Alabama Retail/UAB Name 2011 Retailers of the Year, Centennial Retailers

Winners’ Names Link to Full Releases on Each Winner


BIRMINGHAM, AL – The Alabama Retail Association  (ARA), in cooperation with the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Business, today recognized 19 outstanding Alabama retailers representing 13 retail businesses with operations in 107 Alabama cities as Retailers of the Year. ARA also recognized four businesses as Centennial Retailers, retailers in business for 100 or more years. The presentations were made at The Club in Birmingham during the 2011 Retail Day Luncheon. This marked the 12th presentation of the Retailer of the Year Awards since 1999 and the ninth presentation of the Centennial Retailers since 2002.


A panel of judges chose the Retailer of the Year finalists in four categories by Alabama annual sales volume: less than $1 million; $1 million to $5 million; $5 million to $20 million and more than $20 million. Bronze, silver and gold awards were presented in most categories.

Annual Sales Less Than $1 Million
  • GOLD AWARD : Linda Parker, co-owner of Bruster’s Real Ice Cream in Vestavia Hills; nominated by Karen J. Odle, executive director of the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce.
  • SILVER AWARD : Doris Butler Truax, owner of Truax & Co. in Selma; nominated by Sheryl Smedley, executive director of the Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce.
  • BRONZE AWARD : Pam Hope, Love McGehee and Kathy Penton, owners of Southern Crossing in Opelika; nominated by Barbara Patton, president of the Opelika Chamber of Commerce.
Annual Sales $1 Million to $5 Million
  • GOLD AWARD : Terry Chapman, president of Business Electronics Corp. in Homewood; nominated by Tricia Ford, executive director of the Homewood Chamber of Commerce.
  • SILVER AWARD : Sarah Brown and Terry Shea, owners of Wrapsody Inc. in Hoover and Auburn; nominated by Merri Logan, manager, Hoover Wrapsody; Blair DeCoux, assistant manager, Hoover Wrapsody; Lindsey Moore, assistant manager, Auburn Wrapsody; Sarah Salzmann, a part-time Wrapsody employee; Melissa Powell, Hoover Wrapsody sales associate; Melissa Mann, Wrapsody accountant; and Bill Powell, executive director of the Hoover Chamber of Commerce.
Annual Sales $5 Million to $20 Million
  • GOLD AWARD: Denise Knox, owner of Private Gallery Inc. based in Fairhope; nominated by Marissa Fleming, marketing director, Private Gallery; and Danette Richards, director of small business development, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce.
  • SILVER AWARD: Stuart Shevin and the management team at Standard Furniture Co. based in Birmingham; nominated by Shane Spiller, president, Spiller Furniture Stores.
  • BRONZE AWARD: Andy Virciglio, co-owner of Piggly Wiggly Food Stores of Jefferson County Inc. based in Homewood; nominated by Tricia Ford, executive director of the Homewood Chamber of Commerce.
Annual Sales More Than $20 Million
  • SILVER AWARD  (Tie):
    • Scott Crump, owner of Scott Crump Toyota of Jasper; nominated by Linda Lewis, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Walker County
    • James C. Lee III, chairman and chief executive officer of Buffalo Rock Co. Inc. based in Birmingham; nominated by Tricia Ford, executive director of the Homewood Chamber of Commerce.
  • BRONZE AWARD  (Tie):
    • Benny Larussa Sr., Charles Mizerany and Billy Wentz, management team for Jack’s Family Restaurants Inc. based in Homewood; nominated by Tricia Ford, Homewood Chamber of Commerce.
    • Bill Wakefield, president of Wakefield’s and Martin’s Family Clothing based in Anniston; nominated by Sherri Sumners, president of the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce.
This was an exciting day for us,” said Rick Brown, president of the Alabama Retail Association. “It is an honor to be able to recognize such an outstanding group of retailers. Each retailer honored is a credit to the retail industry and its community.”

ARA presents the Centennial Retailer award annually. To notify ARA of a retail business that has been in operation for 100 years or more, please contact Nancy Dennis at (800) 239-5423.

 “For businesses to survive despite the dramatic changes of the past century is a remarkable achievement,” said ARA President Rick Brown. “It is fitting to celebrate the enduring contributions of these Alabama retail establishments to their communities.



Founded in 1845 by George L. and James R. Poor
 Owners: Doris and Jim Truax


Founded in 1869 by W.H. Payne
Owner: Paula Tabacchi


Founded in 1885 by the R.C. Robertson Family
Owner: Boyd Pate


Buffalo Rock Co.
Founded in 1901 by Sidney W. Lee
Owner: James C. Lee III