Montgomery Business Journal

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November/December 2015


Maxwell Air Force Base’s Air University has hired its first chief information officer and it’s a big name in local technology circles. It’s Scott Baker, who served as director of Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) the past three years at the Gunter Annex.

Baker has an extensive background with 27 years of experience in the IT industry, including stints at Fortune 100 companies. His new role at Air University includes everything from improving existing IT systems to advances in cyber to research and outreach.

“He understands the Air Force, understands the joint information environment and is a profound innovator who will help lead the transformation of the education mission of the Air Force going into the future,” Lt. Gen. Steven Kwast, president and commander of Air University, said in a statement.

In a statement, Baker said, “My experiences with various Fortune 100, DISA and DoD (Department of Defense) initiatives gives me a unique business and information technology perspective. I will be able to apply my agile and progressive thinking within the Air Force framework to an open field of opportunities within Air University for our next generation of leaders and war fighters.”


Hyundai is on pace to break last year’s U.S sales record of 725,718 units and Sonata sales will likely top 200,000 for the fifth straight year.

After nine months, Hyundai sales were about 150,000 units from the all-time record and need to average around 50,000 units a month, but averaged nearly 65,000 monthly units from January-September. The Korean automaker sold almost 170,000 vehicles the final three months of 2014.

Elantra could set an all-time record with about 55,000 sales in the final quarter of 2015. Both the Elantra and Sonata are produced at the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama facility in Montgomery.


Montgomery business owner Greg Calhoun and comedian Steve Harvey have bought the former site of a latex plant in Eufaula that is now called AmeriTech Glove.

The facility had been closed for five years, but reopened in September. The new owners announced plans to hire 300. It is the only latex glove factory in the country.

Harvey and Calhoun are long-time friends and established an investment firm called HarCal.


Cadence Bank has surpassed $500 million in transactions through its Cadence Bank signature debit card program powered by Discover Debit. The program was launched in April 2013.

The bank has been successful in building its debit rewards program and sees the potential to achieve “significant customer retention value and drive higher deposits.”


Troy University will receive $4 million-plus over the next five years for student support services. It is the largest grant to a four-year institution by the U.S. Department of Education for student support services.

More than 550 Troy students will participate in the Student Support Services project. The program is for first-generation, low-income and special needs students.


Montgomery County set a record with sales tax revenue of $43.1 million in fiscal 2015, breaking the previous mark of $42.8 million set in fiscal 2007.


Montgomery County Commission is spending $900,000 to renovate the former Pier One building across from One Center to be used as a probate/revenue office. The project is expected to be completed in spring.


The City of Montgomery reached $100 million – $101.1 million to be exact – in sales and use taxes for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. The city had a previous high of $98.2 million for the 2007 fiscal year, but just two years later the Great Recession hit and sales tax revenue had declined to $83.7 million.

The $101 million in sales tax revenue was an increase of 4.6 percent over the previous fiscal year.


Site selection consultants ranked Alabama in a fifth-place tie in their annual survey of Top States for Doing Business in Area Development magazine.

Nine of the top 10 states in the rankings were in the South: Georgia (No. 1), Texas (No. 2), South Carolina (No. 3), Tennessee (No. 4), Alabama and Florida (No. 5), North Carolina (No. 7), Louisiana (No. 8), Ohio (No. 9) and Kentucky (No. 10).

The states were ranked in numerous areas including labor pool, taxes, incentives, training, skill level, energy costs, postsecondary schools, regulatory climate, cooperative state government, speed of permitting, transportation infrastructure and infrastructure/global access.


BBVA Compass has launched its prepaid ClearSpend card that features a budgeting app to keep track of spending.

“Our research shows a rapidly expanding market with more clients turning to prepaid cards to manage their budgets, stay out of debt and avoid overdraft and check-cashing fees,” BBVA Compass Chief Digital Banking Officer Jeff Dennes said in a statement.

The card automatically creates personalized budgets after 30 days of spending.


Regions Bank and Fundation Group announced an agreement to provide small businesses options to secure a loan with either financial institution.

Companies may access Fundation’s online application from Regions’ website or apply for Regions’ lending products. A Regions executive said that 20 percent of small business owners are using online lenders. “This unique agreement with Fundation allows Regions Bank to expand loan product offerings and method delivery for small businesses while also cultivating long-term revenue and loan growth opportunities,” Joe DiNicolantonio, head of Regions business banking, said in a statement.


Since 2001 when Montgomery County increased its sales tax 1 percent and dedicated that money to fund Montgomery Public Schools – the school district has received more than $330 million. The total includes $26.7 million this fiscal year plus another $2.9 million for the school district’s debt service.


ServisFirst Bank’s holding company has been named to the Sandler O’Neill’s Sm-All Stars Class of 2015. It was just one of 34 publicly traded banks with a market cap less than $2.5 billion to receive the honor.


Building permit valuations for the City of Montgomery have soared from $118 million in 2012 to $271 million for the current fiscal year. The increase was an impressive 49 percent from $182 million in the 2014 fiscal year.

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