Newsmakers,” “Alabama Illustrated,” “Inside Alabama’s Legislature” and co-hosted the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon and the Children’s Miracle Network fundraisers.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Bob for nearly six years,” said Scott Duff, news director for WSFA. “I would like to personally thank Bob for his dedication, hard work and commitment to excellence over his 30-plus years at WSFA 12 News and wish him nothing but the very, very best in his retirement.”

Howell left the station in 1998, but returned in June 2004 to again anchor the news at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. He also hosted a weekly feature called “Exploring Alabama with Bob Howell.”

“Since the ’70s Bob Howell has been a mainstay in this region and an important member of the WSFA 12 News team,” said Collin R. Gaston, vice president and general manager at WSFA 12 News. “His wisdom, demeanor and desire to be the best have kept this station on top during all the years he has been associated with it. We wish him continued success and happiness in the future and look forward to having him back as often as we can.”

Pat WatkinsRE/MAX BROKER ASSOCIATE RECEIVES PLATINUM CLUB AWARD

MONTGOMERY – RE/MAX Tri-Star broker associate Pat Watkins has been awarded the Platinum Club Award at the company’s international convention in Las Vegas.

Watkins, a member of the Hall of Fame for RE/MAX, has received the Platinum Club Award for 10 straight years. The award is given to those in the 1 percent of top producers in the world.

The RE/MAX franchise network is a global real estate system operating in 87 countries with nearly 6,500 independently owned offices and 90,000 member sales associates.

JACKSON HOSPITAL VETERAN NURSE RECEIVES PAM WOLFE AWARD

MONTGOMERY – Jackson Hospital recently announced that nurse Almedia Davenport received the Pam Wolfe Award.

Davenport has been a night-shift nurse on the 6 Tower for more than 25 years.

“Almedia’s dedication to this unit is exemplary,” said Gretchen Vercher, director, 6 Tower neurology/orthopedics. “Our patients love her and those she works with praise her for her ability to handle anything that comes her way with grace and poise. Almedia is highly respected by her peers, supervisors, and physicians and she is a great resource for the less experienced nurses on the unit. She is very deserving of this award and is a true example of what nursing is meant to be.”

The Pam Wolfe award is a service award dedicated to the memory of nurse Pam Wolfe, who served as nurse manager on the surgical floor of Baptist East hospital. She was recognized by her peers and faculty for her leadership and devotion to nursing.

Bettie BortonMONTGOMERY DOCTOR WILL LEAD AMERICAN ACADEMY OF AUDIOLOGY

MONTGOMERY – Dr. Bettie Borton was recently elected as president elect of the American Academy of Audiology.

With a membership of more than 12,000 worldwide, the academy represents audiology professionals from across the United States as well as 13 foreign countries. It is the world’s largest professional organization for audiologists.

The academy promotes quality hearing and balance care by advancing the profession of audiology through leadership, advocacy, education, public awareness and support of research.

Borton, who is CEO of Doctors Hearing Clinic which has offices in Montgomery and Auburn/Opelika, will begin her three-year stint with a term as president-elect starting in July. She will become president in July 2013.

“I am honored to have been elected to this position,” Borton said, “and look forward to serving both the profession of audiology as well as those with hearing loss and their families on the national/international stage. It will be a privilege to serve as president of the academy, and I will work diligently to promote its priorities, strengthen its foundations and advocate for the professionals and consumers it represents.”

Thomas DozierALABAMA AG CREDIT RETURNS $5.45 MILLION TO CUSTOMERS

MONTGOMERY – Alabama Ag Credit sent a record all-cash patronage totaling $5.45 million back to its customers, including nearly $1.2 million to customers in the Montgomery area.

Alabama Ag Credit’s Board of Directors declared the patronage return to its customers because of the institution’s results in 2011. For the year, Alabama Ag Credit, a Montgomery-based lending cooperative, grew its loan volume to $677 million-plus while generating more than $13.1 million in net income.

“When you consider those facts, along with our strong credit quality and capital positions, you can quickly see why this board of directors declared another record-breaking cash patronage,” said Thomas Dozier, chairman of the board of directors for Alabama Ag Credit.

As a member of the Farm Credit System, a network of rural lending cooperatives, Alabama Ag Credit has a long history of sharing earnings with its customers. The association has returned more than $24 million in cash to its borrowers since 2006.

“We continue to be that reliable source of credit to agriculture and rural Alabama during a time when many lenders have turned away from this market,”said Alabama Ag Credit CEO Douglas Thiessen. “We are using our strengths to help our stockholders be positioned for a rapidly changing market.”

Alabama Ag Credit provides financing for farms, timber and forestry operations, agribusinesses, recreational land and other rural property in 40 counties in Southern Alabama.

CUNNINGHAM GROUP CAPTURES PUBLIC RELATIONS COUNCIL AWARD

MONTGOMERY – The Cunningham Group won an award of excellence at the Public Relations Council of Alabama conference in Huntsville.

In the category of Special Events Awards, Cunningham Group won for The American Cancer Society Montgomery Chapter 2011 Vintage Affair’s invitation for the annual fundraiser.

The Public Relations Council of Alabama is the state’s longest operating and largest group of public relations practitioners.

Cunningham Group Inc. has been providing advertising and public relations services in Montgomery since 1974.

Ashley AaronCHARTER HR LAUNCHES WEBSITE, PAY CARD SERVICES

MONTGOMERY – Charter HR has introduced a full-service website and Pay Card.

“The new website allows better navigation of all our service platforms and offerings,” said Ashley Aaron, senior vice president and agency director for Charter HR. “Our Pay Card Visa/Debit delivery platform is a way to allow an employer to convert all paychecks into a direct deposit at no cost.”

Each Pay Card is personalized for each employee and accepted throughout the world. Charter HR is a full service professional employer organization with services that include payroll delivery and taxes, human resources services and employee benefits.

For information, contact Charter HR at www.mycharterhr.com

UAB HEALTH CENTER MONTGOMERY CONDUCTS UAB KENNAMER DISTINGUISHED LECTURE

MONTGOMERY – Dr. Mike Saag was the honoree at this year’s annual UAB Kennamer Distinguished Lecture.

He is a professor of medicine and the Jim Straley Chair in AIDS Research and director of the UAB (University of Alabama-Birmingham) Center for AIDS Research. Saag is an internationally recognized leader in basic science and clinical research and also in the comprehensive care of patients with HIV infection. He made key discoveries in the genetic evolution and viral dynamics of HIV.

The Distinguished Lecture Series, sponsored by the UAB Health Center Montgomery, was established in 1978 to bring leaders in health care to Montgomery to interact with local medical, civic, political and business leaders.

In another development, the UAB Health Center Montgomery received a $6,500 grant from the Department of Medicine at the UAB School of Medicine to study innovations in medical education and the benefits of enhanced communication and teamwork skills on patient care.

MAX CREDIT UNION CELEBRATES GROUNDBREAKING IN LEE COUNTY

MONTGOMERY – MAX Credit Union held a groundbreaking at the branch site of its expansion into Lee County.

The new branch, which is scheduled to open in the fall, is located at 3021 Frederick Road in Opelika. The branch will feature lobby and drive-thru service and the latest in modern design and technology. A concierge will greet members and individual kiosks, staffed with employees who offer members one-on-one personalized service.

There will be a MAX Perks refreshment center, providing free coffee and bottled water, and the MAX Business Center, where members can have a quiet area to organize paperwork, send a fax or make copies of documents.

MAX Credit Union is a full-service financial institution headquartered in Montgomery.

John VeresAUBURN MONTGOMERY SELECTED AS CONFUCIUS INSTITUTE SITE

MONTGOMERY – The Office of Chinese Language Council International, or Hanban, has cleared the way for Auburn University Montgomery to establish a Confucius Institute on campus.

“We are incredibly proud to be able to establish the AUM Confucius Institute and we consider our partnership with the Office of Chinese Language Council International one of this university’s highest honors,” said AUM Chancellor John G. Veres III. “This achievement is a testament to the vision and hard work of all those associated with AUM’s Far Eastern Initiatives and to the relationships we have built with the faculty, staff and students of our 33 sister universities in China.”

Veres and Special Assistant to the Chancellor Yaw-Chin Ho, head of the AUM Office of Far Eastern Initiatives, traveled to Beijing, where they formalized the university’s partnership with Hanban at its headquarters.

The AUM Confucius Institute will promote Chinese language and culture both on campus and in the surrounding community, including local K-12 schools.

In September, the university will dedicate a Confucius Garden on campus with guests traveling from China to take part in the event and celebrate the establishment of the new institute.

Les MasseyWHITFIELD FOODS RECEIVES PRESTIGIOUS AWARD FROM PEPSICO

MONTGOMERY – Whitfield Foods has received the Contract Manufacturer of the Year Award for excellence in productivity, cost control, quality and customer service from its primary customer, PepsiCo.

The award singles out Whitfield Foods, one of 64 PepsiCo contract manufacturers throughout the United States, for consistently providing significant value through the most innovative product and packaging solutions while delivering outstanding production results. PepsiCo and Whitfield Foods have worked together since 1998.

“This is truly an incredibly high honor that PepsiCo has presented to us,” said Les Massey, president and CEO of Whitfield Foods since December 2000. “To be honored this way by one of the most outstanding food and beverage companies in the world is both humbling and gratifying.

“It is because of our highly dedicated employees that we are receiving this award. This amazing group of employees, many of whom have been with the company for a significant number of years, understands what it takes to be the best in our industry. For PepsiCo to recognize that is a wonderful testament to our employees.”

Whitfield Has become a key player in launching Tropicana Twister single-serve juice drinks, Dole juices, 10-ounce Tropicana juices, 96- and 64-ounce Tropicana Shelf-Stable Orange Juice, Lipton gallon teas, SoBe and Amp Energy Shots. The company also produces single-serve Gatorade and a food service Limeade and Cherry Limeade.

“The Whitfield Foods team dedicates itself to our success every day, and as a partner has helped us meet and exceed our production and innovation needs, while providing excellent quality and customer service for a variety of PepsiCo beverages,” said Art Lawrence, vice president of contract manufacturing at PepsiCo.

Michael ColemanHOPE INSPIRED MINISTRIES OFFERS PROGRAM FOR JOBLESS

MONTGOMERY – Hope Inspired Ministries is a new faith-based nonprofit that prepares chronically unemployed men and women for jobs through a 13 week training course.

The participants meet 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Thursday to explore topics such as how to be a good employee, goal setting, responsibility, accountability, basic math and English, computer training and proper interview practices. Each student will receive specialized classroom and on-the-job training.

Michael Coleman is executive director of Hope Inspired Ministries. For information, contact Hope Inspired Ministries at (334) 649-4330 or at Michael@hopeinspiredministries.org. The organization is located at 52 Adams Ave.

Charlie EdwardsEDWARDS PLUMBING & HEATING VP RECEIVES ENERGY STAR CERTIFICATION

MONTGOMERY – Edwards Plumbing & Heating Vice President Charlie Edwards was recognized by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America as a participant in the Quality Assured Program.

This program recognizes professional heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) companies that install heating and cooling systems in support of the Energy Star for Qualified New Homes program.

For Energy Star new homes, heating and cooling systems that are installed by Edwards Plumbing & Heating will be validated by specially trained raters from the Residential Energy Services Network. This will substantiate that the heating and cooling system meets the industry installation standard.

John ChamblessStephen KingCHAMBLESS KING ARCHITECTS ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP

MONTGOMERY – Montgomery architects John Chambless Jr. and Stephen King have recently announced their partnership, combining more than six decades of experience.

The partners have previously collaborated on notable local projects including the City of Montgomery master plan, Riverwalk, Health Service Inc.’s new River Region Health Center and Alabama State University’s master plan, residence halls and football stadium.

“We have assembled an experienced and award-winning staff in an innovative environment coupled with the latest technologies and resources to produce exciting design meeting the industry’s most exacting standards,” Chambless said.

One of the latest technologies Chambless King Architects utilizes is software that gives the client the ability to see a building in three-dimensional views.

Chambless King Architects offers a variety of services including architecture, interior design, project management, urban planning/master planning, project cost and schedule management. Additionally, project experience covers a wide range of commercial and institutional building types ranging from office and retail space, health care, government and military buildings, religious, educational, entertainment and hospitality facilities.

Chambless graduated from Auburn University in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in environmental design and a bachelor’s degree in architecture. King also graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in architecture.

Chambless King Architects is currently designing their new office space on the third floor of the former Brew Pub at 12 W. Jefferson Street in downtown Montgomery.

For information, call (334) 272-0029.

BEASLEY ALLEN ATTORNEYS NAMED TO PRESTIGIOUS 2012 SUPER LAWYERS LIST

MONTGOMERY – Thirteen Beasley Allen attorneys were selected for inclusion on the 2012 Super Lawyers list.

That is a designation earned by fewer than 5 percent of lawyers in the state. Included on the list is the firm’s founding shareholder, Jere L. Beasley, as well as shareholders J. Greg Allen, Thomas J. Methvin, J. Cole Ports, Daniel W. “Dee” Miles III, Andy D. Birchfield Jr., Rhon E. Jones, Benjamin E. Baker Jr., Julia A. Beasley and Kendall C. Dunson.

Three Beasley Allen attorneys also were included on the Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” list, which recognizes the top up-and-coming attorneys – those who are 40 years old or younger, or who have been practicing 10 years or less. Beasley Allen’s Rising Stars are Chris D. Glover, William H. Robertson V and Navan Ward.

The Super Lawyer designation is based on peer recognition and personal achievement, and involves a statewide nomination process, independent research on each candidate and peer evaluation by practice area. The criteria included verdicts, settlements, transactions, representative clients, experience, honors and awards, special licenses and certifications, position within the law firm, bar or other professional activity; pro bono and community service, scholarly lectures and writings, education and employment background and other outstanding achievements.

Brianne WilsonWARREN AVERETT WILSON PRICE CPA EARNS PERSONAL FINANCIAL SPECIALIST CREDENTIAL

MONTGOMERY – Warren Averett Wilson Price Division certified public accountant Brianne Wilson has been awarded the personal financial specialist credential.

She joins an elite group of professionals who have demonstrated advanced knowledge of tax, estate, retirement, investment and insurance planning.

She received the credential by meeting the requirements that included being a CPA; at least 80 hours of personal financial planning education; and 3,000 hours of planning experience within the previous five-year period. Wilson passed a comprehensive exam covering nine topic areas and is a member in good standing with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Currently, more than 5,000 CPAs hold the personal financial specialist credential nationwide.

COPPERWING AND NEPTUNE WIN ADVERTISING AWARD

MONTGOMERY – Copperwing was selected as the Gold winner in the “Best in Advertising Award” for its 2011 Neptune ad featured in the American Water Works Association publication, Opflow, which is sent to each of the organization’s more than 50,000 members.

Copperwing’s ad for Neptune, “Fits the Bill”, was chosen by a group of more than 50 judges who included those in the utilities and marketing industries.

Advertisements in the competition were assigned points based on three criteria: a high degree of visual magnetism; ability to inspire readers to learn more at first glance; and clarity of information regarding product or service.