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  • May 2018

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    Governor Ivey Awards Montgomery Company
    In late March, Governor Kay Ivey recognized eight Alabama companies for success in selling their goods and services to countries around the globe, including Regitar USA Inc., a Montgomery-based company that is a major manufacturer and distributor of automotive electronics, power tools and mobile safety products. It exports around the world, with primary emphasis on North, Central and South America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand. “Today, we celebrate the ingenuity and dedication of eight Alabama companies who recognize that commerce does not end at our state’s borders,” Governor Ivey said at the award ceremony. “These companies’ vision to be international leaders in their respective fields is most impressive, and we look forward to their continued efforts in overseas markets.” The governor also acknowledged that each of this year’s Governor’s Trade Excellence Award recipients are small businesses, a pillar of Alabama’s economy.
     
    Huntingdon Biochemistry Program Receives National Accreditation
    The Huntingdon College Biochemistry program has achieved national accreditation from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The College was notified in March that the accreditation is for a full seven-year term, through October 14, 2024. ASBMB has accredited college Biochemistry and Molecular Biology programs at nearly 70 colleges. Huntingdon is the only college in Alabama to have achieved this accreditation, which assesses the program based on seven criteria, including curriculum, research opportunities for students, faculty training, and learning infrastructure. For Huntingdon Biochemistry graduates, a degree certified with ASBMB accreditation affirms to graduate schools and potential employers that the student has matriculated through a program whose curriculum and infrastructure meet the basic expectations of the ASBMB; has demonstrated a grasp of fundamental concepts and critical reasoning skills on the ASBMB Evaluation Instrument; and has demonstrated their competitiveness with peers from across the nation.
     
    ASU Recognized As a “Best Online College”
    Alabama State University has been recognized as one of the ‘Best Online Colleges in Alabama’ in 2018 for its excellence in online learning by AffordableCollegesOnline.org (ACO), which is a leader in higher education information, resources and rankings. “Alabama State University is honored to receive this recognition,” said Dr. William A. Person, dean of The Harold Lloyd Murphy Graduate School. “With the expansion of online courses and programs, ASU is creating outstanding educational opportunities, particularly for our non-traditional students.”
     
    Faulkner University Gets Top Marks
    Faulkner University was recently ranked the top university in Alabama for having the best online graduate criminal justice and criminology program according to a new report by U.S. News & World Report. The U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online Programs Rankings listed Faulkner University among the top 20 schools nationally with a rank of 19 out of 70 total schools, and number one among four other Alabama colleges who made the list. The ranking, for Faulkner’s Master of Justice Administration program, was based on factors such as “admissions selectivity, faculty credentials and academic and career support services offered to students” according to the report. “We are very proud of such a high standing,” said Robert Thetford, the director for Faulkner University’s Master of Justice Administration. “The program was ranked 20 last year, so we are happy to see that we have moved up within just a year.” Faulkner was also recently ranked the 2nd top Christian university in the nation for 2018 according to a new study released by The Edvocate. After looking at Christian universities and colleges throughout the country, The Edvocate complied a list of 31 schools where Faulkner was lauded as the best of the best in the 2018 Best Christian Colleges and Universities in America report. And the university’s online graduate degree in counseling was recently ranked No. 2 in the nation by Online Psychology Degrees.
     
    Achievements

    ASU Student Brings Home Major Prize
    Terrell Hilliard, an Alabama State University master of science candidate in biology and a National Institute of Health scholar, took home a first-place prize for his research at the 2018 Emerging Researchers National (ERN) Conference in Washington, D.C. “It was an honor and pleasure for me to attend the ERN conference and present my work. Winning first-place meant the world to me because I worked and studied hard for my presentation,” Hilliard said. “I practiced and rehearsed before I boarded the plane, during the plane ride and even afterward while at the ho­tel. Winning first-place re­ally solidified in my mind that hard work does pay off.” Hilliard’s graduate oral presentation (biological sciences category) was titled, “Accelerating Wound Healing Process using Biomaterials in ‘In Vitro’ 3D Air-Lift Skin Culture Model and Fabrication of 3-D Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering using Wet-laid Technique.” Hilliard’s thesis research is supervised under the direction of ASU researcher Dr. Vida A. Dennis at the Center for NanoBiotechnology Research (CNBR).
     
    Local Builder Heads State Association
    James (Jimmy) W. Rutland, IV of Montgomery has been appointed to serve as the 2018 President of the Home Builders Association of Alabama (HBAA), the fourth largest state Home Builders Association in the United States. He succeeds 2017 HBAA President Dan Taylor, owner of Taylor Construction, Inc. and a member of the Marshall County Home Builders Association. Rutland, President of Lowder New Homes, has been actively engaged in the residential construction, development and real estate industry in Alabama for the past 25 years. A graduate of Auburn University, he has also earned the professional designations of Certified Graduate Builder and Certified Green Professional from the National Association of Home Build­ers and Energy Key Builder from the HBAA. Rutland is a longtime member of the Greater Montgomery Home Builders Association and served as its President in 2005. He was named the GMHBA’s Builder of the Year in 2005 and in 2012 was presented with the Shannon Lowder Builder of the Year Award by the HBAA.
     
    Local Attorney Makes Who’s Who List
    Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP recently announced that Charles Stewart, a partner in the firm’s Montgomery office, has been named by Who’s Who Legal as among the world’s leading product liability defense practitioners. He is listed in the Who’s Who Legal: Product Liability Defence 2018. Stewart is a member of Bradley’s Litigation, Intellectual Property and Labor & Employment Practice Groups and the Life Sciences industry team. He has more than 32 years of experience as a trial lawyer, having successfully tried a vast number of cases, primarily in the defense of corporations in product liability, employment, business disputes, class actions, intellectual property, antitrust, construction and catastrophic personal injury matters.
     
    Gibson Vance Elected President of Association
    Gibson Vance, a principal with Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C, was elected president of the Southern Trial Lawyers Association (STLA) at the organization’s 30th Annual Conference, held in New Orleans, Louisiana, February 7-11. Vance will lead the organization for a one-year term. The STLA’s mission is to promote fellowship, learning and networking among trial lawyers throughout the 13 southern states. “It will be an honor to lead the Southern Trial Lawyers Association over this next year,” Vance said of his newest position with the organization. “I’m humbled to be asked to lead such an accomplished group of lawyers.” Membership in the STLA is by nomination made by a member of the Board of Directors, with approval by other Board members from the nominee’s state and, thus, consists of some of the “best of the best” throughout the South.
     
    Local Financial Advisor Recognized
    Matthew Murphy, CFP® of Longleaf Wealth Management at UBS Financial Services was recently recognized as a 2018 UBS “Top 35 Under 35” Financial Advisor. Murphy also holds the Portfolio Manager and Retirement Plan Consulting Specialist designa­tions through UBS. He has over 10 years of experience in the wealth management industry having spent all of that time at UBS.
     
    Awards & Honors  

    Local Merrill Lynch Financial Advisors Named on Forbes’ “Best-in-State Wealth Advisors” List
    Merrill Lynch recently announced that River Region financial Advisors Bob Runkle, Holley Pierce, Laurie Russell and Webb Chastain have been recognized on the inaugural Forbes “Best-in-State Wealth Advisors” inaugural list, published on February 15. In all, 638 Merrill Lynch advisors are included on this year’s list, the most of any firm. The Forbes “Best-in-State Wealth Advisors” ranking was developed by SHOOK Research and is based on in-person and telephone due diligence meetings to evaluate each advisor.
     
    Chambless King Awarded Highest Honor
    On March 1, Chambless King Architects was presented with an Honor Award by the Alabama Council of the American Institute of Architects for the Montgomery Interpretive Center at Alabama State University in Montgomery. The Honor Award is the highest level of recognition that the Alabama Council AIA bestows to firms for projects displaying exemplary design exceeding the criteria set forth by the jury. The Montgomery Interpretive Center exists to commemorate the people, events, and route connected with the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March. It is the third in a line of three Interpretive Centers stretching from Selma to Montgomery.
     
    Beasley Allen Honored
    Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C., has been selected as recipient of one of Law360’s 2017 Practice Group of the Year awards in the Products Liability section for its work on litigation related to Johnson & Johnson talcum powder and its link to an increased risk of ovarian cancer. The group, composed of dozens of Beasley Allen attorneys and support staff, leads the litigation against Johnson & Johnson (J&J), Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc., and Imerys Talc America, Inc (Imerys). “It is an honor to be recognized for our work on behalf of so many women who were misled for decades about the danger of J&J’s talc-based products,” said Ted Meadows, Principal and co-lead talc attorney for Beasley Allen. In this round of award winners, Beasley Allen was one of 80 national law firms recognized for their work.
     
    Southland International Trucks Earns Prestigious Award
    Southland International Trucks, a locally owned full-service dealership, was recently honored with the International Truck Presidential Award. The award, introduced in 2017, honors the top seven percent of dealerships—those that achieve the highest level of performance in operating and financial standards, market representation and customer satisfaction. Southland International Trucks has been locally owned and operated since 1986 by president and owner, Drew Linn. Southland has a full-service dealership in Montgomery and employs more than 235 people statewide. “This award is yet another accolade for the tremendous team we have at Southland International Trucks,” Linn said. “I’m extremely proud of our team members. It’s also indicative of the new products and services we offer, and it speaks well to the future of our brand.”
     
    Caddell Garners Safety Award
    The Caddell crew at Logan-Martin Dam numbers between 15 and 20 people whose mission is to maintain the strength and integrity of a structure built in 1964 and that spans the Coosa River creating the Martin-Logan Lake Reservoir. This crew is constantly drilling and grouting critical sections of the dam and performing a wide range of related maintenance functions. Based on their documented safety awareness and improvement programs during the fourth quarter of 2017, the Caddell Logan-Martin team was selected for the Quest Award from among construction services crews working at Southern Company facilities throughout the Southeast. Caddell Safety Superintendent, Leonard Mistich, led the effort to closely observe daily team safety practices and upload this data into the Southern Company system for their review. Caddell won the award based on the quantity and quality of that safety data and for demonstrating a safety culture of continuous improvement.
     
    Local Law Firm Honored
    Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP is recently announced that the firm has been named the 2018 Southeast Firm of the Year by Benchmark Litigation. This is the first year for the regional firm of the year awards, which recognize firms with a strong litigating presence in multiple states in their respective regions. “This is a great honor for Bradley to be recognized by Benchmark Litigation as the nation’s top law firm in the Southeast for 2018,” said Bradley Chairman of the Board and Managing Partner Beau Grenier. “We commend our accomplished attorneys and support staff for all of their hard work and the many litigation and business successes they have helped achieve for our clients.” 
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