Page 1

May 2014



Designing for the Blue Angels



All in a Day’s Work


Export Advice


Healthcare Industry Spotlight | Business Climate | 1

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4/16/14 2:49 PM

from the publisher’s pen

What can be said about our regional military that hasn’t been said before? As an enormous economic engine, it excels; as an employer, it is unmatched; as a source of education and inspiration, well, I still find myself going to our local NAS museum, eyes as wide with wonder as ever. It makes sense, then, that we pay our respects to one of our government’s finest institutions with an issue dedicated to its excellence.

The Navy presence in this area is robust and not to be ignored, but often I think we forget about another branch of the military that contributes to local business just as much in its own way as the Navy. I’m speaking of course of our Coast Guard, that fifth branch of the military that is an enigma, a protector of the environment as much as people, and yes, a regulator and stimulator of commerce. The history is bright for our Coast Guard and its role in continued globalization and environmental efforts. Learn more about this oft-overlooked branch on page 22.

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Keeping with our military theme, Business Climate recently interviewed a gentleman who knows a thing or two about our pride and joy, the Blue Angels. Sam Miller has sewn or had a hand in sewing every Blue Angel jumper for almost three decades. He has some great stories to tell, as well as some insight into our area’s Navy. Read all he has to say on page 18.

TO SUBSCRIBE: contact (850) 433-1166 ext. 30 or As I mentioned earlier, increased globalization is a hurdle that our military and small business owners alike are having to overcome. Import and exports, international monetary rates, taxes and quotas: it’s all a little much to keep track of. Luckily, we’ve condensed some great information down for you to understand. Pensacola is quickly becoming a hub of international commerce and export, and the article on page 14 explains what the city as a whole and you can do to capitalize on that. As the economy has improved, so have workers’ chances at long-term and profitable employment. Unfortunately, some old habits are hard to break, and employers are still squeezing out all they can from their workers. After the Great Recession, we were simply forced to do more with less. Take a look at some hard numbers on page 8 and see for yourself if this economic speed-up is costing us our most valuable asset, our employees. Finally, in keeping with our recent tradition of spotlighting Pensacola’s most powerful industries, we look at healthcare on page 12. The industry has gotten a lot of attention recently, from the ACA to exciting biological advances. We decided to look at the behind-the-scenes people who make it all happen. I hope you enjoy this issue of Business Climate. Thanks so much for reading. | Business Climate | 5



The Coast Guard and Commerce

8 All In A Day’s Work

12 Careers in Health Administration

14 Export Advice

Reader Services Letters We welcome your letters and comments. Send letters to Ballinger Publishing PO Box 12665 Pensacola, FL 32591 or contact specific staff members under the Contact Us: Staff Info link on

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Writing Opportunities We are always willing to consider freelance writers and article ideas. Please send queries to Kelly Oden, executive editor, at, or care of Kelly to the postal address.

18 Dressing the Blues

In Every Issue Around the Region 28 People on the Move 29

MAY 2014 Publisher Malcolm Ballinger Executive Editor Kelly Oden BC Editor Josh Newby Art Director Rita Laymon Graphic Designer & Ad Coordinator Guy Stevens II Editor Emily Lullo Editorial Interns Jeanessa Gantt · Laren Lien Sales & Marketing Sharyon Miller, Account Executive Becky Hildebrand, Account Executive

Owners Malcolm & Glenys Ballinger Publisher Malcolm Ballinger · Executive Editor Kelly Oden · Art Director Rita Laymon · Graphic Designer & Ad Coordinator Guy Stevens II · Editor Emily Lullo · Business Editor Josh Newby · Sales & Marketing Sharyon Miller, Account Executive, ext. 28 Becky Hildebrand, Account Executive, ext. 31 Simone Sands, Account Executive, ext. 21 Website: Editorial Offices 41 North Jefferson St., Ste. 402 Pensacola, FL, 32502 850-433-1166 · Fax 850-435-9174 Published by Ballinger Publishing: Member of:

NW Florida’s Business Climate and Pensacola Magazine is locally owned and operated. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction or use of the contens herein is prohibited without written permission from the publisher. Comments and opinions exxpressed in this magazine represent the personal views of the individuals to whom they are attributed and/or the person identified as the autho of the article, and they are not necessarily those of the publisher. This magazine accepts no responsibility for these opinions. The publisher reserves the right to edit all manuscripts. All advertising information is the responsibility of the individual advertiser. Appearance in this magazine does not necessarily reflect endorsement of any products or services by Ballinger Publishing. © 2014 | Business Climate | 7





OING MORE with less has unfortunately become the new normal for today’s company and employee. With the Great Recession came a long-term period of high unemployment and few resources as companies realized that they needed to have greater output and productivity in order to remain profitable in an ever-shrinking market landscape. That, coupled with emerging trends like smart phones that tethered employees to their work 8 | Business Climate |

long after hours, meant expanded to-do lists for those workers who were lucky enough to keep their job. These employees were all-too-willing to sacrifice vacation and family time to show their value and avoid the axe. And it was not just limited to one industry type or location. Everyone, from doctors and manual laborers, to journalists, accountants and lawyers, were facing a new reality, one where they might do a job previously allocated to two or three employees, all in a day’s work.

workforce “I would say 100 percent of workers, from retail and fast food to corporate marketing and medicine, are tasked with more than they ever have been,” said Joseph Caruth, an expert in business management and trends, and an owner of his own small business. “Government and private citizens have been cutting back for years while needing more in return.” This trend of employers’ demands for greater output without increased compensation, commonly referred to as speedup, has not swayed much even as the economy has improved. While big and small businesses were affected by the Recession alike, and often responded in similar ways, both have realized that there is little need to hire back what was lost. In fact, according to a study by the Hamilton Project, an affiliate of the Brookings Institution, the probability of gaining employment is lower now than during the Recession. According to Caruth, it now takes twice as long for the average unemployed American to find a job than it did in the 1980s. And even then, these people are generally not hired back into the type of jobs they left. So while productivity has surged in the last several decades (two-parent families work 26 percent longer and single-parent families work 53 percent longer than they did in the 1980s) and employees supported that upward spike even through the Recession, wages have stagnated and even dipped for many, and positions are harder to come by. This increased economic output per hour worked is great for employers as many corporate profits and executive pay are at all time highs, but experts say it will begin to take its toll on employees soon, and that will very soon become quite disadvantageous for employers. Two areas where increased productivity end will up being disadvantageous for owners and presidents include the downside of multitasking and also decreased consumer confidence. Continued pressure to multitask leads to less quality work overall, which causes greater spending on things like quality control and fixing mistakes. And in an economy that still relies on consumer spending for two-thirds of its mass, the financial and psychological effects of job uncertainty, high debt and inadequate savings will eventually impact spending and therefore business profits. To make matters worse, Japan recently surpassed America as the most productive nation on earth, an indication that over-worked and underpaid employees may be experiencing burnout. Alternative rationalizations for this change include globalization, a decrease in manufacturing positions, and the end of organized labor. It is not all bad news, though. Studies show that while productivity is still increasing, the increase is not quite as dramatic as before, and even drops every couple of quarters. Alternatively, wages have increased slightly, though

“Weekends and home work are the norm, and if you aren’t willing to do that, you won’t survive.” | Business Climate | 9

workforce far less often than increases in productivity. Since 2010, niches they haven’t previously been able to. wages and productivity measurements have bounced up “Small businesses really value their employees,” said and down between a few percentage points, indicating a Caruth. “There’s an intimate relationship there. That’s healthier give-and-take relationship between employers what people want. People realize that companies were and employees, as both parties struggle to find a more going through the same recession they were going through advantageous new normal. and they were sympathetic. However, as the economy Florida in particular shows a slightly better picture than improves, workers want to grow with the company, not the rest of the country. Our unemployment rate is about have the business leave them behind at their same below6.2 percent, a full point less than the rest of the country’s average, stagnant wages as the company breaks records.” average. The outlook for Northwest Florida is especially The moral of the story, according to Caruth, is to value good, according to Caruth, with the housing industry com- employees. If it were not for them stepping up to the plate, ing back stronger than expected. many companies would not have survived the Recession. “You see employment agencies like Landrum: they’re Caruth is in the process of making his own business bringing people back to work,” said Caruth. “However, employee-owned, so that they will have a stake in its future the fact remains that when you get back to work, you are and see the fruits of their increased labor. While Caruth expected to do more than you used to. Everyone still has to admits that this is an unrealistic step for many owners, the do more with less. At one time in our history, you used to lesson remains the same. be frowned on if you worked harder than everybody else. “Make your employees a part of your business family,” Now, weekends and home work are the norm, and if you said Caruth. “Good employees will give you their very best aren’t willing to do that, you won’t survive. That’s not what if they feel their investment is worthwhile.” we’ve been used to.” Different employees are react to this new norm in different ways, however, and the negative effects of A national survey of employed email-users finds that: higher productivity seem to be disproportionately affecting the less skilled 22% are expected to respond to work email when not at work workers. 50% check work email on weekends “Skilled people will begin to realize that they 46% check work email on sick days can go elsewhere and be treated better,” said 34% check work email when on vacation Caruth. “They don’t have to put up with subpar 49% are more stressed in their jobs wages or unrealistically expansive tasks. So those 49% find it harder to disconnect from work while at home people will gravitate toward companies with strong, employee-centric Economic output per hour Compensation per hour cultures, leaving the less skilled people, the ones who don’t have the luxury of getting hired wherever they want, at those places that treat their workers less ideally. Usually, it’s the big guys who treat their employees like just a number, and it’s the small businesses that really treat you like family.” Caruth predicts that as the bottom begins to fall out from under larger companies as employees leave for greener, more humane pastures, smaller businesses will rise and fill



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As part of

an ongoing series of stories exploring prominent industries in Pensacola, Northwest Florida’s Business Climate spoke with various scholars and experts in the healthcare administration field to understand the sector’s regional impact, educational expectations and career projections.


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industry It is no secret that healthcare is a necessary, ever-changing, highpaying industry. But behind the scenes of controversial legislation and life-changing advances and procedures are the people who make it all work together seamlessly. They are likely the furthest people from your mind when you visit an emergency room and their work is not as tangible as blood transfusions and drug prescriptions, but if it were not for them, these important pieces of the puzzle would simply fail to interlock. These people are the healthcare administrators. They work in hospitals, in primary care and outpatient offices, even in office buildings, ensuring that the many moving parts of providing healthcare to a nation work together well. “Healthcare is one of the few industry sectors that is consistently growing,” said Karen Valaitis, who teaches health science at the University of West Florida (UWF). “As the ACA (Affordable Care Act) demands that more people be present on the front end providing healthcare, more people are necessary on the back end to make sure it all goes smoothly.” Locally, the industry employs nearly 22,000 people, almost 20 percent of the workforce and more than any other sector. Add in insurance and other valuable extensions of healthcare and that percentage jumps to 25. “It’s a field with a lot of growth,” said Debra Vinci, who teaches health administration to graduate students at UWF. “Many companies are encouraging their employees to obtain more education so that promotional opportunities will open up for them.”

Vinci went on to speak about a recent partnership between UWF and Baptist Healthcare. UWF provided leadership classes and certification to Baptist Healthcare management, classes that counted toward a master’s degree should the participant decide to pursue further higher education in the future. But what exactly do healthcare administrators do? Put simply, those working in the field are responsible for leadership and management of public and private healthcare systems and hospital networks. Necessary skills include everything from finance and human resources to strategic planning and insurance. There are two types of healthcare administrators—those who work generally and those who work specifically. General administrators are who you may find at the top of the hierarchy, responsible for managing or helping to manage entire facilities. Specialists are over individual departments like marketing and technology. Education requirements start at bachelor’s degrees. Those graduates can expect entry-level to middle management type jobs, though Vinci admitted that a lot of job placement comes to those who either have some experience in the field or take up internships and networking to get experience. “Job advice for healthcare administrators is really the same as it is for anyone nowadays,” said Vinci. “You have to be out there, interning, networking and so on.” Vinci also warned that those who are seeking six-digit salaries may have to wait a bit. “Those salaries are certainly available, but they are for those who have been in the field 10 or 15 years or more,” said Vinci. “Just like with anything, you very often have to start at the bottom.”

“Healthcare is one of the few industry sectors that is consistently growing.”

For management, the national median salary is $88,580, and the job outlook is expected to increase about 23 percent, much faster than average industries. For top executives, the national median salary is over $100,000, and the job outlook is expected to increase about 11 percent, or consistent with average industry growth. For those wanting those toplevel positions, a master’s degree is almost a necessity nowadays, though Valaitis recommended that people work in the field for a little while before pursuing that route. “It’s such a huge field, and so it’s necessary to find out what specifically you like within healthcare,” said Valaitis. “When you start to pursue a graduate degree, you’ll have some idea of the more narrow discipline you want to go after.” Those salaries come with big expectations, though. “Because of the nature of healthcare, it being a 24/7 industry, managers and executives put in a lot of hours,” said Vinci. “I think the field attracts those people,” added Valaitis. “I know I wouldn’t be happy in a 9 to 5 job. They thrive on that lifelong learning and stimulation. It’s such an interesting and amazing environment.” There are various certifications available from professional associations to those who wish to set themselves apart from the mass of people who are after these lucrative jobs. Electronic savvy is also quickly becoming a must for those who want to succeed in the field. “Everything is going electronic,” said Vinci. “It’s really indicative of the industry as a whole: fastmoving, always changing and always interesting.” | Business Climate | 13

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ITH OVER 85 percent of consumers living and buying outside United States borders, it makes sense that international trade is big business. It goes without saying that large companies in big metropolises import and export everyday, but more

surprising is that even small- to medium-sized businesses make big money dealing overseas. In fact, 95 percent of companies in Florida that exported in 2013 were organizations with less than 500 employees. More than 11 million people in Florida have jobs directly supported by exports. | Business Climate | 15


Florida is already in a geographically pivotal position for international trade. With 19 million residents, Florida conducts $132 billion dollars in two-way trade to 225 trading partners. The state is also home to 15 deepwater seaports, 19 commercial service airports, nearly 2,800 miles of railways and more than 12,000 center line miles of state highways, making the state an ideal hub for international trade. Northwest Florida, which accounts for 20 percent of Florida’s landmass but only 7 percent of its population, is becoming a big player in international trade with exports to overseas markets exceeding $1 billion annually. Most of these exports are electronic equipment, but also include transportation equipment, chemicals and machinery. These numbers are at their highest levels in years, thanks to greater interest in exports, free-trade agreements and awareness-raising initiatives like the World Trade Conference, which took place May 1 and 2. The Greater Pensacola Chamber hosts the conference, the product of a four-state Gulf Coast Trade Alliance,

Port of Pensacola 16 || Business Business Climate Climate || 16

once every four years. The organization is made up of governmental, educational and private business organizations from Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. At this conference, panels that provide general overviews and in-depth specific discussions alike are offered to business members looking to learn more or offer their expertise to others. Conference organizers want to assist smaller companies who are perhaps ready to take the leap to international exports but are unaware of the many opportunities they have. “A lot of small business owners are so concerned with the operation and administration of their company that they might fail to see how well an international market would appreciate their product or service,” said Regional Manager of Enterprise Florida Andrea Moore. “They simply don’t have that research on those tools at their fingertips,” said Pensacola Chamber Director of Business Development Danita Andrews. “This conference provides them with a forum to discover those assets.”

MOST RESEARCH INDICATES THAT companies that export goods or services grow about 15 percent more than their non-exporting counterparts. “International trade really helped save the economy a few years ago,” said Andrews. “When the American economy was struggling, it was global consumers that kept many companies in business.” Moore warned, though, that international trade is not for the faint of heart. “Exporting takes time, money and manpower,” said Moore. “It is very rarely a solution for a flailing company. It is an investment with a very likely payoff if company decision-makers accurately contemplate their market, the demand, supply chains and so on.” There is so much to be aware of when considering taking the leap, including foreign direct investment, foreign currency and exchange, international law, logistics and supply chain options and management and more, much of which was discussed at the World Trade Conference. “We suggest companies conduct export readiness assessment tests, identify their markets, network with agencies around the state, such as Enterprise Florida, and coordinate with the Chamber,” said Andrews. “They can do all that through the Chamber. We want to be the easy button of the whole process.” One of the ways people can get a sense if they are ready to take that big step is by attending the conference. For those who could not attend, there are still great resources out there, available 24/7. Among those assets are statesponsored grant programs to assist with the initial launch into international trade, as well as some affordable consultation services. For the total beginner, such as someone with no idea how to put together an international transaction, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) offers workshops and training sessions on exporting. Information on a variety of freetrade agreements with diverse nearby countries is also available. In fact, of Florida’s top export recipients like Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela and Chile, half have forged free-trade agreements with the United States, which eliminates tariffs, import quotas and preferences on most goods and services traded between them. “In international trade, state and


“International trade really helped save the economy a few years ago. When the American economy was struggling, it was global consumers that kept many companies in business.” national boundaries are not nearly as important as workforce competencies and infrastructure,” said Moore. “Site selectors don’t look at state lines. They look at rings of workforce draw. If a big company wants to come here, they want to know we have the infrastructure in place to service their needs.” INFRASTRUCTURE WAS THE FOCUS of this year’s conference, and Moore and Andrews believe that the region is uniquely positioned to capitalize on that. “This is how we are going to get a slice of that pie,” said Andrews. “When you think of the international trade in this region, you think of companies like GE. The truth is that there are lots of micro-companies that trade internationally, a lot of times with very niche stuff.” With the recent expansion of the Panama Canal has come a flurry of excitement as ships can now more easily travel into and out of the Gulf, importing and Port Director Amy Miller














Costa Rica






exporting southeast materials with ease. With railroads, an airport, a port and Interstate-10, Moore and Andrews said that Pensacola could be a hub of feeder lines that go into and out of the area. Because Pensacola’s port does not have the same capabilities that Miami does, government officials like Port Director Amy Miller would like to see our region serve as a sort of transportation middleman. “Does it really make sense for 9,000 to 10,000 containers to go on trucks [in Miami] and move through the state that already has some landside congestion issues with our interstate system?” said Miller in a Business Climate interview in December 2013. “Or does it make sense to put those containers on a small container feedership and move them to a place like Pensacola that can take 400 or 500 containers a week and then dispatch them to rail and truck for further transport inland from here?”

And that is how Pensacola will truly become a real player in the international trade game. “We are extremely well-positioned for additional growth,” said Andrews. “We have many location-based assets. We are helping the port bring companies here and we have more opportunities to grow that.” “We have fantastic beaches, but we also have great business infrastructure for local, national and now international imports and exports,” said Moore. The key to Pensacola capitalizing on all these opportunities is awareness— awareness of resources and tools like the conference, state grants, and consultation services, awareness of our infrastructure and how to efficiently and effectively utilize that, and awareness of the many benefits that exporting provides. “Connecting resources with businesses whose owners don’t know what’s available is one of our primary missions,” said Andrews. “We need to continually raise the awareness of our global opportunities so that these businesses can advocate for themselves internationally. The flow of that information changes so much.” | Business Climate | 17


HE BLUE ANGELS NAVY FLIGHT Demonstration Squadron are recognized across the nation for skill in flight and

Story by Jeanessa Gantt

dedication to serving their country. What many don’t know is those iconic flight suits the Blue Angels wear during performances are all handmade locally. Artisan garment maker Sam

Photos by Guy Stevens II

Miller has been designing and constructing Blue Angel flight suits for almost 28 years right here in Pensacola.


BLUES Designing for the Blue Angels

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U.S. Navy veteran Sam Miller began his second career as a designer and tailor right after he retired from the military in 1976. He had always wanted to design women’s clothes, but soon realized that it was not going to pay the bills. Knowing that his success depended on being able to meet the needs of the Pensacola area, he found an outlet for his passion through making swim suits and women’s military uniforms. “Before I retired, the Navy came out with pant suits for the female military personnel, and of course you couldn’t get them immediately, so I made them,” said Miller. Miller says he’s made a lot of uniforms for Navy female officers in the past. According to Miller, when the Navy first brought women into the flight program they didn’t have uniform services for them and needed to find some sort of accommodations. Miller was approached by a commander at Naval Air Station Pensacola to make women’s mess uniforms and did so for many years until the Navy caught up with the demand of their new personnel. Miller’s operations take place in The Sewing Box, where he and other team members perform a host of design and alteration services for all branches of the military and the general public as well. Candy Whitehurst, one of the other members of the Sewing Box crew, has been making and altering military uniforms with Miller for over 17 years. Whitehurst considers Miller a great mentor and says she was a home craft seamstress before working with Miller. “[Sam] taught me everything that he knows and that’s why I know what I know,” said Whitehurst. “[When I first started,] I was expecting to see patterns in the envelopes like when you go in the store. We have to draw everything out.” All the flight suits are custom made for each pilot and come from a design that Miller developed himself. Years ago, the military had small contracts for small businesses, which bid on 20 | Business Climate |

All the flight suits are custom made for each pilot and come from a design that Miller developed himself. contracts with designers for the flight suits. Miller’s designs won the bid the first year, but then another designer won the following year. However, when the final product was not what NAS was looking for, they called on Miller to create a much more suitable product. He and Whitehurst have been making the suits ever since. These days, Miller and Whitehurst have gotten flight suit production down to a science, using their expansive expertise in garment construction to meet the quick turnaround time for the suits. Their process involves taking measurements of all potential pilots, then using those measurements to draw out an individualized pattern for the pilots who are chosen to join the Blue Angels in the fall. Next they cut one flight suit, construct it to the point where the person can try it on, and have a fitting. Once the pattern is fine-tuned, the team can make the others pretty quickly. “Candy and I work pretty well as a team,” said Miller. “Generally I’ll cut them out and she’ll put them together. There’s a couple parts that we both don’t like to do, so we work out a deal on those.” In the nearly three decades that Miller has been making the Blue Angel flight suits, the design has not deviated very much from his original concept. There have been a few innovations necessitated by changes in style and technological needs. Suits are now outfitted with discreet cellphone pockets for pilots to stash away their smart phones and lower waistlines to accommodate the more relaxed aesthetics that have become popular with menswear in recent years. From time to time, Miller receives requests to have honorary flight suits made for high ranking officers and other government personnel.

Some of these clients include Navy admirals, NASA personnel and even President Bush. Since the former Commander in Chief was a member of the Air Force, Miller altered his suit to include Air Force emblem and rankings. Although alterations and flight suits have become the shop’s bread and butter, Miller always welcomes the opportunity for new design challenges. He recently designed a women’s mess dress suit made out of blue camouflage print for a Navy officer at the Naval Hospital. “I haven’t made uniforms in years, but the reason I did it is this is an interesting project, it was something different,” said Miller. Miller, Whitehurst, and the rest of the team at The Sewing Box have gained quite the local reputation for providing quality garment services for Pensacola’s armed service members. From constructing Blue Angel flight suits to altering uniforms and putting on rankings, their work comes highly recommended from uniform sellers and even other alteration shops. “We are the only shop in the area that has the machines to offer double needle and cover stitch services, which allows us to do specific kinds of alterations,” said Whitehurst. The team has begun training the next generation of flight suit makers. Florida State University graduate Audrey Payne has become the shop’s newest apprentice and is excited to learn everything Miller and Whitehurst can teach about design and garment construction. | Business Climate | 21


Often eclipsed by the area’s robust Navy presence, the US Coast Guard does more to both regulate and stimulate commerce than you might think. BY JOSH NEWBY | PHOTOS COURTESY OF US COAST GUARD

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COASTAL CITY THAT PRIDES ITSELF ON ITS beautiful beaches, accessible waterways and maritime commerce, Pensacola has a Coast Guard that may not be the first thing you think of when you consider area business, but its role in responding to and regulating Gulf Coast industry is a valuable one. The protectors and inspectors of offshore, coastal and inland waterways and vessels, the local Coast Guard employs almost 400 enlistees, all of whom work to maintain one of Northwest Florida’s greatest selling points. The Coast Guard falls under the Department of Homeland Security, as opposed to the Department of Defense that the other four military branches fall under. This delineation stems from the Coast Guard’s law enforcement tasks and its interest in national security. As our nation’s waters are vital to its wellbeing and economy, it makes sense

safe and legal is very important to us. Large commercial ships must check in with us at least 96 hours in advance of reaching a US port.” In 2012, the Coast Guard screened more than 436,000 vessels, including over 117,000 commercial vessels and 29.5 million crew members and their passengers prior to arrival in US ports. One of the ways the Coast Guard keeps the Gulf Coast safe is through traffic markings. Just as drivers on land use signage like stop signs, traffic lights and marked roads to assist them in safely navigating a city, so a ship’s pilot

“We keep things on the water moving smoothly for trade, the fishing industry, oil and so on. That in turn positively impacts the local economy.”

4 ways

the military impacts the local economy

that by extension the Coast Guard it equally vital. But the local Coast Guard does more than just enforce laws and treaties, seize drugs, inspect ships, and promote national security. Its members also help ensure the safe and efficient use of the intercoastal waterways, so that businesses along the coast can focus on import, export and growing the economy. “A large percentage of this region’s trade comes through the waterways,” said Amy Florentino, who is a lieutenant commander in the Coast Guard. “The water is very important to this area, and making sure the ships that sail here are

$1.2 Billion

Annual salary paid to local military members, much of which is spent locally

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Active duty and military/federal employees

will use buoys to ensure his or her cargo reaches its destination safely. These buoys, often 26 feet in length and weighing more than 12,000 pounds, are maintained by the Coast Guard. “A lot of people view the Coast Guard as search and rescue or drug seizures,” said Florentino. “And that’s certainly a part of it. But a majority of our work involves things you wouldn’t notice unless we stopped doing them. Buoy maintenance, marine life regulation, and marking underwater hazards are just as important to people’s safety and business in general as those other things. We keep things on the water

$103 Million $5.1 Billion Value of annual contract agreements between the local military and other organizations

Total economic impact produced annually by our local military’s presence

moving smoothly for trade, the fishing industry, oil and so on. That in turn positively impacts the local economy.” Another way the Coast Guard positively impacts the local economy is guaranteeing the safety of the actual products being shipped. “Between Panama City and southern Texas, with all the ports in-between, you have huge ships with petroleum, sand, gravel, food, products, cars, you name it,” said Florentino. “Those are important commodities. One of the ways you make sure they arrive at their destination safely is by inspecting the ships and keeping an eye on any hazards or security concerns.” LOCALLY, COAST GUARD personnel do inspections on commercial vessels and respond to pollution. There are entire careers and specialties within the branch dedicated to inspection. With recent oil and natural gas spills, this has become even more important. “We have a variety of other missions that have recently gotten a lot of attention,” said Florentino, referring to the natural gas leak in the Gulf in July of 2013. “For that, we were sent to serve as an on-scene commander coordinator, where we enforced a safety zone and

In the private sector, the Coast Guard employs almost 8,000 civilians in over 200 different job types including Coast Guard Investigative Service special agents, lawyers, engineers, technicians, administrative personnel, tradesmen, and federal firefighters.

provided the interagency unified command center with near real time footage of wreckage/fire.” Port security also falls within the purview of the Coast Guard, which works closely with the Port of Pensacola. During the 20th century, the Coast Guard’s authority was expanded greatly to include port protection, due mainly to poor management and protocol that resulted in many groundings and oil spills. Today, the Coast Guard helps prevent and investigate pollution, facilitates drills and exercises, monitors handling of hazardous cargo, and routinely inspects containers and their facilities. In 2012, the Coast Guard conducted 25,500 container inspections, 5,000 facility safety and marine pollution related inspections, and 1,195 cargo transfer monitors to ensure safety and environmental stewardship of the maritime domain. It is not all regulation, safety and licensing, though. Regionally, Coast Guard leadership try to award contracts to small businesses whenever possible. This is in line with the federal government’s preference for doing business with locally- or minority-owned businesses whenever possible. Contract opportunities for small, veteran-owned or female-owned businesses are available on the Coast Guard’s website, and many local contracting companies | Business Climate | 25

receive much of their business from the armed service branches. “Federal acquisition regulations exist to ensure that procedures are standard, consistent and conducted in a fair manner. With that said, federal procurement policies and procedures are designed to favor small business participation. If the bids between small and large businesses are similar, the government and armed services prefer to award contracts to those that may face more substantial challenges than a national or international company,” said Florentino. The Coast Guard is active in local communities as well. The Sea Partners Campaign, for example, is an education and outreach program focused on communities at large to develop awareness of marine life and Coast Guard opportunities. In the private sector, the Coast Guard employs almost 8,000 civilians in over 200 different job types including Coast Guard Investigative Service special agents, lawyers, engineers, technicians, administrative personnel, tradesmen, and federal firefighters. Civilian employees work at various levels in the Coast Guard to support its various missions. Additionally, the Coast Guard Auxiliary offers free boat inspections to citizens and does not cite them for any shortcomings. Once the boat passes inspection, the owners receive a free certificate that makes any Coast Guard boardings in the future much easier. ON A GLOBAL SCALE, THE Coast’s Guard importance increases dramatically. As increased economic globalization continues and dependence on foreign maritime trade is expected to triple by 2020, the Coast Guard’s role in sustaining our economy and maintaining national security will only increase. According to a document detailing the Coast Guard’s future initiatives, more efficient maritime transportation will become critical to America’s economy and competitiveness as trade with Asian-Pacific and Latin American nations increases more than with other world regions. Increased dependency on imports and 26 | Business Climate |

exports is also expected to bring larger numbers of large, deep-draft and minimally crewed ships. Greater volumes of oil, hazardous materials, and bulk commodities are also expected to increase. Consequences of disruptions will become more severe as the market struggles to keep up with demand, which will emphasize the importance of the marine transportation system’s reliability. This huge spike in waterway congestion will create a greater need for well-integrated intermodal transportation systems with close links among the sea, land, and air components. According to the report, more than 95 percent of US foreign trade tonnage, excluding that to Canada and Mexico, will continue to move by ship. Over 25 percent of domestic goods will be shipped by water, and half the nation’s oil will arrive by sea. America’s economic competitiveness, as well as the safety and security of all Americans, will depend on the Coast Guard’s managing of the demands of growing seaborne trade. Florentino emphasized the struggle of encouraging

recent increases in trade-based earnings with making sure it is all done in a legal, regulated manner. “From an economic standpoint, all this increased traffic is good,” said Florentino. “We just have to make sure it’s safe and sustainable.” With the US population expected to reach more than 350 million by 2020, higher proportions of people will live on the coast, taxing oceanside resources like fish and offshore drilling. These creatures and resources will require both international and regional protection, a primary mission of the Coast Guard. As more residents live and vacation near the water, Coast Guard Search and Rescue teams work overtime to secure their safety. In 2012, the service responded to 19,790 search and rescue cases, saved 3,560 lives and over $77 million in property. “All of these combined events are a huge strategic concern to Coast Guard officials, and are often the topic of conversation among Coast Guard commanders,” said Florentino. “The expansion of the Panama Canal and increased oil/gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico has really shown just how cluttered the sea can become.” Few entities are better equipped and competent at maintaining the security, resources and efficiency of America’s maritime culture than the Coast Guard, and with a plan to upgrade the nation’s waterways and overhaul the presently decentralized waterways management infrastructure, this military branch will play a crucial role in the growth of Florida’s and America’s increasingly globalized economy.

28th Annual Naval Aviation Symposium


ne hundred years of Naval Flight Training and the 40th anniversary of Women in Naval Aviation will be among the topics discussed at the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation’s annual Symposium Wednesday, May 7–Friday, May 9. The three-day event held at the National Naval Aviation Museum will host a variety of activities highlighting the unique history and proud heritage of Naval Aviation including a golf tournament, luncheon, banquet and panel sessions. Three distinct panel sessions will feature milestones in Naval Aviation history and the people who have made and are currently making that history. Beginning in 1987, the Symposium aims to preserve the rich history and proud heritage of Naval Aviation by highlighting historical events in which US Naval Aviation has played a major role. Each May, the Symposium attracts attendees including active and retired military flag and general officers to industry executives and the general public. The 2014 Symposium schedule of events includes: Wednesday, May 7 Golf Tournament. Noon–4 pm at A.C. Read golf course aboard NAS Pensacola

Thursday, May 8 at the National Naval Aviation Museum Trailblazers: Women in Naval Aviation - celebrating 40 years of female Naval Aviators. 9:45 am Luncheon – guest speaker former astronaut and retired Navy Captain Robert “Hoot” Gibson. Noon. (Ticket required for luncheon, Cost $25 per person) Ups and Downs: 100 Years of Naval Aviation Flight Training – celebrating 100th anniversary of NAS Pensacola. 2 pm Reception & Banquet – guest speaker Admiral William Gortney, USN, Commander U.S. Fleet Forces Command. 6 pm. (Ticket required for reception & banquet, cost $70 per person) Friday, May 9 at the National Naval Aviation Museum Naval Aviation: Today and Tomorrow-Flag Officer panel. 9:45 am. Winging Ceremony - guest speaker Vice Admiral Robin Braun, USN, Chief of Naval Reserve. Noon. The Symposium panel discussions are FREE and open to the general public, active duty and retired military. | Business Climate | 27

around the region

UWF Innovation Institute launches Center for Cybersecurity UWF Innovation Institute recently launched the Center for Cybersecurity, providing a hub for research on cybersecurity and opportunities for students to move into high-demand career fields through collaborative partnerships. In February 2014, Dr. Pamela Northrup, executive director of Innovation Institute and associate provost for academic innovation, appointed UWF professor and chair of the Department of Computer Science, Dr. Sikha Bagui, as director of the Center. In this role, Dr. Bagui will represent the University’s multidisciplinary cybersecurity-related programs, certificates and services and coordinate the highly engaging activities for cybersecurity students. The Center will promote a pipeline of academic programs and certificates that are deeply connected to the Northwest Florida technology community and industry.

Cox Communications ranked 18 on 2014 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity

Cox Communications was recognized as one of the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity for the ninth time at a reception last night. For the last eight years, Cox has ranked in the top 25, with a ranking of No. 18 this year, up from No. 22 in 2013. The rankings are determined by an objective methodology that calculates factors such as Talent Pipeline, Equitable Talent Development (including commitments to mentorship and philanthropy), CEO/Leadership Commitment, and Supplier Diversity. The empirical data for the rankings is provided by a 300-question survey filled out by personnel at the participating companies. Survey participation is free to any company with at least 1,000 U.S. workers.

Governor Scott honors Pensacolians at Cabinet Meeting Pensacola’s Girl Scout Junior Troop 449 led the pledge of allegiance at a recent meeting of the Florida Cabinet in Tallahassee, where Governor Rick Scott honored a Pensacola business as well as a local teacher and volunteer. Jesse Panuccio, Executive Director of the Department of Economic Opportunity, briefed the Cabinet on Pensacola’s economic growth and falling unemployment. 28 | Business Climate |

Area trucking company earns LTL Gold Award nod from Dick’s Sporting Goods In just three short years, Averitt Express has gone from being a new carrier for Dick’s Sporting Goods to earning the national retailer’s 2013 Gold Award in the less-than-truckload category. Averitt was recognized with the honor during the second Annual Dick’s Sporting Goods Logistics Conference in Pittsburgh, Pa. Averitt was the only LTL carrier to receive an award.

“This is a great opportunity for businesses and a great opportunity for Northwest Florida.”

Tad Ihns, founder of Avalex Technologies and Innovation Coast Board Chair

Innovation Coast, Space Florida, and the Florida Small Business Development Council (SBDC) Network are joining forces for an exciting high-tech business plan competition that will help innovators jumpstart big ideas in a variety of tech fields. Open to businesses and entrepreneurs across the Southeast, the 2014 Innovation Awards will showcase 10 semifinalists and 10 finalists in an event that will enable them to present their business cases to venture capitalists, angel investors and financiers. In addition to having the opportunity to present to potential funding sources, first place winners will be awarded $100,000 and second place winners will receive an award of $50,000. Applications are available online at and will be accepted through May 31. Finalists will be notified by June 15.

Second Annual Transportation Symposium Registration Now Open

Representatives from the West Florida Regional Planning Council are excited to announce that registration for the Second Annual Emerald Coast Transportation Symposium (May 29-30 at the Hilton on Pensacola Beach) is now open. This year’s event offers a robust schedule featuring panel discussions and workshops on transit, aviation, ports, roadways, and alternative energy sources and is open to all interested in transportation. Cost per attendee is $175 for admission, which includes the reception and meals from the award-winning H20 restaurant on both days. For more information, visit

PSC Honors Six Faculty with Teaching Excellence Awards

Pensacola State College honored six faculty at the Academy of Teaching Excellence ceremony recently at the Culinary Dining Room on the Pensacola campus. Established in 1986 by Charles Atwell, the Academy of Teaching Excellence recognizes outstanding faculty who exhibit sustained excellence in teaching. Each year, several full-time and adjunct faculty members are inducted into the Academy. The 2013-2014 inductees are Cynthia App, Tim Hathway, Kristen Regan, Chad Smudde, and Paula Work.

people on the move

David Powell named director of human resources Community Action Program Committee, Inc. (CAPC) announced on April 10 that David Powell has joined the organization as director of Human Resources. Powell joins CAPC from Sacred Heart Health System, where he served for 15 years in various human resources capacities. The Epilepsy Resource Center (ERC) is proud to announce Lisa J. Orlich as the new Resource Center Director. The change comes following a merger between the Epilepsy Society of Northwest Florida and the Epilepsy Epilepsy Foundation of Florida to enhance and expand Resource Center services to people with epilepsy and their families Welcomes New offered at the ERC. Director The center will offer support, education, social services, treatment and youth programs in the Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties of Northwest Florida. It will also continue to operate under the guidance of the Advisory Board and its president, Quint Studer.

Baptist Medical Group welcomes Gulf Breeze family medicine physician Marta Jacenyik, M.D.

Baptist Medical Group is pleased to welcome established Gulf Breeze family medicine physician Marta Jacenyik, M.D., to their growing multispecialty physician network. Described by her patients as dedicated and hardworking, Dr. Jacenyik is passionate about educating her patients about their conditions and helping them achieve wellness.

Blue Marlin Realty Group adds two new realtors to their rapidly growing real estate team Blue Marlin Realty Group continues to expand their team of over 30 realtors with the addition of Rebecca Browning Miller and current Real Estate Manager, Lindsay Fullerton. | Business Climate | 29

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Business Climate May 2014