VIP Pensacola - October 2021

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Where the personal touch means so much. With a staff of more than 40 caring and compassionate employees, Faith Chapel is committed to providing the highest level of customer service.



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NORTH: 1000 S. Highway 29, 850.937.8118 SOUTH: 100 Beverly Parkway, 850.432.6146

9/30/21 9:33 AM

Numerous legends are attached to the chimney sweeps top hat and tails. One such legend began in the 1700’s when King George’s horse was startled by a barking dog. A chimney sweep was said to have grabbed the reins and calming the horse, thereby, preventing an accident. The king awarded the chimney sweep profession the right to wear top hat and tails, a custom reserved for gentry and royalty. From that time forward, chimney sweeps were considered lucky. The top hat and tails caught on and it soon became a tradition and the de facto uniform of chimney sweeps, even to this day.

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Volume VI • Issue X

events 14 Glitz & Glam 16 Navy Pelican Re-Dedication Ceremony 21 Freedom Quest 25 2021 Gulf Coast Summerfest Jazz Edition 30 Emerald Coast Beer Festival 42 Perdido Chamber First Friday Breakfast 46 Candlelight Vigil for Childhood Cancer 48 Vettes at the Beach 53 VIP Pensacola Black Tie Ball 64 Gulf Breeze & Pensacola Chamber Business After Hours 66 63rd Annual Parade of Homes 70 Mystic Order of Revelry Charity Bowl for USO NWF 72 Rockin’ for Da’ Bayou 76 Pensacola Seafood Festival 79 Harlequins Royalty Party 82 Pensacola Beach & Gulf Breeze Business After Hours 88 Habitat Framing Gala

on the cover POWER PLAYERS Raffaella Fant & Fernando Arellano photo by

Jonathan Oppenheim

departments 12 18 28 44 61 68 74 85 86 90

Straight Talk Coastal Cuisine Adventure Out May We Suggest Give Care Share Style The Blue Line Save the Date Swizzle I Am Pensacola

features 35 Power Players

VIP Pensacola Staff Publisher Greg Alexander

Art Director Priscilla Atkins

Associate Publisher Verla Price

Contributing Writers/ Photographers Patti Hall Kevin Houghton Anna Stockton Kristina Wright

Advertising Stephanie Alvarez Kristin Moffitt Kevin O’Rourke Verla Price Content Creator Anna Stockton

VIP Founder Jeff Watson

Graphic Designers Brian Goins Patti Hall October 2021 | 9

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letter from the Associate Publisher Welcome to another issue of your favorite social magazine. Pensacola is always a beautiful place to live, yet October is my favorite month to enjoy the beaches and water. I missed the late summer heat as I vacationed through the Continental Divide Mountains in late August. I returned to cooler breezes as fall launched on us and pumpkin spice coffees replaced iced tea in the blink of an eye. I am amazed at the rapid change from summer to fall here on the Emerald Coast. In this issue of VIP Pensacola we celebrate local power players, bring you the latest happenings around town, and share with you the Black Tie Ball celebration of the Best In Pensacola winners. The grand evening kicked off at Scenic Hills Country Club with a cocktail party, a gourmet dinner, and then Best in Pensacola winners stepped up to the stage to receive their awards. Afterwards, DJ Dave shook the walls and the crowd danced the evening away. The Power Players Spotlight was developed to showcase people who are influential leaders in their own industry or business and are giving back to the community. In addition to the spotlight, Pensacola Style provides insight into Power Players’ attire as they dress for success, and May We Suggest has some nifty electronic gadgets. I am a gadget person, so I enjoyed these ideas immensely. I enjoyed my summer vacation, however, I missed some fun here at home and had to enjoy the local events as many of you do each month by reading about them here in the pages of VIP Pensacola. Our photographers and writers provide us an inside look at some well-attended business networking events, a few fundraisers and socials, and the Pensacola Seafood Festival. I could have eaten that one up if I had been in the area. The monthly features in this issue are attractive as well. If you like an after-work drink, check out the cocktails in the Best In Pensacola version of Swizzle. In Coastal Cuisine delve into the power of dark chocolate. And last but not least, read about the fantastic things one lady can do to help the community she loves, as Linda Petty is featured this month as I Am Pensacola. Save the Date is fi lled with things you should put on your calendar for the upcoming weeks. If you know of a non-profit or charity holding an event you would like to see featured in VIP Pensacola, please call me. It is our mission at VIP Pensacola to support as many non-profit causes as possible. Thank YOU for reading -- please be kind, courteous, and shop local.

Associate Publisher 850-502-7970 10


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VIP Pensacola at the Pensacola Yacht Club

Glitz & Glam photos & story by Kristina Wright


he Pilot Club of Pensacola held their 6th annual fashion show fundraiser and luncheon, titled “Glitz and Glam” on September 17. The Pensacola Yacht Club made the perfect home for this event, showcasing the class and taste the Pilot Club has become known for in the community. This event houses a special fashion show every year, and consist of models walking the room in style, sporting current fashion trends from Chico’s and Rococo stores. All the funds raised for this Pilot Club stay in Pensacola and go to benefit charities and organizations including Arc Gateway, Covenant Care, Gulf Coast Kids House, Favor House, Ronald McDonald House, Escambia Search and Rescue, Autism Pensacola, and pyramid schools, like Escambia Westgate School. The Pilot Club of Pensacola is a national organization spread over five countries, but Pensacola’s club is the only district in the U.S. that supports scholarship houses.

Jody Falvey, Maureen Fuller & Charlotte Hobbs

Barbara Whaley, Sherry Edgar & Edith Salter

Nina Fanfalone, Helen Pratt, Barbara Dean & Jane Busey

Tami Rose & Shirley Jacques 14

Sue Tyson & Carol McDonald

Barbara Austin, Shelia Bates, Cathy Sowell, Carolee Evans & Elaine Sites


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Denise Krut & Susie Watson

Sharon Higdon & Angela Sherrill

Donna Dixon, Nancy Lassiter, Linda Petty & Tracy Morgan

Rosemary Ropke, Kem Potter & Gina Duck

Joan Valle & Linda Damhave

Verla Price & Martina Mason

Howard Johnson & Anise McGuire

Jeanne Clark, Virginia Bunde & Lisa Patterson

Lynne Pinder, Peg Bonnell, Susan Harrell & Joyce Blackwelder October 2021 | 15

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VIP Pensacola at Garden & Palafox

Harlow, Frank & Leif Zastoupil

Kaitlin Forester & Todd Royles

Isla, Ben & Bennett Walborn


RE-DEDICATION CEREMONY photos & story by Kristina Wright


f you’re a Pensacolian, you know all about the Pelican statues perched in various areas downtown. The Navy Pelican, a statue that has been located at the intersection of Garden and Palafox for over 10 years; has been missing in action due to some unfortunate damages. Over many months, several Blue Angels, local officials, and artists collaborated on the repairs, while working together to bring Pensacola’s beloved blue bird back home. The ceremony was held on September 17, at the intersection of Garden Street and Palafox Avenue. Attendees included the Mayor, NAS Pensacola Base CO, and representatives of the Blue Angels, among others. The program involved brief remarks, official arrival ceremony, and a military formation. “Blue Number 1” was escorted back to his perch by several Blue Angels, and the gathered community cheered in response to our beloved Navy Pelican back home, better than ever.

Todd Royles, Captain Tim Kinsella, Hank Phillips, Mayor Grover Robinson, Robert Bender & Chief Eric Randall 16


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Buck Mitchell, Patty Veal & Jimmy Donohoe

Joseph O’ Hannigan, Branden Woods & Xavier Rosario

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Karl Schwelm, Randy McCollum, Hank Phillips & Daniel McCort

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The Power of Dark Chocolate story by Anna Stockton


s I’ve gotten older, a few things have evolved in my life. My circle of friends has become tighter, I started wearing cardigans -- and according to my kids “dressing like a substitute teacher,” I started changing out my hand towels according to the seasons, I started to love vacuuming, and I started liking dark chocolate. It happened one day, purely by accident. I bought trail mix with dark chocolate and after I got over the initial surprise of the bitterness, I was hooked. Dark chocolate is essentially the “O.G.” of the chocolate family as it is chocolate in its purest form. So, how long has the human race been enjoying such a delectable delicacy? By all accounts, chocolate was discovered about 3000 years ago in what we now know as Central and South America. The cocoa beans were originally made into a bitter beverage that the Mayans not only drank but revered. In fact, written history mentions Mayans using the chocolate drink for ceremonies, medicinal purposes, and even to finalize transactions. Unlike many delicacies, the cocoa drink was not reserved for just the wealthy, most Mayans enjoyed chocolate with every meal. The concoction was thick and frothy, it was often combined with honey to sweeten it or chili peppers to spice it up. The Aztecs also enjoyed chocolate in its most pure form but their love affair with it went a bit further -- okay, a whole lot further. They considered the cocoa bean to be more valuable than gold and used it as currency for food and goods. The Aztec ruler Montezuma II was perhaps the most legendary lover of chocolate and allegedly drank gallons of chocolate a day for energy and ahem, as an aphrodisiac. I guess no one told him it works better when you give the ladies chocolate as a gift. The original dark, bitter chocolate stayed in the purest form until the Spanish brought chocolate to Europe in the late 1500’s. Not happy with the bitter taste of the pure chocolate, the Europeans used cane sugar, honey, cinnamon and spices to sweeten and liven up the flavor. In 1689, while visiting Jamaica, Irishman and well-known physician Hans Sloane is credited with adding milk to traditional chocolate thus creating milk chocolate. Of course, milk chocolate became wildly popular and the preferred chocolate over the bitter dark chocolate. This stayed true until the late 20th Century when the health benefits of dark chocolate boosted its popularity again. What exactly are the health benefits of dark chocolate? Well, get ready to feel good about eating chocolate again. First of all, dark chocolate and its main ingredient cocoa, have been proven to reduce heart disease. It also contains flavonoids, which helps improve vascular functions and even lowers blood pressure. Some studies say that dark chocolate helps lower risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart attack. A 2010 report by the Dietary Guidelines Committee even supports adding a moderate amount of dark chocolate to a balanced diet. That’s right, the report SUPPORTS eating chocolate. While dark chocolate may not be your go-to when it comes to treating yourself, adding it to your charcuterie board or making a rich, chocolatey dessert are great ways to incorporate it into your diet. I mean, the scientific studies are practically begging you to treat yourself. In moderation of course, I’m looking at you Montezuma II.

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Chocolate Chess Pie INGREDIENTS: 1 unbaked regular pie crust 1 stick salted butter 4oz. semi-sweet chocolate 1 cup sugar 2 eggs - beaten 1 teaspoon vanilla dash of salt DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350°. Melt butter and chocolate, set aside. In a separate bowl, mix all other ingredients together. Add melted butter and chocolate, mix well. Pour into pie crust. Bake for 35 minutes then cool on a wire rack. recipe courtesy of The Angus Barn, Raleigh, NC

Top with whipped cream.

Dark Chocolate Mexican Brownies INGREDIENTS:


1 package fudge brownie mix (13x9-inch pan size) 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground ancho chile pepper 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips 2 large eggs, room temperature 1/2 cup canola oil 1/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine brownie mix and spices. Whisk eggs, oil and water until blended. Gradually add chocolate chips and brownie mix, mixing well. Spread into a greased 13x9-in. baking pan.

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Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (do not overbake), 20-25 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

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VIP Pensacola at Pensacola State College

Freedom Quest T photos & story by Kevin L Houghton

he Freedom Quest kicked off Saturday, September 11 at 9 am in the parking lot of WSRE. The public was invited to this free event that celebrated America, honors our military, first responders, and gold star families. The weather couldn’t have been better to gather and remember all the lives lost 20 years ago. Over 1,200 local vets, Patriot Guard Riders, Army Units, First Responders, Law Enforcement Officers, Navy Sailors and Marines, along with hundreds of local supporters, attended with bowed heads, reflecting on 9/11 and its aftermath. This day was to remember the nearly 3,000 people who were killed in the terrorist attacks. Many exhibits were on hand and one that stood out was the Gold Star Tribute Wall, with the help of PSC women’s basketball team. Notably a fly-over from a WWII Airforce fighter, piloted by Paul Trapp. Organizer Lt. Col. Dave Glassman USMC, Ret, said the event is meant to spark unity for the Pensacola area that he hopes will spread across the region and nation.

City Fire Department, Chief Jose Cobbs; C-16 Engine 6

LCpl Curry, Sgt Areyalo, Sgt Rhoden & Cpl Gutierrez

Emmalynne & Jennifer Johnson, Jammie Wells, Kinsley & Sianna Shelpe.

Cameron Hatton, Shaun Maynard, Rick Mathisen, Harry Salzer, Bill Amon with Lt. Oomkah & Frank Reister October 2021 | 21

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VIP Pensacola at Freedom Quest

Brian Locke, Ed Iannone, Billy Early, Rick Verity & Randy Hunter

Kitt Lough, Stan Barnard, Jill Hubbs & Ed Meadows

Lawrence Powell & Sue Straughn

Members of the 7th Special Forces Group

Tanner & Paul Stuckey 22

Paul Albini, Colby Butler, Michelle Prince & Reis Clark


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Lindsey Hirst, Vickie Rigoulot & Martina Harper

Cameron Hatton

Delarian Wiggins & CMDR Andrew Hobbs

WWII Airforce fighter fly-over piloted by Paul Trapp October 2021 | 23

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VIP Pensacola at Community Maritime Park


he 5th Annual Gulf Coast Summer Fest Jazz Edition was held at the Vince Whibbs Community Maritime Park during Labor Day Weekend, September 4-5. This event was hosted by WCLK’s Morris Baxter. Over the weekend, guests were invited to enjoy the smooth sounds of fantastic jazz while enjoying the waterside view with their chair, coolers, umbrellas and towels. The full lineup of artists included: Lin Rountree, Jeff Lorber, Cindy Bradley & Paula Atherton, Eric Darius, Peter White & Euge Groove, Norman Brown, Lindsey Webster, Riley Richard, Doc Powell, Alex Bugnon, Vincent Ingala, Althea Rene & Elan Trotman and Gerald Albright.

photos & story by Kristina Wright

Adriane & David Carter

Pat Sneed & Susie Crenshaw

Andrea & Edison Wilkie

Lorraine & Michael Henry

Debra Howard & Sandra Thomas

Keisha Coleman & Michelle Morris

Karen Jackson, Joann Gainey-Biggs & Michelle Coger

Deborah & Jonelle Davis, Andrea Campbell October 2021 | 25

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VIP Pensacola at 2021 Gulf Coast Summerfest Jazz Edition

Shirley Walker & Michael Douglas

Kevin Greer & Lynne Williams

Bert & Brenda Fitts

Dewayne Jones & Leon Lewis

Reginald & Gwennie Penny

Nina Wise & Allen Harris

Hedrice & Harrold Banks

Ty Hamilton & Pam McCallie 26

Lydia Rosa & Stacy Craig

Vivian & Barbara Crawl

Darryl Martin & Angela Franklin


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Find Your Sparkle

Thanks for Voting Us Best Dermatologist

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

875 E. Nine Mile Rd, Suite 11 (850) 477-7311 October 2021 | 27

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Pensacola’s Haunted History story by Anna Stockton

Pensacola has a long and interesting history full of victories, tragedies, and a bit of debauchery as well. So of course, it’s the perfect place for a little haunted history and Pensacola has plenty to offer.

Pensacola Lighthouse Onboard NAS Pensacola stands the Pensacola Lighthouse, built in 1858, known as one of the most haunted lighthouses in America. Although the keepers don’t really like that term, they’ve been known to say they have 6 people living there who choose to stay. The lighthouse is so well known for their ghostly residents, paranormal investigators flock to the sight to see what proof they can collect -- even the famous Ghost Hunters team T.A.P.S. filmed an episode there. The first spirit said to be found at the lighthouse is actually in what is now the adjacent museum. Ellen Mueller grew up at the lighthouse and even got married there. Unfortunately, she died during childbirth in 1911, after suffering a deadly hemorrhage. It’s said that Ellen is an active spirit but it’s the bloodstains where she bled out that grab the attention. The stains have been bleached and cleaned, however, the bloodstains always come back, a stark reminder of how she met her tragic end. Also known to haunt the lighthouse are runaway slaves Raymond and Thomas, who were hanged and buried on the property. Former keeper Sam Lawrence allegedly remains vigilant in his watch, although he’s been on duty since 1877. Perhaps the most active residents are Lizzy and Joey, children who fell victim to the yellow fever epidemic that swept through Pensacola in 1922. This playful pair is said to run through the lighthouse and scare the visitors. Want to check out the ghostly goings-on yourself? The lighthouse offers ghost tours but is currently only open to DoD card holders. See for more information. photo by Visit Pensacola

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The old Sacred Heart Hospital Now some haunted buildings look unassuming -- like the Pensacola Lighthouse. Then others, like the old Sacred Heart Hospital, look like the ghostliest, ghost place ever to have ghosts. Perhaps it’s the imposing, gothic revival style building or maybe because it looks more to be an old fortress than a Catholic hospital. Either way, this building looks like it has some stories to tell. Built in 1915, this state-of-the-art hospital was the first in Florida to offer radiological, surgical, and therapeutic facilities. No one was ever turned away due to lack of money for treatment. This building held the hospital until 1965 when they moved to their current location on 9th Avenue. The building is now the home of restaurants and offices, however the top two floors are not open to the public.

Seville Quarter Seville Quarter is a staple of downtown Pensacola, having been around since 1871. It was originally the home of the Pensacola Cigar and Tobacco Co. However, the second floor of the building wasn’t as much about work as it was about play -- considering it was part of Pensacola’s red-light district. Located close to the docks, I’m sure they had no shortage of customers. The second floor now holds offices for Seville but it’s been said that some of the working girls are still hanging around. The presence of these “ladies of the night” have been felt and even seen in the upstairs offices. One such instance an office worker looked up to see a woman in a heavy velvet cape, the sun from the office window seemed to shine right through her. Another such incident occurred in the bathroom when another employee felt the presence of someone near her and looked to see a woman in a period dress staring at her. The woman disappeared as quickly as she appeared. The most notable revenant resident was an employee at Seville in the 1980’s who met a tragic end due to a heart condition in the walk-in freezer after a shift. This former employee is said to be mischievous in his activities, flickering the lights and turning them on and off. Although he’s often seen walking the halls wearing a white collared shirt, his presence isn’t frightening to most of the employees as it’s believed he’s checking on them. Although one such doorman didn’t take comfort and walked out and quit after a sighting. Interested in learning more about Seville’s haunted history? Visit www.

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VIP Penacola Destin at Event at Seville Location Quarter

Emerald Coast Beer Festival photos & story by Kevin L Houghton

Emily Swafford & Tom Akin


n September 10, over 1,300 happy patrons raised their glass to Pensacola’s 25th Annual Emerald Coast Beer Festival. First timers and long-time attendees alike were there to enjoy some hops. On hand were The Cat Daddy Blues Band, McGuire’s Irish Pipe Band, PensaCola Steel, and Whitesands Panhandle Band on three stages. To top it all off, delicious hot and fresh food from food truck vendors were on-site. Escambia Bay Homebrewers and Seville Quarter were the hosts of The Emerald Coast Beer Festival, the longest running beer festival on the Gulf Coast. The festival kicked off on Thursday, September 9th at Seville Quarter with a five-course beer pairing dinner featuring handcrafted beers. Barrels of beer samples featuring micro brewed beverages from more than 45 breweries throughout the United States, highlighted the Southeast and Gulf Coast region. Additionally, there were over a dozen regional homebrew clubs as well as major regional beer distributors. Stephany Mitchel & Harold Arnold

Kevin & Lisa Cox, Erica Reed, Sara & Von Porter

Art & Mary Brockmeier 30

Carolynn Harrison & Brook Carpenter-Wilson

Greg Dedicke, Jonathan McPherson, Brian Donegan, Mike Gideons & Garrett Bridges


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Chris & Kate Morgan

Mia & Ben Taminger

Chris Rohman, Paul Cook & Nicolette Kenough

Jon Hernandez & Michelle Philips

Sean Cheshire & Kathy Sigler

Trevor Mayo, Russell LaMotte & Sergeant Danny Lawrence

Stephanie & Brandon Hewlett

Trent Hathaway, Ann Lepper, Michelle Eckhardt & Ed Lepper

Matt Miley & Amy Huitt

Tom Webster & Tom Anderson October 2021 | 31

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VIP Pensacola Destin at Event at theLocation Emerald Coast Beer Festival

Pete Cimma, Judie Churchill, John & Mary McGill

Shad & Jackie White

Charlotte & Joshua Carre, Weezie & Bill Carlson

Jason Privitera & Angela Berrios

Kalyn O`Connor, Jaylon Burch, Landon Lain, Ryan Johnson, Allison Druse & Jordan Klouw

Chris & Chanda Sones 32

Mark & Amy Gootee, Lisa & Paul Knutson


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

(850) 435-7777 1602 N. 9th Avenue, Pensacola October 2021 | 33

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This first Power Players issue of VIP Pensacola includes people, teams, partners, and families who are industry leaders and influencers leading the charge in their respective fields. Each of these people are working to make a change not only in their lives, but they are somehow giving back to the community that is supporting their successful ventures. A Power Player does not always look the same, as success comes in many forms. We hope you will see that here, with the diversity in the roles, jobs, and businesses of this year’s featured Power Players. Step One Automotive Group CEO Fernando Arellano and his wife, Raffaella Fant are exemplary Power Players. This power couple operates car dealerships in multiple states with their newest endeavor - the Maserati & Alfa Romeo dealership in Pensacola. They run a beautiful operation and are exceptional at supporting and giving back to the community. We are inspired and excited to bring you this new section and we hope that reading about these Power Players will inspire you as well.

“There are no secrets to success, it is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” - Colin Powell

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Christie Costello OWNER


8190 W FAIRFIELD DR PENSACOLA FL 850-741-2823 Christie Costello spent every vacation growing up coming to Pensacola -- from Minnesota. Her family ties in the area kept her coming back as an adult -- her family is the original owners of Rusty’s Fish Camp in Pensacola, and her uncle was Captain of the USS Lexington from 1984 to 1 8 . o, it was a natural fit when Christie decided to move to ensacola permanently. Christie and her husband Darren previously owned a restaurant in downtown ensacola that they sold with the intention of taking time off to spend time traveling and fishing. hey tried to semi retire for years and learned they were not ready to slow down yet. hey were seeking to start a business that would fill a need in our area and allow them to give back within the community and Costello’s Butcher and Deli was born. Costello’s has been blessed by a fantastic community that has supported them while establishing their reputation proving their commitment to the community along the way. Christie noted, “People come in everyday and tell me their friends, family, and co-workers have told them to come here, they will not be disappointed.” When asked about their quick success, Christie replied, “Our store operates in a different way. We do not do this for monetary goals. Everything we make here at Costello’s goes back into my store, the children in our community, and my employees. hat fact makes folks want to shop there even more. Christie has always been involved in local charities, but Covid changed things for her. he saw the effect it was having on children and families who were financially impacted by the shutdown, so she acted. started my free lunch program March 1 , 2020, with my mom, imberly auer. he kids that depended on their school for breakfast and lunch no longer had a dependable place for those meals. During Covid my mother passed away from a courageous fight with pancreatic cancer. continued to feed the kids in my community and the need outgrew what was able to do alone so created the imberly auer oundation with intent to provide every child a good meal and become a dependable resource to them. want to be able to provide every resource they need to ensure a chance at being successful in life. o date have surpassed 2,000 free lunches and have reached hundreds of children daily. Christie makes it a point to lead by example, citing, he old saying you are only as good as your word stands true to me. will always fulfill my word and be the dependable person am trying to teach these young kids to be.” One of Christie’s favorite things about her job is getting to see her customers on a regular basis -- out in the community, at church, or another store. “Our customers have become our loyal friends that made us feel like family! We have customers that we now call family and spend holidays together, special life achievements, and so much more,” said Christie. Her largest challenge is not having enough space as she noted, “We are growing faster than we can build. On opening day, we did not have enough to fill our shelves, now we have more products than space We are currently working on expanding Costello’s.” his is Christie s favorite time of year as she shared, O fair food obody would ever guess this because work out daily, eat healthy, and am very health conscious.” 36


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Geri Cronier




Most often, when one is having fun at what they do for a living inherently makes them good at it. Geri Cronier has spent over 25 years designing engagement rings and celebration jewelry pieces for clients. When asked about her profession, Geri shared, “It is fun to teach people about stones - their hardness, durability, origins, and lore.” With 25 years of fun playing and working with stones, Geri is quite good at her fun job. Geri was traveling back and forth to Alabama working with clients and wanted a studio in Pensacola when a mutual friend introduced her to the Beasleys. Geri, along with Hal Hollman worked for one year on an acquisition plan, finalizing the store purchase in March. hey got to work creating new settings and updating the interior to be ready for this holiday season to continue the tradition that Beasley Jewelers has established over the past 34 years. Geri grew up in Montgomery in a similar family jewelry business. After college, she knew she wanted to become a Graduate Gemologist from the Gemological Institute of America. Geri landed in Pensacola in 2018 after searching for a place she felt would become a community of inclusion for her now 10-year-old son Max, who has autism and loves the beach. Geri also has a 14-year-old daughter, Reese who has found Pensacola to be a wonderful place to grow up. Geri works by appointment designing settings for new pieces as well as helping work through inherited pieces that need to be re-designed or repurposed. Geri explained, “Many people often inherit multiple engagement rings and already have one of their own. hey have no idea what else can be done with those items to preserve them for the next generation or how to make them all wearable now. Repurposing the precious stones and metals to go to another generations is so gratifying. I love most helping clients create lasting style with real jewelry.” Beasley Jewelers and Design is located across from the new verman s on Mile oad. he store has been refreshed and is ush with bright new colored stones, current diamond designs, engagement rings, and stack rings. Geri and her team are proud of the new design center and invites anyone by to see their space and to consult, chat and learn from a professional graduate gemologist. hey look forward to becoming further immersed in the community. photo by Kristina Wright

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Dave DeBlander OWNER



photo by Kristina Wright

Thirty-one years ago Dave DeBlander and his wife Kate decided to leave their family business - an organic and natural foods restaurant and bakery in Madison, Wisconsin - to move to Pensacola for Dave to attend Bible school. As he began school, Dave bought a Kirby vacuum cleaner and added a shampoo attachment to earn an income cleaning carpets. That was the beginning of an impressive cleaning and restoration empire. Dave’s humble beginnings with a Kirby vacuum in the back of his car in 1990 led him to his present situation with 26 service vehicles, 40 employees, and sales of $6 million dollars. Dave’s company, Pro Clean Restoration and Cleaning has expanded from carpet cleaning and water damage restoration to home remodeling, bio-hazard cleanup, Covid-19 disinfecting, Oriental rug cleaning, marble and natural stone polishing, and premium fabric protection. They are also moving into a new 24,000 sq. ft. facility in Ellyson Industrial Park. Dave grants his success to his employees noting, “We have been blessed to have top-quality, great people over the years. Many have been here a very long time and we all know that being the best at what we do is essential, and we strive for excellence. We have received the Better Business Bureau’s Marketplace Ethics Award three times.” Giving back to the community is important to Dave and he serves as the president of the board at Ever’mans Natural Food Coop, on the board of the Better Business Bureau, on the board of Trinitas Classical Christian School, and he teaches Sunday School at Midway Baptist Church. Dave learned what it took to be successful over the years. He commented, “I am a good listener and I love to delegate work to competent employees. I am always thinking of the future and in business that is so vital because change is always going to happen. I don’t put up with low performers which I learned from Quint Studer. They can be a cancer in your company and must be dealt with. Your middle and upper performers will be much happier and better off when there are no low performers.” He also notes his biggest challenge has been staying ahead of the trends and changes in the economy and industries. Fortunately for him, the coastal area we live in always necessitates a high demand for water damage restoration. Dave shared a fun fact, “My wife of 45 years, Kate, and I were hippies that met on a commune in Boulder, Colorado in 1974.”

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5599 NORTH W STREET PENSACOLA, FL 32505 850-435-9200 STERNCHIROCLINIC.COM Dr. Jason Stern has been a practicing licensed Chiropractic Physician in Pensacola since 2005. He earned his Doctor of Chiropractic degree at Logan College of Chiropractic in St. Louis, Missouri. Jason has a unique story of why he chose this profession noting, “I planned to go to medical school to become a medical doctor. However, after an injury to my back, I received treatment from a chiropractor who helped me so much that I changed my plans to become a chiropractor instead.” Dr. Stern has been welcomed humbly into the community. His patients have been so happy with their care that they have shared their experience with others, and over the years that has been the driver to the successful and busy practice he operates today. Additionally, referrals from other healthcare providers who value the effective and honest care that tern Chiropractic Clinic provides also adds to his success. Stern Chiropractic Clinic is very involved with charitable organizations. Most recently, they were a Purple Sponsor of the Cordova Mall Ball for the Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital. They supported COVID-19 frontline workers at Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital by providing 170 Chick-Fil-A boxed lunches. They have sponsored several local sports teams for high schools in Escambia County and are currently sponsoring James B. Washington Education and Sports, Inc. -- a nonprofit youth program in ensacola. Dr. tern has a challenging time finding a healthy work-life balance as he shares, “When a patient walks through the doors of my clinic, they are in pain and I’m passionate about my job because I am able to help people find relief from that pain. A necessary component of this process is building a customized treatment schedule for each patient. These plans can include coming in for treatments for up to two to three days a week in the beginning. ecause of this, it can be difficult to take personal time off. Dr. Stern is a visionary leader. He enjoys providing opportunities for educational development and opportunities for his team through additional training on skills they use in the clinic, such as Graston and massages. Dr. Stern states, “I am also always looking for ways we can improve our clinic, whether that is through our processes, technology, or the way we connect with our patients and the community. This style of leadership has fostered a culture of growing this clinic together, as a team.” He continues, “Passion is the most important ingredient for a successful business. My energy, in combination with like-minded team members, is the recipe for success.” Dr. Stern explains why living on the Gulf Coast is such a real blessing by noting, “I live pretty close to my clinic on 16 acres and enjoy a beautiful commute to work. I love the small-town vibe of Pensacola, where you truly get to know and build lasting relationships with so many people in the community. his is uite different from the way he grew up in the Bronx in New York City. His move to Florida made him an instant nature lover where he spends free time camping, hiking, and being on the water. October 2021 | 39

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Brian Wyer





photo by Kristina Wright

Pensacola native Brian Wyer has a passion for his hometown. As a Catholic High and University of West Florida grad, Brian spent most of his career in information technology management in Tampa but came back to his roots in 2013. With the goal in mind to have a positive impact on the community, he remained in a leadership role, but this time, in the non-profit sector. He has worked at both the Escambia County Public Schools Foundation and the UWF Alumni Relations Department. In 2017 Brian started with the Gulf Coast African American Chamber and took the role of Executive Director. After the first year, it was decided the Chamber needed to re-brand and in October of 2018 the Gulf Coast Minority Chamber of Commerce was officially opened. Brian has held the position of President/CEO for three years. The Chamber’s mission is to serve as an advocate and the conscience of the Minority and Small Business Community, promoting and assisting in procurement opportunities, business development strategy, increasing operating capacity and other economic assets while striving to ensure economic fairness for all. When asked about his vision for the future, Brian says, “I am motivated as a leader to help create economic equality within our community. As I network with various groups, I have gained additional insight of areas where improvements are needed. Economic equality has a massive impact on areas such as education, health, and crime. My involvement in Achieve Escambia, Mental Health Task Force, and the Baptist Community Advisory Council has allowed me the opportunity to meet a wide variety of leaders across numerous sectors of our environment. My goal has been to listen, to understand, and to gather various viewpoints. Once the information is obtained, I can present it to the community. An example is minority businesses disparity metrics that I have presented to the Escambia County Commissioner and City of Pensacola Council meetings. After the presentations, I am often asked to share the details with additional groups. The requests to share this knowledge is my motivation to educate our community on disparities and brainstorm areas where we can dedicate resources.” When asked about the most significant accomplishment his organization has had under his leadership, Brian quickly notes it is his selection as the Pillar Leader to the Grover Robinson Mayoral Transition team. He was asked to join the team by a personal phone call from Quint Studer and Grover Robinson. He says having these amazing leaders reach out to him with the goal of being an agent of change for our community was extremely humbling. With only one year into his role of the newly formed chamber, to be selected to represent the entire City of Pensacola in Economic Development/Entrepreneurship was a huge honor. He has met with over twenty focus groups, more than forty individuals, and gathered feedback from four dedicated input sessions. This exposure as a representative of the chamber currently allows Brian to effectively serve on 35+ community boards, commissions, and committees. If Brian looks familiar, it might be because of his role in the community -- or it might be because of his role on the TV show “House Hunters” and the follow up “Where are they now?” That’s right, Brian, his wife Harriett, and their three children, Steven, Brianna, and Kendra were featured on the show while relocating back to Pensacola in 2014. The show documented their home search and move. He says he was even recognized in Washington D.C. by someone who insisted they knew each other, before realizing he knew him from his appearance on TV. |

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VIP Pensacola at Hub Stacy’s at the Point

Pat McClellan, Jim Beran & Justin Bennett


Sean Robinson, Contessia Gibson & Rick Ferraro

First Friday Breakfast photos & story by Kristina Wright


he Perdido Key Area Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Brief is held on the first Friday of each month and brings the community together to learn about and discuss important issues and updates that affect local residents and businesses. Each month a community leader speaks on a topic relevant to life in and near Perdido Key. The September Breakfast speaker was Escambia County Sheriff, Chip Simmons, and the Brief was held at Hub Stacey’s at the Point, the event was sponsored by Gilmore Services. Networking began at 7:30am, followed directly by the presentation. Topics of conversation included issues in the Perdido Key area, like speeding, crosswalks, other traffic issues, and community involvement. Admission is free for pre-registered Perdido Key Area Chamber Members, while all others were $5.00. Pre-registration at is encouraged for each event, so refreshments for all attendees can be accommodated.

Steve Baughman, Judy Davis & Cheryl Bamonte

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VIP Pensacola at Studer Family Children’s Hospital

Candlelight Vigil for

Childhood Cancer photos & story by Kristina Wright


ally Pensacola is an extension of the Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research. Rally partnered with presenting sponsor, Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart, to host their annual Candlelight Vigil for Childhood Cancer on September 13. This special event honors and helps remember children in our community who are fighting or have fought childhood cancer. The community was welcomed to attend and support our local childhood cancer-fighting families. The vigil was held outdoors in front of Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart, which also houses the newly built Bear Family Foundation Pediatric Oncology Center for Hope. Masks and social distancing were encouraged in support of the health and wellness of all attendees. Two local families spoke about their experiences with Rally and the Studer Family Children’s Hospital. Representative Michelle Salzman presented a proclamation to Rally recognizing September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Rally Pensacola works year-round to raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer research. September is an important month for Rally, and the entire community of Pensacola is always encouraged to come together to show support. For additional information about fundraising and awareness campaigns during September visit:, or contact

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Erik Goss, Dawn Rudolph & Chief Eric Randall October 2021 | 47

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VIP Pensacola at Pensacola Beach

Kristin & Chad Collins


Violet Ertel, Jerry Arcement, Mark & Kim Diecidue

photos & story by Patti Hall

he Miracle Strip Corvette Club (MSCC) hosted the 18th annual Vettes at the Beach all Corvette car show in the Casino Beach parking lot on September 18. “Vettes at the Beach” has grown from 60 Corvettes in 2003 to over 300 this year. Thirty-nine Corvette clubs participated from ten different states. While enthusiasts braved the soggy weather, many old friendships


were renewed, and new ones were made. Thirty-eight trophies were awarded to beautiful and custom Corvettes in several categories. The National Corvette Museum was on-site, with many Corvette treasures for purchase. Money generated from the MSCC car show support the Santa Rosa Kids House in Milton and the Ronald McDonald House in Pensacola.

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photos by Pensacola Photo Booth, Salz Studio, Silver Pixel Studio & Kristina Wright story by Greg Alexander


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 voting. 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 Dave with Spotlighting Audio who kept the event lively. The evening was a fabulous 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. Be on the lookout for Best In Pensacola voting in summer 2022 to vote for all of your favorites so we can celebrate them at the 2022 Black Tie Ball.


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VIP Pensacola at the Black Tie Ball

Xx & Xx & Darren Costello Christie

Xx & Xx& Karen Emmons Bobby

Suzanne Xx & Xx Spann, Kimberley Anderson & Dannon Hooks

Xx & Xx Gary & Debbie Sapp

Xx & Xx & Phillip Salzman Michelle

Xx & Xx Gene & Amanda Hurd 54

Xx & Xx Dave & Kate DeBlander

Leo Penny Lynne Xx &&Xx

Amanda Xx & Xx & Jason Stern

Gene Hurd, Lindsey Sturm, Ashley Turner, Amanda Hurd, Xx & Xx Ragan Dutra, Arika Hurd & Kameron Brunty

Xx & Xx & Angela Crenshaw Richard

Xx & Xx & Daniel Jones Brittany

Xx & Xx& Brandon Maxwell Brooke

Xx & Xx Craig Henry & Dixie Stewart

Xx & Xx Brian & Christy Davidson, Rae McCollum & Rachel Silva

Xx & Xx Jenny Tran & Charlie Whan

Xx & Xx& Doug Hadley Cheryl


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Bill Xx &&Xx Michelle Sauls

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VIP Pensacola at the Black Tie Ball

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Ashley Xx & Xx& Eric Turner

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story by Anna Stockton


ur armed forces have always been a close-knit group. They have to be as often times their lives are dependent upon each other. No branch exhibits this as much as our Unites States Marine Corps. “Semper Fidelis” -- meaning always faithful, is not just the Marine Corps motto, it’s the words they live by. So, it’s no wonder this faithful group exhibits this quality long after their days of service are over. The local organization of the Marine Corps League is a great example of this comradery, charity, and fellowship. The Pensacola Detachment of the Marine Corps League is made up of former active-duty military all sharing a common goal -- to preserve the traditions and promote the interests of the United States Marine Corps and help their fellow veterans in need. So they strive to emulate the idea of “no better friend,” by contributing to the greater good of the community as well as giving back to their fellow former service members. One way the Marine Corps League achieves this goal is by their Heroes Among Us program. This charity helps honorably discharged former service members by aiding them with financial help for anything from medical needs to assisting with rent. Their goal is to offer immediate stabilization to a family without the red tape, to offer assistance and ensure the former service member in need that their service to our nation is appreciated and has not been forgotten. The members take pride in their ability to “swarm” in and come to the aid of a family in quick order. 100% of the funds given through this program were donated by the League’s supporters, and often by the league members themselves. The objective of this financial aid is to help the former service member get back on their feet and bridge any gaps between veteran’s services. The service member is encouraged to “pay it forward” and help someone else when the opportunity presents.

Interview with

PAO Edward Rouse Tell us about the Marine Corps League. The Marine Corps League is a nationwide organization founded by Major General John A. Lejeune in 1923. The league’s membership of 60,000 is made up of honorably discharged, retired, active duty, and reserve Marines with at least 90 days of active-duty service. The organization is inclusive of Officers, Enlisted, male and female members. The League is classified as a veteran and military service organization. It was formed for the purpose of promoting the interests of the U.S. Marine Corps, to promote camaraderie and assist Marines, as well as the families they leave behind. We are a 501 C 4 organization.

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What impact has the Marine Corps League had on the community during this past year? Our Heroes Among Us charity, which is a part of the League, has helped countless honorably discharged veterans in their times of need. Whether it be a helping hand when it comes to assisting a homeless veteran make a deposit for housing or aiding in car repairs so a veteran can get to and from work. We want to “fill in the gaps” to help veterans get on their feet again. We stress that this charity is a “hand up, not a hand-out.” Can you tell our readers about the events your organizations hold and what charities benefit from them? We hold three types of events. The first one we do is the annual Marine Corps League Car Show, this event covers our


operating costs. The second event is our Heroes Among Us Speaker Series. This series runs monthly from May to October every year and features military heroes from all branches telling their stories. This series benefits the Heroes Among Us branch of our organization. Finally, we host the Semper Fi 5K Charity Run for the Children. This run has allowed us to give over $600,000 to children’s charities over the past 38 years the event has been held. What is the next event that is open to the public? At the time of this interview, our next event open to the public is the Heroes Among Us Speakers Series on September 30. The guest speaker is Lieutenant Jack Valenty, USN. He will speak about the newly declassified missions he flew in Viet Nam and his involvement in the defense

of Khe Sanh base. The speaker series takes place at Seville Quarter. Go to www. in the calendar section for more information about future speakers and events. How can someone get involved with the Marine Corps League and do you have to be a Marine or former Marine to join? Anyone interested in joining can go to or info@marinecorpleaguepensacola. org to get more information. You don’t have to be a Marine or former Marine to join. We accept all branches of honorably discharged and retired active duty and reservists. If you’d like to get in involved with the Marine Corps League but don’t qualify as having been active duty, we welcome auxiliary members as well.


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VIP Pensacola at Laguna’s Beach Bar & Grill

BreAnna Clark & Natalie Ales

Milan Brunet-Sabastia, McKenna- Sabastia, Christina Leavenworth & Shawn Martin


Business After Hours


photos & story by Patti Hall

n August 26 the Gulf Breeze Chamber and the Greater Pensacola Chamber hosted a joint business after hours at Laguna’s Beach Bar & Grill. Attendees enjoined the beautiful water view while networking and sipping on frozen concoctions and snacked on an array of appetizers. Lucky guests went home with fantastic door prizes Laguna’s Beach Bar and Grill is located on Pensacola Beach. They offer a variety of things to do, have beautiful views, live entertainment in the summer, a brick oven pizza kitchen, and have the largest screen on the island, which is perfect for game days.

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Michele Lamar-Acuff & Jeff Rouillier

Maggie Gray & Bronwyn Naylor

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VIP Pensacola at Yellow River Ranch


Parade of Homes Lisa Denham & Jennifer Anderson

photos & story by Patti Hall

Blaine Flynn & Tommy Hooks

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he Home Builders of Association of West Florida hosted the kickoff party for the 63rd Annual Parade of Homes at Yellow River Ranch on September 9, where the ever-popular American Dream Home is located. The Parade of Homes is a yearly and exciting event for thousands of attendees. The homes were open for viewing September 11 - 19, with 32 homes showcased throughout Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties. Attendees got a first-hand look at the latest innovations in home building, including design, construction, insulation, security, sound systems, windows, landscaping, and other vital elements of new home construction. “The people of Northwest Florida look forward to the Parade of Homes every year,” said HBA President Blaine Flynn of Flynn Built, LLC. “It has certainly been a challenging time for everyone with the pandemic, but I am proud of our home building professionals who are meeting the demands of consumers who need new homes.”

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DRESS FOR SUCCESS story by Anna Stockton


odern-day power suits have changed throughout the years. Fads have come and gone -- from classic styles with clean lines to shoulder pads for the ladies and skinny pants for the fellas, we’ve seen it all, and of course who could forget The ffice’s ichael cott and his fuschia lined lady suit. espite the trends coming and going, the power suit remains the top dog of business attire, e uding confidence, energy, and authority.

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To quote designer Michael Kors, “A man in a well-tailored suit will always shine brighter than a guy in an off-the-rack suit.” Nothing makes a suit look sharp like having it perfectly tailored. Yes -- it might cost a little more but that investment will show.


A white or light-colored shirt paired with a solid-colored tie is a classic look for a suit. Choose a tie in colors like red or deep blue to show power and confidence. Remember you probably won’t wear your suit jacket all day so a crisp and nicely pressed shirt is important.


Complete your power suit with polished shoes and a matching belt and tie. If you want to jazz up your look with cuff links and a tie bar, make sure the metals match and your tie clip goes between the third and fourth button. It’s an eye-catching placement while still serving the purpose of keeping your tie in place.


Having a professionally tailored suit is just as important for the ladies as it is for men. A polished look is important for a good first impression as well as to evince authority and confidence.


Women have a little more freedom with what they wear under the suit jacket although keeping it simple is important. Like with a men’s suit, you can’t go wrong with a light colored, wellfitting button-down shirt. Although women can also go with a silk sweater and even a silk jersey dressy t-shirt would be acceptable as long as it looks clean and sophisticated. Remember sleeves are your friend when it comes to what to wear under a suit as it saves on those dreaded dry cleaning costs.


A power suit can always be elevated with some great accessories, this is a good way to let your personality show through a bit. While it’s advised to be a bit more conservative with your jewelry, a vibrant handbag or animal print heels can take a suit to the next level. October 2021 | 69

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VIP Pensacola at DeLuna Lanes

Michael & Lisa Mabrie

Stephanie & Adalie Cook

Marvel Childers & Kevin White

Mystic Order of Revelry Charity Bowl for USO NWF photos & story by Kristina Wright


he Mystic Order of Revelry hosted their annual Charity Bowl for USO Northwest Florida on September 19. DeLuna Lanes graciously hosted the event, and it was a great day for a bowling tournament. Revelers invited local krewes and local businesses to create a 4-person team and spend 4 rounds of bowling supporting the USO. The Pensacola Roller Girls were in attendance as well, taunting teams to “Bowl with the Bulls”. Volunteers were on site, collecting donations and new socks for the homeless. Raffle tickets were sold for a “cash” cake, as well as a cooler for parade tailgating. 50/50 raffle and liquor basket raffle were on the line as well. Attendees were also invited to register for the 10th Annual Running of the Bulls to benefit USO Northwest Florida, which is scheduled for October 2 at Seville Quarter. The Mystic Order of Revelry is a co-ed Mardi Gras Society located in Pensacola, Florida; that believes in the strong bond of friendship, fellowship, family and strive to support each other in life’s success and adversity. Their purpose is to promote the spirit and revelry of Mardi Gras through the rich traditions of themed parades, balls, costumes, social events, parties and community involvement. In addition to all the Revelry, they hold two fundraiser events each year. A different local charity is adopted yearly and honored at their annual Mardi Gras Ball.

Chad Paulus & Whit Wise

Amanda Nealis, Deborah Lynn & Cat Lysek

Megan Corcoran & Sara Lypko 70

Ray Cocuy, Ryan Elliott, Carl Miller & Wade Wilson


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Jennifer Gaffneym, Randy Palmer, Ann Keiek & Susan Carter

Lee Dunn, Wendy Werner, Whitney Bills & David Maxwell

Terry Wyrosdick, Adam Tolbert, Alex Pickrell & Mel Hetherington

Tiffany Gray, Teresa Gray & Locks Gandy October 2021 | 71

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VIP Pensacola at Sandshaker

“Rockin’ for Da’ Bayou!”


photos & story by Patti Hall

he Krewe of Lafitte, The Krewe of Airship Pirates, and Ted Noice with Tedder Entertainment hosted a benefit, “Rockin’ for Da’ Bayou!”at the Sandshaker on Pensacola Beach on September 22. The outdoor show featured three local bands, Hired Guns, Tyler Livingston and the Absolutes, The Jay Williams Band, and up-and-coming Nashville recording artist Frank Fletcher. Cash Donations were accepted at the door, and the concert raised money for small southern Louisiana towns that were heavily impacted by Hurricane Ida. A few of the communities Jean Lafitte, LaPlace, and Galliano will benefit from the fundraiser. Over $6000 of the money raised was spent at Lowes and Sam’s Club on supplies that helped fill three large trailers to the top. A portion of the cash raised will be spent on repairing a church that has been helping everyone. 100% OF ALL DONATIONS were USED FOR HURRICAN RELIEF! Attendees had a-rockin’ good time and helped our friends in da’ bayou! The Krewe of Lafitte is a society of gentlemen, formed in 1954, whose purpose is to foster fellowship and equality within its membership and share goodwill and community service throughout the region. Krewe of Airship Pirates, a nonprofit founded in 2017, is the first and only steampunk co-ed pirate krewe on the Emerald Coast made up of Floridians that are fun-loving, and civic-minded.

Al Davis & Kari Painter

Freddy Pennington, Greg Sloan & Daryl Lott


Sarah Villar, Jay Williams & Beverly Sarasua

Jimmie Sherrill & Frank Fletcher

Ted Noice, Terry Norton & Dude Hausmaunn

Kerena Carr & Jessy Timmons

Kristie Anderson & Trish Purdy Wilbourn

Ginger & John Watkins


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Gary & Sandy Harrison, Patti & Bill Fowler

Mark Brisch, David Durdon & Keith Carson

Sonny & Beverly Campbell, Joe Campbell

Jeff Abernathy, Patrick Fitzgerald, Micky Hernadez & Michael Cronk October 2021 | 73

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THE BLUE LINE In The Blue Line we are allowing our readers to get to know those who protect and serve our communities. VIP Pensacola wants to facilitate the community engagement with our law enforcement agencies by introducing you to officers each month. Law enforcement agencies are working to engage more in the community and with their constituents. This new effort includes interacting with children and teens, whether it is playing a game of basketball with them or handing out ice cream and school supplies. You will be seeing them at events, showing their friendly sides while still maintaining a sense of authority and gaining a greater sense of consolidated respect.

VIP Pensacola’s effort includes introducing our readers to two different law enforcement officers in each issue. This month we are featuring Commander Andrew Hobbs and Sergeant Peter Kamau. They are passionate about their careers at the Sheriff’s Department and serving the community. Get to know them here and look for them when you are out - you may just see them at community events around the area.



PETER KAMAU Sergeant Peter Kamau is an evening patrol shift supervisor assigned to the north end of the county. Sergeant Kamau also serves as a member of the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team. Sergeant Kamau notes, “I have always had a passion for serving. While in college I did a ride along with Trenton police department, in NJ. I then rode with a few Escambia County deputies and fell in love with the role and sought a career of law enforcement. I feel that this is a good way for me to serve my community in a career that it is also rewarding. Over the past 8 years, Escambia County Sheriff’s Office has given me great opportunities. While assigned to patrol I held positions of Field Training Officer, a member of the SWAT team and now a Sergeant.“ When not working at the Sheriff’s Department, Sergeant Kamau enjoys fitness training, fishing, and homesteading. Sergeant Kamau notes a fun fact, ”I am from Kikuyu, Kenya, which is a very small town. I moved to America at age 10, barely speaking English. Coming from a different country I encountered and overcame a lot of challenges. But now I can truly say it’s God’s destiny where I am today.“


ANDREW HOBBS Commander Andrew Hobbs serves as the Commander over the community services divisions of the Sheriff’s Office. These units include the Public Information Office, Training, Community Policing, Fleet Maintenance, Accreditation, Crime Stoppers, and the newly formed Community Engagement Team (NET). Commander Hobbs grew up with several of his uncles involved in law enforcement and he often heard them share stories of helping others. He believed these men were real life heroes. Hobbs too wanted the opportunity to make a difference in his community and a career in law enforcement seemed to be the perfect way to accomplish that. Outside of work, Commander Hobbs enjoys anything sports related as well as exploring the outdoors with his wife, Nicole, and their children, Granger and Nora. Commander Hobbs notes a fun fact about himself, “When I was in the 6th grade, I was participating in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program as a little and was asked to participate in the filming of a commercial. Legendary coach Bobby Bowden participated in the filming as well. His kindness and compassion during the filming turned me into a lifelong Florida State fan.” 74


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VIP Pensacola at Downtown Pensacola

Brian, Wallis, Tiller & Emily Mansor

Keisha & Mickey Clinard, Tony & Kathy Conn, Emory, Melissa & Wade Dandridge

Pensacola Seafood Festival


photos & story by Kevin L Houghton

he annual Pensacola Seafood Festival kicked off a threeday event with some picture-perfect weather on Friday, September 24. This is just one of many events throughout the year to appeal to all ages and interests and to promote tourism for the area. Thousands of people wandered freely and enjoyed all the tantalizing smells. This was, to date, one of the largest outdoor events in historic downtown Pensacola, with plenty of delicious seafood as well as musical acts. Folks as far as Atlanta, GA., travel to


the festival every year and this year was one of the best, said Michael Bell. The Annual Pensacola Seafood Festival, produced by Fiesta Pensacola, is one of the largest arts and crafts fairs in northwest Florida with more than 150 artisans and craftsmen who travel from around the country to participate. This Festival features a variety of food and vendors that offer a multitude of seafood eats & other treats like, fried scallops, grilled and blackened burgers, crawfish, chicken, fair food, ice cream and even a cooking demonstration.

Kim Corley & Randy Peterson

Avery Velarde, Seth & Viera Fagan

Madison, Katrina & Peter Mougey

Emily Blackwood, Destinee & Braylee Stanforth

Drake Bergman, Richard & Janet Penrose, Cheryl Butler & Grace Meyer


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RJ Hartt, Bree Duncan, Cathy Duncan & Parker Tenpenny

Andrew Marshall, Brooke Mowdy, Brittany McCarble & Zane Roze

Melzona Benton, James Fort & Michael Bell

Randy Bonvillian, Cindy Louviere, Johnny Badeaux, Billie Darbonne & Leslie Holtzclaw October 2021 | 77

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VIP Pensacola at Hadji Shrine

Candy & Johnnie Blackman

Lauren & Jimmie Sherrill

Margie & George Wise

Harlequins Royalty Party photos & story by Kevin L Houghton


he Krewe of les Harlequins gathered for cocktail hour and celebrate amazing friendships on September 24. Krewe of les Harlequins is an all-women’s Mardi Gras krewe composed of some very extraordinary professional women from Pensacola and surrounding communities.The les Harlequins krewe began in 1946, which makes it one of the longest standing Mardi Gras krewes in Northwest Florida.The cocktail hour was hosted by their own les Harlequins 75th Queen Ella Minchew and her King Svend Damhave. Ella and Svend presided over the Krewes 75th Annual Ball back in January. Ella Minchew began by thanking the Krewe’s 2020 President, Debbie Sapp and her board for selecting and supporting Svend Damhave and herself. She also recognized this year’s 2021 – 2022 Krewe President, Wyndie Butler and her board for their support and leadership this year. Before closing with her remarks, Ella recognized all the members of the 2021 Court and thanked Hadji Shrine Director’s staff for allowing them to use the facility and assisting at their event.

Jessica & Chad McKnight

Kimberly & Scott Thomas

Roger & Nonnie Garrett

Suzette Thomason, Debi Kennedy, Michelle Hedman, Susan Sears, Leigh Shirer & Jeri Cox October 2021 | 79

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VIP Pensacola at Harlequins Royalty Party

Tammy & Kirk Kassebaum

Leigh & Bob Shirer

Pete Kessler, Sue George, Bill & Susan Sears


Ashley Marcum & Kimberly Thomas

Debbie & Bruce Mays

Bobby & Ella Minchew

Svend & Linda Damhave

Chuck & Wyndie Butler

Joyce & Joe Aderholdt, Sherley Meads

Ted & Pam Griffin


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Lynn & Byron Gilbert, Micki & Keaton Baumert

Gary & Tina James, Kim & John Stacey

Esther Culbertson, Nelson & Donna Pipkins

Call today for your FREE website audit:

(850) 232-1160 •

Keith Carson, Charla Palmer, Debbie & Chris Loakim October 2021 | 81

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VIP Pensacola at Bamboo Willies

Jeremy Boatner & Sierra Abney

Miguel Cardona, David Camacho, Raimel Corcho & Isaac Figueroa

Pensacola Beach & Gulf Breeze Chambers

Business After Hours photos & story by Patti Hall


On September 23, the Pensacola Beach and the Gulf Breeze Chambers hosted Business After Hours at Bamboo Willies. It was a beautiful way to end the day - soaking up the last of the days’ sun, enjoying cocktails while networking with fellow members. Tyler Livingston and the Absolutes, a local band, played classic rock, blues, and a little bit of funk for the crowd. At the close of the event, attendees’ names were drawn from a basket, and the lucky ones went home with fantastic door prizes.


Nik Randall & Matt Clark

Jeremy & Carrie CarverWise

Christy Davidson & Lynn Broussard

Rhea Kessler & Jenise Roth

Somer Dickens, Crystal Selover & Austin Scott

Christine & Jason Brewster


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A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.

Grace Arneaul, Christie Oliver & Jarrod Burns

Dr. Stephanie F. Tilley, DMD Voted Best Dentist two years in a row!

Jim Beran, Robert Glein & Hannah Reyes

3927 Creighton Road | 850-479-2525 |


Come see us at our

Holiday Open House

Dottie Radcliff, Wanda Radcliff & Angela Moore

N o vem b er 1 3 t h 4 : 3 0 - 7 : 3 0 p m S ho p p ing • B o o ki ng S p ecia ls • Do o r p r ize s • B o t o x & F iller

Full Service Salon

Robert Glein, Brownyn Naylor & Tim Wise

Mo nd a y b y A p p t O nly • T u es - T hu r s 9 - 6 • F r id a y 9 - 5 • S a t u r d a y 9 - 4 2 2 6 1 W N ine Mile R o a d , P ensa co la , F L 3 2 5 3 4 October 2021 | 83

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T h a n ks fo r Vot i n g U s... B est P lac e fo r a T u x



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OCTOBER 9 Dragon Boat Festival Bayview Park 2001 E Lloyd Street | Pensacola 8:00am – 5:00pm Come on down to the 7th annual Dragon Boat Festival in Bayview Park. This fantastic event is full of team building, community, dragon boat racing, and of course, raising money with NE Pensacola Sertoma for Gulf Coast Kid’s House and Junior Achievement of NW Florida. For more information and to make a donation visit

OCTOBER 10 Oktoberfest


Flora-Bama 17401 Perdido Key Drive | Perdido Key 4:00 – 6:00pm

Light Up Learning

Grab your lederhosen and head on down to the Flora-Bama for Oktoberfest. You’ll enjoy live music, German food, beer, a stein hoisting contest, and a prize for the best outfit. Bring the kids, this is a family friendly event!

Wahoos Stadium 9201 Wahoo Drive | Pensacola 5:30 - 8:30pm

Visit for this event and more!

OCTOBER 21-31 Pensacola Interstate Fair This signature fundraiser is hosted by SCI board of directors member Josh Sitton. The evening of food, music and auction items is a great way to learn more about the work SCI’s early brain development team is doing every day to help give every child in our community a good chance for a great start. Every year 5,400 babies are born in our community. Light Up Learning helps makes it possible for SCI to reach all those moms. For more info, visit

Pensacola Interstate Fairgrounds 6655 Mobile Highway | Pensacola For 11 days each October, the Pensacola Interstate Fairgrounds are awash in color, lights and music as the midway roars to life for the return of the Pensacola Interstate Fair. For more than 80 years, families have flocked to the fair for good, old-fashioned entertainment including dozens of rides on the Reithoffer Midway, games of skill and chance, livestock exhibits and auctions, arts and crafts shows, live entertainment and the ever-popular fair food delicacies that only come once a year. Go to to find out everything Fair!



Gumbo Ya-Ya Cook-Off

Brunch & Bubbles

Seville Quarter Downtown Pensacola 4:00 – 6:00pm

Portofino Island Resort 10 Portofino Drive | Pensacola Beach 11:00am - 2:00pm

Come out and support Big Brothers Big Sisters of NW Florida and eat some amazing gumbo while you’re there. Amateur and professional teams will compete for bragging rights for the best Gumbo in Pensacola. Each individual gumbo will be judged on taste, smell, color, and consistency.

Join honorary chairs, Tip McAlpin and Diane Appleyard, where these two philanthropic individuals will be leading the Gulf Coast Kid’s House mission at everyone’s favorite bubbly event. This unique, all-inclusive brunch and champagne event allows guests to gather poolside to enjoy live music and brunch prepared by local celebrity chefs, accompanied by endless brunch cocktails. Breathtaking live entertainment, exclusive giveaways and auctions will be hosted by the one and only Brent Lane.

Visit to find out more about gumbo AND Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Email Megan Chapman at for tickets or sponorships. Event attendees must be 21.

Visit for more events! October 2021 | 85

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The Best Cocktails story by Anna Stockton


ne of the things I love about the Pensacola area is that we have some pretty impressive bars and restaurants. No matter what scene you’re in the mood for, you can find a place to suit your fancy. In this issue’s Swizzle, we’ll explore the cocktails and bars that were recently given the honor of being named 2021 Best in Pensacola by our readers! I’ve always been a fan of Calverts in the Heights but now with their new waterfront location and generous pours of wine, I’m hooked! With copious amounts of televisions turned on to everything from pro sports to sports blooper shows, it’s no wonder they were named Best Sports Bar. The cozy bar, great appetizers, and did I mention the generous pours, makes Calvert’s the go-to for fun. If you want a break from watching a game, you can play one on their beautiful back lawn, set up with cornhole games and tables and chairs to relax and enjoy the view. With the variety of breweries in the Pensacola area, it’s quite the honor to be named Best Brewery/Craft Beer. The 16-year tradition of great food, great beer, and uncompromising commitment to customer service earned Goat Lips Chew & Brewhouse that title this year. This local eatery and pub likens itself to a dive bar but with a whole lot of fun activities and entertainment. Here on the Gulf Coast you have to recognize the Best Bushwacker or they make you move up north -- it’s just the rules. So, we recognize Best in Pensacola winner, The Sandshaker in Pensacola Beach, for providing us with this beachy beverage everyone loves so much. The Sandshaker goes one step further and gives us Heather Collins, Best Bartender to serve all of us our favorites while we enjoy the live music and fun atmosphere. Casks and Flights Wine Tasting Room has a wide variety of 70 different wines, craft beer and cocktails, making it truly the Best Place for Cocktails as they have something for everyone. Don’t know much about wine? They even offer wine tasting so it’s not considered going out drinking, it’s called getting an education. The Wine Bar on Palafox, known for their fantastic happy hour, boasts the coveted Best Bar award for Best in Pensacola. This downtown staple not only has a great location and great wine, you can also get an amazing meal there. Down Palafox is the home of The Ruby Slipper Café and the Best Bloody Mary award winner. It’s another downtown staple and their brunch and bloody Mary’s have customers lining up outside daily. It’s no secret why World of Beer was named Best Beer Selection, it says so in their name. Hundreds of beers from around the world have patrons flocking there to enjoy the atmosphere and try new and different beers. Hub Stacey’s is home of Pensacola’s Best Happy Hour. This neighborhood bar has plenty of drink specials and some darn good munchies to go along with them.



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Casks & Flights Wine Tasting Room 121 South Palafox Street Pensacola The Wine Bar on Palafox 16 Palafox Place Pensacola Hub Stacey’s 312 E Government Street Pensacola The Sandshaker Lounge 731 Pensacola Beach Blvd. Pensacola Beach Goat Lips Chew & Brewhouse 2811 Copter Road Pensacola Calvert’s in the Heights 670 Scenic Highway Pensacola The Ruby Slipper Café 509 S Palafox Street Pensacola World of Beer 200 S Palafox Street Pensacola

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VIP Pensacola at Court of Deluna Event Space

Adan & Brandy Corey


Melody Christensen, Amity Rogers, Casey Kuktelionis & Renea Clowdsley

Habitat Framing Gala photos & story by Kristina Wright

ensacola Habitat for Humanity’s 40th Anniversary Gala was held on September 23, at The Court of Deluna Event Space. In honor of Pensacola Habitat’s anniversary, this year’s annual dinner was enhanced to an upscale event, as guests were invited to look at the past, present, and future of Pensacola Habitat. This event was also a celebration of 40 successful years, and a fundraiser to support the next 40. The evening featured a cocktail hour, followed by a three-course meal during the program. Attendees enjoyed a cash bar, silent


auctions and live entertainment and heard from homeowners who have been positively impacted by their mission of building homes, communities and hope, along with other guest speakers who support Pensacola Habitat for Humanity. With your support, Habitat will continue to make a positive, necessary difference in the lives of individuals and families looking for a “hand up.” The community’s support for affordable homeownership has helped transform families and build community throughout the years.

Jennifer & Josh Belcher

Stu Padgett & Wendy Countryman

Terry & Liz Pots

Donna Pate & Pamela Nichols

Cassie Stokes & Jo Rich


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Kristina Zimmern & Kate Andrews

Zack Douglas & Savannah Aardage

Angela Walker, Keri- Ann Schultz & Laura Frost

Domonique Wilkins & Ashlyn Bourn

Madrina Ciano & Ricki McWilliams

Tyler Buczynski, Katelyn Mickow & Ryan Rubenson

Susan Kingsbury-Ridgeway & Roy Ridgeway

April Davidson, Jennifer Belcher, Ashlee Warner & Stacy Keller-Williams

Bethany Lauren & Karen Webb

Katin Davis, Bradley Sanders, Dana Hall & Maegan Leonard October 2021 | 89

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Linda Petty

How did you end up in the Pensacola area? I am a proud Pensacola native, born here in 1952 and raised in Warrington until high school. I graduated from WJ Woodham in 1970. Afterwards, I attended Pensacola Junior College, married my first husband, and had three children. What is your profession? After multiple moves to five different states looking for the perfect hometown, I got divorced and moved home. Real Estate was my perfect profession! I am enjoying my 40th year “Selling Pensacola by the Yard since 1981!” I can make anyone happy with a new home - from a beach condo to a horse ranch and everything in between! What do you like best about Pensacola? The People! Southern charm and generosity sets us apart! Is also unique in that Pensacola has so many things happening – always! Three words that best describe you. Honest, Single, Blessed. Favorite things you like about Pensacola? We have such a variety, whether it is music venues, restaurants, festivals, ballgames and great beaches! Finish this statement, I AM PENSACOLA because… I don’t work for the Chamber, but I am often told I should. We have one of the best towns in these United States. photo by Kristina Wright

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