VIP Pensacola - October 2022

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events departments contents Green Perspectives Adventure Out Swizzle Coastal Cuisine Style Locale I Am Pensacola 32 47 58 67 74 76 82 Publisher Greg Alexander Associate Publisher Verla Price Publisher’s Assistant Nicole Partridge Advertising Stephanie Alvarez Kristin Moffitt Verla Price Anna Stockton Graphic Designers Patti Hall Alicia Noble Art Director Priscilla Atkins Content Creator Anna Stockton Contributing Writers/ Photographers Steve Black Patti Hall Kevin Houghton Nicole Partridge Anna Stockton Monica M. Wilson VIP Founder Jeff Watson VIP Pensacola Staff Volume VII • Issue X Jukebox Gala Pensacola Chamber Annual Meeting 2022 Best in Pensacola Black Tie Ball 5th Annual Juried Show & Reception Making Strides of Pensacola VIPINK Kick-Off Seville Business Happy Hour Childhood Cancer Awareness Rally and Ride Make-A-Wish Wake up for Wishes First Responder Appreciation Lunch State of Education Luncheon 2022 Kites on the Coast 12 15 21 43 51 54 56 60 63 71 79 features Nicole & Charles Blay, D.O. at 2022 Best in Pensacola Black Tie Ball on the cover Photography by Salz Photography Studio Business ProfileCarrington Medical Power Players 18 35 8 |
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letter from the Associate Publisher

Give freely to those in need.

We are shocked and saddened to learn of the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian, and we send our sincere sympathy to the families and friends who have experienced such a loss following this terrible storm. I know the generous people of the Gulf Coast will step up immediately with help as we have done in the past. Please follow our social media pages as we will promote ways to support our Florida neighbors to the south.

In our October issue you will nd coverage of many of the area’s most prominent events and photos from the Black Tie Ball, VIP Pensacola’s Readers’ Choice Awards. Winners of Best In Pensacola walked the red carpet and enjoyed cocktails and dinner before taking the stage to accept their award. The evening rolled to a close as the DJ spun tunes until midnight.

Fall is welcomed as people travel great distances to see colorful changing leaves, smell fresh fodder, and consume caramel apples at local fairs. Over the years I have had more than my share of hot chocolate around a bon re, so I look forward to the cooler temperatures and the warm waters at the beach. October is one of my favorite months on the Gulf Coast.

I enjoyed my summer vacation in the Rocky Mountains; however, I missed some fun here at home and am enjoying many local events by reading about them in the pages of VIP Pensacola. Our editorial team along with our photographers presented us with well-attended business networking events, fundraisers such as Juke Box Gala, and VIPink Kick off.

Our mainstay features are attractive this month as well. I loved the organization station in Style while Coastal Cuisine entertains some great ideas for power foods – because we all need those. I Am Pensacola in this issue is Laura Hussey, the morning co-anchor on WEAR Morning News.

Take special note of our pro les on several local Power Players. These include people who are doing great things in the business community and making a success story through their professional growth. Get to know them here and go see them when you have a need.

In closing, here are a few tips on helping a community after a natural disaster such as Ian. Get involved with local fundraising drives supporting reputable nonpro ts such as The Red Cross, send money, donate goods, and most importantly give blood and volunteer to help with cleanup.

If you know of a non-pro t or charity hosting an event you would like to see featured in VIP Pensacola, please call me. Our mission at VIP Pensacola is to support as many non-pro t causes as possible.

Thank YOU for reading VIP Pensacola; please be kind, courteous, and shop local.

10 | Associate Publisher 850-502-7970
Be on the lookout for our VIP Pensacola Ambassadors, Shelley & Steve Black, at area events.
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Jukebox Gala

The Pensacola Opera’s 18th Annual Jukebox Gala took place on September 23. This extraordinary event is not only a memorable celebration of opera, elegance, and entertainment featuring some of the world’s most acclaimed opera singers, but also a celebration to kick off the 40th Anniversary Season. Additionally, this year’s Gala holds the honor of being a special tribute to two of the Pensacola Opera’s founding members and supporters, Drs. Jim and Nell Potter, who were very generous with their time and talent within the Pensacola Community and Performing Arts. The Jukebox Gala is Pensacola Opera’s signature fall fundraising event, where, over a gourmet four-course dinner, world-class opera singers serenade guests tableside as high bids determine the entertainment that ensues, course by course. Volunteers and committee members spend countless hours planning meetings, crafting beautiful décor, gathering event attendees, and soliciting the various auction items. All proceeds directly support professional opera performances and education programs that enrich the Pensacola community. Passed-appetizers and champagne started the evening off during cocktail hour while the bidding was opened for each of the two sets. The four-course meal followed while the guests were thoroughly entertained by professional pianists and artists.

photos & story by Kevin L Houghton
VIP Pensacola at Sanders Beach
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Courtney & Will Campbell Dimitri Pittas & Leah Edwards Doug & Becky Terrell, Marisuz & Elzbieta Szlapo, Maggie & Todd Bond Chandra McKern & Jennifer Knisbell Sheryl & Marty Stanovich Rene West & Tammy Chaney Lisa & Len Griswold
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Willian & Kim Gibbons, CJ & Stephanie Deppen Scott Lee, Kayla Nanto, Nathan Cicero, Hayley Abramowitz & Randy Ho Pam Schwartz & Nan Harper Allanda Small & Whitney Gillespie Lauren & Robby Boothe Jill Richburg, Bill McGinnes, Corey McKern, Kim Kimbro & Robin FrohlichBrenda & George Thompson, Pat & Donna Quinn Diane Appleyard, Ed & Deborah DrozdowskiJan & Ron Miller Hannah Denaro & Emily Michiko Jensen

Pensacola Chamber Annual Meeting

There was perfect Chamber of Commerce weather on September 20 as the business community gathered for the 132nd Pensacola Chamber Annual Meeting. The event was held at Sanders Beach-Corinne Jones Community Center, which offers an amazing waterfront view. The Annual Meeting is a celebration of the year’s accomplishments including recognition and guest presentation. Kristina Zimmern, EVP of Operations and Marketing of the meeting’s Title Sponsor Titanium Wireless stated, “We are so proud to continue our support of the Chamber and our community.”

The Chamber Greeters were easy to spot in their red coats, and welcomed the nearly 300 eager guests. Todd Thompson expressed appreciation to the many sponsors. The Pledge of Allegiance, Invocation and welcome from Ray Walker, Chamber Board Chairman, were followed by awards. Congratulations to: Angei Morris, Volunteer of the Year; Kate Treick Photography, Small Business of the Year; Feeding the Gulf Coast, Non-Pro t of the Year; Ildi Hosman, Board Member of the Year and Eddie Murray, Special Chamber Award

As attendees dined on a plated luncheon from Nancy’s Catering & Events, Kyle Baltuch, SVP Equality of Opportunity, with the Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation was welcomed as the guest speaker. Baltuch presented key tools and metrics from the Florida 2030 Blueprint to secure Florida’s Future including strategic plans to create economic opportunity throughout our communities.

photos & story by Nicole Partridge VIP
Pensacola at Sanders Beach-Corinne Jones Resource Center
Adrienne Maygarden, Allison Hill & Brianna Wigley Aleya Williams & Jamie LaPointe Courtney & Jon Reinsch, Zach Noel & Phil Salzman Kyle Schoolar & Cyndy Baggett Verla Price & Stephanie Alvarez Michelle Salzman & Brad Mullenix Ben & Kristina Zimmern
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VIP Pensacola at Pensacola Chamber Annual Meeting 16 | MILITARY & FIRST RESPONDERS RATE $3.50/game & complimentary shoes 7 days/week, 365 days a year THANK YOU FOR VOTING US 2111 Airport Blvd. | Pensacola | 850.477.2300 BEST PLACE TO TAKE THE KIDS/FAMILY “Freedom is not free. If it wasn’t for the U.S. Military, we wouldn’t be able to sell fun for a living.” - Steve Reynolds, Owner THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE BEST PLACE FOR A DATE
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Business Profile

Preventive Medicine for chronic illnesses of children and adults

Carrington Medical opened in Pensacola as an integrative medical office. hat is integrative medicine and why do we need these types of medical services e have a great healthcare system in the United States with many advanced technologies and capabilities. Many medical patients do not re uire advanced technologies but have a need to address the health issues which are haunting them daily, interfering with their work, and preventing them from en oying life to the fullest. These problems may include caloric e cess, nutritional deficiency, insomnia, or sedentary lifestyles which leads to the development of physical, behavioral, and cognitive disorders, and cancer.

Let’s say you have a child who can’t go to sleep at night, misbehaves in school, and cannot concentrate on homework. ould you rather address what’s wrong such as deficiency of vitamins or minerals, or maybe it is an allergy to food or environment, or lack of sleep. ould you simply start treating your child with medications or try to understand what causes the problem -- is it fi able with natural products, vitamins or environmental solutions

hich way is easiest hich way is more meaningful Unfortunately, in a busy medical practice it may be faster to solve a problem with medication than to search for the root cause.

n the case of someone who is middle aged. e begin evaluating nutritional deficiency, hormonal insufficiency, and if needed, go further by eliminating chronic infections and evaluating stress levels. ith this approach we can possibly stop or postpone conditions such as diabetes, chronic liver disease, cancer, or Al heimer’s dementia. Carrington Medical provides the array of services based on that philosophy.

Dr. Liliya Slutsker has practiced in New York, Georgia, and Alabama for over 30 years. She is board certified in pediatrics, a Fellow Diplomat of American Academy of Obesity Medicine, and a member of American Association of Anti-Aging Medicine. She believes in actively involving patients in a treatment process, providing them with accessible information regarding medicine, procedures, or lifestyle choices. Conventional Medicine might save your life but being healthy is up to you.

Dr. Liliya Slutsker was born in Russia and attended medical school in St. Petersburg, Russia. After coming to the United States with her family in 1990, Dr. Slutsker was part of a prestigious Cornell University genetics lab, conducting endocrinology research. After residency at Roosevelt- St. Luke’s Hospital, affiliated with Columbia University, New York; Dr. Slutsker joined the staff of the Emergency Department at North Bronx Central Hospital and began a post as Assistant Professor of Pediatrics for the Albert Einstein School of Medicine. In 2005, after deciding that she preferred Southern hospitality to the Northern hustle and bustle, Dr. Slutsker and her husband Dr. Vladimir Slutsker moved to Georgia, joining a private practice where she worked for 10 years.

Dr. Slutsker moved to Alabama in 2016 following her husband’s directorship appointment and decided to serve the community by guiding others to a healthy lifestyle. She has always advocated for healthy living, but now she provides a more personalized medical experience by using her expertise to combine traditional and holistic medicines for people, enabling them to lead a happy and healthy life. She speaks English and Russian while dabbling in Spanish.

Vladimir Slutsker, DO is Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He graduated from medical school in St.Petersburg, Russia, and came to US in 1990. He learned a new language and graduated from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYCOM) in 1995 and embraced an osteopathic approach to treat his patients. While serving as the medical director of traumatic brain injury in Fort Benning Hospital he developed a deep connection with the military community. He continued his leadership as a medical director in Gadsden Rehabilitation Hospital.

Dr. Vladimir Slutsker continues his tenure in physical medicine and rehabilitation in the Rehabilitation Institute of West Florida Hospital.

He embraces a holistic approach of treating pain without “pain pills” through his work in Carrington Medical. His passion is acupuncture, cranial therapy, and joint and trigger point injections.

Collectively, the Slutsker’s hobbies are tennis, ping-pong, bicycling, cross country skiing, hiking, and mountain climbing.

Their power team consists of physicians, office manager, Anna Gorbunova, who handles public relations and social media, as well as medical assistant Lana Andrusiv. Carrington Medical Staff strives to make more friends and have a strong impression on the Pensacola community.


Carrington Medical provides the best services based on latest innovations in medicine and vast experience of our physicians.

We do not treat just one symptom, we evaluate a patient as a whole: physical, hormonal, behavioral, and mental. We combine traditional medical treatments with a holistic approach.

We are actively participating in patients’ care and living through their problems together.

CARRINGTON MEDICAL, P.L.L.C. 810 Scenic Highway, Suite C, Pensacola, FL 32503 | (850) 903-9313 |

T he much-anticipated evening of celebration for the winners of Best In Pensacola was a glamorous night from beginning to end. The winners-only event took place at Scenic Hills Country Club with the celebrants arriving in style as they walked the red carpet to be greeted by photographers and the VIP Pensacola team. VIP Pensacola’s readers selected the winners in online polls earlier this summer with a record number of votes. The stylish event was a way to acknowledge the hard work by so many businesses and individuals in the community.

After the wonderful dinner provided by Scenic Hills Country Club, winners in each category crossed the stage as they were acknowledged with their awards. Next, many of the winners were welcomed to the dance floor by DJ James, who kept the party going. The evening was an elegant way to celebrate these businesses, service providers, and professionals in our area. There were fabulous photo ops at this event, and we are happy to share a glimpse of the Black Tie Ball with you here. This year’s Black Tie Ball was supported by many sponsors who chose to showcase their brand to all of the winners present. A special thanks goes to all of them, especially Presenting Sponsor, Fifty Dollar Eye Guy and Coffee Guy Café and our Venue Sponsor, Scenic Hills Country Club. Be on the lookout for Best In Pensacola voting in spring 2023 to vote for all of your favorites so we can celebrate them at the 2023 Black Tie Ball.


photos by Kevin L Houghton, Salz Studio & Silver Pixel Studio story by Greg Alexander
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Xx & Xx Xx & Xx VIP Pensacola at the Black Tie Ball Gene & Amanda Hurd, Logan Kilgore Dr. Nisarg & Katie Parikh Aaron & Kimberly Watson Stephanie Highstreet & Andrea KinnamanStefanie & Dr. Frank Watson Dixie Stewart, Dr. Craig Henry & Kandy BoltonGrace, Megan, Mark, Joseph & Chandler Tegenkamp Capri & Dr. Kevin Welch Shelley & Steve Black Brooke & Brandon Maxwell Nicole & Charles Blay, D.O. Debbie & Gary Sapp Leo & Penny Lynne Josh Cooper & Hannah Williams Ragan & Ernie Dutra Nikki Williams, Phuong Tran & Liz Rhodes Michelle & Phil Salzman Kelly Villhard, Bobby & Karen Emmons
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Alex Williams & Mat McCune Manuel Rodriguez & Sindy Hernandez Haley & Ian Blaise Jo Rich, Reagan Pommier & Madrina Ciano Heather & Olon Hyder Dave & Kelly Bleiler Margaret Johnson & Thomas Lynd Daniel & Brittany JonesRon & Teresa Schier Carrie Dalton & Kimberly AppersonClaire Quilling & Wade Starwalt Audie Street, Dena & Dan Lawrence Summer Hetzel & Alec Estes Andrea DeLaCerna-Murphy & Thomas Murphy Star Lange-Richey & Matt Richey Hylton Davis, Jade Hoy, Sarah-Grace Lykins & Elli GentileMargaret & Justin Takacs VIP Pensacola at the Black Tie Ball
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Josh & Melissa Korel TJ Goodman Jake Miller & Christina Payne Monica Bonilla & Brian Tim Christina Bodenheimer & Matt Lee Tarran & Luke Street Tara DaSousa Nick Dever & Jon Reinsch Steve & Jane Reynolds Jennifer Harrison & Connie Crosby Caleb & Ashley Heifner Mel Knowlton & Tiffany Sanders Lynda & Michael Graber Laura Belsinger & Susie Endry Carrie Dalton & Kimberly Apperson Randi Lawrence & Nicole Cumpton Karla & Jeff Thompson Roger Johnson Verla Price & Ed Villar Matt & Lori Newcomer Irene Morris Dr. Aaron Hixon Erik Davis & Emily Myers Kyler Giese & Christina Giese Shaun & Lindsay Carpentier John Lassiter Kara Byrd, Jackson Wood, Victoria Spalding & Rae McCollum Ildi Hosman & Johanna Pohlmann Emilie Fugate, Shakedia Pope & Kaitlin Graye Henry Thames & Victoria Anderson Nikki Smith& Bethany Lauren Farren Allgaier & Jordan Bruch Peggy & Mike Davis Richard & Angela Crenshaw Viadda & Steven Smith, Lynn Broussard Jessica & Reice Walton Kimberly Anderson & Erin Vaughn
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VIP Pensacola at the Black Tie Ball
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Justin & Kristen Deese Curtis & Hailey ReedMorgan Watkins & Felicia Rabb Mandy & Chris Gist David Narloch & JoAnna Cope Anthony & Rachel SilvaEloise Freeman, Rafiq Hammad, Melissa Freeman & Jimmy Freeman Front: Patti Hall, Nicole Partridge, Anna Stockton & Alison Houghton Back: Greg Alexander, Kristin Moffitt, Verla Price, Stephanie Alvarez & Kevin Houghton James Hutto & Verla Price Athena & Daniel Guice Ray & Nina Savage Cass Stokes & Becky Lodge Jill Andrusko Chloe Elizabeth Greenfield & David Greenfield Elizabeth Brown John Thomas John & Romana Lopez Chip Wood VIP Pensacola at the Black Tie Ball
THANK YOU for voting us Best Hearing Care in Pensacola ... Again! Helping Pensacola To Be The Best We are passionate about the future of Pensacola and Citizens of our beautiful communities along the Gulf Coast Pensacola Opera Council On Aging of West Fl American Cancer Society Arc Gateway Capstone Academy Independence for the Blind Pensacola Children’s Chorus Serving Military’s Fellow Veterans: Sponsors of Navy Military Ball Sponsors of Fallen Hero’s Family Group Sponsors of Academic Scholarships for Military O cers Association Sponsors of UWF - Florida Veteran’s Entrepreneurship We Believe That The Best Is In Giving Not Receiving Call 850-476-0700 or visit
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VIP Pensacola at the Black Tie Ball
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That depends! So often in my world I get asked this question. A plant may appear dead but be very much alive. Grass will go dormant in the middle of the growing season (if water stress related) to conserve water. Trees may drop most or all their moisture demanding leaves/needles in their effort to stay alive. The pressures of a healthy canopy of green growth are great and the roots must meet this demand constantly to maintain such a display. In contrast, if a tree’s leaves all turn brown and they stay on the tree… it’s most likely dead.

When trees and plants are first installed into a landscape project, they are the most vulnerable. Even if the plant happens to be of a native drought tolerant variety, until the roots have sufficiently extended into the soil, all plants can quickly die without supplemental water. Please note that while plants may die from a plethora of causes, water will be the cause about 90% of the time.

What are the most common reasons plants die?

• Too much or too little water

• Too much or too little light

• Physical damage

• Newly installed plants may also die from being planted too deep. (Oxygen deprived)

• Excavation or addition of too much soil around an existing tree or plant. (Rule of thumb: do not add or take away more than an inch per year around existing trees or plants)

Fortunately, plant life, much like animal life, is programmed to survive. Given the tiniest opportunity, it will. There are times a plant will die for reasons that you simply cannot explain. There may have been a disease present when you purchased it that had yet to manifest itself or a mechanical injury (such as broken roots or primary shoots) that happened while in transport or the actual installation. Either way, I have found to check first to ensure that water was not the cause. The exception to this is if a plant/tree is already established

and it dies, the cause could be from a root-

and it dies, the cause could be from a rootborne disease and if you were to plant another in that same location it is likely to yield the same result.

Many of you either have just spent a bunch of money on a new landscape or plan on doing so soon. Others have extensive existing landscapes in place and still face occasional issues.

For existing established landscapes it is essential to note that the living landscape is not static. Disease, drought, flooding, insects, life cycle of the plant, and even broken roots/shoots from storm events all play a role in the health of your landscape. Add to this list of potential hazards the need for a good fertility program and proper watering. There is a lot going on!

There in have many issues and will take a variety of conditions.

The plants and trees that most landscape professionals use in their design palette in a particular region does not have many issues and will take a variety of conditions. We simply stay away from design elements that we may have to babysit to ensure survival.

have to babysit to ensure survival.

Green Perspectives

Plant funny:

What does dead look like?

• Woody plants and trees - The leaves will turn brown and will stay on for a substantial period of time. If a side shoot/twig is broken for inspection it will be readily green on the inside of the sample if alive and if dead green will have faded.

• Grass - Dead Turf Grass will start as conspicuous areas of grayish (I’m thirsty) and then yellowish (chlorosis) colored areas that will turn to a brown (necrosis) color.

• Succulents - Leaves will turn yellow, brown and become mushy and most of the time root rot has developed from poor drainage and too much water. Cold temps may also affect succulents.

• Palms - Since palms have one growing point, the center-topmost shoot -- if this turns brown (even if the other fronds are still green) the tree will die. Normally palms have a high chance of survival (90%) if properly handled and if they receive the proper frequency and volume of water. Be careful to install palms that can handle the occasional cold temps in Northwest Florida or be prepared to protect them.

• Seasonal flowers - These can wither and die quickly. Most will present leaf curl, a grayish and then yellow color in the foliage marking the stress.

• Tropicals - Northwest Florida has mild winters, for the most part but occasionally we get blasted with temps below freezing. If a tropical plant has been installed for several years it may look dead but have sufficient energy stored (in the lower portions of the plant or even the roots) to put out new growth when warmer weather arrives. With both tropical plants and palms, if you have a considerable investment (and thus a greater risk) know what the critical temperature is and have plans to try and protect your investment.

So why do plants die from too much water? The roots can no longer absorb the oxygen in the soil. Too much or too little water also weakens the plant making it more vulnerable to both insects and disease. Another factor similar in its effect on plant life is that during construction too much soil is sometimes placed over the roots of an existing tree (75% of a tree’s roots are in the top one foot of soil). So, if a well-intentioned contractor adds soil over the roots it’s like smothering the tree, cutting off its oxygen. Another practice that will kill an existing tree is upon clearing the site, the soil is scrapped

to remove unwanted growth around an existing tree. If the machine removes even just a few inches of soil, the tiny root hairs that are responsible for absorbing the oxygen are greatly reduced and the tree may struggle or die. Be aware of these practices and make sure your contractor is up to speed with this knowledge. A large oak that has much stored energy may take 3-5 years to actually die from the damage it received today, long after the contractors have left the site. Suffice to say, it is a better practice to remove by hand the unwanted growth around an existing desirable tree.

Practicing Agronomist and Landscape Design along the Gulf Coast for 36 years
When I droop, you droop, we droop.
Most of us want a beautiful landscape that re ects our design style and personality. Let’s keep them healthy. as your
Thank you for voting us... • Best Real Estate Team HURD REAL ESTATE & Co We are grateful for your votes and it is our pleasure to serve your Real Estate needs! Please give us a call and tell us how we can help you make your home buying and selling dreams come true! #1 REAL ESTATE TEAM, 2019-22! 306 Gulf Breeze Parkway Gulf Breeze Fl 32561 90 Spires Lane, Suite 6A Santa Rosa Beach Fl 32459 Give us a call! Gene ~ 850.565.0018 Amanda ~ 850.375.3570

For the owners of Paradise Home Services, Justin and Kristen Deese and Chris and Mandy Gist, running a successful business is truly a team effort. In August of 2020, the Deeses, owners of Element 850 Restoration, and the Gists, owners of Paradise Plumbing decided to bring their powerful forces together and create Paradise Home Services. In the beginning, they only provided residential plumbing services and water and mold remediation, but they all knew they wanted to be much more than that. They hit the ground running and haven’t stopped yet. Initially, the company had seven employees and one location. Today, they have 40 employees, two locations, and have added HVAC services to their ever-growing list of services. Even through the pandemic with supply shortages and labor challenges, Paradise Home Services has managed to thrive. They credit their teamwork for their success as everyone has a role. With four owners active in the business, they acknowledge they all have strengths in different areas, so coming together just makes them stronger than any one on their own. Coupled with many years of experience in the plumbing and HVAC industry and business ownership, they believe this is what has allowed them to grow so rapidly. Justin is their visionary, Chris is the implementer, and Mandy and Kristen keep track of the finances and make sure all the little details are monitored.

Company culture is huge to the owners of Paradise. They understand that happy employees who enjoy their work produce better results, and they do the best they can to make Paradise Home Services the best plumbing

and HVAC company to work for. They are a familyoriented company and as the employer, it brings them joy to help develop employees both professionally and personally. Quality of work and communication are also what makes the company successful. Their goal is to exceed the expectations of their customers by respecting their time and property and solving their plumbing or HVAC problem. Paradise’s mission is to preserve their paradise by making every person, place, or condition better than they found it. Of course, the business is not without challenges, like so many other businesses these days, getting products and supplies due to post-pandemic shortages can be frustrating. However, as business owners they see challenges like this as opportunities to break any level of complacency. Challenges they face force them to think outside the box and rely more on innovation. The last thing the owners of Paradise want is to be stuck in the ‘this is how we’ve always done it’ rut.

The Deeses and Gists believe they live in paradise and at Paradise Home Services, they take paradise to the next level. From the service vehicles wrapped like rolling tiki huts, to the Hawaiian shirt uniforms their technicians sport, they embrace the beach lifestyle to its fullest. All four owners enjoy being on the water, at the beach, and even catching a quick 18 at their favorite golf courses. While they like to play hard, giving back is also important to these owners. They support local high school sports teams and are often sponsors in charitable events such as the PACE Center for Girls annual fundraisers, the Pirates on the Panhandle events, and the Navarre Beach Christmas Parade, just to name a few.

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As a member of the Master Hypnotist Society, Michelle Spencer continues to study under her mentor and world-renowned Master Hypnotist Scott McFall. Staying current with “change work” skills and techniques is part of her daily routine, in order for clients to have the most advanced and successful training and coaching available... while having the best experience possible. Bayside Hypnosis is a place of change, where they believe setting reasonable goals and taking action to achieve those goals with hypnosis is fun.

Michelle thinks being a hypnotist is the best career ever because she gets to help her clients create an easier way to live and love their life, just by changing a few unuseful habits. She believes sharing the learning of life experiences and how to perceive life situations in a more useful way, is amazing.

Along with her career, Michelle is a mother, a grandmother, and a former business owner of 25 years. Her life is busy... just like yours. Learning how to slow down in her head and be calm is one of the biggest takeaways she received from hypnosis training. She believes getting control of your state of mind allows you to then be in control of your moods and emotions. Being a hypnotist has played a big part in keeping her life balanced and she is thankful she can share it with her clients.

Most people are curious about how hypnosis can help create change in life. Michelle decided to be a hypnotist when she witnessed firsthand how having a calm mind changes the entire perception of life. It is such a simple and fun way to have peace in those areas of life that need it. Since Michelle loves to do for people, and take care of others, she wanted to share her experience and training with everyone. She notes, “You just never know what opportunity God will put in your life... I’m just thankful that I recognized it.”

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Dr. Joseph Tegenkamp Dr. Grace Tegenkamp OPTOMOLOGISTS






The brother and sister team of Dr. Joseph Tegenkamp and Dr. Grace Tegenkamp are fortunate to have grown up in Pensacola and to have been a part of this community their entire lives. They are the third generation of eyecare professionals in the Tegenkamp family. Growing up in this field their entire lives has enabled them to be incredibly passionate about serving others through eye care.

The Tegenkamp family philosophy is believing in putting others first, leading by example, having a great work ethic, and surrounding yourself with an incredible team. This formula has worked for generations and has made the Fifty Dollar Eye Guy brand a success.

Dr. Joseph believes working hard to be innovative in the market space while being surrounded by a great team of eyecare professionals and continuing his family’s 0-year legacy of excellence in the Pensacola community makes them the best. They have seen changes in technology and major advancements in the uality of care, and they are continually re-investing into their practice to continue leading the eyecare profession. Joseph attended UWF for undergraduate studies where he was in the ugelman Honors Program, participating in community research that allowed for the conceptualization and implementation of service projects addressing community needs in Pensacola. He attended the Kentucky College of Optometry.

Dr. Grace knows that putting their patients first, providing the best eye care with the latest technology available, and helping patients get their life back into focus helps maintain their success. Noteworthy credit also goes to creating an excellent team full of talented people who have all helped build and grow the Fifty Dollar Eye Guy through their outstanding customer service skills and work ethic. She also attended the University of West Florida and volunteered many hours at the Independence for the Blind, gaining perspective for the gift of vision. Dr. Grace studied at The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry where she was the youngest graduate in the school’s over 50-year history.

Each of the doctors are proud to have interned at the prestigious Omni Eye Services in Atlanta, GA, where there was an extensive focus on eye disease.

Both Joseph and Grace are supportive of many community groups and charitable organi ations, with a specific passion for orphans and children. When not serving patients, both of the doctors are avid tennis players. They love how the sport brings people together to have fun and burn calories.

Dr. Grace Tegenkamp and Dr. Joseph Tegenkamp look forward to helping you get your life back into focus. Voted Pensacola’s Best Eyecare Professionals and Best Eyeglasses, Sunglasses 0 , 0 , 0 0, 0 , and 2022. The Tegenkamp family is legendary for offering the best in eyecare in Pensacola for over 50 years and looks forward to opening a third location next year.

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Kristine G. Connell, PRESIDENT Tiffany D. Maybin, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER




Rui Ramos




When ui amos, Sales ep with Crescent Payroll Solutions, moved to Falmouth, assachusetts, from Portugal as a child, he and his family knew the change would be di cult but rewarding. After adjusting to his new surroundings, ui knew great opportunities lay ahead. After serving in the S Navy for eight years, he fell in love with the area while stationed at NAS Whiting Field and for the past years has called Pensacola home. Now, as the sales rep for Crescent’s Gulf Coast egion, ui enjoys the opportunity to show business owners the services his company provides, and help businesses grow and achieve great success. ui believes his business achieves this success by building relationships with local business partners, such as CPA’s, business consultants, etc., as well as showing companies there is an alternative to PEO’s, which may not be the best fit for them. He believes that his experience in team sports and his days in the Navy have made him a good leader and believes in leading from the front, rolling up his sleeves, and working with a team to get the job done. And with a retention rate for their clients, ui and Crescent must be doing something right.

As a member of the Pensacola, Navarre, and Gulf Bree e Chambers, being active in the community is important to ui. When he’s not parading with his ardi Gras rewe, he’s enjoying wind therapy riding motorcycles with friends. He also enjoys spending time with his family, especially his two daughters. As a veteran himself, ui is passionate about supporting veteran causes, including participating in many charity motorcycle rides throughout the year.

The belief that success isn’t based solely on leadership, but is a team effort, is what makes real estate duo ristine Connell and Tiffany aybin uite an accomplished pair. Having both moved to the area in , ristine from ouisiana and Tiffany from Oklahoma, they are both happily settled and have made the Pensacola area their home. Enjoying the fact that every weekend there is something to do, from the beaches to festivals to fun on the river.

ristine started her real estate career when she followed in her husband’s footsteps and joined his firm, Connell Company, while Tiffany came on board in 00 as a front desk receptionist. Since then, ristine has become a broker for the real estate firm and Tiffany’s role is now Chief Operating O cer. Both women work hard to ensure their clients feel like they are the most important person and strive to treat them like family. As a broker, ristine’s goal is to maintain good relationships with realtors, vendors, and clients. She believes that one of the biggest challenges in the real estate business is the misconception that real estate is an easy business to be in, and while their team works hard to make it an easy process for their clients, it can be very challenging. That’s why ristine and Tiffany believe that success lies in everyone working together, not against each other.

When they’re not working or enjoying all that the area has to offer, ristine and Tiffany are heavily involved in charity work - including their work with the Women’s Council of ealtors, who holds several fundraising events for local organi ations. They are also responsible for Connell Company’s charitable contributions as well as being business partners with O. J. Semmes Elementary School.

photo by Nicole Partridge
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Jeremy Reese believes in good old fashioned hard work, dedication, and taking risks. As the owner of Reese Construction Services and part-owner of Scenic Hills Country Club, he proves that every day. When his construction company was just starting out, it was just Jeremy and his brother doing the construction work with all the equipment stored at his house. While he and his wife took care of all the paperwork late at night at their kitchen table. Reese Construction now operates out of a commercial property on 9 Mile Rd. They not only have an o ce with staff, a large yard and two shops, but they have multiple crews running seven days a week and close out hundreds of jobs per year. Jeremy’s talent and hard work have made him a powerful force in the construction and remodeling business.

As a homeowner in Scenic Hills, Jeremy saw the club and course declining firsthand. When the opportunity arose to try and save it, he took the risk. At that time, the club and course were losing a large amount of money each year, the golf course and the clubhouse were run down, the food and beverage services were struggling, and employee retention and membership was declining. Now, five years later, revenue is up, they have over 0 employees, membership has increased, many capital improvements have been made to the course and clubhouse, resulting in receiving several awards.

While Jeremy was born in California, he was raised in Pensacola. He loves the city because of its hometown feel and most importantly, the people. That’s why he and his employees love to give back to the community. They proudly support Folds of Honor, 21 Forever, the First Tee Program, the Homebuilders Association, and many more.




Chip Wood, Vice President of Sales for Avalon HR, believes his ability to understand problems and find practical, economical, and fair solutions is what makes him a good leader. So, it’s no wonder this ability led him to the PEO or professional employer organi ation business. Chip finds his industry to be very rewarding and enjoys helping his clients find answers and resolutions to their issues. Even throughout the tough business atmosphere of the pandemic, Chip and his company held a steady growth pattern and helped their clients maintain their businesses by helping them with retention credits and making sure they could succeed. He says his biggest challenge in the industry is the ever-changing business climate and regulations, although that is the exact reason clients reach out to them, to guide them through the maze and allow them to focus on their own business. He credits the success of his company with maintaining a client-first philosophy and always making sure they speak with the client personally.

Although Chip hadn’t lived in the area since he was 14, he and his wife moved back 12 years ago from St. Petersburg. He is an active member of the Gulf Breeze Rotary and past board member for WSRE. Boats, cars, motorcycles, and RV’s keep Chip busy, along with spending time with his wife, children, friends, and pets.

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5th Annual

Juried Show & Reception


1060, also known as, First City Art Center, hosted their 5th Annual Juried Show on September 15. This event had the gallery packed with artists showing off their works and guests viewing the amazing artwork.

Small eats and drinks were served while guests perused the halls and walls lled with beautiful, interesting, thought-provoking, and awe-inspiring pieces that were on display. There were paintings and sculptures, sewing, glass, and ameworking pieces, not to mention, hand-crafted art displays such as a full-size guitar shell made from leather, clay painted bowls, and fabric strewn on wood, just to name a few. Multiple prizes were awarded at the juried exhibition. Typically, a juried exhibition shows artwork selected through a competitive process. A juror is responsible for reviewing all the submissions and determining which of the artworks will be declined, accepted, and/or awarded additional prizes. Several artists received prizes: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places were awarded, along with a Landscape Award and the coveted Martha McKee Best in Show award.

First City Art Center is a non-pro t art center here in the heart of Pensacola that supports artists and engages the community in a plethora of art forms. They offer creative spaces for all ages, abilities, and skill levels in mediums such as ceramics, glass, pottery, and sculpture, to name a few, along with a youth art program.

photos & story by Kevin L Houghton
VIP Pensacola at Gallery 1060
Gage Rodgers & Katherine Taylor Diane Collins, Kelsi Adams, Ben Twingley, Lou Mitchell Courtney, Vivian Spencer & Tamara Fischbeck Award Winners Devin & Annastasia Bonner Laurie Hansen & Jan Hoffmann
October 2022 | 43
VIP Pensacola at
Annual Juried Show & Reception Finley Regan-Miller, Kristen Regan, Shawna Regan-Fulton & Pat ReganCody Copeland, Lali Metta & Kala Bloxham Rebecca Chrapkowski & Alison Houghton Monique Kanaporis & Ruta Amelia & Anna Cavnar Imani, Amir, Angel & Liam Zandikarimi Ellen Roston, Larry Goodman & Jane George Leighton Breazeale & Dick Hagood Kathy Breazeale & Lynn Huber Jennifer Fleming & Tamara Fischbeck
44 |
October 2022 | 45
Scott, Taya & Christa Vande Vegte Pam Nichols, Donna Pate & Jennifer Jacobs Sara Hoefker & Samuel Hoefker Patricia O’Neal & Jessica Day

You for Voting Us

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46 |

Boardroom on the Green

The game of golf is often thought of as a game for the wealthy and powerful, which begs the question, did players start o wealthy and powerful when they started playing golf, or did playing golf make them wealthy and powerful? It’s been recommended (jokingly) that golf lessons should be a “course” requirement when getting a Master of Business Administration (MBA) as so much business is conducted on the golf course.

And while the game of golf is largely known as being great for physical fitness, relaxation, and challenging your brain, it’s also quite an asset in the business world.

Much like the topic of our Swizzle section in this issue, scotch whisky, golf got its start in Scotland.

There is no word on if the two are related, although I’d bet the entire caddy swim day that maybe, somehow, one has something to do with the other.

However, according to experts, on the Eastern Coast of Scotland players started attempting to hit a round pebble with bent sticks or clubs, with the goal of getting the pebble over dunes and down tracks. During the 15th century, the game took o and became a favorite pastime, although it caused quite a problem when Scotland, who was facing another possible invasion, had residents shucking o their military training in favor of playing golf. The Parliament, knowing that you can’t win a war by golf alone, was forced to ban the sport. Although the ban was broadly ignored, and players continued to sharpen their skills. In 1502 King James IV of Scotland, an avid golfer, gave the sport the royal nod of approval and the game of golf became “par for the course” in Scotland. Throughout the 16th century, golf made its way through Europe with King Charles I bringing it to England and Mary Queen of Scots introducing the game to France while she was studying there. The first rules for golf were recorded in Edinburgh in 1744, however, the first standardized rules weren’t put into place until 1899. The game became popular in America around that same time and by 1900 there were around 100 golf clubs throughout the country.

Golf has always played a role in the business world, and with good reason. Where else do you get four or so uninterrupted hours with a potential client? Lunch meetings only last as long as lunch and are frequently disrupted with restaurant sta and other distractions, while boardrooms can be stu y and impersonal. Golf courses not only provide that continuous time but it’s also in a relaxed and more casual environment. Business talk can easily be intertwined with small talk about sports and other light topics, creating a pressurefree atmosphere. Participants get to know each other better as well; appreciation and admiration of a fellow player’s skills can be formed in the best of games and respect can be earned in how a player deals with frustration in the

worst of games. While business deals aren’t always closed on the golf course, they are certainly started. The rapport built amongst players is important to develop a trusting relationship between parties. Often, a round of golf leads to a round of drinks which leads to a round of negotiations and a successful business deal.

It’s not just businesses that can benefit from the golf course. Sixteen of the past nineteen United States Presidents have been golfers, for both enjoyment of the game and for networking. In fact, Lyndon Johnson is credited with using friendly games of golf to get the Civil Rights Act of 1964 successfully passed. While George W. Bush was an avid golfer, like his father, he rarely played during his presidency so as not to be disrespectful to deployed active-duty service people.

Whether your goal is to move forward in your career in business or politics, or you just like the game, golf is a wellrounded test of skill and great for your health. It’s a game rich in history and tradition, with benefits that just might help your portfolio as well.

October 2022 | 49
Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11 am - 3 pm Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 4 pm - 9 pm Brunch: Sunday: 11 am - 2 pm Cordova Marketplace 4350 Bayou Blvd · Pensacola, FL 850.477.9120 · Large Wine Selection Full Bar NOW Open Outdoor Patio Thanks for voting us Best in Pensacola! Casual Dining & Locally Owned Restaurant 50 |

VIPINK Kick-Off Making Strides of Pensacola

Over 200 local survivors, friends, and donors came out for the VIPINK, Making Strides of Pensacola Kick-Off on August 25. Angela Lane and Sue Straughn joined the event celebrating its 30th year nationwide. Making Strides of Pensacola will gather downtown at Seville Quarter on October 29 to hold a 5k walk in support of breast cancer awareness.

Since 1993, the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer program has united communities, companies, and individuals with a collective goal to end breast cancer.

Sanders Beach-Corinne Jones Resource Center was VIPINK’ed out for the kick-off, with pink balloons, pink decorations, pink table coverings, pink signs, and so much more. Silent auctions included embroidered Blue Angel and Pensacola Beach sign towels, a Yeti cooler, numerous restaurant gift cards, and golf rounds to name a few, all to raise funds for this cause.

Nancy’s Catering & Events once again pulled out all the stops for a perfect menu, bringing pink lemonade, mini sliders, ham and cheese pinwheels, fried mac and cheese bites, artichoke and spinach stuffed mushrooms, reuben egg rolls, and assorted petit chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry cakes all topped with pink frosting.

photos & story by Kevin L Houghton VIP Pensacola at Sanders Beach - Corinne Jones Resource Center Bryan Taylor, Melissa McGuire & Rachel Forehand Brent & Angela Lane, Tim Kinsella, Michelle & Phil Salzman Kerry Ward, Samantha Motley & Dana Harrison Elaine Davis & Dorian Schaefer Anne Taylor & Sally Bergosh Lateadra Baldwin & Sharon Thomas
October 2022 | 51
Pensacola at Making Strides of Pensacola VIPINK Kick-Off 52 |
Marilyn Archer & Sue Straughn Michelle Phillips, Melanie Titus, Kimi Bonner & Miriah Jefferson David Sweet & William Garner Cherylyn Stopler & Katheryn Austin Raines Kevin & Alison Houghton Ivy Watkins & Angei Morris Amy & Dyune Martinez Tom Hood & Allan Sherman Kate Strum & Stella Osborne
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Seville Business Happy Hour

TheGulf Coast Trade Exchange hosted the monthly Seville Business After Hours on September 7. BAH is a monthly gathering of business professionals networking while enjoying cocktails and light appetizers. This month’s event was well-attended and the crowd was successful at meeting other professionals and networking their own businesses. Gulf Coast Trade Exchange, along with other businesses, donated door prizes. Lucky attendees had their business cards drawn to win magni cent prizes.

photos & story by Patti Hall
VIP Pensacola at Seville Quarter
54 |
Austin Ackerson & Willa Licata Melissa Freeman, Elizabeth Brown & Chae Kyle Debbie Sapp & Kim Stacey Oren Powell, Andrew Schroeder, Anna Prieto & Jo Dawn Brown Nancy Rodriquez, Fran Crompton & Jack Williams Nicole Partridge & James Hutto Karen & Bobby Emmons
October 2022 | 55 IMAGE: FREEPIK.COM VEHICLE NOT RUNNING RIGHT? RUN RIGHT TO GARY! Thank you for voting us Best Automobile Repair Service 4 years in a row 20+ Years Experience 37 Certifications World Class ASE Master Auto and Truck Technicians 6806 Pine Forest Rd. | Pensacola, FL. 850-378-4157 |

Seville Business Happy Hour

TheGulf Coast Trade Exchange hosted the monthly Seville Business Happy Hour on September 7. BHH is a monthly gathering of business professionals networking while enjoying cocktails and light appetizers. This month’s event was well-attended and the crowd was successful at meeting other professionals and networking their own businesses. Gulf Coast Trade Exchange, along with other businesses, donated door prizes. Lucky attendees had their business cards drawn to win magni cent prizes.

photos & story by Patti Hall
VIP Pensacola at Seville Quarter
54 |
Austin Ackerson & Willa Licata Melissa Freeman, Elizabeth Brown & Chae Kyle Debbie Sapp & Kim Stacey Oren Powell, Andrew Schroeder, Anna Prieto & Jo Dawn Brown Nancy Rodriquez, Fran Crompton & Jack Williams Nicole Partridge & James Hutto Karen & Bobby Emmons
October 2022 | 57

Scotch, Neat.

Few drinks evoke such an aura of class, sophistication, and power as scotch whisky. A picture forms in your mind of a well-dressed businessperson, sitting in a dark leather chair, a wall of books placed neatly in rows in the ceiling height built-in bookcases, while discussing the latest corporate or political news. While this may be the stereotypical scotch drinker, you might be surprised at the history and varieties of this spirit that make it appealing to people of all backgrounds, whether you’re in the farming or finance business.

Scotch whisky started its journey from malted barley to now affectionately being called, “The Water of Life” in where else, but the yee olde Scotland Highlands. Rumor has it, Christian missionary monks are responsible for bringing whisky distilling practices to the area. Although experts agree it could have also been farmers in the Highlands that started using their leftover barley to create something magical that might also warm their bodies against the cold Scottish air. However, it wasn’t until 1495 when the fi rst documented mention of whisky can be found in the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, where a Friar by the name of John Cor is named as a distiller. Details are vague for the next couple hundred years with only obscure references in writings to whisky being present at various events. However, in 1644 the tax man came a’callin’ and started taxing whisky and other strong liquors, and in 1707, the combined Parliament passed laws to try and get some control over the whisky

“Why don’t you come in and have a little.... scotch and sofa?”
Mae West
story by Anna Stockton
“I love to sing, and I love to drink scotch. Most people would rather hear me drink scotch.”
George Burns
“One good thing about rain in Scotland. Most of it ends up as scotch.”
Peter Alliss
“Always carry a flagon of whisky in case a snakebite, and furthermore always carry a small snake.”
W.C. Fields

production taking place in Scotland. Once taxing brought order to the scotch whisky industry, it was able to flourish, thanks to the patent whisky still creation in 1831 and the Excie Act, which allowed stills to be legal, for a fee, of course. These changes to the industry, as well as the whisky business reaping the benefi ts of the devastation to the wine and cognac industries caused by the phylloxera beetle in the 1880s, meant a huge uptick in the demand for scotch whisky.

While scotch whisky was traditionally made with malted barley, commercial distillers branched out and started making their whisky from wheat and rye in the late 1800s. Today there are five main types of scotch whisky -- single malt scotch is simply made from water and malted barley. Blended malt is a blend of different single malt whiskies, even those from different distilleries. Single grain scotch is made of water, malted barley, and with or without added grains or cereals, while blended grain scotch is a combination of different grain whiskies that can be from different distilleries. Finally, blended scotch whisky is a combination of different types of whiskies and other grain spirits, flavoring, or coloring. This is often done with higher quality whiskies, blended with those that are less expensive or of a lesser quality. By law, to be called scotch, the whisky must have been distilled in Scotland, single malt whiskeys can be distilled anywhere but cannot bear the name scotch unless they are a product of Scotland.

Best Scotch for your Budget Givin it a wee try? - $40 Compass Box Artist Blend Scotch Whisky Aye, Scotch! - $80 Arran Single Malt Sauternes Cask Finish Feelin’ Fancy Are Ya? - $240 Mortlach 20 Year Old Cowie’s Blue Seal Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Wake Up For Wishes


Chamber of Commerce hosted the Wake up for Wishes at the Chamber of ce on September 9. Kathleen Hampton, the new director of development of the NW Region of Make-A-Wish Central & Northern Florida Chapter, shared with attendees how wishes impact the lives of children with critical illnesses.

Make-A-Wish has granted more than 500,000 wishes internationally over the past 42 years. About 40 wishes are awarded to children with life-threatening illnesses in Northwest Florida each year. Right now, there are 5 in Santa Rosa County and 11 in Escambia County with wishes waiting to be granted.

Extraordinary things happen to sick children when they are permitted to dream about something beyond their grasp. A wish experience can help give back what the illness takes away. It can help a child forget about being sick, remember how to be a kid again, and inspire them to keep making plans for their future.

For more information on how you can help transform a child’s life, contact Make-A-Wish Central & Northern Florida at 407-622-4673.

VIP Pensacola at Pensacola Chamber
60 |
Willa Licata & Kathleen Hampton Ashley Cole & Melanie Fryou Stephen Clopton & Steve Kerr Monique Brown & Jeri Cox Cody Hampton & Debbie Rhodes Kim Hearn & Tonya Sauzer Daniel Joyner & Najah Tran
October 2022 | 61
62 | 7400 Pine Forest Road, Pensacola 850-941-4444 | Welcome Fall with Sassafras Switch Mats Best Florist and Best Gift Shop 2022! Thank you for voting us

First Responder Appreciation Lunch

It was beautiful weather for The First Responder Appreciation Lunch, hosted by the Greater Pensacola Chamber on September 23. This event was a way to show appreciation for the area’s rst responders as they work tirelessly and sacri ce so much to ensure that we, as a community, are always taken care of. Members of the Escambia County Sheriff’s Of ce, Pensacola Police Department, Escambia County Public Safety (Fire, EMS, Dispatch & Emergency Management), City of Pensacola Fire, and Escambia County Corrections came out and enjoyed a free meal. This event was open to the public and provided an excellent opportunity for community members to come out, grab lunch, and thank rst responders for their hard work and dedication. For the second year in a row, Gilmore was the Title Sponsor. Other sponsors were Gold: Step One Automotive and West Florida Healthcare. Silver: Ascension Sacred Heart and Bronze: Baptist Health Care. AT&T, Navy Federal Credit Union, and Rapid Response Team were supporting sponsors.

photos & story by Patti Hall VIP
Pensacola at Pensacola Chamber
Angela Marchetti & Barbara MacNeil Judge Gary Bergosh & D Gresham Chandler Curl, Daniel Werner, Michael Potts, Sgt. Drew Glass & Ken McMahon Chad Roop & Grant Lopez Thomas Gafkjen & Jakeup Cole Ronnie Rivera, Commissioner Jeff Bergosh & Todd Thompson Andrew Tucker & Matt Coverdale
October 2022 | 63
Pensacola at First Responder Appreciation Lunch 64 |
Alicia Bassett, Sarah Brewis & Cathy Thompson Hayden Lindsay, Jada Mundt, Alex & Victoria Bell Tia Robbins & Madrina Ciano Rochelle Blankenship & Eric Randall Lana Chechak & Erik Goss Nicholas Dodds, Willa Licata & George Foss Chief Tommi Lyter, Whitney Lucas, Sheriff Chip Simmons & Commander Andrew Hobbs Jake Lucas & Jason Donnelly Najah Tran & Ruth McKinon Sam Shelley & Nathan O’Neal

Pensacola has a distinguished and proud heritage dating back over 450 years. At Connell & Company Realty, Inc., we are equally as proud of the historical significance of the area and take pride in presenting these communities to our customers.

By setting the standard for excellence, Connell & Company has become among the largest independently owned real estate companies in Northwest Florida. We are a multi-million dollar corporation of more than 50 Realtor Professionals and staff. We don’t compete with each other; we work as a team with over 2,000 years combined real estate experience - committed to offering you the best possible real estate experience!

October 2022 | 65 SIZE DOESN’T MATTER •Clean Outs •Debris Removal •Demolition Stressed with Mess? Call S.O.S. We take care of BIG junk & SMALL junk 850-758-9900
66 |

Power Players For Your Plate

Most of us are doing our best to take good care of our minds and bodies and we are fortunate here along the Gulf Coast, as we have almost everything it takes to do just that -- right outside our doors. Our minds can be calmed by the waves and tides of the water, we have wonderful, diverse communities that bring out the best in us. The beautiful outdoors energizes us to bike and hike along miles of coastal beaches with weather that allows us to enjoy these resources most of the year, we just won’t discuss those couple months where we think we’re going to melt into the abyss. The Gulf Coast also provides us with foods that give our bodies the nutrients and the energy needed to be our best, most powerful selves.

Okra Yeah, I said it, okra! Okra is the power food no one wants to talk about, unless it’s fried and dipped in ranch dressing of course, then it is not only talked about, it is ordered...a lot! While okra isn’t the typical cash crop you’d think of from this area, such as peanuts or satsumas, okra grows very well here, especially during the hot summer months.

Okra is not only a great addition to your gumbo, but also a powerful addition to your diet. It is low in calories and high in nutrients -- just what the doctor ordered. Okra contains antioxidants that help protect your brain from symptoms of aging as well as having a gel like substance, known as mucilage, that once you get past the name, can help lower your cholesterol and help prevent heart disease. It also contains anti-cancer properties, can lower your blood sugar, and all the folate is an excellent addition to a pregnant woman’s diet.

October 2022 | 67

Blueberries My family has a fantastic tradition of taking healthy and nutritious blueberries and making cheesecake with them -- a tradition I doubt we’ll stop anytime soon, but one that comes easily as blueberries are a favorite food and grow very well in our local climate. Of course, that wasn’t always the case, the Florida blueberry industry hit a wall in the 1920’s when growers found the climate wasn’t a good match for commercial growing. This changed when a University of Florida professor came up with a low-chill blueberry breeding program that allowed the healthy berries to thrive in the North Florida climate.

Blueberries are basically power foods, in a tiny, delicious mini fruit. With antioxidants that help brain function and protect your cells, they can also help prevent UTI’s and lower your risk of diabetes. These perks, plus being low in calories and high in fiber, make blueberries an underrated, often overlooked super food, whether you eat them plain or in a delicious (umm, not exactly nutritious) cheesecake.

Oysters Oysters are the bounty of the Gulf. These unsuspecting crustaceans o er not only an economic boost to the area, they o er a shell-full of health benefits too. Scientists believe oysters have been around since the beginning of time, literally. They’ve been adored and eaten from as far back as the ancient humans to the Roman Empire and to modern times, at bars and restaurants along the Gulf Coast and throughout the country.

Oysters are protein powerhouses and packed with vitamins and nutrients, including zinc -- a mega immune supporter. They are low in carbs, fat, and calories and are high in Omega 3 fatty acids that help keep your heart healthy. The high iron content of oysters means they’re a great choice for those who su er from anemia, which can make you feel fatigued and weak. In fact, studies show humans absorb nearly three times as much iron from animal foods than plant-based foods. And while there are other alleged benefits to making oysters part of your diet, this is a family publicaton so we’ll skip over those.

Oranges Believe it or not, Northwest Florida can be a great place to grow certain kinds of oranges. While not all oranges can handle those couple of blustery days of winter we have, some oranges, like satsumas, are nutritious, delicious power foods that can thrive in our climate. In fact, Jackson County once declared itself the Satsuma capital of the world with about 23,000 acres of orchards. Unfortunately, hurricanes, freezes, and World War II negatively a ected the crop and 1923 went down in history as the heyday of oranges in the area. Today, oranges are grown on a smaller scale here, but the benefits are just as large.

Health benefits of oranges are more widely known than most other foods on the power players list. With huge amounts of vitamin C, they’re the go-to to crank up your immune system and help lower your blood pressure. The antioxidants protect your cells from damage and helps with wound healing while the thiamin from the vitamin B can lower your risk of developing cataracts, your eyes will thank you.

Oranges are another food that benefits pregnant women as the large amounts of folate helps with fetal development.

68 |

Plan for Peace of Mind

Why it makes sense to make choices about your future funeral now:

•Family Matters- save your loved ones from having to make difficult decisions while they are grieving

•Personal Service- the kind of service you want for everyone you love

•Financial Relief- fund your arrangements in advance so that costs are locked in

To start the pre-planning process, you can fill out our pre-planning form on our website:

S. Highway 29

S. Highway 29


Beverly Parkway

October 2022 | 69 BEST FUNERAL HOME
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70 |


State of Education Luncheon 2022

The Greater Pensacola Chamber welcomed Superintendent of Escambia County Public Schools Dr. Timothy Smith for the State of Education Luncheon on August 26. The sold-out crowd of over 140 assembled at the Pensacola Country Club. Many were thankful for a break from the recent heavy rains, taking in the scenic water view while enjoying the fantastic lunch and hospitality. Dr. Smith shared, “We are very appreciative of the Chamber for supporting and highlighting the importance of education in our community.”

Todd Thomson, Chamber President/CEO, greeted attendees and recognized presenting sponsor University of West Florida, with additional supporters, including many of the local businesses represented. Dr. William Crawley, Dean of UWF College of Education and Professional Studies, noted, “Today’s gathering of strong leaders represents the synergy behind student success and demonstrates our community’s commitment to education.”

Superintendent Smith’s keynote address included performance metrics for students, faculty, staff, and operations. The vision for ECSD, newly rebranded as Escambia County Public Schools, is “United for Every Student to Succeed” and includes engaging faculty through mentoring and professional development. A touching video highlighted the vital roles of teachers, parents, staff, and community volunteers who are “All In.” Dr. Smith closed the presentation with Q&A, elding questions about the K-8 school model planned for Warrington, and offered a very diplomatic response when asked about school sports and noted the continued investment in technologies and cybersecurity for students.

VIP Pensacola at Pensacola Country Club
October 2022 | 71
Dr. William Crawley & Dr. Timothy Smith Myra Van Hoose, Mark Faulkner & Michelle Salzman Dr. Sandra Winborne, Bill Sheffield & Kristen Bustillo Todd Thomson & Jen Grove Sara Lefevers, Zach Noel, Meg Burke & Quinn Breaux
VIP Pensacola at State of Education Luncheon 2022 72 |
Connie Hansler, Casey Brueske & Pam Hatt KC Gartman, John Gormley & Lindsay Durre Stephanie Thompson & Chris Rowe Becca Boles & Laura Gilliam Chris McFarland & Laurie Rogers Heather Murray, Brianna Houston & Christine JohnsonDebbie Rhodes, Fran Crumpton & Willa Licata Elizabeth Bemiss & Karen Evans Jennifer McFarren & Jo McArthur Kim Stefansson & Margie Hobbs


October 2022 | 73
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Office Vibes A

nyone who’s worked from home knows that to be successful you must have a good workspace. While we all made it work during Covid, managing to get everything (well, most things) accomplished with a makeshift home o ce while dogs and kids ran around, forcing us to take a break every 3 minutes to address issues brought on by said dogs and kids, it doesn’t have to be that way. A home o ce can be your sanctuary, the space where you can be professional, productive, and comfortable while still creating your own ambiance and showing o your personal style.

Vibe Check - Finding the vibe and atmosphere you’re looking for in a home o ce can bring out your best self and put you in the right brain space to get your work done promptly and e ciently. Is calm, beachy decor more conducive to putting you in a productive mindset? Maybe a grand, traditional style o ce will get those power play ideas churning? Or maybe you’re looking for something in between. Choosing a vibe and following through with décor and furniture can bring the continuity that our modern, overstimulated brains so desire.

Colors of Success - After you choose the vibe you want for your home o ce, finding the perfect paint color is the next step. Taking your idea and finding a color to match the feeling you want your space to have will set the stage for your sanctuary. This will be your blank canvas, so to speak, to build upon and create the workspace that will motivate you and make you focused and successful. Deep colors are perfect for more traditional home o ces while light and airy colors work for more relaxed, coastal vibes.

Organization Station - Organization is vital to being successful while working from home. I mean, how can you complete a report if you can’t find the report. Having a good desk and filing system that fits your color scheme will help with staying organized and keeping the style and vibe you want in your home o ce. To ensure your area doesn’t get overcome with clutter, think drawers, drawers, and more drawers. You can’t have too many spaces where things can be neatly organized and tucked away, o surfaces and easy to find when you need them. With all the options available these days, finding furniture to go with your home o ce vision should be as easy as your morning commute to “work.” Furniture that fits well in your space and can be placed where you can be most productive is also important. Some people work best with a nice view out a window, perfect for soaking up the outdoor energy and inspiring creativity, while others do their best work with their desk facing a wall, like a child in timeout, free of distractions and anything that can misdirect attention away from the work at hand.... or so I’ve heard.

Zooming Along - Zoom and other similar apps have changed the way we do business. There is no need to go into the o ce anymore for those important meetings, you can be present without actually being present. Before you dive right into those video calls, you may want to put your best face forward by making sure your background is professional, neat, and free of distractions. Set up a clutter free bookshelf, or a classic print that won’t divert the attention from the important point you’re trying to make or the fabulous idea you have. After all, just because you have gym shorts on with your blazer, doesn’t mean your background has to show anything other than the mature professional you are.

Painting Donated to Ballet Pensacola by the Frederic G. Levin Family


Miracle Network Hospitals, raised more than $132,763 during the station’s Cat Country Cares For Kids Radiothon, presented by Wind Creek Atmore. The annual event at Cordova Mall raised funds for a new neonatal transport vehicle.

Cat Country Cares for Kids Radiothon was hosted by radio personality Brent Lane and WEAR ABC 3 News Pensacola host Sue Straughn as well as NewsRadio 92.3 & ESPN Pensacola. The event provided listeners with the opportunity to hear from children and their parents about the high-quality care and recovery they received at Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart, which serves the Gulf Coast.

community who embrace our mission and join us in ensuring the highest level of neonatal care is available to local families throughout the communities we serve –keeping families close to home and their support systems.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida Announces Early Registration Dates for Annual Fenner Ride Cycling Event

Brenton Goodman, grandson of the late, well-known Pensacola-born Attorney, Fredric G. Levin, donated a striking, 7-foot-tall painting to Ballet Pensacola, Pensacola’s resident professional Ballet Company and Academy. The ballet-themed oil painting was a piece Mr. Levin had commissioned by former Pensacola artist Patrick Gabriel. The painting features an image of two ballet dancers and is reminiscent of the work of Edgar Degas.

Formerly, the painting was displayed in the foyer of Levin’s Pensacola home for more than 30 years. Mr. Levin loved Mr. Gabriel’s work and ultimately commissioned two works by him. Ballet Pensacola will display the painting prominently at The Center, Clark Family Cultural Center as a part of its 3-million-dollar renovation project.

“Ballet Pensacola is honored to receive this special gift that will beautify The Center and provide joy and inspiration to our students and professional dancers. We are grateful to the Levin family for deeming Ballet Pensacola worthy of this painting that was clearly an important piece in Fred Levin’s collection.” -Linda Stinson, Executive Director, Ballet Pensacola

Fredric Gerson Levin (March 29, 1937 –January 12, 2021) is one of the best-known people in Pensacola for his fight for racial equality and legal representation of wrongful death cases as well as his extremely generous philanthropic gifts to Pensacola organizations and educational institutions.

Cat Country 98.7 Raises More Than $132,763 for Studer Family Children’s Hospital

Cat Country 98.7 and Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart, a proud member of Children’s

Funds raised during the one-day broadcast completed the campaign to purchase a new Neonatal Transport Vehicle for Studer Family Children’s Hospital. This vehicle is equipped with with a specialized incubator capable of delivering a level of quality care comparable to what a child would receive inside our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Morning show co-host Brent Lane said, “The Neonatal Transport Unit is vital to our community. To accomplish the goal of paying off the transport unit is such a blessing. The NICU at the Studer Family Children’s Hospital is a standout for care in the Southeast. Cat Country 98.7 was proud to join Channel 3, NewsRadio 92.3, and ESPN Pensacola to help tell the story of why this hospital impacts so many lives and how it continues to make this community better.” Co-host Mel McCrae adds, “It’s an honor to play a small part in helping to raise funds for this equipment that will help so many families in our community. It’s always remarkable to see the outpouring of love and support from so many businesses and individuals each year.”

“We are grateful for the dedication and support of our media partners, volunteers, and Ascension Sacred Heart Foundation team members,” said Adrienne Maygarden, president of Ascension Sacred Heart Foundation. “And, we are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from our

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida, along with the West Florida Wheelmen Bicycle Club, present the annual Fenner Ride on October 29, 2022. This cycling event gives riders a unique chance to experience Northwest Florida’s native wildlife, natural environments, and beautiful scenery along the Blackwater Heritage Trail. The ride will start at the Clyde L. Gracey Community Center, located at 5629 Byrom St. Milton, Fla. Participants of all skill levels will have the opportunity to choose the course that best fits their skill level: 18, 42, 62, or 100 miles.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida is proud to have Flora McConnell Hammond and Carolyn McConnell Reeder back as the Presenting Sponsor for this year’s Fenner Ride. This cycling event is dedicated to the memory of their father, Dr. Fenner McConnell, along with Matt Wantz. Both men were avid cyclists and former members of the West Florida Wheelmen. Dr. Fenner McConnell, a medical examiner for a fourcounty district in the Panhandle, was killed in 1998 by a hit-and-run driver as he rode his bicycle across the Bob Sikes Bridge, which connects Pensacola to Santa Rosa Island. Matt was tragically killed while working in a local bike shop.

The 2022 Fenner Ride will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida and the money raised will be used to fund the agency’s seven programs and support current and new matches. Registration is now open and is $45-$50 until October 14, 2022. After October 14, the registration fee increases to $55-$60. Sign up by visiting, FennerRegistration.

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Cox, Ch. 6, HD Ch. 1006

Spectrum, Ch. 50

Direct-TV, Ch. 53

Dish-TV, Ch. 53

Over the air, Ch. 53.1


Mediacom, Ch. 21

Satellite Providers, Ch. 48

Direct-TV, Ch. 53

Dish-TV, Ch. 53

Over the air, Ch. 53.1


Mediacom, Ch. 97

Comcast, Ch. 239 & 1053

Direct-TV, Ch. 53

Dish-TV, Ch. 53

Over the air, Ch. 53.1


Mediacom, Ch. 21

Direct-TV, Ch. 53

Dish-TV, Ch. 53

Over the air, Ch. 53.1


Mediacom, Ch. 21 & 97

Riveria Utl, Ch.18 HD Ch. 861

Direct-TV, Ch. 53

Dish-TV, Ch. 53

Over the air, Ch. 53.1


Cox, Ch. 22, HD Ch. 1022

Direct-TV, Ch. 53

Dish-TV, Ch. 53

Over the air, Ch. 53.1


-Robert Allen

Kites on the Coast

The Council on Aging of West Florida’s inaugural Kites on the Coast event was held on September 2 and 3. It was an intergenerational, high- ying, fun day on beautiful Casino Beach.

The community was invited to come out and enjoy this timeless pastime with kite ying, kid’s activities, local vendors, food trucks, and showstopping demonstrations from Chicago Kite. There was a kite hospital on site for those kites needing repair. Kites were for sale, or you could bring your own.

Proceeds from the event will support the seniors and programs served by the Council on Aging of West Florida. The goal of this event was to connect every generation within Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties and visitors to the area to a fun, educational, and inspirational activity. The Council on Aging of West Florida strives each day to serve, support, and advocate for aging adults in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

photos & story by Patti Hall VIP
Pensacola at Casino Beach
Kason Edenbarn & Harleigh Bolthen
October 2022 | 79
Chandler Pritchett, Matthew, Ashley, Cameron & Roman Ramsay, Leila Pritchett Daniel & Nova Harris, Alexis Simmons & Ivey Harris Emily, Jeffrey & Thomas Patel, Ann Clarke, Lisa Gottschalk & Ryan Patel Claudia, Keith & Ella Howey VIP Pensacola at Kites on the Coast
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Caitlyn, Pat, Ainsley & Patrick Bradley JoAnna, Maddos & Cray Shellenbarger Tory & Jeff Kranz Cassie & Jaylee Whitten Autumn, Skylar & Shy Washington Cayden Weel, India Wigging, Chris Weel, Kairo Scott & Tara Fowler Nick, Kinley, Gabe, Janessa, Cruz & Jaxson Swenson
October 2022 | 81
Betsy Sklenicka, Kim & Evan Murawsla, Russ Sklenicka Jason, Brantley, Kaci & Jennifer Groulx Peter & Annie Boon, Leigh Hunt & Bob Edmonds Nathalee & Rowan Helton

Laura Hussey

What is your hometown and how did you end up in the Pensacola area?

I’m a Kansas City girl who moved to the beach in 1994. I’ve lived all over Northwest Florida, starting in Destin then making my way west. I started working at WEAR in 2007 in our Okaloosa County bureau, then moved to our Pensacola of ce in 2015. When I rst came to Florida, I thought I’d be here a couple of years then move on. All these years later, I’m still here. It’s because of the people – the community made me feel I’d found a home.

What is your profession?

As the morning co-anchor on WEAR Morning News, I’m working my dream job! It pulls together a lifetime of performing and writing, a dozen years in morning radio, and eight years as a reporter learning the responsibility of journalism. I’ve always been one of those people that others open up to, and I always nd some level of empathy with what people are telling me. It makes me better at telling stories accurately. I don’t have to agree; I just have to listen.

What are some of your favorite things about Pensacola?

I love our historic downtown. All the architectural details, all the stories that unfolded in the buildings and squares over the years; and the new sense of vitality that infuses the businesses and everyone walking the streets. We have so many fabulous restaurants and places to enjoy a drink, not just downtown but all over town and at the beach. You don’t often get such an incredibly rich sense of history juxtaposed with the carefree beachfront vibe. It makes me so proud of Pensacola.

Three words that best describe you.

Blessed, Appreciative, Emotional.

Favorite place for dining and/or to go for entertainment and/or go for outdoor activities?

Oh boy, I don’t want to leave anything out! The Wine Bar, Global Grill, Jaco’s, Grand Marlin, Felix’s, O’Riley’s, The Saenger Theatre, Community Maritime Park, and any one of our beautiful beaches! I love to nd a spot by the water and just appreciate living in paradise. Or take a boat ride, not too fast so I can soak in all the beauty around me.

What is one thing that you do not go a day without?

Saying “Thank you God for my good life!” And telling my husband I love him.

Finish this statement, I AM PENSACOLA because…

I am Pensacola because this community has welcomed me, trusted me to tell your stories, touched my heart with your generosity and resilience, and thrilled me with your celebratory spirit. My job gives me a chance to re ect on all the good I see around me.

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