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photos by Samantha Crooke


reaking into the leadership of Pensacola is not easy. Especially for young people who are are expected to “pay their dues" and bide their time. The Independent News recognized long ago that young leaders were the lifeblood of any prosperous, dynamic community. We facilitated in 2006 the formation of the Pensacola Young Professionals to help them get a seat at the table where decisions about the future of Pensacola were being made.

January 30, 2014

Two years later, we launched Rising Stars to help put faces to the names of those under 35-year-olds seen by their peers, clients and bosses as upcoming leaders in their professions and the community. With the addition of the 2014 class of Rising Stars, we have honored more than 300 men and women over the past six years. Those honored represent a wide range of professions—including doctors, lawyers, artists, teachers,

non-profit executives and small business owners. Some of the “stars” have gone on to win elected office. Others have served on the boards of area nonprofits. One even published a book. So if you're on this year's list, please rest assured that you're in good company. This current class of Rising Stars has the potential to accomplish equally great things. We look forward to seeing their impact on this community.


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