Montgomery Business Journal

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November/December 2015

RAYCOM MEDIA ACQUIRES WEBSTREAM SPORTS

MONTGOMERY – Raycom Media has acquired WebStream Sports (WebStream Productions Inc.).

WebStream, a leading provider of live sports production for television and the Web, will operate as a new division of Raycom Media. WebStream founder John Servizzi will continue as CEO and Greg Weitekamp will continue as president. WebStream maintains its headquarters in Indianapolis and has offices in Charlotte, N.C.

“We are thrilled that WebStream is now part of the Raycom team,” Raycom Senior Vice President Pat LaPlatney said in a statement. “From our first conversation, it was clear that Raycom Media and WebStream were a great fit. WebStream shares our customer-first mentality and commitment to growth not only in putting production resources on the road, but staffing them with well-trained, dedicated employees.”

“The WebStream team is very excited to become a division of Raycom Media,” WebStream CEO John Servizzi said in a statement. “The staff at WebStream prides itself on delivering high-quality productions that meet client budgets. Having Raycom Media behind us in that effort allows us to increase our own lofty expectations and continue to provide unprecedented service to our partners. We are proud to become part of the Raycom family.”

WebStream Productions Inc., which was established in 2006, produces more than 1,000 live events annually for television, Internet and in-venue audiences. Its output has been seen on ESPNU, ESPN3, CBS Sports Network, Fox Sports and Comcast Regional Networks, and NCAA.com, among others.

Raycom Media, an employee-owned company based in Montgomery, is one of the nation’s largest broadcasters and owns and/or provides services for 53 television stations in 37 markets and 18 states. Raycom stations cover 13.1 percent of U.S. television households and employ nearly 4,000 in full- and part-time positions.

WALKER360 MAGAZINE PROJECT RECEIVES NATIONAL RECOGNITION

MONTGOMERY – Walker360’s advertising agency and its client, the Alabama Association of Realtors, have been recognized nationally for Porch & Property.

The new consumer-driven magazine was selected as one of six top ideas by the National Association of Realtors State Leadership Idea Exchange Council, presented during NAR’s annual Realtor Party Convention & Trade Expo in Washington, DC.

“We are always happy to see our clients succeed and we are thrilled by the recognition of this work for Alabama Realtors,” Walker360 President Taylor Blackwell said in a statement.

Porch & Property, Alabama is published twice a year and is distributed to the state’s Realtors and is also available at medical offices statewide.

TROY UNIVERSITY HONORS JACKSON THORNTON EMPLOYEE

MONTGOMERY – A Jackson Thornton employee was inducted into the Troy University School of Accountancy Accounting Hall of Honor.

Renee B. Hubbard, a certified public accountant, was honored by Troy University. She has 30-plus years of experience providing tax planning and compliance services to individuals and closely held businesses.

INDEPENDENT COLLEGE GROUP DISTRIBUTES $34,300 IN SCHOLARSHIPS

MONTGOMERY – The Alabama Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (AAICU)has distributed $34,300 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, Birmingham-Southern College, Concordia College Alabama, Faulkner University, Huntingdon College, Judson College, Miles College, Samford University, Spring Hill College, Stillman College, Talladega College, Tuskegee University, University of Mobile and the United States Sports Academy.

“Through this national scholarship program, CIC and UPS are delighted this year to make it possible for 585 talented young men and women to attend the private college or university of their choice,” CIC President Richard Ekman said in a statement. “By directly assisting students with significant financial need, CIC and UPS are helping a new generation of students achieve their dreams of a college education.”

STARKE AGENCY SELECTED AS A BEST PRACTICE INSURANCE AGENCY

MONTGOMERY – Starke Agency Inc. has retained its status as part of an elite group of independent insurance agencies participating in the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA) “Best Practices” Study Group.

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 independent 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 be recognized as a best practice agency for the ninth straight year,” Starke Agency President Trey Starke said in a statement. “We are the only independent agency in our area to receive this accolade. Our established leadership structure and team approach has proven itself beneficial in keeping our status as a best practice agency and moving our agency forward each year.”

The Starke Agency Inc. is an insurance brokerage and risk management company established in 1929.

BEASLEY ALLEN NAMED TO LAW 360 ‘MOST FEARED PLANTIFFS FIRMS’ LIST

MONTGOMERY – Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C. has been selected for inclusion on the Law 360 Most Feared Plaintiffs Firms list for accomplishments in the past year.

The list identifies law firms nationwide that have secured the largest awards for their plaintiff clients. Eleven firms were selected for inclusion on the list.

“We are honored to be selected to the Law 360 Most Feared Plaintiffs Firms list,” Tom Methvin, principal and managing attorney for Beasley Allen, said in a statement. “Our attorneys and staff are dedicated to our firm’s mission of ‘helping those who need it most’ and make it our goal to secure justice for our clients.”

The 11 firms selected pulled in big victories in complex cases that have a wide impact on the law and legal business. Beasley Allen was selected based on cumulative wins over the last year, but three cases in particular set the firm apart from others and earned it a spot on the list:

Working alongside Georgia attorney Lance Cooper, the firm helped secure a settlement for the parents of Brooke Melton, the 29-year-old nurse who died in an accident in 2010 while driving her 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The case was critical in uncovering the GM ignition switch defect. 

Beasley Allen secured a nearly $19 million verdict against truck dealer Empire Truck Sales, in favor of a man who became paralyzed when the freightliner he was driving spun out of control after Empire serviced the truck.

The most recent verdict was when a Georgia Federal court found in favor of Cheryl Bullock and awarded $8 million against Volkswagen AG in a sudden unintended acceleration crash that caused her serious injuries.

ALFA INSURANCE FIGHTS CANCER IN ALFA CARES CAMPAIGN

MONTGOMERY – Alfa Insurance honored fighters and celebrated survivors of all types of cancer in October with its Alfa Cares campaign.

Throughout the month, employees participated in numerous events and memorials at the corporate office and at more than 320 service centers in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi to raise money for the American Cancer Society (ACS). Alfa Insurance has pledged to match up to $25,000 in donations through the Alfa Foundation.

“As a cancer survivor, I am proud to work alongside others who recognize the struggles of fighting cancer and who are willing to support the ACS,” Carol Golsan, senior vice president of marketing services for Alfa, said in a statement. “The donations from our co-workers, customers and the company itself will be a tremendous help in funding research and providing resources for cancer patients.” 

To submit your business news for publication, email a press release to editor@montgomerychamber.com. Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Members only.

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