Chamber Connections
Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce March Newsletter

Leaders Council Spotlight: Brian Britt, Kopesky & Britt LLC

Brian Britt, Kopesky & Britt, LLC

Kopesky & Britt, LLC is the newest member of the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce Leaders Council, making an impact on the Eastern Shore business community.
Kopesky & Britt, LLC is located at 451 Magnolia Ave, Fairhope, AL. Their offices house two separate businesses. Leaders Council member, Brian Britt manages both Kopesky & Britt, LLC and Fairhope Title Services, LLC. "I specialize in several areas of the law, including real estate and title law, banking, secured transactions, business entities and estate planning," said Britt.
He says despite the serious nature of their area of expertise, they're a fun-loving group. "Several of our employees have worked here for over 15 years, which makes it feel like we are family," said Britt, "We have watched each other's children grow and have been together during good times and bad. We are truly a team in every sense of the word."

Kopesky & Britt is leading by example along the Eastern Shore, participating in several different charitable and civic causes each year either directly or through sponsorships. Those include events for area Rotary Clubs, Ecumenical Ministries, Boy Scouts of America and Fairhope's Walking School Bus. They also sponsor numerous high school athletic programs all over Baldwin County. Britt also serves on Trinity Presbyterian Church's Witness & Outreach Committee, which helps identify and meet many needs, helping the local community and abroad.
Brian Britt says the best part about working for Fairhope Title Services, LLC and Kopesky and Britt, LLC is the people they get to meet and interact with on a daily basis. "The Eastern Shore is a wonderful place to live and the people who live here are a big part of that. We handle hundreds of real estate transactions each year, so there are both new and familiar faces in and out of our offices every day," said Britt. He says he encourages clients to feel comfortable to drop by if they ever have a question or just to say hello.
Kopesky and Britt, LLC can be found online at

Leaders Council

The Eastern Shore Leaders  Council provides an opportunity for companies  to receive additional visibility and recognition while supporting  the efforts of the Eastern Shore Chamber and its advocacy for  our local communities and businesses. To learn more about how you can become a member of the Leaders Council email Christina Hellmich.

The 65th Annual Fairhope Arts & Crafts Festival
Fairhope Arts _ Crafts Festival

The 65th Annual Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival is set for March  17, 18 & 19. Festival hours are Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday  from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The festival is free to the public.

The flower-lined streets of charming downtown Fairhope will be transformed into an
outdoor art gallery. More than 230 exhibitors will be in place with everything from fine art
paintings to one-of-a-kind handcrafted jewelry and pottery that's almost too beautiful to

The Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival is one of the oldest art festivals in the country with
a tradition that dates back to 1953. In those early years, it was known as the Arts and
Crafts Tour. Craftsmen set up displays in shop windows and offered demonstrations. It
was created to showcase local talent and the event coincided with the Azalea Trail and
Mardi Gras celebration in Mobile.

Storefront Display - 1975

Dogwood Trail begins in conjunction with Arts and Crafts

It has grown into a nationally recognized festival, consistently ranking in the top 50 in
the U.S. by Sunshine Artists Magazine. The Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival now
attracts artists and visitors from across the country.

The Coldwell Banker Reehl Properties Kid's Art section will offer  rotating activities throughout the weekend such as building birdhouses and painting with  well-known local artist Ricky Trione.

The  Coastal Alabama Community College Entertainment Stage is moving back to its
traditional home in the  Regions Bank parking lot. Musical acts will keep festivalgoers
entertained all three days. The Dogwood Trail Court will debut their 2017 Trail Maids on
Saturday at 12 p.m. Click here to see the full entertainment schedule.


The Pepsi Food Court will feature many of your festival favorites including hand-squeezed
lemonade, kettle corn, treats from Punta Clara Kitchen and Frios Popsicles.  New this year, Apison Creek Coffee Roasters and Sugar Kettle Cafe are both sure to  draw a crowd.

This year's festival poster artist is  Ardith Goodwin. The abstract artwork features
sailboats on the bay in bright coastal colors. Posters featuring the artwork can be
purchased for $10 at the festival merchandise booth. Prints can be purchased for $20 and
t-shirts are $15, XXL $18.

Fairhope's downtown and the Eastern Shore as a whole, is also home to an array of local shops and enticing restaurants.  Visitors are also drawn to the scenic sunsets over Mobile Bay, viewable from several  different pedestrian-friendly trails and piers. Enjoy a full weekend, and savor the  treasures the Eastern Shore offers.

Parking will be limited in downtown Fairhope, so festival organizers recommend taking
advantage of the shuttle service available from BRATS (Baldwin Rural Area
Transportation System). Stops will be made at the Plantation Pointe Shopping Center
(Piggly Wiggly), Eastern Shore Village Center (Big Lots) and the Fairhope Recreation
Center (803 Greeno Rd.). Parking is free at these locations. Shuttle passes are $2 per
person for a one-way trip and $5 per person per day for an all-day pass. The shuttle
service will run from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. on Friday, March 17 and Saturday, March 18 and
from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 19. Free bike valet parking will be provided
behind the Fairhope Museum of History. Handicapped parking is available behind
Julwin's Restaurant.

The 65 th Annual Arts and Crafts Festival Foundation and Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce would like to thank the 2017 festival sponsors who make this event possible: Wind Creek, Pepsi, Coastal Alabama Community College, Thomas Hospital-Infirmary Health, Riviera Utilities, Merchants & Marine Bank, Coldwell Banker Reehl Properties, Carell Corporation, Trustmark Bank, Bay Mortgage, Grand Hotel, Chick-Fil-A, Regions Bank, Alabama Public Radio, Gulf Coast News, Alabama Media Group, WKRG, WPMI/UTV44, WABD.

65th Annual Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival
Downtown Fairhope
March 17, 18 & 19
Friday & Saturday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Free to the public

Click here to see more pictures from last year's festival.


If you are interested in volunteering at the Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival Information Booth, we need your help. This is an excellent opportunity for exposure for your business during this high traffic weekend. Two hour shifts are available Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Please email Liz Thomson to sign up.
How you can help

Help us spread the word about the 65th Annual  Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival. Below are 3 simple ways you can help.

  • Invite your out-of-town friends to come visit the weekend of March 17, 18 & 19.
  • Welcome guests that weekend with southern hospitality.
"Hi, I'm Casey, President of the Eastern Shore Chamber." 

I wonder how many times I've uttered those words since November 29th? Those 7 words have started 100's of conversations in that short time. 

Networking opportunities are a major benefit of your Chamber membership. Here are a few suggestions that could help you make the most of your networking time.

1. Remember that everyone is there to meet people and make new contacts. So, don't be shy about introducing yourself to a total stranger - it may be "that" important contact!

2. Don't spend the majority of your time talking to people you already know

3. Bring lots of business cards!

4. Ask questions to learn about others and their businesses. Look for ways to help them so you can establish a business relationship. 

5. Follow up! A quick email or note to further communication is critical, especially if you see an opportunity.

Remember, people like to do business with folks they know. I look forward to seeing you soon and learning about your business.

Chamber Events
Click here for a printable version of the Chamber Calendar of Events.

Morning Marketing Meeting
Dickey's BBQ
6882 Hwy 90, Suite G2
Jubilee Square Shopping Center
Thursday, March 16
8 a.m.

Young Professionals Social
Warehouse Bakery
Thursday, March 16
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
759 Nichols Ave.

65th Annual Fairhope Arts & Crafts Festival
Downtown Fairhope
March 17, 18 & 19
Fri. & Sat. - 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Free to the public

Leadership Skills II Workshop
March 22 & 23
Wed. - 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Thur. - 8:30 a.m. - Noon
Riviera Utilities
413 East Laurel Ave.

$25 Registration
Lunch is included

Open to those who completed 
Leadership Skill I
Sign up: Call (251) 928-6387

Ribbon Cutting & Grand Opening: 
The Colonnade at Eastern Shore
830 Highway 98
March 23
4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Ribbon Cutting: Verizon Wireless Cellular Sales
1501 US Highway 98 Suite 1  
Friday, March 31
10:30 a.m.

Business After Hours: JBT Power
1204 U.S. Highway 98
Thursday, April 6
5-7 p.m.

Like us on Facebook
Click here and click the subscribe button to receive notifications about Chamber events on your Facebook account.

Click here to see the community calendar and the many events our members and partners are hosting along the Eastern Shore. You also have an opportunity to submit a community event.
Play Ball!
How our communities are making the  Eastern Shore the Place to Play

Congratulations to the City of Daphne for breaking ground on their new Park Drive Sports Complex. This is a beautifully designed, state-of-the-art complex that will include eight youth baseball/softball fields and two baseball fields. This project goes a long way to meet the growing needs of the Daphne community. It will also accommodate regional and state-wide tournaments and visiting travel teams. Funding is also being sought for additional elements in the complex, including a large pavilion area and splash pad, trails for walking, running and mountain biking.

With the addition of this complex, Lott Park in Olde Towne Daphne will be repurposed to include ten regulation tennis courts. Two additional multi-use fields are proposed for Al Trione Sports Complex. You can also expect to see improvements at the park. 

Click here to see more pictures from Daphne's groundbreaking.

Soccer balls are flying in Fairhope's new soccer complex. The city cut the ribbon on these new fields Saturday, March 11. The nine field soccer complex sits on a 40-acre site. It includes two championship level fields.  For this project, the city joined with the Fairhope Youth Soccer League and the Fairhope Single Tax Colony. 

The next facilities improvements will be at the city's 50-acre Volanta Sports Park. It's currently home to the municipal football stadium, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a disc golf course, seven baseball fields, a dog park, a skate park, two gymnasiums and open green space. Improvements to this park are included on the city's five-year master plan.
Spanish Fort is currently investing in 26 acres on Jimmy Faulkner Boulevard to add three soccer fields.  Mayor Mike McMillan says the land has been acquired and plans go before the planning commission next week. Once needed infrastructure is in place, the first phase will include two lighted fields that can be used for soccer and football. A second phase will include a third field. The park is scheduled to open in 2017.

The city has also purchased land adjacent to its existing Spirit Park for future use and will be undertaking upgrades there as well. Spirit Park currently includes eight lighted tennis courts, three multi-purpose ball fields, a walking trail, a concession stand and restrooms. 

Be on the lookout for the Eastern Shore Magazine set to come out later this month to read much more about plans to expand recreation on the Eastern Shore.

Youth Leadership Graduation

SPANISH FORT, Ala. - The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the graduation of our Youth Leadership Class of 2017. The Youth Leadership Program is an intensive elite 7 month program designed to provide Eastern Shore high school students with the opportunity to gain a greater knowledge about their community, develop strong leadership skills and gain more self and social awareness in order to make a positive difference in the quality of community life. Christina Hellmich, Director of Workforce Development for the Chamber says, "By developing young leaders, we will build vital communities that value fairness, diversity and integrity."

Click here to read more and view pictures from graduation.

Applications are available now for the 2018 Youth Leadership Program at

Applications are due by April 7, 2017.

2017 Spirit of
Youth Leadership Award Winner

Sawyer Connick
Senior, Fairhope High School

Coastal Ala. Elected & Business Leadership Legislative Trip
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Governmental Affairs Director Christina Hellmich and Chamber President Casey Williams attended the Coastal Alabama Elected & Business Leadership Legislative Trip in Montgomery on March 8 organized by the Coastal Alabama Partnership (CAP). 

Ryan Hankins of the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama presented "Coastal Alabama: Toward Measuring Our Impact" which outlined Coastal Alabama's impact on the state's revenue. Speakers included Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries Commissioner John McMillan, Alabama Senator Trip Pittman (District 32), Alabama Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh and Alabama Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon. Topics included the state's bridge and road infrastructure, the importance of unity among coastal Alabama leadership, the historic tax credit bill, prison infrastructure and the education budget.

The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce was happy to sponsor the Legislative Reception.

ACT Work Ready Communities
ACT Work Ready Communities
Your business needs work ready employees. Sign up to support the program and attract potential employees.  The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce will be bringing you much more information on Work Ready Communities very soon.

Governmental Affairs Committee

The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce Governmental Affairs Committee is taking an active role with our local leadership. We are working to make sure the Chamber membership knows about upcoming conversations in our community that may affect your business. Be on the lookout for our quarterly Governmental Affairs Newsletter for updates. Below are a few dates to note.

Spanish Fort Public Hearing: 
Proposed Clean Water Ordinance
Monday, April 3, 6 p.m.
Multi-purpose Room
Community Center
7361 Spanish Fort Blvd. 
Spanish Fort

The Daphne City Council meets on the first and third Mondays of each month.
The Fairhope City Council meets on the second and fourth Mondays of each month.
The Spanish Fort City Council meets on the first and fourth Mondays of each month.
The Baldwin County Commission meets on the first and third Tuesdays of each month.

Eggs N' Issues: Preparing Your Workplace for a Storm
DAPHNE, Ala. - This month's Eggs N' Issues focused on what the business community needs to know to get back on their feet quickly should a hurricane make its way to the Gulf Coast. Baldwin County Emergency Management Agency Director Reggie Chitwood discussed Business Continuity Plans and how important it is to have a plan in place before hurricane season. Below are a few resources he shared to help you prepare.

The Role of Business to Build Disaster Resilience:
  • Local businesses are the foundation of the community's economic capital as a source of employment, income, and stability.
  • Businesses also bring the community together in collective pursuits, increasing community capital.
  • Businesses can offer disaster preparation  guidance and materials for citizens.  
  • During and after a disaster , businesses provide needed goods and services including water, food, ice, and generators.
Preparing Businesses to Contribute to Resilience During a Disaster:
  • To contribute to the community during a disaster event, business must maintain or restore their functioning as soon as possible.
  • Business continuity plans are coordinated strategies that prepare a business for disruption and guide them in restoring functioning.
Primary Components of a Business Continuity Plan:
  • Roles and responsibilities within the organization 
  • Emergency Response to Crisis
  • Recovery of critical business functions and supporting systems
  • Communication with employees, clients, insurance agencies

Thank you to Coastal Bank & Trust for Sponsoring Eggs N' Issues.

Young Professionals Third Thursday Social

Join us for our March Third Thursday Social at Warehouse Bakery & Donuts. They are sure to have some delicious grub on hand. Bring a friend and take advantage of this excellent networking opportunity. Young Professionals is free to attend.

Young Professionals Social
Warehouse Bakery
Thursday, March 16
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
759 Nichols Ave.

Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce Open House

We had an incredible turnout for our Chamber of Commerce Open House during First Friday Art Walk. This was an opportunity for members to stop by and check out the updates the Chamber has made to our office in Downtown Fairhope. We saw so many familiar faces and got a chance to meet a lot of new people. Thank you to everyone who came by.

January Ambassador of the Month: Sara Alter

Congratulations to Sara Alter for being named the January 
Ambassador of the Month. 

Sara Alter
The Brennity at Fairhope
50 Spring Run Drive
Fairhope, AL

Newsletter Giveaway!

You have a chance to win a free $25 Gift Card from Mosquito Joe!
Follow the link below to register. The winner will be announced March 21 on the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce Facebook Page.

Ribbon Cuttings

Click the image for each ribbon cutting below to enlarge and learn more. 

Fulcrum Construction Group celebrated the opening of their new Olde Towne Daphne office with a ribbon cutting and Mardi Gras themed open house Friday, February 17. The new office is located at 810 Manci Avenue in Daphne.  Read more

 Thyme on Section

Thyme on Section is open in downtown at 33 N. Section Street in Downtown Fairhope. They're serving up handcrafted food and cocktails that exemplify local southern cuisine.   Read more

Daphne Utilities celebrated the opening of the Olde Towne Daphne Water Treatment Facility with a dedication, a ribbon cutting and open house on Friday, February 24th. The new facility is located on 6th Street between College and Belrose Avenue. The new facility is located across the street from Daphne Utilities' oldest well and treatment plant which was built in 1957.   Read more

The March Hare Salon held a busy grand opening during the March First Friday Art Walk. The salon is now open at 411 Johnson Avenue. The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce was proud to help celebrate with a ribbon cutting.  Read more

Wintzell's Oyster House

Wintzell's Oyster House in Fairhope is the first Fairhope restaurant to join the Oyster Shell Recycling Program, an initiative to collect, clean and return shells back to the Bay where they can support future growth of oysters.
Orangetheory Fitness

Orangetheory Fitness is now open in the Jubilee Square Shopping Center in Daphne between Hobby Lobby and the police station.  Orangetheory Fitness  is the scientifically designed, one-of-a-kind group personal training, interval fitness concept that is sweeping the nation. Read more

Do you know of a new business moving
to the Eastern Shore or expanding? We would love to help them celebrate with a ribbon cutting. 

Contact Frank Shepard at
or call (251) 928-6387
Cricket Wireless

Cricket Wireless is now open at 2020 Highway 98, Suite B in Daphne. The new store celebrated its grand opening Saturday, March 11 with food, games, prizes, and a blood drive.  Read more
February New Members