Category Archives: Corporate community

A shocking statistic–and what we’re doing about it

Charlotte Conaway
Charlotte Conaway

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Charlotte Conaway.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

82% of Birmingham City School children cannot read at grade level. I know this is shocking, but we have found a way to help.

I have mixed emotions about publicizing our efforts.

I’m afraid it might appear I’m writing this article to feel important or to promote my company. Or that I am ‘putting down’ Birmingham City Schools. Continue reading A shocking statistic–and what we’re doing about it

Gov. Ivey sticks foot in mouth

Kay Ivey, Governor of Alabama
Kay Ivey, Governor of Alabama

Governor Ivey, you can do better than this.

Ivey, who’s campaigning for a full four year term as governor, addressed the Rotary Club of Birmingham on March 7th.

In her prepared remarks she bragged about $6 billion of new investments in Alabama since April of last year…including the $1.6 billion Huntsville Toyota-Mazda plant. Continue reading Gov. Ivey sticks foot in mouth

Birmingham like a bathtub with no stopper

Infinity Property & Casualty Corporation
Infinity Property & Casualty Corporation Downtown Birmingham headquarters

If this  article doesn’t get your attention about the future of greater Birmingham—nothing will.

We all know how a bathtub works.

Water comes out of a faucet into a tub and as long as the stopper is engaged, the bathtub fills up.

But what happens if there is no stopper? Continue reading Birmingham like a bathtub with no stopper

Nick Saban’s dream is Hoover’s nightmare

Nick Saban, football coach at University of Alabama
Nick Saban, football coach at University of Alabama

Okay…I’ve written about this before.

But it makes us look so DUMB that I’m going to write about it again.

And I’m going to write about it over and over until someone gets disgusted enough to do something about it.

Are we fools?

How can we be such suckers?
Continue reading Nick Saban’s dream is Hoover’s nightmare

Are Birmingham business leaders loopy?

Mobile Skyline
Mobile Skyline

Every seat was full at the Harbert Center last week.

Jeff Immelt, CEO of General Electric, one of the largest companies in the world, addressed a joint luncheon of the Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs of Birmingham.

Rotarians and Kiwanians were thrilled to have the opportunity to see such an influential business executive– and hear him sing the praises of Alabama. Continue reading Are Birmingham business leaders loopy?

Does Birmingham have a ‘closed’ culture that shuts out millennials?

The Rotary Trail--Community porject of the Rotary Club of Birmingham
The Rotary Trail–One of the many projects of the Rotary Club of Birmingham

The speaker completed his talk at my Rotary meeting.

When I got up from my table to leave, a young man tapped me on my shoulder.

After introducing himself, he said, “Mr. Sher, I enjoy reading ComebackTown, but I was upset by one of your articles.” Continue reading Does Birmingham have a ‘closed’ culture that shuts out millennials?

How Trussville mucked up Birmingham’s future

Veterans Memorial in Trussville
Veterans Memorial in Trussville

Okay, I should have titled this column, “How Trussville, Adamsville, Hueytown, and Pleasant Grove mucked up Birmingham’s future.”

I’m repeatedly surprised by the animosity between our suburbs and the City of Birmingham.

The lack of trust between our City and its suburbs continually plays havoc with our progress. Continue reading How Trussville mucked up Birmingham’s future

Birmingham: Bear Bryant may be turning over in his grave

Paul Bear Bryant
Paul Bear Bryant

I graduated from the University of Alabama in 1965.

If you are a college football fan you may remember that between 1961 and 1965 UA won three NCAA College National Championships.

Joe Namath was our quarterback, but more importantly, our coach was the legendary Paul Bear Bryant.

No need to give a history lesson on Coach Bryant, but unless you’re of a certain age, you may not know one important fact about the Bear. Continue reading Birmingham: Bear Bryant may be turning over in his grave

Birmingham’s misfortune (and how we’re overcoming it)

Rickwood Field--the oldest baseball park in America
Rickwood Field–the oldest baseball park in America

Each year from 2002 to 2008 approximately 100 business and political leaders from Birmingham traveled to cities across the U.S.

The Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce BIG trips were designed to discover ideas that were successful in other cities that could be implemented here in Birmingham.

Much was learned, but every year we came home and lamented Birmingham’s stroke of misfortune.

Continue reading Birmingham’s misfortune (and how we’re overcoming it)

Why raising the minimum wage won’t work for Birmingham

Two fireworks superstores on I-20 in Alabama near Georgia line; one on each side of Interstate
Fireworks superstores on I-20 in Alabama near Georgia line on each side of Interstate

Before you folks who favor raising the Birmingham minimum wage start beating me up…please listen to what I have to say.

This piece is not about whether raising the minimum wage is a good idea or not.  I’ve read arguments for and against and I’m not taking sides.

This is about raising the minimum wage specifically for the City of Birmingham. Continue reading Why raising the minimum wage won’t work for Birmingham