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Here is today's summary of economic development news, a free service of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, representing Alabama's private sector investment in economic development.  If you enjoy NewsFlash, thank an EDPA Partner


In this issue:
Touchpad technology, more luxury and Alabama address among highlights of new Mercedes-Benz C-Class
UAB to initiate 'aggressive' hiring plan
5 questions about Huntsville business with John Whitman, visiting professor of entrepreneurship and leadership at UAH
Geneva County business touts turnaround
Computer Technology Solutions nearly doubling space in Mobile, set to hire 10-15 by 2015 (updated)
Brock School of Business M.B.A. Students Win Second Place in an International Case Competition


Touchpad technology, more luxury and Alabama address among highlights of new Mercedes-Benz C-Class (photos)


on January 13, 2014 


The redesigned Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan took the stage at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit today, and it was accompanied by a face that's familiar to people in Alabama.


Ola Kaellenius, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Mercedes-Benz Cars and former head of the German automaker's Alabama operations, played a key role in the introduction of the new model that will be produced at the Tuscaloosa County plant.


A native of Sweden, Kaellenius worked in the plant's finance department in the mid-1990s, when it opened, and then returned to lead it from 2009 to 2010. After that, he was head of Mercedes' high-performance division in Germany before being named to his current post.


Kaellenius told reporters and others who gathered for the Mercedes news conference at the auto show today that the years he spent in Alabama had a huge impact on him.









    UAB to initiate 'aggressive' hiring plan 

    By Yann Ranaivo Reporter-Birmingham Business Journal 

    Jan. 13, 2014


    The University of Alabama at Birmingham is putting together plans to recruit 10 physicians and researchers to the city every year for the next eight years, the school told me Monday.


    UAB told me about the hiring plans as part of its response to questions about

    decreased National Institutes of Health funding to the school in 2013.


    "An aggressive hiring plan will be outlined in the coming months through which we expect to recruit top physicians and researchers over the next eight years," said UAB Vice President of Research and Development Richard Marchase.


    Marchase said the hiring plan will bring external funding and support jobs and provide "a substantial economic impact for Birmingham."




[Birmingham Business Journal]




  5 questions about Huntsville business with John Whitman, visiting professor of entrepreneurship and leadership at UAH

By Lucy Berry | lberry@al.com 

on January 13, 2014

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - When a lot of people think about Huntsville, they perceive the Rocket City as a largely defense-oriented town.


John Whitman, a visiting assistant professor of entrepreneurship and leadership at the College of Business Administration at UAH, said there's more to Huntsville than the local airport lets on.


"Landing at the Huntsville airport, it's like landing in the Pentagon gift shop," he said. "There are all these posters of missiles and helicopters and war scenarios. Those of us who know and live in Huntsville are much more excited about the whole range of entrepreneurial things we have going on here."


Whitman, who also works as the interim director of the Innovation, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship (ICE) Lab at UAH, came to Huntsville last year from Washington, D.C. Prior to moving to Huntsville, he taught courses in social entrepreneurship, nonprofits and cooperatives at the Kogod School of Business at American University and the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.






Geneva County business touts turnaround

By Lance Griffin

January 13, 2014 


HARTFORD - When David Bearden bought controlling interest in Air Performance in March of 2011, it had done only $105,000 in total business that year and owners were getting ready to close the doors.


Only 10 employees remained then. Today, Air Performance employs 41 workers in Hartford and would like to add 20 more in the near future.


The recent success of the company has its CEO, and Geneva County lawmakers, ecstatic.


"I'm just tired of seeing everybody that graduates from Hartford going somewhere else to get a job," said District 2 Geneva County Commissioner Gary Shields, whose district includes Hartford. "This is something to be proud of."




[Dothan Eagle]




Computer Technology Solutions nearly doubling space in Mobile, set to hire 10-15 by 2015 (updated)

MOBILE, Alabama - Citing continued expansion plans and a growing workforce, technology consulting firm Computer Technology Solutions Inc. will soon have a new Mobile address for the new year.


Founded in Mobile and based in Birmingham, CTS will move next week to 6420 Wall St. from the University of South Alabama's Technology and Research Park, where it has resided for the past eight years.


The company - in its 21st year of business - currently employs 30 in Mobile with plans to hire an additional 10 to 15 software developers within the next 12 to 18 months. Companywide, CTS employs about 230 at six offices in Mobile; Birmingham; Atlanta; Nashville, Charlotte, N.C.; and Chattanooga, Tenn.














Brock School of Business M.B.A. Students Win Second Place in an International Case Competition


January 14, 2014



Birmingham, Ala. - M.B.A. students from Samford University's Brock School of Business won second place in an international competition sponsored by Baylor University.  The winners were announced Jan. 10 in Fort Worth, Texas, at the U.S. Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) competition and annual conference.


Kevin Gibson, Josh Reed and Lu Wang wrote the case "Urban Cookhouse" last summer under the supervision of Professor Chad Carson, associate dean in the Brock School of Business.  This case focused on the opportunities and challenges facing the Birmingham restaurant and co-owner David Snyder as he considered the firm's strategic growth options and human resources challenges resulting from this growth.


"We are obviously delighted that our students competed so well again this year in such a large international field," said Carson. "The Brock School of Business is the only school in the world to have had at least one team in the finals each year of this competition, and this is the second year in a row we've placed among the top three teams."



Other schools with finalists include Baylor University; University of San Francisco; Erasmus University (the Netherlands), Universiti Tun Abdul Razak (Malaysia) and IBS  Hyderabad (India).  Marlene Reed, competition coordinator at Baylor University and former Samford business dean, said that this was the most competitive year yet with a record number of submissions.


"Kevin and Josh completed an outstanding performance in presenting their academic business case on Urban Cookhouse," said Barbara Cartledge, assistant dean of academic programs.  "The judges encouraged the team to submit their case for journal publication along with their recommendations. We are very proud of our students for receiving this honor."


About the Brock School of Business at Samford University:

Samford University's Brock School of Business has a long history of achievements in business education. The university has offered degrees in business and commerce since 1922.  In 1965, the School of Business was established to offer both bachelors and masters degrees in business.  It was formally named the Brock School in 2007 for Birmingham banker and Samford trustee Harry B. Brock Jr., reflecting his long career in business and his commitment to high quality business and entrepreneurship education. The Brock School of Business holds AACSB Accreditation, the benchmark of quality worldwide and the most widely sought after standard of excellence by U.S. business schools. In 2010, USASBE selected the Brock School of Business' entrepreneurship program as the best new program in the U.S.






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Enjoy the day, 

Val Walton
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