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SPECIAL SECTION

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WHATEVER THE WEATHER MAY BE

HOW ONE FLORIDA-BASED ORGANIZATION IS CHANGING METEOROLOGY FOREVER

路 OTHER STORIES 路

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LEADING FLORIDA FORWARD

CLEANING UP

AROUND THE REGION

THREE CITIZENS OF NORTHWEST FLORIDA HAVE BEEN SELECTED FOR LEADERSHIP FLORIDA. READ THEIR THOUGHTS ON THE SELECTION AND THE STATE AS A WHOLE.

HOW YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR KRISTEN HADEED TURNED THE NEED FOR A QUICK BUCK INTO A NATIONWIDE COMPANY WITH OVER 400 EMPLOYEES.

FIND OUT WHAT IS HAPPENING IN BUSINESS, GOVERNMENT AND CULTURAL NEWS IN THE GREATER PENSACOLA AREA AND NORTHWEST FLORIDA.

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WHATEVER THE WEATHER MAY BE Meteorologists: the only people who can be wrong all the time and still get paid. While that old joke may not be entirely true (between 60 and 70 percent of weather predictions are fairly spot-on), it reflects a sentiment that a large portion of the population shares; namely, that you can’t trust the weatherman. But what if there were a way to boost accuracy to north of 90 percent—even 95 percent—with specificity down to the square-mile or square-block?

By Josh Newby Photo by Daniel Rodriguez 50 | Business Climate | nwflbusinessclimate.com


Business Climate SPECIAL SECTION

One organization in Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., is planning to do just that. In late August, the team unveiled for the first time its revolutionary new technology—developed by the military and purchased for exclusive civilian use—that detects every critical characteristic of an impending hailstorm, flood, tornado and hurricane. Using a combination of raw data from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), the National Weather Service and more, with a thousandsstrong network of individual data points, meteorologists at the National Storm Center (NSC) can often predict weather for precise addresses and parcels, and alert homeowners about the incoming storm crisis. “What we developed is a 24/7/365 nextgeneration forensic weather-reporting monitoring system featuring geo-targeted coordinates with more than 95 percent accuracy,” said Trevor Leeds, NSC’s CEO. “We can monitor any home or property in the world, right down to its exact address.” Instead of using algorithms that often lump data together and miss smaller, more individual storms, the NSC collects critical storm information and weather-mapping reports (over three million a day) so its staff can scan all storm data in real time. This means that a highly trained human eye can detect a minor tornado that may be missed by a National Weather Service algorithm, and that individual can then issue a precise warning. No more countywide thunderstorm warnings. No more mass alerts. Instead, this targeted, highly accurate system can say with confidence who will be affected. More accurate alerts mean that more people will pay attention. With our current weather-prediction system, people will generally ignore warnings because they have not grown accustomed to having faith in reports. But now, individuals will be able to

understand exactly when and where severe weather will strike, leading to better precautions and possibly saved lives. Dave Carlson is the founder of the NSC and has spent the past 18 months procuring the software, recruiting top PhD meteorologists and building partnerships with future customers like insurance companies, alarm and home-monitoring organizations and contractors. “This technology has so many uses and we’re excited to roll it out and really change how weather prediction happens,” said Carlson. “We want to make sure your family members will not be in danger.” The military program that Carlson purchased is a browser-based computer system, meaning meteorologists can even access it from the road or when a storm takes out one of their three central hubs in Ft. Walton, Fla., Texas or Colorado. “Anyone can perform functions in the program,” said Josh Cahall, a lead facilitator with the NSC. “You can select different attributes that you want to look for and set different thresholds for warnings. Some consumers may want a warning for a minor hailstorm, others may only want to be alerted of a tornado or hurricane. You can export that information to Google Earth for specific locations and make predictions in real time.” This emphasis on accuracy above all else comes from the group’s military background, where troop formations and infantry movement is often dependent on only the most precise weather information. “When you’re doing this for the military, you can’t be wrong,” said Jay Southerland, CEO of international operations. One of Carlson’s first hires was Roco Calaci, a meteorologist who has worked with NASA and the White House and helped develop the technology for the NSC based on the military’s

skeletal computer system framework. “We bring in raw data such as satellite information, weather information, and weather stations reports, and using militarytrained weather forecasters, we look at the data and make smart predictions,” said Calaci. But why are public organizations not better at predicting the weather? The National Weather Service, for example, is not able to provide this level of accuracy because their charter does not allow for site-specific alerts. They also deal with budget constraints and simply do not have the manpower to track all severe weather events. In addition, many hailstorms, high winds and tornados fly under the radar, so to speak, and are too small to be picked up by their algorithms. “And a lot of weather organizations won’t issue a warning until they have some sort of visual confirmation,” said Carlson. “By then it’s too late. We save lives by more accurately predicting severe weather, instead of telling you a tornado has touched down after the fact.” The NSC technology, however, has no such constraints, and Southerland sees endless possibilities for the technology. “Right now, we’re going to be a mainly business-to-business company, but in the next six months we’re going to begin marketing to individual consumers and even release a mobile phone application,” said Southerland. “We’re also starting a pilot program in Australia soon to take this worldwide.” The NSC recently announced a partnership with SkyBell, a company of WiFi video doorbells that will come equipped with temperature, pressure and humidity monitors. This of course means increasing the number of national data points from a few thousand to a few million. “This partnership will provide more accurate weather to all,” said Desiree Mejia, CEO

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of SkyBell. They also launched a public-adjustor partnership, which will be a liaison between the homeowner, contractor and insurance carrier, a first-of-its-kind program. The public adjustor will go toe to toe with insurance carriers to maximize a claim for the homeowner. “The NSC brings a level of education, information and resources to a property owner after a storm, and it connects them to licensed and certified contractors so they’re not being taken advantage of by storm chasers or an insurance carrier who attempts to reduce the amount of their claim or deny it altogether,” said Leeds. Also part of the NSC’s plan for reinventing the meteorological game is coordinating with response teams to more quickly mobilize help and alert building material suppliers of what will be in demand when. So how much is this all going to cost? The NSC is a for-profit company, after all. They have a lot of costs to cover, including the recruitment of more than 70 meteorologists over the next six months, the construction of three prediction hubs throughout the nation, and the military program they had to purchase for presumably several million dollars. As the NSC is primarily business-to-business at the moment, Leeds said that the cost to 52| |Business BusinessClimate Climate| |nwflbusinessclimate.com nwflbusinessclimate.com 52

some consumers might be nothing at all. “Some insurance companies will buy from us and include that in their policy plans,” said Leeds. “Same with home security and home automation subscriptions.” For customers who do decide to shell out money for a traditional subscription, Carlson promised the fee would be nominal. “We haven’t worked out a specific pricing structure yet, but we’re thinking $2 or $3 a month,” said Carlson. “We don’t want this to be a thing just for the elite. We want everyone to be in the know and be able to protect his or her families. We’re also planning to give the service to school districts for free.” As one might expect, there are lots of differences in outcome between some of the NSC’s predictive models and the more traditional weather outlets. One weather system that was sampled showed heavy hail according to more traditional outlets, but absolutely zero hail in the NSC’s models. The NSC claims their models are far more accurate, but what happens with the five percent of time they are wrong? What if, for example, an insurance company has contracted with the NSC to give the service to their customers? Seeing the NSC report that there is no expected hail, the customers decide not to move their car under an

overhang. However, the NSC model ends up being wrong and the car is severely damaged. Who is liable? The NSC’s lawyer, Brad Hakala, said they have worked out liability arrangements with their customers and that they are fairly certain through beta testing that the organization will not be on the hook to pay. “We simply provide information; we don’t tell people what to do,” said Hakala. “We clearly outline our liability in our terms and are certain it shouldn’t be a problem. That’s one of the reasons the accuracy of this model is so exciting.” Carlson hopes to change the meteorological industry by recruiting the best and offering pinpoint accuracy for large and small systems alike. He promises more rollouts in the next few months that will further change predictive weather. “It is highly probable that we will save lives and be able to mitigate storm-related damage,” said Carlson. “By being highly accurate, we can stop the wolf-crying tendency of modern weather news organizations and deliver information that you can bet on.”


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Leading Florida Forward

Three members of Northwest Florida’s business community have been selected as members of the prestigious Leadership Florida class of 2016. We asked each of them about themselves and about issues facing our state. By Josh Newby & Dawn Gresko Photos by Guy Stevens 54 | Business Climate | nwflbusinessclimate.com


Meghan McCarthy’s office is as bright and cheery as her buoyant personality.

Meghan McCarthy Director of Community Health & Wellness, Baptist Hospital

What is it about living in Northwest Florida that has prepared you for this position? My husband is in the military and we lived in San Diego until we got orders to move to Pensacola three years ago. I met with Darlene Stone, vice president of human resources at Baptist, and she told me there was a new CEO named Mark Faulkner, who had some amazing goals for community, public, and population health management. I was able to hit the ground running with the support of Baptist, who gave me the building to start the Healthy Lives Wellness Center. Then my sister told me to join the Junior League and now, three years later, I’m the president. I’m also on the board for the Institute of Women in Politics. A lot of the individuals for Leadership Florida serve on different boards and committees, because the goal is to work together and form connections that help us go back to our communities and make great things happen in Florida. I always say San Diego was a great place to live because it’s one of those places where you are accidentally healthy. Since Escambia County is one of the least healthy counties in the state, my vision is that Pensacola will become the “San Diego” of the south.

What are you hoping to contribute to LeaF? What most leaders do is bring to the table their unique area of expertise. For me, I always try to be the voice at the table for health. People are our most valuable asset and we cannot have a strong economy without a strong, healthy workforce. When we get a copy machine it comes with a maintenance plan, but we don’t always do that with our own bodies. However, health care can be expensive and a lot of small businesses cannot afford to give employees the best care, and some workers make too much money to be covered by our federal safety net. My job at Healthy Lives is to minimize financial risk by increasing productivity for the individual and business without increasing cost, so health care works on a very practical level. The idea with Leadership Florida is while individual leaders like myself operate locally, we continue to think globally, too.

What is the biggest issue facing the state? Health care will continue to be a huge discussion across the board. The American Dream shouldn’t be stifled by health care. You can’t work hard to get great health insurance, because if you’re an entrepreneur and you start your own business by working hard you aren’t guaranteed good health insurance. Unfortunately, that’s not how our system works. As the system is now, you either work for a big company to get good insurance, or fall below the poverty line to be covered by a state health program. So, I firmly believe we need to make sure health care supports the American Dream.

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Grover Robinson in his office overlooking downtown Pensacola.

Grover Robinson Escambia Board of County Commissioners, District IV

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What are you hoping to contribute to LeaF? Being a private citizen but also having experience in the public sector gives me the ability to contribute. I want to also show the people we have in Northwest Florida. We have great leaders and I’m so excited to be sharing this with two other classmates in Northwest Florida. That, more than anything else, is important. We need to show the rest of Florida that we are an important part of the state.

What is the biggest issue facing the state? I think Florida’s challenges are like anybody else’s. It’s more fluid in Florida. That’s the one of the things we run into. We’re a huge state, the third-largest state, and one of the fastest growing. All those things add up to tremendous success. The problem is sustainability. How do you make all this work? The model for Florida prior to the Recession was different than it is now. We’ve had to change and think of ourselves differently. We’ve been trying to do that for a while. I think there are lots of good days ahead for Florida. It’s positive, it’s come into its own. Anytime you have success, you always challenges. We can’t let our success become our problems.

What is it about living in Northwest Florida that has prepared you for this position? That’s the interesting part about the group. It’s so different. You have public and private sector represented. You have to work together. All the regions of Florida are different. And I’ve always said, in order for Florida to work, all the regions have to work together. For Northwest Floridians it’s critical that we take time to understand the other regions. They’ve done a lot of things that we haven’t gotten to yet, so we can learn the good and the bad. I think we also have some things to teach the rest of the state. I’ve really enjoyed in my work getting to know people and seeing how we work together. I’m very excited.


Christina Doss Managing Director, Saltmarsh Financial Advisors, LLC

Christina Doss stands outside the beautiful and spacious Saltmarsh offices in East Hill, Pensacola

What is it about living in Northwest Florida that has prepared you for this position? My life here has not only been here in Pensacola but I have also boomeranged all over the place. The groundwork for me has been military. I am the daughter, spouse and mother of war veterans. I’ve spent my whole life, in one capacity or another, representing the military community. As a result, so much of my life has been dependent on growth and adaptation. You learn how to get along with people. Same with my career. It has been about adopting and changing. I’ve worked in the financial sector for over 22 years, through numerous economic expansions and contractions. I’ve had to work with boards of directors and clients, helping them to right-size their situations. It brings a unique perspective to my role with Leadership Florida.

What are you hoping to contribute to LeaF? Well, I have a passion for financial literacy. You could argue that financial literacy is the greatest socioeconomic equalizer that we have, yet it is noticeably lacking from our national and state curriculum. Instead, we rely on the private sector to provide that level of education. In the companies I’ve worked for, we’ve initiated “money matters” programs and other small business education programs for startup businesses. If we were to apply this on a larger scale and help people as well as businesses understand money and finances, the trickle down effect would be huge for helping our economy.

What is the biggest issue facing the state? I think education. When you look at how we rank, we’ve got room for improvement. On the plus side, we attract a very diverse work force. When you look at the zero tax base, low income taxes and a business friendly climate, we really attract a great workforce, including a very highly educated military workforce. The opportunity to leverage those individuals and integrate them into our education is a great one. They would bring a level of real-world experience and knowledge into our educational system that we otherwise wouldn’t have. Use what’s in our backyard to build our education system.

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Business Climate SPECIAL SECTION

Cleaning up

THE STUDENT MAID

ENTREPRENEUR BY JEFF WEEKS How young entrepreneur Kristen Hadeed turned the need for a quick buck into a regional company with over 400 employees.

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o, Kristen, tell me, how did a finance major with the goal of becoming an investment banker become the owner of a maid service? Well, I was a junior in college at the University of Florida and I didn’t have a job because my classes were really tough, but I went to the mall one day and fell in love with a pair of jeans that I absolutely could not afford. They were $99 plus tax and I asked my parents if I could pay for them on the emergency credit card they gave me for college, knowing they would say no, and of course they did. And the response was, “Get a job. If you want to buy jeans then you know you gotta get a job.” But the thought of going out and applying for one never crossed my mind and I think as a kid I was pretty entrepreneurial even though my parents didn’t own companies. So I just put an ad on Craigslist to clean one house to buy the jeans. But I don’t even like cleaning. To be honest, I don’t know how I even thought to do that; it was just an instinct. I thought, okay, I’ll clean one house it’ll probably be pretty easy, buy the jeans and that’ll be it. And I cleaned a house and bought the jeans, but the woman who hired me asked me to come back every week, and before I knew it I was cleaning three or four houses a day and things just grew from there. How large is the company now? During our peak seasons, we have over 500 employees, two locations—Gainesville and Pensacola—and we hope to expand to college towns all over the country. What type of people do you hire? What are the requirements to work for Student Maid? Well, we only hire students and they can be from high school, college, or they can be in a professional school. It doesn’t really matter to us what they’re studying as long as they are a student, and we ask that they meet a 3.5 GPA requirement. The reason for this is because with a 3.5 they are likely to be dependable, responsible and show up on time. And clients feel good about giving their money to a hard working student. But we do have students who have lower than a 3.5 GPA and we hire them because they fit our culture and some of them have really hard majors and really hard classes.

What is your culture? How would you describe your culture? Our culture is very different than most cleaning companies. I would describe it as when you walk into our office there is music playing; it’s very bright and colorful and we always have snacks. Those are things that this age group really cares about. We have a PlayStation and we have Netflix on the TV. On a deeper level, it’s one where we really are a family. We care about one another, we really are leaders, we try to create meaningful relationships with each employee and there aren’t any barriers. It’s a very comfortable, very open culture. And I like to describe it as a Google for the cleaning industry. It feels very much like that. What is the key to being successful either as an employer or actually trying to attract a customer? What’s the secret to working with millennials? I think there are a lot of secrets. I think that number one it’s important that you build a culture that allows for failure. A lot of times millennials seem to be paralyzed in their jobs, they are afraid to make a decision because they haven’t really failed before, because they’ve been protected by their parents and you know they’ve been living in a safety bubble. We try to create a culture that really encourages them to just make a decision even if it’s the wrong one as long as it’s in line with our values; they don’t ever have to worry about losing their job. So when they feel really safe in a culture, they make decisions, they have ownership and that’s how you really get them to release their potential. When it comes to customers, this age group really needs to identify with the brand. Whether it’s a service or a product they need to feel like they’re making a difference by buying this product or service, and that it’s a brand they believe in. If you

don’t treat your employees well, millennials aren’t buying your product. If you know a millennial cares about giving back and they know that your company doesn’t really give back, they’re probably not paying for your service or product. So the best part is when they believe in your brand, they become the best brand ambassadors for you because they tell all of their friends to buy from you. Same as employees, if millennials are happy at work they will tell all of their friends. We don’t actually have any recruiting strategy, it’s just our employees telling their friends they should work at Student Maid and that’s how we find employees. Tell me about your speaking career. Well, I started speaking on campus at the University of Florida when my entrepreneurship professor from college asked me to speak for his class. The first time I spoke I just talked about how I started my company. Then I realized, no, I need to tell a different story, I need to share all the times I failed. I need to create a talk that is so brutally honest and transparent and that’s what I did. When I gave that I realized the impact it was making. These young people saw themselves in me. She makes mistakes and so do I and if she can learn from them and grow from them then so can I. So I think that made me realize you have a job to do here and you can make a really big impact. So I started speaking on college campuses all over the country but then once I got really involved in that world there was a need in the corporate world for somebody who could really bridge the gap between other generations and the millennial generation because in a few years they will be half of our work force. And so I split my time between corporate, which is bridging the gap and helping one understand the other, and college, which is really just boosting

“It’s hard to sit back and watch others make decisions.

But that to me is true leadership. It’s believing in people, empowering people, and sitting back and watching them accomplish things without you.

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Business Climate SPECIAL SECTION them do these things and making them uncomfortable. Once they start growing and learning and realizing that you’re actually making them better. And then they start really respecting and loving you as a leader.

confidence and empowering young people. How do you define leadership? I think leadership is the hardest thing for anyone to learn because you can always be a better leader. I’ve realized that the best leaders sit on the sidelines; they’re never in the game. They’re always cheering their people on. It’s hard, especially when you own a company and you’ve put everything into this company. It’s hard to sit back and watch others make decisions. But that to me is true leadership. It’s believing in people, empowering people, and sitting back and watching them accomplish things without you. What do you think employees want in a leader? For this millennial age group they really want a leader who pushes them to be a better person and forces them outside of their comfort zone. At first they don’t like that. They’re upset and uncomfortable and they don’t think you’re a good leader because you’re making

In your view, what are the keys to a successful life and career? I think balance is really important and that’s how I define success. It’s not just the number of clients that I have or the number of employees that I have, it’s also on the personal end how close am I to my friends and family? What are my relationships like outside of work? I focus on those just as much as I do the ones with my employees and clients. And I only feel successful when I’m doing well in both areas. How is the millennial generation different from previous generations? We define success differently. We don’t care so much about the corner office or the large salary. Of course we want to be paid for the work we’re doing but we would probably take a lower salary if it meant that we had time off and a flexible scheduling so we could have more time to balance our life. Who are some of your business heroes? Well, I love the company Zappos because when I was in college I read the book Delivering Happiness and I had just started Student Maid. It was in that book that I learned all about creating core values in a company and what it meant to really hold people accountable to values and that was a turning point in my company. We initiated a value system and things

grew tremendously after that. What are your long-term goals? Well, I really love the speaking right now and I think the next few years I really have a great opportunity to make a difference, not just in the college world, but in the corporate world by helping these organizations understand their new workforce and customers. But I really want to grow the Student Maid brand to other college towns and not because we want more clients, but because we want to touch lives. We believe our culture really impacts the lives of the students who walk through our doors and that they leave better because they worked with Student Maid . What advice do you have for parents of high school students and early college students? The best thing you can do is pop the bubble and let us fall down. Let us fall down by ourselves and don’t stand there with your hand helping us up because if you do that we won’t ever learn and we also won’t become confident. The only way you become self-confident is when you go through things by yourself. I think creating more realistic expectations for what actually happens after school and encouraging your children to just take an opportunity that will cause learning.

About the Author Jeff Weeks is a First Vice PresidentInvestment Officer with Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC in Pensacola, Florida. He is also the host of “Conversations with Jeff Weeks” on WSRE-TV PBS.

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A Q&A with Rudy Ruettiger

You got to think positive and deal with it in a positive way instead of dwelling on it or blaming people. I don’t know if you want to call that motivational; I call it teaching a skill set.

Josh Newby speaks with the famous football player and inspiration for the movie Rudy about the foundations in his life and his upcoming talk in September.

What do you think it is about your story that captured the national attention? The adversity we all go through. When things don’t go your way, you have to have faith in the foundation you have. Whether they’re going through a marital or personal or financial problem, they’re identifying with that struggle. They look at a guy like me who just didn’t give up and kept moving forward. So that connects them to that idea that you can be anybody. Maybe they’ve given up on that, but this reignites that flame.

Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, the inspiration for the 1993 movie about an underdog Notre Dame football player, is coming to the Hilton Sandestin Resort on Sept. 24 to speak at the second annual Boys and Girls Club Steak & Stake Dinner. Rudy has been an inspiration speaker for years, imparting a message of courage and optimism even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. He sat down with Northwest Florida Business Climate in anticipation of the event to talk faith, family and football.

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Tell me about your motivational speaking. We’re all motivational. Anytime you inspire people or tell stories to allow people to face adversity even though they make mistakes, you’re helping them along. You’re like a coach. You coach them along to get through their tough times or make better decisions. You help their working relationships and their personal lives, too. I’m a coach. I’ve always been a coach. Maybe my story helps a lot of people because we all have challenges and adversity that we need to face head on with accountability and responsibility. When I speak, that’s how it all comes together. I’ve been through a lot of things and I can address those things in a positive way.

Was that gumption a product of your upbringing, the people you surrounded yourself with, or was it something more internal? Remember I mentioned the word foundation. My parents taught me that only some people can have this and only some people can have that. That’s there they were wrong, and they settled for the mediocrity of life. Well, what’s stopping me? “Well, Rudy, you’re not smart enough or big enough.” Okay, and that’s all true. Maybe they’re right, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do that. So I stepped out of the box, and that’s what people see. People telling me that I couldn’t do something put a chip on my shoulder. What role did luck play in that? I think luck has a lot to do with it. But I was lucky because I was in the right spot, because I prepared. You bet I got lucky. I’m lucky I’m not hanging around people who bring you down. I remove myself from that negative


Business Climate SPECIAL SECTION energy. That’s luck. But that’s also patience and understanding and defining your purpose. A man makes his own luck. But relationships are very important, and that was a foundational thing my parents did teach me. Character and teamwork and leadership are just as important as luck. What do you find best motivates people to overcome challenges? A mindset. You have to have a mindset that is positive and let that dominate the negative. Move forward in a positive way. Reset your mind. Otherwise, you’re just going to have a pity party. Do your family members find that insistent positivity annoying? Oh yeah. I’m always motivating my son, and he’ll tell me I’m annoying. I get it. They’re too young to realize the value in it. Tell me more about teamwork, because I know that was crucial to your famous Notre Dame game. I don’t agree with the top guy getting a trophy. Give everybody a trophy, because the top guy wouldn’t be there without his team. The only reason he got there was because of me, because I

helped him get there, and I didn’t get anything. I went to practice and helped him be great. That’s where it’s out of whack. How about if I give one trophy out, I give one to everybody who helped him become what he is? Participation and teamwork are good and should be recognized. It’s important for that kid to have that recognition. So I know your son plays football. Is it an interesting dynamic between you and the coach and the fans when you’re at the games? You know, it’s interesting, when you’re a dad, it’s a whole different dynamic. You’re just one of the dads. I mean, they know who you are because of that, not because of the movie or anything. I’m not active on the team; just a father. You’re speaking at a Boys and Girls Club function this month. Are there any other non-profits that are close to your heart? I speak to a lot of children’s foundations. Whether it’s for cancer, abuse, or anything that is a disadvantage for children. A lot of kids go to Boys and Girls Club for leadership and skills that they don’t get at home. I like the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts too. I go wherever.

Did your passion for helping kids start when you had your own? I think before that. But when you have your own, you can really figure out what you need to do. You understand the sacrifice. Do you find it’s best to lead them or let them lead themselves? I let them be themselves. Whatever they do, we let them. We guide and embrace them, of course. We help them with their decisions. But they have to do what fulfills them. It’s their decision,; not our decision. What can people expect from your discussion down here? If they need a purpose, they’ll get a purpose. They’ll find out that there are different ways of looking at life in a positive way.

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around the region

IMS ExpertServices honored by Inc. Magazine for ninth straight year For the ninth year in a row, IMS ExpertServices has been named one of America’s 5,000 fastestgrowing private companies. IMS ExpertServices is listed as number 3,772 on the 2015 list. Since it was founded in 1992, IMS ExpertServices has experienced continued growth, which President Bill Wein attributes to the company’s dedication to providing quality service.

University of West Florida to offer 100% online MBAs and graduate nursing degrees The University of West Florida is expanding its offerings of 100-percent online graduate degree programs with the addition of an advanced nursing degree with two specializations, and an MBA program with four areas of emphasis to choose from. UWF has contracted with Academic Partnerships to provide broadbased services in support of the university’s new online degree programs. The Department of NursingUWF will offer: • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with an emphasis in Nursing Leadership and Management • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with an emphasis in Nursing Education The next application deadline for online MSN classes is Sept. 14, 2015, with classes starting on Oct. 14, 2015. The UWF College of Business will offer: • A general Master of Business Administration (MBA) • MBA with an emphasis in Accounting • MBA with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship • MBA with an emphasis in Supply Chain Logistics Management The first application deadline for online MBA programs is Sept. 14, 2015, with classes starting on Oct. 14, 2015.

FSBDC at UWF presents “Steps to Starting a Business” The FL Small Business Development Center at the University of West Florida is presenting “Steps to Starting a Business” on Tuesday, Sept. 15th, from 9:00 a.m. - Noon. Take the first step in starting your small business! Attendees will learn the essentials for getting started in business including: idea evaluation, legal business structures, regulations & licensing, taxation, finding capital and more. Location: Greater Pensacola Chamber, 117 W. Garden St. Attendance fee is $35 for the public and free for students and employees of the University of West Florida who present a Nautilus card. To register: 850-474-2528 or visit our website at www.sbdc.uwf. edu and click on “Training Opportunities.”

PSC awarded $2.69 million in grants for student support services from DOE Pensacola State College has been awarded two highly competitive U.S. Department of Education TRiO Student Support Services grants totaling $2.69 million over five years. TRiO Student Support Services is a federally funded program to assist students who are first generation in college, low income, or have a documented disability. Student veterans are a new focus for the TRiO program, and PSC has been awarded one of the first of only 14 Veterans Student Support Services grants that were awarded nationally, and the only one awarded in Florida. The grant will be funded at $220,000/year. The five-year project totals $1,100,000 and will serve 120 eligible student veterans each year. The second grant provides $318,545/year for the college’s re-funded Regular Student Support Services project to serve 225 students each year. The five-year project totals $1,592,725.

ARC of Baldwin County gets a helping hand from Pen Air FCU and its staff Pen Air Federal Credit Union presented the Association for Retarded Citizens (ARC) of Baldwin County, Alabama with a check for $4,000 from funds raised through Pen Air FCU employee Jeans for Generosity fund raising days and other fund raising efforts. A check for $4,000 was presented by Pen Air staff to the ARC Director, Kathy Fleet. Fleet commented, “On behalf of the ARC of Baldwin County, I am overwhelmed with the generosity from Pen Air Federal Credit Union, and I can’t thank them enough. This is definitely the kind of helping hand that will help us achieve our mission.”

Ever’man rewarded with local and national awards Ever’man Cooperative Grocery and Cafe is pleased to announce that the remodel of their downtown store, located at 315 West Garden St., has been recognized with prestigious local and national awards. In January, Ever’man General Manager William Rolfs proudly accepted the local Commercial Real Estate Development Association’s distinguished “Rehab/Re-purpose Development of the Year” award. This local award was followed by national recognition. nwflbusinessclimate.com | Business Climate | 65


PRESENTING SPONSOR:

Friday, October 16 Sponsored in part by

Grand Southern Tasting 6pm–9pm Hilton Pensacola Beach

Honorary Event Chairs: Will and Jane Merrill

Savor an ocean of signature dishes and fine wines featuring the area’s top chefs and special guests.

Sunday, October 25 Sponsored in part by

Celebrity Chef John Besh! Meet and Greet & Book Signing 1pm–2:30pm So Gourmet Featuring Besh Big Easy, the revered PBS chef’s highly anticipated cookbook showcasing his hometown cuisine in simple recipes.

For ticket information and event details, visit wsre.org/wineandfood or call (850) 484-1054 to learn more.

All proceeds benefit the mission of WSRE, PBS for the Gulf Coast.

Thank You Sponsors!

Clark Partington Hart Larry Bond & Stackhouse Attorneys at Law Hilton Pensacola Beach Jewelers Trade Shop Levin Rinke Resort Realty The Studer Group Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC Dlux Printing & Publishing, Inc. Pensacola Magazine 66 | Business Climate | nwflbusinessclimate.com 5124-0815 WSRE WINEFOOD PM_BC Sept FP.indd 1

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Northwest Florida's Business Climate September 2015  
Northwest Florida's Business Climate September 2015