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  • July 2019

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    MGM Gets Bike Share
    Mayor Todd Strange announced that bike share will roll out this summer in Montgomery. “Quality of life is key to building on our success in economic development, neighborhood stability and the booming tourism industry,” Strange said. “Bike share and micro-mobility systems are the future, and we fully embrace these tools as catalysts for continued growth and prosperity in the Capital of Dreams. Not only will bike share boost overall vibrancy and downtown foot traffic for businesses, but it further cements our status as one of the South’s Smartest Cities.”
    Micro-mobility vendor Zagster will begin operating 10 Pace Parking stations with a fleet of approximately 50 Pace bikes this summer. The stations will span prominent locations throughout Montgomery’s city-center, including the Rosa Parks Museum, the Capitol, City Hall, The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, Riverwalk Stadium, Morgan Library, Kress and more. Initial sponsors include Baptist Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama and Wind Creek Hospitality, but City officials invite additional businesses and organizations to join. The Pace Parking platform supports secure, lock-to parking for all dockless mobility vehicles including pedal bikes, e-bikes and electric scooters, enabling users to borrow a bike from a dock and return it at another station in the same system. Backed by Ford Motors’ microtransit division, Zagster currently operates more than 250 micro-mobility vehicle shares
    across 35 states. The company will have a local team with a local office in Montgomery.
    Last year, the City of Montgomery collaborated with the Montgomery Bicycle Club and potential bike share vendors to craft an ordinance allowing for a bike-share policy steeped in common-sense regulations prioritizing safety, best practices and the viability of vendors’ business models. The Montgomery City Council approved the ordinance in June 2018.
    Bike shares are most successful when combined with proactive bicycle and pedestrian planning. As one of only a few Alabama cities recognized by the League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly America program, Montgomery’s planning and engineering departments continue implementing plans to develop bicycle and pedestrian-friendly facilities throughout the city.
    Jones Law School Dean Publishes Book
    Allen Mendenhall, an associate dean at Faulkner University Thomas Goode Jones School of Law and the executive director of the Blackstone & Burke Center for Law & Liberty, has published a new book, “Writers on Writing.” This collection of writers discussing writing is an anthology of penetrating interviews with prominent and diverse authors who discuss arts, literature, books, culture, life and the writing process with Mendenhall. Readers will find authentic voices, frank exchanges and unique perspectives on a wide variety of matters.
    Zoo Weekend Sets Record
    More than 10,000 visitors attended the 43rd Annual Montgomery Zoo and Mann Wildlife Learning Museum Zoo Weekend on March 23-24. Through this annual fundraising event, the Montgomery Area Zoological Society was able to raise approximately $120,000 that will go toward the design and construction of a new reptile facility.
    During this annual zoo fundraiser, the Montgomery Zoo was transformed into a festive carnival with two stages of entertainment, games, rides, bouncy houses, giant inflatable slides, pony rides, petting zoo, animal encounters, local choirs, dance troops, Montgomery Fire Department’s Smoke House, Montgomery Police Department K-9 Unit, live animal presentations, concessions, baked goodies and more.
    Melanie Golson, Marketing and Public Relations Manager, explained that it takes more than 200 volunteers per day to make Zoo Weekend a success. “Without the help of our volunteers, we would not have been able to provide the amount of fun we did,” she said.
    Four Star Freightliner Breaks Ground on New Location
    Four Star Freightliner, Inc. broke ground on a new facility in Valley, Alabama, on May 22, marking the start of new construction of Four Star’s permanent home at 1051 Four Star Drive, located on Exit 77, just off I-85. This will be the seventh location for Four Star Freightliner, the third in Alabama. The new, permanent location is scheduled to be completed during the fourth quarter of 2019.
    Representatives from Four Star Freightliner, Chambers County Development Authority, City of Valley and the community participated in the groundbreaking ceremony. Four Star Freightliner Dealer Principal Jerry Kocan said his business could not have asked for more supportive partners than the City of Valley, especially Mayor Riley and Chris Busby with the Chambers County Development Authority.
    The more than $4 million investment at the new Valley location will initially create 15 jobs and could allow for more in the future. Customers can expect the same quality service and support they currently receive from Four Star’s six other locations because Four Star is moving experienced, trained individuals to the Valley dealership.
    Faulkner University Participates in HEAL Day Alabama
    Faulkner University students, staff and faculty joined Governor Kay Ivey and hundreds of children from around the state for the first-ever HEAL Day (“Healthy Eating and Active Living”) at the Alabama State Capitol in May. It was a day of education and celebration of healthy living and literacy. HEAL Alabama is committed to reversing the rise of diabetes and chronic diseases related to unhealthy lifestyle among youth throughout the state. Two years ago, Faulkner partnered with HEAL founder, Christy Swaid and HEAL Alabama to become a HEAL University by encouraging students to become advocates of healthy living among their peers and encourage them to spread awareness to area youth.
    Jason’s Deli Catering Business Climbing
    Catering sales have been rapidly climbing at Jason’s Deli, and the trend is continuing in 2019. There was a jump of 22 percent for the first two months of this year compared with 2018, and mid-March catering revenue rose 35 percent.
    Jason’s Deli is one of a handful of fast-casual restaurants in the River Region with a breakfast catering menu. The eatery has always offered breakfast catering, according to managing partner Jason Snyder, but the restaurant retooled all aspects of it. One of the key changes last year was using fresh eggs and adding three additional egg offerings. “That really improved the quality of the breakfast and we revamped our pastries,” Snyder said. “We always had pastries, but now we have a wider selection.”
    ARC Realty Launches New Training
    ARC Realty announced the official kickoff of its new training initiative for newly licensed agents, combining traditional classroom-style education with self-paced online courses. While the ARC team has always been composed of both new and seasoned agents, the company has narrowed its focus to include a more structured program for helping newly licensed agents kick start their success in the real estate profession. The program has also proven successful for those looking to expand their service offerings or those returning to the field after time away.
    Family Fun Day at Carver High School
    A Westside Family Fun Day was held Saturday, March 9, at Carver High School. The event was produced by the Brighter Futures Task Force, which is chaired by the Samaritan Counseling Center’s Executive Director Cary Kuhlmann. The purpose was to provide parents information on the challenges of raising children: bullying and suicide; raising a child in the digital age; the strong-willed child; and grand-parenting.
    There were more than 100 attendees, 30 volunteers from the Carver High School service clubs and 11 exhibitors in a resources expo. The Fun Day closed out with a performance by the Carver High School Band.
    MGM Second Graders Achieve Super Citizen Status
    In May, Montgomery second graders at several schools graduated from the 10-week Super Citizen Program. They learned civics, character, finance and career lessons and their important roles in America’s future. The students gathered at Davis Theatre for Performing Arts to celebrate their accomplishments. Participating schools included Bear, Dunbar-Ramer, Fitzpatrick, Forest Avenue, MacMillan, Pintlala, Southlawn, Wares Ferry, Garrett Elementary, Blount, Chisholm, Crump, Highland Avenue and Johnson Elementary.
    “Pact to A.C.T.” Program Helps MPS
    The Montgomery Clean City Commission (“MC3”) is looking for volunteers for school cleanup events this summer before students return for the new school year. The “Pact to A.C.T.” program, which stands for “All Cleaning Together,” connects groups of volunteers to schools across Montgomery to help beautify the exterior of the school before students arrive in early August. This could include things like spreading pine straw or mulch, trimming bushes and trees, or mowing the grass. To volunteer, call 334-625-2175.
    Capell & Howard Welcomes Summer Associates
    Capell & Howard recently announced that Caitlin Cobb, William Thomas and Benton Hughes have joined the firm as summer associates. Cobb and Hughes have completed their first year of law studies at The University of Alabama School of Law, and Thomas has completed his second year of law studies at the University of North Carolina School of Law. Both Montgomery natives, Cobb and Hughes graduated from the University of Alabama with degrees in political science, while Thomas received his degree in political science and history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
    Montgomery Zoo Announces the Birth of Two North American River Otters
    At the end of May, the Montgomery Zoo and Mann Wildlife Learning Museum introduced to the public two North American River Otter pups born on February 25, 2019. The pups, one male and one female, named Dipper (Dip for short) and Dot, were born to Lisa (five years old) and Oliver (four years old) who have called the Montgomery Zoo home for a number of years.
    “Dip and Dot have been spending time with mom in the den bonding and learning all the things otter pups need to know,” said Shelli Dean, Assistant Animal Care Manager.
    “We are excited to add these new additions to our Zoo family as it furthers the Zoo’s mission of animal conservation, species protection and improving the future of wildlife,” Zoo Director Marcia Woodard said.
    Child Protect Fundraiser Successful
    Child Protect, Children’s Advocacy Center hosted its spring fundraising event, Barrel of Blues, on April 25 at the Ware-Farley-Hood House in Old Alabama Town. The event featured a bourbon tasting by Whiskey Adventures, music by blues band King Bee, food by Jennie Weller, and drinks and a silent auction with items contributed by local individuals Stephanie & Ken Peavy and businesses. New this year
    was a raffle of 20 Year Pappy Van Winkle, given to the agency by an anonymous donor, which alone raised $9,600.
    Barrel of Blues was sponsored by ServisFirst Bank, Serquest, Kam & Patrick Sidhu, WSFA, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, Beasley Allen, Stokes Stemle, Palomar Insurance, Jackson Thornton, The Vance Law Firm, Jim Wilson & Associates, Hill Hill Carter, Goodwyn Mills Cawood, Whitfield Foods, Kimbro Renovations, Southern Pipe & Supply, Borden Morris Garner, Railyard Brewing Company and Bob Parker. The event raised $40,000, in its second year.
    Montgomery Student Wins Second Trojan Heart Challenge
    A Troy University student with a passion for giving won the second annual TROY Trojan Heart award during a ceremony in May at the International Arts Center. Jasmine Denson, a senior sociology major at TROY’s Montgomery Campus, won the award, which is given to the individual who best embodies TROY’s motto: “Educate the mind to think, the heart to feel and the body to act.”
    Denson, who was selected from a field of 36 nominees, manages a community garden at Tutwiler Women’s Prison in Montgomery. She works side-by-side with the inmates, teaching them about nutrition and horticulture through an outreach project led by Dr. Sharon Everhardt, the faculty member who nominated Denson.
    “I’m overjoyed,” Denson said. “I didn’t expect this. I’m grateful for the opportunity, grateful that I’m able to give and to represent TROY.” In addition to her work at Tutwiler, Denson has also served as the assistant coordinator for the Troy University-Valiant Cross Academy School Garden, teaching gardening and nutrition classes to middle school students and installing a garden at the Montgomery Campus. She also serves as president of the Social Justice Club, helping with a variety of drives designed to help those in need.
    The Trojan Heart is a universitywide challenge for Trojans to nominate students, faculty and staff members who deserve the award. TROY First Lady Janice Hawkins developed the concept to recognize the outstanding efforts Trojans make to help others.
    Valiant Cross Academy Hosts Breakfast With Scholars
    Valiant Cross Academy hosted Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, as its keynote speaker to a sold-out crowd of 700 attendees. More than 55 corporate sponsors and five corporate grand investors stepped up to help the growing school continue its mission of transcending the challenges facing young, African American males in Montgomery County.
    Stevenson took the podium for approximately 30 minutes and gave an eloquent yet powerful message that left the room inspired to change the narrative, stay hopeful and get uncomfortable.
    Michael Galvin, President of The Montgomery Advertiser gave a special presentation to the school; a check for $25,000 to be used for the school’s scholarship fund. 
    Founders Anthony and Frederick Brock thanked the community for their support and expressed sincere gratitude to everyone who helped make the vision of Valiant Cross Academy come to fruition. They ended by reminding everyone that much more work needs to be done, but this day was a true celebration for Valiant Cross Academy.
    Carr, Riggs & Ingram Announcement
    Carr, Riggs & Ingram Capital Advisors, LLC announced that KOMAN Government Solutions, LLC (KGS), a wholly-owned 8(a) subsidiary of the Natives of Kodiak, an Alaska Native Corporation, recently completed an acquisition of Trinity Analysis & Development Corp. (TRINITY). This allows KGS and TRINITY to expand its client base while supporting growth in all areas of the environmental business sector. CRI Capital Advisors, LLC acted as the sole investment banking advisor to Trinity Analysis and Development Corp. CRI, LLC’s Niceville, Florida, office provided CPA, tax and related services to TRINITY throughout the process.
    AUM Nursing Students Visit Walter Reed
    Several Auburn University at Montgomery nursing students spent their recent spring break at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the nation’s largest joint military center, in Bethesda, Maryland. Known as “The Nation’s Medical Center,” with more than 7,000 staff members and 100 clinics and areas of specialization, Walter Reed represents the front line for treating American soldiers wounded in global conflicts.
    Auburn University at Montgomery is currently the only school in the nation to participate in Project SERVE, an experiential learning model designed to deepen student understanding of the healthcare needs of veterans. 
    Their shared experience will certainly come in handy after graduation. Potential policy changes that would allow the government to pay for veterans to see private doctors without co-pays or deductibles could flood the private healthcare system. Plus, according to U.S. Census data, the 3.3 million American veterans who have served since September 11, 2001, have grown to half the size of the nation’s largest living military population – Vietnam veterans.
    Gogue Center Season & Series Subscriptions Available To General Public
    The Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center at Auburn University has begun full season and series subscriptions for its 2019-20 inaugural season. Season subscriptions provide patrons access to each of the season’s 27 performances, and series subscription packages include tickets to three performances per series. 
    The Gogue Center’s historic first year will bring an eclectic mix of headlining acts to East Alabama, with performances spanning nine distinct series. Season highlights include performances by surf-rock legends The Beach Boys; the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis; star of stage and screen Sutton Foster; banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck and the original Flecktones lineup; soprano Renée Fleming; acclaimed choreographer Camille A. Brown; and hit Broadway musicals “RENT 20th Anniversary Tour” and “Waitress.” In addition to its robust season lineup, the Gogue Center will also present special events and performances throughout the year.
    Hampstead 2019 Tour of Homes
    Hampstead opened its private homes, three restaurants and a new gift shop for the 3rd Annual Hampstead Taste & Tour event. All proceeds went to support the Samaritan Counseling Center; the event raised $28,000.
    This year included 10 new homes on tour, including the Hampstead Showhouse 2019, which was open only during this event. Guests toured lake-view homes, garden courtyard homes, beautiful interiors and landscaping and enjoyed an after party at the Tipping Point, all while raising money for a great cause. It drew 170 attendees.
    Dementia Friendly Hosts Alabama Golf Classic
    The 3rd Annual Dementia Friendly Alabama Golf Classic was a success thanks to sponsors, players and door prize contributors. Almost $6,000 was raised, and the organization hopes to use the funds to purchase Virtual Reality Technology Headsets. This technology would allow users to better understand Alzheimer’s and dementia by providing a three-dimensional, 360-degree picture with sound that lets them see into the world of dementia.
    Faulkner University Welcomes New CS Advisory Board
    Faulkner University’s Department of Computer Science recently welcomed members of the department’s newly formed Advisory Board: Andrea Long, development lead for the Blue Prism team, Kevin Poliquin, the Director of Automotive Manufacturing for Hyundai AutoEver America; Charisse Stokes, the President of Tidal IT Solutions; Dr. Yu-Tueng (Y.T.) Tsai, founder of the first Chinese corporation in Alabama, Regitar U.S.A.; Inc., David A. Umphress, Ph.D., COLSA Professor of Cyber Security and Information Assurance in Auburn University’s Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering and Director of the Auburn Cyber Research Center; and Kevin D. Vezertzis, the Vice President, Strategic Systems and Digital Transformation at Alfa Insurance.
    The Computer Science Advisory Board’s mission is to “glorify God through the education of the whole person and the preparation of highly competent, socially committed computer scientists, emphasizing integrity of character, the love of learning, the skill of problem solving, the spirit of critical inquiry, professional competence and leadership, excellence as the benchmark for everything conducted, and a culture of service to society with concern for the common good.”
    MAX CEO and President
    H. Greg McClellan Retires After 34 years of service to the greater Central and East Alabama areas, MAX Credit Union President and CEO H. Greg McClellan retired on June 7. McClellan had been President and CEO since 2005. “I want to thank all of my colleagues and community partners for the outstanding job they have performed and the benefits I have learned from them,” said Mr. McClellan. “The greatest asset for me was the people I worked with and everyone I served.”
    “I retire with the great satisfaction of leaving MAX in great financial shape. Together we have broadened the MAX footprint while maintaining strong earnings,” McClellan continued. “I am excited about MAX’s future and the continued high-quality service to our customers and members.”
    MAX Board Chair Keivan Deravi said, “Greg has been an outstanding leader and friend. MAX has grown
    and become a treasured community partner, expanding into business lending, business leasing and insurance services during his time as CEO.” “On behalf of the board, employees and our communities, we wish Greg the best years ahead.”

    Four Star Freightliner Awards Scholarships
    Two high school seniors have been awarded scholarships in memory
    of Four Star Freightliner employee Zachary Sizemore. Each student will receive a one-time $1,000 award. The two recipients are children of Four Star employees: Steven Allen Oliver Jr., son of Damita Oliver, Four Star Freightliner Payroll Manager. Abbie Mathews, daughter of Cindy Mathews, Four Star Freightliner Service Manager.
    HMR Joins GMC in South Alabama
    Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood (GMC) announced that it has completed the acquisition of Hutchinson, Moore & Rauch, LLC (HMR), an engineering, surveying and land planning firm in south Alabama. HMR has been providing engineering, surveying and land-planning services across Alabama, Mississippi and the Florida Gulf Coast for nearly two decades. The firm brings a highly capable staff of 25 employees located in offices in Daphne and Mobile.
    “GMC and HMR have collaborated on several projects over the years, and we are excited about our partnership moving forward,” GMC Regional Vice President Lee Walters said.
    HMR serves as an engineering consultant for numerous municipalities and utilities along the Gulf Coast, while also specializing in private development. Their project experience includes residential, commercial and mixed-use development; municipal and utility projects, including schools, public buildings, public recreational facilities, police and fire service facilities, utility facilities, stormwater control and transportation facilities; survey and mapping; transportation; and more.
    “The ability to offer our clients a multitude of additional professional services places us in an exceptional position among the firms along the Gulf Coast. We are also excited about the opportunities for professional growth this acquisition provides our staff,” said Scott Hutchinson, former HMR President and now GMC Vice President of Engineering in Daphne.
    The firms have been working on integration plans to ensure a seamless transition for staff, clients and consultants, which will take place over the next several months.
    Huntingdon College Earns Multiple Recognitions
    Huntingdon College has been named a top 6 regional Best Value and top 11 regional college in the South by U.S. News and World Report; among a list of Colleges that Change Lives by Washington Monthly; among the Best Colleges in Alabama and the Best Small Colleges in America by College Consensus; and among the Best Colleges: Region by Region (South) by the Princeton Review.
    Huntingdon College Introduces Major in Criminal Justice
    Huntingdon College provost Dr. Anna McEwan announced the addition of an undergraduate major in criminal justice beginning in fall 2019. “The need for professionals who are educated with
    a central concern for critical thinking and ethical reasoning fits well with Huntingdon’s mission. We believe that our criminal justice graduates will be poised to make a difference for their communities, including for victims, for those who are accused or convicted of crimes, and for the public at large,” she said.
    The criminal justice major at Huntingdon will combine practice with theory. Study will include the causes of crime, an understanding of the interdependence of the branches of the criminal
    justice system, constitutional law and its application, moral and ethical perspectives of law and justice, criminal investigation and forensics.
    Daisy’s Senior Moves & Transition Services Opens
    The National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM) has welcomed Daisy’s Senior Moves & Transition Services, LLC as its member. “On behalf of NASMM, I am pleased to welcome Daisy’s Senior Moves to NASMM’s family of premier Senior Move Management providers,” said Mary Kay Buysse, NASMM’s Executive Director.
    Daisy’s Senior Moves was founded in January 2018 in Millbrook and services the Montgomery Alabama River Region. Daisy’s Senior Moves offers full-service solutions to assist older adults and their families with the often-stressful transition that comes with relocating or can assist clients who would rather “age in place.”
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