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BRACE for Emergency

A Global Warming Solution

Around the Region




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for Emergency H

urricane season may only stretch from June to November, but for BRACE (Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies), it is hurricane, flood, fire, and disaster season year round. The behind-the-scenes heroes who mobilize at a moment’s notice to prepare for and recover from catastrophe, BRACE works with community organizations and volunteers to be ready and vigilant for whatever may happen.

BRACE is the successor to a long-term recovery committee that was formed after Hurricane Ivan in 2004. When Dennis hit the following year, the non-profit worked with 38 organizations to support 800 families, including 144 families who needed permanent housing resettlement. BRACE works throughout the year to keep companies, parents and children aware of what they need to be properly prepared. BRACE is funded in a variety of ways, including state and federal grants, and by working under contract for local governments to dispense much

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needed services and workshops. For example, they contract for Escambia County on the Citizen Corps program, which encourages individuals to embrace the personal responsibility of being prepared; get training in first aid and emergency skills; and to volunteer to support local emergency responders, disaster relief and community safety. Citizen Corps involves the CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) program, which educates people on basic disaster response skills like search and rescue. It also involves Fire Corps (assisting local fire departments),

Volunteers comprise 70% of emergency response teams, saving governments over $100 billion annually and responding to more than 33 million victims. There are more than 2,600 registered CERT programs in the nation.


Neighborhood Watches, Medical Reserve Corps (to supplement public health initiatives), and VIPS (Volunteers in Public Service, which enhances the capacity of state and local law enforcement). There is a version of the 21-hour curriculum available to teens who wish to get involved too. “We deliver that curriculum with the help of the sheriff’s office and law enforcement and fire departments,” said Greg Strader, executive director of BRACE. “We have a team of willing volunteers ready to step up and supplement official activities in the wake of an emergency. Over a thousand individuals in the area serve as members of Citizen Corps.” Following the 2014 flood, BRACE coordinated with over 500 partners that put in more than 92,000 hours of work, which translates to a $2.1 million impact. They mopped out 592 homes and did some major construction, including reconstruction on 113 homes, thanks to over $700,000 in funding. BRACE makes such a tangible impact in the community that city councilpeople have given to the organization from their $10,000 discretionary funds. The county also realizes all the BRACE does, and provides an array of services that the county would otherwise have to take the lead on. “It’s hard to measure prevention,” said Buzz Ritchie, vice chair of the BRACE board. “You often don’t see the results and the value until after disaster strikes. We react to floods, tornadoes, fires, and even terrorism—so much more than hurricanes.” After a disaster, individuals and communities will come forward who want to help, but they are unsure how. Often, these untrained individuals

will do more harm than good as they attempt repairs, medical care and more. BRACE ensures that neighborhoods have people who are trained and know what needs to be done. Instead of looking around for something to do, they can supplement activities and help respond more quickly than emergency services may be able to. “We do off-the-radar, behind-the-scenes kind of work, but you’d definitely notice if we weren’t there,” said Strader. BRACE has a chair at the Escambia County Emergency Operations Center, a huge hub that serves as a concerted effort by the county’s health, law enforcement, utilities, and recovery organizations to work through the storm and recover afterward. “When we understand the scope of what has happened, we deploy our volunteers and work with our organizations, be they churches or even regular businesses,” said Strader. “Our community is truly extraordinary,” added Ritchie. “We learned from Hurricane Ivan that an organization had to be in place to take the lessons learned and apply them by engaging the community and helping with mitigation efforts. We do a lot of outreach. We work a lot with the community, many of whom have reached out to us. Because of our partners, we are able to do so much.” On the BRACE board sit experts from various fields and industries in the Pensacola area. With this expertise, BRACE is able to harness different perspectives and make sure all their bases are covered. This is also a method of community outreach, ensuring represented businesses have a plan in place and employees and their families understand the importance of always being on alert.

As if that were not enough, BRACE also provides disaster response childcare for first responders. For example, in the days and hours before, during and after Hurricane Ivan, firemen and policemen were faced with the difficult choice of responding to those who needed help or staying home and comforting their loved ones. BRACE stepped in and identified childcare needs of 185 families and worked to find a survivable facility for sheltering in partnership with the school district. They also work with businesses, many of whom may never reopen after a storm, to provide a best practices tool to enhance disaster readiness. They provide free training where CERT trainers will come to your organization, business, school or church and provide guidance. Homebound individuals are those who may have disabilities, need help evacuating, do not speak English as their first language, or have other impairments that may make it especially difficult during a disaster. During Ivan, there were 57,000 homebound and disabled persons who were underserved. In response, BRACE assembled a committee with 44 current participants dedicated to helping these people, in addition to 37 partner organizations that currently serve them. They also established a HIPPA-compliant database that identifies the location of these individuals so that exact plans could be developed for next time. Believe it or not BRACE even helps with non-disaster related needs. In times of unexpected desolation or discontinuation of vital services, the non-profit will step in. Heritage Oaks, a mobile home and RV park, is one such example. After the former owner deserted the community, leaving residents without water, sanitation or garbage services, Escambia County Public Safety asked for BRACE’s help. BRACE LLC took over and now operates the facilities, providing affordable workforce housing to individuals and families in the west side of town. “Our alliances really are the best part of who we are,” said Ritchie. “We are in constant communication with partners. There are people who live here who have never been through a hurricane, so we need to reach out to them and educate them.” Storms are unexpected and disaster always seems to strike at the most inconvenient times, but BRACE is dedicated to working 24/7 behind the scenes to ensure that the unexpected is not the end of the story. By working with community partners and volunteers, Escambia County is always well-prepared for the next storm or disruption to our way of life. If you are interested in volunteering, contact certvista@ bereadyalliance.org.

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The SUN Trail is essentially a network of state-wide, paved multi-use trails for bicyclists and pedestrians that is physically separated from vehicular traffic. “Florida is proud to be an outdoors state, and our many incredible bicycle, pedestrian and multi-use trails are great activities for Floridians and visitors to enjoy,” Gov. Rick Scott said. “I am proud to join FDOT in celebrating this investment as we work to provide more safe recreational opportunities for families across our state.” The goal of SUN Trail is not only to provide safer routes for bicyclists and pedestrians to travel, but to increase connectedness across Florida communities as well as promote tourism. The SUN Trail has its own program, which serves as a funding source to implement this network of paved trails, as a component of the Florida Greenways and Trails System (FGTS). The FGTS plan is the responsibility of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Greenways and Trails (OGT). The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and OGT worked closely to develop the program and define eligibility for SUN Trail funding. “This initial SUN Trail funding will provide safer opportunities for bicyclists and pedestrians,” FDOT Secretary Jim Boxold said. “As well as advance the completion of the state trail system and enhance the state’s partnership with local communities throughout Florida.” The FDOT has a central office in Tallahassee, Fla., and the department is split into seven districts. District 3 is responsible for the entire Florida Panhandle, encompassing 16 counties from Escambia to Jefferson and every one in between.


Outdoors HISTORICAL TIMELINE OF THE FLORIDA GREENWAYS AND TRAILS SYSTEM 1994 - The Legislature authorizes the transfer and rename of the Office of Greenway Management to the Office of Greenways and Trails (OGT). 1995 - The Florida Greenways and Trails Council is created to advise DEP on trailrelated issues and provide leadership. 1998 - The first Florida Greenways and Trails System Plan, “Connecting Florida’s Communities,” is adopted by the Council. 2008 - OGT, on behalf of the State of Florida, receives the first-ever Best Trails State in America award by American Trails. 2011 - OGT is merged into the Division of Recreation and Parks. OGT continues to provide leadership and coordination to establish and expand the Florida Greenways and Trails System. 2013 - OGT outlines a new vision for the Florida Greenways and Trails System (FGTS) in the first update to the FGTS Plan since 1998. 2014 - The Florida Greenways and Trails Foundation launches a statewide “Close the Gaps” campaign to promote a regionally connected trail system, culminating with initial legislative funding to complete the 250-mile Coastto-Coast Connector. 2015 – The Florida Legislature creates the Shared-Use Nonmotorized (SUN) Trail Network as a component of the FGTS. FDOT receives $25 million a year to construct paved multi-use trails in the system and works closely with OGT in identifying qualified regional trails. 2016 – The Florida Greenways and Trails Council prioritizes regional SUNTrail funding. After the Coastto-Coast Connector, they choose the 260-mile St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop as the next priority regional trail to receive funding.

Throughout District 3, the SUN Trail primarily follows US 98. The FDOT reached out to all adjacent counties along the corridor of the SUN Trail, including those along US 98, and as a result Escambia County responded by applying for a trail through the FDOT’s application process, which includes the Florida-Alabama Transportation Planning Association (TPO). Escambia County’s application was deemed a top priority by the Florida-Alabama TPO, an advisory group consisting of elected officials from around the Florida-Alabama area. The group meets to prioritize what they perceive as transportation needs in their areas. After the Florida-Alabama TPO issues their list of priority projects, the FDOT then looks at the list and determines which ones can be put into a five-year work program. In short, when the Florida-Alabama TPO sets a project as a priority, the FDOT takes the information and looks into finding funding sources to implement those projects through the five-year work program. The Perdido Key Multiuse Trail is one of the projects that made it to priority status. Currently, the trail is in the preliminary engineering (PE) phase. Essentially, all this means is that the trail is still in the process of review, acquiring permits, and surveying, which will eventually lead to design. At this time, a design for the trail has yet to be rendered since a design firm has not been contracted. While we do not know much about how the Perdido Key Multiuse Trail will look in completion, we do know that the trail will be a 10-foot, five-directional multiuse asphalt path with some



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sections of boardwalk added as needed (because of environmental obstacles like wetlands). We also know the trail is neither part of the 260-mile St. John’s Loop nor part of the Coast to Coast Connector linking the Gulf and Atlantic coasts through Central Florida, but is in fact one of 23 projects that will build individual trail segments throughout the rest of the state. Moreover, the Perdido Key Multiuse Trail is one of four individual trail segments on the Florida Panhandle. The trail will be located on Perdido Key Drive and State Road 292 from Gongora Drive to the Alabama state line. The multi-use trail will be constructed on the north side of the road and will possess strategically-placed sidewalk connections on the south side of the road. Based on the location, the FDOT is not anticipating any right-of-way, so the next phase would be construction as funds come available. Right now, construction has yet to be funded. But, if we were to estimate the combined costs of design and construction, the Perdido Key Multiuse Trail is expected to take nearly $12 million to complete. Although, as a final design draft comes in and more surveying is done, costs can potentially increase or decrease. Already, a little under $1.2 million has been allocated to the Perdido Key Multiuse Trail; this funding will be dedicated to the trail’s design costs for the 2016-2017 fiscal year. “Funding from the SUN Trail program is not a one-time deal,” said Olen Pettis, Trails Coordinator for District 3 of the FDOT. “Every year, about $25 million is awarded state wide. This means, if awarded again, SUN Trail funding can cover the construction costs of the Perdido Key Multiuse Trail, as well, once design goes underway.” In 2015, the Florida Legislature approved Section 339.81, which granted a $25 million annual allocation to the FDOT to fund the state-wide network of paved asphalt, boardwalk, or other hard surface trails—i.e., to fund priority projects under the SUN Trail. Prior to that, in the 2014 Trail Legislation, the FDOT was directed to give funding priority to certain trail projects. According to Section

335.065(4), the FDOT would give priority to projects that: (a) are identified as a priority by the Florida Greenways and Trails Council (pursuant to Chapter 260 of Florida Statues), (b) support the transportation needs of bicyclists and pedestrians, (c) have national, statewide or regional importance, and/or (d) facilitate an interconnected system of trails by completing gaps between existing trails. Furthermore, once funded projects are completed, they are to be operated and maintained by an entity other than FDOT; the FDOT is not obligated to provide additional funding for operation and maintenance fees. Also, according to the 2015 Trail Legislation found in Sections 320.072 and 339.81, the FDOT may allocate state funding for the SUN Trail network corridor planning, pursuit of additional right-of-way, design, new construction or reconstruction of trail surface and bridges, as well as maintenance.

However, this excludes sidewalks, loop trails all within a single park or natural area, water trails, the Florida National Scenic Trail, and on-road facilities like bicycle lanes or routes. There is an exception when it comes to some on-road facilities that are no greater than half a mile in length and that connect two or more non-motorized trails, as well as some exceptions to the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail. Before a trail system can achieve priority status, it is expected to meet some of the following criteria: (a) possess publicly vetted documentation supporting the regional trail system, (b) encompass multiple counties within the FGTS priority system, (c) serve as a destination and serve destinations, (d) support economic development and tourism, (e) serve as an off-highway facility enhancing safety for non-motorized uses (with the exception for some on-road facilities no greater than half a mile and connecting two or more non-motorized trails),

(f ) demonstrate prior and future public/private investment or commitment, (g) possess committed operations and maintenance entities, (h) connect and facilitate use of multimodal transportation opportunities, as well as (i) capable of being completed or programmed within five years. “Gov. Scott, the Florida Legislature, and leadership of FDOT all recognize the significance of these trails,” said Ian Satter, Public Information Director for District 3 of the FDOT. “Florida is a state in which we’re outdoors 12 months a year. The more avenues we have for transportation and the more ways for people to get out there and enjoy our state makes it a more attractive place for people to live.”


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s the City of Pensacola begins to embark on a climate change task force, our region is faced with some tough decisions about our future, even as many still reject the science surrounding the dangers of greenhouse gases and carbon emissions. Fortunately, there are organizations, such as the Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL), that work hard to find free-market approaches to combat both climate change and its effects. Business Climate spoke with CCL Conservative Director Peter Bryn about reaching out to the deniers, advocating for a Carbon Fee and Dividend Policy, and saving our world from this highly politicized issue. How do you marry climate change science with your conservative politics? I’ve always accepted the science on climate. Politically I’m independent but I’m a strong believer in markets and a properly functioning marketplace. I actually don’t see that at all in conflict with the fact that when you have an

externality, you have to account for it. I think there’s a strong place for the free enterprise system to solve this problem. We’re seeing that with energy efficiency and electric cars and stuff like that, some of which has been spurred by incentives and mandates and some of it has been spurred by consumer interest.

by Josh Newby

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You focus heavily on the Gulf Coast area. How does climate change affect those areas specifically? Sure. There’s two ways to answer that. There are actually climate impacts, whether it’s more hot days or increased


storm activities. In just about every city, I ask people what they’ve seen. A lot of people will say drought. The impacts of course vary, and it’s really important to focus on the local. When we go talk to people, I ask people, “What is the iconic image of climate change?” And of course the answer is a polar bear. Well there’s not many polar bears in these parts. If you’re trying to reach people on climate change, polar bears isn’t going to do it. You have to talk about the flood last month or localize it in some way as much as possible. The second way I would answer that question is in terms of policy. What do you do about climate change? If we put a price on carbon, the opportunity for the Southeast is big. I’ve been real impressed with the amount of industry moving to the South. There are a lot of high-tech jobs in industries that are well-positioned to benefit from a clear price signal on carbon. I think this state has a lot of expertise in how to reduce or eliminate emissions from fossil fuels. This part of the country is a lot better positioned to benefit from this transition.

I think this state has a lot of expertise in how to reduce or eliminate emissions from fossil fuels. This part of the country is a lot better positioned to benefit from this transition.”

You have a strong focus on local participation. Is that more successful that top-down federal mandates? In a sense, we’re doing both. Our focus is local and our goal is to build the political will locally for a national policy. We start local working with chambers of commerce, mayors, business leaders in the community, etc. to get their support. That’s our goal. Then they start to share that support with their member of Congress, pushing them to the point where they think it’s politically palatable to support this. Then we have this consistent policy that allows everyone to work together to reduce carbon emissions. Once that happens, let’s go back local again and the solutions become local, whether it’s insulating homes or installing solar or whatever. Our goal is to get active chats with every Congressional district in the county in order to get local support for this national initiative.

How do you get buy-in on this issue in these conservative states? It’s a multi-prong approach. We try to get meetings with city and faith leaders. These are people whose support we’re going to need a lot of, but for whom by and large climate is not on the radar. So we preach to the unconverted by and large. But we also talk to the converted to start chapters and continue the dialogue with these people and hopefully eventually earn their support. nwflbusinessclimate.com | Business Climate | 57

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1: Place a steady rising fee on fossil fuels. 2: Give 100 percent of the fees (minus administration) back to households each month. 3: Use a border adjustment to stop business relocation.

It’s a process. You have to identify your supporters and you have to have respectful dialogue with those who disagree. We ask people, “How can your community participate in this?” I think that makes it less scary for them. Put it in terms of local weather. Take the party politics out of it. And if you are in a conservative place, say you want a market-based solution that is good for the economy and the environment long-term. Climate change is going to cost a lot if we do nothing but create a lot of jobs if we do something.

Tell me about the Carbon Fee and Dividend policy. So believe it or not, Exxon-Mobil, environmentalists, Al Gore and George Schultz all agree on the same carbon policy. It enjoys broad support from many in the environmental community as well as the business community. It’s a three-legged stool. First, put a price on carbon. It’s basically a carbon tax for oil, coal, etc. Put a fee on it. We do it upstream not to be punitive on fossil fuel producers, but just because administratively that’s the simplest way to do it. You start it low and escalate it slowly and predictably over time. That puts a clear price signal into the market place that emitting carbon and greenhouse gases is

going to get more expensive, so regardless of who you are, you have a clear picture of the future. So people know they either have to fuel switch or do it more efficiently. Second, we say don’t actually make it a tax. Make it revenue-neutral. What we mean by that is don’t let the government keep it. Take all that money and give it back to citizens on an equitable basis. Everyone from Bill Gates to you gets the same check. That offsets two of the major problems of the carbon tax, one of them being that it’s a tax, the other being that it tends to be very regressive, because it hits low- and middleincome people harder. You’re actually putting additional dollars into households. Third, a border adjustment. If you’re trading with a country without a similar policy, you apply a tariff or a rebate as it goes over the border. That levels the playing field because if you’re in the US making airplanes, your cost just went up and you don’t want to be at a disadvantage to your international competitors. That prevents jobs and emissions from leaking overseas and encourages other countries to jump on board so they don’t have to pay that tariff.

And that’s the main focus of CCL right now? That’s fair to say. Our two goals as an organization are a livable world and to

empower volunteers. Empowering people is really core to what we try to do. But you’re right: we’re pretty laser-focused on that policy because we believe it is the first best step to solve this problem. If we found a better approach tomorrow, we would switch. It’s not core to what we do, but it is the focus.

And did you pioneer this initiative? This is our flavor of it. There are others who talk about this kind of approach. Others might call it a revenue-neutral carbon tax. There are some DC think tanks—conservative and liberal alike—who really like it. They’ve all played a role in crafting our version of the policy. Some other countries have adopted something similar, so it works. Canada just adopted one, for example. If you give money back, things become a lot more important to people.

Why would big oil companies be interested in this type of policy? It seems like they’re usually the bad guys according to environmental groups. Exxon in particular has gotten more vocal and proactive on this, as opposed to reactive, which is what they were before. Among the big oil names, there’s generally been pretty aligned policy proposals, even nwflbusinessclimate.com | Business Climate | 59

Environment starting with cap-and-trade. First and foremost, despite whatever history may have existed, these companies know this is an issue. As a good steward, they know something has to be done. And they know something is coming, so they’d prefer something transparent and predictable as opposed to huge government regulation or a band-aid approach where one state has one rule and another has a different one. To be honest, companies have been preparing for this for a while. Fifteen years ago, these companies would’ve been considered oil companies,

but now they’re oil and gas companies. They figured out how to apply their core competencies and their existing infrastructure and apply it to gas in a lot of areas and still make a lot of money. So they see a huge opportunity to displace coal with gas. They’ve prepared their business for this transition, and now they need a price on carbon to help make that transition happen faster.

and we break our activities into five categories: development, lobbying, media outreach, and finally endorsements. That’s where the community leaders get involved. Every community is different and has different influencers. That’s the power of having these local groups who know their community.

Tell me more about CCL. We’re organized by local chapter. Each chapter meets on a monthly basis typically

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Around the Region

Sacred Heart, UF launch kidney transplant program Sacred Heart Health System and University of Florida Health have collaborated to launch a new kidney transplant program to benefit the thousands of individuals across the Southeast currently awaiting a life-saving transplant. “This is truly an extension of our mission to provide life-saving care to those who desperately need it,” said Susan Davis, president CEO of Sacred Heart Health System. “We are honored to collaborate with UF Health to provide the only kidney transplant program in northwest Florida, which will increase access to care for patients with end-stage renal disease.” Throughout the southeastern United States the average time on a wait list for patients needing a kidney transplant is 73 months, according to the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients. Previously, northwest Florida residents had to travel to Gainesville, Birmingham or New Orleans in order to undergo kidney transplant, including the required pre-surgery and follow-up care. Sacred Heart Health System is a member of Ascension, the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system. Sacred Heart Health System and University of Florida Health are collaborating through the University of Florida College of Medicine’s division of abdominal transplant surgery in the department of surgery, which has performed kidney transplant operations since 1966. The new kidney transplant program is led by University of Florida kidney transplant surgeon Dr. Rick Brian Stevens and Renalus’ transplant nephrologist Dr. Douglas Scott Keith, who have a combined experience in kidney transplant of more than 40 years.

New account executive at Combined Insurance Reid Torgersen has joined Combined Insurance Services as an Account Executive. He recently graduated from Florida State University with a double major in Finance and Marketing. His previous employment includes internships with Baptist Health Care and Morgan Stanley. Reid specializes in handling individual health policies and employer group education.

IMPACT 100 announces winners IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area, a local women’s philanthropy group, extends special congratulations to this year’s grant recipients. Each of the following organizations was awarded $108,200 today after a thorough grant review, committee process and membership vote: ARTS & CULTURE The Santa Rosa County Creek Indian Tribe, Inc. Project: Native American Cultural Center

The Greater Pensacola Junior Golf Association, Inc. dba The First Tee of Northwest Florida Project: Golf and Life Skills Training Facility

St. John’s Cemetery Historical and Educational Foundation, Inc. Project: The OUTDOOR MUSEUM at St. John’s Historic Cemetery

FAMILY MANNA Food Bank, Inc. dba Manna Food Pantries/MANNA Project: Fighting Hunger – Better, Faster, Stronger!

EDUCATION The Arc Gateway, Inc. Project: Jeff’s Corner Garden at The Arc Gateway Milk and Honey Outreach Ministries, Inc. Project: Building Precious GEMS ENVIRONMENT, RECREATION & PRESERVATION Northwest Florida Marine Education and Discovery of Gulf Ecosystems, Inc. (EDGE) Project: Coastal Conservation Corp

Studer Community Institute, Inc. Project: IMPACT Brain Bags HEALTH & WELLNESS PACE Center for Girls, Inc. Project: Go Reach Escambia Search and Rescue, Inc. Project: Sea, Air and Land Capabilities Improvement Initiative

“At the end of today, $8.318 million has been awarded to nonprofits in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties since 2004 in the form of significant grants that make a lasting impact,” said Cyndi Warren, President of IMPACT 100. IMPACT 100 hopes to keep the momentum going into next year by increasing membership to more women in our 14th year of working with nonprofits in the community. To become a member of IMPACT 100 or review wish lists from finalists and grant applicants, please visit impact100pensacola. org.

Junior Achievement of Northwest Florida announces Hall of Fame laureates Junior Achievement of Northwest Florida announced today its annual award recipients for distinguished service to its mission. The annual individual Hall of Fame Laureates for 2016 are Brian and Crystal Spencer and Sue Straughn. This year’s Laureates were selected on criteria including support of Junior Achievement’s mission of inspiring young people to succeed in a global economy, volunteering in the classroom, assistance with fundraising for the organization, dedication to improving the community, and distinguished community leadership that directly impacts children. The 2016 Business Leadership Hall of Fame awards include: Large Business of the Year: Regions Small Business of the Year: Cat Country 98.7 & NewsRadio 1620 Professional Firm of the Year: Bullock Tice Associates, Inc. Non-Governmental Organization of the Year: Northeast Pensacola Sertoma Volunteers of the Year: Keena Landrum, Monika Milleson, and Cindy Snow Hall of Fame Laureates are chosen each year by a special committee which consists of members from the Junior Achievement Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers. Past Junior Achievement Laureates also provide input for consideration by the selection committee.

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Around the Region

H. Britt Landrum, Jr. recognized for PEO industry leadership efforts The National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) has honored H. Britt Landrum, Jr., CEO of Landrum Human Resources, with the 2016 Michaeline A. Doyle Award for his leadership and outstanding contributions to the PEO Industry. The award is given annually to an individual who has provided exemplary leadership and service, who has a reputation of fair and ethical dealings, who demonstrates a willingness to help others, who is active in his or her community, who devotes time and energy to improving industry efforts on a local or national basis. Britt Landrum, Jr., began his business as a small job placement agency. Now in its 46th year, the company has grown from two internal staff members to more than 160 human resources professionals. With locations in Florida, South Carolina and North Carolina, and serving 44 states, the company provides comprehensive staffing services, human resources training and consulting, as well as PEO services. The company is a past recipient of the Florida Governor’s Sterling Award recognizing organizational excellence and for five years in a row was named by the national Society for Human Resource Management as one of the Top Twenty-Five Best Small Businesses to Work for in America.

PSC makes list of Top 100 Associate Degree Producers in nation Out of more than 5,500 colleges, Pensacola State College is on the list of Top 100 Associate Degree Producers, according to Community College Week magazine. This is the eighth straight year Pensacola State has received this national recognition. Two-year and four-year institutions, both public and private, that award associate degrees were examined for the Top 100 list. The ranking is based on data collected by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics in the 2014-2015 academic year.

UWF College of Health adds synthetic cadavers to state-of-the-art lab Students in the University of West Florida College of Health now have the opportunity to gain an indepth understanding of the human body through the use of synthetic cadavers. The cadavers are part of the newly developed Applied Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory, housed within the Department of Exercise Science and Community Health. The state-of-the-art lab was developed to impact students in all programs under the College of Health as they study individual and overlapping aspects of human health. Exercise science and athletic training students are able to use the SynDaver Anatomy Models to gain a spatial understanding of musculoskeletal interactions and neural and vascular systems while nursing students are afforded a more in-depth experience for intramuscular injections and intravenous line placements. Students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program are also utilizing the SynDavers for hands-on practice in helping patients through specific muscle movement exercises. Students from the public health, health sciences, medical laboratory sciences and psychology programs will also access them for discipline-specific, hands-on experiences. The SynDaver is an education-grade synthetic human cadaver, complete with all bones, joints, muscles, organs and tendons in normal human anatomy and made from materials that mimic the mechanical, thermal and physicochemical properties of live tissue. Major nervous system and vascular components are also included. The synthetic cadaver is an ideal alternative to human cadavers, allowing students in the College of Health to become familiar with the look and feel of a live human body without specialized facilities, risk of exposure to biohazards or compromising a live patient. UWF purchased three cadavers, costing $60,000 each, through the UWF Systemic Technology grant, which is funded by student technology fees.

Pensacola International Airport, Uber reach airport agreement The Pensacola International Airport reached an agreement with Uber that will allow the company to pick up arriving passengers at a designated Transportation Network Company (TNC) zone at the airport. This long-term partnership will provide a service that visitors and residents have been requesting at the airport. It also comes on the heels of a similar agreement reached with Destin-Ft. Walton Beach Airport last month. Official pick-ups will begin immediately. Passengers can meet their Uber car and driver curbside at the designated TNC pick-up zone by simply following signage. Riders will be charged $2.50 per pick-up in addition to the cost of the ride.

nwflbusinessclimate.com | Business Climate | 65

Profile for Ballinger Publishing

Northwest Florida's Business Climate November 2016  

Northwest Florida's Business Climate November 2016  

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