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TRANSPORTING FLORIDA FORWARD NEW TRANSPORTATION INITIATIVES REPRESENT THE FDOT’S ONGOING WOES AND WINS FOR NORTHWEST FLORIDA.
· OTHER STORIES ·
THE POWER OF POSITIVITY
AROUND THE REGION
THOSE WHO HELP WEST FLORIDA MOVE PAST ITS CHALLENGES ARE HONORED AND THANKED FOR ALL THEY DO.
A FORMER POW USES THE POWER OF POSITIVE THOUGHT TO OVERCOME CHALLENGES AND USE LIMITED RESOURCES FOR BUSINESS EXCELLENCE AND EFFICIENCY.
FIND OUT WHAT IS HAPPENING IN BUSINESS, GOVERNMENT AND CULTURAL NEWS IN THE GREATER PENSACOLA AREA AND NORTHWEST FLORIDA.
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PHILANTHROPIC PENSACOLA by Josh Newb y
Seeking only a better community and greater opportunity for all, the individuals and organizations who have given selflessly in West Florida have pushed this community through hurdles and challenges and on to better tomorrows. Much of what we take for granted in Pensacola, from educational programs to initiatives for the less fortunate, would not be possible without a select few who give so much. Once a year, they receive just a fraction of the recognition they deserve on National Philanthropy Day, hosted locally by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). Founded in 1960, the AFP is the professional association of individuals responsible for generating philanthropic support for a wide variety of nonprofit, charitable organizations. Their membership reads like a whoâ€™s-who of far-reaching, perpetual impact. Manna Food Bank feeds the hungry; Pensacola 50 | Business Climate | nwflbusinessclimate.com
State College, the University of West Florida and Northwest Florida State College provide quality educational opportunities with accessible, affordable tuition; the Foundation for Excellence in Education provides an extra margin of support for the Escambia K-12 schools; Baptist Health Care heals the sick; the Ronald McDonald House provides temporary housing for families of critically ill children; the Pensacola Opera and Pensacola Museum of Art provide quality cultural events; and the United Way of Escambia County provides support for many non-profit agencies in the Pensacola area. As Pensacola has grown, so has the need for these organizations and others like them, and as the need has grown, so has the recognition for those willing and able to step up and shoulder the burden. The AFP has gone from giving out just two awards a few years ago to six in 2015. These include awards for
individuals and organization, initiatives and foundations. The Levin Family was named Philanthropist of the Year, an award that recognizes an individual or family for exceptional generosity and civic responsibility demonstrated by significant financial contributions to charitable organizations in the community. Fred and sister-in-law Teri Levin have donated literally hundreds of thousands of dollars of their own money to non-profit organizations and advocacy initiatives in Northwest Florida in their lifetime. The YMCA, Gulf Coast Kids House and more would simply not exist without them. Few have changed the fabric of this community so positively as the Levins, and for that they were honored as Philanthropists of the Year. Cox Communications was named Philanthropic Business of the Year, an award that recognizes a
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corporation or business for its philanthropic impact in the community through direct and indirect support of charitable projects. Leaders in this entity must demonstrate a high level of community spirit and participation, motivating employees and colleagues to support charitable activity. Cox recently gave $300,000 to the YMCA of Northwest Florida and regularly contributes to the University of West Florida and Gallery Night to keep the vibrancy and education of Pensacola intact. A national organization that believes in helping the communities it serves, Cox stays engaged in local issues and often recognizes others for their contributions to the city. The Gulf Power Transformers was named Philanthropic Service Organization of the Year, an award that recognizes a community-based organization whose grant programs, donations and charitable activities significantly enrich the community. The recipient provides visible leadership and incentive for others to pursue philanthropic activity that serves many segments of the community. Each year the employee-driven Gulf Power Transformers contributes donations and volunteer hours to aid many charitable and community projects throughout Northwest Florida, including an annual campaign for United Way, local Ronald McDonald House fundraising events, collecting and delivering children’s gifts at Christmas to low income families, supporting military initiatives and more. D.W. McMillan Foundation and Switzer Brothers Charitable Foundation both received the award for Outstanding Charitable Foundation award. This award recognizes a foundation whose grant programs reflect an understanding of community needs and support local not-for-profits in clear and powerful ways. The Outstanding Charitable Foundation of the Year reflects leadership in giving and problem solving opportunities. The D.W. McMillan Foundation is an offshoot of the memorial hospital in Brewton, Ala. and has donated more than $40 million in the past 20 years and was pivotal in launching the UWF Nursing Center’s Simulation Learning Center Birthing Suite. “After learning about all the community-based philanthropic projects that the D.W. McMillan Trust and Foundation supports, I realize how far
their work reaches into Pensacola’s growth and development,” said prior winner Quint Studer. “Their generosity has helped hundreds of agencies continue to carry out their respective missions and make our community a better place to live. They do it for all the right reasons.” The Switzer Brothers Charitable Foundation is an independent foundation established in 1999. Giving primarily in Pensacola, their stated fields of interest include museums, art, scholarships, financial support and at risk children for independence. Since inception, the Switzer Brothers Charitable Foundation has contributed thousands to area non-profits including gifts to scholarships, PACE Center, YMCA, Arc Gateway, Favor House and many others too numerous to list. “Our area is so very fortunate to have the individuals in these families with the vision and financial commitment to help others,” said Dr. Ed Meadows, president of Pensacola State College. DeeDee Davis was named Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser, presented to an individual with a proven track record of ongoing, significant commitment to fundraising for one or more organizations. Davis is a well-known city socialite,
facilitating and attending a range of fundraising functions and working with the Council on Aging and other organizations. Martha Lee Blodgett was recognized as Outstanding Fundraising Professional, an award designed for an outstanding individual fundraising professional who practices his/her profession in an exemplary manner. Blodgett serves as the associate vice president for UWF Advancement and in her role has founded the UWF Student Ambassador program, led the Alumni Organization through its first reorganization and even securing the major gift in 2007 that made UWF an all-Steinway school. If this is your first time hearing some of these names, you are not alone. They fly under the radar, often make anonymous contributions and seek to improve the region quietly behind the scenes. Their works speak for them, however, and now their awards do, too. Pensacola is better because of them, and though you may not realize it, so are you.
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TRANSPORTING FLORIDA FORWARD BY JOSH NEWBY
orthwest Florida’s state highway system is comprised of the arteries that connect our economic hubs, our centers for distribution, our regulatory agencies, and the end users—us and our neighbors. Just like utilities, food or any of the other necessary things in American life that we often take for granted, our highway system has behind it a vast network of engineers, planning professionals, money, and agencies that all work in tandem, knowing that their work is most successful when it is not even noticed. Throughout Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties, there are almost 200 state highway construction projects planned or ongoing, some of which are minor like the addition of a turn lane, and others of which are major, such as the Pensacola Bay Bridge replacement. Through every project from repaving to the construction of new facilities, a huge number of organizations and people work together to maximize funds, minimize negative impact, alleviate traffic, and expedite completion. Perhaps because of its name, many assume that the state highway system only includes, well, highways. But while many state roads are the traditional long stretches of asphalt with little traffic regulation, many of the streets we use everyday are also part of the system. Ownership of road is based on right of way and who owns the property on the road. While Florida is not a majority-share highway system state, according to FDOT Urban Planning Manager Bryant Paulk, the system does probably handle more than half of the average annual daily traffic count (AADT). That is a big part of how funding is allocated and usage is measured: not by the length of the road, but by its average annual usage. While the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) handles funding, planning, studies, and contracting out the construction for nearly all state highway projects, no matter how minor or major, the agency relies on information from local bureaus like the Florida-Alabama Transportation Planning Organization (TPO). There are various TPOs throughout the state, all of whom conduct surveys and cost feasibility studies in order to plan for the future transportation needs of the region in a collaborative manner that is beneficial to all residents and visitors. All five commissioners and Escambia and Santa Rosa counties sit on their local TPO board. Santa Rosa County Commissioner Jayer Williamson, who currently chairs the Florida-Alabama TPO, sees transportation—and local transportation planning—as vital to the state economy and overall welfare of the community. “Our interstate corridor is vital to commerce, and all the roads that shoot off of that and lead to our businesses are important for sustainability into the future and for one-time usage for visitors from the west,” said Williamson. “We want to make sure we have projects that serve the needs of our constituents, but also the region. That road does not stop at the county line. It continues on to help other people in other counties.” The public echoes these sentiments. In the most recent survey conducted by the Florida-Alabama nwflbusinessclimate.com | Business Climate | 53
TPO, 72 percent of respondents said that transportation issues are “very important” to them and their family. Unfortunately, 65 percent said they do not have enough transportation choices. Most report traffic congestion, pedestrian safety, and the construction of new roads to be the three primary issues on which money should be spent. TPOs across the state conduct surveys like these to gauge the opinion of those who most often use our state highway system for work, leisure, errands and general transportation. Using that data, combined with general maintenance requirements and feasibility, the TPO puts together a long-range plan for submittal to the FDOT. The most recent long-range plan goes through 2040 and foresees about $2.4 billion in transportation needs throughout the region. “We put together what is essentially a wish list based on our data, knowing that not all of it is cost feasible right now and that most of it will be subject to further studies,” said Mary Robinson, transportation director for the West Florida Regional Planning Council. In fact, the TPO only forecasts about $431 million in estimated revenue for the projects on its wish list, most of which comes from gas taxes. Therefore, it is up to the FDOT to put together a five-year plan, county by county, to invest in and pay for. “So it goes from a very general 25-year planning outlook to a fiveyear implementation outlook,” said Robinson. “The FDOT really has to look at what’s going on in the current fiscal year and the short-term future.” First, the FDOT conducts Project Development and Environment (PD&E) studies to meet the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act, but, also to study construction impacts on businesses and communities near the construction site. The study will help them determine the exact location and conceptual design of feasible build alternatives for roadway improvements. All along, a no-build alternative, which essentially projects what would happen if the facility remains in its current state, remains a viable alternative. The PD&E study is expensive, often costing a million or more dollars, and is only complete when the FDOT accepts the considerations and proposals. “The department does its best during this phase to minimize negative impact and balance all aspects of the project to make it the best it can be for the larger highway system and all communities and businesses involved,” said Paulk. If the FDOT selects the “build” alternative, the project moves on to the design phase, during which the department works with traffic engineers and contractors to prepare detailed, time-effective construction plans. After the plans are set, the department sets out to acquire the rightof-way for new construction. This phase is critical to regional buy-in and goodwill toward the project. If the new facility is scheduled to rollout over a portion of an existing business’ parking lot, for example, the department will not only pay for that land but will estimate the lost income to that business as a result and pay damages in that amount. Last but certainly not least, construction begins only after all of the aforementioned has taken place. The department advertises the bid, vets responses, and oftentimes tacks on a timeline incentive for early completion. LOCAL GOVERNMENT “We try to spread out our projects and OWNS AND OPERATES bids, because there’s only a certain number of 107,674 MILES OF contractors and we have to work with them ROADWAY IN THE STATE. and their schedules to make sure they align
THE FDOT OWNS AND OPERATES 12,099 MILES OF ROADWAY IN THE STATE.
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The department does its best to minimize negative impact and balance all aspects of the project to make it the best it can be for the larger highway system and all communities and businesses involved.
with our timelines,” said Paulk. winter 2014, the project hit a couple But what happens when a new snags that should have probably been construction project drags on for much caught in the PD&E and planning longer than anyone anticipated or phases, such as questionable soil any business wanted? That condition, confliction with power happened with the stilllines, a high water table and THE FEDERAL ongoing Avalon Boulevard roadway base failure. Parts of the GOVERNMENT construction in Santa Rosa project had to be redesigned on the OWNS AND County. The six-year, $40 fly to deal with the new challenges, OPERATES million undertaking that and Paulk admitted that the 2,315 MILES OF stretches five miles from FDOT may have been a bit eager ROADWAY IN THE to use funding on the project. I-10 to US 90. The endeavor STATE. included facility widening, “We had a lot in the pipeline at sidewalk additions and the that time,” said Paulk. “We were so construction of a service road, and it excited for Avalon to improve.” has been blamed for the closure of small Robinson agreed that when funding businesses, a golf resort and lots of is awarded, departments can become congestion-related headaches. over-eager. Originally expected to complete by Construction mishaps like Avalon
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photo: herb neufeld
highlight the need for patience and prudence in the early stages of transportation planning. While long-lasting projects are a frequent complaint of travelers and a stereotype of the industry, it is important to remember all the roadways we travel everyday were built and maintained without even our slightest notice. “You have to plan your work and work your plan,” said Williamson. “Transportation constantly teaches us that.” After the new project is complete, it is subject to ongoing need-based resurfacing, which falls outside of the TPO’s recommendation purview. The FDOT handles other maintenance needs, as well, based on necessity like bridge repair and replacement. Some projects that will reach the construction phase in the next few years in Escambia County include replacement of the Pritchett Mill Bridge ($1 million), Penasula Creek Bridge ($1.2 million), Boggy Creek Bridge ($3.2 million), and Pine Barren Creek Bridge ($4.34 million). Also important to Escambia County is the ferry boat landing at Quietwater Beach, expected to start in either late 2016 or early 2017 and cost $862,000.
Most upcoming Santa Rosa and Okaloosa County construction projects are road resurfacing and school area sidewalk construction. Some exciting projects included on the TPO’s adopted cost feasible plan are: • Widen Nine Mile Road to four lanes from Mobile Highway to Beulah Road (construction cost: $11.3 million) • Widen US 98 to six lanes from Bayshore Drive to Portside Drive (construction cost: $22.4 million) • New bus route and service to Navy Federal via I-110 and US 90 from Pensacola and Milton, respectively (combined construction cost: $10.8 million) • Major intersection improvement at I-10 and US 29 (construction cost: $77.76 million) • Widen I-10 to six lanes from Nine Mile Road interchange to US 29 (construction cost: $38.7 million) The most notable yet unfunded project is an improvement to the 17th Avenue/Bayfront Parkway intersection. The concept’s PD&E is scheduled, and $5.2 million for design and $6 million for right-ofway acquisition has been funded,
yet the endeavor boasts $40.3 million shortage in construction funding. It is not unusual for projects to only proceed as funding allows. In fact, 25 projects on the adopted cost feasible plan have scheduled or completed PD&E and design phases with right-of-way and/or construction funding shortages. Transportation is a vital part of our larger national economy and is routinely one of the most underfunded aspects of our infrastructure as a country. The system is necessary, however, to our way of life, the way we do business, and the way we get away from it all. It takes a village to keep the state’s cars and trucks moving smoothly. A village, and a whole lot of money.
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Col. Edward Hubbard is a decorated retired Air Force pilot who spent six and a half years in captivity as a POW in North Vietnam. The experience taught him about the power of positive thinking and gave him the ability to use the resources at hand to solve complex problems. Since then, he has become a motivational speaker and management consultant, an artist and a photographer, and a best-selling author. He spoke with Northwest Floridaâ€™s Business Climate about his experiences, his opinions on the world, and how he would fix problems ranging from ISIS and the middle east to business redundancy and inefficiency. Col. Hubbard spoke at the Panhandle Tiger Bay Club on Nov. 20 about his experiences in the famous Hanoi Hilton, sponsored by Col. Bill Tabb and Pat Windham. BY JOSH NEWBY
THE POWER OF POSITIVITY nwflbusinessclimate.comBusiness | Business Climate|| 57 57 nwflbusinessclimate.com Climate
ell me about your military experience and career. I joined the Air Force when I was 17. I was enlisted for seven years. I kept applying to flying school and finally got accepted after seven years. I went through an aviation cadet program, which was a great program that no longer exists. I got my wings in 1962, went through advanced training to become a navigator bombardier, then took an assignment to Europe and spent three years there roughly. Then I went from Europe to Southeast Asia to fly in the Vietnam War. I was there for exactly 30 days when I was shot down during my 26th combat mission in North Vietnam. I spent the next six years, seven months and 12 days in captivity. I came home in 1973 and was medically grounded for one year. Then I went back to Phoenix, then to Eglin, then to the War College in Montgomery and came back to Eglin. I retired in 1990. Did you have the option to leave the service after being rescued from capture? Oh yeah. I came home in 1973 at 18 years of service. I had two more years until I could’ve retired. I stayed on active duty for 17 more years.
Why did you stay on even after being a POW? All I ever wanted to do was fly airplanes. In those days, you could get out and fly commercially but my training was not as a pilot; it was as a navigator, so the opportunities to get out and go to the airlines did no exist. I wasn’t ever interested in that in the first place. Flying an airplane flat and straight for between three and 15 hours sounds like the most boring thing I can imagine. I always wanted to fly fighters. I came back and got to fly fighters for 12 years. Hard to beat that. Did you experience PTSD or any type of mental condition in the aftermath of your capture? No, I don’t believe in PTSD. Why not? Well, the psychiatrists get very uptight when I say this, but I believe that if you took anybody in this room and sit them down and tell them they’re screwed up, they would become screwed up. I could talk them into that. If you spent the same amount of time telling people there’s nothing wrong with them and they just have to deal with the world as it’s been presented to them, I think the problem of PTSD would go away. What happens every time there’s a
shooting or something in a school? They close the school, bring in the shrinks and tell the kids not to worry about this. I don’t believe in that. I think that’s the wrong approach. We live in a nation where we are all victims and don’t know how to deal with the world. I know a big subject of your talks is the power of the mind and positive thought. Is that something you discovered in your capture or did you always believe in that? I always had kind of an undercurrent or feeling that I could do anything I wanted to if I could put in the effort. I didn’t have great confidence in that concept, though. I believed in that concept but I wasn’t absolutely certain. What I think happened in captivity, it cemented in my mind because we actually did this. We didn’t have a choice; we were going to die if we didn’t deal with it. We learned to deal with horrible situations every day, without any resources, without any outside help. That gives you a level of confidence that exceeds anything most people understand. Very few things have happened in my life since I went to prison that I feel stressful toward. I don’t deal with stress; I don’t have time for it. You can’t come up with anything that’s worse than having a guy come up and threaten to shoot a hole in your head. When he does that and you challenge him, from that day forward the world looks completely different. How were your relationships when you got back? My first wife was an alcoholic when I got back. I stayed married to her for six and a half years. I promised I’d never ever give her an ultimatum but I did. I said, “I give you 90 days to get your life together and get professional help. Get over this or I will leave.” Ninety days later I left. At what point did you discover that what you learned in captivity had broader business and management applications? In the Air Force, every time I got back, I would take over as the boss because of my rank. I was amazed at how many thing the Air Force dealt with that no one knew what to do. I suddenly realized that because we
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had faced a world where there were no options. I always tell people that the first thing you learn in prison is that problemsolving is not optional. You have to solve the problems or you die. Once you’ve been down that road, the problems we face in America are almost mundane. So I utilized what I assumed to be the way we all ought to be living and said, “Every problem has a solution. I expect you to improve everything you’re doing every day. If you can’t do that, go somewhere else.” So I was pretty brutal to work for. I made no bones about it. I expect great performance and improvement every day. And that’s what I say in my speeches. I’ve spoken to over four million people in 16 different countries. What really got me started with that was in 1980 there was a great movement that came through America called Total Quality Management. It was a concept invented by an American at the end of World War II. He tried to sell it here unsuccessfully so he went to Germany where they had some serious problems and he sold it there. By 1980, the American people who had led the world in everything were suddenly way behind in almost everything to the Japanese. Their quality, their products, everything you bought in America was made in Japan. So this book on Total Quality Management had these premises that I didn’t believe in. So I got caught up in going to Air Force quality improvement conferences where everyone was pushing Total Quality Management and I was there as the devil’s advocate to tell you why it wouldn’t work. And it didn’t work. So the Air Force finally accepted that it made more problems than anything. Once I took that stand, industries got very interested in me. I became well-known in the quality circles as the guy who could explain common sense approaches. Because I was in the Air Force, I had a lot of dealings with defense contractors when I first started doing this. It evolved over time and it became apparent that the need is there for common sense. All you have to do is look at what happened in Paris last month. Everybody’s trying to figure out what to do. Nobody’s got any sense of what to do or do what needs to be done. That’s where my expertise comes in. We face probably the most horrible situation in America that we’ve ever faced in the history of the country. It seems to be near no leadership from anybody, especially not in Washington, DC. And
so we the people are going to have to start doing something. I’m not talking about a revolution; I’m talking about making this problem go away. We either have to go out and actively participate in making it go away or at least support the people who are participating. The people who can make this go away work for the government because they’re in the military. In a normal war, there’s frontline and uniforms so you know who the good guys and bad guys are. That doesn’t exist anymore and will probably never exist in our lifetimes again. So how do you resolve the problem? One solution is to kill all the bad guys, and if you can’t identify them, kill everybody and sort them out later. But that’s not a viable solution in today’s world because there’s too many people who think you shouldn’t kill just anybody. The other option is to cut off their supply, and their money comes from oil. You have to slow their flow of oil. Ironically, because of the events in Paris last month, we are blowing up all their tanker trucks. That’s the way the world works. You have to decide where to cut their link. You’d like to not blow up the oil fields because that’s good resource to have available. Blowing up their trucks makes their life more difficult, and slowly but surely you change the way their life exists. Think about this: the reason we don’t just wipe them off the map is because the world screams “collateral damage.” Those are all the folks who get killed and are innocent, so to speak. If they support ISIS, they are not the good guys. They’re part of the problem. In World War II, no one asked about collateral damage in Berlin when we leveled the city. We pulverized their city. No one worried about fire-bombing Tokyo. Those were the centers of their universe. We had no
“I don’t deal with stress; I don’t have time for it. You can’t come up with anything that’s worse than having a guy come up and threaten to shoot a hole in your head. When he does that and you challenge him, from that day forward the world looks completely different.”
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qualms with going over there and annihilating men, women, children, whatever. There’s no reason to believe that option is not available to us today. You have to get their attention. The guy who did that was President Truman. We nuclear bombed Japan until they surrendered. Things aren’t quite that cut and dry, of course. But they will quit. Because of the nature of ISIS, they will never quit, but they might draw their claws in a little bit. We have to get them to draw them in. There’s another group of nuts who stormed a hotel and captured 170 hostages. About 80 or so are now free, but they’ve already killed people. They took innocent people staying at the hotel. They call them in, put them in a group, and tell them to quote the Quran or they kill them. Those people are Islamic nuts. They support ISIS. They’re not associated directly with them, but they’re in the same thought process. You need to kill them all. They kidnapped over 200 schoolgirls a year ago and we’ve never done anything about that. The problem is we went to Iraq and stayed and stayed, so people are tired of war. But we have to send them a message and say you cannot do this with total impunity. Unless we take that step, we are going to be fighting this war right here in Pensacola. We are like the fall of the Roman Empire. That’s what I feel. We haven’t started feeding the Christians to the lions yet, but that’s coming. It won’t be the lions; it’ll be the lions of the modern world—ISIS. What caused the Roman Empire to collapse wasn’t a big thing all of a sudden, it was lots of little things that happened while they were busy partying. We have the obligation to make the world right, not because we are the world’s police force, but because we are the only ones. We need to gather together the European countries and come together and address this and realize this war is against everybody. We’ve all been fighting it in our backyard for a long, long time. We all have a vital role to play. In the last month we have seen us all bombing the same general area, and that’s a big step forward. We’re steadily building a coalition. You got to fight the war, or you have to bail out. If you bail out, you become an isolationist and create a void that created this in the first place. Do you see parallels between military strategy and business strategy? I think you have to know what your goal is. You have to have a desired end result. And then you have to create a strategy that allows you to go there with a minimum amount of grey. The greatest void we have in our country today is a lack of leadership. We do not have 60 | Business Climate | nwflbusinessclimate.com
any leaders, people who are willing to stand up and expect people to join them. The first time I ever spoke in front of people, a lady turned to me and said, “What are you trying to do, take over the world?” I said, “I hadn’t thought of it.” If you want to do that, study the great leaders of history: Khan, Napoleon, Hitler. Those people know how to get a very large number of people gathered together and pointed the same way. They did it for all the wrong reasons, but if you do the same thing for the right reasons, you can change the world. That’s why she asked me to speak. There is a way to do all this and it’s our responsibility. Somebody has to say, “This is where we’re going and this is how we’re going to do it.”
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around the region
Endovascular neurosurgeon joins Sacred Heart Medical Group
Hayward endorses Governor Scott’s proposed reforms for Enterprise Florida
Dr. Lincoln Jimenez, an experienced neurosurgeon with advanced training in vascular neurosurgery, has joined Sacred Heart Medical Group and will practice at Sacred Heart Hospital. Dr. Jimenez will utilize Sacred Heart Hospital Pensacola’s new biplane technology that will be ready to use in late January of 2016. The biplane system produces highly detailed threedimensional views of blood vessels leading to the brain and within the brain, and their relationship to the tissues of the head and neck.
On Nov. 20 Mayor Ashton Hayward announced his support for Governor Scott’s proposed reforms for Enterprise Florida, including the creation of the Florida Enterprise Fund. Hayward said, “I’m proud to fully support the proposal to create the Florida Enterprise Fund and improve the economic development process at Enterprise Florida. Enterprise Florida has been integral to creating jobs and expanding opportunities in our community. These reforms will continue to diversify our local economy, empower our small businesses, and create even more great jobs in Northwest Florida.” The proposed economic reforms, which have been endorsed by the Enterprise Florida Executive Board, include: • Creating a new $250 million competitive fund called the “Florida Enterprise Fund.” • Making the Florida Enterprise Fund a state trust fund to replace the existing escrow account to allow the state’s investment to accrue more interest. • Increasing the Legislature’s role in competing for job creation projects by requiring that any deal over $1 million have the approval of the Speaker of the House and the Senate President, as well as the Governor. • Reforming the return on investment requirements by eliminating the use of waivers and requiring a 10 percent annualized return on top of the original amount invested in a company. • Streamline the state’s approval process while continuing to ensure that NO tax dollars leave the state trust fund until a company meets specific job creation goals spelled out in their contract.
International Paper wins 2015 AF&PA Sustainability award for water stewardship The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) recognized International Paper as a leader in sustainability with a 2015 AF&PA Sustainability Award. The award was presented at AF&PA’s annual meeting on Friday, Nov. 13 in San Antonio, Tex. International Paper received the Leadership in Sustainability Award for Water conservation efforts, specifically for their Pensacola Mill/Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA) Partnership project. Designed to recognize exemplary sustainability programs and initiatives in the paper and wood products manufacturing industry, AF&PA’s annual sustainability awards are given based on the merit of entries received across multiple categories.
Sacred Heart named one of the nation’s 50 top cardiovascular hospitals Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola has been named a winner of the Truven Health 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals award. In announcing its annual awards for the 50 hospitals on Nov. 16, Truven said the winning hospitals, which were selected from more than 1,000 U.S. hospitals, “provide outstanding care and set new standards in excellence for this high-profile service line.”
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around the region
Ground broken for $3M Charles W. Lamar Studio Gallery at PSC Ground was broken Nov. 16 for the $3 million Charles W. Lamar Studio Gallery at Pensacola State College. A $1 million gift from the Lamar, Reilly and Switzer families in 2014 served as seed money for the construction of the 10,000-square-foot addition to the Anna Lamar Switzer Center for Visual Arts. The remaining $2 million for the project will come from capital project funds. The project is scheduled to be completed in late 2016.
Mayor Hayward appointed to Florida Commission on Community Service (Volunteer Florida) On Nov. 13, Gov. Rick Scott announced his appointments, including Mayor Ashton Hayward, to the Florida Commission on Community Service, otherwise known as Volunteer Florida. Volunteer Florida is the lead agency for volunteerism and national service in Florida. The agency administers $31.7 million in federal, state, and local funding for national service and volunteer programs across the state. Volunteer Florida is guided by a bipartisan board of Commissioners, who are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Florida Senate. “I am truly honored about this appointment to the Volunteer Florida Board and to represent volunteerism. I have always been a big advocate for giving back and that’s what community service is about. When you step up and give back you have the opportunity to change the lives of many,” Hayward said. Hayward fills a vacant seat for a term ending September 14, 2018.
City awarded stormwater grant for General Daniel “Chappie” James, Jr. Museum City of Pensacola officials were recently notified that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has approved a grant proposal to develop a low impact stormwater retrofit of the parking area and site of the proposed General Daniel Chappie James, Jr. Museum. The grant proposal “Stormwater Retrofit Chappie James Home (historic site)” is for a total of $100,000 grant funds and $75,000 match funds for funding consideration from the Short term Section 319(h) grant administered by the Nonpoint Source Management Section. The grant will fund the installation of the following Best Management Practices (BMP’s): porous parking surfaces, dry retention pond, rain gardens with bio-retention plantings and vegetated swales. It will make a contribution to stormwater management by retaining 100 percent of stormwater runoff during a two-year storm event, reducing pollutants flowing to Pensacola Bay and Bayou Texar. It will simultaneously serve as a demonstration site for Best Management Practices (BMP’s) for low impact developments, showing simple installations that can be made by other property owners and small site developers as a means of contributing to pollution control and stormwater reduction.
UWF Center for Research and Economic Opportunity names director of sponsored research The University of West Florida Center for Research and Economic Opportunity announced the addition of Dr. Mark Roltsch as UWF’s Assistant Vice President for Research and Director of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. He will also have a faculty appointment as Associate Professor in the Department of Exercise Science and Community Health. Roltsch began Nov. 23 and manage the operations of all research and sponsored programs at UWF. He will report to Dr. Rick Harper, vice president for research and economic opportunity.
PSC receives Florida Campus Compact Awards In recognition of Pensacola State College’s commitment to integrate service with academic study and improve community life, the college recently received two statewide awards from Florida Campus Compact at their annual gala on the campus of Lynn University in Boca Raton. PSC sophomore Brittany Hockey received the Student Excellence in Service Award and the college received the Campus Community Partnership Honorable Mention for service completed in the past academic year. During her freshman year, Hockey amassed 352 service hours while maintaining a 3.85 GPA, making the Dean’s List, serving as president of the Student Veterans Association and working with the Student Government Association’s Volunteer Activity Board. PSC received recognition for its longstanding, community partnership with Manna Food Pantries that includes yearround food collection and hands-on servicelearning projects at Manna’s warehouse as well as the Pick-a-Bowl and Fill-a-Bowl fundraising events. nwflbusinessclimate.com | Business Climate | 65