Four local business leaders who credit a strong work ethic for their success were honored Thursday night.
The Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce and Dothan Area Young Professionals hosted the annual Business Hall of Fame Banquet at Calvary Baptist Church.
This year’s inductees include S. Earl Dove, AAA Cooper Transportation; W. Earl Durden, Durden Outdoor Displays Inc.; R. Hayne Hollis III, Hollis & Spann Contractors; and Alan C. Livingston, Lee, Livingston, Lee, Nichols & Barron, PC.
The honorees come from diverse backgrounds.
Dove is the son of John Hal “Red” Dove, who started hauling logs to sawmills in the 1930s and laid the foundation for what grew into a multi-regional trucking firm.
Dove learned from his father that it takes hard work and determination to build a company.
He said it was teamwork – from the guys in the tire shop and the mechanics to the administrative team, sales team and truck drivers – that put him into the hall of fame.
“I am happy to accept this award for all of us,” Dove said.
Both of Durden’s parents died when he was a child. He was raised by his grandparents, who put him on the path to starting a full-service marketing and production company that manages over 1,000 bulletin, rotary poster and digital faces in southeast Alabama and northwest Florida.
“I was fortunate enough to have all that, to be around people that kept me focused and kept me busy,” Durden said. “It ain’t that I’m all that smart. I learned later in life you don’t have to be that smart, just hang around smart people.”
Hollis thought he was on the road to success with Hollis and Spann Contractors, the company his father and grandfather founded. But flunking out of college after two years meant his family would no longer provide for his schooling.
Only after working through tough jobs did his father convince him that to become a success he needed to get a college education.
He treated school “like a job” and earned a degree in building science. He then worked his way up in the family business, becoming president in 1987.
Livingston grew up in Albertville and earned his law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1973. He moved to Dothan with his wife and has practiced law here ever since.
He got involved in local organizations, ranging from the National Peanut Festival (president in 1980) and the chamber (chairman in 1990) to the Dothan-Houston County Intellectual Disabilities Board (Vaughn-Blumberg Services, where he current serves as a board member) and the First United Methodist Church of Dothan, where he has taught the Fellowship Sunday School Class for over 35 years.
He credited the chamber for much of Dothan’s growth.
“Our chamber has been so involved in the life of our community,” Livingston said. “It does so much for our community.”
This is the seventh year for the Dothan Business Hall of Fame, which began in 2011. Since its inception there have been 30 individuals inducted, including this year’s inductees.