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  • November 2018

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    Alumni donate $1.5 Million to Troy University
    Troy University’s New Hall, the residence hall that opened in 2015 at the Troy Campus, will have a new name thanks to a $1.5 million donation from alumni Sue and Lewis Rushing. The Board of Trustees voted unanimously to rename the residence hall Rushing Hall in honor of the alumni couple, who are both 1965 graduates. Rushing Hall is Troy University’s new­est state-of-the-art residence hall, featuring 280 single-bed suites, 68 double occupancy suites and 12 handicapped suites on four floors totaling 118,754 square feet. In addition to the residential rooms, Rushing Hall includes 1,400 square feet of common areas, 2,600 square feet of safe space that double as class and meeting rooms, a convenience store, technology areas, laundry areas and study rooms.
    Local Touts Trump’s New Workforce Initiative
    Perry O. Hooper Jr., former state represen­tative and a current member of the State Republican Executive Committee, is praising President Donald Trump’s recently signed executive order that establishes a new, nationwide workforce initiative. This initiative is complete with an advisory board aimed at improving educational opportunities for high school students who find themselves without a post secondary plan.
    The workforce strategy will help protect the American industry by providing students an opportunity to learn the skills necessary for gainful employment once their high school career closes. Students can earn a high school diploma while also earning a profes­sional certificate toward an available job.
    According to Hooper, the initiative is a win for America and also a win for the state since Alabama industries like aerospace, aviation, agriculture, automotive manufactur­ing, maritime manufacturing, cybersecurity, internal technology, health sciences and construction need employees. He pointed to The Economic Development Association of Alabama’s push of community colleges toward career pathways. “Thanks to Presi­dent Trump, we now have an opportunity to serve our own high schools with the same successful solution,” Hooper said.
    Students won’t be tracked toward a tech­nical field only — they will still earn a high school diploma, and they will still be held to the required academic state standards. But they will earn an opportunity for workforce exposure as well as opportunities for intern­ships and mentoring from local industries.
    Faulkner University Welcomes Elementary Students
    The energy soared inside the halls of Montgomery Public School’s Davis Elementary in August as about 300 Faulkner University athletes welcomed Davis students back to school on their first day with smiles and cheers. Faulkner Eagle cheerleaders, football players, soccer players, basketball teams, volleyball and golf teams stood shoulder-to-shoulder along the sidewalks and hallways as they high­fived, clapped and welcomed students back on their first day back to school. Even Faulkner Eagles’ mascot, Baldwin came out to hug students and pose for pictures.
    Ozzy Osbourne Visits ASU
    The Alabama State University Mighty Marching Hornets Band performed for rock 'n' roll legend and reality TV star Ozzy Osbourne during a segment of A&E's show, “Ozzy & Jack’s World Detour” that aired in August. Osbourne, famed lead singer of Black Sabbath, and his son Jack came to Montgomery and filmed part of their show on the campus of ASU because of their desire to hear ASU’s nationally acclaimed band perform under the direction of Dr. James Oliver. The band performed several Black Sabbath songs, including “Iron Man.” After the performance, Ozzy and Jack spent time speaking to students and staff, stopping frequently for photos and autographs.
    ASPCA Partners with ALABAMA 200
    As part of the Alabama bicentennial cele­bration and the Alabama Society of CPA’s own 100th anniversary, the ASCPA and ALABAMA 200 have created a co-brand­ed financial literacy toolkit for high school teachers. The resource was presented on July 30 to more than 1,200 educators at the annual CTE conference of the Ala­bama State Department of Education.
    ASCPA President and CEO Jeannine Birmingham said, “It is such a natural partnership, and we were flattered when the ALABAMA 200 asked us to build a tool for students and teachers. Having a workforce that exercises sound money management will benefit our state for the next 100 years. It’s what the ASCPA and the accounting profession are built on.”
    Palomar Insurance Unveils New Online Technology

    Palomar Insurance recently announced the addition of new website technology – PalomarOnline – that offers easy access to policy information along with the abili­ty for customers to make online premium payments using E-pay. “We are thrilled to offer this service to our customers,” said Justin Smitherman, Information Technolo­gy Director. “The website will allow easy access to download automobile identifi­cation, policy information, certificates of insurance and report claims. This service will be extremely useful to our clients in the transportation industry whose drivers need access routinely.”
    Local Architecture Firm Hits a Milestone
    Architects Bill Wible and Jennifer Barber along with interior designer Jessica Mims and office manager/field inspector James Wible celebrated the one-year anniversary of Wible Barber Architects in September. This team designs all types of projects: renovations and new facilities for schools, apartments and commercial spaces. The firm produces its designs by combining the many years of experience of its architects with an innovative technology, Revit, which allows clients to view their projects three-di­mensionally throughout the design process.
    The Family Sunshine Center Partners with Shop Focused on Local Creatives

    Product of Montgomery, a downtown store promoting local artists and creatives by sell­ing their works, and The Family Sunshine Center joined forces and hosted the first Sunshine Spotlight event on September 20. The event featured a trunk showing of Artistry by Aleah, music, drinks, hors d’oeuvres by D’Road Café and sweet treats by Alanna’s Gourmet Treats. All proceeds benefited The Family Sunshine Center.
    Product of Montgomery will be an on-going partner with the Family Sunshine Center through the sales of its newly designed Sunshine Boxes, hand-painted boxes that include a stainless necklace, a woodcut magnet, a handmade card, a vinyl decal and a joy button. The Sunshine Boxes are a perfect gift idea, with proceeds benefiting The Family Sunshine Center.
    Local Real Estate Company Participates in Trendsetters “Brainstorm”

    With an eye on finding innovative products, services and systems to improve broker profitability and the real estate process, The Trendsetters Group recently held its inaugu­ral Developer Services Meeting in St. Petersburg, Florida. Discussion centered on how to work more closely with new home builders and developers and build relationships through innovative marketing.
    Montgomery’s New Waters Realty was among the attend­ees that took part in brainstorming and idea sharing on some of the hot topics of Developer Services. “New home construction is a highly sought-after market for real estate resale experts, and improved relationships with developers and builders can only provide value to consumers,” said Jennifer Atkins, Vice President and Qualifying Broker. “The ability to share ideas with some of the sharpest minds in this segment of our business was invaluable,” said Atkins. “I look forward to implementing some of these ideas to enhance what we offer to our buyers and customers.”
    Caddell Construction To Build New Medical Facility
    The Caddell-Nan Joint Venture has been awarded a $56.7 million contract for construction of a new outpatient medical/dental facility at Apra Harbor on U.S. Naval Base Guam. The Caddell-Nan JV was selected to build a new cutting-edge medical/dental clinic at one of the most remote U.S. Naval facilities in the world. The project consists of a new single-level outpatient facility and includes administrative offices, a primary care and family practice section, an op­tometry clinic, a physical therapy area, industrial hygiene/preventative medicine services, a dental clinic, and logistics and common areas. The contract is funded by the Government of Japan as part of a U.S./Japanese agreement that involves moving U.S. Naval operations from Okinawa to Guam.
    Huntingdon Announces Presidential Fellows Program
    Huntingdon College President J. Cameron West recently announced the formation of a Presiden­tial Fellows program for new students entering the College in fall 2019. An initiative identified in the College’s strategic plan, Building Great Lives, the Presidential Fellows program was designed to attract high-achieving student-leaders who want to become engaged fully in their college experience and who are not involved in other campus teams.
    The Presidential Fellowship carries a $5,000 stack­able scholarship that may be awarded in addition to selected Huntingdon Honors Scholarships and financial aid. To apply to the program, prospective students will complete a Presidential Fellows appli­cation in addition to their Application for Admission to the College. The first round of Fellows will be selected after December 1.
    AKEEP Receives Prestigious Grant
    For the first time in the Southeast, a nonprofit organization was awarded the prestigious STARTALK grant in the Korean Category. With Korean lan­guage programs in New York and Cali­fornia, Montgomery’s own Alabama-Ko­rea Education & Economic Partnership (AKEEP) is the fifth Korean language recipient to be recognized for the 11­year existence of the program.
    The grant allowed AKEEP to operate a 15-day, non-residential summer pro­gram titled AKEEP-TROY STARTALK: Cultural Treasure Hunters. Hosted by Troy University Montgomery, Cultural Treasure Hunters recruited 24 elemen­tary and middle school students from Montgomery and Pike Road schools.
    The program aimed to deliver engag­ing and dynamic language learning experiences for students and create a pathway for certification in critical need languages that are not common­ly taught for teachers in the United States.
    Upon completion of the program stu­dents received graduation certificates and were recognized by Dr. Jim Purcell of the Alabama Commission on Higher Education and Dr. Jeffery Langham of the Alabama State Department of Education. Due to the success of the Cultural Treasure Hunters program and incorporation of special needs learn­ers, AKEEP was also selected to speak at the STARTALK Fall conference.
    Baptist South Now Offering Highly Advanced Surgery System
    Baptist Medical Center South is the first hospital in the River Region and the third in the state to offer robotic-arm as­sisted total knee, partial knee and total hip replacements with Stryker’s Mako System. This highly advanced robotic technology transforms the way joint replacement surgery is performed.
    The demand for joint replacements is expected to rise in the next decade. With Mako, the hospital can provide each patient with a personalized surgi­cal experience based on their specific diagnosis and anatomy. Using a virtual 3D model, Mako allows surgeons to create each patient’s surgical plan pre-operatively before entering the operating room.
    Pharmacy Program Helps Increase Medication Safety
    Turenne PharMedCo is stepping up to give the state’s long-term care facili­ties the tools they need to keep their residents safe.
    The Montgomery-based long-term care pharmacy has launched Triage 365, a resident drug regimen review program for nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Using big data analytics, the Triage 365 program helps facilities con­tinuously review more residents’ med­ication records and identify potential problems such as adverse drug interac­tions and high-risk medications. Triage 365 also gives the facilities’ pharmacist earlier access to information that allows them to make changes or recommenda­tions to a resident’s drug regimen.
    New Family Sunshine Center Awareness & Fundraising Campaign
    During domestic violence awareness month in October, the Family Sunshine Center launched iCare, its fall fundraiser and awareness campaign. The campaign asked the business commu­nity to help drive awareness of domestic violence issues as well as where victims can go for help.
    The goal was to recruit 200 businesses to support the initiative. Businesses were asked to make a minimum donation of $150 to FSC and host a mini-fundraiser for the agency. The campaign culminated on October 26 with employees of participating businesses wearing a symbolic “black eye” sticker and lapel sticker that read, “Ask Me Why I Care.”
    HOPE Opens Branch in Alabama

    Hope Credit Union (HOPE), one of the nation’s leading com­munity development financial institutions (CDFIs), held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house on September 13 for its first Alabama branch and announced plans to partner with Regions Bank to open a second branch in early 2019. The branch was the result of a merg­er between HOPE and Tri-Rivers Federal Credit Union. Regions has agreed to donate the bank’s former McGehee Road branch to help HOPE expand its pres­ence in Montgomery. HOPE’s expansion into Alabama allows the CDFI to broaden access to critical financial tools in under-served communities – work that won HOPE the 2018 Wall Street Journal Financial Inclusion Challenge.
    Country Cottage Opens New Therapy Room
    Country Cottage Assisted Living & Memory Care in Montgomery recently opened Serenity Place, a multisensory therapy room for those living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The Serenity Place therapy room incorporates all senses except taste through soothing music, water bubbles, lights, aromas, different textures and speakers, which create vibrations inside a couch, chair, bench and sitting area.
    It creates a sense of tranquility. Some of the benefits include an improved mood and a high­er self-esteem. The Serenity Place therapy also helps the community’s lower functioning residents.
    Jackson Thornton Acquires Company
    Jackson Thornton recently an­nounced the acquisition of Kan­sas City-based Kevin S. Kelso, CPA, PC, PA, effective Septem­ber 1, 2018. This addition brings Jackson Thornton to more than 200 employees, serving clients from seven offices in Alabama, Tennessee and Kansas. The merger will offer Kelso’s clients expanded depth of services while maintaining the personal­ized service for which the firm is known.
    Tile & More Warehouse Celebrates Grand Opening
    Known most recently as Restore N Decor, Tile & More Ware­house represents a partnership between the local owners who have served the community for more than 14 years with another long-tenured flooring enterprise to deliver first quality flooring at incredibly low prices for consumers in Montgomery and surrounding areas.
    Tile & More Warehouse, based in Montgomery, sells first quality and in-stock ceramic and porce­lain tile, stone, mosaics, luxury vinyl tile (LVT), laminate, engi­neered wood, cabinetry, and countertop design services with quick fulfillment at great values.
    ASU Celebrates “50 Under 50”
    Alabama State University celebrated a group of distinguished alumni recently in a gala event. The “50 Under 50” Class for 2018 was presented awards before a cheering crowd. “We are so excited to present this new class and to welcome back those who were a part of the first class last year,” said Jennifer Anderson, ASU’s Director of Development and Executive Director of the ASU Foundation. “The awardees were selected based on their professional accomplishments and/or their support of their alma mater. The awards are a means of honoring them as ambassadors of the University and recognizing their accom­plishments in their chosen professions.”
    Must-See Exhibit at MMFA

    The artwork on view in For Freedoms: Citizenship in Art (on display at The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts through November 18) explores four fundamental and essential rights, the freedom of speech and freedom of worship, both protected in the First Amendment of our Constitution, along with freedom from want and freedom from fear. Drawn from the MMFA Permanent Collection, the art included in For Freedoms: Citizenship in Art continues to explore the “Four Freedoms” listed above. These works depict various interpretations, demonstrating how art possesses the power to address cultural issues, to enlighten and to reflect on shared values.
    The exhibit is in conjunction with a larger program, For Freedoms | The 50 State Initiative, which hopes to gen­erate greater participation in our American democracy by examining the various points of view that different artists bring to each of these “Four Freedoms.” As a part of this initiative, MMFA is partici­pating in one of the largest creative collaborations in U.S. history.
    Balch & Bingham’s Dishes Out “Drumstickpalooza”
    In late August, Balch & Bingham hosted Drumstickpalooza, a friendly competition between local fried chicken restaurants benefiting the Montgomery Area Food Bank. The event in­cluded a blind tasting of five of Montgomery’s favorite fried chicken eateries. Judges (in­cluding a professional chef) ranked each fried chicken recipe based upon criteria ranging from crispiness to the “Did you want seconds?” factor. Event attendees also weighed in to vote on the “crowd favorite.” As part of the event, Balch & Bingham made a contribution to The Montgomery Area Food Bank.
    Huntingdon Offers Evening Degree Programs
    Through the Huntingdon College Evening Bachelor’s Degree program, students can now earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management, available at all sites, or Criminal Justice, available at selected sites. Because the classes meet only one night a week in five-week sessions, the accelerated course format requires student preparation and work outside of the formal course structure. Class size is kept small, ranging from 12 to 20 students, and the personalized attention and teaching for which Huntingdon College is known are part of the Evening Studies programs as well as the traditional day program.
    Partnership Launches Tuition-free Training for Software Developers
    Montgomery-based startup CodingSolutions has partnered with MotionMobs to launch a brand new training program to prepare top development talent from Alabama universities for career positions with innovative compa­nies across the state. It is the first developer training program in the state that is tuition free; prospective candidates are only required to pay a $50 application fee.
    With the energy surrounding Montgomery’s downtown Innovation District, the coming MG­MWERX Innovation Hub and more, the capital city’s presence in the tech sector continues to grow, and this partnership is further proof of the city’s increasing role in cyber innovation. Led by Rod Frazer, former CEO of Enstar and co-founder of The Frazer Lanier Company, CodingSolutions was born from a passion to encourage and retain new programming talent in the state of Alabama and in his hometown of Montgomery. Before the first cohort even started training, CodingSolutions already had partnerships to train top talent and connect them with forward-thinking companies looking to hire engineers in the state. Due to the numerous development preferences among companies, CodingSolutions accepts program­mers with backgrounds in various program­ming languages and frames.
    The Jackson Clinic Adds Rheumatology to Specialties
    The Jackson Clinic recently added rheumatology to its already extensive lists of specialties. Jacquelin Chua, M.D. is now accepting patients in her office at 1722 Pine Street, Suite 801. Rheumatology is concerned with the evaluation and treatment of patients with autoimmune conditions and diseases of the joints. Because many of these conditions can be painful, it is important to work with a dedicated specialist to help diagnosis and treat rheumatic diseases. Some of the most common diseases Dr. Chua treats include rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, osteoarthritis, lupus, Lyme disease, gout and fibromyalgia.
    AUM Offering New Study Abroad Program
    Auburn University at Montgomery and the Organization for Tropical Stud­ies have partnered to provide students with semester-long study abroad pro­grams in Costa Rica and South Africa. AUM will offer five programs in collab­oration with OTS. “AUM is excited to be the new U.S. academic home for the Organization for Tropical Studies. This opens up so many opportunities for our students to study biology, environmental science, GIS and lan­guage and culture in Costa Rica and South Africa,” said Dr. Chelsea Ward, Distinguished Teaching Professor and Head of the Department of Biology and Environmental Science at Auburn University at Montgomery.
    Under the new AUM/OTS partnership, the programs will offer a compre­hensive introduction to field biology, conservation policy and global health in a diversity of ecosystems. The partnership builds on OTS’s more than 50 years of excellence in graduate education.
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