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  • November 2017

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    The Alabama State University Board of Trustees has selected the Honorable Dr. Quinton T. Ross Jr. to serve as the 15th President of the University. The vote came during the Board’s meeting on September 8, and the final vote was unanimous. President-elect Ross was one of four finalists who visited the campus in August, meeting with Board members, students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the community. “I am elated about the entire process,” said Alfreada Green, ASU Board of Trustees Chairwoman. “I think that the Presidential Search Committee did a great job in coming up with a matrix and a process and executed that process very well. They did very well coming up with the final four candidates that led to their successful interviews, leading to our selecting Senator Ross to be our new Alabama State University President.” ASU Trustee Brenda Brown-Hunter served on the Presidential Search Committee and said being united as “One-ASU” is essential to the continuing success of the Hornet Nation’s University family. “Those nine free slaves (ASU’s founders) had to make decisions that led to the first 113 students in 1867,” Brown-Hunter said. “We likewise are doing this not for ourselves, but for the students and to preserve this historic institution.”

    The capital city welcomed Governor Kay Ivey in early September as she continued her “Listen, Learn, Help and Lead Tour” of Alabama cities. Montgomery city, county and Chamber of Commerce leaders focused on education and technology with campus visits and a tour of the RSA Datacenter where the Montgomery Internet Exchange is housed. The day culminated with a whiteboard session led by the governor where leaders shared their ideas for a brighter future for Alabama. The governor received tours of Loveless Academic Magnet Program High School (LAMP), Montgomery Preparatory Academy for Career Technologies (MPACT) and Valiant Cross Academy. Each school showcased its unique approach, from academics at LAMP and technical instruction at MPACT to the holistic pursuit of lifelong learning, character and community building at Valiant Cross. A brief windshield tour of Montgomery’s economic development successes and prospects was followed by a working lunch where Mayor Todd Strange and County Commissioner Elton Dean called upon Cyber Strategy Coordinator Carl Barranco to highlight Montgomery’s unique cyber partnerships. Afterward, the governor led a round table discussion of issues including education, workforce development, technology, airport infrastructure and the health, automotive and manufacturing industries. Governor Ivey said, “Effective leaders do four things. They listen, learn, help and lead. My passion is to listen and learn on these tours across the state, and today I was able to put my focus on the successes and challenges of the capital city of Montgomery. We all live in this great state together, so we must all work together to continue to move our state and our communities forward.” “We’re honored to have Governor Ivey spend this time with us in Montgomery, working alongside local leaders for greater economic development successes for Montgomery and Alabama as a whole,” said David Reed, Chairman of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

    In August, Information Transport Solutions, Inc. awarded proceeds from its 11th Annual Charity Golf Tournament totaling $25,000 to four local charities. ITS employees organize the annual fundraiser as a fun way to bring customers, teammates and business partners together in a recreational environment with the common goal of giving back to the local community. This year, ITS raised $25,000 from the tournament and all proceeds from the event were donated to the following four charities: Jason Michael Hilty Memorial Scholarship, Imagination Library of Elmore County, Coosa Outdoor Worship Spot (COWS), and the Family Sunshine Center. “From the beginning, ITS has focused on giving back to our local community,” said ITS President Quincy Minor. “We donate proceeds to these local charities because we believe in the work they are doing and share their vision to make a positive difference in the lives of those living in the river region.”

    Information Transport Solutions, Inc. recently announced its role in expanding fiber availability in Elmore County. The fiber provided by ITS is used for internet access and wide area network (WAN) connectivity services and will offer an alternative for Elmore County businesses. ITS and its partners are increasing competition for fiber service in Elmore County delivering more bandwidth to customers while lowering prices for service. The services from ITS will provide a reliable and predictable service with a simple price and invoice. The ability to attract more service providers in Elmore County has a direct impact on economic development by expanding the capabilities of existing businesses and drawing in new businesses to the area from a multitude of industry sectors including retail, manufacturing technology and more. “ITS is headquartered in Elmore County. We believe in the tremendous opportunities for economic growth here and are grateful to serve Elmore County by providing the technology infrastructure needed to sustain industry in this area,” said Steve Meany, CEO of ITS. The cities and communities included in this expanded fiber footprint include: Wetumpka, Tallassee, Eclectic, Millbrook, Redland, Coosada and Holtville.

    The Shoppes at EastChase announced in August the anticipated opening of H&M, Hennes & Mauritz AB (H&M), one of the world’s largest fashion retailers. H&M is famous for offering fashion-forward apparel at affordable prices for women, men, teenagers, and children. Measuring over 21,000 square feet, the new location at The Shoppes at EastChase opened in September. “We are beyond excited that H&M has chosen The Shoppes at EastChase to open a new location in Alabama,” said Suzanna Wasserman, Marketing Manager of The Shoppes at EastChase. “We already have a fantastic selection of apparel retailers at The Shoppes and this store will add a new dimension to our current tenant mix.” The new H&M location will offer Montgomery residents a one-stop shopping destination for quality clothing for the whole family, with collections ranging from ladies’ and mens’ to separate “store within a store” sections for accessories, sports apparel and its plus-sized line, H&M +. The Shoppes at EastChase location will also carry H&M’s children’s collection, from newborn to 14 years.

    The Alabama Retail Association honored 20 retail businesses as Retailers of the Year or Centennial Retailers during the 2017 Alabama Retail Day luncheon. Montgomery’s Chris’ Hot Dogs was honored as one of six Centennial Retailers. Alabama Retail has been presenting the Alabama Centennial Retailer awards since 2002.

    After Hurricane Harvey made landfall in August, thousands of people in Houston and along the Gulf Coast were displaced. Gathered by Grace united with a local business, Turenne PharMedCo, to reach out to Texans in need. “Before the storm, many children and families in the Houston area were already struggling. In 2012, nearly 30 percent of kids in Harris County lived below the federal poverty line,” said Rev. Tiffany C. Chaney, pastor of Gathered by Grace, a Montgomery-based ministry serving young adults. Gathered by Grace united with Turenne PharMedCo, a longterm healthcare business in Montgomery, to purchase supplies. The community chose diapers as a focus after learning diapers and wipes are often not provided by disaster relief agencies. Gathered by Grace’s fundraising effort allowed for the purchase of 1,772 diapers and 68 packs of wipes from Turenne. Turenne also donated the shipping costs to transport the items.

    During the 2017 MDA Fill the Boot campaign, the dedicated members of Montgomery Fire and Rescue took to the streets to help kids and adults with muscular dystrophy, ALS and related life-threatening diseases live longer and grow stronger. From April to August, $65,900 was raised to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association. “The fire fighters of Montgomery Fire and Rescue have once again shown their immense dedication and care for MDA’s families during this year’s Fill the Boot campaign,” said MDA Executive Director, Angie Jordin. “This year’s Fill the Boot was a success and we are grateful for the generosity of those in the Montgomery community who have helped individuals with muscular dystrophy, ALS and related muscle-debilitating diseases truly live unlimited.” Fire fighters have taken part in MDA’s Fill the Boot tradition for more than 60 years, asking pedestrians, motorists, customers and passersby to make a donation, joining the fight to find treatments and cures for devastating diseases that take away everyday abilities like walking, talking, hugging and even breathing. Funds raised help MDA’s efforts to fund groundbreaking research and life-enhancing programs such as state-of-the-art support groups and Care Centers, including the MDA Care Center at UAB in Birmingham.

    Sweltering temperatures might turn Alabama’s capital city into a convection oven in August, but deer hunters don’t seem to mind the heat. “For 24 years now, people from all over the country have made the summertime pilgrimage to Montgomery to attend the Buckmasters Expo,” said Jackie Bushman, the organization’s founder. “They come regardless of the weather, in good and bad economic times, and many walk through the doors all three days. I think it’s because of the family-friendly atmosphere,” Thanks to the support of Buckmasters’ national and local sponsors, admission to the Expo is just a can of food, or a $1 donation, split between The Salvation Army and Friendship Mission. The food collected and money raised at the doors will allow these agencies to serve more than 150,000 meals to the homeless and poor. One of the Expo’s main attractions is the Buckmasters Top Bow Indoor World Championship. Each year, the country’s best archers converge to compete for the prestigious title. Four days of intense competition whittle down the shooters until two finalists go head to head on Sunday afternoon. The 2017 Top Bow champion and $15,000 prize winner was Brandon Shehan of Atmore, Alabama. Families at the Expo also enjoyed the Harriott II Riverboat attraction, which gave free cruises to approximately 900 Expo attendees.

    Zoobilation, The Montgomery Zoo’s annual fundraiser, was held in mid-September. It drew great crowds ready to dance to live music as well as drink and eat food samplings provided by River Region restaurants all while perusing a vast array of silent auction items and placing bids on their favorites. Thanks to the attendees and major  sponsors including Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, Rita Sabel, Alfa Insurance, Sabel Steel Service Inc. and many others, the event raised more than $100,000 to help the Zoo continue providing the area its wonderful entertainment and education through its hundreds of animals.

    Easter Seals Central Alabama (ESCA), a collection of programs designed to help individuals with physical and mental disabilities, broke ground in late August on a new facility set to open in 2018. Baptist Health purchased the property ESCA currently sits on and construction has already begun. The new building, which will be located directly behind the current building just off Southern Boulevard, will offer 13 disability programs for children, adults and seniors. “Easter Seals and Baptist Medical Center South have been corporate neighbors for more than 50 years,” said Peter Selman, Chief Executive Officer of Baptist Medical Center South. “Timing was opportune for both organizations to orchestrate a land swap that enables our hospital to expand our campus footprint and offers Easter Seals a needed facility upgrade. On behalf of Baptist Health, we look forward to continuing to grow both organizations on the Southern Boulevard for the benefit of the community for many decades to come.” Debbie Lynn, Executive Director of ESCA added, “Easter Seals Central Alabama will still offer the same quality disability services and programs we are known for and we look forward to expanding our children’s services and serving the community from our new building.”

    In mid-September, Alabama State University’s College of Business Administration (COBA) hosted a renaming ceremony for its college. During the ceremony, it renamed the school the “Dr. Percy J. Vaughn, Jr. College of Business Administration,” which honors the college’s founding and most beloved dean. Dr. Vaughn and his family were present and, with others in attendance, enjoyed a banquet following the ceremony.

    Caddell Construction Co. (DE), LLC is proud to announce the opening of a new office in historic downtown Bentonville, Arkansas. The Caddell Bentonville team hosted a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony in August, which was attended by local business leaders and four executives from Caddell Construction’s home office in Montgomery. Caddell’s Bentonville team is focused primarily on private, municipal, and federal construction markets in Arkansas and surrounding states, but will also be exploring opportunities nationwide. “We are very excited about increasing Caddell’s footprint in the rapidly growing economies of this region. It was a pleasure to meet members of the Bentonville business community and we look forward to working with local resources. This outstanding Bentonville team has the full confidence and backing of the entire Caddell organization,” said. Mac Caddell, Executive Vice President

    The Barkery announced in September the acquisition of Barks & Rec, a business in Wetumpka. “We have been so blessed with growth and success at our Montgomery location that we felt it was time to expand,” said owner Michelle Reeder. Barks & Rec opened in Wetumpka a year ago and has enjoyed success providing daycare, boarding and grooming. The Barkery plans to add its handmade dog treats and retail items to the shop. The Barkery also plans to keep the affiliation with Dr. Amy Myers. “Clients & their fur babies in Wetumpka have been receiving top notch care from Dr. Myers and we want to continue that tradition,” said Reeder.

    ARC Realty, a full-service real estate brokerage firm, announced that it is adding to its already successful real estate operations by expanding into the Montgomery area. Norman Schlemmer from Alfa Realty, the largest residential real estate brokerage firm in Montgomery, will serve as Managing Partner of ARC Realty Montgomery. Along with an established agent force, managing nearly 300 current listings, ARC Realty Montgomery will bring ARC’s industry leading practices to the river region. ARC Realty Montgomery also will include New Waters Realty, the on-site management team for The Waters, a Pike Road community. “We are extremely excited about this new chapter for ARC,” said ARC Realty Chairman, Tommy Brigham. “We look forward to expanding our footprint and serving the Montgomery community, and we could not have found a better partner than Norman or a more talented team of REALTORS®.” In four years, ARC Realty has become one of the fastest-growing brokerage firms in Alabama, generating a 2016 sales volume of $460 million and attracting more than 200 top REALTORS®.

    Mayor Todd Strange was the first customer at Golden Shears & More’s new downtown location Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting in September. The new spot is the barbershop, salon and spa’s third location in the River Region. “I started looking at the downtown market three or four years ago,” said owner/operator Reginald Miller, who has a barbershop/salon on West 3rd Street and inside the Wind Creek Montgomery casino. “I studied the downtown area and saw all the growth.” He will have six employees at the downtown location and four state-of-the-art barber chairs. He currently has 13 employees, including nine at the West 3rd Street site, which he has operated since 2003. The downtown location will feature a variety of services: men’s and young men’s haircuts, mustache trim, clipper shave, hair color/hair dyeing and hair tinting; beard tinting/dyeing; old-fashioned hot razor shaves; shampoo and scalp treatments; facials; manicures; pedicures; and shoe shines. One of the featured services is a spa package, which includes haircut, facial, hot razor shave, scalp treatment and a box lunch. Complimentary beer and wine will be served with any service. The downtown site will also feature high-end, customized barber stations with televisions.

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  • Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce
    600 S. Court St, P.O. Box 79
    Montgomery, Alabama 36101
    Tel: 334.834.5200   Fax: 334.265.4745

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