Montgomery Business Journal

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November/December 2014

BEASLEY, ALLEN LAW FIRM NAMED TO ELITE TRIAL LAWYERS LIST

MONTGOMERY – Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C. has been selected for inclusion in the National Law Journal’s inaugural Elite Trial Lawyers list.

The list identifies law firms nationwide that have demonstrated the most creative and substantial work on the plaintiff’s side. To create the Elite Trial Lawyers list, more than 100 firms were vetted and 50 firms were selected for inclusion on the list.

“It is an honor to have the work of our team of lawyers and staff recognized by the National Law Journal,” Thomas Methvin, managing shareholder for Beasley Allen, said in a statement. “We are dedicated to our firm’s mission of ‘helping those who need it most,’ and make it our goal through our work to secure justice for our clients. We hope that our efforts can hold Big Business and Big Pharma more accountable and increase public safety.”

To qualify for inclusion, firms had to have at least one significant plaintiff’s win between Jan. 1, 2013, and June 30, 2014, and possess an impressive track record of wins within the past three to five years. Firms also had to devote at least 50 percent of their litigation resources to plaintiffs work and derive half or more of their revenue from plaintiffs-side activities. Firms with higher percentages of plaintiffs-side work were considered.  

CHRISTIE STRATEGY GROUP CELEBRATES 20 YEARS

MONTGOMERY – The Christie Strategy Group is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Martin Christie founded the governmental relations firm in 1994 with one client, and over the years clients have included the Business Council of Alabama, U.S. Steel, T-Mobile, Alabama Cable Telecommunications Association, Alabama Railway Association and the City of Montgomery.

“Our firm’s success is built on an in-depth knowledge of Alabama government developed over many years,” Christie, president of the firm, said in a statement. “We have worked with six successive administrations and legislative bodies. Throughout this time, we have built and maintained solid relationships with public officials on both sides of the aisle.

“Most importantly, people in and outside of government know our word is good. We have a reputation for ethical conduct and that has been the most important key to our success.”

Christie Strategy Group is a full-service public affairs/lobbying firm located in Montgomery, representing businesses, trade associations and local governments throughout the state.

“Clients come to Christie Strategy Group because of our strong track record of success in solving problems in the legislative and government arena,” Christie said. “They stay with us because they receive a level of service which is second to none.”

STARKE AGENCY RECEIVES PRESTIGIOUS HONOR

MONTGOMERY – Starke Agency Inc. was selected again as a Best Practice Insurance Agency.

Each year since 1993, IIABA and Reagan Consulting join forces to study the country’s leading agencies in six revenue categories. More than 1,100 agencies throughout the U.S. were nominated to take part in the annual study, but only 217 agencies qualified for the honor.

“We are pleased to have been nominated nationally by our peers,” Starke Agency President Trey Starke said in a statement. “This is the eighth straight year we have been recognized, and we are the only independent agent in our area to receive this accolade. We have established a leadership structure and team approach to move our agency forward.”

Starke Agency, Inc. is an insurance brokerage and risk management company based in Montgomery.

GOODWYN, MILLS AND CAWOOD RENOVATES UAB HEALTH FACILITY

BIRMINGHAM – The University of Alabama-Birmingham celebrated the grand opening of its new Student Health and Wellness Center.

The facility renovation, which transformed two former locations, was designed by Montgomery-based Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood Inc.

The new 23,000-square-foot center, which is more than five times the size of the previous locations combined, is equipped with counseling space, exam rooms, laboratory spaces, an immunization area, X-ray room, waiting rooms, administrative areas and offices.

An estimated 12,000 to 15,000 patients a year will be treated at the facility.

RIVER BANK & TRUST WILL OPEN MILLBROOK BRANCH

PRATTVILLE – River Bank & Trust announced plans for a new location at the intersection of Highway 14 and Old Prattville Road.

The locally owned and operated community bank already has five other locations serving the River Region in Montgomery, Prattville and Wetumpka. 

“Millbrook is a great place to do business,’ Jimmy Stubbs, president and CEO of River Bank & Trust, said in a statement. “Under the leadership of Jon Foshee, Millbrook residents and businesses will have one of their own, a highly respected banker in their own backyard, to assist them with their financial needs.”

Foshee, senior vice president and relationship manager, said in a statement: “I’m excited about working through the regulatory approval process, finalizing building plans and getting some construction under way.”

ALABAMA TECHNOLOGY FOUNDATION AWARDS LOCKHEED MARTIN SCHOLARSHIPS

MONTGOMERY – The Alabama Technology Foundation awarded two $2,500 Lockheed Martin spring semester scholarships.

“This is an exciting time for Alabama Technology Foundation,” Rob Pirnie, president of the non-profit, volunteer organization, said in a statement. “During 2014, we have ramped up our scholarship efforts in the River Region with the help of multiple local business supporters like Lockheed Martin, New York Life and Integrated Computer Solutions Inc., to name a few. 

“We look forward to growing our efforts delivering scholarships and filling many more local IT jobs in the coming years. We are committed to a strong technology sector in the River Region and Alabama as a whole.”

The organization has its headquarters in Montgomery.

R&B ICON WILL HEADLINE GRAND OPENING FOR WIND CREEK WETUMPKA FACILITY

WETUMPKA – Charlie Wilson will headline the inaugural concert in the newly completed Wind Creek Wetumpka Entertainment Center.

Wilson, a seven-time Grammy nominee, has received numerous awards, including a BET Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.

Wilson was the lead vocalist for the GAP Band with hits “Outstanding” and “You Dropped A Bomb On Me.”  As a solo artist he has topped the Billboard charts with numerous hits including “Charlie, Last Name Wilson,” “Magic,” “There Goes My Baby,” “Can’t Live Without You,” “You Are,” “Life of the Party” and “My Love Is All I Have.”

Wilson played to a sold out crowd earlier this year at WCW’s sister property, Wind Creek Casino & Hotel Atmore.

The concert is scheduled for 8 p.m. Nov. 14. Tickets start at $45 and are on sale at ticketmaster.com or Essentials inside the Wind Creek Casino & Hotel Wetumpka.

TUSKEGEE UNIVERSITY BANS TOBACCO ON CAMPUS

TUSKEGEE – The Tuskegee University campus recently became a tobacco-free facility.

The Tobacco Free Policy applies to the entire university community, including contractors, vendors, recruits and visitors.

The campus-wide policy prohibits the use of all forms of smoking, tobacco products as well as e-cigarettes, water pipes or vapor devices. The policy covers all areas owned or controlled by the university.

“Tuskegee University is committed to providing a healthy and safe environment for all students, faculty, and staff,” the policy states.

Those breaking the tobacco ban could be fined $25.

CHAMBER’S CONVENTION & VISITOR BUREAU RELEASES NEW SMARTPHONE TOOL

MONTGOMERY – Visitors and residents of Montgomery have a new way to find out what’s the city has to offer at their fingertips.

Texting “MGMAL” to the number 313131 will bring a response text containing a link to the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Convention & Visitor Bureau’s mobile-enabled website. Clicking the link on a smartphone will take users to a simple, easy-to-read page offering links to lists hotels, restaurants, attractions, a calendar of events and more.

Smartphone users can also save a link to the mobile enabled web site to their home screens to have quick access to all things Montgomery all of the time.

Signage directing visitors to the text service will be placed at entry points to the city including the Montgomery Regional Airport, the Montgomery Visitor Center, hotel lobbies, attractions and Maxwell Air Force Base and Gunter Annex.

SEVEN APPOINTED TO MEDICAL CAMPUS ADVISORY BOARD

MONTGOMERY – The advisory board of the Montgomery Regional Medical Campus of the UAB School of Medicine recently appointed seven new community leaders to be members of the board.

Established in 1981 by the late Dr. Jack Kirschenfeld, the role of the advisory board is to advocate for the regional campus in the River Region; to provide counsel and advice to the regional dean and the internal medicine, family medicine, and emergency medicine residency program directors; and support the sponsoring institutions – the UAB School of Medicine and the respective teaching hospitals.

The new board members are Golson Foshee, president of Foshee Management; Robert C. Granfeldt Jr., publisher and president of the Advertiser Media Group; LaTora Todd Jackson, health adviser at Auburn University at Montgomery; Audrey Napier Matthews, professor of biologic sciences at Alabama State University; Ben Stakely, CEO of Kowa Pharmaceuticals; Mike Tidwell, director of organization department at the Alabama Farmers Federation; and Marty Vignes, executive director of the Southeast Alabama Area Health Education Center.

ZZ TOP, JEFF BECK COMING TO MONTGOMERY IN APRIL

MONTGOMERY – ZZ Top along with Jeff Beck will perform April 9 at the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center.

ZZ Top announced: “We’d like to thank our friends, fans and followers for all the support through the recent interruption. We’re happy to say the engine is firing on all cylinders and we’re ready to double back again . . . and then some.”

GILPIN GIVHAN ATTORNEYS NAMED BEST LAWYERS 2015

MONTGOMERY – The law firm of Gilpin Givhan, P.C., announced that five Montgomery attorneys were selected for the 2015 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. 

The selected lawyers were:  Robert E. L. “Bobo” Gilpin, litigation and controversy – tax, and tax law; John Ward Weiss, health care law; Simeon F. Penton, employment law – management; Robert M. Ritchey, closely held companies and family business law; and Davis H. Smith, tax law.

Best Lawyers has been regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence in the United States for more than 30 years. Inclusion in the Best Lawyers list is based on a rigorous national survey of around 50,000 leading U.S. attorneys, and Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.”

Gilpin Givhan, founded in 1983, has its headquarters in Montgomery and offices in Birmingham.

AMERIFIRST BANK FORMS PARTNERSHIP  WITH PARSONS BROACH FINANCIAL SERVICES

MONTGOMERY – AmeriFirst Bank has partnered with the independent firm of Parsons Broach Financial Services.

Parsons Broach will provide bank customers with comprehensive securities brokerage, financial planning and asset management services as well as capital markets capabilities through Raymond James Financial Services.

“I am pleased to announce the partnership between our bank and Parsons Broach Financial Services,” AmeriFirst Bank President and CEO Robert “Bob” Ramsey said in a statement. “I have worked with Todd Parsons and Robbie Broach over the last 15 years. This continuing relationship should indicate to AmeriFirst clients that we are dedicated to working with some of the very best in the industry. It also demonstrates our bank’s commitment to client service.”

Broach has more than 20 years of experience and holds Series 6, 7, 24 and 65 Securities Licenses as well as the certified financial planner certification. His focus is on corporate retirement plan design and management, financial planning, mutual fund and ETF portfolio construction and management, and non-profit endowment funds.

Parsons also has 20-plus years of experience and holds Series 6, 7 and 65 securities licenses. His areas of focus include individual security portfolio construction and management, municipal bond management, financial planning and corporate retirement plans.

“Having worked with Bob for many years now, I believe this will be a great fit as our firm continues to grow,” Broach, branch manager for Parsons Broach Financial Services, said in a statement. “He offers the type of experience and leadership necessary to keep up with the rapidly changing world of banking and financial services. Importantly, the bank’s values and business style align with the Parsons Broach values of client-first, supported by conservatism, independence and integrity”.

Ramsey, Parsons and Broach previously worked together at Sterling Bank, a division of Synovus Financial.

STEVEN CURTIS CHAPMAN to headline a montgomery family christmas

Montgomery – Christian artist Steven Curtis Chapman will headline the 10th anniversary celebration of
“A Montgomery Family Christmas” Dec. 2 at the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre.

One of the most decorated artists in Christian music, Chapman has been lauded with 57 Dove awards, five Grammys and 47 No. 1 singles. Joining Chapman for the event are Brandon Heath and Jillian Edwards.

Tickets are $35 for theater seating; $25 for balcony seating and groups of 10 or more will receive $5 off of each ticket purchased. Tickets can be purchased directly through the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre box office (800-745-3000) or through Ticketmaster at ticketmaster.com.

The event is presented by the Baptist Health Care Foundation and benefits Baptist Hospice.

For information, call the Baptist Health Care Foundation’s office at (334) 273-4565.

COLLEGE GROUP DISTRIBUTES $33,950 IN SCHOLARSHIPS

MONTGOMERY – The Alabama Association of Independent Colleges and Universities has distributed $33,950 in UPS Scholarships to 14 low-income students at private colleges and universities in the state.

The scholarships were made possible by a grant from the UPS Educational Endowment Fund administered by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) in Washington, D.C.

Nationally, CIC and the UPS foundation teamed up to provide nearly $1.5 million in student scholarships this year, which will be distributed through state-based private college associations around the country.

Colleges in Alabama that received UPS Scholarships this year from AAICU include Amridge University, Faulkner University, Huntingdon College and Tuskegee University.

HARTZELL ENGINE TECHNOLOGIES RECEIVES APPROVAL FOR FUEL PUMPS

MONTGOMERY – Representatives of Hartzell Engine Technologies LLC, announced that the company has received FAA Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) for is new 202F series fuel pumps.

“We designed, developed and certified our new 202F series fuel pumps to fill a need in the market,” Hartzell Engine Technologies President Mike Disbrow said in a statement. “The original Crane/Lear Romec RG9570 pumps required for certain Lycoming engines are no longer in production. Now owners of these engines have a new alternative.”

Disbrow explained that the HET 202F series pumps not only provide equal performance to the Crane/Lear Romec units they replace, the new HET pumps offer some significant design advancements.

“One of the most significant differences between the new HET fuel pumps and the old Crane/Lear Romec pumps is that our units use new carbon vanes, whereas the prior-generation units use steel vanes,” Disbrow said. “Because they are less abrasive than steel vanes, our new carbon vanes can dramatically reduce overall wear to the pump’s liner, which is the heart of the pump and a very expensive component to replace.” 

JACKSON HOSPITAL, ALL MED PHYSICIANS FORM PARTNERSHIP

MONTGOMERY – All Med Physicians and Jackson Hospital announced a joint venture partnership that will enable them to provide better access to health care for the River Region.

Both locally owned organizations have been expanding specialty care services throughout the community. Combining resources and efforts will benefit patients in all levels of medicine.

“The partnership between Jackson Hospital and All Med was created from our mutual goal to enhance access to both primary and specialty care services,” Joe Riley, president and CEO of Jackson Hospital, said in a statement. “As two organizations with a long history of providing high-quality care for the River Region, we’re looking forward to meeting our patients’ needs together.”

This partnership will link All Med patients directly with Jackson Hospital’s specialists, outpatient imaging centers, diagnostic centers and hospitalists. “Most people have a hard time understanding the health care system,” Dr. Curt McLemore of All Med said in a statement. “We try to make things simple for patients. This partnership will make that connection even easier.”

Within one year, All Med plans to break ground on free-standing primary care locations in both Millbrook and East Montgomery. All Med Physicians, one of the largest primary care groups in the River Region with nine physicians and five mid-level practitioners, established three new primary care and minor emergency locations. Those locations as well as the organization’s All Med for Women and All Med for Wellness will continue operating as they have been.

All Med Medical Director Dr. Don Brobst said in a statement, “We have been very impressed with the Jackson medical staff and how much they have reached out to us. This partnership will help us meet the challenges presented by the Affordable Care Act and other changes being introduced by insurers.”

2015 SOUTHERN LEAGUE ALL-STAR GAME COMING TO MONTGOMERY

MONTGOMERY – The 2015 Southern League All-Star Game presented by Wind Creek Hospitality returns to Montgomery after nine years on Tuesday, June 23.

Festivities will begin June 22 with the Southern League All-Star Social and autograph session at The Alley.

All-Star festivities will resume the evening of June 23 at Riverwalk Stadium with the Southern League All-Star Home Run Derby. The All-Star game will follow the home run derby and after the game, there will be a MAX Fireworks Spectacular.

Tickets for the 2015 Southern League All-Star Game are $22 for reserved seating and $15 for general admission. Single-game tickets will go on sale March 23. Ticket prices include admission to the 2015 Southern League Home Run Derby.

The Montgomery Biscuits announced their 2015 promotional schedule, which includes 22 MAX Fireworks Spectaculars and the introduction of “MAX Fireworks Fridays,” a weekly promotion where every Friday game will include MAX Fireworks.

“Working with MAX Credit Union and our fireworks vendor, Pyro Shows, we’ve been able to construct a truly fan-pleasing show that is much more intimate and up close for those attending Biscuits games at Riverwalk Stadium that gives them a front-row seat to the excitement,” Biscuits co-owner Sherrie Myers said in a statement.

Other promotions, include Hot Dog Festival, Rays Night, NASCAR Night and Back to the Future.

For ticket information, call the Biscuits’ front office at (334) 323-2255 or visit BiscuitsBaseball.com.

AUBURN MONTGOMERY OUTREACH STRATEGICALLY REORGANIZED

MONTGOMERY – Emerging from reorganization earlier this year, Auburn Montgomery Outreach is now better positioned to extend the resources of Auburn University at Montgomery to individuals, businesses and the communities it serves.

Auburn Montgomery Outreach assists clients by providing opportunities for them to expand their professional knowledge and prepare for the challenges of the future through the resources provided by four core units: organizational consulting, technology solutions, training solutions and community engagement.

Organizational consulting solutions authorities provide clients with solutions designed to promote organizational effectiveness. They also offer client guidance on complex issues such as talent management, strategic planning and economic analysis.

Technology solutions experts provide clients with a wealth of information technology resources including application development, managed services and project support services as well as IT project management and procurement.

Training solutions specialists produce customized education and training. These professionals develop computer training, professional development and executive leadership programs for individuals, businesses and nonprofit agencies.

Community engagement connects Auburn Montgomery Outreach to the community through a variety of initiatives. Community engagement programs include the Business Breakfast Series, K-12 youth programs, and the Lifelong Learning Institute, along with several professional conferences throughout the year.

“The reorganization provided us an opportunity to better serve our clients by creating more efficient processes and a broader range of services to meet their needs,” Katherine Jackson, vice chancellor for outreach and strategic initiatives, said in a statement. “These improvements will allow us to grow strategically, ensuring we provide programs that meet our clients’ needs now and in the future.”

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