An Investment in the Future
On the Path to the LEAP Trail The No-Firing Zone: Why You Should Never Give Up On a Client www.nwflbusinessclimate.com
publisher’ s pen Malcolm Ballinger Publisher
Our local pool of up and coming leaders and businesspeople are one of the most important resources in Northwest Florida, and developing these future members of the area’s workforce is paramount to the continued success of our region. One of the great assets for the future is the University of West Florida, an institution that, like many other colleges and universities, is finding innovative way to meet the needs of its students, faculty and the greater community. One of UWF’s more recent investments in the Scenic Hills Golf Course, which you can read about on page 54. This venture is spearheaded by the school’s direct support organization, Business enterprises, Inc., which will continually seek out creative avenues to bring resources to UWF. Another organization that is continually bringing a fresh crop of leaders is Leadership Pensacola, also known as LeaP. each LeaP class works together on a project that will benefit the community, and this year’s project aims at community health and wellness. Read on about the forthcoming LeAP Trail, a fitness-oriented trail in the heart of Pensacola that will further bolster the quality of life while adding fitness options for every member of the community. Read more on page 46. Additionally in this issue, we’ve got a piece on why as a business person you should never give up on a client by real estate team Joseph and JoAnn Calloway. While you may not be in that industry, these customer service tips are helpful to any business that works with potentially difficult clients, so take a look on page 49.
Reader’s Services Subscriptions If you have questions about your subscriptions, call Kassie McLean at (850) 433-1166 ext. 30 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Gift Certificates NW FL’s Business Climate Magazine makes a great gift! Contact Malcolm Ballinger at (850)433-1166 ext. 27 or email@example.com to arrange a gift certificate for your friend, business associate or loved one. Back Issues Is there an issue of one of our magazines that you just have to have? Were you featured in a recent isssue? Give us a call at 850-433-1166 ext. 30. Back Issues are $5.00/issue. Letters We welcome your letters and comments. Send letters to Ballinger Publishing P.O. Box 12665 Pensacola, FL 32591, or contact specific staff members under the “Contact us: Staff info” link on www.ballingerpublishing.com. Change of Address When calling or emailing us your change of address, please provide us with both the old and new addresses to expedite the change. Writing Opportunities We are always willing to consider freelance writers and article ideas. Please send queries and/or suggestions to Kelly Oden, executive editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or care of Kelly to the above postal address.
AP Place lla acce ffor or You You in Pensacola Peensacola Business
Pensacola Do Downtown ownto w ow wn
et reesid dencei
0 432-020 2
700 East Chase Street 850-439-3330
court urttyar ard dpensacoladowntown.com
Airport/Cordova Airport/Cordo ova Mall
2187 Airport Boulevard 850-478-1123
1144 Airport Boulevard 850-479-8900 hiltongarrdeninnpensacola.com d
5049 Corporate Woods o d Drive Di 850-474-3777 homewoodsuitespensacola.com
24 Via DeLuna s sprringhillsuitespensacolabeac i ch h.com com
16 Viia DeLuna
s (IGHPOINTECOM 'ULFF "REEZE 0KWY s 'ULF "REEZE &LORIDA
C ontents f e a t u re s
54. Scenic Hills Golf Course: An Investment in the Future
> 46. economic development On the Path to the LEAP Trail
49. customer service in every issue 60. around the region 61. people on the move 62. business scene
The No足Firing Zone: Why You Should Never Give Up On a Client
January/February 2013 P UBLISHER M A L C O L M B A L L I N G E R
email@example.com E DITOR K E L LY O D E N
firstname.lastname@example.org A RT D IRECTOR R I TA L AY M O N
email@example.com G RAPHIC K A S S I E M C L E A N D ESIGNER & firstname.lastname@example.org A DVERTISING C OORDINATOR C OPY E DITOR E M I LY L U L L O
email@example.com E DITORIAL J O S H N E W BY A SSISTANT firstname.lastname@example.org E DITORIAL C H R I S T I E N N E C L O U T I E R I NTERN email@example.com S ALES & SHARYON MILLER, ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE EXT. 28 M ARKETING firstname.lastname@example.org
CAROLINE MARTIN, ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE EXT. 31 email@example.com C ONTRIBUTING J O S E P H C A L L A W AY W RITERS J O A N N C A L L A W AY
O WNERS M A L C O L M & G L E N Y S B A L L I N G E R P UBLISHER M A L C O L M B A L L I N G E R
firstname.lastname@example.org E XECUTIVE K E L LY O D E N E DITOR email@example.com A RT D IRECTOR R I TA L AY M O N
firstname.lastname@example.org G RAPHIC K A S S I E M C L E A N D ESIGNER & email@example.com A DVERTISING C OORDINATOR E DITOR E M I LY L U L L O
E DITORIAL J O S H N E W BY A SSISTANT firstname.lastname@example.org S ALES & SHARYON MILLER, ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE EXT. 28 M ARKETING email@example.com CAROLINE MARTIN, ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE EXT. 31 firstname.lastname@example.org SIMONE SANDS, ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE EXT. 21 email@example.com W EBSITE
W W W. B A L L I N G E R P U B L I S H I N G . C O M
E DITORIAL 41 NORTH JEFFERSON STREET, SUITE 402 O FFICES PENSACOLA, FLORIDA 32502 850-433-1166 • FAX 850-435-9174
PUBLISHED BY BALLINGER PUBLISHING:
NW Florida’s Business Climate Magazine and Pensacola Magazine is locally owned and operated. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction or use of the contents herein is prohibited without written permission from the publisher. Comments and opinions expressed in this magazine represent the personal views of the individuals to whom they are attributed and/or the person identified as the author 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. © 2012
Subscription Expiration Date is printed on the address label. Renew your subscription now online at www.ballingerpublishing.com: One year $14.95 and two years $22.75.
By Greater Pensacola Chamber
On the Path to the LEAP Trail Leadership Pensacola’s Class of 2013 Crafts a Community Wellness Concept Hands-on, real-world experience is a critical component in many educational curricula, and Leadership Pensacola’s (LeaP) yearly community projects give participants that all-important edge. Over the past 30 years, LeaP, a program of the Greater Pensacola Chamber, has been the main driver behind initiatives such as Live Green escambia, the “I’m Ready to Read” program, and this year’s LeAP Trail. Not just intended for fitness junkies, the organization’s new LeAP Trail, which stands for Leisure, exercise, Activity and Play, will be an inclusive activity space that improves the quality of life for our community’s residents and visitors. It’s a place for runners, joggers, skateboarders, dog walkers and cyclists. It’s designed for recreation, leisure and enjoyment by couples, families and people of all ages. “LeaP’s current project showcases the cross collaboration of community partners uniting to increase Pensacola’s quality of life in addition to increasing positive first impressions – beginning at the airport and moving into our established neighborhoods and community centers,” said Caroline Hartnett, LeAP’s Project Facilitator. The LeaP Class of 2013 began planning the trail in September of 2012 and hopes to finish construction by this summer. Fundraising efforts are currently underway and sponsorships are being offered at a variety of
investment and participation levels to help cover construction costs, equipment, fixtures, and amenities. The trail will be approximately three miles long and eight to 10 feet wide, which will allow access for bikes, strollers, pets and runners to share the trail comfortably. The proposed site begins near the Pensacola International Airport at the Hyatt Place Hotel, running south down 12th Avenue, through Roger Scott Athletic Complex, down Summit Boulevard and up Jerry Maygarden Road. “We are excited to bring the LeAP Trail to life,” said Chip Henderson, who chairs the project with classmate Robert Bender. “There will be a trail, inclusive playground and outdoor workout stations when it’s completed; this will be a great quality-oflife enhancement for our residents and our visitors.” Universally designed playgrounds will be created with surfacing, ramps and equipment to be accessible to children and adults with all physical abilities, allowing for inclusive play. The trail will include individual exercise stations along the route where participants can follow the instructions and be guided through a variety of workout exercises as they proceed to each station. The LeAP Trail will offer something for everyone and will be packed with amenities and features, such as picnic tables, park benches, waste receptacles, bike racks and pet waste stations. “We are not only providing this great resource for the
community, but are also reminding residents of how previous LeaP classes have benefited the community through Leadership Pensacola and the Greater Pensacola Chamber,” said Bender. “Past classes have instituted reading programs and a recycling project, made our beaches safer with Project SwimSAFe and most recently thanked those serving in the military by renovating the USO facilities at Naval Air Station Pensacola and Pensacola International Airport through their project, Operation HOPe. LeaP classes are comprised of people who want to be involved in our community, and I know we are all excited to create this multi-use trail for Pensacola.” Leadership Pensacola was founded in the fall of 1982 with the first graduating class in 1983. The Greater Pensacola Chamber established the program with a goal of ensuring the community’s pool of talented leaders would be continually renewed and would choose to remain in the Pensacola region. To date, more than 1,300 people have completed the Leadership Pensacola program and have acquired the skills, passion and connections to help them work effectively as community trustees. Participants accepted into LeaP are involved in a balanced combination of retreats, day-long seminars and community projects. Area decision makers offer their time and expertise while tours and interactive exercises are built into each day. The program is refined annually by a committed group of LeaP alumni in addition to Jennifer Allen McFarren, LeaP’s Program Director at the Chamber. For more information on the LeAP Trail, visit www.leaptrail.com. Donations to the project are tax deductible and may be made payable to the Pensacola Area Chamber Foundation, Inc., c/o the Greater Pensacola Chamber, LeaP, 117 W. Garden St., Pensacola, FL 32502. For more information, contact Chip Henderson at (850) 473-8808 or Robert Bender at (850) 450-3471 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. January/February 2013
customer service >
The NoFiring Zone: Why You Should NEVER Give Up on a Client (Even a Really, Really Tough One) By Joseph Callaway and JoAnn Callaway
As a realtor, you’ll inevitably have clients who make you want to run screaming in the opposite direction. But instead of “firing” them, Joseph Callaway encourages you to stay the course. Here, he explains why putting even the most difficult clients first is a good idea.
You know the type: the client who just can’t be satisfied and who seems impossible to work with. This person may want to ask way more for his or her home than it’s worth, or expect to buy a mansion on a duplex budget…or both. Meanwhile, every meeting and showing is an ordeal featuring tears, hostility, accusations, and very selective listening. Something’s gotta give, and to make sure it’s not your sanity, you’ve been thinking of going to extremes: firing your client. Hang on. Before you start agonizing over the easiest method to say, “This isn’t working out,” you should hear what Joseph Callaway has to say about tough clients.
“The business world is full of corporate gurus who advise you to get rid of the ‘bottom 10 percent’—of employees, stores, suppliers, and yes, even clients— because these lackluster organizations and people are only weighing you down,” points out Callaway, who, along with his wife, JoAnn, is the author of the New York Times bestseller Clients First: The Two Word Miracle. “I disagree. “In over fourteen years, my wife and I have never gotten rid of a single client—even when we secretly wished we could—and we believe this no-fire strategy has contributed significantly to our ultimate success,” he adds. Callaway and his wife built their thriving business— Those Callaways—after a late-in-life entry into the world of real estate. Since then, they have lived through a bubble and survived a horrible economic downturn—and managed to prosper through both, while many of their fellow realtors never recovered. In fact, to date they’ve sold over a billion dollars’ worth of homes. And they credit their “Clients First” revelation (of which never, ever firing a client is part) as being the magic bullet. “Deciding to really put clients first, whether they were individuals or institutions, was a remarkable—and
“Of course, not firing your customers is only a small part of putting them first,” explains Callaway. “You need to put your own needs second, base all of your interactions on transparency and honesty, and make it your priority to always do what’s best for the client. It won’t always be easy: Consciously putting your own best interests in second place goes against the grain of human nature! But you will find that a lot of the tough decisions—like whether or not to keep working on behalf of someone who makes you want to pull your hair out—will practically make themselves.” Realize that keeping clients is just plain practical. Yes, the economy may be slowly pulling itself out of the dark, deep, and depressing hole known as The Great Recession, but business is still far from booming—and the real estate industry is no exception. To put it bluntly, you probably need all the clients and commissions you can get. And how you conduct business now, when the going is tough, can set you apart from the competition and give you a solid foundation in the future. “Thanks in large part to the current economic climate,
Learn to like people. If you’re in the real estate business, you probably already consider yourself to be somewhat of a people person. (Otherwise, you’d have chosen a career that didn’t require you to interact with the public all day!) But according to Callaway, chances are you still need to learn to like people more. remarkably simple—discovery,” Callaway shares. “This strategy has the power to change your life, to transform your business, and to bring about financial security. even when clients make your life a lot more difficult than it theoretically should be, your job—your professional reason for being—is to serve them. If you cannot or will not do so, it’s the client’s job to fire you, not the other way around.” If you’d like to incorporate the Clients First method and no-fire mindset into your own business, read on for seven of Callaway’s tips to help you get started: Make the Clients First commitment. According to Callaway, really putting clients first is a big commitment. And if you’re comfortable with your current way of doing business, level of success, and client relationships, that commitment is not for you. However, if you find yourself wanting more—more fulfillment, more professional growth, more experience, and yes, even more money—you may want to give Clients First a chance.
you may be dealing with a larger volume of difficult clients than usual,” Callaway concedes. “Since it’s a buyer’s market, the sellers with whom you’re working may be tired, worried, and impatient. And even though they theoretically have the advantage, buyers may still be tight on money—and they certainly aren’t immune from the concerns that always plague homebuyers. “When you make the choice to stand by all of your frazzled, frustrated clients, you will eventually reap financial and personal rewards,” he continues. “And you may even become known in your area as the realtor who can handle the toughest clients—and receive referrals from other agencies!” Learn to like people. If you’re in the real estate business, you probably already consider yourself to be somewhat of a people person. (Otherwise, you’d have chosen a career that didn’t require you to interact with the public all day!) But according to Callaway, chances are you still need to learn to like people more. Think about it:
Do you hold yourself emotionally aloof from your clients and complain about their foibles to your coworkers and family, even though you were all smiles during your meeting? Or do you always make a genuine effort to put yourself in their shoes and to learn more about them as people, not just as potential sources of income? “To truly put your clients first, your number one goal should be to invite them within arm’s length and make each one less of a stranger,” suggests Callaway. “Ask about their kids, their pets, their hobbies, and their jobs. Now I’ll admit—sometimes it’s not easy to like people. They can be difficult or have bad attitudes, and they can be a source of pain, ridicule, and embarrassment. But if you get out there and engage, you’ll find that most of them are just like you: filled with worries, hopes, and dreams. “And when you know that Mr. Jenkins is throwing a fit because he has to relocate for his new job in the next three months and is desperate to get out from under a big mortgage payment, you’ll be much less inclined to fire him,” he adds. “Instead, you’ll want to work that much harder on his behalf.”
“When you truly succeed in helping a client— which could be alleviating anxiety in the short term, and selling or buying a house in the long term—you will have won a fan for life. Expect out-of-control emotions. It’s no secret that people are emotionally attached to their homes. Leaving a house filled with memories and trying to find a new one that fits a family’s budget, size requirements, and personal tastes is usually distressing, upsetting, and anxietyprovoking. In fact, people who approach the process dispassionately are definitely the exception to the rule. Clients may fall apart early or late in the process, Callaway says, but at some point most will go a little crazy. “If you don’t want to handle clients who display emotional extremes, you are in the wrong business,” he confirms. “So instead of dreading emotional outbursts and using them as reasons to sever a business relationship, think of alleviating the client’s worries, insecurities, and fears as part of your job description. And remember, putting the client first means not reflecting their turmoil back to them. Resist the urge to snipe back or to let yourself be caught up in a feeding frenzy of
worry and anxiety. Instead, let animosity and frustration end when they reach you. You and the client will be better off.” Look for opportunities to help and to grow your business. (They’re one and the same!) Once you recognize that when they hire you, your clients are by definition in the midst of a stressful transition period, you can look for chances to help them. However, you’ll miss every one of those opportunities if you’re secondguessing your decision to work with any particular customer. After all, when your mind is dominated by thoughts like, If only I had seen the warning signs and realized sooner that this person has unreasonable expectations, you’ll be suppressing the creativity—not to mention the willingness—required to figure out possible solutions and compromises. “Here’s the silver lining to gritting your teeth and persevering when you feel like throwing in the towel,” shares Callaway. “When you truly succeed in helping a January/February 2013
client—which could be alleviating anxiety in the short term, and selling or buying a house in the long term—you will have won a fan for life. Often, the most difficult clients are the ones who go on to tell the most people how wonderful you are, and what lengths you went to on their behalf.” Consider your “karma bank.” According to Callaway, he and his wife have never bought into the philosophy that advises “cherry-picking” clients. Instead, a central tenet of their Clients First method means serving every client, regardless of the return on their investment of time, energy, emotions, and money. And what is firing difficult clients but a method of cherry-picking after the fact? “We like to believe that there is a karma bank out there somewhere, and when times are particularly difficult or a client is a real pill, we remind ourselves that we’re making deposits in our karma bank,” shares Callaway. “And guess what? While we’ve learned not to have firm expectations when it comes to karma, our efforts and goodwill usually come back to us multiple times over. “Let’s say you have a client named Frieda who
demands a ton of your time and energy,” he continues. “She’s high-strung and weepy and can’t make up her mind, and the commission may not even cover expenses. Still, you stay patient and do your absolute best to help her. A few years later, you get a call from the president of a corporation that relocates a lot of high-level employees to your town and he wants you to be his realtor of record. Turns out Frieda is his aunt—and he is calling you because she told him how kind and helpful you were with her at a really tough time in her life. That’s karma. It’s real, and it can change your life.” When all else fails, look for the lesson. Very occasionally, you’ll encounter a client who isn’t acting out because he is simply worried or stressed or preoccupied— he’s just a downright nasty person. The Callaways call these folks “the evil people” and say there’s usually no way to avoid them or to foresee their hurtful actions. (And if you try to do so, you’ll lose many clients who would have turned out to be wonderful.) Fortunately, if you’ve decided to put clients first, you’re already on the doingthe-right-thing path and won’t need to blame yourself for a client’s bad behavior. “Out of more than 5,000 clients, we could probably number our ‘evil people’ on two hands, but they were certainly memorable,” Callaway admits. “When you find yourself with an irredeemably awful client of your own, just keep working hard, telling the truth, and seeking the client’s best interest. And in the process, look for a lesson that might help you in the future. Overall, the most important thing you can learn from dealing with evil people is the art of letting it go. Don’t stand on principle. Don’t anguish. Don’t blame yourself. Just let it go. To do otherwise—to continually engage with a toxic person—is to let him or her win…often at the expense of your peace of mind and sanity.” “Committing ourselves to our clients’ best interests was one of the best decisions JoAnn and I ever made,” Callaway concludes. “Because we stayed the course and didn’t fire any clients, our phones kept ringing and our open houses were attended, even through the darkest days. Our clients took care of us just as we had taken care of them. Trust me, everyone wins when you strive to serve instead of expending your energy on figuring out which clients ‘work’ for you.” About the Authors: Joseph Callaway and JoAnn Callaway are coauthors of the New York Times bestseller Clients First: The Two Word Miracle and founders of the real estate company Those Callaways. JoAnn sold more than four thousand homes totaling in excess of a billion dollars. She accomplished this in her first ten years selling real estate and she did it one client at a time. She is proud to be a REALTOR® and believes her fellow agents share her heart for helping others. She loves flowers, art, books, and Joseph. JoAnn lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, and wishes it had a beach. Joseph is the author of countless advertisements, newspaper pages, magazine layouts, fliers, blog posts, manuals, property profiles, and thousands of real estate contracts. He surfed Dana Point, California, before the Army Corps of Engineers built the breakwater and he loves JoAnn very much. To learn more, visit www.clientsfirstbook.com.
Scenic Hills Golf Course: An Investment in the Future By Josh Newby
Photos courtesy of Scenic Hills Country Club
In early 2012, rumors began circulating that the University of West Floridaâ€™s direct support organization, Business enterprises, Inc., had plans to purchase Scenic Hills Country Club, which is located adjacent to the schoolâ€™s Pensacola campus. The golf course and clubhouse would serve dually as a means of extracurricular education for hospitality and management students and as an additional revenue source for a university plagued with state budget cuts. January/February 2013
In a state where funding for higher education has decreased by 30 percent since 2007, schools in Florida have been tasked with finding other means of revenue to keep up with the ever-rising cost of college. While higher tuition has made up for part of the shortfall, alternative sources of income are now seen as a norm at most state universities. The UWF BeI was created to help the university ease the economic strain and continue to grow and fulfill its mission into the future. Matt Altier, BeI’s CeO and vice president of administrative services at the time, spearheaded the Scenic Hills efforts with UWF President Judy Bense and Jim Barnett, associate vice president of facilities, as part of plans to supplement lacking state income. After an appraisal of the country club valued it at $2.7 million, BeI’s board of directors negotiated a purchase price of $2.2 million. The organization put 50 percent cash down and financed the remaining $1.1 million from a local lender at a 3.95 percent interest rate. The possible purchase was not without its naysayers, with some saying that the money used to buy the golf course could be better utilized to lessen the strain on students who were paying 14 percent higher tuition over the previous year. Leadership at the university, however, was eager to remind the public that BeI, not UWF, would purchase the club and that the 14 percent tuition hike was only meant to cover the $12 million cut in state funding and did not go toward the acquisition of Scenic Hills. The golf course purchase would not use any tax dollars and would ultimately generate additional income for UWF’s future. BeI would be splitting the net profits with the institution 80-20, with 20 percent going towards faculty development and academic affairs. After a process of due diligence demonstrated sufficient profit and projected growth to justify the endeavor, BeI finalized purchase of the club on June 29, 2012. The 6,730-yard championship course, which has been serving Pensacola since 1958, is 150 beautiful acres and 18 holes, with a Jerry Pate design. Additionally, the course includes a 12,550 sq. ft. clubhouse constructed in 2008, as well as ancillary support buildings. It is a popular destination for weddings, banquets and business meetings as well. The grand opening of the new Scenic Hills Country Club took place on September 28, in conjunction with the Alumni Golf Tournament. Since the grand opening, management and staff have reported an increase in quality and customer morale, as well as efficiency and effectiveness of administrative and grounds keeping procedures. With the new leadership has come a renewed vision of increasing family and corporate membership for the club. “We’re looking to really highlight the family aspect of golf,” said Rick Gorman, Scenic Hills’ general manager. “The club should be a place where parents can come out, drop their kids off and play nine holes. We had a family fun day in August and it was a huge success, with bounce houses, games for kids, etc. We’re also trying to use the club as a business tool. It’s a nice, relaxed atmosphere
where corporate individuals can come, have meetings, enjoy themselves and conduct business.” Also with the new leadership has come a desire to return to local investments with community vendors and partnerships. “We want to make the people in the community have a stake in the golf course,” said Gorman. “The club is consolidating its vendors in order to have more local business. If we reach out to local vendors and show we have a sense of community, it’ll grow their business and hopefully grow ours in return. We want to be a partner with our community and the people in it.” The community is not the only set of people who will experience an advantage in the new ownership. Faculty, students and staff at UWF will have reduced rates for using the club.
Since BeI now owns the club, the goals of the university and of the golf course are now realigned to meet mutually beneficial goals. Leadership at UWF and Scenic Hills has vowed to be progressive and open to new ideas. Gorman reported that the transition of new ownership has been very smooth, and that he often works with Barnett and Dave O’Brien, UWF’s associate vice president of business and project development. “BeI is certainly a big part of the day-to-day operations here, because they own the club,” said Gorman. “It’s been a very positive thing for us, and we hope it continues to be moving forward.” A positive future certainly looks promising, but a big surprise for many in the community involving the sudden and unexpected retirement of Matt Altier has cast some
doubts. After all, it was he who pioneered BeI and it was he who helped negotiate many of the organization’s current projects, such as Scenic Hills, the forthcoming hotel and conference center on campus, Pensacola’s cultural heritage tourism plan, and University Park. Altier represented the university’s face of change—and controversy. His last day under the school’s employment is February 1, 2013, though he has been absent from negotiations and decisions since he announced his resignation in November. Jim Barnett, BeI’s interim CeO, said there is no reason to fear. A search for a permanent executive officer began after the first of the year, and until one is selected, everything will go on as seamlessly as planned. “Matt certainly had a great vision for UWF, a vision that was championed by UWF’s and BeI’s boards of trustees,”
said Barnett. “All of BeI’s projects will continue as planned, assuming they make good business sense.” With an annual budget of around $300,000, the club’s positive financial impact on the local area is substantial and is projected to increase in coming years. According to Barnett, just this past quarter, the golf club saw an increase in profits. Weather plays a big role in the success or failure of a golf course. For that reason and others, it is no secret that in today’s economy, net profits for golf courses are hard to come by. That is why Gorman, Barnett and other leadership at the club and BeI are looking for new, innovative ways to keep the profits coming in year-round,
to level out the times when the weather may be adverse. “In December, the club hosted its first dinner theater, which 120 people attended,” said Barnett. “When you couple that way of thinking with the catering services we offer and the social experience we’re striving to achieve, you have something that’s going to have a positive impact.” Gorman spoke on the details that set Scenic Hills apart from other clubs in the area, and how they are striving to maintain and increase business. “There are three main things we do to set us apart,” said Gorman. “First, when people walk through the door, they get treated the best. Second, our value is incomparable and they can see that in the clubhouse and the facility. Third, the décor, layout and ambience are details that make us sustainable.” Scenic Hills is just one of many exciting ventures the university and newly formed BeI are ready to tackle. Projects include the hotel/conference center on the east end of campus and plans to revamp University Park to include new potential facilities such as a new student union, residence hall, football stadium and more. “Judy Bense has a vision to grow this institution in a meaningful way,” said Barnett. “She has high expectations and those expectations are what we are focused on.” Until those expectations come to full fruition, it is clear that Scenic Hills Country Club is now, more than ever, about so much more than golf. It is about corporate partnership and family fun, it is about catering to and meeting the needs of the local community. Finally and perhaps most importantly, it is about helping its new owner, BeI, bolster and sustain an educational institution that is ripe with potential.
business news bits you should know
Plans approved for Okaloosa Island projects Okaloosa County commissioners have approved the site designs for a fish hatchery and small amusement park planned for the old Island Golf Center property. The Gulf Coast Marine Life Center and Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone will be built on two parcels of the 35-acre property owned by the county. AquaGreen, the Destin nonprofit group behind the fish hatchery, is leasing 4.5 acres. Destin-based Dominion Capital, which is bankrolling Wild Willy’s, is leasing 2.8 acres. AquaGreen is working with several universities, including University of Florida, to design and open the hatchery. At Wild Willy’s, the site plan calls for a 3,980-square-foot restaurant, a frozen yogurt kiosk and a zip line that will run over an existing pond. The new amenities will be built around the existing miniature golf course at the site.
Florida minimum wage increases 12 cents Low-wage workers in Florida will be getting a little bit more in their pay checks in the new year thanks to an increase in the minimum wage that took effect Jan. 1. Florida's minimum wage is now $7.79 per hour, up 12 cents from last year's $7.67, while the rate for tipped employees is $4.77 hourly, according to the Florida Department of economic Opportunity. UWF’s Executive Mentor Program welcomes first class of students and mentors The University of West Florida College of Business’s new executive Mentor Program has matched its first class of 30 students with area business leaders who will serve as mentors to initiate networking and career opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. The program, which was founded in conjunction with the grand opening of the new College of Business education Center in October 2012, matches students from the college with influential community business leaders who share their personal and professional experience, knowledge and skills. Ever’man Natural Foods expansion project breaking ground The extensive expansion and renovation project at ever’man Natural Foods takes another step forward with a groundbreaking ceremony for the store at 1 pm on Friday, January 25. The groundbreaking milestone signifies the start of the bulk of the construction work that will take place, transforming the current store at 315. W. Garden Street into a community-focused full-service grocery store in Downtown Pensacola.
Join Covenant Hospice AwardWinning Volunteer Team Covenant Hospice is seeking individuals and groups to join its award-winning volunteer team. A training workshop will be held from 9 am to 5 pm Saturday, January 19, at the Covenant Hospice branch office, located at 6479 Caroline St., Suite B. The workshop is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided. Covenant Hospice Volunteer Training will present an overview of hospice care and volunteer choices. Individuals and groups are needed to provide support for Covenant programs including office work, community outreach, and fundraising. Patient and family support volunteers are needed to provide friendly visits, companionship, breaks for caregivers, light housekeeping, transportation, assistance with yard work or home repair, and more. Active duty military and veteran volunteers are needed to support Covenant’s We Honor Veterans Program. Working and retired professionals are also needed to share their expertise. ARC Gateway mourns loss of Executive Director Donna Fassett The members, staff, board, trustees and – most especially – the adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities served by ARC Gateway all have suffered a huge loss. Donna Fassett, executive director of the charitable service organization since 1993, lost her hard-fought battle with an extended illness. Her loving husband and soul mate Charlie, was by her side - as always - for comfort and support. Pensacola Bay Center ranks #8 in Venues Today Pensacola Bay Center makes the top ten, once again. Venues Today, an international trade magazine, ranked
the SMG-managed venue #8 in ticket sales from October 16, 2012 to November 15, 2012. This ranking is a direct reflection of Cirque du Soleil, which debuted at Pensacola Bay Center with two shows in November. PSC inducts inaugural class into National Technical Honor Society Pensacola State College announces the formation of a local chapter of the National Technical Honor Society. The Pensacola State College Chapter inducted its first charter of 14 members in December on PSC's Warrington campus. Candidates for the National Technical Honor Society, Pensacola State College Chapter, must have a 3.0 cumulative GPA at the time of invitation to membership in order to be inducted into the Society. Once inducted, each member must complete 40 hours of community service and attend monthly meetings to remain in good standing with the organization. UWF’s Master of Public Health online degree program ranked in the Top 20 for Best Online Master of Public Health Degree Programs The University of West Florida (UWF) Master of Public Health online degree program was recently ranked in the Top 20 in the United States by TheBestSchools.org's list of the Best Online Master of Public Health Degree Programs. The university's program is offered through the School of Allied Health and Life Sciences. Baptist Health Care announces opening of Core Wellness Center Healthy Lives, powered by Baptist Health Care, is excited to announce the grand opening of The Core Wellness Center on January 3, 2013. Healthy Lives is a partnership between Baptist Health Care and employers in the community to create a healthier, happier and more productive workforce, as well as provide a solution to the challenge of rising health care costs. The Core is a comprehensive wellness facility for participants of the program. UWF BEI to release University Park & Northwest Development Project RFQ University of West Florida Business enterprises, Inc. (BeI) released the University Park & Northwest Development Project Request for Qualifications (RFQ) on December 20, 2012. University Park is the central area of campus, which will potentially include facilities such as a new student union, additional housing facilities, a football stadium, a parking garage and more. Also included in University Park are current facilities, such as the UWF Field House, Health & Leisure Building and the Wellness Center.
peopleonthemove< Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa appoints new wedding and special events manager Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, the largest full-service beachfront resort on Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast, announces the appointment of Kelli Sprague as wedding and special events manager. In her new role, Sprague will be responsible for managing weddings and local special events. She will provide all clients with a professional and friendly contact throughout their experience with Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa. Baptist Medical Group welcomes pediatric hospitalist Tamika Ussery-Freeman Baptist Medical Group is pleased to welcome pediatric hospitalist Tamika Ussery-Freeman, M.D., F.A.A.P., to their growing physician network and Baptist Hospital’s Mother-Baby Care Team. As a pediatric hospitalist, Dr. Ussery-Freeman will be exclusively dedicated to caring for newborns delivered at Baptist Hospital. She will be responsible for newborn assessment and care, including stabilization. Candy McGuyre named Corporate Director of BHC Marketing Candy McGuyre has been selected to serve as corporate director of marketing and public relations for Baptist Health Care (BHC). She is responsible for leading the organization’s marketing, communications, crisis preparation and management, and media relations. She has worked in the role in an interim capacity since May 2012. Most recently, McGuyre served the Baptist Health Care Foundation as director of public relations and development to generate awareness of and revenue through a broad range of fundraising initiatives. McGuyre earned a bachelor’s degree in communication arts at the University of West Florida. She is currently a member of the Women’s Board of the Baptist Health Care Foundation.
>businessscene ...at the Grand Opening of the Downtown Pensacola Library
Grand opening Pensacola Downtown Library
Mayor Hayward cuts the ribbon to open the newly renovated library
Meredith McCarthy and Rachel Wallace
Eileen Perrigo, Jennifer Eitzenn, Adrian Rich, Jillian Glenn and Briteny McKeithen
Robert Ellis and Cindy Anderson
Rod Kendig and Kevin Doyle
AP Place lla acce for for You You in Pensacola Pensaco e la Business
Pensacola Do Downtown ow wnto ow wn
et reesid dencei
0 432-020 2
700 East Chase Street 850-439-3330
court urttyar ard dpensacoladowntown.com
Airport/Cordova Airport/Cordo ova Mall
2187 Airport Boulevard 850-478-1123
1144 Airport Boulevard 850-479-8900 hiltongarrdeninnpensacola.com d
5049 Corporate Woods o d Drive Di 850-474-3777 homewoodsuitespensacola.com
24 Via DeLuna s sprriinghillsuitespensacolabeacch h.com com
16 Viia DeLuna
s (IGHPOINTECOM 'ULFF "REEZE 0KWY s 'ULF "REEZE &LORIDA