Saraland Chamber Chat

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Shinekia Dillon

Shinekia Dillon

Owner of Touch of Love Healthcare Training School and Touch of Love Sitter Service, LLC.

Episode 9- Registered Nurse and Owner of A Touch of Love Sitter Services, LLC

RELEASED November 21st, 2022

The History of Touch of Love

 Welcome to Touch of Love. My name is Shinekia Dillon. I am the Founder and Administrator of Touch of Love Sitter (2017) & Touch of Love Healthcare Training School (2020). I am a Licensed Practical Nurse and Certified CPR Instructor. I am a graduate of Reid State Technical School (2014).

Where it all began:

When I was about 10 years old my mother took in a great aunt and began to care for her. She would have a nurse to come out several times a week to care for some wombs on her legs. She would scream in pain!

One day, I asked the nurse (Jane, I still remember the nurse name) if I could come in the room with and let my aunt hold my hand when you started her womb care. Jane reluctantly replied, “Sure”.

I stood there at the door and patiently waited for her to let me in. Once she opened the door, I went and sat on her bed and told her “You can hold my hand, and squeeze it as hard as you want to. Take the pain out on me”.

From that day forward, a seed was planted. I waited at the door every time Jane came to visit, until years later that aunt passed away.

I was privileged to help take care of my great aunt, great grandmother, and grandmother, all in the same home.

Years later I went to training school and received my CNA license, several years later I went back and obtained my nursing degree and license. The seed began to sprout up and I was in strong pursuit to start my own business.

My aunt allowed me to “touch” (hold) her hand in one of her most vulnerable moments, and that’s where the name Touch of Love comes from. 

Touch of Love Sitter has been established, licensed, and insured since August 2017.

I pray that each patient and family that we meet and care for, we leave a lasting touch (impression) that will forever change their life.

After several years of being in business, I saw a great need to hire and retain some great Certified Nursing Assistants, so in April 2020 Touch of Love Healthcare Training School was established and licensed by The Private School Licensure Division of Alabama Community College System and by Alabama Department of Public Health. We will be offering the short term courses that could be completed in 12 months or less. Stay tune for future announcements.

Sean Bryant

Sean Bryant

VP of Economic Development for the Saraland Area Chamber of Commerce

Episode 8- VP of Economic Development for the Saraland Area Chamber Commerce

RELEASED October 4, 2022

Sean Bryant is the VP of Economic Development for the Saraland Area Chamber of Commerce. Sean works at Brett/Robinson Real Estate and Development Company in Corporate Business Development. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Home Builders Association of Mobile, Inc as a Director and is an Advisory Board Member for the University of South Alabama’s Melton Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

In 2002, Sean graduated from the University of South Alabama School of Business with a degree in Business Administration and Marketing. Sean started his working career with an entry level position at Centralite Systems in Mobile, AL, working with Jim Busby and the former Mayor of Mobile, Mike Dow. He was promoted to many leadership roles in his career there, eventually being promoted to CEO of the company. His many achievements and contributions to our community include participating on the Saraland School System’s text book committee and a parent representative for the school system’s accreditation. In his role as VP of Economic Development with the Saraland Chamber, he’s developed a comprehensive economic development packet that has been a precious tool used by the city and investors to the North Mobile area. He is also on the Steering and Advisory committee for Saraland’s new Sports Complex.

Sean grew up in Mobile before moving to Satsuma in high school and has been a resident of Saraland for many years. He married his high school sweetheart, Claudette and together they have 3 amazing children who are his pride and joy. Sean enjoys hunting and fishing as well as spending time with his family and friends.

 

Kelly DeFord

Kelly DeFord

Southern Insurance Professionals Inc. Agent

Episode 7- An Interview with Southern Insurance Professionals Inc. Agent- Kelly DeFord

RELEASED SEPTEMBER 1, 2022

Kelly was born in Mobile, Alabama.  Kelly has been married to her husband

Shannon, for nearly 35 years.  They have two daughters, Kasey and Karson and 2 grandchildren, Harper, and Hayden.  Kelly loves that her grandchildren live so close to her and she enjoys getting to spend time with them. She is also passionate about travel and SEC Football.

 Kelly began her insurance career in 1997 as a Customer Service Representative where she was awarded many times, but her most prestigious award as a CSR was for writing the Most Auto Insurance in the State of Alabama.  In 2008 she became an Agent and over the next 10 years was awarded as a Top Producer 9 times.  Since our company launched in 2020, Kelly has been recognized with our carriers, as a Silver Producer for Homeowners Insurance in our Coastal Area, and she was recognized as a top Bond Producer with Nationwide.  Kelly continues to excel in the Bond Market for Southern Insurance Professionals.

Over the years Kelly has worked with several community projects such as the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s Bowl a Thon, Special Needs Assistance Program, Camp Fundraising Program, Bringing Up Down Syndrome – Buddy Walk and the Autism Awareness Program. She feels the best way to be involved with now all of these organizations and remain civic minded is by volunteering her time to the Saraland Lions Club.  She feels being a mentor to the local Leo Clubs is a great way to be a positive influence to the next generation.  Kelly is also an Ambassador for the Saraland Chamber of Commerce where she enjoys assisting the Jr Ambassador Program in helping them achieve their goals for shaping their careers and future.

 

Chris Andrews

Chris Andrews

Owner of Bienville Bites Food Tours

Episode 6- An Interview with Owner of Bienville Bites Food Tour Chris Andrews

RELEASED AUGUST 1, 2022

Chris Andrews is the founder and CEO of Bienville Bites Food Tour in Mobile, Alabama and Taste of Fairhope in Fairhope, Alabama. Chris was born in Mobile, Alabama and a graduate of Satsuma High School. In 2017, Chris combined his passion for food and history when he launched the first and only food tour in Mobile. Since then, Bienville Bites has been named the “Best Food Tour in Alabama” and has been consistently awarded the “Certificate of Excellence” by TripAdvisor which is given to the top 10% of attractions worldwide based on excellent five-star reviews. In the fall of 2020, Chris and his wife Laney launched the Taste of Fairhope tour giving people an opportunity to connect through food and drink on both sides of Mobile Bay. Chris is passionate about connecting people to the city through food and drink while giving them experiences and stories to share with others. Chris enjoys spending time with his wife Laney and three children, Audrey, Sawyer, and Carson.


Captain Clayton Horton

Captain Clayton Horton

City of Saraland Fire Inspector

Episode 5- An Interview with City of Saraland Fire Inspector Captain Clayton Horton

RELEASED JULY 5, 2022

On this episode we sit down with the City of Saraland’s Fire Inspector Captain Clayton Horton. During our time with him we discuss how he became a fire-fighter, his job as the Fire Inspector, and the importance of a Business Continuity Plan.

Josh West

Josh West

Founder and President of Saraland Soccer Academy

Episode 4- An Interview with Citizen of the Year Josh West

RELEASED MAY 31, 2022

In this episode we sit down with Saraland’s Citizen of the Year and founder of Saraland Soccer Academy Josh West. He discusses his soccer background and how he got the idea for SSA. Josh talks about his soccer program and what his plans are for the future of Saraland Soccer Academy.
Danielle Dials

Danielle Dials

Owner of Danielle Renée Beauté

Episode 3- An Interview with Danielle Dials

RELEASED MAY 01, 2022

In this episode we sit down with entrepreneur, Danielle Dials, owner of Danielle Renee Beauty, Bath & Skin Care.  Danielle shares the fundamentals of opening and running a business during a global pandemic, the importance of doing the work and doing your best, and best practices for nourishing and caring for your skin.
Natalie Moye

Natalie Moye

Saraland City Councilwoman

Episode 2 - An Interview with Saraland City Councilwoman Natalie Moye

RELEASED APR 01, 2022

In this episode we sit down with City Councilwoman Natalie Moye to discuss current topics.

We learn about her family, college and career, and what interested her into running for City Council.

Councilwoman Moye also shares what’s happening right now in Saraland, and what our future looks like as a growing city.

Ben Smith

Ben Smith

President / GM of S & M Transportation

Episode 1 - An Interview With Chamber President Ben Smith

RELEASED MAR 07, 2022

Episode 1 – An Interview With Chamber President Ben Smith

On this month’s episode we sit down with the President of the Saraland Area Chamber of Commerce Ben Smith.

 

Topics discussed are:

Ben’s upbringing in Tennessee

His love for sports… and coaching

His commitment to family

The business opportunity that brought him to Saraland

Challenges his business has faced through Covid… and high gas prices

The importance he places on serving

Why making an impact matters

The question that drives his tenure as Chamber president

The three initiatives he’s already implemented

His five year vision for the Chamber.