The List - July/August 2015
As a little girl, Alexia Henig wanted to open up her own women's clothing store, and she made her dream a reality in 2013. Now Alexia is the owner of Splurge, a women's boutique here in Montgomery. A bachelor's degree in business administration with a concentration on marketing from Mississippi State University gave her the knowledge she needed to become a small business owner. Her grandfather, parents and husband, Michael, gave her the support and faith she needed to take that first step in starting her business. “My biggest fear was if I would be able to juggle being a mother, wife and store owner. It has definitely been hard, but I have learned how to balance work and family life. Fashion is my passion. Doing what makes me happy each day allows me to be a better mom and wife,” Alexia says. Her favorite parts about her job are making people feel great about themselves and getting them to step outside their comfort zone. Alexia is a member of Landmark Church of Christ and Les Dames. Michael, Alexia and their daughter, Finleigh, enjoy going downtown for Second Saturdays and going to the splash pad. On summer weekends, they go to Lake Martin and ride Michael's “go fast boat” as her daughter says. Alexia also enjoys teaching local high schoolers hurdle lessons since she went to MSU on a scholarship for track.
Caleb Hawk found the two loves of his life simultaneously. He had thought of moving to Los Angeles until he fell in love with “this cute little blonde girl at work” named Hannah. They made their home in Montgomery and that is where Caleb found his second love- love. Caleb owns Two Hawks Production, which gives him and Hannah the chance to help others see how beautiful their love is. “Seeing the tears in a groom's eyes when he first sees his bride is one of the small but beautiful things that drive us,” Caleb says, The greatest feeling is hearing the reactions from our clients after they receive their videos.” Caleb feels it’s the thriving creative souls in the area that make him proud to call the city of Montgomery his home. Caleb and Hannah work hard at what they do to ensure their clients get the most of their wedding day. Not only is Caleb a small business owner, but some would also say he is a comedian. People tell Caleb he has the funniest Facebook statuses to which he responds by saying “It’s about as cool as being the best skier on a bunny slope.”
Chandra R. Tarver
Chandra R. Tarver proves that it is possible to be a successful, driven career woman and a mother. Currently the principal of The Blue Print Group, a public relations and crisis communication agency, Chandra is also the owner of Something Borrowed Weddings and Events. Planning weddings is one of Chandra's favorite hobbies, but starting a business was one of her biggest obstacles; however, it was an obstacle that proved to be a blessing in her life. She says her motivation to be successful flows from her daughters, Creshema and Kevenshay, her grandparents, parents and her relationship with Christ. When asked what she loves most about her career, Chandra said, “I am a people person. I enjoy meeting with clients and assisting them with fulfilling their dreams. My companies not only provide me with the opportunity to meet new people, but they also provide me with the opportunity to travel and personally engage with my clients.” Chandra serves on the Advisory Board with the Department of Communications at Alabama State University where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in public relations. As if Chandra is not already active enough, she is also a member of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church and a volunteer for various River Region charities and non-profits, specifically those that help young girls. When Chandra is not working, volunteering or pursuing her master's degree in strategic communications, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, running, shopping and reading.
Evan Mills finds his passion in creating things from nothing. It took a few years and several jobs to finally discover his calling as a stylist. After traveling the world as a high tenor in a southern gospel group called New Generation, using his charismatic personality to sell cars, working in the office of Colonial Bank and fixing cars as a mechanic, Evan discovered his love of creating beautiful hairstyles for his clients. “I love that I have the power to bring people out of depression. If someone sits down in my chair with a frown on their face, I have the ability to have them leaving with a little pep in their step and a smile on their face ready to take on the world that they were hiding from when they came in,” he says. Evan's love for the community and the people in it is shown by his donations to silent auctions and charity events. Photo shoots, fashion shows and special events are some of his favorite ways to contribute to the community. Evan says that his favorite thing about Montgomery is that “there is a place for everyone . . . You just have to know where to look.
Dr. Brian Gary
Jackson Hospital is lucky to have Dr. Brian Gary as one of their general surgeons. After growing up here in Montgomery, Brian attended Tuskegee University, Meharry Medical College and Medical University of South Carolina. Helping others in their time of need is what Brian considers the greatest reward. He loves that as a general surgeon he is able to make a positive difference in the lives of so many. God, his parents and his older brother are whom Brian says laid the foundation for his success. His wife, Helen, and children, 9-year-old Claire Elise and 5-year-old Brian Jr. ('Deuce'), provide him with the love and support that drive him everyday. Brian is involved in the community as a member of Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. “The same community that helped raise me is the same community that I am blessed to give back to,” Brian says. Montgomery has always been home for Brian and he was glad to return after living in Charleston, South Carolina. When he's not working hard at Jackson Hospital or spending time with his family, Brian enjoys golfing, reading, playing billiards and participating in sprint triathlons.
Extraordinary is just one title that Kelley Hall holds; she is also vice president regional mortgage manager for Trustmark Bank, president of the Board of Directors for Macon East Academy, a breast cancer survivor and a dedicated wife and mother of two girls. At Trustmark, Kelley is able to help families purchase homes and lower their payments. Her favorite part of her job is helping people achieve their goals and dreams. After Kelley was diagnosed with breast cancer, she decided she wouldn't let it discourage her. In 2006, Kelley was awarded the Montgomery American Dixie Softball Coach while also battling her cancer. Through prayers from the community, K elley was able to defeat cancer and continue being the amazing woman she has always been. Her husband, Kent, and daughters, 17-year-old Lexi and 5-year-old Randi, are very important to her. They are members of Woodland United Methodist Church where Kelley serves on the finance committee. While Kelley is not originally from Montgomery, she loves it nonetheless. “I love that Montgomery is a great place to raise a family. Montgomery is large enough to offer a lot of fun things to do and be involved in, yet small enough to know people and develop relationships,” she says. Kelley also loves to run in her spare time.
LaToya Calhoun is a strong, God-fearing woman who loves helping people any way she can. After earning her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Troy University and accumulating over ten years of experience in state and government services, LaToya became a revenue compliance officer. With her job, LaToya is able to meet many different people and help small businesses stay in compliance with the law. LaToya strives to be an example for others and help those within the community. “I have faced many obstacles on my path, but my faith in God and perseverance has catapulted me to the dimension I am now in my life. I use fear as a stepping-stone; either you can forget everything and run or face everything and rise. I choose to rise,” she says. LaToya is a very family-oriented individual who spends most of her time with her 4-year-old daughter, Guillana Skye, her close friends and other family members. Some of her favorite activities are attending sporting and cultural events, enjoying fine dining and traveling
After an internship in New York with the well-known makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin, Meagan Anderson decided to return home to Prattville where her husband is a football coach. Currently, Meagan works at Bella in Montgomery as a makeup artist with Laura Mercier cosmetics. She says that Kevyn Aucoin has impacted her as an artist by inspiring her to help people feel beautiful in their own skin. “One of the best parts is helping a client to see herself as a beautiful and modern woman, exuding happiness and confidence, all with the stroke of a brush,” Meagan says, “It is my greatest wish, that the love of Jesus is reflected in my work and how I make others feel.” Meagan enjoys helping people look beautiful at their special events, such as weddings and photo shoots, and speaking to organizations about her passion of makeup artistry. Spending time with her husband, Chad, and their children, 6-year-old Annabelle and 3-year-old Calhan, is the highlight of Meagan's life. Chad and Meagan teach seventh grade Sunday school at church where Meagan also sings in the choir. As busy as life gets with work and football, Meagan still finds time to travel, paint, sing and research makeup and fashion trends. Meagan's favorite thing about Montgomery is the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, and she feels strongly that people should support the theatre and the local artisans in our community.
Paul Lammon is not your average pastor. As campus pastor of Grace Life Bar Church, a church breaking the mold of a traditional church building, Paul holds services inside Rock Bottom American Pub in Montgomery. Paul is also the owner of ProLine Detailing located in Millbrook, known for its specialization in many things that you cannot get at the average detail company. Starting his own company was difficult, but Paul says he was able to achieve his success due to the faith his wife of six years, Brittany, placed in him from the very start. Paul also attributes the community to his success. “Without our clients trusting us with their vehicles, we would not be around today,” Paul says. He is currently in the plans to open a second location in Montgomery near the Pike Road area. Paul is also working with James, aka Tha Tardybarber, on an event to give back to the community, which will include free food and free hair cuts. His love of Montgomery comes from the people and all the positive things going on in the community.
Brooke Poague isn't just a hard-working family and divorce attorney in Wetumpka; she’s a well-known, beneficial member of the community. Involved with the Wetumpka Area Chamber of Commerce, the Elmore County Food Pantry, Wetumpka Athletics and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, Brooke stays pretty busy but she wouldn’t have it any other way. Upon graduating from Jones School of Law in Montgomery, Brooke was influenced by her father, Rance Killen, and her business partner, Clyde T. Bailey, III, to pursue her dreams and find passion in her profession. Clyde and Brooke opened up Bailey and Poague, LLC and she has never looked back. Brooke says, “It's always wonderful when clients come by a year after their case has been closed and we are able to see how wonderful many of them are doing, and it's very uplifting to know that I played a part in that.” Being able to form relationships with all of her clients and maintain a service that is unique to each individual case are two of the biggest benefits of her firm. Classy advertisements, give-a-ways, and word of mouth has helped Brooke's firm become as successful as it is. Brooke also has a passion for traveling with her 8-year-old son, Grant. She says that “travel is life's greatest teacher, and I love to travel with my son.” But together they also love to find local adventure in Wetumpka, such as the Coosa River and Swayback Trail. Brooke also just entered the world of container gardening and she loves it.