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Volunteers Needed for CHOICES Programchoices

The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce is proud to present the national CHOICES motivational seminar to 7th graders free of charge, in Middle Schools along the Eastern Shore.


CHOICES is a two-hour classroom workshop designed to help students realize the long-term implications of the decisions they make in school.


CHOICES' hands-on activities awaken students to the power to make important future-impacting decisions right now. The workshop develops ideas of time management, self-discipline and wise academic decision-making. It brings home to teenagers the meaning of the term "cost-of-living" and exposes them to sobering information about the education and skills required for occupations in today and tomorrow's workplace.


We need your help. To bring the seminar to the class rooms we need volunteers to present it to the students. This is an excellent way you and your company could do something very beneficial for our youth. It is also a good way for the students to get to know our business community. The commitment of time is estimated to be one hour for training and two hours presenting the program to each class in the schools. Presenters will be asked to committo at least three classes. Presenters will present for two days. Classes are scheduled March 31st and April 1st at Daphne Middle School and April 3 and 4th at Fairhope Middle School.


If you are interested in donating time to help our future generation learn how to make the right choices for their lives please call Kathie Barton at 928-6387 and volunteer.

I hope to hear from you soon!



Baldwin County Job Fairjobfair

The Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance and the county's five Chambers of Commerce - the Central Baldwin Chamber of Commerce, Coastal Alabama Business Chamber, Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce, North Baldwin Chamber of Commerce and South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce - will host the 2014 Baldwin County Job Fair, to be held Tuesday, April 1, at the Daphne Civic Center from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. This year's job fair is sponsored by Infirmary Health, the largest non-governmental healthcare system in the state and the second largest not-for-profit healthcare system in Alabama.


In its 14th year, the job fair allows employers and job seekers to meet and discuss current and future job opportunities for full-time, part-time and seasonal work. Employers in a variety of industries will exhibit at the event including manufacturing, service, healthcare, communications and finance.


The event is free to the public and will offer free seminars throughout the day to assist job seekers. The Alabama Career Center will be available to offer advice and counseling. Hero2Hired will assist military service members, veterans and military Spouses in preparing for employment.
For transportation assistance to the job fair contact BRATS at (251)972-6817 24 hours to 48 hours in advance to schedule a ride.

For more information regarding the 2014 Job Fair, visit


62nd ANNUAL ARTS & CRAFTS FESTIVAL March 14, 15 & 16 artscrafts

The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce proudly announces the 62nd Annual Arts & Crafts Festival in Fairhope, March 14, 15 & 16, 2014 presented by PNC Bank. Festival hours are 10 am - 5 pm daily and there is no admission charge. Come down to the Fairhope office during the festival and meet the committee that plans this event all year long.


Over 230 exhibitors from throughout the nation will bring their best works to show and sell at this prestigious juried show. Live entertainment will be going on throughout the three-day event and unique cuisine will be served up in the food court. It all takes place on the streets of beautiful downtown Fairhope, Alabama. Last year the event attracted more than 300,000 visitors to the area. The festival was chosen as one of the top 20 events in the southeast for March by the Alabama Bureau of Tourism and the event is also one of the top 20 events selected by the Southeast Tourism Society. The festival was also selected for a "Best of Bama" award by the readers of Alabama Magazine.


BRATS (Baldwin County Area Transportation System) will offer a shuttle service from the Plantation Pointe Shopping Center, Ecor Rouge Place Center and Eastern Shore Village Center. All of the parking is free and the locations are less than a five-minute ride away. The shuttle ride costs only $2 one way.


Free valet parking for bicycles will be provided behind the Fairhope Museum of History. Handicapped parking will be located in the Municipal Parking Lot on Bancroft.


Sponsors this year are: Presenting-PNC Bank; Platinum - Grand Hotel Marriott, Golf Club & Spa; Stage Sponsor - Faulkner State Community College; Gold Sponsor -, Ink Works and Alabama Public Radio; Silver - Mercy Medical, Holiday Inn Express-Fairhope, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, El Mexicano and Eastern Shore Magazine; Dinner Sponsor - Segers; Friends of the Festival - Citizens Bank, Tonsmeire Properties and Centennial Bank.


"PNC has a long history of supporting organizations that strengthen and enrich the lives of our neighbors," said Cedric Hatcher, PNC Gulf Coast regional president. "We understand the valuable return that unique cultural events including the Fairhope Arts and Crafts have on our local Gulf Coast economy. Today more than ever, the businesses we attract, the jobs we create and the visitors who extend their stay are drawn to this area by the beauty of Coastal Alabama and the outdoor cultural activities we have to offer."


There will be so much to see and do on the Eastern Shore that folks will want to stay over. There are many wonderful stores and great restaurants to choose from. For complete information on great places to stay in and around the Eastern Shore call the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce at (251) 621-8222, 928-6387 or visit the website at



Thomas Hospital Ranks High in Recoverythomas 
For the first time, Consumer Reports has rated hospitals on how well their patients fare during and after elective surgery, including hip and knee replacements. Only 34 hospitals, in 20 states, earned the highest rating by Consumer Reports for hip surgery. Not only is Thomas Hospital in the top 34 in the country, but Thomas Hospital is the only hospital that received this recognition in Alabama. See what Consumer Reports is saying about Thomas Hospital. Click for more information. 

Eggs N' Issues

Alabama Economic & Community 


The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce Business Academy Eggs N' Issues breakfast will feature the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs with director Jim Byard, Jr. He will speak on what ADECA is and how it affects the area with a focus on workforce and economic development both in the area and the state.


In January 2011, Governor Robert Bentley asked Byard to put his community development skills to work on behalf of the state naming him director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.


As director, Byard serves in Governor Bentley's Cabinet, oversees a staff of 200 and manages a $350 million annual budget. His daily work revolves around economic development projects, local infrastructure development and community enhancement projects, workforce development services, alternative energy and energy conservation measures, water resource management, and strengthening public safety in all of Alabama's 67 counties. Following the deadly tornadoes of April 2011, the Governor assigned Byard's office the added responsibility of coordinating the state's role in long-term community recovery.


To support community development, ADECA awards hundreds of grants each year to city and county governments and nonprofit organizations throughout Alabama.


Byard was serving his third term as mayor of Prattville when the Governor selected him to lead ADECA. Voters had previously elected him to the Prattville City Council at the age of 26 where he served two terms, one as council president. He was the youngest mayor in the city's history when elected in 2000. An F3 tornado struck Prattville in 2008 giving Jim a firsthand experience in responding and recovering from a natural disaster.


During his tenure as mayor, Prattville experienced rapid residential and business growth with many national retailers opening in the city, including Alabama's first Bass Pro Shop.


In 2004-05, he served as president of the Alabama League of Municipalities, a nonpartisan association of more than 450 Alabama cities and towns. In 2009-2010 Jim served on the board of directors of the National League of Cities, the oldest and largest municipal government organization, representing about 19,000 cities, towns, and villages.


He currently serves on the boards of directors of the Accelerate Alabama Alliance, the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama Foundation, the Alabama Research Alliance, the American Red Cross, the United Way of Autauga County, and the Prattville YMCA. He is a past president of the Prattville Kiwanis Club.


Jim holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science with double minors in business and sociology from Troy University Montgomery. He and his wife Beverly live in Prattville with their three children: Marylise, James III, and Richard.


Sponsors for the Business Academy Eggs N' Issues are: Hartmann, Blackmon & Kilgore, PC; Baldwin EMC and Daphne Utilities.


The breakfast takes place Tuesday, March 11, 8:30 am at Daphne United Methodist Church Community Life Center, 2401 Main St., Daphne. The fee to attend the event is $10 which includes a hot breakfast. To sign up call 928-6387. RSVPs are a must.


Hilton Garden Inn #1 hilton

Hilton Garden Inn of Mobile East Bay/Daphne has been named as the brand's top performing hotel for 2013. The Daphne property was selected from among 585 hotels worldwide, winning the highly coveted "Connie Award" (named after the company's founder, Conrad Hilton) as "Hotel of the Year."

Hilton Garden Inn, the worldwide brand of upscale yet affordable hotels, presents the prestigious award each year to the one Hilton property that best embodies the company's standards in product and hospitality.

The Connie Award is based on scores in three key areas-Quality Assurance evaluations measuring cleanliness, condition and brand standards; Satisfaction and Loyalty Tracking scores, which indicate product quality based on thousands of guest surveys conducted throughout the year; and the quality of the hotel's physical accommodations.

"We are honored to be recognized as Hotel of the Year by the Hilton Garden Inn brand," said Billy Meadows, general manager of the Daphne property. "Our team works hard each day to provide excellent customer service, and it is their level of commitment that has made this achievement possible."

The Daphne, Alabama property was also recognized as the very top performing hotel worldwide in two additional categories, the Highest Overall Dinner Experience Award and the Hilton Honors Loyalty Award. Resident Chef Jeremy Waltman brings an array of exciting dishes to the award winning Garden Grille and Bar with a focus on regional flavors and fresh ingredients. As the hotel's full-service restaurant, the Garden Grille and Bar offers breakfast, dinner, cocktails and evening room service.

Guests of the 124-room hotel enjoy the brand's signature Garden Sleep System featuring the Serta Perfect Sleeper Pillow Top mattress. Other amenities include Keurig coffee makers, complimentary Wi-Fi, a 24-hour business center, and a state-of-the-art Precor fitness center.

Hilton Garden Inn participates in Hilton Honors®, the only hotel rewards program that offers Points & Miles® and No Blackout Dates.

The Hilton Garden Inn Mobile East Bay/Daphne is located at 29546 N. Main St., Daphne, Alabama, just off I-10. More information is available by calling 251-625-0020 or at

 Ambassador of the Monthambassador

Congratulations to Brenda Carpenter for being selected as Ambassador of the Month for January. Brenda served the Chamber well last month by attending numerous events and activities, as well as serving as a liaison for the Chamber.


Brenda has been the branch manager for Family Security Credit Union for eight years. She has been in the banking industry for 36 years.


A native of Bellefontaine, Ohio, Brenda and her husband of 38 years, Ed, moved to Spanish Fort ten years ago. The couple has two children Ashley and Blake, both are married and live out of state. They also have six grand children they enjoy visiting often.  When not working or volunteering for the Chamber Brenda enjoys being involved with her Sunday school class Jubilee Baptist Church and she enjoys cross-stitching.

IRS Offering Health Tax Tips taxtips

The Internal Revenue Service is offering educational Health Care Tax Tips to help individuals understand how the Affordable Care Act may affect their taxes. 

The IRS has designed the Health Care Tax Tips to help people understand what they need to know for the federal individual income tax returns they are filing this year, as well as for future tax returns. This includes information on the Premium Tax Credit and making health care coverage choices.

Although many of the tax provisions included in the law went into effect on Jan. 1, 2014, most do not affect the 2013 tax returns. 

The Health Care Tax Tips, which are now available at, include:

·        IRS Reminds Individuals of Health Care Choices for 2014 ─ Find out what you need to know about how health care choices you make for 2014 may affect your taxes.

·        The Health Insurance Marketplace - Learn about Your Health Insurance Coverage Options - Find out about getting health care coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

·        The Premium Tax Credit─ Learn the basics of the Premium Tax Credit, including who might be eligible and how to get the credit. 

·        The Individual Shared Responsibility Payment - An Overview ─ Provides information about types of qualifying coverage, exemptions from having coverage, and making a payment if you do not have qualifying coverage or an exemption. 

·        Three Timely Tips about Taxes and the Health Care Law─  Provides tips that help with filing the 2013 tax return, including information about employment status, tax favored health plans and itemized deductions.

·        Four Tax Facts about the Health Care Law for Individuals ─ Offers basic tips to help people determine if the Affordable Care Act affects them and their families, and where to find more information.

·        Changes in Circumstances can Affect your Premium Tax Credit ─ Learn the importance of reporting any changes in circumstances that involve family size or income when advance payments of the Premium Tax Credit are involved.

In addition to Health Care Tax Tips, the website offers informative flyers and brochures, Frequently Asked Questions and in-depth legal guidance regarding the tax provisions of the Affordable Care Act.  

Individuals interested in receiving copies of IRS tax tips via email on a variety of topics, including the Affordable Care Act, can subscribe at
  Firestone Complete Auto ribboncutting 

The Eastern Shore Chamber recently welcomed new member Firestone Complete Auto Care with a ribbon cutting at 27340 US Highway 98 in Daphne. Present were, from left to right the front row: Rick Herring, Chris Young, Kyle Carn; Larry Hunter, ambassador ESCoC; Paul Brown; Daphne Mayor Dane Haygood; Fred Dawkins; Darrelyn Bender, president/CEO ESCoC, Keith Lott, ESCoC, Brenda Carpenter, ESCoC; Lt. Rick Yeldon. They were joined by Firestone staff and customers. Firestone offers a wide variety of tires including Bridgestone, Firestone, Falken and Primewell. They can service most brands of vehicles, both foreign and domestic, and provide a wide selection of services including: oil changes, filters, battery and alternator, air conditioning and heating systems, wheel alignment and brakes. Their motto is "Keeping your car running Newer, Longer"! For more information call 626-4886.


Papa Murphy's


The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce recently welcomed new member Papa Murphy's with a ribbon cutting at 27955 US Highway 98, Ste. J, Daphne. Attending the event were: left to right - Jeff Ramsland and Brenda Carpenter, chamber ambassadors; Alexis Malone, Peter Muscarella; Keith Lott, ESCoC; Denise Bullock, Billy Bullock; Daphne Mayor Dane Haygood; Steve Daniels, Braxton Bullock in costume.

Papa Murphy's is a take and bake pizza restaurant. They make the dough daily and get produce from local venders  Customers always get a fresh and hot pizza from their oven when they bake it. For more information call 621-8666.


Rouses Market

The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce recently welcomed new member Rouses Market with a ribbon cutting at 6729 Spanish Fort Blvd., Spanish Fort.  Attending the  event were Tim Acosta, Chris Acosta, Cindy Acosta, Donald Rouse and Donny Rouse.  Joining them were Millie Sue Hawk, Chamber ambassador; Uncle Henry of Clear Channel Radio; Spanish Fort Mayor Mike McMillan; Darrelyn Bender, president/CEO of the Eastern Shore Chamber; and Rouses staff and friends.  From LA to LA. Rouses Markets from Louisiana (LA) is now open all over Lower Alabama (LA), including Gulf Shores. The company was founded in 1960 by Anthony J. Rouse, Sr. Today it is run by a second and third generation of the family. The company has 46 stores, including three in development in Louisiana that will open later this year.  For more information call 621-0552.




Eastern Shore Chamber Offers

Certificates of Origin certificates

Did you know that millions of Certificates of Origin are issued every year, facilitating trade around the world. Since as early as 1898, chambers of commerce have been issuing non-preferential COs and more recently, closely working with Customs authorities, issuing preferential COs.


The 1923 Geneva Convention and subsequent Kyoto Convention have seen governments formally recognize the important role chambers play in this domain, deeming them competent authorities and credible trusted third-parties in the issuance of COs.


Virtually every country in the world considers the origin of imported goods when determining the duty that will be applied to the goods or, in some cases, whether the goods may be legally imported at all.


In addition, COs may be needed to comply with letters of credit, foreign customs requirements or a buyer's request.


The main CO is the 'non-preferential type,' which certifies that the country a particular product originates from does not qualify for any preferential treatment. A 'preferential' certificate, on the other hand, enables products to benefit from tariff reductions or exemptions when they are exported to countries that extend these privileges.


The Eastern Shore Chamber is proud to offer this service to our Chamber members for only $8 per certificate of Origin.  Call us at 621-8222 for more information.


Let's Go ItalianItalian


The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce has teamed up with Collette Vacations to offer a fantastic deal on a whirlwind trip to Italy. And what's great about it is you have nearly an entire year to save up!


The trip is November 10 - 18, 2014. If you book now the cost for a double is $2,999 per person, single $3,349 and triple is $2,969. The regular rates are double $3,249, single $3,599 and triple $3,219. Included in the price is round trip air from Mobile Airport, air taxes and fees/surcharges, hotel stays and hotel transfers. Not included is a cancellation waiver and insurance of $230 per person.


You have the opportunity to explore the magic of Rome, Florence and Venice, which are filled with rich history, culture, art and romance. Rome, the "Eternal City" will be first, with three days of touring and experiencing the culture. Florence will be next, also with three days of group tours and time on your own. Venice will be next with a ride on a train, viewing 117 tiny islands, canals and 400 bridges. A boat trip will also be included and a walking tour with a guide explaining the many features of the area. The tour ends in the Milan Malpensa area on day nine, November 18.


Call the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce at (251) 621-8222 or 928-6387 to find out how to join us on this group tour.


ESCoC logo

MARCH 2014
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In This Issue




March 2014
1  Shadow Barons Parade, Daphne, 6:45 pm, Daphne
1  Krewe of Mullet Mates Parade, Point Clear, 2 pm.
2  Loyal Order of Fire Truck, 2 pm, Daphne
3  Order of Mystic Magnolias Parade, 6:45 pm, Fairhope.
4  Mardi Gras Day (Chamber Offices Closed).
6 Business After Hours, 5 - 7 pm, Community Bank, 27397 Highway 98, Daphne.  An Eastern Shore Chamber event.  621-8222.
8  Doll & Toy Show  & Sale, 9:30 am - 4 pm, Fairhope Civic Center, 980-5958.
8  Fairhope Sunset Rotary Backyard BBQ Cookoff & Homebrew Competition, 10 am, Fairhope Municipal Stadium, 583-0702.
8 & 9 Baldwin County Home Builders Home & Product Show, Daphne Civic Center, 928-9927.
11 Eggs N' Issues, 8:30 am, Daphne UMC, 2401 Main St., Daphne, Topic:  Alabama Dept. of Econ. Dev. & Community Affairs.  (see articles)  621-8222.  An Eastern Shore Chamber event.
14-16  62nd  Annual Arts & Crafts Festival in Fairhope, 10 am - 5 pm, 621-6222.  An Eastern Shore Chamber event. (see article)
14-16  42nd Annual Eastern Shore Art Center Outdoor Show, 928-2228.
15  Spring Fever Chase, 279-1518 or 928-1772.
16  Festa Italiana, Christ the King Church, Daphne, 10 am, 626-2343.
16  Sunday Sunset Concert Series, Bayfront Park, Daphne, 5 pm, 621-9000.
18  Savy Moms Consignment Sale, Daphne Civic Center, 10 am.
20  Morning Marketing Meeting, 8 am, Scenic Overlook office. An Eastern Shore Chamber event.  621-8222.
20  Young Professional's Social, 5:30 - 7:30 pm, Fairhope Brewing Co., 914 Nichols Ave., Fairhope  An Eastern Shore Chamber event.
27  Annual Mayor's Golf Tournament for FEEF, 1 pm, Quail Creek Golf Course, 990-3333.

Baldwin County

Housing Statistics

January 2013

Houses Sold
Average Selling Price
Average Days on Market
Units on the Market
Condos Sold
Average Selling Price
Average Days on Market


Units on the Market
Unemployment Stats
      12/2013     1/2012
AL        5.7%        6.5%  
BC        5.3%        6.3%
US        6.5%        7.6% 




As of 2/28/14



Allstate Insurance Company-Tyler Miller

8531 Spanish Fort Blvd., Bldg. 2

Spanish Fort



Fitzgerald Construction LLC

Michael Fitzgerald

8270 Spanish Fort Blvd, Ste. A

Spanish Fort



Easy-Haul, Inc.

Austin Tucker

8100 Falcon Blvd.




Harper Technologies LLC

29000 US Highway 98, Ste. A201




Anytime Fitness

Jonathan DePew

2020 US Highway 98, Ste. C




Faulkner Farms

Jay Faulkner

13456 County Road 48




Herb N Fusion

Kaylan Shepherd

33 Village Main St.

Spanish Fort



Chaufees Catering and Courtyard

Clay & Judy Cox

9677 Gayfer Road Ext.




Blackmon Insurance Company

Lee Walker

100 Oak Bend Ct.




Mullet Wrapper

Fran Thompson

901 East 24th Ave.

Gulf Shores


Advisor Financial Group, Inc.

Jerry Goodson

36 N. Section St., Ste. 201




Allgood Dentistry, PC

Brittney Allgood

2004 US Highway 98, Ste. F




February Renewed Members

Bay Images

Awards & Trophies

Member 23 Years



Department Store

Member 9 Years


Nonnenmacher & Clark, PC

Accountants, Certified Public

Member 2 Years


Sexton Lawn & Landscape, Inc.

Landscape Lawn Care

Member 8 Years


The Haven

Civic or Fraternal Organization

Member 12 Years


Windmill Market

Open-air Market

Member 4 Years


Vale're Homes, LLC

Construction-Residential Building

Member 4 Years


University of South Alabama Baldwin County


Member 30 Years


White-Spunner Realty - Matt White

Real Estate Development

Member 13 Years


Aflac Insurance - Alodia Arnold

Insurance Agency

Member 1 Year


The Happy Olive


Member 2 Years


Dragonfly Food Bar


Member 2 Years


J & E Properties


Member 9 Years


Dirty Hairy Dog Wash

Pet Services

Member 2 Years


Medicap Pharmacy


Member 15 Years


Optera Creative

Web Publishing/Development

Member 3 Years


The Appraisal & Consultant Group, Inc.

Real Estate Appraisal

Member 13 Years


Watkins Acy Strunk Design, Inc.

Landscape Architect

Member 6 Years


BancorpSouth-Spanish Fort


Member 5 Years


Daphne Elementary School


Member 16 Years


Household Termite & Pest Control

Pest/Termite Control

Member 6 Years


United Way of Baldwin County, Inc.

Civic or Fraternal Organization

Member 17 Years


Mannich Real Estate, Inc.

Real Estate

Member 17 Years


Arbor Gates Apartments


Member 5 Years


Bay Breeze Guest House

Bed & Breakfast

Member 22 Years


BLP Mobile Paint

Paint, Wallpaper, Carpet, Decoration

Member 2 Years


Browning, Mecke and O'Neal, LLC

Business Consulting

Member 6 Years


Burton Property Group LLC

Real Estate - Commercial

Member 3 Years


Coldwell Banker Reehl Properties - Cindy Zebryk


Member 1 Year


Eastern Shore Eye Care


Member 13 Years



Landscape Lawn Service

Member 4 Years


Old 27 Grill


Member 3 Years


Pelican Coast Conservancy LLC

Environmental Management

Member 1 Year


Small's Mortuary and Cremation Services

Funeral Home/Cemetery

Member 4 Years



Radio Station/Broadcasting

Member 4 Years


Clear Image Glass LLC


Member 1 Year


Eastern Shore Radiation Oncology

dba Gulf Coast Cancer Centers

Member 6 Years


Baldwin Signs

Signs & Banners

Member 25 Years


Pen Air Federal Credit Union - Eastern Shore

Credit Union

Member 8 Years