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Home +Garden march 2017 • PENSACOLAMAGAZINE.COM

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Editor’s Note my two cents on the subject

Kelly Oden Executive Editor Springtime in the South brings a spectacular display of blooms, not the least of which are the gorgeous and varying waxy blooms of the camellia. Pinks, whites, reds, variegated and in every shape and size—the sheer variety of camellias alone makes it (along with the azalea) a true gem of southern living. While putting this issue together, we realized that the camellia plays a prominent role in many of our stories, so why not give this Rose of the Orient its proper due and honor it with this month’s cover? After all, it has inspired far more talented people than us. Alexandre Dumas, Harper Lee, and Honore de Balzac have all written about the lovely bloom. We hope you enjoy reading about the UWF Camellia Garden, The Pensacola Camellia Society and the camellias of Wally Dashiell in this issue. One of the great things about living in a town with such a rich history is that new stories about our past continue to be discovered rather frequently. We all know about De Luna’s discovery and Galvez’s role in the Revolutionary War. We know that Andrew Jackson, Jim Morrison and even Ted Bundy, if only briefly, once called this town home. When Kenny Holt and Mark McLeod purchased their 1939 North Hill home, they were thrilled to learn that legendary baseball player and team owner, Wally Dashiell, had built the home. Their research led them to

discover Wally’s remarkable contributions to baseball and the Pensacola community. I hope you enjoy our photo spread of their lovely home and the accompanying history lesson about a great ball player, business man and humanitarian who chose to make Pensacola his home. All of this, plus a story on the Pensacola Little Theatre’s epic annual fundraising event, Cabaret. It’s the party of the year for many of us at Ballinger and we urge you to attend as well. They go all out with décor, costumes, games, food and beverages—and it supports a great cause! We also offer some advice on simple ways to go green at home—from planting shade trees to proper recycling techniques, these tips are quick, easy and affordable. Don’t forget to check out our story on Ciclovia, the upcoming open streets event where the community is encouraged to bike, walk and skate through our lovely town. Enjoy some exercise, some fresh air and some community all at once—what could be better? Happy Spring!

THE CAMELLIA by Honore de Balzac

In Nature's poem flowers have each their word The rose of love and beauty sings alone; The violet's soul exhales in tenderest tone; The lily's one pure simple note heard. The cold Camellia only, stiff and white, Rose without perfume, lily without grace, When chilling winter shows his icy face, Blooms for a world that vainly seeks delight. Yet, in a theatre, or ball-room light, I gladly see Camellias shining bright Above some stately woman's raven hair, Whose noble form fufils the heart's desire, Like Grecian marbles warmed by Phidian fire.

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contents Home+Garden march 2017

32 Page 10 with 10 deedee davis pensacola scene 12 ciclovĂ?a: takin' it 17 to the streets smell the japanese roses 21 going green in the home 24


color me cabaret 26 mind, body and soil 29 if walls could talk 32 play • live • give 41

Cover photo by trish hartmann 8 | pensacola magazine




March 2017 Owners

Malcolm & Glenys Ballinger


Malcolm Ballinger

Executive Editor

Kelly Oden

Art Director

Guy Stevens

Graphic Designer/Ad Coordinator Anna Hitchcock


Hana Frenette

Assistant Editor

Tanner Yea

Editorial Intern

Haley Waver

Sales & Marketing Paula Rode, Account Executive ext. 28 Geneva Strange, Account Executive ext. 21

314 N. Spring St. | Pensacola, FL 32501 850.433.1166 | fax: 850.435.9174 Published by Ballinger Publishing:


Proud member of the

NW Florida’s Business Climate Magazine and Pensacola Magazine is locally owned and operated. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction or use of the contents herein is prohibited without written permission from the publisher. Comments and opinions expressed in this magazine represent the personal views of the individuals to whom they are attributed and/or the person identified as the author of the article, and they are not necessarily those of the publisher. This magazine accepts no responsibility for these opinions. The publisher reserves the right to edit all manuscripts. All advertising information is the responsibility of the individual advertiser. Appearance in this magazine does not necessarily reflect endorsement of any products or services by Ballinger Publishing. Š 2017

pensacola magazine | 9

Page10 with DeeDee Davis

Warmer weather brings on the craving for the inevitable spring-cleaning, which means a whole lot more than rearranging a closet. Spring is the season of all things fresh—a new start, new opportunities, and a new chance to be better in every way. The temperatures may still be chilly, but it is the perfect time to make your plan for your own personal overhaul. I like to categorize the process, with my home and yard topping the list as the most obvious targets of improvement. But my office, my car, and certainly my body all need appropriate attention as well. Since the body requires more time for noticeable gains, unlike color coding your skirts or alphabetizing your spices, I suggest this is where you start with your plan. Weight loss is only a part of healthy living, and it sometimes takes far more than a calendar year to achieve much needed progress in this department. Three years ago I was diagnosed with osteopenia, considered by many medical experts to be the precursor to osteoporosis. Diminishing bone density is no laughing matter, and the treatment is still quite controversial. Many physicians are quick to prescribe something like Boniva for patients with this condition and I was no exception. It has its risks and who really wants to take medicine unless it is the only option? I tried it for a few months and decided to go another route.

process and has involved strong language (from me), commitment, and a trainer who stays on top of new information and customizes workouts to meet the needs of his clients. There are plenty of days when it is pure agony to get out of bed early and haul my sorry self into that torture chamber. And he is always so cheerful even when I snarl at him or try to make up reasons to avoid a particularly grueling exercise. I don’t necessarily love getting ready for work in a locker room, and excessively sweaty bodies without deodorant gross me out, but I went back for a new scan recently and part of the bone mass loss has actually been reversed. That being the case, I will gladly tolerate shower shoes and smelly men, as we all know women don’t sweat. It’s not easy, but you will get results without prescription drugs.

Physicians are the pros, but no one knows your body better than you. I read up on alternative treatment because trust me, I will do anything to avoid brittle bones in old age. I work out regularly but based on research, weight training, in addition to cardiovascular exercise, is critical to good health and especially to strong bones. So, enter Lorenzo, my gym trainer. It has been a

Maybe you have something challenging you other than weak bones. Whatever it is, write down a road map of what you plan to do about it. I find it helpful after working on something as major as health or a new haircut to move on to something readily attainable. The second part of my plan is to show the love to my car. I like to wash my own car but I rarely do things like polish the inside,

Sean Twitty + Teri Levin 10 | pensacola magazine

Logan + Ginger Devries

vacuum the trunk or spit shine the tires. In the month of March I am going to spend an entire Saturday morning doing all of the above as well as clean the floor mats and reorganize the console and glove box that holds no gloves. Oh yes. I will be riding in style. At least until it rains. Part two will be easy to accomplish but the satisfaction is great. So on to part three—my home. Everyone has a project begging to happen. New carpet? Clean out the pantry or the attic? Label all of the boxes of Christmas decorations so you aren’t fumbling for the right pieces next holiday season? Write down the tasks and put a timeline on them. When I refold everything in every drawer I feel as if it is a new house. No one else can see the results but I can. It’s visibly rewarding and the organization cuts time from planning as you dress for any occasion. Part four is my favorite part. I love getting into the dirt and planting new stuff. I am a regular at Lowe’s on Saturday mornings almost year round. But come spring, when the colors hit the tables and shelves, I am a complete sucker for all of it. I have made enough mistakes over the years that I

Robby Boothe + Lauren Hayward

Donnie McMahon + Virginia Buchanon

can finally be a little more discerning about what will actually survive a summer here. It is one of the joys of my life to plant and maintain a garden of flowers, herbs and vegetables. They never talk back or whine or complain about fake news and when they thrive, all the world is good and beautiful. A big part of my universe is work, so the office must have the proper feng shui. Files should be purged annually. I have been told it is not necessary to have colorful folders with matching paper clips, but I wouldn’t have it any other way—though this year I will store more files electronically. I know what you are thinking at this point—she has more problems than weak bones. Someone without big problems right now is Bentina Terry, superstar from Gulf Power who is moving on to bigger and better in Atlanta. Pensacola said an official “thank you and best wishes” recently at 5eleven on Palafox Street as Gulf Power CEO Stan Connally hosted a reception in her honor. Bentina and her husband, Antonio, have been involved in every facet of this community during their time here and the couple will be greatly missed. Jan Miller; Dr. Martha Saunders; County Commissioners Lumon May and Grover Robinson; Ed Ranelli; Capt. Keith Hoskins; and Mike Rehwinkel were in attendance. And what is February without Mardi Gras? NAI Halford held their annual Mardi Gras reception downtown where 200 people stopped by for Cajun food and jazz by Ed and Rosie Butler and the Dixieland Dandies. Guests included Jim and Shirley Cronley; Steve Gracik and Charlene Sanders; Ken Ellzey and Mona Amodeo; Stephen Simpson and Tina Tortomase; NAI CEO John Griffing; Matt Durney; Bo Carter; Todd Snyder; Bo Johnson; and County Commission Lumon May.

March Birthdays 23 Hurst Butts 23 Teri Levin 25 Benjamin Nettles 26 Will Bazemore 29 Fred Levin


Alley Kat + Dee J Taylor

Robin + Jacque Ollsen

Bridget Roberts + Mike Doubek

Hana Frenette + Richard Humphreys

Weddings 2017 Cover contest reveal party

@ The Fish House Deck

Josh Newby + Jeff Nall

Weddings 2017 Cover Contest Winner Manisha Agrawal

Mallorie + Wayne McCutchen

Malcolm Ballinger, Kelly Oden + Glenys Ballinger

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Independence for the blind vip party

Greg and Theresa Baggett and Gayle Crume

Stacy Keller Williams, Gerard Kirsch and Dana Roth

Mardi gras party at the home of corbeTt + deedee davis

Buzz Ritchie + Libby Dugas

Matt Durney, Eric Milstead + Todd Snyder

opera reception to honor don partington at the home of dottie + david galloway

Shelly Blas + Fred Levin

Jerri Peacck, Pam + Jim Homyak

Dottie Galloway + Lois Benson

Don Partington

Mona Amodeo, DeeDee Davis + Martha Saunders

Chandra McKern, Kristen Wisniewski, Andrew Stotz + Joshua Horsch pensacola magazine | 13

pensacolascene Pensacon 2017

downtown pensacola

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Takin' it to the Streets written by Tanner Yea

Among the hills and valleys of Colombia's capital city of Bogotá, people bike, skateboard, rollerskate, and walk car-less streets every Sunday in an event called Ciclovía. Meaning 'cycleway' in Spanish, Ciclovía is an event that started in 1974 in Bogotá to allow people to enjoy activities, exercise and more in the wide city streets, without vehicles. On March 25, the Ciclovía tradition continues in downtown Pensacola with Ciclovia Open Streets—an event designed to open the streets to foot traffic and get people moving. Pensacola joins a long list of worldwide cities who have held the event, including Los Angeles, Brussels, Miami and Delhi.

From 9 am to 2 pm, Main Street will close to traffic from Gulf Power to Maritime Park, and Palafox Street will close from the pier to Garden Street. Instead of cars, these streets will contain open foot traffic, food trucks, activity tents, urban 'parklet' greenspaces, Zumba classes and more. This will all be in an effort to build a stronger, more active community within Pensacola. Sally Rosendahl is the Volunteer Founder of the event, and said she originally got the idea from attending a Ciclovía event in Panama City, Panama. “It has grown now into a worldwide event almost exclusively through grassroots movements,” said Rosendahl. “Someone goes to one and comes back, saying 'we need to have one in our city'—which is

what actually happened to me.” The event is being sponsored by local and state organizations, including Humana Healthcare, Visit Pensacola, the Department of Health, LiveWell Northwest Florida, UWF, the UWF Historic Trust, Pensacola Parks and Recreation, and the West Florida Regional Planning Council. Local business such as CycleSports and Waterboyz are also supporting the event, offering repair services, workshops and information. “We'll be set up at the Wahoo's stadium parking lot with some ramps and rails,” said Sean Fell, founder of Waterboyz. “We'll have info on our summer camps and the new skatepark.” Ciclovia Open Streets will be the largest street closure in the city's pensacola magazine | 17

Ciclovía Takin' it to the Streets

Parklets on Palafox One of the innovative features that will be seen at Ciclovía Open Streets are parklets, which will be created by Jerry Pate Designs and DUH for Home and Garden. These are constructed greenspaces that are built on top of parking lanes or parking spots, and serve as spots for relaxation and architectural artistry. They are built on platforms atop the spaces, and when the event is over, they can easily be removed and reinstalled in the future for other open air events. Each parklet has its own attitude and feel, and three will be installed along the Ciclovia route – one on the south near Main Street, one north near Garden Street, and one in the middle.

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history, and will serve as a way to open up the community to foot traffic and enable the city to be more active. Despite its beginnings as a mainly bike-oriented event, it is open to anyone—skaters, rollerbladers and even just walkers.

of CycleSports. One of the local bike shops sponsoring the event, CycleSports is helping provide minor repairs and maintenance for bikes during Open Streets. “I do feel there is a growing demand in Pensacola for promoting a quality of life culture.”

“The theme is community. We encourage people to wear t-shirts that tie them to the community,” said Rosendahl. “We want a sea of UWF shirts, Baptist Hospital Shirts— anything that ties you to the community.”

Rosendahl hopes that by gathering together

Rosendahl said that Pensacola is joining a long list of cities that are beginning to look at their streets with a different set of eyes. City streets take up massive amounts of physical space, and Ciclovia Open Streets is meant to change the idea that they are only meant to be driven on. “Streets are for people, too,” she said. The physical activity aspect of the event is also important. Rosendahl said that in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, six out of 10 residents are overweight, while three out of 10 are obese. According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation—an organization which offers health grants and programs—Escambia ranks 55 out of Florida's 67 counties for quality of life and longevity. “I hope people who go to this event realize that exercise is something that's been missing in their lives,” said Brian Stone, co-owner

groups like skateboarders, bikers, health enthusiasts and others, they can form a support network that will help them further health and wellness throughout the city. “You fold these initiatives underneath to give them a greater voice than they would have if they were on their own,” she said. “We're going to stop shaking our fingers at people and telling them to exercise, and instead provide an environment that's conducive to that.” People teaming up for these changes include Andrew Rothfeder, president of Studer Properties and a proponent of a bike-share program; John Shell of Upward Intuition to help change popular perception of skateboarders; and Christian Wagley of Bike Pensacola who is working to create a safer environment for bikers. According to Rosendahl, they hope the success of this event fuels more Ciclovia Open Streets, with the goal eventually being to have similar events on a monthly basis. The economic, cultural and health impact is set to benefit not just the Ciclovia Open Streets attendees, but the city as a whole. Pensacola Ciclovia Open Streets is on March 25, from 9 am to 2 pm, and is located along Main and Palafox Streets. Admission to the event is free. For more information, visit

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SMELL THE JAPANESE ROSES written by Tanner Yea photography by Guy Stevens

Across eastern and southern Asia blooms a flower that has captured the attention of millions. From the lofty Himalayas to the massive Japanese Alps to the islands of Indonesia, the colorful and bountiful camellia plant has migrated west over centuries to become a staple among southern American gardens. Now, the University of West Florida hopes to further the little flower's legacy by finally cutting the ribbon on their long-awaited Camellia Garden Enhancement Project. Established in 2007 by the Pensacola Camellia Club and the UWF Retired Employees Association, the Camellia Garden's renovation comes as a part of UWF's 50th anniversary as a university. Howard Reddy, the Director of the Office of Community Engagement at UWF, said that the garden itself honors the memory of the people who helped grow the university and the community. “The transformation of the garden has created an enduring space on campus for rest, reflection and renewal,” he said. The garden is devoted entirely to the camellia plant, featuring 80 of the 100 varieties most

commonly found throughout the Pensacola area. The Camellia Garden is located in front of UWF's Psychology building—a short distance from the John C. Pace Library—and occupies threequarters of an acre. “We welcome the community to visit the garden,” Reddy said. In total, there are 250 to 300 different camellia species, with other species being native to Australia, Europe, and of course, parts of Asia. The camellia itself is an evergreen plant, meaning that its leaves stay green year round and that it requires little attention to keep its flowers. The plants' flowers and appearance vary wildly, but the most common colors are shades of white, red and pink.

One of the most important camellias, from both a cultural and economic stand point, is the white-flowered Camellia sinensis— commonly known as the tea tree. The leaves of the C. sinensis are plucked and used to make nearly any variety of Chinese or Indian tea, including white, yellow, green, oolong, pu-erh and black tea, with the actual differences in teas coming from how the leaves are processed. F. Norman Vickers, a member of the Pensacola Camellia Club Board, said the first camellias came to Europe roughly 500 to 600 years ago through the tea trade. “The original U.S. camellia came from England in the late 1700s and is still living in South Carolina,” Vickers said. As the various plants get older, they will grow many more blooms and

Camellias have been used in teas, oils and health care products for centuries

grow much larger. Their growth rate varies, but the smallest shrubs are roughly three feet high, while some of the more mature ones can reach a massive nine feet in height. Not all these blooms are entirely 'organic', either. Vickers said since the Pensacola Camellia Club was founded in 1937, they have developed over 60 unique breeds of camellias that can be found within the garden. The reason is that camellias have such a large natural variety and interbreed easily, allowing for new plants with unique colors, bloom patterns and seed structures that set the hybrids apart from their parents. pensacola magazine | 21


The Japanese rose The Camelia japonica is the most prominent camellia species in cultivation. Due to its color and shape, it’s often called the ‘Japanese rose.’

“The focus, though, is on the beautiful blooms, namely C. japonica, C. sasanqua and C. reticulata,” said Vickers, commenting on the variety of the garden. “Other camellia species include a tea plant and a rare camellia that has a lovely fragrance.”

essentially curating a unique feature of Northwest Florida's history.”

Association, and countless other individual donations.

The Camellia Garden has strong relationships with Camellia Clubs across the country, as well as the large network of garden clubs

“The Camellia Garden is not only an important piece of history for both UWF and the Northwest Florida community, but also a

The garden's renovation mainly focused on making the space more accessible as well as more welcoming. The changes include an education plaza to accommodate tour groups, paved walkways, concrete curbing, informational signage, benches, fencing and improved lighting. The construction, including planning and construction of the actual building, took roughly twelve months according to Reddy.

“The garden will preserve the Pensacola varieties in perpetuity, essentially curating a unique feature of Northwest Florida's history.”

“There's a plaque for each camellia in the garden, detailing the name and background of when the camellia was registered,” said Reddy. “The garden will preserve the Pensacola varieties in perpetuity, 22 | pensacola magazine

throughout Northwest Florida. Reddy also said that the UWF Camellia Garden is registered on the American Camellia Society Garden Trail. The renovation was made possible through donations, including $40,000 from the Pensacola Camellia Foundation, $5,500 from the UWF Retired Employees

signature feature of our beautiful Pensacola campus,” said UWF President Martha Saunders. Vickers says that both the public at large and students of UWF have been warm and receptive to the changes to the garden, which mostly blooms from October to April. The Camellia Club itself has held regular tours through the

garden ever since it was established, and plans to keep educating visitors and students alike. The garden's new additions are just the tip of the iceberg for UWF's planned celebration for their 50th anniversary. Different events are set to be held throughout 2017, all to benefit and celebrate the University as a whole. “This enhancement project will ensure it remains a protected and cherished space for visitors and students to enjoy for the next 50 years,” said President Saunders. For more information on the Camellia Garden Enhancement Project, as well as other initiatives for UWF's 50th Anniversary, visit

Going Green in the Home Cost-Efficient ways to Make Your Home Environmentally Friendly

by Haley Weaver

It’s a well-known fact that keeping cool in the Gulf Coat heat costs money. Our Florida winters are hotter than most, which can often come with an expensive air-conditioning bill. As springtime approaches, many people are looking for ways to make their homes more eco-friendly, but the task of making changes is a daunting one; who has the time, or the money? Turns out, it’s easier than you think. We spoke with green building consultant Christian Wagley who gave us some tips about how you can go green and help save the planet, while also saving money in the long-run.

Bring in some shade

Due to the heat and humidity of the Gulf Coast, we tend to spend a pretty penny cooling our homes. One way to save on the electric bill is by creating shaded areas. A shadecloth that can block the sun from hitting your home is one of the quickest ways to create shade, said Wagley. Another option, though it doesn’t provide immediate results, is to plant trees in spaces that ensure shade for the home. To add beauty and a source of food, consider planting a fruit tree. The cost varies based on the size, species, and number of trees desired, but on average professional tree installation costs as little as $100.

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Open the windows and move some air

Installing ceiling fans or room fans can further help reduce electricity use, as moving air helps to cool occupants at a fraction of the cost of running the air conditioning, Wagley noted. Fans can be purchased at your local hardware store for an average of $50 to $200. A cheaper option is adding screens to your windows; this way you can leave your windows open allowing the cool air into your home, without the worry of flies invading as well. “This works great through much of the spring and fall,” said Wagley, “reducing or eliminating the need to run air conditioning.” The average cost of installing window screens is approximately $40.

Add some fluffy stuff

“Most homes would benefit from additional insulation,” suggested Wagley, “especially in the attic where the greatest heat loss and gain takes place.” Additional insulation in your home enables it to maintain a steady temperature, which repels the summer heat and the winter cold. This can be a bit more on the expensive side, with insulation costing between $800 and $1800, depending on professional or homeowner installation.

Cut back on the lawn

According to Wagley, lawns are large consumers of water, fertilizer, and chemicals. “A growing trend is to reduce the size of the lawn by replacing parts of it with landscape beds of shrubs, grasses, wildflowers, and trees,” he said. By reducing your lawn size, you can cut back on water usage and yard work, as well as minimize the use of harmful pesticides. For example, mulching a portion of the yard is an easy, inexpensive way to reduce yard size, but can be dressed up with lawn decorations if desired. Another option is to use ground covers, such as perennials and evergreens, which are plants that spread but do not grow tall and therefore require little maintenance.

Capture the sun

“For homes that have already made other improvements and have access to a sunny yard or roof, adding solar panels to make your own electricity gives independence and brings a major reduction in the environmental impact of a home,” Wagley said. “Solar energy is the future of energy in Florida, as our nation transitions away from coal and natural gas that cause pollution when burnt and are non-renewable.” The price of solar panels continues to fall dramatically, making it increasingly cost-effective for residents to own their own system. The prices vary based on the kilowattage needed and location of your house, but you can still save on the cost of installation with federal and state tax credits.

Recycling Need-to-Know:

We asked our source Jim Roberts, a Public Information Officer for Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA), for some tips and tricks on recycling. The long-term benefits are undeniable. According to the ECUA, it reduces the amount of waste sent to the landfill, conserves natural resources, and saves energy, as well as prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect raw materials and helps to sustain the environment for future generations. Take note of what you should and should not place in the recycling bin! Do Recycle: glass, newspaper/magazines, cardboard, aluminum/tin cans and lids, plastic milk jugs and bottles, tin foil, and metal pots and pans. Don’t Recycle: food waste, Styrofoam, garden hoses, rugs or linens, propane tanks, bubble wrap, tarps, plastic bags or hangers, and aerosol cans. Beware, though: contamination of materials can make them impossible to recycle. Plastic bags cannot be recycled, and should be brought back to a shopping center for reuse; this includes trash bags, so when disposing of yard/garden waste remember to place them directly into the recycling bin rather than in a bag. It’s also important to remember to rinse your bottles and containers before placing them into the recycling bin, as well as keep the lids fastened. To avoid contamination in general, it helps to have properly labeled recycling containers to make it clear what can and cannot be recycled. Also, keep recycling and waste bins together; this will prevent giving the impression that any waste can be thrown in the recycling bin. In addition to recycling, the ECUA has created the Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) Program to prevent blockages in the sanitary sewer lines. Cooking byproducts such as meat fats, cooking oil, and butter or margarine can constrict the flow inside of sewer pipes when washed down a kitchen sink drain. To avoid possible environmental hazards, the ECUA suggests you instead save your FOG and dispose of it through recycling or throwing it in the trash. In the case of recycling, local disposal sites such as Ever’man’s and Keep Pensacola Beautiful carry free plastic containers which can be used to hold FOG; when it’s time to return them, simply drop the container back at a site and exchange it for another empty container. If you’d prefer to not utilize this program, it is still important to remember to avoid using a garbage disposal for FOG; it will not be broken down enough by the disposal to prevent possible clogging of your sewer pipes. pensacola magazine | 25

Color Me Cabaret Pensacola's Hottest Party Returns for 2017

written by Jenn Cole

Get ready to color your world! Whether you prefer racy red, princely purple or heavenly white, the Pensacola Little Theater invites you to party in the spectrum at their premiere fundraiser event, Color Me Cabaret: Experience the Spectrum, which takes place on April 1. The community theatre goes all out for their annual event. As you move from room to room, you’ll find surprises all around. Chocolate fountains, body painted ladies, live bands, spinning DJ’s and more—all under one roof for one vibrant evening. The outside room promises to be one hell of a party. With a red color theme, a section of E. Zarragossa Street shuts down for the night. Play under the stars as your eyes take in the sizzling elements of love, sex, some playful sin and everything racy in between. Lounge in the Red Room where champagne flows 26 | pensacola magazine

freely. Tempt your taste buds with a sushi spread by Sake Café. Satisfy your sweet tooth with sensual red desserts. When your belly is full, the Red Room offers a feast for your eyes. Roxie le Rouge, an artistic burlesque performer, will take the stage. The provocative performer hails

from New Orleans and delivers a devilish act. She’ll make her moves and you can move on to the poker tables, where you might meet Lady Luck in the outside casino area. Finally, the Red Room really heats up as you dance the night away to the Rowdies Rock live band. Madrina Ciano is chairing the street party and she promises it will be ‘hot, hot, hot.’ If it gets too hot for you, take a walk through the pearly gates—a heavenly white room is just inside the doors. Listen to a soothing harp as angels move all around you while you enjoy sweet treats from the white chocolate fountain dessert table. Valerie Russenberger chairs this delicate masterpiece and she promises a place to enjoy a peaceful moment before you’re drawn into the courtroom by the sounds of doves crying.

Doves may cry, but jaws will drop as you enter the purple palace. Let’s go crazy! The courtroom is going purple in Princely fashion. An homage to the iconic signer awaits you with lights, music and videos. DJ Matt Powell will spin a tribute to Prince. If the lighted dance floor doesn’t change your world, you might want to try the ice block shots. You’ll also find Prince themed treats provided by Appetite for Life. The Prince party doesn’t stop at dancing, eating and

Color Me Cabaret Pensacola Little Theatre Tickets: $75, which includes food and drink Doors Open @ 7 pm. Must be over 21 to attend drinking. Look up and you’ll see Pure Aerial Performances’ aerialists Ashlyn Swafford and Kaitlyn Carroll hanging from the ceiling. And what would a PLT party be without a drag queen? Bedlam's Drag Queen Gappie Gee takes you for a walk on the wild side. Did I mention the body painted ladies? Doves will cry when you look in the gilded cages at these beauties. The royal treatment awaits you at PLT’s Cabaret. Be sure to make the most of the party by bringing plenty of green. The party’s goal is to make money for the Pensacola Little Theater and the Cultural Center. Check out the atrium, where you’ll find one of the best silent auctions in town. Place your bid on a beach getaway, a priceless baseball pitch or a treasured piece of

art. The PLT offers up plenty of party favors to bid on, from haircuts, to lunch with a celebrity, to a fine piece of jewelry. There’s something for everyone at the silent auction. Cabaret is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Pensacola Little Theater. It’s crucial to the survival of the oldest continually operating community theater in the Southeastern United States. Since 1936, the Little Theater has been a staple in Pensacola. It has changed homes a few times, finally settling as a hub for the performing arts in its current home in 1996. The building was once a jail, but now the Pensacola Cultural Center houses the Little Theater, the Pensacola Ballet, the West Florida Literary Federation and even a church.

Cabaret attendees can bid on a variety of luxurious local items during the silent auction portion of the evening. PLT’s theater is made up of thousands of volunteers, bringing quality community theater to all of us. The theatre also offers acting, writing, and production classes. PLT is a hub for the creative, the fun, the adventuresome. On one night a year, PLT lets it hair down and throws a massive party. You don’t want to miss it. This is the Pensacola event everyone will be talking about.

not fooling. It’s going to be one hell of a party. Doors open at 7 pm. Tickets are $75 and include your food and drinks. Come in your color themed outfits, sizzle in sparkles or throw on some jeans. This party has no dress code, but you do have to be 21 years old to enter. Hire the babysitter and come play in the PLT Cabaret spectrum.

Make your plans to come to Cabaret! April 1. Nope, I’m pensacola magazine | 27

Mind, Body and Soil A Look at Pensacola's Garden Clubs



ith its warm weather, plentiful rain, and moist soil, the Pandhandle of Florida makes for a great place to tend a garden. Colorful blooms, fruit, citrus trees, vegetables, lush greenery—just about anything can thrive here with the right knowledge and attention. With the more than favorable climate, it’s no surprise that Pensacola is home to more than 35 separate garden clubs and circles. These groups allow people to share their tips, trade seeds, and meet other like-minded “green thumbs” who enjoy playing in the dirt whenever they can. We profiled four of these clubs and took a look at their strong historical roots in the community. » pensacola magazine | 29

Mind, Body and Soil

Pensacola Camelia Club Established in 1937, the Camellia Club is one of the oldest known garden clubs in Pensacola. A group of men who were interested in camellias met at the home of John Sherrill.  They decided to form a group, which became The Pensacola Men’s Camellia Club. “The object of the club was simply to encourage the growing of camellias and to spread information regard-

ing their culture and their care,” said longtime club member Norman Vickers. The club is the oldest recorded camellia club in America and even predates the American Camellia Society, which was organized in 1945. The club began hosting annual camellia bloom shows in 1938. The first camellia, originated by a Pensacola Men’s Camellia Club member, G.

H. Wilkinson, Sr., to be registered with the American Camellia Society was called the ‘Elizabeth Le Bey’ in 1949.  The club was incorporated as a Florida not-for-profit organization in 1950. In January 1975, the Club hosted the International Convocation in conjunction with the National American Camellia Society (ACS) Convention.  This International meeting and show attracted participants from around the world.  Forty-four attendees came from Australia and New Zealand. The official show report showed a total of 250 growers exhibited 4,000 blooms with 10,000 visitors viewing the exhibits. In April of 1999, the UWF College of Professional Studies received 21 camellia plants.  The plants were a gift from  Ed and Babs Alsip, Pensacola residents for 20 years. Since that date, additional plants have been added to that collection and the garden has grown tremendously. The club hosts a free annual camel-

lia show and plant sale on the second weekend in December. Participants from at least five states enter over 1,000 blooms in what is considered to be one of the top shows in the southeast. Norman has been a member of the Camellia Club since 2001, and says the club has been a joy to be a part of. “When I retired in 2001, then I had time to get active with the Camellia Club– it’s been a wonderful social outlet,” Vickers said. “Club members are community activists and it has been a joy for me to be associated.  I was club secretary for about 10 years.  Now, they have let me step back and I continue to do publicity for the club and I get to share some of my photos. I can truly say that camellias and my camellia-friends have enriched my life.” For more information on upcoming events or membership information, please visit

others don’t. Some likes to be potted, others want their roots exposed to the air. Needless to say, you first have to know the type of orchid you are trying to grow. “ He noted not every orchid sold in the stores are suited for the Pensacola area and can quickly die. Saxton encouraged anyone interested in orchids to come to a meeting, with a picture of their plant or

the kind they’d like to grow, and the members would be happy to help you understand the orchid and the needed culture. For more information on upcoming events or membership information, please visit

The Pensacola Orchid Society The Pensacola Orchid Society was founded on the basic principles of forming a fellowship of orchid growers within Northwest Florida and Southwest Alabama, where orchid enthusiasts can meet to share their excitement and knowledge, assist one another with orchid culture, and learn from invited experts. “The mission of the Society is to encourage the study, development,  improvement and preservation of all plants and their cultures, especially orchids,” said past president and current Orchid Society member, Jim Saxton.” The Society maintains and provides a library of books and periodicals on the subject of orchids for the use of the members, and also keeps records of experiments for the benefit of the members, and encourages the exchange of technical information and ideas among both amateur and commercial growers and fanciers. 30 | pensacola magazine

The Society meets on the first Tuesday of every month at 7 pm. Meetings typically include guest speakers, demonstrations, show-andtell sessions, and plant swap tables. Monthly news bulletins give members plant tips and a listing of many regional orchid shows. Saxton noted the Society offers a setting where orchid growers can meet to share their enthusiasm and knowledge, assist one another with orchid culture, and learn from invited experts. In addition to the monthly meetings, they also hold an annual orchid auction each summer.  While many may think orchids can be hard to maintain, Saxton assures the process can be easy– if you have the right information. “Orchids are very easy to grow and rebloom if you know their culture,” he said. “Some like direct sun, others total shade.  Some like a lots of water, others do not.  Some like air movement,

Pensacola Organic Gardeners Club The Pensacola Organic Gardeners Club was founded by Fred Busic in 1970 and has been active ever since. Pensacola Organic Gardeners describe themselves as a community of "Plant People" that understand an organic approach to growing food or practicing general horticulture is safer and more productive for family, community, and the biological ecosystem.

Club president George Shelton noted Pensacola is on the edges of both sub-tropical and temperate, and because of that the Pensacola Organic Gardeners organization seeks to identify varieties of edibles that are most productive and resilient in our harsh coastal climate. The club takes pride in having members that are experimenting

with various gardening methods, who are always happy to share their latest findings during the monthly information exchanges and focus presentations. In the early 70s, the club membership fluctuated from roughly 15-20 people, and now has over 100 members. The members meet once a month from January through November, and then in December, they hold a Christmas function. Each meeting offers a presentation or lecture. “Last month was pruning and grafting, container gardens and seed starting,” Shelton said. “In April we have a plant swap, and in May we

do a garden tour. August is our seed swap, and then a larger garden tour in October— which is usually five or six fruit and vegetables gardens across Pensacola.” Shelton first joined the club in 1998, and is eager to share his gardening experience with people. “This is quite a unique place to grow things– and you can grow almost anything– star fruit, papayas, even coffee trees, if you just have the right information,” he said. For more information on upcoming events or membership information, please visit

Pensacola Federation of Garden Clubs The Pensacola Federation of Garden Clubs was established in 1931 by Mrs. W.W. Day. The club was created after two of the founding members had attended several fall flowers shows in the Saenger Theatre lobby in 1930 and 1931. Miss Nell Burrow served as the first President of the group of twenty-two ladies. In 1932, three affiliate garden clubs-- Azalea, Crepe Myrtle and Camellia—joined Florida Federation of Garden Clubs. In the early 70s, the Garden Club Center on N. Ninth Avenue was completed and garden clubs and circles began hosting their meetings and events inside the building. The Federation of Garden Clubs currently has 13 affiliate clubs and a variety of garden circles that are part of the federation. The Federation now offers an educational series every February, which brings in speakers from around the region, and offers a light lunch and

small breakout workshops throughout the course of the day. “You might learn how to plant daffodils in one breakout session, and in the other, you might learn how to make a water garden, or how to grow succulents,” said co-president of the Federation, Lynn Manthei. “ In March we have the original tour of tables with centerpieces and then we also do our very popular secret garden tour in May.” In 2000, the very popular Secret Gardens of the Emerald Coast presented 12 gardens to the public. This remains a very important fundraiser and educational activity for their outreach to the public. After 84 years the Federation is 13 circles strong with approximately 300 members. For more information on upcoming events or membership information, please visit pensacola magazine | 31

32 | pensacola magazine

If Walls Could Talk Written by Kelly Oden Photography by Guy Stevens When Kenny Holt and Mark McLeod purchased their home in the North Hill neighborhood of Pensacola in April 2015, they knew the home was old, but they had no idea just how much history the house actually contained. “We weren’t actually looking in North Hill,” said Kenny. “Our realtor brought us to the house next door and we saw that this one was also for sale. I walked upstairs and walked out and said, ‘Nope. I’m out’ because it didn’t have a bedroom downstairs. We came back several times and I actually started falling in love with it. It’s one of the few houses we actually agreed on and liked. Both of us like the charm of an older home and we had been looking for years to see if we could find the right one that we both liked. We loved the neighborhood. Everybody who was walking by waved and said hello, so we felt welcomed to the neighborhood.” Kenny and Mark knew that they were only the fourth owners of the home, but they had a difficult time determining the original owners. While searching for a picture of the home during the year it was built, they discovered that Wally and Virginia Dashiell had the house built. “The house was built in 1939,” said Kenny “and it was designed by Virginia Dashiell, which we find incredible. It’s unique for a female in the 30s to take on such a role.” »

pensacola magazine | 33

If Walls Could Talk

Living Room The comfortable and welcoming living area is an eclectic mix of the couple’s individual styles. While Mark tends to enjoy a more formal aesthetic, Kenny leans toward the more casual. “So we have had to try to figure out a nice little blend of the both,” said Mark. “We both love antiques!” A wall of vintage photos and memorabilia pays homage to Wally and Virginia Dashiell.

34 | pensacola magazine

Dining Areas

The formal dining area overlooks the lovely camellia garden and the corner china cabinets and breakfast nook give a cozy feel to the home. Virginia Dashiell designed the nook for more casual family meals.

pensacola magazine | 35

If Walls Could Talk The couple’s love of antiques is evident throughout the home, particularly in the 150 year old settee from Kenny’s home state of Kentucky.

In 2016, the house received a historical plaque to commemorate its unique history.

36 | pensacola magazine

Kenny and Mark’s research led them to the Dashiell’s daughter, who is 80 years old and still living in Pensacola. From her, the two learned a lot about Wally’s accomplishments—from Texas to Tennessee and Atlanta to Pensacola. They learned Wally Dashiell was a well-known baseball player—and later team owner—who settled his family in Pensacola and made a lasting impact on the community. The couple also connected with Quint Studer who introduced them to Scott Brown, author of "Baseball in Pensacola." Local historian John Appleyard, the UWF Historic Trust, Dean DeBolt and many more assisted in their research. “The history we’ve discovered has been a wonderful joy. The opportunity to meet numerous people along the way that knew the Dashiell family and who shared photos of the house, their stories, etc… has been incredible,” said Kenny and Mark. Kenny and Mark are still on the lookout for historic photos of their home, particularly from the 1939 and the 40s.

The two late 1800s dressers were purchased by the second owner at an antique auction in the1970s. When it came time to sell, she asked Mark and Kenny if they’d like to buy them and return the set to the home they spent many years in.

pensacola magazine | 37

If Walls Could Talk outdoor spaces Wally Dashiell was passionate about growing camellias. The property boasts 34 camellia trees, many of which display Wally’s grafting talents with unique colors and textures.

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About Wally Dashiell Courtesy of Kenny Holt and Mark McLeod Before coming to Pensacola, Wally played baseball throughout the south and southwest in various leagues and on multiple teams, including a short period in 1924 on a Major League team—the Chicago White Sox. In 1927, Pensacola entered professional baseball with the Southeastern League Class B team the Pensacola Pilots—also known as the Fliers. They played through 1930 and Wally Dashiell was a member of that team. After playing for Pensacola, he played for a variety of teams, including the Chattanooga Lookouts, the Atlanta Crackers (a team that pre-dated the Atlanta Braves), and the Tyler Texas Trojans. He also had two more shots at

Wally and Virginia attend a Pensacola Fliers Banquet (year and location unknown). Virginia was a Board Member of the Pensacola Chapter of Christmas Seals in the fight against Tuberculosis.

Major League Baseball with the Boston Red Sox and the Washington Senators. Wally led the Southeastern Association with 50 stolen bases in 1929, and hit .332 in 1931 for the Chattanooga Lookouts. A new reincarnation of the Southeastern League brought baseball back to Pensacola

in 1937 with the Pensacola Fliers—thus beginning what local historians called the “true heyday” of Pensacola baseball. Following shoulder injuries that sent him into a successful managing career, Wally Dashiell bought the Pensacola franchise and earned his title as "Pensacola's own Mr. Baseball" by leading the team to win three consecutive Southeastern League pennants in 1937,1938, and 1939. World War II temporarily shut down all Southeastern League baseball play and Wally was temporarily a Board Supervisor for the West Florida Office of Price Administration for the U.S. Government during the war. When the Southeastern League restarted after the war, the Fliers continued their winning streak by bringing home the pennant in 1946,1949, and 1950. Wally also integrated the stands at Legion Field in Pensacola. 1939 was also celebrated as the Centennial of Baseball and many places, including Pensacola, have dedicated August 22 as Wally Dashiell Day.

In the early 1920's Wally made a name for himself in the Texas City League in Houston prior to being picked up by a minor league team of The East Texas League. He was later honored by employees of the Texaco Company as their former short shop.

Wally was a sports radio announcer and part owner of Northwest Florida's WCOA Radio in the early 1930s and later co-owned his own company—Martin-Dashiell Insurance Agency. At various times he was president of the Pensacola Country Club, director of the Pensacola Kennel Club, secretary for Florida Greyhound Racing, director of the Pensacola Sports Association, vice president of Click Investment Company, and secretary of the Pensacola Real Estate and Investment Company. Even though Wally's record is nationwide, he was most successful and happy in Pensacola where he and his wife Virginia built their dream home and they were happy to settle down and raise their daughter.

In a proclamation, Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward declared August 22, 2016 as Wally and Virginia Dashiell Day in Pensacola in honor of their local involvement and history.

John Wallace "Wally" Dashiell—a baseball player on a national level with the Chicago White Sox and multiple minor league teams throughout the South, Southeast, and Texas Leagues. Wally was on the 1927 Pensacola Pilots Baseball Team as Pensacola entered professional baseball, later managed the renamed team —The Pensacola Fliers, and ultimately owned the team taking them to multiple championships.

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Play / Live / Give City and Colour at Vinyl Music Hall

MAR 26

Celebrated folk artist, musician and award winning artist City and Colour, or his real name Dallas Green, is performing at Vinyl Music Hall on March 22. Formerly the vocalist for famed post-hardcore band Alexisonfire, Green began recording under the City and Colour name in 2005 with the debut album “Sometimes.” Since then, he has gone on to record four more full-length albums, a folk-duo album with Pink under the name You+Me, and various guest appearances as well. Tickets are $45, and available through, or the Vinyl Music Hall box office.

mar My Fair Lady 3–5 9–12 17–19

The blockbuster musical has all the singing and dancing and wonderful storytelling that theatre fans love. Based on the book, "Pygmalion", this is the tale of Eliza Doolittle learning to be a dignified lady through her speech and her actions. Scooped off the street by the irascible Prof. Higgins, Eliza learns to stand on her own. "Wouldn't It Be Loverly", "Get Me to the Church", "On the Street Where You Live". Catch the production at Pensacola Little Theatre, directed by the duo of Carla Rhodes and Julie Smith and showing the first three weekends of March. Tickets range from $7 to $30 depending on the day, and are available at, at the box office, or by phone at 850-4322042.

mar Pensacola Symphony

4 Orchestra Presents: Mahler Symphony No. 3 The Pensacola Symphony Orchestra takes on this mammoth piece for what will be an incredible evening of live music. Guests include Susan Platts, mezzo-soprano, UWF Women's Chorus, and the Pensacola Children's Chorus. Conducted by Peter Rubardt, Symphony No. 3 was written by Gustav Mahler between 1893 and 1896. The symphony is Mahler's longest, and is also considered one of the longest symphonies in the stand symphony repertoire, ranking in around 90 to 105 minutes in length. Tickets are $22, and available at

Mar Downtown Pensacola's 6 Grog March

The 2nd annual Grog March pub crawl will be starting at O'Riley's Irish Pub Downtown. Please bring any 2 nonperishable food items as a donation for Manna Food Pantries as your entry fee. Each crawler will be given a t-shirt while supplies last and a passport they can complete to be eligible for the raffle at O'Riley's later that night. Official Grog March 22oz mugs can also be purchased at the beginning of the crawl. The official mug will grant you two discounted options to refill during the crawl. $4.00 Bud Light/Rolling Rock refills and $6 signature cocktail refills. Please wear your best St. Patrick's outfit and we can paint Palafox green for one night.

Mar Norah Jones 6

Norah Jones has come full circle with Day Breaks, a remarkable new album that finds her returning to her jazz roots while also proving her to be this era’s quintessential American artist, the purveyor of an unmistakably unique sound that weaves together the threads of several bedrock styles of American music: country, folk, rock, soul, and jazz. Day Breaks is a kindred spirit to Come Away With Me, though it is unquestionably the work of a mature artist who has lived life and grown immensely in her craft. The album features jazz luminaries including saxophonist Wayne Shorter, organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, and drummer Brian Blade who played on Norah’s debut album and became the

backbone (and backbeat) of the new album. She performs at the Saenger Theatre at 8 pm, and tickets are $71 and available through

Mar Music Under the Stars 9 with Roman Street

Music Under the Stars begins its spring season with Roman Street, the dynamic brotherly duo that combines jazz, gypsy, international and classical guitar into a whirlwind of sound. Noah and Josh Thompson have joined together to form a Billboard and iTunes charting band that people call the 'next generation' of jazz fusion. They keep their music simple – just two acoustic guitars and an occassional backing band, but their sound and skill is unmatched. Music Under the Stars is hosted in the From the Ground Up Community Garden at 501 N Hayne St, and the event also doubles as a food truck rally. General admission to the event is $15, and tickets can be purchased at

mar Gulf Breeze Rotary 11 Gumbo Cook-off

If you have a hankering for gumbo and want to help send local students to college, come on out to Shoreline Park in Gulf Breeze from 10 am to 2 pm on Saturday, March 11th for the 12th annual Gulf Breeze Rotary Gumbo Cook-Off. Featuring live music by Blue Levee and a silent auction, the popular annual event offers all-you-can-eat gumbo for $10 in advance, $15 on the pensacola magazine | 41

Play / Live / Give day of the event. New this year is a Craft Beer Garden from noon to 2 p.m. For $10 you will have unlimited samples of beers from some of the area’s finest breweries. Burgers, beer and sodas will be available for purchase to help wash down the spicy fare. Children under the age of 10 can attend for free when accompanied by paying adults. Advance tickets can be purchased from Gulf Breeze Rotary members or online at

mar McGuire's

11 Prediction Run

Celebrating its 40th anniversary, the McGuire's Prediction Run is going to paint the streets a bright emerald the weekend before St. Patrick's Day. With more than 5,000 participants, it is Pensacola's largest run and the nation's largest prediction run. Awards to the fastest as well as the most accurate in predicting the time it will take them to complete the 3.1 mile course. In addition to the race, a pre-race breakfast will be provided to runners, and a post-race party featuring sing alongs, Irish wakes, and other fare – all of which is included with race participation and a proper ID. For more infomration or to sign register for the run, visit

mar Express Clydesdales 14 Visit Pensacola

Express Employment Professionals is hosting the world-renowned Express Employment Professionals Clydesdales at Cordova Mall along with the help of Cordova Rotary to raise funds for the Gulf Coast Kid’s House. Of a rare black and white color, the Express Clydesdales stand 17-18 hands high and weigh more than 2,000 pounds each. In addition to competing on a national stage, the Express Employment Professionals Clydesdales have participated in some of the country’s most recognized parades and promotional events, including Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Tournament of Roses Parade. The Express Clydesdales will be on display for viewing and rides at Cordova Mall, 5100 N 9th Ave., 3:30 to 6:30 pm Tuesday, March 14th. Donations of $5 or more are suggested per ride. Photos will be available online after the event for download.

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mar LAC Presents

17–25 COLLECT: A PopUp Gallery

Leader Art Consultants LLC (LAC), a Pensacola, FL based art advisory firm, will host a PopUp Gallery to benefit First City Art Center on March 17-25, 2017. The exhibition, entitled “Collect.” provides a unique environment for collectors, art enthusiasts and patrons to collect innovative and exciting works by regional artists. The list of featured artists includes: Ursula Mahlar (Pensacola, FL), David Lumpkin (Madisonville, LA), Michael Boles (Pensacola, FL), Steve Wagner (Grayton Beach, FL) and others, with a focus on contemporary art. Unlike a traditional gallery setting, the work in this exhibition will be available for immediate purchase. The opening reception will be held on March 17th, 2017 from 5:30-9pm during the March Gallery Night Pensacola event.

mar Pensacola Opera

17–19 Presents: Dead Man Walking

Experience one of the most gripping and important operas of the new century. Based on Sister Helen Prejean’s book (also the source for the blockbuster film) about her experiences as a spiritual adviser to prisoners on Death Row, “Dead Man Walking” is a “masterpiece of words, music, and emotions,” according to the New York Times. It opens with the brutal murder of two teenagers by Joseph de Rocher. It ends with his execution, Sister Helen at his side. In between, a searing emotional journey. A woman of God struggles to find humanity in a brutal criminal. A murderer is forced to confront and acknowledge his heinous act. And two families—those of the murdered and of the murderer— poignantly reveal that there are many victims of an unspeakable crime. Tickets range in price, and are available through

A place for you in Pensacola






2187 Airport Boulevard 850-478-1123

1144 Airport Boulevard 850-479-8900

5049 Corporate Woods Drive 850-474-3777


601 East Chase Street 850-432-0202

700 East Chase Street 850-439-3330


16 Via DeLuna 800-934-3301 • 850-934-3300

850-932-9314 • • 311 Gulf Breeze Pkwy • Gulf Breeze, FL

Play / Live / Give mar An Evening with

20 Gordon Lightfoot

Legendary balladeer Gordon Lightfoot weaves tales of love and longing in eloquent musical masterpieces that have become enduring standards. His poetic journeys have been told with such timeless, thought-provoking songs as "If You Could Read My Mind," "Sundown," "Early Morning Rain," "Carefree Highway," "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," "Canadian Railroad Trilogy," and many more. Combined with his rich, warm voice and nimble guitar technique, Lightfoot's songwriting talent has led him from the 1960's coffeehouse scene in his native Canada to pop chart hit with his ground-breaking multi-platinum albums and accolades that range from five Grammy® nominations to 17 Canadian Juno Awards. Tickets are $64 for Pit Rows, $49 for Orchestra Rows, and are available at ticketmaster. com

mar Ciclovía Open 25 Streets

Ciclovía (seek–low –via ) Open Streets Pensacola, originated in Bogotá, Colombia in the 1970s and really took off around the world in the 90’s. Pensacola will join this progressive list of cities on March 25th, 2017 with our own huge Open Streets event. Open Streets started as a way to close city streets to motor traffic and let people ride, skateboard, walk, shop or just play in the street. The city will close Main and Palafox from Gulf Power to The Maritime Park and Palafox from the Pier to Garden St. The Mayor wants everyone with a heartbeat, all ages, to come out an enjoy the streets safely! There will be lots of activities and even some surprises. Don’t miss it! Save the Date! Invite your friends! For more information, visit

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

Vol. 80, No. 35

mar Dinosaur Jr. at

26 Vinyl Music Hall

Having played together for nearly 25 years, the legendary alt-rock band Dinosaur Jr. is set to take over the Vinyl Music Hall stage. After releasing their 11th album, “Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not,” late last year, the original line-up of J Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph will perform songs off their new album and from their nearly three decade long back-catalogue. Aside from their impressive dynamics and wide variety of styles, J Mascis is highly praised as a musician, being ranked number 86 on Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists. Dinosaur Jr. will also be supported by Detroit-based rock band Easy Action. Tickets are $25 and available through vinylmusichall. com, or the Vinyl Music Hall box office.


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 2008. Photo by Mike O’Connor For more photos, see page A4

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.

mar Persona Non Grata 30

JAS proudly presents the Film Screening of Persona Non Grata at Temple Beth El (800 N. Palafox, Pensacola, FL), on Thursday, March 30, 2017, 6:15 pm. Reception preceding at 5:30 pm. The movie Persona Non Grata tells the true story of Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat who saved thousands of Jewish lives from Nazi extermination during World War II. Mr. Sugihara was born in Yaotsu near the city of Gero, Japan. The Consulate General of Japan in Miami is providing a special opportunity for showing the film in Pensacola, Gero’s sister city. This screening will take place during the visit of the 24th delegation from Gero to Pensacola including 20 junior high school students and three adults at the beautiful Temple Beth El.

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Our Storied Past

Photo Courtesy of University of West Florida Collection

Pensacola beach casino

Ca. 1931, showing the newly built Casino and the railroad track that were laid to transport building materials to the site.

Newspaper advertisement from August 1944.

June 13, 1931, saw the dedication of the first bridge from Pensacola to Gulf Breeze, the first bridge from Gulf Breeze to Pensacola Beach, and the new Casino at Pensacola Beach. The Casino was a popular destination for locals, tourists, and military personnel until it was razed in 1972.

46 | pensacola magazine

Postcard postmarked August 7, 1948

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More than a Skatepark After years of planning, fundraising and conceptualizing, Jon Shell is one step closer to making the underutilized greenway beneath the interstate overpass into something the entire community can enjoy—The Blake Doyle Community Park.



Keeping your Ticker Ticking: Baptist Completes its 100th TAVR Procedure Baptist Health & Vascular Institute, or BHVI, performed their 100th successful Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement in October of last year.



We take a look at what it means for Pensacola to be one of 20 new White House TechHire communities, especially in regards to expanding our technology industry and creating more job opportunities for tech-minded students.

Find out what is happening in business, government and cultural news in the greater Pensacola area and northwest Florida.

A High Tech Pensacola

Around the Region | Business Climate | 49

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Keeping Your Ticker Ticking: Baptist Completes Its 100th TAVR Procedure By Tanner Yea

TAVR & cath lab team at Baptist Heart & Vascular Institute


or many people, a blocked heart valve can spell disaster. Although a variety of procedures exist, some are dangerous to certain patients who are just not strong enough to survive the operation—but need the procedure to live. Baptist Health & Vascular Institute, or BHVI, is offering a solution for those patients. They are paving the way forward, performing their 100th successful Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement in October of last year.

“Reaching this milestone is a testament to the teamwork and dedication of our team at Baptist Hospital,” said Luther I. Carter, M.D., FACC, FSCAI, interventional cardiologist. The Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement, or TAVR for short, is a procedure designed for high-risk patients – those in their 70s or 80s who would struggle to become strong enough to endure more traditional heart surgery. The TAVR procedure is fairly simple at its base – an artificial valve is inserted through a catheter, either through the femoral artery in the groin or a minimally-invasive direction through the heart’s left ventricle. Once inside, the new valve is pushed onto the blocked artery and opened, pushing the old

valve out of the way and letting the new one function. Baptist has been performing the procedure since 2014 and its 100th patient was a 90-year-old who was up and walking within six hours. Dr. Carter said that the patient was discharged in great spirits and without any shortness of breath. BHVI also went on to complete two other successful TAVR procedures that same day. “This leading edge technology and service is something we are all proud of, and I appreciate every team member involved in developing our successful structural heart program,” Dr. Carter said. Prior to the TAVR procedure, a few common options for replacing a valve were | Business Climate | 51


Edwards SAPIEN Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) able. Mechanical and tissue valves replaced the damaged valve outright, either with an artificial mechanism or mammal donor tissue. The other option is the Ross Procedure, which uses a patient’s existing healthy valve as a replacement. Both options are generally more invasive, often requiring full open heart surgery, which can place a strain on a weak patient. “TAVR is an option for people who are so fragile, they really have no other options,” said Marilyn Smith, public relations specialist at Baptist Health Care. “Through this less invasive procedure, recovery time and pain may be reduced.” According to the American Heart Association, TAVR procedures lower the risk of infection, cause less surgical trauma to chest and heart tissue, and only require a hospital stay from three to five days. BHVI’s 100th patient was in fact discharged the day after the procedure, and the overall recovery time was shorter. Baptist was the first to introduce TAVR without general anesthesia to the region, said Saurabh Sanon, M.D. FACC, interventional cardiologist. “This high level of care places us on the map with other select elite cardiac institutes in the U.S., and allows our patients to receive worldclass heart valve care right here at home in Pensacola,” said Sanon. “Having successfully completed more than one hundred TAVRs, our team is the area’s most experienced in providing this procedure.” The TAVR procedure is often recommended to patients suffering from severe aortic stenosis. This is a thickening of the aortic valve, which can lead to shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain and fatigue. If left alone the disease can be fatal. Studies have shown that 50 percent of patients diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis will not survive more than two years on average after diagnosis. Severe aortic stenosis becomes more common with age. According to the American Heart Association, heart valves slowly degrade as we get older, and they may become too fragile or weak to operate. Other causes include calcium buildup, injury, or even as a side effect of radiation therapy focused on the chest. “TAVR is approved for moderate risk, high risk, inoperable patients, and for those who have a 52 | Business Climate |

preexisting surgical valve who warrant replacement,” said F. James Fleischhauer, M.D., FACC, interventional cardiologist. “In experienced hands, TAVR has been shown to be lower risk than surgical replacement in elderly patients.” According to The Heart Foundation, a charity focused on preventing and healing cardiovascular illness, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, with their most recent report showing 787,000 people dying from it in 2011. Heart disease takes a financial toll as well, with direct and indirect costs totaling more than 320 billion dollars. BHVI is giving a chance to patients who might not have had any future while suffering from severe aortic stenosis.

“Baptist Heart & Vascular Institute physicians are committed to being at the forefront of innovative care and will continue bringing breakthrough procedures to our area, ensuring our community has access to the best heart health care possible,” said Marilyn Smith. “Changes in procedures and technology never cease.” For more information on TAVR, other heart procedures, and BHVI in general, visit | Business Climate | 53


A High Tech Pensacola We take a look at what it means for Pensacola to be one of 20 new White House TechHire communities, especially in regards to expanding our technology industry and creating more job opportunities for tech-minded students. By now, we all know the major role that technology plays in any economy. But, how do we meet a rise in demand not only for high-tech equipment but for technology-based services and the professionals who deliver them? The answer is simple: we meet the demand as a TechHire community. Already, Pensacola State College (PSC), the City of Pensacola and several community partners including Innovation Coast, Inc., have paved the way for PSC students seeking degrees in technology by ensuring students leave college ready to enter the workforce and by making sure there are employment opportunities after graduation, as part of the requirements of being a community who is part of the White House TechHire Initiative. But, what is the TechHire Initiative and how will it benefit Pensacola’s growing technology sector? We’ll start with some background on the initiative, which began in March of 2015, after President Obama announced his TechHire campaign set on expanding local technology sectors by building tech talent pipelines in communities across our 54 | Business Climate |

country. The announcement included three major components: over 20 communities with over 300 employer partners signed on to pilot accelerated training strategies, large private-sector companies and national organizations committed to providing tools to support the TechHire communities, and the President himself pledged $100 million in federal grant funding. Essentially, TechHire is a nation-wide, community-based movement that helps underrepresented job seekers—from overlooked youth and veterans to the long-term unemployed—start careers in the technology industry. Thanks to Opportunity@ Work, TechHire is able to partner with education providers from across the tech community to teach in-demand skills to people who want to take part in the modern economy by helping them find jobs through connecting them with a network of employers looking for tech talent. Today, the national network includes as many as 71 TechHire communities, all of which receive support to spearhead their efforts in helping overlooked and underrepresented Americans start technology careers. In Pensacola, this support

by Dawn Gresko comes from local and national organizations and companies, and on the national level one such organization includes Opportunity@Work, who helps to provide the tools to support our city’s TechHire Initiative. Opportunity@Work is a non-profit social enterprise with a mission to expand access to career opportunities so that all Americans can work, learn and earn to their fullest potential in a dynamic economy. By 2025, Opportunity@Work aims to empower over 1 million tech-minded Americans, creating over $20 billion per year of additional earnings for Americans across the country. “We are very pleased to welcome Pensacola to the White House TechHire Community Initiative,” said Tess Posner, managing director of TechHire at Opportunity@Work, in a press release. “Pensacola has demonstrated a true commitment to making opportunities in tech more inclusive in your community, and we at Opportunity@Work look forward to working with you to help implement, grow, and amplify your efforts.” The TechHire designation shows that Pensacola has community partners, employers, training providers, and the civil leadership support needed to implement and scale tech job opportunities for everyone. On the local level, PSC will work as the training provider for technology degree seeking students. In addition, the college will work with employment or business partners to provide internship

opportunities, interview and hire eligible program graduates, and serve on program advisory boards. These partners include Global Business Solutions, Inc., Technical Software Services, Gulf Power Company, AppRiver, as well as the Institute of Human & Machine Cognition, who will all help to place 200 technology workers in our community by 2020. On the other hand, local economic development partners will help keep the college aware of training needs for prospective employers and market the programs as appropriate. These partners include the likes of Florida West Economic Development Alliance, Santa Rosa Economic Development, Career Source Escarosa (who will help identify students who qualify for support and provide individual employment data tracking), and civil leadership from Mayor Hayward’s office. PSC President Edward Meadows says advanced technology programs are a stronghold of the college. There are as many as 12 technology-geared programs offering degrees from Associate in Science (AS), Associate in Arts (AA), and Bachelor in Applied Science (BAS), as well as certificates (CT) in areas such as wireless and network communications as well as computer programming and web development. The BAS in cybersecurity is the most recent addition to the curriculum. “We at Pensacola State are proud of our many technology programs that prepare students for exciting, productive careers,” said President Meadows in a press release. “We look forward to working with these business and industry partners to provide a highly skilled and educated workforce for Northwest Florida.” Although grant funding through the TechHire Initiative was initially set to be $100 million, the amount was increased to more than $150 million. TechHire grants focus on providing workers the skills for a pathway to the middle class while providing employers with the skilled technology workers need to grow and expand. The Department of Labor estimates that more than 18,000 participants will receive services through the TechHire grant program. Over $125 million of the grants will go to partnerships that specifically target, train, and support young people ages 17 to 29. In addition, $24 million will go to partnerships that help other disadvantaged groups with barriers to employment, including veterans, people with disabilities, people with limited English proficiency, and people with criminal records. Grant winners and TechHire community partnerships focus on the following: data and innovative hiring practices to expand openness to non-traditional hiring, models for training that prepare students in months instead of years, and active local leadership to connect people to jobs with hiring on ramp programs. PSC became a grant winner thanks to the hard work of the college faculty and staff, including Dr. Debbie Douma who was the lead grant writer behind the proposal for Pensacola to become a TechHire community. “I believe that being chosen for the White

House TechHire Community is validation for what the college and community partners would be doing whether we had an initiative title like ‘TechHire community’ or not,” said Dr. Debbie Douma. “We’re all working collaboratively to meet the need of community members desiring the education and training leading to economically selfsufficient employment; existing businesses in need of a skilled workforce; and new businesses looking to start-up or relocate to the Greater Pensacola area.” All TechHire communities go through an intensive and competitive application process to demonstrate their level of commitment and readiness in expanding their technology sector—a process that requires a proposal, which was spearheaded by Dr. Douma. Of course, we can’t overlook who brought the TechHire Initiative to the attention of the college, which was none other than Michelle Horton from the board of Innovation Coast, who came across a small announcement on the American Association of Community Colleges’ website and alerted Dr. Douma. After receiving approval from President Meadows to proceed with the application process, Dr. Douma continued to work with Michelle Horton of Innovation Coast to compile information. They brought Dr. Kirk Bradley into the fold as well, as the contact for the application process, since he was not only the new dean of Baccalaureate Studies and Academic Support but he had previously held the title of department head for Mathematics and Computer Science. Together the trio provided information to the policy adviser to the National Economic Counsel at the White House, including but not limited to information on: technology programs and supportive services the college already had in place, project numbers of enrollments and completions, community data from employment and earnings to demographics, and information on proposed

employer partners. They were also asked to provide data on PSC’s proposed target populations, such as military veterans and disadvantaged populations including minority students, and were asked to provide some five-year number projections for interns and full-time hires, as well as to confirm support from the Mayor’s office for the initiative. However, PSC already had a number of the pieces in place to become a TechHire community. The college has five different US Department of Education TRIO grant-funded programs, specifically designed to provide academic and student support to military veterans and disadvantaged populations in our community. “I think what impressed them most was the fact that PSC and Pensacola are already doing things to provide opportunities to tech students and employers,” said Dr. Douma. “The White House contacts seemed to understand that the college recognizes that technology employers have a need for a skilled workforce and we are responding to that need. We had all of the pieces in place already.” Finally, on December 2, 2016, thanks to the combined efforts of PSC, Innovation Coast, and the City of Pensacola, our city became TechHire official as one of 20 new TechHire communities. Since the announcement, PSC has been assigned a community manager who has shared a number of resources, and the college has touched base with other newly named TechHire communities, all in effort to learn the best practices in methods of delivering education and training to targeted populations and shortening the time it takes to get students into the workforce. | Business Climate | 55

Community Development

More Than a Skatepark

Upward Intuition Envisions a Community Space Written by Hana Frenette


fter years of planning, fundraising and conceptualizing, Jon Shell is one step closer to making the underutilized greenway beneath the 110 interstate overpass into something the entire community can enjoy—The Blake Doyle Community Park.

Shell, 28, now a realtor with Levin Rinke Reality, grew up skateboarding at a park called Deep South. When he was 12, the skate park closed and he and his friends were at a loss of what to do or where to go. They wanted to keep skating, but the public spaces permitting skating were very limited.

“We were skating on private property downtown, and were getting hassled by police officers and business owners,” Shell said. Although Shell still had the passion for skateboarding, he put it on the backburner while he was in high school, doing it on and off instead of daily like he had as a child.

After graduating from college in Orlando and returning home, Shell noticed that despite the recent surge of development downtown, there was a lack of public space available for skateboarders to practice in Pensacola.

He moved to Orlando to attend college at the University of Central Florida and after just a day or so of driving around town, he realized an important public facet that was missing from Pensacola. “There are public skate parks everywhere—even regionally there are several in Mobile, Milton, and all through central Florida,” Shell said. “Why not here?” Shell said the skate parks served as safe and positive places for kids and teenagers to ride bikes, skate, rollerblade, and interact with other kids. “I really got back into skating when I was in college,” he said. “And then I returned home and saw all the new development, the revitalization going on with downtown and Palafox Street, and I remembered we didn’t have a public skate park– but I really wanted to keep skating.” Shell started a blog in January

of 2015, and wrote his first article about what he refers to as “Pensacola’s forgotten youth,”— the kids who love to rollerblade and skateboard, but don’t have the access to a public place to practice. “The post was basically about how far Pensacola had come, all the great things going on here, but how there’s this overlooked demographic of kids that are really passionate about skating, biking, rollerblading—but they don’t have anywhere to go to just do it, or to just be themselves.” Shell received a ton of positive feedback from the blog post– from people who used to skate or remembered going to the same skate parks and were now wishing for the same experience for future generations, as well as themselves, and just from people who thought Pensacola should have more recreational opportunities for the public. | Business Climate | 57

Community Development Around the same, in 2015, Shell’s close high school friend and fellow skateboarder, Blake Doyle was hit and killed by a train. “I was seeing how completely devastated my friends were, and what an impact Blake had on us, and what a charismatic person he was,” Shell said. “He left behind a pregnant wife, and she was just devastated. I’d been close with his twin brother Bart, and we made a blog post about the future skate park we were hoping for– we decided to push forward for this project in the memory of Blake and what he stood for.” Shell explained when Blake was in high school, he lost a leg in an accident, and even with the loss of his leg, he still got on a skateboard, and always had a smile on face. “That’s the spirit that we wanted to embody and live through this park. Just knowing what it means for Bart and his family, and also what it means for all the kids around here who love skating— that’s what has kept me going.” Shell dived in headfirst and realized he would need to begin fundraising for the project. “For the fundraising, we realized we’d either need to work with an existing non-profit or start our own,” he said. Thus Upward Intuition was born—a non-profit organization based on three words: Thoughts create reality. Their mission statement focuses heavily on youth-based programs and ways to enact positive change throughout the community. “We strive to lead by example in an effort to inspire and empower

Shell met with L.Abased designers Aaron Spohn and Vince Onel in February to discuss plans for the park

them to live with a sense of purpose, and to show the value of giving back the community. Through youthdriven programs we provide opportunities for young people to make good decisions. They are encouraged to be innovators by identifying problems and crafting solutions, and we support their goals by offering them ways to become involved in projects with lasting significance.” “Our idea was to get our youth—this particular demographic—involved in this project and have them feel like its their project and to take ownership of it as a way to bridge this gap between this demographic of young people who have great ideas for Pensacola and want to see it grow,” Shell said. “It can be a way to reach the politicians and business leaders, investors—people who can help enact change.”

The first part of the project will take up one city block—approximately 1/8 of the Hollice T. corridor 58 | Business Climate |

Shell began working with the kids to create an Upward Intuition skate team in the summer of 2015. “We did the first event on April 24, 2015, and we filmed a documentary to highlight what we were doing and why we were doing it. We raised

Upward Intuition team realized they might have to look outside the small downtown box they’d originally had their eye on. During a meeting with the city of Pensacola, city officials proposed the Hollice T. Williams corridor as a prospective location—a

“That’s the spirit that we wanted to embody and live through this park. Just knowing what it means for Bart and his family, and also what it means for all the kids around here who love skating—that’s what has kept me going.” some money and then jumped in and started working with the city to find a location.” Originally, Shell envisioned the skate park location in the heart of downtown, possibly near Maritime Park or Main Street. He was hoping the park could feed off the growth and excitement happening on Palafox Street. Several months later, Shell and the

lengthy green space underneath the I-110 interstate ramp downtown. At first glance, Shell was against the location. “I thought, ‘There are 93 parks in the city, and you want us to be under this bridge?’” He said with a laugh. “After meeting with them a few times, they showed me the plans to make it into a greenway and I could see it was a really awesome

plan--almost kind of similar to the beltline in Atlanta, or the Highline in New York—taking this underutilized space and transforming it with public art, walkways, sculptures, murals, music, a café—and a skate park.” Shell noted the Hollice T. Corridor is one of the first things you see if you’re exiting or entering the interstate from downtown, and to revitalize that corridor would be beneficial to visitors taking in the city. The original plan to revitalize the corridor, which runs from Jackson Street down to Wright Street (adjacent to Hayne running north and south under I-110), was conceived half dozen years ago by the city and was in need of a jump start. Upward Intuition quickly got behind the city’s plan to revamp the prime location, which had languished for such a long time. Shell is hoping to start with one city block—approximately 1/8 of the corridor—as a catalyst for the revitalization of the entire corridor. “We realized pretty quickly that even though this started out as a skate park, in order to raise capital to fund it, we would need to have activities for all sorts of people—things parents can do, brothers and sisters, senior citizens, early learning components—and then it really morphed into something a lot bigger than a skate park,” he said. Shell and Upward Intuition met with the city again and the Department of Transportation (DOT)—the official owner of everything underneath the interstate. The city and

DOT agreed they’d like to see conceptual drawings of the space before moving forward, so Shell began looking for an architect. He found two men out of Los Angeles with experience building skate parks and reached out to them in hopes of securing their talent for the project. Shell will work with California designers Aaron Spohn and Vince Onel, who’ve built and designed skate parks used for the XGames and other professional skating events, as well as landscape architects, Jerry Pate Design. “One of our ideas from the beginning was to build this park to be a venue where we can have professional events and to really put Pensacola on the map as having an iconic skate park,” Shell said. “We are really psyched to be working with them.” Shell and Upward Intuition went through several conceptual drawings in order receive DOT approval over a 7-8 months process. “We were able to get the mayor to commit in writing to the plans, then we got approval from the city Parks and Recreation board,” Shell said. “And then one last thing—because I didn’t want Upward Intuition to be in the business of trash cleanup, removing graffiti, cleaning bathrooms—was the idea was that we handle the design and build this incredible park and then turn it over and the city will maintain it.” The cost of maintenance and trash removal is estimated to be $40,000 to $50,000 a year, and Shell was met with some resistance at first. After go-

Shell coaches the upward intuition youth skate team regularly. The team began in 2015, and each of the members serve as ambassadors for the proposed park. ing before City Council on October 16, 2016, with an incredibly strong number of people in support of the park, all council members voted in favor of the proposal to have the city maintain the park. “Once the city agreed to maintain and operate it, I felt comfortable to move forward and start fundraising,” Shell said. Phase one of the fundraising tops out at $125,000, with approximately 85 percent of the goal met as of February 2017. The fundraising will cover all of the project’s preliminary development costs-things like construction documents, which typically cost about $25,000, geotechnical consultations, surveying, Phase I assessm ent, design and development, civil engineering, marketing etc. “We’ve gotten funding from the Bear Family and the Kugleman Family—both of those family foundations want to be involved. Levin Rinke Realty and Robert Ranke made a really generous donation as did, Pensacola Sports, the Hammond Family, Julian MacQueen from Innisfree Hotels, the Levin Papantonio Law Firm, Escambia County Commissioner Doug Underhill, city council president Brian Spencer, and city council members Larry Johnson, Andy Terhaar and Sherri Myers. Once the project has reached its

Phase one goal, Shell says they’ll be at the point where they can plan to break ground, which he hopes will be sometime in 2018. The park designers met with Shell on Feb. 21 to walk the site, attend several community input meetings, and begin to finalize the new designs for the park. Shell noted much of the original design will change to incorporate additional seating, a small amphitheater, a café, the existing community garden and additional walkways. Later in the year, Upward Intuition will host a gala to reveal their new park design accompanied by a short film and new renderings, which will officially kick off phase two of the fundraising process and put Shell and Upward Intuition one step closer to creating their long-awaited community park. “I’m really grateful for the opportunity to make an impact in my hometown and for the way the community has embraced and supported our vision. This project is more than just a skate park,” Shell said. “It will provide a safe and positive environment for an under-served demographic and is the next step in creating a greenway corridor leading in to the heart of our downtown and waterfront. We’ve come a long way over the last couple years but still have a ways to go.” | Business Climate | 59

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60 | Business Climate |


Around the Region Bud Light Charity Golf Challenge The Arc Gateway Foundation and Pensacola Sports are teaming up once again for the Bud Light Charity Golf Challenge. The four-man scramble will be held on Friday, April 21 at Marcus Pointe Golf Club at 12:30 p.m. The tournament features a putting contest, raffle prizes, food throughout the course, and more! Take a swing and sign up today to help support the future of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. All proceeds from the event support programs at The Arc Gateway and Pensacola Sports. The Arc Gateway provides services and support to more than 800 children and adults with developmental disabilities. Pensacola Sports enriches our community by creating and supporting sporting events for amateurs and professionals and by encouraging physical fitness and healthy, active lifestyles for all. For more information about The Arc Gateway, visit or call (850) 4342638.

UWF professor leads the f i ght against Alzheimer’s disease in Northwest Florida Dr. Daniel Durkin, assistant professor in the University of West Florida Department of Social Work, was recently named the Alzheimer’s Association Ambassador for the Florida Panhandle and was selected to the Board of Directors for Covenant Alzheimer’s Care. “We’re incredibly proud of Dan’s work with the Alzheimer’s Association and Covenant Alzheimer’s Care,” said Dr. Roy “Butch” Rodenhiser, professor and chair of the Department of Social Work. “He’s been very active as an advocate for senior citizens and I’m sure his work will continue in his recent appointments. He will carry the torch in support of advocating for people with and at risk of Alzheimer’s disease.” The Alzheimer’s Ambassador Program is designed to enhance the Alzheimer’s Association’s federal government relations efforts. That is made possible through personal contact between targeted members of Congress and constituents, who are capable of building relationships with decision-makers and their staff and holding them accountable to their commitment to fighting Alzheimer’s. Ambassadors are grassroots volunteers selected to serve as the main point of in-district contact for a member of Congress for a one-year term. Ambassadors play a critical role in helping the Alzheimer’s Association meet its federal legislative goals and work directly with National and chapter

staff to implement federal advocacy activities at the community level. “As ambassador, I hope to build relationships with legislators and provide them with information and evidence that will help them make informed decisions about policies and programs for people with Alzheimer’s disease, their caregivers and older adults,” Durkin said. Durkin developed an interest in becoming an ambassador and helping inform decision makers about evidence on social work topics after working with the state Legislature to get Title IV-E passed for child welfare. He said the ambassador role and his appointment to the Board of Directors for Covenant Alzheimer’s Care provide him with the opportunity to open doors for the Department of Social Work and the University as a whole. “My involvement with these organizations helps the Department of Social Work present policy advocacy opportunities to further the mission of the department, the College of Education and Professional Studies and the University,” he added. “I am proud to represent the University of West Florida with these organizations.” For more information about the Alzheimer’s Association and Covenant Alzheimer’s Care, visit and, respectively. To learn more about the UWF Department of Social Work, visit

Pensacola Sports Announces 2017 Board of Directors Pensacola Sports begins a new year with the 2017 Board of Directors including thirty-four (34) incumbents and four (4) new members. Chairman of the Board this year is Jehan Clark (Swoop Consulting.) The 2017 Executive Committee is: Rick Johnson (ServisFirst Bank) Chairman-elect, Jackie Gheen (Santa Rosa County schools) past Chairman and Vice Chairs Ted Gund (Saltmarsh, Cleaveland and Gund), Phil Kraus (Greater Pensacola Aquatic Club), Robby Rushing (Carver, Darden, et al) Norm Ross (Escambia County School District), Katie Kehoe (Holiday Inn Resort) and Jim Beran (Gilmore Services). New board members beginning January 2017: Dr. Bryan Boerjan (Gulf Coast Pain Institute), Daniel Herman (Raymond James Financial), John Murray (Team MPI), and Aaron Runyon (Santa Rosa County Schools). Returning 2017 Board members: Doug Bates (Clark, Partington, Hart), Bobby Behr (B, B &

T Bank), Zach Brothers (Actigraph), Michael Burroughs (Gulf Power), Bruce Childers (Attorney at Law), Will Condon (Sacred Heart Health System), Brian Cooper (City of Pensacola), Bill Creedon (WEAR TV3), Charles Gheen (Santa Rosa Island Triathlon), Meghan Gilroy-Triolo (A Door Properties), Bill Hamilton (Pensacola State College), Cam Johnson (Cox Communications), Rhea Kessler (The Kessler Foundation), Mike Layton (FSi Group), Evan Malone (Executive Health Resources), Jared Martin (Boehringer-Ingelheim Pharmaceutical), Janet Olliff (Nurse Spring), Jay Patel (LHS Companies), Ron Pulley (City of Gulf Breeze), D.C. Reeves (Studer Family of Companies), Michael Rhodes (Escambia County), Brent Scott (Medtronic Inc.), Dave Scott (University of West Florida), David Taylor (Beggs and Lane), Mark Taylor (Lewis Bear Company), Jason Weeks (Santa Rosa County School District). Special thanks go to those Board members who completed their service in 2016: Chip

Boes (Escambia County Schools), Mike Eddins (Hiles-McLeod Insurance), John Panyko (Attorney at Law) and Candy Carlisle. Ray Palmer, previously the Executive Director, has been named President and CEO of the organization, and is pleased to welcome two new staff members. Melissa Bruce will be working as an event manager and on membership and marketing efforts. Candy Carlisle will be working as Palmer’s executive assistant and managing the front desk and other special assignments. Bruce was formerly on the event staff with the Blue Wahoos and Carlisle retired as Director of Marketing for Cordova Mall in 2016. They join staff members Jason Libbert, Sally Garst, Mike Price and Miriam Yarbrough. | Business Climate | 61

Around the Region

Pensacola Runners Association Accepting Grant Applications $5,000 to Area Running Organizations / Clubs The Pensacola Runners Association (PRA) is pleased to announce it is beginning a grant program for area organization, clubs, and/or projects. In its January meeting, PRA board of directors voted to place up to $5,000 in the program to award to organizations which furthered the PRA mission: to promote, support and develop running and racing along the northern Gulf Coast. The PRA’s objective is to provide information, education, training, social and sporting events for competitive and noncompetitive runners and walkers of all ages, races, genders and abilities. A grant application must be filled out and submitted to the PRA. A grant committee will review each application and vote on its submission. There is no deadline on the application, only the $5,000 cap to be awarded. Once the cap has been reached, the grant application will be removed from the website. With the addition of the $5,000 in the grant program, the PRA will have contributed over $11,000 to area track and running organizations this past year. “We are excited to be able to provide this platform for local running organizations to apply to help further their cause and achieve its goal,” said Pensacola Runners Association President Jason Libbert. “Our events did well for us, which put us in this position to set aside some funds for the grant program. As our events succeed and grow, so will the health and success of Pensacola residents and similar organizations.” The PRA was formed in 1972. It is comprised of a volunteer board of directors and currently has over 600 members. The PRA owns and manages seven races: The Argonaut 5K, Pensacola Seafood Don McCloskey 5K, Christmas Dash 1 Miler, Pensacola Beach Run Half Marathon / 10K / 5K, Bay to Breakfast 8K Cross Country Challenge, Fiesta of Five Flags 10K / 5K, and the PRA Membership Run. Membership is another way to grow the PRA to help contribute to the grant program. Membership opportunities are available for individuals and families. Benefits include discounted race entries, two member-only socials, free training and tips, and free entry to the PRA Membership Run. Runners / walkers can join the PRA on its website at For more information and to print the grant application, visit

62 | Business Climate |

New Brand Identity for Arc Gateway The Arc Gateway is proud to unveil their new brand identity in the spirit of energy and a renewed commitment to providing opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families. This dynamic new logo is the new face of The Arc Gateway and it will be on their newsletter, Web site, signage, community events and more. The logo will unite the organization with other Arc affiliated chapters across the country under the banner “Achieve With Us,” a call to move forward and take the road leading to progress, inclusion and respect. “We are so excited to align our look with the national Arc logo,” said The Arc Gateway Chief Executive Officer Missy Rogers. “This new logo

will bring the work of a strong and energetic organization front and center and is a reminder to the community of the great work that we do for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.” The logo design reflects the energy and determination of The Arc Gateway to support and embrace people with I/DD and their families across their lifetimes and across diagnoses, including Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy and other I/DD. With the new look, The Arc Gateway will keep the same mission of providing the best possible life experiences for children and adults with I/DD. For more information about The Arc Gateway, visit or call (850) 434-2638.

Levin Papantonio Attorney Troy Rafferty Starts New Scholarship to Inspire Success Pensacola, FL – Troy Rafferty, a trial lawyer with the Levin Papantonio Law Firm, is donating $50,000 a year for a new college scholarship. The scholarship will be awarded annually to students in Escambia County, through the Southern Sports Youth Association (SYSA), a non-profit organization that supports local youth through sports, tutoring, mentoring, and social development. The goal is to inspire students to pursue success through higher education. “This is about hope,” said Rafferty. “Our children need to know that if they work hard and are committed to making our community better, that the money will be there for them to go to college.” The students will receive the scholarship funds after graduating high school and meeting other criteria, like maintaining a certain GPA and performing community service. There will also be oversight by the SYSA in how the scholarship money is spent. Many of the students who participate in the variety of activities offered by the SYSA are from lowincome homes and neighborhoods struggling with crime. As a result, they face additional challenges, and often need a guiding hand. The SYSA Director, Lumon May, says the organization’s programs are designed to help students become successful athletes, students, and citizens. “We have children in our community who just need to know somebody cares and we try to provide that for them, but it’s an uphill climb considering where they’re growing up,” said May. According to the Florida Department of Education, Escambia County’s overall high school graduation rate for 2015-16 is 76.1 percent, just behind the

statewide average of 80.7 percent. However, there’s a disparity among graduates based on race. Among white students, Escambia County’s graduation rate is 81.5 percent and among African-American students it’s 63.6 percent. May believes those numbers can improve and the community can help bridge the gap with more support for students. “We see great success stories, but some kids get discouraged no matter how much they want to succeed, because negative influences drag them down,” explained May. “When faced with tough choices, a scholarship like the one Mr. Rafferty is providing, could be the difference that helps a child overcome and build a better life.” Mr. Rafferty is a highly successful and award winning attorney who has been with the Levin Papantonio Law Firm for more than twenty years, litigating mass tort, pharmaceutical, and major personal injury cases throughout the country. Most recently, he received the 2016 Perry Nichols Award from the Florida Justice Association, the highest award given by the organization and presented to an attorney who has demonstrated an extended and distinguished commitment to the cause of justice in Florida and the nation. Mr. Rafferty is also an active community philanthropist. In January, he was honored for his contributions with the “Living the Dream Award,” an honor given to those who exemplify the ideals of the civil rights leader. In addition to the new scholarship, Mr. Rafferty funds two other local scholarships under his name (The Rafferty Scholarship/Award), and a high school athletic achievement award.

Around the Region

UWF Center for Entrepreneurship launches resource website to help Northwest Florida entrepreneurs The University of West Florida Center for Entrepreneurship, in collaboration with Gulf Power Company and FloridaWest Economic Development Alliance, has developed the Northwest Florida Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Assets Portal to assist entrepreneurs in Northwest Florida. “Developing this portal falls perfectly in line with the Center for Entrepreneurship’s mission to serve as a comprehensive resource for economic innovation and support the complete life cycle of the entrepreneur,” said Dr. Tim O’Keefe, dean of the UWF College of Business. “We are thankful for Gulf Power and FloridaWest EDA, our dedicated partners in enhancing the workforce landscape for entrepreneurs in Northwest Florida.” The Northwest Florida Entrepreneurial Support Coalition is designed to build a more cohesive, intentional and resourceful entrepreneurial ecosystem in Northwest Florida. The online portal acts as a one-stop shop for starting a business in the region, providing links to all of the organizations from Pensacola to Panama City that may be helpful to entrepreneurs. Resources are categorized into areas such as funding, advice, workspace, training, events and research. “Gulf Power is a proud partner with the Northwest Florida Entrepreneurial Support Coalition in our efforts to support job growth and capital investment in the region,” explained Jennifer Grove, community development manager at Gulf Power. “We greatly appreciate the University of West Florida taking the lead to develop the web portal which makes it easy for entrepreneurs to connect to

resources available in the region to support them in growing their business.” The idea for the portal originated with FloridaWest EDA, which initially maintained a spreadsheet of entrepreneurial support organizations in the Greater Pensacola Area. Gulf Power, which serves a broader footprint in the region, expanded upon the initial list of entities connecting similar organizations as far as Panama City. “We want to thank the Center for Entrepreneurship at UWF for offering to develop such a great resource for our entrepreneurs and existing business in the region,” said Scott Luth, CEO of FloridaWest EDA. “It is collaborative efforts such as these that make Escambia County and Greater Pensacola such a perfect place to grow new businesses and jobs.“ With shared objectives of diversifying and growing the region’s economy, FloridaWest EDA and Gulf Power sought the assistance of the UWF Center for Entrepreneurship to create a more visible database. The online portal went live in late 2016. Entrepreneurial support organizations – from chambers of commerce to venture capitalists – can now leverage resources, coordinate events and determine shared objectives to enhance support and navigation of the entrepreneurial ecosystem within Northwest Florida communities. Participating organizations will help to raise awareness of the portal by communicating its availability to entrepreneurs and other stakeholders. For more information about the Northwest Florida Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Assets Portal, visit the UWF Center for Entrepreneurship website.

Art Advisory Firm Invites Viewers to Collect and Connect Leader Art Consultants LLC (LAC), a Pensacola, FL based art advisory firm, will host a PopUp Gallery to benefit First City Art Center on March 17-25, 2017. The firm, established in Fall 2016, will feature a lineup of emerging and established Gulf Coast artists from its temporary downtown gallery location of 43 South Palafox Street inside the former Dollarhide’s Music Center.

The opening reception will be held on March 17th, 2017 from 5:30-9pm during the March Gallery Night Pensacola event. First City Art Center (FCAC), a working art center and nonprofit that engages the community through a broad range of workshops, classes, gallery shows, community events and outreach, will be on hand during the evening to demonstrate their mobile glass blowing unit. A portion of all PopUp Gallery proceeds will benefit FCAC programming. This event would not The exhibition, entitled “Collect.” provides a unique environment for collectors, art enthusiasts be possible without the generous support provided and patrons to collect innovative and exciting works by LAC March Gallery Sponsor, One Palafox Place. by regional artists. A curated group of paintings, photographs, prints, glass and sculpture, with “Collect.” will kick off with an opening reception on Friday, March 17 between 5:30 – 9pm. price points ranging from $200 - $15,000, will be on display. The list of featured artists includes: The PopUp Gallery will remain open to the Ursula Mahlar (Pensacola, FL), David Lumpkin public March 18-25, 10am – 6pm. For more (Madisonville, LA), Michael Boles (Pensacola, FL), information regarding times and location, visit Steve Wagner (Grayton Beach, FL) and others, with For direct inquiries please a focus on contemporary art. Unlike a traditional contact the LAC office at 850-462-8448 or by email at gallery setting, the work in this exhibition will be available for immediate purchase.

Save the Date for City’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt The City of Pensacola Parks and Recreation Department will host the annual Easter Egg Hunt at Roger Scott Athletic Complex on Saturday, April 8, 2017. The fun takes place 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. with free activities for children and egg hunts with thousands of candy and prize-filled eggs. The egg hunt times are as follows: 10:30 a.m. Stroller – 2 year olds 11:00 a.m. 3 – 4 year olds 11:30 a.m. 5 – 7 year olds 12:00 p.m. 8 – 10 year olds 12:20 p.m. 11 – 12 year olds Throughout the day kids can play carnival games, bounce on inflatables, have their photo taken with the Easter Bunny, enjoy a Bunny Hop (cake walk), and play at the bubble station. Admission to the event is free with a donation of a non-perishable food item for Manna Food Pantries. The City of Pensacola Parks and Recreation would like to thank these sponsors and supporting businesses and organizations: My Pensacola Credit Union, Pensacola News Journal, Jet 100.7 FM, Soft Rock 94.1 FM, Magic 106.1 FM, Cox Media, Cat Country 98.7 FM, News Radio 1620AM & 92.3FM, and Truth for Youth. For more information, please call 850-4365670 or visit

Healthcare Real Estate Firm Continues Growth Local health care real estate firm, Catalyst CRE, is continuing to grow their staff and their real estate holdings. The firm recently hired three new additions to their team. In addition to Catalyst’s new headquarters at the Rhodes Building, CEO Chad Henderson has partnered with local investors to also purchase the property at 2 North Palafox, on the corner of Garden Street and Palafox. This building, almost 20,000 square feet, houses the Pensacola News Journal offices, and is also home to Emerald Coast Tours and Bell Media. In addition to the purchase of the building, there are plans to renovate the vacant 2nd floor space for a new tenant, as well as updating the interior of the building while restoring the historical aesthetics of the exterior. Catalyst is also developing multiple new medical buildings, including Louisiana Medical Office Building and Baptist Medical Park Airport in Pensacola. For more information on Catalyst CRE, visit their website, or find them on Facebook and LinkedIn. | Business Climate | 63



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