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June 2012

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In This Issue

Alabama's Largest Commercial Insurance Agencies

Tornado-free April with Dry Downside

Tornado-free April with Dry Downside

Taxes and the Poor Mouth

Taxes and the Poor Mouth

Bloomberg Spotlights Jefferson County Woes

Bloomberg Spotlights Jefferson County Woes

Meat & Potatoes Meetings

Meat & Potatoes Meetings

Alabama’s three largest meetings markets have to work overtime to nurture a wide array of meetings and venues—from corporate conferences to regional Masons, from hotel breakout rooms to trade show convention centers.

Four-Star Strategies

Four-Star Strategies

Wi-Fi to stay in touch, spas to quell the strain, pools for the kids. Keeping a luxury label requires clever innovations and constant upgrades.

Gone in a Flash: Claims Cash

Gone in a Flash: Claims Cash

The Water Way

The Water Way

The Warrior-Tombigbee Waterway, connecting Birmingham, Tuscaloosa and Mobile, also links Alabama to 12,000 miles of inland waterways nationwide.

Hyundai Adds Third Shift, Nearly 900 Workers

Hyundai Adds Third Shift, Nearly 900 Workers

Cross Section of an Alabama Mainstay

Cross Section of an Alabama Mainstay

Variety, craftsmanship and straight-up utility characterize Alabama’s largest natural resource-based industry—a welter of enterprises that turns out sycamore church pews, red oak coffins, longleaf pine poles, hand-carved toys and butterflies.

Guitar Hero Swims with the Sharks

Guitar Hero Swims with the Sharks

When real estate hit the rocks, Travis Perry revisited a youthful inspiration. His invention keeps guitar students glued to their frets. It keeps him running to meet demand, including a satellite office to fulfill international orders.

Community Development

Community Development

Roof Beams Rising in Suburban Birmingham

Roof Beams Rising in Suburban Birmingham

Career Notes

Career Notes

Genesis of a Medicine Man

Genesis of a Medicine Man

Seventy-six-year-old Darryl Searcy’s work takes him trekking from Lake Titicaca to the salt flats of Bolivia, swimming with pink dolphins and snaking through forests thick with macaws, anacondas and shamans—in search of magical plants. Where do you start?

Attorney General Circling Indian Machines

Attorney General Circling Indian Machines

Movers & Shapers

Movers & Shapers

People making a difference in Limestone, Morgan and Lawrence counties

Slow Train Moving

Slow Train Moving

Is that light at the end of the tar-dark, five-year real estate tunnel?

Walter Energy Plans 60% Increase in Alabama Coal

Walter Energy Plans 60% Increase in Alabama Coal

Spotlight on Limestone, Morgan and Lawrence Counties

Spotlight on Limestone, Morgan and Lawrence Counties

Troubled Waters, Troubled Assets

Troubled Waters, Troubled Assets

Seven big deals rocked by the bust (and the spill)

Legislative Benchmarks

Legislative Benchmarks

Extravagant Bargains

Extravagant Bargains

Alabama has its share of extravagant homes that washed up with the real estate tsunami. They offer bargains in proportion to their price tags, but you’ll have to buy into a few eccentricities.

Books off the Public Shelf?

Books off the Public Shelf?

Seven Real Estate Winners

Seven Real Estate Winners

Even in the toughest of real estate markets, some projects blossom.

Steel Yourself for this Big Ticket Item

Steel Yourself for this Big Ticket Item