Press Release: Dickerson named BBA Executive of the Year, Samford Executive in Residence




Contact Dave Rickey:205-241-8102 (office); 205-482-8811 (cell)

Lauren Cooper: 205-241-8127(office); 205-910-3215 (cell)


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – October 1, 2013 – Bob Dickerson, executive director of the Birmingham BusinessResource Center, was named Small Business Executive of the Year at th eBirmingham Business Alliance (BBA) 2013 Small Business Awards held in downtown Birmingham. Hundreds of business leaders, rising stars and young professionals gathered at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel for the event sponsored by Charter Business, Wells Fargo, Alabama Media Group, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama and AT&T Alabama.


In addition to Small Business Executive of the Year, nine awards were presented in competitive categories. Three honorary awards were also presented to small business leaders and advocates in the community.


As the BBA Small Business Executive of the Year, and in partnership with Samford University, Dickerson will serve as Executive in Residence at the university’s Brock School of Business during the 2013-2014 school year. He will speak to small business and entrepreneurship classes, advise Brock School of Business Incubator tenants,and participate in school activities, such as judging the annual Regions Bank New  Venture Challenge business plan competition.


Susan Matlock, who is retiring as executive director of Innovation Depot, received special recognition for her work in building the largest business incubator in the Southeast and one of the most celebrated technology incubators in the country. Under her leadership, Innovation Depot has grown to house more than 90 start ups, which have a $1 billion impact on the Birmingham economy. It was named the 2011Technology Incubator of the Year and designated a Soft Landings Incubator for international companies, both by the National Business Incubation Association.


Also receiving honorary awards at the 2013 Small Business Awards Celebration were:


·       Law firm Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP as Small Business Champion of the Year.

·       Glyn Agnew and Cassandra Ferguson, both of AT&T Alabama, as the Jesse J. Lewis Jr. Small Business Advocates of the Year.

·       Birmingham Barons as Legacy Business of the Year.


In nine competitive award categories recognizing small business in Birmingham, more than 80 companies qualified as nominees. After review by an independent panel of judges, three finalists emerged from each category and one was named an award recipient:

·       Slice received the Emerging Business of the Year Award; Fleetio and Kemp Management Solutions LLC were named finalists.

·       Urban Cookhouse received the Retail Business of the Year Award; Gus Mayer and Dorothy McDaniel’s Flower Market were named finalists.

·       Tonya Jones of Tonya Jones Salon Spa received the Young Professional of the Year Award; Krista Conlin of KC Projects and Nicole Beachum of Nicole were named finalists.

·       Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Birmingham received the Nonprofit of the Year Award with a budget of less than $1 million;Metro Changers Inc. and Pre School Partners were named finalists.

·       First Light Inc. received the Nonprofit of the Year Award with a budget of more than $1 million; The Arc of Jefferson County and Pathways were named finalists.

·       Proventix Systems Inc. received the Technology/Biotechnology Business of the Year Award; Proctor U and Atlas RFID Solutions were named finalists.

·       Sain Associates received the Small Business of the Year Award, with one to 50 employees; Sain Engineering Associates Inc. and Marketing 24/7 Inc. were named finalists.

·       McSweeney Holdings received the Small Business of the Year Award, with 51 to 250 employees; Bruno Event Team and Therapy South were named finalists.

·       SARCOR LLC received the Dr. A.G. Gaston Emerging Minority- or Woman-owned Business Award; KC Projects and Cheeriodicals were named finalists.


Brian Hilson, president of the BBA, said small business is an important component of the Birmingham region’s diverse local economy, therefore worthy of celebration.


“Telling the story of Birmingham’s small businesses to the world is essential to our work at the Birmingham Business Alliance,” said Brian Hilson, president and CEO of the BBA.“That’s why once a year we honor small businesses and their champions, to understand what these companies do and how they operate, which reveals a lot about Birmingham’s thriving economy.”


The Birmingham Business Alliance is a dynamic advocate, unifying voice and constant catalyst for economic development and business prosperity for the Birmingham region. For more information about the BBA visit its website at