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SouthernLINC Wireless Selects 2009 Southern Heroes

ATLANTA, Oct. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- SouthernLINC Wireless, a Southern Company (NYSE: SO), announced today the three exemplary small businesses it will honor as Southern Heroes: Barfield, Murphy, Shank & Smith of Birmingham, Ala., Fresh Wave Dental Care of Enterprise, Ala., and Georgio's Pizza of Pensacola, Fla.


SouthernLINC Wireless created the 2009 Southern Heroes promotion to recognize three small businesses, business professionals or work teams from Alabama, Florida, Georgia or Mississippi that empower their local communities, improve the quality of life of residents and give back to those in need.

"At a time when many of the South's small businesses are facing tremendous uncertainties, it is awe-inspiring to hear stories of local businesses continuing to give back to causes that matter to their employees and the communities at large," said Bob Dawson, president and CEO of SouthernLINC Wireless. "It was a pleasure to read each of the nominations we received this year, and we're honored to recognize three great entities that are continuing to 'pay it forward' to their local communities."

A panel of judges reviewed the nominations and selected the three outstanding businesses to spotlight as the 2009 Southern Heroes; specifics on each honoree are included below:

Barfield, Murphy, Shank & Smith (Birmingham, Ala.): Accounting firm Barfield, Murphy, Shank & Smith's (BMSS) founding partners and employees believe in being actively involved in the greater Birmingham community. In fact, giving back to the community is so ingrained in the firm's culture that it provides employees with three paid days off annually to volunteer on projects of their choice. The firm also prides itself in selecting community service projects where employees can see the immediate impact locally, which is why BMSS has been involved with Habitat for Humanity since 2000. Partnering with Habitat for Humanity enables BMSS employees to work on houses from the ground up - from laying the foundation to handing over the keys to the family for ownership. Finally, BMSS started an innovative program that allows Holy Family Cristo Rey High School students the opportunity to learn first-hand about the business world. BMSS mentors two students per week by giving them insights into professional careers.

Fresh Wave Dental Care (Enterprise, Ala.): Dr. Russell Nichols, dentist and owner of Fresh Wave Dental Care, recognized the need for greater access to dental services and took matters into his own hands. He worked with the Family Services Center in Enterprise to set up a free screening day in March, in which Fresh Wave Dental Care provided free dental services to local residents who could not afford dental insurance. During the day, Nichols and his staff saw a non-stop flow of patients - many of whom had never even been to a dentist before. Nichols encouraged his entire staff to volunteer for the screening day without compensation and nearly every employee donated his or her time to the cause. After the event, he was so moved by his employees' commitment to volunteerism that he gave participating employees an unplanned bonus for their endeavors.

Georgio's Pizza (Pensacola, Fla.): Carl Hixon, owner of Georgio's Pizza, was inspired by the heroic efforts of the first responders that were on the front lines of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Motivated to honor local first responders in the Pensacola area, Hixon started First Responder's Day, a day of celebration on September 11, 2002, and the tradition still carries on today. Every September 11th, Georgio's Pizza hosts a free pizza day for local police, fire and emergency responders. The celebration includes a pizza eating contest in which the winner gets money donated by Georgio's to the charity of his or her choice. The winner also gets a weekend beach getaway donated by Georgio's Pizza.

SouthernLINC Wireless will recognize the three Southern Heroes by sponsoring celebrations and recognition ceremonies in their hometowns this fall. The company will further the heroes' efforts by contributing $2,009 to the nonprofit organization or charity of each hero's choice.

Southern Heroes nominations were accepted from July 1 through Aug. 31. In accordance with promotional rules, one winner was chosen from the state of Florida and two winners were chosen from the states of Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi.

About SouthernLINC Wireless

SouthernLINC Wireless, a Southern Company (NYSE: SO), is an Atlanta-based regional wireless carrier with network coverage in the major metro and rural areas of Alabama, Georgia, southeast Mississippi and northwest Florida. SouthernLINC Wireless bundles multiple communication options, including Push To Talk two-way radio, cellular service, text messaging, wireless Internet access and wireless data, into one hand-held device. For more information, please call 1-800-818-LINC (5462) or visit

About Southern Company

With 4.4 million customers and more than 42,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company is the premier energy company serving the Southeast. A leading U.S. producer of electricity, Southern Company owns electric utilities in four states and a growing competitive generation company, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and retail electric prices that are below the national average. Southern Company is consistently listed among the top U.S. electric service providers in customer satisfaction by the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Visit our Web site at

SOURCE SouthernLINC Wireless

SOURCE SouthernLINC Wireless
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