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HONORING OUR

VETERANS VETERANS MEMORIAL PARK • MONUMENT TO WOMEN VETERANS THE BLUE ANGELS • 100 FACES OF WAR NOVEMBER 2019 | PENSACOLAMAGAZINE.COM


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Editor’s Note November brings with it cool breezes, warm drinks, twinkling lights and the beginning of the holiday season. All wonderful things to be sure—and my daughter and I enjoy them immensely. A bit earlier in the month comes a holiday that is sometimes overlooked in the mad rush of holiday decorating, baking and preparing. Veterans Day seeks to honor the men and women who have served, fought, been injured and often died in service to the country they love. While many enjoy the day off of work or school that Veterans Day offers, it’s so important to take the time to consider the real reason for the holiday. I was inspired to focus our November issue on veterans after a walk through Veterans Memorial Park a couple months ago. I’m embarrassed to admit it had been years since I’d walked through the park. I was amazed by the beauty of the landscape and humbled by the solemnity of the monuments. The names lining Wall South, the flowers and flags placed at each monument and the attention to detail of the sculptures all combine for a very moving experience. I encourage everyone to make a visit to the park—bring your kids, your parents and your grandparents, if you are lucky enough to still have them. It’s an experience that will resonate with the entire family and one that just might spark important conversations about your family history. Emily Echevarria shares a wonderful overview of the park with historical information and descriptions of the many monuments that the park offers. If you’re looking for a good way to spend your Veterans Day, head down to the Veterans Memorial Park on Monday, November 11 at 11 am for a special ceremony honoring America’s veterans. The Pensacola Museum of Art is also honoring veterans with a traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian titled “100 Faces of War.” The exhibit features 100 oil paintings of veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars by

Massachusetts artist Matt Mitchell. In addition to the emotional and moving exhibit, the museum will also be offering two performances of “Telling Pensacola” in which local veterans tell stories of their service and their journey of re-entering civilian life. And of course, we have a little something about the Blue Angels—it is November in Pensacola, after all! We talked with former flight surgeon and hobbyist photographer Dr. Juan Guerra about his time with the Blues and the many creative images of the team he was able to capture from his unique perspective. In this issue, we also feature a story about the nonprofit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida in honor of their 30th anniversary and all of the amazing work they do for the young people in our area. Be sure to look into volunteering with them if you have a little time to spare. And of course, we have info on Winterfest and the downtown Festival of Lights—both are must see holiday traditions! As always, I hope you enjoy the issue and to our veterans—thank you for your service.

Kelly Oden Executive Editor

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@pensacola_magazine

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Contents WINTERFESTIVITIES TAKE OVER DOWNTOWN 14 It's time for santa, elves, reindeer and the magic of Christmas. 100 FACES SHOW THE COST OF WAR 18 A new exhibit at the Pensacola Museum of Art offers a deeply personal view on the consequences of war. NAVY FLIGHT SURGEON TAKES UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE OF BLUE ANGELS 23 Former Blue Angels flight surgeon and hobbyist photographer offers a creative view of the Blues in action.

36

RESPECT, RETAIN AND RECRUIT 27 A local nonprofit seeks to honor women veterans. BIG SHOES TO FILL 31 Tuning in to a community and building a life saving child mentorship program: Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Northwest Florida celebrates 30 years.

27

31

VETERANS MEMORIAL PARK 36 Veterans Memorial Park offers a beautiful place to honor and memorialize those who served and those who died in military service.

IN EVERY ISSUE Editor’s Letter 6 Page 10 10 Pensacola Seen 12 Play/Live/Give 45

SPECIAL SECTIONS Business Climate On the Market

53 69

ON THE COVER:

WWII Memorial Veterans Memorial Park photo by Guy Stevens

8 Pensacola Magazine

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MAGAZINE

NOVEMBER 2019

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Owners Malcolm & Glenys Ballinger Publisher Malcolm Ballinger malcolm@ballingerpublishing.com

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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. © 2019

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PAGE 10 with DeeDee Davis

Restaurants have been a part of cultural fiber since the eighteenth century. Think about it. Where would most first dates happen if there weren’t restaurants? And, planning a trip always includes researching local eateries. Describe your favorite cities and what is always one of the things you like best about them? Great times, break ups, celebrations – the most memorable moments involve a restaurant. But restaurants come and restaurants go. The odds of a restaurant surviving more than 3 years are low, as running a restaurant is probably one of the toughest businesses there is. Keeping good employees and food quality control are only a part of what makes it so difficult. Staying fresh and creative in a crowded market is always a challenge. Slip up and the competition will literally eat you alive. And then there are those restaurants that become a staple in your life. For many, it’s a breakfast spot where “the gang” meets to solve the problems of the day. For others, it’s a favorite watering hole like Cheers. For me, Jackson’s is the standout for so many reasons. It’s only appropriate that in this 21st year of their existence I give them a proper salute. Most locals know that the restaurant is on the corner of Palafox and Zarragoza overlooking the park where Andrew Jackson claimed northwest Florida for the United States. The logo is a replica of his signature. Chef Irv Miller, Barry Phillips, and Walt Steigleman opened their doors in 1998 and while Chef Irv is still there, better than ever, ownership has changed to the Great Southern Restaurant Group also known as Collier, Burney, and Will Merrill. The entire group, along with the world’s best restaurant marketing director, Maria Goldberg, and plenty of 10 Pensacola Magazine

girlfriends and I have gone there for birthday lunches since we were in our early forties. (Don’t even think about doing the math)

other loyal staff members have consistently managed to provide world class service, creative cocktails, and award winning cuisine for all these years. I remember very well when they first opened and the way many hoped that the fine dining establishment would fill the void left when The Driftwood restaurant closed. They did a whole lot more than that. The bar immediately became the after work scene where professionals could stop in, most becoming regulars. I guess one of the reasons Jackson’s has become so iconic is that it has not only survived time, it has survived storms. When Ivan hit in 2004, most structures downtown were lucky if they still had a roof. Jackson’s was one of, if not the, first restaurants to re-open. The china was replaced with paper plates and most of the limited menu was prepared on hot plates, but it was open. For us living downtown, we huddled together there in shell shock, all comparing notes on the damage done to our homes. The carpet was ripped out because of the storm surge, and plenty of repairs were required, but somehow they got it opened. I have been there for joyous weddings and for emotional celebrations of life. My closest

And the service. The staff there knows how to make everyone feel special. Sit at the bar and enjoy a beverage and someone magically appears to carry that drink to your table when it is ready. Wearing a dark dress to dinner? White linen napkins are quickly exchanged for black because they dare not be responsible for getting lint on your ensemble. Details? You bet. Granted, not every dining experience has to be so elegant and lovely, but then again, why not? They also go to great extremes that make a priceless experience affordable. $20 Maine lobster Mondays. Who can beat that? Wine down Wednesdays with half price bottles of wine. Bar specials every night. And a whole new menu by Chef Irv that has just been introduced celebrating the flavors of fall. So, cheers to 21 years and hopefully to another 21. Thank you Maria, Collier, Steve, Irv, Jake, Scottie, Romeo, Barbara and all the others who have made this such a special landmark in Pensacola. It is so much more than just a restaurant.

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Winterfestivities Take Over Downtown by Will Isern

For more than 20 years, Pensacolians have looked to Winterfest as the official start to the holiday season. More than just an event series that transforms downtown into a holiday wonderland, Winterfest is a Pensacola tradition. This year, Winterfest is shaping up to be bigger and better than ever, organizers said. Winterfest began in 1998 as a neighborhood holiday party and has grown into a month-long event series that takes over downtown Pensacola and includes trolley rides, the Elf Parade, visits with Santa, live performances of classic holiday stories and much more. Winterfest kicks off this year with a “Welcome Santa” parade at the Nov. 22 Gallery Night. The Elf Parade on Nov. 29 also serves as the beginning of the First City Festival of Lights, which illuminates Palafox Street with thousands of Christmas lights for the entire holiday season and draws scores of visitors downtown from across the city and around the region. Winterfest has been expanding in recent years and now includes train rides through downtown on the Winterfest Express and a popular fireworks display as part of the opening ceremony at the end of the Elf Parade. Fireworks are on 14 Pensacola Magazine

the schedule again this year, as are the LEGO Festival on Dec. 7, Santa’s Puppy Party on Dec. 8 and Papa Noel’s Cajun Gumbo Festival on the 14th, among others. This year will also see a living nativity scene with singing angles and choir performances by church and school groups on the steps of the Artel Gallery. Winterfest President Denise Daughtry said the festival is about providing value and holiday fun for families and visitors in downtown Pensacola. Coordinating the many parts of Winterfest each year, she said, takes a lot of work but is made worthwhile when she sees families enjoying the holiday spirit in Pensacola. “Years ago we had a neighborhood Christmas party that was just something fun we decided to do and from there’s it’s really turned into something,” Daughtry said. Daughtry and her small team work year-round to promote and organize Winterfest and have managed over the years to garner national recognition for Pensacola from national outlets like Expedia and Southern Living. The event is supported with grant funding by Visit Pensacola. Surveys conducted in recent years estimated that nearly 30,000 people attend Winterfest over the course of the month, and many of those were out of town visitors who came to Pensacola

specifically for the event. It was estimated that attendees spend over $800,000 in Escambia County, making Winterfest a valuable economic booster in the usuallyslow “shoulder season” when crowds have left the beaches and returned north. Winterefest’s main attraction is its flagship performance trolley tours, which transport guests through the streets of downtown to live-action holiday scenes from classic holiday films and stories including “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “How The Grinch Stole Christmas,” “The Polar Express” and others. This year will see the introduction of a new stop featuring characters from the 90s classic “Home Alone.” “I think there’s really something for people of all ages, and I think something that sets us apart is that there are actual live people entertaining you,” Daughtry said. “It makes a difference.” For more information on Winterfest visit PensacolaWinterfest.org.


YOUR BEST FALL EVER! There’s nothing quite like Pensacola, Florida in the Fall—and if it’s Fall that means it’s time for Foo Foo Fest! We’ve got it all—it’s a smorgasbord, or a gumbo, of entertainment, self-indulgence, education and enlightenment celebrated right here in our charming coastal city. An annual 12-day celebration of artists and artisans that has blossomed into a “don’t miss” event on the cultural and artistic landscape for both tourists and locals alike. There is no better time than the fall to visit or enjoy Pensacola, Florida. For more information, and a complete listing of all events, visit

www.foofoofest.com.

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Keith McKnight From North Dakota Air Force, Staff Sergeant Intelligence/Surveillance Camera Operator Balad, Iraq, June–October 2011 Everyone who deploys has their very own unique experience. Many come back with war stories: war stories of how sitting in their office all day bored them to death, or war stories of how they watched a close friend and brother lose their life in a horrific scene. My story was a little bit of a beautiful experience. Through the lenses of surveillance cameras at all corners of the installation, I watched children play soccer in a field full of garbage and families live their everyday lives out on the fields farming and milking their cows. I watched newlyweds and families caravan along the highway shooting AK-47’s in the air in celebration. I watched children throw rocks and test the integrity of convoys. I watched as a farmer looked in horror when his cow ran through a convoy and was obliterated by the massive weight of the vehicles. I watched a man bring his battered child to the entry control point for medical care after a botched IED placement. As nice—and as gruesome—as my experience was, it was beautiful. It was beautiful to see these people live their everyday lives as if a war zone was not happening in their very own back yard. It amazed me that even though many Iraqi citizens had faced so much adversity, and been through so much even as children, they could pick themselves up and move forward.

—written statement, 2014 18 Pensacola Magazine


100 FACES SHOW THE COST OF WAR By Kelly Oden

I

n this age of partisan politics, media hype and political doublespeak, we sometimes lose sight of the true cost of foreign conflict. Just in time for Veterans Day, The Pensacola Museum of Art, in conjunction with the Florida Humanities Council, has installed a Smithsonian traveling exhibit that reminds us of the emotional and psychological impact wars have on the men and women we send to fight. An emotionally moving exhibit, 100 Faces of War is the work of Massachusetts artist Matt Mitchell, who had no prior military connection before painting the portraits of Americans who served or worked in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mitchell was inspired to paint the

portraits after reading a newspaper article about the difficulties of service members returning home. Included with each portrait is a personal commentary from each participant on what their service means and how the war affected their lives. The 100 oil paintings all share a common background color and luminous quality, putting the focus squarely on the subjects. More than 2 million Americans served in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2001 through 2014, and the exhibit features a true crosssection of Americans who served. Every state is represented as well as a variety of races, religions, genders and ethnicities.

Each participant sat for their portraits in person. They chose the clothing they would wear and the commentary offers a perspective of the war that is all their own. The Smithsonian describes the exhibit as a record of a specific moment in time because the paintings were created between 2005 and 2014, while the wars were ongoing and many of the people pictured went back to the war zones after their portraits were done. PMA Chief Curator, Anna Wall, said she hopes this exhibition will attract a large local audience of military members to the museum for the first time. “100 Faces of War is a visual representation of the diverse experiences of our modern

Koufan Hersons From St. Paul, Minnesota Marine Corps, Staff Sergeant Aviation Mechanic Iraq, December 2004–July 2004 Throughout my life I’ve heard many people say you should do things that you enjoy or love to do as a career. However, I have learned that some of us are fortunate and get to do what we enjoy or love to do for a living, but many of us will have to do what we must do and not what we enjoy or love to do. —written statement, 2007

100 Faces of War is an exhibition organized for travel by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in collaboration with artist Matt Mitchell. Exhibition support provided by the Florida Humanities Council through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). all images copyright © 2005–2014, Matt Mitchell. All rights reserved.

Pensacola Magazine

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100 FACES SHOW THE COST OF WAR

Amy Donahue

Army, Specialist Paralegal Tikrit, Iraq, July 2007–July 2008 Baghdad, Iraq, March 2010–February 2011 Bagram, Afghanistan, February 2011–May 2012 “Let the generations know, that women in uniform also guaranteed their freedom. That our resolve was just as great as the brave men who stood among us. And with victory, our hearts were just as full and beat just as fast— that the tears fell just as hard for those we left behind.”—Anne Brehm, First Lt, US Army Nurse Corps, WWII As a woman in the Army, I revere the women who served before me and blazed a trail so that I might join the military. In respect and gratitude of their commitment, I felt obliged not to sit on my hands when my unit asked for volunteers. Deployments were tense, and separation from home was not easy, but it was eased by the friendships made. I felt rewarded with incredible experiences—seeing a sunset over Baghdad from a CH-47, taking part in the first Iraqi women’s conference, and working alongside some brilliant and brave attorneys. It is an honor to have served, and I was deeply humbled upon my return. —written statement, 2014 20 Pensacola Magazine

military,” Wall said. “By themselves, the portraits are an arresting portrayal of the human face of war. When viewed with the sitters' personal statements, the totality of the military experience comes into focus.” Ten posthumous portraits are included in the 100 Faces project. For these portraits, the families worked with the artist and chose the words which accompany the paintings. Five of the subjects are civilians who traveled to the war zones in non-military capacities. In conjunction with the exhibit, the PMA will also offer two special performances of Telling Pensacola, a project that hopes to deepen community understanding of the experiences of America’s veterans. The performance features real veterans and family members talking about how and why they served, the injuries and challenges they face and their transition back into civilian life. The first performance will be held on Sunday, November 10 at 2 pm at the downtown library and the second will be held on Monday, November 11 at 11 am in the gallery at

the Pensacola Museum of Art. “We hope that the exhibition and performances will allow for a support structure for our military community and be a bridge for veterans and civilians to better understand each other and the military experience,” Wall said. Additionally, 100 Faces of War will be complemented by an installation titled “Veteran’s Voice” by veteran and UWF student, Crystal Ryan. Ryan will be recreating a missing man table—a ceremony and memorial that honors fallen, missing and imprisoned service members. Each piece will be created by hand and Ryan will film the process of creating and setting the table. Another concurrent exhibit titled “Beirut” features photographs by North Carolina-based artist and veteran John Bechtold. 100 Faces of War at the Pensacola Museum of Art runs through January 19, 2020. An opening reception will be held on November 8 at 6 pm.


“Veteran’s Voice” by Crystal Ryan

With 100 Faces of War, I aimed to look at Americans who serve in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in a way that did not simplify their complex experience.”

The Pensacola Museum of Art invited University of West Florida BFA student, Crystal Ryan, to create an installation in the galleries responding to the exhibition and her own military service. Here is Crystal’s proposal describing her installation: This project will reflect on my own military service and those who have served before me. After serving eight years in the Air Force, I rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant. As Staff Sergeant, I can safely say there is no one way to reflect upon one’s service in the military. This project will feature a Missing Man Table and reflect one of my daily duties through my artistic practices. In homage to fallen comrades, the Missing Man Table, founded in 1993, is a representation across all United States Armed Forces for military members who are killed in action, imprisoned and missing. The components for the Missing Man Table are as follows: the white tablecloth represents the purity in the service members call to arms. An upturned, empty chair depicts the missing service member unable to join us. The table is round, representing a never-ending concern for the service members. A bible represents faith in a higher power to serve this country one nation under God. A black napkin adorned with a Purple Heart symbolizes empties left in the hearts of friends and families. A vase embellished with a red ribbon represents love for our country, while the red rose it holds reminds us of the loved ones left behind. A yellow candle and yellow ribbon represent a joyous reunion yet to happen. The glass is inverted to represent their inability to toast with us. The bread plate holds a slice of lemon, a reminder of the service members bitter fate. The salt upon the bread plate is representative of the tears shed by their families. I will construct by hand all components that are possible to do so. A video projection will be recording the construction process along the way and end with the possible setting of the Missing Man Table in the Pensacola Museum of Art. Crafting the pieces myself and turning this into a video will honor those who are missing, fallen and have served the ultimate sacrifice of dying for their country. Using what I can describe as the Veteran’s Voice, I continue to honor those that I have served with and before me.

-Matt Mitchell Pensacola Magazine

21


Kids do better when we work together. Nemours and West Florida Healthcare are working together for Gulf Coast Region families. At Nemours, we’ve always believed that every child deserves pediatric expertise—close to home. Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, located on the same campus as West Florida Hospital, makes accessing the highest quality of care that much easier. For over twenty years, Nemours has provided pediatric specialty care for Northwest Florida families. From complex conditions to simple check-ups, our teams work together with researchers, physicians and specialists to achieve the best outcome possible. Rest assured that our collaboration promises the highest level of compassionate care for your child in the Gulf Coast region.

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Will and Juliette Nemours cardiac patients © 2019. The Nemours Foundation. ® Nemours is a registered trademark of The Nemours Foundation.

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NAVY FLIGHT SURGEON CAPTURES UNIQUE PERSPECTIVES OF BLUE ANGELS

by Kelly Oden • photos by LCDR Juan Guerra

Diamond, Delta or Solo—no matter the formation, the Blue Angels are a sight to behold. Those of us lucky enough to live in Pensacola get to see them flying through the sky often and it truly never gets old. Many of the stunning images the public sees of Pensacola’s beloved Blue Angels are taken by the talented team of photographers at the squadron’s Public Affairs Office. While the PAO photographers do a fantastic job of capturing the magic and mastery of the team in action, a former Blue Angels flight surgeon and hobbyist photographer had the opportunity to photograph the team from a unique perspective.

»»

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LCDR Juan Guerra served with the Blues from late 2016 through 2018; during that time he used his creative eye and enviable position to capture the team in ways not often seen by the public. Currently attached to Naval Aviation Schools Command, Dr. Guerra took a few minutes to speak with us about his time with the Blue Angels and his lifelong love of photography. How did your interest in photography begin? Honestly, it’s been there since I was a little kid. My parents and my uncle let me play around with the family camera. I was kind of self-taught. It’s been one of my main hobbies and I try to take my camera with me wherever I go. Traveling around for two years with the Blue Angels was a great opportunity to see different cities and landmarks and other things that are great to photograph.

Did you need special permission to photograph the Blue Angels? Nothing we do with the Blue Angels is necessarily secret, so it’s not a matter of showing something that shouldn’t be shown. I always like to make sure that I portray my teammates in the best possible light. That goes hand in hand with trying to work as a team to promote the team’s image while getting a little bit of a different view or flavor than what you might typically see. It’s important to note that the Blue Angels have a whole team of professional photographers in their public affairs department. It’s their job to capture the Blues every day, and they do an amazing job. I’m just one guy who happened to get to ride in the back as part of my job, and I love to take my camera wherever I go. You shoot some intense angles. Do you have any good stories about trying to get the shot? Anything dangerous? Well, I feel passionate about trying to get a unique angle or compose an image in a slightly different way that showcases what we are doing that might not have been captured before. There was nothing dangerous, but I will tell you that I don’t have the strongest stomach. I’m very prone to air sickness, so most of the time when I would fly in the demonstrations, I would alternate between trying to vomit in such a way as to not make a mess and trying to get the shot. Do you have a favorite image from your time with the Blues? Trying to pick a favorite picture is like trying to tell you which is my favorite child. It’s just not going to happen. But, one that I really enjoy is the one of the Delta flying

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over Pensacola Beach. I was in the seven jet; so I was taking the picture from above and to the right. That turquoise blue waterthat’s kind of blurry with the beach, and the jets are so crisp. I was particularly proud of that one from a photographic standpoint. Do you have any plans for a book or an exhibit of your work? No. No plans. It’s just a hobby. I enjoy sharing it with people who find some of the different angles and ideas interesting. What kind of equipment do you use? Well, I used to be a Canon guy. I actually loved my Canon 5D Mark IV, but about a year and a half ago I switched to the Sony mirrorless system and I have loved that. I’m a full convert. I use a Sony A7R Mark IV, which they just released about a month ago. I imagine as kid you learned on film cameras? Absolutely. There was no such thing as a digital camera back then. I remember using my parents’ camera—it was a Canon AE-1 Program and it had the little crank to wind the film. That was what I learned on. Let me tell you, everybody has it so good today. I can take a picture and say, “That didn’t work. Let me adjust.” Back then, I shot slides, too, and you had to wait two weeks to get the slides back and then say, “Oh man, I really messed that up.” What photographers do you admire? It’s really more of a genre thing. I really enjoy landscape photography. If you look at my Instagram, I almost exclusively follow landscape photographers so that when I wake up in the morning, I can see something really peaceful and serene— something that doesn’t raise my blood pressure. That’s what I enjoy.

Don't Miss The 2019 NAS Pensacola Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show November 8th & 9th, 2019; Gates open at 8 am and the show begins at 9:30 am. Naval Air Station Pensacola

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RESPECT, RETAIN AND RECRUIT By Heidi Travis

For as long as there has been war, women have served in times of combat in some capacity. During the Civil War, for example, some women dressed as men to fight for the North or South. Women were not only soldiers, but they also served as spies and nurses. Many of these women have come to be important figures in American history, such as Clara Barton, Harriet Tubman, Margaret Corbin and Mary Edwards Walker, who was the only woman ever to receive a Congressional Medal of Honor. According to the Service Women’s Action Network, there are approximately 210,000 women in active service in the United States today. Add to that another 5,955 serving in the Coast Guard and you have roughly 20 to 25 percent of all military service in the U.S. Women play no small role in the defense of this country, yet they fly under the radar more often than not; their sacrifices and brave deeds gone unrecognized by the vast majority of the public eye.

Michelle Caldwell wants to change that. A Service-Connected Disabled Veteran herself, Caldwell knows a thing or two about women in the military. She served in the United States Navy and was stationed at NAS Pensacola in 1986 working as an Avionics Electronic Technician servicing all manner of aircraft directly in the flight line. Now Caldwell continues to serve by leading the charge for advocacy and women veterans’ rights here in Pensacola. She spearheads the

Monument to Women Veterans nonprofit organization and has been hard at work since its inception in 2011. The ambitious plan includes the monument itself, a 30-ft sculpture with flames, and a laser beam over a stainlesssteel elliptical band of flowing water that will be surrounded by figures of women from each branch of service. Caldwell’s plan also includes a Museum focused on female Veterans as well. The museum is set to be housed in the old Amtrak train station on Heinberg Street and will sit just across from the monument itself. World renowned sculptor Elizabeth MacQueen has been selected as the artist who will bring the monument to life, garnering the project some much deserved attention. It was Caldwell’s own experience in the military that inspired her to create the Monument to Women Veterans organization. Pensacola Magazine 27


society by recognizing the women who have worn the uniform of this great nation.” The message is clear: women in the military should be seen and heard. Still, eight years after its initial push, progress and support from local government lags despite evidence of the positive economic impact this project could have.

The Monument to Women Veterans Museum is set to be housed in the old Amtrak train station on Heinberg Street and will sit just across from the monument itself.

“Currently, women make up approximately 25 percent of the military— plus 2.3 million women veterans. That’s about a 3.5 million niche market. The Monument and Museum to Women Veterans shows a potential $9 million economic impact,” Caldwell said. That, apparently, isn’t enough.

-“Originally, I joined the military to do missionary work with a group called the Navigators. There were not a lot of women in the aviation field at that time. Male dominance in military at that time was very difficult,” Caldwell said. As she would find out, this dominance brought about a whole slew of problems, which notably gained heightened visibility during her time of service. “This was the era of the Tail Hook scandal,” Caldwell explained. “That scandal publicly exposed the military sexual trauma disease (MST) that still plagues the military today. MST is at 50 percent and has increased 10 percent every year. I am an MST survivor and I continue to work to bring awareness to that problem today.” It is this desire to raise awareness for women veterans’ issues that drives Caldwell to pursue the Monument for Women Veterans. PTSD, MST, domestic violence, unemployment and homelessness are just a few of the issues that these veterans face—issues that Caldwell hopes to combat through education with the revenue gained through the museum. While the project finds its home here in Pensacola, a move which Caldwell says makes sense given that this city has some of the top programs and resources for returning veterans and a community 28 Pensacola Magazine

which truly embraces servicemen and women, it will have a national impact as well. “Both projects are set to impact women nationally and internationally who currently serve or have previously served in the military,” Caldwell said. “We see the museum and monument as recognizing past, present and future women. The museum and monument will bring more current perspectives to the table because women are making history now as they fill positions at the top level of service. We will implement the 3R’s: Respect, Retain and Recruit.” Respecting service, retaining the caliber of women who are currently serving and recruiting the next generation are intrinsic to Caldwell’s mission. She keeps this close to her heart as she and her organization work to improve the conditions in which servicewomen labor—both before and after they have completed their time in the military. Yet, there remains void where support and recognition of women are concerned. This troubling fact has been a sore spot for Caldwell for some years now. “We are still dealing with the lack of support for women not just in the military but across this country,” Caldwell said. “We believe we will have an impact on

“There is no doubt that we have not been embraced by the men in our area,” Caldwell said. “Currently, we have no congressman, congresswomen or senator who publicly supports the monument or the museum. We did have Mayor Hayward and his city council acknowledge us and lease us the Amtrak station, which we still do not have after waiting a year for the lease. Mayor Robinson has been a supporter and was the first person in a political position to publicly support the monument,” she said. For now, the projected date for the monument’s completion is in approximately two years, but they need all hands on deck. To us, Caldwell issues her call to arms, saying: “There is no monument to recognize 25 percent of the military and 2.3 million women veterans who have been serving in combat since 1948. Now is the time to be recognized as a community that is willing to do what needs to be done to make this project a reality,” Caldwell said. For more information or to lend your support, please visit the Monument to Women Veterans website at monumenttowomenveterans.info/ monument.


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BIG SHOES TO FILL

Beverly Mayo and her fourth Little Sister, Ra'Niyah sporting glittery cat ears

by Dakota Parks

A countless number of children grow up in homes with strained family relations, absent, busy or unsteady role models. Some children simply lack an adult mentor that has enough time to devote to their education and future. Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Northwest Florida set out to change that in 1989 by uniting children with mentors, or Big Brothers and Big Sisters. The nonprofit organization was nationally founded nearly 115 years ago, but the local Northwest Florida agency is celebrating its 30-year anniversary this November.

The history of the Northwest Florida agency began when Navy Chaplain Valerie "Elery" St. John DeLong was stationed in the region in 1989. At the time there was not a BBBS agency established for her to join and serve as a Big Sister. Through her advocation and assemblage of local community volunteers, a committee of board members was established, funds were raised and the agency opened. The agency serves a five-county area including Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton and Bay Counties. In 2018, the agency served 660 children. This year to date, they have served 560 children with 150 children awaiting matches. CEO, Paula Shell explained the impact of Big Brothers Big Sisters on the community: “That’s 660 children that in the future, long after I'm gone, are going to be

making a positive change in our community. Our program is a long-lasting program. It’s not an immediate result that you see right away. The relationships that we foster do not just change individuals, but they change the community as well. We’re here to inspire and ignite the potential that we see in our Littles by showing them a different way.” Both recruitment coordinators and match specialists are the backbone of the one-to-one mentorship program. Mentors, or Bigs, are sought out and recruited by specialists at the agency, or through advertisement of the programs. Littles are introduced to the program through guidance counselors, community programs, teachers at school and their parents or guardians. Programs include inschool matches where Bigs spend time with their Littles at school eating lunch or studying together

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BIG SHOES TO FILL and community matches where Bigs take their Littles out in the community for activities. To celebrate its 30-year anniversary, BBBS is throwing a birthday party at the end of November. The agency recently moved into a new facility located on 1320 Creighton Road. BBBS has been in the facility since May 13, but had an official ribbon cutting and open house on September 26. Impact 100 and the Bear Family Foundation were instrumental in the fundraising for their first permanent home location.

peas in a pod, so spending time with her is always fun—it never feels like a duty or chore. I also like to go and enjoy the beach when I get the chance and travel with friends. I’m currently training for a half marathon in February. I try to stay active, which is hard with the workload. I saw that you studied criminal justice

Q&A with CEO Paula Shell You’ve been the CEO of Big Brother Big Sister of Northwest Florida since 1997. How did you first get involved with the organization? Before I came to BBBS, I worked at Lakeview Center for about 12 years, and I managed group homes for adolescent boys and girls. Lakeview Center being a mental health facility, it was challenging work. Not just challenging in regard to responsibilities or workload, but also on the heart, too. I worked really hard over there, and it was just time to make a change, so I started looking around for something else. I came across the advertisement for this position in the classifieds section of the newspaper, and I told my friend at the time, “There’s my job. I found it.” And the rest is history. Tell me a little about yourself. What do you do outside of work? Lately it’s been a lot of work and no play. Especially because we’re in the middle of a $1.5 million capital campaign for not only the new facility we moved into, but also for expansion of programs and services. I’m a Big Sister myself. I have been matched with my Little, Hope, for about six years, and I just can’t imagine my life without her. So, every week, I go get her and do something with her. She’s being raised by her great-grandfather, and he’s 89 years old, so she doesn’t have a lot of female influences. We are truly like two 32 Pensacola Magazine

What is the hardest part of your job and the most fulfilling part of your job? The most fulfilling are the matches and their stories. One of the things in the new facility, in my office, is a wall completely covered with match photos. That was really important for me to see the progress along the way—they make me smile. The most rewarding part is seeing the faces of children whose lives have been changed through our work. The most challenging part of my job, I think if you ask any nonprofit executive, is the fundraising. You have to constantly keep that going to maintain what you’re doing and to get to a point where you don’t always feel like you’re climbing up a hill. Can you tell me about “Bigs with Badges” that launched in January 2017? What led to the creation of that initiative and how has it flourished over the years?

CEO, Paula Shell and her Little Sister Hope

and psychology at the University of West Florida—how does that background help you with your work at BBBS? It definitely plays a huge role. Right out of college, I worked at Lakeview Center, a mental health facility that encapsulated the entire psychological realm of my studies. Some of those children at the facility were connected to the juvenile justice system. Occasionally, we do have Littles that go down the wrong path, and we’re able to step in and help them, so my education has been instrumental to my work.

It’s an initiative that came from our national organization. They actually call it “Bigs in Blue.” It was created to try and reflect positivity between youth and police in large inner cities and urban environments. Our national organization decided that the biggest answer for the interracial divide and tensions was relationship building. Who does it better than anyone? Big Brother Big Sister. They launched a national program called “Bigs in Blue” to get law enforcement to step up and become Big Brothers and Big Sisters to help teach Littles in those communities that law enforcement is not bad—they're good. We took that and we decided to expand it a little bit and call it “Bigs with Badges” so that we could tap into not only law enforcement, but firefighters, EMS, corrections, really anyone that wears a badge, so we could grow the relationships with them. Currently, we’re sitting with about 15 Bigs with badges from various entities. Now that we have a full-time volunteer recruitment coordinator, we hope to see those numbers go up.


BIG MATCH STORIES Beverly Mayo

A UWF graduate, community activist and volunteer, Beverly Mayo, has been a Big Sister for nearly 20 years to four Little Sisters. Unlike many Bigs that are recruited by match specialists, Mayo joined BBBS

Beverly Mayo and Little Sisters Brianna and Demayla at a special dinner celebration

when she saw a billboard advertisement for the agency. At the time, she had a young son and wanted the chance to mentor a little girl. Mayo graduated from UWF with a degree in health education and actively volunteers with several charities in town, including Loaves & Fishes Soup Kitchen and Alfred-Washburn Center for the homeless. Mayo was matched with her very first Little Sister, Brianna, in 2000. Mayo was a Big Sister to Yvette from 2011-2018 until Yvette moved away, and Mayo has

currently been matched with Demayla since 2009 and Ra’Niyah since 2018. Her first Little is now a first-generation college student at FAMU. “She just recently graduated in Jacksonville. I’m so proud of her integrity. Not just because she went to college and has a good job, but she’s also just such a good person who gives back to her community. That’s one thing I teach the girls is the value of community volunteer work,” said Mayo. She takes all of her little Sisters with her to volunteer in the community. “You benefit, the child benefits and the community benefits by getting involved with BBBS.” With nearly 20 years of experience as a mentor, Mayo has a lot of advice to give potential Big Brothers or Sisters. She explained that time should never keep a potential mentor from joining the agency. It doesn’t take an excess amount of time or money to influence a child’s life. While many mentors enjoy taking their Littles out for activities that cost money, it’s often the little things that add up or impact children. For Mayo, the influence comes from the power of words, volunteer work and being a consistent support system. “Two of the most important things, if I had to give advice to other mentors, would be something I have done with every child: number one, make them love to read. Even if it’s comic books or graphic novels. It doesn’t have to be long educational books—because the joy of reading will never leave them and will eventually lead them to educational books and novels. Number two is consistency. Even if you can’t see them every week, call them every week. Consistency is important for a child’s support system.”

Mayo has been an influential role model for all of her Littles and the community. She remains in close contact with both of her prior Littles and encourages her current matches to do well in school by rewarding their hard work with fun activities or trips. She explained that BBBS betters the community one child at a time.

Jenn & Lewis Bear III The Bear family has been integral to the Northwest Florida agency from its very foundation. Jenn and Lewis Bear III are a husband and wife “Big Duo.” Both highly involved in community nonprofits and volunteer work, they spend their free time traveling, boating, hunting, riding horses and spending time with their Little. They have been matched with their Little Brother Sam since 2011. Lewis has served on the BBBS Governing Board for over 10 years while serving as a Big Brother. “I became a Big because I was always a board member. I felt like, as a board

Jenn & Lewis with their Little Brother Sam looking snazzy for a BBBS event

Impact on Education in Northwest Florida

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BIG SHOES TO FILL member, we can’t ask the community to do anything that we’re not doing. I also had the time and means to do so. It was a way to give back and help others because kids are the future of our communities,” said Lewis. Lewis’ family also saw the value in investing in community youth to shape the future. His parents were founding members of the Governing Board over 30 years ago when the agency was first founded. The Bear Family Foundation has offered continuous support for the organization over the years and recently donated a gift to the 30th anniversary campaign. To recognize their contributions, the new BBBS facility is named the Bear Family Foundation Center for Hope. Lewis has been matched with Sam for nearly eight years. His wife Jenn entered the match pairing so that she had the flexibility and authorization to spend time with Sam and help pick him up or take him to school. As Lewis explained, Sam quickly became more than just a Little Brother to them: “We don’t have kids ourselves, so he quickly became a part of our family.” When Sam was younger, Jenn and Lewis made it their initiative to spend one day or weekend with him every week, taking him out to play and have fun. They would take him to the Naval Museum, out bowling, to the movies and out on their boat. As he aged, they became a stable support system for him, in addition to their fun outings. “The best part about being a Big is feeling like I made a difference in a kid’s life. He’s really a good kid—I wish I was as good as he is when I was a kid. He doesn’t drink or do drugs, and his grades are good. I like to think we have made a difference being a positive role model and family for him.” Jenn and Lewis have been advocates for Sam’s education since he was in sixth grade. When they discovered he was not attending school or completing assignments on the virtual schooling platform, they intervened and hired a tutor to help him pass sixth grade. Education is a large part of BBBS. Helping Littles to succeed in school is the first step to helping them succeed later in life. Whether its spending time with them,

34 Pensacola Magazine

talking about school, physically driving them to school or hiring a tutor, Bigs often have an instrumental role in their Little’s education.

Jared Heathcote A Pensacola local and current servicemember in the U.S. Navy, Jared Heathcote, has been a Big Brother at the Northwest Florida agency for three years. Heathcote is an Aviation Ordnanceman in the Navy, with 12 years of service under his belt. For the last six years, he has been stationed in his hometown, Pensacola, as an instructor on Cory Station. Given the close proximity of Pensacola to multiple military bases, servicemembers make up a large portion of Big Brothers and Big Sisters. The Northwest Florida agency prefers to seek out members that will be stationed in the area for three years or more so they can fully commit to the relationship with their Little. Military Bigs, as they are called, are just like Bigs from different occupations, but they wear a uniform. Just like the Bigs with Badges initiative, they promote and foster relationships between youth and the military branches. Heathcote was even the recipient of Big Brother Big Sister’s 20182019 Ron Mobayed Military Big of the Year Award. Witnessing his roommate at the time, a Big Brother in the organization, support and foster a relationship with a child in need of a role model, inspired Heathcote to join BBBS. Over the three years, he has been a Big Brother to two Littles. His current Little is named Elijah. “We play a lot of basketball, go see movies together, go to the waterpark and we eat—I think we’ve probably tried every pizza and wing place in town because that’s his favorite food,” said Heathcote. Spending quality time with Littles is essential to being a Big Brother or Sister.

Jared Heathcote and his Little Brother Elijah bonding over their favorite food: pizza

For Heathcote the experience goes deeper than just serving as a role model. As he explained, Heathcote is the youngest member of his family, so he never got to experience the role of being a big brother. “The best part of it is sharing these experiences with him and helping guide him in the right direction as a Big Brother. It’s awesome being able to spend time with him, talk to him, make sure he’s doing well in school and being there if he needs me. Like I’ve told him, I’m just a phone call away. My number hasn’t changed in 10 years, and it probably won’t change in another 10.” Being an active servicemember in Navy means that Heathcote is subject to order changes. He is currently preparing to be stationed in Japan, but that doesn’t mean his role as a Big Brother to Elijah will end. Ensuring that his Little continues to have a support system and a mentor is important to him. While he plans to always remain in contact with Elijah, he is working closely with a friend on base, who has shown similar interest in becoming a Big, to join BBBS and take over his role as a primary Big Brother.


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Veterans Memorial Park REMEMBER, HONOR, REFLECT

by Emily Echevarria • photos by Guy Stevens and Chris Tonn/Pelican Drones

36 Pensacola Magazine


An aerial view of Veterans Memorial Park. Featured to left is "Wall South," a one half scale model of the vietnam memorial wall in Washington, D.C. The monument is 256 feet long with a maximum height of 8 feet and 2 inches. The names of all 58,315 men and women listed as KIA or MIA from the war in Vietnam are inscribed in the black granite face of the wall. Beyond the wall is a Vietnam-era Cobra helicopter on loan from the National Naval Aviation Museum.

In a city steeped in military pride, tradition and history, Veterans Memorial Park serves a significant role in offering a beautiful place to honor and memorialize those who died in military service. Situated prominently on Bayfront Parkway between Ninth Avenue and Romana Street across from Pensacola Bay, the Veterans Memorial Park displays a series of monuments in remembrance of almost every conflict in which America has been involved (excluding the American Civil War) starting with the Revolutionary War. The space abuts Admiral Mason Park with its winding pathway and stormwater pond that serves as a natural wetland habitat and a calming natural backdrop for the memorial park. Pensacola Magazine

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The World War II memorial consists of a 12 foot high centerpiece of a white Roman numeral IIfaced with a "V" for victory. Surrounding the centerpiece, are larger than life bronze figures of American fighting forces. Anchoring the park is the monument known as “Wall South,” the halfscale model of the National Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. With two 128-foot black granite walls descending in height from 8 foot 2 inches in the center to two inches tall on the ends, its panels are inscribed with 58,320 names of those who were killed or missing in action in the Vietnam War.

The monument to children features a bronze statue of a little girl wearing a soldier's combat helmet. The monument honors the bravery and sacrifice of all children who endured the difficulty of having deployed family members.

In 1987, a traveling half-size replica of the wall called the “Moving Wall” visited Pensacola, and a group of local veterans were moved to work toward making a permanent version a reality. The group held various fundraisers over the next several years before the replica was in place in 1992.

“They raised the money that made this possible then went to the city and asked for the land to put it on. That’s how this park started, with this wall, with a group of Vietnam veterans from here that wanted to remember the guys that they fought in Vietnam with,” said W.A. “Butch” Hansen, past president of the Veterans Memorial Park Foundation of Pensacola, which is the group that oversees the maintenance and fundraising for the park. From that first monument, the park has expanded and now includes nearly a dozen monuments to specific conflicts and to various groups within and adjacent to the armed services such as families of military service members and Purple Heart recipients.


There are also modern updates like a kiosk where visitors can type in a name to help them locate it among the thousands of names on Wall South. The park is maintained and operated by the Veterans Memorial Park Foundation of Pensacola, which has been coordinating the park’s needs and updates since 2013. While the City owns the park, the foundation helps coordinate activities like events or reunions and does any necessary fundraising. Funds for upkeep and new memorials come from donations, grants and the Foundation’s fundraising efforts. The group has notably been awarded two IMPACT 100 grants, one to correct drainage issues and another that updated and replaced lighting around the park and the monuments. “People come here at dusk and very early in the morning very, very frequently because it’s so hot during the summer, so events are early in the morning or in the evening when people like to walk through here, so the lighting is very important,” Hansen said. “As impressive as we think the park is during the day, it’s deeply so at night with all the memorials and the walkways lighted.” On one corner of the park facing Bayfront is a Cobra helicopter on loan from the National Museum of Naval Aviation, a striking feature near the entrance of the campus. While the Vietnam Memorial Wall is a centerpiece of the property, after its establishment the park’s memorials expanded to include much more.

Veterans Park by the original stewards of the park, the Vietnam Veterans of Northwest Florida. Each of its four sides have distinctive engravings featuring planes, tanks, soldiers, and equipment that was used to fight WWI.

World War II Memorial World War I Memorial The white marble WWI monument was moved from its original location on Garden Street and added to the

Designed by retired Navy Capt. Robert Rasmussen, the WWII monument represents the various services involved in combat in that war. Four bronze

The Korean War monument honors those who fought in the Korean War. The memorial is oval shaped with a tall granite plaque that shows the outline of Korea and select data about the war. Bronze figures represent all branches of service and illustrate the humanitarian efforts as well as an ongoing battle scene.

Pensacola Magazine

39


The Marine Aviation Tower honors all who have served in marine aviation in all conflicts and in all specialties.


A personal tribute at "Wall South." statues surround a marble Roman numeral two, overlayed with a bronze “V” for victory. A statue of a woman represents a medical corp nurse. It also includes a timeline carved in the stone surrounding the monument showing the various theaters of the war (Pacific, European, Atlantic) with major milestones. This monument was dedicated November 2002.

Korean War Memorial Established in 2004 by a group of interested Korean War veterans in the city and families, the Korean War Memorial was completed by local artist and art teacher Randy New along with Rasmussen. It features a granite plaque containing a map of Korea with some data about the war, three bronze statues highlighting those involved in the conflict, with one statue holding a child—representing the humanitarian

efforts by allies that took place during the Korean War.

Purple Heart Memorial The oldest American decoration still in existence, the Purple Heart is given to veterans wounded or killed in combat against an enemy of the United States. The monument dedicated to the designation at Veteran’s Memorial Park features a stone memorial with the surrounding area painted a bright violet to match the award within the stone face of the sculpture.

Marine Aviation Tower The Marine Aviation Tower features a clock tower and is not dedicated to one specific conflict. Hansen said it is what they call a “living memorial.”

“I say it’s a living memorial because we have a new event every year now, but we have the names of those people who are contemporaneously lost in Marine Aviation,” he said. Families have come from around the country as the names added to the memorial are recognized. Additional smaller monuments include a monument to the Submarine Lifeguard League, a bronze statue of a young girl representing the children waiting for loved ones in service to return home, and a recently added Minuteman Memorial honoring soldiers who fought for American independence from Britain. A brass sculpture of a helicopter with a plaque that honors the fallen from the Persian Gulf War was dedicated just this year on Memorial Day. A sculpture of an eagle near the Romana Street entrance

Pensacola Magazine

41


An aerial view of the Veterans Memorial Park showing its proximity to Pensacola Bay and Admiral Mason Park.

to the park clutches a piece of metal in tribute to the continuing Global War on Terror, and the metal in its talons is an actual piece of the World Trade Center, Hansen said.

Veteran’s Day Events

The park also features space for potential future memorials to be added as they are proposed to and approved by the foundation in conjunction with the City. One forthcoming project is currently in the fundraising phase.

Begins at Spring and Main Streets. Travels down Main Street to the Veterans Memorial Park.

“There’s a group working to raise money for the Gold Star Memorial, which recognizes the families and relatives of those that have perished in combat,” Hansen said. The Veterans Memorial Park Foundation of Pensacola has a long

42 Pensacola Magazine

Veterans Day Parade November 11, 9 am

Veterans Day Ceremony November 11, 11 am – 2 pm Veterans Memorial Park 200 S. 10th Ave, Pensacola

and running list of maintenance and updates it hopes to make to the park in the coming months and years, and there are plenty of ways the public can get involved. Anyone can make a donation to the nonprofit or they can purchase a brick in the “Walk of Honor,” a series of brick pavers inscribed honoring family members or friends that served. “A lot of people give them as gifts or to honor a father or grandfather, or somebody in the family who served” Hansen said. “It really brings the community into the park.” To learn more or to get involved visit veteransmemorialparkpensacola.org.


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play/live/give SAVANNAH SIPPING SOCIETY NOVEMBER 1 TO 10 Pensacola Little Theatre and Curtain Call Productions will present Savannah Sipping Society directed by Kathy Holsworth. The play will be showed at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday with a Sunday showing at 3:00pm. In this delightful, laugh-a-minute comedy, four unique Southern women, all needing to escape the sameness of their day-to-day routines, are drawn together by Fate—and an impromptu happy hour—and decide it’s high time to reclaim the enthusiasm for life they’ve lost through the years. For tickets and more information, visit pensacolalittletheatre.com

INTO THE BREECHES NOVEMBER 7 TO 10 For its fourth production, PenArts is proud to present “Into The Breeches!,” by George Brant. From Nov. 7 through Nov. 10, a cast of talented actors will bring this surprisingly modern comedy to life by telling the story of a show that not only must go on but will go on. PenArts will be performing the show at 7:30 pm on Thursday through Saturday with a 2 pm show running on Sunday. For more information, www.facebook. com/pg/penartsinc/events/?ref=page_ internal

TWENTIETH ANNIVERSARY VOLUME OF THE EMERALD COAST REVIEW LAUNCH NOVEMBER 8 More than 25 contributing regional writers and artists are included in the twentieth anniversary volume of The Emerald Coast Review, and some will read their work at the book's launch Friday, Nov. 8 from 5:30 pm to 7 pm at Bodacious Bookstore and Cafe, 110 East Intendencia, Pensacola. The event is

free and open to the public. The volume features poetry, fiction, nonfiction and visual art and a special section of poetry from all seven Poets Laureate of Northwest Florida.

PENSACOLA BEACH ART AND WINE FESTIVAL NOVEMBER 10 For the 12th year, the Pensacola Beach Chamber of Commerce invites the public to spend a beautiful Sunday afternoon strolling the Pensacola Beach Boardwalk, enjoying the fall air while sampling wines and perusing the works of some of the Gulf Coast’s most talented artists. Starting at 11 a.m. and lasting until 4 pm, the festival brings together about 20 local artists and more than 30 wine selections, all in one place. Wine tastings will begin at noon and last until 3 pm The festival is free to the public, however to participate in the wine tastings festival goers must purchase a ticket and receive a wristband. For more information, visit pensacolabeachchamber.com.

PENSACOLA EGGFEST NOVEMBER 10 Join us from noon to 3 pm on Sunday, Nov. 10 to sample delicious bites cooked on nearly 100 Big Green Eggs at beautiful Blue Wahoos Stadium! From savory classics like BBQ pulled pork and brisket, to sweet desserts and cookies – the food prepared for you will absolutely rock your tastebuds. Tickets and more information are available at pensacolaeggfest.com.

GALLERY NIGHT NOVEMBER 15 Enjoy the beautiful summer night at Gallery Night, Oct. 18 starting at 5 pm Take the “Arts to the Streets” where visitors can connect with the unique

culture of Pensacola. The theme this month will be Shop Local. Palafox Street will be closed for traffic between Garden and Main Street during the event.

THE PYRAMID PLAYERS PRESENT HELLO, DOLLY NOVEMBER 15 After a brief hiatus last year, The Pyramid Players are back and they are heading to Yonkers, New York to handle a highly personal matter for a “wellknown, unmarried, half-a-millionaire”! On Nov. 15, The Pyramid Players will present "Hello, Dolly!" at WSRE’s Jean & Paul Amos Performance Studio, located on the Pensacola State College Campus. Doors will open at 5:30 pm with an art show and silent auction and the curtain will be at 7 pm. Tickets will be available at the door for $10. For more information, visit www.facebook. com/events/673035853180506/

PENSACOLA MAKER FAIRE NOVEMBER 16 Maker Faire is a gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do. From engineers to artists to scientists to crafters, Maker Faire is a venue for these "makers" to show hobbies, experiments, projects. We call it the Greatest Show (& Tell) on Earth–a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness. Pensacola Maker Faire will take place on Nov. 16 from 10 am to 4 pm at UWF Historic Pensacola, and admission is free. For more information, visit pensacola.makerfaire.com.


RUNGE STRINGS ORCHESTRA CONCERT NOVEMBER 21 The University of West Florida Department of Music will present the Runge Strings Orchestra in concert on Nov. 21 at 7:30 pm The concert will be held in the Music Hall at the Center for Fine and Performing Arts on the Pensacola campus. Admission is free but tickets are required. For more information, visit uwf.edu/cfpa.

IMPROVABLE CAUSE HAPPY HOUR NOVEMBER 21 Improvable Cause is Pensacola's only professional improv comedy troupe! Now by popular demand, join Improvable Cause during the week at the Pensacola Little Theatre. IC's shows are completely unscripted and totally hilarious! Everything is created in the moment with audience suggestions, so each show is different! IC shows are edge-of-your-seat theatre where anything can happen (and usually does!) 7 pm performance so the young,old, and the young-at-heart can enjoy Improv! For more information, visit pensacolalittletheatre.com.

THE PROPHECY SHOW: THE MUSIC OF TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA NOVEMBER 23 St. Louis powerhouse, The Prophecy Show will bring their signature and highly energized Rock Opera to the Pensacola Saenger Theatre on Nov. 23 at 7:30 pm. Touring as a Tribute to The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, The Prophecy Show’s Theatrical performances have been igniting stages nationwide. This is a band that loves TSO - loves their audiences–and knows how to create an electrifying evening of rock! For more information, visit pensacolasaegner. com.

46 Pensacola Magazine


STEM SATURDAY NOVEMBER 23 The National Flight Academy hosts STEM Saturday, a hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education program for kids. STEM Saturday is open to children in grades 3 – 8. The theme of this month’s STEM Saturday is Aviation Maintenance. Children must be registered for the event by Nov. 18. To register or for more information, visit nationalflightacademy.com.

PENSACOLA BEACH MUSIC FEST NOVEMBER 23 Join us in the Red Fish Blue Fish parking lot for a day full of live music, food, raffles, games and a cornhole tournament! A portion of the proceeds will benefit veteran families and the USO. We will also be collecting bottled drinks and nonperishable snacks. Pensacola Beach Music Fest will take place in the Red Fish Blue Fish parking lot from 12 pm to 11:30 pm.

To Benefit

SAVE THE DATE Tuesday, November 19 6 to 8 pm

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223 Palafox Place Old Escambia County Courthouse

Health and Hope Clinic exists to help meet the needs of the uninsured and medically underserved. Health and Hope is an entirely volunteer-and donor-driven clinic established by the Pensacola Bay Baptist Association. For further information about the event and sponsorship opportunities, please send inquires to sbergosh@healthandhopeclinic.org

ELF PARADE NOVEMBER 29 The Elf Parade is a grand kickoff to the 2019 holiday season in downtown Pensacola! The Parade Grand Marshall leads the merry crew of kids, parents, toys, and characters from the old Escambia County Courthouse to Plaza Wonderland at Palafox and Government Streets. Costumed kids of all ages march alongside an alligator "second line" brass band, Santa, and our characters from stops in the Winterfest Performance Tour. For more information, visit pensacolawinterfest.org.

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ICE FLYERS SCHEDULE The Pensacola Ice Flyers return for their 2019/20 season. Take to the ice to cheer on the hometeam. Any game with a ‘vs.’ will be hosted at the Pensacola Bay Center. For game updates, to buy tickets or for more information, visit www.pensacolaiceflyers. com.

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November 1, 6 pm: Fayetteville Marksmen

November 2, 5 pm: Fayetteville Marksmen

November 8, 7:30 pm: Birmingham Bulls

November 9, 7:05 pm: vs. Birmingham Bulls

November 16, 7:05 pm: vs. Quad City Storm

November 17, 4:05 pm: vs. Quad City Storm

November 22, 6:35 pm, Knoxville Ice Bears

November 23, 6:35 pm: Knoxville Ice Bears

November 27, 6:35 pm: vs. Macon Mayhem

November 29, 7:30 pm: Birmingham Bulls

November 30, 6 pm: Macon Mayhem

VINYL MUSIC HALL SCHEDULE The historic Vinyl Music Hall is offering a new lineup of musicians and performers. Come check out the renovated hall and enjoy some great performances. Below are all currently scheduled shows. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit vinylmusichall.com.

48 Pensacola Magazine


November 1, 7pm: Ministry

November 2, 7pm: Stiff Little Fingers

November 3, 6:30 pm: Big Head Todd and The Monsters

November 4, 7 pm: Jazz Pensacola & Foo Foo Fest Present 2019 Swing with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

November 6, 7 pm: The Wailers

November 8, 8 pm: Samantha Fish

November 9, 8 pm: Carnival of Cruetribute to Motley Crue

November 11, 7 pm: Power Trip

November 12, 7 pm: Shock Illisionost: Dan Sperry

November 13, 7 pm: Badfish – A Tribute to Sublime

November 14, 7 pm: Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

November 15, 7 pm: Pennywise

November 16, 6 pm: Octane’s Accelerator Tour Featuring Ice Nine Kills

November 18, 7 pm: Cursive, Cloud Nothings

November 21, 7 pm: Dumpstaphunk

November 22, 8 pm: &5* Show – Brave New World, Shuggy, Jimbo, The Juice is Okay, Glazed Eyes

November 23, 7 pm: Billy Joel Tribute The Stranger Featuring Mike Santoro

November 29, 8 pm: Flow Tribe

Nov. 1st: 7- 9pm

3D Printsacola: “Skateable Skulptures Edition” Featuring Rodney Mullen at FCAC FREE for FCAC Members, $10 suggested donation for general admission

Nov. 7th: 7pm

Keynote Panel Discussion at IHMC with David Fries, Fred Kahl, and Thomas Asmuth FREE and open to the public!

Nov. 8th: 5 - 9pm

3D Printsacola: “Steamroller Edition” Featuring Fred Kahl at FCAC FREE for FCAC Members, $10 suggested donation for general admission

Pensacola Magazine

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SPECIAL SECTION November 2019

58. Inside the Glass: A look into UWF's new Laboratory Science Annex UWF opens state-of-the-art science laboratory annex adorned with modern glass architecture

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55 Entrecon Brings Big City

Leadership Conference to Downtown Pensacola This three-day conference is challenging attendees to think differently about how they run their business.

61 63 Downtown Developers Branch Out Around the Region Northtowne of Pensacola Inc. is a group of developers who are eager to increase housing stock throughout downtown.

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

Business Climate 53


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EntreCon brings bigcity leadership conference to downtown Pensacola Flexible ticket pricing puts Studer Community Institute’s signature twoday leadership conference within everyone’s reach. By Shannon Nickinson

Leaders and entrepreneurs are people whose work is an investment in their community. The jobs they create and the businesses they lead are the economic engines of every community, including Pensacola. That work doesn’t come without a lot of time, toil and sweat equity. With EntreCon, Studer Community Institute invests in those leaders and businesspeople because building their skills builds a healthier, more vibrant community. Entering its fifth year, EntreCon has evolved into a leadership skill-building conference for business owners, employees, leaders and would-be entrepreneurs alike. This year, EntreCon is presented by Pensacola International Airport and Southwest Airlines.

This year promises to be the most exciting yet, with big names like Tiffany Pham of Mogul.com and Jake Poore, previously of Disney, set to take the stage on Nov. 1314, 2019, in downtown Pensacola. EntreCon’s purpose is to challenge the more than 400 attendees from various industries and leadership levels to think differently about how they run their business and manage their people. “Businesses really need to prepare themselves for the changes that are coming. That’s what EntreCon is for; that’s what we’re passionate about,” says Rachael Gillette, Chief Leadership Development Officer at Studer Community Institute. “Attendees will walk away with actionable steps to help them become better leaders and better employers, which ties back to our mission of improving the lives of those in our community.”

Business Climate 55


By hosting EntreCon sessions at venues including the Pensacola Little Theatre, the Museum of Commerce, 5eleven Palafox, Skopelos at New World, and the SCI Building, the conference also highlights the dynamic growth and vibrancy of downtown Pensacola. “EntreCon is a great opportunity to get to know other locals, participate in a fantastic networking opportunity, and gives others the opportunity to learn more about our business and what we do and stand for,” says Shaun Carpentier of Complete DKI, a local restoration contractor. Some of the best in the business— on topics like leadership, employee engagement and teambuilding—will take the stage at EntreCon® as keynote speakers, including the following: Tiffany Pham, Founder and CEO of Mogul will inspire attendees to find the confidence, community and commitment to change the world. Jake Poore, President & Chief Experience Officer at Integrated Loyalty Systems will share from his experience at Disney on how to gain a “world-class” status— becoming both an employer of choice and destination of choice. Keith Hoskins, Senior Vice President of Greater Pensacola Operations at Navy Federal Credit Union will reveal the “secret sauce” behind the credit union’s mission of member service and what is being done to re-skill and up-skill its workforce for continued success. The afternoon breakout sessions are designed to take a deeper dive into some of the key issues that are most relevant to individual attendees. These hour-long sessions are broken into three tracks— Better Jobs, Better Lives and Better Futures—provide practical tools that attendees can use as soon as they return to the office.

56 Business Climate

Studer Community Institute believes that in order to make Pensacola the greatest city, it takes everything from education, opportunities for our children, great places to work, attracting and retaining talent, open spaces, urban design, and quality business leaders.” EntreCon has experienced tremendous growth in its five-year history. The conference now offers valuable insight and training for leaders and employees at every level of a business or organization—all without having to leave the Pensacola area. Pensacola is on a trajectory of becoming the best place to live in the world. For that to happen, it takes leaders who are willing

to invest in professional development for themselves and their staff. “Studer Community Institute believes that in order to make Pensacola the greatest city, it takes everything from education, opportunities for our children, great places to work, attracting and retaining talent, open spaces, urban design, and quality business leaders,” says Gillette. “EntreCon is one piece of the puzzle. By providing learning opportunities to build the skills of our community leaders, we are one step closer to our vision.” This year, there are more ticket options to fit everyone’s needs and budgets, including a Flex Pass that allows one ticket to be shared between multiple attendees; a new VIP pass with all the extra bells and whistles for attendees to enjoy. Visit entreconpensacola.com to view the full list of keynote speakers and the EntreCon® 2019 agenda and purchase tickets today.


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Inside the Glass:

A look into UWF's new Laboratory Science Annex by Dakota Parks • photos courtesy of UWF

Through its 56-year history as a university, the University of West Florida has endorsed an influx of new students, new programs and the new construction of buildings to support them. This Fall, the university boasted its newest expansion at the grand opening of the Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering’s Laboratory Sciences Annex. The labs created additional space for the growing number of STEM students and expanded teaching facilities for the thriving biology and chemistry programs. 58 Business Climate

If you have strolled through campus in the last year and a half, you have probably heard the buzzing of construction equipment, witnessed the sea of white construction hard hats or encountered a blocked road, sidewalk or parking lot. Sitework construction began in midNovember 2017 with the chainlink barriers and preparation of the site, but the project officially broke ground on Jan. 5, 2018.

The $27 million project was funded by the Florida State Legislature and managed by Greenhut Construction Company, Inc. of Pensacola. The unique and integrated design of the building was modeled by local architecture firm, Caldwell Associates, alongside Perkins&Will, a global firm that specializes in higher education science and technology. The design of the building not only houses 12 new teaching labs and


offices for faculty and staff, but it also incorporates an unfinished “shell” for future expansion. The unfinished shell leaves room for the future development of 12 additional research labs. Adjacent and unattached to building 58A, the new annex, building 58C, connects to the preexisting science building 58B via a raised glass “skybridge.” The bridge connects the buildings on the backside of the structure, creating a stimulating visual with the older brick structure and the modern glass architecture. Inside the glass, the facility features emerging technologies that are instrumental to new research methods for the biology and chemistry departments. Features like an enclosed and ventilated biosafety cabinet, ensure that students can safely work with materials contaminated by pathogens. While state-of-the-art technology like MeasureNet stations provide students with high-quality data collection and probes for their general, analytical and instrumental chemistry lab courses. Dr. Peter Cavnar, chair of the Department of Biology, explained the demand for the new science annex: “The Department of Biology at UWF has been at maximal capacity for the past decade in regard to our teaching labs. The laboratory space we were using were in a building that is greater than 60 years old with outdated facilities and equipment. The new expansion has allowed us to grow into the new space, which now provides dedicated laboratories for our upper-division courses. This new facility will facilitate the growth of enrollment at UWF and biology, which is one of the largest majors on campus.” The science laboratories not only provide students with research methods that were not previously available in the older buildings, but the labs will also lead to increased enrollment and retention. Both student success and graduation rates pivot on retention. In a recent press release, the university announced that as of the fall 2019 semester, approximately 24 percent of UWF students have declared a major in the Hal Marcus College of Science

The space provided in the annex impacts every student at UWF who enrolls in a chemistry or biology lab and is critical to their success at UWF and beyond.”

and Engineering and that all incoming students will have labs in the new building. By designing a space for those students to flourish in their research and studies, retention and graduation rates will increase. As Dr. Karen Molek, the chair of the Department of Chemistry said, “The space provided in the annex impacts every student at UWF who enrolls in a chemistry or biology lab and is critical to their success at UWF and beyond. The additional space increases the availability of lab courses for students thereby helping students graduate in four years.” Over the last decade, the university has built and expanded several facilities including the Science and Engineering building in 2010 and the College of Business Education Center in 2012. As programs continue to grow and enrollment numbers increase, the university will grow with them. The new labs may be a pretty glass building to some passersby on campus, but for those students and faculty inside the science programs, the building is paramount.

Business Climate 59


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Downtown Developers Branch Out by Will Isern

A cadre of downtown developers engaged in the ambitious project to redevelop the former Escambia County School District property on Garden Street have quietly acquired and are renovating three primly located but aging apartment complexes in downtown and East Hill.

The group is called Northtowne of Pensacola, Inc., a play on the name of the Southtowne apartment complex developed by Quint Studer. Studer is among the members of Northtowne, which also includes attorney and developer Jim Reeves as well as developers Adrian Lovell, Rob Fabbro. The group acquired the Villa Barcelona Apartments on Chase Street, the Belmont Gardens Apartments on West Belmont Street and the former Lloyd House Apartments on East Lloyd Street in East Hill for $3.7 million in December 2017. They renamed the Lloyd House Apartments to The Villas of East Hill. With Reeves running the daily operations, Northtowne has been working for two years and spent roughly half a million dollars to renovate and repair the buildings, replacing roofs, air conditioning units, furnishings and appliances. The three apartment complexes were all built

between 1965 and 1970 and had fallen into disrepair, Reeves said. The group is aiming to complete all the renovations by December 2020. The renovations have come with a rise in rents for residents, from around $400 to $695 in some cases, but the 90 apartment units spread across the three complexes are still among the cheapest accommodations to be had in the desirable areas where they are located. It was that affordability in those prime locations that initially attracted the developers to the apartment buildings, said the group’s real estate broker Danny Zimmern. “This group has a passion for making downtown better,” Zimmern said. “All these guys that are partners have a lot of experience in downtown so they’re enjoying growing this project.”

“This group has a passion for making downtown better. All these guys that are partners have a lot of experience in downtown, so they’re enjoying growing this project.”

The renovations have in some cases required the relocation of residents participating in the Housing Choice Voucher Program, commonly called Section 8 housing, to other properties owned by Reeves. Reeves argued that the Section 8 tenants end up in better accommodations after the move. “Anybody that moves from there ends up being in a better place because our affordable housing is in duplexes scattered around town so they end up really being in a neighborhood instead of everybody being in one place,” he said. Though it’s received little attention, the apartment building project further demonstrates the extent to which this group of developers is eager to increase housing stock throughout downtown, especially for young people. Their other project, under the 200 Garden West, Inc. moniker, aims to bring around 300 apartment units to the corner of Garden and Spring Streets and transform the former Escambia County School District building at that location to student housing for University of West Florida Students. “We just see it as a way for people to live and bicycle downtown,” said Reeves. “It’s the location, people just want to be there.”

Business Climate 61


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AROUND THE REGION Visit Pensacola Announces Interim President, Succession Plan Visit Pensacola announced that former county administrator Jack Brown will serve as the organization’s interim president. “Pensacola is home to me and what an exciting opportunity to be involved with an organization that plays such an important role in the community,” Brown said. “I am looking forward to working with the citizens of this community, Visit Pensacola stakeholders and partners and the destination’s future travelers.” As county administrator, Brown oversaw the day-to-day operations of county government, led the county’s 13 departments, recommended an annual budget and served as a liaison to other local, state and federal entities.

Prior to his work in Escambia County, Brown retired from the U.S. Army in 1996 as a Lieutenant Colonel. From there, he served as general manager of RDS Manufacturing Company, a faculty member at Florida State University and Taylor County Administrator.

Visit Pensacola Vice-Chairman, DC Reeves will be comprised of seven seats including, Visit Pensacola Board of Directors ViceChairman, Secretary, Treasurer and two board members appointed by the chairman. The committee will also include a member from ACE and Pensacola Sports.

“I have full faith in Jack Brown to continue the day-to-day operations of Visit Pensacola. As the former county administrator, he understands the inner workings of county policy and procedures and has built valuable relationships that will benefit the organization,” President Steve Hayes said.

“As chairman of the Board of Directors, we know the importance of leadership for Visit Pensacola and the role the tourism industry plays in Escambia County,” Board Chairman Sterling Gilliam USN (Ret.), said. “Our focus is on finding the right candidate and we know these unique groups will do just that.”

To ensure the future success of the organization, the Visit Pensacola Board of Directors has awarded SearchWide Global the task of recruiting the next president and CEO of Visit Pensacola. At the recommendation from the Executive Committee, a search committee will be created to evaluate potential candidates. The search committee, which will be chaired by

Jack Brown will start at Visit Pensacola in late November to ensure a smooth transition before current President Steve Hayes's final day on Dec. 12. For more information on Visit Pensacola news and happenings, visit www.visitpensacola.org.

Jan and Ron Miller, along side friends, accepting a plaque from Pensacola State College. The Millers named PSC the sole beneficiary of a $2.5 million Charitable Remainder Unitrust, which was established by the couple. Business Climate 63


AROUND THE REGION The Sandy Sansing Family Presents Santa Rosa Kids House with a Four Year Donation Commitment

board of directors who are fighting child abuse. We hope that our investment continues to spread the awareness in our community.”

Sandy Sansing and his family presented Santa Rosa Kids House with a donation totaling $100,000. The Sansing family has long supported the mission of organizations aimed to help children in the Gulf Coast Community. The check presentation took place at Sandy and Bubba’s Milton Chevrolet. Santa Rosa Kids house (SRKH) also holds a special place in the hearts of the dealership employees, as they participate in many fundraising events for the Kids House each year.

SRKH Executive Director, Keith Ann Campbell said, “We could not serve the children of Santa Rosa County without the support of our community. Sandy Sansing demonstrates giving back to the community in a way that encourages even the smaller donors to be generous. Our mission is personal to our staff and board members, and we sincerely appreciate Mr. Sansing’s kindness and generosity.”

The child abuse advocacy center’s mission is to deliver a well-coordinated and multi-disciplined response to child abuse in an environment that puts the needs of the child first. In 2018 over 1,900 initial reports of child abuse were reported

to the abuse hotline in Santa Rosa county. Santa Rosa Kids House provided services to 1,209 of these affected children. The funds donated by the Sansing family will be used to further the organizations goals towards child abuse treatment, prevention and intervention. Sandy Sansing, Dealership Owner and President of the Sandy Sansing Foundation, said, “One of our family’s passions is children. We love children and especially children who don’t have a chance in life. It’s a very shocking figure when you hear that about 100 children a month go to Santa Rosa Kids House because they’ve been victims of physical or sexual abuse. Those numbers are shocking and unacceptable. We want to make an investment. We want to help these children and

Dave Dilauro, General Manager of Sandy and Bubba’s and a member of the SRKH Board of Directors, said “It’s nice to work for a company whose owners not only care about the community, but continuously show that they care by giving of their time and investments.”

Bubba Watson kicks off ad campaign for Children’s Hospital To support the efforts of Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart to serve children from across the Gulf Coast region, especially kids living in poverty and those most vulnerable, starting this week, professional golfer Bubba Watson will star in a series of commercials as part of a new marketing and branding campaign focusing on the highly specialized pediatric care provided at his hometown hospital, the Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart. The new “Helping Out” commercials highlight Bubba’s sense of humor and passion for serving his community and the local children’s hospital. Bubba, a resident of Pensacola who was born at Ascension Sacred Heart Pensacola, and his wife, Angie, have made generous donations toward the construction of the new four-story children’s hospital, which opened in May. To recognize the ongoing support of the Watson family, the entrance road to the new Children’s Hospital was officially named Bubba Watson Drive. Bubba has won 12 championships on the PGA Tour and is a two-time winner of the Masters Tournament. Thanks to Bubba giving generously of his time, in the various commercial spots. Bubba can be seen soothing a baby in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit, cheering on a surgeon, conferring with a radiologist, coaching young golfers in the outdoor Mother Seton Children’s Garden and joking with kids in the Children’s Hospital’s dog park. As a father of two, Bubba 64 Business Climate

even positions his wife’s and children’s initials – as well as the numbers 12 and 14, representing his Masters Tournament wins in 2012 and 2014 – while building blocks with patients in the Children’s Hospital playroom. While the hospital staff understands that for families, being in the hospital is no laughing matter, this lighthearted ad campaign focuses on what makes a visit to Studer Family Children’s Hospital special – it’s a facility designed from the ground up with a child’s needs in mind and with a promise to provide compassionate, personalized care for all families. The new TV ads are part of a fully integrated campaign designed to build broad awareness and promote increased access to pediatric services. “As a professional golfer, I have experienced firsthand how fast the world moves on. One day, I can win a tournament and feel like I’m on top of the world. The next day, a new tournament starts, and it’s like the week before never happened. When the world moves so quickly, you begin to ask yourself how to make a long-term difference, one that will last for generations to come,” said Watson. “I found a way to make that long-term difference by helping to bring children and families the treatment they deserve close to home. I can’t thank the doctors, nurses and entire team enough for going above and beyond, listening to understand the needs of our young patients, and for taking great care of their families and

loved ones.” “Children are among the most vulnerable populations in society, and providing world class care in a time of need is at the heart of our Mission,” said Nick Ragone, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Ascension. “We’re blessed to have such an extraordinary care team at Studer Family Children’s Hospital and across Ascension Sacred Heart.” “Bubba and Angie Watson have been generous friends and tireless advocates of the Children’s Hospital for several years,” said Will Condon, president of the Studer Family Children’s Hospital. “We are extremely grateful that the Watson family continues to serve as champions for those we serve. Their influence and ongoing support helps ensure that all sick or injured children along the Gulf Coast will have access to the most advanced treatments and compassionate care in a kid-friendly healing environment.”


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AROUND THE REGION City's ADA Sidewalk Repair Project Surpasses 9,000 Feet The City of Pensacola's Public Works and Facilities Department has repaired approximately 9,350 linear feet of sidewalk and installed 215 curb ramps as part of the city's Americans with Disabilities Act Sidewalk Assessment. Another 18,750 linear feet of sidewalk is expected to be repaired by 2023, along with an additional 1,806 curb ramps. The city completed an ADA Sidewalk Assessment in 2017 to evaluate existing sidewalks for ADA deficiencies, identifying approximately 28,100 linear feet of sidewalks and another 2,021 new curb ramps needed in order to achieve an acceptable level of ADA compliance. "These repairs and improvements are essential to making our sidewalks accessible to all of our residents, so I'm excited to see projects continue to move forward," Mayor Grover Robinson said. "Sidewalks help create accessible, safe communities, which is what we strive for the City of Pensacola to be." Sidewalk repair projects were also prioritized in the survey to create a master sidewalk improvement project list, which is available on the Projects began on the west side of the city and are moving eastward, with the next set of projects planned for the , which is primarily the downtown area. Two sidewalk repair projects in the Urban Core District are expected to begin this year, with three additional projects expected to be completed in 2020. "This sidewalk assessment is an ongoing effort not only to make our sidewalks ADA compliant, but also to promote city-wide walkability and connectivity," Public Works and Facilities Director Derrik Owens said. "We are always looking for ways to continue to maintain and improve our infrastructure for all of our citizens."

Visit Pensacola President Accepts CEO Position with Visit St. Pete/Clearwater Steve Hayes, President of Visit Pensacola has accepted the position of President & CEO of Visit St. Pete/Clearwater in Pinellas County. “I am very proud of our team at Visit Pensacola and our many accomplishments over the last six and a half years,” Hayes said. “More importantly I am grateful to our stakeholders, the community and Escambia County for the opportunity to be its leader and to grow this economic engine. It has been a team effort and an experience that I will always treasure. While this decision is bittersweet the new position provides me a unique professional opportunity and brings us closer to our Central Florida family.” •

Taking over the position in early 2013, Hayes has led the organization and delivered continual growth in visitors and visitor spend to Escambia County. Key accomplishments include:

Working collaboratively with stakeholders he created a stand-alone organization with the sole purpose of promoting tourism

Created a locally based entity to work together on all marketing and media needs named Showcase Pensacola

Led stakeholders through a 5-year strategic planning process, Destination 2020

Increased marketing efforts on a national scale including presence in New York City, Chicago, Denver, Kansas City and Philadelphia

TDT collections grew by 58%, visitor spend by 24% and number of visitors by 27%

“Steve’s vision, drive and performance, combined with his commitment to the organization has led Escambia County to see major growth in a variety of areas including visitor spend, new visitors to our area and tourist development tax dollars. We are sad to see him go but congratulate him in this new opportunity,” Board Chairman, Rob Overton, Jr. said. To continue the momentum and growth of the hospitality sector in the Pensacola area, the board’s executive committee has started the process to recommend a succession plan as well as identify an individual to serve in an interim basis. “Tourism is an integral part of the local economy. We want to make sure that we continue to operate in a fashion that drives visitation and business to our community,” incoming Board Chairman Sterling Gilliam said. “We are committed to finding an individual who will provide a direction and focus as we look to the future.” To ensure a smooth transition, Hayes will continue his dedication to the organization until December 12, 2019. For more information on Visit Pensacola news and happenings, visit www.visitpensacola.org

66 Business Climate


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ON THEA MARKET Real Estate Section

An Easy, Stylish Decorating Upgrade

In This Section

page 74

By the Numbers: A look at August's Market Highlights page 70

Plan the Ultimate Kitchen Upgrade page 76

Escambia County Housing Finance Authority and Pensacola State College Close to Completion of First Mini Home Construction Trades Demonstration Project page 72

7 Ideas to Improve Curb Appeal Page 78

On the Market 69


BY THE NUMBERS A LOOK AT AUGUST'S MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

900 55

Monthly Sales

Avg. Days on Market

2818 $210k

Quarterly Sales

Median Sale Price

MARKET HIGHLIGHTS Sales slipped slightly from the prior month, yet were the highest on record for August since the report first appeared in 2008.

70 On The Market

August's combined (residential & condo) DOM averaged 55, unchanged from July,

While the Median Sale Price for August fell from July's high, at $210,000 it remained above $200,000 for the fifth consecutive month.

Pending sales were up nearly eight percent compared to the same month last year.

Information courtesy of Pensacola Association of Realtors


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ON THE MARKET Escambia County Housing Finance Authority and Pensacola State College Close to Completion of First Mini Home Construction Trades Demonstration Project The Escambia County Housing Finance Authority works to support the development of affordable single-family housing in Escambia County. The Authority provides no interest construction loans to its team of builders who commit to build affordable housing for first time homebuyers in the urban areas of Escambia County. Over forty brand new homes have been completed since the program began in 2016 at an average sales price of less than $170,000. At the same time, the Authority began exploring the construction of very small homes in an effort to make homes even more affordable. Through a grant from the Authority to the University of South Florida, the University of South Florida School of Architecture and Community Design worked with the Authority to design two homes that are fully building-code compliant and have footprints of under 600 square feet. In May, 2018, Pensacola State College, through its Carpentry and Engineering Technology Program, began work with the Authority to construct a prototype of a shot-gun style Mini Home based on the University of South Florida design. The Mini Home has a relaxed contemporary feel with approximately 570 enclosed 72 On The Market

square feet and features high ceilings, transom windows, clever storage solutions and a wrap-around porch. When completed during the fall semester of 2019, the home will be sold to a first time homebuyer family at an affordable price. Proceeds of sale will be used to reimburse materials cost and to fund future affordable housing projects through the Program. The Mini Home project has provided a one-of-a-kind educational opportunity for students enrolled in the PSC Building Trade Programs, who have exhibited the highest standards of meticulous craftsmanship, enthusiasm and hard work. Tony Grahame, Building Trades Program Coordinator, is managing the residential house project and with the help of his dedicated carpentry students and other PSC building trades’ students and faculty, is constructing the house from the ground up. Students learn hands-on from Tony’s many years of construction experience and expertise and from their own real-world experience. The Authority is providing construction financing for the project, and many members of the local and regional building supply community have contributed materials and products, making this not

only an exciting educational experience, but a true community project. Plans are being made for a ribbon cutting at completion, at which time the contributions of the many participants will be recognized. Tours of the house will be available when the house is completed. The Authority works every day to alleviate the shortage of affordable homes in Escambia County. Homebuyers who are interested in learning more about this initiative or the Authority’s other affordable housing initiatives are invited to visit the Authority’s website at or contact the Authority at 850-432-

7077 for more details. The Authority’s mission is to make homeownership dreams come true. For more information regarding the PSC Building Trade Programs please contact either Mike Listau, Director of Applied Technology and Professional Services at mlistau@pensacolastate.edu, or Tony Grahame, Carpentry Program, at agrahame@ pensacolastate.edu.


ON THE MARKET

An Easy, Stylish Decorating Upgrade

A wall-mount door makes more room for fun Fall is the perfect time to make spacesaving upgrades to your house. For example, consider swapping out a traditional swinging door for a smoothgliding, wall-mounted sliding door. A sliding door can add up to 14 square feet of floor space, which allows for more room to spread out toys and games, and give a more spacious feel to nearly any room. They also allow for more flexibility in furniture arrangements, which can turn even the smallest nook in your house into a cozy space. It’s easy to do with an option like Johnson Hardware’s Soft-Close Wall-Mount Sliding Door Hardware, which can be used with virtually any metal or wood door from 1-inch to 1 3/4-inches thick, 74 On The Market

up to 48 inches wide and weighing up to 200 pounds. The U.S.-made hardware gently slows the door’s travel speed to softly pull it into the fully open or fully closed position and works like a cabinet door closer, enabling doors to open and close quietly and securely. It also prevents door slamming and pinched fingers, as well as reducing door operational noise. The built-in satin or bronze finish fascia can give a warm decorative detail to a room while the smooth-rolling door hardware and track exceed ANSI standards, meaning it can successfully complete 100,000 opening and closing cycles, with adjustable door guides, tricycle hangers and adjustable track stops. The jump-proof aluminum

box track is available in lengths up to 96 inches for single doors and up to 192 inches for double doors. Installing wall-mount sliding door hardware in a playroom, or nearly any other room in your house, can be an easy yet high-impact improvement that reduces space constraints while adding warmth, functionality and visual appeal. For more information, visit johnsonhardware.com.


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ON THE MARKET Be realistic about mealtime. If your family’s activities have everyone eating at different times, you may benefit from a feature like a warming drawer that keeps dinner warm until each family member makes it home for a meal. Think about features that would make the table space more practical, such as task lighting so kids can tackle homework at the table or convenient access to power for laptops.

Plan the Ultimate Kitchen Upgrade (Family Features) A kitchen serves as command-central of most homes, so it’s also one of the first rooms homeowners choose when it’s time to make upgrades. When approaching your kitchen remodel, it’s important to keep your family’s lifestyle at the forefront of your planning to create a space that fits the way you like to live. Get the most livable space and enjoyment out of a kitchen remodel with these tips from the experts at the National Association of the Remodeling Industry: 76 On The Market

Make purposeful changes. A desire to bring your kitchen’s style up to date is plenty of motivation for a renovation, but to get maximum benefit from your new space, spend time considering what functional improvements you can make, too. Do you need more cabinets for storage? Is there enough counter space for meal prep? Does the overall layout suit your family’s needs? Even if you chose the original layout and floorplan, chances are good that over time you’ve found a few things you’d change given the chance to do it again.

Consider physical space. If yours is a family that cooks together, or if guests tend to congregate in the kitchen when you’re entertaining, a renovation is the perfect time to make adjustments that accommodate more bodies in the kitchen. You might want more work zones for multiple cooks or an island or peninsula set away from the high-traffic zone for guests more interested in snacking and chatting than getting hands-on. Evaluate your shopping style. You may be in the habit of doing your grocery shopping to fit your available space. However, with a larger refrigerator and more pantry space, your shopping habits could change, allowing you to become a bulk shopper or at least increase the time between shopping trips.

Choose appliances with care. It’s easy to get carried away with all of the design elements that go into a kitchen renovation, but at the end of the day, remember the appliances are the true centerpiece of the space. Be sure to leave room in the budget to select the best appliances for your needs so you have all the functions, features and space to make using your new kitchen as enjoyable as possible. Think into the future. A kitchen renovation can be a costly venture, so it’s a good idea to project years down the road as you consider your needs. Are there features that would enhance the safety if a baby (that soon will become an inquisitive toddler) joins the family? Are there elderly family members may benefit from a lower or higher work station down the road?


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ON THE MARKET

7 Ideas to Improve Curb Appeal (Family Features) Whether you’re hoping to sell in the near future or simply looking to touch up outdated areas, there’s one aspect of home maintenance most homeowners agree is important: curb appeal. It’s a broad term that may reference any number of visible features, meaning there are plenty of ways to enhance the appearance of your house. Consider these ideas – some big, some small – for bringing new life to your home’s look from the experts at the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. Swap Out Your Front Door As one of the first things a guest, passerby or potential homebuyer may notice, the front door is the gateway to your home and a likely opening impression. Upgrading to a heavier, bolder door or simply repainting the existing threshold can capture positive attention. Alternately, swapping out hardware for a more eye-catching look is an easy way to achieve a fresh facelift. Create Seating Areas A welcoming home is typically an attractive one, and there are few better ways to create a cozy vibe than a seating or gathering area on the porch. Whether it’s the classic porch swing 78 On The Market

or chairs and a coffee table suitable for the outdoors, a small zone ideal for conversation and camaraderie can help create an at-home appearance.

less complicated ideas like pavers, brick sidewalks and landscape rings are ways to introduce a classic touch.

Plant Shrubbery Billowing trees and blooming flowers are certainly eye-catching accessories outside a home, but many varieties require intense care to grow the way you envision and may adhere to seasonal weather patterns for optimal appearance. For a quicker result, shop around for fully mature shrubs and plants that can withstand elements throughout the year.

Paint (or Repaint) the Exterior Changing the exterior paint color of a home is one of the most popular renovation projects, and one of the first that comes to mind for many homeowners. Simply altering the colors of trim, gutters and other accent pieces may be enough for some homes, and repainting the exterior doesn’t have to mean a new color altogether – consider a brighter shade or simply a fresh coat to help your home pop.

Rethink the Mailbox It may not be as exciting of a project to undertake, however, giving your mailbox a fresh look helps it stand out and – especially if it’s directly in front of your home – may turn an ordinary object into a worthy attractant. Your work may be as simple as updating to a newer model or as thought-out as constructing a small rock wall around the base.

Update Lighting Light fixtures come in all shapes and sizes, and many times the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. While updated porch illumination may not drive home a potential sale, it’s a subtle touch right as guests arrive. Adding smaller lights in previously unlit areas like around landscaping (consider solar-powered for easier maintenance) can help your hard work shine.

Add Stonework For a project that can give your house a new look altogether, consider incorporating stonework or a stone veneer for a natural appearance. If changing your facade isn’t in the plans,

To find more ideas to increase curb appeal, or to find a certified remodeler near you, visit .


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THE ESCAMBIA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE PROUDLY PRESENTS

THE ARC GATEWAY'SÂ 2019 WREATHS OF JOY GALA THURSDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2019 5:30 PM PENSACOLA BAY CENTER CONTACT 850-434-2638 BHOUGHTON@ARC-GATEWAY.ORG


Ollie is smiling because Council on Aging provided him a wheelchair ramp and the help of a Senior Companion during the day.

We couldn’t have done that without your support. Help us provide more seniors with more ramps, more companions and more smiles.

(850) 432-1475 • coawfla.org


by a woman, for a woman

Profile for Ballinger Publishing

Pensacola Magazine, November 2019  

Pensacola Magazine, November 2019