On your marks. Get Set. Finish! Athleticism Not Required for Annual .12K Microthon

Butler Green, that .12 kilometer stretch of greenspace at Campus 805 between Straight to Ale and Yellowhammer Brewing, is the site of a most unusual “race.”

The annual Rocket City .12K Microthon steps off Oct. 18. The event is a benefit for the special needs arts program at Merrimack Hall.

And you do not have to be in athletic shape to compete!

In fact, if you can run huffing and puffing, walk upright, crawl on hands and knees, skip like the day is young, or roll triumphantly across the finish line, then you will receive a t-shirt; a finisher’s medal (bottle opener); a Golden Ticket to food and beverage at any participating Campus 805 brewery or restaurant; and a “0.12K” bragging rights sticker that says, “Hey I’m better than you.”

Run in waves, the races and overall festive atmosphere begins runs from 2-4 p.m. Registration cut off is 4 p.m. Oct. 15. To register, visit https://runsignup.com/Race/AL/Huntsville/RocketCityMicrothon)

Three years ago, Lesley and Darryl Burnette started the Rocket City Microthon in honor of their daughter Kate, who was a fan of Merrimack’s programs during her short life.

Merrimack provides visual and performing arts education and cultural activities to children and adults with special needs. In its first two years, the .12K has raised $40,000 for the center and is coordinated completely by volunteers.

There is a $15 Race Fee for the .12K race and other packages include:

  • The Golden Ticket Stand-Alone Package for $15
  • The Runners Package for $25
  • The Slackers Package for $50 does not require any physical effort whatsoever, and yet you get all the swag of crossing the finish line
  • You may add on a Beer Drinker’s Package with two extra Golden Tickets for $15

All county and state COVID-19 guidelines will be in place, including the starting line which is marked with six-foot spacing. The Campus 805 businesses will also observe social distancing in the food and drink lines.

 

Trash Pandas to Host Beer & Wine Fest

MADISON – There aren’t any cheers from the fans, yet, but visitors may hear “cheers!” next month at Toyota Field.

The Rocket City Trash Pandas will host a Beer & Wine Fest on Oct. 17 featuring some 40 local and national selections. The Trash Pandas will announce the lineup of breweries and wineries in the next few weeks.

This event is only for guests 21 and up – no children are allowed. Admission is $35 per person with VIP tickets for one-hour early access are available for $45. Designated driver tickets cost $5. VIP tastings begin at 1 p.m.; other guests can enter at 2 p.m. The festival runs until 5 p.m.

In addition to tastings, guests will be able to vote on their favorite beverages, and the staff will present “Best Beer” and “Best Wine” awards at the end of the day.

Toyota Field concession stands will be open throughout the event with traditional ballpark fare and additional full-sized beer and wine for purchase. Parking is free, and valid IDs will be checked upon entry.

CDC guidelines and Madison County mandates will be followed at the stadium. Guests’ temperatures will be taken at the gate and masks are required for entry. Vendors will adhere to proper sanitizing and social-distancing practices.

Tickets can be purchased online at TrashPandasBaseball.com/Events, at the Toyota Field Ticket Office, or by calling 256-325-1403, option 1.

Women Honoring Women Event Going Virtual

In a sign of the times we are in, the 2020 Women Honoring Women event is going virtual. And the event slated for Sept. 17 is reaching back to its past in this format.

“We have an opportunity to introduce a new aspect of the Women Honoring Women event,” said event chair and Women’s Economic Development Council Foundation Board Member Vicki Morris. “We are going to take the event to a virtual format, and we are going to enlist the help of a few former honorees.

“They will be our inaugural doyenne group.”

A doyenne is someone who is knowledgeable or uniquely skilled as a result of long experience in her field of
endeavor. The list of doyennes are former Women Honoring Women honorees. They include Cathay Anderson, Penny Billings, Sybil Cleveland, Joni Green, Sherry Kolodziejczak, Kim Lewis, Shelia Nash-Stevenson, and Alicia Ryan.

The WEDC Foundation has set a goal of $100,000 to support its scholars program, which also provides mentors to aid women in their professional development.

For information, visit wedcfoundation.org or the WEDC Facebook page.

 

AUSA Cancels Global Force Symposium

Following the Association of the United States Army announcement that the 2020 Global Force Symposium & Exposition has officially been cancelled due to the ongoing public health threat, the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau  offered reassurances that the Rocket City remains a welcoming destination for conferences, tradeshows, and other events.

The Global Force Symposium is one of the largest conferences Huntsville hosts annually, bringing together more than 6,000 attendees and representing an estimated $3.6 million in economic impact.

“We understand AUSA’s desire to prioritize the health and safety of their delegates, and look forward to welcoming them in 2021. Going forward, the CVB will continue to work with our hospitality partners and public health officials to ensure that the health and safety of our visitors remains a top priority,” said Judy Ryals, President/CEO of the CVB. “Supporting our local hospitality industry is also of utmost importance – as travel is impacted, we encourage our residents to explore their own backyard and be patrons to our Huntsville/Madison County restaurants, attractions, hotels, and others.”

Jamie Koshofer, vice president of conventions, said the CVB has worked closely with AUSA over the past year.

“AUSA has long been a close partner of the CVB, and we will continue to provide support for them in all ways that we can,” Koshofer said. “2021 is right around the corner, and we look forward to bringing that business back to the Rocket City.”

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said he is disappointed in the cancellation but the city and AUSA have a strong partnership.

“The City of Huntsville has developed a great partnership with AUSA over the past several years,” Battle said. “While we share in the disappointment of the community, we respect their decision to make the health of AUSA members, participants and our citizens a top priority.

“We will continue to work with them and look forward to seeing AUSA in Huntsville in the coming years.”

Currently, there have been no official reported coronavirus cases in Alabama.

Huntsville-Madison County Chamber Announces Best Places to Work Contenders

And the nominees are …

The Huntsville-Madison County Chamber has announced the contenders for the 2020 Best Places to Work Award.

The award recognizes businesses that create an excellent workplace culture through employee engagement, strong leadership and excellent communication.

The winners will be announced at the annual awards luncheon April 15 in the Von Braun Center North Hall.

The categories and contenders are:

MICRO: 10-24 employees
Aleta Technologies, Inc.; Applied Technologies Group, Inc.; Boecore, Inc.; Corporate Office Properties Trust; Cortina Solutions, LLC; Croy Engineering; Flint River Dental; H2L Solutions, Inc.; Mb Solutions; Mission Multiplier Consulting; New Beginnings Family Law, P.C.; On-Line Applications Research Corp.; Phased n Research, Inc.; Practical Energetics Research, LLC; Redstone Government Consulting, Inc.; Resolution, LLC; River Tree Insurance Services, Inc.; Roto-Rooter; Seabrook Solutions, LLC; Still Serving Veterans; Stratagem Solutions, Inc.; TVA Huntsville Customer Service Center; Women4Women OBGYN.

SMALL: 25-50 employees
Arcarithm, Inc.; Crossflow Technologies, Inc.; Davidson Homes, LLC; EOS Defense Systems USA, Inc.; Good Samaritan Hospice of Madison; Huntsville-Madison County Senior Center; Invariant Corp.; JHNA; KBM Enterprises, Inc.; KODA Technologies, Inc.; MartinFederal Consulting, LLC; Matt Curtis Real Estate, Inc.; Mission Driven Research; MTA, Inc.; Nesin Therapy Services, P.C.; Noetic Strategies, Inc.; PPT Solutions, Inc.; Reliant Technologies, Inc.; Sentar Inc.; Signalink, Inc.; Verity Integrated Systems, Inc.

MEDIUM: 51-100 employees
Brockwell Technologies, Inc.; Canvas, Inc.; Cepeda Systems and Software Analysis, Inc.; Conditioned Air Solutions; deciBel Research, Inc.; Geocent; Hill Technical Solutions, Inc.; Ignite, Inc.; LINE-X, LLC; MDW Associates; Monte Sano Research Corp.; QTEC Aerospace; Thompson Gray, Inc.; Trideum Corp.; TriVector Services, Inc.; Troy 7, Inc.; Willbrook Solutions, Inc.

LARGE: 101-250 employees
AEgis Technologies Group; Avion Solutions; Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc.; HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology; IERUS Technologies; Intrepid; IronMountain Solutions, Inc.; Leonardo DRS; Manufacturing Technical Solutions, Inc.; MITRE Corp.; nLogic, LLC; nou Systems, Inc.; S3, Inc.; SEA Wire and Cable; Simulation Technologies, Inc.;
Technology Service Corp.; Trident Technologies; Turner Construction; Woody Anderson Ford.

X-LARGE: 251-plus employees
Five Stones Research Corp.; Integration Innovation, Inc. (i3); Intuitive Research and Technology Corp.; Modern Technology Solutions, Inc. (MTSI); PeopleTec, Inc.; The Orthopaedic Center; Torch Technologies; Yulista Holding, LLC.

It’s All About Compliance: NAITA to Host International Regulations Seminar

While Export Control Reform changes have relaxed the controls on defense-related items and technology, it has made understanding and complying with the regulations even more complicated.

Compliance is everything and it’s important for businesses to learn how to avoid potential pitfalls.

On Feb. 17-20, the North Alabama International Trade Association will host the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, Export Administration Regulations, and Office of Foreign Assets Controls & Embargoes event at the Westin Hotel at Bridge Street. This in-depth, comprehensive seminar will be presented by the Export Compliance Training Institute. The first two days will be devoted to ITAR; days 3 and 4 will be focused on topics related to EAR/OFAC.

The shift of many military and space items from the ITAR to the EAR obliges exporters to learn the challenging ins and outs of maintaining compliance.

Recent ECR changes, as well as the potential of coming changes from a new administration can have a significant impact on compliance programs. This event will provide novice and experienced export compliance professionals with a comprehensive education on complying with United States export regulations.

Featured presenters are Marc Binder, Maarten Sengers and Jonathan Young.

Binder, a licensed Customs broker with ITC Strategies, is certified in the field of HAZMAT transportation. Sengers is a principal with BSG Consulting, an export compliance consultant group based in Washington and has more than 20 years of advisory experience on all aspects of EAR, ITAR and U.S. sanctions compliance. Young has served as a military intelligence analyst before his export compliance career. With a corporate background in managing AES filings, export classification and due diligence screening, Young provides Industry perspective for the Air Force and Nissan North America. 

ECTI trains companies on compliance with regards to export, import, transaction and activity regulations administered by the U.S. Departments of Commerce, State and Treasury. Each year, ECTI presents seminars throughout the world and offers customized training programs designed to help businesses stay compliant with U.S. trade controls.

“NAITA has partnered with ECTI for a number of years in bringing this valuable training to Huntsville, and we highly recommend their hands-on practical approach to our business community,” said Amanda Berkey, Senior International Trade Specialist, Madison County Commission/NAITA. “Export control and compliance training is critical for North Alabama’s aerospace, defense, and high-tech companies, and ECTI even finds a way to make this dry regulatory subject entertaining.”

NAITA is a business-driven organization committed to increasing knowledge, interest, and activity in international trade in North Alabama. NAITA’s mission is to provide international trade advocacy, training, and networking to promote economic growth in North Alabama.

As a nonprofit membership organization, NAITA provides an international networking forum, education relating to trade issues, and prepares businesses for global success. NAITA is managed by the Madison County Commission International Trade Development Center and strives to be the regional resource for international trade development.

To register, visit http://ow.ly/40CI50xLV8y

 

For the Love of Pets, Greater Huntsville Humane Society Mission is Clear

The Greater Huntsville Humane Society dedicates itself to furthering the humane care and treatment of animals, by providing adoption services for unwanted and homeless animals.

The Greater Huntsville Humane Society relies on a small staff and dozens of volunteers. (Photo/ Steve Babin)

What many people don’t realize is the size of the Humane Society’s footprint in the Huntsville-Madison County community.

Now in its 51st year, the Humane Society continues to grow under the leadership of new CEO Anne Caldwell.

What the public also may not know: the Greater Huntsville Humane Society is funded entirely by donations and grants; the organization does not receive any government funding. With a small staff and more than 200 volunteers, the Humane Society is run on a shoestring budget.

The organization’s best-known fundraiser is the annual Dog Ball, now in its 31st year.

This year’s event will be Feb. 8 at the Von Braun Center South Hall. Over the years, the Dog Ball has continued to grow and each years’ clever theme with accompanying artwork seems to outdo previous years. This year’s theme will be “Bark Avenue.”

This year’s Dog Ball theme is “Bark Avenue.” (Photo/Steve Babin)

The money raised goes toward providing medical care and finding homes for shelter animals.

“The Dog Ball helps provide critical funding that enables GHHS to offer such programs and services as healthcare and food to low-income households, humane education and outreach, and a safe place for homeless pets to find their forever homes,” said Caldwell. “This fun-filled, elegant evening is consistently our largest fundraiser – even after all these years!”

The Humane Society’s Thrift Store has been recently updated to better serve its customers.

“The thrift store is our bread and butter,” said Caldwell. “Last year, it brought in over $200,000.”

The store sells a wide assortment of items; its mission is to sell donated goods and provide funds in support of the shelter animals. In fact, 100 percent of every sale goes to support the Humane Society’s mission.

In addition to caring for the needs of the shelter animals, there are several programs designed to help the local community and their pets.

The Greater Huntsville Humane Society was named the Nonprofit of the Year for 2019. (Photo/Steve Babin)

The King’s Community Kitchen provides low-income pet owners with food for their dogs and cats. In 2018, over 35,000 pounds of pet food was distributed to area families in need.

In partnership with the Humane Society, Rocket City Mobile Vet offers Pet Wellness Clinics on the second Saturday of each month. These discounted services are provided to pet owners with a household income below $35,000. Clinics offer wellness exams, annual vaccinations, heartworm and flea/tick preventative and microchipping, if needed.

Its newest community program is Huntsville Hounds on Transport (HHOT Dogz). Last spring, the Humane Society began monthly treks to the Humane Society of Washington County, Md., and to the Humane Rescue Alliance in Washington, D.C.

Due to shelter overpopulation here in the South, many independent agencies have been transporting shelter animals to the Northeast, where spaying and neutering of pets is more stringently enforced, resulting in fewer adoptable animals in the northern shelters. The HHOT Dogz program helps GHHS save the lives of more shelter animals by giving them a better opportunity for a loving home elsewhere.

The Paws for Reading program was designed to enrich the lives of shelter animals while also helping children develop sound reading skills.

Children ages 6- 15 years old can participate if accompanied by a parent; it’s also open to volunteers over 16. Paws for Reading is a win-win for the children and shelter animals alike. It helps the animals develop socialization skills, which will help them become more comfortable with people. Those people skills are critical for a shelter animal to be adoptable.

The Humane Society is also a partner of Pets for Patriots, a national service that pairs veterans and adoptable animals. The goal is to make the benefits of shelter pet adoption a reality for military personnel, ensuring many years of friendship, companionship and joy with their honorably adopted dog or cat.

For more information, visit https://ghhs.org/

 

 

 

Nominations Open for Fifth Annual Entrepreneur Awards

The Catalyst Center for Business & Entrepreneurship is accepting nominations for the fifth annual Entrepreneur Awards – a culmination of the 2020 Innovate Huntsville Week events. The Entrepreneur Awards recognize and honor the skill and courage of entrepreneurs to develop a business from an idea.
“The Catalyst is excited to host the fifth annual Entrepreneur Awards as culmination of Innovate Huntsville Week,” said Tracy Junkins, Women’s Business Center Project Coordinator for The Catalyst. “This event honors and recognizes the talented entrepreneurs within the community. The Entrepreneur Awards is where entrepreneurs come together to celebrate one another’s successes in building up the unique community of North Alabama.”
Award categories include: Entrepreneur of the Year, Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year, Creative Entrepreneur of the Year, Female Entrepreneur of the Year, Veteran Entrepreneur of the Year,  Youth Entrepreneur of the Year, People’s Choice, and Entrepreneur Champion of the Year.
Nominations close Jan. 21 and may be made at www.innovateHSV.com. The winners will be announced at the Entrepreneur Awards ceremony Feb. 28.
For information, visit www.innovateHSV.com or www.catalystcenter.org.

Huntsville Doubles Down on Leadership Role in Space at International Conference

Marcia Lindstrom and Deborah Barnhart at the Huntsville booth. Lindstrom is strategic
communications officer for NASA’s Space Launch System at Marshall Space Flight Center, and Barnhart
is the CEO of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

WASHINGTON — Huntsville is living up to its moniker as the Rocket City at the 70th annual International Astronautical Congress this week in Washington, D.C.

Huntsville is the only community to participate among 170-plus corporate, state and national exhibitors. Last year’s IAC in Bremen, Germany saw a record 6,500 participants from 83 countries convene to collaborate on space research, development and utilization.

The Huntsville/Madison County Chamber is coordinating the Rocket City’s presence, which consists of Draper, RadioBro, RUAG Space USA, the North Alabama International Trade Association, the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Our booth is strategically located across from NASA and adjacent to Aerojet Rocketdyne, Boeing, Dynetics and ULA, all prominent commercial players in the nation’s aerospace ecosystem, and all with a presence in Huntsville.

This week, visitors to the Rocket City booth have included:

  • Jody Singer, Paul McConnaughey & Bobby Watkins, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center
  • Tory Bruno, United Launch Alliance
  • Deborah Barnhart, U.S. Space & Rocket Center
  • Steve Cook and Kim Doering, Dynetics
  • Randy Lycans, Jacobs Space Exploration Group
  • John Schumacher, Aerojet Rocketdyne
  • Neeraj Gupta, Sierra Nevada Corporation
  • Sam Gunderson and Jacki Cortese, Blue Origin

“It makes sense that we’re the only community exhibiting at IAC because we have so much to offer across the civil, commercial and defense space industries,” said Lucia Cape, senior vice president of economic development for the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber. “With Marshall Space Flight Center, the Missile Defense Agency, the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command and 400 aerospace and defense companies in the Huntsville metro, we are connected to nearly every U.S. space initiative in some way.”

Seamus Tuohy and Pete Paceley of Draper at The Rocket City booth. Draper, Lockheed
Martin and Northrop Grumman will join Blue Origin’s bid to build a lunar lander.

The City of Huntsville also has a presence at IAC to share some of the advantages our city offers to companies interested in locating here.

“Space is one of the main drivers of our economy. We’ve proven ourselves as a community time and time again whether it’s developing the rocket that put humans on the moon 50 years ago to the development of the rocket that will take us back and eventually to Mars,” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle.  “We’ve also carved out an important leadership role in space for national security with the Army Space and Missile Defense Command headquarters here as well as the bulk of the Missile Defense Agency.

“Huntsville attending the IAC is a great place for us to continue building on our community’s expertise and recruiting more jobs and workers.”

This year, the IAC celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon landing, and the Chamber’s booth highlights the Apollo milestone, a fitting tribute to the Huntsville-based rocket programs that put man on the Moon and will return astronauts there in 2024.

Madison Chamber of Commerce Celebrates Best in Business 2019 Awards

MADISON — Tuesday night was sheer gala for members of the Madison business community as the Madison Chamber of Commerce and Good Samaritan Hospice of Madison awarded Best in Business 2019 awards.

More than a dozen businesses were recognized at the annual dinner and awards presentation at the Insanity Complex Entertainment Center.

The evening was capped off with Janine Nesin of Nesin Therapy Services being awarded the Excellence in Leadership & Service Award. Cassie Scott of the Quadrus Corp. was runner-up.

According to Pam Honeycutt, executive director of the Madison Chamber, the awards categories are evolving every year to better reflect the growth and diversity of the Chamber membership.

“We added arts, entertainment and hospitality categories to the awards this year, and we added a new Culinary Student Program sponsorship, presented by Earfinity,” said Honeycutt. “A $500 check was awarded to Madison City Schools Culinary Program instructor Monica Creekmore for their service to the Chamber throughout the year.”

The winners were Signalink for Best Business of the Year; Capital Management Services for Best Start-up Business of the Year; Mozaic Audio Video Integration for Best Small Business of the Year; and Union Chapel Christian Academy for Best Nonprofit of the Year.

Conditioned Air Solutions; Black Patch Distilling Co.; Air Essentials; and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of North Alabama took runner-up in each category respectively.

Daniel Kasambira of Hogan Family YMCA won Community Servant of the Year with Michelle Linville of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of North Alabama the finalist.

Health and Wellness Business of the Year went to Hot Yoga DeLux & Cryotherapy with Madison Health Mart Pharmacy taking second place. The Dessert Fork won the Culinary Business of the Year with Insanity Complex the runner-up.

Compass Physical Therapy took first place as Medical Practice of the Year; Conditioned Air Solutions won for Essential Service Business of the Year; and Signalink won Professional Service Business of the Year. Good Samaritan Hospice of Madison; Turf Tamer; and Two Men and a Truck were finalists in each of those categories.

In the new Arts, Entertainment & Hospitality category, iHeartMedia took the top prize while Insanity Complex was runner-up.