By Tammy Leytham
Shoe Station Inc., which opened its first store in Mobile in 1984, announced Friday that substantially all its assets have been purchased by Shoe Carnival Inc., a leading retailer of footwear and accessories.
Shoe Carnival will continue to operate the 21 stores under the Shoe Station banner, as well as the shoestation.com e-commerce site.
Shoe Station was founded by Terry S. Barkin, a former senior vice president and general merchandise manager of Rich’s Department Stores. The footwear chain’s name was inspired by that first location — a large, former tire and battery store on the grounds of Bel Air Mall.
The brand expanded over the decades to newer and larger locations, always in mainstream shopping centers at or near major roads. Shoe Station’s team of buyers, many recruited from department store chains, have become legendary for their market knowledge and ability to bring in new lines, including luxury and fashion.
Shoe Station has more than 500 employees in five Southeastern states.
Shoe Carnival, headquartered in Evansville, Ind., has 377 stores across the U.S. and in Puerto Rico.
Brent Barkin, who took over the presidency of the family-owned Shoe Station in 2016 after his father died, will continue to oversee the chain in a new role as Shoe Carnival’s senior vice president of business development and integration. In a letter to Shoe Station employees, he wrote Shoe Carnival “gets that we have a unique proposition and value to the customer, showcasing categories, trends, styles and brands in a way that makes us excel. They know we are different. And they love that about us.
“Customers will continue to see Shoe Station signs in our 21 locations and to experience the excellent service and selection they expect,” Barkin said.
Shoe Carnival President and CEO Mark Worden said they are excited to welcome Shoe Station to the team.
“Brent and his team share our values and vision for the future of family footwear retail and we look forward to building on our joint success to grow together in years ahead,” Worden said.
Whereas Shoe Station was privately held, Shoe Carnival trades on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol SCVL.
Mobile auto tech gets national honor
Kudos to Christopher Timmerman, an ASE Certified automotive refinish technician from Mobile, who was recently honored with a national achievement award as the Axalta Coating Systems/ASE Refinish Technician of the Year.
Timmerman was one of 48 automotive professionals recognized Nov. 18 at the Fall Board of Governors meeting of the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence at the Scottsdale Resort and Spa in Arizona.
The ASE annual awards spotlight top scorers on the ASE Certification tests from among the ranks of the approximately 250,000 ASE Certified professionals nationwide.
“Chris, who works at BMW of Mobile, is one of the outstanding ASE certified professionals recognized annually by different segments of the automotive service and repair industry,” ASE President & CEO Timothy Zilke said.
ASE has honored extraordinary industry professionals from across the nation for more than 40 years. The awards are made possible by the support of sponsors, whose ranks include some of the best-known names in the industry.
“We are proud to partner with Axalta Coating Systems to recognize Chris’s commitment to excellence in providing the very best in automotive refinishing service,” Zilke said. “This dedication is reflected in the talented professionals we recognize each year, and Chris represents the best of the best.”
USA Health joins forces with Monroe County hospital
After entering into an agreement with Monroe County, USA Health will help provide management services at the Monroeville hospital, as well as its related ancillary operations.
“The health of so many Alabamians depends on a vital rural health network,” Owen Bailey, chief executive officer of USA Health, said. “We are excited about this relationship with our colleagues in Monroe County as we strive to meet the health care needs of the people in our region.”
Monroe County Hospital (MCH) Chairman of the Board Dr. Tom Lane said the agreement continues a long-standing relationship with USA Health.
“They have assisted MCH in the selection of an experienced, highly trained and quality person to lead us as we continue our quest to provide quality health care our Monroe County residents deserve,” Lane said. “Along with the CEO, MCH also has access to extensive resources provided by the entire team at USA Health.”
Elizabeth Kirby, assistant administrator at USA Health Children’s & Women’s Hospital since October 2015, will serve as administrator and chief executive officer for MCH. Most recently, she has been responsible for anesthesia, cardiopulmonary, laboratory services, pharmacy and radiology, as well as the USA Health Spine Institute.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to work with the wonderful team at MCH so we can continue to expand the mission of serving the patients of Monroe County,” Kirby said.
Austal USA contracts with Alabama steel provider, SSAB
Following Austal USA’s award from the U.S. Navy to build steel-hulled Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ships (T-ATS), the company has contracted with local Alabama steel provider SSAB to provide steel for the new Navy ships. The partnership is a win-win as it directly supports hundreds of jobs in the greater Mobile area at both Austal and SSAB.
Austal will source various strength and sized steel plating from SSAB capable of being cut, shaped, welded and fitted for construction of support ships and potential combat ships for the U.S. military.
“SSAB not only provides us with quality steel, but also great flexibility due to its location adjacent to us here in Mobile,” Austal USA President Rusty Murdaugh said. “The ability to work quickly and in-person with them on current and future steel requirements by the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard is an asset to Austal that will support our business and economic growth in our community.”
SSAB Americas Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer Jeff Moskaluk said Austal is a respected and valued partner to SSAB Americas.
“Our participation in such an important and vital project — that will strengthen both the economic and national security of our country — makes this partnership even more meaningful,” Moskaluk said. “We are proud to work closely with Austal USA and demonstrate the service, quality and value that is delivered from an interconnected and local supply chain here in Alabama.”
Austal USA broke ground on a new steel manufacturing line in March 2020 to meet the steel ship demand signal of the U.S. government. The new line will be operational in April with Austal poised to start construction on the recently awarded U.S. Navy T-ATS program.
BUSINESS NEWS, MOVES & TRANSACTIONS
- ATC Healthcare Services purchased a 7,900-square-foot multi-tenant office building at 3995 Cottage Hill Road in Mobile for $585,000 and plans to occupy a portion of the building. Angie McArthur, senior advisor with Stirling Properties, handled the transaction.
- Morgan & Morgan is expanding its office presence in the SCI Building at 220 W. Garden St. in Pensacola. The company leased an additional 4,864 square feet of space. Jason Scott, senior advisor with Stirling Properties, represented the landlord in the transaction. Kevin Hammond and Jeff Sweeney with Cushman & Wakefield represented the tenant.
- Bellator Real Estate & Development gained six new realtors in its Mobile and Orange Beach offices: Colleen Harrison, Rachel Keesee, Alicia Payne and Kerri Mahan at the Mobile office, and Janet Cobb and Pam Huxtable in Orange Beach. Bellator is a full-service real estate company specializing in developing, listing and marketing real estate in Baldwin and Mobile counties.
- Southern Vines Home Store, which recently opened at 21545 Highway 59, Suite C, in Robertsdale, will have a ribbon-cutting at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 14. The store offers an array of home decor, gifts, Christmas items, candles and more.
- The Saraland Goodwill Store & Donation Center at 1016 Highway 43 in North Saraland held a grand reopening on Dec. 1.
- Elizabeth Smart is the keynote speaker for the third Singing River Health System’s “What the Health? Connecting the Dots in Women’s Health” event on Friday, Jan. 28, at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Biloxi. The event is open to the public. Singing River’s “What the Health?” event brings together women from unique backgrounds, experiences and lifestyles to discuss topics once considered taboo and teaches how to make strides toward a healthier future. The day begins with mimosas and mingling, then discussions with some of the Gulf Coast’s best physicians on women’s health topics. Brunch follows with inspirational words from Smart, who is an abduction survivor, news correspondent and child safety activist. For more info, go to SingingRiverHealthSystem.com/WTH.
- USA Health named Shannon Scaturro hospital administrator for University Hospital and assistant vice president for medical affairs. He will join USA Health on Jan. 1, 2022. In addition to overseeing the daily operations at University Hospital, Scaturro will be responsible for working with physician and health system leadership in the development of new, strategic health care offerings that meet the needs of patients, as well as adding to the educational and research missions of USA Health.
- Winn-Dixie customers can support Feeding America programs by rounding their purchases to the nearest dollar or making a donation of their choice. Parent company Southeastern Grocers Inc., together with its charity foundation, recently launched the program, which continues through Dec. 21.
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