The Fuse Project’s 4th annual Dragon Boat Festival, reportedly one of the largest events of its kind in the nation, was recently held at USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park and reportedly raised $205,000 for charity.

Fifty-four teams paddled against one another in 46-foot rowboats to compete for the title of “Dragon Boat Champion” and “Top Fundraising Team” on race day. According to a news release, more than 1,400 corporate and community paddlers were in attendance.

The following causes will receive funding from this year’s festival, Fuse Project recently announced: USA College of Education Literacy Center, Mobile Baykeeper, Mobile Police Department, Little Angels, Raven’s Promise and Boy Scouts of America.

Over the last few years, Fuse Project’s Dragon Boat Festival has doubled in size as the organization continues to raise funds to support local projects with immediate impact on children in the community. This year an estimated 9,000 people were in attendance to witness the races and take part in the festival.

“We are honored to partner with these wonderful organizations who continuously strive to make a positive impact on the lives of children in our community one day at a time. Our goal is to provide every child in South Alabama a chance at success,” Grant Zarzour, Fuse Project’s co-founder and chairman of the board, said.

Since its formation in 2012, Fuse Project has raised more than $900,000 in donations that have funded 27 different charity projects aimed at promoting health, fitness, education and social responsibility of children along Alabama’s Gulf Coast.

“We are thrilled with the success of this year’s festival,” Adrienne Golden, Fuse Project executive director, said. “We are thankful for all of the continued support we received from our volunteers, teams and sponsors.” This year, the event had 39 local sponsors.

Fuse Project is a local 501(c)(3) organization that supports existing philanthropies with specific project ideas and grassroots efforts by members of the community. For more information, visit its website or email Adrienne Golden at

Providence names new chief quality officer
Stephen Mayfield has been selected as the chief quality officer of Providence Hospital in Mobile and Sacred Heart Health System in Pensacola.

Sacred Heart and Providence are both part of Ascension, the largest nonprofit health system in the country and the world’s largest Catholic health system.

Mayfield has primary responsibility for clinical outcomes, quality and safety. He brings over 25 years’ experience working across the country with hospitals and health systems and is a nationally recognized expert in health care quality and safety.

Mayfield completed his doctorate in health care administration at the Medical University of South Carolina, earned an MBA from Emory University and a bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University. He serves as faculty for the Institute of Industrial and System Engineers and the University of California at Irvine.

Mayfield is also known for creating the Quality Center at the American Hospital Association, a resource for 5,000 member hospitals supporting pursuit of the Institute of Medicine’s health care research. 

He is a member of various organizations including the American College of Healthcare Executives, the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, the American Society for Quality, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society and the Institute of Industrial Engineers. 

Together, these Ascension health care facilities have served Gulf Coast communities for more than 160 years and employ more than 6,600 people.

Across the Southern region, Ascension provided more than $113 million in community benefit and care of persons living in poverty in fiscal year 2016. The not-for-profit operates 2,500 sites encompassing 141 hospitals and more than 30 senior living facilities in 24 states and the District of Columbia.

MTI designated “continuing education provider”
 MTI Business Solutions, a division of Mobile Technical Institute, has been designated an American Staffing Association Approved Continuing Education Provider.

Participants in training and professional development programs are now pre-approved for continuing education hours to maintain the ASA-administered Certified Staffing Professional, Certified Search Consultant, Certified Healthcare Staffing Professional and Technical Services Certified credentials.

 “We are excited to be recognized as an ACEP of the American Staffing Association,” MTI Business Solutions vice president Randall Olson said. “This allows us to help certified professionals in the staffing industry meet their continuing education needs through participation in learning experiences delivered by our trainers and facilitators.”
MTI Business Solutions is a Mobile-based firm that provides assessment, talent development and corporate training services with clients throughout the U.S. For more information, visit

The American Staffing Association and its affiliated chapters advance the interests of the industry across all sectors through advocacy, research, education and the promotion of high standards of legal, ethical and professional practices. For more information, visit its website.

USA hosts BASF Teens’ Lab program
Eighteen high school juniors in Washington County recently attended BASF’s Teens’ Lab, a newly launched two-day program hosted by the University of South Alabama geared toward students learning about college and careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

“Through this joint effort with the University of South Alabama, BASF is showing students how chemistry and careers are created,” Jason Slinkard, site director for BASF in McIntosh, said. “Teens’ Lab will be an annual opportunity that we will offer to inspire local students to be future leaders in the industry.”

The Washington County school district identified the Teens’ Lab participants. High school juniors currently enrolled in chemistry, or those who have taken chemistry, were eligible to participate. Students who complete the program are eligible for a University of South Alabama scholarship and a summer internship at the BASF facility in McIntosh.

“The students all did a great job working through the various laboratory experiments,” Jason W. Coym, associate professor of chemistry at USA, said. “The Teens’ Lab program offers encouragement to students to pursue higher education and careers in STEM fields. We look forward to continuing this partnership with BASF.”