VIP Pensacola - February 2022

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# 1 RE A L ES TAT E T EAM , 2019-21!

Thank you for voting us ... • Real Estate Professional Female • Real Estate Professional Male THANK YOU,

Gene & Amanda

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Volume VII • Issue II

events 9 2022 Pensacola Mardi Gras Kick-Off Celebration 12 Maserati Madrina 18 Beyond the Grape 21 Krewe of the Gatsby Girls 7th Annual Speakeasy Ball 24 C1 HTTF 2022 Annual Summit 29 Krewe of Priscus Inaugural Mardi Gras Ball 32 Polar Bear Plunge 2022 36 Diamonds & Denim 38 Pensacola Museum of Art Guild Social Meeting 40 76th Annual Les Harlequins Ball 44 Pin & Bead Swap 47 Seville Business Happy Hour 50 Pirates of Lost Treasure Art Unveil 55 Mystic Krewe of Nereids King Kake 59 Party Perdido Key Chamber Business After Hours 64 Meet & Mingle with IMPACT 100

on the cover Tony & Yvette Zembruzski Mitzi & Scott LaCoste Photography by Kristina Wright at th 7 Annual Speakeasy Ball

departments 16 26 34 42 52 62 66

Coastal Cuisine Adventure Out Style Give Care Share Save the Date Swizzle I Am Pensacola

features 14 Business Profile ARC Chimney Sweeps

VIP Pensacola Staff Publisher Greg Alexander

Art Director Priscilla Atkins

Associate Publisher Verla Price

Graphic Designers Brian Goins Patti Hall

Publisher’s Assistant Nicole Partridge Advertising Stephanie Alvarez Kristin Moffitt Verla Price Content Creator Anna Stockton

Contributing Writers/ Photographers Patti Hall Kevin Houghton Anna Stockton Kristina Wright VIP Founder Jeff Watson

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letter from the Associate Publisher

February is the month of Amore’! Let’s face it -- love is in the air -- on t-shirts, in social media posts, all over the racks at supermarkets, and of course, in our hearts for one another. Valentine’s Day is upon us, and I cringe for my male friends. The pressure rises for men to show their romantic side on this single day more than they contribute to their relationship all year. I say throw off the robes of tradition. Trash the candy and the roses! Bring me a new air fi lter for my Ducati, and I will make your favorite dinner. This year I am hosting the “Un Valentines Mixer” at my house to create a fun event for my friends. Who knows, maybe a handsome man will show up on a motorcycle and sweep me off my feet. Whatever your Valentine plans, I wish you love unconditionally in February and all year. Do not rush through the shortest month of the year. Instead, take your time to enjoy the small things, especially those noted in the following pages, where you will see Mardi Gras ramping up in Pensacola. In this issue, you will see photos from the Mardi Gras Kick-off Celebration, 7th Annual Speakeasy Ball, the Les Harlequins Ball, and the Krewe of Priscus Inaugural Mardi Gras Ball, just to name a few. February on the Gulf Coast brings us the last full month of winter. We have endured a few cold snaps but never fear, spring is right around the corner. However, I will take the winter sunset over Pensacola Bay, and sand dunes over snowplows and ice any day. Stay warm, toast your Valentine by a cozy fire, and savor every day. Thank YOU for supporting VIP Pensacola; please be kind, courteous, and shop local.

Associate Publisher 850-502-7970



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VIP Pensacola at Seville Quarter

Chelsea Whiteside & Tanya Hughes

Janie Hayes & Angei Morris

Brad Buddin & Pearce Baker

2022 Pensacola Mardi Gras Kick-Off Celebration photos & story by Kristina Wright


ensacola Mardi Gras presented the 2022 Official Wind Creek Atmore Pensacola Mardi Gras Kick-Off Celebration on January 7 at Seville Quarter, Pensacola’s Mardi Gras Headquarters. The VIP party started at 5:00 pm, with free admission to all Mardi Gras Krewe Members in costume and ready to party the night away. The 2022 Mardi Gras season marks the 11th year for the Pensacola Mardi Gras Kick-Off Celebration. Opening ceremonies were held inside, and included a dedication to T. Bubba, Pensacola Mardi Gras’ Town Crier who recently passed away. The New Orleans Ramblers once again led the processionals and second line around Jefferson Street and Government Street. Sounds of traditional New Orleans music and second line could be heard kicking off Pensacola’s Mardi Gras season. Krewes and floats were blessed by a priest and local dignitaries, including elected and government officials. Each krewe that was blessed received the customary certificate recognizing their commitment to the Mardi Gras spirit and authorizing their blessed participation in the 2022 season.

David & Therese Ritchie

Tiffany Gray & Shelly Nutt

Chris & Ricki McWilliams

Melissa Arceneaux, Shannon Evans, Stacie Hammer, Kate Henson, Fiona Norton, Elizabeth Baer & Monique LeClaire February 2022 | 9

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VIP Pensacola at 2022 Pensacola Mardi Gras Kick-Off Celebration

Scott & Kimberly Thomas

Kevin Maher & Jamie Lynne Nutt

Kathy Klimkowski, Melisa Bolling, Sally Barnes & Mercedes Webb

Elizabeth & Mark Baer

Diane Burgess, Aggie Lee & Kathy Lancaster 10

Lisa & James Daugherty

Kim Marsh, Alan & Jennifer Netzer

LeAnna & Alan Sanders, Michelle Hudson

Heather & Sean Lassiter

Diane Alford, Helen Turner & Dale O’Daniel


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Dorrian Vance, Mary Neilsen & Ryan Ard

Pat & Deb Palmer, Marjorie & Mark Johnecheck

Erik Klinger, Cheryl & Gil Miller

Lynn Leepley, Katy Hendry & Cristina Williams February 2022 | 11

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VIP Pensacola Destin at Event at Maserati Location Headquarters

Maserati Madrina photos & story by Kristina Wright


aserati Pensacola has an amazing team ready to serve and support our community where they are welcomed with open arms. As part of the Step One Automotive Group, they hosted their official launch party for their new Maserati Ambassador, Madrina Ciano, on January 20 at their luxurious showroom. As a well-established community motivator, Madrina brought out many area businesses, non-profits, and power players, which resulted in an unforgettable event. During the event, guests were treated to outstanding food samplings, custom cakes, and even specialty ice-cream. As a luxury brand, Maserati pulled out all the stops for their first ambassador introduction with craft cocktails at the bar, all which included Maserati ice cubes. There were booths for fans and friends to experience high-end cigars and fashionable clothing. High above the sleek and beautiful cars, the place was illuminated with detailed “Maserati Madrina” lighting announcing this partnership of power. The mood was further enhanced with incredible DJ sounds making the party one to remember. Always philanthropic, Step One Automotive Group encouraged their guests to bring canned goods for Manna Food Pantries.

Raffaella Fant & Fernando Arellano

Barbara & Daniel Rogers

Chuck Bryant, Jeremie Leach, Madrina Ciano & Jared Johnston

Michelle & Bill Sauls 12

Shelby Hamilton & Andy West

Ronnie Rivera, Commander Andrew Hobbs, Whitney Lucas & Sherriff Chip Simmons


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Margaret Johnson & Jennifer Bone

Genevieve Kurpius, Quint Studer & Chris Kurpius

Jennifer & Jim Richardson

Fred Robbins, Bonita Jacobs & Adron Chambers

Caleb Day & Bethany Lauren

Stephana Gaudin & Morgan Tufto

Christie Saffold, Will Werhan & Angela D’Alessandro

Monique Leclair & Melissa Arceneaux

Heather Pelham & Fenoy Butler

Sabrina Shaw, Emory Smith, Jennifer Wells & Kristie Anderson February 2022 | 13

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Business Profile

ARC Chimney Sweeps provides award winning quality customer service, and even higher quality workmanship. Providing award-winning customer service in the chimney industry is the benchmark behind ARC Chimney Sweeps. They not only have a grueling interview process and hire only the best candidates, but they believe that their technicians go above and beyond all expectations. Background checks, extensive training, and educational programs are provided for their technicians, focusing on not only chimneys but on customer service as well. For your safety and peace of mind, ARC Chimney Sweeps technicians will arrive in uniform and in a company vehicle making them easily identifiable. Their philosophy is that it is as important for the technicians to care for their customers as it is to care for their chimneys.

ARC Home Services Include: Chimney Sweeping Safety Inspections Chimney Repair Fireplace Repair Leak Repair Fireplace Installs Gas Logs Fire Pits Dryer Vent Cleaning

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ARC’s customer service shows in their performance and ratings. They recognize that everyone has a busy schedule, and they work hard to keep your home beautiful by doing everything possible to keep your home looking the same as it did before they arrived - as the technicians are trained in spot-free chimney cleaning. Multiple methods are used to rid your immediate environment of any soot or debris that may come loose during your chimney cleaning. The only sign they’ve been to your home is the smile on your face and the security of knowing your fireplace and chimney have been cleaned and inspected by the best. Their team is extremely close, and they work hard to build and maintain excellent relationships. The comradery within the crew, as well as their families, has made their efforts to be family oriented something that

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now comes naturally. They believe that these relationships with their crew result in similar relationships with their customers, which is why customers return again and again. Customers' health and safety are of the utmost importance, too. This drives ARC to educate their customers in proper maintenance of their burning system. They do not provide your typical routine maintenance, they provide a full consultation to help customers learn more about how their fireplace and chimney function, as well as what they should be aware of when using it. Unlike

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most companies, they welcome you to ask questions about your system. Having a fireplace is one of the most rewarding things about owning your home and having confidence in its safety is paramount. ARC never cuts corners and uses only the best products when dealing with your burning system. Using a fireplace has many benefits. Obviously, heating your home stands out above the others, but they focus more on the experience of using the fireplace - whether it’s gathering around to chat as a family or having a quiet evening by yourself, they are committed to helping their customers create a memorable and safe experience every time they use their fireplace. ARC loves and supports the community and everything it offers by making it a priority to become involved in many ways. They are passionate about making an impact locally and have especially enjoyed sponsoring many sports teams through the local schools. ARC Chimney Sweeps serves the entire Emerald Coast area and they are proud to be more than a chimney sweep company, they are a family who recognizes the importance of customer service, education, and safety when it comes to your family.

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Crawfish is King T

story by Anna Stockton

he Gulf Coast has many things residents are passionate about, such as talking about hurricanes (the one they went through is always worse than the one you experienced), Mardi Gras, and of course Saints football. However, few things are as revered as those beloved mudbugs, the crawfish. The crawfish festivals, the cookbooks, the history, and even the music -- Elvis Presley has a song titled “Crawfish” from his fi lm King Creole. And while these red crustaceans are harvested as far away as the Pacific Northwest, crawfish are most closely associated with the state of Louisiana and their culture, going back as far as the very first residents. Crawfish, also known as crayfish or crawdads, have played a large role in the history along the Gulf Coast, especially Louisiana. Long before the European settlers arrived in the area, crawfish was a main staple in the diets of Native Americans. They were eaten fresh as well as dried and preserved for times when food wasn’t readily available. It was so much a part of the native culture that Louisiana’s Houma tribe used the crawfish as their war emblem as well as considering them their spiritual ancestor, also known as their totem. This was because the crawfish is known to raise its claw during a fight and never back down. Largely known as a poor man’s food, and even


used as bait, by the late 1800s the appeal of these captivating crustaceans slowly spread beyond Louisiana into the rest of the country. By the mid 1900s crawfish became a full-on delicacy and demand was high, restaurants started putting dishes such as crawfish etouffee on their menus. Coinciding with this new interest in crawfish, the town of Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, became known as the crawfish capital of the world and hosted the very first crawfish festival. The biggest boom in crawfish popularity came from an unlikely source -- the Vatican. In the 1960’s the Vatican eased up on the strict Lenten rules regarding fasting and meat and allowed for fish to be eaten daily during lent. This new factor, combined with the season of lent falling during the height of crawfish season, caused a huge demand for crawfish and a new market was born. Commercial harvesting of crawfish didn’t happen until the late 1800’s. The first recorded harvest was just over 23,000 pounds, valued around $2,140, and by 1908 the harvests were recorded at around 88,000 pounds. As the years went on, advances in fishing technology and efficiency allowed fishermen to bring in more crawfish than ever before but outside factors such as water levels, weather, and overall climate were still the deciding factors for a good harvest. Enter crawfish farms! By the mid


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Crawfish Boil


3 lbs. (1.3 kg) crawfish 8 -10 cups water 6 oz. (170 g) Louisiana Crawfish Shrimp & Crab Boil 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning 1 tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning 1 head garlic, unpeeled but separated 3 ears corn, cut into 2-inch pieces 12 oz. (340 g) small red potatoes, halved 14 oz. (400 g) smoked sausage, cut into chunky pieces DIRECTIONS: Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add Louisiana Crawfish Shrimp and Crab Boil, Cajun seasoning, and Lemon Pepper seasoning. Sitr well. Bring to a rolling boil. Add garlic, corn, potatoes, sausage, and lemon slices. Cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes. Taste the crawfish boil water. If it’s too salty, add more water. If it’s too bland, add more seasonings to taste. Transfer the crawfish into the pot and cook for 3-4 minutes, with the lid on. Turn off the heat and let the crawfish soak for 10 minutes. Remember, the longer the crawfish soak, the spicier they will be. Remove all the ingredients using a strainer and serve immediately.

1980s when crawfish demand was high and rice prices were low, rice farmers were looking for ways to use their land for profit again. With the help of the LSU Agriculture program, rice fields were flooded to make way for crawfish farms, creating a steadier harvest for the crawfish industry. Crawfish are a versatile ingredient when it comes to cooking. Etouffee, crawfish mac and cheese, po boys, crawfish pie -- the list is as long as the Atchafalaya Basin. But when it comes to crawfish dishes, the crawfish boil is king! Sure, the corn, potatoes, crawfish, and seasoning make for a great meal, but crawfish boils are all about getting together with friends, family, and community to reconnect and enjoy one another. During crawfish season, propane tanks are heating up the stockpot, backyards are full, and generations are coming together to enjoy this local favorite and Gulf Coast staple. February 2022 | 17

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VIP Pensacola at Cordova Mall

Beyond the Grape photos & story by Kevin L Houghton


eyond the Grape, located in the Cordova Mall, held a small, ticketed event of wine tasting to benefit Manna Food Pantries on December 9, many wines featured. Roger Johnson, owner of Beyond the Grape since 2015, says, “We want our customers to love the wines that they’re buying, so we do wine tastings every day.” Johnson, whose years abroad and extensive knowledge of wine, comes in extremely handy when he selects the bottles for his store. “I wanted to build a selection here that was unique and create an atmosphere similar to the tasting rooms I’d visited, and bring that to Pensacola,” Johnson says of the chic little boutique he’s created at Cordova Mall. Beyond the Grape is where guests regularly come to enjoy a great glass of wine, browse the selection of over 1,000 wines from around the world, and/or take part in one of his artist-led Onto the Canvas paint-and-sip events, which is a favorite with bridal parties.


John & Adrian Intile

James Pozucek & Ceara Plant

Roger Johnson & Nicole Partridge

Haley Barnett & Ty Cooney

Danny Groves & Jon Groves

Chris Atcheerson & Amy Morrison


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Thanks for Voting Us Best Dermatologist

5 years in a row! Kevin Welch, MD Board Certified Dermatologist

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VIP Pensacola at Hilton Pensacola Beach

April King, Lindsy Viviano, Katrina Crowe & Holly Hayes

Kristina & Ben Zimmern

krewe of the gatsby girls

7th Annual Speakeasy Ball


Megan Martin & Ian Armstrong

photos & story by Kristina Wright

he Gatsby Girl’s hosted their 7th Annual Speakeasy Ball on December 31 at the Hilton Pensacola Beach. Krewe members and their guests rang in the New Year in Roaring 20’s style; showcased by elegantly dressed women, and gentlemen in their best tuxedos. Throughout the room photo props were staged, featuring classic 1920’s motif and memorabilia, reminiscent to the time frame. All proceeds after cost went to support Capstone Adaptive Learning and Therapy Center. Live entertainment provided by Horseshoe Kitty and Powell Entertainment for DJ and decor. Multiple VIP packages were available for companies that love to support local charities, while having an exceptional time. VIP packages included logo publicity, as well as private beverage service depending on package purchased, reserved seating, and upgraded drink options.

Emily Tryon & Rebecca Dodd

Devera Williams, Amanda Porter & Ashley Saba

Tony & Yvette Zembruski, Mitzi & Scott LaCoste February 2022 | 21

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VIP Pensacola at the 7th Annual Speakeasy Ball

Roger & Bonnie McGraw

Alex Bell, Valerie Hutto, Marsha McWherter & Mike Thanes

Rene & Craig Abel

Rachel & Thomas Browning

Nick & Jennifer Saba

Carolyn House, Jordan McKinney & Elyse Waite

Eiselle Chardon, Lisa Chardon, Jennifer & Carlos Zengotita 22

Marijane McKinney & Jennifer Jackson-Keating

Julie Sigler & Katie Crawford


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Angie Lang & Tonya Rich

Alicia Williams, Anthony & Kaitlin Cabico

Alessandra, David & Millie Hyde

Jimmy Lagle, Harold Lindo, Matt Richey & Howard Ng

Auto Accident • Physical Therapy Massage • Sports Injury • Healthy Living

(850) 435-7777 1602 N. 9th Avenue, Pensacola February 2022 | 23

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VIP Pensacola at University West Florida

Lauren Herod & Tiffany McGlinchey

Autumn Behnke & Brianna Luck

Elaine Thomas-Bush & Jake Bush

C1 HTTF 2022 ANNUAL SUMMIT photos & story by Kevin L Houghton


niversity of West Florida hosted the annual Circuit One Human Trafficking Task Force (C1 HTTF) Summit held at the Conference Center on January 20th. The conference was at full capacity for in-person guests and attending via live stream was also available. Human Trafficking is a form of modernday slavery in which victims are subjected to force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of commercial sex, debt bondage, or involuntary labor. Victims of human trafficking can be young children, teenagers, men, and women. C1 HTTF (representing Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and Walton counties), The Survivor Panel, Roni Fisher, Alicia Tappan, Marcie Landreth, and Courtney Baldwin were all on hand to discuss networking and partnerships that unite governmental agencies, NGO’s, faith and community-based victim service providers, educational institutes, & concerned citizens to prevent the exploitation of adults/children in all forms of human trafficking. Currently there are 20 agencies across the federal government responsible for coordinating U.S. governmentwide efforts to combat trafficking in persons. The HTTF are multidisciplinary teams established with the goal of providing the broadest range of services and resources for victims and the most diverse range of investigation and prosecution options in response to the perpetrators of such crimes.

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Randall Macey & Kimberly Topper

Madeleine Busbee, Jeanne Prange & Richard Browning

Marcie Landreth, Roni Fisher, Alicia Tappan & Courtney Baldwin


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story by Anna Stockton photos provided by Gulf Breeze Zoo


riginally opening in 1984, the Gulf Breeze Zoo has a long history along the Gulf Coast. The zoo was hit hard by the economic downturn and suffered massive damage when Hurricane Ivan ravaged the area. These two factors permanently shuttered the zoo. However, due to strong efforts from the previous owner and Zoofari Parks, the animals remained comfortable in their own homes until the park was officially purchased by Zoofari Parks, LLC, in 2009. The zoo underwent drastic renovations and was rebranded with great success.

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Experience our animals in a variety of ways. Observe them in their habitats while strolling through the park, from the boardwalk, or our safari line train. Interact with them during a unique animal encounter, an animal feeding, and a visit to our farm. Choose your adventures! The Gulf Breeze Zoo never stops building and improving the quality of life for their animals and the overall experience for guests. Over 200 major and minor renovations have been made to provide the utmost comfort and care to their 1,000+ animals of more than 70 different species that call the zoo home. Three new exhibits opened in 2021 including the Maned Wolf Exhibit, Greater One-Horned Rhino Exhibit, and Pygmy Hippo Exhibit. Additionally, the zoo offers behind-the-scenes encounters with the Nile hippo, reticulated giraffe, and sloth. The zoo plans further exciting expansions for 2022. Zoo exhibits are key in educating guests about animals and their habitats. Children of all ages love the Budgie Adventure Aviary, allowing guests to get up close and personal with parakeets. Tiger cubs, Toby and Indra, also draw quite a crowd to their habitat. The Safari Express Train takes guests to see free-roaming animals on their preserve including the zoo’s crash of Southern White Rhino. Orangutan and gorillas can also be observed on their island habitats. The zoo also offers unique encounters. The giraffe encounter allows the guests to take a behind-the-scenes tour of the giraffe house as well as meeting and feeding these long-necked residents. The hippo encounter introduces guests to the zoo’s two Nile hippos, which happen to be the third largest land mammal. The hippo’s animal care specialist educates and informs guests on conservation efforts as well as letting them in on the daily care routine for these rotund tenants. The last year-round encounter available is the sloth encounter. This encounter allows onlookers to feed the sloths and learn more about them. A new arrival to Gulf Breeze Zoo is a sibling pair of maned wolves named Stella and Cieza. As representatives of their declining South American canine species, Stella and Cieza play vital roles in protecting the future of maned

wolves. Since arriving in October 2021, the nearly 3-year-old sister and brother pair have settled into their new home and can now be viewed by park guests. The zoo has a reputable breeding program as well. They have had tremendous success with breeding the Southern white rhino, clouded leopard, and most recently a female orangutan named Isadora who will serve as an important ambassador for her species. Every birth to the zoo is significant, but Isadora’s arrival is especially exciting since orangutans are a critically endangered species. Born on September 11, 2021, to mom, Indah, and dad, Louie, Isadora is now being hand-raised by animal care specialists due to Indah’s lack of maternal instincts toward the baby, necessitating zoo staff to intervene. The staff’s goal is to introduce Isadora to another orangutan to become her surrogate mother, but for now she will remain in the care of zoo staff behind-the-scenes and will not be on exhibit. This zoo is one of three zoological facilities operated by the Zoofari Parks Corporation, working in conjunction with the Alabama Safari Park and the Virginia Safari Park to provide aid to over 135 countries around the world. The Gulf Breeze Zoo is privately owned and receives no state or federal tax support. Funding for conservation programs is made possible through the continued support of zoo guests. Conservation is fundamental in their daily operations and visitors are encouraged to join them in making a difference on this journey. Please visit for more information. February 2022 | 27

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VIP Pensacola at Court of De Luna Event Space


Inaugural Mardi Gras Ball photos & story by Kristina Wright


he Krewe of Priscus invited members and guests to join them on January 8 at the Court of De Luna Event Space for an elegant evening of fun. The evening came packed with all the bells and whistles, including open bar, cajunthemed foods, and a cash shot bar. Formal attire was requested, and attendees were encouraged to put on their boogie shoes to dance the night away with music by local band Horseshoe Kitty. This inaugural event gave the newly formed Krewe of Priscus a chance to show up and show out to the local Mardi Gras community, all while giving back to three local charities. All proceeds from this event benefited Pace Center for Girls, Capstone Adaptive Learning and Therapy Centers, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida. The Krewe of Priscus was established in 2020 as a not-for-profit organization with the sole purpose of bringing together men and women from all walks of life, to celebrate the history and merriment of Pensacola with a special emphasis placed on the Mardi Gras Season. The krewe’s goal is to magnanimously honor the ancestors who graced this city’s streets and catalyzed the fibers of it. Through various endeavors of engagement, the krewe strives to uplift the community, and commemorate the cultivation of Mardi Gras in Pensacola.

Lindsay Heard & Shaun Carpentier

Jennifer Hart & Kenneth Price

Josh & Denise Roth

LaTrelle Tronu & Tara Arceneaux

Monice Farish & Dr. Scott Morrison

Cristina & Brian Williams February 2022 | 29

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VIP Pensacola at Krewe of Priscus Inaugural Mardi Gras Ball

Heather & Michael Hobbs

Eniyan Balena & Janie Hayes

Laurie Bedford, Kevin Rudzki, Shevlin Pierce, Cody Lockler, Jane Combs & Jason Higgins

Melissa & Jason Webb


Madison Bales, Aimee Dumas, Jessica Lange & Bernadette Broadwater

Melanie Dillon & Michelle Salzman

Samantha Williams, Tracy Keller Williams & April Davidson

Amy & Patrick Fitzgerald

Melanie Collins & Dana Wolf

Jerrell & Nichole Simms, Shelby Hamilton & Andy West


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1/27/22 11:24 PM

VIP Pensacola at Paradise Bar and Grill



photos & story by Kristina Wright

he Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce and Paradise Bar and Grill teamed up to ring in the new year with their annual Polar Bear Plunge on January 1. Hundreds of dippers and spectators, many dressed in costumes, flocked to the beach to participate in this long-established tradition, bringing in a large number of families and children to experience the festivities. Participants lined up on the edge of the boardwalk behind Paradise Bar and Grill in sections; and on the announcer’s count of three, took a quick plunge into the water. In typical Florida winter fashion, the weather was a warm and muggy seventy-five degrees. After the plunge, guests were invited to enjoy live entertainment, and partake in the traditional blackeyed peas and cornbread meal served on New Year’s Day. This year was the Greater Pensacola Chamber’s biggest turn out in the history of the Polar Bear Plunge. With every member who registered, a chance to win the fifty-fifty raffle was given. The Polar Bear Plunge is the Chamber’s first event of the year, and kickstarts the nonprofit fundraising season to support and build the foundation for the numerous events the Chamber holds throughout the year.


Sharon Lopez, Darlene Behr & Kristi Sivers

Christina Brewster, Josh & Denise Roth

Becky Stowe & Lance Brannan

Becca Holaday, Tim & Angela McMahan

Kathy Thorpe, Brian Grayson & Kim Flanagan-Grayson

Myles Carrere, Ricky, Lynna & Evyn Caples


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Marcia Hoven, Leslie & Willie McLeod, Taylor Green

Greg & Lauren Bass

Merv & Laura Ortiz, Jim & Laura Waite

Aly & Jay Bachman

Walker, Karen & Annie Stinson, Beth & Donald Woolridge

Lana King & Tracy King

Ronnie Calamari, Scott & Kelly Fuller, Randy & Desiree Calamari January 2022 | 33

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Gowns Abound story by Anna Stockton


hether you’re in a krewe or have a black-tie affair coming up, there’s a good chance you’ll be shopping for a gown this year. Finding your perfect formal wear can be a bit overwhelming given all the choices. The good thing is there are options for every body type, personality, and style. Whether you’re one to stand on the edge of the dance floor sipping your champagne, or one to stand out on the dance floor, showing off your moves, you’ll look fabulous doing it.

Secret Agent (Wo)Man Sometimes “formal” doesn’t

necessarily mean formal in the traditional sense. So, ladies -- we must advocate for ourselves and put our detective skills to use by doing some serious recon. Ask someone who has attended the event what the attire was or go to social media or the event website to look at photos from years past to make sure you’ll be dressed appropriately.

Bringing Sexy Back One way to look amazing on the big night is to find a gown that accentuates your assets. If you’ve got rocking shoulders, a halter gown will expose all that hard work at the gym. Great legs -- a high/low dress will let you show them off. A backless dress is perfect for those sleek and sexy backs. Lady in Red A seasoned military wife once told me, everyone at the ball will be wearing black, be the one in red. While there’s nothing wrong with a black gown, choosing a dress with color, especially red, will surely make you stand out. You can go a step further and choose a dress with a pattern. Not only are they eye-catching, but patterned dresses are usually good camouflage and more flattering. Mix, Mix, Mix it Up Mixed media is a term used when you

combine different materials or mediums in art, the same thing applies to fashion. Choosing a dress with feather, metal, and sequin details bring an interesting flair to your evening gown and makes you stand out among others. It’s also a great way to show your personality while still dressing for a formal affair.

Underneath it All Ladies, I cannot stress this enough --

shapewear, shapewear, shapewear! Everyone uses it, even celebrities with amazing bodies, I promise. Shaping undergarments smooth out and hide any lumps or bumps you might have. Yes, you might sweat a bit trying to get them back on after a restroom trip but looking smooth in that dress will be well worth it.

“As Long as I‘ve got my Suit and Tie” Sorry JT -- not for

this formal affair. Formal fashion for men is far more facile as all you must do is follow the rules. Black tie means just that -- black tuxedo and bowtie. Pocket squares and cuff links can show your personality a bit, but it’s encouraged you don’t stray from the traditional attire. However, dark blue tuxedos and velvet dinner jackets are becoming more accepted these days as an alternative to the classic black tuxedo.

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VIP Pensacola at Heritage Hall


& Denim photos & story by Kristina Wright

Roz Leahy & Ann Mitchell

Dixon & Linda Mosley


iamonds and Denim was the theme and optional dress for the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra Guild’s January luncheon at Heritage Hall. A local duet called “Sweet Music” provided lively entertainment. Door prizes were pulled during lunch, featuring many wonderful items from guild members. Several of the members wore jewelry that was purchased at the December luncheon and fundraiser. This occasion was held prior to Pensacola Symphony Orchestra’s annual Beethoven and Blue Jeans concert, performed in the restored Saenger Theatre. The purpose of the PSOG is to raise funds in support of symphony musicians, to include promotion of Music in Education and community outreach, along with providing rehearsal meals and intermission refreshments for guest artists as well as the musicians. PSOG’s 35th annual fundraiser, Magnolias and White Linen, will be held March 2 at Pensacola Yacht Club. An opportunity to mix and mingle with guest speaker, Susan Sully, will be available at a party in her honor to be held at Apple Annie’s in Seville Quarters and the outside courtyard on March 1. Sponsorship packets and tickets for upcoming events are available by contacting sponsor chair, Trisha Woodburn, 850-384-6926, or visit

Sarah Martin & Tammy Chisenhall

Trisha Woodburn & Lindi Kessler 36

Bonnie & Dick Bedics

Suzanne Pfeffle & Wilma Steele

Helen Boyd & Caroline Kelly

Kat Villines & Dona Usry

Shellie Isakson-Smith & Janice Henke


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Dana Clark & Michelle Clark

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VIP Pensacola at Pensacola Museum of Art

Pensacola Museum of Art Guild

Social Meeting photos & story by Patti Hall


he Pensacola Museum of Art Guild held its first monthly meeting and social of 2022 on Tuesday, January 18, at the Pensacola Museum of Art. The event began with mimosas and mingling. Jan Hoffman presented the program “Torn Paper and Collage Art.” Jan creates collage paintings that evoke universal emotions as an abstract expressionist artist. After the program there was a short business meeting. The PMA Guild promotes membership, provides volunteers, contributes to the knowledge and appreciation of art, and supports the museum’s growth. Membership is open to every person in the community who wishes to support the Museum of Art.

Pat Dickson & Jan Hoffmann

Pam Schwartz & Chris Fisher

Suzanne Pfeffle & Tammy Chisenhall

Claire Laurion & Diane Kanning

Kat Davis & Cheryl Weir

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VIP Pensacola at St. Anne’s Family Life Center

76th Annual Les Harlequins Ball photos & story by Kristina Wright

Judy Popeleski & Maureen Curry

John Simmons & Debbie Brown


es Harlequins hosted their 76th consecutive Pre-Lenten Ball at St. Anne’s Family Life Center on January 15. This year’s theme was Journey of Jewels. The men of the Court played the role of explorers and the ladies represented various jewels the explorers brought with them to Pensacola from their travels. Presented were the Diamond Queen-Sheila Smith, King Ponce De Leon-Curtis Williams, and court members as follows: Sapphire-Joyce Aderholdt escorted by Sir Frances Drake-Gary Sapp; Emerald-Betty McCurdy escorted by Hernan Cortez-Jody Parker; Ruby-Donna Gaynor escorted by Marco Polo-John Simmons; and Amethyst-Kim Stacey, escorted by Dr. Livingston-Gary James. While today the costumes and dress for the Annual Masked Ball are required to be black, white, or black and white, this was not always the case. It is documented that the krewe members at the first Annual Masked Ball in 1947 were dressed as peasants in colorful red and yellow skirts and white blouses. Today members may choose to wear a black and white clown costume or a one shoulder floor length gown in black, white, or black and white. Guests must adhere to the black and white dress in formal attire. This year attendees enjoyed dinner by The Cutting Board prior to the presentation and danced the night away to the sounds of Emerald Gold and Good Vibrations afterward. One of the oldest krewes in Pensacola, Les Harlequins is an all-female social club organized in 1946 by military wives. The primary purpose is to hold an annual masked ball in the pre-Lenten season. Historically, Les Harlequins hosted the first ball to open the Pensacola Mardi Gras Season which would be the first Friday or Saturday following Twelfth Night. The first ball was held at the San Carlos Hotel in early 1947, the theme was Festival Day in a Peasant Village. As many krewes have formed though years, Les Harlequins Ball is now held on a Saturday in January. While considered a non-parading group, the Royalty do typically ride in the Mardi Gras parade. The Executive Board selects a court each year which consists of a king and queen with four ladies and four gentlemen. This year’s Executive Board are Wyndie Butler, President; Micki Baumert, Vice-President; Martina Mason, Treasurer; Debbie Mays, Recording Secretary; Leanne Gunn, Corresponding Secretary; and Directors Debbie Ioakim, Tammy Kassebaum, Sharon Mandel, Mary Virginia Mills, and Lauren Sherrill. The Court is costumed according to the theme for the year and is presented at the Annual Masked Ball.

Amy Day & Bryan Allen

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Susan & Curtis Williams, Shelia Smith

Debbie & Gary Sapp


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Jeri Cox, Sabrina Palmer, Leigh Shirer, Deb Kennedy, Suzette Thomason & Michelle Hedman

John Manzanet, Elizabeth Brown, Martina Mason, Chae & Sean Kyle

Christopher Mandel, Robert Mandel & Sherry Landers

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GI V E | C A R E | S H A R E

story by Anna Stockton


any don’t think much about who looks out for and promotes local business development in the Pensacola area, it just sort of happens, right? Well, make no mistake, the Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce is the force behind making this happen. For over 130 years this organization, started as a volunteer business association, has worked tirelessly to promote local businesses, community, and economic development. A board helps govern the chamber while a professional staff runs the organization. Chamber membership is made up of local businesspeople who all have the same goal, to promote their own local business, promote other local businesses, as well as strengthening the community of Pensacola. This organization helps their 1100 members, not only by encouraging their membership to do business with each other but they also provide products and services to help them grow and prosper. The Chamber’s focus is to enhance the area though responsible economic development, community involvement, and unity of public and private sectors. The Greater Pensacola Chamber website offers a wealth of information on local businesses and the Pensacola/Escambia County area in general. Their member directory is broken up into business categories as well as by a map, offering an easy search for participating member businesses. The calendar of events keeps you up to date on not only chamber events but also many local happenings. The community section of their website is full of information for visiting Pensacola as well as information on relocating to the area. Chamber events are a great way to network and give back to the community. A variety of events are offered, from breakfast meetings to relaxing Business After Hours events and even “State of” events where members hear from local experts on progress in the community.

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Interview with

Todd Thomson, President Greater Pensacola Chamber What is the Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce? The Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce is the Voice of the Business Community in Pensacola and Escambia County. As the largest chamber in our region, we offer events, initiatives, and resources to support our local businesses. We also advocate for pro-business policies on the local, state, and national levels to address issues concerning the business community. How did the Chamber come about? The Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce was created on March 16, 1889, as a voluntary business association to bring like-minded business leaders together to address their concerns. The creation of our local chamber allowed for a better relationship between business and local government and spurred the creation of new businesses in Pensacola. What impact does the Chamber have on the community? Our mission is to create a better community for our citizens by making our region the best place to start and grow a business, raise a family, retire to, or enjoy on a visit. We also want to bring everybody together to address and solve problems facing our community. That is the best way to ensure we have a strong economy and a vibrant business community. What events does the Chamber host? We host over sixty events each year with something to offer to all of our members. We have monthly networking events like our Good Morning Pensacola breakfast meeting and Business After Hours where you can mingle with local business leaders. We also have our “State of” series of luncheons where you can hear directly from local experts about the latest on the economy, the military, and education. Finally, we have our signature events such as the PACE Awards in March and our 132nd Annual Meeting to be held in September.

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How did you get involved with the Greater Pensacola Chamber? I was hired by former Chamber President/CEO Clay Ingram in 2015 as vice-president of public affairs to start the Chamber’s advocacy program. I have a background in lobbying and advocating for business interests, so this was a great opportunity for me. After Clay moved to Tallahassee, I interviewed for the open CEO position and was honored to receive the opportunity to lead this incredible organization. What’s your favorite thing about being involved with the Chamber? The great thing about the Chamber is that we touch all facets of our community. With 1,100 members we are able to engage small and large businesses, education, government, and non-profits and serve as that convening entity that can work on problems facing our community. How can the someone get involved or support the Chamber? Anyone can visit our website at for more information about our activities and how you can join the Chamber.

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VIP Pensacola at Seville Square

Mike & Jeri Cox

Tina Tortomase, Jackie Tucker & Jennifer Netzea

Pin & Bead Swap photos & story by Patti Hall


he Krewe of Blues held their annual Pin & Bead Festival on Sunday, January 19, at Seville Square. The cold weather didn’t stop anyone from having fun. Pensacola’s Mardi Gras krewes huddled together, building rapport having friendly competitions, and raising money and diapers for charity. The krewes, decked out in their costumes, staffed their booths and had beads for sale and trade, as well as information about their krewe.


The festival is held each year on Martin Luther King’s birthday weekend. Mardi Gras krewes competed in “Krewe Wars” as well as games for everyone, prize drawings, a 50/50 cash raffle, and of course trading of Mardi Gras pins and beads between krewe members. The krewes collect diapers for the Gulf Coast Kid’s House. Over 30,000 diapers have been donated.

Gary & Evelyn Altgilbers

Chad & Dawn Paulus

Rhonda Robinson & Whitney Hinton

Paul Miller, Shawn Weaver, Greg Allen & Terrell Acosta

Marvel & Kevin White


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Richard Wagner & Greg Seivers

Tina Hernandez, Patti Reed & Carla Encarnacion

Alicia Nelson & Cyndi DelGallo

Becca Holladay, Wendy Pruitt & Marsha Williams

Bonnie & Matt Primm

Dorian Ard & Daniel Ard

Disraelly Cruz, Amanda Nelms & Brittany Jones

Frank Presley & Brad Spurgin

Kathie Gainous & Susan Comer

Tina Bosso, Ricki McWilliams & Shannon Evans February 2022 | 45

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special events

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VIPPensacola at Seville Quarter

Fletcher Spann & Suzanne Pollard Spann

Seville Business Happy Hour

Gary Sapp & Joe Abston

photos & story by Kristina Wright

J Angei Morris & Audrey Preston

Nicole Partridge & Stephanie Alvarez

Andrew Schroeder & Claire Harrison

anuary’s Business Happy Hour at Seville Quarter was sponsored by Gary Sapp Automotive Service Center and Southern Gardens Florist & Gifts. This event provides an excellent opportunity to build relationships, partnerships, and create future collaborative endeavors. Several area businesses also brought door prizes for the raffle, while drink specials ran throughout the event. Seville Quarter Business Happy Hour is a monthly gathering of businesspeople, networking in a relaxed setting to build connections and grow their business. Seville Quarter offers businesses the convenience, service, and ambiance to help promote and market their business. This is a customizable event, and sponsors have the unlimited latitude to promote their company, product, or services in any way they wish. Many businesses use it to thank their existing clients and find it to be a great opportunity to create even more.

Mark Schultz & Josh Brown

Bobby Emmons & Chip Wood

Dana Tripoli, Chae Kyle, Debbie Sapp & Kalyn Henderson February 2022 | 47

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VIPPensacola at Seville Business Happy Hour

Mary Butler, Mia Bolden & Felicia Richardson

Willa Licata, Melissa Spoov & Suzanne Myers

Laurie & Jake Cavender

Curt Morse, Susi Lyon & Marty Stanovich 48

Shannon Harrold & Crystal Silins

Julie & Alisa Still-Rolin

Vicky White & Beth Chavers

David Narloch & JoAnna Cope

Katie Gardocki, Amy Marquez & Domonique Whitehurst


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VIP Pensacola at Jellyfish Bar

Pirates of Lost Treasure Art Unveil Holly & Sam McKnight, Brenda Jackson

photos & story byPatti Hall

Greg Slawson, Mike Fowler & Jon Plank


Tonie & Stan Allsopp

he Pirates of Lost Treasure held an artwork unveil at the Jellyfish Bar in Perdido Key on January 18. Members and guests enjoyed drinks and dinner while socializing with their fellow pirates. Also on February 18, the Flotilla Captain’s Meeting was held at Perdido Key Sports Bar. It is the largest Flotilla Parade in the area. PLT members were gearing up for Perdido Key’s Biggest Mardi Gras Flotilla on February 19. On February 8 they had a Flotilla Social-Open Registration at Hub Stacey’s at the Point and on Thursday, January 13 they kicked off their 2022 Mardi Gras festivities at the Flora-Bama Snowbird Welcome. Prizes will be awarded in various categories, with a portion of the proceeds going to PLT’s charity project, Secret Santa, which benefits many local families and children who need a little extra help, especially during the holiday season. For additional information visit or their Facebook page under the events section.

Jimmie Sue Watters & Liz Fowler

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Jamee Lowry & Nelda Windham

Pete & Cory Knauer

Donna Slawson, Amy Kizziah & Dana Peeterse


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Pensacola's Oldest and Largest New and Used Record Store

**VINYL, CDs & DVDs**

We offer vinyl-to-CD and cassette-to-CD transfer services, as well as professional vinyl cleaning services with our VPI Typhoon record cleaner.

Chuck Gardner and Ray Thall - Owners


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Pensacola, FL

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FEBRUARY 12 Come Fly With Me: Music of Sinatra and more Saenger Theatre 18 South Palafox Place | Pensacola 7:30 - 9:30pm Three trumpets are better than one, especially when they are all played by the same person at one time! Multi-instrumentalist and dynamic entertainer Gunhild Carling joins vocalist Michael Andrew, former headliner at the Rainbow Room, for an evening featuring favorites from Frank Sinatra and more. For additional information and tickets, visit


FEBRUARY 18 - 20

First Annual Paw-Di-Gras Pawty


Downtown Pensacola Garden Street between Tarragona and Palafox 12:00 – 4:00pm

Pensacola Bay Center 201 East Gregory Street | Pensacola Join the Gulf Coast’s favorite pop culture convention. This three-day event celebrates the world of science fiction, fantasy, cosplay, animation, horror and much more. Attendees can meet celebrities, authors, and authors. They can also attend panels and workshops, enjoy fi lm screenings, and shop with vendors. A costume contest encourages attendees to rock their best cosplay.

WolfGang, LLC hosts Pensacola’s 1st Annual Pawdi Gras event! The theme will be the Ulti-MUTT Tailgate PAW-ty as they kick off Super Bowl Sunday and Mardi Gras festivities! The closed down portion of Garden Street between Tarragona and Palafox will be fi lled with costumed dogs so dress your pet (and yourself) in your best Mardi Gras-themed or football related costumes and come enjoy a day of fun! Visit for event information.

Visit for all event information and to purchase 1, 2, and 3-day passes.



Pensacola Mardi Gras Grand Parade

Krewe of Wrecks Pensacola Beach Mardi Gras Parade

Palafox Street | Downtown Pensacola 2:00 til around 6:00pm Come to downtown Pensacola for the grand parade. Join thousands of paradegoers for the festivities. Watch as the krewes “float” on by with their costumes and music. Catch beads, toys and of course, moon pies while enjoying the vibrant atmosphere. For parade info and a Mardi Gras event calendar visit

Via De Luna Drive | Pensacola Beach 2:00 – 4:00pm Pensacola Beach hosts its very own Mardi Gras parade! Krewes and their floats will be out in force along the main strip, throwing beads and more as this coastal carnival parades down Via De Luna Drive. Go to for your Pensacola Beach Mardi Gras calendar of events.

Visit for more events! 52


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VIP Penacola at Paradise Bar & Grill

Mystic Krewe of Nereids

King Kake Party P

Elisa Strickland & Michelle Ray

photos & story by Kevin L Houghton

aradise Bar & Grill hosted the annual Mystic Krewe of Nereids King Kake Party 2022 on January 8. The party was open to the public and more than 75 people came out, despite the cool beach weather, to enjoy the festivities and of course, king cake. Attendees danced to the music from DJ Boogie, who was on hand rolling everyone’s favorite hits. Raffle winners and krewe royalty were announced as well. Mystic Krewe of Nereids is an all-woman Mardi Gras krewe which started in Pensacola Beach in 1991 and gets its name from the nereids, also known as mermaids, in Greek mythology.

Barb Lynch, Cat Scanlon & Rikki Stiltner

Tracy McDonald, Mary Murphy, Marilyn McDonald, Jackie Henderson & Sandy Brummette

Jenny & Brian Andrews

John & Linda Carleton

Donna Corey & Michele Tombari

Ken Huete & Bruce Ashley

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VIP Pensacola at Mystic Krewe of Nereids King Kake Party

Patrick Hodges & Parker Baynes

Margie & Henry Hobbs

Jean & Tom Luke

Hank & Shelly Geier

Ruth & Larry Reynolds

Theresa Williamson

Alex Ritchie

Brian Ramsey & Keith Bowden

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Tracy Johnson & Jim Kimball

Judy Loignon & Charlotte Spencer


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Debbie Glover, Nancy Kittel & Paulette Provost

Candy Scott, Tracy Hodges & Donna Allen

Michael Fazio, Frank Fazio & Diane Gross


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Cate Hodges, Marilyn LeNormand, Lacie Bowden & Elisa Strickland

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VIP Pensacola at Flora-Bama Ole River Grill

RheeAnn & Doug Hillis

Jamal Williams & Tiffany Grubbs

Talis Jayme & Sheryl McClellan

Perdido Key Chamber

Business After Hours photos & story by Kristina Wright


he Perdido Key Area Chamber hosted their Business After Hours social on January 19, at the Flora-Bama Ole River Grill. The Chamber hosts a networking social every month to bring together members and potential members for the common purpose of promoting and growing successful business along the Gulf Coast of Florida and Alabama. The location of the Flora-Bama makes this venue a perfect location for businesses in the Perdido Key area, which also stretches across the twostate lines, to gather for an evening of networking and socializing. Those who live, work and play on the Gulf Coast know how wonderful it is to be able to enjoy beautiful beaches, a friendly community atmosphere, and a thriving business environment. The Perdido Key Area Chamber staff and Keyholders were excited to welcome all chambers, their members, and prospective members of the Perdido Key Area Chamber of Commerce to attend the event. The Perdido Key Area Chamber of Commerce provides community leadership and promotes a sustainable economic growth of member businesses and community development.

Brenda Truxillo & Debbie Carpenter

Paul & Anne Frechette

Lori Raisch & Ava Sobeski

Sarah Thurstenson, Tammy Ward & Jo Ann Slaydon February 2022 | 59

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VIP Pensacola at Perdido Key Chamber Business After Hours

Allison Burns & Brady Hale

Cinnamon & Barry Smith

Dimitri & Josie Baptiste

Kim Kennedy & Jim Fitzpatrick

Steve Meyer & Cindy Mann

Cheryl Coesens & Cameron Price

Laurie & Lee Akins, Aaron Jackson

Dorian Zwierewicz & John Emsing 60

Steve Kerr & Jim Beran

Mark & Nancy Dickhute


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story by Anna Stockton


he hurricane is believed by most to be the official drink of New Orleans -- what with its imposing presence along the beloved city’s streets during Mardi Gras, or just a Wednesday. However, the actual official drink of New Orleans is a much more sophisticated cocktail served in a lowball glass rather than souvenir cups and is mixed in the city’s finest establishments as opposed to to-go bars. The mysterious history of the Sazerac is as elusive as New Orleans history itself, going from a concoction rumored to have been mixed up by a pharmacist to what the world recognizes as the official drink of New Orleans. Believe it or not, there was a day when New Orleans residents thought themselves and their town too classy to house such low-rent establishments as bars or saloons. Instead, they had “coffee houses,” which were really the same concept, only without the pearlclutching, disgraceful nature of a raucous saloon. While the actual history of the Sazerac is a bit of a mystery, most credit the unique New Orleans “coffee houses” as having launched this classic cocktail into NOLA culture. According to most, it all began when Antoine Amadee Peychaud, a Creole pharmacist, or apothecary as the profession was known then, mixed up a concoction that would later be known as Peychaud Bitters and combined it with his favorite French cognac, Sazerac-de-Forge et Fils. It was wildly popular among his Mason friends and Peychaud sold it to coffee houses as a restorative tonic for “cases of general debility” and was advertised with the saying “agreeable taste is not the least of its recommendations.” In the late 19th century, the phylloxera epidemic nearly wiped out the vineyards in France thus affecting the availability of cognac for the United States. Not to be deterred from their new-found coffee house favorite, cognac was replaced by American rye whiskey. Shortly after the recipe was altered, and because life just wasn’t dangerous enough then, a bartender named Leon Lamothe added Absinthe to the mix, literally. Soon after its addition to the Sazerac recipe, Absinthe, also known as Black Death because of its black licorice flavor, was banned due to its dangerous qualities -and not because of the hallucinations it caused (I’m sure). After this development, Peychaud’s bitters were added to the Sazerac once again and this classic cocktail remains deeply embedded in New Orleans culture.

The Sazerac is synonymous with New Orleans and there is even a museum called the Sazerac House. Housed in a historic building at the corner of Canal and Magazine streets, the museum gives you a history of cocktail culture in New Orleans with a specific focus on Sazerac history. You can find out the methods for distilling whiskey and also taste bitters for yourself. Another monument to the impact Sazerac has had on the culture is the Sazerac Bar in the Roosevelt Hotel. This bar has been serving the signature cocktail since 1938 and is well known as the place to try this potent concoction. Also, from Sazerac fame came the Sazerac company, a wellknown distillery throughout North America and into Canada that most famously distills Buffalo Trace whiskey. This company is rumored to have roots in the infamous coffee house, the Sazerac House. The good thing is that you don’t have to be in New Orleans to try this cocktail. You can don your best Mardi Gras attire (or your pajamas, no judgement here) and sip on a Sazerac in the comfort of your very own home.

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SAZERAC Ingredients:

1 cube sugar 1½ oz. Sazerac Rye Whiskey or Buffalo Trace Bourbon ¼ oz. Herbsaint 3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters lemon peel


Pack an old-fashioned glass with ice. In a second old-fashioned glass place the sugar cube and add the Peychaud’s Bitters to it, then crush the sugar cube. Add the Sazerac Rye Whiskey or Buffalo Trace Bourbon to the second glass containing the Peychaud’s Bitters and sugar. Remove the ice from the first glass and coat the glass with the Herbsaint, discarding the remainder. Empty the whiskey/bitters/sugar mixture from the second glass into the first glass and garnish with lemon peel.

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Sazerac Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel circa 1930’s

1/27/22 11:37 PM

VIP Pensacola at The Grand Marlin

Meet & Mingle with IMPACT 100


photos & story by Kristina Wright

he Impact 100 Pensacola Bay Area 2022 membership season kicked off with their Meet & Mingle event, hosted on January 13, by the Sherlyn Waghalter Team Berkshire Hathaway at The Grand Marlin. Current and prospective members were invited to bring their friends and help spread the word about IMPACT 100’s 18 years of funding transformative projects in the local community, and the rewarding experience that membership brings. A former grant winner, Sally Bergosh from the Health & Hope Clinic spoke from experience on how much a grant from Impact 100 means to a small business or organization. Impact 100 Pensacola Bay Area is running their membership drive until March 1. Membership donations are due by March 1 for the current membership year. The only membership requirements are to be a woman 18 years of age or older, and to donate $1,000 each year. Membership is contingent upon receipt of an annual $1,000 non-refundable, tax-deductible membership donation, and a signed Membership Commitment form. 100% of the membership donation goes toward the annual grants. Members may also “double their impact” if they work for a company with a matching gift program. The additional funds received from a matching gift program will be designated as an operating donation. An individual can donate $500 and their company match of $500 will also complete the membership requirement.


Jennifer Passeretti & Elizabeth Jones

Sally Bergosh & Carol Brownell

Cristina Waghalter & Sherlyn Waghalter

Marie Marino, Jacky Westover & Jackie Wills

Jennifer Wells & Sabrina Castle

Tina Oscar & Marny Needle

Robin Lepinay, Terri Barham, Donna Meeks & Laura Munro


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Sadie O’Gara & Cynthia Kelsey

Leigh Davis, Brigette Brooks & Allison McLeary

Doria Davis & Lindy Hurd

Teri Haggerty, Nicole Partridge & Beth Clark

Traci Wise & Sandy Oxford

Nancy Bradley & Sue-Sue Sherill

Emily Homan, Sarah Wilburn & Monifa Fleming

Alyssa Tucker & Kristin Longley

Jessica Ham & Cheryl Miller

Darra Flanagan, Susan Ashby & Roz Leahy February 2022 | 65

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Aaron Watson

What is your hometown and how did you end up in the Pensacola area? Pensacola is home. We moved to Pensacola from Mobile, AL, when my father, Larry Watson, Sr., accepted a position as Pastor of The Englewood Missionary Baptist Church in Pensacola. My brother, Larry Watson, Jr., currently pastors the church. What is your profession? I am a trial attorney. If you ask my siblings about me, they say that I love to argue. I absolutely enjoy argumentation and debate. I enjoy winning! Throughout my college career, I excelled in classes such as debate, logic, argumentation, and mock-trial. In law school, I was named a national champion when I defeated over 140 law schools in student mock-trial competitions. Stetson University College of Law, my alma mater, consistently ranks #1 in the country for their trial advocacy program by US News. I chose the legal profession because I could help people and earn a living by doing what I love to do… argue and win (except with my wife). What are some of your favorite things about Pensacola? I absolutely hate traffic in big cities. In Pensacola, I can get to wherever I want to go in 15-20 mins. In larger cities, it could take hours just to travel a few miles. I love my daily commute, the beaches, the restaurants, no congestion, and the close knit social networks. Plus, all of my family is here. Three words that best describe you. Hungry. Humble. Hard working. What do you like to do in Pensacola? My wife and I enjoy The Englewood All-In-One Kitchen Ministry in Pensacola. The restaurant is open 7 days a week and has some of the best Southern cuisine in town. I enjoy biking in downtown Pensacola, East Hill, and on the beach. I have twin boys (5 years old) and a newborn at home. Due to our family and work schedules, we don’t get out as much as we’d like. When we do get out, we enjoy spending time on Palafox Street, Wahoos Stadium, Pensacola Beach, and taking day trips to nearby cities like Destin.

photo by Kristina Wright

What is one thing that you do not go a day without? Prayer. As a preacher’s son, I was taught the importance and power of prayer at a young age. With so much going on in the world today, it is important to make time for prayer each day. Finish this statement, I AM PENSACOLA because… I am a product of Pensacola. Pensacola has helped mold me into the lawyer, father, and entrepreneur that I am today. As a trial lawyer in my hometown, I’ve had the privilege of representing the very same people who helped to rear me. I’ve represented friends, family, classmates, teachers, pastors, and mentors. I’ve recovered millions of dollars in jury verdicts and settlements on behalf of Pensacola residents and have helped to change my clients’ lives financially. In just a few short years my law firm, The Watson Firm, has grown from a small office in Town & Country Plaza into a multi-million dollar corporation on the waterfront of Palafox Pier. I credit our growth to the support of my hometown Pensacola!

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1/27/22 11:39 PM

Let the good times roll!

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