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The Women’s Issue

the candidates Local Women Seek Change Through the Ballot Box

Also in this issue:





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Editor’s Note

The July issue of Pensacola Magazine is always an interesting one. For many years we have focused this issue on the achievements and accomplishments of local women. So, it’s both timely and fitting that we are in the midst of a groundswell of women looking to accomplish one of the most important roles in our democracy—the honor of public service and elected office. It’s no small task for anyone to decide to run for public office, but research shows that women still (in 2018!) face higher hurdles than their male counterparts in terms of media coverage, gender bias, fundraising and more. As a woman and a voter, I find this unnerving. Shouldn’t our elected officials more closely reflect the diversity of their constituents—not just in terms of party, but in terms of ethnicity, religion, and yes, gender, as well? One way to make sure our elected officials reflect our community is to get out and vote. Midterm elections are largely local elections. That means we are voting on people and amendments that directly affect our community. These people will decide how your money is spent, how safe your roads are, how your children are taught and what amenities your municipality might offer its residents. The list goes on. This is your community—get involved, pick a candidate and help make it a community you want to live in. It doesn’t matter to me who you vote for—just vote.

come from a variety of political backgrounds, experience levels and perspectives, but they are all focused on working to make our communities better and stronger. So, take a minute to read their responses and see if any of them resonate with you. Also in this issue, we take a look at local women’s sports teams—the folks at the University of West Florida and Pensacola State College are doing great things to shape the next generation of female athletes and leaders. Heidi Travis also has a very interesting conversation with renowned psychic medium James Van Praagh, who will be appearing at Skopelos on July 20. We also have plenty of information on a number of exciting events coming up in July, including an Andy Warhol exhibit at the Pensacola Museum of Art, Seville Quarter’s Running of the Bulls, and of course, everyone’s favorite—the Blue Angels Beach Show! Be sure to wear sunscreen and hydrate, folks. It’s mighty hot out there!

In this issue we interviewed 15 women running for local, state and national offices. These women

Kelly Oden Executive Editor


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Five tips to survive Blue Angel weekend.

Take a tour of the world’s best wine making regions all in one night at Skopelo’s.

Channel Andy Warhol at the Pensacola Museum of Art’s exhibit and makerspace.

GET INTO THE SPIRIT 21 WITH JAMES VAN PRAAGH James Van Praagh lifts the veil on life, death, love and Benjamin Franklin.


The Pensacola Roller Gurlz lead the charge for charity.




PSC and UWF lead the way in women athletics in Pensacola and develop the leaders of tomorrow.



Pensacola Magazine speaks with 15 women running for local office.

In Every Issue Editor’s Letter 6 Page 10 10 Pensacola Scene 12 Play/Live/Give 41 Our Storied Past 44

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Special Sections Business Climate On the Market

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On the cover:

Photo by Guy Stevens Back Row left to right: Sherri Myers, Gloria Horning, Jennifer Zimmerman, Carol Boston, Vikki Garrett Front Row left to right: Ann Hill, Tammy Jo Brown, Lois Benson, Marjorie White

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JULY 2018 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 Bara’ah Jaraiseh Baraah@ballingerpublishing.com Editor Will Isern will@ballingerpublishing.com Assistant Editor Kaitlyn Peacock Kaitlyn@ballingerpublishing.com Contributing Writers DeeDee Davis Heidi Travis Sales & Marketing Paula Rode, Account Executive ext. 28 paula@ballingerpublishing.com Geneva Strange, Account Executive ext. 21 geneva@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. © 2018

PAGE 10 with DeeDee Davis

Campaign season is upon us and we all know what that means. Television filled with hateful, twisted ads. Signs stuck in every patch of dirt. Flyers under your windshield if you leave your car for more than 10 minutes. Yes, this is all part of what goes with democracy. Thank goodness people are willing to put themselves out there to be candidates for public office. This is a job application with grueling side effects, most of which the supporting spouses and kids never saw coming. National and State campaigns dominate the airwaves, but local elections undoubtedly dominate our lives. These involve issues that we deal with daily, like public safety and parks and garbage collection. As we head hardcore into the season, I can’t help but reflect on one of the most important local elections we had in recent years. Eight years after Ashton Hayward was first elected people are quick to hand out report cards. It’s hard to even grasp the significance of what actually happened, as it was far more than just the passing of a gavel. Hear me out when I say he is right up there in my book with Don Tristan de Luna and Andrew Jackson, when it comes to people who have revolutionized Pensacola. For the naysayers who grumbled that Ashton was too young, too successful, too boastful, too inexperienced, and he doesn’t wear socks, consider the following. Don Tristan de Luna was 40 years old when he first sailed into Pensacola Bay. He was a rich, ambitious conquistador who 10 Pensacola Magazine

Andrew Jackson was no Francis of Assisi either. He was 47 when he easily captured Pensacola from the British. History has edited out much of the negative about the fiery, highhanded, boisterous Jackson because we rather like the results so we have forgiven the methods. Undoubtedly he is responsible for delivering Florida to the United States. Never mind that he moved an entire Indian nation westward into a reservation system that still plagues wanted to make a mark on the world. He us today. So what if he publicly executed a could have spent his days and his money couple of Brits who supposedly “advised” sipping mojitos in Cuba, but he took a the Indians. His craving for absolute chance with his appointment as expedition authority antagonized most political leader to Florida. He had several things leaders but whom did they call on when going for him, not the least of which they needed the job done? As president was that he was well financed by the he was a skillful diplomat but certainly government and he was loaded with the did not mind the tough fights. He became resources to make for a successful mission. the first strong governor of Pensacola but He planned to colonize and convert a few quit in disgust after a few months because Indians to Christianity and declare the he didn’t feel that he got the support he new world for Spain. This achieved, he needed from Washington. Imagine that. would be a hero, beloved by all. Well, he He was one of the first Presidents to be ran into a few problems and also made really “inclusive” as evidenced by the several bad decisions. He ordered the masses of commoners who flocked to food and provisions to remain on the his inauguration and trampled all over ships while the settlement began and, of the White House furniture trying to get course, the rest is history. The hurricane a glimpse of their hero. He was also the blew away the ships and consequently, the first President who faced an assassination food, and then to make matters worse, his attempt as a deranged, unemployed men mutinied. The natives were hostile, advertising executive (or maybe it was a the bugs were horrendous, provisions were housepainter) misfired on him. gone and his people considered him an incompetent leader. He felt that he had There have been many who left their no choice so he gave up and went back to positive mark on this city, and few of serve as governor of Yucatan for the rest these people were perfect or unblemished. of his days. He never even knew how he These people shared love of adventure and changed history by giving paternity to possessed unbridled determination that Pensacola history. Only in hindsight is was far stronger than any fear we usually his courage, ambition and determination associate with incredible risk. I knew appreciated. plenty of people who tried to talk Ashton Hayward out of entering the race to be

Pensacola’s first strong mayor. But he knew running was the right thing to do and had the confidence to tackle the challenge. He embraced the new charter and entered the battle holding it high like a conquistador’s shield. He overcame a cadre of obstacles and actually turned most of the negatives into positives. He maintained his dignity and honor through it all and did not resort to old school dirty tactics. And in winning the prize, he began the immense task of loosening the stranglehold of those who have held this city back, many because of their own personal greed and self-interest. Did he make mistakes? Absolutely. And there have been plenty of people to let him hear about it. Show me one elected official who didn’t make someone angry at some point and I will show you a politician who took a stand for absolutely nothing. Look around the city and see the improvements and the positive growth we have experienced under his watch. Was it all him? Of course not. It took the right team of political leaders, community activists, investors and businesses to do it. I don’t have the talent to draw political cartoons to express my views. I don’t have the money to control an election. But my mother did teach me the importance of gratitude and the fact that it doesn’t take a whole lot to simply say thank you. So, in the closing days of another chapter in Pensacola history, I will say thank you to Mayor Hayward and his beautiful family for all they did and tried to do to make this community a better place in which to live. Well done.

July Birthdays 6 13 16 26 27 28 31 31

Sarah Davis Mark Proctor Bobby Likis Cameron Cauley Cate Merrill Robby Boothe Ken Ellzey David Bonnell

Pensacola Scene Grand Opening Ceremony for the Chappie James Museum


2 5 3 4


1. Cliff Curtis, President of the Gen. Daniel “Chappie� James Flight Academy 2. Dana James and Cecil Hunter 3. Sue Straughn and Tom Quinlan 4. Eurydice and Christian Stanley 5. Mamie Webb Hixon 6. Brian Spencer and Bill Johnson

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Media preview and christening of the new ferries, Turtle Runner and Pelican Perch

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1. City Councilman P.C. Wu and his wife, Judi 2. National Park Service interns Magdelena Lanczewski, Rachel Halterman and Tyler Bird with Pensacola Mayor, Ashton Hayward 3. Pensacola Magazine Executive Editor Kelly Oden with Mary Crosby 4. Escambia County Commissioner Grover Robinson.

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Braving the Blues:

Five Tips to Survive Blue Angel Weekend

Practices July 3, 5, 6, 17, 18 & 24 Dress Rehearsal July 13 Pensacola Beach Air Show July 14

While the Blue Angels Air show never fails to thrill, it is not for the faint of heart. First timers may be in for a few surprises aside from the Blues’ death-defying aeronautic feats. Venturing out to the crowded Pensacola Beach can be as harrowing as it is enchanting and if you want to survive, there are a few things you need to know. GET THERE EARLY The show may not start until 2 pm, but if you want premium parking and your choice spot to catch the show, you need to get there before 7 am. Make like a homesteader and stake your claim early with your lawn chairs and beach umbrellas because it gets pretty competitive out there. GAS UP The Blue Angels Air Show draws a lot of people which means a lot of traffic. People come and go in droves and it can get pretty congested, particularly on the Pensacola Bay Bridge. Expect to sit in traffic for a long time. Best gas up before heading out to the show and, if you can, carpool. BRING EARPLUGS The Blue Angels Air Show is a sensory experience – the incredible, mid-air acrobatic sights; the smell of the salt in the air; the rumble, roar and scream of the jet engines so close you can feel it in your chest… and your ears. You will most definitely want to consider taking a good pair of earplugs for this. USE SUNSCREEN You’re in for a full day of fun in the sun so protect yourself! Use plenty of sunscreen, wear a hat and find a shady spot to chill out once in a while. Take a dip to cool off in the Gulf waters, but make sure you reapply after. HYDRATE Florida summers are unrelenting. July’s heat and humidity are killer if you don’t prepare and take care. Take plenty of water or sports drinks with you. If you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated, so be sure to drink before you head out and take plenty of sips throughout the day. Pensacola Magazine


Travel the wide world of wine at Skopelos

by Will Isern photos courtesy of Skopelos

If your favorite part of traveling is getting to sample all the best wines and delectable bites the world has to offer, then mark your calendar for Skopelos secondever Wine, Spirit & Food Festival on July 29. Featuring 125 wines from around the world, including France, Italy, Spain, Australia and New Zealand, the Wine, Spirit & Food festival will offer guests the opportunity to taste and purchase wines from the world’s premier wine-making countries. For those in search of something a little stronger, a selection of sake, whiskey and tequila will also be available. Taste something you like and you’ll have the opportunity to buy a bottle at a special rate. The chefs at Skopelos will also prepare gourmet bites from around the world, each presented alongside wines from the same countries.

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“We have little flags set up to represent which countries you’re visiting,” said Skopelos public relations manager Arianne Pearce. “You kind of feel like you’re diving into these different places and there’s people there telling you about the different wines and how the grapes were grown. It’s a lot of fun.” Tickets to the festival are all-inclusive and cost $55 until July 28. Tickets will cost $65 the day of the event. A portion of the proceeds from the festival will go to benefit the Veterans Memorial Park Foundation, which works to maintain and improve the Veterans Memorial Park and Wall South monuments along Bayfront Parkway. Last year’s event drew more than 400 attendees and event planners are expecting an even larger crowd this year. The festival will be held inside the Skopelos at New World Landing ballroom and will feature a live jazz

band and raffle drawings with prizes like gift cards and apparel from local businesses. Pearce said last year’s festival became a great networking opportunity as attendees moved from table to table sampling new and interesting wines and dishes. “We saw a great social gathering last year with people roaming around the room, trying different things and introducing themselves to one another,” she said. “Not everybody loves one thing, so we want there to be something for everybody. So that’s what we tried to do, and it was an incredible turnout.” Tickets to the Skopelos Wine, Spirit & Food Festival can be purchased at Skopelos at New World, by calling 432-6565, or online at skopelosfest2018.eventbrite.com. All guests must be 21 years of age or older with valid identification.


andy warhol my th/maker

Cow Wallpaper (Pink on Yellow), 1966. Reprint 1994. Screen print on wallpaper. The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh

by Heidi Travis


or decades Andy Warhol’s unique sense of art and zest for life have intrigued avid and casual art lovers alike. He spearheaded the Pop Art movement in the early 1960s using every day items as the inspiration and subjects of his works. He revolutionized the art scene and quickly grew in international acclaim. Warhol’s iconic flashy, colorful style remains popular today and is often mimicked by many commercial artists in paintings, prints, advertisements and even T-shirts. Well now you and your kids have the opportunity to try your hands at creating your very own Andy Warhol inspired pop art at the Pensacola Museum of Art. From June 29 to September 2, The Pensacola Museum of Art will be hosting the “Andy Warhol: Myth/ Maker” exhibition. This exhibition will feature a number of Warhol’s works and offers visitors a chance to engage with an interactive makerspace, which includes an area for costumes, reading and silkscreen printing stations where you can design your own Warholesque creations.

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“The Pensacola Museum of Art is excited to host this dynamic and rich exhibition organized by two top tier museums and designed for visitors of all ages,” said Amy Bowman-McElhone, assistant vice president of the UWF Historic Trust Museums and the director and chief curator of the Pensacola Museum of Art in a press release. “The exhibition examines Warhol’s playful aesthetic rooted in pop cultural ephemera and the myth of the artist through original prints, drawings, objects and archival materials.” The exhibit is organized by The Andy Warhol Museum and the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and has already seen great success. It has really resonated with a broad range of visitors and that is due, in part, to the fact that Pop art continues to be relevant in our culture today. “Andy Warhol makes for a wonderful introduction into learning about American art and trying some of his methods and techniques,” said Jose Diaz, Chief Curator at the Andy Warhol Museum. “His use of popular culture as subject matter was quite controversial at the time but

audiences quickly identified with the content, for example, a Campbell’s soup can painting. It was ordinary, recognizable, and challenged the rules of art.”

Neuschwanstein, 1987 screen print on Arches 88 paper 33 1/2/x23 1/2 in. The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. 1998.1.2496

“In today’s age most American’s, especially our youth, are creative and artistic, just look at what can be made with technology and

then shared to larger audiences. We wanted to emphasize this by partnering with the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh to present Warhol’s work and the techniques and practices that took place in his studio,“ said Diaz. According to Diaz, Warhol’s use of relatable figures in his works also contributes to his widespread appeal. This exhibition will showcase several of Warhol’s most recognizable works from his Myths series including Uncle Sam, Superman, and Mickey Mouse. “These works are included in the show and will encourage visitors of all ages to think about contemporary culture and their own creativity,” said Diaz. The Pensacola Museum of Art is located at 407 S. Jefferson St. in historic downtown Pensacola and is open Tuesday through Thursday from 10 am until 5 pm and Friday and Saturday from 10 am until 7 pm. If you’d like more information about the Pensacola Museum of Art, or about “Andy Warhol: Myth/ Maker,” please call 432-6247 or visit www.pensacolamuseum.org.

Pensacola Magazine


Get into the spirit with

James Van Pr aagh by Heidi Travis

What happens when we die? Is there life after death? If there is, where do we go? These mysteries have plagued humankind since the beginning of time and while theories abound, no one can offer definitive answers or definitive proof. We look to nature, lean on faith and wing it the best that we can but still, the question remains. Every so often a person comes along who has the ability to pull back the veil of mystery just a bit and offer us a teensy little peek into that burning, existential conundrum that is the great beyond. Today, that person is the worldrenown evidential psychic medium James Van Praagh. Van Praagh, who has been a practicing medium for over 30 years, has also written a number of best selling books such as, Talking to Heaven, Ghosts Among Us and Healing Grief. Additionally, he co-executive produced NBC’s “The First of all, what exactly does it mean to be a medium? What do you do? Let me put it this way. Every single person on Earth is psychic, but not everybody is a medium—but every medium is a psychic. Not every psychic is a medium which means that everybody is born with intuition, but a medium is someone who has keen intuition and also is able to turn up their mind’s energetic level to a higher level of vibration—a frequency—and enter into a bridge between a higher dimension which is the spirit world and a lower dimension which is the physical world. That bridge is kind of a mental vibration that the medium is then able to receive evidential

messages—the many detailed events that only the person in the physical world would know and the person in the spiritual world would know. So the medium is someone who is in the in-between. That’s why it’s called “medium”—in the middle—between the spirit world and the earth world. The messenger, if you will. When you receive these messages, you don’t hear words, or do you? No. You receive impressions and what the spirit is actually doing is communicating from their mind because the brain dies a physical death, but our minds continue on. The mind is part of the soul. So the spirit person will lower their vibrations down to the physical

Ghost Whisperer” and has made a number of television appearances on programs like 20/20, A&E Biography, and Oprah. Next month locals will have two opportunities to meet Van Praagh at special events held in the area: “An Evening of Spirit with World Renowned Psychic James Van Praagh” at Skopelos at New World Landing, and at the New Horizon’s Navarre Annual Psychic and Healing Arts Fair where he will offer a Psychic and Mediumship Intensive Workshop. I was lucky enough to catch a break in Van Praagh’s incredibly busy schedule and had a phone chat with him before the festivities. He was very kind and generous with his time which was a very good thing considering that I had an inordinate amount of questions to ask him. Van Praagh did not disappoint. level around the medium and then telepathically send these thoughts to the medium’s mind. So then, thoughts, impressions, emotions, memories come through and I’m able to receive those impressions.

And when you are not working, you close off. You turn off that awareness. If someone doesn’t do that and they’re open all the time, you can imagine that their adrenal system would get messed up after a while.

When you receive these communications, is this something that you have to tune into or can it interrupt your day? Is it something that is always on? It’s something that if you are a properly trained medium, which I am, you have to tune into. You have to open yourself up and tune into that higher level, if you will, of awareness. For me, I turn on like a radio. I tune into the station and that is how a well-trained medium works.

Is there a “shelf life” for the people that you could communicate with? Would they have to have been recently deceased or can you commune with spirits of bygone eras? That’s interesting because there is no time in the spirit world. Time is only relative in the three dimensional world. So the medium should not be limited by time, although, I will say the spirit person might find it a little harder in some respects the longer it Pensacola Magazine


James Van Pr aagh is because their mindset is not close to the Earth as it was when they first crossed over. It’s just like asking you if you could tell me who the person sitting in front of you in homeroom in eighth grade was. You’d have a hard time because that was a long time ago. So it’s kind of like that. It’s easier the closer they are to Earth, and it’s harder the longer they’ve been away although it can happen. Have you ever had an experience like that? Yes. Ben Franklin came through to me. Abraham Lincoln’s come through to me. I’ve had some old entertainers in the 1800s come through to me. What kind of communications do they offer? More philosophical communications about community, about using love instead of fear. Letting people believe in themselves instead of looking to other people—More philosophical or inspired types of things. Do you have a sense that the spirits are trying to communicate with the physical world all the time? No, no honey it’s more like that love that connects us. Do you remember the movie “Ghost?” It’s just like that. They have this longing to tell someone who is still alive that they love them. They’ll do anything possible to get that message across that they love them. That they’re still alive. That’s really the motivation. It’s not just haphazardly. It’s a direct line. And also they want to let their loved ones know that they’re okay. That they’re not dead. So it is overwhelmingly positive. Oh gosh, yeah! It’s a mostly positive feeling. I would say “healing” is the word. A lot of people have this belief that dreams are a blurred space between the corporeal and ethereal worlds. Do you find that to be true? And if so, what is it about the dream state in particular that facilitates that state? The number one way to communicate is the dream state. At night, our souls leave our bodies to go to the spirit world and we see our loved ones and our guides and become aware of events in the future that we are going to go through.

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“If someone is willing to change their par adigm, their way of thinking, and have an open mind then they can really live life fully. They can go through all the changes of life and all the experiences of life.” Everyone has crossovers. You’re out of your conscious mind so there’s no way to control it. You’re at another level of consciousness where you are closer to them. It’s a little bit easier. When you get back down to the level of the Earth it becomes harder because, again, you’re trying to get back into that control in the physical world. It’s a very different vibration. It’s very interesting because people do have this idea that only a select few have this ability, but like with anything, you can have more of an aptitude towards it or an openness to it? Ding ding ding ding ding! Exactly right. Everyone has the ability to play piano but not everybody is a concert pianist. And there are some who definitely have more of an aptitude towards it. From what I understand, you started having these experiences quite young.

Oh yes, I was six years old when I had my first experience. I told my teacher that her son was hit by a car but that he was going to be alright. She freaked out and said, “Get back to your seat.” A couple of minutes later the principal came to get her and told her the same thing. The lady brought me up to the room and asked, “How did you know that?” and I just started crying because I thought I created it because of the thought. Then she said something like, “God gives people different gifts that they can use to help people.”

have to instill fear into it in order to follow a religion, that to me is not correct. So my religion is love, that’s it. I found that my time in a Catholic background was probably a past life. I probably spent some time in the church. I’m sure I’ve been in the religious world many lifetimes. It helped me to get a sense, definitely, of my spirituality without a doubt. But it was that pureness of religion. It wasn’t that man-made religion. It was the pureness of love. I never believed in the devil. I just only ever believed in, I guess you’d say, energy.

You were raised Roman Catholic, right? How did these experiences you had growing up inform your perspective on organized religion? I was someone who believed that all religions are true and no religions are all true. I think if we lived our lives based on the tenants of the religion and not the manpower and not bring the bias into man’s belief or bring fear into it, that’d be great. That they

From your experiences, what have you been able to learn about what happens when we cross over? You know, the cool thing is that the people in the spirit world tell the people in the human world don’t take it all so seriously, because it’s not the real world. The spirit world is the real world. This whole school here—and this is one of millions of schools—there are planets and star

James’ nationally syndicated daily talk show called “Beyond with James Van Praagh” 2002–2003

systems—and a lot more, really, than just our satellite. There are thousands and hundreds of thousands of spaces and places, but I do believe the spirit world is home. No one ever dies alone. Everyone—our families and friends come to greet you to help you to the other side. Think of it as a homecoming. They’re looking so forward to seeing you that they’re preparing and waiting for you. No one ever dies alone. Reincarnation? That’s so interesting. I believe, sweetheart, that the body is kind of like the big toe to the soul. Only 20% of the soul is in the body. Let’s say 80%—And I’m using these proportions though they may not be correct but you get the idea—the other 80% is outside of the body so there’s more going on in those higher realms and dimensions than we really know about. So our physical traits of the three dimensional world might not be the same in a fourth or fifth or sixth dimension. So we could be living several lives at one time, doing all sorts of different things at the same time. They’re on planets and spaces and places all at the same time that our human self is living on this world.

That’s interesting because you did mention that time is only really relevant here. Right, so you could be living your past and your future lives all at the same time that you’re living this life. I don’t know enough about quantum physics but I would say that the thought that you create here can affect your past and your future. People really want to believe but there’s a danger in that. People who are hurting and vulnerable may look to the wrong people for support. So, tell me, how do you spot a fake? Sure! I have on my website different things you should look for when meeting a medium. Number one, always go by a reference. Don’t just go by somebody’s shingle hanging in a window. Be very mindful of what they are charging for the cause. Is it in balance with the energy they are giving you or is it outrageous? If it is outrageous leave the room. And thirdly, ask for five pieces of evidential information that you know that it’s them, that no one else would know this. That they give you at least five pieces of information in the beginning so that you know it’s them. If they don’t give you that, you get up and you leave the room. I

mean, if it’s generalities like, “There’s a lady behind you and she loves you” then you leave the room. Anyone could say that. But they have to take responsibility about acquiring someone with a reputation. Okay, so what would you say to skeptics? If someone is willing to change their paradigm, their way of thinking, and have an open mind then they can really live life fully. They can go through all the changes of life and all the experiences of life. But if somebody has a closed mind, and then becomes a cynic then their minds are already made up and then there isn’t any growth whatsoever. I mean, I was a skeptical person before I started to grow as an openminded skeptic. I think that’s the best way to be. I think with those are the best type to be—be an open-minded skeptic. Those make the best audiences too. I’d rather have them than people who sit on every freaking word I give out. That’s like, “Um, no.” Your work is already incredibly special, but tell me, have there been any specific encounters or moments that stand out as being

particularly special to you? Yes, several of them. But one I keep remembering—It happened about two years ago in Maui in Hawaii and I was on stage and a three-year-old spirit girl was jumping up and down next to me and she said, “I wanna talk to my mommy and daddy in the back.” So I said, “I’ve got a little girl here, mommy and daddy are in the back.” And this couple stood up and I said, “She said it’s her birthday today.” They said,”Yes, it’s her birthday.” And she screamed out at them saying thank you for being there for her birthday. And I said, “Daddy, she said thank you for her birthday present. She loves her angel wings.” And I swear to God this guy—big dude—turns around, takes off his T-shirt and on his back he had tattooed two big angel wings. So that’s the kind of stuff that comes in. Heavy duty, emotional, loving information comes through and the whole audience was crying. Everyone was. I think I had to stop the show after that. It was too much! Man it was a lot. Okay! One last question. After all of these years, are you still surprised by anything? Oh every day! Every moment! Every time I do this it’s a miracle. And the day I stop seeing the miracle, I stop doing the work. I’m so amazed every time I do it. Every time I step on stage. I talk about it after the show all the time. It’s incredible!

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Women Athletes to Community Leaders P By Kaitlyn Peacock

ensacola has its sports darlings, the Blue Wahoos, the Ice Flyers and more recently the UWF Argonauts, but men are not the only ones leading the way in sports. Both the University of West Florida and Pensacola State College lead the way for women’s sports in Pensacola, and they represent the city just as well as the professional teams. In 2012 alone, UWF’s women’s soccer team won the NCAA Division II Championship and PSC’s women’s basketball won the FCSAA/NJCAA Region VIII Championship, both major wins for the local schools. “We’ve been in the forefront of women’s athletics since 1980,” PSC Athletic Director Bill Hamilton said. “Especially here, in Pensacola.” Along with previous wins and awards, both schools had teams advance to their respective championships in 2017, but

lost their matches. Even so, the continued representation of Pensacola at the regional, state and nation-wide championships speaks to the quality and commitment of the school teams. UWF has an impressive array of women’s sports, from their team sports like soccer and basketball, to

individual sports like swimming, diving, tennis and many others. Meanwhile, PSC has five sports team, three of which are women’s sports; basketball, softball and volleyball. The ratio of women to men’s sports, three to two, is a unique feature of the school, one that Hamilton was proud to bring attention to and has previously been praised by Title IX officials. Although the athletes are among some of the best in their sports, there is an additional layer to their workload: education. “There’s a three part emphasis that the NCAA puts on division two schools, from athletic competition, to classroom performance, then community service,” UWF Director of Athletic Communications Brian Henry said. “So in all of our programs, we want to graduate our student

athletes, we want to impact the community through community service and then we want to be strong in the athletic fields, because we are still trying to win games and competitions.” The women who participate in the athletic programs must learn to balance school, sports and community outreach, as well as any additional activities they are involved with, which may include sororities, clubs or simply maintaining a social life. This balance mirrors the “third shift” that women in society often face, which is the expectation that women work on domestic tasks after spending the day at their jobs. Pressure from school and sports, just like work and home, can be difficult for students to manage. However, UWF’s Women’s Basketball Coach Stephanie Yelton Pensacola Magazine


has a simple coaching philosophy that she tries to instill in all her athletes: “We want our (student athletes) to have a championship mentality for their overall life,” she said. And, along with being champions, Yelton likes to remind them to enjoy their time. “I tell our recruits and athletes, you only get to be a student athlete one time,” she said. “I may be

world, or even create strong bonds in the local community. “The mission is to get them to move on,” Hamilton said. “This cannot be the destination, because if it is, (the student athletes) have picked the wrong place.” Being a leader and mentor to her athletes was very important, Yelton stressed. Creating trust and being transparent were her ways of getting the students to pay attention and

“You have to be transparent,” she said. “That is our biggest way of helping someone in their life, to let them into your life… Be who you are, but be transparent about who you are. You have to be genuine and honest.” coaching for twenty to thirty more years, but this is their time.” The colleges also provide a unique environment for women to grow and learn in a changing society. In the wake of #MeToo and other womenempowering social movements, the next generation of women are stepping into a world different from one just a few years ago. The sports teams of both schools help to develop women who will soon become leaders in the changing community. “The children who get to meet some of our athletes, whether they know if they’re an All-American or a National Champion or the last person on the bench, I don’t think that really matters,” Henry said. “They just like to be able to spend time with them and most of our athletes are usually just really open and engaging. When I’ve been on visits around the community with different teams, it opens my eyes a little more to think that, yeah, these are role models for youth in the area.” The development and growth of the students, along with winning games and championships, remains a top priority for the schools. College has always been a major transitional period for students, a place where everyone can stretch their wings and prepare themselves for the wider

28 Pensacola Magazine

really learn from her, to help her be a better mentor. “You have to be transparent,” she said. “That is our biggest way of helping someone in their life, to let them into your life… Be who you are, but be transparent about who you are. You have to be genuine and honest.” While the students grow and learn, the staff who train them, work with them, watch them grow, have a sense of pride in seeing the leaders coming from their own schools. “Just the way they represent the university,” Henry said. “When we’ve hosted our Hall of Fame banquet, or even when we have our end of the season student athletedonor dinner awards banquet, you’re so used to seeing them at practices, at games and doing interviews and then to see how they go on in their professional lives and become leaders in their communities … that’s the most enjoyable thing. To see how they mature.” When all is said and done though, Yelton had a very simple and perhaps overlooked philosophy when it comes to athletes, women or men, that can be followed anywhere, no matter who you are. “When one coach or team wins, we all win,” she said.

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The candidates Local Women Seek Change Through the Ballot Box


cross the nation, record numbers of women are running for public office—from big league house and senate seats to local city councils and school boards. As goes the nation, so goes our local candidate field. Escambia and Santa Rosa are also seeing a record number of women running for elected office. These women run the gamut in terms of political affiliation and experience. Some are first time candidates while others are seasoned professional politicians, but they all have a couple of things in common—a passion for their community and a desire to effect positive change within it. Women make up approximately 53 percent of registered voters in Escambia County, yet they are only fractionally represented in elected positions. The numbers are even more startling on a national level (see page 31). While we realize that gender should not overshadow passion, policy or platform in terms of earning your vote in November, neither should it be a barrier to running for and being elected to, public office. Diversity in most endeavors enhances the outcome and a diverse pool of elected representatives—one that reflects our own diverse communities and nation—would help to better serve every citizen regardless of party, gender, ethnicity or religion.

30 Pensacola Magazine

By Kelly Oden

Escambia County supervisor of elections, David Stafford says he has seen an uptick in the number of women interested in running for office as well as an increased interest in voting issues in general. Stafford says this might suggest that we could see record voting numbers for a midterm election, but explains that you never know what voter turnout will look like until it’s actually happening. For our annual women’s issue of Pensacola Magazine, we’ve asked many of the local women running for office to briefly explain their experience, motivations and platforms so that voters can see for themselves what these candidates bring to the table. If you connect to what any of them have to say, visit their websites or attend a campaign meeting to learn more. Keep an eye out for our complete local election coverage in the September issue of Northwest Florida’s Business Climate Magazine. Editor’s note: Candidates responded to questions via email and we have printed the responses in their entirety without editing. Some candidates did not reply and some qualified past our editorial deadline. A complete list of local female candidates is available on page 31.

Women in Politics Local Candidates United States House of Representatives U.S. Representative, District 1 • Jennifer Zimmerman — Democrat Escambia County Florida State House, District 1 • Rebekah Bydlak — Republican • Lisa Doss — Republican • Vikki Garrett — Democrat • Franscine Cecilia Mathis — Democrat Escambia County Commission, District 4 • Leigh Bell — write-in


Escambia School Board, District 3 • Laura Edler • (i) Lee Hansen

Santa Rosa County Florida State House, District 3 • Bobbi Sue Osborne — No party affiliation

ECUA District 2 • (i) Lois Benson — Republican • Gloria Horning — Democrat

Santa Rosa County Commission, District 2 • Tammy Jo Brown — Republican • Wallis Mahute — Republican

Escambia County Court Judge, Group 2 • (i) Joyce Williams Escambia County Court Judge, Group 4 • (i) Amy Brodersen

Pensacola City Council, District 2 • (i) Sherri Myers

Escambia County Court Judge, Group 5 • (i) Kerra Smith

Pensacola City Council, District 6 • Ann Hill

Century Town Council, Seat 4 • Mary Bourgeois

Escambia School Board, District 1 • Marjorie White

Century Town Council, Seat 5 • (i) Sandra McMurray-Jackson

Santa Rosa County School Board, District 1 • Linda Sanborn Santa Rosa County School Board, District 3 • (i) Carol Boston Santa Rosa County School Board, District 5 • Wei Ueberschaer Circuit Court Judges (All Unopposed) • Darlene Dicky • Lacy Powell Clark • Mary Polson • Linda Nobles

For more information on local elections, visit escambiavotes.com, votesantarosa.com or myflorida.com/elections.

Women in Politics U.S. Overview Current Numbers FEDERAL Cabinet and Cabinet-level Positions – 7 U.S. Supreme Court – 3 CONGRESS—107 (20.0% of 535 seats) U.S. Senate—23 (17D, 6R; 23% of 100 seats) U.S. House—84 (61D, 23R; 19.3% of 435 seats) STATEWIDE EXECUTIVE—72 (23.1% of 312 seats; total includes 6 governors, 12 lt. governors and 54 other statewide elected officials) Governors—6 (2D, 4R; 12% of 50) Lt. Governors—12 (5D, 7R; 28% of 43) Other—54 (21D, 32R, 1NP; 24.7% of 219)

STATE LEGISLATURE – 1,876 (1,144D, 705R, 14NP, 7I, 5P, 1WFP; 25.4% of 7,383 seats) State Senate—449 (259D, 174R, 14NP, 2I; 22.8% of 1,972 seats) State House/Assembly--1,427 (885D, 531R, 5I, 5Prg, 1WFP; 26.4% of 5,411 seats) LOCAL Mayors – (Cities over 30,000)—297 (21.8% of 1,365 seats) Mayors – (100 Largest Cities)—20 (20% of 100 seats)

Sources: Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University: cawp.rutgers.edu/current-numbers Pensacola Magazine


The candidates Dr. Laura Dortch Edler

Escambia County School District 3

Tell me a little about your background and qualifications. Member: St. Joseph Catholic Church. Grew up in the Tanyard area. Attended St. Joseph Elementary School. Graduated B.T. Washington High School. Licensed Practical Nurse, Bachelor and Master degree in Social Work. Educational specialist DegreeCurriculum & Instruction; Doctorate Degree: Education Curriculum & Instruction: Educational management. Currently Assistant Professor, UWF Department of social Work. Lived in District 3 most of my life. One biological son, adopted 4

nieces/2 nephews during my early 20s. Two youngest children special needs; the youngest spinal bifida & paraplegic. Since 7th grade, I have always worked full time, parented these children (and many more) and obtained my education with honors. I have worked with children in various areas. I developed and implement the Medical Foster Care Program in District One. I worked with a committee to develop statewide policies and procedures for the Medical foster Care Programs across the State of Florida. Why did you decide to run for public office? Because of my passion for children and education. Mostly because I experienced firsthand disappointment with the lack of partnership that I encountered as a caregiver advocating for a young man struggling. My thoughts, If I am treated this way, what about other parents? I believe as a

citizen of this community I have a responsibility to the next generation. I believe that serving on the school board in the decision making process would be a way to bring about a change.

Concrete strategies: Professionalism, collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving and decision making in the best interest of children with consideration for all stakeholders.

What do you see as the two most important issues facing the Escambia County School System and District Three? For each of these issues, what are your concrete strategies to resolve them? Two most important issues: 1. Student: dropout, suspensions, expulsions and pipeline to prison 2. Leadership: Transparency, qualified teachers, traditional policies and procedures While the school system may have made some changes, we can always do better! We still have children walking the streets when they should be sitting at a desk and children behind bars when they should be in a classroom. I want to be a “change agent!”

Why should voters choose you over your opponent(s) on Election Day? Because of my genuine commitment to the children of this community and my passion for education. My background is so similar to many of the children today. I understand their challenges and the barriers they face. I am courageous enough to stand up and speak out against injustices and unfairness. I am honest and will not make undeliverable promises. I will maintain community engagement. I will attend meetings well prepared for the conversations. I would hope that the voters will consider my complete profile, life experiences, education and skills.

Lee Hallmark Hansen

Escambia County School District 3 about other countries and cultures. During my tenure as Director, my teachers and I taught more than 67,000 students. In December, 2017, I was appointed to the School Board after my predecessor’s resignation.

Tell me a little about your background and qualifications. I earned a BS in Early Childhood Education from FSU and taught in public schools in Georgia and Florida. I joined the Navy and served in education, analysis, and leadership positions throughout my 26-year career. I was the first woman to command an Air Wing in the Navy (Training Air Wing Six at NAS Pensacola). I earned subspecialties in Education & Training, and Strategic Planning. Upon retiring, I started a Pensacolabased non-profit organization, The Global Corner, to teach children

32 Pensacola Magazine

Why did you decide to run for public office? After being appointed to the School Board position, I realized just how much of a difference I can make in the future of our schools – and, therefore, in the future of our community. For me, the position is not a stepping stone to higher political office, it is my passion. I am the right person for the job given my qualifications, experience, vision, and energy. What do you see as the two most important issues facing the Escambia County School System and District Three? For

each of these issues, what are your concrete strategies to resolve them? 1. Uneven Academic Success. While we have pockets of amazing academic success, we still have areas that need a lot of work. It’s time that we all understand that the academic outcomes of District 3 Schools impact us all. This is really an all-hands effort. I want to: • Leverage the early childhood work of the Studer Community Institute and Achieve Escambia so that all our children arrive ready for Kindergarten. • Engage parents, guardians, and community members so that they understand the power they have in their student’s education. • Reward our best teachers. • Show the true cost of not having all students graduate with useful knowledge and skills that will benefit our community. 2. The trades. For years we have

told kids that they must go to college to be successful. It’s just not true – not for every student. I believe in the trades. I believe in apprenticeships. We can provide a quality education for all students – we just need to understand that we don’t all have the same gifts. I will work for more career academies and for apprenticeships for high school students. Why should voters choose you over your opponent(s) on Election Day? I am the most qualified candidate with a long-term vision and the passion for improving education. I have educational experience in a variety of settings and the motivation and skill to make significant improvements.


Gloria Horning ECUA, District 2

Tell me a little about your background and qualifications. My career includes 12 years in broadcast journalism as a news producer and managing news and commercial budgets; 15 years in academia – teaching hands-on broadcast journalism, documentaries, writing peerreviewed articles on media and reports on pollution impacts on disenfranchised communities; and managing multi-million dollar international grants focusing on health education in West Africa. My Ph.D. degree is from Florida State University’s College of Information Sciences. I relocated to Pensacola following the BP oil disaster as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer in

Service to America) to serve as the Public Information and Education Coordinator for BRACE (Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies). I continue to serve communities with outreach educational programs with a focus on flooding, storms, landfills, and sewer overflows. I am serving as lead liaison of those impacts on communities with national organizations including the Flood Forum USA, Thriving Earth Exchange, American Geophysical Union, and The Public Lab Foundation. Additionally, I serve on the City of Pensacola’s Environmental Advisor Board, and I am the chair of the NAACP Environment and Climate Change Board. Why did you decide to run for public office? I have spent countless hours attending state, county, city, ECUA, and neighborhood association meetings watching as government officials have repeatedly failed to act

on regulatory infractions that impact our water, soil, and air. As a member of ECUA board, I will work to promote information exchange among regulatory agencies and evaluate alternatives, identify priorities, and communicate potential impacts on stakeholders.

responses to environmental issues we face in Escambia County, including but not limited to drainage, sewer waste, water quality, and recycling. Strategy: Team with advisory panels of public, private and non-profit organizations to determine how well each problem is being addressed.

What do you see as the two most important issues facing the ECUA and its customers? For each of these issues, what are your concrete strategies to resolve them? 1. The development of costreduction programs for septic tank removal, new sewer and water tap-ins, and water conservation. We need to increase green space and pervious pavement to deal with storm water runoff – the number one polluter of our bay and waterways. Strategy: Development of incentive grants, discounts, and low cost loans for our consumers. 2. Organize public, private, and nonprofit leaders to bring best new practices to the table to accelerate

Why should voters choose you over your opponent(s) on Election Day? Voters can be assured I will be in the forefront of ECUA issues affecting all the communities in District 2 and our county as a whole. I will create and maintain public trust through availability, openness, and results. Input from informed and impacted citizens is critical to advancing smart and sustainable policies. I will confront issues facing our citizens, and work with community representatives to eliminate them for the health and welfare of all neighborhoods.

What do you see as the most critical issues facing the ECUA and its customers? For each of these issues, what are your concrete strategies to resolve them? It’s a problem that communities across America face: how to repair aging and sometimes crumbling infrastructure without unduly burdening family budgets. The plan? To attack it one neighborhood at a time, starting with the oldest neighborhoods where the repairs are more critical. We have to phase this over years to spread the costs over time. We have begun this process. The second priority is to eliminate septic tanks in areas near surface waters. This too is expensive and must be phased on slowly. We have begun doing joint projects with the County. They do stormwater work. We run new sewer lines. It is much more cost effective and means inconveniencing homeowners once rather than twice.

Why should voters choose you over your opponent(s) on Election Day? I believe I have been part of great things, some transformative for the community. However, the most important reason that voters should choose me is that I answer their calls 24/7 (although I do get a little cranky at 3am), and I get things done. Whether it is a missed trash pickup or a billing issue, if it is fixable, I fix it.

Lois Benson

ECUA, District 2 and rates, I know the faces of the people who depend on our services and who pay the bills. I see faces of a widow in Myrtle, a retired enlisted man in Navy Point, a young family buying their first home in Sanders Beach... I am accountable to people of our community.

Tell me a little about your background and qualifications. Since I moved to Pensacola in 1976 with my husband Scott and daughters Holly and Megan, I have immersed myself in our community: running a small business, volunteering in schools and nonprofits, serving on local, state and national boards and holding elective office at the local and state levels. Yes, I have a degree from Emory, Phi Beta Kappa, even, but my most important qualification is this: I have walked door to door in every neighborhood in our county. When I vote on public policy, budgets,

Why did you decide to run for public office? I run because I love this beautiful place and the people who live here and believe I can make a difference. And I have. Moving the stinky sewage plant out of downtown Pensacola (when they said it couldn’t be done), creating a state of the art recycling operation, and developing a composting operation to convert yard debris into mulch. But there is more to be done to make a great place even better.

Pensacola Magazine


The candidates Sherri Myers

Pensacola City Council, District 2

Tell me a little about your background and qualifications. I am a member of the Florida Bar and Kentucky Bar. I have been a member of the Pensacola City Council since 2011. Prior to serving on the City Council, I served on the Escambia-Pensacola Human Relations Commission and the Escambia County Mass Transit Advisory Committee. Why did you decide to run for public office? I want ordinary people, including those who are traditionally marginalized, to have an elected official who really cares about them.

What do you see as the two most important issues facing the City of Pensacola and District Two? (1) There needs to be an appropriate balance of power between the Mayor and the City Council with greater transparency and accountability (2) Adequately funding and improving public safety and law enforcement. District 2. (3) District 2, the city and county’s largest commercial center, is the economic engine of the City of Pensacola, but does not receive an equitable share of city resources and revenue to address critical infrastructure needs, street lighting, parks, recreational facilities, green spaces and restoration of Carpenter’s Creek. (4) Promotion and branding the Uptown District, home to Escambia County’s 3rd largest employer Sacred Heart Health

System, Pensacola State College, a mall that attracts over 3 million visitors a year, an airport, hundreds of restaurants and small local businesses. For each of these issues, what are your concrete strategies to resolve them? This year the council hired its own independent financial strategic budget planner. I will continue to work closely with our budget strategist to insure adequate funds are available for the public safety needs of the city, including the needs of District 2. I work with various entities, including Florida DOT to address the need for critical street lighting along Bayou Ave, Ninth Ave., Airport Blvd., 12th Ave., and Creighton Road. I intend to facilitate a task force of residents and business owners to address traffic and infrastructure

improvements to 9th Ave, including a road diet. I will establish a task force of Uptown District business owners and stakeholders, including Sacred Heart Health Systems and Pensacola State College to address economic development strategies for the Uptown District. Why should voters choose you over your opponent(s) on Election Day? My proven commitment to transparency and accountability in government, my work ethic on the city council, my attendance record, my fairness to all people and my understanding of issues important to all citizens of Pensacola.

Tammy Jo Brown

Santa Rosa County Commission, District 2

Tell me a little about your background and qualifications. I have owned and operated a small, successful business in Santa Rosa County since 1996. I was employed as a deputy clerk for the Santa Rosa County Court for 7 years and recently resigned my position to focus on meeting with citizens of Santa Rosa County. Why did you decide to run for public office? As a small business owner, there have been many hurdles, especially during the recession beginning in 2007. I’ve contacted both the county office and County Commissioners directly for various difficulties and was left with unanswered questions or I was given

34 Pensacola Magazine

another round of numbers to call for help. I also believe incumbents lose perspective with issues because they become comfortable in their position. Over time, incumbents tend to move away from seeking input from a diverse group of constituents and instead look to likeminded individuals. Uncomfortable conversations combined with continued research are vital for growth in our county. Last but not least, a female presence on this board is much needed. What do you see as the two most important issues facing Santa Rosa County and District Two? For each of these issues, what are your concrete strategies to resolve them? Increased skilled trade education and more aggressive advertisement for commercial/industrial buildings and land - I would aid in fostering partnerships between employers

and high schools, trade schools, and colleges to train workers for better paying jobs by providing incentives to employers for apprenticeships or on the job training for entry level work. I would also work to provide grants to employers that use innovative strategies to improve worker performance and pay, such as creating career pathways for workers, profit-sharing, job redesign, or even more stable hours of work. I would work toward assisting industry centers to provide technical assistance to firms who want to upgrade their workers’ skills and productivity. I would commit to working with our County Economic Development Board to focus on and identify how we can successfully market the many available commercial/industrial spaces to attract business and job creation in Santa Rosa County based on incentives and grants. We have an overabundance of space and we

need to make sure that everyone knows that we are open for business and are willing to work to earn that development. Why should voters choose you over your opponent(s) on Election Day? I have been actively involved in Santa Rosa County for 22 years. I have new ideas and perspectives based on many conversations with business owners and constituents in this county. I’ve listened to concerns and many success stories. I’d like to incorporate my research, personal experiences, and what I’ve learned during my time in Santa Rosa County to this board.


Linda Sandborn

Santa Rosa County School Board, District 1

Tell me a little about your background and qualifications. I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish and English and a Master’s Degree in Education. I retired last June after teaching high school Spanish and English for 35 years, mostly at Milton High School. Additionally, I have been co-owner and Vice-President of Adventures Unlimited Outdoor Center for 39 years. I have been married for 46 years to Mike Sanborn. We have three sons and eight grandchildren, six of whom attend Santa Rosa County Schools.

Why did you decide to run for public office? I have wanted to serve on the School Board for many years. Now that I am retired I have the opportunity to do so. My professional training, years of experience as a teacher, commitment to education, and business experience will be an asset to the School Board. My top priority will be to provide quality education to our students by addressing two major issues: ensuring the safety of our schools and making the recruiting and retention of superior teachers a top priority. What do you see as the two most important issues facing Santa Rosa County School District and District One? For each of these issues, what are your concrete strategies to resolve them?

Santa Rosa County Schools has recently hired a director of safety. In addition to supporting his informed and expert advice by making the necessary funds available, we need to insist that all schools are limited to one point of access, provide emergency training to teachers and staff, work to increase in-school SRO’s and issue invitations to all local law enforcement to drop in for breakfast, lunch, or just coffee at any time, thus providing a constant security presence. I plan to look very closely at the School Board budget to find ways that we can better compensate our teachers and staff, just as the independent magistrate indicated last year was financially feasible. Currently there is a fund balance (in other words a savings account) of $24 million, that could be tapped. Santa Rosa County is a wonderful place to live and work.

If our salary and benefits package is comparable to the neighboring counties, we will have no trouble attracting and retaining superior teachers. Why should voters choose you over your opponent(s) on Election Day? I am qualified, experienced and committed to serving on the Santa Rosa County School Board and providing quality education to our students.

Carol Boston

Santa Rosa County School Board, District 3

Tell me a little about your background and qualifications. Before being elected overwhelmingly to School Board, I served on the Santa Rosa County Economic Development Transition Committee and the Santa Rosa County Zoning Board. I have also served as President of the Santa Rosa Women’s Republican Club and Secretary of the Santa Rosa County Republican Executive Committee. I work daily to bring STEAM to Santa Rosa County schools and have served on various school councils and committees. I have a Bachelor of Business Administration Marketing and Business Management (dual major). I have been married to my husband Robert, a retired senior Air Force officer, for 31 years. He works

for The MITRE Corporation. Our son Zak, 27, is a Captain Active Duty USAF, USAFA Alumni; our daughter Sierra, 23, is a Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurse. Both children attended West Navarre Elementary, Woodlawn Beach Middle, and graduated Navarre High School. Why did you decide to run for public office? I was raised with and continue to have a strong sense of civic responsibility. Friends and colleagues that I served with on School Advisory Councils, Santa Rosa County Economic Development Transition Committee, Santa Rosa County Zoning Board, Chambers of Commerce, as Boy Scout Leaders, Scholarship Committees, Booster Clubs, and various other committees and clubs encouraged my advance my civic involvement by running for School Board, to serve the students and citizens of Santa Rosa County.

What do you see as the two most important issues facing Santa Rosa County School District and District Three? For each of these issues, what are your concrete strategies to resolve them? I believe that it is critically important to provide a learning environment that is safe for all members in the district - students, teachers, and administrative personnel. It is equally important to provide all students with marketable skills in a rapidly evolving, technology-driven culture. I was instrumental in selecting and hiring the district safety officer and nurturing our partnership with the Sheriff ’s office for School Resource Officers (law officers Trained and Armed to thwart any intruder). I am also the board representative to the recruitment and retention, and legislative committees that develop the needed skills knowledge and aptitudes of our teachers to service our students’ educational needs.

Why should voters choose you over your opponent(s) on Election Day? I elicit trust in my district teammates with honesty and personal integrity. My opponent may be an excellent teacher, but he is also a single-issue candidate: Teacher pay raises. While this issue is extremely important, it cannot be the sole issue a board member is grounded to. In contrast, my entire life has been about team building, whether in civic duty or business. Building consensus across differing opinions and desired outcomes is manifestly important in this public servant position. My focus and top priority is the quality and scope of the education deliverable. Building a core curriculum and ancillary programs that equip our students with marketable skills to either enter the workforce or seek postsecondary education.

Pensacola Magazine


The candidates Wei Ueberschaer

Santa Rosa County School Board, District 5

Tell me a little about your background and qualifications. My husband Tom and I have been married for 27 years and have lived in Gulf Breeze since 1998. We have two sons, Tyler, a recent graduate of University of Florida, and Jonathan, a junior at Gulf Breeze High School. Why did you decide to run for public office? I have been actively involved in our community, especially with children and education for over 20 years. As a former teacher at Tate High School and an Escambia County Teacher of the Year semi-finalist, I understand

the rewarding, yet complicated responsibilities tasked to our teachers. Serving as president or board member for a PTA or School Advisory Council continuously for the past 17 years, I also believe that I have a parent’s perspective of how families view the importance of a successful school district. My background will help me implement my top two priorities, maximizing instructional time and retaining & recruiting great teachers. What do you see as the two most important issues facing the Santa Rosa County School Board and District 5? For each of these issues, what are your concrete strategies to resolve them? Our middle and high school students will graduate with less credits than the neighboring counties, putting them at a disadvantage. In January 2017, the school board approved restoring the

lost instructional time and placed $3 million in a fund committed to this task. The funds are still waiting to be spent. There should be little or no staffing changes at the elementary level and keeping the district at the current tiered busing schedule should minimize the costs. The continual population increase brings additional state revenue which can also be used for the instructional time. It was disappointing that the teachers and paraprofessionals did not receive the salary increase recommended by an independent magistrate. The salary could be funded by the unspent money in the budget funds and still have a healthy reserve balance. Every line item must be scrutinized for over expenditure and waste so that it can be directed to salaries as well as safety, instructional time and growth.

Why should voters choose you over your opponent(s) on Election Day? Voters should choose me on August 28th because I have always been passionate about education and our community. I have worked with large budgets and have served on boards for the past 20 years. I am a proud founding board member for the Miracle League of Santa Rosa County and Gulf Breeze Will Do. I also currently serve on the board of Ronald McDonald House of NWFL and a member of Impact 100 since 2011. I would like to continue to give back to the school system that has given so much to me and my family.

Jennifer M. Zimmerman, MD

US House of Representatives FL-01 Medical Center in New York. I then moved to Florida in 1997 and have stayed since then.

Tell me a little about your background and qualifications. I have been a pediatrician in Northwest FL for 20 years, first in Crestview, then Milton and Pace. I was born in the Philippines as the eldest of 6 children. My father was orphaned as a young child and was a POW and WWII veteran in the Pacific. My mother was born in a fishing village and was only able to pursue higher education in her 30’s while raising a family. I received an academic scholarship to the University of the Philippines as a Zoology major then University of the East for medical school. I finished Residency in General Pediatrics at Long Island Jewish

36 Pensacola Magazine

Why did you decide to run for public office? I decided to run for office because there is a need for change: a voice of reason, decency and common sense. We cannot succeed as a nation if we do not work together. Using fear to motivate people to hate each other only leads to more chaos. What do you see as the two most important issues facing Florida and District 1? For each of these issues, what are your concrete strategies to resolve them? First, I have felt the effects of the healthcare crisis both as a provider and as a consumer. My patients rely mostly on Medicaid and their parents are the working poor who do not qualify for any healthcare (make just enough money to be disqualified from Medicaid and do not make

enough money to afford premiums for health insurance). Florida ranks 47th in healthcare access and that leads to less preventive care and a sicker population who are forced to utilize the more expensive ER visit. My family is reeling from increasing insurance premiums, just like many other families with pre-existing conditions. I hope to work with the governor to accept Medicaid expansion in the state as a viable option at the moment while I actively work with other members of Congress to support Healthcare for All. My second priority is to halt the school to prison pipeline by improving educational opportunities for all, from availability of universal pre-K to offering more options such as vocational and technical training for the academically-challenged. Children progress at different rates and a one-size fits all solution has not worked for everyone.

Why should voters choose you over your opponent(s) on Election Day? I am different because I have lived and worked in this district for 2 decades. My children have attended the same schools and played sports in the local ballparks. The district has trusted me to care for their children, grandchildren and families. I have heard their fears, hopes and dreams on a deeply personal level. When elected, I will be the first ever female representative from this region, a woman of Asian descent, an immigrant and most of all, an American who fulfilled her dream through prayer and hard work.


Rebekah Bydlak

State House, District 1

Tell me a little about your background and qualifications. Presently, I am executive director of the Coalition to Reduce Spending, where I represent taxpayer interests here and around the country and work to increase transparency in how our tax dollars are being spent. I will take this experience for successfully defending taxpayer interests to the legislature to ensure our district is represented by an effective and principled conservative. In addition, I am a ninth-generation native of Escambia County, and I was homeschooled before attending then-Pensacola Junior College and the University of West Florida, and I hold a master’s degree in public administration & political science.

Why did you decide to run for public office? I want to do what I can to serve my country and state and keep Northwest Florida thriving. My priorities are to keep taxes and spending low and limit government involvement however possible elsewhere so that the economy can grow without being dragged down. As the daughter of a small business owner and current leader of a nonprofit, I have a lifelong appreciation for the challenges job creators face – whether regulatory compliance, tax structure, or workforce development. As a 9thgeneration native of the Panhandle, I have seen the opportunity that comes from pro-business, smallgovernment policy. I want to ensure the next generation of Floridians is fortunate enough to have the same opportunities that I have had.

What do you see as the two most important issues facing Florida and District One in particular? 1. Cutting spending and taxes Florida is a low-tax state, but certain ones still drag down growth and should be targeted – a goal which also involves taking a careful look at our state budget to find ways to trim waste. 2. Adapting to rapid growth Northwest Florida – particularly within House District 1 – has expanded dramatically in recent years. Making sure infrastructure and public safety needs are met is critical. For each of these issues, what are your concrete strategies to resolve them? For any goal, the strategy is similar: Working effectively with fellow elected officials from around the state and tenaciously advocating the needs of the Panhandle. This also requires working with regional government and private partners to

plan ahead and speak with a unified voice. Why should voters choose you over your opponent(s) on Election Day? I’m the only effective conservative candidate in this race and I will ensure that our shared conservative values are well represented in the Florida legislature. As lifelong Panhandle native and full-time taxpayer advocate, I have a unique skill set that combines policy experience with an outsider’s perspective built from nine generations in Northwest Florida. I have been endorsed by outgoing Representative Clay Ingram to take his place and am confident I have the ability to represent my hometown and its conservative values very effectively.

Ann Hill

Pensacola City Council, District 6

Tell me a little about your background and qualifications. I have been actively involved in Pensacola issues since 2006. I served for several years on the boards of the Community Maritime Park Associates and the Belmont-DeVilliers Neighborhood Association. I’ve owned a house in Pensacola since 1991, but our family’s history goes back to the Galvez expedition. I have a Master’s degree in Journalism from the University of Michigan.

Why did you decide to run for public office? Inspired by the Women’s March in DC and in Pensacola, I decided to transform my grassroots experiences into running for this elected office that is so key to the quality of life in District 6. Although I voted for the new City Charter, I believe the pendulum has swung too far to the mayoral branch of city government, and now it is time to build a strong city council to work alongside a strong mayor. I see my role on council as making City Hall more accessible to residents and more responsive to their interests. As part of my commitment, I will donate my first-year’s salary on council to community-based projects.

What do you see as the two most important issues facing the City of Pensacola and District 6? For each of these issues, what are your concrete strategies to resolve them? 1. Public access to our waterfront. We are a Port city, yet the port losses continue. I commend the new strategic study commissioned by the mayor. Now that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has canceled the contract to build a hatchery on Bruce Beach, it’s time to revisit the 2010 Urban Core Community Redevelopment Plan, calling for the addition of a boardwalk along Bruce Beach as well public access to the beach and improved storm water management. I intend to protect the public’s interest in this beach and our waterfront. 2. Diversity and Equity. I will work with small businesses, minority community leaders and women’s groups to make sure our boards

reflect our demographics. We made some progress after City Council supported a policy of increasing diversity on its committees and the city established a program to bring in more minority contractors. My election as a woman will help balance the gender gap on City Council. Why should voters choose you over your opponent(s) on Election Day? I have been part of this community for nearly 30 years and have worked diligently to bring citizen input to the table. I’m running to represent all of us and, if elected, I will strive to be our united voice on City Council.

Pensacola Magazine


The candidates Vikki Garrett

FL House of Representatives, District 1

Tell me a little about your background and qualifications. I am a native of Pensacola and grew up in state house district 1. I am a Tate graduate and earned a softball scholarship to attend Pensacola Junior College (now Pensacola State College) where I obtained an Associate of Arts degree. I also obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Management and a Master’s degree in Public Administration, both from the University of West Florida. I have been a transportation planner for over 20 years working in both the public and private sectors.

Public agencies I have worked for include the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), Escambia County Engineering Department, and the West Florida Regional Planning Council. I have been involved with a few notable local transportation projects. I secured over $1 million in grant funds for paratransit vehicles to serve the transportation disadvantaged in our community. I obtained toll revenue credits from FDOT for the Pensacola Bay Ferry Service project saving the city and county a combined total of more than $1.1 million. I have been appointed by the Federal Railroad Administration to serve on the Gulf Coast Rail Service Working Group in an effort to restore passenger rail service along the Gulf Coast, including Pensacola. Why did you decide to run for public office? I could not stand by and watch this

open seat go uncontested. We have not had a balanced representation of the panhandle in Tallahassee for far too long and I hope to change that. With my experience working in both the public and private sectors, as well as with elected officials, I feel I have something to bring to the table and am able to offer practical solutions. What do you see as the two most important issues facing Florida and District One in particular? For each of these issues, what are your concrete strategies to resolve them? 1. Public Education – I will advocate for protecting and increasing the public education budget to include salaries for teachers that reflect education as a priority. An increased budget will also assist in addressing some of our local issues, such as, reducing our school dropout rate, as well as reducing the number of school

arrests and number of youth sent to adult court, which Escambia County has the highest rate in the state for both. 2. Health Care – I would support a state sponsored program that provided better coverage with lower premiums for all residents of the state including state employees. I also support expanding Medicaid in order to provide care to the most vulnerable in our community. Why should voters choose you over your opponent(s) on Election Day? I have the experience and proven track record of bringing more practical solutions and resources back to our community.

Marjorie White

Escambia County School Board, District 1

Tell me a little about your background and qualifications. Ms. White is a native of New York State—where she was born, educated, married, and raised her seven children. She is a Mother, Grandmother and Greatgrandmother. Ms. White moved to Florida in 1993 and resided in Daytona Beach, FL. Ms. White retired from the Daytona Beach, Volusia County School District in 2008 and moved to Pensacola in 2011. Prior to moving to Florida, Ms. White served two consecutive 4-year terms on the Board of Education for Syracuse City School District. Population: K-12—22,865; Pre-K-K—1,253;

38 Pensacola Magazine

Teachers—1,794; Assistants—814. During her 8-year tenure on the Board, Ms. White developed and launched the Syracuse City School District’s Annual Education Fair; she worked to update the district policies and to institute academic requirements for high school graduation that led to a decrease in the student drop-out rate; Ms. White was actively involved in parent organizations as well as other community organizations that strongly supported educational programs to improve student achievement and attendance—this included being a strong advocate for children with handicapping conditions; and, Ms. White successfully encouraged building renovations and new construction of school district facilities whenever needed. Why did you decide to run for public office? I believe that it should be a priority that all members of the Escambia County School Board,

Superintendent of Schools, Principals, Teachers, parents, community organizations and local businesses, work together as a cooperative and cohesive unit to insure that all of our children are provided access to a quality education. What do you see as the two most important issues facing the Escambia County School System and District one? For each of these issues, what are your concrete strategies to resolve them? • As a member of the Escambia County School Board, I will encourage the continuation and enhancement for Teacher incentive programs. • The periodic reassessment of instruction in reading, writing, math and science(s)—that is: reassessment of all primary and secondary courses and programs, so that educational excellence is assured for all students on an ongoing basis.

• Building renovations and construction when needed. • Programs for the “Handicapped”-“Gifted”- “Latch Key” youth. • Schools: buildings, classrooms are free from all forms of danger. Why should voters choose you over your opponent(s) on Election Day? I have devoted my entire adult life to the uplifting development and advancement of children, first in New York State and for the past 25 years in Florida. As a representative of the Escambia County School board, I will do everything within my power to make my goals a reality for all students of our district.


Wallis Mahute

Santa Rosa County Commission, District 2 I was a Navy Wife for 10 years. My husband, Howard and I have two children, and three grandchildren. We relocated here in 1999 from Dallas, TX, to be near our son, a corpsman at Naval Hospital Pensacola, his wife and our first grandchild. Tell me a little about your background and qualifications. High School Education Executive Presentation Systems, Dallas Texas Desk top publishing training. I have been at almost every Commission meeting since 2007 and very aware of county issues. Volunteer background. School of Hard Knocks. While in Dallas, I worked for a major health insurer, beginning as a secretary and within five years, I moved into a management position. This demonstrates that I do not sit, “I do”.

Why did you decide to run for public office? As a result of zoning and C&D landfill issues, I became involved in protecting drinking water sources (recharge aquifers) in 2007, and aggressively involved in Wellfield Protection in February 2008. Part of my efforts included locating, and applying for, with county staff, and receiving a $25,000 EPA Environmental Justice Grant for the purpose of funding a spatial analysis of GIS layers to assess the extent and effectiveness a Wellfield Protection Overlay would provide. As a result of this funding a new

county ordinance was enacted which now protects aquifers providing Holley, Navarre, Midway, Gulf Breeze and East Milton. I decided to run for Public Office as a result of my work on Wellfield Protection and observations of decisions being made at Commission Meetings since 2007. What do you see as the two most important issues facing Santa Rosa County and District Two? For each of these issues, what are your concrete strategies to resolve them? I see the most important issues facing District 2 to be infrastructure, and stormwater runoff. To accomplish positive change in this direction will involve bringing back impact fees. New products such as concrete which allows water to drain through its surface can be a solution when increased building creates pooling

and flooding of water. Sediment runoff can be controlled through superior drain management techniques. I see the two most important issues facing the Santa Rosa County School District to be school safety and teacher salary increases. Endorsing more funding for additional school resource officers will be a top priority for me. I would work with the School Board, and its budget strategies to encourage higher pay for teachers. Our children deserve protection and our teachers deserve our highest support. Why should voters choose you over your opponent(s) on Election Day? If voters elect me, I can be a fulltime commissioner. I will work for the people, do the right thing and be honest.

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play/live/give The Snow White Variety Show

July 12, 13, 19 and 20 Pensacola Little Theater will host The Snow White Variety Show July 12 at 1 pm, July 13 at 10 am, July 19 at 10 am and July 20 at 10 am. Bring the whole family to this riotous fairy tale romp told from seven very different dwarfy perspectives. What really happened with Snow White and all those little people after “Happily Ever After?” Bring all of your little people to their very first live theatre experience! For more information or to buy tickets, visit www. pensacolalittletheatre.com.

Blue Angels pensacola beach air show

JULY 14 The Blues are back in the skies over Pensacola. The annual air show will take place July 14 at noon over Pensacola Beach. Can’t make the show date? There will be a full dress rehearsal July 13 at noon. Along with the Blue Angels will be more dazzling displays of aerial acrobatics and show planes. For anyone who loves a day at the beach and the Pensacola Blue Angels, this show is for you.

The Shark Adventure Run

July 4 The Flora-Bama Lounge and Oyster Bar will host the fifth annual Shark Adventure Run July 4 at 7 am. Participants run two miles of road surface followed by 2.5 miles of beach sand. Each participant wears a Flag football belt throughout the race. On the beach portion of the race, “SHARKS” will try to steal the flags. Each participant is given the opportunity to recover the stolen flags. Participants must have flags intact when crossing the finish line to order to eligible for awards. This year, there will be a four-mile road course, a four and a half-mile road and beach course and a one-mile beach course. Registration will be online until July 2 and in store July 3. For more information or to register, visit www. florabama.com/events.

Sertoma’s Independence Day Celebration

July 4 For the 29th year, area Sertoma Clubs are coordinating and hosting a huge patriotic Fourth of July Celebration for Pensacola

locals and visitors, including the largest Fireworks display on the Gulf Coast over Pensacola Bay at 9 pm. There will be free activities throughout the day, from 11 am until 6 pm, in Seville Square to include a free children’s area with inflatables, a U.S. Army simulator, rock climbing wall, pony rides, character meet and greet, face painting and much more. There will also be a variety of arts and crafts vendors, food vendors and live entertainment on the Bayfront stage in the evening. Most food vendors will stay open until 9 pm. For more information, visit www.pensacolafireworks. com.

Improvable Cause Show July 7 Pensacola Little Theater will host an Improvable Cause (IC) show July 7 at 10:30 p.m. and will continue to have shows the first Saturday of every month. IC is Pensacola’s only professional improv comedy troupe. Everything is created in the moment with audience suggestions, so each show is different. IC shows are edge-of-your-seat theatre where anything can happen, and usually does. For more information or to buy tickets, visit www. pensacolalittletheatre.com.

Uncle Reece and Friends Concert

July 14 My Brothers and Sisters organization along with Worship Mode Music Group presents live in concert “Uncle Reece” and friends tour. This tour will be in Pensacola July 14 at the Brownsville Community Center. Doors will open at 5 pm and show time is 6 pm. Special guest appearance by “Uncle Elmo” aka C.O.E along with Pensacola Prancing Pirouettes aka 3P. Also performing will be KD3, Maine The Baptist (aka Jermaine Williams), John Jackson, Soulful Movement Dance team, Juan Andre and Yung Salt. Ticket prices are $10 for general admission and $20 for V.I.P. All tickets are on sale while they last. For more info contact 261-4918 or visit the fan page.

Gallery Night

July 20 Pensacola’s monthly Gallery Night will be July 20 starting at 5 p.m. Take the “Arts to the Streets” where visitors can connect with the unique culture of Pensacola. Palafox Street will be closed for traffic between Garden and Main Street during the event. For more information, visit www.facebook. com/pg/Gallery-Night-Pensacola.

Heather Land “I Ain’t Doin’ It” Tour

July 20 Saenger Theatre will host Heather Land on her “I Ain’t Doin’ It” Tour July 20. There will be two shows, the first at 6 pm and the second starting at 9:30 pm. Wit, peppered with some sarcasm and a whole lot of truth, has made Land a household Pensacola Magazine


PINS & PALS B WLING CAMP Learn A Sport That Lasts A Lifetime With Qualified Instructors! June 4 - 8 • June 11 - 15 June 18 - 22 • June 25 - 29 July 9 - 13 • July 16 - 20 July 23 - 27 • July 30 - August 3 10am-1pm Ages 5 - 18 Monday - Friday



name. Blending humor with reality has endeared her to millions, but it is Heather’s roots that grow down deep in the soil of her Tennessee home that make her not only relatable, but downright lovable. As a writer she has poured her story out in her blog and recently knowing that real life can be real funny, she has embarked on creating the ongoing series of “I Ain’t Doin It” videos that have become a viral phenomenon with views in the millions. Land will host a VIP meet and greet for $99, with the orchestra row seats A through E. Ticket prices are $49 for orchestra rows F through V and balcony rows A through D and $29 for orchestra rows E through V and balcony rows V through DD. For more information, visit www.pensacolasaenger.com or contact the Saenger Theatre Box office at 595-3880.

An Evening with Psychic Medium James Van Praagh July 20 Renowned psychic medium James Van Praagh will have a show July 20 starting at 7:30 pm. He will demonstrate his ability to random members of the audience of spirit communication, bringing through evidential messages of love and teachings from his spiritual guides to assist audience members on a spiritual journey and deliver detailed messages of love, comfort and encouragement from loved ones on the other side. To learn more about Van Praagh, see Pensacola Magazine’s interview with him in this issue. For tickets, visit www. newhorizonsexpo.com or call 941-4321.

Gulf Coast Paddle Championship

July 21 – 22 The paddleboard championship will be held July 21 at 9 am at the Flora-Bama Lounge and Oyster Bar. Courses will include an elite course, an open course and a children’s course. Post Race festivities kick off after all participants are back. July 22 is a Sunday Fun Day with a 9 am sprint race, 9:45 am relay race and a 10:30 am free children’s clinic. Awards will begin after racers are finished. The elite race will begin on the Gulf side behind the Flora-Bama. For more information, visit www.florabama.com/ events.

Mary Poppins: The Broadway Musical

July 27, 28 and 29 and August 2, 3, 4, 5, 9. 10, 11 and 12 Pensacola Little Theater will host performances of the Mary Poppins Broadway Musical. This production is practically perfect in every way! This family musical is based on the stories of P.L. Travers and the Walt Disney film. Original music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman with book by Julian Fellowes. New songs and additional music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. Theatre Thursday tickets and the Aug. 11 treehouse matinee tickets for children 12 and under are half price. For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.pensacolalittletheatre.com.

Skopelos Wine, Spirit and Food Festival

July 29 Skopelos is hosting its second annual festival July 29. For the inaugural festival last year, there were more than 400 guests and there is expected to be an even larger turnout this year. Attends will have the chance to explore the tastes of over 125 top wines as well as the smoothest spirits from around the world, all while learning about them from the experts. Of course no festival would be complete without food, so the award-winning Chefs from Skopelos will have stations set up throughout the ballroom featuring delicious culinary bites. Skopelos selects a different charity each year to donate a portion of the proceeds to, and this year they are excited to benefit the Veterans Memorial Park Foundation. For more information, visit www.skopelosatnewworld.com/2018skopelos-wine-spirit-food-festival.

Rachael Pongetti Tyler’s Watch Pensacola Graffiti Bridge

330 S. Jefferson St. Pensacola, FL 32502 850.595.5990 historicpensacola.org Museum Hours: Tues. - Thurs. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fri. - Sat. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sun. 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

OF PENSACOLA June 2 - October 31 On view at the T.T. Wentworth, Jr. Florida State Museum, third floor galleries.

Pensacola Magazine



Seville Square, 1969. The East Pensacola Heights Lion Club, The Seville Square Settlers and The League of Women Voters sponsor an “old time” political rally for Pensacola City Council candidates.

Learn To Sail With Confidence And Have Fun Doing It!

For More Information, visit the Pensacola Yacht Club Website


Cesar Travado PYC Sailing Director sdpyc@outlook.com 850.723.1278

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850.434.6474 | www.edscc.org | 223 N Palafox St, Pensacola, FL 32502 46 Pensacola Magazine



49 Studer Donating $3 million property for sports complex ‘A Win-Win for Everybody’: Quint Studer’s land donation envisions community field house



Historic Moment for Pensacola’s Newest Ship in the Bay

Pensacola welcomes the first of up to four Coast Guard ships to shift homeport to NAS Pensacola.


MRO push showing success MRO Taking Off: How a new business at Pensacola International Airport proves economic development plans are working.


Around the Region

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

Business Climate


Studer donating $3 million property for sports complex By Will Isern

Blue Wahoos owner Quint Studer has tried for years to revitalize the west side of downtown Pensacola.

He offered $5 million to help relocate the YMCA to Maritime Park in 2013. He offered $20 million in 2015 to help fund the construction of a Center for Entrepreneurship, also at the park. Bureaucracy stymied both of those efforts. But Studer refuses to give up. Now, he’s offered nearly half of the largest empty parcel of land in downtown Pensacola – for free – to the Pensacola Sports Association to build a youth sports complex. Studer will turn over roughly half of the 19 acres of the former Emerald Coast Utilities Authority property on Main Street to the PSA. Studer purchased the property for $5.2

million in 2015. The parcel he is giving away is valued at roughly $3 million. The Pensacola Sports Association has sought to build a youth sports complex for more than two years, since a 2016 study showed that such a facility could generate 50,000 hotel room bookings and $25 million in annual economic impact. A similar complex was recently completed in Foley, Ala. The association spent the better part of the last year backing an effort by a group of private developers to replace the Pensacola Bay Center with a state-of-the-art arena. That plan languished after the would-be developers realized it would not be eligible for new market tax credits. County commissioners in June declined to endorse the project to the Triumph Gulf Coast Board, effectively killing it. Studer watched as those negotiations fell apart, and when it became clear that plan had fallen through, he reconnected with Pensacola

Sport’s Association President Ray Palmer. The PSA study that supported building a field house had also identified Studer’s property as the ideal location. Studer said he is less interested in generating sports tourism than he is in creating assets for locals to enjoy, but said he saw value in a potential facility at the site for locals and tourists alike.

“The project had gone off on a different track, but when it became obvious that track was ending, Ray and I reconnected,” Studer said. “You’ve got Corinne Jones Park to the north, and now you have the fish hatchery not going there (across the street at Bruce Beach), you can open that up to public access like Business Climate


it should be. I think about all these local families that could come down to the field house, go to Corinne Jones Park, go to Maritime Park, go to Bruch Beach; I think that would create a great vibrancy on that west side of downtown.” How the Pensacola Sports Association funds the facility remains to be seen. Palmer has estimated that the facility the association envisions could cost around $35 million. Palmer said he plans to assemble a team of experts to guide to the project. “We’re going to build a team of people that can help us make this thing happen in the fastest, smartest way we can,” Palmer


Business Climate

“This project can create a healthier community, attract more visitors, create a great place for area residents, activate Bruce Beach and open the door to the west side of Pensacola. That sounds like a winwin to us.” – Quint Studer

said. “My mission is to find the right people to make those things happen.” The deal comes with several stipulations. Studer will require that whatever the PSA wants to do must receive support from the Tanyard Neighborhood Association, where the property is located. He’ll also require that facility be open to locals, that it comply with the development plan for the area, and that it be “funded and approved through all the proper channels.” “This project can create a healthier community, attract more visitors, create a great place for area residents, activate Bruce Beach and open the door to the west side of Pensacola,”

Studer said. “That sounds like a win-win to us.” Palmer has said he hopes to generate community support for the project to kick start fundraising. “There’s going to be fundraising side, there’s going to be a PR component generating community buy-in, explaining to potential users what it is and what it isn’t, and hopefully people will understand we can’t be everything to everybody, but that we’re going to follow the study and try to build the best thing for the community that we can,” he said.

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Historic Moment for Pensacola’s Newest Ship in the Bay by Kaitlyn Peacock photo by Mike O’Connor


ut in the haze of Pensacola Bay, a tall white ship breaks through the mist. On its deck, a line of men stand at attention and another group peer toward the shore, readying docking buoys at their feet. The ship is the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Decisive (WMEC 629) and the 73 crewmembers are getting their first glance of their new home. Decisive has shifted its homeport from Pascagoula, Miss. to Naval Air Station Pensacola as of June 5, and is the first of up to three more cutters scheduled to homeport in Pensacola. They will join the USCGC Cypress (WLB 210), a buoy tender that has been at NASP since 2011.

The ships’ relocation was announced in June 2017 by U.S Rep. Matt Gaetz. In a press release, he stressed the importance of the 210-foot Medium Endurance Class Cutter’s move to Pensacola. “This is incredible news for Pensacola and for all northwest Floridians,” Gaetz said in the release. “Not only is northwest Florida gaining 152 new families, but the safety and security of the Emerald Coast and the Eastern Gulf of Mexico is significantly enhanced.” The ships represent long hours and hard work from people all over the country, including Coast Guard Cmdr. Blake Novak, who was the commanding officer of Decisive during its shift of homeport. As part of the team that began the process of bringing the ships to Pensacola, Novak expressed how proud he was to have been a part of the operation. “One of the reasons I stuck

around for another three weeks was to see this through to the end,” he said. Along with the Decisive, NASP will be the homeport of the USCGC Dauntless (WMEC 624), currently in Galveston, Texas, which is scheduled to arrive between midJuly and August. At the dock to welcome Decisive and the crew to their new home was a group of Pensacola and Navy officials, community members, NASP service members and the Navy League, a nonprofit organization that supports U.S. sea services, including the Navy and Coast Guard. Among the crowd was Escambia County District 2 commissioner Doug Underhill, a Navy veteran with 27 years of military service. He expressed the benefits and importance of having these ships in Pensacola.

“There is a federal mission that needs to be done and it needs to be done in Pensacola,” he said. “There’s 120 men and women on these ships that will very soon be in our churches, they will be teaching our Sunday schools classes and coaching our baseball teams and soccer teams. This adds to the texture of who we are.” The ships’ arrival is expected to bring a boost to the area economy, as families of crewmembers relocate and Coast Guard operations increase in the local area. Gaetz has expressed the importance of not only the ships themselves but the people they bring with them to Pensacola. “Our region is home to thousands of families who are here because of the military,” he said. “While I know that moving can be stressful for military families, it is up to us to greet the new members of our community with open arms, and on behalf of Florida’s First District, I would like to wish them a very warm welcome. “In Florida, our military roots run deep,” Gaetz continued. “The armed forces play a vital role in our community. I am certain that these newest members of our military community will fit right into the warm and welcoming environment of Northwest Florida.”

As with cutters of its class, Decisive’s primary mission is counter-drug operations. The ship is marked with the crew’s successful drug interdictions: 19 marijuana busts, nine cocaine busts, five drug boat seizures and one semisubmersible. From NASP, Decisive will continue to patrol the Gulf and South American coasts. Dauntless shares the Decisive’s mission and was involved in an operation partnering with the Royal Canadian Navy that seized more than 26 tons of cocaine worth at least $715 million in 2016. The cutters will also be engaged in search-and-rescue operations, maritime law enforcement and other missions around the Gulf of Mexico. For the crew of the Decisive, getting their first glimpse of the Pensacola shoreline was powerful. As they pulled into dock and each Guardsman took his or her first steps ashore, they represented the beginnings of more to come to both Pensacola and the Coast Guard. “For the Coast Guard, this is a big move to come to a facility like this Navy base that has a lot of support,” Novak said. “The support the Navy has here is exceptional and to our people it makes a big difference. I can tell you our crew is very excited to be here.” Business Climate


MRO push showing success by Will Isern

Efforts to grow Pensacola into a regional hub for aircraft maintenance continue to show success with the announcement that PSA Airlines will open a new maintenance facility at Pensacola International Airport. The announcement comes as VT Mobile Aerospace Engineering Inc., a subsidiary of a Singaporean company, recently began operations at its new $46 million maintenance, repair and overhaul facility at Pensacola International Airport. PSA Airlines, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Airlines, will add between 30 and 35 jobs at the airport to support growing its fleet by about 20 aircraft, the company said. Jobs will include mechanics, managers, inspectors and stores personnel, among others. PSA expects to open its maintenance facility in October 2018. In a news release, PSA said Pensacola was an ideal location for the new facility because of the area’s workforce, military presence and technical schools. PSA has seven other maintenance facilities throughout Ohio, Virginia the Carolinas and Georgia. “The addition of (Pensacola)

will enhance PSA’s reliability, provide much needed flexibility in meeting our maintenance program requirements, and enrue we meet our planned capture rate as we continue to grow,” Gary Pratt, PSA Airlines vice president of maintenance and engineering, said in a statement. According to the company’s website, PSA employs more than 3,900 people and operates more than 800 daily flights to nearly 100 destinations. PSA operates 35 Bombardier CRJ200 aircraft, 40 Bombardier CRJ700 aircraft and 54 Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft. The airline expects to add additional aircraft bringing its fleet count to 150. PSA’s selection of Pensacola for its new facility is only the latest milestone in the region’s effort to capture some of the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) industry. Those efforts have been a collaboration between state and local agencies including the Gov. Rick Scott’s office, the City of Pensacola, the Escambia County School Board, Pensacola State College. Aerospace training programs have in recent years been implemented at the George Stone Technical College and at PSC. In March, Gov. Rick’s Scott’s office announced the awarding of $4 million in Florida Job Growth Grant

One of the reasons we’re doing so well is we’ve put in the programs, we’ve put in the workforce here, and obviously the facilities at the airport are excellent so it’s drawing a lot of attention.”

Funding for the City of Pensacola to develop additional taxiways, ramps and other infrastructure at Pensacola International Airport. The efforts to gain a foothold in the MRO business in Pensacola extend back to 2013 when Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward and Scott Luth – then of the Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce – met with executives of VT MAE in Mobile and its parent company, Singapore Technologies Engineering, in Singapore. The deal resulting from those meetings came to fruition last month with the opening of VT MAE’s 1730,000 square-foot facility at the airport and its promise to create 400 jobs. Luth said the aerospace industry has taken notice of Pensacola’s efforts to establish an MRO workforce pipeline and develop infrastructure to accommodate the industry. “One of the reasons we’re doing so well is we’ve put in the programs, we’ve put in the workforce here, and obviously the facilities at the airport are excellent so it’s drawing a lot of attention,” Luth said. Officials hope to continue expanding the MRO industry locally. The City of Pensacola in December submitted a $130 million request to Triumph Gulf Coast to fund the lion’s share of $200 million expansion of VT MAE’s facilities that would, in turn, secure another 1,325 jobs for Pensacola at an average wage of $44,500. The project would include three additional hangars, as well as warehouse and administrative buildings. The Triumph board has voiced support for the city’s proposal but has said it would like to see additional funding partners added to the project. If the bid is successful, VT MAE and PSA may just be the first of many companies that decide Pensacola is the place for them. Business Climate


Around the Region Rotary of Pensacola Installs New President and Officers

Rotary of Pensacola welcomed New President Betty Roberts at the recent Change of Command Ceremony held at Pensacola Yacht Club. Betty, a University of West Florida graduate has been employed with One Blood, International Paper, West Florida Hospital and Pensacola State College. She currently serves on various board including the Pensacola Art Museum, Pensacola State College Foundation Board of Governors, Pensacola Symphony, Pensacola Opera and the Galvez Committee.

Betty commented that she is “honored to be elected President of Rotary of Pensacola and be a member of Rotary International, the largest volunteer organization with 1.2 million members with 33,000 clubs in 200 countries” in the world. She announced the following new Board and Officers of “Downtown Rotary”, they are: John Trawick, Ray Jones, Henry Roberts, Sally Fox, Mark Harden, Bruce Partington, Carlton Ulmer, Kaberi Samanta, Randy Ray, Ed Wonders Claudia Simmons, Tim Kane and Bryan McCall. Rotary of Pensacola has the distinguished history of being established in 1915 and is the second oldest Rotary Club in the State. The Rotary Motto is “Service Above Self ” and the nearly 200 members of accomplished community leaders and professionals work to improve the community and the world through various grants, scholarships, literacy programs, and building the first playground at Community Maritime Park.

After months of meticulous planning and review, and over four weeks of extensive renovation and rebuilding, Jewelers Trade Shop’s new Rolex Boutique is open for business in the downtown Pensacola jewelry store. “The construction is complete,” said Corbett Davis, III, owner and president of Jewelers Trade Shop. “After all the planning, it seemed to go by quickly, and it was worth it in the end.” The build utilized rich natural materials such as marble, raked limestone, leather, and exotic hardwoods. The boutique, designed entirely by Rolex, is constructed so that a person, whether visiting an Authorized Rolex dealer in Anchorage or Pensacola, will have a consistent experience. Only the most exclusive jewelers in the world are Rolex Authorized Dealers. Currently, Jewelers Trade Shop is the only Rolex Authorized Dealer between Biloxi, Miss., and Destin, Fla. “It is an honor to be the only authorized dealer in the area,” said Davis. “Every jeweler in the country would do just about anything to become an authorized dealer.

56 Business Climate

I remember, as a kid, hearing my dad talk with his buddies about getting Rolex as a brand we would sell in the store. I’ve seen every single day how important that decision was.” “There are great things to come from Rolex, our new build-out, and Jewelers Trade Shop as a whole,” said Corbett along with his wife, Sarah. “We recently returned from a jewelry show in Las Vegas where we spent days searching for and researching the newest trends. Stay tuned. You won’t catch us with our hands on our knees.” Established in Pensacola, Fla., in 1956, Jewelers Trade Shop is located at 26 Palafox Place in the heart of Pensacola’s thriving downtown. Three generations of family owners have established it as one of the South’s finest luxury jewelry stores. For more information about the store, call (850) 4324433 or visit jewelerstradeshop.com.

Rotary Announces Recipients of Grover III and Sandra Robinson Awards Since June of 2000, Rotary of Pensacola began awarding the Grover III and Sandra Robinson Awards in memory of their service to Rotary and the community. Each year someone is recognized as an outstanding Rotarian from the Club and a Community Leader who exemplifies “Service Above Self ”. Rotarian Brigadier General Michael L. Ferguson U.S. Army Retired, was selected for the Grover Robinson III Award and is presently a counsel partner of the firm McDonald Fleming Moorhead. He obtained his Juris Doctorate from the University of Florida, College of Law. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Military Science from the United States Military Academy, a master’s degree in International Relations from American University, and a master’s degree in Business Management from Central Michigan University. He has practiced in U.S. and International Business Law, Commercial Litigation, Bankruptcy, Intellectual Property and Sports Law. Mr. Ferguson was instrumental in the formation of the af2 Arena Football League and has been a certified NFL agent, a legal consultant for the af2 League, and designated counsel for numerous professional sports teams. He was recognized by the Florida Senate in 1998 as an Outstanding Citizen; a Beta Gamma Sigma Honoree in 1999; selected for the Pensacola High School Hall of Fame in 2000; and has several Paul Harris Fellow awards. He preceded his practice of law with a distinguished career in the U.S. Army including tours in Germany, Vietnam, Korea and Japan where he served as Deputy Commanding General. He has received over 30 awards and decorations to include the Purple Heart and Distinguished Service Medal. General Ferguson was appointed Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army some 15 years ago. The position is a three-star ranking and Ferguson reports directly to the Secretary of the Army on all military matters in Florida. He has earned an AV® rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest

rating possible given by his peers. Mr. Ferguson is active in community affairs and a life member of many civic organizations to include Pensacola Downtown Rotary, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, U.S. Army Ranger Association, Military Officer Association of America, Association of the United States Army, and Gideons. Mr. Ferguson is also a Trustee Emeritus of the University of Florida College of Law; Past Chairman of the UWF College of Business Advisory Council and Adjunct Professor; a member of the University of West Florida Military Community Policy Council; and an Honorary Alumnus of the University of West Florida. General Ferguson was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Fallen Special Tactics AirmanDegree honored at by NASP UWF at the 2014 UWF Commencement where he was the speaker for the two Commencement Ceremonies. Maria Davis, Honorary Vice Consul of Spain, was chosen as the recipient of the Sandra Robinson Award. She has served as CNATT: Make Labor Day weekend safety a priority Honorary Vice Consul of Spain since 1984 and was instrumental in arranging the 2009 visit of King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain to celebrate the 450thAnniversary of the Luna Expedition of 1559 commemorating Pensacola as America’s First settlement. As Vice Consul of Spain, she promotes cultural, commercial and scientific relations between Spain and Pensacola Maria has been the moving force in organizing Galvez Day, May 8, annually in Pensacola. Each year the Mayor of Macharaviaya and a Spanish delegation arrives in Pensacola plus local and State of Florida officials to celebrate General Bernardo de Galvez who defended Pensacola against the British during the American Revolutionary War. She was most recently honored by the Mayor of Macharaviaya Antonio Campos with a Proclamation naming her Adoptive Daughter of Macharaviaya. Rotary of Pensacola meets each Tuesday noon at New World Landing and more information can be found on the website at rotary.org.

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

Vol. 80, No. 35

VISIT GOSPORT ONLINE: www.gosportpensacola.com

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

September 2, 2016

By Capt. Katrina Cheesman 24th Special Operations Wing

Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Public Affairs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Around the Region Gulf Power crews honored for assistance in Puerto Rico The Edison Electric Institute presented Gulf Power with the association’s special 2018 Emergency Assistance Award for Puerto Rico Power Restoration recognizing its contributions to the unprecedented emergency power restoration mission on the island following Hurricane Maria. The devastating Category 4 hurricane made landfall in Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, 2017, impacting all critical infrastructure, damaging at least 80 percent of the island’s energy grid, and leaving all island residents without power. “Our lineworkers, engineers, team leaders and support staff who went to Puerto Rico demonstrated great efforts in assisting with restoration in Puerto Rico,” said Adrianne Collins, Gulf Power’s vice president of Power Delivery. “They were away from their families much longer than a normal storm trip and yet never wavered from their commitment to safety and dedication to restoring power and hope to the residents.” Gulf Power joined its sister companies in Southern Company, which were among nearly

60 investor-owned electric companies and public power utilities that committed crews, equipment and/or materials to the emergency power restoration mission. Overall, approximately 3,000 industry lineworkers and support personnel were involved in the restoration effort on the island. One Gulf Power storm team left for Puerto Rico in late January and worked 60 days; another team followed in March and worked for 21 days. Also, several team leaders, engineers and safety and IT employees took part in the effort. The storm teams faced challenging and complex restoration work because extensive portions of Puerto Rico’s energy grid are in rugged, mountainous terrain that has little or no road access. Getting crews and equipment to Puerto Rico was also much more complicated and timeintensive than deploying mutual assistance in the mainland, and it required extensive coordination among responding companies. On May 22, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority announced that power had been

UWF to offer Florida’s first online MLT to MLS program Medical laboratory technicians with an associate degree can apply for a new online program at the University of West Florida to earn a bachelor’s degree in clinical laboratory sciences. The Medical Laboratory Technician to Medical Laboratory Scientist, or MLT to MLS, program, will be offered through Complete Florida, a state-funded initiative that supports adults who return to college. The program is the first of its kind in the state of Florida. Applications to the program will be accepted through June 15. Classes will begin Aug. 27. To be eligible for the program, students must be admitted to UWF, submit letters of recommendation and participate in a phone interview. Applicants are required to have an associate of science degree in medical laboratory technology that includes the prerequisites of the MLS program and fulfillment of general education coursework or military training and an associate of arts degree that includes the prerequisites of the MLS program and fulfillment of general education coursework. In addition, they must also have a GPA of 2.5 or higher and certification as an MLT by the American Society of Clinical Pathology or be a graduate of a National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science accredited MLT program and certified by a national board exam. Katie Cavnar, the incoming chair of the Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences at

UWF, said earning a degree to become a medical laboratory scientist has a variety of benefits. “In the hospital, both medical laboratory scientists and medical laboratory technicians do similar work, but the MLS learn more theory,” she said. “MLTs also have to work supervised, whereas an MLS does not. Going on to get your MLS is beneficial for a couple of reasons, including an increase in pay, and an increase in responsibility, which may allow for promotion in the laboratory.” The online program will be similar to the traditional MLS classes offered at UWF, but geared more toward students who have already worked in a lab. As the only online MLT to MLS program in the state, Cavnar said this will meet workforce needs in Northwest Florida and beyond. “We can hopefully serve this area,” Cavnar said. “Laboratories are generally understaffed so there’s a need for people in our profession. Many people in the laboratory field are starting to retire all at once and labs are losing expertise. We thought it be a good idea to launch an MLT to MLS program here where the tuition is affordable.” For more information about the MLT to MLS program or to apply, visit uwf.edu/mls and select the MLT to MLS tab.

restored to 99 percent of its customers across the island who can receive electricity. This is a significant milestone that was reached by PREPA and its restoration partners, including FEMA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its contractors, and industry mutual assistance crews. The resources, equipment, and people sent from the mainland, greatly accelerated the restoration process. “The power restoration effort in Puerto Rico was a massive and unprecedented mission, and electric companies from across the country, including Gulf Power, responded to the call for help,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “The electric power industry pulled together with one goal in mind, to restore power to the people of Puerto Rico — it truly was one team, one mission. Gulf Power is deserving of this recognition for providing tremendous support to PREPA and our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico.”

Baptist Medical Group Welcomes Hospitalist Andy Somesan, M.D., FACP Baptist Medical Group (BMG) is pleased to welcome new physician Andy Somesan, M.D., FACP, to its growing hospitalist program and expansive physician network. As a hospitalist with the Pensacola-based health care organization, Dr. Somesan will be exclusively dedicated to caring for patients admitted to Baptist Hospital in Pensacola and Gulf Breeze Hospital in Gulf Breeze. Dr. Somesan earned his medical degree at the University of Jaffna, Thirunelvely in Jaffna, Sri Lanka and completed his internship in internal medicine and surgery at the University of Colombo in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Dr. Somesan completed his residencies at Mercy Medical Center, New York Medical College in Bronx, New York and Health Center at Syracuse, State University of New York in New York, New York. He completed his fellowship in geriatric medicine at Kuakini Medical Center at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, Hawaii. Along with the team of BMG hospitalists, Dr. Somesan will work with patientsprimary care and specialist physicians to provide skilled and compassionate care throughout their hospital stay. To learn more about Dr. Somesan and the hospitalist program, visit his profile page at BaptistMedicalGroup.org or call 850.437.8600.

Correction: An article in June’s issue of Business Climate concerning the rise in popularity of short-term rental services such as Airbnb in Pensacola was unclear about the amount of tax collected on rentals. The article included information about the 4 percent tourist development tax, but failed to acknowledge state and local sales taxes, which amount to an additional 7.5 percent.


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On the Market A Real Estate Section

In This Section

You’re Covered: 4 unusual homeowners claims you didn’t think would ever happen Page 68

By the Numbers: A Look at May’s Market Highlights page 62

7 ways to create a high-tech, healthy home page 70

The Luxury Homebuyer page 64

Ideas for an on-trend bathroom page 74

Pensacola Magazine


BY The NUMBERS a look at May’s Market Highlights

950 66

Monthly Sales

Avg. Days on Market

1900 $193k

Quarterly Sales

Median Sale Price

Market Highlights May sales were 8 percent over April’s and 9 percent over last May.

Median sale price for May remained slightly above $190k for the third consecutive month.

Information courtesy of Pensacola Association of Realtors

62 Pensacola Magazine

Average days on market dropped to 66, the lowest for the year.

Condo inventory in May fell across all price ranges, with total inventory slipping nearly 10 percent compared to April

Working Hard to Deliver Successful Results!

701 W. Moreno St. | #533085 | $875,000 4 Bed, 3 Bath, 4,213 Sq. Ft.

793 Lori Lane | #535183 | $399,550 5 Bed, 1 Bath, 4,655 Sq. Ft.

2719 Blackshear Ave. | #536695 | $368,550 4 Bed, 2 Bath, 1,978 Sq. Ft.

1302 E. Hatton St. | #538201 | $278,550 4 Bed, 2 Bath, 2,151 Sq. Ft.

The Ace Khan Team 850.748.1365 Cell | ace.khan@theacekhanteam.com | www.acekhan.net 4475 Bayou Blvd. Pensacola, FL 32503 | 850.432.5300 Office

On the Market

The Luxury Homebuyer Luxury Must-Haves T

op luxury must-haves are evolving and quickly shifting away from grand displays of wealth previously seen in masterpiece homes and mansions. According to The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, as reported in the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury Report 2018, luxury home buyers are leaning toward smaller homes and living spaces. Buyers are preferring to spend more money on amenities that fit an active and social lifestyle than on sprawling square footage. The trend indicates luxury spaces are being filled with private gyms, IMAX theaters and even his-andher master suites. Tropical sanctuaries are being created with resort-style pools, while master baths are taking on the look and feel of a luxurious destination spa. Other luxury amenities topping the list are enclosed spaces for sports, statement cellars that include dine-in areas or even glass enclosed wine rooms that highlight a collection. Large garages designed to showcase a car collection and 64 Pensacola Magazine

toys are increasingly popular, as are over the top gourmet kitchens, custom indoor pet areas and outdoor living retreats. Advances in technology are a driving force in many of today’s luxury amenities. Smart Home automation is now an expectation. The ability to control temperature, lighting, appliances, security, entertainment, window treatments and more are considered basic luxury features rather than upgrades. Conservation and sustainability have now become fixtures in the home building market. Luxury buyers are requiring solar panels and other systems that reduce their home’s footprint. Telling the home’s story is also important, an informational must-have. Luxury buyers want to share what makes their home unique and special with family and friends. They expect to know the backstory of the custom design and features of the luxury home. Where did the building materials originate, are certain features hand-painted and who is

the artisan, are all noteworthy questions the luxury home buyer will expect to be revealed. The list of luxury must-haves will continue to evolve as technology advances, and tastes change. It will be interesting to watch a new generation shape the future of the luxury home space with their wants and desires. Denis McKinnon is the regional vice president of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate’s Northwest Florida region. For more information on the luxury home market in the Pensacola and surrounding area or to view homes for sale, visit ColdwellBankerLuxury.com or call the Pensacola office at 850-432-5300.

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weLCOMe PatRiCK PRiCe! Office Manager & Broker assistant

LiSted and dOwntOwn SOLd in 9 daYS COttaGe 1696 10th ave. Circa 1855, .59 acre in East Hill


GULF BReeZe QUaYSide 703 South d Street ViLLaS 1,204 sq. ft., 3 Beds, 1 Bath, Security, Copper Wiring, Move In Ready, Fenced, Updated.


MLS #536314

HiStORiC eaSt HiLL-MOVe in!

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MLS #536063

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Christine Landers 850-291-5789

On the Market

You’re covered: 4 unusual homeowners claims you didn’t think would ever happen


omeowners insurance is a practical investment to help protect you, your family and your property in the event of unforeseen and unexpected losses. Traditionally, it’s associated with fire damage, burst or leaking pipes, or stolen property, but occasionally it covers unusual events that make for sensational news stories and viral videos. Here are four claims homeowners never thought would happen to them.

the residence, because your homeowners policy will most likely cover any damage to your home (though not your personal property), unless of course the bear is a family pet.”

1. Bear B&B Bears are notoriously curious and intelligent creatures that also have an acute sense of smell. People who live in areas with bears for neighbors must not entice them with the aromas of food. Keep doors and windows on ground floors closed and locked while cooking or if you leave the house. A bear can easily get through the screen of an open window or manipulate a leverlike door handle to enter your home and cause significant damage. “Encountering a bear inside your home would be a very frightening experience,” says Christopher O’Rourke, Vice President of Property Claims at Mercury Insurance. “Safety should be your first priority, so call your local police or animal control station to have them help you with the situation. You can worry about any potential damages after the animal leaves

3. Your house is stolen Yes, you read that correctly. Your homeowners insurance will cover the entire house, not just the contents inside, if it is stolen. O’Rourke explains, “We had an insured who was away on vacation and when he returned the foundation of his home was all that remained. “A house moving company had mixed up the address with another house down the street that was scheduled to be moved. The movers came in, transported the house to another location and thought their job was done – wrong! “You can only imagine his surprise at the mistake. While homeowners insurance covered the cost of getting things restored back to normal, I would suspect this was one of the strangest situations any insurer has ever encountered,” says O’Rourke.

68 Pensacola Magazine

2. The sky is falling China’s Tiangong-1 space station plummeted back to Earth and made its re-entry into the atmosphere earlier this year, breaking apart over the southern Pacific Ocean. The odds of debris from the space station hitting you were less than one in one trillion, according to the Aerospace Corporation. If it had hit your home, though, homeowners insurance would’ve covered it.

4. Fore! Golf is a leisurely pastime enjoyed by millions in the U.S. It involves strolling across greens and riding in golf carts, so its slow pace may seem low-risk, but it can actually be quite dangerous. According to an article in Golf Digest magazine, nearly 40,000 golfers are admitted to emergency rooms annually after being injured while playing, most by errant golf balls and flying club heads. Recreational golfers can also cause a lot of damage to personal property. If you live on a golf course, your house has probably been hit many times by errant shots – breaking windows, damaging roofs and leaving divots in exterior walls. So, who’s responsible for these injuries and damage? “Simply put, the golfer who hit the shot is responsible,” says O’Rourke. “There is good news, however, because recreational golfers would be covered by a homeowners, condo owners or renters insurance policy for damage or injuries that result from the wayward shot.” Mercury recommends reviewing your homeowners insurance policy annually with your local insurance agent to ensure that you’re adequately covered for any unforeseen losses, both unusual and ordinary.

Gulf Breeze, FL | 3 Bedrooms, 2 Full Baths | 192 Waterfront Feet $1,250,000 | Search 536638 on coldwellbankerluxury.com

Nancy Matthews



Destin, Florida | 4 bedrooms, 3 full baths $1,595,000 | Search 792529 on coldwellbankerluxury.com

THE POWER OF COLDWELL BANKER® Coldwell Banker Global Luxury offers exceptional luxury real estate marketing – the proof is in the numbers. SM

As Many As 900 Websites | Coldwell Banker’s® powerful online reach puts homes in front of buyers in 49 countries and territories. $129.6 Million in $1 Million+ Homes Each Day* | Coldwell Banker agents handled 24,790 transaction sides of $1 million+ homes in 2016. 110-Year Legacy of Trust | Coldwell Banker has been serving the needs of luxury home buyers and sellers since 1906.



The property information herein is derived from various sources that may include, but not be limited to, county records and the Multiple Listing Service, and it may include approximations. Although the information is believed to be accurate, it is not warranted and you should not rely upon it without personal verification. Real estate agents affiliated with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate are independent contractor agents and are not employees of the Company. ©2018 Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and 303298FL_03/18 the Equal Opportunity Act. Owned by a subsidiary of NRT LLC. Coldwell Banker, the Coldwell Banker logo, Coldwell Banker Global Luxury and the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury logo are service marks registered or pending registrations owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.

On the Market

7 Ways to Create a High-Tech, Healthy Home Home technology devices have come a long way, and many homeowners are discovering that their features aren’t just for convenience and comfort. A growing number of technologyenabled home features promote a healthier living space for you and your family. From boosting indoor air quality to cutting back on dust, dirt and germs, these ideas are the perfect way to add functional upgrades that improve your quality of life. 1. Minimize floor debris. The floors in most homes are grounds for an unsettling array of dust, dirt and other unsavory elements, many of which are tracked in from outdoors. A robotic vacuum can help you keep these and other allergens like pet hair under control with next to no effort. Some models even know when they’re low on battery, return to their docking station to recharge then rely on memory to pick up just where they left off. Many are also self-emptying for a virtually handsfree cleanup job after the initial setup. 2. Create climate zones. A zoned approach to cooling and heating systems allows homeowners to cool and heat their homes in multiple zones, reducing energy consumption in spaces used infrequently. Today’s systems take climate management one step further. In addition to regulating the temperature, a system like Mitsubishi Electric Zoned Comfort Solutions offers advanced, multi-stage filtration that constantly cleans the air to capture and remove contaminants which may trigger allergy and asthma symptoms, spread germs and impact air quality. In addition, features like platinum deodorizing filters on select systems use nanotechnology to absorb and neutralize odors. 3. Wash away germs. It’s only natural that a device

70 Pensacola Magazine

you use to wash dirty hands is often one of the most bacteria-laden elements in a home. However, if you don’t have to touch a faucet, concerns about germs may diminish. Hands-free faucets are hardly new; they’ve been the norm in public restrooms for years. Now these models are more accessible (and affordable) for homeowners, offering the same germ-minimizing and water conservation benefits as their commercial counterparts. 4. Monitor for danger. Fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are obvious essentials for any home, but smart models take protection even further by letting you know about a problem even when you’re not at home. By connecting the monitors to a smart device, such as your phone, you can be alerted to potential concerns before they become major threats to your health or even life. An added bonus: many models will also send notices about issues like low battery life, so if you get the alert while you’re already out, you can save yourself an extra trip. 5. Reduce ductwork. Humidity can cause heating, ventilation and air conditioning ducts to become damp and breed mold, mildew and bacteria, but eliminating or reducing ductwork means less dust or bacteria circulating throughout your home. You can further manage air quality with options such as a Mitsubishi Electric Zoned Comfort System. These cooling and heating systems are available in both ducted and ductless configurations and use filters that are easy to access, remove and clean. Typically homes only use one type of cooling and heating system, but some home designs, such as room additions or retrofits, may require a hybrid system with a mix of ducted and ductless products with short duct runs and robust filtration.

In fact, Mitsubishi Electric ducted air systems use less ductwork than traditional systems. Less ductwork results in less chance of air leakage, which reduces energy loss, and less contaminants building up in the ductwork. For homeowners looking to go the ductless route, the simplicity of an option like the MLZ One-Way Ceiling Cassette indoor unit is an aesthetically friendly solution that blends into the ceiling. This system easily slides between standard 16-inch joists. 6. Let there be light. Most experts agree that natural light is good for your overall wellbeing. Among the benefits are its mood-boosting abilities, and some research indicates it’s better for your eyes than the harsh glare of artificial bulbs (assuming you don’t stare directly at the sun, of course). Make it easy to fill your home with ambient natural light using smart technology for your window coverings, including blinds or drapes. Whether powered by a remote control or your smartphone, you’ll have the ability to create a lighter, brighter room at your fingertips. 7. Don’t overlook the outdoors. A lawn that is over-watered is a breeding ground for mold, insects and other threats to your health. A smart irrigation system can help regulate your sprinklers to monitor the weather and avoid unnecessary watering. In addition, some models allow you to program the exact type of grass or vegetation to help keep tabs on lawn and flower bed moisture levels and make automatic adjustments to strike a perfect balance between drying out and oversaturating. Explore more health-conscious solutions for your home at MitsubishiComfort.com.


Single Family Residence, 3 Beds, 2 Baths, 1,706 sq. ft.


3 Beds, 2 Baths, 2,264 sq. ft., 0.36 acres lot

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850-723-8140 Pennacle Properties

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Gulf Breeze Proper

94 Chanteclaire Circle

SEA SALT nails & massage

Northeast Pensacola

2870/2890 Denton Rd.

4 bedrooms- 4 baths w/bonus room 4303 sq ft Includes pool and enclosure MLS 532048 $989,000

1.02 Acre Lot in River Gardens III Near UWF and Scenic Hwy MLS 530202 $48,900

Grand Pointe Manor

Ready to build!

By appointment only

Arienne Eubanks 850.356.5342 @SeaSaltPensacola Lot 13A Manor Circle

1202 East Gonzalez Street Pensacola, Florida

49 Crabapple Ln.

105 x 135 .33 acres Gated Community .58 Acre Corner Lot in River Gardens III Gulf Breeze UWF/Scenic Hwy area in NE Pensacola MLS 524803 $128,000 MLS 536821 $155,000


• 2 Bed / 2 Bath • 1279 sq. ft. • 2 Balconies with water views • split Bedrooms • equipped Kitchen • BreaKfast Bar • inside laundry • community pool & exercise room MLS#532465

Michael Tracy 850.232.4887

811 n reus st pensacola, fl 32501 mjtracy7@gmail.com

Waterfront living at its best!


MLS# 537847

Exquisite custom-built waterfront home located on a protected deep water canal in Gulf Breeze. Featuring 3165 sq. ft. of detailed craftsmanship and totaling over 8000 sq. ft., this stunning 5 bedroom and 3.5 bath executive home was built by one of North Florida’s top builders and exudes quality.



HOLLEY PROPERTIES bob.kingry@gmail.com

Gulf BreezeProper

MLS# 535798



4 BEDROOMS | 3.5 BATHS 3,838 Sq. FT.



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On the Market

Ideas for an On-Trend Bathroom Bringing an outdated bathroom into the now is a sure way to infuse value and personal enjoyment into your home. Whether you’re tearing down and starting fresh or simply looking to infuse some new life with a few key elements, these ideas, paired with an option such as Wellborn cabinetry, can give you the inspiration you need to transform a tired toilet into a modern marvel.

allows homeowners to customize the space in terms of countertop height and comfort. Although the aesthetic benefits often come at the cost of limited under-sink storage space, this potential pitfall can be overcome with a customizable U-shaped drawer option, such as those offered by Wellborn Cabinet, that allows functional drawers to be placed within the wall-mounted cabinetry. The storage-enhancing drawer option complements the Wall Mounted Vanity program available in the Aspire Cabinetry line, which offers mounted vanities in more than 40 door profiles, featuring door style selections of wood, decorative laminate veneer, textured melamine, smooth melamine, solid high gloss, matte and designer colors. For more information, visit wellborn.com. Infuse unexpected color If you think of bathroom fixtures as purely functional, think again. Not only can they add a stylish focal point to your tub (and shower and sink, for that matter), the ultra-practical

decor, they should provide plenty of task and ambient lighting to make the room both useful and inviting. Trick your way to a bigger bathroom When knocking down walls to create more space isn’t an option, there are still plenty of ways you can maximize a small bathroom space to make it look and feel larger than it really is. Opt for monochromatic cabinetry. Whether you buy new or paint existing cabinets, make them blend in monochromatically in the lightest shade possible. White and light colors reflect light, making the room seem brighter and more spacious. To maximize the illusion, extend the monochromatic scheme throughout the space, including floor tiles, wall paint, ceilings and even the decorations. Place cabinets strategically. Think of the spaces in your bathroom that you don’t usually use, such as the area above the doorway. Especially if you have high ceilings, you can install decorative storage shelves to house items you don’t need

Make a singular statement For a bolder look, the best approach may actually be quite simple. Use a single material throughout the room for big impact. For example, run the same tile you select for the floor up the walls, across the vanity, around the shower and up to the ceiling. It’s a dramatic approach, but with the right color and pattern, it can work, especially with a pale or neutral tone. The same concept applies to other materials, such as plaster or concrete, which can create a uniform look that makes a statement. Try a timeless tub Freestanding tubs were once associated with older, outdated homes, but like many things in design, these stand-alone vessels are once more back in vogue. Today’s freestanding tubs offer tons of style to fit nearly any design motif. If the claw-foot style of yesteryear is your thing, there are plenty of contemporary takes on the look for an updated, traditional bathroom. There are also a wide range of sleek styles that look nothing like the classic version for a completely fresh, sophisticated bath. Give your tub extra star power by setting it against a backdrop of tile or reclaimed wood, and punch up the style with standout fixtures to make your tub a truly unique feature of the bathroom. Float your vanity Take a look at today’s trending bathroom designs and you’ll see floating vanities cover the pages of most design magazines and articles. Floating vanities, also known as wall-mounted vanities, mount directly to the wall, providing more floor space and creating a streamlined look. By mounting the vanity to a wall, the space is broadened, naturally making the bathroom look and feel larger. Additionally, the wall mount

74 Pensacola Magazine

fixtures can actually be a source of color. Bold brass and gold tones are in style, or for something completely different, explore a new look like solid black fixtures that pop against several different textures and surfaces. Introduce ample lighting Sub-optimal lighting can hamper the ambiance of smaller spaces like bathrooms. If the space has a window, ditch any coverings that restrict the natural light and instead rely on textured glass windows that provide privacy while allowing light to shine freely. Another option is a skylight, which is surprisingly easy to add. If access to the roofline is an issue, consider one (or even a couple) tunnel skylights. Also give care to selecting the right fixtures for the space. Not only should they coordinate well with the overall

in everyday reach like bathtub salts, scrubs and more. You can also use the shelves for storing extra toilet paper and cleaners to free up valuable storage space below the sink. Maximize vertical space. Consider extending cabinetry up to the ceiling. Adding color at a vertical height can cause the eye to go up and therefore enlarge the bathroom space and feel. It is also a wise use of unused space rather than borrowing from limited floor space, which can make the space feel cramped. Consider open storage. Open storage shelves trick the mind because the airy openness can give the illusion of taking less space than enclosed storage. However, be mindful of over-filling shelves, which can create a cluttered look. Instead use the open space as an opportunity to feature artwork or other accents that add life to the room.

Sydnee Johnson Going above and beyond to find your next home. SYDNEE JOHNSON Realtor 22A Via DeLuna Pensacola Beach, FL 32561 sydneejohnson.cbintouch.com (850) 712-6772 Cell sydnee.johnson@floridamoves.com Follow me on

Š2017 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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Pensacola Magazine, July 2018  

Pensacola Magazine, July 2018