The Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce will again host this year’s version of Small Business Week to recognize and celebrate local entrepreneurship from May 4-7.

The week’s activities will include three days of workshops designed to offer valuable business tools and strategies. It will conclude with an awards luncheon at the Battle House Hotel on Thursday, May 7 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at which the Chamber will name its Small Business of the Year. Finalists vying for the title are American WeatherStar, McAleer’s Office Furniture and Wilson Dismukes Inc.

The Chamber will also recognize Ralph A. Hargrove, president and founder of Hargrove Engineers + Constructors, with the organization’s Outstanding Entrepreneur Award.

In 1995, Hargrove started the company alone and working from his home. Today it is one of the largest privately held engineering firms in the state of Alabama and has 11 offices across the country.

The company’s more than 950 employees provide specialized engineering, procurement, project and construction management, and technical services to pulp and paper, chemical, pharmaceutical, refining, power, oil and gas, manufacturing and government and infrastructure industries. Locally, the company provides 332 high-paying jobs for the area.

“These three small businesses and one entrepreneur represent the strength of Mobile’s business community. Our Chamber is committed to helping local businesses grow and prosper with professional development like what’s being offered during Small Business Week and through entrepreneurial mentoring,” said Frank Lott III, Mobile Area Chamber Board Chairman and president of Heritage Homes. “That’s how we will have the well-rounded and balanced economy that we are constantly striving for.”

The luncheon’s keynote speaker will be Dean Parker. Parker founded Mobile-based Callis Communications in 2005 and then sold the cloud-based company to C-Spire in 2014. Parker will tell his personal story about how chance and innovation oftentimes create business opportunities.

The conference costs $75 for nonmembers or $60 for Chamber and MBDA Business Center members. Parking for all events is free. Contact Brenda Rembert at 251-431-8607 or email to register and/or for more information.

Commercial real estate moves
Maximized Living, a chiropractic and health center, has leased 2,395-square-feet of office space in the Cottage Crest Village at the intersection of Hillcrest and Cottage Hill roads. The McAleer Tunstall Company represented the owner. Dr. Samantha Chirichella has relocated to Mobile to open the Maximized Living office.

Alacare Home Health and Hospice is relocating its Mobile office to a 3,825-square-foot suite in Cottage Crest Village. Sharon Wright with White-Spunner Realty represented Alacare; Mike McAleer with the McAleer Tunstall Company worked for the owner.

According to court records, $1.08 million was paid by a local speculator for the Chevron convenience store and gas station property located in west Mobile at the vicinity of Demetropolis Road and U.S. Highway 90. The transaction was managed by Tim Herrington of Herrington Realty.

An acre and a half fronting Academy Sports at 7460 Airport Blvd. in West Mobile was recently purchased by the partners owning Rich’s Carwash for $800,000. Plans are to build another carwash facility in the near future. The transaction was managed by Angela McArthur of Stirling Properties.

Airbus seeking three new positions for Brookley assembly line
Airbus Americas is seeking an executive assistant to provide administrative support to chief leadership at its A320 final assembly line nearing completion at Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley.

Successful candidates will have a bachelor’s degree in English, business administration or a related field as well as at least five years’ administrative experience supporting a senior-level executive. Fluency in French, German or Spanish is preferred as are certifications in Microsoft Office products.

Airbus is also seeking to fill the position for its KPI and performance manager, who will be responsible for the generation and management of key performance indicators (KPI) linked to the team handling aircraft-related rework activities. Another opportunity is as the final assembly line’s manufacturing engineer for flight line, who manages nonconformities and design deviation as well as late changes to support production.

Both positions require a bachelor’s degree in business administration or a related field as well as knowledge of a lean manufacturing environment. In addition, the manufacturing engineer position requires at least five years’ experience with an aviation company as a technician or foreman with a focus on cabin, mechanical, electrical or systems installation and/or a degree in aerospace, industrial or mechanical engineering. Salary information was not immediately available.

For complete job posting information and additional requirements visit the AIDT website.

Harle joins White-Spunner Realty
Mobile-based White-Spunner Realty (WSR) has added Christopher Harle to its commercial real estate division. Harle, a licensed pilot who has opened two local restaurants, is a real estate professional with diverse experience.

“I enjoy looking at potential spaces and helping to develop the restaurant scene in Mobile,” Harle said. “Being able to play a part in the changing landscape of our city is exciting.”

Harle earned a degree in business administration and aviation management from Auburn University in 2004. He is a member of the Mobile Airport Authority’s Air Service Task Force and also serves as vice president of the Mobile Chapter of the Alabama Restaurant Association.

He has also been recognized for his community involvement. In 2013, Harle received the Civilian Assistance Award from the Mobile Police Department. In 2008, he was included in those businesses awarded Entrepreneur of the Year by the South Alabama Small Business Association. In 2010, the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce honored his franchise, Roly-Poly, as Small Business of the Month.

Harle is also a member of multiple professional associations, including the National Association of Realtors, Alabama Association of Realtors and the Mobile Area Association of Realtors.

A native of Spanish Fort, Harle currently lives in Mobile with his wife, Barclay, and their sons, Hayden and Harrison. The family attends St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Mobile.