Montgomery Business Journal

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Business Buzz

September 2014


MONTGOMERY – Alabama World Travel employee Kaitlyn Brett Wilkinson recently received the Certified Travel Associate (CTA) designation from The Travel Institute.

Travel professionals must complete a rigorous certification program, demonstrate essential industry knowledge and experience and maintain high standards of professionalism to receive the certificate. The CTA curriculum covers four key skill areas: communication and technology, geography knowledge, sales and service and travel industry trends.

Wilkinson, a Montgomery native, has been advising clients at Alabama World Travel since 2011.


MONTGOMERY – WSFA 12 News won eight Associated Press awards competing against television stations in the Huntsville, Montgomery and Dothan markets.

The awards were for Best Spot News Story (Midland City Crisis); Best Sports Program (BCS Pregame Show) and received honorable mentions as a staff for Best Regularly Scheduled Newscast and Best Coverage of a Planned Event (BCS Coverage).

Political Reporter Max Reiss and videographer Doug Gooden received recognition for Best Hard News Feature Story (Secrets in Sylacauga) and Best Series (Medicaid). Reiss was also honored as the Best Specialized Reporter. Reporter Bryan Henry was recognized for Best Soft News Feature Story (Ladybug Quilters) while Mark Bullock received top honors for Best Investigative Reporting (Old Tires). Bullock also received an Honorable Mention for Best News Anchor. Reporter Tametria Conner was selected as Best Reporter and also garnered Honorable Mentions for two specific stories: Best Hard News Feature Story (Police Officer Racing Incident) and Best Spot News Story (Police Chase/Shots Fired).

“The staff at WSFA 12 News is what separates our station from the competition,” Vice President/General Manager Collin R. Gaston said in a statement. “I am tremendously proud of the accomplishments of our individual award winners and the entire WSFA 12 News organization.”


MONTGOMERY – Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C. associate Danielle Ward Mason has been named to Lawyers of Color second annual Hot List.

Honorees, who are early- to mid-career minority attorneys, were profiled in Lawyers of Color’s Hot List 2014 issue in July.

Mason joined Beasley Allen in 2009 and is an associate attorney in the firm’s mass torts section, investigating claims involving medications and medical devices. She has handled cases involving hormone replacement therapy, Reglan, hernia mesh patches and transvaginal mesh.

The honorees were selected through a two-pronged process. The selection committee spent months reviewing nominations and researching bar association publications and legal blogs to identify candidates, and accepted nominations from mentors, peers and colleagues. The selection committee also made editorial choices of attorneys, who had noteworthy accomplishments, especially those active in legal pipeline initiatives.


MONTGOMERY – Capell & Howard’s Jimmy Walter was recognized as the recipient of this year’s Alabama State Bar Pro Bono Award for Mediation.

The award was given in recognition of Jimmy’s pro bono mediation services to the Montgomery County district and circuit courts. Walter, who is the co-chair of the firm’s litigation department, is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and Alabama Super Lawyers in the specialties of commercial litigation and alternative dispute resolution.


MONTGOMERY – The Historic Standard Clubhouse and its grounds have been donated to the Hospice of Montgomery for the future River Region Hospice Home.

Hospice of Montgomery, which has been providing services for patients and their families for 30-plus years, will begin a $10 million capital campaign this fall.

The Historic Standard Clubhouse and grounds were donated by Bill and Lucy Jackson, along with Warren and Phyllis Jackson.

For information about Hospice of Montgomery, contact Amy Godsoe Capps at (334) 279-6677 or


MONTGOMERY – WVAS-FM, the “Voice of Alabama State University,” received top honors at the Alabama Associated Press Media Editors (APME) awards banquet.

Marcus Hyles won the Alabama APME first-place award for Best Anchor. Hyles is WVAS-FM’s senior news correspondent, who has been with the station since 2009. He also received an honorable mention for Best Commentator or Editorialist.

Scottie Hunter took home a first-place award for Best Sports Reporter and received an honorable mention for Best Reporter. Hunter is an ASU alumnus who has been with the station since 2013.

Candy Capel, WVAS station manager, said the awards reflect the station’s commitment to providing the best news and public affairs programming to its listening community.

“These awards are a validation of the hard work performed by our award-winning news team each and every day,” she said in a statement. “We strive for excellence in everything that we do, and we are grateful for this type of recognition that brings honor to WVAS-FM and to Alabama State University.”

Other awards for WVAS included an honorable mention in the Best Specialized Reporter category for Melanie Hogan and an honorable mention for the Best Regularly Scheduled Newscast for the WVAS News Team.

The awards are for coverage in 2013 and were presented to newspapers, radio and TV stations across Alabama.


BIRMINGHAM – Greg Sellers of Warren Averett, LLC, Certified Public Accountants and Advisors has been selected to the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants’ (ASCPA) board of directors.

The ASCPA is the statewide, professional membership organization representing more than 6,700 Alabama certified public accountants in public practice, industry, government and education. The ASCPA’s 2014-2015 officers and board members were selected at the association’s annual meeting. Sellers will serve a two-year term.

Sellers joined Warren Averett in 1986 and is a member in the tax division, and a leader of the estate and trust practice. He has 28 years of experience in public accounting and specializes in estate, gift and trust tax planning and preparation. He works in the firm’s Montgomery office.


MONTGOMERY – Auburn University at Montgomery signed an agreement with Southern Union State Community College, formalizing a partnership aimed at better supporting students interested in transferring to AUM.

AUM Chancellor John G. Veres III and SUSCC President Glenda Colagross participated in a signing ceremony on Auburn Montgomery’s campus, agreeing to:

> Work closely together on student advisement, creating a pathway for students who want to earn a bachelor’s degree to easily transfer into AUM.

> Allow SUSCC students to “reverse transfer” credits back to SUSCC and receive an associate’s degree while completing a bachelor’s at AUM.

> Provide scholarships to incoming AUM students.

Beginning in the fall 2015, all SUSCC students transferring to AUM with a minimum 3.0 grade-point average will be provided a $1,000 to $2,500 scholarship. The top SUSCC student transferring to AUM, as selected by the SUSCC administration, will receive tuition and fees for two years.


DOTHAN – Four Star Freightliner Inc. has created the Four Star Freightliner Diesel Technician Training Program.

It was created by dealer principal Jerry Kocan in Montgomery to fill a void and to secure future technicians for the company’s five dealerships across the Southeast.

“We’ve had to go out and find young men and groom them through our own internal systems,” Kocan said in a statement.

David Carroll was appointed to lead the training program from the Dothan location of Four Star Freightliner.

Four Star Freightliner has partnered with the diesel and heavy equipment mechanics program at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College in Opp. The instructor, Eddie Spann, recommended three of his students for this pilot program, which allows the students to work in the shop on a part-time basis while they complete their formal training at LBW.


MONTGOMERY – The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) will hold its football championship at the Cramton Bowl for the next three years with an estimated annual economic impact of $1.3 million.

The title game, which will played in Montgomery this year, is expected to attract 15,000 fans. Tuskegee University is a member of the SIAC along with Alabama schools Miles College and Stillman College.

“The Central Alabama Sports Commission and the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Convention & Visitor Bureau are working hard to ensure that the next three championship games at the world-class Cramton Bowl and Multiplex are the best and most memorable in SIAC history,” Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange said in a statement.


OSHKOSH, Wis. – Hartzell Engine Technologies LLC, announced that the company has finalized an agreement to purchase the assets of Plane-Power LTD.

“When the opportunity came to acquire the Plane-Power line, we saw it as having tremendous potential, not only to complement Hartzell’s family of alternators, but to gain immediate access into new markets,” Mike Disbrow, president of Hartzell Engine Technologies, said in a statement. “In particular, Plane-Power is strong in the kit-built/experimental market. They also have several (supplemental type certificated) generator-to-alternator conversion kits that will open new opportunities to us.”

Disbrow stressed that the purchase of Plane-Power does not include any Sky-Tec starter products. While Sky-Tec and Plane-Power were closely associated, they were separate companies.

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