Ambassador of Brazil to the United States Visits Faulkner University
The Ambassador of Brazil to the U.S. Nestor Forster Jr. visited Faulkner University on August 25 to speak to the student body about Brazilian business and trade and the strong economic and diplomatic relationships between Brazil and the United States. Forster’s visit to Faulkner coincided with his official state visit to Alabama to meet with Alabama Governor Kay Ivey at the State Capitol later in the afternoon. While on campus, Forster also had an opportunity to speak with and hear from 10 Brazilian students attending Faulkner in a separate event hosted by President Mitch Henry and more than a dozen of Faulkner’s Harris College of Business faculty and staff.
ASF Holds Gala Celebrating 50 Years of Exceptional Theatre
Alabama Shakespeare Festival hosted its annual gala, celebrating 50 years of exceptional theatre on August 13, at Wynlakes Golf and Country Club. Two-time Tony Award winner Norbert Leo Butz, who performed at the event, was presented the Laurie Jean Weil Esteemed Artist Award. Cathy Caddell accepted the Wynton M. Blount Patrons of the Arts Award on behalf of the Caddell Family. Proceeds from the gala support ASF’s Education programs. ASF Executive Director Todd Schmidt and Artistic Director Rick Dildine served as masters of ceremonies for the evening.
Alabama Arts Organizations Awarded $3.5 Million in Grants
At its September quarterly meeting in Montgomery, the Alabama State Council on the Arts awarded 200 grants totaling $3,595,800 to 156 organizations across the state. Organizations providing public programs in arts education, folk arts, community arts, literary arts, dance, music, theatre and visual art forms received support through this competitive process. Some of these grants will support new and innovative public offerings and educational programs, along with administrative support; others will emphasize artistic traditions through the implementation of festivals, concerts, exhibitions, artist residencies and workshops. “Funds awarded through our grantmaking process serve as investments in Alabama’s culture, creative economy and quality of life,” said Dr. Elliot Knight, the Council’s Executive Director.
First African American Owns & Operates Coldwell Banker Franchise
Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC announced that Nicole Sloan Realty has joined the Coldwell Banker® network and will operate as Coldwell Banker Nicole Sloan Realty. This collaboration is historic because for the first time, an African-American female will independently own and operate a Coldwell Banker franchise serving Montgomery and River Region. With this new affiliation, Coldwell Banker is sending a strong message that the company is committed to diversity and inclusion, and that Sloan is poised to become a powerful force in the industry. She has been a leader in the real estate industry for more than 15 years, and since 2007, has been an award-winning Multi-Million Dollar Producing Real Estate Agent.
Montgomery Listed 2nd Best City in U.S. for Black-Owned Businesses
Two national reports rank Montgomery as one of the best cities in the nation for Black-owned businesses. NerdWallet.com and Overheard on Conference Calls both listed Montgomery as the second best city in the nation for Black entrepreneurs to start or own a business. With 28.5 percent of businesses in Montgomery owned by African Americans, Alabama’s capital city leads all others listed in NerdWallet’s research findings. According to Overhead on Conference Calls, Montgomery’s “high percentage of Black-owned businesses, low unemployment and low cost of living” make Montgomery a premier destination for Black entrepreneurs.
The news follows an announcement from Mayor Steven L. Reed regarding plans to partner with local Black-owned banks and financial institutions. It also ties into initial results from the “Doing Business with Montgomery” initiative, which show that the city has more than tripled the Black-owned businesses that receive city contracts.
Mayor Reed Transfers $20 Million in City Assets for Liberty Bank to Manage
As part of a commitment to support Black-owned businesses and minority entrepreneurs to grow the economy, Mayor Steven L. Reed announced that the City will transfer approximately $20 million to Liberty Bank, which is the largest Black-owned financial institution in the United States. The Liberty Bank team will now manage assets previously handled by other financial institutions.
“Black-owned businesses are essential to our city's cultural and economic fabric. Montgomery is home to many Black-owned businesses that provide jobs and essential services and make our city a great place to live and work.. In everything we do, our goal is to foster a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion,” Reed said. “This includes working to close the racial wealth gap by ensuring Black-owned businesses have access to the capital and capacity necessary to not only sustain–but grow–their operations. It also means ensuring a more equitable procurement and contracting process… My administration will continue working to bring new entrepreneurs and voices to grow the economy.”
Goodwyn Mills Cawood Cuts Ribbon on New Huntsville Office
GMC employees, city officials and members of the Huntsville-Madison County Chamber of Commerce cut the ribbon on GMC’s new office space in Huntsville. A member of the community for several years, the architectural and engineering firm has moved into the historic Struve-Hay Building. In designing the new office, GMC’s architectural team maintained as much of the original structure as possible. The office space has a large, open plan studio, as well as open conference areas and smaller huddle rooms.
Bradley Attorneys Appointed to Leadership Roles and Listed in 2023 Best Lawyers Lists
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP announced that Robert Emmett Poundstone IV, Managing Partner of Bradley’s Montgomery office, has been appointed co-chair of the ABA Resource Committee. He frequently represents clients in litigation matters pending in federal and state trial and appellate courts. The ABA’s Litigation Section provides litigators with the resources needed to become experienced advocates. In addition, 320 Bradley Arant Boult Cummings attorneys are listed in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®. A total of five Montgomery attorneys are recognized for 2023, including one attorney who is named Best Lawyers “Lawyer of the Year”: Robert Emmett Poundstone IV, Litigation—Health Care “Lawyer of the Year.” The following Montgomery attorneys are recognized in Best Lawyers for 2023: W. Stanley Gregory (Public Finance Law, Tax Law), George R. Parker (Commercial Litigation, Litigation – Insurance, Product Liability Litigation – Defendants), Robert Emmett Poundstone IV (Litigation – Health Care), Davis H. Smith (Tax Law) and Charles Stewart (Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Management, Litigation – Labor and Employment, Product Liability Litigation – Defendants).
Jackson Thornton’s Taylor Receives MAFF Credential
Jackson Thornton announced that Ashley Taylor has successfully completed the rigorous certification process with the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts® (NACVA®) to earn the Master Analyst in Financial Forensics® (MAFF®) credential. Taylor, a senior manager and Director of Recruiting, has worked in the firm’s Business Valuation and Litigation Consulting group since 2009.
Jackson Thornton’s CIO Honored
Jackson Thornton announced that its Chief Information Officer (CIO), Brian C. Davis, has received the 2022 Bridging the Gap Outstanding Technology Leadership Award. The award, presented by Boomer Consulting, Inc., honors individuals within the accounting profession who excel in aligning technology and firm management. Boomer Consulting provides consulting services to hundreds of the highest performing CPA firms throughout the nation. In his role as CIO, Davis oversees all information systems and functions within the firm including management of the internal IT team. He has been with the firm since 2003 and holds numerous certifications including Microsoft MCSA and VMware Certified Professional.
Warren Averett’s Montgomery Office Honored
Warren Averett’s Montgomery accounting and advisory office was awarded the 2022 Organization Leadership Award by Leadership Montgomery. The award recognizes entities that contribute to Montgomery County through exceptional leadership. Companies are selected for the award based on their demonstrated promotion of leadership in the community, innovation and commitment to the betterment of the lives of others. Warren Averett has proudly supported Leadership Montgomery throughout the past 24 years and currently serves as a Community Partner, providing vital support to their mission to create positive community change.
Additionally, Warren Averett CPA’s and Advisors was named as the top firm in the large firm category (250+ employees) in Accounting Today’s 2022 Best Firms to Work For list. To determine the 2022 list, Accounting Today partnered with the Best Companies Group and used their help to rank companies based on the results of anonymous employee surveys and data on the firms’ workplace policies, practices, philosophies, systems and demographics. Almost 250 firms from across the United States were entered into the process.
Finally, Warren Averett CPAs and Advisors made The Top 50 Construction Accounting Firms™ list by Construction Executive for the third year in a row. Out of the 700-plus U.S. construction accounting firms to complete the survey, the firm was ranked 25th. Warren Averett’s Construction Practice Group is made of more than 60 experienced professionals who stay abreast of regulatory changes and tax strategies so they can best serve the needs of their construction clients.
Know the Community Celebrates 500th Wetumpka “Warm Welcome” Greet
Know the Community and exploreMedia conducted their 500th “Warm Welcome” greet in Wetumpka on Wednesday, September 21. Wetumpka Mayor Jerry Willis and members of the Know the Community and exploreMedia team were in attendance to welcome a new family to the area and provide them with the resources they need to get connected to their new community. Willis expressed his gratitude for Know the Community’s involvement in the community and shared his appreciation for newcomers to the Wetumpka area. “It makes a difference in our community when you choose us as your home,” he said. The homeowners who were on the receiving end of the Warm Welcome greet conveyed their appreciation as well as their excitement about moving to Wetumpka. “We really enjoy the community and feel welcomed,” they said.
Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed on the 2022 Clinton Global Initiative Panel
Mayor Steven L. Reed joined a panel on climate resilient cities during the 2022 Clinton Global Initiative in New York on September 19-20th. During the 2022 CGI Meeting, Reed collaborated with participants including representatives from General Motors and Amazon as well as visionaries, activists and leaders like President Bill Clinton, Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, Bono, Matt Damon, New York Governor Kathy Hochul, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. and Cindy McCain, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Agencies for Food and Agriculture.
Huntingdon Named to U.S. News, Princeton Review Lists
Huntingdon College appears on three lists included in the 2023 U.S. News “America’s Best Colleges” college guide. The College is listed among the top 10 Regional Colleges-South for Social Mobility; among the top 9 Best Values in Regional Colleges-South; and appears at number 8 among the overall list of Regional Colleges-South. The College has also been notified of inclusion in the Princeton Review’s latest edition of “The Best Colleges: Region by Region.”
Faulkner University Among 2022 Top Military Friendly Colleges for Southeast
Faulkner University was recognized on the Editor’s Pick list, 2022 MilitarySupportiveColleges.com (Select Schools-Southeast Region.) Every school featured on the list fully funds the Yellow Ribbon Program and extends that tuition support to every eligible vet that applies. The VA’s Yellow Ribbon Program is designed to help cover tuition costs at more expensive schools that exceed the annual GI Bill® limit. Faulkner also provides a military-centric learning environment, which includes an outstanding selection of online degrees.
Faulkner Law Professor Named Senior Scholar at George Mason University Law School
Faulkner Law Professor Adam J. MacLeod is the newest Senior Scholar at the Center for Intellectual Property x Innovation Policy (C-IP2) at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School. The status of senior scholar is designated for individuals of high distinction in research and scholarship. Adam J. MacLeod has continually distinguished himself through his work and his research and will be a valued asset with C-IP2 and will remain a
professor at Faulkner Law.