Page 1

Staying Mentally Vigilant and Breaking Social Stigma

Prepped For Life

Healthy Grab-N-Go Meal Options


Also in This issue:


A local guide to services, meals, aid and more


A Real Estate Section










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Editor’s Note Good morning, Pensacola! What a strange place we find ourselves in this spring. The novel coronavirus COVID-19 has arrived in our community and, although we have so far been luckier than many, the fight to keep it from spreading continues. We went to print with this issue on March 30. At that time, Escambia County had 42 confirmed cases and Santa Rosa had 30. Those numbers rose quickly once testing was expanded. Too quickly. The fact is, we don’t know who might have the virus or be carrying the virus without symptoms. That is why it is essential that we, as a community, stay home as much as humanly possible--leaving only for absolute essentials. I like the idea, too, of practicing physical distancing rather than social distancing. We can remain social via many avenues in this modern world—phone calls, texts, video calls—and I encourage everyone to stay connected to their tribe. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring and we all need to feel connected to something or someone in order to get through this. On the topic of physical distancing, in our COVID-19 resource guide, you will see that Pensacola neighborhoods and community groups have found several clever, unique and safe ways to stay connected and to make a difference while practicing physical distancing. I must say, I am very impressed with the outpouring of love and support I have seen amongst my fellow Pensacolians—yeah, the toilet paper hoarding was weird, but there are more than enough people giving of themselves to make up for it. Can I get a big round of applause for our

first responders and hospital workers? Thank you for putting yourselves on the front lines to keep us as safe as possible. Also, a big shout out to all the teachers out there scrambling to put together online lessons to keep our kids engaged and learning instead of worrying about things they cannot control. We appreciate you! On that note, I encourage you to read our COVID-19 Resource Guide, which provides resources for food, business, community and more. The ever-changing nature of this crisis necessitates that I mention that these resources may or may not be available to you by the time you read this issue. I hope it will provide a place to start, some ideas or some inspiration either way. You may also notice that we have some nonpandemic related stories in this issue. We made the call to include already planned articles that might still be helpful, relevant or enjoyable for our readers. We hope you find them useful. As for us, Pensacola Magazine has been published under one title or another for more than 40 years. We have no plans on changing that. We will continue to publish and to bring you all the information we can for as long as we can. Please reach out to us with story ideas, inspiration or just a quick hello. We are all working from home and we are missing our water cooler conversations. Stay safe, stay healthy and stay strong, Pensacola!

Kelly Oden Executive Editor



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COVID-19 RESOURCE GUIDE 15 A local guide to services, meals, aid and more.





Two local companies offer Fully Prepared Healthy Meals.

Tips for optimizing your health through better sleep.




Mental health professionals in Pensacola discuss ways to stay mentally healthy amid social distancing.

SPECIAL SECTIONS Business Climate On the Market

40 53

27 8 Pensacola Magazine



APRIL 2020 Owners Malcolm & Glenys Ballinger Publisher Malcolm Ballinger malcolm@ballingerpublishing.com Executive Editor Kelly Oden kelly@ballingerpublishing.com Art Director Guy Stevens guy@ballingerpublishing.com Graphic Designer/Ad Coordinator Garrett Hallbauer garrett@ballingerpublishing.com Editor Gina Castro ginac@ballingerpublishing.com Assistant Editor Dakota Parks dakota@ballingerpublishing.com Contributing Writers Melinda Myers Editorial Interns Josh McGovern Sean Williams Sales & Marketing Paula Rode, Account Executive ext. 28 paula@ballingerpublishing.com Geneva Strange, Account Executive ext. 21 geneva@ballingerpublishing.com


Becky Hildebrand, Account Executive ext. 31 becky@ballingerpublishing.com

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NW Florida’s Business Climate Magazine and Pensacola Magazine is locally owned and operated. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction or use of the contents herein is prohibited without written permission from the publisher. Comments and opinions expressed in this magazine represent the personal views of the individuals to whom they are attributed and/or the person identified as the author of the article, and they are not necessarily those of the publisher. This magazine accepts no responsibility for these opinions. The publisher reserves the right to edit all manuscripts. All advertising information is the responsibility of the individual advertiser. Appearance in this magazine does not necessarily reflect endorsement of any products or services by Ballinger Publishing. Š 2020


PAGE 10 with DeeDee Davis

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

people of the catastrophic conditions? Dude! 20 mph gusts are not enough reason to evacuate! And while this has the potential to be much worse, we really do need to breathe and be logical about this.

– Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities Written in 1859, this book couldn’t be more relevant than its application to what we are going through today. Most people just couldn’t be any nicer than they are now, even in the midst of a pandemic. Neighbors are being so…. Neighborly. Even with the necessary social distancing, people are downright apologetic about not being able to hug or touch. It feels so unnatural to walk up to friends, and even family members, and not do something other than awkwardly restrain from bodily contact. And it’s not as if it’s because we just don’t want to catch the dreaded virus. Even more so, we don’t want to be the reason someone else might get it. Right now it’s difficult to see the bright spots in all of this as there is so much uncertainty. No doubt we will rethink health and sanitation. An awful lot of the precautions we should always take require a dose of common sense. But, guess what. You just cant assume that people have it because how could you possibly explain hoarding toilet paper? I thought this was about the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard until I chatted with a cashier in a grocery store last weekend. She told me a man came through her line earlier that day with two buggies filled with the entire store inventory of dried beans. We are used to preparing for hurricanes. If the weather channel says there is a Cat 1 hurricane and it is still off the coast of Africa and they show 5,000 spaghetti models of where it may take its course and one curly line shows it coming here, off we race to Home Depot to buy all of the bottled water, plywood and ducktape our cars will hold. I have decided a serious storm, however, is better than this. We can track the storm and we know it will pass despite damage left in its wake. Coronavirus is more like the hurricane we

10 Pensacola Magazine

had once where it hit, moved on and then came back again. What?! We never saw it coming and had never experienced anything quite like it. The closures are the most disturbing part of all of this, and they are not all driven by concern for the virus. Public parks and playgrounds are closing because people keep stealing the toilet paper. How horrible to reach the point when you feel you have to do this. I confess, I did it once in 1972 when Auburn beat Alabama and we rolled Toomer’s Corner. No toilet paper rolls are safe in Auburn after a big win, or any win for that matter, but I will never look at it the same after this. Even worse than the disease itself is the panic that ensues. The great depression of 1929 followed a stock market crash. Many would say the crash came after a handful of very high rollers thought it was time to move their money from the market into more diversified investments. Rumors followed, others pulled their money, and the rest is history. And it’s not just the crazies that get swept up in the hype. Otherwise normal people cant help themselves. REMEMBER THE WEATHER CHANNEL! We all have experienced enough of the drama that comes with extreme weather patterns. Yes, hurricanes and tornadoes are horrible. But the reporting is insane. Jim Cantore hanging on for dear life to a tree to avoid blowing away while warning

I miss our restaurants badly. My husband and I like to boat over to Peg Leg’s on the beach on nice Sunday afternoons, and thankfully, they are one of those still offering take out. We went last week and instead of joining throngs of colorful guests at their bar, we got their tasty take out and sat on the fishing boat with grouper and beer. Hopefully, they will be back open again soon, along with all the other great restaurants we have. I have learned that it is not all bad to push a pause button now and then in our busy lives. I cant remember EVER having a clear calendar. I don’t want it to stay this way for long, but not having to rush to be somewhere is not totally bad. I do hate with a passion the fact that the Rolling Stones tour got cancelled. It was horribly disappointing when March Madness evaporated. Terrible when baseball season dried up. Misery when I had to miss my grandson’s first birthday. But take away the Stones? Agony. We all have our breaking point, our winter of despair. Meanwhile, we cope and try to stay rational as we shop along empty aisles. We have to appreciate living in Florida and not being totally shutdown. Take care of those around you, as best you can. Be wiser when this is over. Keep pantries and cupboards and supplies reasonably stocked so you don’t have to rush out and be tempted to hoard when emergency strikes. Listen to the news intelligently and evaluate. Don’t be the one who spreads rumors and doomsday reports and “insider information”. We, all of humanity, are in this one together.

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Covid-19 Resource Guide Compiled by Kelly Oden

What is a coronavirus? Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.

What is COVID-19? COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19? The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.

How does COVID-19 spread? People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 6 feet away from a person who is sick. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) is assessing ongoing research on the ways COVID-19 is spread and will continue to share updated findings.    

Can CoVID-19 be caught from a person who has no symptoms? The main way the disease spreads is through respiratory droplets expelled by someone who is coughing. The risk of catching COVID-19 from someone with no symptoms at all is very low. However, many people with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms. This is particularly true at the early stages of the disease. It is therefore possible to catch COVID-19 from someone who has, for example, just a mild cough and does not feel ill.  WHO is assessing ongoing research on the period of transmission of COVID-19 and will continue to share updated findings.    

What can I do to protect myself and prevent the spread of disease? Protection measures for everyone Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website and through your national and local public health authority. Many countries around the world have seen cases of COVID-19 and several have seen outbreaks. Authorities in China and some other countries have succeeded in slowing or stopping their outbreaks. However, the situation is unpredictable so check regularly for the latest news. You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions: Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands. Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Why? When someone coughs or sneezes,

they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick. Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately. Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19. Practice social distancing Stay home as much as possible. If you are around other people, keep 6 feet between you when possible. Avoid hugs, handshakes, large gatherings and close quarters. Why? The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth, which may contain the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the coronavirus if the person coughing has the disease. Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority. Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections. Keep up to date on the latest COVID-19 hotspots (cities or local areas where COVID-19 is spreading widely). If possible, avoid traveling to places  – especially if you are an older person or have diabetes, heart or lung disease. Why? You have a higher chance of catching COVID-19 in one of these areas. Courtesy of The Florida Department of Health

April '20


Community Resources While there can be no doubt that the coronavirus has changed, and will continue to change, our community and our world, there can also be no doubt that Pensacolians know how to come together and care for one another like few other communities. Here are just a few resources for our community members in need.

Florida Public School System All state testing has been canceled for Florida Public Schools. In addition, Florida public schools are closed to on-site learning until at least April 15. Escambia and Santa Rosa students switched to remote learning on April 1. Visit your school district's website for detailed information. Escambia County: ecsd-fl.schoolloop.com Santa Rosa County: santarosa.k12.fl.us

Financial Help The United Way of West Florida COVID-19 Response Fund The UWWF COVID-19 Response Fund will support families within our service area that are struggling to keep their lights on or pay their bills. It will ensure that seniors and veterans have food on their plates and provide relief to households that can't access adequate childcare or fill emergency prescriptions. It will provide support to nonprofit agencies and programs to nonprofit programs that are providing critical services to our community. If you need assistance finding food, paying housing bills, accessing free childcare, or other essential services, please dial 2-1-1, or visit www.211nwfl.org, to connect with our information and referral hotline, 211 Northwest Florida. Those able to give may do so by texting 850RESPOND to 41444 or by visiting uwwf.org/covid19fund. 

health care provider. Offices must take proper steps to avoid further spread of COVID-19. If you do not have a health care provider or health insurance, call, do not visit, Community Health Northwest Florida at 850-436-4630 or other community walk-in care locations, and tell them about your symptoms and your travel history or exposure to a COVID-19 patient. They will determine if you meet the criteria for testing. Drive-through COVID-19 testing is available in Escambia County.   Drive through testing is available at two locations. IMPORTANT:  All patients are required to be screened before arriving at the drive-through testing centers by calling the local COVID-19 Screening Call Center at 850-746-2684.   The screening call center is open Monday through Friday from 6 am to 10 pm. The call center staff will assist in helping find the testing center that best fits the needs of each person needing a COVID-19 test. The hours of operation for the drive-through testing centers for COVID-19 are 9 am to 1 pm.

Utility Assistance

Everyday Items Council on Aging of West Florida operates a community care closet from which anyone 60 and up can request protein supplements, adult diapers, walkers, canes, etc. Call (850) 432-1475 to ensure availability.

Grocery Store Curb Side Pickup and/or Delivery Options The following grocery stores offer online shopping with curbside pickup and/or delivery options.  Publix Winn Dixie Walmart Target

Shopping Hours for Seniors

ECUA - Will not cut off water to your home or business for non-payment. Offering payment plan assistance to those with extreme financial losses because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many stores are offering specified shopping hours for seniors. The list is constantly changing so it is recommended you Google: COVID-19 Shopping for Seniors to see if there are any updates:

COX (Internet) - Offering a low-income Iinternet tier with no annual contract and relaxing data usage overage charges for all tiers until May 15, 2020.

Dollar General: The first hour of operation is reserved for seniors. Call your local store to find out opening times.

Resources for Seniors

Fresh Market: Anyone 65 and older can shop from 7 to 8 am.

Food Resources for Seniors

Screen Yourself and Call First

Council on Aging of West Florida operates over a dozen senior dining sites in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, from which togo meals are distributed Monday through Friday at 11 am. First-time clients must first call (850) 432-1475 by noon the day before they desire their meal to sign up.

16 Pensacola Magazine 16 Pensacola Magazine

Feeding the Gulf Coast - Assists families and individuals along the Central Gulf Coast to provide groceries and meals to those struggling to afford food. Use their website's Find Pantry (feedingthegulfcoast.org/find-help/ find-a-pantry) feature to locate help.

Gulf Power - Suspending collections through the end of March


If you believe you have become sick, call, do not visit, your health care provider and tell them about your symptoms and your travel history or exposure to a COVID-19 patient. It is important to call ahead before visiting your

Escambia County is coordinating additional food distribution sites (myescambia.com/ covid-19-information-for-escambiacounty/food-sites-list). Please call the individual site to inquire about qualifications necessary to receive nutrition.

Publix: Anyone 65 and older can shop on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 7 to 8 am. Target: Stores are reserving an hour on Wednesdays for "vulnerable shoppers." Call your local store to find out exact hours. Walgreens: Every Tuesday, starting Tuesday, March 24 (through April 28), is

now Seniors Day with all-day discounts and seniors-only shopping from 8 to 9 a.m. (and now open one hour earlier on Tuesdays for 60 and older to shop). Walmart: Every day from 7 to 8 am is reserved for elder shoppers and those at highest risk for complications from COVID-19. Winn-Dixie: Stores are open 8 to 9 am Monday through Friday exclusively to seniors and high-risk customers.

Transportation Escambia County Paratransit offers transportation for disabled individuals living in Escambia County. Please call ECAT Customer Service at 850-595-3228 if you need assistance with a specific route or have additional questions. Updated information will also available on www.myescambia. com. Escambia County Community Transportation will temporarily suspend all paratransit services after 7 p.m. for weekday and Saturday services.  All medical necessary trips will be honored. Sunday service is temporarily suspended. All expired paratransit eligibility will be extended for 90 days. Inperson paratransit eligibility interviews will be rescheduled or completed over the phone. In Santa Rosa county, the Tri-County Community Council is committed to providing the safest, most efficient, most courteous and reliable services to the transportation disadvantaged residents. Transportation services are available for all who meet eligibility requirements including the elderly, disabled, and those with low income. Some riders are transported for specific purposes by sponsoring agencies.  Riders transported under the Non-Sponsored program are charged a co-pay based on the service area of the trip, while others may be charged the full cost of the trip. Reservations must be made no later than 12 noon the day before your scheduled appointment. Call (850) 626-6806.

Virtual Support Groups The Center for Independent Living operates the Peer Support Group for people with disabilities (including seniors) that will be occurring online on April 7, 2020, at noon. This will be the first time online.  People will be able to participate by either calling in or joining on the internet.

Epilepsy Florida offers education and virtual support group for individuals with a suspicion or diagnosis of epilepsy/ seizure disorder.  To receive services, contact the hotline at 1-877-553-7453.

Support Local Local businesses offer online classes Fitness – Wild Lemon, Militia Fitness, Ride Society, Regymen Fitness, Unlimited Fitness Results, Breath Yoga, URU Yoga and Fixed on Fitness are just a few of the local businesses offering online workouts to keep you fit and focused while staying home. You can find information on each businesses Facebook page. Arts and Crafts – Pensacola Museum of Art is offering virtual exhibits and art activities to do at home. The Facebook group “Pensacola Mask Sewers are making hundreds of masks for first responders and medical workers. Meditation — In these difficult and worrisome times, we could all use a little break from our own thoughts. Local yoga studios, Breathe Yoga and URU offer a variety of online meditation, yoga and sound bath experiences to calm your mind and spirit.

Retail and Small Business Small businesses are offering a variety of services amid the outbreak—everything from pizza and cupcake kits to mechanics and cleaning services. Check out the Pensacola Retail & Small Business Offers Amid COVID-19 Facebook page for an ongoing list

Don't forget the fur babies Local shelters are in desperate need of fosters. If you have room in your heart and home, contact the Pensacola Humane Society at pensacolahumane.org. Local pet pantries are supplying local families in need with food for their fur babies. Pensacola Humane Society 5 North Q Street pensacolahumane.org Open noon til 5 daily Supplies pet food to anyone in need.

400 Paws, Inc 1147 Creighton Road Open: fourth Sunday of each month 1 til 3 pm Apply for assistance at 400paws.org A Hope 5755 Washington Street, Milton Open: Second Sunday of each month from 1 til 3 pm. Apply for assistance at ahope4src.com

Communities stay social while maintaining physical distance Porch Music – East Hill residents started a Walk the Hill event on Sunday evenings. Local musicians take to their porches to offer live music to passing neighbors. All CDC social distancing recommendations apply. Check the East Hill Neighborhood Association Facebook page for more info. Art Walk — Old East Hill Residents have been staging neighborhood art and music walks. Local artists display their work in their front yards while musicians play tunes on their porches. All CDC social distancing recommendations apply. Check the Old East Hill Facebook page for more information. Bear Walks — Many neighborhoods are placing teddy bears in their windows as a game for families taking their daily walks. Check your neighborhood association Facebook page.

Come together with purpose A shortage of medical face masks has inspired local sewers and crafters to come together for a cause. The Pensacola Mask Sewers group has already made hundreds of masks for first responders and hospitals. We anticipate that number will reach well into the thousands.

Switching gears for Sanitizer Perfect Plain Brewery has partnered with Rollins Distillery, GlowRage and the Florida Institute of Ultrasound to make large batches of hand sanitizer. The sanitizer contains over 60 percent alcohol and about half of the sanitizer produced goes directly to first responders and hospital staff for free. It is available to the public for a minimum donation of $5. Any proceeds go directly to their employees.

Food Resources Food Resources

• Bellview Elementary School, 4425 Bellview Ave., Pensacola

• Ransom Middle School, 1000 W. Kingsfield Road, Cantonment

With our local children out of school, many parents out of work and our seniors safer at home, finding food has already become a challenge for the most vulnerable among us. Fortunately, local nonprofits, state and county organizations and even private businesses have come together to provide food to our community.

• Beulah Elementary School, 6201 Helms Road, Pensacola

• Scenic Heights Elementary School, 3801 Cherry Laurel Drive, Pensacola

• Beulah Middle School, 6001 W. Nine Mile Road, Pensacola

• O.J. Semmes Elementary School, 1250 E. Texar Drive, Pensacola

• Blue Angels Elementary School, 1551 Dog Track Road, Pensacola

• Sherwood Elementary School, 501 Cherokee Trail, Pensacola

• Bratt Elementary School, 5721 N. Highway 99, Century

• A.K. Suter Elementary School, 501 Pickens Ave., Pensacola

• Brentwood Elementary School, 4820 N. Palafox St., Pensacola

• J.M. Tate High School, 1771 Tate Road, Cantonment

• Cordova Park Elementary School, 2250 Semur Road, Pensacola

• Warrington Elementary School, 220 N. Navy Blvd., Pensacola

• Ensley Elementary School, 501 E. Johnson Ave., Pensacola

• Warrington Middle School, 459 South Old Corry Field Road, Pensacola

• Ernest Ward Middle School, 7650 Highway 97, Walnut Hill

• Booker T. Washington High School, 6000 College Parkway, Pensacola

• Ferry Pass Elementary School, 8310 N. Davis Highway, Pensacola

• C.A. Weis Elementary School, 2701 N. Q St., Pensacola

• Ferry Pass Middle School, 8355 Yancey Ave., Pensacola

• West Pensacola Elementary School, 801 North 49th Ave., Pensacola

• Global Learning Academy, 100 N. P St., Pensacola

• Workman Middle School, 6299 Lanier Drive, Pensacola

Meals for Children City, county, state and nonprofits are working together to make sure local kids do not go hungry while out of school. Escambia County School District Escambia County School District’s Food Service Department has added schools to the lists of sites where families can pick up breakfast and lunch, for free, beginning March 30. All sites will give children or teens a breakfast meal and a lunch meal during the same visit. The meals are designed to be carried away and consumed off campus (cafeteria/ dining rooms will not be open). Meals will be distributed in a curbside pick-up operation. Food items will be in to-go containers and will consist of ready-to-eat food items that should be consumed when received or should be quickly refrigerated for consumption at a later time. According to the USDA’s policy, the child or children must be present to receive meals. They must be 18 and younger; and children do not have to be a student at that school in order to pick up meals there. Supplemental school meals will be available at the following Monday through Friday. Because Friday, April 10, is a non-student day, families will need to make other arrangements for that day. ECSD’s distribution sites, beginning March 30, 2020, will include: • Jim Allen Elementary School, 1051 Hwy. 95A North, Cantonment • Jim C. Bailey Middle School, 4110 Bauer Road, Pensacola

18 Pensacola Magazine

• Lincoln Park Elementary School, 7600 Kershaw St., Pensacola • Longleaf Elementary School, 2600 Longleaf Drive, Pensacola • L.D. McArthur Elementary School, 330 E. Ten Mile Road, Pensacola • Molino Park Elementary School, 899 Highway 97, Molino • Montclair Elementary School, 820 Massachusetts Ave., Pensacola • Myrtle Grove Elementary School, 6115 Lillian Highway, Pensacola • Navy Point Elementary School, 1321 Patton Drive, Pensacola • Northview High School, 4100 W. Highway 4, Bratt • Oakcrest Elementary School, 1820 N. Hollywood Blvd., Pensacola • Pensacola High School, 500 W. Maxwell St., Pensacola • Pine Meadow Elementary School, 10001 Omar Ave., Pensacola • Pleasant Grove Elementary School, Owen Bell Lane, Pensacola

Additional sites: If families need to locate a source that is closer to them, they can go to: summerbreakspot. freshfromflorida.com/ Users can enter their address, and set a distance range, to see a map showing food service sites near them. The sites are labeled “Summer Food Service,” but they will be available this Spring due to the pandemic. Sites opening this spring may not be the same as the sites that were open last summer, so please check the locations, dates and times before you go. Also, as traffic patterns are established and the need can be assessed, site locations may be adjusted based on participation. Therefore, parents might want to periodically check the list of open sites. For information about Escambia County’s public schools go to: ecsdfl.schoolloop.com or like ECSD on Facebook at facebook.com/ecsdfl.

Santa Rosa County School District The Santa Rosa County School district is offering meals for pickup M-F 9:30-11 am at the following locations until further notice: Breakfast/Lunch Feeding Program School Sites Drive Thru Service:

a first come, first served basis. Meals will be available for pickup only at the locations listed below MondayFriday from 11 am to 1 pm: • Molino Branch Library, 6450A Highway 95A, Molino • Pensacola Library, 239 N. Spring St., Pensacola

• Milton High • East Milton Elementary

• Tryon Beach Library, 1200 Langley Ave., Pensacola

• Bagdad Elementary

• Genealogy Branch Library, 5740 N. 9th Ave., Pensacola

• TR Jackson • Russell Elementary • Berryhill Elementary • Jay Elementary • Central School • Pea Ridge Elementary • Holly Navarre Primary Breakfast/Lunch Feeding Program Off-Site Locations: • Blackwater Baptist (Munson) • Santa Gurtrudas Drive (East Milton) • Permenter Road (East Milton) • Skyline (Milton) • Bell Ridge Apartments (Pea Ridge) • Santa Villa (Pea Ridge) • Florida Town Park (Pace) Any child up to the age of 18 (21 if special needs) is eligible for a meal. Child must be present to receive meals. West Florida Public Library and Feeding the Gulf Coast Escambia County West Florida Public Libraries are partnering with Feeding the Gulf Coast to provide free curbside pickup meals for youth ages 18 and under (youth MUST be present to receive meals, food will not be given to adults) at all library branch locations, Monday-Friday from 11 am to 1 pm. The meals will include lunch and a snack, and meals will be available on

• Southwest Branch Library, 12248 Gulf Beach Highway, Pensacola • Westside Branch Library, 1301 W. Gregory St., Pensacola • Century Branch Library, 7991 N. Century Blvd., Century

Food Banks Contact your local food bank if you need help securing food or if you have food or resources to donate. Manna Food Pantries—mannahelps.org Feeding the Gulf Coast— feedingthegulfcoast.org

Restaurants offering curbside pick up or Delivery The City of Pensacola has ordered all restaurants closed to on premise dining. Many restaurants are staying open and offering curbside pickup or delivery in some cases. While the list is lengthy and changes daily, you can find information at the Pensacola Take Out and Delivery Options Amid Covid-19 Facebook page. You can also check your favorite restaurant’s Facebook page for their open status.

Delivery Services Restaurant Delivery Options The following is a list of companies that deliver food from different restaurants to your specified location (work, home, etc.). You can either download the mobile app on your phone or go to their website online (phone calls are not an option; all services are online only). Payment, including tip and small service fee, is all done online so there is NO MONEY OR PAYMENT EXCHANGE of any kind between you and the person delivering the food! Different companies service different restaurants.   To utilize, either go to the website noted or download the app from your app store.  • DoorDash • GrubHub Delivery • Waitr • CitySpree

Grocery Store Curb Side Pickup and/ or Delivery Options The following grocery stores offer online shopping with curbside pickup and/or delivery options.  • Publix • Winn Dixie • Walmart • Target

Business Resources There can be no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has changed the face of small business in America and around the world. While no one knows what exactly this change will look like in the long term, businesses and their employees need aid and resources now to keep payroll going out so that owners and employees can maintain their homes and provide for their families. Here a few resources for workers and businesses to pursue.

The Greater Pensacola Chamber pensacolachamber.com/coronavirusresources/

Loan Programs for Small Business

VISIT FLORIDA COVID-19 Dashboard visitflorida.org/resources/crisis-preparation/ covid-19-resources-and-information-forbusinesses/covid-19-fl-tourism-impacts/

SBA Small Business Disaster Loans disasterloan.sba.gov/ela SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters. SBA disaster loans can be used to repair or replace the following items damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster: real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, and inventory and business assets. The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program floridadisasterloan.org The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program is currently available to small business owners located in all Florida counties statewide that experienced economic damage as a result of COVID-19. These short-term, interest-free working capital loans are intended to “bridge the gap” between the time a major catastrophe hits and when a business has secured longer term recovery resources, such as sufficient profits from a revived business, receipt of payments on insurance claims or federal disaster assistance.

Business Resources for Small Businesses CDC Resources for businesses Plan, prepare and respond to Covid-19 by reviewing the Centers for Disease Control Guidance for Small Business. cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/ guidance-business-response.html

20 Pensacola Magazine

The Greater Pensacola Chamber has created a landing page on its website, offering a wide variety of resources relating to business, health, community and employment. With so much information going around, it's helpful to have a central place where you can go to find the assistance you need.

To help understand and measure the impact of COVID-19 on Florida’s tourism industry, VISIT FLORIDA has created a data dashboard to track key economic indicators and trends, including hotel demand, vacation rental bookings, airline capacity and web traffic relating to vacation planning. The dashboard will be constantly updated with the latest information and insight into the impact of COVID-19.

Economic Information Keep up with economic forecasts and learn how you can lend a hand via the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. flchamber.com/follow-facts-not-fear/ uschamber.com/coronavirus Price Gouging and Scams Report price gauging and scams to the Florida Attorney General’s Price Gouging Hotline. 1(866) 9NO-SCAM myfloridalegal.com

Innovative Solutions SaveFloridaBusiness.com’s Gift Card Bonds SaveFloridaBusiness.com’s mission to assist small business owners in weathering this storm that is the COVID-19 virus outbreak. This virus outbreak has forced restaurants, bars, hotels and many other businesses to close down with no financial support or

recourse. Gift Card Bonds are a method by which businesses can gain access to immediate financial relief provided to them by their own loyal customer base. These gift cards work like a bond in that they appreciate in value. For example, a gift card is sold for $75 but has a value of $100 at “maturity.” The gift cards may be redeemed at the time the business re-opens (currently estimated to be May 1st, 2020). Customers can support their favorite local businesses by purchasing these gift cards and providing them with the revenue they need to keep the lights on and provide security to their employees.

Nationwide Resources Inc. has been compiling a long list of resources available to businesses. Check out the full list at www.inc.com/inc-staff/freetools-grants-video-conferencing-ad-creditsgift-certificates-cloud-storage-cyber-security. html. Here a few that may be helpful to local businesses:

Ad credits and grants Facebook created a Small Business Grants Program that will provide $100 million in cash and ad credits to 30,000 businesses in the 30 countries where Facebook operates. To help local restaurants and bars, Yelp announced $25 million in relief in the form of waived advertising fees, free advertising, and products and services. GoFundMe, the social fundraising platform, has launched the Small Business Relief Initiative, partnering with Yelp to provide small-business owners with grants and resources. GoFundMe and Yelp have each donated $500,000 to the Small Business Relief Fund, and it is open for anyone to make a donation. There will also be $500 matching grants to qualifying businesses that raise at least $500 on GoFundMe. James Beard Foundation, the national nonprofit culinary arts organization, has launched the Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund. The organization will draw support from corporate, foundation, and individual donors to offer micro-grants to restaurants, bars, and other independent businesses in the industry.

Stimulus Bill

Lending Program

On March 25, the Senate passed a $2 trillion stimulus bill to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. As of our print date, the bill still needed to be approved by the House. According to CNN, if that happens without changes, here is what the American public can expect.

The Treasury Department can provide $500 billion in loans, loan guarantees and investments.

Direct Stimulus Single Americans would receive $1,200, married couples would get $2,400 and parents would see $500 for each child under age 17. Payments would phase out for individuals with adjusted gross incomes of more than $75,000, and those making more than $99,000 would not qualify at all. The thresholds are doubled for couples.

Student Loans The Department of Education would suspend payments on student loan borrowers without penalty through September 30.

Unemployment Benefits The federal government would give unemployed workers an extra $600 a week for four months on top of their state benefits, which range from $200 to $550 a week, on average, depending on the state. Lawmakers would also add up to 13 weeks of extended benefits, which would be fully covered by the federal government. Currently, state unemployment checks last up to between 12 weeks and 28 weeks, depending on the state. The deal also calls for a new pandemic unemployment assistance program, which would provide jobless benefits to those who are unemployed, partially unemployed or unable to work because of the virus and don't qualify for traditional benefits. This includes independent contractors and the self-employed, who typically don't qualify for such assistance, and to gig economy workers, who aren't eligible in many states.

That specifically includes $25 billion for passenger air carriers, $4 billion for cargo air carriers and $17 billion for businesses that work in national security. The rest of the funds, $454 billion, are given wide latitude to provide loans to businesses, states and municipalities. The measure includes restrictions on businesses who receive the loans. Those businesses may not issue dividends for up to a year after the loan is no longer outstanding, and must retain 90 percent% of employment levels as of March 24, "to the extent practicable," through September 30. The loans also cannot last longer than five years. There's a specific provision in the program for direct loans to mid-sized businesses, defined as between 500 and 10,000 employees, as well as non-profit organizations, where no payments will be due for the first six months after the loan is issued. A congressional oversight commission will monitor how the money is spent.

Hospitals The stimulus package would provide about $117 billion for hospitals, according to an estimate from the American Hospital Association, which called it an important first step. The bill creates a $100 billion public health and social emergency fund to reimburse providers for expenses and lost revenues related to the coronavirus pandemic. About $65 billion will go to hospitals, with the rest funneled to doctors, nurses, suppliers and others, the association said. The legislation also boosts reimbursements by 20 percent% for treating Medicare patients with coronavirus. And it eliminates $8 billion in scheduled payment reductions to hospitals caring for large numbers of uninsured and Medicaid patients, as well

as temporarily removing a 2 percent% cut for treating Medicare patients, which was part of the automatic budget cuts under sequestration. The American Hospital Association, along with the American Medical Association and American Nurses Association, had asked Congress to provide $100 billion for health care personnel and providers to address the outbreak.

A Stay on Foreclosures and Evictions The bill includes housing protections against foreclosures on mortgages and evictions for renters. The bill states that anyone facing a financial hardship from coronavirus shall be given a forbearance on a federally backed mortgage loan of up to 60 days, which can be extended for four periods of 30 days each. The legislation says that servicers of federally backed mortgage loans may not begin the foreclosure process for 60 days from March 18. The bill also does not allow fees, penalties or additional interest to be charged as a result of delayed payments. It includes similar protections for those with multifamily federal mortgage loans, allowing them to receive a 30-day forbearance and up to two 30-day extensions. Those with federally backed mortgage loans who have tenants would also not be allowed to evict tenants solely for failure to pay rent for a 120-day period, and they may not charge fees or penalties to tenants for failing to pay rent. This list is not exhaustive and is likely to change before the bill is enacted. Visit a trusted news source for more information as the situation progresses. Please follow Pensacola Magazine on Facebook for updated info on local and national resources for businesses and individuals.

April '20


Pensacola Company Creates COVID-19 Rapid Test by Gina Castro Pensacola’s Medical Specialties Group of Louisiana (MSGLA) created a COVID-19 Rapid Test Kit that is able to show results within 5 to 10 minutes. This COVID-19 IgG/IgM Rapid Test functions as a chromatographic immunoassay, which is when an antibody is attached to a support and used to help measure a specific aspect, to detect IgG and IgM antibodies in blood, serum and plasma. John F. Carter of MSGLA explained that the process of the test is just a prick of a finger. The blood sample is then added to the test applicator. If the test results are negative, a solid red line will appear by the “C,” which stands for control. Negative results mean that the IgG and IgM antibodies were not detected. 22 Pensacola Magazine

“If you come up positive on this test, then you can self quarantine for the 14 days that the federal government wants. If you come up negative, you go about your day,” Carter said. “If you do come up positive and your symptoms worsen over several days, then you now have to go to the hospital and tell the health care provider that you tested positive seven days ago.” MSGLA’s website shows that the accuracy for the test ranges between 97.8 percent to 99.6 percent. This rapid test, which is FDA approved, is faster than the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), which is what health care providers have been using to test for COVID-19. PCR results, though very accurate, can take three to five days to give results. Because COVID-19 can take up to two weeks to show symptoms in an individual, this virus is spreading rapidly across the world and the U.S. As of March 25, there are 1,227 cases of COVID-19 in Florida, and 14 cases in Escambia County. “I think the important part is for more people to have knowledge whether they are positive or negative. We need more results to understand where this thing is going. The only way that it benefits all of us is that more tests get done,” Carter explained. “We’re already hearing that hospitals and urgent cares are over

“I think the important part is for more people to have knowledge whether they are positive or negative. We need more results to understand where this thing is going. The only way that it benefits all of us is that more tests get done.” crowded. Somehow more testing needs to get to the marketplace, and we think we have the ability to play a role in that.” The overall cost for this rapid test is $49.95, and at this time, health insurance does not cover its cost. However, Carter said that MSGLA has already submitted the necessary paperwork so that health insurance can reimburse those who purchase this test and are waiting upon approval. MSGLA is also working with local healthcare providers to get this rapid test into hospitals and urgent cares. MSGLA is unable to test patients within its facility. Carter said that MSGLA hopes to share this test nationwide. They sent a test kit proposal to Vice President Mike Pence, who is a member within the COVID-19 Task Force, and are waiting for his response. To learn more about this test, visit msgofla.us/products/.




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Prepped for Life Two Local Companies offer Fully Prepared Healthy Meals by Kelly Oden

Eating healthy in the hustle and bustle of today’s overly busy lifestyle can be a difficult path to navigate. Spending an entire Sunday prepping food for the upcoming week is just not feasible or desirable for many people. Plus, the chaos of the global coronavirus pandemic has left many grocery shelves empty or lacking many essentials. Enter local meal prep companies— locally made meals using fresh, whole-food ingredients. All the customer has to do is heat and eat. Two local companies are leading the charge in offering fully prepared, healthy meals to the Pensacola community. Primal Nosh and Healthy Coast Meals offer grab and go options as well as meal subscription plans.

Primal Nosh Dianne Hatke became interested in health and fitness in graduate school. Her curiosity led her on a lifelong adventure with health and nutrition. After she finished graduate school, Hatke used her meal prepping skills to start a small business while looking for work in her chosen field of psychology. She began small, making meals for the clients at the gym, her husband’s gym. She started a sign up sheet and delivered meals weekly to members. Originally working in her own kitchen, Hatke eventually shared a space with Pensacola Cooks and now operates her own kitchen and retail space on Barrancas Avenue.  Hatke’s head chef Chase Gilroy and his team receive and prep food on Thursdays, Keto meals are prepared on Friday and Primal and Classic Clean meals are cooked on Saturdays.

Deliveries are made on Sundays and grab-and-go specials are prepared on Mondays.  Primal Nosh’s services can mitigate the expense as well as the time and effort involved in healthy cooking while supporting local businesses and farmers. “A lot of what we make requires ingredients with fewer additives and preservatives,”Hatke said. “There are a lot of ingredients that can become expensive for the home cook. We use all fresh ingredients. We purchase organic when we can. We order our meat from the Butcher Shoppe, so it is all hormone and antibiotic free, high quality meat. We get our seafood from Maria’s and we get our produce from Florabama Farms. Most of Florabama’s produce comes from regional farms and many of them do use organic practices although they are not certified organic.”

April '20


Prepped for Life Primal Nosh offers grab and go meals as well as a variety of meal plans and dietary themes, including keto, primal, classic clean and vegan. Meals are available with a plan or a la cart. Meals last an average of five to seven days after delivery in the refrigerator and up to four weeks in the freezer. Meals average between $10 and $12 depending on type and size. All meals come with full nutritional information and heating instructions. Meal examples include Primal Slap Yo Mama Chicken, Primal Korean Beef Bowl, Keto Asian Slaw and Chicken Thighs, Keto Zoodle Alfredo, Classic Clean Sweet and Spicy beef and more.  Visit Primal Nosh at 3810 Barrancas Avenue, order online at primalnosh. com or call 850-361-1215 for more information. Healthy Coast Growing up in New Orleans, Ashley Cole always had a penchant for healthy eating. But it wasn't until she was in college and diagnosed with Crohn's disease that she began to fully understand the power of a healthy lifestyle. She quickly learned that her diet was key to controlling the symptoms of her disease. At the same time, Cole did some testing for food intolerances and learned that she was also gluten intolerant. Cole changed her entire way of eating by cooking all of her meals from scratch using whole foods and eliminating processed options. The change worked – she began to feel much better and got back to her fitness regimen, eventually entering fitness competitions.  28 Pensacola Magazine

She became an expert meal prepper and enjoyed coming up with tasty variations on her recipes. Friends began asking her to meal prep for them as well. In 2016, she moved to Fort Walton with her husband, Ross, and began planning a new business. Thus, Healthy Coast meals was born. Initially, the couple rented a small commercial kitchen space from an existing restaurant. The business took off and the couple realized that they needed more space. They rented a larger kitchen space and ramped up production. While they originally sold via Facebook, they later added a webpage for online ordering and due to customer demand, they added a small grab and go kiosk at their facility. Now Healthy Coast Meals offers grab and go Meals at three locations – Fort Walton, Crestview and a storefront in the Southtowne apartment complex in Downtown Pensacola. They are also in the process of opening a fourth location in Destin. They also offer meal subscription plans with pickup and delivery options.  Rather than offering diet plan specific meals, the company really focuses on whole food – fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh meat and whole grains. “Everything we do starts from a raw, whole ingredient. We don’t use anything pre-made or processed,”said Cole. “Our chicken is raw chicken breast

that we order and it is cooked fresh on our grills and in our ovens. We are big on whole, fresh foods. We’ve seen other meal prep companies that use precooked ingredients that they just weigh out and put in a container. We think that if you are interested in eating healthy like this, you want to know what you are eating, so all of our ingredients are listed and we cook everything from scratch. We also don’t use anything containing gluten in our kitchen. All of our meals are made with gluten free ingredients. We are not a certified gluten-free kitchen, but we are very careful about it. We do our homework and take every precaution.” Customers have the option to customize meals to make

them low carb or to add more protein. Healthy Coast will also be offering vegetarian options beginning in April.  Meal examples include the Buffalo Chicken Meal, the Burrito Bowl, the Baked Salmon Meal and the Steak Meal. Visit Healthy Coast Meals in the Southowne Apartments at 100 South Jefferson St, Suite J, order online at healthycoastmeals. com or call 850-496-0135 for more information. COVID-19 UPDATE As of our print date of April 1, both Primal Nosh and Healthy Coast Meals remained open continued to offer premade meals.

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SLEEP The Necessary Step for Optimal Health by Gina Castro

Sleep. It’s the thing people spend an average 26 years doing in a lifetime, and another seven years are spent tossing and turning trying to fall asleep. Sleep is a natural, necessary condition of rest for the body and mind. One of sleep’s vital roles is to consolidate memories, a process where information and experiences are transformed into long-term memories. That’s why children, who are developing language, motor and social skills, need more sleep than adults. Children need additional sleep to consolidate all of the new information they are absorbing day-to-day.

30 Pensacola Magazine

Sleep heals the body, rebuilds the immune system and regulates bodily functions through hormones. Sleep is necessary for optimal health and well being. Insufficient sleep can lead to many health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Lack of sleep and even poor quality of sleep causes forgetfulness, irritability, poor concentration and increased susceptibility to colds and viruses. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults sleep 7 to 9 hours a night, teenagers need between 8 to 10 hours, younger children need 9 to 11 hours and one-yearolds need roughly 11 to 14 hours. Even losing a single hour of sleep can be detrimental. The University of California found that the morning after daylight savings, which is when we lose an hour of sleep, there is a 25 percent increase in heart attacks. But when daylight savings

ends and we gain an hour of sleep, heart attacks drop by 21 percent. Sleep deprivation can also impact your mental health. A study published in Nature Human Behaviour, a peerreviewed scientific journal, found that sleep deprivation provokes anxiety symptoms. Eti Ben Simon, a neuroscientist and the author of the study, said that people who suffer from poor sleep or insomnia are two times more likely to develop an anxiety disorder than people who sleep well. Simon also found that sleep deprivation can affect people’s social lives. In her study, Simon’s sleep deprived participants preferred that other people keep a greater distance from them. Simon saw that the brain networks that regulate personal space were far more active in her sleep deprived participants. Normally, a person’s personal space is within arms reach, but people who are

sleep deprived have a much larger personal bubble. Sleep Health, which is headed by the American Sleep Apnea Association, estimates that 50 to 70 million Americans of all ages and classes are affected by sleep-related problems. The National Institutes of Health predicts that America’s lack of sleep will continue to increase and estimates it will affect more than 100 million by the middle of the 21st century. Sleep Health postulates that technology use is one of the reasons more Americans are sleep deprived. The following statement is from the Sleep Health website: “The odds of being sleep deprived (less than 6 hours a night for adults) has increased significantly over the past 30 years as the lines between work and home have become blurred and digital technology has firmly become part of our lifestyles. National data shows that poor sleep health is a common problem with 25 percent of U.S. adults reporting insufficient sleep or rest at least 15 out of every 30 days.” The Sleep Health Foundation reports that bright lights from screens, such as cell phones and televisions, block the release of melatonin, a hormone the body produces to regulate the sleep wake cycle, after only 1.5 hours of use in the evening, so it’s important to limit screen time before bed in order to get a restful sleep. A survey from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) found that 88 percent of adults in the U.S. have chosen to postpone their bedtime so that they can watch more television shows. That percentage increases to 95

percent for adults between 18 and 44 years old. Postponing sleep can lead to increased issues with sleep. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that people who binge-watch television shows exhibited increased symptoms of insomnia, poor sleep quality and alertness before sleep. AASM recommends turning off electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Technology isn’t the only challenge preventing people from a good night's sleep. The American Sleep Association found that sleep disorders affect about 50 to 70 million U.S. adults. A sleep disorder is a condition that disrupts sleep for an extended period of time. Some of the most common sleep disorders are obstructive sleep apnea and insomnia. The AASM estimates that nearly 30 million U.S. adults have obstructive sleep apnea, a sleep disorder where breathing is interrupted for 10 seconds or more at a time. If left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can more than double your chances of dying from heart disease. AASM estimates that 23.5 Americans have undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea. There are five warning signs for sleep apnea: snoring, choking during sleep, daytime sleepiness, obesity (BMI of 30 or higher) and high blood pressure. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, consult a medical provider or an AASM accredited sleep center at sleepeducation. org/find-a-facility.



Fix regular times for going to bed and for getting up. If you nap during the day, don’t allow yourself more than 45 minutes of sleeping time. Stop consuming alcoholic beverages four hours before bedtime and don’t smoke at all. Avoid caffeine beginning six hours before bedtime. This includes not only coffee and tea, but many soft drinks and chocolate as well. Avoid heavy, spicy, or sugary foods starting four hours before bedtime. A light snack just before retiring is okay. Exercise regularly, but not right before bed. Use comfortable bedding. Find a comfortable temperature setting for your bedroom, and keep the room well ventilated. Block out all distracting noise and eliminate as much light as possible. Reserve your bed for sleep and sex. It is not an office, a workroom, a movie theater, or TV viewing venue.

Insomnia is the most common sleep complaint. It affects about 30 to 35 percent of adults at some point in their lives and about 8 to 10 percent chronically. Insomnia causes difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. Chronic insomnia, which is when sleep is disrupted for months or years at time, is linked to increased risk of heart failure, depression and anxiety. AASM found that the peaks and crashes in blood sugar are responsible for triggering insomnia. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a diet with a high amount of refined carbohydrates, such as pasta and white rice, increases the chances of developing insomnia. However, foods with a low glycemic index, such as fruits, vegetables and nuts, raise the blood sugar at a slower rate, which prevents the blood sugar from crashing. Although making changes to your diet and practicing good sleep hygiene may benefit insomnia, you should also consult a medical provider or a sleep center. Now, in this stressful situation where the coronavirus is spreading across the U.S., it’s even more important to get a good night's sleep. Poor sleep can increase stress levels and lower your immunity, which can make you more susceptible to colds and viruses. Refer to the side bar 10 Commandments of Healthy Sleep, which was written by Sleep Health, for tips on how you can improve your sleep.

April '20



According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly one in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness. Despite how common and prevalent mental illness is in America, talking about mental health can be an uncomfortable topic for many people. A social stigmatization lingers around mental health and leads to a reluctance to talk about it and seek treatment. Navigating the mental health realm can also be confusing: where do you start, how do you pay for it, who should you see and what kind of treatment is best for you? Now, more than ever, with the outbreak of COVID-19 and the preventative measures of social distancing, mental health is an important conversation to be having. We spoke with a licensed mental health counselor, a psychologist and a mental health advocate about how to stay mentally vigilant during crisis, navigate the mental health realm and break down the stigma around mental health. There are several different types of providers for mental health, which may cause confusion for some people: psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists and counselors. A therapist is a broad term for professionals who are trained, and often licensed, to provide a variety of treatments and rehabilitation for people, including talk therapy. Psychiatrists are medically trained doctors that can prescribe medication for patients. Psychologists are PhD level doctors that can diagnose

a mental illness and work in conjunction with a psychiatrist to treat a patient; psychologists also do important academic and clinical research. Tamara Powell, a licensed mental health counselor with Empathic Practice, explained the importance of finding a good “fit” with a mental health provider. “Go onto their website, read through their bios and don't just pick one at random.

By doing that, you're going to start to get a flavor of our personality and how we talk because therapist/client fit, is everything. I tell my clients that in the first session: if you're not feeling it, I want to know,” Powell said. “You're going to be spending a lot of time with this person being very vulnerable, and that's not easy to do. I think it's the most sacred or intimate relationship you can have with a person. Most people tell their therapist things they don't even tell their partner April '20 33

STAYING MENTALLY VIGILANT AND BREAKING SOCIAL STIGMA or family. So, it's worth the extra 20 to 30 minutes of research.” Empathic Practice is a multimodal treatment clinic ranging from talk therapy, to nutritional health, mindfulness, yoga, meditation and massage therapy. “Most of my clients tend to be ones who would rather be on as little necessary traditional medication as possible. So, I always tell people that we can start out on the mindfulness tools like yoga and massage,” Powell said. “But, if it comes to the point where they’re still struggling to make it through the day with their presenting symptoms, then we're going to work with a psychiatric practitioner who is going to help with medication.” Paying for mental health treatment is an additional stressor. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, in 2018 only 43.3 percent of U.S. adults with mental illness received treatment; however, 64.1 percent of U.S. adults with serious mental illness received treatment. Furthermore, 11.3 percent of U.S. adults with mental illness had no insurance coverage in 2018. Even those with insurance often have inadequate insurance or cannot find providers that accept it. Many therapists and psychiatrists do not take insurance to avoid rushing to diagnose a patient, or to ensure patient confidentiality. As Powell explained, some insurance agencies will push for a diagnosis in the first session with a patient to limit the number of sessions the agency will pay for. Sliding scale appointments are available at most practices to help lowincome patients and out-of-pocket patients pay for treatment. Lakeview Center is a leading treatment facility for mental health that serves over 36,000 people annually in 60 programs and services across Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties. Their behavioral health services include inpatient and resident treatment to outpatient services such as trauma services, psychiatry, 34 Pensacola Magazine

Often, we avoid getting treatment because we are frightened as to what the outcomes might be. There is also the additional burden of potentially being judged by others that it was our fault that we have a mental health problem or that we have a substance-use problem”

counseling, day treatment and intensive, round-the-clock outpatient services. Lakeview also offers nearly all programs on a sliding scale basis to ensure that all patients can afford treatment. Dr. David Josephs, a psychologist and clinical director at Lakeview Center, explained some general warning signs for mental illnesses and explained that it is normal to feel “out of funk” during COVID-19 self-quarantine. “For your loved ones, look out for changes in behavior and how they're functioning. Are they sleeping well? Are their eating patterns different? Are they drinking or using substances more? Are they on edge and angry? If people are noticing changes in their personality right now, it is probably related to the situational stress,” Dr. Josephs said. “It would be very unusual

that we wouldn't be experiencing some level of anxiety or outrage in response to what's going on, because it's a very serious problem. However, it should not lead to pathology as long as we recognize changes and engage in practices that we can do at home to help adjust.” Dr. Josephs said that people should continue eating well, exercising and getting the right amount of sleep. He said that the easiest thing to do when you’re feeling stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed is to get some good sleep and see how you feel the next day. Lakeview Center, and many other clinics in town have

For your loved ones, look out for changes in behavior and how they're functioning. Are they sleeping well? Are their eating patterns different? Are they drinking or using substances more? Are they on edge and angry?”

health in the context of general healthcare is important. They are brain illnesses and we all have a brain—we are all vulnerable” Abraham Sculley is mental health advocate and speaker with Active Minds and Speak2Inspire. Sculley struggled with depression through college and now uses his own story to help encourage others to talk about mental health and end the social stigma around it. After taking a medical withdrawal from UWF, he changed his major from IT to psychology, so he could learn how to help others with their mental health. “In our household, we never really talked about mental health. We never talked about feelings or emotions as much as other people do. When I was going through severe depression, I just thought it was a normal period of life as a college student. I chalked it up to stress that I was experiencing,” said Sculley. “I thought, ‘I just have to get over it or toughen up.’ I was afraid to tell my parents. I later found out that my mom also was diagnosed with depression a while back. Imagine if I had known about that, how much more comfortable I would have been to have that conversation with her instead of trying to hide it and kind of figure it out on my own.” Sculley travels around to different colleges, universities, churches and non-profits to tell his story and discuss what prevents people from seeking treatment and how to overcome that.

moved their services to online, virtual sessions, so patients can call or video chat with their therapists and doctors. Dr. Josephs also explained that talking and raising awareness about mental health is instrumental to breaking the stigma around it.

“Often, we avoid getting treatment because we are frightened as to what the outcomes might be. There is also the additional burden of potentially being judged by otahers that it was our fault that we have a mental health problem or that we have a substance-use problem,” Dr. Josephs said. “I think talking more about mental health and talking about mental

“It's all about storytelling and education. I believe that we all have a story, and my specific story may not be the exact same experience as someone else, but by normalizing the talk about being diagnosed with a mental illness, getting on medication and the challenges of finding a therapist, I can help others. I want people to know they’re not alone,” said Sculley.

April '20


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April 2020

40. Meet the Women Under the Hard Hats on the Pensacola Bay Bridge project Women share their experience working in a male dominated industry.


43 The Merrill Brothers Invest in Pensacon

Pensacola developers and restauranteurs, the Merrill brothers, partner with Pensacon CEO Mike Ensley.

46 Sun Belt Conference Brings Economic Growth to Pensacola

This annual basketball tournament will take place in Pensacola from 2021 to 2025.

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

Meet the Women Under the Hard Hats on the Pensacola Bay Bridge project By Gina Castro photo by Guy Stevens


HEN ONE IMAGINES what a day in the construction industry is like, scenes of sledge hammers slamming into concrete and workers lifting heavy steel are the first to come to mind. The physical labor aspect of construction is perhaps the leading factor that caused construction to become a male dominated industry. Women make up only 9.1 percent of the construction industry. Despite the fact that women make up a small percentage of the construction industry, women are leading the largest transportation initiative in Northwest Florida history: re-construction of Pensacola’s Three Mile Bridge. On the site of this $427 million project, the engineers are split 50-50: six male

40 NWFL’s Business Climate

engineers, six female engineers, two male project engineers and two female project engineers. This is the first project in both Catherine Burgess and Lisa Flittner’s careers, the site’s project managers, where the team of engineers are split equally between men and women. Working in construction for Flittner, who has been in construction for five years, was an easy choice. She grew up seeing her father work on various construction sites, so she had every intention of going into the same field despite seeing only one or two women work alongside her father. “[My dad] never believed in gender stereotyping or that women needed to be in the kitchen,” Flittner continued. “He made me do the exact same things that

my brothers did. So, I did not see that as an issue.” While attending university, Flittner realized her passion was engineering and landed her first job with Skanska, the construction company for the Three Mile Bridge project, as a field engineer for the New Midtown Tunnel Project in Virginia. Today, she works in the Pensacola Bay Bridge project’s pre-cast yard, where she oversees the manufacturing of pieces for the bridge and ensures that the project has enough supply. On the other hand, Burgess, who has been in construction for 10 years, didn’t consider construction as a potential career until she attended college. Burgess grew up with three brothers and was the only girl, but her parents raised her to believe her sex wasn’t a limitation. “My dad and mom pushed me. They made me feel like I could do anything that a boy could do,” Burgess said. Even with her parent’s support behind her, Burgess never heard about women in construction. “As a child, that was never presented to me,” Burgess said. “I never thought of going into the construction industry because, you know, being a girl, they usually promote nursing or other things.” After Burgess enrolled in an engineering program at her community college, she landed an internship with the New York Department of Transportation (DOT) and began her career in construction. Now, she works closely with the DOT teams, leading and mentoring field engineers in the project and handles forecasting for the bridge’s substructure and foundation.

“I’m prideful that I’m able to pave the way for others, but there is definitely pressure to be able to pave the way for us. It makes me thankful for other women who have done this in the past.” Aside from the occasional “darlings” and “dears” from their male coworkers, which they address immediately, neither Burgess and Flittner feel that their sex was a challenge in their day-to-day work in the industry or as leaders within the industry. Burgess and Flittner agreed that the two leading reasons few women are in construction is misconceptions about what construction is, for both men and women, and that many women don’t believe they can have a career and a family. Both Burgess and Flittner are mothers, and Flittner is expecting. “I think it’s women realizing that we can have it all,” Burgess said. “They think because it’s construction, you have to physically swing a hammer, which is great because there are women who do that. But there is also a different side of the construction industry: engineering. You don’t have to use muscle. You can use your brain as well.”

think that the more we present that to the younger generation, then it will start changing. They just don’t know about it.” Of the 9.1 percent of women in construction, 44 percent of women work in management, which is the leading position for women in construction. The next leading position is sales and office, which is 28 percent. Although there are few women in their positions, Burgess and Flittner see this disparity as an opportunity for empowerment. “We have a lot of younger women field engineers on this job, and even though it might not be on paper, I feel like I'm their mentor,” Burgess said. “Seeing a woman as a project engineer gives them hope that they can be promoted in this company as a female.” “I would say I’m prideful that I’m able to pave the way for others, but there is definitely pressure to be able to pave the way for us,” Flittner said. “It makes me thankful for other women who have done this in the past.” Both women agreed that the solution to this disparity is through education and community outreach about jobs within construction. For instance, how Skanska celebrates women in construction by doing a Women in Construction Week during the month of March, which is Women’s History Month. Burgess said that Skanska has been engaging with schools and the community to help spread this information. Skanska also recently increased maternity leave to 12 weeks, which is paid. Skanska also offers 30-day paid paternity leave. As more companies make an effort to challenge gender inequality, more of these issues can be solved.

“Everyone still sees the construction industry as getting dirty and sweaty,” Flittner said. “They forget that there is this whole other side of it as well. I April '20


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For the last seven years, the Pensacola Comic Convention: Pensacon has been uniting self-proclaimed nerds and Sci-fy geeks across the Pensacola region while boosting tourism and the local economy. In 2019 alone, the convention had a direct economic impact of 3.7 million with 33,000 guests in attendance. However, for the founder and CEO Mike Ensley, Pensacon has been a labor of love, as he has been the sole investor of Pensacon for the last four years. At the conclusion of the 2020 convention on March 1, the Merrill brothers announced that they would be investing in Pensacon and becoming part owners alongside Ensley.

Collier, Will and Burney Merrill together own and operate Merrill Land Company and Great Southern Restaurants. For the last six years, the Merrill brothers have decorated their restaurants to partake in the Pensacon events. The Fish House, Deck Bar and Atlas Oyster House are known far and wide for their lavish decorations from smoky potion drinks to genuine, life-size movie props. While Collier Merrill admits to not being a big Sci-fi geek, he explained that his brother Burney has been collecting movie props and Sci-fi memorabilia for decades. The brothers even curated the collection of more than 1,000 artifacts from movies and television in the T.T. Wentworth exhibit: “Space

Oddities: Selections From the Merrill Movie Museum.” The collection features preproduction concept art and post-production props used in movie films like Men in Black, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Battlestar Galactica and many more. Julio Diaz, the Pensacon marketing and media director, was actually the curator and puppeteer behind gathering the artifacts for the museum exhibit. The Merrill brothers hired him in January 2018 to gather pieces of the collection purchased from various auction houses, prop houses and private collectors. “Burney still gets mad at me because I get Star Wars and Star Trek confused—he’s the Sci-fy guy, not me,” said Collier. “Burney started April '20



Photo of three brothers: Will, Collier and Burney Merrill posing together.

around it, hotels fill up, restaurants and bars tap into it—it’s just a great shoulderseason event that benefits so many industries,” said Collier. “It's exciting, and to me, it's just another amenity that Pensacola has, like the Blue Wahoos or the opera and symphony— whether you go to them or not— they bring people in and benefit the culture.”

Transportation, is shutting down the interstate exit ramp behind the Bay Center so that the back-parking lot could be flattened out and the rear entrance could be made as easily accessible as the front entrance. That renovation could fix an accessibility issue, create a larger parking lot and give the convention more outdoor space to work with.

The Merrill brothers hope to alleviate some financial burden of the convention and hopefully give it room to grow. Additionally, the Pensacon headquarter offices are now located in the Seville Tower owned by the Merrill Land Company.

However, while Pensacon continues to push the Bay Center to its max capacity of 12,000 people inside, the convention is also utilizing as many smaller venues around the city as possible with shuttles transporting guests around downtown Pensacola. The venues include the Saenger Theatre, the Rex Theatre, Pensacola Little Theatre, the Pensacola Grand Hotel and the UWF Historic Trust buildings downtown.

When asked about the prospects of developing a multiuse arena or a larger convention center, Collier explained that they’re working with what they’ve got first. The "Space Oddities" Exhibition at the T.T. Wentworth Museum.

talking to Julio and showing him some of his props, and Julio really took to it. He did a really fantastic job collecting all of the stuff Burney had acquired from Tampa, California—all over. He even drove to Tampa to bring back a life size Gremlins prop and drove the whole way back with this little green creature strapped into his front seat.”

While the Merrill brothers have been decorating the restaurants for years and showcasing movie props, the decision to invest in the convention, as Collier explained, came from a place of not wanting to see a Pensacola staple shut down. “The convention is unique, and there is a great demand for having it downtown. Gallery Night always centers

“The convention has more room to grow. People talk about moving the convention somewhere else, and honestly, that's the last thing I want to do,” said Collier. “The Bay Center has good bones, and with a little bit of money, it could be fixed up. You know, some people say it should be knocked down, but I just don't think that's necessary.” One frequently discussed idea, after talking to the Florida Department of

As the partnership between the Merrill brothers and Mike Ensley grows, Pensacon is bound to undergo some modifications and expansions. Pensacon 2021 is set for Feb. 26-28 with VIP tickets on sale and guest announcements already being made, including a “Back To The Future” reunion.

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SUN BELT CONFERENCE BRINGS ECONOMIC GROWTH TO PENSACOLA by Josh McGovern Starting in 2021 Pensacola will act as a gracious host to the Sun Belt Conference basketball tournaments, both men’s and women’s. Teams like Troy, Arkansas State, South Alabama, University of Louisiana Monroe and more will have their opportunities to declare themselves number 1 in Pensacola up until 2025. These playoffs and championship games will be hosted by the Pensacola Bay Center and Pensacola State College (PSC) at their very own Hartsell Arena. Bringing the Sun Belt to Pensacola was made possible through the efforts of Pensacola Sports, one of the oldest non-profit organizations in the city’s community, whose sole objective is to bring sporting events to our shining city. The organization’s inception was responsible for hosting the PGA Tour, the Pensacola Open in the mid-50’s. Now the agency has evolved into basketball, baseball and any other sport imaginable. 46 NWFL’s Business Climate

Ray Palmer, CEO of Pensacola sports, said, “Our efforts are basically the sports tourism component for Escambia County. It’s very common for us to do these types of things. We’ve hosted the NCAA [National Collegiate Athletic Association] many times over the years, the International Junior College events, the Gulf South Conference, you name it.” Pensacola Sports is contracted by Visit Pensacola. It is also through efforts from the Pensacola Bay Center and Pensacola State College that this deal was made possible. While it may seem obvious the Bay Center will host a majority of the games, being a sports arena of its own for the Ice Flyers, PSC stepped up to the plate and plans to host the first two games of each series. Bill Hamilton, PSC’s Athletic Director, expressed excitement for the tournaments and is proud to be a component in Pensacola’s latest National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) opportunity.

“Our institution as a whole is a pillar of our community. We’re very honored that Pensacola Sports, Visit Pensacola and the Bay Center asked us to partner with them and I think our reputation has a lot to do with that.” Hamilton went on to explain PSC’s role in the tournament events and why not only the Hartsell Arena is an ideal location, but Pensacola as a whole. “We’ll host them at our place. The Hartsell Arena,” Hamilton said. “We can fit about 1000 fans. It’s a good fit for us. For crowd size it’s a good fit for us. We are a destination for their fans already. Everybody in that conference, we got the Louisiana schools, Alabama schools, Georgia schools, they’re all familiar with our beaches so it becomes a familiar trip.” “We are a fantastic destination,” Palmer said. “Schools from Texas to the Carolina coast and up through Arkansas. Those are people that Pensacola is very attractive to.”

That isn’t to say Pensacola didn’t face competition with other cities in the southeast region. Places like Huntsville and Montgomery casted their votes to be the host of the Sun Belt tournaments. But in the first years of these tournaments being held on neutral sites, Pensacola overcame its city competitors, and emerged as the best possible location. Pensacola’s close proximity to a majority of the Sun Belt schools goes a long way in making travel shorter and easier. Instead of travelling by plane, most teams will travel by bus, an economic incentive for the schools involved. Another incentive for a close destination is attendance. Decreased travel costs puts fans in a better position to travel with the team and support them away from home. In a conference that puts up relatively minor attendance numbers when compared to its larger neighbors the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Pensacola puts the Sun Belt in a prime position to be able to fill the 1,000 seats in Hartsell Arena and the 8,000 in Pensacola Bay Center. “It’s a good fit for us,” Hamilton said. “For crowd size it’s a good fit for us.

They don’t average quite as many. The teams that have to travel a long way their people won’t travel as well.” Bringing fans along with the team is a large factor in hosting these tournaments. As Palmer mentioned in an interview, more tourists means greater economic impact for Pensacola.

“When we bring in the tourists, that generates dollars from outside which is the best kind of dollar you can possibly get,” Palmer said. “People who come and visit pay the same sales tax as people who live here every day. Those sales taxes go to support our roads and schools. They’re helping us fund Pensacola. That’s true with the tourism industry everywhere. But we’re very much a part of creating economic impact to the tune of about 25,000,000 dollars a year, probably.” Events like the Sun Belt tournament have helped shape Pensacola into what it is today. With the University of West Florida winning the 2020 National Championship in only its 4th season, and college tournaments on the way, residents may see a gradual shift in their small city, from a tourist destination into a sporting mecca. “We’re thrilled with the Sun Belt coming,” Palmer said. “The Sun Belt conference is changing their model by going to neutral site events and we are a great neutral site event. It’s a big deal, it’s a real win for us.”

April '20


AROUND THE REGION Innisfree Hotels Appoints New Leadership in Development Innisfree Hotels, a hotel management, development and marketing company out of Gulf Breeze, has kicked off 2020 with a pair of leadership appointments in its development department. Rich Chism has been elevated to Vice President of Development and Asset Management, while Kevin Warwick has been promoted to Director of Construction. Ted Ent, the CEO and president of Innisfree Hotels, announced the two promotions at a weekly corporate meeting in early February. Ent credited Chism’s enduring loyalty to the Innisfree team and its mission. “Rich has worked at Innisfree for 12 years and has been instrumental in our growth and the execution of our strategic initiatives,” Ent said. While continuing to oversee the activities of the development department, Chism

American Advertising Federation Presents American Advertising Awards   The Pensacola chapter of the American Advertising Federation (AAF) presented the American Advertising Awards for advertising creative excellence in 2020 at the Hilton Pensacola Beach on March 7. The annual dinner and awards presentation was attended by more than 250 individuals of the local advertising and media businesses. Of the more than 270 professional entries received by AAF Pensacola, 66 gold ADDY awards and 107 silver ADDY awards were presented. Of the 225 student entries, 50 gold ADDYs and 78 silver ADDYs were presented. Entries were judged based on creativity, originality and creative strategy. Top awards of the evening went to the Best of Show winners. Hail Studio took 48 NWFL’s Business Climate

adds a number of new duties to his Innisfree role. He will supervise the Director of Construction (the position being assumed by Warwick), assist with new development and acquisition activities, oversee various real estate matters, and act as president of HNL Construction LLC, Innisfree’s wholly owned construction company. “In addition, Rich is assuming new responsibilities for Innisfree in the asset management of our hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, and other real estate holdings,” Ent explained. “He will be developing short-, mid- and long-range plans for our assets, participate on our capital expenditures committee, oversee property management of our alternative assets, and collaborate with operations and other departments to maximize asset value. The addition of these responsibilities is integral to our long-term hold real estate strategy. “Furthermore, Rich will continue his role on our TBL team,” Ent added. TBL symbolizes Innisfree’s status as a “triple bottom line” company, meaning the organization measures its success

home Best of Campaign or Identity for its She Warrior visual identity. “Our ultimate goal was to create a great experience for our client and her customers, but to win an award is a wonderful added bonus!” said Jenni Carlson, project manager at Hail Studio. “One of the most fun and most rewarding aspects of an identity campaign is creating a whole persona and brand that didn’t exist before. Helping a new business get started off on the right foot, giving it personality and a sense of legitimacy to potential customers. We’re very passionate about helping our clients’ businesses succeed, and that all starts with a solid foundation built upon the visual identity.” Idgroup captured Best of Video for its Bright Bridge brand video. Best of Print was awarded to University of West Florida’s (UWF) fall 2019 Connection Magazine. The Judges Choice awards were presented to idgroup for UWF Stories of Impact, Lensea Film for Ride Society brand film, and UWF for Argonaut football theme.

not only in profits but also through its impact on people and on the planet. Ent also noted that Chism has helped lead the Dixon School of Arts & Sciences through several years of success, most recently as President of the Board of Directors. Dixon is a kindergarten through 8th grade school serving primarily underprivileged youth living in nearby Escambia County here on the Florida Panhandle. In acknowledging Warwick’s ascension to Director of Construction, Chism emphasized how Warwick has flourished within the organization. “Kevin is a valued team player who has emerged as a true leader at Innisfree,” he said. “His ability to guide teams, understand construction issues and meet brand standards is unparalleled. Kevin and his team of project managers will be critical players in Innisfree’s pursuit of its long-term vision.”   For more information or to stay up to date with Innisfree Hotels, visit innisfreehotels.com.

In the student category, Alan Wyatt from Pensacola Christian College took home Best of Show for his animation video, A Woodcarver’s Boy. The Judges Choice awards went to Jay Dunham from Pensacola State College (PSC) for Digital Thinkers – Tokyo, Courtney Goodman from PSC for Not Your Trophy and Lam Nguyen from PSC for PHXDW Conference. A complete list of all the AAF Pensacola ADDY Awards winners is attached to this release. The American Advertising Awards competition is sponsored by AAF Pensacola, a member association comprised of advertising and media professionals. Winners at the local level now move on to compete at the district level against entries from AAF clubs across Florida. For more information, contact Stacie Dice at diceaafpcola@gmail.com or Meg Williamson at meg.aafpensacola@gmail.com.

UWF MBA students earn first place for work with Pensacola business A team of University of West Florida MBA students and alumni won first place at the Small Business Institute’s annual academic conference for their project “Hard Rock Hotel: a $270 Million Feasibility Study.” UWF students Stacy Shrader and Morgan Jernigan presented the project at the conference on Feb. 29 in New Orleans. UWF alumni Melissa Reid, Brielle Greene, Talisha Williams, and Cody Verhulst were co-authors for the project, which earned top honors in the “Project of the Year” category. The project was originally presented to Hard Rock Hotel executives who then executed the contract for this study to be developed. The team worked with South Palafox Group, a Pensacola-based business.   The team evaluated the project for potential points of failure. Through in-depth research of the existing market conditions, they projected revenues and expenses and analyzed the resulting data. The market analysis also included a review of the area’s demographics to assist in correctly targeting the desired market effectively. Additionally, the team researched marketing strategies and trends to provide the most efficient ways of spending time and money. Together they assessed that a key component in supporting the projected revenues was to properly direct marketing; attracting the target customer and thereby maximizing advertising dollars.   The group worked with faculty advisor, Gerry Goldstein, a 2015 UWF MBA graduate, who earned first place with his team in the category of Best Small Business Development Center Paper in 2016.  “High impact learning allows students to develop and apply critical thinking to actual business cases and present their findings to the executives of the business,” said Goldstein. “Students should consider their presentation as an opportunity to showcase their capabilities, directly to the business decision-makers. UWF currently has five MBA students working for a Fortune 300 company that has been directly involved with the Master Level Case Competition.”  

  The project was part of their Spring 2019 semester Live Case Analysis course.    "This course gave me a more external view on business problems,” Shrader said. “I was able to work through a real issue and use my MBA curriculum to create a viable solution. For me, the course served as a bridge for connecting what I'm learning in the classroom to a future career in the business world." 

The Florida SBDC at UWF provides tools, training, and resources to help entrepreneurs grow and succeed in every stage of business and all industry sectors. Located within the UWF College of Business, it is part of a statewide network of more than 40 centers involving universities, state colleges and dozens of local economic development organizations that serve the needs of Florida’s business community. For more information about the College of Business, visit uwf.edu/cob.

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AROUND THE REGION Visit Pensacola Announces New President/CEO Visit Pensacola announced today that Darien Schaefer will be its next President/CEO. Schaefer and the organization reached an agreement and the Board of Directors held a special meeting earlier today to vote on contract negotiations.

City's ADA Sidewalk Repair Project Surpasses 16,000 Feet The City of Pensacola's Public Works and Facilities Department has repaired approximately 16,000 linear feet of sidewalk and installed 215 curb ramps as part of the city's Americans with Disabilities Act Sidewalk Assessment. Approximately 12,000 additional linear feet of sidewalk is expected to be repaired by 2023, along with an additional 1,806 curb ramps. The city completed an ADA Sidewalk Assessment in 2017 to evaluate existing sidewalks for ADA deficiencies, identifying approximately 28,100 linear feet of sidewalks and another 2,021 new curb ramps needed in order to achieve an acceptable level of ADA compliance.  "I'm excited to see these projects completed as we continue to make our 50 NWFL’s Business Climate

sidewalks more accessible to all of our residents," Mayor Grover Robinson said. "Repairing over 16,000 feet of sidewalk is an amazing achievement by our Public Works and Facilities staff, with many more projects still in the works to further enhance sidewalk accessibility throughout the City of Pensacola." Sidewalk repair projects were also prioritized in the survey to create a master sidewalk improvement project list, which is available on the city's website.  Projects began on the west side of the city and are moving eastward, with the next set of projects planned for the Community Redevelopment Area Urban Core District, which is primarily the downtown area. Three sidewalk projects within the CRA Urban Core and two sidewalk projects outside of the CRA Urban Core are expected to be completed by the end of Fiscal Year 2020.

"We've had some incredible candidates through this entire process, and I want to thank SearchWide Global and the Visit Pensacola Search Committee for doing such a standup job, Board Chairman Sterling Gilliam said. The board and I feel confident in their selection and we're excited for Darien's leadership and vision for the organization." Darien Schaefer joins the team from Visit Big Bear, in Big Bear Lake, Calif., where he served as CEO for the past three years. Schaefer brings to the team over 20 years of destination marketing experience, including his most recent roles as CEO of Visit Lake Geneva and Executive Director at the Wausau/Central Wisconsin CVB/Sports Authority. "I've been in hospitality/ tourism all my life and have been fortunate to work in destinations small and large. There's an energy here, a momentum that makes this an exciting time for Pensacola and Escambia County, Schaefer said. Leading the team at Visit Pensacola and representing one of the best beach destinations in the United States is a tremendous opportunity. My wife, Karen, and I are looking forward to becoming part of the community."

Schaefer was one of two candidates recommended by the search committee for the President/CEO position along with Pamela Johnson of Lee County. During the February meeting, the board voted to approve both candidates as viable options to lead the organization. The board approved beginning negotiations with Johnson but that if an agreement could not be reached, an offer would be made to Schaefer. Johnson declined the position due to unforeseen family and personal reasons. "It is with sadness I must decline the search committee's offer for the Visit Pensacola CEO position. A personal family matter made this a difficult decision and family is first with me, Pamela Johnson said. I was delighted to receive the opportunity because of the wonderful people I met during my interviews; the community and the Visit Pensacola staff left a good impression with me." Following former President Steve Hayes resignation in Dec. 2019., the Executive Search Firm SearchWide Global had been tasked with finding suitable candidates to fill the position. Since his departure, former Escambia County Administrator Jack Brown has served as the interim president. Schaefer's projected start date is April 20. For more information on Visit Pensacola's president / CEO selection, please contact Search Committee Chairman D.C. Reeves at dcreeves@quintstuder.com.

The Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FRLA) and DigiPro Media have partnered together to announce the Save Florida Business Initiative as a way to support Florida businesses during this difficult time. The Save Florida Business Initiative will connect consumers in Escambia and Santa Rosa County to area businesses through the SaveFloridaBusiness. com website where consumers can be connected to businesses participating in the program. To participate, any Escambia or Santa Rosa County business must offer a $75 Gift Card Bond that has a retail value of $100. The purchase of the Gift Card Bond incentivizes consumers since they earn $25 for every $75 Gift Card Bond purchased.  “The Save Florida Business Initiative will get money directly to businesses now while we endure the economic impact of the Coronavirus,” stated Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association Regional Director Corey Mobley.  “This program

UNITED WAY OF WEST FLORIDA LAUNCHES RELIEF FUND IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19 In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic facing our community and nation, United Way of West Florida has launched its relief fund to support those affected in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. As schools, businesses, and pubic establishments close, United Way of West Florida understands that people’s ways of life are being significantly affected. Hours are being cut, services are being eliminated, and wages are being lost.

will also incentivize consumers to return to our local businesses once this has passed.” Local businesses can register to participate, and consumers can search and connect with registered businesses at www. savefloridabusiness.com.  There is no limit to the number of Gift Card bonds an individual can purchase. We are also leaving it to the participating business to decide when the Gift Card Bonds can be redeemed. “Many in our community have asked how they can help businesses during this trying time, “stated Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce President Todd Thomson.  “The Save Florida Business Initiative is a way to provide immediate help for our friends and neighbors.  I encourage all who can to United Way of West Florida’s COVID-19 Response Fund will support families within our service area that have been economically impacted by the pandemic and will provide support to nonprofit agencies that are providing critical services to those in need. To donate to this fund, text 850Respond to 41444 or visit www.uwwf.org/ covid19fund. Gifts of all sizes will improve our community’s ability to respond during this unprecedented time. Individuals in need of immediate assistance accessing food, paying housing or utility bills, or other essential services are urged to dial

participate in this program.” The SaveFloridaBusiness.com website was built by DigiPro Media in partnership with the FRLA and Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce. The website contains information on the program, a place for businesses to register, and a directory of businesses offering Gift Card Bonds.   “Our #1 priority, as DigiPro Media, in partnership with FRLA and the Chamber, is to arm and equip businesses to fight back using technology and our extensive networks to make it easier for customers to engage and pre-buy your products and services so we can all make it through this, together.” said Steve Barshov, CEO of DigiPro Media.

211 from their phones or visit www.211nwfl.org. 211 Northwest Florida provides information and referral services to the following counties: Escambia, Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Santa Rosa, and Washington. 211 Northwest Florida also provides support services for veterans in need of assistance through the Florida Veteran’s Support Line. By dialing 1-844-MYFLVET (693-5838), or 211 and disclosing that the caller is a veteran, they may speak directly with a fellow veteran trained to provide emotional support and links to community resources. For more information and

The goal of this program is to help businesses create immediate cash flow using technology and networking solutions that will help give Escambia and Santa Rosa businesses the cushion they need to ride the tide. “We’re living in unprecedented times and we need to think different. The most important thing is that businesses and the community work together to support each other and act now before it is too late” stated Mr. Barshov. For more information about the Save Florida Business Initiative contact the Greater Pensacola Chamber at tthomson@ penasacolachamber.com and the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association at cmobley@frla.org.

updates regarding COVID-19, please visit www.UWWF.org/ COVID19, follow United Way of West Florida on Facebook (@UWWFL), as well as 211 Northwest Florida (@211nwfl). United Way of West Florida is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every citizen in our community. UWWF has operated locally for 96 years with a vision of a community United to create better opportunities for all. By investing in programs, participating in partnerships, and leveraging resources, UWWF works to meet a mission of Uniting our community to improve lives. April '20


ON THE A MARKET Real Estate Section 5 Tips for Better Home Safety This Spring page 58

In This Section By the Numbers: A Look at February's Market Highlights page 54 Boost your Home's Curb Appeal page 56 7 Steps to Prepare for a Home Remodel page 60 5 Reasons Hardscapes are a Landscaper's Best Friend page 62

April '20




692 64

Monthly Sales

Avg. Days on Market

2051 $226k

Homes on Market

Median Sale Price

MARKET HIGHLIGHTS February sales were up 14% At nearly $226,000 median Combined DOM for the month was 64, virtually sale price was the highest compared to January and unchanged from January. on record for any month. 12% above the same month last year.


Pending sales were up nearly 4% compared to January, and 18% over last February

Information courtesy of Pensacola Association of Realtors



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ON THE MARKET Expert advice about finishing options “If you're drawn to cypress' natural honey-like hues and want to enhance the natural richness of its color and grain pattern, focus on semi-transparent, oilbased stains,” Rickman advises. “These products provide superior protection because they penetrate the wood and allow it to breathe, whereas waterbased stains sit on the surface and are prone to peeling and cracking.” If a cleaner, solid color look is more your style, Rickman says 100 percent acrylic latex paint, with a compatible primer, is the way to go to ensure cypress' best performance.

Boost your home's curb appeal

Be informed Wood siding offers a timeless look that is often imitated, but never really duplicated. And while there are many siding products to choose from, homebuilder Stephen Ellis, MGB Fine Custom Homes of Sarasota, Florida, chooses cypress. And for good reasons!

Looks matter and first impressions count! So to pique the interest of potential buyers, refresh your home’s exterior and boost the curb appeal with new siding. In-the-know design pros are choosing cypress siding for the upgrade. It looks great and can last a lifetime, no matter what Mother Nature might have in store.

“Often we clad our homes entirely in cypress,” he says. “It's a material we enjoy working with because it's dimensionally stable and holds up well in our humid, coastal environment. And it's locally sourced, which is something homeowners are valuing now more than ever. Ultimately, the decision comes down to the architectural style of the home, maintenance and cost. I do my best to help homeowners make an informed decision based on their goals.”

“Cypress siding offers the complete package,” says Zack Rickman of the Southern Cypress Manufacturers Association, www.CypressInfo.org. “It's not only beautiful, it offers proven outdoor performance by naturally repelling insects–like termites and carpenter bees–and minimizing decay, chemical corrosion and other damaging elements.”

When it comes to picking a siding style, cypress is available in all the popular patterns, like traditional bevel or modern shiplap. Yet in Ellis’ area, he’s seeing a different trend. “These days, we’re putting up a lot of board and batten,” he says. “It's always been popular for farm houses, but it looks great on beach homes and complements the casual, relaxing vibe.”


Architect John Harrison Jones, Memphis, Tennessee, says some of his clients prefer the weathered wood look. “It's contextual to our region and environment,” he says. “And while cypress is naturally decay and water resistant, I still recommend applying a water-repellent sealer to provide added protection. Some products include an ultraviolet light inhibitor to block the sun's rays and prevent premature graying. Nevertheless, cypress will weather to a light gray patina over time. “If you want the weathered look now, consider applying a bleaching stain with a subtle gray tint. But, be careful not to apply too much because it can get too light. Test it out on a piece of scrap wood first.” Whichever finish you choose, Rickman recommends always applying stain, primer or sealer to all sides and edges of the boards. “This will protect the wood from moisture and prevent problems down the road,” he says. “And perhaps most importantly, make sure to follow the finish manufacturer's instructions.” For more ways to boost your home’s curb appeal with cypress siding, visit the Southern Cypress website at www.CypressInfo.org.

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5 Tips for Better Home Safety this Spring

Photo courtesy of Getty Images


As people become more active during the warmer months, keeping home safety top of mind can sometimes go by the wayside. However, when it comes to fire and carbon monoxide safety, you can never be too prepared. Whether you are just beginning to take a stronger safety-first approach or looking to upgrade existing home safety equipment, keep these tips in mind as you spruce up your home for the season. 58 ON THE MARKET

Don’t Just Check Batteries, Check the Alarm It’s a good idea to review your safety equipment and ensure everything is in good working order at least a couple times each year. For example, every type of smoke alarm must be completely replaced every 10 years whether it’s hardwired into your home or operates on a battery. New smoke alarms commonly come with built-in 10-year batteries, meaning no battery changes, but it’s a good idea to test the units regularly. In fact, most manufacturers recommend weekly. You can also use this time to doublecheck the gauge on your fire extinguishers, replace batteries in flashlights, test security systems and replenish first-aid kits. Inspect and Repair Outdoor Areas Set aside time to evaluate any damage or potential hazards as the weather warms. For example, fallen tree branches and leaves can become trapped in gutters and pose a fire hazard. Shutters and fences can also weaken over time. To make sure they’re in good working condition, check that they are securely fastened. Take Advantage of Smart Technology According to the National Fire Protection Association, 40 years ago people had an average of 17 minutes to escape a home fire, but today the average has decreased to about 3 minutes due to synthetic materials used in modern-day home furnishings. To get the earliest warning of a home fire, install wire-free interconnected battery-powered combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. When one alarm senses a hazard, all alarms throughout

the home sound in unison. Features like color-coded status rings and built-in 10-year sealed batteries make Kiddie's wire-free interconnected alarms a smart solution for optimal protection. They offer simple setup and operate without the hassle of hardwiring or a Wi-Fi connection. Check Appliances While going through your spring home safety checklist, take time to check your appliances or schedule an annual maintenance check for your stove, oven, heating system and more. According to the American Red Cross, dryers are responsible for approximately 9 of every 10 appliances fires. These common household appliances can collect dust, lint and other particles, which are potential fire hazards and can cause carbon monoxide leaks. Keep Outdoor Activities in Mind Cooking on grills is a popular pastime, but thousands of people are injured every year while using them. In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly 9,000 home fires are started by grills each year. Now is a good time to get your home’s grilling area in tip-top shape. Keep a 3-foot safety zone around hot grills for children and pets, and have a nearby as fires can occur unexpectedly. Propane and charcoal grills both put off carbon monoxide as a byproduct, so be sure keep your grill at least 10 feet from the home and ensure it is positioned away from windows, doors, vents and ductwork.

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7 Steps to Prepare for a Home Remodel A homeowner’s motivation for taking on a remodeling project can vary greatly, but there’s one universal rule of thumb: home upgrades should add value, function or both. This step-bystep guide can help ensure you get the maximum return on your investment and make the most of your remodel. Step 1: Identify Reasons for Remodeling Deciding whether to undertake simple aesthetic changes or a full remodel can be difficult. One of the best ways to decide is to figure out why you are remodeling in the first place, whether it’s to make your new house feel more like home or to update an outdated kitchen. Step 2: Consider Timing Many variables can impact the timing of your project, including the climate and exact nature of the job. For example, foundation work is easier when the ground is cold during winter. Spring tends to be busy for the construction industry, so you might pay premium rates for labor and materials, but it’s also the perfect time to get a project done that you can enjoy throughout the summer. Summer months are ideal for indoor projects out of the heat. Also consider 60 Pensacola Magazine

factors such as personal or professional obligations, or even an event for which you need the project completed. Step 3: Set Your Budget Every home is unique in structure, age, quality and craftsmanship, which all impact the price of a remodel. Since no one can see through walls before demolition, the quote you receive may not be 100% accurate. However, a qualified remodeling company will be forthcoming about potential challenges. Account for these adjustments by planning for a 10% cushion, just in case.  Step 4: Hire the Right Team To help ensure you find the right company for the job, do your research. Referrals from friends and family are one way to find a remodeler. Resources like the National Association of the Remodeling Industry provide unbiased information that can help you find qualified, certified remodelers in your area. With more than 5,000 member companies, the organization represents professional remodelers who adhere to a strict code of ethics. Many hold certifications in remodeling, kitchen and bath design and lead carpentry.  Step 5: Establish a Written Agreement Most companies insist on a contract to protect their own interests, but if they don’t, you should. In addition to defining the scope of work and

budget, a contract ensures all parties are on the same page with expectations about factors like timing, liability in the event of an accident and other practical matters. Contractors also often provide guarantees of workmanship, so find out what they cover for how long and include this information in your work agreement. Step 6: Understand the Plan  Keep the lines of communication open between you, the remodeling contractor and the work crew. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Let them know your family’s schedule and circumstances that may affect their work, such as pets. Make sure to specify the best way to reach you and how often you wish to communicate about your project. Step 7: Complete the Project When the remodel is almost finished, walk through the area and note any adjustments that need made while the contractor is still on site. You should also take another look at the contract and confirm you have signed permits, receipts, change orders, lien waivers, warranties and manufacturers’ guides at your disposal. Find more remodeling advice and contractors in your area at remodelingdoneright.com.

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pattern, color and texture, a design can define areas for grilling, dining and relaxing. In addition, retaining wall systems can be used to create columns, freestanding walls, raised planters and other features that give outdoor rooms definition and functionality.

5 reasons hardscapes are a landscape's best friend

Hardscaping products, including segmental retaining wall units (SRWs) and interlocking concrete pavers, are a landscape's best friend. Landscape professionals know that hardscapes are the backbone of a great design. Homeowners, too, shouldn't be afraid to explore do-it-yourself landscape features using hardscape materials. According to the National Association of Landscape Professionals, hardscaping trends for 2020 include geometric patterned designs as well as materials with sleek, modern lines. Luckily, design options abound as hardscapes come in a variety of sizes, shapes, textures and colors that work well with other materials such as natural stone or crushed rock mulch.

Hardscapes are popular because they outlast materials such as timbers for retaining walls or asphalt for driveway surfaces, says Scott Arnold, general manager of Villa Landscapes in St. Paul, Minnesota. "Hardscape surfaces are durable and low maintenance," Arnold says. "For example, when a client wants to replace a wood deck, we suggest a raised paving stone patio created with retaining wall units and pavers as a solution. In addition to traditional uses, such as fixing grade problems and preventing erosion, retaining wall systems also can be used to build outdoor features such as fireplaces and raised planters. Or they can be employed to solve unique landscaping problems."

62 Pensacola Magazine

1. Making the grade Villa Landscapes used the VERSA-LOK retaining wall system to solve an unusual problem for a homeowner who had a historic home on "Cream of Wheat Row" in Minneapolis, an avenue with stately homes built by wheat company executives at the turn of the 19th century. The home had a driveway designed for horseand-buggy with an embedded limestone step for disembarking passengers. No cars could go around it, so Villa elevated the driveway with a retaining wall system so a new paving stone driveway would be level with the existing step.

2. Play well with others Made of colors and textures that mimic and complement natural stone, hardscaping products work well with other materials, like crushed stone, flagstone steppers and natural boulders. A Wisconsin homeowner needed retaining walls for slopes and a paving stone patio as well as natural steps and boulders in the surrounding garden. Using retaining wall units, paving stones and natural stone, Villa's design incorporated elements of both harmony and contrast in shapes, textures and colors. 3. Define outdoor areas Hardscapes are great for creating multiple, connected outdoor living spaces. By varying the

4. Complement any design A variety of shapes, colors and textures make hardscapes the perfect complement to any architectural design, from an old-world look to minimalist style. Several homes in a residential development in Edina, Minnesota, followed suit when one homeowner selected the new VERSA-LOK CleanCut(TM) retaining wall texture for its clean, contemporary feel to match the modern architectural design of the home. 5. Create outdoor features Hardscape features such as fireplaces, fire rings, bar/grill islands, raised planters and more can be built easily with retaining wall units. The VERSA-LOK retaining wall system can be used for features such as columns, curves, stairs and corners without the need for special pieces. The versatility of hardscaping products and materials makes them ideal for a variety of landscaping applications. Hardscaping products, such as segmental retaining walls and concrete pavers, let homeowners shape their yards, while adding color and increasing usable space. Hardscaping materials, such as rock and stone mulch, add the finishing touches that dress up a yard and make it look complete.


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©2017 DBA. All Rights Reserved. DBA fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Operated by a subsidiary of NRT LLC. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker Logo are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.

©2017 DBA. All Rights Reserved. DBA fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Operated by a subsidiary of NRT LLC. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker Logo are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.

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68 Pensacola Magazine

Profile for Ballinger Publishing

Pensacola Magazine April 2020  

Pensacola Magazine April 2020