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  • January 2018

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    As America’s lawmakers continue to battle the issue of healthcare, one Montgomery businessman has united with a nationwide group of advocates to represent Alabamians. Bill Turenne, a second-generation, skilled nursing care provider, knows first- hand how the needs of our nation’s elderly can get lost in the political fray. That’s why he’s joined the American Health Care Association’s Future Leaders program, which examines advanced areas of leadership and management as well as engages with lawmakers on important long-term care topics. “I am proud to be in a position to help the people of Alabama.” Turenne is CEO and owner of Turenne & Associates, a long-term healthcare company based in Montgomery that provides medical supply, pharmacy and compliance solutions to care facilities.
    FAULKNER UNIVERSITY ANNOUNCES AUTISM CENTER                                  
    At Faulkner University’s Annual Benefit Dinner in October, Faulkner President Mike Williams announced plans to create an autism center on campus in 2019. The center, which would be the first in the area, would combine the resources from the College of Education with new master’s and doctoral programs in speech-language pathology and physical therapy beginning next fall and the coming year respectively. Currently, Faulkner has partnered with Texas Tech University’s Burkhart Center for Autism Education and Research to help with “best practices” moving forward in developing a similar center at Faulkner.
    CADDELL SELECTED TO BID ON NASA CONTRACT                                                     
    Caddell Construction has been selected by NASA as one of four contractors who will compete for $3 billion in multiple projects over a period of eight years. This Multiple Award Construction Contract (MACC) will serve as the primary vehicle for most of NASA’s new construction at John C. Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi; the Johnson Space Center in Houston; the White Sands Test Facility near Las Cruces, New Mexico; the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida; the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama; and the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.
    ROSEMONT GARDENS CELEBRATING 126 YEARS                                                      
    Rosemont Gardens celebrated its 125th year of business in early November. Rosemont has served Montgomery and the River Region for over a century and is among the oldest businesses in Montgomery. From its early days as greenhouse to today’s florist and gift shop, Rosemont has been a retail pillar of the community. “One hundred and twenty-five years is a milestone so few businesses ever experience,” said Lamar Thompson, current co-owner of Rosemont Gardens. “We are proud to have done a small part in carrying on this legacy for the city of Montgomery.”
    The National Science Foundation has recently awarded $60,886 in scholarships to 31 Alabama State University students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematic (STEM) disciplines for the 2017-18 academic year. The scholarships will help the students with their tuition and fees. “This is the sixth consecutive year ASU undergraduate students have been awarded scholarships in STEM disciplines,” said Dr. Manoj Mishra, an associate professor of biology and director of ASU’s Cancer Biology Research and Training Program. “This grant has helped more than 150 STEM students in the last six years,” Mishra said. “This assistance helps in increasing the graduation and retention rate at ASU in STEM disciplines.”
    Mike Disbrow, president of Hartzell Engine Technologies LLC (HET), announced last fall that the company has purchased the assets associated with South Wind aircraft cabin heaters from Meggitt (Troy), Inc. “Thousands of owners are affected by the recent issuance of FAA AD 2017-06-03, which mandates that any aircraft equipped with a South Wind heater perform a series of inspections within the next 10-hours of heater operating time or next scheduled maintenance activity, whichever occurs first,” Disbrow said. Meggitt/South Wind has not produced a complete cabin heater since 1989. As a result, many of the components, including the original combustion tubes, are no longer available. “HET’s acquisition of the existing inventory, intellectual property, tooling and rights to produce the South Wind line of heaters will enable us to put needed parts back in production and support the South Wind heaters, which will ultimately benefit these owners,” he said.
    ASU WINS $50K                                                        
    Alabama State University recently won first place in a Home Depot contest that awarded the university $50,000 to renovate and refurbish its Student Health Center. In November, more than 100 volunteers pitched in to install new cabinets, replace ceiling tiles, and do landscape work to beautify the entryway.
    Gene Stallings, one of the most iconic people in Alabama sports history, was selected as the recipient of the 2017 Raycom Media Camellia Bowl Alabama Football Legend Award, presented by Regions Bank. “Gene Stallings is a true Alabama legend,” Johnny Williams, Raycom Media Camellia Bowl Executive Director said. “His accomplishments on the eld are well-documented, including his seven-year run and 1992 National Championship at the University of Alabama. He has played an even more important role in the lives of this state off the field. His legacy will be difficult to duplicate.”
    Gilpin Givhan recently received the 2017 River Region Ethics in Business and Public Service Medium Business Award at the eighth annual awards luncheon held on October 16 at Wynlakes Golf and Country Club. The award recognized Gilpin Givhan’s engagement in volunteerism and community service and its adherence to high ethical standards. Accepting the award on behalf of Gilpin Givhan was Robert Gilpin, who stated, “When we serve, we are at our best as lawyers.”
    100 YEARS & GOING STRONG                                              
    This year is the 100th anniversary of the oldest accounting rm in Montgomery. Aldridge Borden & Company is a well-regarded business in the River Region and is known for its involvement in the community. Mayer W. Aldridge, considered the founder of our firm, was the first chairman of the Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy. Aldridge Borden & Company’s services include attestation, taxation, bookkeeping, as well as business consulting services. The firm is heavily involved in the River Region United Way along with participating in many other community activities including Alabama Head Injury Foundation – Brain Freeze Challenge, Brantwood Children’s Home Love Run and Tukabatchee Area Boy Scouts Golf Tournament. The firm feels that although it has learned and achieved much over the past 100 years, it remains resolute in becoming continuously better at providing services to its clients. In celebration of the 100 years, Aldridge Borden will be doing various community projects and honoring its clients over the course of the year.
    AT&T EXPANDS ACCESS                                                               
    AT&T Fixed Wireless Internet for rural and underserved locations is now available to residents and small businesses in parts of Montgomery County, including Ramer and Pike Road. This rollout, now in 18 states, is part of the company’s FCC Connect America Fund commitment. It now delivers Fixed Wireless Internet across over 160,000 locations. The Fixed Wireless Internet service delivers a home internet connection with download speeds of at least 10Mbps and upload speeds of at least 1Mbps. The connection comes from a wireless tower to a fixed antenna on customers’ homes or businesses. These towers are fed by part of the more than 4 million strand miles of AT&T fiber optics that cover Alabama. “This is a great day for Montgomery County,” said Elton Dean, chairman of the Montgomery County Commission. “It is an honor to serve this part of our state and to stand here on such a joyous occasion. Having worked for AT&T for 25 years, it comes as no surprise the company is doing such wonderful things for our county. I applaud AT&T for their work to enhance high-speed connectivity for residents and small businesses in rural Alabama.”
    NEW DOWNTOWN HOTEL                                                                  
    Sys-Con, LLC has announced the renovation of historic long-vacant, nine-story Hilltop Arms Apartments building into a modern upscale boutique hotel downtown. The new hotel, Hilltop Suites & Spa, will feature 80 suite hotel rooms, more than 6,000 square feet of spacious meeting and event areas and numerous bars and restaurants. One of the most unique features of the hotel will be the roof-top bar and lounge that overlooks the breathtaking views of downtown Montgomery and Alabama River. Construction will start in spring of 2018 and should be complete by fall 2019. Sys-Con, LLC plans to be heavily involved with the revival plan of the Five Points area in Montgomery with a possibility of investing more than $15 million, some of which has already been invested in the acquisition of approximately 5 acres between Montgomery Street, Clayton Street and Goldthwaite Street. There are plans in the works for the possibility of new multi-use spaces that include shops, grocery, residential and new other projects to follow.
    As of October, AT&T is offering a 1 gigabit connection on its 100-percent fiber network powered by AT&T FiberSM to customer in parts of the Montgomery area. This is one of 61 metros nationwide where the company’s ultra-fast internet service is currently available. “AT&T is committed to expanding access to ultra-fast internet as our customers increasingly interact with their world in more data-intensive ways, and we are proud to add the Montgomery area to our list where we offer our fastest internet speeds available,” said Ty Fondren, AT&T Alabama regional director of External and Legislative Affairs.
    Alabama Independent Colleges and Universities (AAICU) has distributed $38,500 in UPS Scholarships to assist 14 students at private colleges and universities in Alabama. The scholarships were made possible by a grant from the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) in Washington, DC, through the CIC/UPS Educational Endowment. “By directly assisting Alabama students with significant financial need, we are helping a new generation of students achieve their dreams of a college education,” said Paul Hankins, president of AAICU. Colleges in Alabama that received UPS Scholarships this year from Alabama Independent Colleges & Universities include Amridge University, Birmingham-Southern College, Concordia College Alabama, Faulkner University, Huntingdon College, Judson College, Miles College, Samford University, Spring Hill College, Stillman College, Talladega College, Tuskegee University, United States Sports Academy and University of Mobile.
    Beasley Allen Law Firm hosted its 11th annual Legal Strategies Conference & Expo November 16 and 17. Approximately 1,500 Alabama lawyers attended the event and were treated to an inside look at a recent case Beasley Allen successfully litigated, which was a new approach to presenting cutting-edge trends and information in the profession. Throughout the two-day event, a lineup of award-winning and accomplished speakers presented on topics of Product Liability, Business Litigation, Consumer Fraud, Medical Device and Drug Litigation as well as Legal Ethics.                                             
    Faulkner University has a tradition of honoring and supporting the nation’s first responders, and one way the university is showing its gratitude for their service is by offering them a 50-percent reduction in college tuition. The discount applies to public safety professionals across the nation and includes law enforcement, re and Emergency Medical Services personnel. Most staff members of these departments also qualify. With 50-percent tuition reduction in most programs, first responders will have access to some of the top-ranked higher education programs in the country, both online and at campuses in Montgomery, Huntsville, Mobile and Birmingham.
    Caddell, in a joint venture with its local Pensacola, Fla., partner Whitesell-Green, is performing the design-build of a new state-of-the-art 300,000-square-foot detention facility on a 19-acre property adjacent to an existing jail. The three-story building will house 720 inmates and include a secure sallyport; an inmate intake and receiving area; dining and kitchen service areas that will serve both the old and new facilities; and all associated MEP, civil and environmental systems. The new facility will anchor a redevelopment initiative for an economically depressed section of Pensacola. Completion is scheduled for early 2020.
    The Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce’s Point of Light Award honors an outstanding minority-owned or female-owned member small business for its achievements and contributions to the community. Two awards are given, one for businesses that have been operational for one to nine years and another for 10 or more years. This year, the finalists for Category I (in business less than 10 years) were Jessica Rogers, Jes Health Services, LLC; Michelle Browder, More Than Tours; and Cheryl W. Brown, ZealRiver Technologies, Inc. The winner was Ida McCrary, Jozettie's Cupcakes. The finalists for Category II (in business 10 years or more) were Pam Mashburn, exploreMedia and Diana S. Gray, Montgomery Arts Academy. The winner was William Woodhouse, eSolution Architects, Inc.
    The Capitol City SCORE Chapter hosted a reception for River Region banking officials on October 11 to share how SCORE can help their small business clients and prospects strengthen their businesses. Chapter Chairs shared how being involved in SCORE mentoring can help them reach their CRA goals. SCORE is a U.S. Small Business Administration initiative that provides mentoring, counseling and training to would-be and existing entrepreneurs. The Chamber hosts the Capitol City SCORE Chapter office at its Business Resource Center.
    Alabama State University and Alabama A&M compete on the eld every year in the Magic City Classic, and this year, the universities competed off the gridiron for something much more important – saving lives – by competing in the AT&T Magic City Classic “It Can Wait” pledge competition, highlighting the dangers of distracted driving. Students, faculty and fans had the opportunity to impact behaviors and spread the important message that no post, glance, email, search or text is worth a life. They also were able to experience the “It Can Wait” virtual reality simulator and see firsthand the dangers of distracted driving. “The Magic City Classic is always an exciting and hard-fought competition, and the ‘It Can Wait’ pledge challenge was just as hard-fought, with safety on the line,” said Mickey Harbin, AT&T assistant vice president of external and legislative affairs. “While only one team wins the football game, many more students and fans across our state win much more by pledging to keep their eyes on the road, not on their phone.” During the Magic City Classic pledge competition, more than 2,000 students, faculty and fans took the pledge, earning ASU $2,000. “Driving with any distraction presents a danger to every motorist on the road,” said ASU President Quinton T. Ross. “That’s why we are grateful for our collaboration with AT&T and their ‘It Can Wait’ campaign.”
    In early November, the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce joined elected officials, business leaders and members of the Montgomery Airport Authority for an announcement that will have a tremendous impact on the local economy. American Airlines will now offer nonstop service from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) to Montgomery Regional Airport (MGM). Expanded air service to and from the nation’s capital will open doors for the Montgomery area on many levels. The opportunities it brings in terms of business travel are significant as well as the impact it will have on the local tourism economy. Moreover, as the state capital and home to Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, the Intellectual and Leadership Center of the U.S. Air Force, Montgomery’s ability to provide a direct flight to Washington D.C. is vital to accommodating the large volume of military and government travel coming in and out of the city. “The Montgomery Chamber has long been a proponent of a direct flight between Washington, D.C. and Montgomery,” said Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Board Chairman David B. Reed. “This will obviously be an added convenience for our residents traveling to the D.C. area, but even more importantly, the potential business prospects and visitors it will bring to Montgomery is exciting.” The new air service will begin on June 7, 2018.
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  • Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce
    41 Commerce Street, P.O. Box 79
    Montgomery, Alabama 36101
    Tel: 334.834.5200   Fax: 334.265.4745

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