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  • November 2017

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    Montgomery County Commissioners Isaiah Sankey and Ronda Walker recently joined an elite group of Alabama county officials by each completing 50 hours of professional development training on the responsibilities of the county commission from the Alabama Local Government Training Institute (ALGTI). The commissioners were recognized for this achievement at the Association of County Commissions of Alabama (ACCA) 89th Annual Convention held in August. Referred to as the Commissioner Education Program, the 50-hour program emphasizes training on financial management and planning, public works practices, ethical and legal requirements, personnel administration, economic development and community leadership and the roles and responsibilities of public service. “Continuing education for our county officials will always remain one of the association’s priorities for our membership,” said Sonny Brasfield, ACCA Executive Director. “As with any organization, sharing new ideas and information is the best way to grow and prosper. The involvement of county employees and officials only enhances our efforts to improve county government and the services it provides at the local level.”

    U.S. News & World Report recognized Auburn University at Montgomery’s undergraduate and graduate programs among its 2018 regional and national rankings of top colleges and universities. In addition to being named among the top tier of Regional Universities - South, AUM was also included (#37) among the Best Public Regional Universities - South, making it the top-ranked university in the River Region. In its national rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranked the AUM College of Business’s undergraduate program #216 and its part-time Master of Business Administration program #143 among the country’s best. The undergraduate ranking was based solely on assessment surveys, and the graduate degree ranking was based in large part on peer assessment. The College of Public Policy and Justice graduate studies program tied for #96, based “solely on opinions of each program’s quality as rated by academic experts at peer institutions,” according to the rankings. “It is an honor for Auburn University at Montgomery and its academic programs to be recognized among the best in the South and in the country,” said AUM Chancellor, Carl A. Stockton, “particularly those programs ranked so highly by our peer institutions. As for our overall rankings, our faculty and staff have worked very hard to extend our reputation for excellence beyond the River Region while continuing to make our programs more accessible to students who call this region home and those coming to our campus from other parts of the state, the country and the world.”



    Twenty Beasley Allen lawyers were selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Included on the list are the firm’s Principal and Founder, Jere L. Beasley, included since 1991, as well as Principals J. Greg Allen, Michael J. Crow, Thomas J. Methvin, J. Cole Portis, W. Daniel “Dee” Miles III, Andy D. Birchfield Jr., Rhon E. Jones, Benjamin E. Baker Jr., Julia Anne Beasley, LaBarron N. Boone, David B. Byrne III, Kendall C. Dunson, R. Graham Esdale Jr., Benjamin L. Locklar, P. Leigh O’Dell, W. Roger Smith III, C. Gibson Vance, E. Frank Woodson, and Navan Ward Jr.

    Integrated Computer Solutions, Inc. recently announced Rick Fleming, ICS Vice President, Federal Sales and Delivery, achieved the status of Certified Innovation Professional. Fleming is the first person in the state of Alabama to achieve the certification. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help bring additional value to our ICS clients in the form of Innovation Management,” said Fleming. “ICS has a very strong culture of innovation, of idea creation and transforming those ideas into business value and revenue growth. ICS provides training opportunities and formal certifications for multiple members of our team to help our clients tie Innovation to strategy, quickly respond to rapidly changing markets for products and services, while effectively managing investments in research and development.” According to Tom Brazil, the ICS Chief Digital Officer, the company continues to evolve and expand its capacity to provide structured Innovation Portfolio Management. Brazil said, “We make continuous investments in innovation infrastructure, innovation process enhancements, innovation training and certifications, research and idea-gathering tools, knowledge management, innovation workshops and innovation reporting dashboards and analytics. ICS has an on-site Capabilities Integration Lab (CIL) that team members are vigorously encouraged to use at will for this purpose.” Steve Goldsby, ICS President and CEO, described ICS’ collaboration efforts that provide Innovation Management in support of community and client objectives. “We work closely with the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, local colleges and universities, federal, state and local governments to introduce, evaluate and qualify projects that provide growth for both our IT community and our labor markets,” he said. “ICS, along with our partners in our RedTeam Engineering (RTE) joint venture, provide unparalleled expertise in cyber security, agile software development, systems engineering, technology, and innovation.”

    Gilpin Givhan announced that three attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America, one of the legal profession’s oldest and most respected peer-review publications. The attorneys recognized are John Ward Weiss, Davis Smith and Robert Gilpin. Gregg B. Everett was again selected as a “Super Lawyer” in the area of Health Care Law.

    Caddell recently marked two important safety milestones at the Navy’s $154 million Nuclear Training Facility project at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina. The Caddell team celebrated 600,000-plus man-hours with zero OHSA Recordables since November of 2016 and also officially logged more than a million total project man-hours since beginning work in August 2014. “This is a remarkable achievement for Caddell, the Navy and our excellent subcontractors. We have all shared a relentless focus on safety and the results are clear. Congratulations to the entire team,” said Mac Caddell, Caddell Construction Executive Vice President. Caddell is building a new Nuclear Power Training Complex for submarine personnel that will be state-of-the-art when completed.

    Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP announced that five of the firm’s Montgomery attorneys have been listed in the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America, one of the most highly regarded attorney referral publications. The following Bradley attorneys in Montgomery were selected: William C. McGowin, Charles Stewart, W. Stanley Gregory, R. Parker, Robert Emmett Poundstone IV.

    Alabama digital marketing agency Bell Media has been named an official Google Premier Partner. Google’s Premier Partner status is the highest level of Google’s Partner program that an agency can achieve and is designated for only a small percentage of the top performing Google Partners. Bell Media is the only locally owned digital marketing agency in Montgomery to earn this achievement. “Securing a Premier Partner badge isn’t an easy designation to accomplish in only a couple years,” said Scott Bell, company CEO. “It’s a true testament to the hard work and determination of the team. I’m proud of each and every one of us.” In order to qualify as a Premier Partner, an agency must continuously meet Google’s three requirements: certification, ad spend and performance. Bell Media currently has 26 Google Certified employees. As a Google Premier Partner, Bell Media will receive additional resources, training and support with Google’s Partner team, resulting in better quality advertising campaigns for all of its clients. Bell Media achieved Premier Partner Status in less than two years since it was first designated Partner Status in December 2015. Bell Media was also recently named to Inc. Magazine’s 2017 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies, marking the third time the Company has been recognized for this achievement.

    Alabama State University’s (ASU) Vice President of Student Affairs was selected for the inaugural cohort of the Minority Serving Institution’s (MSI) Aspiring Leaders program at the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr.Davida Haywood is one of 21 impressive leaders from around the nation who will attend the first MSI Aspiring Leaders Forum in November. “I am quite honored to have been selected for the program; and even more thrilled to do so as the Vice President of Student Affairs at Alabama State University,” said Haywood. “I look forward to engaging with other like-minded colleagues from around the nation who are committed to serving at and leading Minority Serving Institutions. I stand on the shoulders of many. I am excited about this opportunity and will represent ASU to the fullest.” During the three-day forum, Haywood will attend discussion/workshop sessions on topics such as the presidential nomination process, managing relationships with faculty, using data to make decisions, fiscal management, strategic fundraising, assessing student learning and navigating the media.

    Montgomery’s Starke Agency has been designated as one of the Top 10 Largest Commercial Insurance Agencies in Alabama for the 2016 fiscal year. This isn’t the first time the agency has ranked amongst the Top 10 Insurance agencies in the state. As the River Region grows, Starke Agency remains a cornerstone as a local, independently owned insurance agency. Trey Starke, CPCU, CIC, President of Starke Agency, Inc. explained what the agency as a whole has done to keep Starke Agency one of Alabama’s largest insurance agencies. “We offer a multi-discipline approach in commercial, contract surety/bonds, personal lines and benefits. Our unparalleled expertise in the region allows for one-stop service, eliminating coverage gaps and duplication and allows for in-depth risk management.”

    Alabama State University Air Force ROTC detachment 019 student Laken Watson was one of only 35 AFROTC cadets from across the country selected to participate in an Air Force program titled “Operations Air Force.” The two-week program is designed to give cadets the opportunity to experience first-hand almost everything an operational Air Force base has to offer. Cadets experience life on an Air Force base through the use of tours, hands-on experience and by shadowing Air Force personnel. “Representing Det 019 was truly an honor and privilege, especially being the only one from my Detachment who experienced ‘Ops AF’ this summer,” Watson said. “It’s a great feeling knowing that when someone asks where I am from, I can always speak so highly of Alabama and the ROTC Program that I call home.” The cadets participated in the program at different Air Force bases around the country. Their placement was based on their career interests. Watson was placed at Moody AFB in Valdosta, Georgia, which specializes in special operations and combat rescue, which is where she wants to serve.

    Awards & Honors

    Caddell has been awarded a contract for the construction of a new Special Tactics Facility for the elite Special Operations Forces at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The project consists of three separate buildings: a main headquarters building, a medical training facility, and a combat support training center. A varied project scope includes sophisticated command and operations suites; an auditorium; conference rooms; training centers for logistics, flight and trauma operations; a gym; an aquatic center; classrooms; and a parachute packing and drying tower. The project is scheduled to be completed by August 2019. Caddell has been building major projects at Fort Bragg for more than 28 years.

    Beasley Allen lawyer Navan Ward Jr. has been appointed to the Plaintiffs Executive Committee (PEC) for the multidistrict litigation (MDL) involving proton pump inhibitor (PPI) drugs linked to kidney damage. Ward is one of five attorneys appointed to the PEC. The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) granted the plaintiffs’ motion to consolidate PPI in the U.S. District Court in the District of New Jersey under Judge Claire C. Cecchi. “I’m honored to be selected to work with this incredibly talented group of attorneys to lead this nationwide litigation,” said Ward, who in January helped open and began working from the firm’s new Atlanta office. “The evidence of these products’ defect is very apparent in the early stages of this litigation, so I look forward to continuing our efforts to provide a successful resolution to these claims for all of our clients.”

    Alabama State University’s (ASU) College of Business Administration
    (COBA) along with its Mentor-Protégé partners Certified Technical Experts, Inc. (CTE) and Tec-Masters (TMI) are the recipients of the U. S. Department of Defense’s prestigious Nunn-Perry Award. The award recognizes successful mentor-protégé teams that have excelled in technical developments, cost efficiencies and increased business opportunities for small businesses. As the training arm of the program, ASU’s COBA partners with TMI to assist CTE in developing quality systems and to provide technical and marketing support. The prestigious Nunn-Perry Award, named in honor of former Senator Sam Nunn and former Secretary of Defense William Perry, was first awarded in 1995.

    Nick Vanysoc, Alex Reeves and Nick Bishop of Seay, Seay and Litchfield were presented with AIA medallions at the organization’s August chapter meeting. The AIA medallion is awarded to newly registered architects as a means of celebrating their hard work and achievement in the lengthy process of becoming a registered architect. Seay, Seay and Litchfield now has a total of 12 registered architects.

    A student at Alabama State University (ASU) was recently named an HBCU White House All-Star by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). David King, a native of Gary, Indiana, and a senior at ASU (who is majoring in political science with a minor in public administration), has been awarded this prestigious national honor. “It is an honor to be selected as a 2017-2018 White House All-Star Student Ambassador, but to me it’s not about the title, it’s about the impact and the need for change,” King said. “I am going to use this position as yet another opportunity to influence change in the lives of my peers.” Comprised of undergraduate, graduate and professional students, the “All-Stars” are recognized for their accomplishments in academics, leadership and civic engagement. The position that King was named to is considered by the federal government and White House to be among the highest-ranking student leader positions in the nation. King will serve as an ambassador and provide outreach opportunities and communicate to other students the value of receiving a good education. Through social media and his relationships with community-based organizations, King will share proven practices that support opportunities for all young people to realize their educational and career potential. He will participate in the White House HBCU National Conference, national and regional events and webinars on a wide range of disciplines that support a spirit of engagement and personal and professional development.

    Dr. Davida Haywood, vice president of ASU’s Student Affairs division, said she is excited about this opportunity for yet another one of the University’s students. “We are certainly proud of David King as he accepts this honor, not only for himself, but for the Hornet Nation,” Haywood said.

    Montgomery County Commissioner Elton Dean Sr. was recently presented with the Tenure in Office Award by the Association of County Commissions of Alabama (ACCA) for his 16 years of service to county government and the state of Alabama. The award was presented in August at the association’s 89th Annual Convention. “Commissioner Dean deserves the gratitude of all Alabamians for his dedication to public service and personal sacrifice,” said 2016-2017 ACCA President Bill Stricklend. “Considering the extraordinary challenges county commissioners face every day, Commissioner Dean has continually served his constituents with honor and pride, and he deserves a pat on the back from everyone in Montgomery County.” ACCA annually presents the Tenure in Office Award to honor commissioners who have served for at least 16 years in office. The award is given for four-year increments thereafter.

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