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SPECIAL SECTION September 2018


48. Pensacola’s next mayor

The race to become Pensacola’s next mayor is down to two. We asked the candidates to answer some of the most pressing questions the next mayor will face.


61. Patti Marine Shipyard awarded nearly $450k grant The shipyard plans to use grant to buy equipment, create new jobs and increase productivity.

64. Andrews Institute Awarded $1 Million Grant to Study Regenerative Medicine

The Andrews Institute is on the forefront of regenerative medicine research thanks to a grant from the state. Business Climate



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Patti Marine Shipyard awarded nearly $450K grant by Kaitlyn Peacock


ne of Pensacola’s proudest and most iconic companies Patti Marine Enterprises was recently award a $449,231 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MarAd). This grant was given as part of $20 million given to support small shipyards throughout the United States. Patti Marine was one of 29 awarded the grant. During a press conference in August, President of Patti Marine Enterprises Frank Patti Jr., Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward and other community leaders gathered to announce the news. The grant is expected to lead to more maritime economic opportunities and eventually will help to expand operations at the Port of Pensacola. “Small businesses are what make America great,” Hayward said. “The ship building business contributes to 400,000 jobs in America and $37 billion to the GDP. And we’re doing it right here, in America’s first settlement.” To be eligible for the grant, the shipyard had to have less than 1,200 production employees and had to file for grant based on their needs. The grant was awarded to help pay for a plasma cutting machine and an iron worker. Previously, the shipyard has applied for other grants and has been turned down. “It’s a very competitive grant process, so for them to be selected and chosen also goes back into the federal government’s comfort level that

“One of the things that we as a community must be very supportive of is diversifying our economy.” they are investing into a good company, and a good operation with expansion potential,” CEO of FloridaWest Economic Development alliance Scott Luth said. FloridaWest worked with the shipyard to send support letters and reach out to congressional representatives to promote their request for the grant. Luth said that supporting the shipyard helps to encourage economic growth in different sectors of Pensacola. “One of the things that we as a community must be very supportive of is diversifying our economy,” he said. “And so when we look at the different industry sectors that we have, our historic maritime presence in the community is obviously something we want to continue to see invested in. That’s what’s going to continue to make us a more healthy economy.”

While the grant money will go toward the new equipment for the shipyard, it will also lead to increased productivity and jobs. With the winter season typically busy for the shipyard, the grant comes at a good time, and Patti is hoping it will lead to an even busier season. “This is about production,” he said. “This is so we can be more competitive. This is so we can bring more jobs to the area.” Currently, the shipyard can build and repair 10,000-ton vessels, but Patti is hopeful that the money will allow them to expand their facility to build even larger ships, and to work on them at an increased pace.

Business Climate


Pensacola’s Next Mayor: by Will Isern


he race to become Pensacola’s next mayor is down to two. Pensacola City Councilman Brian Spencer and Escambia County Commissioner Grover Robinson will head to a November runoff after neither candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote in the Aug, 28 primary. Robinson finished with 34 percent of the vote while Spencer garnered 20 percent. David Mayo finished in third with 17 percent. Political newcomers Drew Buchanan, Lawrence Powell and Jonathan Garrett Green split the remainder of the vote. Spencer is an architect and has represented Distrct 6 on the Pensacola City Council since 2010. Robinson is a real estate broker and has represented District 4 on the Escambia

County Commission since 2006. Both have stressed public safety, economic development and increased neighborhood involvement in the city’s decision-making process as initiatives they would pursue as mayor. Whichever of them wins will become just the second strong mayor in Pensacola’s history and will be charged with maintaining the momentum the city has seen under Ashton Hayward. Northwest Florida’s Business Climate Magazine asked the candidates to answer four questions that we feel are among the most pressing for Pensacola’s next mayor. Their answers and biographical information are presented as submitted by the candidates.

Brian Spencer

Brian Spencer has served as the District 6, Pensacola City Councilman since January 2011 and was elected president of the City Council in 2016. He has the background, knowledge and experience to lead Pensacola forward, building upon the successes Pensacola has achieved over the past eight years. Brian has the depth of experience, vision and leadership skills to build a better Pensacola for all citizens. Brian attended Duke University where he received his undergraduate degree, Magna Cum Laude. Upon graduation, Brian attended Tulane University where he received his master’s degree in Architecture. While at Tulane, Brian was recognized with the coveted John William Lawrence Memorial Medal for Design Excellence. Following graduation, Brian returned to Pensacola to begin his architecture career. While serving on the city council for the past eight years, Brian also served, or continues to serve, on the Tourist Development Council, Florida-Alabama Transportation and Planning Organization, Community Redevelopment Agency, Eastside Redevelopment Board, Community Maritime Park Board of Trustees and Downtown Improvement Board, each of which have sharpened his knowledge of important issues facing our city.

62 Business Climate

What is your vision for the city’s waterfront, including the Port of Pensacola? Pensacola’s waterfront is a valuable, citizenowned asset that contributes to the uniqueness of our historic bayfront city. My vision for our waterfront is one that can be enjoyed and accessed by all residents and visitors. It should provide diverse amenities while protecting our shoreline habitat. Connecting our waterfront to Pensacola’s inland neighborhoods with safe bike and pedestrian routes is essential. Most importantly, it should be a waterfront that attracts people with programming and funding for family-friendly activities. The Port of Pensacola should be transitioned from accommodating heavy industry users to a mix of employment sectors that are compatible with its neighboring historic assets and our downtown renaissance. I envision optimizing the 52-acre waterfront peninsula with the introduction of education based marine-underwater and research centers and private sector marine sciences and technology businesses. Such uses will attract employers and entrepreneurs that generate a variety of quality jobs. The Center for Dynamic Ocean Technologies, as proposed by the City of Pensacola and Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, is a prime example of this compatible use. The transformation of the port property will end the cycle of an underperforming city enterprise that deprives Pensacolians of needed economic resources and will increase access to our unique waterfront. What is your plan to foster the ongoing development of downtown? Few civic projects transform a city like a vibrant downtown. As mayor, I will take action to provide a safe, clean, parking-friendly, mixed-use destination downtown with an emphasis on investing in the highest quality infrastructure. I will foster higher density housing solutions within the core of downtown to ensure that business owners and employees

are supported by nearby residents and visitors during weekdays, evenings and weekends. I will work with City Council regarding infill and redevelopment incentives to ensure the delivery of a wide range of affordable housing options. I will leverage my background and experience to incorporate simple, inexpensive traffic calming features that invite cyclists and pedestrians and create walkable links from nearby neighborhoods throughout the city. What, if anything, should city hall do to balance redevelopment and preservation efforts in historic neighborhoods? Pensacola is comprised of unique and diverse districts and neighborhoods. Preservation of these historic neighborhoods has proven to have a positive economic and environmental impact on our community. We need to develop a streamlined design approval process for these historic neighborhoods. Input from the residents and property owners, the stakeholders of these neighborhoods, must be included in the process of defining this balance. As mayor, I will bring my education in architecture, historic preservation and redevelopment experience to support smartgrowth and city planning principles that value authenticity while promoting adaptive reuse of historic buildings. What steps can be taken to make city government more open and accountable to the public? It is important for the mayor to have a respectful, collaborative relationship with City Council as well as members of the public. As mayor, I will meet regularly with individual council members and participate in City Council meetings. I will work with City Council to schedule District Town Hall meetings, which I will attend. I will ensure citizens receive timely communications from me and will adopt a plan that includes traditional media, social media, electronic newsletters and website updates.


Spencer robinson grover robinson heavily impacted by the BP oil spill to pass the RESTORE Act and bring over $300 million to Northwest Florida and nearly $100 million to Escambia County. He obtained $2 million for Pensacola and Perdido Bay estuary restoration as Chair of the Bay Area Resource Council. He’s forged connections and represented our areas interest in many state and regional organizations. He has served as Florida Association of Counties President, Florida Gulf Consortium Chair and regional Transportation Planning Organization Chair.

Grover C. Robinson, IV, is a seventhgeneration Pensacolian and has served as the County Commissioner from District 4 since 2006. Commissioner Robinson graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in 1988 and received a bachelor of science degree in Economics (Summa cum Laude) from Birmingham-Southern College in 1992. Commissioner Robinson and his wife Jill have two children, Grover V, 21, and Anna Lowrey, 17. He and his family are active parishioners at Christ Episcopal Church. Grover brings integrity, passion and determination to local government. As an Escambia County Commissioner, he worked for greater efficiency and better management. Grover fought for the largest tax rate reduction in Escambia County history. The county budget is less than one percent higher than when he was first elected Commissioner. County residents today enjoy lower taxes and improved services. He found funds for the Roger Scott Tennis Center expansion, bollards for downtown events, holiday lights and other investments that directly affect the quality of life throughout Pensacola. He worked with 4H and the other commissioners to bring home 10,000 jobs at Navy Federal. He helped with financing that led to 400 new jobs at VT-MAE. He also helped IHMC finance a new building that will keep and grow world-class jobs in Pensacola. Grover worked with the other coastal counties

What is your vision for the city’s waterfront, including the Port of Pensacola? When I think of the city’s waterfront, it includes not just downtown and Pensacola Bay but also Escambia Bay, Bayou Texar and Bayou Chico. Regardless of the waterfront, we need to promote and protect public access and water quality. Specifically downtown, we would like to see a public boardwalk style park along Bayfront with access over to CMP and Bruce Beach. Bruce Beach’s shoreline should be a beach park with paddlecraft launch and a historic display that highlights its importance within our African American community. As for the port, it should continue to operate its deep water berths for job creation, but we should focus it in a way that complements our downtown use. This means we should focus on sectors such as marine research that the county has supported with IHMC, as well as maintenance and repair operations for ships. What is your plan to foster the ongoing development of downtown? First, we need to ensure that people can easily access downtown, which means we need to continue to work on parking solutions. Second, when people are there, they need to feel safe so we will need to continue to support our police and make sure they are properly staffed and trained. Then we need to continue to encourage mixed use development that includes both residential with office and commercial. The more of this product we encourage, a symbiotic relationship

will develop between the residential and commercial uses to expand downtown. Two required changes in policy are needed. First we need a better protection for those historic settings and structures that can be saved; second a better form-based code that includes development standards. What, if anything, should city hall do to balance redevelopment and preservation efforts in historic neighborhoods? There is no doubt that if we do not preserve our local history and character we will simply become “anywhere” and lose our identity. We want to grow our community and Northwest Florida, but we want to do it in a way that retains who we are. We can do that with preservation ordinances and development standards that focus on the individual communities that make up Pensacola. Let’s face it, a one size fits all – even at the municipal level – will not work as our own neighborhoods are so varied. Here, we can and will need to be flexible with implementation within different neighborhoods of our community. However, this will require work and engaging those neighborhoods. What steps can be taken to make city government more open and accountable to the public? The city has to engage more with its public. From the beginning, our campaign has been about engaging neighborhoods and moving the city from being cloistered in city hall out to the citizens. We believe engaging in weekly press conferences, monthly town halls that rotate districts, weekly meetings with city council members, individual citizen led district plans and work days where the mayor participates in serving citizens that we can build a much more citizen integrated community. Look, delivering public records and operating social media is a minimum compliant with the law. To truly be transparent and accountable, we need a mayor who will openly engage with the public and encourages their participation. Business Climate


Andrews Institute Awarded $1 Million Grant to Study Regenerative Medicine by Will Isern he Andrews Research & Education Foundation at Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine recently received a one million dollar grant from the state of Florida to support regenerative medicine research endeavors. The state appropriation was approved in May and became available at the start of the fiscal year that began July 1.


The funding will support hiring personnel and purchasing equipment for the Andrews Institute Regenerative Medicine Center, a facility built in 2016 to pioneer regenerative medicine treatments. The grant will fund new and ongoing regenerative medicine research studies. Regenerative medicine at Andrews Institute refers to the utilization of biology-based treatments aimed at the repair and healing of injured tissues. Currently, this is limited to treatments using tissues from the patients themselves, including blood-based and bone-marrow based treatments as well as stem cells mobilized to the patients blood stream. Regenerative medicine of this kind has potential applications for aiding osteoarthritis, cartilage repair, healing optimization after surgery and more. “An analogy that works pretty well is to think about a golf bag,” Orthopaedic Surgeon and Sports Medicine Specialist Dr. Adam Anz said. “There’s going to be different things in that golf bag and some of those are going to be cell technologies – and there are many cells in our body that have stem capabilities – so stem cells are

64 Business Climate

one of the fields that we’re studying intently. Others are blood products that we can create from your blood that have the potential for helping us adapt to life’s changes. Sometimes that’s regenerating tissue, sometimes that’s just helping us adapt to change.” While industry support for research studies is critical, Anz said, the independent funding from the state of Florida will provide Andrews Institute physicians with flexibility to pursue research questions that may not have been supported otherwise. “I think that this space is very foggy and needs some beacons of light and some light houses – and that’s our goal,” Anz said. “Our goal is to shed some light in this space and to help us all know what works and what doesn’t work, and what has evidence and is proven, and what still has yet to be proven. That’s important because I think sometimes we get a little ahead of

our skis and we need to make sure everything is proven and has clear efficacy data.” Anz said there are several hundred organizations in the nation claiming to be stem cell centers, many of them in Florida, offering untested and sometimes unsafe stem cell treatments. In May, the FDA moved to shut down a Florida company that allegedly blinded three elderly women by giving them an unproven stem cell treatment. “I think the state sees the fog that exists with entities making claims in this space and the lack of real evidence behind those claims,” Anz said. “There are many places in the state that are doing that. If you think about entities that are saying we’re a stem cell clinic, I think there are 400 or some odd places in the United States that are claiming they’re stem cell clinics, but when your really nail them to the ground and say what evidence do you have behind this technology that you’re selling, you don’t get a lot of real

concrete evidence. So that’s the deficiency that exists and there’s a good number of these clinics that exist in the state of Florida. I think state has realized that that’s a problem.” The Andrews Institute scientists will publish the results of their studies in sports medicine journals, thus contributing to the body of sports medicine knowledge. Anz said part of the reason why there is a lack of evidence-based treatments around regenerative medicine is because of a lack of funding. “Pharma isn’t real interested in helping, the implant companies aren’t real interested in helping and orthopaedic surgeons normally don’t have the vehicle to do anything, so I think we’re kind of in a perfect situation in terms of having a facility and foundation whose charge is to do exactly that,” he said. “The reason the foundations exists is to carry the torch of sports medicine and advance it.”

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A.A. Cunningham Road paving notice ... Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast (NavFac SE) has awarded a con-

tract to mill and overlay A.A. Cunningham Road on NAS Pensacola. The work is scheduled to begin the week of Sept. 12 and expected to take four weeks to complete. Watch for “Road Closed” and “Detour” signs. Detour routes to facilities in the area will be Page Road to Warehouse Road and Farrar Road to Pat Bellinger Road. Drivers should observe the warning signs and proceed with caution around the work zones. The work schedule is weather dependent. For questions or more information, contact the PWD Construction Manager Bryan Moeller at 452-3131, ext. 3077.

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September 2, 2016

Fallen Special Tactics Airman honored at NASP By Capt. Katrina Cheesman Sibley’s unit. “This dedication 24th Special Operations Wing and memorial ruck is an important step for us as a brotherhood Air Force Special Tactics Air- to honor Forrest’s legacy of men dedicated a military freefall valor, and get a small bit of clotraining exercise into Pensacola sure.” Bay Aug. 26 to His teammates Staff Sgt. Forrest escorted the famSibley, a combat ily to Sibley’s controller from burial site, wearPensacola killed ing combat ruck in action Aug. 26, sacks weighing 2015, in Helmand more than 50 Pr o v i n c e , pounds to repreAfghanistan. It sent the deployed. was the first anOnce at the niversary of Sibcemetery, they ley’s death. completed a After free round of memoStaff Sgt. falling into the rial push-ups to Forrest Sibley waters of Sibley’s honor their fallen hometown, his teammates teammate. joined family members and Sibley, 31, had served in the friends to complete a memorial Air Force as a combat controller ruck march to his final resting since 2008. In his seven years of place at Barrancas National service, he received four Bronze Cemetery (BNC). Star Medals, once with valor for “When we lost Forrest, most heroism in combat, as well as a of his teammates were still de- Purple Heart for injuries susployed for another five months, tained in combat. and couldn’t attend any funeral “Forrest was one of our best or memorial event,” said Lt. Col. combat controllers, but he was Stewart Parker, commander of 21st Special Tactics Squadron, See Sibley on page 2

After parachuting into Pensacola Bay, members of the Air Force’s 21st Special Tactics Squadron make a memorial “ruck march,” a hike with full packs, from NAS Pensacola’s Bayou Grande Marina to Barrancas National Cemetery and the grave of teammate Staff Sgt. Forrest Sibley. Sibley was killed in action Aug. 26, 2015. He had served in the Air Force as a combat controller since For more photos, see page A4 2008. Photo by Mike O’Connor

CNATT: Make Labor Day weekend safety a priority Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Public Affairs

The Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training (CNATT) safety manager is reminding service members, civilian employees and their families to maintain safety awareness as they prepare for what is generally viewed as the end of summer. CNATTSafety Manager Krystal Hancock said that Labor Day, a federal holi-

day designed to honor the achievements of American workers, includes an extended weekend, with service members and their families often electing to travel to see family and friends. “Whether taking a long road trip or simply jumping in the car to run a quick errand, driving is inherently risky, and traffic mishaps continue to

be a leading reason for lost time, days, and lives across our force,” she said. Hancock said the National Safety Council (NSC) predicts this could be the deadliest Labor Day weekend for drivers in eight years, estimating that more than 430 people could be killed in traffic accidents throughout the Labor Day weekend. She added that service members, often sepa-

rated from their families and travelling significant distances to visit during the long weekend, should take some simple precautions before and during their trips. “Get enough rest before heading outsleepy driving is as dangerous as impaired driving,” she said. “Alternate drivers or take frequent breaks to ensure that whoever is behind the wheel stays alert.” See Labor Day on page 2

‘Be There’ for your shipmates during Suicide Prevention Month 2016 By James Rosenfelder U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery public affairs

NAS Pensacola to host 9/11 commemoration ceremony ... In commemoration of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, Naval Air Station Pensacola will present a ceremony at the National Naval Aviation Museum aboard the base at 10 a.m. Sept. 9. The event will include a guest speaker and a musical rendition from the NATTC Choir, a traditional “two-bell” ceremony, honors performed by the NASP Honor Guard and a 21-gun volley. The public is invited to attend.

Navy Medicine recognizes September as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, which began Sept. 1. The theme for Suicide Prevention Month 2016 is “Be There.” Throughout the month, Navy Medicine will highlight the power of peer support and personal wellness, encouraging Sailors and Marines to be there for their shipmates. “Action starts with prevention,” said Vice Adm. Forrest Faison, Navy surgeon general and chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BuMed). “When a Sailor needs assistance, easy access to support resources and mental health treatment is essential, as is validation of help-seeking behaviors.” Suicide prevention is a yearlong effort. Suicide Prevention Month serves as a reminder that building resilience and preventing suicide requires all

members of the Navy and Marine Corps community to work together. Every life lost to suicide is one too many. “Take action if you notice anything

out of the ordinary for a shipmate; reach out to them,” Faison said. “If you are having difficulties, seek help if See Prevention on page 2

FatAlbertis getting a facelift...Fat Albert, the Blue Angels’ C-130 cargo plane used for transporting crew and equipment to air shows around the country, is currently undergoing a chemical de-paint process at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma after corrosion was found. Once the de-paint process and sheetmetal checks for any other corrosion are complete, Fat Albert will fly to Hill Air Force Base, Utah, for full programmed depot maintenance and paint. Photo by Kelly White

Published by BallingerPublishing, a private firm in no way connected with the Department of the Navy. Opinions contained herein are not official expressions of the Department of the Navy nor do the advertisements constitute Department of the Navy, NAS Pensacola or Ballinger Publishing’s endorsement of products or services advertised.



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