Sozo

Dothan Mayor Mike Schmitz talk to the crowd at the Dothan Opera House on Tuesday night.

7:31 p.m.

SoZo CEO Ray Cheng wrapped up meeting by saying there are "many, many, many more things to come."

7:25 p.m.

Dothan architect Joe Donofro bought Foster Corner building in 1989 and renovated. It is now the home office of SoZo.

He also went to Venice Beach and saw the things that had been done there to revive that community.

Donofro plans to renovate the old Carmichael building on South Foster Street, which will have office space on the bottom floor and loft apartments upstairs. They'll be utilizing green technology and also the same high-speed internet SoZo has helped bring downtown.

"Any building we do now will be connected," Donofro said.

7:23 p.m.

Susan Wilkins with Compass Bank said it is exciting to be a partner with SoZo and have the opportunity to provide financing for Chinese businesses.

7:08 p.m.

George Harris, general counsel for SoZo, said in 2007 a mayor went to China every 2 months. By the end of 2013, it was once every three days.

Harris said if you search Google for "mayor" and "China recruiting", four of the top story results are about Dothan.

7 p.m.

Jill Williams, VP of branding and product development for SoZo, said they'll help grow the culture and quality of life in Dothan so we can compete with the big cities.

"We can and we will rival big cities," Williams said.

She said there will be a lot of cultural exchange.

Ashley Maddox, chairman of the Wiregrass Museum of Art, said she went recently to Venice Beach, California, with a group from SoZo, and as a result will be bringing in different art series, including an exhibit by artist J.J. L'Heureux.

6:55 p.m.

David Hanks with the United Way Food Bank said the relationship with SoZo is going to be important to the food bank's future.

6:45 p.m.

SoZo COO Ken Tuck said SoZo also wants to "do good" in the community.

"We want to give back," Tuck said.

SoZo will be supporting, with resources and technology, local non-profits including the Wiregrass United Way Food Bank, Wiregrass United Way 2-1-1, Wiregrass Children's Home, Love in Action International Ministries, provide software infrastructure to Harvest Church.

6:35 p.m.

Dr. J. Paul Maddox talked about telemedicine and how the camera equipment made by Huawei, which is working with SoZo, can be used to remotely serve patients.

"We will be able to bring healthcare to unserved areas of the state," he said.

Maddox also talked about the applications for treating patients in remote, third-world country.

Maddox will be working with Huawei to help develop their next generation of high definition cameras that will be used in telemedicine.

"I think you're going to see some exciting things in the future," Maddox said.

6:28 p.m.

Turner Jones, COO of Dothan Warehouse, talked about real time, third party logistics, at the warehouse which allows a manufacturer to look, real time, at inventory in the warehouse.

"It's an end to end solution," Jones said.

6:20 p.m.

Wesley Riley, SoZo's chief solutions officer, said SoZo can help make small businesses work on same level as large businesses with these improved capabilities.

For small business owners, this could mean daily inventorying of merchandise with 100 percent accuracy.

Riley also talked about "connected communities," where homes are wired and connected.

6:15 p.m.

Conley Freeman, chief technology officer with Troy Cable, said they've invested $100 million into their infrastructure, providing a reliable network that works.

You can connect by contacting Troy Cable and seeing if it is available in your area.

Freeman said he sees a great level of economic development potential because of the connectivity put in place.

6:01 p.m.

Cheng said Dothan is now a "100 gig city," referring to high speed internet now in Dothan through a partnership with Troy Cable. This will benefit high-industries considering locating here.

5:57 p.m.

Mayor Mike Schmitz said 2015 will go down as one of the greatest economic development years in Dothan's history, but he'll only be talking about SoZo projects tonight.

5:45 p.m.

Using the tagline "June 30th... everything changes", SoZo began their executive briefing Tuesday night at the Dothan Opera House, the first big event since the China Symposium in the spring of 2014.

SoZo Chief Executive Officer Raymond Cheng said 11 announcements are being made this evening.

"Tonight is a historic night," Cheng said.

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