NWFL credit unions in the digital age
Pensacola's young technology professionals are driven to succeed
DesignXL Pensacola's first designer-focused conference
The BEAST CODE
revolutionizing defense training
State of Tech
in collaboration with ITEN wired summit
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:
ON THE MARKET
A REAL ESTATE SECTION
September 2019 | pensacolamagazine.com
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Editor’s Note Pensacola is no stranger to reinvention—we’ve been governed by five different flags, we’ve seen a variety of industries come and go, we’ve experienced incredible prosperity and we’ve nearly been destroyed by hurricanes and oil spills. The thing is, we always come back—usually bigger, better and stronger. So, it should come as no surprise that our little city is once again on the verge of reinvention on multiple levels—the downtown renaissance has landed Pensacola on numerous “top towns” lists in the last few years, the housing market is booming and numerous industries are thriving. The most exciting of those thriving industries to me is the tech sector. While it’s not my area of expertise, I have followed and written about it for more than a decade and we’ve come such a long way. While bullish housing markets and urban trends (think micro breweries) may come and go, growing an entire industry that is effectively renaming and rebranding our region as the CyberCoast is a truly remarkable achievement that will resonate for generations. That’s just what local tech, education, research, military and private industries are in the process of doing and their mission is becoming more of a reality every day. By collaborating, cooperating and thinking purposefully about the future of tech in our region, these industries are changing the course of Northwest Florida in ways we may not even be able to imagine yet. This issue is an ode to some (certainly not all) of the people and institutions pushing Northwest Florida towards that lofty goal. The University of West Florida is leading the way with its nationally recognized Center for Cybersecurity as well as its new PhD program in Robotics in collaboration with the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition. Local companies like AppRiver are gaining national interest and tech focused nonprofits like Innovation Coast, Florida West and the tech conference ITEN WIRED are facilitating high-tech relationships both in and outside of the region. One of the many good things to come from this tech focus is that it has inspired a new generation of techies to find creative ways to utilize their skills and for some, to give entrepreneurship a try. We spoke with a handful of next generation techies about their work and their passion for both technology and the Pensacola community. This is our fourth State of Tech issue in collaboration with ITEN WIRED. The knowledge, drive and commitment to the cause shared by the members of ITEN WIRED is beyond commendable. Pensacola is fortunate to have such a passionate group of professionals advocating for our community and the tech sector at large. Special thanks to Beth McClean for her mental database of all things tech in Pensacola as well as her awesome facilitation skills. And thanks to everyone on the ITEN WIRED committee and everyone who took the time to contribute to this issue. Bravo!
Kelly Oden Executive Editor
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Contents ITEN WIRED summit
Geeks on the beach
ITEN WIRED celebrates 11 years of innovation, technology, entrepreneurship and networking.
Meet the IT and cybersecurity stars and superheroes of the annual ITEN WIRED Summit.
Beast Code: Digital Twins
Based in Panama City, Beast Code is out to revolutionize defense training
designxl 23 Pensacola's first designer-focused conference will take place in November
northwest florida credit unions in the digital age
Securing a better tomorrow
uwf's center for cybersecurity aims to transform pensacola in to the cybercoast
Next Gen Tech
Using technology to enhance the customer experience.
AppRiver acquired by Dallas-based company Zix
Pensacola's young technology professionals are driven to succeed.
In Every Issue Editorâ€™s Letter Page 10 Pensacola Seen Play/Live/Give
6 10 14 54
Special Sections Business Climate On the Market
ON THE COVER
Ben Avellone and Carson Wilber photo by Guy Stevens
8 Pensacola Magazine
September 2019 Owners Malcolm & Glenys Ballinger Publisher Malcolm Ballinger firstname.lastname@example.org Executive Editor Kelly Oden email@example.com Art Director Guy Stevens firstname.lastname@example.org Graphic Designer/Ad Coordinator Bara’ah Jaraiseh email@example.com Editor Will Isern firstname.lastname@example.org Assistant Editor Kaitlyn Peacock email@example.com Contributing Writers DeeDee Davis Carson Wilber Emily Echevaria Michelle B. Griffin Sales & Marketing Paula Rode, Account Executive ext. 28 firstname.lastname@example.org Geneva Strange, Account Executive ext. 21 email@example.com
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GET VACCINATED BE THERE FOR THEM Vaccines are proven safe and effective, and are especially important for elder adults to prevent flu, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, shingles, and pneumococcal. Medicare Part B covers most of these vaccines. Ask your doctor to understand your specific needs.
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For more information, call the Florida Department of Health in Escambia County (850) 595-6554 or the Florida Department of Health in Santa Rosa County (850) 934-4074. coawfla.org • (850) 432-1475 • 875 Royce St. Pensacola
PAGE 10 with DeeDee Davis
I know I don’t need to explain football fever to anyone who has gone to a college with a team or who has had a child who has attended a college with a team. And, of course, there are plenty of people out there who can claim neither and yet still are passionate about the game. Listen to the Paul Finebaum show sometime. So this is for those who don’t share the love or understanding of the bizarre craziness that follows college football. It’s not meant to make a fan or convert out of you. It’s only to offer a meager justification for the absolute insanity that overtakes anyone who cares. Stress is undoubtedly at the core of all misery and disease. But who can avoid it? The best we can do is take care of what we have and try our darndest to exercise and eat right, hoping that is enough. Global warming, Iraq, terrorism, cancer, gangs, drug dealers, where does it end? We are surrounded 24/7 with plenty to keep us up at night. But mercifully, in the fall, we have one reprieve, one glorious distraction. College football. There ain’t nothing like it. I have never exactly been what you would call a politically correct person, if politically correct means avoiding taking sides or offending anyone, so let’s just get it out there.
10 Pensacola Magazine
I love Auburn football, though I was not raised to bleed orange and blue. I grew up in a home where Friday nights meant high school games, Saturday was all about college ball and Sundays included a pro game. But Saturdays were the best. One game on the television and others on the radio, though often they were one and the same since my father thought, and still feels, the University of Alabama is the only school in the universe that matters. When you get all wrapped up in support of a team it has a way of blocking out everything crummy in your life. Unless you lose, that is. Even then, it’s a different kind of misery that you know you share with everyone else wearing your colors. And it’s not the kind of disappointment that changes the world like war and disease. It’s temporary. There is always next year and a clean slate with new players and if it was a really bad season, most likely new coaches as well. Other than maybe a Jimmy Buffett concert, where can you go to hang out
all day drinking with people dressed in costume for the cause? I packed up recently to head for Auburn and stopped by my office before getting on the road. I work in a place where almost everyone has declared loyalty to a team. But there is something screaming like neon about a lone car in a parking lot adorned in magnets, shakers, flags and, yes, a tiger tail. What kind of normal person does this? It’s another story altogether when you hit the interstate with your brethren. Fight song blaring from the radio, onward to the game! Tailgating is a culture of its own. Don’t try to find logic in leaving at daybreak to find a good parking spot, only to have an entire day to fill with revelry before taking the party into a stadium. Beer at 10 am? You bet. When you are there it seems so right. The day after is another story. The tailgate parties at most campuses are legendary, with Ole Miss probably topping the list. Stake your territory and set up camp is what it’s all about. Once upon a time these gatherings included a couple of ice chests and some pom-poms. Now they have television, catering, full bars and party favors. If as much effort went into solving world problems as goes into planning an SEC game weekend, there would unquestionably be peace and harmony among the nations. And it’s not all restricted to actually going to the game. Every bit as much goes into a stay-at-home-and-watch, because then you follow all of the
games. Not that I am one of them, but many are said to take as much joy from another’s loss as they are from their own win. You don’t say this out loud; you just keep it deep inside where some sign of it does occasionally show it’s ugly self in horrible ways like poisoning trees. But even alone with my television, I am wearing team support gear as if I was ready to suit up and take the field. And when the marching band struts out and fireworks precede the team bursting into the arena, nothing else matters. Not terrorism, not war and certainly not politics. Not for three and a half hours anyway.
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Children, Teens, & Adults Creative Painting • Age 18+ September 14th - October 26th Glassblowing Classes • Age 8+ Make Your Own Suncatcher, Starfish, Paperweight, Flower, or Cup! Classes offered Friday and Saturday Saturday Morning Art Class • Age 6-Adult • Yoga and Art for Kids 1st Saturday • Creating with Clay 2nd & 4th Saturday • Mixed Media Exploration 3rd Saturday Art-Lab • Age 9-14 After-School Art • Age 5-8 4 Week Sessions Each Month • $80-$140 Meditation and Art • Age 18+ Classes offered: Sep. 20 & Oct. 18th
• Painting • Flame-working • Drawing • Stained Glass and More! Full Class Schedule - Firstcityart.org
COMMuniTY EVEnTS September 7th • Pieces Adrift Silent Auction Fundraiser for FCAC’s Scholarship Program and Harmony Parks Pensacola • Free for Members / $10 Suggested Donation October 11th • Pumpkin Patch Preview Party • Tickets $20-$25 October 12th • Pumpkin Patch Saturday Sale • no Admission november 1st & 8th • 3D Printsacola • Collaboration with iHMC featuring 3-D Printed skatable sculpture, and keynote speakers professional skater Rodney Mullen and Creative Scientist David Fries December 13th • Hot Glass Cold Brew ugly Sweater Party • Tickets $20-$30
FirstCityArt.org | 850.429.1222 1060 n. Guillemard St. Pensacola, FL
Pensacola Scene The ARC Gateway Crab Cake Cook Off at Seville Quarter
Mallory + Rick Appleyard
Gail + Todd Torgerson, Charles Brewer
Kim Seith + Carroll Scarborough
Capstone Wine a little Dine a Litte at New World Landing
Ed Morrison Sherry White + Michael Reisburg
George + Katie Pappas
Sheryl + Marty Stanovich
Bo + Gay Carter, Richard + Jerri McAlpin, Roger + Raisa Webb, Lou + Sandy Ray
Tracie Hodson with Lou + Sandy Ray
Birthday lunch for Pat Windham at Skopelos David Dear, Jan Miller, Pat Windham, Michael Johnson + Malcolm Ballinger
14 Pensacola Magazine
John Clark receives a proclamation commemorating 45 years with Council on Aging from Lumon May
When outsiders think of Pensacola, perhaps the first thing that comes to mind are the famously snow white beaches along the sparkling Gulf of Mexico.
While the natural beauty and historical sites local to the city are a given, some of the area’s other resources – like forward-thinking industry and education – have been growing and grabbing the attention of entrepreneurs and talented techies from around the region and nation. One way the area is positioning itself as a hub of import for those in the tech industry is through ITEN (Innovation Technology Entrepreneurship Network) WIRED, a cybersecurity and IT conference to connect, collaborate and build community with industry leaders, entrepreneurs and educators on innovation, technology and entrepreneurship topics. by Emily Echevarria
This year the event will be held Wed., Oct. 2 through Fri., Oct. 4 at the Hilton Pensacola Beach, marking its 11th year. The summit began as an economic development initiative in 2008 by the Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce and is now hosted by IT Gulf Coast and FloridaWest Economic Development Alliance. The event has grown steadily since its inception and this year is expected to have about 500 attendees, said director Jim Rhodes. By day the Communications and Public Relations Director for the University of West Florida Center for Cybersecurity, Rhodes is part of the allvolunteer board that helps organize the event along with IT Gulf Coast and FloridaWest Economic Development Alliance. The board is comprised of members of the local IT, tech and entrepreneurial community. Rhodes first attended ITEN WIRED in 2011 and became involved in planning in the following year. “It’s become a three day event, with multiple keynotes throughout the days. We’ve
16 Pensacola Magazine
added on a cyber competition, a CIO Roundtable, a career fair and the VIT (Very Important Techie) dinner,” Rhodes said about the event’s expansion. “Every year we try to think outside the box and not do the same thing. We’ve added an industry day as well, so it should be a full slate in October.”
almost all locals will recognize is Quint Studer, who will close things out on Friday.
Topics for keynotes, breakout sessions and panels cover a wide range of industry-related topics. The Industry Day kicks off Wednesday, which includes the Career Opportunities Expo and a TEEX Cybersecurity Course. Over the next two days attendees can attend keynotes from heavy hitters in tech and entrepreneurial positions and choose from breakout session and panel discussion offerings to suit almost any interest within the scope of entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology.
Rhodes said the team behind the event is always looking to mix things up with presenters, and this year is no different. There are plenty of opportunities for attendees to network and mingle, and there’s even some more casual entertainment planned for the event.
Rhodes expressed excitement to have Adam Ely, Vice President & Deputy Chief Information Security Officer for Walmart, as the opening keynote speaker for Thursday. Ely has been a part of the summit before and was happy to return as a keynote. Another keynote presenter who
“He’s always great to listen to. You’ll always walk out inspired after hearing him talk,” Rhodes said. “We’re hoping he can tie it all together about how we can push this area forward.”
“We’re doing something different this year—we’re actually inviting a comedian to close out on Thursday just to kind of lighten things up,” he said. “He was actually recommended to us by an attendee. He’s got tech-based humor which should tie in well with our crowd.” ITEN WIRED has a regional and national scope, marketing to leaders in other metropolitan areas like Atlanta, Birmingham, Chattanooga and Washington,
photo by Guy Stevens The ITEN WIRED Committee: Jim Rhodes, Amelia Dixon, Denielle Ly, Beth McClean, Michelle B. Griffin, Jay Smith, Michelle Gadson, Sean O'Brien, Michael Silver, Terry Enos, Laura A. Campbell, Dave Dawson, Alicia Rosado, Dean Davis, Patrick G. Rooney, Jen Molina, Emily Cone, T.J. Edwards, Maryette Huntinghouse, Jim Nitterauer, David Taylor, Elisabeth Doehring, Melissa Stoker, Sena Madison, Carson Wilber, Harry Huelsbeck, Kenzie Fitzpatrick
D.C. While Rhodes said he hopes to continue growing the number of ITEN WIRED attendees from out of state, the summit also has a very community-oriented approach, working to bolster and incubate the talent we already have locally while spotlighting what’s available to those with an interest in technology-focused work. “That’s kind of the spirit of the event; it’s to showcase what we’ve got going on here, not only to the people who live here, but again to the global players,” he said. “We’re trying to connect the dots. It’s a global community and we want to make sure we have this area plugged into it.” Bringing ITEN WIRED to life each year is a collaborative feat for the groups that have combined their efforts to build a premier summit for
attendees. IT Gulf Coast is a professional association for the IT community in Northwest Florida that facilitates educational seminars, networking socials and other events relevant to local industry members. FloridaWest Economic Development Alliance is an economic development organization with the mission of building, growing and sustaining the economic potential and prosperity of Northwest Florida.
increasing the wealth and the number of high wage jobs in Escambia County. By growing tech and cyber related industries, we are helping to diversify our economy. As coorganizers of ITEN WIRED, FloridaWest and IT Gulf Coast continue to work with the community to expand the Cyber Coast. The ITEN WIRED annual conference and its quarterly networking events are a key part of our overall economic development strategy.”
“Greater Pensacola is quickly becoming a nationally recognized hub for Cyber and Information Technology oriented companies, and the ITEN WIRED conference has been a catalyst for this success,” FloridaWest CEO Scott Luth said. “As the economic development agency for the community, FloridaWest has a mission of
Rhodes says the fruits of those combined efforts are worth the work, with this year’s ITEN WIRED summit expected to be bigger and better than the last, connecting people and pushing the local tech sector forward. “Fortunately, the team that works with me to pull it off
every year, we’re actually a pretty close-knit family,” he says. “They believe in it just like I do so it’s really a labor of love for everybody and it’s so great to see it all come together.” For more information about the ITEN WIRED summit hosted on Pensacola Beach Oct. 2 through 4 on Pensacola Beach, or to register, visit itenwired.com.
About the Author Emily Echevarria is a proposal writer/ editor, TRX fitness instructor and creative based in Pensacola, Fl.
n a cloudy but balmy day in April, four cars arrive in perfect timing and park in tandem under the iconic Pensacola Beach ball water tower. They step out in unison, four sharply dressed professionals donning black shades, slim-fitting suits, power ties and crisply pressed shirts. These are not your average beachgoers. With the screech of hungry seagulls, the watchful gaze of lifeguards and puzzled looks of tourists, they saunter along the water’s edge, all eyes on their every move. A mob of cameras, drones and videographers begin filming and directing: “Go. Run. Stop. One more time. That’s it. Great!”
After the iconic phrase, “That’s a wrap,” the four exchange loud claps and high fives. Today’s mission is complete. This isn’t filming for a Hollywood movie or television commercial, but for the trailer video for the 2019 Geeks on the Beach—the IT and cybersecurity stars and superheroes for the annual ITEN WIRED Summit. This year’s Geeks, who easily saunter, chop and throw high kicks, are back and better than ever. We caught up with this “fab four” to unlock what makes each a force of good for technology and innovation along the CyberCoast.
By Michelle B. Griffin, ITEN WIRED Marketing Chair
The App Development Geek Carson Wilber, Wilber Tech LLC This Geek is arming up the tech world and local community starting with four degrees—Computer Science, IT, Mathematics and Software Development—from the University of West Florida. Wilber has so many roles in the tech community, one might wonder if his superpower is a getting by on little sleep. He’s a member of the AI Research Group, the Cybersecurity Club and a former tutor for the Department of Computer Science. Last year, he co-founded and serves as Director of Impact of INERTIA, a nonprofit that provides afterschool STEM programs for underserved students and schools in Escambia County. In February 2019, he formed his own 18 Pensacola Magazine
company, Wilber Tech, which provides digital branding and marketing, from personal blogs to enterprise portfolios. And finally, he’s the lead of the Cybersecurity Ambassador team at the UWF Center for Cybersecurity, which brings much-needed technology outreach to our K-12 schools in Northwest Florida. “ITEN WIRED is the paramount representation of the technical talent and entrepreneurial spirit of the Northwest Florida community. After attending for the first time on a sponsored student ticket in 2017, I have involved myself heavily as a speaker and am now a planning committee member. I love building the economy and community on the Emerald Coast and bringing technologists and entrepreneurs
to Pensacola Beach for ITEN WIRED is a perfect channel. I love my ITEN WIRED team and being a Geek on the Beach!” Wilber said. Wilber feels ITEN WIRED is important to advancing the economic impact of technology and innovation in Pensacola. “Although not everybody in the community can attend, the entrepreneurs, technologists and executives that do are given a unique opportunity to network with representatives from companies and communities across the country, which is invaluable to showing others from outside our community how much potential we have here,” Carson said.
THE STATE OF TECH The Emerging Tech Geek – Erik Peterson This Geek, who’s served in his role since 2017, has traveled the world with the U.S. Navy and settled in Pensacola knowing it’s a special place. His passion for Pensacola is a driving force behind his role as a Business Development Representative for Landrum HR. “I found myself sitting on a sugar-white beach with a summer breeze listening to the warm waves from the Gulf running ashore. I've seen so many places and people. Nothing has impressed me more than Pensacola because it's alluring. The community and natural beauty here are great. Pensacola has the best people, downtown culture and natural beaches. I can see myself living here for a while,” Peterson said. Erik believes the ITEN WIRED Summit showcases tech as a way to share ideas and stay on the leading edge with authenticity. “ITEN WIRED ensures Pensacola's talented and gifted won't have to travel far to learn from the top performers in the marketplace and connect with leaders in innovation, technology and entrepreneurship,” he said. The Cybersecurity Geek - Alicia Rosado Alicia Rosado has the role of the Cybersecurity Geek and wears it proudly. From world travels with the Navy to multiple degrees from the University of Maryland in accounting and finance, she has more than 20 years of leadership experience in Finance, Operations, Analytics and Information Technology (IT). Rosado is currently an IT Internal Auditor for Baptist Health Care and recently met all the requirements for the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) certification from ISACA.
For these Geeks on the Beach, it is evident there’s no better place than living and working on the CyberCoast. Come meet the Geeks at ITEN WIRED 2019 on Oct. 2 through 4 at the Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front. Tickets on sale now at itenwired.com. She first attended ITEN WIRED last year and was so inspired she began volunteering her time with the programming committee as well as serving as one of its high-profile Geeks on the Beach. Rosado is passionate about showcasing Pensacola as the epicenter of the CyberCoast. “Nowhere can you find the type of highprofile cybersecurity experts in one place who come together at ITEN WIRED to answer questions, network and open up potential career paths for younger generations,” she said. The Professional Development Geek - Andre Carter The Professional Development Geek, Andre Carter, is the Vice President of Technology Infrastructure at Gulf Winds Credit Union. He wears his role well with a diverse technical background which includes application development, technical support, database management, software testing, data integration and analysis and 18 years of experience in managed services.
technology professionals and oversees all technology functions and initiatives at the credit union. He and his team stay busy managing all network infrastructures, computer platforms, mobile devices, development initiatives and technical training for the large credit union. This Geek is a huge fan of technology and believes it’s best used to improve our quality of life. “ITEN WIRED teaches me the latest technological advances in health care, finance, security, and collaboration. It’s the perfect opportunity for local businesses to learn from experts and also showcase their impact in both innovation and technology,” he said.
Carter's background in IT is evident as he leads a dynamic team of
From Fort Walton Beach, Beast Code Aims to Transform DoD Training
by Will Isern
Imagine a ship. A big ship. A war ship. Now imagine all the different systems that ship needs to run. The propulsion, navigation, communications, power and defense systems and the thousands of buttons, switches and levers to operate them. Finally, imagine trying to learn how these systems work and how to operate them yourself from a PowerPoint presentation or a printed manual. Sounds daunting, doesn’t it? Enter Beast Code, a Fort Walton Beach tech company whose twenty-something founder is on a mission to shake up the way the Department of Defense trains its warfighters. Harnessing its proprietary software, the young company creates “digital twins” of war fighting platforms like ships, planes and tanks. These digital models look and operate just like their real-world counterparts. Press a button or flip a switch in one of Beast Code’s digital models, and you can see what the real-world effect of that action would be. It’s easy to imagine why such a model would be attractive 20 Pensacola Magazine
to military institutions responsible for training the next generation of warfighters. And indeed it is. A digital twin developed by Beast Code of the Navy’s most advanced class of guided missile destroyer, the DDG 1000, is being used at training facilities in San Diego, Rhode Island and Maine. Beast Code’s simulations, which can run on basic laptops and even tablets, are able to replace hundreds of hours of PowerPoint presentations and give Sailors a nearly hands-on experience with the ship’s systems. The company’s innovative modeling solutions have seen Beast Code grow from a seven-person startup with one contract in 2014 to a stable and growing company on track to hire its 100th employee by the end of the year. Long term, Beast Code hopes to create a digital twin of every DoD platform out there. Every ship, every plane, every transport vehicle, all of it. Doing so would make the company a major player in the DoD contracting world. Beast Code isn’t the only company working in digital modeling, but their agility has given them an edge, said COO John Zimmermann. “(We found success by) just being able to innovate, move fast and provide things to the customer that they actually wanted,” Zimmermann said. “We would got to meetings and show something and they would say we want this or that, it wasn’t
THE STATE OF TECH
uncommon for us to go back to the hotel that night and make changes and show them the next day. We are truly agile, being able to do things faster and cheaper than anybody out there.” Beast Code got its start when John’s son Matt Zimmermann, then age 24, got frustrated with the slow pace of work and corporate bloat at a major DoD contracting company he was working at after graduating from the University of West Florida. Zimmermann got together with six of his friends and proposed that they break off to start their own company. The team agreed, Beast Code was formed and they stole away the contract they had been working on at the other company. From there the company took on a series of small contracts to build a reputation, developing a suite of software applications aimed at modernizing DoD training and maintenance. “We had probably three-and-a-half years of having to prove ourselves,” Zimmermann said. “It took us a long time to get street cred, and like they say the only way to get it is to actually do something and prove yourself. Taking these small contacts at the beginning and doing really well on them has been our secret sauce.” The culture at Beast Code is what you might expect to find in a Silicon Valley startup. There’s no dress code, Marvel comic posters adorn the walls, there’s a gaming lounge, an onsite gym, and free snacks and beer. Many of the company’s employees are local to Northwest Florida. Fifteen started as interns from the University of West Florida. One key employee was hired while still attending Niceville high school. Zimmermann said the company seeks out employees and values capabilities over credentials.
“We’re trying to create Silicon Beach, trying to recreate what they’ve done on the west coast right here in Northwest Florida. We’ve got all the military bases to support it, there’s tons of tech, we think we can replicate that and without all the hustle and bustle of what is it out there in somewhere like California.”
for people, targeting people in the local area,” Zimmermann said. “We treat it like we’re looking for a new contract. You don’t just sit back and hope people come in the door … Degrees are great, they show commitment and you do learn some of the basics, but we’re not caught up on having a master’s degree or going the typical route. Quite often we hire people but don’t know the exact job they’re going to work, only that they’re going to help the company in some way.” Beast Code is part of growing cyber industry in Northwest Florida. With companies like AppRiver, Avalex, TechSoft, Hixardt, Navy Federal, Metova CyberCENTS, CSRA, Bit-Wizards, IRIS and Digital Boardwalk, as well as non-profit institutions like the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition and UWF Center for Cybersecurity, the Panhandle has developed, strengthened and diversified a cyber industry over the last two decades. Beast Code helps to support that growth by sponsoring coding camps and hosting field trips for students at local schools. It’s not lost on the company’s leadership that a young person who visits their office in high school may come to work for the company one day. “We’re trying to create Silicon Beach, trying to recreate what they’ve done on the west coast right here in Northwest Florida,” said Zimmermann. “We’ve got all the military bases to support it, there’s tons of tech, we think we can replicate that and without all the hustle and bustle of what is it out there in somewhere like California.”
“When we go on a hiring surge, our secret is we’re out there on LinkedIn, on Indeed looking Pensacola Magazine
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22 Pensacola Magazine
Design in XLence Panhandle creatives establish first local design conference by Kaitlyn Peacock
There’s about to be another first in America’s first city.
Graphic designers, creatives and business leaders are coming together to establish the Panhandle's first ever designfocused conference, DesignXL. The conference is set for Nov. 9 and will feature both local and out of state presenters and a chance for Pensacola designers to network with the local creative community.
The leaders of the conference include Owner and Creative Director of HatchMark Studio Veronique Zayas and Lead Designer at Hail Studio Rachel Zampino. While they have only been working on DesignXL since April, the idea has been talked about among designers for years. Zayas and Zampino came together and decided now was the time to bring years of talk into reality. “There’s been a lot of growth to the design and creative industry here,” Zayas said. “We’re seeing a lot of studios working closely to each other, a lot of people that are freelancers partnering up on projects and coming together to create excellent products for their clients. There’s a lot of momentum within our own designer groups and we really wanted to have something that is a big event for that community.” Both Zayas and Zampino are based in Pensacola and noticed a need in the industry that wasn’t being met locally or even in the Florida Panhandle. While beginning work on DesignXL, the two
Pensacola Magazine 23
Design in XLence noticed trends in designers. Many of them hadn’t been able to attend a design-specific conference, either due to travel or financial strain. “We decided to create a conference here because there aren’t any in the Panhandle or the general area,” Zampino said. “They’re all in Atlanta or Louisiana and they’re all fairly expensive. A couple things we are tackling with this conference is keeping our price point reasonable to be accessible to people who typically can’t attend other conferences and still provide the community and educational aspect to people in the area.” In addition to setting up a conference specifically to alleviate some of the concerns and needs of designers, another goal was to elevate a community that many don’t know exists in Pensacola. Zayas said many designers told her they struggle with getting recognition from local businesses, who go out of town to look for designers. “We also want to make it known that there is a strong marketing and advertising design community in the area, that people can be looking here for their talent and for their design resources. They don’t have to go out of town for it,” she said.
We make each other stronger when we share and collaborate versus trying to work in a vacuum and keep everything a secret, do projects on your own. Everything is stronger and is a better result for the client when you collaborate with other professionals.”
To this end, DesignXL includes workshops and speakers who focus on design, but also business aspects of a designer’s work. Business leaders can attend to better recognize the relevance of local designers and designers can learn how to make their products better seen by local businesses. The networking opportunities afforded could lead to increased work for freelance designers and a place to test ideas and learn new strategies for more experienced creatives. The conference will also give smaller communities and individuals access and knowledge of larger communities within Pensacola, including creative spaces and work collectives that have begun to pop up and flourish in the city. With the continued success of creative community spaces like Bare Hand Collective and Long Hollow Creatives, it should come as a surprise to no one that Pensacola has a flourishing creative community. What might surprise them is that despite efforts like these open creative places, some 24 Pensacola Magazine
creatives feel a lack of connection to their community. “One of the ideas that we talked about was up until recently, everyone has been working in a vacuum,” Zampino said. “We’re all in our separate offices, working on designs without knowing what everyone else is working on and what’s going on in the area.” One of the major goals of the conference is to bring people out of their vacuum, to foster a community of collaboration. Increased collaboration within the community, with the input and techniques taught from outside designers by the speakers and leaders at the conference, lead to a stronger community with the ability to create more diverse and better quality products. “(The conference) provides a place for all of us to get together, meet, know that there are people like us in the area that we can collaborate with, bounce ideas off of, stuff like that,” Zampino said. Those used to working alone or have not had a lot of collaboration experience are particularly encouraged to attend the conference. Whether a newcomer or a veteran, being able to share and work together on projects makes a stronger community and a stronger individual. “We make each other stronger when we share and collaborate versus trying to work in a vacuum and keep everything a secret, do projects on your own,” Zayas said. “Everything is stronger and is a better result for the client when you collaborate with other professionals.” While both Zayas and Zampino agree that the lineup of speakers and workshops at the conference will be some of the best presentations available for designers in the area, they both stress that to fully take advantage of the event, attendees should
be prepared to network. Artists can have difficulty reaching out to others, but DesignXL will the best place in town for creatives to gather and meet one another. The community has been talking about an event like this for years, and now that the gap has been filled, everyone is encouraged to take advantage of this first-time opportunity. Zayas said the one thing people should do at the conference, above everything else, is focus on meeting one person. “This is going to be a very local crowd,” she said. “we’re probably going to be about 80 to 90 percent of the people from inside of Pensacola. This is an opportunity to meet your peers in the area that you may have never run into.” While this is the first of its kind, Zayas and Zampino expect to make it an annual event, with hopes to expand it to multiple days. Zampino said she hopes this inaugural event leads to smaller workshops throughout the year that help integrate Pensacola’s community with the larger design community and enhance the talent already in the city. DesignXL joins the impressive lineup of events that November offers; Foo Foo Festival, Pensacola’s premier 12-day long of celebration of fall, is set to begin Oct. 31, the annual Frank Brown Songwriters Festival, one of the largest gathering of singers and songwriters in the country, beings Nov. 7 and the Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show will take place Nov. 8 and 9. The conference invites a new crowd to join in the typical November events while offering a chance for the greater community to support local creatives. DesignXL is a limited event, with about 300 tickets available. A full list of events and speakers is available online. Interested parties should visit designxl.org for more information or to purchase tickets.
Keynote Speakers Phoebe Cornog, Co-Founder of Pandr Design Co. Keynote: Clueless to $100K Pheobe and her business partner Roxy created Pandr with only their own two feet. Now, they run a successful mural studio. Hear their success story and learn from someone who went from the very start to the end of a thriving business. Good for designers interested in how to startup their own business and how to take a unique idea or product into a success.
Savannah and Von Glitschka, father and daughter design duo of Glitschka Studios Keynote: Old School vs. New School Savannah and Von started their own family studio and have become a dynamic duo in their field. They now run a successful ad design firm and have some highly respected clients, including LinkedIn, Xerox, the U.S. Marine Corp and Disney. Pay close attention to pick up some tips and tricks on how these two work together and what their process is working for large and small companies.
Michael Janda, Author of Burn Your Portfolio Keynote: Price Creative Work with Confidence After a highly successful career as an award-winning creative director, agency owner and author, Michael has shifted his attention to mentoring others. He will be focusing on teaching tactics for pricing creative work to be both profitable and to build your confidence. Michael will help you become a numbers person in no time. Anyone uncertain about the worth of their work is highly encouraged to attend.
Scott Fuller, Designer and Illustrator of The Studio Temporary Keynote: Human Being Sometimes hearing another’s personal story can help you learn about your own story. Scott will talk about his experiences, from the lowest of the low when he was evicted to building his own studio out of an old sign shop. Anyone looking for practical, applicable advice can find a lot of things to enjoy from Scott’s story.
Northwest Florida Credit Unions in the Digital Age: Smart, Fast and Mobile The mobilization of the internet has brought significant change to many industries, as an increasing number of consumers switch to performing day-to-day tasks on their smartphones. The financial services sector is no exception: A local credit union in Pensacola reported that 68 percent of their transactions were digitally executed through self-service options so far this year. This shift in consumer behavior is forcing traditional financial institutions to provide more and more services in the digital space. 26 Pensacola Magazine
Most credit unions, unlike massive legacy banks, don't have the resources to dedicate large teams to developing their own technological innovations. However, credit unions along the Gulf Coast are finding new ways to provide their members with the modern banking experiences they expect. They do this in part by looking at financial technology or fintech companies as potential partners instead of competitors. Haley Murph, Vice President of eService and Payments at Gulf Winds Credit Union says they employ the services from financial tech, or fintech, startups by partnering with Sherpa Technologies and FintechAccel CU to help them keep up in the fastpaced environment. "These financial technology platforms allow us to vet financial tech startups for credit unions and provide our members with new services faster," said Murph. The speed to market that members have become
accustomed to not only changes their relationship with their bank, but it also changes banksâ€™ relationships to their legacy partners. These vendors now offer kits to credit unions that allow them to increase internal development capabilities. Patrick Wendolek, Vice President of Enterprise Applications at Gulf Winds Credit Union, says this new access allows credit unions â€œto provide fast value to members through fully customized applications and integrations within online banking systems.â€? Members want faster payment options and advanced identity verification from their banks. With new levels of control over their platforms and easier access to technology, credit unions can now provide that. Financial institutions here in Northwest Florida are currently working on fintech advancements like same-day bill pay and peer-to-peer
THE STATE OF TECH payment options, while also experimenting with biometric security solutions. This enhanced security verification will provide a more efficient way of identifying members and new applicants who are engaging in high-risk transactions. While consumers benefit from improvements like enhanced security and all-digital banking abilities, the more impactful technological advancements in the financial industry are found behind the scenes. Institutions now use technology such as artificial intelligence to detect and block potential viruses and other threats to their networks. Some are migrating their core banking applications to host vendors, allowing for more secure backups and disaster recovery plans. And others are developing data warehouses to gain a better understanding of member needs and behavior. Other innovative projects in the pipeline include a card control feature and bringing banking to wearables, like your smartwatch. Ensuring members can bank online with ease has been a top priority for financial institutions over the last two decades. However, there are still many people that prefer an in-person banking experience. Interactive Teller Machines or ITMs, merge in-person banking with technological innovations to provide these members with a convenient way to conduct transactions. By combining the traditional functions of an ATM with video-assisted live interactions with bank staff, they can facilitate more complex services—even from remote locations. The use of ITMs has allowed some local financial institutions to cost-effectively extend their hours while providing members with convenient service. Pen Air Federal Credit Union has already implemented 30 ITMs and plans to use them to expand their footprint. “ITMs can help us expand into areas where putting a full-service branch might not be feasible,” explains Galen Counselman, Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s Vice President of Information Technology. “We’re looking at the possibility of creating micro branches
“We believe our tech should be as friendly as our team members on the front line. It can be a real challenge, but we listen to what our members want and use data to know exactly what they need.” – Ryan Fairley that run primarily on technology such as ITMs and digital banking through tablets and mobile devices with staff present to assist members with using the technology.” “We believe our tech should be as friendly as our team members on the front line,” said Ryan Fairley, AVP Omni Channel Strategy & Innovation for Navy Federal Credit Union. “It can be a real challenge, but we listen to what our members want and use data to know exactly what they need.”
A prime example of this is when Navy Federal revamped its mobile application a couple years ago. “It’s important that our members feel like their voices have been heard,” said Fairley. “When looking to improve the app, we went through 17 rounds of focus groups and extensive development before pushing it out to members.” The credit union’s mobile app handles 90 million logins per month. “The key is keeping it simple and telling our members what’s next,” said Fairley. “With advancements in artificial intelligence and analytics, we are exploring new ways to give them what they want.” As technological advancements continue to develop, financial institutions are expected to implement innovations at an increasingly faster pace. Dean Davis, CIO at Gulf Winds Credit Union, explains their plans to meet this demand. “We are working on building the team of tomorrow by bringing the right talent in and training the existing talent to support these newer and greater technologies.” With these innovations, potential employees in the tech industry will be drawn to the Northwest Florida area to be a part of the growth.
Q+A with William Hills
Former CIO of Navy Federal Credit Union and a keynote speaker at ITEN WIRED
Bill Hills’ more than 40 year career in industry and consulting has focused on leading and supporting sustainability, growth and transformation for industryleading companies including Chase Econometrics, Johnson & Johnson, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Xansa, PLC, and, most recently, Navy Federal Credit Union. Hills retired in 2019 after being with the credit union for 10 years and serving as its Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer for the last 5 years. Hills is a consummate leader with a proven track record of blending effective business processes with practical information technology solutions to improve corporate performance. His multidisciplinary background includes extensive experience in developing applications on a wide-range of platforms, driving innovation for competitive advantage and affecting large-scale organizational transformation to improve operational and business efficiency and effectiveness. Hills was named a ComputerWorld Premier 100 IT Leader in 2016 and a Constellation 150 Business Transformation Leader in 2018. Under Hills’ leadership, Navy Federal was named a ComputerWorld Best Places to Work in IT organization in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. In addition, the project management office thatb Hills formally created in 2013 was named PMO of the year by The Project Management Institute in 2015. 28 Pensacola Magazine
What innovations are we currently utilizing or onboarding that will move us into the future of banking?
How do you think Northwest Florida (NWFL) could potentially be a hub for the financial services market/industry?
The member experience has been and will always be the differentiator between credit unions and other financial institutions. Whether it’s the personalized services members receive in branches, on the phone or through their various electronic devices, it’s the experience that drives the intense feeling of community most credit unions enjoy. As members interact more and more on ubiquitous electronic devices, the challenge for credit unions is to continually provide great and differentiating member experiences. While the interfaces that members see pose a challenge for technology organizations, the real challenge is in the data and information credit unions have and can gather about their members to provide more and more personalized and valuable experiences and products to their membership. CUs are being challenged to increase the sophistication of their data and information management and to leverage increasingly advanced AI technology to refine and enhance member information to provide greater and more personalized member experiences. The adoption of data-centric and AI-centric technologies in credit unions is one of the biggest opportunities and the biggest challenges credit unions face as it will not only drive new products and experiences for members, but it will also dramatically change both the talent needs and many of the operating procedures of current credit unions.
Northwest Florida, with its rich educational community and growing technology programs, is ideally situated to provide the trained resources to actively progress the ability of NWFL credit unions to meet the challenges presented by the adoption of more intense data and AI strategies. Much the way the technology community has taken leading role in the cybersecurity area, NWFL can take a leading role in the use of data and AI technologies. How has banking modernized in the past few years? Banking has taken significant steps forward in the enablement of mobile devices as an integral part of people's financial lives. While there are still considerable differences in capability and sophistication between organizations, it is unthinkable that any financial institution would not have online and mobile services that mirror, if not exceed, their in-person abilities to support their members and customers in ways that are relevant to them. Banking will continue to improve and enhance their mobile and online capabilities, while simultaneously retooling their back-end processes and technologies for enhanced data management, more realtime processing and more personalized and relevant services.
Haley Murph — VP of eService and Payments Andre Carter — VP of Technology Infrastructure
Together we can streamline your financial future. You’re ready to simplify. Streamline. We can lend a hand. See, the credit union philosophy of “People Helping People” drives us. So banking with Gulf Winds isn’t just banking, it’s a relationship developed by helping you live life on your own terms. It’s why we work constantly to find innovative new banking solutions that save you time and money, and let you focus on what matters most to you.
See the difference Gulf Winds makes. Join today.
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Surround yourself with forward-thinking leaders EntreCon,® Northwest Florida’s premier business and leadership conference, provides exceptional content, thought-leadership, and networking opportunities packed into one event.
WHY ATTEND? YOU WILL LEARN: • How to effectively communicate and be a team player • Leadership skills new supervisors and managers need to ensure they hire the right people in the right roles, supervise teams, and manage their new workload
• Guidance on how to work on the business instead of in it • Help with how to manage work/life balance and reduce stress
KEITH HOSKINS Senior Vice President, Navy Federal Credit Union
TIFFANY PHAM Founder & CEO, Mogul
Questions? Rachael Gillette, firstname.lastname@example.org
JAKE POORE President, Chief Experience Officer, Integrated Loyalty Systems
DEBBIE RITCHIE President Studer Group, a Huron Solution
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NOVEMBER 13-14 I PENSACOLA, FL
JULIE WEBER Vice President, Chief People Officer, Southwest Airlines
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Your Dream Career Is Mission: Possible Reach new career heights—pursue your passions—be part of the mission to make a difference in the lives of military families. Navy Federal is proud to be a part of the Pensacola Community! We’re looking for bright and talented IT professionals to join our Information Services team. • Join a thriving organization • Enjoy an outstanding benefits package • Learn and grow in your career Find your perfect career at navyfederal.org/careers.
navyfederal.org 844.252.3583 Insured by NCUA. Equal Opportunity Employer. Navy Federal Credit Union values, celebrates and enacts diversity in the workplace. © 2019 Navy Federal NFCU 10768 (8-19)
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8/22/19 11:58 AM
THE STATE OF TECH
Securing a Better Tomorrow:
AppRiver forges a new future after acquisition by Zix by Kaitlyn Peacock
You’ve heard of Silicon Valley, but what about the up and coming CyberCoast? The panhandle of Florida has started to become the place to be for cyber business and research. Already, Pensacola has become a huge part of that initiative with places like the University of West Florida Center for Cybersecurity, the military installations like NASP Corry Station and local startups like AppRiver, which has gained national respect in the field of cloud-based cybersecurity. On Jan. 15, AppRiver was acquired by Zix, a Dallas-based company, for $275 million. Leadership at Zix has confirmed that they plan to continue to grow AppRiver to further their fight against cyber attacks that have increased throughout the nation in recent years. “It’s a never-ending, changing every single day, battle,” Geoff Bibby, vice president of marketing and BDRs at Zix | AppRiver, said. Billions of people have been harmed by cyber attacks. With successful cyber
attacks on large-scale businesses like Target, Marriott International and Yahoo, along with hundreds of small to medium businesses and thousands of individuals affected every year, cybersecurity has become one of the most important fields in the industry. There is an urgent and apparent need for better technology and techniques to stop attacks before they start and to detect them if they are successful. With AppRiver, now part of Zix, specializing in cloud security and Zix in email security, the two companies are a natural fit.
The acquisition of AppRiver doubled Zix’s employee base and quadrupled the customer base, according to Bibby. The almost overnight growth may be startling, but Zix CEO Dave Wagner sees the acquisition as an opportunity. “Bringing AppRiver together with Zix has given us a wonderful opportunity to support cybersecurity growth in northwest Florida with the University of West Florida and through the CyberCoast initiatives,” he said. “Both companies have a long, proud history of contributing time and resources to the communities where we operate. We expect to continue and expand those efforts now as a combined company.” The Zix acquisition of AppRiver is just one of a long line of company consolidations that have occurred particularly in the cyber field. The combined strength of the companies comes from the separate threat teams and a large partner base the companies had previously established. Pensacola Magazine
“...A huge part of what makes AppRiver phenomenal is this community. I think if you tried to replicate that by moving it somewhere else it wouldn’t feel as authentic.” and care. AppRiver was, and still is, a Pensacola institution, and with that comes the sense of community that any native Pensacolian would recognize. “The essence of AppRiver is something that people describe as phenomenal care,” Bibby said. “It’s overall just phenomenal. A huge part of what makes AppRiver phenomenal is this community. I think if you tried to replicate that by moving it somewhere else it wouldn’t feel as authentic. A huge part of what makes it phenomenal is just people.… There is a makeup of people that just want to go above and beyond in everything that they’re asked to do,” Bibby said.
With more resources now available, Zix AppRiver have a larger foothold in the market, which allows for easier access to additional markets. Specifically, the offices and resources at AppRiver are leading the way into international markets. “It gives us a lot more scale everywhere,” Bibby said. “Not only a stronger footing as an organization in North America, but we’re also now just getting ready to finalize our plans for what we are going to do for more Canadian growth as well as growth in Europe. And a lot of that is run out of here, in this office.” To get to these new markets, Bibby said they intend to increase staff and resources across the company, including offices at AppRiver, with the goal of adding “90 people to the company in the next 90 days.” 34 Pensacola Magazine
As Zix continues to grow, Bibby has said that they intend to keep AppRiver in Pensacola to take advantage of the growing cyber community. As technology and cyber-based programs at UWF grow, including the inaugural class of the doctorate in robotics and intelligent systems and the opening of the Center for Cybersecurity, the community of young, skilled professionals available locally provide a huge asset to the company. Being able to tap into that potential, as well as attract professionals from other parts of the country who may love the beach and the easygoing nature of the city, will help the overall number and quality of employees the company can bring in. Along with providing the professionals they are seeking to grow the company, Bibby said the community provides something you can’t find everywhere: a sense of pride
Zix will remain the parent company as the companies complete the transition from the acquisition. Right now, the company is working to finish up a united look and feel to Zix and AppRiver, repainting the long-time home of AppRiver and replacing the sign with a logo that looks familiar, with a little something added. Eventually, AppRiver will be known as “AppRiver, a Zix company,” however it’s still AppRiver at its core. As the companies consolidate and increase their resources, Bibby made it clear they are looking forward to continuing and strengthening AppRiver. “The AppRiver brand is a very respected brand that we have zero intention of ever having it go away,” he said. “When you think about AppRiver and you talk about it, you never need to talk about it in the past tense. AppRiver is getting healthier by the day with more and more people and more and more resources.”
THE STATE OF TECH
Introduction to Pensacola Dave Wagner, CEO of Zix With the acquisition of AppRiver by Zix, there’s a new face in the cybersecurity community in Pensacola. While many at AppRiver continue to work as they always have, the leadership at Zix has taken over many of the projects and products offered by AppRiver. Dave Wagner, CEO of Zix, has stepped up to oversee the progression of AppRiver as part of Zix and as a continued influence in the community. Wagner joined Zix in 2016 as CEO. At Zix, he saw a strong manager and employee base with potential for growth. The question became how to grow the company, either naturally, which would take time, or through acquisitions, which is riskier but can lead to very fast growth. In 2017, Zix moved to acquire a smaller company, laying the groundwork for what was to come. By 2018, Zix had acquired several more companies in preparation for a larger acquisition. AppRiver nearly doubled Zix overnight in January, but through a prepared and practiced procedure, the transition has been smooth.
As Wagner continues to grow Zix, he remains, as Bibby put it, a deliberate person. He approaches problems and ideas with a deliberateness that speaks to his long career in business. Before joining Zix, he served as the chief financial officer for Entrust, a software company, eventually serving as president of the company. He worked at Entrust for 20 years, overseeing the successful acquisition and integration of Entrust after it was acquired by Datacard. This first success helped him prepare for when he would lead Zix. Bibby actually had a chance to work with Wagner while he was at Entrust. After Wagner was hired as the new CEO of Zix, Bibby continued to work with Wanger into the first acquisitions and eventually to AppRiver in 2019. Bibby said he has always been an excellent person to work with and for.
very driven person. Driven in terms of collaborating and pushing the team to all new levels.” Wagner is described as operating transparently and democratically. Throughout the process of consolidating Zix and AppRiver, he has worked with both leadership and the different offices to integrate the companies smoothly. The goal is not to override AppRiver’s culture with Zix’s, but to take the best of both and set a new target culture for the company overall. While Wagner will remain primarily in Dallas, you may be able to spy him from time to time enjoying some Florida sun as Pensacola leads the way to the future of a new CyberCoast.
“The reason he’s phenomenal is because of who he is in terms of his values,” Bibby said. “He is a very, very sincere, very, Pensacola Magazine
UWF'S Center for Cybersecurity aims to transform Pensacola into the CyberCoast
By Carson Wilber • Photos courtesy of UWF
Glass walls, electronically locked doors, surveillance cameras and massive monitors greet visitors to the second floor of the Studer Community Institute Building in downtown Pensacola. The scene looks like the set of a covert spy movie – and it is the new home for the Center for Cybersecurity at the University of West Florida. The overt location visually enhances the Center’s not-so-secret mission to propel Pensacola into the CyberCoast, a national hub for cybersecurity business and workforce development. Moving downtown further connects the university’s education and training resources to the existing cybersecurity community and those who want to pursue a cyber career through degree and non-degree options. Florida ranks sixth in the nation for total 36 Pensacola Magazine
cybersecurity job postings according to CyberSeek. There are 13,465 unfilled jobs statewide and more than 3,000 of those are located in Northwest Florida. Closing this gap as a national leader in cybersecurity education and training is one of the Center’s main goals. “The UWF Center for Cybersecurity is on a mission to create a culture of cybersecurity and make cybersecurity everyone’s business,” said Dr. Eman
El-Sheikh, director of the UWF Center for Cybersecurity. “The critical shortage of qualified cybersecurity professionals is a global crisis with the shortage of professionals expected to reach 3.5 million by 2021. The Center continues to develop innovative programs to address emerging needs, advance the cybersecurity field and transform Pensacola into the CyberCoast.” The Center is a technological emporium which includes two innovative spaces dedicated to security operations and critical infrastructure security training. In addition to one of the nation’s only educational Security Operations Centers (eSOC), the Center features a 30-seat Cyber Operations and Security Training (COAST) lab and the Cyber Innovation Area (CIA) which is used for collaborative problem-solving and partnership development. The surrounding glass allows visitors to peek behind the curtain as faculty guide students through their lessons. Multi-colored lights illuminate racks of equipment and neat rows of cables in the
THE STATE OF TECH futuristic data center. It hosts the Florida Cyber Range, a state-of-the art virtual environment that provides hands-on learning experiences in partnership with Metova CyberCENTS. These tools form the backbone for the Center’s scenario-based, hands-on, competency building approach.
Education & Training This fall, the Center publicly launched its Cybersecurity for All program to build upon the university’s nationally recognized degree programs. Multi-day classes cover topics at a range of skill levels. Technical students can enhance their skillset in network defense, malware analysis, cloud security basics, incident response, industrial control systems and SCADA security. Non-technical students like managers and business owners can start with cybersecurity fundamentals and risk management courses. The program also includes a course for test preparation for the CompTIA Security+ certification. Courses qualify for CEU/CPE credits, and individuals from all backgrounds are encouraged to pursue training like this to protect national interests and establish a baseline for cyber awareness. For the past two years, the Center has delivered training to the recently renamed Florida Division for State Technology within the Department of Management Services and Florida Department of State. Approximately 93 percent of these students rated the courses as useful and would recommend to others. Since its on-campus launch in 2014, the Center for Cybersecurity led a rapid effort to obtain certification as a National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) designated by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security. UWF achieved this prestigious designation in one year and was asked to serve as the CAE Regional Resource Center for the Southeast, one of eight such centers across the U.S. In this role, UWF supports all colleges and universities in Alabama,
Graduates of the program will be fully prepared to pursue any path within the world of cybersecurity that piques their interest, from an analyst position in a Security Operations Center to offensive testing as a penetration tester.” Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Puerto Rico and South Carolina to enhance cybersecurity education and obtain CAE designation. The University of West Florida offers the only NSA/DHS CAE designated standalone Bachelor of Science degree in cybersecurity in Florida. This program launched in 2018 and attracted hundreds of students to the major, which covers a broad spectrum of cybersecurity subjects. “We are even exposed to more niche topics, such as reverse engineering malware and industrial control systems security,” said Zachary Mingus, a Bachelor of Science Cybersecurity student and president of the UWF Cybersecurity Club. “Graduates of the program will be fully prepared to pursue any path within the world of cybersecurity that piques their interest,
from an analyst position in a Security Operations Center to offensive training as a penetration tester.” The degree is one of three bachelor’s degrees and four master’s degrees with a cybersecurity focus. The university offers a multi-disciplinary approach with degrees such as a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies security and diplomacy, Master of Arts in Political Science security and diplomacy and Masters of Business Administration in information security management.
Community Outreach UWF cybersecurity students support school programs and generate interest in cybersecurity education and careers among K-12 students as part of the Center for Cybersecurity Ambassadors Program. Pensacola Magazine
Founded in 2017, this team brings engaging cybersecurity demonstrations and low-to-no-tech hands-on activities to schools throughout Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties. Students learn about binary, network attacks, encryption and basic cyber hygiene. Megan Morton has been a Cybersecurity Ambassador since last year. “It's great being able to talk to children who are genuinely interested in cybersecurity and enthusiastically asking you questions about it,” she said. Morton also thinks that being a part of the team has been valuable for her own experience. “Being a Cyber Ambassador has given me so many opportunities that I otherwise would not have had,” she said. Grants support their ongoing efforts, and last January, AT&T awarded the team $15,000 in funding. “Through the generous support of partners like AT&T, our ambassadors can reach out to more schoolchildren and present this rewarding career with its career-wage jobs,” Guy Garrett, assistant director for the Center and the ambassador program coordinator said. “This year we will place additional focus on promoting cyber careers in more diverse areas. Women and minorities make up only 15 percent of the cyber workforce combined. We want to improve that number.”
Partnerships Through thoughtful, collaborative, and strategic partnerships, the Center leads a joint effort to increase cybersecurity business and entrepreneurial activity. With zero percent unemployment nationwide and wages well above national averages, expanding on Pensacola’s existing cybersecurity community is a top economic development priority. This year the Center launched a new 38 Pensacola Magazine
CyberUSA Affiliate and a statewide affiliate of the Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS) organization and hosted the NSA/DHS CAE Executive Leadership Forum. This national convention brought 400 leaders from industry, academia and federal and state governments to address the growing number of cybersecurity issues and the current workforce talent shortage. The list of speakers included NSA executive director Harry Coker, Jr. and NSA National Cryptologic School Commandant Diane Janosek. In May, Dr. El-Sheikh took the Center’s message worldwide, speaking at the NATO Defence Project Conference held in Portugal.
Building the Team As the influence and capabilities of the Center grow, so does its team of experienced professionals. During the past year, four faculty members and a new director of communications and public relations joined the team. The latter position was filled in August by ITEN WIRED director Jim Rhodes, who previously worked for AppRiver, one of the area’s most successful start-up IT and Cybersecurity ventures.
About the Author
Carson Wilber is a senior undergraduate student in Computer Science, Cybersecurity and Mathematics at the University of West Florida, president of the AI Research Group, a member of the Cybersecurity Club and a UWF Center for Cybersecurity ambassador. He volunteers for community initiatives across the panhandle, represents various academic nonprofits, and co-founded INERTIA Education Programs, Inc. to bring high-quality afterschool STEM programs to underserved schools in Escambia County. He also owns Wilber Tech LLC, a digital branding, media, and marketing firm in Pensacola. Carson attended ITEN WIRED 2017, spoke at the summit and on ITEN WIRED Radio in 2018, and joined the planning committee this year.
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Young, smart and on fire—that’s the best way to describe the talent coming out of the young tech community in Pensacola and around the region. With excellent educational opportunities, premier research institutions and a host of professional organizations willing to collaborate and mentor, it’s no wonder that the Pensacola area is producing some very exceptional young talent in the technology sector. From cybersecurity to software development and data mining to micro loans, these four next generation techies are driven to succeed.
Student / Cybersecurity Ambassador Carson Wilber began his studies at the University of West Florida as a student in Computer Science in 2016. Today, he is pursuing three additional undergraduate programs in Cybersecurity, Mathematics and Software Design and Development. Wilber serves as President of the AI Research Group and as a member of the Cybersecurity Club. Last year, Wilber worked for the Department of Computer Science as a tutor for multiple programs including the Software Engineering, IT, Computer Science, and Cybersecurity programs. He has presented entrepreneurial programs for the Center for Entrepreneurship and is involved with their regular programming. Outside of academics, Wilber’s focus is largely on contributing to the Northwest Florida community through a variety of organizations, companies and other projects. He co-founded and serves on the Board and as Director of Impact of INERTIA Education Programs, Inc., a Pensacola 501(c) (3) nonprofit that provides afterschool STEM programs for underserved students and schools in Escambia County. INERTIA has served upwards of 500 students in elementary schools, community centers and other programs like YMCA and Boys and Girls Club. Wilber founded his own small tech company, Wilber Tech LLC, in February of this year. Wilber Tech provides full service digital branding and marketing. Wilber also works for the UWF Center for Cybersecurity as lead of the Cybersecurity Ambassador team, bringing the mission and passion of The Center to K-12 schools in Northwest Florida. photo by Guy Stevens
Tell me about your work as an ambassador for the UWF Center for Cybersecurity. When the Cybersecurity Ambassador team started, we were four undergraduate students across IT and Computer Science programs tasked with inventing activities and demonstrations that we could take out to schools and events. Now, we’re a full team of six all pursuing the new Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity (as many changed programs when it started) and we’ve been all the way from Escambia to Okaloosa, in addition to representing UWF in Tallahassee. I took the lead on the team last year and I help our awesome Ambassadors to continue developing activities and reach out to schools to set up a time to visit their classrooms. I worked with the ECSD Workforce Education team to provide input through their IT Advisory Council, as well as to work with their IT and Cybersecurity academies for our visits. I love teaching young students about cybersecurity, how lucrative a career in the field can be and how much we need their talent for computers to secure our companies and organizations.
When I entered the program, it was officially a Bachelor of Science in Computing and Information Systems or C.I.S. Over time, the programs in the Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering began to evolve: a new Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity, a new Department of Information Technology, and a Bachelor of Science in Software Design and Development. I realized with my particular interests that I could pursue more than what I was aiming for, and I quickly enrolled in some of the new programs to build my skills. I have had the incredible opportunities since then to be a part of a large number of academic and extracurricular programs in computer science as a whole. I hope to use everything that I’ve learned not only to continue contributing to the ecosystem of Northwest Florida, but also to develop high quality software and products that utilize emerging and high tech to make Pensacola and the Emerald Coast the next Silicon Valley.
How do you hope to use your unique combination of education, interests and skillsets in your career? What’s the big dream?
What do think makes Pensacola a top place to pursue and education and a career in technology? How has Pensacola supported your pursuits in ways that you think might differ from other communities?
I started at UWF only to pursue Computer Science after comparing the program to universities and colleges across Florida. I was shocked by how many opportunities there were to grow and learn here, and I wanted to stay in the area to contribute my skills and passion to the STEM education scene.
There is some serious potential in Pensacola to allow innovative, high technology companies to thrive and sustain their business here. The entrepreneurial ecosystem grows every day, and capital resources and training programs are constantly launching from companies, organizations and institutions
like TechFarms Capital, FloridaWest EDA, GBSI, UWF, PSC, GTSC, government agencies and more. There are also a number of opportunities to get work experience in Pensacola for anybody interested in software engineering, cybersecurity, IT and government contracting. I have had the chance through UWF internship programs and resources to take part in a handful of these programs, including at the world-class research lab IHMC, at Cyber 1 Systems and on research projects bridging the gap between academics and private industry. I think many other regions do not have the kind of access to educational resources like we have here. Even at ITEN WIRED, we’ll be hosting the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service and their Essentials of Community Cybersecurity course for attendees to learn about how to utilize cybersecurity to protect their communities. The network at ITEN WIRED and the entrepreneurs involved in both that and the North West Florida Forward Entrepreneurship & Innovation Council have been a constant propellant in my career to connect with professionals and plug in to the many new and exciting projects put on across the region. Four degrees, founded a non-profit, founded a tech company, a job as an ambassador and membership in multiple tech organizations. Where do you find the time? How do you do it? My honest answer: an unnatural amount of drive and an inability to say “no!” I have learned the hard lesson over the years that sometimes you have to turn down
THE STATE OF TECH opportunities in order to continue to succeed in the roles you are in now. I believe I have found the right balance between work and leisure for my own personality, but my kind of lifestyle isn’t for everyone. I really love what I do, and I love to learn and build new products and programs. I have a powerful support system among my family, friends, peers and mentors, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. I also work hard on analyzing my workflow to find the most efficient ways to get things done. I rely on multiple task and time management tools to help me organize my thoughts and my work. I am heavily connected online, so whether it’s personal or business, I can almost always be reached in a moment’s notice. I actually have about two dozen different email and social media accounts that separate out my responsibilities and online personas too, so when I do have someone reach out to me, I can segment what tasks belong to what project and schedule out my duties to perform them in the most efficient way possible. I also rely on my partners and peers to follow the mantra of “it takes a village.” There is no end to the amount of work a good team can accomplish, and I have been fortunate to have excellent teams around me for every project I am involved in that can divide and conquer any task. You’ve said that your passion is for tech education in the K-12 environment. How can tech education help a struggling school system like the Escambia County School District? Technology, as everyone knows, has evolved rapidly over the last few decades, and nowadays is surpassing the humans who make it in efficiency and effectiveness. With that comes a responsibility and a duty for educators and professional development leaders to train the current and future workforce to prepare for the changing landscape of technology. Evolving an education system is not the easiest thing in the world. Setting aside the conversation about budgetary debates and how to bring technology into the classroom, educators themselves may not be prepared to teach high technology to their students. We find this especially with teachers in the K-5 system who are already responsible for teaching their students almost every subject and who don’t have the time to build an entirely new curriculum focused on technology. The way that I’ve found we can help our teachers and schools to meet the demands of
technology and the workforce is this: get rid of the technology. Really. That’s it. It sounds ridiculous, but it makes a lot of sense when you see how it can be done. Through INERTIA, a nonprofit specifically designed to address this issue, we actually don’t use any technology at all and we can teach students concepts as complex as quantum physics or interstellar travel. All technology is rooted in a need, at some point, for a better or faster way to do something. Why not return to the roots? Why not look at a problem and approach it with sticks and stones before jumping straight to drones and high power computers? That’s the approach we take. Each activity we bring to the classroom consists of tape, paper, markers and the like. We build a rocket from a toilet roll tube and foamboard while explaining rocket science and physics. We show how you make a search online with index cards and translation tables without touching a keyboard or phone. We can take technology and represent it in a way that is far less expensive, easier to explain, and far more accessible to schools. We have been doing this for two years on a next-to-nothing budget for free to underserved schools, and the impact we have had is incredible. What do you think the next big tech issue or threat will be and how are professionals working toward getting ahead of it? The biggest threat in my crosshairs, and at the core of what many professionals as well as educators are looking at, is the skills gap in cybersecurity. Despite the lucrative career, despite how easy it can be to watch a video online and learn the ropes of defending a network, the market demand for cybersecurity experts – and even entry-level technicians – is growing far faster than we can produce the experienced individuals to fill it. There will be more than a million unfilled positions in cybersecurity in the next few years at our current pace. We need to be bringing cybersecurity into schools and communities for everybody to learn, not just technologists, and expand access to academic programs that prepare people to enter the workplace. Internships are critical to providing work experience in cyber, and we have many open programs right here in Pensacola that are building that workforce. Navy Federal Credit Union is one particular internship provider here, with a massive facility near UWF and dozens of students enrolled in their program. Anybody who wants to seize the opportunity to fill the market
should seriously consider reaching out, and seek other programs in banking and healthcare in particular. We have a large presence in those industries in our region, and they all need techies to fill those positions. UWF is working diligently to meet this need and address this issue. The Center for Cybersecurity was only launched in the last few years but has already made a profound impact on the preparedness of the workforce and even the government in our region and all of Florida. They have trained the Agency for State Technology and state elections officials in cyber hygiene and awareness, and this is a valuable service to protect Floridians and the safety of our government networks. They also support the undergraduate and graduate level programs that are raising new professionals in cybersecurity. They recently launched the Cybersecurity For All program that will open up training opportunities for any company, organization, or institution to prepare their existing employees for how to deal with business operations securely. The Center is a perfect example of how professionals are attempting to address this issue head on before it is too late. You started as a student guest at ITEN WIRED, and then you were asked to be a speaker for the following year. This year, you’ve been a part of the planning committee. That’s an impressive process for someone so young. What have you learned from your involvement in ITEN WIRED? ITEN WIRED has been an invaluable opportunity for me to network with professionals in technology and like-minded entrepreneurs across a diverse spectrum. I wanted to be a part of it and contribute what I had learned as a young student in highly technical fields. Because technology innovates and evolves so quickly, it is critical that students and young people become a part of the conversation for how we can work on our collective future. I have learned even more by being a part of the process that opening up conversations and bridging the gaps in networks and communities are the most effective methods to enhance an economy and ensure everybody is included. ITEN WIRED has given me leadership, confidence and inspiration. I am so grateful for Adam Ely for sponsoring that student ticket that got me involved in 2017.
Chief Software Architect and Co-founder / Coastware Technologies Ben Avellone describes himself as one part entrepreneur, one part executive and two parts geek. After graduating from the University of West Florida with a degree in Computer Engineering, he co-founded Coastware Technologies with his friend and I.T. director Anthony Gonzales. Ben specializes in building web-based business tools and has more than six years of experience building applications that see daily use by hundreds of users and dozens of businesses. Outside of work, Ben likes to play guitar, tinker with electronics and experiment with new tools and technologies. How did the idea for Coastware Technologies come about? I graduated from UWF and I was looking at the options before me. I was doing some freelancing at the time and was strongly considering moving forward with that, but also considering just going off and getting a job at Google, Amazon, Netflix—some big tech company. I decided that I really liked freelancing and working for myself. I sat down with Anthony Gonzales one day and we started talking. I liked his drive and his motivation and we decided to work together. Anthony brought the I.T. expertise and so that was another business line that we could utilize. You handle the software development side of Coastware. Tell me about that. I help companies scale and grow via the use of automation and by digitizing existing business practices. The sweet spot for me is the business that is having growing pains. Maybe they are large enough that they are having pains with their day-to-day business process and they need some extra tooling to help them get to the next step—to reduce their labor costs, to add additional automation and to make their whole business process smoother. I build custom software for businesses. But the what I'm actually providing, a lot of times, is a website—but it's a business website. It's really a platform that they can use as a central place to go to store their company data. Anyone who has permission can log in and access it. They can do data entry. They can run reports. They can see everything at a glance. They can send out notifications to everyone on the system. So, it's building this custom tool or platform for a business that is tailored to their needs exactly. What surprised you the most about starting your own tech business? You know you always hear how communication is so important and networking is the most important thing. I've heard that so 46 Pensacola Magazine
much, and I’ve thought, “Yeah, okay, I get it,” but it really is very true. Communication and setting the right expectations and then meeting them or exceeding them is the number one rule in business. If you can get those things right—if you can communicate well, if you can keep everybody in the loop, if you can be professional about it—you will go very, very far. And thing is anybody can do that. It's not some super difficult, technical knowledge that you need to have. It's the most basic and fundamental thing, but there are a lot of businesses out there that get that wrong or that drop the ball on that. Networking, too. It’s just so basic, you know, talking to people—going out and talking about what you're doing and who you are and the kind of things that you can do. Our business has grown so much from that. I might even say that we wouldn't still be here today if we hadn't done so much networking. How do you think Pensacola as a community supports entrepreneurial pursuits in ways that might be different from other communities? I've been impressed with the openness at the networking events that we've gone to as a small business. We've gotten a great reception. The community is very encouraging and very positive about entrepreneurship in general and especially with young professional entrepreneurs. So, that's really helped us a lot because running your own business is tough and sometimes it's nice just to hear, “Wow you guys are doing awesome, great things. Keep it up.” Sometimes, just that alone is enough to make you feel good—that validation from your peers. What do you think makes UWF a good place to pursue a tech-related degree? I was very happy with the education I got at UWF. It's kind of tough for me because I took computer engineering, which is right
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in between computer science and electrical engineering. So, I was having some fun with circuits and building little schematics and things and I was also writing programs and very low-level code for computer science. The actual job that I'm doing now isn't exactly what I was taught in school, but I wouldn't expect it to be because the stuff I'm doing now is very applied and much more cutting edge whereas the degree itself is more theoretical. So, it was great foundational knowledge and it has been very helpful. I've taken a lot of advanced math and that's helped me develop a more analytical approach to the things that I'm doing. I use that knowledge in my day-to-day job, even if I'm not designing circuits necessarily or solving physics equations or anything like that. But it does help me to just have that strong foundational knowledge that I can draw on. Where do you see yourself in 20 or 30 years? I want to be doing things with large positive impacts that are helping a lot of people. I'm not sure where I'm going to be in 20 years. I kind of like to leave a bit open to chance because one of the things I've learned is that in businesses, opportunities will just spring out of nowhere and you can’t anticipate them or prepare for them. But that’s totally fine. The best thing you can do is just put yourself in a good position to be able to take advantage of those opportunities when they do show up. Will you be attending ITEN WIRED this year? Definitely. I was a speaker last year and that was awesome. I've been every year. I love the energy.
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Student / Co-founder Change-up Health
Rion Adams was born and raised in Gulf Breeze, Fla. and has lived in multiple states in the eastern U.S. He developed an entrepreneurial spirit early on and started doing lawn work and manual labor for friends and family, which led to a small landscaping business. Rion graduated from Gulf Breeze High School and is currently attending the University of Florida as a finance major with a minor in real estate. He is actively involved in clubs and student events at the University of Florida and works a part-time job with American Airlines as a customer service agent. Rion recently started Change-Up Healthâ€”a nonprofit donation collection service company for rural and financially challenged hospitals. Change-Up Health was inspired by Rionâ€™s many family members in the medical field and an article he read about the detrimental effects of closing rural hospitals. After reading the article, he constructed a business concept that could help alleviate many financial burdens from these hospitals. That business developed into Change-Up Health. Rion laid the groundwork for the project and built a team to help bring the vision to fruition. Kyle Rutledge is a childhood friend and fellow finance major and Chandler Hall is a coworker at American Airlines and a computer science major. The team is hoping for a full release in the first half of 2020.
Tell me about your inspiration for Change-Up Health. Why is helping rural hospitals so important to you? My inspiration comes from a deep desire to preserve small communities. I believe that one very important aspect of a small town is access to healthcare. Change-Up Health focuses on rural hospitals because a medical facility is a vital part of every rural community. Your concept utilizes micro donations. How does that work? The way micro-donations works is when a user creates an account, he/she will connect it to his/her main bank account. After that, every time the user makes a purchase from that account, Change-Up Health will take out a micro-donation in the amount that is designated during the account creation. This concept works with a large number of account holders. It allows Change-Up Health to reduce the extent to which it relies on large donors and reduces the amount of influence one group or individual has on ChangeUp Health. How do your degrees in finance and real estate complement your tech-based entrepreneurial plans? Finance and real estate are both very conservative fields that have a very structured ecosystem. That is not true about the tech industry. My finance and real estate degrees will complement my techbased ventures by allowing me to imple-
ment traditional business knowledge and practices into my tech-based ventures. It also allows me to bring much of the innovation of the tech industry into the very conservative industries of finance and real estate. What do think makes Pensacola a top place to pursue an education and a career in technology? How has Pensacola supported your pursuits in ways that you think might differ from other communities? The number of resources available in a very small area is a big part of what makes Pensacola a great place to pursue an education and a career. In a larger city, the resources are scattered far apart. Also, the resources and people are not off-limits, with a simple visit or phone call one has access to everything one needs. What has surprised you the most in your path to entrepreneurialism? One advantage of an entrepreneurial path I never expected was the number of options it produces. By taking the risk of building a future out of an idea, I have realized that my future is not limited to what career path I choose or what work experience I collect. The right team is crucial to any start-up. How did you go about putting your team together? To me, one of the most important parts of a team is how well they work together. That is why I chose the team members I
did; we are all around the same age and have an underlying connection such as a shared childhood or earlier coworking experience. This cohesion allows us to solve issues promptly and prevents workplace tensions since we know each other well enough to avoid unnecessary disputes. What do you think the next big tech issue or threat will be and how are professionals working toward getting ahead of it? To me, the next big tech issue will be societyâ€™s trust. Many people do not trust large tech companies or new technologies that are being produced. I believe that one of the major ways professionals are working towards solving this is by being transparent about what their technology does and all the information it has access to. By being transparent, tech professionals will build trust between tech companies and the public.
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Marketing Analyst at Gulf Winds Credit Union Shannon Rowland is a proud native of Tallahassee, Fla. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Florida State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Shannon’s studies continued at the University of West Florida where she received a Master of Arts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology while working as a graduate assistant at the School of Psychological and Behavioral Sciences. After graduating with her masters, Shannon worked for Lee University as the Director of Institutional Research and Assessment where she supported leadership’s decisionmaking by providing data analysis, reporting and visualization. Shannon recently returned to Pensacola to work as the Marketing Analyst for Gulf Winds Credit Union. As the Marketing Analyst, Shannon uses SQL, Power Bi and statistical tools to track consumer behavior and explore market trends and opportunities. When she isn’t crunching numbers, Shannon enjoys lifting, yoga, hiking and playing with her two chocolate labs. As a Certified Group Fitness Instructor, she hopes to one day open a sports performance gym and yoga studio with her husband Garrett.
How did you develop an interest in statistics, data and market trends? My graduate program in Industrial/Organizational Psychology was heavily based in statistics and I worked as a graduate assistant for the University of West Florida Institutional Research. The early exposure to such large data sets made me realize the power that data and statistics could hold in a business setting and encouraged me to hone my skills in these fields. How much do you use your education in psychology in your current position? Greatly, especially given my degree deviates from what most people think of when you mention psychology. My degree is intended to help me understand organizational structure, processes and policies in order to ensure/suggest how the organization can be performing most efficiently and effectively. Data visualization is hot right now. What advice do you have for young people interested in pursuing it as a career? Don’t overlook communication as an asset. There are a lot of skilled data analysts/ scientists in the marketplace, but what’s valuable is having those same people be able to effectively communicate their work in a business setting. The combination of this skillset is seldom found in the tech world and can drastically alter your career trajectory. The data analysts that I have been most inspired by are not necessarily the smartest ones in the room or even the most tech savvy, but the ones who under-
stand how to translate complex data mining concepts/findings into actionable business decisions for organizations. What do think makes Pensacola a top place to pursue an education and a career in technology? How has Pensacola supported your pursuits in ways that you think might differ from other communities?
What do you think the next big thing in marketing or data analysis will be? I think artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data mining will continue to become more advanced. More sophisticated tools will also come to the market that will help marketers to better understand, as well as accurately predict, how we can serve the consumer.
I have predominantly worked in higher education for most of my career, both in Florida and in Tennessee. While higher education tends to be forward thinking and technologically advanced, other industries seem to lag in this arena. Upon returning to Florida and entering the financial industry, it has been great to see that they are adopting very similar technologies and building the infrastructure needed to support advanced data analytics and business intelligence efforts.
What can a small business owner without a budget for a dedicated data employee do make use of market data to drive their business?
As someone who tracks data, what do you think consumers would be surprised to know about how their online data is interpreted?
What are you looking forward to at the ITEN WIRED conference?
In my line of work, I’m actually using raw data to form aggregate data which can then be used to establish any existing trendlines. These trendlines are then used to inform strategic marketing efforts and can serve as a basis for predictive analytics. My job is to take a holistic approach to data and understand how different variables interact and influence behavior among a population rather than focus on individual behavior.
Use a well-organized CRM system that houses an accurate contact base. Take the time to capture all information so you can develop baselines and trends from your user profile data. Free online brand awareness tools like Google My Business and online review platforms.
Having just moved back from the area, I’m looking forward to connecting with others that are interested in data science and analytics. Also, the Women in Tech panel looks very interesting.
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play/live/give Humane Society, along with Cordova Lanes invite you to Doggie Bowl 2019. This event features a three round bowling tournament full of twists and turns, excitement and healthy competition as bowlers vie for the coveted Doggie Bow. Teams with the lowest scores are eliminated at the end of each game. The third game consists of the top six teams duking it out for bragging rights, the grand prize trophy and a $100 gift card to one of Pensacola's area restaurants. For more information, visit https://secure.qgiv.com/ for/dogbow201.
John Appleyard Talk: Pensacola History September 10 and 24
Pensacola Seafood Festival September 27 to 29
Sample a variety of mouth-watering seafood dishes and enjoy continuous entertainment in Fountain Park Sept. 27 through 29. Arts and crafts vendors will be displaying their unique wares, many items reflective of our area's unique Gulf Coast lifestyle. A children's area is filled with activities for all ages. The Fiesta Seafood Grille offers cooking demonstrations where you can watch area chefs prepare regional delicacies. For more information, visit pensacolaseafoodfestival.com.
Emerald Coast Beer Festival September 6
The Escambia Bay Homebrewers and Seville Quarter are once again hosting the Emerald Coast Beer FestivalTM! The longest running beer festival on the Gulf Coast, the Emerald Coast Beer FestivalTM kicks off on Sept. 5 from 6 pm to 8:30 pm at Seville Quarter with a five-course beer pairing dinner featuring handcrafted beers from Parish Brewing Company out of Broussard, Louisiana. This event requires advance tickets sales from Seville Quarter. Call Nancy at 434-6211 or visit emeraldcoastbeerfest.com for more information.
Songwriters at Sunset September 6
From the producers of the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival and the Perdido Key Area Chamber of Commerce, "Songwriters at Sunset" will make its debut Sept. 6, starting at 6 pm on the beautiful, breathtaking beaches of Perdido Key! Featuring Award-winning Singer-
Songwriters performing their greatest hits, including Jon Nite, Jimmy Robbins and JT Harding. Tickets are $100. For more information or to buy tickets, visit business.perdidochamber.com.
Improvable Cause Show September 7 Pensacola Little Theater will host an Improvable Cause (IC) show Sept. 7 at 10:30 pm. IC is Pensacola's only professional improv comedy troupe. Everything is created in the moment with audience suggestions, so each show is different. IC shows are edge-ofyour-seat theatre where anything can happen, and usually does. For more information or to buy tickets, visit www. pensacolalittletheatre.com.
Doggie Bowl September 8
Join one of Pensacola's most beloved organizations at one of Pensacola's most iconic establishments for a bowling tournament like no other! Pensacola
John Appleyard will have two history presentations this month, September 10 and 24 both at 9 am at the Pensacola Visitor Information Center. Don't miss the opportunity to hear famed historian, John Appleyard share his knowledge of Pensacola's history with one of his famous storytelling sessions. The event is free to the public but seating is limited. For more information, call 434-1234.
5210 Day of Play September 14
The 5210 Day of Play is a day to get up, get out and get active. On Sept. 14 from 10 am to 2 pm at Maritime Community Park, families will shut off their computers, tablets and TVs and head outdoors for some fun. Come check out the many ways families get moving. Join the community for a day of exciting activities, games, sports, contests and physical challenges for the entire family. For more information, visit cityofpensacola.com.
Ping Pong on Palafox Tournament September 14
Take a trip to Palafox Street for a community ping pong tournament Sept. 14 from 10 am to 5 pm benefitting Gulf Coast Kid's House. The event will be held on the street at the intersection of Palafox and Romana Streets in downtown Pensacola. “Ping Pong on Palafox,” hosted by Zarzaur Law, will include a table tennis “ping pong” tournament for all ages and levels, games, refreshments for players and more. Guests can learn tips and tricks from
play/live/give Table Tennis professionals and watch kids all the way to pros battle each other right in the heart of Downtown Pensacola. Sign up for the tournament on Event Brite.
David Feherty – Off Tour September 19
The Saenger Theatre’s stage will be taken over Sept. 19 at 7:30 pm by David Feherty in his Off Tour Live on Stage event. How do you describe the offbeat antics of David Feherty? The New York Times called him “a cross between Oprah Winfrey and Johnny Carson.” With a sharp wit and irreverent style, the professional golfer turned golf analyst, talk show host and sports broadcaster has made a name for himself as one of the most hilarious and irrepressible personalities in golf. Ticket prices start at $49. For more information, visit pensacolasaenger.com or contact the Saenger Theatre Box office at 595-3880.
Jon Foreman September 20
The Saenger Theatre is proud to host Jon
Foreman Sept. 20 at 7 pm. It’s easy for a surfer to lose focus and fall into the steady pull of the crashing waves, and it’s easy for a musician to forget where they came from under the glaring lights, before a sea of adoring fans screaming their name. On a surfboard or on a stage, the ground is made of different matter, and truth defers to the engulfing chaos. Jon Foreman has treaded these waters for over 20 years, moored by the truth he carries in his bones. Ticket prices start at $17. For more information, visit www.pensacolasaenger.com or contact the Saenger Theatre Box office at 595-3880.
Gallery Night September 20
Enjoy the beautiful summer night at Gallery Night, Sept. 20 starting at 5 p.m. Take the “Arts to the Streets” where visitors can connect with the unique culture of Pensacola. Be sure to stop by the Museum Plaza for a special concert from the Pensacola Opera, Opera After Dark, starting at 8 pm. Palafox Street will be closed for traffic between Garden and Main Street during the event. For more
information, visit facebook.com/pg/GalleryNight-Pensacola.
Movies in the Park Series September 20
Finish up the summer with a movie in the park. The last movie will be A Dog’s Way Home, scheduled for Sept. 20 beginning at sunset, 7:50 pm. Bring blankets and lawn chairs for an evening of family fun underneath the stars. Local food trucks will be at the event, so make sure to come ready to enjoy dinner and a show. Pets and glass containers are not allowed in the park. For more information, visit cityofpensacola. com.
Five Women Wearing the Same Dress September 20 to 22 and 26 to 29
PLT will be hosting productions of Five Women Wearing the Same Dress throughout September. Show times are 7:30 pm Sept. 20 to 22 and Sept. 26 to 28 with special showings at 3 pm, Sept. 29.
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play/live/give In Alan Ball’s hilarious comedy, five very different bridesmaids find themselves hiding together in an upstairs bedroom, hoping to escape the wedding reception of a bride that – they soon realize – none of them really like. In this cramped bedroom, these five identically dressed women talk, laugh, argue, cry, console one another and slowly become friends. For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.pensacolalittletheatre.com.
Haas Center Fall Forum September 26
The inaugural Haas C enter Fall Forum will be held September 26 from 8 am to 1 pm and is a half-day event being curated b y the University of West Florida's Haas Center and the Division o f Research and Strategic Innovation. The goal is to bring together bright minds and exciting vendors t o give data-driven talks t o a d iverse audience o f economic developers, business and nonprofit leaders and staff and community members. Forum attendees will leave w ith a clear s ense of how t o use data to b etter t ell their story. Tickets are $150. To register or for more information, visit haas.uwf.edu.
Vettes at the Beach September 27 and 28
Join the Miracle Strip Corvette Club for a weekend of fun, sun and Corvettes. There are expected to be up to 300 Corvettes from all over the country at the show. Visitors are welcome to walk around and look at the Corvettes, talk and share stories, no charge for visitors. Registration is Sept. 28 from 8 am to 10 am and trophies will be awarded at 2:30 pm. For more information, visit miraclestripcorvette.com.
All Ticket Sales Benefit Junior Golf in Northwest Florida! Thank you sponsors!
56 Pensacola Magazine
St. Rose of Lima International Fall Festival September 27 to 29
This festival is a family friendly event with live entertainment, vendors of all kinds, indoor bingo, big rides and the best food, including Filipino, Italian, Latin, American, Cajun, Polish,and so much more. Come have some fun at one of the biggest fairs in Pensacola. For more information, visit call 602-7495.
Classic Movie Series at the Saenger The Saenger Classic Movies Series line-up is final. Members of the Saenger eNews voted in a survey that concluded at noon June 28 and the theatre heard their requests. The Pensacola Saenger Theatre is pleased to present the following movie line-up: • September 7: Arsenic and Old Lace • September 14: Citizen Kane • September 21: Star Wars Tickets for the movie series are available at the Saenger Theatre Box office or by visiting https://www.pensacolasaenger.com. For more information about the movie series, or about becoming a sponsor, contact Kathy Summerlin at 595-3882 or send an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 www.vinylmusichall.com. • September 5, 7 pm: Avatar, with ’68 and Like Machines • September 11, 7 pm: Agent Orange, with The Turbos A.C.’s and Earls Killer Squirrel • September 12, 7 pm: Band of Skulls, with Demob Happy • September 13, 8 pm: Big Deal Burlesque • September 14, 7 pm: Jerry Garcia Band Cover Band • September 15, 7 pm: And Evening with Parker Millsap • September 17, 7 pm: BoDeans • September 18, 7 pm: The Growlers • September 19, 7 pm: Xavier Rudd • September 20, 6 pm: Ula, a Jimmy Buffet Tribute Band • September 21, 7 pm: Eric Lindell and the Natural Mystics • September 22, 7 pm: Big K.R.I.T – From the South with Love Tour • September 23, 6:30 pm: Gwar, with Sacred Reich, Toxic Holocaust and Against the Grain • September 27, 7 pm: Jai Wolf – The Cure to Loneliness Tour • September 28, 7 pm: Shooter Jennings
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Pensacola Little Theatre Presents
September 26-29 2019
September 20-22 2019
Alan Ball Directed by
Maureen McNeill PENSACOLALITTLETHEATRE.COM 850-432-2042 Five Women Wearing the Same Dress is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York
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SPECIAL SECTION September 2019
66. Leading the Next Generation
An interview with the inaugural director of the UWF Robotics and Intelligent Systems doctorate program
Âˇ OTHER STORIES Âˇ
70 72 63 65 Coffee and a Presentation Around the Region Entrepreneur Initiative Corcoran - Florida Can The Studer Family of Companies looks to strengthen Pensacola's entrepreneurial backbone
do Better for Teachers Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran hinted at a big compensation package for teachers at a stop in Pensacola
Local entrepreneurs come together to support new ideas in the com
Find out what is happening in business, government and cultural news in the greater Pensacola area and Northwest Florida
Business Climate 61
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Fixing a Fragmented System by Will Isern How strong is Pensacola’s entrepreneurial backbone? Do startups have the resources they need to get their big idea off the ground in Pensacola? Is there sufficient funding, mentorship and support? Could the whole system be easier to navigate? These are some of the questions that a forthcoming assessment of Pensacola’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by the Studer Family of Companies will seek to answer. SFOC chief of staff and Perfect Plain Brewing Co. owner D.C. Reeves has been meeting with local stakeholders in Pensacola’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and benchmarking successful programs around the country to discover Pensacola’s strengths and areas where the city can improve. “We have assets – you think of the UWF College of Entrepreneurship, of CO:Lab, of the Studer Community Institute and Entrecon – but the feeling is they’re a little siloed,” Reeves said. “As we’ve been going around there seems to be some consensus on that. We just think the timing is right with the growth and vibrancy to give this ecosystem that we have a little shot in the arm.” As part of the initiative, Reeves has visited Madison, Wisconsin and Asheville, North Carolina to study successful entrepreneurship programs in those cities. Madison, Wisconsin has a program called Starting Block Madison that incorporates many of the different resources that a small business needs for a successful launch in one place. “If you called me today and said, ‘How do I start a business in Pensacola?’ I’d give you seven phone numbers and say call these people. Go here, go here, go here,” Reeves said. “Maybe they can help, maybe they
can’t, but call these people. Maybe it makes sense to have that all in one centralized location where we can say, this is where you go to start a business in Pensacola.” Similarly, Venture Asheville connects startups with potential employees, mentors and investors. Reeves said mentorship and funding are two areas he expects to see reflected in his assessment as in need of improvement in Pensacola. “You look at other communities, they have four to six different funding sources, whether it be startup loans or angel investment,” Reeves said. “We really don’t have investment focused on Pensacola. There are funds here, but they kind of focus on everywhere.” Reeves is also exploring a partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Venture Monitoring Service, a service that matches entrepreneurs with mentors to offer guidance in areas like product development, marketing, intellectual property law, finance and human resources. When the assessment is complete, Reeves will produce a report outlining ways in which Pensacola’s entrepreneurial ecosystem can be improved. Reeves expects the report to be completed by the end of September. The Studer Family of Companies will use the report as a basis for action, he said. “After we do this assessment, we are going to look at it and see if there are gaps we can help fill,” Reeves said. “Whether that means something we can take on, or whether that means something we partner on, whether we support other organizations to fill these gaps, we don’t know what that looks like, but we’re openminded about what those options end up
being. It’s not just to do an assessment and walk away, it’s to help the ecosystem as best we can.” In undertaking the assessment, Reeves is evaluating many of the challenges he faced in starting his own small business, Perfect Plain Brewing Co. Since opening in 2017 on Garden Street, the company has achieved stable success and is in now the midst of an expansion. Reeves is detailing his experience in a forthcoming book, The Microbrewery Handbook, set to be released in November. From his own experience starting Perfect Plain, Reeves said he knows firsthand that Pensacola can do better in supporting new entrepreneurs that will drive the city forward. “The reality is small business is what drives cities like our all over the country,” he said. “It’s not the fault of anybody that we’re not as far along as some of these other places – we think there are a lot of strengths here. So our goal is not to reinvent the wheel with our ecosystem, it’s just to fill gaps and make it stronger with the way it is now.”
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LISTEN LIVE GLENN BECK
Corcoran: Competition is Key in Education Florida can do a better job of celebrating teachers and providing access to highperforming schools to its students, but the state is a leader in measurement and accountability. That was the message from Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran when he visited Pensacola to speak at the Panhandle Tiger Bay Club in August. Corcoran said Florida is “completely inferior” when it comes to supporting teachers, and hinted that a major teacher compensation package could be forthcoming from Gov. Ron Desantis in the 2020 legislative session. Florida ranks 46th in the nation with an average teacher salary of $48,168, according to the National Education Association. “Almost every single time, every single speech that I've been with (Desantis), he has hinted strongly that we need to do far, far more to elevate and celebrate the teaching profession,” said Corcoran. “I’m hopeful, and I think it’s going to happen, that this legislative session will be a landmark teacher compensation package for our school teachers.” Corcoran served as speaker of the Florida House of Representatives from 2016-2018, ran an unsuccessful bid for governor and was appointed education commissioner in January. As speaker of the House, Corcoran championed school
choice and pushed through a massive expansion of the charter school system. Corcoran’s wife founded a charter school in Pasco County. As education commissioner, Corcoran has found an ally in the push to expand school choice in Gov. Desantis. Desantis in March signed a bill setting aside $130 million to pay for private school tuition for up to 18,000 low-income students. Giving parents the option to move their students to better schools is a rising tide that lifts all boats, Corcoran said. “Competition has to happen and we have to recognize that when it does happen everyone its good for everyone,” he said. Poor-performing school are disproportionately located in low-income school districts, Corcoran said, and rob at-risk students of a life of dignity and hope. “We have school up and down the state and right here in Escambia county that have been a D or F for eight straight years, and most of the time where you see that the majority of the population are the least of these, they’re the loweconomic, minority kids,” he said. “Organized injustice, that’s what it is.”
Corcoran said what Florida gets right in education is measuring school performance, providing competition through school choice, and holding the system accountable with realworld data. Corcoran pointed to the Schools of Hope program that allows charter schools to open in close proximity to persistently low-performing public schools as an example where the state is putting students first. IDEA Public Schools, one of the four Schools of Hope programs, has a 100 percent graduation rate,100 percent college acceptance rate and is almost entirely comprised of minority students, he said. Critics argue that such initiatives divert funding away from public schools, but Corcoran rejected that idea in Pensacola arguing instead that the free market system can work in education as it does in business. He said arguments that public schools are desperate for infrastructure and equipment dollars don’t hold water. “No buildings, walls, classrooms or chalkboard has changed a child’s education,” he said. “What changes their education is getting a world-class educator standing in front of them. If I said name a teacher that profoundly impacted you, everyone could name that teacher. Now take that teacher and put them in the classroom of every single child in Florida and we’ve changed our state.”
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Leading the Next Generation
An interview with Dr. Venable, Director of the Intelligent Systems and Robotics doctoral program at UWF by Kaitlyn Peacock
66 Business Climate
In the Fall of 2018, the University of West Florida (UWF) and the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) announced their partnership in creating a doctoral program at the university. The program focuses on intelligent systems and robotics and is among the first of a very few programs on this topic. Since then, Pensacola has anxiously awaited the introduction of faculty as the program substantiated and students were recruited for the inaugural classes.
Italy and has previously been employed in a joint venture with IHMC and Tulane University. Business Climate sat down with her to discuss her vision for the program, why she believes knowledge is more powerful than technology and what it is like leading the newest generation of researchers.
As the university prepares for the new school year, they made the announcement for the very first director of the new doctoral program. Dr. Kristin “Brent” Venable will be leading the joint team of UWF faculty and IHMC researchers as students fill the classroom. As of late August, class is in session and five Ph.D. students are the first to step into the classroom, or in this case, the research lab.
It’s very exciting. It’s kind of a natural evolution for both IHMC and UWF and for me to be able to start and jump right into the beginning of this endeavor is exciting. It’s not new to me, to start fresh. I was at Tulane (University) when they started the new department and I was the second faculty they hired. Back in Europe, at the University of Padova, I was part of the effort to build the computer science group within the math department.
Venable started out overseas as a faculty member of the University of Padova in
BC: Congratulations are in order. How does it feel knowing you are going to be heading this new program?
“AI and robotics are becoming pervasive. You can see it in the tools we have at home that recommend, suggest and filter content for us all the time.” BC: You actually have a background with IHMC. I joined IHMC in 2012 when I came back to the states as a research scientist. I’ve been in a joint appointment between IHMC and Tulane since then. I’ve been collaborating with several of my colleagues there, especially in knowledge representation, in combining knowledge representation and machine learning. It’s been really great to be part of two entities, one from the community and one that is a research lab. BC: It’s interesting to hear you have experience in combining university learning and what IHMC does. Is it going to be different from what you are going to be doing at UWF? It’s going to be a little bit different. The collaboration between Tulane and IHMC was mostly related to research, putting together grants where faculty from Tulane and researchers from IHMC could collaborate. There were graduate students, but they belonged to one entity and doing internship or something. Here, it’s the Ph.D. program that brings together the two entities. There’s a need for a much tighter collaboration at multiple levels, not just at the research level. I think it’s a win-win for both UWF and IHMC. For IHMC, there’s the opportunity of having students for a long-term collaboration that can really become leaders in projects that are currently funded at IHMC. For UWF to have a graduate program in this key topic of intelligent systems and robotics that is addressing such an important need at the local, state and national level. It will really put UWF on the map in terms of graduate programs.
BC: This program is one of a very few like it, and it’s really unique that a college like UWF, which is a smaller university, has this program. It’s a great opportunity, in part through the partnership with IHMC. It’s timely. It was really timely that this program was designed and implemented because it really responds to this need for graduate programs in this field. A lot of graduate programs that are in AI or robotics are embedded in more traditional academic settings that were set up when AI wasn’t even a topic so they are more constrained. Here, through this partnership, we have the opportunity to tailor the curriculum of the students, to not be so constrained, to really do a modern program for a modern topic like intelligent systems and robotics. BC: This field is so cutting edge right now that it’s really interesting that the fact these students going through this program will most likely have an impact on things that effects people every single day. AI and robotics are becoming pervasive. You can see it in the tools we have at home that recommend, suggest and filter content for us all the time. It’s a field that evolving so fast that yes, you do have to have technical knowledge about the current tools, but what is important is to develop the skills of problem solving and computational thinking that will allow you to participate in this field in the long run. The tools and the programming, the software capabilities are evolving at such a speed that technical knowledge becomes obsolete very fast, but what doesn’t become obsolete is the capability of acquiring this
type of specialized knowledge fast and to be able to solve problems and develop strategies that will work in the future. BC: It sounds like this program is less about the technology and more about the forward thinking of the technology. Yes, definitely. They are both aspects, but the cool thing about the program is the students get embedded in active research projects currently funded by NSF or the Department of Defense so they get a feel of what the cutting edge research is as of now. They work in close contact with leaders in the field that have a lot of experience and that can really communicate what they have abstracted from years and years of experience and give them the tools to do well in the current project but also become leaders of future projects and develop their own research agenda. BC: When they announced this program, everyone in the community was really excited. IHMC and UWF are institutions of the community. So it’s really exciting for everyone here to get to see how this progresses and how the program starts and how it will evolve and students come in. How will the program and the students impact the community? We already have five students enrolled and we were very successful in getting applications but now we are really going to dissemination and making the scientific community and academic community, the industry aware of this program. The program will bring in very, very bright, exceptional students who will also be selected from the local institutions who are
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currently producing very, very smart and bright students. They will bring a fresh perceptive to the area. Even the ones that I have talked to so far are excited to join the Pensacola community and have found it a very welcoming and ideal place to conduct research. I think they will bring visibility. We will be bringing in scholars from around the world to teach short one or two week schools for these Ph.D. students and of course we will also ask these scholars to give talks to the open community and talk about what they do with their research and their environments around the world. I think it’s great for these students to be in such a great community and for the community benefit from the students being here and the other scholars that they will be attracting here as well.
that is provided by this program. Being able to work in tight connection with leading researchers at IHMC and we will be recruiting at UWF. There’s already great faculty at UWF. Being able to tailor the curriculum of the courses they are taking to the specific topic, this is really unique and really attractive. Once you get to a Ph.D., you want to do research, you want to study a specific topic that is of your interest. You’re done with courses. And this is what is mostly done in Europe.
BC: Nobody has done this type of program before, I don’t even think there’s a program like this in all of Florida, certainly not Pensacola. What is your vision for the program?
In the path of every researcher, one at some point feels the need to transfer their knowledge to the next generation. Intelligent systems and robotics has evolved very fast, especially in terms of how they are now embedded in society. The aspects of ethics and social impact, that are very dear to my heart, being able to talk to students about this and make it a crucial and common topic for all the students that
We are going to build up a hybrid of the American graduate template and the European one. I’m expecting to attract great students because of the flexibility 68 Business Climate
BC: These students are going to go on to confront issues that people hear about every day, from national security to technological advances. How do you feel knowing that you’re going to be a big part of teaching the next generation?
will be pursuing their own research topics is very important and exciting to me. I think that these students who are coming in right now, when I was trained, they weren’t even talking about these topics. But being aware of the social impact, for the good and the bad that their work can have is very important. So I’m excited to bring these topics and involve these students in the conferences and the discussion that is ongoing in the community of this. This is really a great opportunity. I’m very, very grateful and excited for the opportunity that was given to me. I’m looking forward to more updates as the program comes along and to keep people involved and aware of the progress we will be making.
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Coffee and a Presentation
One Million Cups builds community and local business one cup at a time by Kaitlyn Peacock
Starting a business can be one of the most stressful and exciting things in a person’s life. It’s a very personal thing, to take an idea and make something out of it. In recent times, Pensacola has been built on these small ideas. Most downtown businesses are locally-owned small businesses and every large business started as a small one. As the community and economy of Pensacola grows, the value of an idea has grown in proportion. 70 Business Climate
It’s easy to come up with an idea. It’s harder to build on that idea, and even harder to know if you’re idea is a good one or how to profit from it. That’s where One Million Cups comes in. One Million Cups is an experience-based educational program from the Kauffman Foundation, a 501(c) (3) organization. It is built on the concept of how many business ideas are thought about, explained and expanded upon over cups of coffee. The meeting offers the chance for two presenters to introduce attendees to their idea or business. After giving a six-minute presentation, audience members are given twenty minutes to ask questions about the business and the presenter. The goal is through these presentations and question-answer sessions, would-be entrepreneurs learn the value of
their idea, how to explain it to potential customers or investors and to refine their business. The Pensacola chapter of One Million Cups includes several organizers who help coach presenters and assist in organizing the meetings. “It’s a gateway and a platform for folks who are interested in starting a business, have an idea,” Wes Hudgens, one of the organizers, said. “It’s a platform for entrepreneurs to get up and share their idea, get feedback from the community and hopefully find out how we can support them for them to be successful.”
Hudgens isn’t one of the many small business owners of Pensacola. In fact, he works for Gulf Power as a community relations specialist. One Million Cups brings him, other large-business employees and small business owners together to support the greater business ecosystem of Pensacola. “It’s about the building of the ecosystem and the concept of being mutually supportive of one another,” Patrick Rooney, director of CoLab Pensacola, said. “By sharing stories, experiences, wisdom, lessons learned and always seeking to enlarge that ecosystem because even in a small city like Pensacola, we are still challenged to know what’s going on.” Through attending meetings, business leaders are able to connect to the larger Pensacola community. Attendees do not have to be past or future presenters, though it is recommended that anyone interested in presenting attend a meeting first, and you do not even have to be a business leader to participate. The goal is to further the ideas of the community and to help support one another. Maria Schuffman, a local entrepreneur and one of the coaches for One Millon Cups, explained anyone can learn from the meetings and that it’s a great place to feel out whether you want to start a business or not. “Let’s say that you are an entrepreneur here or want to be an entrepreneur, it’s great to come to a One Million Cups meeting because you are going to meet entrepreneurs who are successful, entrepreneurs who have not been successful but are successful now and that means that you get to learn their lessons without having to go through the same thing,” she said. The Pensacola chapter is one of only a few One Million Cups in the country. Every chapter must be approved by the Kauffman Foundation, and the Foundation has high standards for proving that a community is ready for and in need
“It’s a platform for entrepreneurs to get up and share their idea, get feedback from the community and hopefully find out how we can support them for them to be successful.” of something like One Million Cups. The Pensacola chapter was founded in part by Kenzie Fitzpatrick, who now works as the southeast regional representative for One Million Cups. After being a part of the Tallahassee chapter for two years, she returned to Pensacola and knew that the city needed a chapter of its own. After finding a mentor and sponsor, plus several others willing to help set up the chapter, she applied to bring One Million Cups to Pensacola. Her application was approved. “There’s only 180 chapters in the U.S. for One Million Cups,” Fitzpatrick said. “It takes a lot of time, effort, resources and people to bring a chapter here, but I knew that if we brought it, people would be able to practice presenting their business, meet with the community members and it was a safe place where you don’t have to pay a membership, you don’t have to pay to present. It is truly for the community, by the community.”
Presenters to One Million Cups have gone on to pitch their business to larger companies outside of Pensacola using the information they gained during their presentation. While the meeting is generally locally focused, the organization gives attendees access to the wider One Million Cups community. Every presentation from every chapter is recorded and posted online for others to watch and learn from. Fitzpatrick described the organization as “giving a smaller business a louder voice on a larger platform,” something that reflects the hunger for more growth and innovation not just in Pensacola but in the growing U.S. economy. Pensacola’s One Million Cups currently meets once a month, but the group is aiming to start meeting every week. Meetings are always Wednesday at 9 am at Pensacola Socialdesk. For up to date scheduling or to browse past presentations, visit 1millioncups.com/pensacola.
Business Climate 71
AROUND THE REGION Mayor Grover Robinson Gives State of the City Address to Pensacola Business Community
and Economic Development. Fiddler spoke about being tasked with $20 million in Community Redevelopment Agency projects to move forward while working as the The Greater Pensacola Chamber hosted Mayor Grover Robinson for a State of the City Assistant Public Works Director at the City of North Miami, giving him valuable experience luncheon Tuesday, Aug. 20 at the Pensacola Yacht Club, where Mayor Robinson addressed that will help him work with staff to complete the local business community about the City of projects in Pensacola. "I know the importance of making sure Pensacola's economy, development and plans projects are moving, you're spending money for the city's future as it continues to grow. The event was the first in a series of "state of" and you're making the community better," Fiddler said. addresses presented by the Greater Pensacola Some highlights Mayor Robinson shared Chamber, which will include updates on the state of the city, state of the military and state of during the address include: education. Number of residential permits in the city Mayor Robinson highlighted several areas increasing every year of growth in the city, including residential and 2017: 190 commercial permits, ad valorem and sales tax 2018: 290 revenue increases each year, along with success at the Port of Pensacola, Pensacola International 2019 (incomplete): 194 Airport and Pensacola Energy. "What it is showing is that this is a community that people want to come to," Mayor Robinson said. "It speaks to the quality of place. But the only problem with that is every time we keep having growth, we've got to reinvest in ourselves." Part of that reinvestment includes new city staff members such as Complete Streets Planner Mike Ziarnek, Neighborhoods Administrator Lawrence Powell and Assistant City Administrator Kerrith Fiddler, who Mayor Robinson said are all looking into ways to better serve citizens of Pensacola. "That's why we've hired the complete streets person," Mayor Robinson said. "That's why we're looking into how can we make Pensacola the place that you want to live, that your children want to come back and live...that's the kind of community we're trying to create here in Pensacola, Florida. And it takes reinvestment over and over in what we're doing, so I think that's what your team that serves you every day is trying to do as we're moving forward." Assistant City Administrator Fiddler also spoke at the event, sharing about how his 15 years of experience in local government led him back to Pensacola. Fiddler joined the City of Pensacola on July 1 and is responsible for oversight of the city's community development departments, including Public Works & Facilities, Community Redevelopment Agency 72 Business Climate
Ad valorem taxable value increasing every year 2017: 5.79 percent increase 2018: 7.51 percent increase 2019: 8.2 percent increase Number of Pensacola Energy customers increasing every year Pensacola International Airport continuing to break passenger records, with an all-time record high month in May 2019 (207,635 passengers). Fiscal year to date passenger traffic is up 17.34 percent. Half-cent sales tax revenue up 7.39 percent for 2018; on-track for 2019 Mayor Robinson concluded his address by emphasizing the importance of collaboration as a community and a region. He also highlighted the city’s “Florida’s First and Future” tagline, which puts value in Pensacola’s rich history while also looking toward the city’s future and limitless potential. "We want all of your companies that you're working in to be working at that lead edge of what we're doing, so that we are not just simply limited by our past, but we also are looking at an unlimited future and working together,” Mayor Robinson said.
Pensacola Recognized as America's Strongest Town Pensacola was recognized Tuesday, Aug. 20 for being voted America’s Strongest Town earlier this year, celebrating progress the city has made toward being financially strong and resilient. Strong Towns founder Chuck Marohn visited the Rex Theatre in downtown Pensacola to celebrate Pensacola’s victory and give a free Strong Towns presentation to a packed audience as part of CivicCon. Mayor Grover Robinson accepted the award Tuesday evening on behalf of the city, along with Councilwoman Ann Hill, Councilman Jared Moore, Escambia County Commission Chairman and District 3 Commissioner Lumon May, District 4 Commissioner Robert Bender, Emerald Coast Utilities Authority District 4 Board Member Dale Perkins, City Attorney Susan Woolf and Pensacola Fire Chief Ginny Cranor. Pensacola beat out 16 other towns for the honor in April, winning with 58 percent of the vote against Portsmouth, New Hampshire in the final round. The first Strong Towns champion from the South, Pensacola joined a pantheon of winners that includes Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Traverse City, Michigan, and most recently, 2018’s champion, Muskegon, Michigan. From the Strong Towns winner announcement: “Pensacola impressed us from the start with a Round One application that emphasized its remarkable turnaround in the past decade. The city is growing in population, it is dramatically expanding its local economy and tax base, and it’s doing it largely by focusing on the city’s heart and soul: its historic downtown, which was first built in the 18th century.” Read more about why Pensacola was selected as the 2019 Strongest Town. Pensacola's Strongest Town entry was submitted by Quint Studer, Anna White and Dottie DeHart. Strong Towns is an international movement that’s dedicated to making communities across the United States and Canada financially strong and resilient. The Strong Towns approach advocates that in order to truly thrive, cities and towns must value resilience over efficiency, embrace a process of continuous adaptation
and stop building the world based on abstract theories, among other recommendations.
UWF Center for Cybersecurity launches Cybersecurity for All® program to enhance workforce development The University of West Florida Center for Cybersecurity is launching the Cybersecurity for All® program, an innovative program to enhance readiness for evolving cybersecurity work roles and address the critical shortage of cybersecurity professionals. Courses and advanced certificates will be available for organizations and individuals starting in September. Cybersecurity job openings top 13,000 in Florida and exceed 300,000 nationally according to Cyberseek.org. Cybersecurity Ventures, a provider of data and analytics for the industry, projects the global shortage of professionals to reach 3.5 million by 2021. “Cybersecurity is everyone’s business. The critical shortage of qualified cybersecurity professionals is a global crisis,” said Dr. Eman El-Sheikh, director of the UWF Center for Cybersecurity. “The Cybersecurity for All® program is a game changer. The program will transform our ability to prepare individuals and organizations for evolving cybersecurity work roles. Through accelerated and flexible pathways that integrate best practices in education with competency-based hands-on skills development, Cybersecurity for All® will fundamentally expand the number of qualified cybersecurity professionals.” The UWF Center for Cybersecurity will host a reception and information session for the program from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 27, at the Center’s new state-of-the-art facilities, located at 220 W. Garden St., Suite 250, in downtown Pensacola. The available courses and certificates include cybersecurity fundamentals, network defense, risk management, cloud security, incident response, CompTIA Security+, malware analysis, system administration and scripting, and industrial control systems and SCADA security. The majority of the courses will be offered face-to-face at the UWF Center for Cybersecurity facility in the Studer Community Institute Building. The remaining courses and certificates will be delivered online. UWF Center for Cybersecurity faculty and staff
will provide years of academic and industry experience in teaching the courses. The UWF Center for Cybersecurity developed the Cybersecurity for All® program to provide accelerated, flexible education and training pathways for individuals and organizations of all sizes and across sectors, including government, defense and the private sector.
UWF students land grant to develop app for Air Force A team of University of West Florida students has been awarded a $25,000 grant to develop an app that will help the Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field better gather and share information. The grant was awarded to UWF students Christian Kaman, Daryl Meade and Lloyd Mageo by the Small Business Innovation Research program, which “is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in federal research/ research and development that has the potential for commercialization,” according to SBIR’s website. The students developed the concept for the app during UWF’s Hacking for Defense, or H4D, course held from May to July. The app, called the Enhanced Situational Awareness Process, will be developed by 2enovate, a company Kaman founded. The ESAP features a web-based, interactive dashboard that is fully customizable based on user preferences and mission requirements, a mobile application allowing users to better gather and report data, speech-totext functionality and integration with Microsoft Outlook calendar to track external
engagements. The information is updated nearly in real time and can be viewed by a supervisor at the home organization almost immediately. “It’s not just a software solution,” Meade said. “It’s a holistic approach to data gathering and dissemination.” The student team conducted more than 40 interviews with potential beneficiaries and stakeholders during the H4D course. “What I like to see out of the class is the students growing in their soft skills— the organization, the teamwork, the communication,” said Dr. Dallas Snider, an associate professor at UWF and chair of the Department of Information Technology. Snider is the lead instructor for the H4D course. Kaman said he and his team would like to get more students involved in helping develop the product, which would give them valuable hands-on experience. Dr. Donovan Chau, director of research engagement for the UWF Division of Research and Strategic Innovation, helped start the H4D course at UWF. He said the course shows that students using teamwork can come up with innovative solutions to tackle real-world challenges. “Students are the ones who are going to be experts of the future,” Chau said. This was the second H4D course held at UWF. H4D is part of a national program, and beginning Oct. 1, H4D will be funded by the U.S. Department of Defense as part of the National Security Innovation Network.
Business Climate 73
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ON THE MARK
ET: A REAL ESTATE SECTION
‘KAY’ STEPHENSON Talk Football with Coach Kay Mon – Fri 12–1pm
JOE FORD Local Play by Pay
On theA Real Market Estate Section
Tips for Maintaining an Organized Home
In This Section
By the Numbers: A look at July's Market Highlights page 78
4 Home Fix-ups for Fall page 88
Define Your Own Design page 80
5 Budget-Friendly Projects that Boost your Home's Value page 96
Creating a Spa Oasis page 84
On the Market 77
BY The NUMBERS a look at July's Market Highlights
Avg. Days on Market
Median Sale Price
Market Highlights July sales slipped 4% from June, yet were up 10% over the same month last year and were the third highest on record for any other month since this report first appeared in 2008. 78 On The Market
Julyâ€™s combined (residential & condo) DOM averaged 55, up two days from June.
Median Sale Price for July reached $221,000 the highest on record for any month since this report first appeared in 2008.
Pending sales were up 13% compared to June and up 30% over last July.
Information courtesy of Pensacola Association of Realtors
17 W. Cedar Street | Suite 2 Pensacola, FL, 32502 phone: 850.434.2244 fax: 850.434.8081 www.BHHSPenFed.com
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3517 Mossy Oak Villas Cir $199,999 | MLS# 551848 Gated! Private! New! Come live and enjoy hassle free living. Let someone else do the grass and exterior house work. These homes are very well built with quality in mind. Walk in to the luxury vinyl planks. Tall ceilings throughout the entire home. Recessed lighting package with LED lighting to reduce your power to a minimum. Stair rails are custom, handmade locally, with aluminum bronze powder coating. Hard surfaces everywhere. Granite, with tall kitchen cabinets. Randall Graves • 850.516.6763 • firstname.lastname@example.org
8873 Marsh Elder Dr $445,900 | MLS# 558178 If you have been waiting for your home in Nature Trail subdivision, then wait no longer. This wonderful home lies on a cul-de-sac on one of the beststreets in Nature Trail. This immaculate home has 2,682 sq. ft with 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, and the only home in Nature Trail that has lake frontage.Beautiful lake view from the home and the rear deck includes hot tub, built in Green Egg and granite counter. Kitchen is spacious with plenty of cabinets,granite counter tops, and gas appliances. Dave Taylor • 850.293.3334 • email@example.com
1027 E La Rua St $295,000 | MLS# 559104 Builders! - Investors! - Residential Lot Buyers! 2 Buildable Lots in 1: Rare Opportunity for a 90’ X 137.5’ Cleared Vacant Corner Residential Lot.Conveniently Located Close to Downtown Pensacola. This Fantastic Property can be divided into 2 - 45’ X 137.5’ Lots for Downtown Cottages, or build aGrand Home on this lovely corner lot. Great Opportunity for Friends or Family to build 2 houses next to each other. Property is High & Dry: No FloodInsurance Required! The depth allows for rear garages. 2 Minutes to I-110 Access, 5 Minutes to Blue Wahoos Stadium & More! Frasier Phelps • 850.485.2665 • firstname.lastname@example.org
1701 N 19th Ave $384,000 | MLS# 557261 Located in the Heart of East Hill this Cedar Shake Cottage is beautiful Inside and Out! A covered deck overlooks the side garden, Covered Patio with Bar-B-Q stand, a Sink for your Potting Table. Screened Front Porch Looking over a serene landscaped pathway. Let the light shine! Open and airy livingroom with side vestibule that originally housed a baby grand piano where students came for their lessons. This space is currently used as a second diningarea where the Grandchildren have congregated. Linda Turner • 850.324.4235 • email@example.com
on the market
Define Your Own Design (Family Features) In cities across the country, vibrantly hued murals are often created to bring color and life to buildings, community gathering places and more. The bold energy of largescale murals, like one created by mural artist Matt W. Moore with the help of Scotch Painter’s Tape, reflects a growing trend toward a more adventurous design. It’s a style that you can easily adapt and make your own with existing decor elements that are already in your home. Explore these ideas to help spark creativity for your next project. Make a statement There was a time when it was considered daring to paint one wall in a room a different color. However, these days, statement walls are replacing the more subtle accent wall. A wall filled with geometric shapes or a colorful pattern is an eye-catching enhancement that can be added to just about any space. Generally, the wall you use should be the natural focal point of the room. Be conscious of architectural details that may distract from the design. Doors and fixtures like fireplaces can be incorporated or worked around, but windows are usually too
80 On The Market
disruptive, so it’s best to avoid if at all possible. Although the idea is to create a stand-out feature, keep colors in line with the rest of the room to maintain a sense of cohesiveness. Similarly, avoid overcrowding the room with furnishings and intricate wall art that will take the attention away from your statement wall. Revamp furniture Refinishing old furniture is an affordable way to outfit a newly designed room. For an on-trend look, invite some visual interest with patterns. You might choose a single color stripe to contrast a lighter or darker hue, or create a pattern using shapes like circles or diamonds.
Consider accent pieces Paint embellishment doesn’t have to be limited to hard surfaces; textiles can also benefit from a bold paint makeover. Accent pieces like pillows, lamp shades or rugs are easy places to add colorful designs on a small scale that can easily be swapped out if and when you’re ready for a new look. Be sure to use paint suitable for fabric. Before diving into the full project, it’s a good idea to test a small spot to determine how the material will react to the paint. Some fabrics will soak up or bleed the paint, and while this effect has an artistic merit of its own, you’ll want to have a sense of the finished look to ensure you can achieve the design you want. Find more home improvement inspiration and resources at ScotchBrand.com/ PaintersTape.
Tables are especially wellsuited for creative painting, but don’t limit yourself. Wooden seating can also be an attractive option. If you’re painting the seat, it’s a good idea to add a protective coat after the paint design is dry to reduce wear.
Tools of the Trade Before starting any paint project, set yourself up for success by gathering all the tools you’ll need:
Another option: paint a piece such as a buffet or armoire a solid color in a standout shade then use white or another soft color to create patterns on the door or drawer panels.
Brushes or rollers: The tool you use to apply paint will have a significant impact on the finished look, so investing in quality brushes or rollers can make a noticeable difference. Roller tray: If your project calls for a roller brush then a tray is necessary to allow for even distribution of paint across the roller and more even application. Consider investing in inexpensive tray liners that can be thrown away when the job is complete to help make cleanup easier.
Painter’s tape: While every job is unique, they all start the same way – preparation. Before starting any painting project, it’s important that you’re choosing the right tape for your job, so you end up with a better result. For more sensitive projects like geometric shapes and stripes, consider an option like Scotch Delicate Surface Painter’s Tape that seals out paint while delivering sharp lines and a clean removal. This tape is ideal on surfaces that require a little extra care, such as wood floors, wallpaper, cabinets, painted drywall and freshly painted walls. Painter’s plastic: Protect large surrounding areas like the floor and furnishings with plastic coverings to prevent unwanted paint drippings. You can also find products that dispense painter’s tape and plastic at the same time, allowing for quicker, easier application than applying each product individually.
Pro Taping Tips • Make sure the surface is clean, dry and dust-free so the tape sticks properly. • Apply tape directly on the surface, pressing down as you go without stretching the tape. • Press down firmly with a smooth edge, like a putty knife or credit card, to secure the tape. • Let the tape set for about 30-60 minutes before painting. • Wait until the paint is dry to the touch before removing the tape. • Use a putty knife or razor blade to score along the edge of the tape to help prevent cracking along the paint line. • Lift tape slowly by pulling it back on itself then removing at a 45-degree angle.
20254 Sweetwater Loop, Seminole, AL | 3 Bed | 3 Bath | MLS 553593
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on the market tiered spice rack keeps your cabinets organized and makes your morning routine easier. Sliding shelves can make your mornings less hectic with a gentle pull that brings bath essentials right to you. Conveniently store hairstyling tools in one location without compromising design or space with a vanity appliance pullout.
Creating a Spa Oasis Transforming your bathroom into a personal home spa allows you to come home to a relaxing environment every day. By making space and removing clutter, along with adding decorative touches, you can achieve a stylish spa-like atmosphere in the comfort of your own home. Whether you enjoy the understated, nature-inspired colors or the calming atmosphere, a spa-like bathroom can be beautiful, 84 On The Market
welcoming and relaxing. Escape the ordinary with these cabinetry ideas from the experts at Wellborn Cabinet. Float your vanity When itâ€™s time to retreat, a spa-like bathroom promises sanctuary in its design. Floating vanities mount directly to the wall, providing more floor space and creating a streamlined look. By mounting the vanity to a wall, the space is broadened, naturally making the bathroom look and feel larger while also allowing the homeowners to customize the height. Although the aesthetic benefits often come at the cost of
Incorporate ample lighting Design with relaxation in mind; the calm, warmer naturalcolor tones and ambient lighting help lend a relaxing vibe. Cabinet lighting adds depth, dimension and visual interest to a bathroom. An ideal lighting design goes beyond a centralized ceiling fixture and includes multiple layers of light.
limited under-sink storage space, this potential pitfall can be overcome with a customizable U-shaped drawer option designed to fit around the sink plumbing in your bath, allowing you to use all that under-counter space. Clever, concealed storage Style and functionality combine in bath cabinets and vanities designed to create your own private retreat where your space is serenely ordered and uncluttered. Common amongst spa-like bathroom styling is a clutter-free space, and in doing so, everything is hidden behind the cabinet doors, making storage solutions vital. To get the spa-like bathroom look, consider adding organizational solutions like a tiered spice rack, sliding shelves and vanity appliance pullouts from Wellborn Cabinet. A
Lighting in the bathroom is essential; illumination for everyday tasks can make your bath appear larger, add warmth and set the right mood. It may also be designed to tuck cleanly inside and under cabinets to provide well-placed light without visible fixtures or distracting wires. Infuse natural elements Nature can be infused into the design by playing on textures with metals, earthy color tones, the graining in the cabinetry and the addition of a subtle waterfall separating the his-andher vanity to provide a relaxing retreat. For example, Wellborn Cabinetâ€™s Biscotti Cherry and Terra Oak embossed melamine show off the wood-graining to highlight the natural aspects of the wood. For more bathroom remodeling ideas, visit wellborn.com.
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Dream Home in Milton
7636 Old Bay Pointe Rd, Milton, FL 32583
3 Bed | 5 Bath | 3,126 sq.ft. | $849,000 | MLS# 552181
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6890 COMMUNITY DR, PENSACOLA, FL 32526
ColDWaTer CreeK 249.2 acres | $1,775,000.00 Tanner realTy of nW fla, llC 421 e. ZaragoZa ST. PenSaCola, fl 32502 “In The Heart of old Seville Since 2003”
4 BEDS, 2 BATHS, 1,944 SQ. FT. One Owner Home on Almost 1/2 Acre Corner Lot with side entrance Garage. We have enjoyed living on this Corner. 4 Bedrooms/2 Baths 1944 Sq. Ft. Has a Patio and a Back porch to enjoy the Birds. Shopping , Wal-Mart and food a mile away. Refrigerator, Dishwasher, Smooth top Cook-top, Self Cleaning Wall Oven to convey but not warranted. 10x10 Yard Building with electricity.
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8714 Salt Grass Dr. Pensacola, FL 32526
6 Bed | 3.5 Bath | 4,258 Sq. Ft. | Built 2014 | $523,700 | Gated Community Nature Trail | MLS# 553308
Cari Wilson 850-516-9778
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on the market
4 Home Fix-ups for Fall With cooler days and temperate weather, fall is a good time to get outdoors and tackle some larger home projects, as well as prep your home for winter. "Cold weather can wreak havoc on your house, leaving you with a long list of repairs," said Cathy McHugh, director, brand management at DAP. "It's important to take preventative action now so you can enjoy the coming weather change, rather than making costly repairs later." Don't know where to start? Here are the top five "mustdo" repairs from the experts at DAP. Refresh around windows and doors Temperature fluctuations and weather extremes can cause cracks and crumbling in sealants around windows and doors. The resulting gaps allow air to creep inside, putting your energy bills on overdrive. In addition, if current sealant has any dirt build-up, the hot and humid weather of summer can foster mold and mildew. 88 On The Market
Protect your home and give your windows and doors a refresh and waterproof seal that stands up to the elements by applying a new exterior sealant like Dynaflex Ultra Advanced Exterior Sealant that will provide long-lasting allweather, waterproof protection, resisting dirt build-up and water absorption. It also comes with a lifetime mold-, mildew- and algae-resistant guarantee. It's easy to apply and is paint-ready in just an hour, allowing you to quickly repair problem areas. Repair imperfections and surface damage It's important to take a walk around your property and inspect your home and outdoor living areas for surface damage issues caused by hail, wind and heavy rain. Common damage includes cracks in sidewalks and driveways, as well as chips in siding. Address problem areas like these with an exterior filler, which can fill in exposed, vulnerable areas and prevent further damage. To save time and
money, choose a multipurpose filler designed specifically for exterior repairs like Platinum Patch Advanced Exterior Filler, formulated with innovative Weather MaxTechnology for long-lasting, all weather protection. The mold-, mildew- and algae-resistant formula creates a durable bond that prevents discoloration, as well as cracking and crumbling over time. It is sandable and paintable and offers superior adhesion to porous and nonporous building materials such as brick, concrete, metal, composite or wood decks, vinyl or fiber cement siding, PVC trim board and more. Inspect your roof Start by making a simple visual inspection of your roof. Before hauling out the ladder, use binoculars or zoom in with a smartphone camera to spot obvious damage. If your roof has a relatively flat surface and you feel comfortable on a ladder, then go up for a closer look. Shingles that are cracked, buckled, loose or are missing
granules need to be replaced. And of course, while you're up there, be sure to clear any clogged gutters to prevent potential water damage. Prepare your furnace for fall Now is the time to prepare your furnace for fall. Change the filter, clean vents and remove any dirt or dust that has settled on the unit and connections. If you suspect problems, schedule a professional to check it out nowâ€”rather than wait until temperatures drop. For more information to help tackle your to-do list, visit DAP.com.
Sydnee Johnson Sydnee Johnson Going above and beyond to find your next home.
Going above and beyond to find your next home. SYDNEE JOHNSON RealtorJOHNSON SYDNEE
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Tips for Maintaining an Organized Home This time of year, family life can get a little messy. School schedules and sports activities mix with work commitments, and before long the house is as cluttered as the calendar. Fall is the perfect time of year to recommit to an organized household so you can keep the chaos contained. With these tips, you can make small changes to help you get organized and stay that way. Embrace routines. The idea of dedicating large chunks of time to organizing and tidying the house can be overwhelming. However, making time to clean as you progress through the day can help control clutter and keep the time commitment more manageable. Commit 92 On The Market
to cleaning up the kitchen after dinner each night. Set expectations for kids to pick up their rooms before bed. Before long, routines become productive habits that make a visible difference. Purge the excess. Over time, nearly everyone collects too much stuff, and clutter is often more an indication of too much volume than poor organization. Items are purchased to replace outdated things, but the old pieces sometimes don’t actually get discarded. Getting control of your clutter starts with eliminating the things you no longer want or need. A good strategy is to create piles of items: keep, sell, donate and discard. Create a drop zone. In most homes, the entryway is a catchall for family belongings that get shed with each pass through the door. It’s convenient to have shoes, coats, backpacks and other essentials ready to grab as you head out, so instead of fighting the inevitable jumble, find a way to organize it. A stylish drop zone using ClosetMaid’s Space Creations organizers
is a solution that attractively contains all those essentials. The line includes a range shelving kits, complementing drawers, baskets, rods and more so you can customize the storage unit to your exact space and needs. Avoid junk piles. Nearly every home has at least one junk pile, drawer or even room. In most cases, the reason is that the contents are a mish-mash of items that don’t really have any place else to go. Make a point to identify ways to create order, whether it’s adding drawer inserts to contain all the odds and ends or buying a standing file to capture bills and mail. Be mindful about use. When you’re on a mission to eliminate excess clutter, it can be tempting to go overboard putting things away. It’s important to be realistic about where you store the things you need and err on the side of keeping the things you use regularly within reach. This may mean getting creative about how you organize or even adding new storage containers or furniture, but remember being organized is only helpful if it’s also practical. Find more ideas for better home organization this busy season at ClosetMaid.com.
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“IT’S A SHORE THING!” at EMERALD SHORES 560 BATTEN BLVD | 4BR | 3BA | MLS#557823
UNDER CONTRACT | 4442 Omaha Dr.
SOLD | 5023 Challenger Way
Ouida Jones Licensed Realtor® WWW.PENSACOLACHAMBER.COM 850.438.4081 SUPPORT@PENSACOLACHAMBER.COM
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& Investment Real Estate
Pensacola near UWF
132 Sugarberry Rd 32514
Pensacola near UWF
9526 Lucida Ln 32514
3 Beds | 3.5 Baths | 2,034 Sq. Ft. Close to Gulf MLS 550676 | $849,900
4 Beds | 4 Baths w/Study, Pool, Hot Tub and Exercise Room | 4,502 Sq. Ft. MLS 551021 | $799,900
Custom Built Home in River Gardens III 5 Beds | 4.5 Baths | 4,148 Sq. Ft. MLS 554468 | $675,000
Milton Custom Built
East Pensacola Heights
6275 Clear Creek Rd 32570
4 Beds | 2 Full & 2 1/2 Baths | 4,442 Sq. Ft. 8 acres | Detached Apartment | Metal Roof MLS 558940 | $599,900
6020 Toulouse Dr 32505
4 Beds | 3 Baths | 3,013 Sq. Ft. NEW Roof Coming | Huge Kitchen | 23x14 Master MLS 555317 | $249,900
700 Bayou Blvd 32503
3 Beds | 3 Baths | 2,575 Sq. Ft. Two Masters | Open Kitchen/Living | Study MLS 558753 | $425,000
on the market
thanks to above-floor plumbing technology that pumps drainage from the fixtures up to the sewer or septic-tank line. The Sanibest Pro is ideal for full baths, especially those used frequently by guests and children. Designed to handle sanitary products that normally should not be flushed down the toilet, the Sanibest Pro can also handle drainage from two other bath fixtures, such as a sink and a tub or shower. Keep in mind, a mid-range bathroom addition recoups 60% of cost, according to the 2019 Cost vs. Value report.
5 budget-friendly projects that boost your home's value Whether you plan to sell your home soon or you simply want to make your property more modern and livable, there are many things you can do to increase the value of your house. The good news is you don't need a massive budget to make a big impact. Here are five affordable things you can do to boost your home's bottom line. Update the entryway Updating the entryway provides a warm welcome to guests. Clean the space of clutter and consider adding a new sturdy doormat and plant or wreath to add a splash of style. Of course, the focal point of the entryway is the front door, so if yours is looking drab, a fresh coat of paint can go a long way. If it's dented and worn, consider a replacement that doesn't cost a ton but has great return on investment: Remodeling Magazine's 2019 Cost vs. Value reports an
average national job cost of $1,826 with a 74% ROI. Replace appliances A kitchen remodel certainly boosts a home's value, but even a minor kitchen remodeling can surpass $20,000, with upscale remodels costing $100,000 or more. To get that new kitchen look and feel without the big price tag, consider putting funds toward new appliances instead. Coordinating appliances for a cohesive look enhances the aesthetic of the room. Stainless steel continues to dominate in interior design, but choose the right colors for your kitchen's unique look and you'll love the results. Add a bathroom A bathroom addition certainly boosts a home's value, and if you are strategic about the remodel, it doesn't have to be costly. Don't feel limited if the space where you want to add a bathroom doesn't have existing, below-floor drainage. With smart alternatives like Saniflo, you can add a complete bathroom virtually anywhere,
Swap out hardware Sometimes it all comes down to the details to make a space more visually appealing. It's costly to get new vanities and cabinets in bathrooms, kitchens and entertaining spaces, but you can give the space a new look by updating the hardware. Knobs, handles, hooks and more become dated and dingy over time. Head to your local home improvement store to select new hardware in a design and finish that reflects your personality and the home's style. Satin chrome and oil-rubbed bronze are trending in 2019. Add crown molding If you think crown molding is reserved just for upscale homes, you're mistaken. Crown molding is an affordable way to add a touch of luxury to any space, boosting value and enhancing the interior design. Crown molding is available in a variety of materials, including wood, plastic and foam. You can paint it to the color of your choice, although white is always a classic crown molding hue that adds a clean, eye-catching appearance. Not only does crown molding boost design, it also is a clever way to cover any gaps that can emerge over time between the walls and ceiling. You don't need a big budget to give your home's value a big boost. These five projects are a great way to enhance your property today with a great return on investment tomorrow. With Saniflo, you can add a complete bathroom where no drainage existed before thanks to above-floor plumbing features like a macerating toilet and drain pumps. The Saniaccess3 is a smart choice for full baths, and the Saniaccess2 is ideal for powder rooms.
TEAM BILLINGSLY $40+ Million Sold 2017 - 2019 2541 Magnolia Drive $309,900 NEW PRICE
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ven Pet Hater y Ceme place a final
Cute as a Fox
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iew with an interv iver of the careg the fox Juniper
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The Angler's Paintbrush an interview with alan Woolford
From the gulf of mexico to escambia Bay, pensacola is rich with underwater adventures
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Explore the Best of Northwest Florida's Kayaking, Birding and Walking Trails
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august 2019 | pensacolamagazine.com
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1185 SF | MLS 545067 | COMPLETELY RENOVATED UNDERGROUND UTILITIES | NEW LOW E IMPACT WINDOWS | HIGH IMPACT GARAGE DOOR | NEW ROOF | ICE/WATER SHIELD | PLANTATION SHUTTERS GRANITE | CUSTOM LANDSCAPING | NEW GUTTERS CUSTOM FRONT DOOR REFURBISHED ORIGINAL HARDWOODS, AND MORE.
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SEPTEMbEr 26-28, 2019 In loving memory of John Ryan Peacock and Ashley Lauren Offerdahl To date, the PCO has raised more than $1,465,000 for local charities thanks to the amazing generosity and support of businesses and individuals like you!
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1215 Ariola Drive $1,299,000 4BR/3BA 3,362 SF MLS# 551810 PENSACOLA BEACH
The Resort Property Specialist
pensacolahomelistings.com c 850.232.4001 o 850.932.4102
Over 29 Years Experience 509 Ft Pickens Rd. $849,900 3BR/2.5BA 2,370 SF MLS# 541718 PENSACOLA BEACH
1620 Bulevar Menor $354,900 3BR/2.5BA 1,715 SF MLS# 549534 PENSACOLA BEACH
DREAM 107-E $345,000
105-E $397,500 2BR/2BA 1,204 SF MLS# 556796
Gulf-Front Living PENSACOLA BEACH
2BR/2BA 1,330 SF MLS# 555485
108 S Alcaniz St. $249,500
415 E Romana St. $254,500
1BR/1BA 922 SF MLS# 555829 1BR/1.5BA 913 SF MLS# 559020
1BR/1BA 843 SF MLS# 559022
1BR/1BA 843 SF MLS# 559023