In the past 12 months, Mobile-based White-Spunner Construction Inc. initiated projects or won bids on at least 13 national retail accounts across the southern United States totaling $85 million, according to a news release.

While much of the new retail work is taking place outside of coastal Alabama, it includes such prominent clients as Academy Sports + Outdoors, Dave & Buster’s, The Home Depot, The Fresh Market and Nordstrom Rack. The projects span much of the southeast region, encompassing Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi and North Carolina.

“We have enjoyed working with White-Spunner Construction on various furniture showroom projects in multiple states over the past several years and have been pleased with their performance on these challenging retail projects,” said Harmon H. Jones, senior vice president of construction for Rooms To Go.

“They also completed an 875,000-square-foot distribution center for us on schedule and within our budget in Pearl River, Louisiana. This was a huge undertaking, requiring movement of more than half a million cubic yards of dirt for the 62-acre site,” Jones said. “The White-Spunner team worked with us every step of the way, offering and implementing realistic solutions when challenges came up. We look forward to more opportunities to work together in the future.” 

White-Spunner Construction has completed thousands of national retail projects in at least 27 states since 1981, providing general contracting and construction management services to a variety of clients, including many Fortune 500 companies such as Lowe’s, Publix and Target. In 35 years, the company has completed more than $2.4 billion in total construction value, building an average annual volume of $73.5 million in projects during the last five years.

According to White-Spunner Construction vice president Chris Carruth, completing projects on time and within a set budget is crucial in retail construction. “Every day a store is late to open affects its bottom line,” Carruth said. “There’s a saying, ‘It doesn’t rain on retail sites.’ Construction can be complex and the process is often challenging.” 

White-Spunner Construction also been repeatedly recognized for its excellent safety record, recording 2.45 million man-hours without a lost-time incident. In 2016, the Associated Builders and Contractors awarded the company its “Safest in the Industry Gold Award” and “Platinum Level STEP Award.” 

Delta Air Lines receives first U.S.-made Airbus aircraft
Last Friday Airbus delivered a new A321 from its Mobile-based facility. Executives and staff from both Delta Air Lines and Airbus assembled for a symbolic handover ceremony.

In addition to being the first A321 built on American soil for Delta — the world’s second-largest carrier in both revenue and capacity — it is also the 14th jet added to the Atlanta, Georgia-based airline’s fleet. Delta brought a team of Minneapolis, Minnesota-based employees to accept the aircraft, which will travel to the Twin Cities to be prepped for its first long-haul passenger flights in about three weeks.

According to Daryl Taylor, Airbus vice president and general manager of Airbus in Mobile, the Brookley facility is targeting a production rate of four per month by the start of 2017. “It goes to show the progress we’re making toward being fully operational,” he said.

Greg May Sr., Delta’s senior vice president, remarked that Mobile’s fairly close proximity to Atlanta in the southeastern region will probably help facilitate a closer relationship with Airbus in North America. To date, the carrier has more than 80 Airbus A321s on backorder.

Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance hires new manager
The Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance recently announced the hire of Alex Doleac as project manager. Doleac will direct a range of business recruitment projects aimed at driving economic growth within the county.

For the past year, Doleac has served as project manager for the economic development team at the area development partnership in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. As part of his graduate studies, he also interned with the West Florida Economic Development Alliance in Pensacola, Florida.

“The Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance has a longstanding reputation for facilitating immense growth,” Doleac said. “Over the past decade, the growth in population alone validates the momentum already in motion here in Baldwin County.”

BCEDA, based in Robertsdale, is a partnership of local public and private professionals, leaders and officials providing opportunities for businesses and improving the county’s economy. It is funded and supported by the county government, 14 municipalities, five Chambers of Commerce, eight Industrial Development Boards and more than 100 privately owned businesses. For more information, visit its website.

California-based skin-care product has local roots
The Better Skin Co., creators of Better Skin Mirakle Cream, was founded in 2015 by Murphy D. Bishop from the Mobile area and Natalya Rachkova, originally from Uzbekistan but now living in Seattle, Washington.  

Bishop grew up in Grand Bay, attended Faulkner State Community College and subsequently transferred to Birmingham Southern College where he completed a bachelor’s degree in public relations.

Bishop has more than 20 years’ experience in the beauty industry. He began his career at Estée Lauder before moving to Bobbi Brown, where he worked closely with the core management team. He went on to work for Victoria’s Secret Beauty, as a national sales manager for Bare Escentuals and then for Molton Brown.

Bishop most recently spent time as the general manager of Los Angeles, California-based boutique cosmetic firm Jouer and currently serves as CEO and owner of Bleu Brand Development.

In 2013, Rachkova met Bishop, who utilized his established industry contacts to move her product to the U.S. market.

“Business has recently exploded and we have become a global brand, shipping to over 10 countries. In 2017 sales are projected to pass the seven-figure mark,” Bishop said. “We now have a 40-plus door footprint national retailer opening early next year to drive sales on Dermstore, Evine and Urban Outfitters. Currently we are self-funded but are open to investment opportunities.”

Bishop will be back in Mobile next week to promote his product. For more information about Better Skin Mirakle Cream visit the brand’s website.