Buddy Lockwood, founder and CEO of Artemis Shielding.

Buddy Lockwood was in the middle of Afghanistan when he decided to relocate to Fort Payne.

On his last rotation, he had to pick a place to move to in the U.S., and Fort Payne was on the list. The Colorado native had long been a fan of Alabama, the country band based in DeKalb County, and a quick call where he learned about all of the outdoor opportunities in the area sealed the deal.

“Literally on a little small map on a satellite phone in Afghanistan, I decided to move to Fort Payne,” he says. “I fell in love with the community.”

And that’s where, in 2015, Lockwood founded Artemis Shielding, a company that builds materials to shield people from radiation.

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Our shielding is unique in the fact that it’s all non-toxic,” says Lockwood, who is CEO of the company. “It’s all lead-free. It’s recyclable. If you don’t want to recycle it, you can just dispose of it in your regular old waste. There’s no harm to humans.”

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