BIRMINGHAM, AL – The Alabama Retail Association, in cooperation with the University of Alabama at Birmingham Collat School of Business, today recognized 13 retail businesses with operations in 51 Alabama cities and 30 other states as Alabama Retailers of the Year. Almost 70 nominations were submitted for the 2015 Retailer of the Year awards. These are the winners. The presentations were made in Birmingham during the 2015 Retail Day Luncheon. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley signed a statewide proclamation declaring today as Alabama Retail Day. This marked the 16th presentation of the Retailer of the Year Awards since 1999.
RETAILERS OF THE YEAR
A panel of judges chose the Alabama Retailer of the Year winners in four categories based on annual sales volume. Bronze, silver and gold awards were presented in each category. For the fourth year, the judges also selected an Emerging Retailer of the Year, an innovative and effective Alabama retailer who has been in business for at least two years, but less than five years. All of the other winners have been in business for at least five years and an average of 31 years. Together, these businesses employ more than 1,600 at 80 locations in Alabama.
Learn more about the winners:
Names link to full news releases on each Retailer of the Year
Annual Sales Less Than $1 Million
- GOLD AWARD: Anna Marie Heard, owner of Jireh’s Boutique and Gifts in Gadsden; nominated by Heather Brothers New, president of The Chamber, Gadsden/Etowah County. Heard and Jireh’s Boutique also won the Customers’ Choice Award.
- SILVER AWARD: Chet Chappelle, owner of Rountree Outdoors in Selma; nominated by Sheryl Z. Smedley, executive director, Selma and Dallas County Chamber of Commerce.
- BRONZE AWARD: Tommy and Ann Messer Glasscock, owners of MorLyn’s Fine Jewelry in Clanton; nominated by Janice Hull, director of the Chilton County Chamber of Commerce.
Annual Sales $1 Million to $5 Million
- GOLD AWARD: Melissa McAleer Cross, president and chief executive officer, and James S. McAleer founder, of Mobile-based McAleer’s Office Furniture; nominated by Danette Richards, director of small business development, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce.
- SILVER AWARD: Will Haver Jr., owner of Otey’s Tavern in Mountain Brook; nominated by Suzan Doidge, executive director, Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce.
- BRONZE AWARD: Marco and Elan Morosini, owners of the Silvertron Café in Birmingham’s Forest Park community.
Annual Sales $5 Million to $20 Million
- GOLD AWARD: Betsy McAtee and the management team of Dreamland Holding Co. LLC with restaurants in Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile, Northport and Tuscaloosa, Ala., as well as Roswell, Ga.; nominated by Victor M. Brown, vice president of minority and small business development for the Birmingham Business Alliance.
- SILVER AWARD: Todd and Sonya Jackson, owners of CKJ Eateries LLC, six Newk’s Eatery locations in Birmingham, Inverness, Hoover, Mountain Brook, St. Vincent’s Hospital’s Bruno Cancer Center and Vestavia Hills; nominated by Karen Odle, president of the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce.
- BRONZE AWARD: Shane Spiller, president of Spiller Furniture & Mattress in Aliceville, Brent, Demopolis, Eutaw, Greensboro, Northport, Prattville, Reform, Selma, Thomasville and Tuscaloosa (headquarters) as well as Columbus and Starkville, Miss; nominated by Robin Jenkins, director of communications and marketing for the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama.
Annual Sales More Than $20 Million
- GOLD AWARD: Steve Maddox, president and chief executive officer of Dothan-based Wireless Advantage Communications Inc., aVerizon Wireless premium retailer, with 47 stores, 24 in Alabama; nominated by former employee Hayden Camp, communications director of the Dothan Education Foundation.
- SILVER AWARD: Terry Finley, president and chief executive officer of Birmingham-based Books-A-Million, which has 258 locations, 20 in Alabama; nominated by Ken Hubbard, chief executive officer of Homewood-based Western Markets.
- BRONZE AWARD: Matt Meyer, managing partner of Hiley Cars Huntsville (Mazda–Volkswagen–Audi); nominated by Ken Smith, director of research and information, Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County.
GEE Emerging Retailer of the Year
- Jim Watkins, owner of Steel City Pops in Auburn, Birmingham, Homewood (headquarters), Huntsville, Mountain Brook and Tuscaloosa as well as Dallas, Fort Worth and Garland, Texas; nominated by Krista Wood, leasing associate with Bayer Properties in Birmingham.
“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 their community and the retail industry.”
Media Contact: Nancy King Dennis | 334.551.0643 | 334.868.2195 | 800.239.5423
Photos upon request