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  • September 2018

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    The Villages of Pike Road Breaks Ground
     
    D.R. Horton’s Birmingham Division recently celebrated the groundbreaking of The Villages of Pike Road, a new luxury residential community. The development is one of the largest in the region, including more than 800 home sites, as well as exclusive features like swimming pools, splash pads, walking trails and recreational parks. The first phase is scheduled for completion this fall.
     
    ASU & Maxwell Air Force Base Form Partnership
     
    Alabama State University has committed itself to building partnerships within its community, the metropolitan area and beyond to create opportunities for the community and the University. On July 16, ASU President Quinton T. Ross Jr. and Lt. Gen. Anthony Cotton, commander and president of Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base entered into a Community- University partnership to continue to expand new programs and initiatives.
     
    “Exposing and continuing to put ASU in a positive light not just in the community, but throughout the land is the mission,” Ross said. “We want to be an intricate part of this community, the River Region and throughout the state and the nation.” Cotton, the first three-star African-American commander ever to be assigned to Maxwell’s Air University, said he wants ASU to have a seat at table when it comes to grants and other opportunities, especially collaborating with other Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs). “One of the things I really want to do is to better establish a relationship between the base and Alabama State University and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities within the area because I think there are some opportunities lost,” said Cotton.
     
    Ross said the new alliance with the base is important. “Strong alliances are vital, and ASU is clear on the importance of partnering with dedicated community leaders such as Gen. Cotton, who share the university’s objectives to promote the preservation and long-term sustainability of HBCUs,” Ross said. “There are so many ways that this partnership can work together. The sky is the limit.”
     
    American Public Power Association Board of Directors Election
     
    Fred D. Clark Jr., President & CEO, Alabama Municipal Electric Authority (AMEA), was re-elected to the American Public Power Association Board of Directors during the Association’s annual Business Meeting on June 19. Clark will represent Region 7, which is the East South Central area of the United States, including Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee.
     
    Coosa-Alabama River Improvement Association Celebrates 128 Years
     
    The 2018 Annual Conference of the Coosa- Alabama River Improvement Association in May in Montgomery covered issues pertaining to Alabama’s river systems, highlighting the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa basin, but with a special emphasis on infrastructure and economic development.
     
     In its 128th year, CARIA is a not-for-profit organization that believes in promoting the multipurpose use of waterways while protecting the ecological health of our river basins: the Alabama, the Coosa and the Tallapoosa. CARIA was founded in 1890 by a group of Gadsden businessmen to promote river traffic between Gadsden and Rome, Georgia, on the Coosa River.
     
    New Millbrook Chamber President
     
    The Millbrook Chamber of Commerce announced Sarah Little was installed on June 21 as the Millbrook Chamber of Commerce President. She joined the Millbrook Chamber in 2014 and has held the position of chamber Diplomat, served on the Board Of Directors, and was Vice President in 2017.
     
    City Restores Genetta Stream
     
    The City of Montgomery has transformed a polluted stream and concrete culvert with the Genetta Stream Restoration Project. Located near Interstate 65, the stream flowed through a small park, funneling storm runoff to Catoma Creek and then the Alabama River. With the proximity to urban spaces, it wasn’t long before contaminants polluted the stream. A project began in 2010, including support from the NFWF’s Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program and Southern Co., to create Fairview Park.
     
    Chris Conway, public works director for Montgomery, said the park’s location was key to making it a microcosm for environmental education. “This intersection is such a heavily traveled, busy area, and Fairview Avenue is an important street in the city,” Conway said. “When we reflected on the highest and best use of the property as a gateway into Montgomery, we wanted the aesthetic to anchor everything we were trying to do along that corridor.”
     
    In addition to walking paths and interpretive signage, the park features a constructed wetland to filter stormwater runoff and help prevent urban pollutants from flowing downstream. “Most people think of swing sets, seesaws and large greenspaces when they think of parks, but while they are here, they’re learning about what we are doing to make the park function and teaching them not to throw away things that end up in rivers and streams,” Conway said.
     
    Bell Media Acquires Zeekee Interactive
     
    Bell Media, a digital marketing agency with clients throughout the Southeast, recently announced that it has acquired Zeekee Interactive, a website design and development firm located in Birmingham. Zeekee designed and supported over 4,000 websites during its 15-year tenure. The company is known for serving multiple industries, primarily in the healthcare, legal, professional services and the restaurant/bar space.
     
    Scott Bell, CEO of Bell Media, said, “At Bell Media, we’re focused on becoming a digital marketing leader in the Southeast region. The acquisition of Zeekee presents a tremendous opportunity for us to provide a better overall service and experience for our customers.” This is the second acquisition for Bell Media, which acquired Carted in March 2018.
     
    Carmichael Imaging Center Acquires New Equipment
     
    Baptist Health’s Carmichael Imaging Center at Montgomery Cancer Center recently acquired a powerful new 3.0T MRI unit offering higher quality imaging and patient comfort. The state-of the-art GE Discovery MR750w 3.0T was designed with patients in mind. Baptist Health invested nearly $1.6 million in purchasing and preparing for the new equipment and its innovative technology to increase quality, efficiency and patient comfort. This 3.0T magnet has twice the strength of most scanners in the River Region and produces more detailed images of patients’ internal anatomy.
     
    Benefits to Alabama Ag Credit Borrowers
     
    Alabama farmers and rural property owners who borrow money from Alabama Ag Credit aren’t just borrowers — They own the lending cooperative. That means that when the co-op does well, they share in its success. And for Alabama Ag Credit, 2017 was a very successful year. Alabama Ag Credit recently returned over half of the association’s profits, a record $8.5 million in patronage, to its borrower-stockholders. “We are proud of Alabama Ag Credit’s continued strong financial results and the opportunity to give back to agriculture and rural Alabama,” said James L. Bassett, board chairman. Cash-back payments like this benefit the association’s borrower-stockholders, their families and their local communities. Since 2006, Alabama Ag Credit has returned more than $67 million in distributions to its borrowers.
     
    Central Alabama Aging Consortium Golf Classic
     
    The Central Alabama Aging Consortium hosted the 2nd Annual Dementia Friendly Alabama Golf Classic in early March at Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Legislator Course, in Prattville. It raised more than $5,000, with 14 sponsors and a player pool of 44. With continued support of the sponsors and the players, the Dementia Friendly Alabama Initiative has the opportunity to continue its efforts to foster dementia awareness across the state of Alabama.
     
    River Financial Corporation and PSB Bancshares, Inc. Merge
     
    River Financial Corporation and PSB Bancshares, Inc. recently announced the signing of a definitive agreement under which River Bank & Trust and Peoples Southern Bank will enter into a strategic merger to combine the banking franchises. Upon closing of the transaction, the combined bank will exceed one billion in total assets, $660 million in total loans and $890 million in total deposits with 14 locations across Alabama.
     
    The joint announcement was issued by Jimmy Stubbs, Chief Executive Officer of River Bank & Trust and Richard Moore, President and Chief Executive Officer of Peoples Southern Bank. As a result of the merger, Peoples Southern Bank will operate as River Bank & Trust.
     
    Caddell Breaks Ground on National Nuclear Security Administration Headquarters
     
    The formal groundbreaking ceremony for the massive $174 million NNSA headquarters that Caddell will build at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, New Mexico, took place on July 2. The three-story, 334,000-square-foot building will accommodate 1,200 employees and include state-of-the-art offices, data centers, a fitness center, secure areas and vault-type areas and rooms. The facility will be one of the most sophisticated of its kind in the world.
     
    Alabama Power Names New Board Members
     
    Angus Cooper III and Phil Webb were recently elected to the board of directors of Alabama
    Power. Cooper is president of Cooper/T. Smith Corporation in Mobile. Webb is president of Webb Concrete & Building Materials, Inc., which operates ready mix concrete plants in Oxford, Pell City, Heflin and Roanoke, and building materials locations in Heflin, Oxford, Pell City, Centre and Birmingham. “We are excited and honored to welcome Angus and Phil to our board,” said Alabama Power Chairman, President and CEO Mark Crosswhite. “Their experience, knowledge and commitment to community will be tremendous assets to our company. We appreciate their willingness to serve.”
     
    The Learning Tree, Inc. Announces “Growing Independence Behavioral Services”
     
    The Learning Tree, Inc. announced a new opportunity to access applied behavior analysis services (ABA) in a clinic setting. “Growing Independence Behavioral Services will now be available in Anniston, Birmingham, Montgomery and Mobile locations,” said Marc Williams, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Executive Director of The Learning Tree, Inc. “We are excited about opening our first program serving the Montgomery community.” ABA therapy is available for preschool and school-age children with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
     
    Frutta Bowls Comes To Montgomery
     
    The Shoppes at EastChase announced its newest restaurant, Frutta Bowls. The health-focused restaurant featuring acai bowls with seasonal fruits and vegetables will open in late fall. The restaurant will be Alabama’s third location and will occupy more than 1,500 square feet. Launched in 2016, Frutta Bowls gained momentum across the country for its fresh takes on creating delicious, filling health bowls with a base of acai, pitaya or kale. Frutta Bowls also features oatmeal bowls and smoothies, as well as protein balls, kombucha, and grab-and-go items.
     
    Hartzell Engine Technologies Completes New Websites
    Keith Bagley, President of Hartzell Engine Technologies (HET), recently announced that the company has completed the updating and rebranding of its corporate website, as well as creating new websites for all of its five product lines, Aero-Force turbocharger systems, Plane-Power alternators and voltage regulators, Sky-Tec starters, Janitrol Aero cabin heating systems and Fuelcraft fuel pumps. The new product sites contain comprehensive application guides, specific service information, troubleshooting information, and, where applicable, downloadable Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) documentation.
     
    New Therapy Brings Tranquility
     
    In May 2017, Country Cottage introduced a new state-of-the-art Multisensory Therapy Room. The unique room is custom designed to help those living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. A sense of tranquility is created by stimulating several of the senses in a safe and therapeutic environment. Benefits of Multisensory Therapy include a stronger connection with caregivers, enhanced communication, improved mood and increased understanding of environment.
     
    Seek Publishing Acquired
     
    Taylor Blackwell, President of brands Walker360, Fifth Advertising, Creative Printing and Hudson Ink, added another acquisition to his companies this spring. Blackwell purchased
    Seek Publishing as a strategic acquisition to work in harmony with his other businesses.
     
    Seek Publishing began in 1989 to create something that would speak to a person’s sense of nostalgia and allow them the chance to look back at how things were the year they were born. The result? A sort of greeting card/gift hybrid (a KardLet) was born. Today, Seek’s signature nostalgic cardlet products, Remember When, Pages in Time, and Yearbook are in 3,500 retail locations throughout the United States and Canada. Blackwell said, “Our acquisition of Seek Publishing complements our Walker360 companies perfectly.”
     
    Walker360’s printing and marketing operation is in the nation’s top 1 percent in revenue for the industry and currently holds offices in Montgomery, Birmingham and Atlanta. Fifth Advertising is an award-winning digital agency focused on stories and experiences, and using them to connect brands with people. Creative Printing helps clients create one-of a- kind print projects from small businesses to events and special occasions. Hudson, Ink creates high-performance marketing programs for in-home service contractors throughout the country.
     
    AmeriFirst Announces New Board Member
     
    Kyle Kyser, Vice President, Real Estate Agent of Kyser Property Management Co., Inc., has joined the board of directors of AmeriFirst Bank. Kyser received a business/finance degree from Birmingham-Southern College in 1991 before graduating summa cum laude in building science from Auburn University. He is a member of the Committee of 100 & Associated General Contractors of Alabama, and he is the past president of the Montgomery Lions Club and serves on the board of directors for YMCA Metro and the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce.
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