MONTGOMERY, AL – Starting Tuesday, September 10 until Thursday, October 10, the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) is asking for assistance from people of all walks of life as they launch the TAKE 10 FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION survey. This is an attempt to take the opinions and concerns of the people of Alabama into consideration while developing the ALSDE’s new strategic plan for public education.
Dr. Eric Mackey, State Superintendent of Education, said the plan is to look at the public’s opinion on various issues and use that information as the ALSDE and the Alabama State Board of Education determines priorities and establishes goals and objectives for the coming years.
"Ultimately, our goal is to continue to improve the quality of education for all students and adequately prepare them for life after high school. In order to do that we are casting a wide net to get opinions from the public,” Mackey said. "We are reaching out to teachers, principals, students, superintendents, legislators, retirees, military families, faith communities, education advocates and agencies, chambers of commerce, and many others, to see how people in the state of Alabama feel about a variety of issues facing public education today.”
The survey, which takes approximately TEN Minutes to complete, can be found by clicking on the Take 10 logo on the front page of the ALSDE website ( A link directly to the survey ( is also being promoted through various education, business, and parent organizations.
The compilation of this data is instrumental to the ALSDE and the development of a strategic plan for Alabama’s public schools. This will be a plan that not only involves the experience and perspective of the education leaders at the ALSDE as well as the Alabama State Board of Education… but also the viewpoint of Alabamians from every walk of life. Mackey encourages people to not only participate in the Take 10 FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION survey, but also to share the link with friends and colleagues.
"We are asking people to Take 10 minutes out of their busy schedules to complete this survey on public education in Alabama,” Mackey said. "It may only TAKE 10 minutes to complete the survey… but the impact your participation has on the development of the department’s strategic plan will resonate for years to come.”

August Small Business of the Month: Stowe's Jewelers

FAIHOPE, Ala. - The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce is proud to recognize Stowe’s Jewelers as the August Small Business of the Month.

Celebrating their 60th anniversary, Stowe’s is the second oldest business in Fairhope. This family-owned and operated jewelry store has become a downtown tradition, with a commitment to service, knowledge, and giving each customer the ultimate shopping experience.
The store’s matriarch, Joyce Stowe is credited with the idea to plant the trees that have become an iconic piece of Fairhope’s downtown. She thought it would be nice to string lights on those trees during the holiday season, so she went around to different merchants to get donations to buy those lights the first two years. Today, those trees are lit from November to March and attract more and more attention and holiday shoppers each year.
Much like the magic of the tree lighting, Stowe’s Jewelers continues to grow each year. They’ve committed to being involved in the community, listening to their needs and wants and changing with the times while staying true to values and tradition.
When not in the store, you can find the Stowe’s owners serving as the Chairman of the Hound Dog Music Festival, as a Board Member for the Baldwin Humane Society, the Thomas Hospital Advisory Board and as a founding member and board member of the Maids of Jubilee. They’re also members of the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce, the Fairhope Downtown Merchants and Impact 100.
Stowe’s is ready to serve customers with bridal registries, appraisals, estate jewelry and have a GIA graduate gemologist on staff.
To learn more about Stowe’s Jewelers, visit them online at stop by the shop at 393 Fairhope Avenue in Fairhope.

Eastern Shore Chamber Unveils the Featured Artwork for the 31st Annual Jubilee Festival of Arts


DAPHNE, Ala. - The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce and Jubilee Festival of Arts Committee are proud to recognize Rianna Turner as the featured poster artist for the 31st Annual Jubilee Festival of Arts.

This year’s artwork is a mixed media interpretation of a fly-fishing lure created mostly with a palette knife. This eye-catching piece blends warm neutrals and bright neon colors.

"I grew up on the Gulf Coast, so water and fishing are just part of life. A few years ago, I began to paint the whimsical colorful lures that I grew up seeing and then expanded into fly fishing lures, which aren't quite as common here,” said Turner. "No offense to local fishers, my husband is one, but style wise, bold vibrant feathery flies are kind of "one uppers"! They are art all on their own. I especially love the added interest that's created by making this fly uncharacteristically huge.”

The bright colors are what originally caught the festival chairman’s eye. "The way each inanimate fly or lure is drawn and then painted seems to come to life!” said Festival Chairman Meghan Battles.

Turner says she does tend to gravitate toward playful colors. "These color combinations tend to reflect the way I live and see life; light, bright, adventurous, optimistic and sometimes surprising,” said Turner.

Each year the Jubilee Festival of Arts featured artwork is used throughout the Gulf Coast to promote the festival including billboards, t-shirts, posters and banners. Turner says she was so excited to get the call that she’d been selected to create this year’s artwork. "I've been attending the Jubilee Festival for years and participated as a vendor for 2 of those. It's such a great show and is just very reflective of life here on the Gulf Coast. For those reasons and more, it's very much an honor!”

Rianna Turner is married to Steven Turner and they have three children; Ellyana, Luke and Landry. They live in Mobile, Alabama.

To find more of her artwork visit

About the 31st Annual Jubilee Festival of Arts:

The Jubilee Festival of Art will be held September 28 & 29, 2019 along Main Street in Olde Towne Daphne. The Festival includes more than 100 artist booths selling their best in handmade artwork. In addition to the entertainment stage, there will be a Kids Art Park where children can take advantage of six free hands-on activities. New this year, the festival is adding the Jubilee Market featuring homemade goodies as well as Cooking Demonstrations by some of the Eastern Shore’s most celebrated chefs. The Jubilee Festival of Arts is presented by the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce

To learn more about the Jubilee Festival of Arts, visit or on Facebook at

Eastern Shore Chamber Now Offers Group Health Benefits Program

Dear Members,

The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce our partnership with Iron ReHealth and the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama to offer a health, dental and vision benefit program exclusively for our members.

This program utilizes the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama network and helps members reduce health benefit costs by providing a unique, specialized program tailored to small and mid-sized businesses that emphasizes wellness, cost saving education, and concierge-level service.

To get a quote, click here, email or call (334) 245-1099.

Blues Angel Music Named Eastern Shore Chamber July Small Business of the Month

SPANISH FORT, Ala. - Blues Angel Music is making its mark on the Eastern Shore live music scene. The full-service music store opened its doors in Spanish Fort’s Eastern Shore Centre in November of 2018 and has not slowed down since.

In their most recent effort to bring entertainment opportunities to Spanish Fort, Blues Angel Music has partnered with the Eastern Shore Centre to offer the "Evenings at the Eastern Shore” concert series as part of their "Forth Fridays to Spanish Fort.”

They’re bringing in musical acts to play at the Pavilion while stores in the shopping center offer additional discounts for the monthly event.

Blues Angel Music is also sharing their love of music by offering free ukulele classes. These classes are consistently attracting a crowd.

Although Blues Angel Music is fairly new to the Eastern Shore Community, they’ve been active in Pensacola for 21 years where they have a long reputation for outstanding customer service. "We wanted to bring Blues Angel Music to Spanish Fort, but in a different way.” co-owner, Nan DeStafney said. "The new location is just over half the size of our Pensacola store, but we wanted to do all of the same things, so we went with a more modern, streamlined concept.”

Blues Angel Music is a full-line music store offering musical instruments and accessories, school band and orchestra instrument rental, audio and visual system sales and installation, PA rental, instrument repair, and will offer music lessons in 2019.

You can visit their showroom in the Eastern Shore Centre at 30500 State Highway 181, Suite 128. Find them online at


Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce Sponsored Local High School Student to Participate in Economic and Community Development Program at Huntingdon College

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Wyatt Townsend of Fairhope was one of the 32 rising high school seniors who participated in the third annual Huntingdon College Economic and Community Development Scholars Program June 25-27. 

The program is planned in partnership with and sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama, the Economic Development Association of Alabama, and the Alabama Department of Commerce, ECDS introduced young citizens who are poised to begin their professional journeys to the importance of economic and community development. 

The students met with professionals seasoned in the processes of economic and community development and participated in a two-day economic development simulation. Participants "graduated" from the program wearing hard hats for ground-breaking and ribbon-cutting simulations.  

Townsend was selected through the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce Youth Leadership program where he became intrigued with his community and local government. "Participating in the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce Youth Leadership Program, I became more interested in government and then now with this opportunity I realized this is really the pathway I would like to take,” said Townsend. 

"It’s our goal to expose students like Wyatt Townsend to opportunities in our community to use their gifts and talents to lead our next generation,” said Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce Workforce Director Christina Hellmich. "It excites me to see students who go through the Youth Leadership program graduate with a fire to serve the community in ways that hadn't previously considered.” 

"We had an incredibly impressive collection of high school students on our campus last week," said Huntingdon senior vice president Anthony Leigh, an architect of the program. "These students are difference makers in their schools and their communities. I am confident they have returned to their communities enlightened about what economic and community developers do, and we hope that knowledge has given them an appreciation for the work of growing and bettering their community and our state." 

Wyatt Townsend is a senior at Fairhope High School and plans to attend Huntingdon College after graduation. He would like to major in Political Science with a minor in Business.

About Youth Leadership:

The Youth Leadership Program is an intensive and elite, seven-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. Participants engage in topic discussions including the history & geography of Baldwin County, law and government, business smarts, health and human services, and the environment. In addition to class sessions, students work in teams to develop small group projects that address and benefit a special community need. 

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