Zooming Toward the Top: The Catalyst Center Honors Top Entrepreneurs

What a difference a year has made.

At this time last year, the Stone Event Center at Campus 805 was packed to capacity for the fifth annual Entrepreneurial Awards ceremony.

This year, social distancing and masking up has presented new challenges to the big celebration. Or, perhaps, it has created new opportunities for honoring North Alabama’s finest entrepreneurs.

While there might be a new way of presenting awards, one thing is certain: Despite the setbacks of 2020, the entrepreneurial spirit is still very much alive and well in Madison County.

Just a few months shy of a year at the helm, Catalyst CEO Lisa Davis Mays has taken the lemons tossed out by the pandemic and has made a superb glass of lemonade. Mays and her Catalyst “Dream Team,” found creative solutions and skillfully presented this year’s awards with heaping doses of pizazz and style.

“This past year has impacted us all in ways we could have never imagined,” said Mays. “We’ve all felt the impact of the pandemic. This year, more than ever, we want to commemorate the extraordinary accomplishments of local businesses and entrepreneurs. And in true Catalyst style, we wanted to celebrate the hard work and inspiring stories of our entrepreneurs in a unique and fun way.”

The new twist for this years’ presentation – The Catalyst crew, armed with balloons and cameras, surprised the winners at their homes or at their offices in pre-recorded segments, presenting them with their awards. These segments were then presented as a key part of the awards ceremony.

With more than 140 people Zooming in for the big event, the presentation was well-executed and seamless. Kenny Anderson, the City of Huntsville Director of Multicultural Affairs, served as master of ceremonies. Anderson was both articulate and engaging when introducing the finalists and presenting the winners in each category.

Joanne Randolph, the former CEO of The Catalyst and the namesake for the Entrepreneurial Champion Award, had the special honor of introducing this year’s Entrepreneurial Champion – Larry Lewis of Project XYZ – without even having to leave her home in Orange Beach.  This award is for a champion with a proven track record of volunteering, mentoring, investing, or collaborating with new ventures on their entrepreneurial journey.

In addition to last year’s nine categories, the Pandemic Pivot award was added for this year. It is collectively hoped that this crisis-specific category would be a short-lived, distant memory by the time the 2022 awards roll around.

“Today, we celebrate the finest entrepreneurs in our community,” said Lauren Smith, 2021 Catalyst Board Chair. “Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of our community and our economy. They are the dealmakers, the changemakers, and the dream makers. They are our future.”

Here are the 2021 Entrepreneurial Award winners:

YOUTH ENTREPRENEUR – Brailynn Camille Granville, The Ausome Kid. This award is given to a school-aged entrepreneur who has started their entrepreneurial journey at a young age and is working toward their dream.

EMERGING– Megan Nivens Tannett, Flourish. This award is given to an entrepreneur who has been in business for less than three years and has a proven track record for sustainability with room for growth.

CREATIVE – Michelle Givens, Image in a Box. This award goes to an entrepreneurial venture that focuses on the retail, arts, entertainment, or culinary industry and has a proven track record for sustainability.

NONPROFIT – Amy Roark, Give256. The Nonprofit Entrepreneur of the year award is given to a leader who possesses an entrepreneurial spirit that inspires growth and development in their organization.

FEMALE – Alice Lessmann, Signalink. This award is given to an outstanding female entrepreneur in the North Alabama Region. The Women’s Business Center will, in turn, submit Lessmann’s name to compete at the national level for the Small Business Administration’s “Small Business of the Year” award.

VETERAN – Marvinia Adams, Adams Dry Cleaning, dba Martinizing. This award is given to an outstanding military/veteran entrepreneur in the North Alabama Region.

PANDEMIC PIVOT – Karen Mockenstrum, Fantasy Playhouse. This award is for an entrepreneur who has faced down the setbacks brought on because of COVID-19. Not only did Mockenstrum adeptly manage the setbacks faced by Fantasy Playhouse, but she and her team developed new ways of doing business.

ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR – Jamie Miller, Mission Multiplier. Awarded to an entrepreneur who has been in business for more than three years and has a proven track record for sustainability, strategic direction, future growth, and community involvement.

PEOPLE’S CHOICE – April Chiosky, AMZ Importers. Using the power of social media, voters cast their ballots early and often and the entrepreneur receiving the most votes wins.

 

SBA and Lenders Take More Steps to Improve Paycheck Protection Program

The U.S. Small Business Administration and lenders are taking more strides to improve the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) so that small businesses can access much needed PPP funds to persevere through the pandemic, recover, and build back better.

The White House is working with the SBA to increase equitable access to underserved small businesses, to assure the integrity of the program, and to promote rapid and efficient distribution of funds, according to a news release from the SBA.

Last week, the release said, the SBA hit a major milestone of approving $104 billion of PPP funds to more than 1.3 million small businesses. Highlights from this round include:

  • Reaching more of the smallest businesses; 82 percent of all loans going to businesses requesting less than $100,000
  • Reaching rural communities in a meaningful way; 28 percent of businesses who have received funding this round are in rural communities
  • Increasing partnerships with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) who are trusted agents in extending economic relief to minority communities and underserved populations

The SBA said it is also following through on its commitment to take additional steps towards improving the speed to resolve data mismatches and eligibility concerns so that small businesses have as much time as possible to access much needed PPP funds, while maintaining the integrity of the program. Three important changes will:

  1. Enable lenders to directly certify eligibility of borrowers for First Draw and Second Draw PPP loan applications with validation errors to ensure businesses who need funds and are eligible receive them as quickly as possible
  2. Allow lenders to upload supporting documentation of borrowers with validation errors during the forgiveness process
  3. Create additional communication channels with lenders to assure we are constantly improving equity, speed, and integrity of the program, including an immediate national lender call to brief them on the Platform’s added capabilities

“We are pleased that the Paycheck Protection Program is targeting the smallest of small businesses and providing economic relief at a crucial time in American history,” said SBA Senior Advisor to the Administrator Michael Roth. “The SBA has achieved another major milestone to provide critical recovery capital to America’s small businesses by approving 1.3 million PPP loans totaling $104 billion in the current round.

“While we are excited that we are doing a better job of reaching the hardest hit industries and communities, we are committed to taking additional steps to ensure that there is equitable access for underserved businesses and that we are leading with empathy to support small businesses in a difficult spot.”

Bubby’s Diner: Bringing a Taste of the ’50s to South Huntsville

For those hankering for the kind of comfort food that diners are known for, the wait is over.

There’s a new “kid” in town, located near the confluence of Whitesburg Drive and South Memorial Parkway. 

Serving up ’50s style American comfort foods such as hamburgers, French fries, and malts, Bubby’s Diner opens for business Feb. 9

In addition to time-honored diner fare, there’s also a few interesting twists. Menu items, such as the donut slider, make for a wide-eyed pick-me-up. The slider is served with a choice of bacon or sausage, along with the added options of cheese and egg. 

Sandwiches include the Tesla’s Philly cheesesteak sandwich; a fried green tomato BLT; and the Rocket Towne wrap, a spinach, cucumber, and tomato sandwich, all topped with homemade ranch dressing. 

For those seeking the “Big Easy” feel, there’s also a fully dressed fried crawfish Po Boy topped with remoulade sauce.

Diners have come to symbolize the period of post-World War II era prosperity, optimism, and hope in 1950s America. Bubby’s represents all of this and more for South Huntsville. 

With COVID-19 shuttering the doors of many small businesses and dining establishments, the new restaurant is a welcome addition. Bubby’s Diner is one of several small businesses setting up shop in South Huntsville, thus enhancing the area’s overall “curb” appeal and viability. 

For more info: facebook.com/Bubbys-Diner

Sit Down with Success: Lynn Troy, CEO of Troy 7

Sitdown with Success is a feature of the Huntsville Business Journal on entrepreneurs and their keys to success. This month’s subject is Lynn Troy, founder/president/CEO of Troy 7.

Lynn Troy: “Fear of the unknown shouldn’t hold anyone back.” (Photo/Steve Babin)

Lynn Troy calls herself an unlikely entrepreneur. Coming up through the ranks at Teledyne Brown Engineering from a co-op position while completing her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from UAH, starting her own government contracting business was not a long-term goal. That changed when she and her husband John got married and a contract they were working on seemed to be slipping away.

Troy7 has been a contender for the Huntsville-Madison County Chamber of Commerce Small Business Best Place to Work Award for eight consecutive years from 2013-2020, and a winner for six of those years. In 2020, Troy7 was named the Chamber’s Woman Owned Small Business of the Year.

A graduate of the Huntsville Leadership Flagship Class (L29), Troy serves on several local non-profit boards. She is vice chair of Economic Development for the Huntsville Madison Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee; vice president of the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity; treasurer and finance chair for the Community Foundation; 2021 chair of the American Heart Association’s Heart Ball Executive Leadership Team; and 305 8th Street.

She also serves on UAH’s Last Mile Committee; Women’s Philanthropy Society’s Advisory Board; and is a Hudson Alpha Ambassador.

In 2018, Lynn received the Russell G. Brown Executive Leadership award and was recognized as one of Alabama Media Groups Women Who Shape the State.

In 2013 she received the Technology Award from WEDC’s Women Honoring Women.

What initially attracted you to the Missile Defense industry?

When I was in the ninth grade, I had to do a paper on Ronald Reagan’s “Star Wars” (Strategic Defense Initiative) program and honestly, I had no idea that was going to be my career destiny.

I thought I was going to be a lawyer, but those plans changed when I found myself a young mother in high school and unable to go off to college or law school.

My dad encouraged me to pursue engineering. He was a mechanical engineer, and knew UAH had an excellent engineering program. He thought electrical would give me the broadest career options, so I enrolled at UAH. When I began working in the Optics Department developing infrared signature models of rockets, that’s when I knew I was hooked on missile defense.

You started working for Teledyne Brown Engineering while you were still at UAH, is that correct?

Teledyne Brown Engineering hired me into their co-op program when I was 18 years old and I had just completed my freshman year at UAH. I was so deeply grateful for the opportunity to have my first real job that I honestly thought I would retire from TBE one day.

It took me 5½ years to complete my electrical engineering degree but along the way I learned so much about government contracting and the various work Teledyne was doing.

I was able to rotate through different assignments and when I landed in the Optics Department, I was hooked, and had found something that I truly loved doing.

It sounds like you had a strong support system behind you at TBE.

I had some amazing mentors who invested in me and helped me not only technically, but who encouraged me to pursue leadership positions.

I was selected for an incredible opportunity to participate in TBE’s Female and Minority Management Training program.

What triggered your starting your own business?

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Teledyne Brown was forced to divest the contract I supported to another company, and Teledyne Solutions was created. While we all hoped it would be an adequate solution to create the separation the government required, after a few years the government decided it was still not enough.

It was during this time, the idea of forming a new company came to being. I had recently remarried and the date was July 7, 2007 or 07/07/07, and that is where I came up with the name of our company, Troy7.

My husband John truly believed we could, together, start a new business.

It was a hard decision to leave TBE after almost 20 years and so many wonderful opportunities, but within a relatively short time after we left, Teledyne Solutions was forced to dissolve as an entity, so I believe we made the best decision we could for us and our family.

How did Troy7 evolve?

With the uncertainty and likely loss of the contract we were on at Teledyne becoming more troubling, we began looking for alternative customers and contracts, and discovered an opportunity with the MEADS (Medium Extended Air Defense System) program.

MEADS was a tri-national (US, Italy, Germany) program that evolved out of the U.S. Patriot program, and they were nearing their test phase and needed targets to test their system against.

Target flight testing was truly both mine and John’s professional passions. I loved the threat analysis, which ensured the target matched the threat of interest in optical, radar, and flight performance characteristics.

John loved the rockets themselves and knew every detail about them and processing the telemetry flight data on-site all over the world.

We believed we would never have a better opportunity to see if we could build a company doing what we loved than that moment, so, we pulled the trigger and incorporated Troy7 on Nov. 28, 2007, less than  five months after we got married.

Looking back, it’s pretty surreal that we both quit what had been very stable and wonderful jobs and took that leap together. But we both felt strongly that we needed each other, and wouldn’t have been successful if only one of us had tried to do it without the other.

Was the MEADS program your launch pad, so to speak?

We didn’t bring a contract with us for the MEADS work. It was new work, and we worked with (Space and Missile Defense Command) and the NAMEADSMA (NATO MEADS Management Agency) team to set up their Targets Test Program. We were incredibly blessed to support that effort for five years and many flight tests at White Sands Missile Range.

The final test in the program was a dual intercept mission with a south bound ballistic target – John was the Test Conductor – and a north bound air breathing QF-4 target – where I was stationed.

The MEADS system performed brilliantly and successfully destroyed both targets.

It is a little weird to celebrate the destruction of your work, but that’s the life of targets engineers!

During those five years we were working hard to develop new customers and contract vehicles to grow our business and it was a lot of very long days and nights and several years of no vacations or down time, but it was worth it, and I would do it all again.

In a lot of ways, those early formative years are the most fun and exciting, even though you are tired and struggling at times.

What specific challenges did you face in getting started on your own?

I think the biggest challenge we faced in getting started was all the things we didn’t know we didn’t know.

Lynn Troy: “Huntsville is rich with successful small businesses whose founders and leaders are eager to advise and mentor new small businesses.” (Photo/Steve Babin)

I often tell people, I was too naïve to realize how much I didn’t know about the business side, insurances, taxes, corporation rules, the FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulation), accounting, etc. And it’s probably for the best.

I think it is fear of all those unknowns that holds people back.

I joke that John and I were still in our honeymoon phase, so we were willing to figure it all out as we went. And that is one of the beautiful things about Huntsville. There are so many wonderful and successful people in this town who are all willing to help you, share their experiences, and guide you through the unknowns. Fear of the unknown shouldn’t hold anyone back.

What vision do you have for your business in the future?

We experienced some change in 2020 when John retired.

He had a goal to retire on his 60th birthday so we worked hard to make that a reality last September.

He still comes in a couple days a week to wrap up a project, but it’s more like he’s a consultant, not day-to-day.

This was a huge change for me personally and professionally, and we spent a lot of time talking through the future and our goals.

We know it’s time for us to shift our focus from predominantly subcontracting to going after more prime contracts. We have been so blessed to work with some of the best primes in Huntsville and we have learned so much from them.

It’s our goal to grow into a prime role and treat our teammates as well as we have been treated. Although our biggest customer is the Missile Defense Agency, we also support the Army, NASA, and the Air Force.

Our first priority is ensuring we continue providing excellent support to these customers and exploring prime contract options across our customer base is our current growth focus for the future.

What advice would you give to someone interested in getting into the government contracting business?

Don’t be afraid to fail but be prepared to learn from the surprises and disappointments you will inevitably encounter.

One of my mentors from UAH, Dr. Bassem Mahafza, told me to imagine myself 10 years into the future and ask myself would I look back and regret it if I didn’t at least try. I’m still grateful for his wise counsel.

Number two – build the dream and the vision of your business in your mind before you start building the business. The opportunities will change and the paths to them will detour, but it is essential to know what you’re striving to accomplish before you take the first step toward that goal.

Number three – don’t be afraid to ask for help and seek advice. Huntsville is rich with successful small businesses whose founders and leaders are eager to advise and mentor new small businesses.

Troy7 and I personally have benefitted greatly from Huntsville small business leaders for over 13 years. I continue to try to pay it forward and help mentor new small businesses the same way I was blessed with help.

I will say, there are more barriers to entry today than when we started Troy7. Expensive IT infrastructure requirements, slower and more restrictive acquisitions, and downward pressure on rates, to name a few.

All of these factors require careful consideration but should not be deal breakers since there are so many resources available to help.

And probably the most important advice I could offer – carefully choose your employees and respect and take care of them. From the bottom of my heart, I believe Troy7 has thrived because of our dedicated and talented Troy7 family. It is not just the services we offer that make Troy7 a successful company. It’s our people.

Fow Wow Designs Owner Just Wants to Have Pun

When it comes to “Made in Alabama” retail merchandise with a twist, nobody does it better than Jonathan Fowler, owner of Fow Wow Designs.

You can put your best foot forward with “Whisk you were here” socks. (Photo/Lori Connors)

Demonstrating a big love for the Huntsville community matched with an imagination just as large, Fowler has come up with a quirky, yet memorable assortment of coffee mugs, t-shirts, ballcaps, and assorted decals. Many of his designs are nods to Monte Sano, NASA, Big Spring and other things that make Huntsville so unique.

The most notable is the “Eggbeater Jesus,” the iconic mosaic design that adorns the First Baptist Church on Governors Drive. Those familiar with it cannot help but smile when they see it on a coffee mug or t-shirt, with the words “Whisk You Were Here” underneath the design.

With a career in the banking industry, Fowler often looks at Fow Wow Designs as a “side hustle” – but a side hustle that helps Fowler give back to the community. A sizeable chunk of Fow Wow’s sales revenue is redirected to a variety of local community agencies.

Proceeds from the “Whisk” T-shirt help to support His Way, a local live-in Christian men’s drug and alcohol recovery center. The “I like Big Spring Ducks” t-shirt helps to support First Stop, a local nonprofit that serves the homeless.

As a Type 1 Diabetic, Fowler first came up with quirky design ideas related to diabetes.

“I started coming up with Type 1 Diabetic puns and I put them on stickers,” said Fowler. “I thought, ‘I should put some of these on a shirt,’ and I actually did.”

Anyone who’s driven on I-65 between Birmingham and Montgomery recognizes the play on this sign. (Photo/Lori Connors)

Fowler came up with a design with an insulin bottle, a slice of bread and had them in Run DMC clothes with the caption, “Breaking it Down.” However, he noticed there weren’t too many people in the market for a punny Type 1 Diabetic shirt.

Fowler began developing a series of Alabama puns while working at a job that he didn’t like. Then, he decided to take a screen-printing class at Green Pea Press, designing a t-shirt featuring a unicorn, sporting a Saturn V rocket as a horn, with the saying “Keep Huntsville Magical” underneath the design.

After that, things took off like a rocket.

Fowler ordered 80 “Keep Huntsville Magical” t-shirts and put them in the Pea Pod; they sold out quickly. The next design he came up with was “You can call me AL,” which also sold well.

As the t-shirt business slowly grew, Fowler had a couple of friends who died after struggles with drug addiction.

“I felt I needed to do a shirt to give back money where my buddy Jeff was in recovery, which was His Way,” said Fowler. “That’s when I did ‘Eggbeater Jesus.’ I was kind of nervous about doing that.

“Everyone called it ‘Eggbeater Jesus,’ but no one was doing art with it, and I was the first one that just jumped on it. In about 2 weeks, we made probably $1,500. That was the first moment that I saw that there was something to this.”

“Eggbeater Jesus” effectively put Fow Wow Designs on the map. In November 2017, the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau contacted Fowler to design the t-shirts for the #iHeartHsv 5th anniversary.

Fow Wow Designs are more than just an assortment of iconic, tongue-in-cheek merchandise. The revenue generated supports local charities and demonstrates Fow Wow’s passion for Huntsville by offering goods that also do good for the community.

“That’s where we’re at right now,” said Foster. “We’re doing well and the main thing, we’re able to give back to the community. Last year we were able to give back to six places.

“This year, we’re looking to do the same. We’re looking into some nonprofits that people don’t know too much about.”

For more information, visit fowwowdesigns.com

 

Huntsville’s deciBel Research now Employee-Owned

Huntsville-based deciBel Research announced Tuesday it is “100 percent employee-owned.”

According to a news release, the company transitioned from a privately held, small business to an employee-owned company through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, effective Jan. 1.

 Jeff Gronberg, deciBel Research Chief Executive Officer, will continue to lead deciBel Research and the company’s day-to-day management and operations will remain the same.

“deciBel Research is proud to transition to an employee-owned company,” Gronberg said. “In our industry we see many small businesses being acquired by private equity firms or larger corporations as owners execute their succession plan. Often, small businesses become large businesses due to these transactions, thus impacting the status of the business, current contracts and customers, and causing a fundamental change in the culture and business development efforts.

“Our employees are the heart of the company’s success and we felt it was in the best interest of both our employees and customers for us to share that success with them and become an employee-owned company.”

DeciBel Research is a radar system and sensor technologies company was founded in 2002. It’s headquartered in Cummings Research Park and has offices in Dayton, Ohio; Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Wallops Island, Va.

“We have witnessed some great successes in our industry with employee-owned companies and we believe the timing is right to evolve the company to benefit both our customers and especially our current and future employees,” said deciBel Chief Financial and Operating Officer Eric Cochran. “We have positioned the company for future opportunities, and this is another critical piece in making deciBel Research a long-term small business partner for the DoD and intelligence community.”

Catalyst Center, Junior League Offer Assistance for Women-Owned Businesses

Starting or growing a business can be overwhelming.
To help women face the challenges, The Catalyst Center for Business & Entrepreneurship’s Women’s Business Center partnered with the women’s volunteer organization, Junior League of Huntsville, to establish the Ignite Program and the Ignition Scholarship.
“At The Catalyst, we are passionate about seeing small businesses succeed,” said Lisa Mays, The Catalyst CEO, “with (the Junior League’s) commitment to developing women’s potential, this was a perfect fit for our Women’s Business Center through which to offer new opportunities to women in our community.
“We believe in women uplifting women, and this collaboration embodies that.”
The Catalyst supports women in launching or growing small businesses in North Alabama.
The Ignition Scholarship, sponsored by Junior League of Huntsville, will provide training and networking opportunities and funding to the scholarship recipient. Qualified applicants will satisfy predetermined training and technical assistance through the Women’s Business Center. The first scholarship recipient will be announced in late spring.
“We are honored to be partnering with such an esteemed women’s business training organization,” said Junior League President. “By helping establish both Ignite and the Ignition Scholarship, we hope to facilitate more opportunities for women in the greater Huntsville and Madison County communities.”
For information on the scholarships, email wbc@catalystcenter.org and visit www.jlhuntsville.com.

Business Execs, Make your Pitch at the Rocket City Trash Pandas Business Blast Off

MADISON – It’s time to play ball – B2B style.

Toyota Field will feel the roar of the inaugural Rocket City Trash Pandas Business Blast Off from 6-8 p.m. Thursday in the SportsMed Stadium Club. The deadline to register is Tuesday. Visit https://www.milb.com/rocket-city/events/business-blast-off

Sponsored by the Rocket City Trash Pandas, this B2B networking event is a chance for companies and executives to step up to the plate and take their swings at this year’s business outlook. Opportunities to meet prospects and build long-term business relationships and partnerships will be in the lineup. 

Companies will also hear about ways to have their logos displayed on the videoboard during Trash Pandas games and events; and a chance to win Trash Pandas gear.

The event is CDC compliant and a cash bar will be available as well.

For information, call Cory Ausderau at 256-325-1549 or email causderau@trashpandasbaseball.com, or Mareca Watson at 256-325-1548 and mwatson@trashpandasbaseball.com.

 

BeeZr – An ‘Excellent’ Addition to the Downtown Vibe

A warm atmosphere awaits the customers to BeeZr. (Photo/Steve Babin)

BeeZr Gastropub + Social Exchange is the latest establishment settling on Northside Square in downtown Huntsville that gives the block a European vibe.

BeeZr is a play off “beezer,’ which is British slang for “excellent.’’ BeeZr, in the building that formerly housed Club Rush and Jazz Factory, counts as its neighbors English pub The Poppy and German-influenced eatery Domaine South.

The gastropub is a three-pronged setup featuring Chandler’s Ford Brewing, Champagne Taco Kitchen and Northside Coffee Roasters. BeeZr will also serve items from vegan food truck Hippea Camper.

Ron Jewell, founder and business development director of BeeZr, said he and his team “found the perfect location in the booming downtown arts and entertainment district in Huntsville. A historic multi-story building situated centrally on the courthouse square.’’

Eye-catching canvas psychedelic paintings adorn the windows. (Photo/Steve Babin)

The building’s windows are eye-catching with canvas psychedelic paintings viewable from Clinton Avenue between Northside Square and the courthouse.

“Clever architects, engineers, a visionary brewery designer, and construction experts produced a minimal-footprint, tall-stacked, custom-designed brewery configuration that will support up to 25 different recipes fermenting simultaneously,’’ said Jewell, who has a background in aerospace and engineering software and hardware.

Jewell, who worked at The Hungry Hunter while attending college at Auburn, and four others founded BeeZr: Doug Tibbs (chief zymurgy officer), Adam Loveless (design and dynamics director), Daniel Sikorski (Champagne Taco Kitchen czar) and Clint Brown (assistant brewmaster and libations director).

Associates include Keenan Tipton (Northside Coffee) and Garrett Hardee (Hippea Camper).

Chandler’s Ford Brewing is named for English neighborhood Hampshire, where Jewell lived in his early teens.

As for the brewery, Jewell describes the focus as on “fresh, delicious beer recipes delivering a bewildering variety of fermented beverages and will be complemented with a selection of champagnes, wines, and specialty mixed drinks.’’

Champagne Taco Kitchen will feature three standard taco offerings: a San Diego- and Mexico City-inspired Carnitas Taco, a cilantro-lemon aioli Grilled Halibut Fish Taco, and the Champagne Taco – a white, lump-crab with lime-saffron sauce taco.

In addition to the trio of taco offerings, rotating menu items will include a Sous Vide beef brisket steak sandwich, chorizo & cilantro quesadillas, a Chicago-inspired tomato-sausage pizza, New Orleans seafood gumbo and a six-hour Sous Vide rare New York Strip steak dinner.

Jewell describes BeeZr as singularly unique amidst the city’s craft beer establishments.

“We dreamed of a uniquely-motivated small restaurant where tapas-sized portions of decidedly different interpretations of our favorite foods are prepared flawlessly and precisely every time: tacos, pizzas, steak sandwiches, crab cakes, gumbo, charbroiled beefsteak, rack of lamb, charcuterie,” he said.

“We dreamed of a uniquely configured small-batch brewery capable of creating a large variety of ales and lagers, and served direct to tap without the degradation that accompanies every type of retail packaging. IPAs, barrel-aged stouts, kettle sours, mixed fermentation experimentals, and an extensive lagering program.

“We dreamed of a cool, comfortable, cavernous venue with a mixture of old and new, metal and wood, art & architecture, and music and food and beer. Austere and sublime and perfectly situated in the Huntsville downtown area.

“Then, the dream came true.’’

BeeZr is open daily from 7 a.m.-11 p.m. with kitchens hours from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. For more information, visit www.gobeezr.com.

 

 

 

 

Anglin Reichmann Armstrong Partner Jay Reichmann Retires

Wrapping up a career spanning 32 years, partner Jay Reichmann has retired from Anglin Reichmann Armstrong.

Reichmann joined the firm in 1998 when it had less than 10 employees and played a key role in its growth. His client and firm relationships will continue to be served by the firm’s teams in Huntsville and Pensacola.  

“After much thought and discernment, it feels like the right time to make a change and pursue other opportunities,” Reichmann said. “I am grateful to my colleagues and clients for the opportunity to lead and grow a public accounting firm and meet so many wonderful people over the years.

“I will miss those daily relationships the most.” 

Managing Partner Gary Anglin, who founded the firm in 1990, worked with Reichmann since he joined the firm. On the leadership team, their practices serve government contractors, manufacturers, construction clients and professionals. The firm was recently named a Top 400 firm and expanded to Pensacola in September 2018.  

Anglin said Reichmann was active in the firm’s operations, administration and business development in addition to working with business and individual clients primarily in tax and consulting. In recent years, Reichmann focused on growing the firm’s manufacturing niche and mergers and acquisition consulting.  

“We can’t thank Jay enough for his contributions to the firm,” Anglin said. “I greatly appreciate the role he played in helping to lay the foundation that we continue to build upon. We all wish him and his family the best.”

Anglin Reichmann Armstrong is a regional accounting and advisory services with technical expertise in government contracting and other niche services as well as tax, estate, wealth management and business transition services. In 2020, Anglin was named to INSIDE Public Accounting’s Top 400 Fastest Growing Firms” list and Accounting Today’s “Best Accounting Firms to Work For.”