Montgomery Business Journal

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January 2015


TUSKEGEE – Diverse: Issues In Higher Education has ranked Tuskegee University among the top 100 institutions for granting undergraduate and graduate degrees to minorities.

Tuskegee took top spots for several degree areas, but the institution had the best showing in its ranking for African-American graduates in agriculture and veterinary medicine.

The publication’s 2014 Top 100 Minority Degree Producers list ranked colleges and universities in three areas: associate, undergraduate and graduate degrees.

In the undergraduate category, Tuskegee was No. 1 for minority graduates in the agriculture, agriculture operations, and related sciences degree field. The university was No. 2 for graduates in the natural resources and conservation field. The institution was No. 7 and No. 10 for architecture and related services and engineering undergraduate degrees, respectively.

Tuskegee was No. 12 for masters’ degrees in the engineering category. In the doctoral degree category, Tuskegee was No. 2 in the physical sciences field.  The university took the No. 1 spot for professional doctoral degrees in veterinary medicine.

The rankings were calculated using the publication’s analysis of U.S. Department of Education reports submitted by the institutions.


MONTGOMERY – The Torchbearers Class VI representatives unveiled four large-scale photograph mosaics combining the work of professional and amateur photographers at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.

After the one night at the museum, the photograph mosaics will be displayed in public locations throughout Montgomery, enabling those who contributed pictures to see their work displayed on a permanent basis.

The photograph mosaics are made up of small pictures that were generated by encouraging Montgomery residents to tag pictures on Instagram with “#mymgm.” Between June and October, more than 600 pictures were added. Those images were then layered into larger photographs donated by area photographers Grace O’Connor and Jonathan Kohn. The smaller pictures represent “My Montgomery,” and the larger combined image is “Our Montgomery.”

Torchbearers is the leadership class of EMERGE Montgomery, an organization of young professionals aged 22-40.

“We wanted to encourage people to share pictures of what makes Montgomery special for them, and then we combined a number of those pictures into something that represents all of ‘Our Montgomery,’” Brent Rosen said in a statement.

“Just looking at the pictures shows that ‘Our Montgomery’ is an exciting, diverse and thriving place,” Kate Bartlett said in a statement.

Both Rosen and Bartlett are members of the Torchbearers Class VI.


MONTGOMERY – Jack Ingram Nissan President Ray Ingram has been nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year. He is the owner of Jack Ingram Motors.

Ingram is one of a select group of dealers from across the country, who will be honored at the 98th annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention & Exposition in San Francisco.

The TIME Dealer of the Year award is one of the automobile industry’s most prestigious and highly coveted honors. Recipients are among the nation’s most successful auto dealers, who must also demonstrate a long-standing commitment to community service. The award is sponsored by TIME Magazine in association with Ally, and in cooperation with NADA. 


MONTGOMERY – Gretchen Vercher, director of Jackson Hospital’s oncology, orthopedic and joint, and advanced spine centers, was one of six nurses from across the nation to be selected as a volunteer item reviewer for the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

She was nominated on the basis of clinical specialty and nursing expertise. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) is responsible for developing and administering the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN licensing exams.

Vercher, a registered nurse, was approved by the Alabama Board of Nursing and selected by NCSBN to participate on the item development panel of subject matter experts.

All nurses in the United States and its four territories must take the NCLEX. The licensing exam identifies those candidates who demonstrate minimal competence to practice nursing at the entry level. Passing the NCLEX exam is one of the requirements necessary for attaining a nursing license.


MONTGOMERY – Leadership Montgomery Executive Director Cheryl Carter was the recipient of the “Superior Leadership Director Award” by the Alabama Community Leadership Network (ACLN).

Carter was selected from a statewide group of nominees of community development leaders. In addition to her work with Leadership Montgomery the past seven years, Carter in 2008 developed the curriculum for the Torchbearers, the River Region’s young professionals’ leadership class. That same year, under her direction, Leadership Montgomery created and established EMERGE Montgomery, a young professionals’ membership program.

“Dr. Carter is the outstanding example of an executive leader,” Leadership Montgomery President Carolyn Bryan said in a statement. “She has taken Leadership Montgomery to new heights during her tenure as its director and we know our program will continue to have an amazing impact on our community and the development of its leaders, thanks to her guiding hand.”

Leadership Montgomery will graduate its 31st class of community leaders in May 2015. Its alumni participate on hundreds of non-profit boards and community organizations.


MONTGOMERY – Warren Averett, LLC, Certified Public Accountants and Advisors, announced that associate Rachel Loftin successfully completed and passed all four parts of the examination to become a certified public accountant (CPA).

The Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination is administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. It qualifies individuals for licensure as certified public accountants in any of the 55 U.S. jurisdictions. Individuals seeking to qualify as CPAs – the only licensed qualification in accounting – are required to pass the CPA examination.

Loftin works in tax division at the firm’s Montgomery office. She has been with the firm one year and works with individual, S corporation and partnership tax returns.


PLYMOUTH, Minn. – Montgomery Honda Yamaha has been named one of the Power 50 dealers in North America by Powersports Business, the leading trade publication for the power sports industry.

“Out of the thousands of power sports dealers in North America, only the very best make the Power 50 list,” Powersports Business Editor-in-Chief Dave McMahon said in a statement. “These companies are the elite of the power sports industry, excelling at all aspects of their business.”

The Power 50 is an annual list of dealerships that excel in business operations, professionalism, marketing tactics, customer service and more. This year marked the second annual Powersports Business Power 50 program.

Montgomery Honda Yamaha General Manager David Huneycutt said in a statement: “We at Montgomery Honda Yamaha are honored to have been selected to the Power 50 this year. We celebrate this award with our customers, as they inspire us to provide an ideal retail environment.”


MONTGOMERY – Chappy’s Deli received the River Region Ethics in Business award for large companies.

Owner David Barranco accepted the award at the ceremony at Wynlakes Golf & Country Club. The nominees included Foshee Companies and Trustmark Corp.

The winner in the mid-sized business category was Gipson’s Tire Pros. Other nominees included Harmon Dennis Bradshaw and OB-GYN Associates of Montgomery.

The small business award recipient was Alabama Oncology and Hematology Associates. Other nominees in the category included Harold’s Jewelers and The UPS Store.

Easter Seals Central Alabama received the non-profit award while Montgomery Area Council on Aging and The Junior League of Montgomery were among the other non-profit nominees.

The Maury D. Smith Award for Excellence in Professional Ethics was presented to Marion Taylor Dawson Jr. The other nominees were Donald C. Brown and Russell S. Dunman. 


MONTGOMERY – Auburn Montgomery Outreach offers a nationally accredited certified public manager (CPM) training program through the division of training solutions.

The CPM training program has provided comprehensive management training for more than 25 years. Courses include topics such as leadership, project management, interpersonal communication, performance coaching, building and leading teams, managing public organizations and building partnerships. Students participate in critical thinking exercises as they explore methods to achieve efficiencies and cost savings for their individual agencies and the state. 

More than 40 managers from state and local government agencies participated in the 2014 CPM program and completed the requirements to receive their national certification.

To enroll or learn more about the CPM program, contact Leslie Meadows at (334) 244-3040.


MONTGOMERY – Mowery Consulting Group helped an array of candidates and causes achieve success at the ballot box in November.

Those victories included State Sen. Clyde Chambliss, R-Prattville; Rep. Lesley Vance, R-Phenix City; Rep. Richard Lindsey, D-Centre; State Sen. Billy Beasley, D-Clayton; and Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey. Senators Dick Brewbaker (R-Montgomery) and Senator Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) were elected without opposition.

The firm worked with a broad coalition of school and interest groups to pass Amendment 4, which protects local school districts from unfunded mandates.

Mowery Consulting Group is an independent political consulting and public relations firm.


MONTGOMERY – ServisFirst Montgomery Regional Bank President Carl Barker received the inaugural Torchbearers Outstanding Business Award at the Torchbearers Class VI graduation ceremony.

“ServisFirst Bank has been a loyal supporter of Leadership Montgomery programs and we are honored to be able to thank this fine institution and Mr. Barker in particular, for continued support of our Torchbearers program,” Leadership Montgomery Executive Director Cheryl Carter said in a statement.

“For the past six years, ServisFirst has stepped up and lead the way in sponsorships of tables for the LEAD Summit, the Unity Breakfast and Young Professional of the Year. In addition, ServisFirst hosts the annual Torchbearers orientation reception in its main location downtown. The bank lends its support of our annual leadership development programs by sending employees to both Torchbearers’ and Leadership Montgomery’s annual classes.

“We are so appreciative of the ongoing support of ServisFirst and wanted to give them recognition for their continued support. Without the help of businesses like this, we would be unable to function in the community and impact it in a positive way.”

Torchbearers Class VI has begun accepting applications for 2015. To be considered for membership in the young professionals leadership development class, visit


MONTGOMERY – Four Star Freightliner Inc. and J. F. Ingram State Technical College have created a partnership that will enable the college’s students to build skills that will help them reenter the workforce.

The student population at the Ingram State campus in Deatsville consists primarily of incarcerated adults. Students who have an interest in diesel technology will now have up-to-date equipment to work on.

Jerry Kocan, Four Star Freightliner dealer principal, donated two unusable 10-speed transmissions to the college so that students can get practice on current equipment. There are 13 students in the diesel mechanics program.


MONTGOMERY – The Alabama Baseball Coaches Association is conducting its sixth annual “First Pitch” Dinner and Silent Auction of baseball memorabilia Jan. 22 at the RSA Activity Center.

The featured speaker will be 1985 Cy Young Award winner Dwight Gooden, who played for 17 seasons and was the 1984 National League Rookie of the Year. Gooden, who most spent most of his career with the New York Mets and New Yankees, had a 194-112 record with a 3.51 earned run average.

Several other current and former major leaguers will attend the dinner to sign autographs and take pictures.

The second annual Alabama Baseball Coaches Association’s Youth League Baseball/Softball Players Clinic for grades first-sixth will be 1 p.m.-5 p.m. March 1 at the American League Complex in Montgomery. The clinic is free for all Miracle League participants and $20 for others. The money raised will go toward the ALABCA’s mission of supporting one Miracle League team in 12 cities in Alabama that have a league.  Local high school baseball, softball coaches and their players will help conduct the clinic.

A “First Pitch” dinner table or individual sponsorship form and March 1 Miracle League clinic registration form and flyer are available at at the upcoming events section on the right side of the home page.

For information, contact Barry Dean, executive director of ALABCA at (334) 676-0434 or


MONTGOMERY – Capell & Howard has been recognized as a “Best Law Firm” by U.S. News and Best Lawyers for the fifth consecutive year beginning with the inception of the award.

Firms included in the 2015 “Best Law Firms” list, which received more than 600,000 law firm assessments and 40,000 client evaluations, are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. 

In addition, 17 of the firm’s lawyers were selected for inclusion in the 2015 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. The following four lawyers were named as “Montgomery Lawyers of the Year”: Bruce J. Downey, employment law-management; Henry H. Hutchinson, corporate law; K. Palmer Smith, real estate; and Debra D. Spain, trusts and estates.

The following attorneys were also listed in The Best Lawyers in America: William D. Coleman, Frank H. McFadden, Henry C. Barnett, James M. Scott, Robert T. Meadows, D. Kyle Johnson, Shapard D. Ashley, Robert F. Northcutt, J. Lister Hubbard, James N. Walter, R. Brooke Lawson, Barbara J. Wells and M. Courtney Williams.


ST. LOUIS – Extra Help Inc. announced that seven employees received their certifications from the American Staffing Association (ASA).

Two of the employees from the Montgomery office – Jessica Wilks and Melody Crews – received certifications as a certified staffing professional.

Wilks works with the firm’s staffing development team, screening applicants and managing placement for clients. She is also responsible for development in the Montgomery area. She has a master’s degree in human resources from Troy University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Auburn University.

Crews, who joined the employment company last March, is working on a business management degree. She also works with the staffing development team, building relationships and providing services to new and current clients.

The certified staffing professional program focuses on labor and employment law for those who interact with candidates, employees, and clients.

Extra Help is a full-service employment, payroll and workforce services company that serves more than 1,000 mid-sized companies in 34 states from offices in Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Alabama and Missouri.


MONTGOMERY – Alabama Municipal Electric Authority President and CEO Fred Clark has been appointed to the American Public Power Association board of directors.

The Washington, D.C.-based power association represents not-for-profit, community-owned electric utilities that power homes, businesses and streets in nearly 2,000 towns and cities, serving 47 million Americans. The public power utilities generate or buy electricity from diverse sources.

Clark, one of 30 elected members on the board, will fill the unexpired term of Austin Carroll from the Hopkinsville Electric System in Kentucky.

The Alabama Municipal Electric Authority, located in Montgomery, is the wholesale power provider for 11 public power utilities in Alabama, which serve some 350,000 customers in Alexander City, Dothan, Fairhope, Foley, LaFayette, Lanett, Luverne, Opelika, Piedmont, Sylacauga and Tuskegee.


MONTGOMERY – Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C., principal and managing attorney Thomas J. Methvin has been awarded the 2014 Harold Albritton Pro Bono Leadership Award by the Alabama State Bar.

Methvin is a past president of the Alabama State Bar (2009–2010) and the Montgomery County Bar Association (1996). 

“Tom has an intense commitment to the fundamental principles of equal protection and equal justice,” Alabama State Bar President Rich Raleigh of Wilmer & Lee, P.A., said in a statement “He has worked zealously, both during his presidency and after, to help Alabamians through outstanding pro bono service, encouraging every lawyer and law firm to become involved, and emphasizing how every Alabama lawyer has a responsibility to render public interest legal service.”

Created in 2011, the Albritton Award is presented each year to an individual attorney who has shown leadership and commitment to improving pro bono legal services to Alabama’s low-income citizens. The award is named for Judge W. Harold Albritton, who established the Alabama State Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program in 1991. The award honors Albritton’s vision and leadership.

Methvin began his career with Beasley Allen in 1988 shortly after graduating from the Cumberland School of Law. Prior to law school, Methvin attended the University of Alabama, where he received a degree in corporate finance.


Alabama Power has launched a new mobile app that will enable customers to pay their bill; check their balance; monitor power usage; and find a business office.

The app may be downloaded at either the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and searching for Alabama Power app.

The Alabama Power app is another way we can interact with our customers to make their lives easier,” Shane Kearney of Alabama Power customer services said in a statement.

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