L I V E, SHOP, & PL AY L I K E A LO CA L | JA N 2 019
P.O. Box 1117 | Foley, Alabama 36536 | tel: 251.943.3291 | fax: 251.943.6810 | www.southbaldwinchamber.com
SPONSORED “It is an exciting time to be a member of the South Baldwin Chamber
Cover Story . . . of Commerce and I am honored to be serving as Chairman in 2019!
There is so much diverse growth taking place in our community and the
By Allison Woodham domino effect is creating new opportunities for both business and talent
growth. The Gateway Initiative is kicking off the second year of a 5 year
As the farm-to-table initiative plan that is laser-focused on driving economic growth and community
begins to trend, Kathleen well-being, but it cannot be done in a vacuum. On behalf of the South
Baskin, just continues what Baldwin Chamber of Commerce, its Board of Directors and the broader
she’s always done: bringing community we serve, I invite you to be a part of this long-term strategy
fresh, local products from the so that together, we can Make It Happen for our South Baldwin com-
area to your plate. munity! Whatever your passion – Talent Development, Business Advo-
cacy, Business Growth & Retention – let us help you invest your time,
“What I see farm-to-table as, energy, and resources where you know the collective impact will make a
is actually going to the farm
and getting produce,” Baskin difference. Gateway Initiative Year Two – One Vision, One Voice! ”
said. “I go to the shrimp boats
and get shrimp and crabs to — Michelle Hodges
make my seafood gumbo and
shrimp dishes.” Executive Board
Baskin grew up on a farm and Board Members
feels it’s important to incorpo-
rate the farm-to-table concept
in her catering business for
health reasons and also to
support the local economy.
“I think you get a warm, fuzzy
feeling supporting local people
and they’re supporting you,”
she said. Baskin’s concept is
that this is the freshest food
you can buy. Eating locally
means eating season to sea-
son, but Baskin’s menus stay
relatively the same through-
out the year.
Buying local gives you a sense
of community. “It links us with
each other so that we do sup-
port each other,” Baskin said.
“It’s the freshest you can pre-
pare; it’s also the tastiest and
Something new Katy’s Cater-
ing is now offering is casse-
roles on a daily basis.
Baskin points out— it doesn’t
cost more, it just takes a little
more effort, more love, to
prepare fresh, locally grown
COASTAL OYSTER BEDS There’s Hope and a Plan
By Drew MacFarlane | Weather.com | November 27, 2018
At a Glance . . . • An estimated 85 per-
cent of the Gulf of Mexi-
(National Wildlife Federation) co's oyster population has
• The Nature Conserv-
ancy, an environmental
organization, has a plan to
• They plan to build two
artificial reefs beginning
Oysters in the Gulf of Mexico have seen better days. Aside from the Deep-
water Horizon explosion and oil spill in 2010 — which killed between 4 and 8.3
billion adult oysters, according to NOAA — changes in freshwater flow along the
Gulf and sedimentation caused by more frequent storms have taken their toll on
the Gulf's oyster population.
But all hope is not lost. In fact, there's even a plan, according to a report
by environmental organization The Nature Conservancy (TNC). Compared to his-
toric levels, an estimated 85 percent of the Gulf's oyster population has been lost,
and the impact ranges further than the $100-million-per-year market they pro-
vide. Oyster beds in the Gulf are vital in improving water quality, providing protec-
tion from shoreline erosion and serving as a habitat for fish and wildlife.
The impact of waves, boat wakes and storm surge on the Gulf's shoreline is
reduced by oyster reefs. Reefs are also unique in that they can continue to grow
to keep up with or even outpace sea level rise, according to an entry in the journal
Nature, something hard sea walls can't do.
Additionally, a single oyster can filter 50 gallons of water in one day. In places
like Galveston Bay, a 130-acre reef containing 10 oysters per square meter would
be capable of filtering about 260 million gallons of water each day. In comparison,
Houston's 39 wastewater treatment plants combined to filter 252 million gallons
per day in 2009, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife.
TNC plans to build two artificial oyster reefs – a 50-acre bed in Galveston Bay
and one spanning 60-acres in Copano Bay. Both will designate half of the reef to
serve as a marine sanctuary, while the other half will be open for harvest and
The plan will cost an estimated $5 million of the $160 million settlement BP
paid to Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas for oyster restoration
following the Deepwater Horizon disaster that crippled the Gulf, the nation's lead-
ing body of water in commercial oyster production.
"Such integrated plans and projects would be unique and would put the Gulf
of Mexico at the forefront of oyster resource recovery worldwide," the report
According to the plans, the oysters will be seeded this winter and allowed to
grow untouched and undisturbed until 2021.
Foley High School Lion Pride Robotics Teams, led by Foley
High Teacher, Thomas Thorjusen, finished 2nd place out of 44
robotics teams at the Brewbaker Technology Magnet High
School's 7th Annual VEX Robotics Alabama State Qualifying Event
in Montgomery. Lion Pride Team 8293A, Matt and Zach Van-
Welzen and Cole Smith in alliance with BrewBaker Team 4828P
making it through the Quarter and Semi Finals to the last and
final match of the day against Loveless Academic Magnet Prog
High School and Pike Road Schools. They put up a good fight but
ultimately lost 20 to 10 in the end. Team 8293A brought home
the 2nd place Tournament Finalist trophy.
Team 8293X, led by Kyle Kovalchick and Devin Spivey domi-
nated the morning winning all five of their qualifying matches
and ranking number one by lunch. They had top pick for the alli-
ance selection out of 44 teams in the afternoon. They worked
through the bracketed single elimination matches in the after-
noon and losing their only match of the day in the semi-finals.
Team 8293X did score the highest in the solo "Skills" game
bringing home the Skills Champion Trophy. They are currently
ranked number 1 in the state of Alabama, 161st in the United
States out of approximately 1300 teams.
Foley, the South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce, local in-
dustry and Baldwin County Schools are committed to STEM edu-
cation. With their help and through Auburn SCORE Robotics Edu-
cation Mission 100 grants, Swift School, Magnolia School, Foley
Intermediate, Foley Elementary and Summerdale School all have
robotics programs and equipment for students to learn skills in
problem-solving, collaboration, computer science, math, technol-
ogy and engineering.
This FULL PAGE can be YOUR company’s AD !! Available for purchase!
Make sure to contact [email protected] (251.943.5510) to find out how!
DriveMindGroup.com | July 16, 2018
Why Robotics? — Robots have always been a captivating piece of technology, pro-
grammable to move, make noise, light up, and follow instructions as directed. There is
nothing quite as fun — and educational — as building one’s own robot and setting it
through the paces of a race, an activity or a challenge. In the school setting, robots en-
courage problem-solving, creative thinking, and a healthy sense of competition that
drives innovation from students.
Programming and other STEM concepts can seem very abstract, especially to
younger students. Reading about technology or robotics in a book is perhaps the tradi-
tional way to learn, but putting that theory into practice by building or controlling a robot
is hands-on learning that sticks around for the future. It also takes teamwork to make a
robotics project run smoothly, and that’s a skill everyone needs.
That doesn’t mean that robotics is an easy part of STEM. In fact, this education
technology can be a challenge for some learners — but a good challenge. As students
improve with robotics and programming, they learn determination, perseverance, and how to plan and process with technology. These are
all skills that will further their continuing education, and their future career prospects. As another benefit, robotics is a widespread educa-
tion technology that could lead to more community and educational opportunities. From robotics competitions to showcases for friends
and family, robotics drives community involvement, giving students something of which they can be proud.
Encouraging Students with STEM — Robotics is a fun way to bring STEM to life, and that’s important because STEM is the key to a
successful future for students with the interest and motivation to pursue careers in this field.
“Clear, there’s a need to get students involved in STEM, and the earlier, the better”. — DriveMindGroup
[Read the full article online: drivemindgroup.com/the-importance-of-robotics-in-education]
Local Businesses Embrace Apprenticeships also carry dual enrollment opportunity for students where college and
A major objective with our Gateway Initiative is to work with local busi- high school credit will be received free-of-charge.
nesses on the benefits of establishing apprenticeships for high school In the photo – Charlene Haber of Wolf Bay Restaurant & Bar, was one of
students, onboarding employees or existing employees. As of this the first businesses to formally sponsor apprentices both from the high
writing, we have 18 businesses who have expressed an interest in the school program, and for those employed by her business that she wants
program. Participating businesses come from many industry segments to promote into managerial ranks at one of her three restaurants.
including health care, manufacturing, restaurant, hotel, golf and retail.
There are currently more than 1,400 registered apprenticeships availa-
ble through the Department of Labor (DOL). Ed Bushaw, Director of
Talent Development & Recruitment stated that, “Our job is to help busi-
nesses navigate the requirements of the DOL and representative trade
organizations, and to explain the business and financial benefits. We’ve
found it to be a surprisingly simple process. We have also found that if a
job title isn’t recognized we can create an apprenticeship for it. In fact,
we have two of those in progress”.
The Gateway staff is working with Baldwin County high schools Career
Technical Programs and Coastal Alabama Community College to develop
a pilot Youth Apprenticeship program at Foley High School in Hospitality
and Tourism. The program will combine academic coursework with
required, paid, on-the-job apprenticeship training. Courses required will
DO YOU HAVE • Challenges in helping
• workers keep pace with
• Jobs that are difficult to • continuing industry
find workers with the
right skills? Positions requiring skills
that can be learned on
• Positions that have high the job?
turnover? Difficulty in attracting
new and more diverse
• Occupations where a talent pools?
is retiring soon?
If you are dealing with any of these workforce
challenges our Gateway team is here to help
you determine how apprenticeships can help!
The Gateway to Great Customer Service Training workshop was hosted by the Wharf in Orange Beach in December.
Employees of the shops, hotels, and even the Ferris Wheel attended the customer service course presented by David
Worthington, owner of Magnolia Springs Bed and Breakfast. An award-
winning customer service professional for more than two decades,
Worthington provides a unique perspective on customer service and creates
a fun environment for all skill levels. As part of the Gateway Initiative, this
program has trained over 150 professionals since May 2018. The effort will
continue in 2019 and is tailored to specific industries where necessary. To
schedule a training session for your business, contact Travis Valentine -
BUSINESS OF THE MONTH
GLENLAKES GOLF CLUB — Spectacular Foley Golf at an Exceptional Value
GlenLakes Golf Club, widely regarded as one of the Alabama Gulf Coast’s premier golf courses and
the area’s best value, features 27 holes of unforgettable golf. The 18-hole, links-style, Vista-Dunes
course and the 9-hole resort-style Lakes layout provide a golf experience second to none. GlenLakes
Golf Club is located 2.8 miles east of Foley’s Lambert’s Café on Baldwin County Road 20, just
minutes from the white-sand beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Highlights from 2018 in-
clude hosting the National Jr. College Championship and the State Boys Championship (over 140
golfers). GlenLakes was voted the 2018 Snowbird Favorite Golf Course by Snowbird Choice Awards.
For more information about GlenLakes, rates, and events, visit www.glenlakesgolf.com
University Investment in Football
By Dave Helms | BusinessAlabama.com | January 2, 2019
The University of South Alabama has been fielding a
college football team now for 10 years, but the field has
never been on its campus in west Mobile.
That looks to finally change, as the school’s board of
trustees recently charged USA President Tony Waldrop
with building a campus stadium. The school’s dream
house should come in at the mid-$70 million range and
be ready for play by 2020.
The fourth largest four-year public university in the state will become the seventh to invest in an on-campus football
stadium. USA’s team has been playing in 69-year-old, city-owned Ladd-Peebles Stadium, home of the annual Reese’s
Senior Bowl. UAB, the third largest university, plays now in Legion Field but will break ground this year on a new cam-
pus stadium expected to be finished in 2021. Troy University, Alabama A&M and Alabama State all have campus stadi-
For USA Director of Athletics Joel Erdmann, there’s no shortage of things on the to-do list. USA promptly launched the
Get On Campus campaign, an online crowd-funding effort that gives people a way to donate at any level from a few
dollars to a few million. You can follow the progress on the university’s website, southalabama.edu and search for sta-
dium fundraising. Parallel to that is a more behind-the-scenes effort to solicit major gifts based on naming opportuni-
ties, suites and other premium offerings.
The Mobile County Commission was near the front of the line with a $2.5 million commitment. “We feel comfortable
with where we’re at, and we believe now that the County Commission has sparked it a bit, people will gravitate to-
ward the project,” Erdmann says.
Playing football on campus will allow for many advantages, not the least of which is welcoming visitors who may not
have seen USA lately. “The fruits of this labor will go beyond my time and our time. It will mean graduates who bring
children to campus, who in turn bring their children. We want to start to grow those traditions.”
THANK YOU to our 2018 #SBAwesome SPONSORS!
Riviera Utilities Sunny 105.7
Global Marketing Solutions Meyer Vacation Rentals
The #SBAwesome award is given to South Baldwin Chamber member employees who are nominated
for outstanding customer service. Our team, along with our diplomats and board members, make a
surprise visit to the recipients while they’re at work. They are awarded a gift card, presented with bal-
loons, and an #SBAwesome lapel pin. Photos are posted on our website and our social media sites. At
the end of the year, a luncheon is held in their honor for all recipients and their employers to enjoy.
YOU can nominate someone! Simply post their name, place of business, and why they are awesome
with the hashtag #SBAwesome on Facebook &/or Twitter.
By Cara Clark | BusinessAlabama.com.com | July 19, 2017
It seems every day brings news about anoth- certain duties that he most often finds fraud.
er large corporation reeling from a massive If the person who writes the check is the per-
data breach. Whether through skimmers, son who also reconciles the accounts, there’s
malware or the Internet of Things, it’s difficult no system of checks and balances to prevent
to feel secure with personal information. their succumbing to temptation.
But sometimes security breaches are more “If controls are not in place, it makes it easy
mundane. Those are the ones small business- for somebody to commit fraud, ” Summerford
es should worry about, says Ralph Summer- says. “Often these are ordinary people who
ford, president of Birmingham-based Forensic would not cheat or steal. But what would a
Strategic Solutions LLC. “The most common person do if they discovered a child had a ter-
fraud is still committed by an employee on an minal illness and they had no money and no
employer, ”Summerford says. “The employee insurance? Sheer desperation will lead them
takes money or uses assets of the business to steal money. When they are backed into a
without permission of people who trust corner, you don’t know what they are going to
them.” do. The misconception is that we think others
may act the way we do. You cannot have that
Summerford, a CPA and accounting malprac- misconception.”
tice expert, is a happy hunter of irregularities that point to
theft on the job. One in three people pushed into a corner by adverse circum-
stances will commit an act of fraud. “How do you pick that
“Employees steal from employers,” Summerford says. one in three?” Summerford asks. “You don’t know. That’s
“When you understand that concept, you’ll be able to inves- why it’s important to have controls in place and look for
Summerford insists fraud has not changed much, despite Statistics show the average fraud is committed over the
changes in technology. “As a fraud examiner, I look for course of 24 months. The onus is on the employer to be vigi-
anomalies — changes in behavior, speech, attitude, ” Sum- lant. “An employer that does not do background checks be-
merford says. “The typical response is to sweep it under the fore hiring is stupid, ” Summerford says. “There is so much
rug, but if you dig a little deeper, you see what’s going on.” information available now on the internet. Employers should
monitor social media and know what employees are doing.
Crafty criminals can cover their tracks well, but most haven’t It’s amazing the number of people who get caught because
thought that far ahead. “A really good crook makes it hard- of social media.”
er,” Summerford says. “Most people don’t do that. If your
children do wrong, you can look at them and tell something With hacking in the headlines every day, Summerford re-
is wrong. And when you ask them what they have been do- minds business owners to protect their companies with
ing, they stutter and stammer. You recognize those signs, guidelines for computer use.
and when employees steal, the way they act changes.”
“We live in a digital world. Everyone should be technological-
Recognizing embezzlement is a matter of keeping an eye out ly savvy. Fraudsters will change their methods with the
for pattern changes. Identifying a potential embezzler can be changing times. Employers should make sure their employ-
as simple as shaking someone’s hand and connecting with a ees follow company policy about opening emails and attach-
sweaty palm. ments. And no social media should be allowed on company
“Some people say, ‘Ralph, you’re too cynical.’ Mark Twain
said trust everyone, but always cut the cards. Employers Inevitably when Summerford interviews an embezzler, the
should do that. You don’t expect everyone is stealing, but question of the endgame emerges.
the biggest problem is when employers are too trusting.”
“When I ask, ‘What did you plan to do if you got caught?’”
People will steal in order to save themselves. He says he’s Summerford says, “They get a deer-in-the-headlights look
noticed a pattern of executives turning to fraud when the and say they never thought of that. People commit fraud for
business is failing and they can’t face the possibility of that different reasons and hope they don’t get caught or they can
failure. put back the money. It’s a gambler’s mentality. They don’t
build big casinos in Las Vegas or Atlantic City because people
On the employee side, the best form of prevention is to seg- get even. They build them because the house wins.”
regate duties. It’s when one person is solely responsible for
UPCOMING CHAMBER EVENTS
FEB 14 AM
LOCATION: Wolf Bay Restaurant
TIME: 8:30 am - 9:30 am
75TH ANNUAL GALA FEB 19 LEADERSHIP
JANUARY 25 | 6PM-10PM LUNCHEON
LOCATION: Foley Civic Center
FOLEY CIVIC CENTER
TIME: 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Purchase tickets at
mylocalchamber.net, FEB 22 BUSINESS
Call 251.943.3291, AFTER HOURS
LOCATION: Riviera Utilities
or come see us TIME: 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
at the office.
MAR 16 BBQ & BLUES
LOCATION: Heritage Park
TIME: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Visit southbaldwinchamber.com for tickets and information.