The Wire

  • Gov. Ivey travels to Japan, meets with automakers

    Excerpt from WVTM:

    Gov. Kay Ivey departed for Japan Tuesday as part of an economic development team to meet with executives of Toyota, Mazda and Honda automakers.

    The goal of the trip is to facilitate growth in the state’s automotive sector and reinforce relationships with the manufacturers.

    “The auto industry has been a key driver of economic growth in Alabama for two decades, and we want to make sure we’re positioned to see that growth accelerate in coming years,” said Ivey.

    The Japan mission comes as the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA joint venture is beginning to move forward with plans for a $1.6 billion assembly plant in Huntsville that will employ 4,000 people.

  • Wetumpka TEA Party Releases 2018 River Region Candidate Fair Straw Poll Results

    Excerpt from Wetumpka TEA Party:

    The Wetumpka TEA Party hosted a fantastic 2018 River Region Candidate Fair on Mon. April 23rd. A special thanks to the 49 candidates who participated and all of the citizens who came out to visit with them one-on-one and find out where they stand on the issues. We hope this helped you in your decision making process before going to the polls on election day, June 5th.

    This poll is NOT the Wetumpka TEA Party’s endorsement of candidates but is used solely for informational purposes.

  • Alabama Rep. Martha Roby Releases First TV Ad

    From a news release:

    U.S. Representative Martha Roby’s (R-AL) campaign for reelection in Alabama’s Second Congressional District today released its first television ad ahead of the June 5th Republican primary.

    The ad highlights Representative Roby’s strong, conservative stance on tackling our nation’s illegal immigration problem. It also shows the stark contrast between Roby’s clear record of supporting smart border security measures compared to Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi’s “lawn mower” strategy, demonstrating that liberals in Washington are not serious about stopping the flow of illegal immigrants into our country.

    “This has gone on long enough. We need to get serious about our border,” Representative Roby states in the ad. “That’s why I voted to use every tool available to secure it – including a wall.”

10 months ago

Sen. Strange appears on Fox Business discussing Obamacare repeal and replace Senate legislation

June 22, 2017 – U.S. Senator Luther Strange appeared on Fox Business with Lou Dobbs on Wednesday evening to discuss the anticipated Senate legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare:

Sen. Strange: I’m confident about the new GOP health care bill
Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) on the Republican health care bill.

Strange: “It can’t come soon enough in my judgement. The people of my state and the country want action. They believe in President Trump and his promise – that’s what I am committed to doing. It’s time to get something out there we can actually review and vote on, and I’m very optimistic. We can debate this forever, but we’ve got to vote. The people are hurting in Alabama and around the country.”

Strange also joined Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business early Thursday morning to discuss the legislation, as well as tax reform:

Will tax reform be easier to achieve than health care reform?
Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.) on Republican efforts to achieve health care and tax reform.

Strange: “There is common ground because we’re facing a disaster. We can’t do nothing. We have an obligation to fix the Obamacare mess. That’s the driving force here. There are plenty of opinions in the Senate, but the American people expect us to act and I think that President Trump’s exactly right. That was his promise. We’ve got to act. We can’t just ignore it and let it fail. That would be a real disappointment.

“Obamacare is failing on the ground right before our eyes. There’s no debate about that. But it’s very frustrating to watch my colleagues on the Democratic side come out with attacks on a bill they haven’t even seen yet. They’ve already written it off. They’ve signaled to us they have no interest in helping us at all and that’s very disappointing.

“I can tell you that Alabama’s been most severely hurt by Obamacare and I’m interested in conservative principles – that’s what I’m going to be looking for in the bill today. So I’m optimistic we’re going to come together.

“Obviously premium increases, high deductibles have been a top priority. What I’m interested in is insurance that actually provides healthcare, not just an insurance policy that doesn’t provide anything. The average business man who’s trying to do the right thing now has a premium that’s higher than their mortgage. That’s just unacceptable.”


Alabama Senator Luther Strange serves on the Senate Committees on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry; Armed Services; Budget; and Energy & Natural Resources.


This content is a press release that was not released by Yellowhammer.

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1 year ago

BCA Cheers Trump Announcement to Revive Export-Import Bank

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Business Council of Alabama President and CEO William Canary today issued a statement praising the announcement by the Trump Administration that the president would fill two vacancies on the agency’s five-member board. The two vacancies have prevented the bank from having a quorum and being able to approve loans more than $10 million, a threshold that affects both large and small businesses.

“On behalf of the Alabama business community, we profoundly thank President Trump for recognizing that the Ex-Im Bank is a vital tool needed to keep American exports moving and to maintain our competitiveness with other nations,” Canary said. “A fully operational bank will level the playing field for American manufacturers and the nearly 90 small and large businesses in Alabama fighting to compete overseas. We commend President Trump for moving forward with the nomination process, and we urge the Senate to take swift action on the president’s nominees.”

The BCA has long been a supporter of the bank and was active in pushing for the bank’s long-term charter renewal, hosting numerous Ex-Im events in Alabama, signing support letters to Congress and joining more than 650 other Ex-Im Bank users and suppliers from across the country in the nation’s capital to let our elected representatives know the value of Ex-Im financing.

Besides leading the charge to keep the playing field level, the BCA works alongside our partners – the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce through the Exporters for Ex-Im Coalition – urging Congress to help preserve jobs.


The Business Council of Alabama is Alabama’s foremost voice for business. The BCA is a non-partisan, statewide business association representing the interests and concerns of nearly 1 million working Alabamians through its member companies and its partnership with the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama. The BCA is Alabama’s exclusive affiliate to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers.

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1 year ago

Rep. Chris Pringle receives Business Champion Award

Business Council of Alabama President and CEO William J. Canary, left, and Mobile Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bill Sisson, right, present state Rep. Chris Pringle, R-Mobile, with the Business Champion Award for his sponsorship of legislation to regulate lawsuit lending practices. (Contributed)
Business Council of Alabama President and CEO William J. Canary, left, and Mobile Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bill Sisson, right, present state Rep. Chris Pringle, R-Mobile, with the Business Champion Award for his sponsorship of legislation to regulate lawsuit lending practices. (Contributed)

MOBILE, Ala. (March 28, 2017) – State Rep. Chris Pringle of Mobile today received the Business Champion Award for sponsorship and support of legislation to regulate consumer lawsuit lending practices.

In the 2016 legislative session, Rep. Pringle sponsored HB 395, the Consumer Lawsuit Lending Act, which passed the House by a vote of 86-6. This legislation is supported by the Business Council of Alabama and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and has passed the House two years in a row only to be stifled in the Senate by a few senators.

Presenting the award to Rep. Pringle were BCA President and CEO William J. Canary and Mobile Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bill Sisson, who is chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama.

“Rep. Pringle has a long been on the front lines as a fierce advocate for pro-business legislation,” Canary said. “We need more men and women in public office like him that truly understand what it means to be a job creator.”

“We’re proud of Rep. Pringle’s recognition by the BCA and CCAA,” Sisson said. “It’s a well-deserved honor, and the Mobile Area Chamber appreciates his continued support of our organization and our pro-business legislative agenda.”

Consumer lawsuit lending is the unregulated practice of loaning money at exorbitant interest rates to plaintiffs who must repay lenders if any settlement or judgment is received. The interest rate can exceed 100 percent.

This practice targets a vulnerable population, introduces third-party interests into the attorney-client relationship, and both slows the pace of and increases the cost of litigation for plaintiffs and defendants.

Rep. Pringle served in the House in District 101 from 1994 to 2002 and was elected again on Nov. 4, 2014.

He is a 1984 graduate of the University of Alabama with a B.A. in Communications. Rep. Pringle is a licensed Realtor and is a licensed home building and general contractor as well as a certified control burn specialist.

The Business Champion Award recognizes legislators for sponsorship and support of policies that better Alabama’s business climate and the lives of employees, families, and citizens.


The BCA is a statewide advocacy association representing the interests and concerns of nearly 1 million working Alabamians through its member companies and its partnership with the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama. The BCA is Alabama’s exclusive affiliate to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers.

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1 year ago

Ascension Leader Neeysa Biddle Announces Retirement from St. Vincent’s Health System; Jason Alexander Named New Market Leader

By St. Vincent’s Health System

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (January 25, 2017) – Longtime healthcare executive Neeysa Biddle has announced her retirement as Senior Vice President, Ascension Healthcare, and Birmingham Ministry Market Executive, serving as President and CEO of St. Vincent’s Health System (STVHS), effective June 30. She plans to continue working with Ascension’s newly created Consulting Network, LLC, through which she will continue to share her experience and insights in support of Catholic healthcare. Jason Alexander, formerly with Ascension’s Providence Health System in Mobile, Alabama, and most recently with Tenet Healthcare Corp., will be rejoining Ascension to serve as Birmingham Ministry Market Executive and President and CEO of STVHS.

Biddle began leading STVHS on an interim basis in September 2014, then assumed the role fully in February 2015. She already was intimately familiar with St. Vincent’s, having served there as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer from 2005-2011. When she retired from that position, she agreed to continue to serve Ascension as national Director of the Ascension Leadership Academy.

“Leaders and associates across Ascension have been blessed by their relationship with Neeysa, and we are grateful to her for sharing her gifts and talents with our national health ministry,” said Patricia Maryland, Dr.PH, President, Healthcare Operations and Chief Operating Officer, Ascension Healthcare, a division of Ascension.

Biddle’s commitment, dedication and vision have benefited STVHS,; its associates, physicians, and volunteers,; and the individuals and communities they work together to serve, Dr. Maryland said. She was named one of the Birmingham Business Journal’s Most Influential Executives in 2015 and 2016. Among her numerous community and professional leadership roles and recognitions, she has served on the Alabama Hospital Association’s Board of Directors and as an adjunct faculty member at UAB’s School of Health Professions, where she was selected as the 2001 Alumnus of the Year. She has been named one of the Top 40 Graduates of the UAB Health Administration program and North Alabama Girl Scouts’ 2012 Woman of the Year.

Jason Alexander Returns to Ascension

Jason Alexander, FACHE, the incoming Senior Vice President, Ascension Healthcare, and Birmingham Ministry Market Executive, has served as CEO of East Cooper Medical Center in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, part of Tenet Healthcare Corp., since 2011. While at East Cooper the hospital received Tenet’s Circle of Excellence recognition, awarded to Tenet’s highest-performing hospitals, in 2013, 2014 and 2016. The hospital more than doubled its operating performance and improved two letter grades in its Leapfrog Safety Score, while improving associate engagement and physician net promoter scores.

“The selection of Jason to lead our ministry reflects the commitment of Ascension and the physicians and community leaders on our board to appointing a leader with a strong track record of accomplishments and a passion for our Mission,” Biddle said. “He has never failed to impress me with his desire to make a difference, his leadership and achievements.”

“I am excited to have the opportunity to return to Ascension and look forward to joining the St. Vincent’s team,” Alexander said. “Ascension’s culture of servant leadership and Mission of improving health by providing spiritually centered, holistic care is what originally attracted me and ultimately led me to St. Vincent’s. It is truly an honor to follow in the footsteps of Neeysa Biddle, who I have known for over 20 years and have had the privilege of working for.”

Alexander has more than 20 years of experience in healthcare and an extensive background in operations and development. He previously served for five years as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Providence Health System in Mobile, Alabama, part of the Ascension Gulf Coast Ministry Market, and earlier as Vice President at Singing River Health System on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. His healthcare career began at Brookwood Medical Center in Birmingham, where he served as Director of Business Development and Director of Physician Practice Operations.

Alexander earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of South Alabama in Mobile and master’s degrees in Health Administration and Business Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In addition, last year he completed a post-graduate program on Strategy for Healthcare Delivery through the Harvard Business School Executive Education Program, and in 2009 earned a graduate certificate in Catholic Healthcare Ministry Leadership from Aquinas Institute of Theology, St. Louis. He is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and has served on several boards including the local chapter of the American Heart Association and the Graduate Programs in Health Administration at both the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the Medical University of South Carolina.

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1 year ago

Yellowhammer’s Cliff Sims accepts senior communications job in Trump White House

Yellowhammer Multimedia CEO Cliff Sims speaks at the Inaugural Alabama Economic Growth Summit (Photo: Yellowhammer)
Yellowhammer Multimedia CEO Cliff Sims speaks at the Inaugural Alabama Economic Growth Summit (Photo: Yellowhammer)
Yellowhammer Multimedia CEO Cliff Sims speaks at the Inaugural Alabama Economic Growth Summit (Photo: Yellowhammer)

WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald J. Trump on Friday announced that Yellowhammer Founder and CEO Cliff Sims will be taking a senior role in his incoming administration as Special Assistant to the President and Director of White House Message Strategy.

Sims founded Yellowhammer as his personal blog roughly five years ago and grew it into the state’s most influential media brand, with millions of monthly readers and listeners online and on the radio. He took a leave of absence last year to join the Trump campaign as communications advisor.

In his new job, Sims will take the lead in crafting the messaging coming out of the West Wing.

“It is an incredible honor to be asked to work in the White House and I look forward to serving the President and the country in this role,” Sims said.

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said Sims will “play a key role in supporting President-elect Trump’s America-first agenda.”

Sims will resign as Yellowhammer’s chief executive officer effective on inauguration day. Yellowhammer’s chief business development officer, Brian Ellis, has been named acting CEO.

“Cliff’s vision and leadership have been an indispensable part of Yellowhammer’s growth to this point,” said Ellis.
“He will be missed, but his passion for the state of Alabama and Yellowhammer’s mission to be the go-to source of news and commentary for the entire state are deeply engrained in our company’s DNA. We have an incredible team in place and look forward to building on the foundation that has been laid.”

Sims joins several other Alabamians in taking high profile positions in the Trump administration. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) appears on track to be confirmed as US Attorney General, Sessions’ former chief of staff Rick Dearborn will be Deputy White House Chief of Staff and Sessions’ former communications director, Stephen Miller, will be Senior Advisor to the President for Policy.

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1 year ago

Stimpson Re-Election campaign files November disclosure, reports $449,323 in total contributions

sandy-stimpson

Mobile, AL – Today, Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s re-election campaign filed its monthly financial disclosure for November, showing a total of $449,323 in contributions raised by the campaign to date.

“I’m honored to receive the financial support of so many who believe in the work we are doing and the progress we are making for the citizens of Mobile,” said Stimpson. “When you see nearly $450,000 come through the door in just three months of fundraising, it’s humbling and encouraging.”

The cumulative total is made up of contributions from more than 350 individuals and 38 businesses, of which more than half gave $500 or less.

Other highlights from the report include contributions from PACs representing area realtors, builders and auto dealers, further underlining support for the Mayor from the Mobile business community.

“These organizations represent the types of local businesses that make up the fabric of our community. Having their support is a great honor and validation towards our efforts to make Mobile more business friendly,” Stimpson said.

The campaign received its first contribution towards re-election on September 1st. All contributions and expenditures are reported monthly to Mobile County Probate Court and are on file to date. The current cash on hand total is $384,244.32.

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1 year ago

ALABAMA WORKS: Leaders launch major effort to connect employers to skilled workers

Zeke Smith, executive vice president at Alabama Power Co. and chairman of the Alabama Workforce Council.
Zeke Smith, executive vice president at Alabama Power Co. and chairman of the Alabama Workforce Council.
Zeke Smith, executive vice president at Alabama Power Co. and chairman of the Alabama Workforce Council.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala — Alabama business, education and workforce training leaders on Tuesday announced a major step in transforming the state’s workforce development efforts into one unified system.

The new system, AlabamaWorks, will seamlessly link employers looking for skilled workers with Alabamians seeking jobs or job training. Leaders say it’s the result of an ambitious, business-driven initiative and partnership between the private and public sectors.

At events in Montgomery and Birmingham, members of the Alabama Workforce Council unveiled the new AlabamaWorks name, logo, website and organizational structure for workforce development in Alabama. Zeke Smith, executive vice president at Alabama Power Co. and chairman of the Alabama Workforce Council, said the goal is to transform Alabama’s workforce development system into the best in the country in meeting the needs of businesses and job seekers.

“The Alabama Workforce Council and our partners are focused on helping transform the state’s workforce system to dramatically improve the livelihoods for millions of Alabama families for years to come,” Smith said. “We are doing that today by providing a tool to match the needs of employers with job seekers across our state to grow our economy and raise the standard of living for Alabamians.”

Today’s announcement marked a major milestone in the unification of Alabama’s workforce system, bringing together key components of the K-12 and two-year college systems, state workforce training and placement services, and industry. AlabamaWorks will more easily connect businesses with job seekers and help prepare workers by linking them to career and job training opportunities. Over the course of the next year, each of the state’s seven newly restructured Regional Workforce Councils will integrate its services into the new AlabamaWorks brand.

Ed Castile, deputy secretary of the Department of Commerce and executive director of Alabama Industrial Development and Training (AIDT), said the effort to transform the state’s workforce system started several years ago with the state’s economic development strategic plan, known as “Accelerate Alabama.” He credited the leadership of Gov. Robert Bentley for ordering the development of the plan, business, education and workforce development leaders for working together on it, and the Alabama Legislature for funding it.

From the Accelerate Alabama plan was born the Alabama Workforce Council, Castile said, which made several recommendations based on information from businesses and Alabamians across the state to meet the job, education and training needs of the state.

“Among the recommendations was a branding and marketing campaign,” said Castile. “So as we come together today to show you our dynamic plan, we want to make sure the world knows that Alabama works.”

Bob Allen of IDEAS, a media and experience design company based in Orlando, Fla., hired to develop the plan, explained the months-long research and work that went into creating AlabamaWorks.

“The real reason you have such a robust, new workforce brand and workforce system in Alabama is because of Alabamians,” Allen said. “We got to go across the state, talking to thousands of Alabama — students, teachers, higher-ed educators, workforce professionals, industry and business leaders. Remarkably, there’s a strong and unified voice in Alabama that says, ‘Yes, we want to do this, we are committed to it, we are willing to do what’s needed to transform the state.”

George Clark, president of Manufacture Alabama and vice chairman of the Alabama Workforce Council, said the council made 10 funding requests to the Alabama Legislature, and “we were 10 for 10.”

“That demonstrates that we have the cooperation and support of education, business and industry, political leaders and everybody else connected. Why? I think the answer is obvious. Workforce development is critical to our existing industry. It is critical to economic development in the state,” Clark said.

The Birmingham announcement was held at Lawson State Community College’s Center for Automotive Excellence, which features robotics and “mechatronic labs” and helps trains technicians and other workers in technical fields.

Jeff Lynn, senior executive director of workforce and economic development for the Alabama Community College System, noted the venue and praised the partnership that community colleges have with of K-12 schools, the departments of Commerce and Labor, AIDT and business.

“What a great group, sitting down, solving problems, doing things that people typically don’t think government do well, collaborating, working together to help a great program work for our citizens,” Lynn said. “If you look at the jobs that we’re creating, in the past and in the future, all those jobs require at least a high school education or GED and postsecondary. So that’s where our community college programs come in. We get to play the fun part. We get to go meet the companies and find those programs, develop world-class education and trade programs that deliver more trained employees for our companies.”

Castile said the backbone of AlabamaWorks will be the seven local Regional Workforce Councils, local Alabama Career Centers and the new website, AlabamaWorks.com. “Our system is driven by local businesses and will therefore be responsive to the current and future needs of businesses in Alabama. Each Regional Workforce Council will be able to focus on the business sectors within its geographical area,” he said.

In a statement, Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, said today’s announcement is about more than a new brand and logo. “It’s about taking Alabama to the national forefront of workforce development so that every person in Alabama who wants to find a job can, and so that every employer that comes to Alabama will be able to hire the skilled workers it needs. We truly believe that we are building a system that will soon become a national model.”

Fitzgerald Washington was working in the private sector with Buffalo Rock when the was named to the Alabama Workforce Council and later appointed by Gov. Bentley to serve as secretary of the Alabama Department of Labor. His department manages 48 career centers throughout the state that offer numerous job search resources to both job seekers and employers, but he said some citizens are unaware of those services.

“What a monumental day today is. I can’t tell you how excited I am about the announcement of AlabamaWorks and the Alabama workforce system,” Washington said. “Our workforce system in the past has been somewhat fragmented. Now, we have a system through AlabamaWorks that’s going to bring all these resources together to make sure that we get those resources to the people who have the greatest needs and move our workforce system forward.”

Deputy State Superintendent Philip Cleveland of the Alabama State Department of Education also welcomed today’s announcement. “Our K-12 system is greatly expanding the dual-eligible curriculum that allows high school students to graduate with the skills needed for one of the high-wage, high-skill jobs of the future. This will continue to grow as an important part of our Alabama workforce system,” Cleveland said in a statement.

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2 years ago

Cliff Sims joins Trump campaign as advisor, takes leave of absence as Yellowhammer CEO

Yellowhammer Multimedia CEO Cliff Sims speaks at the Inaugural Alabama Economic Growth Summit (Photo: Yellowhammer)
Yellowhammer Multimedia CEO Cliff Sims speaks at the Inaugural Alabama Economic Growth Summit (Photo: Yellowhammer)
Yellowhammer Multimedia CEO Cliff Sims speaks at the Inaugural Alabama Economic Growth Summit (Photo: Yellowhammer)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Yellowhammer Multimedia Chief Executive Officer Cliff Sims is taking a temporary leave of absence from the company he founded to join Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign as a Communications Advisor.

Sims will be based in Trump campaign headquarters in Manhattan and will return to his duties at Yellowhammer after Election Day. No interim replacement will be made.

In his absence, day-to-day company operations will be helmed by Chief Business Development Officer Brian J. Ellis and the daily Yellowhammer Radio program will be hosted by former state senator Scott Beason.

“Cliff is a world-class communicator and the Yellowhammer family is confident he will be an asset to the Trump campaign,” said Ellis. “Our team will continue producing the top-notch news and commentary that have made Yellowhammer Alabama’s most trusted media brand. We look forward to Cliff’s return after the election.”

Initially launched as Sims’ personal blog, the Yellowhammer brand has expanded to include YellowhammerNews.com, which attracts millions of monthly visitors; Yellowhammer Radio, a daily two-hour terrestrial radio program airing across central and north Alabama on its flagship station, Superstation 101 WYDE; and the Yellowhammer News Radio Network, which provides top and bottom of the hour news on both talk and music stations all over the state.

In addition to the Yellowhammer platforms, Sims’ articles and opinions have been featured in national publications including The Washington Post, Fox News, Politico, The Huffington Post, The Daily Caller and TheBlaze. He has appeared on cable news as a political commentator and guest-­hosted the nationally syndicated Laura Ingraham Show.

Sims previously founded Yellowhammer Strategies, a communications and digital media consulting firm.

All campaign-related inquiries should be directed to the Trump campaign.

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2 years ago

Bentley sends Alabama National Guard choppers, pilots to help protect U.S. border

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley listens to Maj. Gen. Perry Smith, Adjutant General of the Alabama National Guard, during a briefing with Alabama National Guard officers at his Capitol office on Monday, March 10, 2014. (Photo: Governor's Office)
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley listens to Maj. Gen. Perry Smith, Adjutant General of the Alabama National Guard, during a briefing with Alabama National Guard officers at his Capitol office on Monday, March 10, 2014. (Photo: Governor's Office)
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley listens to Maj. Gen. Perry Smith, Adjutant General of the Alabama National Guard, during a briefing with Alabama National Guard officers at his Capitol office on Monday, March 10, 2014. (Photo: Governor’s Office)

MONTGOMERY (Governor’s Office) — Governor Robert Bentley has approved sending an additional Alabama National Guard UH-72 helicopter and pilot to Marana, Arizona to assist with protecting the U.S. border with Mexico.

In April, the Governor honored the National Guard Bureau’s first request to send one UH-72 helicopter and three pilots to support the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency’s Southwest Border Mission. While deployed, the ALNG personnel and aircraft will be supporting civilian law enforcement and U.S. Border Patrol agencies in securing the border.

“I continue to support strengthening our borders and this will give the Alabama National Guard an opportunity to gain valuable experience in the fight to protect our country,” Governor Bentley said. “I am honored to once again support the Southwest Border Mission by sending Alabama’s finest to protect the great people of the United State of America.”

Major General Perry Smith, Adjutant General of the Alabama National Guard, deployed the requested support immediately. The requested personnel will be needed through the month of September.

“The Alabama National Guard is serving as a force multiplier to civilian law enforcement and U.S. Border Patrol agencies in securing the Southwest Border. We are proud to contribute to the security of our nation by supporting this mission with aircraft and personnel,” Maj. Gen. Smith said.

The ALNG currently has three UH-72 aircraft in Alabama. The state will be supported by the remaining two crews and aircrafts. The Southwest Border Team will perform all maintenance of the aircraft at no cost to the state while deployed.

1
2 years ago

Uber comes to Tuscaloosa and Auburn just in time for school, football season

uber

By: UBER

The wait is over: Uber is coming to Tuscaloosa and Auburn, just in time for the fall semester and football season! Starting on Thursday, riders will be able to request an uberX in both cities.

Bringing Uber to these two college towns has been a priority for us, and we’re excited to be able to supply students with affordable, safe rides.

SIGN UP TO RIDE

We’ve seen again and again that when people have a reliable way to get home safely at the tap of a button—no matter the time or place—they make safer choices. Our study in partnership with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) found that 78% of people said that Uber makes their friends less likely to drive after drinking. While we still have a ways to go until that percentage is 100, it shows that riders are beginning to think of Uber as a solution for getting home instead of driving under the influence.

In addition to being a great alternative to getting behind the wheel after drinking, Uber comes in handy for those who:

• don’t have a car
• don’t feel like dealing with parking
• want their own personal chauffeur

Besides getting you safely to your destination, Uber also offers these student-friendly features:

Fare Split
In-app feature that lets you split your fare with other Uber riders riding with you.
A solution for when you’re sharing a ride with friends and they say they’ll buy you a drink to pay you back for the fare. They won’t.

Family Profiles
A profile feature that lets up to 10 riders share one payment method in-app.
Have your parents create a Family Profile and add you to it, so you can use your spending money for other things.

Spotify
In-app feature that partners with Spotify for ad-free listening.
Riders can play their own music through Spotify while on a ride, so you never have to listen to music you don’t like.

How to use the app

Sign up to ride.
• Open the Uber app on your phone and log in.
• Enter your pickup location, then your destination.
• Tap Set Pickup Location.
• Tap Request uberX. That’s it! You’ll be able to track your driver’s location and ETA in-app.

To celebrate the Tuscaloosa and Auburn launches, we’re giving $15 off your first ride for new Uber users! Here are the codes:

Auburn: WAREAGLE01
Tuscaloosa: ROLLUBER

1
2 years ago

SALUTE: Former Alabama college student is now guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Ruth Hanks, a former Birmingham-Southern College soccer player, is now a member of the Honor Guard protecting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery (Photo: BSC)
Ruth Hanks, a former Birmingham-Southern College soccer player, is now a member of the Honor Guard protecting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery (Photo: BSC)
Ruth Hanks, a former Birmingham-Southern College soccer player, is now a member of the Honor Guard protecting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery (Photo: BSC)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Former Birmingham-Southern College women’s soccer standout Ruth Hanks has earned the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Identification Badge while serving at Arlington National Cemetery. A Sergeant in the U.S. Army, Hanks is the fourth woman in history to earn the badge, and the first since 1998.

“For me, it’s one of the highest honors I could think about doing,” said Hanks. “It’s a role model for other females to look up to, but at the same time, from my point of view, I’m just a Sergeant in the United States Army who wants to do a job.”

Hanks joined the Army in October 2011 and trained as military police. She joined the Honor Guard after a deployment in 2013. Finishing her training in 10 months, Hanks is now an Assistant Commander of the Relief. Her duty begins at 5 a.m. and does not end until 7 a.m. the next morning.

“My daily job is to do the changing of the guard,” she noted. “We have soldiers on leave right now, so I’m walking. There are multiple changers and multiple walkers. We come in at 5 a.m. for PT and then we get all our uniforms ready before the first ceremonial walk. We’re at work for 26 hours.”

Once an aspiring veterinarian, Hanks found her calling under the mentorship of Dr. Scot Duncan, the head of the biology department at BSC, and worked in the forestry service after graduation. But hailing from a military family, she always wanted to serve her country. Her passion and pride for her current post is unquestionable. She is the 643rd Badge holder and intends to protect the Unknown Soldiers through 2018.

“The three soldiers whose tombs we guard gave everything for our country,” she added. “Even their names. The least I can do is go out the door and be as perfect as possible for them. And that’s what we do.”

Hanks, a Texas native, played four years for the Panthers in goal. She appeared in 39 games and made 95 saves. She finished her career with a 0.86 goals against average.

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(from BSCSports.net)

1
2 years ago

Over 2,000 Alabamians prepare to battle each other in Olympic-style field competitions

birmingham-corporate-challenge

BIRMINGHAM, ALA. – On Saturday, July 16, over 2,000 employees representing Birmingham businesses from across the metropolitan area will gather at Railroad Park to participate in the second annual Birmingham Corporate Challenge presented by St. Vincent’s Health System. The event is an Olympic-style field day with 15 competitive events where participants earn points for their respective company.

“The Birmingham Corporate Challenge has seen tremendous growth in its second year of operation,” said Suzanne Alvarez, Director of Marketing and Culture at Knight Eady, the event’s organizer. “Many competitors have been training over the past few months to prepare for the events, and we look forward to enjoying a fun, competitive day with some of Birmingham’s best companies out at Railroad Park.”

Over 40 Birmingham companies will be represented at this year’s challenge. The day is set to kick off at 8:00 a.m. with a 5K race and one-mile fitness walk, followed by at 10K bike stroll. Throughout the day, participants will compete in skilled events such as a the Hibbett Sports Football Accuracy Toss, Protective Life Rock Climbing Wall, Coors Light Basketball Shootout, Alabama Media Group Obstacle Course and Surgical Care Affiliates Home Run Derby. There are also several head-to- head challenges where companies will have small teams represent them in a playoff-style competition. Some of the head-to- head challenges include the Teklinks Tug of War competition and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama Dodgeball. The State Traditions golf challenge and the bowling competition will take place respectively on Thursday and Friday at off-site locations leading up to the full day at Railroad Park on Saturday.

The teams are divided into three different divisions, so that company teams will compete against businesses of similar size. Each company team will enter employees in the various competitions to earn points, and the company with the most points in its respective division will be the winner. Family and friends of the participants are also invited to join in the fun. Kids activities and entertainment will be available in the America’s First Family Fun Zone.

The Birmingham Corporate Challenge brings together the corporate community for a day focused on health and wellness, company camaraderie, and a celebration of the city. The event is presented by St. Vincent’s Heath System and managed by Knight Eady for the second year in a row.

“Everyone at St. Vincent’s is excited to be involved in the second year of the Birmingham Corporate Challenge. It has been a pleasure being involved in the planning with some great Birmingham companies as we all prepare for the 2016 event at Railroad Park,” remarked Liz Moore, Chief Communications Officer at St. Vincent’s Health System. “It’s such a fun event for the city, and was a tremendous success last year. We can’t wait to see all the participants at this year’s Challenge.”

Over 1,300 athletes competed in the inaugural Birmingham Corporate Challenge last summer on Aug. 1, 2015. Friends, family and supporters filled Railroad Park to cheer on their favorite team as they competed in the various events. In the end, three companies were crowned champions. The 2015 winners of the championship belts were: Southern Research, Division I; Surgical Care Affiliates, Division II; Homewood City Schools, Division III.

For more information about the event, contact Suzanne Alvarez at Suzanne@knighteady.com.

1
2 years ago

Giant hunting & fishing expo coming to north Alabama this weekend with Duck Dynasty in tow

tvhafe-3

Another record crowd is expected to converge on Huntsville this weekend to meet two stars of the “Duck Dynasty” TV show, receive fishing tips from a Bassmaster Classic Champion, watch a water-skiing squirrel perform, and tour more than 500 sporting manufacturers’ booths during the 6th Annual Tennessee Valley Hunting and Fishing Expo at the Von Braun Civic Center.

The event will take place from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, July 8; from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, July 9; and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 10. Adult admission is $10.00, and children 12-years-old and younger are admitted for free.

“During last year’s Expo, more than 32,000 people entered the doors, and we believe the 2016 attendance numbers will be even bigger for North Alabama’s largest hunting and fishing event,” Expo co-founder Will Ainsworth said. “We will offer something of interest for deer, duck, turkey, dove, and quail hunters, as well as bass fishermen and bow fishermen. In addition to the informative demos, attendees can meet some of their favorite stars from ‘Duck Dynasty,’ and we offer many fun events designed especially for children, who will be the hunters and fishermen of tomorrow. Several large door prizes will also be awarded throughout the event, as well.”

Willie Robertson, the CEO of Duck Commander, and John Godwin, the company’s shipping manager, both star on the hit A&E channel TV show “Duck Dynasty” and will be on hand to sign autographs, pose for pictures, and answer audience questions. Their appearance is sponsored by First South Farm Credit and Argo off-road amphibious vehicles.

2012 Bassmaster Classic Champion Chris Lane, one of the nation’s top professional anglers with more than $1.8 million in tournament winnings, will be available to interact with Expo patrons and provide fishing tips and tactics. Lane’s appearance is sponsored by Dream Ranch hunting lodge in Guntersville.

Landers McLarty Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram, which sells the Dodge Ram – the official truck of the North Alabama Hunting and Fishing Expo – is also a major sponsor of the event.

The first 100 children to enter the doors on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will receive free Zebco rod and reel combos courtesy of the Alabama Bass Trail. Twiggy the Waterskiing Squirrel will also perform and entertain the children.

Visit tvhfe.com for more information.

1
2 years ago

TV feature explores how Yellowhammer ‘changed the face of Alabama politics’

Yellowhammer News Founder & CEO Cliff Sims (Photo: WAKA Screenshot)


(VIDEO ABOVE: Alabama News Network goes behind the scenes at Yellowhammer)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The Alabama News Network on Tuesday evening aired an in-depth feature on Yellowhammer News, exploring how the company and its founder, Cliff Sims, have “changed the face of Alabama politics.” The feature first aired on Montgomery’s CBS affiliate WAKA.

Alabama New Network reporter Sarah Cantey was granted behind-the-scenes access to Yellowhammer’s offices, giving their viewers an inside look at the company’s operations.

Sims discussed the founding of the Yellowhammer site and radio network; the company’s growth over the last several years; how they broke the explosive Bentley-Mason scandal; and gave insight into the organization’s news gathering capabilities.

“Now alongside his team at Yellowhammer, they’re writing headlines and breaking news ahead of the competition,” said Cantey.

The full feature came be viewed in the video above.


For more information on Yellowhammer or to submit interview requests, visit Yellowhammer’s contact page.

1
2 years ago

Who’s who of Alabama politics, business to attend Yellowhammer ‘Power of Service’ event

Yellowhammer will host the 2nd Annual Power of Service Reception Friday, May 13th, 2016 and the Grand Bohemian Hotel Ballroom in Mountain Brook.
Yellowhammer will host the 2nd Annual Power of Service Reception Friday, May 13th, 2016 and the Grand Bohemian Hotel Ballroom in Mountain Brook.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Yellowhammer Multimedia on Wednesday announced the 2nd annual Power of Service reception, which is set to take place Friday, May 13th at the brand new Grand Bohemian Hotel Ballroom in Mountain Brook.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS TO THE EVENT

For the last five years, Yellowhammer has released an annual list of the most powerful and influential people in Alabama politics and business. The 2016 list will be released in the coming weeks. The Power of Service event honors the individuals on the list who leverage their power and influence to better the state.

Last year’s event attracted a who’s who of Alabama politics and business, including the Governor, Lt. Governor, Speaker of the House, Pro Tem of the Senate, numerous members of Congress, dozens of state legislators and many of the state’s top executives, lobbyists, opinion leaders and political activists.

Protective Life CEO Johnny Johns and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh took home the 2015 event’s top honor: The Power of Service Award.

“The Yellowhammer Power of Service reception has quickly become the networking event of the year,” said Yellowhammer CEO Cliff Sims. “But it is also an opportunity for us to honor some of our state’s most effective and generous leaders. This is a can’t-miss event for anyone who’s working to push Alabama forward.”

Tickets for the event — which sold out last year — can be purchased online through the event page. The Grand Bohemian Hotel is also offering Yellowhammer event attendees a special rate, which can be obtained by calling (205) 414-0505.

More details on the event, including emcee, entertainment and honorees will be released in the coming days.

Opportunities to sponsor this event are available. For more information, email Allison Ross at allisonkross [at] yahoo.com, or call her at 256-476-7315.

WHAT: Yellowhammer Power of Service Reception
WHEN: Friday, May 13th, 6:30 PM
WHERE: The Grand Bohemian Hotel Mountain Brook

RELATED: Photos from the inaugural Yellowhammer Power of Service event

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2 years ago

GET TICKETS: GOP presidential candidates coming to Alabama for Yellowhammer Forum

The Yellowhammer Presidential Forum will take place Saturday, Feb. 27th, 2016 at Samford University's Wright Center.
The Yellowhammer Presidential Forum will take place Saturday, Feb. 27th, 2016 at Samford University's Wright Center.
The Yellowhammer Presidential Forum will take place Saturday, Feb. 27th, 2016 at Samford University’s Wright Center.

CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS TO THE FORUM.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Yellowhammer News announced Tuesday that it is hosting a Republican presidential candidates forum at Samford University’s Wright Center on Saturday, February 27th, 2016 at 3 p.m.

All remaining Republican presidential candidates have been invited to participate in the Forum. Senators Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) are confirmed to be participating, and other candidates are expected announce their participation in the event in the coming days.

The Forum will take place just ahead of the March 1st presidential primary in Alabama and many other Southern states, including Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Louisiana’s primary takes place just a few days later.

Superstation WYDE will live broadcast the Forum on radio on 101.1 FM across central and north Alabama.

Knight Eady, a Birmingham-based sports marketing and events firm, will handle event logistics and operations. Knight Eady also partnered with Yellowhammer to put on the highly successful Alabama Economic Growth Summit earlier this month.

Yellowhammer CEO Cliff Sims will interview each candidate individually during the Forum.

“We are excited to give voters an opportunity to hear from the candidates just before election day,” said Sims. “Our partnerships with WYDE and Knight Eady will ensure a top-notch event that will reach a massive audience in-person, online, and on television and radio. This forum will be great for the state of Alabama and we are proud to have the opportunity to put it together.”

Details for the event are as follows:

What: Yellowhammer Presidential Forum
When: Saturday, February 27th, 2016 at 3 p.m.
Where: The Wright Center at Samford University | 800 Lakeshore Drive Birmingham, AL 35229

TICKETS:
The Forum is a free event, but a ticket will be required to enter. To secure tickets, click here.

Press Credentials:
Local, state and national media seeking press credentials should send name and media outlet to credentials(at)YellowhammerNews(dot)com.

1
2 years ago

Sessions to speak at sold-out Alabama Economic Growth Summit

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) will deliver remarks at the Alabama Economic Growth Summit reception on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016.
Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) will deliver remarks at the Alabama Economic Growth Summit reception on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016.
Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) will deliver remarks at the Alabama Economic Growth Summit reception on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Yellowhammer Multimedia announced Monday that Senator Jeff Sessions will deliver remarks to a sold-out crowd at the upcoming Alabama Economic Growth Summit.

The Summit, which is set to take place this Thursday and Friday at The Renaissance Ross Bridge Resort in Hoover, will assemble the state’s top leaders in government, business, economic development and academia for a two-day event aimed at spurring the state toward being the country’s most attractive state for business.

Sessions will deliver remarks at Thursday evening’s celebration.

“Senator Sessions is a tireless fighter for working Alabamians and the embodiment of everything that makes our state so special,” said Yellowhammer Multimedia CEO Cliff Sims. “He is in Washington on the front lines of the fight against job-killing taxation, regulation and government spending, and we are honored to have him on the lineup for the inaugural Alabama Economic Growth Summit.”

Full details on the program can be found below.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 18th

The Summit will kickoff at 7 p.m. with a celebration of Alabama’s recent successes — including the state’s selection asBusiness Facilities Magazine’s “State of the Year” — featuring live music by Act of Congress and a buffet dinner prepared by Ross Bridge’s award-winning culinary staff.

Act of Congress is consistently voted one of the “must see live acts of Alabama.” The band has performed throughout the United States and around the world. Last year they participated in their third tour as U.S. Cultural Ambassadors, led by the U.S. State Department. Dave Higgs of NPR calls them “one of the freshest sounding, exuberant bands in all of the known acoustic universe.”

Ross Bridge Executive Chef Robert Kamm was named 2015 “Chef of the Year” by the Alabama Restaurant & Hospitality Alliance.

Summit attendees wanting to stay the night at the 4-star Renaissance Ross Bridge can do so at a discounted rate while rooms remain available.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19th

Governor’s Breakfast
Day Two of the Summit will kickoff with a breakfast hosted by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley

PANEL: Perspectives of the Business Community: An Interview with Alabama Business Leaders
Moderator:
– John D. Johns, Chairman & CEO, Protective Life Corporation

Panelists:
– J. Michael Kemp, President & CEO, Kemp Management Solutions
– G. Ruffner Page, President and Director, McWane Inc.
– Jimmy Parnell, President & CEO, Alfa
– James W. Rane, President and CEO, Great Southern Wood Preserving

PANEL: Site Selection Experts: National Economic Trends and Emerging Industries
Moderator:
– Greg Canfield, Alabama Secretary of Commerce

Panelists:
– Jason Hickey, President, Hickey & Associates (Clients ranging from consumer products and health care, to defense and renewable energy, including UnitedHealth Group, Lockheed Martin, General Mills & many more)
– Mike Mullis, President & CEO, J.M. Mullis, Inc. (Clients ranging from automotive and aerospace, to the food industry and data centers, including Toyota, Harley-Davidson, Boeing, FedEx, Nike, and many more.)
– Hartley Powell, Principal and National Leader of Global Expansion & Relocations Services, KPMG
– Ron Starner, Executive VP, Conway, Inc., and Site Selection magazine, an international corporate real estate publication based in Atlanta.

PANEL: Alabama’s Workforce Strengths: Capitalizing on Public-Private Partnerships
Moderator:
– Zeke Smith, Executive Vice President of External Affairs, Alabama Power Company

Panelists:
– Ed Castile, Director, AIDT; Deputy Secretary of Commerce
– Dr. Mark Heinrich, Chancellor, Alabama Community College System
– Jennifer Himburg, Young Farmers Director, Alfa; Workforce Structure & Alignment, Alabama Workforce Council
– Fitzgerald Washington, Commissioner, Alabama Department of Labor

PANEL: Planning for the Future: Industries Poised for Economic Growth in Alabama
Moderator:
– Mary Johnson, Director of News Services, Alfa

Panelists:
– Brian Hardin, Director of Governmental Affairs & Agriculture Programs, Alfa
– Dr. Arthur J. Tipton, President & CEO, Southern Research
– Carter Wells, Vice President of Economic Development, HudsonAlpha Institute of Biotechnology; Chairman, BioAlabama

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Andy Andrews
Mr. Andrews, an Alabama native, is an internationally known speaker and novelist whose combined works have sold millions of copies worldwide. He has spoken at the request of four different U.S. presidents and coached numerous CEOs of billion-dollar corporations, top-tier college and professional sports coaches, the Special Operations Commander for NATO, and many more.

Dave Ramsey called him the “Life Whisperer.” The CEO of AdvoCare credited his company’s 247% growth to Andy’s work with their leaders. A Chick-fil-A executive called his presentation a “once in a lifetime experience.” The New York Times said he has become “one of the most influential people in America.” And famed motivational speaker and author Zig Zigler called him, quite simply, “the best speaker I have ever seen.”

Andy will close out the morning session with a can’t-miss presentation.

Senator’s Lunch
A conversation with U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, facilitated by Yellowhammer Multimedia CEO Cliff Sims

PANEL: The Politics of the Right-to-Work Movement in the Southeast
Moderator:
Jim McLaughlin, President, McLaughlin & Associates

Panelists: (Tentative)
– Billy Canary, President and CEO, Business Council of Alabama
– Catherine Glover, President, Tennessee Chamber of Commerce
– Ted Pitts, President and CEO, South Carolina Chamber of Commerce

1
2 years ago

Yellowhammer announces blockbuster lineup for Alabama Economic Growth Summit

Alabama Economic Growth Summit

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Yellowhammer Multimedia on Thursday announced program details for the inaugural Alabama Economic Growth Summit, a two-day event that will celebrate Alabama’s recent economic development successes and spur the state toward being the country’s most attractive state for business.

The Summit, which will take place at The Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa in Hoover on Feb. 18th and 19th, will assemble the state’s top leaders in government, business, economic development and academia.

Tickets for the event are currently available at AlabamaJobsSummit.com. Seating will be limited. Additional questions, including sponsorship inquiries, can be directed to Yellowhammer Multimedia COO Ryan Boggus at rboggus(at)yellowhammernews(dot)com.

Program details are as follows:

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 18th

The Summit will kickoff at 7 p.m. with a celebration of Alabama’s recent successes — including the state’s selection as Business Facilities Magazine’s “State of the Year” — featuring live music by Act of Congress and a buffet dinner prepared by Ross Bridge’s award-winning culinary staff.

Act of Congress is consistently voted one of the “must see live acts of Alabama.” The band has performed throughout the United States and around the world. Last year they participated in their third tour as U.S. Cultural Ambassadors, led by the U.S. State Department. Dave Higgs of NPR calls them “one of the freshest sounding, exuberant bands in all of the known acoustic universe.”

Ross Bridge Executive Chef Robert Kamm was named 2015 “Chef of the Year” by the Alabama Restaurant & Hospitality Alliance.

Summit attendees wanting to stay the night at the 4-star Renaissance Ross Bridge can do so at a discounted rate while rooms remain available.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19th

Governor’s Breakfast
Day Two of the Summit will kickoff with a breakfast hosted by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley

PANEL: Perspectives of the Business Community: An Interview with Alabama Business Leaders
Moderator:
– John D. Johns, Chairman & CEO, Protective Life Corporation

Panelists:
– J. Michael Kemp, President & CEO, Kemp Management Solutions
– G. Ruffner Page, President and Director, McWane Inc.
– Jimmy Parnell, President & CEO, Alfa
– James W. Rane, President and CEO, Great Southern Wood Preserving

PANEL: Site Selection Experts: National Economic Trends and Emerging Industries
Moderator:
– Greg Canfield, Alabama Secretary of Commerce

Panelists:
– Jason Hickey, President, Hickey & Associates (Clients ranging from consumer products and health care, to defense and renewable energy, including UnitedHealth Group, Lockheed Martin, General Mills & many more)
– Mike Mullis, President & CEO, J.M. Mullis, Inc. (Clients ranging from automotive and aerospace, to the food industry and data centers, including Toyota, Harley-Davidson, Boeing, FedEx, Nike, and many more.)
– Hartley Powell, Principal and National Leader of Global Expansion & Relocations Services, KPMG
– Ron Starner, Executive VP, Conway, Inc., and Site Selection magazine, an international corporate real estate publication based in Atlanta.

PANEL: Alabama’s Workforce Strengths: Capitalizing on Public-Private Partnerships
Moderator:
– Zeke Smith, Executive Vice President of External Affairs, Alabama Power Company

Panelists:
– Ed Castile, Director, AIDT; Deputy Secretary of Commerce
– Dr. Mark Heinrich, Chancellor, Alabama Community College System
– Jennifer Himburg, Young Farmers Director, Alfa; Workforce Structure & Alignment, Alabama Workforce Council
– Fitzgerald Washington, Commissioner, Alabama Department of Labor

PANEL: Planning for the Future: Industries Poised for Economic Growth in Alabama
Moderator:
– Mary Johnson, Director of News Services, Alfa

Panelists:
– Brian Hardin, Director of Governmental Affairs & Agriculture Programs, Alfa
– Dr. Arthur J. Tipton, President & CEO, Southern Research
– Carter Wells, Vice President of Economic Development, HudsonAlpha Institute of Biotechnology; Chairman, BioAlabama

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Andy Andrews
Mr. Andrews, an Alabama native, is an internationally known speaker and novelist whose combined works have sold millions of copies worldwide. He has spoken at the request of four different U.S. presidents and coached numerous CEOs of billion-dollar corporations, top-tier college and professional sports coaches, the Special Operations Commander for NATO, and many more.

Dave Ramsey called him the “Life Whisperer.” The CEO of AdvoCare credited his company’s 247% growth to Andy’s work with their leaders. A Chick-fil-A executive called his presentation a “once in a lifetime experience.” The New York Times said he has become “one of the most influential people in America.” And famed motivational speaker and author Zig Zigler called him, quite simply, “the best speaker I have ever seen.”

Andy will close out the morning session with a can’t-miss presentation.

Senator’s Lunch
A conversation with U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, facilitated by Yellowhammer Multimedia CEO Cliff Sims

PANEL: The Politics of the Right-to-Work Movement in the Southeast
Moderator:
Jim McLaughlin, President, McLaughlin & Associates

Panelists: (Tentative)
– Billy Canary, President and CEO, Business Council of Alabama
– Catherine Glover, President, Tennessee Chamber of Commerce
– Ted Pitts, President and CEO, South Carolina Chamber of Commerce

Get your tickets while they last by visiting AlabamaJobsSummit.com.

For additional information contact Ryan Boggus at rboggus(at)yellowhammernews(dot)com.

1
2 years ago

An inside look at Yellowhammer four years after its founding

Yellowhammer News

Early Days

Yellowhammer was founded four years ago this week by Cliff Sims, then a University of Alabama student who had returned to school after several years of touring around the country as the lead singer of a band whose songs were featured on MTV and in major motion pictures.

Sims says he decided to launch the site as his personal blog after getting politically involved for the first time during the 2010 election cycle.

“After leaving the music industry to work on a State House campaign during the 2010 election cycle,” he explained, “I felt like there was a void in the marketplace that could be filled by a conservative voice telling people what was really going on in Montgomery. My plan was to leverage the relationships I had built during the Republican takeover of the legislature to keep people informed.”

The site’s early days focused almost exclusively on state politics, particularly the behind-the-scenes machinations of the State House. “Rumors and Rumblings,” a weekly State House gossip column, quickly made the blog one of the go-to sources of information for elected officials, staffers and lobbyists on Goat Hill.

“Rumors and Rumblings was proof that Yellowhammer had the connections and sources inside state government to deliver what was really going on,” recalls State Rep. Jack Williams (R-Vestavia), who has served in the legislature since 2004. “We all read it every week.”

Sims said he could tell early on that he had attracted a small but loyal readership in Montgomery, but did not realize it had grown much further than that until he found out one of his professors was using it to prepare for classroom discussions.

“One of my political science professors was discussing an issue being debated in the legislature and using it to help students better understand the legislative process,” Sims recalls. “At one point he stopped and encouraged the class to read Yellowhammer to get more details.

“I’m not sure he ever found out he was citing one of his students,” he laughed.

In February of 2012, Yellowhammer published its first Power and Influence 40, which it described as “a list of the 40 most powerful and influential players in state politics.” The list gave readers a “peek behind the curtain,” an opportunity to see who, in addition to the elected officials, was really running the state.

The site’s popularity boomed with the release of the list, and further growth came when Sims’ coverage expanded to include Alabama’s congressional delegation.

Transition and Growth

Yellowhammer had grown to the point that Sims began viewing it as a viable longterm business with significant expansion potential. In 2013, the site was renamed “Yellowhammer News” and Sims began hiring staff to bolster both the content and business sides of the company. In January of 2014, the site garnered 1 million monthly unique visitors for the first time.

Yellowhammer News’ coverage continued to broaden to include, in Sims’ words, “all things Alabama,” from faith and culture stories, to business, and even some sports. But politics remains the site’s bread and butter.

“Many of our most viral posts have come from our faith and culture section,” said Sims. “These stories often have an uplifting message or present what we call the ‘real’ Alabama — the Alabama the mainstream media often ignore. But our political coverage is what made us the state’s most trusted news source, and that will always be a big part of what sets us apart.”

Today, Yellowhammer employs nine full-time and contract staffers, along with a contributor network that includes economists, professors, policy experts and analysts.

Radio Expansion


Yellowhammer News Radio Network

In March of 2015, Yellowhammer expanded its footprint into terrestrial radio by launching a syndicated radio show that airs across central and north Alabama. Sims co-hosts the show with longtime conservative senator Scott Beason, who left office in 2014 and is now senior policy advisor for the Alabama Free Market Alliance, in addition to his work for Yellowhammer.

“Radio is a powerful medium because of the relationship that develops between the hosts and the listeners,” said Beason. “People are overwhelmed with so much information these days; they’re looking for people they trust to help them make sense of it all. Yellowhammer News does that online, and now we’re able to do that on Yellowhammer Radio.”

In June of 2015, Yellowhammer News eclipsed three million unique visitors in a single month for the first time.

In September, the company expanded its radio presence by launching the Yellowhammer News Radio Network, which provides top and bottom of the hour news updates on stations all over the state.

Yellowhammer hired Alabama Broadcaster of the Year Andrea Tice and longtime Alabama news stalwart Jay Holland to lead the effort.

“Radio news is my first love,” said Holland. “The Yellowhammer News Radio Network is, like its web-based counterpart, fresh, bold, unafraid and proud of Alabama. I am very excited about the network’s future and contributing to what I believe is a very credible, reliable news source for Alabamians, about Alabamians, by Alabamians.”

Leland Whaley, station manager for WYDE, which carries both radio products, said the station’s partnership with Yellowhammer is a perfect example of how terrestrial radio stations can provide additional value for their listeners.

“Live and local is the future of talk radio and Yellowhammer gives us both national and state news from reporters based in Alabama,” he said. “The breaking news gathering capability of Yellowhammer combined with our 100,000 watt FM signal is very powerful for our listeners. This is new, digital media meets the traditional power of radio.”

Advertisers have responded as well. Yellowhammer Radio with Cliff Sims and Scott Beason and the Yellowhammer News Radio Network have already attracted advertisers from a wide variety of industries, from financial institutions and universities to hunting lodges and gun stores.

The show offers 30-second and 60-second ads, as well as host endorsement opportunities. The statewide news network includes 2 minutes of news at the top and bottom of each hour, followed by one minute of advertising.

“These two radio products have given us the ability to serve local advertisers, national brands and everything in between,” said Ryan Boggus, Yellowhammer’s chief operating officer. “With the Yellowhammer News Radio Network, companies looking to reach a statewide audience can do that — from Mobile to Huntsville — at a fraction of the cost, on a hard news product that consumers trust.

“With Yellowhammer Radio with Cliff Sims and Scott Beason,” Boggus continued, “local companies in central and north Alabama can also reach a passionate audience who wants to support the companies that make their favorite radio show possible. It’s proven to be a great platform.”

Events


The crowd mingles at the 2015 Yellowhammer Power of Service event (Photo: Grady Thornton)
The crowd mingles at the 2015 Yellowhammer Power of Service event (Photo: Grady Thornton)

In addition to the online news site and the radio platforms, Yellowhammer has also begun hosting events.

2015’s inaugural “Power of Service” reception honored state leaders who have leveraged their influence to have a positive impact on Alabama. Several hundred elected officials, business leaders, media personalities and activists came together for the event at the Renaissance Ross Bridge Resort in suburban Birmingham.

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh was honored for his contribution to the school choice movement and Protective Life CEO Johnny Johns was honored for leading his company’s significant charitable efforts.

In February of next year, Yellowhammer will return to Ross Bridge to host the Alabama Economic Growth Summit. The two-day event will celebrate Alabama’s recent economic development successes and spur the state toward being the country’s most attractive state for business.

“We want to use the Yellowhammer platforms to push the state forward,” said Boggus. “We see these events as an opportunity to bring together our audience, which includes many of the state’s most influential leaders, to help make the state we love become an even better place to live and raise our families.”

The Future

With millions of readers and listeners, Yellowhammer has managed to develop a growing business in an industry in which more established companies have faltered in recent years.

“It comes down to trust,” said Boggus. “We have been fortunate to grow a large and loyal audience because maintaining their trust is our top priority. Other sites have chased clicks; we have taken a more longterm approach.”

Boggus believes that strategy will pay off when Yellowhammer rolls out the products it is currently developing.

“Our growth has caught a lot of people by surprise. Even Cliff will say he never expected Yellowhammer to become what it is today when he was typing out articles between classes,” he joked. “The Internet has revolutionized the way people consume information, but the need for reliable news will always exist. We plan to be on the cutting edge of how news is consumed in Alabama for years to come.”

(Video below: “This is Yellowhammer”)


For more information contact Ryan Boggus at rboggus(at)yellowhammernews(dot)com.

1
2 years ago

One of the ‘most influential people in America’ set to speak at Alabama jobs summit

New York Times bestselling author and Alabama native Andy Andrews.
New York Times bestselling author and Alabama native Andy Andrews.
New York Times bestselling author and Alabama native Andy Andrews.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Best-selling author and Alabama native Andy Andrews, who the New York Times hailed as “one of the most influential people in America,” is confirmed to speak at the inaugural Alabama Economic Growth Summit.

The Summit, which will take place at The Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa in Hoover on Feb. 18th and 19th of next year, will assemble the state’s top leaders in government, business and academia. The two-day event will celebrate Alabama’s recent economic development successes and spur the state toward being the country’s most attractive state for business.

Andrews lived a relatively normal life until the age of 19, when both his parents died — his mother from cancer, his father in an automobile accident. After a series of poor choices made during this tragic period in his life, the young man found himself literally homeless, sleeping occasionally under a pier on the Alabama Gulf Coast or in someone’s garage.

At the end of his rope, Andrews asked himself a question: Is life just a lottery ticket, or are there choices one can make to direct his future?

In an effort to find the answer, Andrews read more than 200 biographies of great men and women. How did they become the people they were? Were they born that way, or were there decisions made at critical junctures in their lives that led to their success? The young Andrews finally determined that there were seven characteristics each successful person he studied had in common. The “Seven Decisions,” as he calls them, were the engines used to carry Andrews’ life in a different direction. And more than 20 years later, those same Seven Decisions became the outline for The Traveler’s Gift, a New York Times bestseller that catapulted Andrews into the spotlight as one of the country’s most influential authorities on leadership and decision making.

Mr. Andrews is now an internationally known speaker and novelist whose combined works have sold millions of copies worldwide. He has been received at the White House and has spoken at the request of four different U.S. presidents.

In the past six weeks alone, Andrews has coached five different CEOs of billion dollar corporations, five different college football coaches whose teams are currently ranked in the top 20, the Special Operations Commander for NATO, and has been asked to coach two different presidential candidates.

Yellowhammer Multimedia CEO Cliff Sims said Mr. Andrews is the ideal speaker to inspire Alabama’s leaders to push Alabama toward reaching its full potential.

“Andy is a genuine Alabama treasure and the embodiment of everything that makes our state so special,” said Sims. “We are honored that he will be sharing his incredible depth and breadth of knowledge with our conference attendees. His participation in the inaugural Alabama Economic Growth Summit further ensures that it will be a can’t-miss event for anyone who’s serious about pushing our state forward.”

Tickets for the two-day event are currently available on AlabamaJobsSummit.com at a special rate if purchased before the early-bird deadline of Nov. 13.

Platinum Sponsors for the event include The Alabama Department of Commerce, Alfa, Alabama Power, Protective Life and Regions Financial.

For more information and sponsorship opportunities contact Ryan Boggus at rboggus(at)YellowhammerNews(dot)com.

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3 years ago

Yellowhammer, Alabama Dept. of Commerce announce major economic growth summit

Alabama Economic Growth Summit

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Yellowhammer Multimedia and The Alabama Department of Commerce on Thursday announced they are partnering to present the inaugural Alabama Economic Growth Summit. The two-day event will celebrate Alabama’s recent economic development successes and spur the state toward being the country’s most attractive state for business.

The Summit, which will take place at The Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa in Hoover on Feb. 18th and 19th of next year, will assemble the state’s top leaders in government, business and academia. Also in attendance will be some of the country’s top site selection consultants, individuals who play a leading role in helping companies decide where to expand their operations.

Platinum sponsors for the event currently include Alabama Power Company, Alfa, Protective Life Corporation, Regions Financial Corporation and Made In Alabama.

The program for the event will be a collaborative effort between Yellowhammer, the Commerce Department and the Summit’s Host Committee, which includes:

— Greg Canfield, Alabama Secretary of Commerce
— Angus Cooper, III, President of Cooper/T. Smith
— Mark Crosswhite, CEO of Alabama Power
— Grayson Hall, CEO of Regions Financial
— Johnny Johns, CEO of Protective Life
— John McMahon, Chairman of Ligon Industries
— Jimmy Parnell, CEO of Alfa
— Jimmy Rane, CEO of Great Southern Wood
— Cliff Sims, CEO of Yellowhammer Multimedia

Sims said his team at Yellowhammer came up with the idea for the Summit after brainstorming on what type of event could have the greatest potential impact on the future of the state.

“There are many reasons why some of the world’s finest companies have chosen to expand their operations by locating in Alabama,” said Sims. “We are a right-to-work state; we have a skilled workforce; and the secret is out, Alabama is a great place to live and raise a family.

“This Summit is really about two things,” Sims continued, “celebrating the unique qualities that make our state such a great place to grow a business, and challenging each other to continue improving. But fostering a business climate that is conducive to growth is not an end unto itself, it is the means through which we can improve the lives of all Alabamians. We are confident that our combined efforts will lead to more prosperous families and stronger communities. That is a goal we can all unite behind.”

Included in the event’s program will be a breakfast hosted by Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley. The governor said the Summit’s agenda is right in line with the goals of his administration.

“Economic Development is my top priority as governor, and the Economic Growth Summit is a great opportunity to highlight and celebrate our accomplishments with job creation,” said Governor Bentley. “Alabama is moving in the right direction when it comes to job creation, and we will continue to pursue opportunities to recruit new businesses so the state can continue to grow.”

Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield, the state’s top-ranking economic development official, said the Summit will offer the state an opportunity to showcase the advantages that make Alabama a prime location for new investment and job creation in a range of industry sectors.

“Alabama can offer prospects a business-friendly environment, a capable workforce, a top-rated job-training program in AIDT, and many other advantages,” Canfield said. “We have universities and community colleges that are eager to forge partnerships with companies. Plus, we have an impressive track record of helping companies that come to Alabama find success.”

Full details of the Summit’s program will be released in the coming weeks at AlabamaJobsSummit.com. Early-bird ticket pricing is currently available, along with a special discounted hotel rate for Summit attendees. Seating will be limited.

For more information and sponsorship opportunities contact Ryan Boggus at rboggus(at)YellowhammerNews(dot)com.

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3 years ago

Star-studded movie premier of Woodlawn set to take place in Birmingham


(Video above: The official trailer for Woodlawn)

TICKETS FOR THIS SPECIAL EVENT ARE AVAILABLE ONLINE BY CLICKING HERE

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The Patton Creek Carmike Cinema in Hoover is set host a star-studded premier for Woodlawn, the highly-anticipated Erwin Brothers movie that was set and filmed in Birmingham. The red carpet event will take place Thursday evening, Oct. 15th, the day before Woodlawn hits theaters nationwide.

The film is based on true events surrounding the 1974 Banks vs. Woodlawn football game at Birmingham’s Legion Field. It still holds the record for largest attendance at an Alabama high school football game. The film follows Woodlawn running back Tony Nathan’s recruitment by famed University of Alabama Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant (played by Academy Award winner Jon Voight) during a period when the state was embroiled in racial tensions.

The “Woodlawn Loves Sweet Home Alabama Red Carpet Event” is being presented by talk radio icons Rick & Bubba, Yellowhammer and well-known Christian evangelist Scott Dawson.

Notable confirmed attendees include:

∙ Rick Burgess, talk radio host on the famed, nationally-syndicated Rick & Bubba Show
∙ Caleb Castille, the up and coming actor who plays football star Tony Nathan in Woodlawn
∙ Tony Nathan, Former University of Alabama and Miami Dolphins standout whose life plays a central role in Woodlawn
∙ Andy and Jon Erwin, the filmmaking duo who’ve put Alabama on Hollywood’s radar with a series of hits
∙ Lance Nichols, the television and film star whose credits are too extensive to list. He plays Tony Nathan’s father in Woodlawn.
∙ Cliff Sims, CEO of Yellowhammer News and host of the daily Yellowhammer Radio program
∙ And more…

“There are so many reasons Alabamians should come out and support this film,” said Yellowhammer’s Cliff Sims. “This is a powerful Alabama story being told by Alabamians. The message is absolutely incredible. You’re not going to want to miss this movie and the red carpet premier event is something that folks don’t often get to experience here in Alabama. It’s going to be a special night for the state.”

Talk radio host Rick Burgess also raved about Jon Voight’s depiction of Alabama Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant.

“This is the Bear Bryant performance we’ve all been waiting for,” he said.

The red carpet event will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the movie will air on at least six screens in the theater at 7 p.m.

Tickets are available now and can be purchased online by clicking HERE. Discounted group pricing is also available through the site.

For questions or additional information call 1-888-880-2807 or email info@woodlawnrevival.com.

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3 years ago

Yellowhammer expands, launches statewide radio news network

(Audio above: The Yellowhammer News Radio Network launches its first broadcast)

Yellowhammer Multimedia on Monday announced the launch of the Yellowhammer News Radio Network, once again adding to the company’s burgeoning stable of multi-platform content brands.

Upon launch, Yellowhammer will provide top and bottom of the hour news for numerous radio stations across Alabama, with plans for further growth. The network will be anchored by experienced radio talent Kevin Self and Sherry St. John-Clark.

“Yellowhammer is already Alabama’s most trusted news brand. We are excited to bring that credibility into the terrestrial radio space,” said Yellowhammer Multimedia Chief Operating Officer Ryan Boggus. “Our rapid growth is a direct result of our commitment to delivering the most current and relevant news to our readers and listeners. We will continue doing that in partnership with radio stations who share our dedication to excellence.”

The news network is Yellowhammer Multimedia’s second foray into terrestrial radio. Yellowhammer Radio with Cliff Sims, a two-hour daily talk program hosted by the company’s founder and CEO, launched in March and currently airs across central and north Alabama.

Among the stations that will carry Yellowhammer’s new radio product is Superstation 101 WYDE, the flagship station for Yellowhammer Radio with Cliff Sims.

“We are proud to bring the Yellowhammer News Radio Network to our listeners from Birmingham to Huntsville and everywhere in between,” said WYDE station manager Leland Whaley. “Live and local is the future of talk radio and Yellowhammer gives us both national and state news from reporters based in Alabama. The breaking news gathering capability of Yellowhammer combined with our 100,000 watt FM signal will be very powerful for our listeners. This is new, digital media meets the traditional power of radio. Together we will serve Alabamians with the local dedication they deserve.”

Radio stations interested in becoming Yellowhammer News Radio Network affiliates or companies seeking to advertise can contact Ryan Boggus at rboggus (at) YellowhammerNews (dot) com or (205) 224-5609.

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3 years ago

Yellowhammer eclipses 3 million unique visitors in June, announces radio expansion


(Video above: “This is Alabama”)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Yellowhammer Multimedia on Monday announced the company’s Alabama-focused online publication Yellowhammer News received over three million unique visitors in June, a new record for the rapidly-growing site.

“Our team is committed to delivering engaging and informative content that reflects Alabamians’ interests and values,” said Yellowhammer Multimedia Chief Operations Officer Ryan Boggus. “As a result, Alabamians continue to flock to Yellowhammer News in greater numbers month after month.”

Yellowhammer Multimedia also announced its terrestrial radio program, which launched less than three months ago, is already expanding. Yellowhammer Radio with Cliff Sims currently airs in central and north Alabama, including the Birmingham and Huntsville metro areas, on the largest FM talk radio signal in the state, the 100,000-watt Superstation 101.1 WYDE.

“When we launched Yellowhammer Radio, we knew fans would want more than one hour per day,” said WYDE station manager Leland Whaley. “Sure enough, the demand from listeners for a two hour show happened in short order, and we are excited to give our listeners what they want. Yellowhammer Radio’s new lead-in will be from 20-year news veteran Andrea Lindenberg. With these new additions to our existing lineup of The Guys, Michael Hart and my show, WYDE now has the most experienced and connected local news talk hosts in Alabama.”

Yellowhammer Radio will now air 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday-Friday on WYDE, and expects to announce its expansion into other Alabama markets soon.

Yellowhammer Radio host Cliff Sims is the CEO of Yellowhammer Multimedia and Editor-in-Chief of Yellowhammer News. His articles and opinions have been featured in local and national publications including The Daily Caller, Politico, The Huffington Post, TheBlaze, and Fox News. He made his national radio debut earlier this year as the guest host of the nationally-syndicated Laura Ingraham Show.

For more information, contact Ryan Boggus at rboggus (at) yellowhammernews (dot) com.

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