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  • January 2019

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    TROY University Gets Top Marks
    The Military Times, an online source military members and veterans use for information, recently ranked Troy University the top school in the state that caters to the needs of veterans and military members and their families. The Military Times surveyed hundreds of colleges across the country. Institutions were chosen using culture, academic quality, student support and financial aid for veterans and military. Troy University is also listed as 37th best overall college in the nation that serves the military.
    MGM Earns Impressive Award
    The Alabama Chapter of the American Planning Association recently presented the City of Montgomery with the Franklin M. Setzer Outstanding Urban Design Project Award for Montgomery’s success in revitalizing Dexter Avenue. “This recognition speaks to the success we have achieved through years of hard work and responsible planning to breathe new life into Dexter Avenue,” Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange said. “Partnerships in both the public and private sectors proved critical to realizing our vision along Dexter Avenue. This is only the beginning as more and more investors, businesses, residents and visitors choose to live, work and play on Dexter Avenue – heralding the good things to come in the Capital of Dreams!”
    Presented October 11 in Oxford, Mississippi, at the American Planning Association’s Joint Alabama-Mississippi state conference, the recognition marks another milestone in the city’s decade-long redevelopment effort to bring community, commercial and residential activities back to Dexter Avenue. Named in memory of the former director of Design Alabama and Auburn University Architecture and Urban Studies Center in Birmingham, the award is given to the top Alabama project for which design is an integral part of the planning process and is a major concern of the built environment.
    The city’s application to APA Alabama emphasized the results of the effort that resuscitated one of the nation’s most historic streets. Block by block, new life has bloomed on Dexter Avenue and beyond. Most recently, the openings of new public gathering places in the heart of downtown coincided with the grand reopening of the adjacent Kress on Dexter, one of the buildings sold by the city under a rehabilitation agreement but funded entirely by private sector investors. Montgomery’s downtown revitalization continues to serve as a case study in historic revitalization.
    ASU Receives $600,000 in Funding from U. S. Department of Defense
    Alabama State University has received a three-year grant award from the U. S. Department of Defense (DOD) in the amount of $600,000 to support research on “Lightweight Multifunctional Advanced Materials.” The goal of this research is to develop fundamental materials to be used for the next generation of U.S. Air Force systems and for advanced aircraft such as the cutting-edge F-35. Such military systems and advanced aircraft require materials that are lightweight, durable and multifunctional, which ASU researchers will assist with providing to the government.
    The ASU faculty members who helped bring this grant to the University are Dr. Derrick Dean (its principal investigator), who is a professor of biomedical engineering and Director of the Integrated Bioengineering and Advanced Materials Center, and Dr. Elijah Nyairo, an instructor of chemistry, who will serve as its co-principal investigator.
    Local Attorney Admitted To American College Of Trial Lawyers
    Dennis R. Bailey has become a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in North America. He was recently inducted before an audience of 850 at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the College in New Orleans, Louisiana. Bailey is a partner in the firm of Rushton, Stakely, Johnston & Garrett, P.A. and has been practicing in Montgomery for 38 years.
    Founded in 1950, the College is composed of the best of the trial bar from the United States and Canada. Fellowship in the College is extended by invitation only and only after careful investigation, to those experienced trial lawyers of diverse backgrounds, who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility and collegiality. Lawyers must have a minimum of 15 years trial experience before they can be considered for Fellowship.
    Matthew Murphy Earns Forbes Recognition
    Matthew Murphy, with Longleaf Wealth Management at UBS Financial Services, was named by Forbes as one of America's Top Millennial Advisors. The Forbes ranking of America’s Top Millennial Advisors, developed by SHOOK Research, is based on an algorithm of qualitative and quantitative data, rating thousands of individuals with a minimum of four years relevant experience and acceptable compliance records.  Most important is the qualitative due diligence, which examines best practices—client service models, investing process, business types, leveraging a team and firm resources, etc.—learned through telephone and in-person interviews. Also built into the model: experience levels, credentials and more.  Murphy is a Level III Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) and also holds the Portfolio Manager and Retirement Plan Consulting Specialist designations through UBS.
    HBCU-ASU Awarded a $500,000 NSF Grant
    One of Alabama State University’s nationally acclaimed research scientists has been awarded a three-year, $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Excellence in Research program to conduct tissue regeneration research to help wound victims.
    ASU Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Komal Vig was awarded the grant. She said it will lead to innovative strategies to regenerate tissues after damage, which can help in wound healing. “The grant will train both undergraduate and graduate students in the field of biomedical engineering,” Vig said. The Excellence in Research program is a new track program funded through the NSF and is designed to strengthen the research and education capacities of HBCU's.
    Alabama Business Hall of Fame Inducts Seven for Class of 2018
    On November 15, the Alabama Business Hall of Fame inducted seven new members, all of them joining a list now 223 members strong. The Alabama Business Hall of Fame recognizes those who have brought fame and honor to the state of Alabama through not only their achievements as business leaders and entrepreneurs, but their commitment to civic leadership, philanthropy and humanitarianism. The Alabama Business Hall of Fame is located on The University of Alabama campus in the Culverhouse College of Business’ Bidgood Hall.
    The 2018 inductees were Patricia “Sister Schubert” Barnes, founder of baking empire Sister Schubert’s and Sasha’s Home, an orphanage in the Ukraine; Jeffrey Bayer, president, CEO and co-founder of Bayer Properties; Don James, former chairman and CEO of aggregates manufacturer Vulcan Materials Company. Charles McCrary, former president and CEO of Alabama Power Company; Randy Owen, singer for country music band Alabama and major supporter of St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital; James Pursell Sr., developer of innovative fertilizer products and ownership of Pursell Farms resort; and John Rhoads, an accountant at Ernst & Ernst.
    All inductees are committed to their communities, serving in leadership roles on boards, donating their time and resources to causes and inspiring future generations of business leaders.
    Bradley’s Montgomery Practice Areas Receive Top Rankings
    Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP announced that the 2019 edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" has awarded six Tier 1 metropolitan rankings for the firm’s practice areas in Montgomery. In addition, Bradley garnered Tier 1 national rankings for the practices areas of Construction and Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants. In total, Bradley earned Tier 1 metropolitan rankings across 66 practice areas and in all nine of its offices.
    The firm received Tier 1 metropolitan rankings for Montgomery in the following practice areas: commercial litigation; employment law – management; litigation - labor and employment; personal injury litigation – defendants; product liability litigation – defendants; and public finance law.
    Gibson Vance Named A 2018 Troy University Distinguished Alumni Of The Year
    Beasley Allen lawyer Gibson Vance was named a 2018 Troy University Distinguished Alumni of the Year during last fall’s Homecoming celebration. Vance, a 1987 graduate, now provides leadership to the University as a member of its Board of Trustees.
    “I am honored by this recognition,” Vance said. “The education and fundamental professional values I acquired while at Troy placed me on a path full of opportunities. I am proud to represent the school and to support its work in preparing the next generation of professionals and leaders.”
    A long-time supporter of Troy University, Vance and his wife, Kate, will soon establish the Kate and Gibson Vance Study Abroad Scholarship, enabling students who wish to expand their learning experience beyond the classroom to do so by helping offset certain expenses. Previously, Vance established an endowment to the College of Arts and Sciences, which launched a Distinguished Lecturer Series to provide students interested in pursuing a career in the legal profession the opportunity to hear from the field’s most influential figures.
    Ingram Named “Elite Winner” For Sixth Year In A Row
    Truman Ingram, Four Star Freightliner Utility and Municipal Account Manager, has been named an Elite Trip Winner in the Leland James Sales Achievement Program for the sixth consecutive year. This program, named after the founder of Freightliner, recognizes the best sales representatives and managers in the Freightliner Dealer Network. The awards are based on the amount of units sold. Ingram, who has been an Account Manager at Four Star Freightliner for more than 10 years and works from the Montgomery location, was one of only 31 other Elite ‘Trip’ Winners in North America who were recognized for their sale excellence, customer service and industry leadership.
    Montgomery Businesses Recognized at Alabama Retail Association Awards
    Chris’ Famous Hot Dogs, famous for its hotdogs and nostalgia, was honored last fall as the 2018 Silver Alabama Retailer of the Year in the Annual Sales Less Than $1 Million category. Christopher Anastasios “Chris” Katechis immigrated to the United States from a small island in Greece and opened his hot dog business on May 1, 1917. More than 100 years later, Chris’ Famous Hot Dogs remains in its original location in downtown Montgomery. Chris’ Hot Dogs is the oldest family owned and operated restaurant in Montgomery.
    Chris’ Famous Hot Dogs, an Alabama Retail Association member since 2004, was one of 13 retail businesses honored today as Retailers of the Year. This year’s winners came from a pool of almost 100 nominees. Other Montgomery retailers honored include The Locker Room in Montgomery and Auburn named Gold Retailer of the Year in the Annual Sales $1 Million to $5 Million category; Renfroe’s Market earned the 2018 Gold Alabama Retailer of the Year Award in the Annual Sales More Than $20 Million category.
    2018 River Region Ethics and Public Service Award Winners Announced
    River Region Ethics and Public Service (RREPS) announced the recipients of the 2018 River Region Ethics and Public Service Awards on October 15 at the Wynlakes Golf and Country Club. The luncheon and awards ceremony recognized businesses, organizations and individuals for their community leadership, service and contributions to ethical business practices in the River Region. Awards were given to the following recipients in each of the following categories: Small Business, Harold’s Fine Jewelry; Medium Business, Wells Printing Co.; Large Business, Dixie Electric Plumbing & Air; Non-Profit Organizations/Public Agencies, Montgomery Area Food Bank. The Maury Smith Award for Individual Community Leaders was given to Daphne Johnston of First United Methodist Church’s Respite Ministry.
    Don Machen Receives Auburn University Walter Gilbert Award
    Don Machen was honored in late September at Jordan-Hare Stadium with the Walter Gilbert Award, which is presented annually to a former Auburn student-athlete who has demonstrated excellence in their chosen field. Machen, a Co-Captain for the Tigers his senior year in 1961, also received the Bill Streit Award and the Cliff Hare Award while attending Auburn.
    After Machen earned his accounting and MBA degrees, he helped create Machen McChesney, a CPA & advisory firm that has served clients well for more than 60 years in Auburn and the surrounding communities. Machen McChesney was recently recognized by INSIDE Public Accounting as one of the top 400 firms in the nation and by Business Alabama for one of the largest accounting firms in Alabama. Along the way, Machen epitomized community involvement, serving in leadership roles on virtually every board in town as well as state and national professional organizations.
    "I want to thank all the people in my life that have made receiving the Walter Gilbert Award possible,” Machen said. “It is certainly a great honor to be on this list with the previous recipients and an award that I will always cherish. Thank you to the Auburn University athletic department and to all the great Auburn Family."
    Bradley Named To ABA’s Top 10 List For Health Law
    Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP was recognized in the American Bar Association (ABA) Health Law Section’s “Sixth Annual Regional Law Firm Recognition List.” The firm ranked third in the Top 10 list for the South Region. The list recognizes the top 10 law firms with the largest number of lawyer membership in the ABA Health Law Section as of August 31, 2018, in the following regions: South, Southeast, Midwest, West and Northeast.
    ASU Alumnus Wins Emmy Award
    Alabama State University’s alumnus Darrius Smith (2011) is making his mark in the television industry. Smith, a news photographer with KSHB-TV in Kansas City, Missouri, recently won an Emmy at the 42nd Annual Mid-America Emmys sponsored by The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS). Smith won for Best Sports-News Single Story titled “Local Sports Artist Found Inspiration in Royals ‘Never Give Up’ Attitude.” Smith was the videographer, and he also edited it. “I won the award with sports writer Dee Jackson, who I interned under at CBS WAKA TV 8, now Alabama News Network in Montgomery, and who is also my co-worker now,” Smith said.
    Capell & Howard P.C. Attorney Honored
    Brigadier General Richard F. Allen, USA, Retired, has been selected by the Board of Trustees of the Army War College Foundation as an outstanding Alumnus of the United States Army War College. This honor is bestowed upon General Allen for his “incredible contributions to our nation following [his] military retirement.” General Allen clerked for Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Howell Heflin before joining Capell, Howard, Knabe & Cobbs P.A. in 1974, where his law practice centered on business and tax law.
    In January 1979, Allen served as Chief Legislative Assistant for U.S. Senator Howell Heflin in Washington, D.C., but he returned to Capell & Howard in August 1981. In 1985, Allen was elected Managing Partner for the firm, a position he held until January 1995, when Alabama Attorney General Jeff Sessions appointed him Chief Deputy Attorney General, a position he continued to hold under Attorneys General Bill Pryor and Troy King until he retired from state service in 2005. Allen held the honorary position of Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army from Alabama from 1998 until 2001. In February 2005, Allen returned to Capell & Howard as “Of Counsel.”
    In February 2006, Governor Bob Riley asked General Allen to join his Cabinet as the Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Corrections. When Luther Strange was elected Attorney General in 2010, he asked Allen to return to the Attorney General’s office as Chief Deputy Attorney General, where the General served for one year before returning to the firm “Of Counsel.” From 2013 to 2017 General Allen served as the Parliamentary Law Advisor to Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey.
    Four Star Freightliner Receives Successful Dealer Award
    Four Star Freightliner, Inc., led by its dealer principal Jerry Kocan, was named the recipient of the 2018 Successful Dealer Award by Randall Reilly, a marketing, media and events company with thousands of clients in the trucking, construction and agriculture industries. Successful Dealer is a Randall Reilly publication written exclusively for the medium and heavy duty truck dealer market. Its editor, Lucas Deal, explained that, “Four Star Freightliner was selected from another wonderful list of finalist candidates due to its impressive investments in employee education and development, community activism and support of the dealer market and trucking industry at large.”
    “I humbly accept this award for all of the team members at Four Star Freightliner who contribute to making us who we are,” Kocan said. “What makes this recognition extra special is that it was given by a group that is dedicated and engrained in our industry.”
    2019 Benchmark Litigation Recognizes Bradley and 49 Attorneys
    Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP is announced that 49 of the firm’s partners have been recognized in the 2019 edition of Benchmark Litigation, which also listed Bradley as a “highly recommended” firm. A leading guide to litigation firms and attorneys in the United States and Canada, Bench­mark Litigation “highly recommended” Bradley in Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee, and “recommended” the firm in North Carolina. In Bradley’s Montgomery office, partner Charles Stewart was named a “Local Litigation Stars.”
    Jere Lynn Burkhart Receives Faulkner University’s Highest Honor
    It was a night of surprise and tears of gratitude for Jere Lynn Burkhart as she joined her family on stage at Faulkner University’s Annual Benefit Dinner at the Renaissance Hotel on October 4 to receive the university’s highest honor. She was bestowed the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters for her contributions to the development of autism education and her support of Faulkner’s vision for its own autism center.
    Over 30 years ago, her grandson was diagnosed with autism and Burkhart made a decision to do everything she could to help him thrive. Burkhart became a pioneer in autism education in an era when autism education and professional services were almost nonexistent. “Tonight we honor a woman who embodies everything Faulkner University espouses to be,” Faulkner University President Mike Williams said. “Jere Lynn Burkhart is a pioneer who led the trailblazing movement to speak for a segment of our nation who could not speak for themselves.”
    Today, Burkhart’s vision is embodied in the Burkhart Center for Autism Education and Research at Texas Tech University, which is named for Jere Lynn and Jim Burkhart, whose financial gifts made possible the establishment and mission of the center.
    Last year, it was announced that Faulkner would begin plans for its own autism center. The university leadership reached out to the Burkharts and Texas Tech University to help with “best practices” and moving forward in developing a similar center, one that would use Jere Lynn’s original concept as its foundation.
    MACOA Honors Remarkable Seniors
    The Montgomery Area Council on Aging (MACOA) recently hosted its 31st Annual Seniors of Achievement Awards Luncheon at the Montgomery Country Club. During this memorable occasion, MACOA recognized 11 special seniors for their professional, civic and personal contributions and achievements. The afternoon featured a host of community leaders, family, friends and other supporters who helped celebrate the honorees. These deserving seniors joined the ranks of more than 400 who have been recognized over the years throughout Autauga, Coosa, Elmore, Montgomery and Tallapoosa counties. The 2018 Seniors of Achievement Honorees are Nelma Ausley, Lois Brown, Jerry Burnette, Ruth Duncan, Doris Epler, Al Hildreth, Sue Loftis, Margaret Philhower, Lelar Wilson, C.W. White and Marion Young. Also, the Special Friend of MACOA award was presented to First United Methodist Church. 
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