Partners for Environmental Progress (PEP) recognized the contributions of area businesses and organizations at its 14th annual Environmental Stewardship Awards presentation last week at the Five Rivers Delta Center.

PEP’s board of directors began presenting Environmental Stewardship Awards in 2005 to recognize members whose work has made a significant contribution to the central Gulf Coast region in three crucial areas: economic growth, environmental health and social responsibility.

“The awards celebrate members’ innovative and unique approaches to solve environmental problems or reduce environmental impacts,” Jennifer Denson, executive director of PEP, said. “We aim to inspire more businesses to follow the example of these leaders in taking steps to be more environmentally conscious and responsible.”

PEP’s awards recognize businesses as well as nonprofit organizations and municipalities. Winning projects represent a diversity of initiatives, from the restoration of Mon Louis Island by Thompson Engineering to innovative wastewater treatment by McFadden Engineering and Rich’s Car Wash.

“We have a stake in helping to make our cities, towns and counties better places to live, work and play — now and into the future,” said Mike Finley, district operations manager with award winner Waste Management of Mobile/Theodore.

Individuals were also recognized as having an impact. Employees at Alabama Power, Barry Cluster (Plants Barry, Theodore and Washington County) were recognized for environmental stewardship through the creation of the Barry Environmental Stewardship Team.

In addition to member and individual awards, PEP also presented a Community Partner Award to the Alabama Oyster Shell Recycling Program, a project of the Alabama Coastal Foundation. In partnership with more than 30 area restaurants, the program has collected in excess of 5.5 million oyster shells for restoration of 14.4 acres of oyster reefs.

PEP’s 2018 award winners include:

• Alabama Power, Barry Cluster: Fostering Employee Engagement in Environmental Stewardship;

• FMC Corp., Mobile Site: Process Optimization to Reduce Emissions and Hazardous Waste;

• Hargrove Engineers + Constructors: Restoring and Reinvigorating Downtown Mobile;

• McFadden Engineering: Innovative Wastewater Treatment;

• Prism Systems: Advanced Emissions Monitoring;

• Thompson Engineering: Restoration of Mon Louis Island; and

• Waste Management: Converting to Natural Gas Fleet.

PEP offers its members a platform for communication between companies with similar goals for sustainability. “Membership in PEP provides a forum for FMC to stay connected to local industries and agencies,” Rubayet Haider, environmental, health and safety leader for the FMC-Mobile site, said.

PEP was founded in 2000 to promote business growth while preserving the environment and overall quality of life in the Mobile and Baldwin county areas. More information about the nonprofit can be found on its website.

Advantec opening new site, adding Baldwin jobs

Advantec, a Canada-based marine closure manufacturing company with a global footprint, recently announced plans to open a new facility in Robertsdale. The 40,000-square-foot manufacturing site is expected to create 46 new jobs and over $2.4 million in annual payroll for Baldwin County during its first three years.

“As we venture into a new location in Robertsdale, we are excited to build a strong foundation of knowledge with ambitious team members who will serve as the building blocks for the new facility, helping make it a world-class facility to serve our valued clientele,” Danielle Paterson, human resources manager for Advantec, said.

“The culture of our company is the foundation of how we act,” Matt Kirby, vice president of sales and marketing for Advantec, said. “Our strategic move to open in Robertsdale supports this and we plan to provide further support, service and collaboration on projects to those customers in the Southern region.”

Advantec is looking to hire skilled metal fabricators and welders from the surrounding area to begin immediately, per a news release, to serve as the “grass roots of the new team.” Advantec Marine offers a competitive 401(k) program as well as medical and dental coverage, according to the release. Those interested in applying should visit the careers site at

With its main headquarters just outside Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Advantec has strategically developed manufacturing facilities in Langley, B.C.; Gold Beach, Oregon; Chilliwack, B.C.; Maple Ridge, B.C.; and Calgary, Alberta, Canada; and sales facilities in Langley, B.C., and Lynnwood, Washington.

Chamber promotes Rodgers to economic development post

The Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce recently promoted David Rodgers to vice president of economic development, per a news release. Rodgers will fill the position left vacant by Troy Wayman, who joined One Acadiana in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Chamber President and CEO Bill Sisson and Chairman of the Board Brian Willman with Regions Bank made the announcement.

A native Mobilian, Rodgers has been with the Mobile Area Chamber since January 2015, working in the economic development department as a project manager. He was promoted to senior project manager in June 2016.

In his role with the Chamber, some of his noteworthy projects include facilitating Canfor’s headquarters relocation to the area, the local Continental Motors expansion and the Wal-Mart Distribution Center announcement. Prior to working for the Mobile Chamber, Rodgers worked two years at Safety Source as a purchasing manager.

“David brings to the table a clear understanding of the Mobile market, our Team Mobile partners and strong working relationships with the Alabama Department of Commerce and site selectors from across the country,” Sisson said. “He also has a strategy in place to help take the chamber’s economic development department to the next level.”

In his new position, Rodgers will oversee and direct the chamber’s economic development functions, including new business development, business retention/expansion, international trade and workforce development. Additionally, he will oversee the day-to-day operations of the chamber’s current economic development program of work, Partners for Growth (PFG).

“Our investors helped shape the chamber’s economic development program of work, and have invested in it. David is the right person to help us exceed our aggressive PFG goals,” Williams said.

Last year, Rodgers was named the Economic Development Association of Alabama’s Young Professional of the Year for 2017. He holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Southern Mississippi.