Montgomery Business Journal

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MONTGOMERY – Alabama Ag Credit recently declared a $6.1 million cash patronage to its customers and two members of Alabama Ag Credit’s board of directors were re-elected during the recent annual stockholders’ meeting.

W. Thomas Dozier III of Montgomery and Timothy D. Tucker of Uriah were both re-elected to three-year terms on the board. Dozier has been farming for 46 years and is majority owner of W.T. Dozier Farms, Inc., an Elmore County-based farming operation with principal commodities of cotton, grain, cattle and hay. He graduated from Auburn University with a degree in agricultural economics.

Tucker has been a full-time farmer all his adult life and his operation primarily produces cotton, cattle and peanuts. He is also a stockholder, vice president and board member of Monroe County Gin, a cotton-ginning and warehousing operation.

The record patronage amount was based on the co-op’s 2013 financial results and was approved by the Alabama Ag Credit board of directors.

Patronage payments are based on the amount of business a borrower does with the co-op and lower the borrowers’ cost of borrowing. As a cooperative, Alabama Ag Credit is owned by its borrower-stockholders. When the co-op performs well, it shares its earnings with its stockholders.

“Our association again achieved very strong financial results — loan volume grew, credit quality continues to improve and earnings and capital remain strong,” James L. Bassett, chairman of the Alabama Ag Credit board of directors, said in a statement.

The co-op, which is a member of the nationwide Farm Credit System, has returned more than $36 million in cash to its borrowers since 2006.

Alabama Ag Credit provides financing for farms, timber and forestry operations, agribusinesses, recreational land and other rural property in 40 counties in southern Alabama. The financing co-op operates offices in Demopolis, Dothan, Enterprise, Loxley, Monroeville, Montgomery, Opelika, Selma and Tuscaloosa.



MONTGOMERY – Two financial advisers from Merrill Lynch’s office in Montgomery have been recognized as top advisers in the state by Barron’s magazine.

Robert Runkle and Laurie Russell were named to Barron’s “America’s 1,200 Advisors: State-by State list.” Runkle has been with the firm’s Montgomery office for 31 years and Russell has been with Merrill Lynch for 20 years.

Some of the criteria used for the adviser list are client assets, return on assets compliance records and client satisfaction/retention. The advisers must have at least seven years of experience overall and one year with their current firm.



MONTGOMERY – Jackson Hospital unveiled its latest surgical technology – the Stryker iSuites for navigated spine surgery.

The system uses computer-assisted technology to act as a GPS for the human body, giving doctors more precision than ever before.

As the only hospital in the River Region with this new technology, Jackson Hospital’s physicians are excited about how tiny cameras and 3-D imaging are changing the way spine surgeries are performed.

“The Stryker iSuite lets me see all the information that comes back from the sensors and monitors during surgery in one central location, and I can then make precise adjustments as needed,” Dr. Patrick Ryan, a neurosurgeon at Jackson Hospital, said in a statement. “The surgeon’s experience, combined with this technology that navigates an exact surgical path, provides a better outcome for the most important person in the room – the patient. The latest in spine care is right here in Montgomery.”



MONTGOMERY – Christy M. Pruitt-Haynes has established Creating Organizational Resourcefulness & Excellence (CORE) Consulting.

Pruitt-Haynes is an experienced facilitator, trainer, coach and speaker who provides human resources department outsourcing; team, department, and organization-wide training; motivational and informational speaking; and individual coaching and career enhancement. She is an experienced and strategic partner with businesses, major corporations, universities, community groups, charitable organizations and independent professionals.

As a personal coach, she helps individuals create a CORE plan for success. Pruitt-Haynes received a master’s degree in human resources development and has a bachelor’s degree in personnel and labor relations.

Pruitt-Haynes addresses the latest trends and opportunities in human resources, organizational development and strategic growth on her website: She blogs at: and

For information, contact Pruitt-Haynes at 3066 Zelda Road, Suite 363 or call her at (334) 399-1926. Her email address is



MONTGOMERY – The Shoppes at EastChase Farmer’s Market will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year, bringing in more vendors, cooking demonstrations and fitness options for adults and children throughout the summer.

Since opening in 2004, The Shoppes at EastChase Farmer’s Market has grown every year, adding vendors and increasing fresh produce, local cheeses, fresh breads and unique gift items. The market started out with eight vendors and this year will boast 36 vendors. In 2013, the market added a fitness component by introducing yoga classes throughout the season and will again this year, along with CrossFit and Zumba for kids. There will also be live cooking demonstrations hosted by Williams-Sonoma and wellness seminars from Earth Fare Organic Grocer.

“We have seen a huge growth of the market over the past 10 years,” Vickie Lawrence, marketing manager at The Shoppes at EastChase, said in a statement. “The market has become a Saturday tradition for families, and we try to offer something for the entire family – whether that be shopping, cooking seminars or fitness options. We want to be more than just a market – we want to be a hub that encourages health and wellness for the entire family.”

The farmer’s market will be open 7 a.m.-noon every Saturday through Aug. 30. For information about the farmer’s market, call (334) 279-6046.



MONTGOMERY – Bilee Cauley of Wetumpka and Luverne Mayor Joe Rex Sport were the recipients of the Alabama Municipal Electric Authority (AMEA) President’s Award.

Cauley worked as a paralegal at the Montgomery law firm of Johnson and Thorington from 1979 until her graduation from law school. The firm then hired her as an associate. She was appointed assistant reporter of decisions for the Alabama appellate courts in July 1989. She was the first person to occupy that newly created position. In October 2001, she was appointed reporter of decisions for the Alabama appellate courts. She is the first woman to hold that position.

She was instrumental in the 1981 formation of AMEA from Alabama municipal electric utilities.

Sport, who has served as Luverne mayor since January 2003, was on the Luverne City Council from 1989-2003. He was on the AMEA board of directors from 1989 until 2003, serving as secretary. He also served on the AMEA Budget/Audit/Rate Committee. He currently represents Luverne on the AMEA Election Committee, a seat he has held since 2004.

“Bilee and Mayor Sport are true AMEA pioneers,” Fred Clark, president and CEO of AMEA, said in a statement. “AMEA has become a valued partner in Alabama’s electric utility community due to their leadership and dedication.”

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



MONTGOMERY – Fourteen Beasley Allen attorneys were selected for inclusion on the 2014 Super Lawyers list.

Included on the list are the firm’s founding shareholder, Jere L. Beasley as well as shareholders 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 A. Beasley, Kendall C. Dunson, Ted G. Meadows, Roman A. Shaul and C. Gibson Vance.

Four Beasley Allen attorneys also were included on the Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” list, which recognizes the top up-and-coming attorneys – those who are 40 years old or younger or who have been practicing 10 years or less. Beasley Allen’s Rising Stars are Christopher D. Boutwell, Christopher D. Glover, Danielle Ward Mason and J. Parker Miller.

Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a research-driven, peer influenced rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The mission of Super Lawyers is to bring visibility to those attorneys who exhibit excellence in practice.

The Super Lawyers lists are published in Super Lawyers Magazines and in leading city and regional magazines across the country. The Super Lawyers Magazines also feature editorial profiles of attorneys.



MONTGOMERY – The MAX4Kids Foundation donated $25,000 to 10 Central Alabama high school seniors.

“MAX4Kids salutes all the great young people who competed for our scholarships this year,” D. G. Markwell, MAX Credit Union senior vice president of marketing and MAX4Kids Foundation president, said in a statement. “We also congratulate these outstanding winners, and know they have bright futures in higher education and in their careers to come.”The MAX4Kids Foundation is a nonprofit organization created in 2000 by MAX Credit Union employees to give back to the community. The foundation has awarded more than $315,000 through the MAX4Kids Scholarship Program to high school seniors for their scholastic achievements and nearly $800,000 to local children’s charities.



MONTGOMERY – Stamp Idea Group Principal David Allred has been named to the board of directors for the Central Alabama Community Foundation (CACF). 

The Central Alabama Community Foundation is a nonprofit philanthropic organization established in 1987 by a group of local civic leaders for the betterment of the local community. Since its founding, CACF has grown to hold $36 million-plus in charitable assets while distributing more than $19 million to organizations that serve the community.

Through its 190-plus funds, CACF addresses a wide variety of concerns, supporting projects and programs in education, health, human services, cultural arts, recreation, historic preservation and other civic concerns. The foundation also oversees several affiliated funds designed to address needs in Autauga County, Elmore County and Southeast Alabama.

Allred is a graduate of Huntingdon College with a bachelor’s degree in finance and computer science. He joined LWT Communications in 1992 and became partner in 1994 when he and Jim Leonard bought the firm. In 2013, LWT merged with Reid/O’Donahue Advertising to form Stamp Idea Group.



MONTGOMERY – J. Parker Miller, a shareholder at the law firm of Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C., has been included in the 2014 Law360 Rising Stars rankings.

Law360’s Rising Stars profiles the top legal talent younger than 40. The winners are comprised of top litigators and dealmakers practicing at a level usually seen from veteran attorneys.

Miller is a lawyer in the firm’s environmental section, and focuses primarily on complex litigation and property owner and business-on-business environmental litigation. He has counseled some of the largest business entities in the Southeast, and has served as co-counsel to Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley in the valuation of the State of Alabama’s oil spill claims.

Parker graduated high school from Marengo Academy in 2001. He attended Auburn University and received a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2005, and he received his law degree from Faulkner University in 2008.



MONTGOMERY – Jackson Thornton Principal Annamarie Wendlandt Jones was recently honored as the 2014 Outstanding Business Leader by the College of Business at Auburn University at Montgomery.

The prestigious award is not exclusively for AUM alumni. Jones was unanimously selected from a group of River Region business leaders. She was recognized for her service as the co-chair of the Business Finance Career Academy Advisory Board; a member of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Women in Business Steering Committee; and a member of the Family Sunshine Center Advisory Council.

Jones was also recognized for her role as an active volunteer for AUM serving as the treasurer of the AUM Alumni Association; College of Business Dean’s Advisory Council; and chairperson of the Accounting Department Advisory Board. 

“We are very proud of Annamarie,” Ned Sheffield, president and managing partner of Jackson Thornton, said in a statement. “Her commitment to the business community, her clients and AUM is evident and we are fortunate to have her on our team.”

Jones has worked as a certified public accountant with Jackson Thornton since graduating from AUM in 1994. Jackson Thornton is a certified public accounting and consulting firm.



MONTGOMERY – Jackson Hospital Chief of Surgery Dr. Brian C. Gary was appointed to the Alabama State Board of Prosthetists and Orthotists by Gov. Robert Bentley.

Gary, who is also a general surgeon with The Jackson Clinic, will represent physicians while making important decisions that impact the citizens of Alabama. He will serve a four-year term that expires in September 2017.

“Honesty and integrity are two virtues that I prioritize for my administration to exemplify, and I know that you will do the same while in service to our great state,” Bentley said in a letter to Gary.

The mission of the Alabama State Board of Prosthetists and Orthotists is “to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of the people of Alabama against the unauthorized, unqualified, and improper administration of prosthetic and orthotic care.”



MONTGOMERY – Hartzell Engine Technologies President Mike Disbrow announced that DAHER-SOCATA has selected the new lightweight, 100-amp ES-10024B-5 unit as the standby alternator aboard the new-generation TBM-900 single-engine turboprop aircraft.

“The TBM-900 is a truly advanced airplane and we are very proud to have our lightweight, 100-amp standby alternator selected as standard on this exciting new aircraft,” Disbrow said in a statement. “While the new ES-10024B-5 shares technologies with other Hartzell alternator units, this model has been developed specifically to meet the unique power requirements of the TBM-900’s completely revamped electrical system.”

Disbrow said that in order to meet the current regulations, DAHER-SOCATA needed a “self-exciting” standby alternator that is able to come on line to power the TBM-900’s electrical system and its Garmin G1000 avionics suite in the extremely unlikely event of a failure in the primary generator and battery.

“This design retains a small amount of residual magnetism, so when it is switched on by the crew, the new ES-10024B-5 has the ability to develop 100-amps of electrical power without the use of a separate power source,” Disbrow said.

“DAHER-SOCATA’s selection helps us maintain our leadership position as a provider of alternators for today’s leading single-engine turbine aircraft supplying standby, secondary and even primary electrical power. In addition to the new TBM-900, we provide alternators for the Cessna Caravan, Piper Meridian and the forthcoming Cirrus SF50 Vision personal jet.”

SOCATA North America President and CEO Nicolas Chabbert said in a statement that his company selected the Hartzell alternator because of “the company’s reputation; the new technologies they offered; the unit’s light weight and the most important reason – with 100 amps, it gives the pilot the options to select what needs to be loaded in the event of a main generator failure.”


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