Page 1




20 12

8 8





20 EDUCATION FSU Panama City Welcomes Inaugural

12 16

Are YOU the Right Candidate for Public Office?

Four Tyndall Airmen Receive Purple Heart Award


On The Horizon: ECP plans for the Future


The IN Crowd: Are you Using LinkedIn Like you Should be?


Freshman Class

24 26 30 34 36 37 38




PUBLISHER Carol Roberts EXECUTIVE EDITOR Brittany Cole CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Patrick Sheffield 2nd Lt. Christopher Bowyer-Meeder Sean Brosnan Scarlett Phaneuf Erica Howard Ruthie Parker Carol Roberts Theresa Moran Maria Goodwin DESIGN Sean Brosnan (GORGEOUS - Strategic Branding & Design) COVER Aerial shot of ECP provided by St. Joe Company

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Brittany Cole, Desiree Gardner Photography, Ron Jarmon Island Air Express, The Workforce Center, Erica Howard, SSgt. Javier Cruz, Airman 1st Class Alex Echols BAY BIZ MAGAZINE c/o Bay County Chamber of Commerce 235 W. 5th Street – P.O. Box 1850 Panama City, FL 32402 850.785.5206 Online: The Bay Biz is published quarterly by the Bay County Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 1850, Panama City, FL 32402 850.785.5206 POSTMASTER send address changes to: Bay County Chamber, P.O. Box 1850, Panama City, FL 32402 or email

The Bay Biz welcomes story ideas from its readers. Email to Each Chamber Member receives one copy. To request additional copies, contact or call 850.215.3755.


Commercial and Residential Property Valuations

122 E 4th St Panama City, Fl, 32401 Phone: 850-769-6593 Fax: 850-872-9160

Company Name 4

BAY BIZ | JANUARY - MARCH 2014 Street Address



#FlyECP to Nashville Panama City to Music City in less than two hours. | Daily nonstop flights.

Courtesy of Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation

Economical. Convenient. Painless.



Boy, 2013 was a blur… where did it go? I do know that it is one that will go down in the history books as we celebrated 100 years. What a year it was with so many successes. Congratulations to our Chairman of the Board, Bill Fenimore for a great year. Note our picture here at one of our more COLORFUL events, ColorVibe, where 3,800 individuals participated to simply have colored corn starch thrown on them. Go figure…but we are thankful they did. Not to dwell on the subject of the anniversary but there were so many events, starting with the roll out at the Chamber Annual Dinner, our Birthday Block party, the commemorative issue of Bay Biz, celebration of decades at each First Friday…Bryan Taylor of United Way and David Powell of Innovations Federal Credit Union did an amazing job depicting our history through comedic relief…thank you guys! We can’t thank the many volunteers enough, but we especially would like to thank Claire Sherman for her ongoing support of this organization. A new program, CEO Welcome, saw a great first year by hosting receptions in honor of incoming and promoted CEO’s to our community. Eleven CEO’s were welcomed and introduced to our board and other community leaders. The Military Affairs Committee (MAC) had lots of activity with many military and civilian leadership visiting and coming to Tyndall AFB and NSA. In addition, staff was heavily involved in the Panama City Memorial Walk that will be a part of the marina renovation. MAC members participated in a visit to Holloman AFB in reference to those airmen and their families coming to TAFB.



The Chamber was certainly not lacking in the governmental affairs arena and its legislative agenda. Thanks to Representatives Patronis and Coley and Senator Gaetz funding was secured for the 23rd street fly over and completion of four laning of Hwy 79. The City of Panama City took the first steps toward development of a bed tax (this issue will continue in to 2014 so we are extremely excited about its potential for our community). Elimination of the sales tax on the purchase of manufacturing equipment was a big win for our State as this Chamber worked hard on the issue and sent manufacturing representatives to testify at the Capitol. Roundtable discussions were held with Congressman Southerland, U.S. Senators Rubio and Nelson, State Representatives Patronis and Coley and Senator Don Gaetz.

Me and my youngest grandaugter Ashlyn at ColorVibe.

There is one group that I just can’t leave out of this message and that is our staff. I thank each and every one of them for stepping up to the plate, no matter what, for the benefit of this organization and community. Thank you to our board of directors, committees and our membership at large for investing in Bay County’s future. Now, we kick off 2014 with our Chairman Larry Carroll who will take the reins from Bill Fenimore on January 24th at the Chamber’s Annual Dinner. In this issue be sure to check out our new leadership for the year. We have, yet another jammed packed Business Plan and we hope that you will choose to get involved and make a difference in Bay County.

Carol Roberts President/CEO

Even our Chairman Bill Fenimore, came out to get dusted in color.

“ Team up for savings and rebates.” – Gulf Power Energy Coach

GET A FREE ENERGY CHECKUP Learn where you’re spending your energy dollars and how you can reduce those costs. Perform your own Energy Checkup using our online tool, or call to have one of our energy consultants come to your home. You’ll get plenty of advice about how to start saving energy and money.

SCORE BIG SAVINGS You can lower your energy costs in many areas. Some are simple and inexpensive, and others are big investments.

• Heating and cooling systems (heat pump and geothermal) • Heat pump water heaters • Ceiling insulation • Weather-stripping • Windows • ENERGY STAR® appliances • Lighting • Thermostat settings • Water heating settings To learn about incentives for energy efficient equipment and products visit or call 1-877-655-4001.



Are YOU the Right Candidate for Public Office? by: Theresa Moran & Carol Roberts

Before you take on this challenge, consider these points: Holding public office is not for everyone. Because of demands placed on individual lives during these uncertain times, less and less individuals are stepping up to the plate to run for public office. Running for public office can create financial challenges as most positions pay little or nothing. Running a campaign costs money. From holding campaign rallies, to creating bumper stickers and posters, you’ll be paying these costs. But along with financial stressors, the demands on your family can even be greater. Those running or elected to state/federal positions endure thousands of hours away from home, are constantly on the road or flying the friendly skies. You must have a strong support team at home to manage the day-to-day operation of juggling children with school, after school activities, medical appointments and so much more. Lastly, consider your employer or business commitments that still must be managed on a daily basis.

Ever thought about running for a public office? Ever attended a city or county meeting and thought, “ I can do that and actually make a difference?”. Ever have family members or friends say “YOU could make a difference in the community”? Then why not take the chance. YOU should run for office!



The pressure of all of this is nothing compared to that of the actual public position. You must answer to every taxpaying citizen that thinks you should be knowledgeable on every issue, threatening they pay your salary and you work for them. It’s exhausting just to think about it. Also, another main point to consider, according to Mark Andersen, Bay County Supervisor of Elections, “you must be registered 1 year prior to elections in a specific delegation and you must run for office in that party”. Florida Representative Jimmy Patronis was a novice at political affairs when he first ran for office. He states “Serving as your state representative has been a rewarding experience of which I never dreamed I would hold to the point of term limiting out. I think we’ve all made a big impact on not only our community but our entire State of Florida by working together as a team. As a virtual newcomer to politics when I ran, proved that

it can be done and that I could make a difference in the lives of our citizens.� So what if you get the support you need, run a great campaign and you still lose? It can happen, but if you are running for the right reason, your efforts will pay off.

This is your event, You have one chance to get iT right. Sonny’s in Bay County has been getting it right for over 25 years.

So are YOU ready? Then we have the class for YOU! The Bay County Chamber of Commerce, along with The Bay County Association of Realtors and the Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce are going to hold a Candidate Training class February 27, 2014.

To order, In town call: 850-763-5114 or email Beach side call: 850-230-472 or email

The class is designed to help candidates with the process of running a campaign. If you are interested in becoming a candidate or just want more information, please contact 850-785-5206 for details.

a message from rep. jimmy patronis I deeply appreciate the opportunity I was given to represent the interests of our area within the Legislature over the past 7 years. I'm gratified with the lasting progress that has been achieved through the cooperation of citizens whose goals focused on the wellbeing of our communities. I will leave the Legislature knowing that Florida is blessed with countless men and women who strive to improve our State everyday.

Providing innovative solutions and creative designs for over 20 years

Call us at 850.522.0644 Visit our website at



Four Tyndall Airmen Receive Purple Heart Award by: 2nd Lt. Christopher Bowyer-Meeder 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Integrity first, service before self, excellence in all we do - these are the core values that make up every United States Airman, but some exemplify these values in extraordinary ways. Four Tyndall Airmen are proof of that.

neyman, are all very different individuals, but they share one thing in common: all four Airmen are recipients of the Purple Heart. “The Purple Heart is awarded to service members that have been injured in a direct action of enemy forces,” explained Sergeant Corona. The four Airmen each came to earn the Purple Heart in a very similar way, but on different assignments and in very different situations. “We all received them from being blown up by improvised explosive devices,” Sergeant Heise said. “We were not all together, so everyone has a different story.” Sergeant Heise was in Afghanistan when he sustained his injuries. “For me, our truck got blown up, and I got a concussion from that,” said Sergeant Heise. “Then, two weeks later, we got caught in an IED ambush scenario. While doing a post-blast, a U.S. Marine stepped on an IED about three feet from me. He lost his legs and I was thrown in to the original blast hole. I’ve had surgeries on both ankles, shoulder and neck, and traumatic brain injury.” Sergeant Gutshall was injured while driving in Afghanistan. An explosion caused him to sustain a broken heel, broken ankle, broken wrist and traumatic brain injury. While these injuries would slow most people down, Sergeant Gutshall remained motivated to continue the mission.

Senior Master Sgt. Dustin Prowell, 325th Fighter Wing Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) superintendent; Master Sgt. Jason Heise, 325th FW EOD technician; Tech. Sgt. Joseph Gutshall, 325th FW EOD technician; and Staff Sgt. Guadalupe Corona, 325th FW EOD jour-



“Men on my team need me, and America needs us,” said Sergeant Gutshall. Six months after sustaining his injuries, Sergeant Gutshall returned to Afghanistan and joined together with

Sergeant Corona (then a Senior Airman), who received injuries that earned him a Purple Heart as well. “I was his team leader,” Sergeant Gutshall explained. “During that operation, 14 personnel were injured with one killed in action. Senior Airman Corona’s actions after getting blown up prevented those numbers from being much higher. Field medical care that myself and [another Airman on his team] provided would have been worth nothing if Airman Corona had not gotten us a medical evacuation when he did. At least two more of our critically wounded would have lost their lives without Airman Corona’s help.” Sergeant Corona was injured while performing combat life-saving operations on two U. S. Marines. They were critically injured by an IED blast while clearing a building. One Marine had fragmentation damage with multiple lacerations and the other lost both legs and an arm. Sergeant Corona’s team was the first on the scene, and immediately began performing combat life-saving operations on them. Sergeant Corona eventually had to retreat to another room to call for a MEDEVAC. While Sergeant Corona was relaying information to the MEDEVAC team, another Marine detonated an IED nearby. “Unfortunately, he was killed instantly, and I was thrown and bounced off a wall several feet away and knocked unconscious,” recalled Sergeant Corona. “When I came to, I had been pulled from the building, and had several scrapes and bruises, a massive headache and had caught some fragmentation along my right side. After regaining my composure, I regained communications with the MEDEVAC and aided my team in clearing the rest of the building and getting everyone out to the landing zone for the inbound helicopter. I ended up joining the wounded on that flight out and was MEDEVACed to Khandahar.”

Sergeant Corona sustained minor tissue damage, multiple small lacerations resulting from fragmentation and TBI, yet he considers himself lucky. “I was very lucky,” he said. “It could have very easily gone much worse for me. There are plenty of EOD techs, as well as other members of the Armed Forces in general, who have sustained worse injuries and still recovered. If they can overcome losing one or more limbs, then I can definitely get over a few scratches and a headache.” Sergeant Prowell is also a member of the 325th EOD team, and was also awarded the Purple Heart after surviving an IED blast. He is currently deployed, and continues to support the mission of the 325th FW. These Airmen may seem like super heroes, but they certainly don’t see themselves as such. “We do our jobs, and we do them well,” Sergeant Corona said. “Some of us are faced with situations where we are pushed beyond our normal limits and are put in extraordinary circumstances. Fortunately, we have some great training, and we can just let that training kick in and get the job done.” All four Airmen continue to support the EOD mission here at Tyndall, and that mission was summed up quite simply by Sergeant Gutshall, “stop bad things from blowing up, then blow them up safely.”



On the Horizo ECP Plans by: Patrick Sheffield

One of the most significant transportation developments to happen in the United States in recent years was the construction of the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP) in Bay County. ECP opened to much fanfare in May 2010, and interest in the airport has remained high. Of all the activities at ECP in recent years, one of the most notable, if not as well-known, is the master plan.

tory of the airport and total aircraft operations – passengers, airport layout and current facilities -- with an eye to the future. The planners studied historical passenger traffic data and blueprints of the current layout, observed airport activity during the busy season, and conducted three passenger surveys. This work was vital, according to Airport Executive Director, Parker W. McClellan, A.A.E.

A master plan is a multi-year study used by airports to lay the foundation for long-term airport development and is required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). With the assistance of consultant CHA (formerly RW Armstrong), ECP began its master plan study in 2012.

“By understanding how the airport functions at its current level of demand, we are better able to identify future needs as passengers and flights increase,” said McClellan. “Especially during the busier times, we identified some strengths, as well as areas in need of improvement.”

“The ultimate aim of a master plan is to help airport leadership understand what is required to meet current and future demand at the airport,” said Master Plan Project Manager Paul Puckli. “To get to that point, we had a lot of work to do.”

A key takeaway from the passenger surveys was their main reason for choosing ECP: convenience. “To retain this advantage,” says McClellan, “the airport cannot grow complacent”.

Studying Existing Conditions

As the famous marketing axiom goes, “Begin with the end in mind.” For ECP, that meant taking a full inven-



“For many people, air travel is not fun or convenient,” noted McClellan. “But ECP has the advantage of being new, small, and having closer relationships with our passengers than large airports.”

on for the Future In some ways, ECP has more flexibility to react to passenger needs than other airports. McClellan cited the new covered parking as an example.

illustrate how they work, Master Plan Project Manager Paul Puckli pointed to the fifth PAL, which forecasts 869,400 enplanements in 2032.

“It became clear to us that people wanted an on-site covered parking option,” said McClellan. “And they especially wanted the open-air walkway leading to the terminal covered.”

“To accommodate that passenger level,” explained Puckli, “the airport would need more square footage which could include four additional gates, increased hold room size, and extra ramp area facilities.” Increasing post-security concessions and public space would also be a priority.

ECP responded and opened covered parking in December 2013.

Demand Forecasting

A key focus of the FAA when reviewing master plans is demand forecasting. The FAA has to approve forecasts for aircraft operations and passenger demand levels for 20 years, in five-year intervals. Passenger demand is based on anticipated enplanements, known as Passenger Activity Levels (PALs). The PALs establish “triggers” for the Airport Authority to begin planning facility improvements. Using 2012 as the baseline, the PALs incorporate potential low and high growth activity scenarios and provide flexibility to increase or decrease rate of development in response to actual demand. ECP has five FAA-approved PALs in its master plan. To

“When you’re preparing for passenger growth, you’ve got to have the space to accommodate planes, people, and baggage,” noted Puckli. “That’s why the demand forecasting is so critical.”

Facility Requirements

From the perspective of the traveling public, facility enhancements are probably the most exciting thing contained in the master plan. With the aforementioned covered parking completed in December 2013, passengers can take advantage of the enhancement now. But what other changes could be on the horizon? According to airport officials, a major project is quickly moving foward. BAY BIZ | JANUARY - MARCH 2014


Crosswind runways, smaller airport runways used to provide crosswind coverage for small aircraft, have been advocated by the general aviation community since ECP opened. Thanks to the master planning process, it is one step closer to reality. It came as no surprise to planners that the crosswind runway was needed, but as they studied it, they realized it was achievable in the near future. Much of the initial planning, environmental work, and site preparation were already in place for the runway, so in 2013 McClellan asked the airport board to move forward with construction. Their support was unanimous.

Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport Nonstop Cities: Southwest Delta • Baltimore • Atlanta • Houston • Nashville • St. Louis (seasonal)

“As a pilot myself, I knew the crosswind runway was a critical missing piece at the airport,” said Airport Authority Board Chairman John Pilcher. With so many key parts already in place, the airport is in the process of securing funding for construction. Once that key step is complete, things should move forward quickly. “Building a runway is a big undertaking, but we’re going to get it done sooner rather than later,” added Pilcher. “It is a top priority.” While the crosswind runway is moving forward, there are other facility enhancements that will take place as Passenger Activity Levels are reached. Areas highlighted in the master plan include adding airport club space, additional baggage claim space, more square-footage for rental car and ground transportation services, and an expanded security screening area.

Finishing Touches

Airport officials are looking forward to finalizing the master plan. The analysis of facility requirements is complete and leadership is evaluating multiple scenarios for ECP’s long-term development. From there, the plan has to be approved by the airport board and the FAA. Airport leadership is confident that the two-year project has laid out a clear path forward for continued growth and success.

Deputy Executive Director Richard A. McConnell, A.A.E. and Executive Director Parker W. McClellan, Jr., A.A.E. in the airport terminal at Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport.



“Once the master plan is in place, we’ll have the blueprint to achieve three priorities -accommodating increased passenger air service, delivering a convenient passenger experience, and ensuring ECP’s long-term financial stability,” said McClellan. “That’s the future at ECP.”

! h c a Be

Just another day at the



! n I n o mp



S I N C E 1 9 31

425 East 15th Street • Panama City, FL 32405 1-800-677-BOYD(2693) • 850-763-1741 • Fax: 850-769-6526 BAY BIZ | JANUARY - MARCH 2014


with your current colleagues and clients if they already have an account with LinkedIn established.

I am a business, so can LinkedIn still help me? If you have been on the web in the last 5 years, you have probably heard of LinkedIn. But, what is LinkedIn? In short, it is a social network for professionals. LinkedIn is similar to other social networks (e.g., Facebook) based on certain features, but it offers other significant resources in addition to just connecting or being social. Think of LinkedIn like a social business card or a more advanced and intuitive way to display your resume. If you are looking for a new love relationship or a way to connect with friends from high school before your big reunion, LinkedIn is not for you; stick with Facebook. If you are looking to advance your new career or step out into a new employment frontier, LinkedIn may have the answer. The LinkedIn website was founded in 2003 and currently reports more than 259 million users in more than 200 countries and territories. If you do not already have a LinkedIn profile, the set up process is fairly simple. Once your account is set up, navigating the site is simple and user-friendly. Some similar features that you will notice, based on your experience with other social networks, include a section for posts from your connections (Updates, in LinkedIn speak). The network’s main feature is networking, so it is critical to immediately start making connections. You can import your contact list to connect



Contrary to popular belief, LinkedIn is not just for professionals looking to get their name out or to look for their next big gig. It is also a great resource for businesses and employers. There are more than 2.6 million companies using LinkedIn Company Pages, and 85 companies out of the FORTUNE 100 list use the site to find employees. The features for a business are not wholly different from the features offered to professionals. Instead of individuals connecting with you personally, LinkedIn users have the option to follow a company. Businesses also have access to analytics, features for job listing and recruiting, as well as insights to assess the visibility of the company page versus other companies within a specific industry.

LinkedIn: What it is not NOT a DATING site

Even though you are able to make connections with friends from high school who share similar interests, the LinkedIn site is not a dating site and should not be used as such. Forbes recently featured an article on LinkedIn explaining the site as a new breeding ground for inappropriate solicitation and harassment. The article mentioned that female professionals have been receiving ina-

-ppropriate employment offers and date propositions. It is strongly advised to use LinkedIn with professionalism.


LinkedIn is just as easy as Facebook to set up and manage. With a few clicks and minimal effort, you can promote yourself or your business.


LinkedIn is a networking tool. That being said, you will accrue a considerable amount of connections over time. However, it should not be your goal to see who has the most connections. Connect with care. Your network is only as strong as your connections. Quality matters over quantity. If you are sending a connection request to someone you do not know, be sure to personalize the request and tell that person why the connection would be a good fit or why you would like to be connected to them.

LinkedIn: What it is (BESIDES A SOCIAL NETWORK) A newer, BETTER resume

As an individual, LinkedIn profiles offer a more concise way to present your resume. There are sections for presenting your past experience, employment, education, as well as community involvement. You can also add rich media content such as video and images to showcase work.

tions. If someone is looking for advice in the Answers section within your area of expertise, helping him or her out may assist you in obtaining a new client.


Out of all the popular social networks, LinkedIn was actually created for business professionals. Not only are you able to market to professionals based on their interests and skills, but you can also give updates about your products to followers of your business. Looking to hire someone? The Careers/Jobs tab of your Company Page can list any jobs you may have available.

If you are looking for a job, LinkedIn has over 10,000. The days are long gone when you had to apply to the same job with 500 or so other candidates and wait for a call back. Now you can find the job you want and see if a personal connection knows the human resources director; they can introduce you or just message the point of contact. Once they view your profile, they will be able to see your picture as well as any other important details about why you would be right for the job. You can tailor your profile to the specific job you are applying for or make a video and post it to your profile.

A perfect social platform for your business to market directly to professionals

* NOTE: Some of the job posting/job seeking features of LinkedIn require either a premium subscription (starting at approsimately $20/month) or payment of a fee to list jobs.

A better place to FIND vendors or LEADS

Say you are looking for a dependable painter, but you cannot determine where to start your search. LinkedIn has the functionality to allow you to search for painters in your area and find the right one based on mutual connections or past recommendations and experience. You can even ask to be introduced through one of your mutual connections. Finding a lead can be just as easy. There are tons of opportunities to find a prospective clients under the Groups or Answers secBAY BIZ | JANUARY - MARCH 2014


INSIGHTS: Bay EDA Update by: Scarlett Phaneuf current labor statistics for Bay County





NOV 13





OCT 13










NOV 12





OCT 12















NOV 13





OCT 13










NOV 12





OCT 12















OCT 13










NOV 12





OCT 12










Bay County building permits



NOV 13



OCT 13






NOV 12



OCT 12






Bay County sales tax collections




NOV 13




OCT 13








NOV 12




OCT 12










Having just celebrated the New Year, I was reminded of expectations for 2014 and the terrific opportunity we have in front of us. Some might call them “challenges,” but I tend to think of them as “opportunities.” After all, the glass is half full! The BayEDA has set 2,000 new jobs as the goal for 2014, and for us to reach and exceed that milestone, we (as a team of leaders) must commit to capitalizing on the opportunity. The ingredients for the Recipe for Success are in place. Now we must mix them together, bake them at the right temperature for the right amount of time, and begin to enjoy a great dish. Oh, if only it were that simple. Bay County is on the cusp of dramatic growth. But those of us in leadership positions must stretch our influence in several ways to realize the great potential. Our opportunities include developing a world-class education, closing the skills gap, rebranding Bay County as a diverse and thriving economy and ensuring that the infrastructure is in place to foster significant growth. All of these issues can be addressed by the group of business and elected leaders across Bay County. We only have one shot at taking advantage of these opportunities, and 2014 is the time to “seize the day!”

January - March 2014 Demographic Snapshot Bay County Population: 171,903 Median Age: 40 Labor Force: 88,484 Average Wage: $32,642

Households: 74,585 Household Income: $48,225 Per Capita Income: $29,357

Bay County bed tax collections



NOV 13



NOV 12






OCT 13



OCT 12















Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport passenger traffic



NOV 13



OCT 13






NOV 12



OCT 12






National, state & local unemployment rate (Jan 1990 to Jan 2013) 16.0





Florida US Bay County
















































FSU Panama City Welcomes Inaugural Freshman Class by: Erica Howard Marketing and Special Events, FSU Panama City

FSU Panama City’s inaugural freshman class poses in front of FSU President Eric Barron’s Tallahassee home after the Freshman Convocation in August.

Florida State University Panama City (FSU-PC), welcomed a new type of Seminole during the 2013-14 academic year: Freshmen. From a pool of 760 first-time college applicants, the regional campus admitted about 50 freshmen for the fall 2013 semester. “We didn’t have a big class, but it was the first,” Vy Nguyen, 18, said. “That’s something to be proud of.” Nguyen, who was in the IB program at Rutherford High



School, is one of four freshmen who have an undeclared major. Popular freshman majors include engineering, business administration, psychology and computer science. Nguyen noted the cost savings of continuing his education in his hometown. “I can spend money on books and actual classes instead of housing,” he said. “It was the right place to go.” Kasey Lugo, 18, an electrical engineering major from Mosley High School, said she saw the perks of the regio-

-nal campus after a personal tour from Dr. Ken Shaw, FSU-PC Dean. “For the dean to take that time with me and for the admissions officers to seem so genuinely excited for me to be here, it made me feel like this was a place where you’d be important,” she said. Communication major Stephanie Gipson agreed. “When I came to see the campus, the staff and the faculty welcomed me with open arms,” said Gipson, 18, who graduated from Vernon High School. “They were telling me how excited they are for me to be here.”

in the Southeast to obtain a tier-one university degree at one of the most beautiful campuses in the United States,” Dr. Shaw said. The inaugural freshman class had an average high school GPA of 4.07, ranging from 3.3 to 4.6. The average ACT score was 26.2, ranging from 22 to 31. Only 17 percent of high school students who took the ACT scored higher than a 26. Applicants came from hometowns in Bay and surrounding counties, and as far away as South Florida, Ohio, Virginia and Tennessee.

“It is hard to know who is more excited about freshmen being on our campus this fall: us or them,” Director of

Admissions Melissa Conner said during the first week of classes. “It has been a sincere pleasure meeting them and their families as we have gone through several cycles of orientations to prepare them for their first semester here.” Gipson said the smaller university campus has provided a smooth transition from high school. “I ask a lot of questions,” she said. “If I went to a big university, I wouldn’t be able to do that.” “I love how close it is to home, and the professors take a real interest in your success,” Lugo said. “I love how small it is because it makes meeting people so much easier.” FSU Panama City offers students the opportunity to earn the same nationally-recognized Florida State University degree on a waterfront campus with smaller class sizes and more one-on-one support.

FSU Panama City Dean Dr. Ken Shaw gives high-fives to the inaugural freshman class at the Freshman Convocation at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center in Tallahassee.

“We are pleased to provide an opportunity for students BAY BIZ | JANUARY - MARCH 2014


Making a difference in our marketplace... Last year, smart consumers came to BBB|Northwest Florida for help and information an average of 1,700 times a day. BBB|Northwest Florida provided over 600,000 instances of service in 2013 to consumers.

BBB速 is funded by business people who champion their belief that ethics in business matters.

...Over a thousand times a day

Aerial photos by: Ron Jarmon, Island Air Express Ground photos by: Brittany Cole, Bay County Chamber of Commerce

On November 16, 2013, the Bay County Chamber of Commerce held the first ever Color Vibe 5k Run in Bay County. Thousands came to take part in this colorful event, benefitting The Bay County Chamber Foundation.





A New Day is Coming for the Gulf Coast Workforce Board and Workforce Center by: Maria Goodwin

Beginning in February 2014, the Gulf Coast Workforce Board and Workforce Center will become CareerSource Gulf Coast as part of a new state-wide brand identity to better align Florida’s nationally recognized workforce system and improve customer awareness and use of the system’s services and resources. The new brand, CareerSource Florida, is a result of extensive market research and input from employers, job seekers, workforce professionals and community partners throughout Florida. The name, logo and charter for the entire workforce system were approved unanimously by the Workforce Florida, Inc. Board of Directors in May 2013. The Gulf Coast Workforce Board of Directors approved its aligned regional brand name of CareerSource Gulf Coast at the September 2013 board meeting. Prior to the rebranding initiative, there were 25 regional brand names, for the state and local workforce boards, as well as numerous other brands associated with the system and its one-stop career centers. Research indicated the multiplicity of names contributed to a lack of awareness among both employers and job seekers of the system’s employment and training resources.



“A lot of work has been done for the February 2014 launch, even though we have enjoyed our local identity and feel that we have had good brand recognition locally, we are supportive of the brand change because it helps job seekers and employers across the state, and even outside the state, understand that we are part of a statewide system of resources designed to connect them to careers and talent respectively”, said Kim Bodine, Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Workforce Board. Planning for the re-branding began in September 2013 and includes everything from replacing signage, ordering new business cards, designing new promotional materials, developing transitional advertising, purchasing of staff uniforms, and a newly designed website and URL, The initiative to develop Florida’s unified workforce system brand was brought about by the Regional Workforce Boards Accountability Act of 2012. Passed by the Florida Legislature and signed into law by Governor Rick Scott, the law — which called for the system to evaluate the means to establish a single, statewide workforce system brand — took effect on July 1, 2012.

“Our CareerSource Florida state and regional brand names convey our shared mission to connect businesses with skilled talent and Floridians with skills development needed not only when seeking a job but throughout their career,” said Dwayne Ingram, Chairman of the Workforce Florida Board of Directors. “This exciting new brand demonstrates our system’s continued collaboration, innovation and leadership in developing strategies to maximize resources that help job seekers and businesses succeed.” Florida is among a growing number of states nationally to unify its workforce system through a common brand name. Others include California, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. However, further distinguishing itself as a national leader, Florida is the first state to unify its statewide board, regional workforce boards and career centers through a single brand identity. CareerSource Gulf Coast will be hosting a ribbon cutting and the Bay County Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours on Tuesday, February 11, from 5 to 7 pm at 625 Hwy 231, Panama City, Fl, in the Mariner Plaza.


See how much you could save on car insurance today.

Jennifer Koppel | 850-785-0538 | 1314 N. Tyndall Pkwy • Panama City

∑øœ∂˚ Saving people money on more than just car insurance.®

Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states or all GEICO companies. Homeowners, boat, PWC and flood coverages are written through non-affiliated insurance companies and are secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, Inc. Motorcycle and ATV coverages are underwritten by GEICO Indemnity Company. The GEICO Personal Umbrella Policy is provided by Government Employees Insurance Company and is available to qualified Government Employees Insurance Company and GEICO General Insurance Company policyholders and other eligible persons, except in MA. GEICO is a registered service mark of Government Employees Insurance Company, Washington, D.C. 20076; a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary. GEICO Gecko image © 1999-2013. © 2013 GEICO.



If you are a member of the Bay County Chamber and would like to submit your business news to be published, email a press release, logo or photo to

The Bay County Chamber of Commerce

The Bay County Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce its 2014 Officers and Directors.

Term Expires 2014

Larry Carroll

Andrew Levy

Michael Sears

Robert Carroll

Officers Chairman of the Board Larry Carroll Coldwell Banker Carroll Realty, Inc. Chairman Elect Andrew Levy Harrison Sale McCloy

Term Expires 2015

Vice-Chair Michael Sears Merrill Lynch Treasurer Robert Carroll McNeil Carroll Engineering, Inc. Past Chairman/ Military Affairs Committee Bill Fenimore NAI Talcor Vice-Chair of Communications Claire Sherman Lamar Advertising Co.

One Year Chair Appointment Lisa Barnes Eastern Shipbuilding Group Vickie Gainer The News Herald Barry Keel Bay Medical Center Sacred Heart



Gary Anderson (Anderson Construction Co.) , Dr. Hulon Crayton (Arthritis & Infusion Center), Brent Gardner (Simon Property Group), DeAnn Mullins (Mullins Pharmacy), Rich Musgrave (Preston Executive Partners), Stephanie White (Bay County Association of Realtors)

Bill Fenimore

Claire Sherman

Harrison Sale McCloy Attorneys at Law

Jeremy Bennett (Centennial Bank), Pedro Fuster (RockTenn), Frank Martin (Raymond James Financial), Raymond Powell (Doral Bank), Aaron Rich (Aaron Rich Marketing)

Three Year Elected Harrison Sale McCloy Attorneys at Law (HSMc) Announces Strategic Relationship with Orlando-Based Intellectual Property Law Firm designated a Tier 1 firm for its patent law practice in 2013 by U.S. News and World Report. HSMc has entered into a strategic relationship with Beusse, Wolter, Sanks, Mora, and Maire, PA. (BWSMM), an Orlando based Intellectual Property Law Firm. As the northwest region of Florida continues to develop and the support for business innovation and advanced technology increases, this relationship benefits entre-

Ronnie Adams Gulf Power Company Ryan Davis Regions Bank John Juchniewicz Carr Riggs & Ingram, LLC Wayne Lindsey Sonny’s Real Pit Bar BBQ Carlton Ulmer Gulf Coast Medical Center Ray Walker AT&T

-preneurs seeking firms who can provide all-inclusive services. The HSMc comprehensive areas of practice combined with those of this boutique IP firm will provide current and prospective clients a broader concentration of services. Patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret protection will be in the forefront of practices provided by BWSMM through HSMc. While the two law firms will remain independent, this relationship brings immediate expertise at a level that will amplify the services currently offered by Harrison Sale McCloy. BB&T

BB&T has named Collin Luibl as a market leader serving the Panama City market. Luibl is based at 2698 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Luibl brings more than five years experience in the financial services industry to his role. The Alexandria, Va., native earned his bachelor’s degree in business from Shepherd University. Anchorage Children’s Home

Anchorage Children’s Home is pleased to announce the hiring of Mr. Steve Blumenthal as the new Executive Director for Anchorage Children’s Home. Steve comes to Bay County with an extensive background in child welfare where he most recently served as the Director of Child Protective Investigations for the Pasco

County, Florida Sheriff’s Office for over ten years. Steve was also a Program Administrator for the Florida Department of Children & Families where he supervised Marion County’s child protective investigations, protective supervision services, foster care and child welfare legal services staff. Panama City Port Authority The Panama City Port Authority is pleased to announce that it has leased 75,000 square feet within its new distribution warehouse to AAdvantage North American. AAdvantage North American is a Panama City based logistics comp-

-pany providing vendor managed inventory (VMI) warehousing and distribution services. Port Authority Chairman Rayford Lloyd said, “We are fortunate to have a Panama City company able to take advantage of the Port’s new facility and provide needed warehousing services to both local industries and port customers.” Terrell Magee, President of AAdvantage North American added, “The goal is to enhance the value of our port to importers and exporters with logistics services that reduce cost and increase the speed of their supply chain.” The port broke ground on the 150,000 square foot building in October 2012. Construction was completed in September. A second distribution warehouse, which will be operated by Fedex Ground, is also under construction on an adjacent site within the Port Authority’s Intermodal Distribution Center.

ReliantSouth Contruction Group Richard Dodd and partners formed a construction management firm, ReliantSouth Construction Group, in June of 2013. They have recently added two new team members to their ranks, Aaron McPhail, Project Engineer and Jason Phillips, Project Manager. McPhail is the youngest member of the ReliantSouth team, and graduated this year from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. While in college, McPhail was on the Dean’s List, worked as an engineering intern, an undergraduate research assistant, and assistant to the own-

-er/operator of McPhail Properties, Inc. Aaron was co-president of UF’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes and a construction volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. The newest member of the ReliantSouth team, Jason Phillips is a proud graduate of Bay High School and earned a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management from the University of West Florida. He has more than 15 years of experience working



with various regional construction firms helping to build projects from Mississippi to Central Florida, which ranged in size from $100,000 to $80,000,000. As a Florida licensed General Contractor, Jason is very proficient in Primavera, Sure Track, and MC^2 Expedition software, which will add tremendous value to ReliantSouth and its clients. Burg Management Company

Karin Bertrand of Burg Management Company has been named a Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) by the National Board of Certification for Community Association Managers (NBC-CAM). The CMCA designation is the only national

certification program designed exclusively for managers of homeowner and condominium associations. She joins more than 10,000 CMCA certificants nationwide who have demonstrated the professional knowledge that is so important for managing homeowner associations. To obtain and maintain the CMCA credential, a manager must complete compre hensive course work, pass a National Certification Examination, adhere to the CMCA Standards of Professional Conduct and take continuing education courses to recertify. Bertrand has been employed by Burg Management Company for over two years. She manages seven homeowner associations in Bay and Gulf Counties. Innovations FCU Innovations FCU is pleased to announce that David Powell has recently joined our team as Business Development Manager. Prior to joining the Innovations’ team, Mr. Powell was the Commercial Account Representative for Brown

& Brown Insurance and has over 15 years of experience in the fi-

nancial institution industry. Mr. Powell has served the Bay County community through a variety of civic responsibilities including the Chairman of the Bay County Chamber Board of Directors, the Executive Leadership Team for the American Heart Association, Chairman of the Bay County Military Affairs Committee, and Chairman of the Panama City Beach Chamber Board of Directors. Currently, Mr. Powell is the Chairman of the Bay Education Foundation and a member of the Panama City Beach Chamber Board of Directors.



Many young professionals are enthusiastic about area business and community opportunities and are ready to get involved as new leaders. Bay Young Professionals (BYP) was formed by the Bay County Chamber of Commerce to specifically address the needs of this specific age group to enrich our community by uniting, developing and retaining our future leaders. If you are interested in becoming part of the Bay Young Professionals (BYP) group, contact Kevin Kussro at 850-215-3757 or Photos by: Desiree Gardner Photography

Curtis Williams Curtis Williams is a commercial lender with Centennial Bank. Originally from south Mississippi, he has called Bay County home for the last 20 years. He is a graduate of Bay High School, GCCC, and earned a B.S. in Finance from FSU. Curtis began working for Centennial Bank in 2012, and he was promoted to Commercial Loan Officer. Curtis is committed to giving back to our community. He has served many local organizations including currently serving as the Treasurer of the St. Andrews Bay Yacht Club, past President of the Junior Achievement Board of Directors, active member in Lynn Haven Rotary and the Bay County Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of the 2005/2006 Leadership Bay Class, which formed the BYP and served as the committee’s first chairman. Curtis married Bay County native, Kristina Mizell Williams, a Hospice Specialist for Emerald Coast Hospice. Kristina and Curtis are blessed with a 2-year-old son, Gracen Scott.

Lindsey Lowe Lindsey Lowe is proud to call Panama City Beach, Florida, home after being born and raised in the beautiful country community of Chattanooga, Tennessee. After completing two years in the nursing program at Berry College in Rome, Georgia, Lindsey moved to Panama City. Lindsey has been working for Florida Therapy Services and has been promoted internally several times. She currently serves as the Human Resource Director. Lindsey enjoys spending her days off with her significant other, Andrew, who is a teacher and the assistant baseball coach at Bay High School. The couple has recently become homeowners, spending the weekends renovating and decorating their home. As Lindsey continues to become more familiar with the Panama City area, she plans on getting more involved in the local community fulfilling her strong passion for community service. Membership in BYP ensures her the opportunity to succeed, as well as to get involved.



Paying More for Healthcare? Get the Best Care at the Best Price Did you know that not all hospitals charge the same rates for procedures? Fortunately, hospital charge and quality data is now available for many common conditions and procedures through for patients who are looking for the best value. Bay Medical-Sacred Heart provides both quality and value. We are the only hospital in Northwest Florida to be listed among America’s 100 Best for Cardiac Care, we are nationally accredited as a Center of Excellence in Heart Attack & Stroke and our charges for both cardiac catheterizations and inpatient stroke care are far below our competition’s. In fact, our charges are less for every service listed on the website. Bay Medical-Sacred Heart has also been rated a Best Community Hospital by U.S. News & World Report, and selected in community surveys as the Consumer Choice Award Winner for our area by NRC Ticker. We are proud of our achievements, but even more proud to provide you with the top quality you deserve at the best price.

2012 Cost Comparison Chart Procedure/Condition

Bay Medical-Sacred Heart’s Charge (lowest-highest)

Gulf Coast Medical Center’s Charge (lowest-highest)


$17,328 - $24,439

$64,358 - $76,599

Asthma Ages 2-17 Years

$3,186 - $6,130

$9,072 - $160,443

Back Pain

$12,515 - $25,564

$24,514 - $46,843

Cardiac Cath

$21,122 - $30,796

$51,902 - $77,132

Chest Pain

$5,974 - $13,466

$18,626 - $33,842


$4,436 - $5,604

$11,146 - $20,358

Delivery—Cesarean Section

$8,746 - $12,761

$28,490 - $36,056


$4,695 - $6,718

$14,596 - $19,133

Gallbladder Removal (laparoscopic)

$18,433 - $33,957

$70,153 - $108,514

High Blood Pressure

$8,484 - $17,643

$19,137 - $42,325

Hip Replacement

$36,345 - 50,040

$100,640 - $121,339


$15,263 - $23,715

$63,071 - $83,128

Knee Replacement

$34,722 - $43,127

$95,491 - $112,063


$12,564 - $26,428

$29,739 - $65,202

Pneumonia Ages 2-17 Years

$4,820 - $8,514

$11,360 - $23,724


$16,303 - $33,930

$29,483 - $59,454


615 N. Bonita Avenue Panama City, FL 32401 (850) 769-1511 ww w . ba y me d i cal .o rg * Healthgrades 2013 Analysis



Technology Support for your business

a Nevesmedia company

850.215.4176 Networking • Telephones • Surveillance Systems WEb SOluTIONS ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓

Web Site Design Web Site Hosting Internet Marketing Web Site Development Search Engine Optimization

Neves Media Productions 1609 lisenby Ave. Panama CIty, Fl 32405 P 850.215.4170 F 850.215.6353

The Emergency Room is no longer your only option. If you wish to escape the long waits and do not have a life threatening injury, consider visiting The Village Health Center.

Florida Department of Health in Bay County

For a complete and up to date list of all Chamber activities, including committee meetings, visit our website at

January 10th

First Friday With the Beach

FSU Panama City Holley Academic Center (4750 Collegiate Drive)

Networking: 7:15 a.m. / Program 8:00 a.m. Sponsored by: Harrison Sale McCloy & Nations Real Estate Free event to Bay County Chamber and Panama City Beach Chamber members and invited guests


Annual Dinner & Awards Ceremony Edgewater Beach & Golf Resort (11212 Front Beach Road)

February 7th


FSU Panama City Holley Academic Center (4750 Collegiate Drive)

FSU Panama City Holley Academic Center (4750 Collegiate Drive)

First Friday

Networking: 7:15 a.m. / Program 8:00 a.m.

Sponsored by: Life Management Center

Sponsored by: CareerSource at Gulf Coast

Free event to Bay County Chamber members and Chamber invited guests

Free event to Bay County Chamber members and Chamber invited guests


Business After Hours

CareerSource Gulf Coast Workforce Board (625 W. Hwy 231)

5:30-7 p.m. Sponsored by: Career Source at Gulf Coast

Dinner & Program: 6:45 p.m. Sponsorships are now available. Contact Elizabeth at 215.3761 or for more information.

*Dates, times and locations subject to change.


First Friday

Networking: 7:15 a.m. / Program 8:00 a.m.

Silent Auction & Cocktails: 6 p.m.





Anita DeSonia, MS 2682 Chapman Dr. Panama City, FL 32405 (850) 215-6230 (850) 215-6235 Badcock Furniture & More 544 N. Tyndall Pkwy Panama City, FL 32404 (850) 522-9666 (850) 522-0465

Emerald Coast Collections, LLC. 757 Jenks Ave. Panama City, FL 32401 (850) 785-0088 (850) 481-1708

Badcock Furniture & More 617 Ohio Ave. Lynn Haven, FL 32444 (850) 265-5626 (850) 522-0465

Enterprise Rent A Car 2024 W. 23rd St. Panama City, FL 32405 (850) 747-1110 (850) 747-8831

Bay Dental Center 45 E. Beach Dr. Panama City, FL 32401 (850) 785-5502 (850) 785-5510

The Fit Devil 743 A Airport Rd. Panama City, FL 32405 (850) 238-0431

Bennigan’s 2100 MLK Jr. Blvd. Panama City, FL 32405 (850) 215-2366

GORGEOUS PO Box 1034 Panama City, FL32402 850-867-2888

Business Innovation Center 4750 Collegiate Dr. Panama City, FL 32405 (850) 814-4533

Gulf Swim & Wellness, Inc. 1225 Airport Rd. Panama City, FL 32405 (608) 385-8767

CGH Technologies 600 Maryland Ave. SW, Ste 800 Washington, DC 20024 (202) 554-7774

Guyson Construction 607 Hwy. 390 Lynn Haven, FL 32444 (850) 596-9097 (850) 773-9760

Charlie Pettis Pest Services P.O. Box 1205 Wewahitchka, FL 32465 (850) 381-2942 City Produce 239 Main St. Destin, FL 32541 (850) 654-4404 (850) 654-1797 Couch Ready Mix, USA PO Box 7142 Pensacola, FL32534 (850) 785-0770 (850) 785-7679


Dan Hinz Coaching 603 Breakfast Point Blvd Panama City Beach, FL 32408 (850) 890-6277


Howell CPA Group 3027 Osprey Circle Panama City, FL 32405 (850) 774-1957 The John Maxwell Group 2320 Dragonfly Ln. Panama City, FL 32405 (850) 276-4504 Klever Media Works, LLC 6517 Pridgen St. Callaway, FL 32404 (850) 348-3190

Lighthouse Marina 5325 N. Lagoon Dr. Panama City Beach, FL 32408 (850) 234-3939 (850) 234-7413 Los Rancheros 208 W. 23rd St. Panama City, FL 32405 (850) 769-7999 (850) 769-8001 Nu Wave Medical Center 10800 PCB Parkway, Ste 200 Panama City Beach, FL 32407 (850) 249-6363 (850) 249-6680 Pirate’s Cove Marina 3901 Thomas Dr. Panama City Beach, FL 32408 (850) 234-3939 (850) 234-7413 Ripley’s Believe it or Not 9907 Front Beach Rd. Panama City Beach, FL 32407 (850) 230-6113 (850) 230-0131 Schwan’s Home Delivery 1728 Industrial Rd. Dothan, AL 36303 (334) 792-4785 (334) 792-5014 Sentext Solutions 205 Covington St. Panama City Beach,FL32413 (850) 890-9414 (850) 708-1661 Sue’s on 390 3931 Highway 390 Panama City, FL 32405 (850) 215-4355 Williams Communications, Inc. 5046 Tennessee Capital Blvd. Tallahassee, FL 32303 (850) 385-1121 (850) 575-0346

5 Years

Bay County Republican Party Sleep Inn & Suites

10 Years

Arthritis & SportsCare Center Boatyard Restaurant Emerald Coast Answerphone Gulf Coast Triathlon Foundation State Farm - Michael Lovchuk Tommy Smith Elementary Unity of Panama City

15 Years

Florida Therapy Services Jensen USA, Inc. Landrum Professional Employer Services Metabolic Research Center Second Chance of Northwest Florida

35 Years Diver’s Den

40 Years Neil Graham

DaVita Dialysis, enjoy a vacation here in Panama City. Our Dialysis Center can keep you locally OR on the beach. While here, the only worry you will have is how to spend your free time. Appointments available to meet your needs. Flexible Vistation Policy. Visit us at any one of our locations or at Panama City 615 Highway 231 763-1233 510 North McArthur Avenue 914-0824 Panama City Beach 16201 Panama City Beach Parkway 233-0837


1. 2.

2 4

3 Chamber “Tool Time” at the October First Friday Special Celebrities Make an Appearance at the

November First Friday


Bay District School Students Learn About Career

Opportunities at Career Connections


Junior Leadership Bay Participants Explore

Health Care in Bay County

5. 6.

Members enjoying October Business After Hours

Bay County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors 2013 Retreat






235 W. 5th Street Panama City, FL 32401

January-March 2014 Bay Biz  

The Bay Biz Magazine is a quarterly magazine that focuses on the business community

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you