Page 1

PUBLIC AFFAIRS. MEDIA. DIGITAL. CRISIS. BRANDING. ADVERTISING. 5"--")"44&& t  03-"/%0 t  8"4)*/(50/ %$ t  4"$)4.&%*"$0.

You Seek. We Find.

Solutions that work for you

CareerSource Florida is a powerful network of workforce professionals who are ready to connect you with the skilled talent you seek to compete and grow. With our statewide reach and local support, our network provides employee recruitment and training resources to help your business thrive.

Connect with the professionals in your region

CareerSource Florida is an equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Disponible in Español.

850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014








Call C ll 89 894.9297 94 929 97 today!


• Debt consolidation

• New equipment or repairs

• Seasonal cash-flow relief

• Anything!

Tallahassee 1511 Killearn Center Boulevard Membership is open to anyone in Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon and Wakulla counties.2 OFFER NOT AVAILABLE ON EXISTING CAMPUS LOANS. OFFER IS FOR NEW LOANS ONLY. OFFER SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. 1. Credit approval required. Your APR may vary based on your credit worthiness, loan amount and term of loan. For example, a $25,000 loan with no money down at 7.8% for 60 months would require 59 monthly payments of $509.94 and a final payment of $503.21, finance charge of $5,501.47, for a total of payments of $30,589.67. The amount financed is $25,088.20, the APR is 7.97%. APR = Annual Percentage Rate. 2. Credit approval and initial $5 deposit required. Mention this ad and we’ll waive the $15 new membership fee. Other restrictions may apply. This credit union is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration.



APRIL – MAY 2014


850 Magazine April – May 2014




850 FEATURES Population Boom 36 Florida’s population is again booming. The Sunshine State is likely to pass New York this year to become the third largest state in the nation. So, who are these people and where are they moving? And what impact will this growth trend have on Northwest Florida? By Linda Kleindienst


Bounty of the Sea

the Gulf to your table, there is non-stop action at the Destin Harbor docks. We give you an inside look at the life of Destin’s commercial fishermen and an industry that keeps the nation’s restaurants and stores brimming with the Gulf’s bounty. By Rosanne Dunkelberger On the Cover: Karen and Don Chapman, owners of Tallahassee’s Klassic Katering, still hold on to their early business sign.. Photo by Scott Holstein

In This Issue 8  From the Publisher 11  Letters to the Editor 16  News and Numbers

94  Sound Bytes 98  The Last Word From the Editor

Departments THE (850) LIFE 13 The call came in the midst of a Midwest blizzard. The horrid weather helped Mark Wilson make his decision to move south and champion Florida business interests.

GUEST COLUMN 14 Tallahassee attorneys Philip Blank and Stephen McDaniel outline how Northwest Florida can benefit from Triumph Gulf Coast.

WI-FILES 18 When do you know that it’s finally time to bring in a computer expert? Some tips on how to safeguard the technology that keeps your business running.

CREATING RESULTS 22 Make sure the audience gets the message when you head out on the public speaking circuit to promote your business.

THE BOTTOM LINE 24 Your business is a major investment. Here’s some advice on how to sell your business — and how to buy a business — and the pitfalls to avoid.


79 The Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible came to DeFuniak Springs and rescued an Italian restaurant called Mom and Dad’s.

I-10 82 Oglesby Plants International in Altha is a leading worldwide supplier of quality young plants for commercial growers, as well as an innovator of plant propagation.

CAPITAL 86 Faced with a family crisis, Karen Chapman changed careers, learned to make lemon meringue pie out of lemons and birthed Klassic Katering.

BAY 90 How Tyndall Air Force Base and local officials scored a major victory with the F-22 and the resulting economic impact it has had on the community.

FORGOTTEN COAST 93 Wakulla County business leaders work to encourage young professionals to engage in their community.

Sponsored Report

Special Section

Special Report




OUTREACH 850 News from The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship at Florida State University.

What’s trending, what’s selling and what’s hot to buy?

Madison is a business-friendly county that’s ready to boost economic development. 850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014



April – May 2014

Did you know that 74% of all drug users are employed? d? ~ Carrie Norris President, ARCpoint Labs


Vol. 6, No. 4

PRESIDENT/PUBLISHER BRIAN E. ROWLAND EDITORIAL DIRECTOR OF EDITORIAL SERVICES Linda Kleindienst STAFF WRITER Jason Dehart EDITORIAL COORDINATOR Chay D. Baxley CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Lazaro Aleman, Chay D. Baxley, Philip Blank, Steve Bornhoft, Debbie Buckland, Jason Dehart, Rosanne Dunkelberger, Sarah Kelley, Liesel Schmidt, Stephen McDaniel PROOFREADER Melinda Lanigan CREATIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR Lawrence Davidson PRODUCTION MANAGER/NETWORK ADMINISTRATOR Daniel Vitter



Tallahassee · 3520 N. Monroe Street · 850-201-2500 Marianna · 4288 Lafayette Street · 850-526-7774 Panama City · 2012 Lisenby Avenue · 850-640-0950 ARCPOINTLABS.COM/TALLAHASSEE

STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Scott Holstein CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Kay Meyer, Kansas Pitts Photography SALES, MARKETING & EVENTS MARKETING AND SALES MANAGER McKenzie Burleigh DIRECTOR OF NEW BUSINESS Daniel Parisi TRAFFIC COORDINATOR Lisa Sostre ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Rhonda Murray, Darla Harrison, Lori Magee, Tracy Mulligan, Linda Powell, Paula Sconiers, Chuck Simpson, Chris St. John, Drew Gregg Westling MARKETING AND SALES ASSISTANT Derika Crowley OPERATIONS ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES MANAGER Melissa Tease SPECIAL PROJECTS AND EVENTS COORDINATORS Lynda Belcher, Kerri Bryan ACCOUNTING SPECIALISTS Tabby Hamilton, Josh Faulds RECEPTIONIST Tristin Kroening WEB DIGITAL SERVICES MANAGER Carlin Trammel DIGITAL SERVICES PRODUCER Chelsea Moore 850 BUSINESS MAGAZINE,, ROWLAND PUBLISHING SUBSCRIPTIONS A one-year (6 issues) subscription is $30. To purchase, call (850) 878-0554 or go online to Single copies are $4.95 and may be purchased at Barnes & Noble in Tallahassee, Destin and Pensacola and in Books-A-Million in Tallahassee, Destin, Ft. Walton Beach, Pensacola and Panama City and at our Tallahassee office.

A one-day leadership event broadcast LIVE from Atlanta, GA to hundreds of locations around the world. Presented by Tallahassee Community College and Workforce Development’s Leadership Institute. | (850) 201-8760 6


APRIL – MAY 2014


850 Magazine is published bi-monthly by Rowland Publishing, Inc. 1932 Miccosukee Road, Tallahassee, FL 32308. 850/878-0554. 850 Magazine and Rowland Publishing, Inc. are not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photography or artwork. Editorial contributions are welcomed and encouraged but will not be returned. 850 Magazine reserves the right to publish any letters to the editor. Copyright April 2014 850 Magazine, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. Member of three Chambers of Commerce throughout the region.

At RGVI, we are all about YOUR company’s success. Let the industry experts at RGVI provide your business with risk management counsel, employee benefit services and commercial insurance. 1117 Thomasville Road • 850-386-1111 • @RGVI 850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014



From the Publisher

Customers Bear Responsibilities, Too



APRIL – MAY 2014


Speaking of learning to “go with the flow,” we recently had a situation with one of our magazines where a few ads were not printed in the preferred positions that the advertisers had purchased. We quickly discovered the error and stopped distribution of the publication until we could find a solution. It was an unusual situation. I was a customer of the printer that had made a mistake, yet I also had customers (advertisers) to satisfy. We had only two options. We could reprint the entire magazine and cause up to a 10-day delivery delay and place an exorbitant expense on our printer, or accept the printed product as it was and find a way to make good with our clients. Ultimately, the decision was left up to the clients. And, fortunately, I have the privilege to work with excellent clients who are fair and reasonable and chose not to turn a very difficult situation into a nightmare of expense and delivery delay. It was simply human error, not the end of the world. A make-good solution was found that allowed all three parties to walk away from the problem with minimal damage, their integrity intact and sharing a continued sense of mutual respect. These are the kind of clients and vendors I value more than words can express, and they will receive far more in return than our written solution spelled out. When I have future opportunities to give back, it will come without hesitation. It’s all about relationships and the integrity of the people you do business with. So, I urge people to never kick others when they are down. Communicate, negotiate and find a solution where everyone can leave the table feeling whole. Those actions will make doing business a more enjoyable and gratifying experience for both sides of the table.



If you will recall the past holiday season, there was an uproar from American consumers (fueled by the national media) that FedEx and UPS were the reason many families could not experience a Norman Rockwell-like Christmas Day because their presents didn’t arrive by Dec. 24. As I read these stories, along with the many quotes of despair and anger over a “ruined” Christmas, I began to get a lump in my throat and my eyes got a little misty. But, let us get a few numbers and facts and try to put this all into a little perspective. » In 2013, an unexpected surge in online shopping led to a more than 30 percent increase in deliveries of Christmas presents — far more than the 8 percent that had been anticipated. (We’re talking hundreds of millions of gifts here.) » With Thanksgiving coming late in 2013, there were six fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas than the previous year. » Both companies did add aircraft and personnel to accommodate expected additional shipping demands. » A week out from Christmas, online sales surged way beyond projections, in part because of extreme weather in the Eastern U.S. The bad weather complicated air travel — but, amazingly, online retailers were still promising on-time package delivery, even if gifts were being ordered on Dec. 23. (In the week prior to Christmas, UPS had prepared for the delivery of 132 million packages — and put on a staff of 55,000 temporary workers. Despite a last minute doubling of shifts, however, they still fell behind.) It all added up to a recipe for disaster. And it resulted in Santa not being able to get to everyone’s home to place gifts under the tree. So, Mr. and Mrs. Online Shopper, who opted NOT to support small local businesses — those businesses you ask to support your non-profit events and kids’ teams and church raffles — lighten up. It’s not the end of the world. Maintain a sense of tolerance and forgiveness for that which no one can control. Get yourself out of that chair and away from that computer. Give FedEx and UPS a break. Next year, shop early and shop local. And, try to remember what the holiday season is all about.

May 15-27, 2014 Tallahassee, Florida


800.628.2866 | 850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014









850 — The Business Magazine of Northwest Florida is looking for your help in recognizing women in our region who have demonstrated outstanding leadership skills in their businesses and communities.

Ten women will be selected — two from each of 850’s five established corridors — to honor with The Pinnacle Award later this year. The honorees will be profiled as a cover feature story in the 2014 October/November issue of 850. Fill out a nomination form at The deadline to nominate is June 1, 2014. SPONSORED BY

Contact McKenzie Burleigh at for additional sponsorship opportunities. Nominees must be a private sector business owner, CEO, primary manager or top executive in their companies. Nominees must have: 1) demonstrated professional excellence and outstanding leadership in her business or profession; 2) actively participated in civic and/or business-related organizations; 3) served as a mentor to others. 10


APRIL – MAY 2014



I ALWAYS ENJOY YOUR MAGAZINE. The December/January issue really got my attention with the article on how to dress for your success and your company’s. We have had this discussion with our staff several times. When I read the article I knew I had to come to your office to purchase extra copies for our front office staff. The day after giving copies to our staff we arrived at our office to be greeted with clean shaven men wearing suits and dress shoes (we were elated). Sometimes we have to hear it from someone else or, in this case, read it in 850 Magazine. I can’t thank you enough. As the old saying goes, “People like and want to do business with sharp people.” Dean Pugh, Chief of Operations AMWAT Moving, Warehousing & Storage Tallahassee

I JUST READ YOUR EDITORIAL (From the Publisher) in the February–March 2014 issue of 850 magazine about the contributions of women. Loved it. Can we “clone” your attitude? Because the magazine featured weddings and women, I would like to follow up to get more information for the Tallahassee Garden Club since we, too, are an intimate setting for smaller weddings and are looking for ways to better market the facility. Marilyn S. Larson Tallahassee


Know a business or a business leader who deserves to be profiled? Noticing certain trends in business that you would like to learn more about? Do you have business questions you would like a professional to answer? Want to tell Northwest Florida about promotions, honors and special happenings in your region? Please send your suggestions/questions/news to Editor Linda Kleindienst at lkleindienst@ Follow 850 Business Magazine on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Join the 850 Business Magazine Group on LinkedIn, and start a conversation! 850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014





APRIL – MAY 2014


Executive Mindset

) Life The (850    S URVIVE AND THRIVE


CEO and President, Florida Chamber of Commerce

First job My parents


split up when I was in 7th grade and I starting mowing lawns, putting cokes in machines, anything I could do. It instilled a worth ethic. You’re in charge of your own destiny if you make the right decisions.

On the Road I travel one night a week, sometimes two or three. But I want to be with my three kids as often as I can, to be at their games, put them to bed at night. This job is 24/7/365. It never shuts off. Your family understands and adjusts. Sports All three of my

kids are competitive tennis players, and at one point all three were ranked in the top 75 in the state. Most weekends we’re traveling around Florida for tennis tournaments. We call it “Team

Wilson.” And my wife is a competitive water skier.

Hobby I’m a big road

racing fan and an amateur car racer. We’re partial to Mazda. I drive whenever I can. It’s called endurance racing. I got my racing license a few years ago. I used to race every month. Now it’s about four times a year. When you’re going 100 miles an hour around a corner, it takes every bit of focus you have — and you can’t worry about things like elections or amendments to bills.

Fan I’m partial to the University of Georgia. Reset Time We go to

Northern Wisconsin every summer. It’s like hitting a reset button on the computer. Lake Tomahawk. It’s an island away from all of it.

If I Were Governor …

There is a shortage of understanding of what the vision of Florida is among the 19 million people who live here. If Florida was a stock, I would buy it all. I would do whatever I could to work with the voters of Florida to talk about where our state is going.

Reading I have three

books on my desk. The Bible, “The Coming Jobs War” and “Good to Great.” I have probably 300 books in my office. When the staff asks for advice, I often go over to the bookshelf.

Being Connected I

prefer to talk in a world where other people text. A lot of times people will text me, and I’ll just call them back.

Florida was never really in the plan. But the call from the Sunshine State came on a cold, windy, snowy day in Chicago. And the rest, as they say, is history. Grateful to leave the cold, Mark Wilson joined the Florida Chamber of Commerce in 1998. He started off at the political and fundraising office in Tampa and then moved to Tallahassee in 2003. “My wife and I met in high school outside Chicago. She had never lived more than 10 miles from the hospital she was born in when we were invited to come to Florida,” he remembers, adding that when he took the call that fateful day he was on the 20th floor of the IBM building and the snow was actually blowing skyward from the wind. “The move to Tampa was a giant change.” But he loved being given the opportunity by the Chamber to foster change in the business world, adding that his passion for fighting for small businesses began with his father, who managed Spurgeons stores in Southern Illinois. “I used to go into the stores with him. We’d do inventory by hand, and talking to customers was something you did back then,” said Wilson, 45. Now Wilson heads Florida’s largest business lobby, which keeps him busy year-round. He spends much of his time meeting with the state’s political leaders and the Chamber’s thousands of business members, many of them owners of small enterprises. “Small businesses and family businesses that take risks, it’s what made this country great and what’s going to save this country,” he said. “I’m on a mission to try to make Florida a better place to raise a family and have a small business.”  —Linda Kleindienst

850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014



Executive Mindset

Business Speak



n April 20, 2010, approximately 250 miles southeast of Houston in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig exploded, killing 11 crewmen and igniting a fireball seen 35 miles Stephen McDaniel is a former associate with away. By the time the well was Blank & Meenan P.A., capped on July 15, between 4.9 heading the firm’s Economic million and 210 million gallons Development group. He graduated from the Florida of oil had spilled into the Gulf. SatState University College of ellite images of the spill showed Law, summa cum laude, that 68,000 square miles of ocean, in 2004, ranked third in about the size of the state of Oklahis graduating class. Prior to law school, McDaniel homa, were directly impacted. worked as a senior The Congressional Research Seraccountant in KPMG’s vice reported that as of December Assurance Department, 2012 more than 339 miles of coastwhere he supervised audit engagement teams line from Louisiana to the Florida in the consumer markets, Panhandle had been affected and software development, were still subject to evaluation telecommunications, and cleanup operations. Florida’s real estate, and banking and financial institutions commercial and recreational fishindustries. eries, tourism and other industries along the coast from Escambia County to Monroe County were affected by the spill and are still recovering. On the three-year anniversary of the explosion, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi sued BP and Halliburton Energy Services Inc., seeking lost revenues and punitive damages as a result of the spill. At the time, reports indicated Bondi was seeking more than $5 billion in lost state revenues alone. This case is now beginning to move through the federal courts. To ensure that the proceeds of the lawsuit will be used to benefit the eight Florida counties most affected by the disaster — Bay, Escambia, Franklin, Gulf, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton and Wakulla — the 2013 Legislature created the not-for-profit Triumph Gulf Coast corporation. Triumph will be governed by a five member Board of Directors appointed by the president of the Senate, the speaker of the House, the governor, the attorney general and the chief financial officer, and it will administer a trust account established for the benefit of the counties from a portion of the proceeds recovered by the lawsuit. Perhaps most importantly for the affected counties, testimony presented during the consideration of the bill creating Triumph made



APRIL – MAY 2014


it clear that funding for the new corporation would not affect the distribution of other funds under the federal RESTORE Act of 2011. The board appointments were completed on Dec. 20, 2013. The members are: Stan Connally Jr., president and CEO of Gulf Power F. Philip Blank is the founding shareholder of Blank & Company, appointed by Gov. Meenan P.A. in Tallahassee. Scott; Allan Bense, Panama City He spent more than six years businessman and former speaker with the Florida House of Representatives, becoming of the Florida House, appointed its first full-time General by Senate President Don Gaetz; Counsel and directing Pam Dana, senior strategic advisor the largest investigation for Human & Machine Cognition, of state agencies ever conducted by the Florida appointed by Attorney General House of Representatives. Bondi; Okaloosa County resiHe also served as General dent Stephen Riggs IV, partner at Counsel to the Florida Carr, Riggs & Ingram, appointed Patients’ Compensation Fund, recovering in excess by Chief Financial Officer Jeff of $110 million in less than Atwater; and Destin resident 12 months. Blank helped Bob Bonezzi, co-founder of establish the Florida Prepaid Bonezzi Development Company, College Program and served as its General Counsel for appointed by House Speaker Will more than 20 years. Weatherford. Funds in the trust will be used over 30 years to fund a vast list of projects or programs that encourage economic recovery, diversification and enhancement of the counties, and to fund impact fees assessed for new or proposed developments, local match requirements, economic development projects, infrastructure projects, education and tourism. The Legislature also directed that Triumph give priority to projects and programs that will increase household income, generate maximum economic benefits, expand high growth industries, leverage regional assets and partner with tourist development councils and chambers of commerce. Also a priority are projects which include investment commitments from private equity or private venture capital funds. Considering the amount of funds that will likely be available to Triumph to assist public and private entities interested in pursuing projects in the area, the possibilities and opportunities are staggering. With the attorney general’s lawsuit still pending, it remains unclear the amount of funds that will be available — and when. However, it is clear that if and when Florida collects from BP’s acts, the Legislature has provided a clear path for the investment of these funds in Northwest Florida.



An Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association

FLORIDA’S TOP HEALTH PLAN C Capital Health Plan proudly serves employer groups in Calhoun, Franklin, em Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, G and Wakulla counties in Florida.

Live Well. Choose Well.


In “NCQA’s Private Health Insurance Plan Rankings 2013-2014,” the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) recognized Capital Health Plan as the top-ranked plan in Florida and the fifteenth private plan in the U.S. among commercial HMO, HMO/POS, and PPO plans. 850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014



Executive Mindset


2013 FLORIDA JOB GROWTH Florida’s economy continued to grow in 2013 — and so did the jobs


n fact, when compared to the three other most populated states in the nation — California, Texas and New York — Florida last year experienced the largest per-capita increase in jobs, according to an economic report recently released by Florida TaxWatch. Released annually, the Economic Commentary reported that Florida’s economy created an estimated 192,900 private sector jobs in 2013. That represents a 42 percent net job increase over 2012’s growth rates. For the first time in three years, job gains were noted in all private sector categories.

2013 ESTIMATED JOB GAINS AND LOSSES BY INDUSTRY Retail Trade 55,000 37,400 Professional & Business Services Construction 28,800 24,500 Leisure & Hospitality Education & Health Services 16,500 Financial Activities Other Services Information Manufacturing

12,400 5,200 5,000 4,400

Transportation & Utilities 3,800 1,500 Wholesale Trade Total Government (1,700)

JOB LOSSES — TOTAL GOVERNMENT In 2012, all government sectors reflected job losses. In 2013, only federal and state sectors lost jobs while local government employment increased.



Dec. 2012

Dec. 2013












735, 600


APRIL – MAY 2014


The retail industry led growth with the creation of 55,000 jobs — with the biggest growth being seen in building materials, garden equipment and supplies dealers, and food and beverage dealers. Tourism remained the largest state employer and continued to grow in 2013, adding an estimated 24,500 jobs. The biggest jump came in the categories of accomodation and food service jobs, which went from a statewide total of 817,200 in 2012 to 836,300 in 2013 — an increase of 19,100. The manufacturing industry added 4,400 jobs, growing from 318,000 to 322,400 jobs during 2013. Although local government jobs increased by 1,900, federal and state employment lost nearly 3,600 jobs.







Private Air Travel Programs

CARD LEASE SHARE 15 to 60 Hours

60 to 200 Hours

100 to 300 Hours

A Jet Membership that brings you immediate access to the exclusive Pilatus PC-12, Phenom 100, and Phenom 300 Jets. No Lines. No Delays. No Hassles ut abo Ask r new ou

ur J



et C a rd

T SMARRD CA ay by the H o | 1.866.935.7771 850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014



Executive Mindset


BETTER BACK IT UP An ounce of prevention can save your data and money BY JASON DEHART


t’s safe to say that in the world of business, and personal life, data is a most precious commodity. Computerized data systems perform a wide range of tasks for businesses large and small, and home computers today are marvelous multi-media wonders of the age that store our videos, music, movies, photos and important documents. Of course technology may be wonderful, but a hundred things can go wrong with modern computer systems. That’s not good, considering we put our entire lives on these machines. Those vital personal documents or accounting statements can all just vanish in the blink of an eye, no thanks to hardware failures, overwriting errors, viruses, malware and other assorted malfunctions. Users — especially home computer owners — who aren’t as technically savvy or proficient with the engineering of a computer as those who designed and programmed them are at a distinct disadvantage when the thing stops working. So, what do you do when the dreaded “blue screen of death” pops up on your laptop, or a vital account suddenly disappears? For starters, any computer user either at home or work, should make themselves



APRIL – MAY 2014


familiar with the day-to-day working of their computer to discern possible issues, said James R. Nichols, owner of Your Quality Computer Service of Pensacola “Signs of pausing, hesitating and freezing can indicate hardware issues,” Nichols said. “Changes in the home page of your Web browser and unfamiliar icons on your desktop or task bar can often be signs of a malware infection.” If you need to repair the hardware or recover lost data, the best thing to do is seek professional help. “The rule of thumb is much like a vehicle. If it’s not running correctly and the problem is not going away, consult a professional,” Nichols said. “I have met many a new customer that has permanently lost data (and computers) because they did not take the time to have their computers checked when symptoms of hardware failure began.”   If you’re concerned that there is a problem, it is time to call a trusted technology professional. “Your first instinct will usually be the best one,” said Jeff Danick of JWD Tech Inc. in Niceville. “If a customer isn’t even comfortable with some of the basics, I’d never advise that they tackle tasks such as

hardware repairs, or data retrieval, without a professional.” Danick said that for home computers and business computers, it’s way better to never need a fix. “Practice safe computing. Don’t open unexpected attachments, even from people you think you know, avoid ‘free’ software when it’s not from a trusted company. They have to make money somehow,” he said. “Keep your data backed up. Try to have at least one backup on-site, and one off-site, perhaps with one of the trusted ‘cloud’ services such as Carbonite or Mozy.”

An Ounce of Prevention Nichols said he thinks every user — especially business users — should be trained and familiar with basic trouble-shooting, such as clearing the browser cache and power cycling (turning off and on) the equipment. “However, the general rule would be to do the basic maintenance, clearing cache and temp files, defragmenting the hard drive and manually scanning with the installed anti-virus software,” he said. CCleaner is a free program that makes clearing caches and temp files a breeze

with nearly no concern for side effects, Nichols said. It can simply be installed and run without the need to configure. He also recommends Avast!, a free and excellent anti-virus/security suite. Also, checking and repairing disk permissions should be done just as often as on a Windows PC.  “Running a disk check is an often overlooked bit of maintenance that can save many a headache. Mac users should still run an antivirus on their computer despite the common myth of being virusproof,” he said. However, chances are good that even if you take great care of it, your computer is still nothing more than a mechanical device that is prone to failure. Fixing a problem after the fact is one thing, but if you rely on your computer to store priceless documents or photos, the best thing to do is back it up on a regular basis. That’s a point that can’t be emphasized enough. “Backing up data is very important,” said Matt Ham, president and CEO of

Computer Repair Doctor in Tallahassee. Ham notes that it’s very expensive (not to mention extremely difficult) to recover data that hasn’t been backed up. The alternative to not safeguarding hardware and making backups is not easy to swallow. Depending on what the customer wants recovered, recovery can generally cost in the hundreds to thousands of dollars. “I once worked with a data recovery tech, and jobs would go from $500 to $5,000 for serious data recovery. If it is a tier 1 job, it’s $100 to $500,” Ham said. “That’s the stuff we handle in-house here. (Cases like) software recovery or, perhaps, you reformatted the drive and lost data that way. But if the hard drive crashes and the heads crash and need to be opened, you need a clean room with special equipment and someone who has been in this game for a while. Data recovery is nothing you want to need.” Backing up data is especially important for business owners, but the fundamentals

are just as important. Anyone who has a computer should use quality uninterruptible power supplies with voltage regulation and surge protectors. Business owners should restrict how their systems are used, Danick said, because you don’t want someone checking their Facebook account on a system used as a point of sale. Frequently go back and review best practices with your users regarding passwords, email and downloading items off the Internet. Make use of the built-in security and privacy tools and settings available on Mac OS X or Windows. Make sure to keep your software updated for security updates. “The price of not backing up is expensive. Our lives are on our computers,” Danick said. “We have photos, tax documents, IRS forms, you name it, and it’s not easily recreateable or replaceable. You might say, ‘Just give me my photos,’ and that might cost $800 to $1,100. Then, there is ‘I need everything,’ and that’s thousands. So backup is relatively cheap compared to that.”

850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014



Executive Mindset


The practice alone could be worth its weight in gold, especially in a state infamous for summer heat, thunderstorms and lightning strikes. Danick recounted a time he talked to a data recovery company, and the rep said they get more hard drives from the state of Florida than any other place. “This seems to be due to the usual causes of drive failure: too much heat and electrical issues like lightning, surges and brownouts,” he said. “We seem to have more of that here in Florida. Here in our area it’s a tie between hardware failures (power supplies, hard drives) and systems being compromised by malware. Again, prevention is a far better approach.” Regular and redundant backups are the key to saving a business, Nichols said. Hard drives are mechanical and they can — and will — fail with little to no warning. Natural disasters, theft and vandalism can also rob a person or a company of precious data. “Imagine that you are a construction company, and you have paper and digital copies of all your contracts, supply orders, payroll, etc., stored on site. You may feel safe because you’ve made a redundant backup to an external hard drive that sits next to the computer. Then a fire or other disaster occurs. Taking your equipment and all business data along with the backup,” he said. Fortunately there are plenty of good options for data backup. You can put it in “cloud” storage (off-site virtual storage hosted by third parties), or just back it up on an external hard drive. The key thing is to have at least two “points of failure” instead of just one, Ham said. If you use an external hard drive, though, you have to check it on a regular basis to make sure it’s working properly. You don’t want to suddenly need to retrieve something you thought was backed up, only to discover it wasn’t. “I strongly encourage anyone with important data to keep two backups on



APRIL – MAY 2014


a weekly basis, one to be kept on site and one to be taken off site once the backup is complete,” Nichols said. “Services such as Carbonite are inexpensive and work wonderfully. For home users or business with little data to store, Dropbox and Google Drive are great choices as well. Lastly, with the threat of malware such as the Cryptolocker virus, backups are the single best solution for combating or rather recovering from it.”

“THE RULE OF THUMB IS MUCH LIKE A VEHICLE. IF IT’S NOT RUNNING CORRECTLY AND THE PROBLEM IS NOT GOING AWAY, CONSULT A PROFESSIONAL.” JAMES R. NICHOLS, OWNER OF YOUR QUALITY COMPUTER SERVICE OF PENSACOLA If you wind up losing your files and decide to spend the money to recover your data, there’s still no guarantee of success. That ought to make prevention your highest priority. “Data backup is just like insurance,” Ham said. “I worked in North Carolina with some database centers and they had systems in place that had double redundancy and every machine had two of everything, plus generators outside to

protect against glitches in power. And instead of fire sprinklers they used the Halon system that sprays foam so it wouldn’t disrupt the servers.” The average user doesn’t have to go to such extremes. Just make sure the backup is physically separated from the original, because you don’t want an accident to take out both the original and the backup. Another thing to be wary of is flash memory. “When flash memory fails, it’s a lot harder to recover data than when a mechanical hard drive fails,” he said.

The Business Edge While the average home user usually has to go it alone, businesses usually have dedicated technicians to monitor their systems. This may mean having a full-time information technology (IT) professional on staff, or paying an outside company to keep tabs on things remotely. “Generally speaking, the need for an inhouse (on staff) technician or a managed services provider depends on the scale of the business and its operations,” Nichols said. Ham said that if you have five employees or less you don’t need to have somebody in-house, but rather an off-site IT technician you could call if there’s a problem. But the bigger your company, the more you may need to have someone on site to manage the system. “As you grow from five to 20 employees you’ll typically have a contract with an onsite IT company or someone to come onsite,” he said. “We have a lot of small companies come to us (and) everybody has their own computer; there’s no network unification. But once you get five or more you have servers and networks and usually you’ll want to contract with a company that will maintain your network and your workstations. Once you grow past a certain point you ‘in-house’ it. For every company it’s different.”

Businesses have other options for protecting their data systems. This could include having a full-time IT professional on staff or paying an outside company to keep tabs on things remotely. What service they opt for depends on the business, its size and any contractual requirements the business is involved with. A business may want to start out making use of a local professional, keep track of hourly or daily costs and decide at some point in the future whether a service contract is the right path to take versus hiring a full-time professional to

work in-house, Danick said. Many businesses may require a local consultant or full-time employee, as well as a service contract with a software or hardware vendor. “There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution,” he said. Nichols said that larger-scale businesses and organizations might benefit more from having one or more on-staff techs that are always around and resolving issues and performing maintenance. An off-site tech might be besieged with service orders from many clients and may not be immediately

available to help your problem. “Although an MSP is sometimes a bit more affordable on paper, they are often understaffed and this can create delays in servicing as each technician has dozens or hundreds of tickets from several companies at once,” he said. On the other hand, small to medium-sized businesses can usually save a lot of money by using an outsourced technician that can resolve their problems on demand, as well as come in for scheduled maintenance to reduce downtime and loss, he said.

850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014



Executive Mindset


IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND Public speaking doesn’t have to be frightening. You can make a great impression with the right preparation and charm. BY JASON DEHART


ere’s the picture. You own a company that has a dazzling new product. You want to get the word out to the community about that product. So, you advertise in the local newspapers, magazines and TV. But that’s not all. There are industry roundtables, conventions, shows and other settings where you have a chance to spread the word. Those situations, however, involve standing up and speaking to a crowd to get your message across. You might even have to stand behind a lectern on a podium in front of dozens, or hundreds, of people. All will have their eyes on you — an intimidating prospect if you’re not fully prepared or confident to do the job. Indeed, confidence is perhaps the biggest characteristic that separates great speakers from mediocre ones, according to Margo Thomas, president of Tallahassee Toastmasters and president of Marlynn Consulting Group, an economic development consultant firm. “I would say the biggest thing is confidence. If you’re not confident in what you’re talking about, the difficulty is you’re not going to be as effective,” said Thomas, who joined Toastmasters in 2008 to build her confidence and become a better public speaker. “When you give a speech, you are the expert. If you can’t do that confidently you are showing you are not the expert on what you are talking about.” Marsha Friedman, CEO of EMSI Public Relations and author of “Celebritize Yourself,” a book on how to brand yourself, hated putting herself in the spotlight by giving speeches but knew she had to do it to boost her visibility and credibility — and to set herself apart from her competition by becoming a trusted authority in her field. “I had no desire to seek the spotlight, and even had trepidation about it, but eventually I realized I had to



APRIL – MAY 2014


for the sake of my business,” she said. Her first tip? “Start small. Give yourself time to get used to the spotlight.” There’re all kinds of tips and advice on how to effectively deliver a speech, or deliver an effective speech. Those are actually two different things. You can effectively deliver a speech with the right mechanics, poise and style but if you really want to deliver an effective speech, you have to go beyond the mechanics and really connect with your audience, to urge them to take some kind of action. “I think delivering an effective speech is probably better. I say that because when you give any type of presentation you want somebody to be moved in some way. You are trying to motivate someone to act, or you’re trying to encourage someone in some way,” she said. “The delivery and mechanics is part of the process of doing that, but you still have to work on the speech in general; i.e., what it is you are talking about, who your audience is and how your speech is going to relate to whatever the situation is or who the people are in that room.” Knowing the material is, of course, highly important and can make or break your presentation. But Thomas also suggests that you should practice the speech, preferably in front of a mirror so you can see what the audience is going to see. Adds Friedman, “How do actors and Olympic athletes make their feats look so easy? They practice!” Knowing the audience itself is essential to preparing the speech, but you should also arrive early so you can work the crowd and become more comfortable with them. Other essentials include eliminating “filler” or stammer words that detract from your message and cast doubt on your expertise, and mind your body language so you don’t let on to the audience that you’re nervous or anxious. Along with that, watch your vocal inflections to make sure they match your emotions. For example, if

you say you’re happy, your body language and vocal inflections should show that you’re happy. Speak clearly, but avoid a droning monotone (which can become monotomous). If you don’t speak clearly you can lose your audience. Everyone in the room should hear you, Thomas said. And, if you raise the pitch of your voice, you’ll add

TOP 10 TIPS FOR PUBLIC SPEAKING FROM TOASTMASTERS INTERNATIONAL 1. Know your material. 2. Practice. Practice. Practice! 3. Know the audience. 4. Know the room. 5. Relax. 6. Visualize yourself giving your speech. 7. Realize that people want you to succeed. 8. Don’t apologize. 9. Concentrate on the message – not the medium. 10. Gain experience.

some excitement while showing confidence. Also, if you make a mistake, don’t compound it by loudly announcing it to the crowd. Never say you’re sorry for something or tell the audience that this is your first time speaking to a crowd. “You don’t have to keep saying ‘I’m sorry,’ or ‘This is my first time doing this,’ or ‘I’m not good at this.’ It draws their attention to that, and they ask why are you giving the presentation,” she said. Another “rookie” mistake speakers make

is reading the script line by line. That’s another good way of losing the audience. “If I have a presentation (that I’m just reading), then I’m not engaging the audience as much and I’m losing eye contact if I have to read the words,” Thomas said. Friedman said that making eye contact can help prevent you from staring into the distance or reading from your notes. “I’ve found that visually touching base with engaged audience members gives me little shots of confidence that help propel me through my presentation,” she added. One thing to realize is that most people seem frightened by the notion of standing up before a roomful of strangers. But that fear that can be readily dealt with if you merely psyche yourself up for it and make it something you will enjoy and have fun with. “I think when we go in with dread we more than likely won’t do well. It doesn’t become a pleasurable thing,” Thomas said. “It’s more of a thing where I’m afraid. I myself can relate to that. I was like that in college. My thinking was, ‘I can do the Power Point, but can someone else do the speech?’ Now I’m not afraid of it anymore. Again, looking at it in a more positive light, instead of with dread, helps. And the more opportunities you take to do this, the better you become.” Getting good at public speaking is, naturally, an essential tool in a business owner’s tool chest. And if you are unable to articulate yourself properly, people don’t take you seriously, Thomas said. “As a business owner you want people to really listen to what you are talking about because whatever you are proposing to the client, if you can’t make them really understand what your service or product is, more than likely you have lost that sale,” she said. “You may not get everybody but at the end of the day, if you give a speech and some people walk up to you afterwards and talk to you, then that is an effective speech.”

850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014



Executive Mindset


Selling Your Business The key to a rewarding payout is to plan ahead BY DEBBIE BUCKLAND


hether you started your company decades ago, worked your way up through the ranks or inherited your business, one thing is certain: You will eventually leave the company, most likely through retirement. If your retirement plan means selling your business, it’s important to note that a successful sale is largely dependent on the owner’s level of preparation.

Maximize Value Focus on maximizing the value of your business. Businesses are traditionally sold based on a multiple of cash flow or earnings. The multiple varies widely, depending on the industry, the economic environment, the types of assets being sold and the prospects for the future. A good rule of thumb is that businesses will sell at a value ranging from three to eight times annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. While business owners have little control over the multiple, they can move the needle by increasing the cash flow and earnings prior to the sale.

the years preceding the sale to increase earnings and the ultimate sale price. Choose an advisor who will be your partner in maximizing value. »P  RIVATE FINANCIAL ADVISOR Begin planning with a private

financial advisor a few years prior to the sale of your business to review and implement strategies that may save tax dollars during the sale. An experienced certified financial planner can assist in modeling retirement planning and cash flow scenarios to help business owners determine how much money they need to realize from the sale of their business to support their lifestyle. »C  ERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT A CPA with experience in

your industry can share strategies to improve margins and your bottom line. »M  ERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS ATTORNEY A specialized

M&A attorney can help minimize liability and often has experience drafting and negotiating term sheets.

Build a Pro Team It’s important to begin planning with advisors at least two to three years prior to the planned sale of the business. Many owners are hesitant to surround themselves with experts due to concerns about confidentiality. A well drafted confidentiality agreement, which includes non-disclosure and non-compete language, will allow you to share information with advisors and potential purchasers while maintaining confidentiality.

Your Team of Experts Should Include:

»C  OMMERCIAL BANKER A seasoned commercial banker should

be able to share best practices to increase profit margins and cash flow, as well as provide an estimate as to how much debt your business can support — a key variable when negotiating a sale. Once bank debt is exhausted, businesses can be financed using private equity, preferred securities, warrants and other hybrid instruments. But each come with their own consideration. If you know what your business can support, you will be in a better position to analyze potential offers.


ment banker or business broker should understand your industry and suggest strategic and tactical changes to implement in



APRIL – MAY 2014


Helping Your Business Find a New Owner It may be helpful to have some knowledge of the loans available

850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014



Executive Mindset



to interested buyers. One great financing option when purchasing a business is a loan through the Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA 7(a) guaranteed loan program is built to finance goodwill and business assets for individuals looking to buy a business. Some of the benefits of SBA financing include: »L  onger terms — up to 10 years financing » Loan amounts up to $5,000,000 » Competitive rates and terms »P  otentially as little as 10 percent equity from the buyer »S  eller financing available to limit buyer down payment »O  ther options include business term loans and lines of credit.

Price and Payments


Price is only one component of the sale of your business. Consider how long you are willing to consult or work through the transition. Since time is your most important commodity, a sale with a three-year consulting agreement may be much less attractive than a sale with a one-year agreement. If you plan to start a new business, a non-compete agreement becomes extremely important. Another important component is whether you receive a onetime cash payment or payments over time. While conventional wisdom may be to “take the money and run,” in this low interest rate environment consideration should be given to holding a note. A properly collateralized note may bring a much higher return to the business owner and provide tax advantages when recognizing the gains. Additionally, if the prospects are great for



APRIL – MAY 2014


business growth, and you will be consulting for a number a years, an earn-out agreement may allow for a larger payout than a onetime sale. Each of these options has pros and cons, which is why business owners need to surround themselves with advisors who are knowledgeable about the many different scenarios.

Timing is Everything

It is ideal to sell during the optimal time in your industry cycle, as well as a friendly economic environment, when banks are lending money and/or private equity is readily available to finance the sale of your business. During the financial crisis, very few successful sales were completed, as the capital simply wasn’t available. In the current environment, low interest rates create more capacity for debt service. Banks are lending more money, and private equity is flush with capital to finance deals. As head of operations, client relations and strategic decisions, it will be difficult to sell your business, maximize value and walk away into the sunset. It is important to begin delegating management of day-to-day operations and turn your focus to strategy and increasing profitability to make the company more attractive to potential purchasers. You can spend a lifetime implementing new business strategies. The key to a successful sale is to begin planning early with a team of trusted professionals at your side. Debbie Buckland is executive vice president, Commercial Banking, and Jacksonville City president of SunTrust Bank.

BUYING An Existing Business Advice from the U.S. Small Business Administration on how to start


or some entrepreneurs, buying an existing business represents less of a risk than starting a new business from scratch. While the opportunity may be less risky in some aspects, you must perform due diligence to ensure that you are fully aware of the terms of the purchase. If you have decided to buy an existing business, be sure you are making the right choice in your new venture. Only you can determine the right business for your need.

Doing Due Diligence »O  BTAIN ALL LICENSES AND PERMITS Most businesses need

licenses and permits to operate. The type of license or permit you need depends on your industry and the state in which the business is located. Use the U.S. Small Business Administration’s licenses and permits finder tool to get a listing of federal, state and local permits and licenses you will need to run your business. »Z  ONING REQUIREMENTS Zoning requirements may affect the

The Steps to Starting 1. Identify Your Interests If you have absolutely no idea what business you want to invest in, first eliminate businesses that are of no interest to you. 2. Consider Your Talents Being honest about your skills and experience can help you eliminate unrealistic business ventures. 3. List Conditions for Your Business Consider if a business has a condition that is unfavorable to you, such as location and time commitment. 4. Quantify Your Investment Finding profitable businesses for sale at reasonable prices can be difficult. Ask yourself why this business is for sale in the first place. There are many favorable aspects to buying an existing business such as drastic reduction in startup costs. You may be able to jump start your cash flow immediately because of existing inventory and receivables. There are also some downsides. The purchasing cost may be much higher than the cost of starting a new business because of the initial business concept, customer base, brand and other fundamental work that has already been done. Also, be aware of hidden problems associated with the business, like debts the business is owed that you may not be able to collect.

type of business that you are intending to operate in a particular area. Make sure your business is abiding by all laws in your area. »E  NVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS If you are acquiring real prop-

erty along with the business, it is important to check the environmental regulations in the area.

Determining the Value of a Business There are a number of different methods to determine a fair and equitable price for the sale of the business. Here are a few: »C  APITALIZED EARNING APPROACH This method refers to

the return on the investment that is expected by an investor. »E  XCESS EARNING METHOD Similar to the capitalized earn-

ing method, except that it separates return on assets from other earnings. »C  ASH FLOW METHOD This method is typically used when at-

tempting to determine how much of a loan the cash flow of the business will support. The adjusted cash flow is used as a benchmark to measure the firm’s ability to service debt.

850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014





od values the business by the tangible assets. »V  ALUE OF SPECIFIC INTANGIBLE ASSETS METHOD This meth-

od compares buying a wanted intangible asset versus creating it.

Doing Research for Purchasing a Business Once you have found a business that you would like to buy, it is important to conduct a thorough, objective investigation. The following list includes important information you want to include when researching the business you want to buy:



indicates that you will not use the information about the seller’s business for any purpose other than making the decision to buy it. »C  ONTRACTS AND LEASES If the business has a current lease

for the location, be aware that you may have to work with the landlord to assume any existing lease on the business premises or negotiate a new lease. »F  INANCIAL STATEMENTS Examine the financial statements

»L  ETTER OF INTENT The letter of intent should spell out the

from the business for at least the past three to five years. Also make sure that an audit letter accompanies the statements from a reputable CPA firm. You should not accept a simple financial review by the business itself.

proposed price, the terms of the purchase and the conditions for the sale of the business.

»T  AX RETURNS Review the business’s tax returns from the past

»C  ONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENT A confidentiality agreement

three to five years. This will help you determine the profitability of the business as well as any outstanding tax liability.

APRIL – MAY 2014



checked during your investigation. Examples include property documents, customer lists, sales records, advertising materials, employee and manager information and contracts. »P  ROFESSIONAL HELP A qualified attorney should be enlisted

purchase including business assets, customer lists, intellectual property and goodwill. If you do not have a lawyer to help you draft the terms of the sale, you should at least have one review the agreement before you sign it.

Checklist for Closing on a Business

to help review the legal and organizational documents of the business you are planning to purchase. Also, an accountant can help with a thorough evaluation of the financial condition of the business.

The closing is the final step in the process of buying a business. Keep in mind that you should have legal counsel available to review all documentation necessary for the transfer of the business. The following items should be addressed in a closing:


»A  DJUSTED PURCHASE PRICE This will include prorated items

agreement is the key document to finalize the purchase of the business. This agreement defines everything that you intend to

such as rent, utilities and inventory up to the time of closing.

ARE YOU READY? Considering selling or buying a business? Emerald Coast Business Brokers offers a

FREE, NO OBLIGATION CONSULTATION. Call us at 850.424.7541.


4481 Legendary Drive, Suite 101

Destin, FL 32541



850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014



WE SUPPLY THE VALUE. YOU TAKE ALL THE CREDIT. TCC Conference and Event Solutions Tallahassee Community College offers custom conference and event solutions to fit your budget while meeting your unique event planning needs. With first-rate support services, professional amenities and a variety of venue options, TCC is the ideal choice to host your conference, seminar, banquet, trade show or other event.



»R  EVIEW REQUIRED DOCUMENTS These documents should in-

clude a corporate resolution approving the sale, evidence that the corporation is in good standing or any tax releases that may have been promised by the seller. Check with your local department of corporations or Secretary of State for more information. »S  IGNING PROMISSORY NOTE In some cases, the seller will have

back financing, so have an attorney review any note documentation. »S  ECURITY AGREEMENTS A security agreement lists the assets that

will be used for security as a promise for payment of the loan. »U  CC FINANCING STATEMENTS Uniform Commercial Code docu-

ments are recorded with the Secretary of State. »L  EASE If you agree to take over the lease, make sure that you have the

landlord’s concurrence. If you are negotiating a new lease with the landlord instead of assuming the existing lease, make sure both parties are in agreement on the terms of the new lease. »V  EHICLES If the purchase of the business includes vehicles, you may

(850) 201-8484

have to complete transfer documents for the vehicles. Check with your Department of Motor Vehicles to determine the correct procedure and necessary forms. »B  ILL OF SALE The bill of sale proves the sale of the business. It also

explicitly transfers ownership of tangible business assets not specifically transferred on their own. »P  ATENTS, TRADEMARKS AND COPYRIGHTS If there are any pat-

ents, trademarks and/or copyrights associated with the business, you may need to complete the necessary forms as part of the transaction. »F  RANCHISE You may need to complete franchise documents if the

business is a franchise. »C  LOSING OR SETTLEMENT SHEET The closing or settlement sheet

will list all financial aspects of the transaction. Everything listed on the settlement should have been negotiated prior to the closing. »C  OVENANT NOT TO COMPETE It is a good idea to have the seller

sign an agreement to not compete against the business. This will help prevent any interference from the previous owner. »C  ONSULTATION/EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT If the seller is

agreeing to remain on for a specified amount of time, this documentation is necessary for legal purposes. »C  OMPLETE IRS FORM 8594 ASSET ACQUISITION STATEMENT

This document will indicate how the purchase was allocated and the amount of assets, which are important for your tax return. »B  ULK SALE LAWS Make sure that you comply with bulk sale laws,

which govern the sale of business inventory. Source: U.S. Small Business Administration 30


APRIL – MAY 2014




A 1995 contribution from Jim and Jan Moran and JM Family Enterprises Inc. established The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship at the Florida State University College of Business. Beginning in 1998, additional contributions from Jim and Jan Moran, JM Family Enterprises Inc. and The Jim Moran Foundation Inc. have enabled The Jim Moran Institute to enhance its programs and services.

Advice Straight Up partners with A Day of Dialogue for Women Speaker series advances women’s leadership in the business world


he mission of The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship is to cultivate, train and inspire entrepreneurial leaders. Toward that end, The Jim Moran Institute sponsored the keynote speaker at “A Day of Dialogue” as part of its Advice Straight Up speaker series. The event, which was held in mid-February, was designed “for women, about women, by women” to focus on leadership in business.   A diverse group of 100 women, many of them small business owners, gathered at Mission San Luis in Tallahassee to hear keynote speaker Nancy Carter, senior vice president for research of Catalyst Inc., a leading nonprofit organization that works with business to expand opportunities for women at work. Carter’s talk focused on her ground-


breaking research into women’s advancement in business and the professions. Her book, “Clearing the Hurdles,” documents challenges women face in accessing resources for building their businesses. Carter was honored in 2007 with the prestigious Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research for her work on the Diana Project, a research initiative on women entrepreneurs and the venture capital industry. “The goal of the speaker series is to bring in speakers that can help small-business owners improve their business acumen by giving expert advice,” said Mike Campbell, director of North Florida Outreach for The Jim Moran Institute. “We were happy to be able to bring in this kind of quality speaker to make an impact in people’s lives.”

The event also provided a major opportunity for The Jim Moran Institute to collaborate with local partners in presenting a program that benefits the community. “When we combine our resources, we can really have an impactful event,” Campbell said. Previous Advice Straight Up speakers include Cassius Butts, Region IV regional administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration; Brad Pierce, president of Restaurant Equipment World; Ron Busby, chairman of the board of directors of the U.S. Black Chamber Inc.; and Colin Brown, president and CEO of JM Family Enterprises. For information on Advice Straight Up and to learn about upcoming events, please visit

850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014



is your local business Internet and phone provider

• • • • • • •


Recipient: Electronet

3 4 1 1 C A P I TA L M E D I C A L B LV D . TA L L A H A S S E E , F L | 2 2 2 . 0 2 2 9 | W W W. E L E C T R O N E T. N E T 32


APRIL – MAY 2014





Peer groups provide businesses guidance




onsider early morning as a perfect time to sort out the next business challenge. The clock strikes 6 a.m., and it is several hours before the first employee is scheduled to arrive. Why not take advantage of this time to brainstorm or address issues with your own personal advisory board? The Business Innovation Center (BIC) on Florida State University’s Panama City campus, through collaboration with The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship, now offers the popular Tallahassee-based CEO Peer2Peer program to businesses in the Bay County area. “It is important to have someone provide informed guidance and serve as an ally in business,” said Pamela Kidwell, director of the BIC. A proven model, a CEO Peer2Peer group consists of eight to 12 presidents and owners of similar type companies in non-competing industries. Participants can expect benefits such as finding resolution to business-related problems, validation of what they are doing right and an unofficial board of advisors. CEO Peer2Peer Group participants can expect to make better decisions, improve communication skills, build long-term relationships and help each other grow his or her business. These benefits are provided at no cost to the participants. Meetings are held monthly at the Business Innovation Center on the Florida State Panama City campus. Each group is self-led. Participants prioritize the issues to be discussed and then develop their own agenda. Groups are forming now. All interested participants are required to complete an application at

Congratulations Class I


ongratulations to the first graduating class of The Jim Moran Institute’s North Florida Small Business Executive Program. I am very proud of the 23 participants who committed their time to work on their businesses during this six-month program. I also want to thank our presenters who volunteered their time to help those businesses progress to the next level. We have taken the feedback from our first class to enhance the material for future classes. If you are interested in learning more about the program or applying for a class, please visit

MIKE CAMPBELL Director, North Florida Outreach

UPDATE — NORTH FLORIDA SMALL BUSINESS EXECUTIVE PROGRAM Designed for non-profit and for-profit business presidents and owners, this intense, fast-paced program is designed to help participants gain a better understanding of where they want to go with their business and how to get there. Topics to be covered include strategic planning, Lean Business Model, marketing strategies, financials and exit

strategy, to name a few. Besides mandatory attendance, participants are required to implement, where relevant, what they learned from class speakers and be prepared to give an update on the effectiveness and outcomes at the next class. For more information and to apply for this program, visit

850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014




When it’s time to sell the business... You will want an experienced, seasoned professional like Mike Goleno to guide you through the process of pricing, marketing, negotiating, financing and transfer. Mike has specialized in selling NW Florida businesses since 1994 with over 250 businesses sold. Confidentiality is always a priority. Get strong regional representation with global reach. Contact Mike Goleno today.

CONFIDENTIAL • EXPERIENCED • PROFESSIONAL Mike Goleno, Broker & Certified Business Intermediary phone: 850.864.2727 email: 201-E Miracle Strip Pkwy, SE | Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548



APRIL – MAY 2014





May 5-23

June 3-11

EBV offers cutting-edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management to soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines disabled as a result of their service supporting post-9/11 operations. The first portion of this program is executed through an online course.

During the second portion of EBV, the veterans travel to Florida State University to learn from various speakers who come from around the country. These speakers teach them how to efficiently run their business. Classes run 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Each night after class the participants work on a business plan that they present to a panel of judges at the conclusion of their residency.

Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) Online

May 7, 21

Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities Residency

Chamber One-on-One Program The Jim Moran Institute’s director of North Florida Outreach through the Tallahassee Greater Chamber of Commerce

June 4, 14

May 20

June 17

Class II First Day

Class II Day 2

North Florida Small Business Executive Program

Chamber One-on-One Program

The Jim Moran Institute’s director of North Florida Outreach through the Tallahassee Greater Chamber of Commerce

North Florida Small Business Executive Program

Visit for more information.



The Jim Moran Institute facilitates structured groups for local business owners. Exclusive to presidents and owners of established businesses with at least three employees, the groups provide an avenue for sharing insights about challenging situations, topical issues and solutions to problems with peers. Each group consists of like-type, non-competing businesses, and new groups are formed year-round. Visit to find out how to be a part of a group.

Center adopts customer-centric business model


he Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship is adopting the “Lean Business Model” approach to its student activities and outreach services. This relatively new strategy to thinking about entrepreneurship, start-ups and existing business operations provides a fresh and powerful perspective for thinking about a business based on the ideas presented in the books titled “The Lean Start-UP” by Eric Ries; “The Start-up Owner’s Manual” by Steve Blank and Bob Dorf; and “Business Model Generation” by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur. This business model favors experimentation over elaborate and detailed planning and hypothesis testing versus an implementationdriven approach. It emphasizes customer feedback over intuition and developing prototypes vetted by focus groups over fixed design. Simply put, the business model prioritizes the customer over the product. Easy to use and intuitive, the lean

business model consists of nine essential elements (or collections of hypotheses that need testing) of business operation: » Value Proposition » Customer Relationships » Customer Segments » Customer Channels » Key Activities » Key Partners » Key Resources »C  ost Structure and Revenue Stream Each of these elements is interrelated with the others, so if one changes or pivots, several of the others will likely have to be changed as well. The goal is to create a value proposition that has been tested from multiple perspectives. Once a business has been effectively and rigorously modeled, an effective business, new product or strategic plan can be developed. Contact Mike Campbell of The Jim Moran Institute’s North Florida Outreach at for more information.



850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014



What Florida’s population boom means for Northwest Florida By Linda Kleindienst

It all began with the PaleoIndians, who found their way to the future Sunshine State while in search of food. That was about 14,000 years ago. 36


APRIL – MAY 2014


Where the People Are This nighttime view of Florida was taken from the International Space Station in 2010. PHOTO COURTESY NASA

850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014



There were no population estimates back then. The first official census didn’t come until the mid-1830s, a decade before Florida was granted statehood in 1845. There were 34,730 total residents of the state — 18,395 white, 16,335 nonwhite. And, unlike the Florida of today, the major population centers were in the north, where a good percentage of residents lived in the economically dominant early settlements like Tallahassee, Pensacola, Apalachicola and Port St. Joe. My, how times have changed. This year, Florida is expected to become the nation’s third largest state, coming close to boasting a population of nearly 20 million and surpassing New York. Only California and Texas will be bigger.



APRIL – MAY 2014


For the state’s economic development leaders, it’s a welcome change from the Great Recession, when Florida for the first time in modern memory began losing more people than it was gaining. In 2009, for instance, for the first time since statehood, Florida lost more residents than it gained. The New York Times even ran an article in August of that year commenting: “Imagine the shock … to discover that traffic is now headed the other way. That’s right, the Sunshine State is shrinking.” Most who left went in search of jobs elsewhere during the recessionary years. Now, however, the state is again growing — mostly because of new residents who have come here in search of employment. And the pace of growth will certainly be faster than the past 10 to 20 years.

According to an AP analysis of U.S. Census data released in January, more than half of the state’s new residents are between the ages of 25 and 64. And many of the jobs luring them here are in the tourism industry, which has seen a dramatic rebound from the depths of the recession. Indeed, the state’s tourism numbers hit a record in 2013 with 94.7 million visitors — a 3 percent increase over 2012. It marked the third year in a row the state had hit a record — and the trend is expected to continue in 2014. It’s not surprising then that the statewide number of tourism-related jobs jumped 2.9 percent in 2013, to a total of 1,088,200. In fact, the 2013 tourist-record announcement came from Gov. Rick Scott at Universal Orlando Resort, which is undergoing an expansion that will


Population Shift (Left) Railroads built by Henry Flagler and Henry Plant helped populate Central and South Florida. The staff and crew of the Florida East Coast Railroad stand by the Henry M. Flagler streamliner in 1939. (Below) By the 1960s, Central Florida had become the population center of Florida. High-rise office buildings by Orlando’s Lake Lucerne are indicative of the area’s fast growth.



1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1900

1890 1910 1920


In the first half of the 19th century, the Panhandle (Jefferson County west to the Alabama state line) was Florida’s center of population, as demonstrated on this map prepared by the Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the University of Florida. As the state’s population grew, mostly in Central and South Florida, the center of population gradually moved southward. The Panhandle had 70 percent of the state’s population in 1830, but it declined to 7.3 percent by 2010. In 1830, less than 2 percent of the state’s population (about 500 people) lived south of Lake Okeechobee. Now the area is home to close to seven million people.

likely result in 3,500 new jobs this year. “People are moving here because they want to retire, and we want them to continue to do so,” said Melissa Medley, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Enterprise Florida, the state’s public/private partnership designed to promote economic development. “But people are also moving here because our economy is expanding in a judicious, strategic and positive way.”

WHERE THEY’RE GOING The population trends of the past several decades aren’t expected to change much as Florida moves into its role as the nation’s third largest state. The biggest percentage of migrants will move into the state’s already highly populated

areas of South and Central Florida, along with Jacksonville in the Northeast. Some of that growth, especially in the south, will be fueled by a growing influx — and investment — from Latin Americans. So, what will happen in Northwest Florida? Experts agree that our region will grow, some areas seeing their population jump by double digits over the next 20 to 40 years, but obviously not in the same numbers as some counties to the south. “When you look back historically, growth has been much more rapid in the central and southern part of the state,” said Stan Smith, director of population studies at the University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research. “The population center of Florida

1930 1940 1950 1960 1970


shifted continuously to the south and east from the first day they had data. The projections show a continuation of that.” North Florida will grow, but will never return to the glory days of when it was the population center of the state — before the railroads funded by Henry Flagler and Henry Plant opened development further south into the peninsula. Besides, a lot of the growth is related to tourism — and snowbirds prefer the warmer weather found from Orlando to the Keys. “As the state grew … it sort of skipped over North Florida,” Smith added. Population projections developed by the Florida Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research predict that Florida’s population will grow by 32.78 percent — or by

850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014



more than 6.3 million residents — by the year 2040. It pegs the growth in Northwest Florida, now with a population of more than 1.43 million residents, at 21.24 percent — pushing the region to 1.74 million. Some of the biggest growth will come in the counties most heavily impacted by the military — Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton and Bay counties. (Okaloosa and Walton have been recognized as one of the fastest growing regions in the country for several years running.) Larry Sassano, president of Florida’s Great Northwest, an economic development engine for the region, suggests the growth projections for Northwest Florida may be on the low side, particularly not taking into account the expected expansion of the aerospace industry along the Gulf Coast. “I especially see growth in Bay, Leon and Escambia counties, the major hubs that already attract major talent pools,” he said. The region’s focus on promoting the aerospace industry is expected to be a major plus



APRIL – MAY 2014


in attracting new businesses, providing high wage jobs for current residents and luring more skilled workers to the area. Florida’s Great Northwest has been actively promoting the region among airplane and airplane parts manufacturers worldwide as a great place to locate because of the existing and willing trained workforce, many of them former military; the availability of land; easily accessible port, rail, air and road transportation corridors; and the region’s close proximity to major airplane assembly plants in the Southeast. “There’s a lot of growth in the aviation industry, and I think the commercial aviation industry will really take off as worldwide travel expands. There is a lot of pent-up demand, and all the major manufacturers are looking to expand their businesses,” Sassano said.

PROMOTING GROWTH AND JOBS “The state is very involved in facilitating jobs and growth,” said Enterprise Florida’s Medley. “That includes the decisions we make to invest

in certain sectors or activities that will yield a return on investment to us at some point down the road.” Last year the state poured $65 million into promoting tourism. The numbers of visitors show that it obviously worked. Medley said the financial return to the state was “in the billions,” and Gov. Rick Scott this spring is asking the Florida Legislature to up that annual investment in tourism promotion to $100 million. The state is also investing in the promotion of international trade — hoping to benefit from the Panama Canal expansion — and business incubators, pushing to get research and development commercialized and growing. “As a state, we are doing things that make us more attractive to business,” Medley added. “Florida is a microcosm of the U.S. If a business can be successful here, it could grow nationally. And as our businesses grow here, the environment improves and workers move here.” Outside of tourism, Florida doesn’t really have a budget to promote business expansion


Home to 2.6 Million Miami-Dade County’s skyline continues to grow as does its booming population, fueled in part with an influx of business and new residents from Latin America. Miami’s Brickell Avenue meets the demand for luxury real estate (March 2013).

In 1830, Leon County with 6,494 people was the Florida county with the largest population. By the 2010 census there were 189 Florida cities more populous than Leon County of 1830 — and 47 Florida counties, each with more population than the entire state had in 1830. By the 2010 census there were more than 541 people for every person living here in 1830.

Low-rise to High-rise (Right) Tallahassee builder Orion C. Parker (in bowler) and his crew pause in August 1906 for a group photo during construction of the two-story Florida Governor’s Mansion in Tallahassee, once the state’s center of population. (Below) Downtown Tampa has the second highest number of high-rises in the state, behind Miami. View along the Hillsborough River in 2011.


– Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the University of Florida

to the state or lure new residents. Not like Michigan, which promotes business development and tourism through its “Pure Michigan” TV and radio ads. (Michigan has the most visited state tourism website for seven years running, generating 9 million visits in 2013.) New York last year set aside $140 million for its “New York State Open for Business” campaign. “That compares to zero for us,” Medley said. “Businesses don’t necessarily choose states, they choose communities. As the state’s economic development entity, we’re trying to earn the opportunity for our communities to have a seat at the table. We never had a budget to promote the state on behalf of business.”

But this spring, Enterprise Florida is asking the Legislature for $3 million to start growing a campaign to put the state’s message in front of corporate CEOs and site selectors.

ARE WE READY? Some of the counties in Northwest Florida are projected to grow at the same rate as those in the southern and central sections of the state, the numbers of people coming in just won’t be as large. Still, if Santa Rosa County adds 73,352 residents, as it is projected to do by 2040, or Wakulla County becomes home to another 12,814 residents, it is bound to have a major impact. “We have fewer people here, but that doesn’t

mean the impact (of growth) will be any less,” said Tony Carvajal, executive vice president of the Florida Chamber Foundation. “We’re going to see a good bit of growth the further west (in the Panhandle) that you go. That whole northwest corner, there is a big manufacturing and military boom going on there.” If the region’s population grows too fast, Carvajal warns that we might not be prepared for it. “We have the space to grow, we have the talent to grow,” he said. “But we’re going to need 65,000 to 75,000 new jobs. That means new, not replacement jobs, if we want to maintain a 6 percent unemployment rate for the region.”

850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014







% Difference 2013–2040

























































































































Source: Florida Legislature Office of Economic and Demographic Research


First Population Center Tallahassee was proclaimed Florida’s Capital in 1824 because it sat midway between the state’s two most populated areas, Pensacola on the west and St. Augustine on the east. The 22-story new Capitol and the historic old Capitol (seen here in March 2013) were built on the same site occupied by the territorial Capitol.

Prior to 1930 the county boundaries changed significantly between most censuses. The original Alachua County stretched kitelike from Georgia to Charlotte Harbor. The 16 counties in 1830 were gradually modified into today’s 67 counties. Names changed, as in the case of Mosquito County becoming the more appealing Orange County. Dade County is now Miami-Dade County and is today’s most populous, however, in 1860 it had all of 83 people, making it the least populated county in the state. By 1890 Miami-Dade County had increased to 861 people but was still the least populated county. Fifty years later it had become the most populous county in the state with a 1940 Census count of 267,739 people. – Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the University of Florida

Ed Smith, president of the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors, which serves Okaloosa and Walton counties, is concerned that growth will put an untenable burden on what he sees as the region’s already overtaxed infrastructure. “We’ve got to have the infrastructure in place to accommodate that type of growth,” he said. “Many of our infrastructure components are maxed out.” There are some large proposed developments for the region to handle the population growth, including the West Bay plan in Bay and Walton counties backed by The St. Joe Company. Earlier this year, St. Joe hosted an open house in Santa Rosa Beach to unveil a 50-year plan for the build-out of West Bay, which would stretch out over more than 125,000 acres if the plan wins approval (all in Bay County except for 12,000 acres in Walton County.) The original West Bay plan covered 75,000 acres in Bay County. An extra 50,000 added to the west end would help the company build its vision of a retirement community similar to The Villages, located just south of Ocala in Central Florida. “We feel like this demographic, with this sector plan, could be the third leg of the economic stool, and a steady one,” St. Joe CEO Park Brady recently told the Panama City News Herald, referring to tourism and the military as the first two legs. Of the company’s plan to build retirement homes, he added, “It’s recession-proof,

steady, non-seasonal … When the economy went south in 2006, The Villages were still selling 2,600 homes a year.” But Carvajal cautions that Northwest Florida can’t just look at itself as a location for tourists and retirees. So, is Northwest Florida ready? “The short answer is, if we keep using the patterns of growth and management we’ve used the last 20 years, we’re not.” And he said the region must work to protect its military assets, an essential element in helping attract new industry and new workers to Northwest Florida. “In Central Florida, we lost out on the space industry to some degree, and there is a whole brain drain going on along the state’s East Coast. We don’t want to have that happen in Northwest Florida,” he said. “This is still a great, unspoiled territory. But you can’t have just residential growth. It needs to be economic growth. We face a peril of having too many retirees without enough other income to buoy us. Where are you going to get those health care workers, the people who support the broad range of industries that will be needed? Each community has to come up with its own answers.” And Medley agreed that it is the communities that will have to promote the business climate they want. “The state doesn’t create jobs,” she said. “Businesses do.”

850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014





onsider the Red Snapper. The reef she calls home is 12 miles off the coast of Destin and 150 feet underwater, where an old chicken coop dropped on the bottom has become a great place for she and her schoolmates to poke around, looking for shrimp and crabs to eat on the Gulf floor. Suddenly, her eye lights on a piece of fish, just floating there in the water, a perfect morsel. And she eats it. It’s a beautiful fall evening, and you’re sitting on the dock of a Destin Harbor eatery enjoying a glass of crisp, refreshing sauvignon blanc as you watch the clouds tinged shades of pink and



APRIL – MAY 2014


orange by the setting sun. Your server sets in front of you a plate of grilled Red Snapper accompanied by ginger rice and finished with a lemon caper cream sauce. You flake off a bit of the filet with your fork, take your first bite and it is … sublime. This is the story of what happens in the hours between Paragraph 1 and Paragraph 2. Some in this cast of characters, like the fishermen and the chefs, are obvious. The fish cutters, packers, license holders and boat owners, maybe not so much. And there are others in the mix too, such as regulators, biologists, fishermen of yore, perhaps even the hand of God that you may not have considered at all.



850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014



Destin is home to the largest commercial fishing fleet in the nation. Since it opened in 1979, Harbor Docks, owned and operated by the Morgan family, has helped the town keep its moniker “The World's Luckiest Fishing Village.” With more than 100 commercial fishing boat suppliers operating between Pensacola and Panama City, the Morgan’s wholesale seafood company is one of the largest and oldest seafood distributors on the Emerald Coast.


Let’s begin with the beginning of the Earth. By now, pretty much everybody who’s been around here more than 15 minutes knows about that quirk of underwater topography — the famed “100-fathom curve” — where the relatively shallow waters one finds along the Gulf of Mexico coastline drop off dramatically just south of Destin. A look at a nautical map shows that nearby port cities such as Panama City and Pensacola don’t have the fast access to deep water — a fathom is 6 feet, so we’re talking about 600 feet deep — that Destin enjoys. Kathy Marler Blue, whose family has lived in the area for four generations and is associate director of the Destin History & Fishing Museum, explains what this means: “All of the Gulf’s species live in a column somewhere of depth, surface to floor, (and) anglers out of Destin can reach every depth of fishable water for all Gulf species quicker than any other ports.” The museum itself features more than 75 mounted fish, all caught in the Gulf off Destin. Because money is made when fishing, and not burning time and fuel getting to where the fish are, Destin Harbor has served as a base for commercial fishermen for more than 175 years. When Leonard Destin came to the area in 1835, there were no motorboats. Boats were powered by men with oars. There was no such thing as fishing reels, and there was no ice to keep the fish from spoiling. Consequently, fishing in the early days was done near shore with seine nets. For the first 100 years, in the remote area then known as East Pass, Blue says pioneer families were “poor dirt farmers and poor fishermen.” 46


APRIL – MAY 2014


In the mid-1930s, a bridge was finally built that would connect the small community with Pensacola to the west. And over the years, the fishermen’s equipment and techniques would improve. A quantum leap came after World War II, with the advent of electronic devices that could pinpoint with great accuracy the underwater reefs and rock formations that attracted quantities of fish. Before that time, “you had to be very, very skilled to find where those structures were. It was an artificial cap (on the number of fishermen),” says local businessman Dewey Destin, the greatgreat grandson of Leonard. “There is no cap anymore. You can fish anywhere all over the world in any depth of water with those electronics and go right straight to the structure every time as long as you have a number that tells you where the structure is.” But with that electronic breakthrough came regulation.

THE RULES While a landlubber’s romanticized vision of commercial fishing might include a grizzled boat captain and his mates enjoying the salt air, dropping hooks and hauling in the bounty of the sea, the reality looks quite different. Fifty-year-old Danny Bryant captains the Dawg Hunter (“It’s a Georgia thing,” he says), a boat owned by another person. After 35 years of fishing, he does have the grizzled look, but with multitudinous regulations to keep track of, as well as taxes and the cost of fuel, ice, bait and tackle, his life is far from carefree. Even his blown out flip-flop — what he calls “slaps” — that cost $40 a pair and have to be replaced every six weeks or

so, were on his mind. After a fishing trip that yielded mostly Vermillion Snapper (aka mingoes or b-liners), he and mate Mike Meyers were cleaning the boat after some particularly harrowing weather — “Took three (waves) broadside, breaking over the whole boat” — that set off the Emergency Position Indicating Radiobeacon (EPIRB), a safety device that alerts the Coast Guard that a boat is in distress. “We were about 20 miles from Pensacola when I saw a C130 circling me, (then a) helicopter pulled up on top of us,” Bryant says. He was half expecting the feds to appear and slap him with a fine for the false alarm. Fishing in the Gulf of Mexico is subject to a dizzying array of everchanging rules created and enforced by multiple state and federal agencies. There are regulations about the species, sizes and numbers of fish that can be caught. What can be used to catch them. Where and when they can be caught. Permits required for commercial fishing in general and specific fish in particular. Reporting what is caught. And that’s just for the commercial fishery. There’s a whole different set of rules and permits for charter and recreational fishers. “You need to have an onboard attorney,” quipped Destin. But even the fishermen recognize the need for regulation. “The regulations, as a whole, are a good thing. It needs to be regulated before we wipe (the fish) out. We have the technology to do that,” comments Meyers. “They’ve just got to do it some way that it’s fair for everybody.”

ON THE DOCK In the early days of his Harbor Docks restaurant, owner Charles Morgan figured out the equation: Fish minus middleman equals lower prices. And so, in the morning, before the locals and

tourists arrive in droves at the Destin Harbor landmark and begin digging into their fried Seafood Combo Plates, the dock below the restaurant is abuzz with activity at the Harbor Docks Seafood Market. The wholesale market supplies fish for Harbor Docks and Morgan’s other restaurants — Camille’s in Destin, Dharma Blue in Pensacola, as well as four Five Bar restaurants in Birmingham, Ala., Tuscaloosa, Ala., Athens, Ga., and a fourth slated to open in Gainesville in the fall. Their website lists nearly 40 local restaurants serving their fish, which are also shipped to restaurants and wholesalers throughout the U.S. and Canada. On a spring morning earlier this year, Chatham Morgan (son of Charles) was sorting snappers by size from a huge vat into purple plastic baskets. Five or so workers in bright orange rubberized waders grab the fish, dunk them in an ice water bath (“It kind of pretties them up a bit,” says one.), pack them with fresh ice into cardboard cartons and load them into a refrigerated truck. Chatham Morgan says the market will ship 25,000 to 30,000 pounds of fish on a busy week, “a few thousand” on a slow week. “I’d say our busiest week we pushed 80,000 pounds of fish.” All the more amazing when one looks inside the market, which consists of a crammed order-taking office, a fish-cutting room and an icy storage area that’s no bigger than a decentsized master bedroom. “A lot of stuff (comes) in and out … it’s a revolving door,” says Chatham Morgan. “If you’re not constantly buying and selling fish, the fish is getting old. You’ve got to have fish constantly coming in; you’ve got to have fish constantly going out. It can get very chaotic.” Eddie Morgan (another son of Charles) says it is very possible that a fish swimming in the Gulf in the morning could be on your plate within hours. “Our mullet guy … starts at daylight (and) gets here at 9:30 in the morning.

The underbelly of the Harbor Docks is where the real action is. If you are lucky to be dining there when a fishing boat brings in its bounty you may see as much as 20,000 pounds of fresh Gulf red snapper offloaded by a team of hardworking dockhands. Then again, some days Mother Nature isn't as kind.

850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014



Clockwise from top: Charles Dawsey and Eric Stovall are expert fish cutters who work up to 10 hours a day; Harbor Docks packs and ships its fresh Gulf seafood in refrigerated trucks to restaurant tables all around the Southeast; Chef Yoshie is a masterful sushi chef who works her creative magic on the day’s fresh catch; Harbor Docks is one of a handful of wholesale seafood companies based in Destin.



APRIL – MAY 2014



Locals and visitors alike flock to Harbor Docks to savor one of the best views of the Destin Harbor in town and fresh Gulf seafood likely caught that very day.

And we’re cutting mullet for lunch.” The brothers say their own restaurant and others are the top customers for their piscine wares. Faraway seafood markets pay less and get what can’t be immediately sold. “We don’t want to send it to New York, who’s going to send it to another market in New York, who’s going to send it to a processor, who’s finally going to send it to a restaurant,” says Chatham Morgan. “We say, ‘Cut out as many people as you can and get straight to a restaurant.’ ” Using a brokerage called Sea to Table, the market can pack and ship orders to restaurants overnight. There’s one species of fish that hardly ever makes it out of Destin. As he was giving a tour, Eddie Morgan spied a triggerfish on ice. “You need to make sure you get that triggerfish before they try to sell it,” he instructed one worker. Fish cutter Eric Stovall concurs. “I love triggerfish. They used to call them trash fish, they used to throw them back 20, 30 years ago. Now, it’s great.” The dock is populated by characters, including Tony Martin, who describes himself as “a worker, I guess. Partner, manager, indentured servant since ’84.” He’s the guy who sets the price the market will pay for fish. It’s not like the New York Stock Exchange, with posted prices. Martin keeps it all in his head — the law of supply and demand in action — all day, six days a week. He’s also aware of what boats are coming into the harbor and what sorts of fish they’ve caught. “It could be sold before they even touch the dock,” he says. While he drives a hard bargain, Martin says it’s more than an exchange of money. It’s more like a friendship and a partnership with all the fishermen. Harbor Docks owns a few boats. Most of the suppliers are independent fishermen, although Martin estimates between 40 and 60 boats sell exclusively to the Harbor Docks market. “I’m not high every time, but in general they make more money selling to me,” he says, because they’re supplying Harbor Docks’

affiliated restaurants. Last year, the restaurants used $650,000 worth of seafood items, according to Martin. One of the most expensive fish crossing the dock is the tuna, and a fish’s value is determined by a grade between one and three based on color, clarity and fat content. No. 1 is the best — sushi grade. Stovall, who’s been cutting fish for 15 years, demonstrated “plugging” a tuna to determine its grade. He shoved a thin metal cylinder under the fish’s fin into the meat, pulled it out and then pushed out a worm-sized core sample of the meat. “What you want to look for is the blood line; you want to see how red the blood line is. You want it bright red.” The fish he was testing had a brownish cast when held in the sunlight, so it didn’t make the (sushi) grade. “This would be a No. 2. It’s perfectly fine to cook. That’s a pretty fish, but it’s not a sushi-pretty fish.” The fish-cutting room has a concrete floor that’s wet as the cutters hose gore off the waist-high stainless steel table in between fish. The process is surprisingly low-tech. Order takers write down the types of fish and poundage needed, and the forms are clothes-pinned to a line for the cutters to see. “I don’t do anything until somebody says, ‘This is what we need.’ It is hard. It’s monotonous. I just stand there for eight, 10 hours just cutting away.” While he’s constantly sharpening them, Stovall uses only two different knives to cut everything from little mullet to thick-skinned cobia. Although he’s just 33 years old, Stovall wears braces on his wrist and elbow and admits, “I’ve got scars and puncture wounds all over me.”

THE LAST WORD Despite all the laws, the hard work, bad weather, danger and the uncertainties of the trade, the fish business is still Captain Bryant’s job of choice: “It’s better to be out there ridin’ around in the salt air, in your shorts and slaps, instead of a son of a bitch cramped up in an office wearin’ a suit.” 850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014







CHRIS MCCALL Senior Advisor 850.249.3623



APRIL – MAY 2014


Commercial Real Estate Advisors

STEPHEN COUNTS Senior Advisor 850.249.3623



A Midtown Investment By Chay D. Baxley

Not so long ago, “Midtown Tallahassee”

wasn’t on any maps. A decade later and this up-and-coming neighborhood is the stomping ground of young professionals and well-established families alike. Both private investors and city officials encouraged the change — and the owners and visionaries behind this listing spearheaded the endeavors. Currently, the building is home to Lucy & Leo’s Cupcakery, Paisley Café and Game Day Boutique, as well as a high-end private penthouse residence. “Ask anyone today where is the ‘to go place,’ and they will tell you Midtown Tallahassee,” said the property’s owner and listing agent Phil Summers of Summers Realty of Tallahassee. “It is the hippest, hottest area for not only the shopping and social crowds, but for investment.” But the property’s history hasn’t always been so glamorous. After sitting vacant for years, it was an eyesore. When the present

owners purchased the nondescript building in 2001, they turned it into one of the most iconic hangouts in all of Midtown. A bright hue was chosen to grace the exterior, professional landscaping was implemented, interior details were addressed and soon eager tenants couldn’t stay away. Each of the three floors is 3,000 square feet — giving any current or future tenant plenty of room. By adding a third floor, potential buyers will have the option to “live, work and play” all in the same area — one of the City of Tallahassee’s favorite catch phrases. The penthouse has a gourmet kitchen, three bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths. “In selling this property we see that it’s time to move on to other projects, since we’ve accomplished our mission of turning this pumpkin into a carriage,” joked Summers. The property has five units, 6,000 square feet of retail space and 25 parking spots.

Quick Look Address: 1123 Thomasville Road, Tallahassee List Price: $1,665,000 Square Feet: 9,000 Contact: Phil Summers, Summers Realty of Tallahassee, (850) 222-5658


Pine Mountain Haven By Chay D. Baxley

QUICK LOOK List Price: $345,000 ($161.97/sq. ft.) Square Feet: 2,130 Year Built: 2004 Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms: 2 Contact: Jeff Quinn, QuinnTerra Realty Group, (678) 787-3164,

There’s something indefinably peaceful about a mountain retreat. The blazing fireplace slowly toasting the interior of a rustic-inspired lodging, while the cool, crisp air of a pristine wilderness lingers in the trees out back. In Florida — even Northwest Florida — it can be a hassle to find a suitable venue to have such an experience. Pine Mountain, Ga., home of the famous Callaway Gardens, is located in the foothills of the Appalachians and is a mere three-and-a-half-hour drive from downtown Tallahassee — making it a doable weekend getaway. For a second home, the listing at 128 Longleaf Way exemplifies quintessential mountain charm in a convenient yet authentic location. With three bedrooms, two updated baths, recently refinished wood floors, a fresh interior and exterior coat of paint and a gourmet kitchen, this 2004 build is in like-new condition. The main living area is lined with handsomely crafted, richly stained wooden beams that flow into a towering stone fireplace. But according to listing agent Jeff Quinn of QuinnTerra Realty Group, it’s this home’s close proximity to the gardens that’s truly its best selling feature. “Callaway Gardens is all about the outdoors and just natural beauty,” explained Quinn. “[There’s] a great family atmosphere here. It’s a multi-generational, high-energy place to be. It’s a lot of fun.” Located in the community of Longleaf, one of Callaway Gardens’ five neighborhoods and the first to be declared purely residential, this home is not an ideal rental property, though it can be leased for periods of time greater than 30 days. 850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014



Deal Estate JUST SOLD

Panama Plaza sold to Boca Raton investment group By Chay D. Baxley

Panama Plaza Shopping Center was a bank-

owned property when Carlton Dean, a principal with Sperry Van Ness SouthLand Commercial in North Florida, successfully marketed it to an investment group out of Boca Raton. Located in the heart of Panama City miles away from the beach and tourist attractions, Panama Plaza is a hotspot for local residents. Within a mile of the property there are 2,633 households — within five miles, that number jumps to 31,088, making it a prime investment. At the time of the sale, the plaza was at approximately 50 percent occupancy and was host to West Marine, a real estate agency, gym and a fabric store. Though the leasable square feet is 175,186, the purchase included nearly 15 acres of land. Originally built in 1963 out of concrete block, stucco and brick, the strip mall saw major renovations in 1991, but it is once again in need of

repair — an issue the new investors have vowed to swiftly address. “They have plans to refurbish the property and do a number of updates both aesthetically and structurally,” explained Dean. “Things like the façade, landscaping, the parking lot, lighting, signage and all of those types of physical attributes will be upgraded.” By implementing a new leasing program, Dean’s team has maximized on local chatter about the listing. Plus, the new owner’s commitment to appearance has attracted tenants who are looking for a fresh start. Potential renters include a new grocery store that is contemplating going in the center unit and taking 50,000 square feet, as well as a medical office. “There’s a variety of different sizes,” stated Dean. “From a few thousand square feet to the larger big box base.”


Michael C. Hall, CFP® 850.444.7203

Jeffrey P. Helms, CPA, CFP® 850.444.7272

Joseph R. McNair, CFP®, JD, CPA 850.444.7253



APRIL – MAY 2014


Larry K. Hicks, CPA, PFS 850.444.7202

J. Mort O’Sullivan, III, CPA 850.444.7201

Quick Look Address: 1328 W 15th St., Panama City List Price: $3,900,000 ($22.13/sq. ft.) Sold For: $2,500,000 ($14.18/sq. ft.) Square Feet: 176,186 of leasable space

TAKE CARE OF SOMETHING REALLY IMPORTANT To us, intense client focus starts with the notion that we’re in the relationship business. Yes, it’s personal. Let us get to know you and you’ll experience a difference that works to your advantage. Count on independence – advisors operating free from quotas, fund restrictions and proprietary products. Count on discipline – a data-driven approach with in-depth research. Count on a better return on relationships – advisors whose passionate commitment to your success matches your own. Let’s thrive together. l Florida • Alabama

Deal Estate

Member FDIC


EMERALD COAST >> The St. Joe Co. has

proposed to expand and update the current West Bay Sector Plan (which calls for an age restrictive retirement community similar to The Villages) by adding approximately 46,192 acres of land that the company owns to the immediate west. While the majority of this land is located in Bay County, a small component is situated in Walton County. >> White-Wilson Medical Center opened a satellite

family medicine and immediate care clinic at 8990 Navarre Parkway in late 2013. The group also has locations in Fort Walton Beach, Destin and Niceville. >> 30Avenue, a new upscale mixed-use town center, is currently under construction in Santa Rosa Beach. Phase I of the massive 16-acre project will be ready for tenant build-out in July, with Phase II to be completed by summer 2015. 30Avenue has provided 50 construction jobs and will bring approximately 75 permanent positions once completed. CORR Group Inc. will be handling all 37 leases.


>> Cascades Park in

downtown Tallahassee celebrated its grand opening on March 14. The newly designed park features a 1,500 seat amphitheater, an interactive fountain with over 60 jets, several miles of trails and a historic electric building that will soon be transformed into a brewery and restaurant. >> The Brass Tap, a beer, wine

and cigar bar with roots in the Tampa Bay area, has signed a lease with NAI TALCOR for the Midtown Centre, with plans to open in late April. >> Peter Brown Construction, a division of Moss & Associates, recently completed Florida State University’s new Honors, Scholars and Fellows House — the Johnston Building Annex. Formally dedicated March 6, the four-story, 37,000-squarefoot annex located in the heart of the FSU campus is designed to create an academically inspiring setting and promote intellectual exchange among honors undergraduates, graduate students and graduate fellows.

Want to Grow Your Business?

• Business Acquisition • Construction • Real Estate • Expansion • Renance • Inventory • Cash Flow • New Product Lines • New Services Call Today For More Information. 17 SE Eglin Parkway Ft Walton Beach, FL 32548

850.244.9900 or 1.866.362.3224

33 West Garden Street Pensacola, FL 32502

850.202.9900 or 1.877.962.3224

>> The freestanding CVS Drug Store on West Hampton

Springs Avenue in Perry is for sale for $1,831,000 ($161.68/ PSF) through Sperry Van Ness SouthLand Commercial.

>> The Best Western Plus

Tallahassee North Hotel

located at 2727 Graves Road, previously a Comfort Inn, reopened its doors March 3 with all new furniture and facilities. It is now owned by Philip Murphey.

850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014








H i re A Lice n se d Pro fe s s io n a l

• You can verify a State of Florida License at • Licensed professionals have proven abilities through testing and certications.

License efciently. Regulate fairly. WWW.MYFLORIDALICENSE.COM/ULA



APRIL – MAY 2014


• Licensed professionals are required to have proper insurance and liability coverage that protects you! Ask your contractor about it!

Madison County Business Journal 2014

Meetings. Frequently Interrupted.

Welcome to Honey Lake Plantation, the South’s premiere meeting retreat. Group attendees arrive daily, but spend very little time in meetings. Hunting bobwhite quail on foot, horseback or bird buggy. Tackling the aggressive, hybrid tiger bass. Challenging the ultimate sporting clays competition. Cooking up a frenzy with culinary team building. The distractions are abundant. Meetings are anything but dull.




2014 M A D I S O N C O U N T Y B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L


Cindy Vees Executive Director, Madison County Chamber of Commerce


very day the staff of the Greater Madison County Chamber of Commerce Inc. finds it a joy and privilege to interact with our residents and businesses, as well as new and expanding businesses, who find our business environment inviting. We offer hospitality to travelers who enjoy the beauty of our countryside and historic district, students considering our dynamic community college programs and relocating folks who find our Southern charm irresistible. We strive to be a successful extension of the networking and marketing arms of our businesses and advocate in their best interest with every opportunity. In our small rural county chamber world, our main goal is to provide a wealth of services for our members, while keeping our community’s spirit of camaraderie alive and well in growing relationships that stand strong in spite of economic challenges.

In the pages of this special Madison County Business Journal, you will get a peek at our county, nestled conveniently in central North Florida on a 35-mile stretch of Interstate 10 between Tallahassee and I-75, with the Aucilla River on our border to the west and the Suwannee River on the east. It is difficult to speak enough about the charm of this place with our rich history and culture, but our visitors often do. From our Southern barns, hay bales and rolling countryside to our wild flowers that bloom each year, we are a small town that is home to nearly 20,000 folks who enjoy a slower pace of life while the hustle and bustle of a big city is not far away. Enjoy the warmth of Madison County as you read about us. Take the time to visit. We would love to show you our Southern hospitality. You don’t have to live here to love it, but you could.



04 Economic Development 07 Demographics 08 Quality of Life


11 Educated Workforce 14 Health Care 16 Tourism


18 Real Estate


20 Agriculture



LEAD PROJECT ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Chuck Simpson ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Rhonda Murray, Darla Harrison, Lori Magee, Tracy Mulligan, Linda Powell, Paula Sconiers, Chris St. John, Drew Gregg Westling MARKETING AND SALES ASSISTANT Derika Crowley

23 Economic Development Benefits

On the Cover: Madison County Courthouse Photo by Scott Holstein 2014 M A D I S O N C O U N T Y B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L





Proactively working to bring in new business By Linda Kleindienst


ob Williamson was looking for a place to retire. Brian Annett wanted his kids to grow up with dirt between their toes. Both men found their way to Madison County in the past decade — and economic development for this rural community quickly followed.

Brian Annett opened a branch office of his bus company in Madison to meet a growing demand in North Florida. 4


2014 M A D I S O N C O U N T Y B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L

“My parents went on a six-month search and looked at 48 plantations. They bought the property back in 2008. It was just raw land,” remembers Jon Williamson, president of Honey Lake Plantation. Although his parents were looking for their retirement home, it wasn’t long before they realized

their location near Interstate 10 — along with close proximity to Tallahassee, Jacksonville and Orlando — made Honey Lake the perfect spot for weddings, hunts, corporate retreats, family reunions and more. The plantation hosted about 14 major events in its first year of operation — “just

to build a larger presence up here.” The company’s largest market is student travel — and collegiate use is a big part of that. Situated within easy travel distance of Florida State University in Tallahassee, the University of Florida in Gainesville and Valdosta State, the company’s motor coaches can cater to those schools’ traveling sports teams, visiting sports teams and groups wanting to attend games at the universities. “We’re kind of in the middle,” said Annett of his new company location, which is also convenient for organized groups traveling to and from the state Capitol, especially during the annual legislative session.

A Welcoming Environment


Bob Williamson planned to retire at Honey Lake Plantation but then saw the property’s business potential.

to cover overhead” — and did 75 last year. “It’s evolved and continues to evolve,” Williamson said of the operation. “Our business triples about every year, which I think we will sustain for the next three years.” Annett’s family business was centered in Sebring, where his parents began Annett Bus Lines in 1976 with one motor coach that traveled 65,000 miles in its first year. Now one of the largest motor coach companies in the U.S., it is owned by Brian and his brother David. In 2007, Brian Annett and his family moved to Madison, looking to reconnect with the small-town atmosphere he enjoyed as a youth in Sebring. He had attended North Florida Community College to play baseball and met his wife in Madison, so they were no strangers to the area. While his brother continues to man the company’s Sebring office, in February Brian Annett held a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new office in Madison. “The Panhandle has been a growth market for us,” Annett explained. “We continually see more business popping up and thought it would be a good idea to try

Not only have Honey Lake and Annett found their businesses conveniently located, (Annett’s buses are located at the county industrial park adjacent to Interstate 10), they and others have found a great partner in Madison County. “From personal experience … from a permitting standpoint, the county has been great to work with,” said Williamson. “And they helped us develop relationships with key people who helped us with their business.” The biggest economic driver Madison has going for it is its location on a coast-tocoast interstate (the county has four interchanges) and the relative ease with which any Madison business can engage in interstate commerce. “The county’s leadership really wants to grow around the I-10 corridor,” Annett said. Lisa Davies is the sales manager at Florida Woodland Group, the brokerage firm working on behalf of the owner of a 1246-acre parcel situated on the interstate that’s being marketed for its commercial, industrial or residential potential. For Davies, one of the biggest selling points of her listing is Madison County’s economicdevelopment minded local government. “Madison County is very pro-business,” said Davies. “They’re wanting to move this thing down the pipeline.” Dennis G. Lee, the president of Florida Woodland Group, gives the county a resounding recommendation for its support of new businesses coming to town. “Our group has been doing business in

Madison County since the late 1970s — over 30 years. As a result, we have dealt with a variety of public officials — elected, appointed and career service — and have appeared many times in many different settings to seek required approvals, assistance and cooperation from the local government,” Lee says in a recommendation listed on the county’s economic development site. “Madison has proved to be a willing and able partner to sound economic development and community prosperity.” Not only do local officials help with development issues in their own county, they will work with regional councils and other economic groups to facilitate a Madison-based project. “The importance (and rarity) of this personal involvement cannot be overemphasized,” Lee said. Part of the commitment to economic development includes the extension of key infrastructure to the Interstate 10 corridor to accommodate business growth. “Florida Woodlands got water, sewer, electric and gas to its 1,200 acres on the south side of I-10,” said Crawford Powell, the county’s economic development consultant. “The only thing that site does not have is rail, and a lot of logistics folks don’t need rail. It’s a great spot for warehousing distribution or food manufacturing.” The city and county, Powell emphasized, understand the vitality that economic growth brings to a community and have stepped up in a big way to help that growth. “If you get the leadership going in that direction, the energy and resources will follow,” Powell said. “They are trying to proactively develop industry.” The county has spent between $8 million and $10 million to put infrastructure in place where economic development will most likely occur in the near future, at three of the county’s interstate interchanges. To help incentivize Annett’s move into the county’s industrial park on I-10, the county voted to give the company land so all the signage and buses could be seen from the highway. “I think we’re very responsive to a business that is interested in coming into our county,” said Allen Cherry, Madison County coordinator and director of economic development. “The fact that 2014 M A D I S O N C O U N T Y B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L




we’re small means we can make sure there is no hold up on permitting approvals. The permitting is done in the same building that I’m in.”

Losses and Gains


Madison Coordinator Allen Cherry says the county is “very responsive” to any interested business.

to have a project come to Madison. But if it comes to Suwannee or Jefferson, it still benefits us, like the lumber mill in Suwannee that’s only 10-15 minutes from the county line.” Other new businesses have popped up in the small town of Lee, where the town council bought a vacant school building and turned it into an Enterprise Zone and a business incubator. The city provides office space at a reduced rate and support in obtaining loans. The building has 9,298 square feet of office space divided into 19 available offices. Businesses that have sprung to life there include Everything Pecan, which opened May 2013 and is a small bakery that sells all natural baked goods, and a day care center that in the first six months took in 65 children and hired eight employees — then moved into a new location when it was able to buy its own property.

Ready Workforce The county recently held an event for site selectors — those who are hired to help companies find locations where they can relocate or expand — to give them a “soft sell” on the benefits of coming to Madison. “We wanted to introduce ourselves to them and let them know we’re available. We’ve already had some follow up to that,” Cherry said. “I’m selfish. I’d like 6


2014 M A D I S O N C O U N T Y B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L

“We have the workforce, and we have the community college here. There’s a lot of training that could be available to a company coming in,” said Cherry. “We have a low cost of living and a great quality of life, with some of the prettiest scenery and rolling hills.” Brian Annett said he continually gets compliments from clients about the

demeanor of his employees who work out of the Madison facility. “We have found the work ethic and overall attitude of the folks in North Florida a good match for a service industry such as ours,” he said. Powell said the county has an available pool of engineering talent, and North Florida Community College educates the entry-level managers, while there are trade schools in Perry and Tallahassee that will provide needed labor. “And the cost of living is less, so you can scale down wages, especially if you want to edge into a market,” he explained. “Madison has a little slower pace, a slower lifestyle, where you know your neighbor by name. But it has a committed workforce committed to making your business successful.” Annett sees continued growth in the region and is positive about Madison’s future. “Every county doesn’t have the luxury of an interstate dissecting the entire county. Madison does. More traffic equals more exposure, and exposure equals more opportunity along the I-10 corridor,” he said. “We are excited to have seen this movement first and even more excited to anchor the Madison County Industrial Park as a gatekeeper to the county from the east.”


Madison County, like many of its North Florida neighbors, has experienced the ups and downs of the economy, first losing long-time employers like a meat and a furniture plant and then gaining new ones as times improved. “The meat and furniture plants together had about 1,000 employees. The meat plant was owned by Winn Dixie, then sold to Smithfield, which closed it. It was a sign of the economic times,” said Cherry. “A lot of those (workers) are still around.” Some of those workers are now employed by the new Stahl-Meyer Foods meat processing plant in Madison. Meanwhile, other companies, like Nestlé Waters Florida, have been around awhile. Nestle´, which employs about 200 workers at its Madison plant, recently celebrated a 10-year anniversary. It produces Zephyrhills Natural Spring water, Deer Park Natural Spring Water and Nestlé Pure Life from local spring waters. The Madison bottling facility is Florida’s largest “green building.”


Employment by Industry (2012)

2013 (estimate) — 19,395 % change 2010-2013 — 0.9% Under 18 years old — 21.1.% 18-64 years old —61.6% 65 years and older —17.0%

MADISON FLORIDA Average Annual Employment 4,281 7,109,630

Labor Force


2.2% 4.7%


10.2% 4.3%

As Percent of Population, 2013 (preliminary) — 47.0% Unemployment rate (2013) — 8.9% Average annual wage (2010) — $29,119 Major Private Employers Nestlé Waters North America — bottled water Johnson & Johnson — petroleum Lake Park of Madison Nursing Home Winn-Dixie — grocery Florida Plywood — wood products Corporate Graphics — printed materials

Natural Resources & Mining 5.1%1.2%

Trade, Transportation and Utilities 18.6% 20.9%

Leisure & Hospitality 7.1% 13.6% Other Services 1.9%





No Data

Education Levels (percent of persons age 25+) High school graduate or higher — 77.2% Bachelor’s degree or higher —10.3% Geography



Financial Activities

2.2% 6.7%

Professional & Business Services 2.0% 14.6% Education & Health Services 16.8% 14.9%

Land area — 695.95 square miles Persons per square mile — 27.9 Climate Average temperature January July

High Low 65 42 92 71

Sources: Enterprise Florida; Florida Legislature’s Office of Demographic and Economic Research; U.S. Census Bureau

Small Community Progressive Leadership World Class Companies

2014 M A D I S O N C O U N T Y B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L




‘OUR ATTRACTION IS ONLY NATURAL’ Motto reflects county’s natural bounty By Linda Kleindienst



2014 M A D I S O N C O U N T Y B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L



t’s on a path less traveled, a place with wide open spaces, rolling hills, ancient live oak trees, pristine rivers and a strong sense of community. With its rural lifestyle, Madison County is the type of place where you know your neighbor’s name, where when you walk into a restaurant you know most of the customers, where people treat their neighbor’s children like their own. While an area’s quality of life may not always be the high point of a business relocation pitch, what Madison County offers could help tip the scales. Located 46 miles east of Tallahassee, Madison was named in 1827 in honor of James Madison, the nation’s fourth president. At the time, it was the largest county in the yet-to-be formed state of Florida. Its largest town remains Madison, which was named after Madison C. Livingston, who donated the first piece of land to establish the county seat. There are three incorporated towns — Madison (designated one of the Best Little Towns in Florida by Visit Florida), Lee (celebrating its 105th anniversary in 2014) and Greenville (the childhood home of Ray Charles). Smaller unincorporated communities include Cherry Lake, Eridu, Hamburg, Lovett, New Home, Pinetta and Sirmans. The cities and county host a series of events year-round for family fun. And the region’s quality small town environment offers residents and visitors a mix of historical perspective (Madison has more historical markers than any other


Opposite: (Top) The Four Freedoms bike trail leads cyclists to interesting sights. (Bottom) Dancing in the street during a local festival. This page: (clockwise from top left) Colin Kelley memorial; Madison County Clerk of Court Tim Sanders (left) is all ears at Hickory Grove UMC Founder’s Day; Cherry Lake.

Florida county, with some homes close to 200 years old), natural wonders (like the Aucilla River Canoe Trail and Madison Blue Springs State Park) and modern recreation (a nationally renowned 103-mile bicycle loop). Here is a sampling of the county’s most popular annual events: Down Home Days Festival — Held each April, this historic festival features a parade and PCA rodeo competition along with games, contests, plenty of food and activities. This year’s celebration will be held over two days, starting April 18. Fancy Flea Event — Hosted by the Fancy Flea Vintage Home and Garden Market in May, this event is an upscale vintage flea market featuring shabby chic, garden décor, jewelry, antiques, vintage fashions, cottage glam and more. The 2014 event will be held May 3 in downtown Madison. Hickory Grove Founders Day — Held at the Hickory Grove United Methodist Church in Pinetta, this annual October celebration features food and activities from cane grinding to syrup and sausage making. The event will be held on Oct. 18. 2014 M A D I S O N C O U N T Y B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L



Where Do the Ideas Come From?

Madison County Community Bank was formed in 1999 by a local group of men and women. Their purpose was to bring to our community a bank focused on meeting the banking and financial needs of our local citizens and businesses. The MCCB Board, Management and Staff all live and work in Madison County; all of our decisions are made here, and we are Madison County’s only locally owned bank. In today’s environment, we fully understand that your banking choices are virtually unlimited. However, if you prefer a banking relationship which delivers outstanding personal customer service coupled with all of the modern conveniences, then Madison County Community Bank is your clear choice. We consider it an honor and a privilege to be your bank and to demonstrate our motto:

People You Know. A Bank You Can Trust. 850.973.2400 · · 301 E. Base Street, Madison, FL 32340 P.O. Box 834, Madison, FL 32341 10


2014 M A D I S O N C O U N T Y B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L



Need training? There’s an app for that here By Jason Dehart

CareerSource North Florida is helping to train the local workforce.


ural counties are, more often than not, at a disadvantage when it comes to job training. Madison County is decidedly not deficient in that area — considering two important factors in its favor: CareerSource North Florida and North Florida Community College. In fact, these two resources cover not just Madison, but Hamilton, Jefferson, Lafayette, Suwannee and Taylor counties as well. “We are very proud, here at CareerSource North Florida, to be a highly valued member of economic development teams throughout our region. Providing individuals with help to locate the best job for them, and our businesses, with the ‘first-hire, best hire’ is our part of building thriving communities, one family at a time and one business at a time,” said Executive Director Sheryl Rehberg. “It is our pleasure as the ‘go-to source for jobs and

training’ to serve our communities. Our success is built by partnerships and excellent service.” CareerSource North Florida is an important tool in providing testing, training and job-skills evaluation for adults and young jobseekers alike, according to spokeswoman Diane Head. “If an employer has a new piece of machinery they need workers trained how to use, the employer can bring in the vendor and pay them to train their employees, and then we could reimburse them for that training,” Head said. “Also, if they bring on a new employee that has a skill gap we can close that gap by an on-the-job training contract. We have youth programs and youth career consultants, and we manage a summer youth program where kids go into the community at work sites and do actual work. That’s something we do every summer.” 2014 M A D I S O N C O U N T Y B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L




NFCC is an ally in those training efforts and has vocational training in areas such as allied health, pharmacy, nursing and law enforcement. “If a company needs training ramped up, NFCC is ready to step up and do that. I don’t know if there is a limit to what they will consider. We can, without any hesitation, refer our employers to NFCC,” Head said. Located in Madison, North Florida Community College is one of the last remaining state colleges to have “community” in its name. College President John Grosskopf said the college is in the process of having a baccalaureate program approved, at which point it is expected to drop “community” for “state.” But nothing else is going to change, he said. The college remains dedicated to its core mission. “We exist for serving the needs of the people in our (six-county) district,” he said. “The kind of college we have to be is defined by the people we serve. One of the things we don’t want to lose is the understanding of how that relationship works. We are here to serve the community. The mission will continue.” NFCC offers a wide range of technical education courses that include practical nursing, registered nursing, pharmacy technician, early childhood education, child care center management, emergency medical services, paramedic, fire fighter, public safety, corrections and criminal justice. In terms of workforce, its biggest program is “Allied Health.” To improve health care options in the region, Grosskopf said the college has embraced the philosophy of “growing” its own health care workers.

North Florida Community College ranks among the best in the U.S.





at MADISON COMING SOON: MRI & Endoscopy | Telemedicine Satellite Programs for Acute Stroke Care and Emergency Cardiac Care OFFERING: Emergency Care | Recuperative Strengthening (Swing Bed) | Radiology Respiratory Care | Laboratory | Rehabilitation Services

GRAND OPENING Summer of 2014

For you, above all else, prosperity and health FAITH COMMUNITY HOSPITAL at MADISON (formerly Madison County Memorial Hospital) 850.973.2271 | Located on Crane Avenue (one block North of US 90)



2014 M A D I S O N C O U N T Y B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L

“And so that’s really important to us. We’ve got a lot of extraordinarily bright folks, and the trick is to give them the training to be successful in allied health careers,” he said. Thanks to world-class education, though, nursing students have no problems getting jobs. A new hospital is being built right next to campus, so all kinds of interesting opportunities can be developed there, but if they want to work for bigger institutions there are many opportunities in nearby Tallahassee and Valdosta. Grosskopf is especially proud of the health care program for its graduation rate. Admittedly, in terms of quantitative measures, NFCC can’t compete with other institutions around the state because it’s such a small, rural college (2,100 students overall, 850 FTE students). “But I can tell you that on qualitative measures, we can beat the pants off everybody,” he said. Last year on the licensing board exams, the first-time passing rate for nursing students in the LPN program was 100 percent while the state of Florida average pass rate was 75.3 percent and the national average was 84.6 percent. For the RN program, NFCC’s first-time pass rate on licensing boards was 91.6 percent compared to the state average of 76.7 percent and the national average of 83 percent. “So, we do an extraordinarily good job of preparing – John Grosskopf, our students to be successful. College President And I guess that’s one of the things that folks that want to set up businesses or really build a life in my beautiful part of the state need to know. It’s easy to overlook us because we’re small; however, when you do take a look at us you realize that what we do, we do very well,” he said. The accolades don’t end there. Every three years, Washington Monthly Magazine publishes a ranking of the top community colleges in the nation — and, there are more than 2,500 community colleges to judge and rank. NFCC is ranked second. “It’s a phenomenal accomplishment, but it comes from the dedication of the staff of this college in fulfilling our mission, and the biggest part of our mission is helping the district we serve find success,” said Grosskopf. “And one of the things we believe here is it’s not our job to define success. Individual students, potential employers, they define what that means. Our job is to get students from wherever they are to that point. “We are an open-door institution, which means it doesn’t matter what your skill set is, it doesn’t matter what your background experiences are, it doesn’t matter where you are in your educational path, we take you as we find you and we work very hard to get you to wherever it is you need to be. And so if someone is interested in opening a business or moving, they’ve got a tremendously strong resource to tap into at NFCC.”


2014 M A D I S O N C O U N T Y B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L





A brand new facility, a new approach to health care By Chay D. Baxley


adison County’s health care industry has gotten a lot of attention lately as efforts surrounding a new facility, a fresh philosophy on patient care and cutting-edge technology have taken root in this rural community. Thus far, the effects have been profound. Once ranked last among Florida’s 67 counties, Madison’s health care scene has reinvented itself in recent years — skyrocketing its overall health care ranking to an impressive 51st place in 2013, with little indication of slowing down. According to locals, a practical combination of due diligence and dedicated professionals are at the heart of this dramatic climb. “The ranking is a result of all of our efforts,” explained David Abercrombie on the county’s continuous upward momentum. As the CEO of Madison County Memorial Hospital, Abercrombie’s role in Madison’s transformation has been monumental. The ranking system that hospital administrators and county officials have utilized to monitor their success is based on a score that considers a variety of local issues (including social and economic factors, physical environment, clinical care,

health behaviors, morbidity and mortality) and is released annually through a collaborative study between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. To ascend the ranks, Madison residents had to implement a three-step solution.

First, a New Facility As the epicenter for the county’s medical needs, Madison County Memorial Hospital is a Medicare and Medicaid approved Critical Access Hospital offering skilled nursing care and services, such as physical therapy, speech therapy, radiology, dietary services and patient education. But beyond its practical definition, MCMH has a rich and extensive history in the region, spanning all the way back to the 1930s. Though the hospital’s infrastructure had gone through a series of improvements and a major overhaul by the mid ’90s, in 1996 talks of a more modernized facility began to stir amongst board members. But it wasn’t until 2006 that the discussion truly gained momentum. To help finance the project, a voterapproved half-cent sales tax was levied in Madison County in January 2007; the

remainder of the funds came from a USDA loan. Following many years of planning, saving and constructing, the new hospital is scheduled to admit its first patient in July 2014 — a major milestone for Abercrombie and his staff. Boasting approximately 59,000 square feet of useable space, the new facility is licensed for the same number of beds as the hospital’s previous location, but due to logistics the capacity will be much greater. Compared to the semi-private and ward rooms prevalent in institutional and medical settings in the ’50s, when the former MCMH was erected, the new location will offer only private rooms — four of which will be suites suitable to accommodate a patient’s immediate family members and caregivers. “The end result of [having shared rooms] is you really don’t have a 25-bed capacity because of matching patients,” shared Abercrombie, who said matching criteria such as gender, age and contagiousness have proven to be a hindrance for the hospital in the past. According to Abercrombie, the new layout will make an enormous difference in sheer volume as well as patient care. “With the new hospital, even though it will be licensed for the same number of beds, it should increase and will increase our capacity by 25 percent,” he said. “When you’re caring for a patient in a private room, it allows you to deliver your care more holistically. It also gives us the latitude to think of the whole patient — not only the patient in the bed, but the entire family is our responsibility.”

Then, a Fresh Philosophy Modernization of facilities at Madison County Memorial Hospital. 14


2014 M A D I S O N C O U N T Y B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L

In its most basic form, holistic health care is a compressive medical assessment that focuses on treating the person, not just the disease.

For example, if a patient were under a physician’s care for discomfort associated with migraine headaches, a holistic response would be to not only treat the symptoms of the migraine by prescribing medication but to also address the cause. Lack of sleep, poor diet and unmanaged stress are all likely contributing factors. To find the source of the problem, a holistic medical professional may suggest that the patient revaluate his or her nutritional intake or try to incorporate relaxing breathing exercises into the daily schedule. With an emphasis on personal connection, holistic care isn’t the easiest treatment technique and it sure isn’t the cheapest, but it is the path Madison County health care professionals have successfully embarked upon. “As we were designing this new hospital we began to actually change our focus as well,” stated Abercrombie. “We’re building a hospital system that will deliver care more holistically, taking into account the patient as a whole human being and not just their immediate physical needs.”


Now, Cutting-Edge Technology The new facility will also bring with it an array of technologies that until now were largely unavailable locally to the citizens of Madison. A 16-slice computed tomography (or CT) scanner, state-of-the-art digital equipment, an innovative new stroke program and a modern electronic filing system are all part of the package. But perhaps the most exciting addition to MCMH’s new healing arsenal is the introduction of telemedicine. In partnership with Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, MCMH will be offering the services of specialty physicians through video call technology. According to TMH’s Regional Development, Population Health and Telemedicine Administrator Lauren Faison, incorporating telemedicine is a major step in advancing health care in rural areas. “This gives us a way to hopefully prevent patients having to go without care or having to drive an hour each way to get care that they made need in Tallahassee,” explained Faison. “We can push the care out to them.”

Hospital CEO David Abercrombie, standing in front of new hospital set to open this summer, says changes include a move toward “holistic” care of patients. 2014 M A D I S O N C O U N T Y B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L






adison County abounds in outdoor opportunities, not to mention cultural, historical and nostalgia offerings. Yet this 187-year-old county — one of Florida’s earliest — remains largely off the beaten path. That’s not to say it’s wholly undiscovered, however. The folks at Madison Blue Spring will tell you people come from everywhere to enjoy this first-magnitude spring and its beautiful surroundings. The Montanabased Adventure Cycling Association, with nearly 50,000 members nationwide, is one of several bicycling groups that annually conduct tours through Madison County because of its “scenic and historically significant terrain.” And the guest lists at the Honey Lake Plantation Resort and Spa, Unity House and Grace Manor bed and

Cindy Poire’s Madison Antiques Market & Interiors draws customers from throughout the Southeast.



2014 M A D I S O N C O U N T Y B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L

breakfast inns, Yogi Bear Jellystone Camp and Resort, and others of the community’s lodging and tourism-oriented facilities, attest to significant numbers of out-ofstate and foreign visitors. Which begs the question, is Madison County solely for outdoor types? The answer, of course, is a resounding no, especially in the City of Madison, the county’s namesake municipality and government seat (population 3,000 — give or take a few — located exactly 55 miles east of Tallahassee). Downtown Madison offers a surprising array of shopping and historical/cultural opportunities. Truly, if you’re an antiques collector, junk/treasure hunter, booklover, history buff, sporting enthusiast or simply someone who enjoys exploring

new environments and sampling local flavors, Madison will not disappoint. Here you’ll find innumerable gift and antiques/ collectibles shops, a couple of museums, a sporting goods store, a live performance theatre, ice cream parlor, old books store and sundry eateries and quaint shops — all within easy walking distance of one another. Sure to capture your interest is the town’s stately courthouse, an early 20th-century architectural gem that this year celebrates its 100th birthday. Across the street, the Four Freedoms Monument celebrates freedom of expression and worship and freedom from want and fear, as defined by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1941. The monument honors the memory of Capt. Colin P. Kelly Jr., a native son, B-17 pilot and World War II’s first named hero. Shortly after Pearl Harbor, Kelly attacked a Japanese cruiser, only to have his plane shot down. Colin kept the aircraft aloft long enough for his crew to bail out, losing his life in the process. If architecture is your thing, a walking or driving tour of the town’s historic homes will convince you of Madison’s rich history, evidenced by the many grand old houses with architectural styles dating from the Victorian and antebellum periods. Let’s also not forget that Madison is home to North Florida Community College, recently named one of the best colleges in the country, and sponsor of an Artists’ Series that showcases the performing arts and culturally enriches the community. For health/organic food aficionados, O’Toole’s Herb Farm is just outside town. And for music lovers, a short drive away is Greenville, once home to the late, great rhythm/ blues musician Ray Charles, whose renovated childhood home still stands and where a statute honors his memory.


By Lazaro Aleman

A few highlights in brief: Madison Blue Spring, 10 miles east of Madison on the west bank of the Withlacoochee River, is one of the state’s newest parks. Visitors come to swim in the crystal clear waters, explore the underwater cave system and hike the scenic woodlands. Angela Watson, administrative assistant to Park Manager Craig Liney, says the park had 21,000 visitors in 2013, considered a low-attendance year. At least half the visitors were from out of state or other countries, she says. “Divers come from everywhere; it’s very popular,” Watson says. Cindy Poire is owner/operator of Madison Antiques Market & Interiors, a premier antiques/collectibles shop downtown. A collector more than 30 years, Poire has amassed a large inventory of vintage/period clothing from the 1840s to 1970s, including Edwardian and Victorian pieces. “If it’s old, I collect it,” Poire says. “I’ve been collecting so long, I have things no one else has.” Prices range from


North Florida’s Premier Antique Destination


Our 10,000-square-foot store features a high-end selection of period and vintage furnishings and home accessories created by some of the most skilled and prestigious craftsman in American history.



Divers flock to Madison Blue Spring’s clear waters.




Yogi Bear Jellystone Camp and Resort, alongside I-10, is a family-oriented kidfriendly 125-acre gated campground/ theme park with rental cabins and plenty of tent and RV spaces. The only one of its kind in Florida, it draws visitors from near and far. “We get people from all over,” Manager Ruthie Uriarte says. “This last year, we had a lot of Canadians and people from Switzerland and Australia.” The facility’s offerings include a giant waterslide, swimming pool, miniature golf course, skate park and boating/fishing lake.

$64 for a 1960s’ vintage dress to $5,900 for a late Victorian (1890s) evening gown. Her customers range from young girls to college professors to foreign travelers to museums, theatres and movie studios. She also sells early American signed furniture. The Honey Lake Plantation Resort and Spa, in western Madison County, opened in 2012. Boasting some 48,000 acres of fields and woodlands, 25,000-plus square feet of deluxe meeting space and 50 rooms for accommodations, Honey Lake offers a unique blend of the rustic and elegant.

NCE 2 0 05

AlsoVintage and Period

Clothing & Accessories

for Ladies • Men • Children 197 SW Range Ave., Madison FL 32340

Wed–Sat 10–5 or by appointment {email}


FlapperGirlVintage on Etsy

2014 M A D I S O N C O U N T Y B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L





History, acreage and friendly local government make Madison an appealing choice for big-time investors


he untouched landscape characterizing Madison County tends to attract buyers with a certain set of exceptionally high standards. In Madison, rolling acreage and an abundance of history are blended with some of the South’s most cherished outdoor recreational activities. For these reasons, and undoubtedly many more, stately plantation dwellers have found a home in this rural community’s niche real estate market. “Madison County is in demand because there’s a very good mix of wetland, farmland and plantation lands on these properties, and it lures a lot of investors to the land,” said Jon Kohler, of Jon Kohler & Associates. “Plus there’s a nice sense of the community in the county.”

Honey Lake Plantation is an example of land opportunities for big investors. 18


2014 M A D I S O N C O U N T Y B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L

Kohler’s firm specializes in high-end plantation and ranch brokerage. In 2008, Kohler and his staff brokered the purchase of Honey Lake Plantation — now a major leisure and hunting destination. According to him, his international clientele (which in recent years has hailed from places like China and Venezuela) has an indisputable fondness for Madison’s brand hospitality. But with demand far greater than supply, Kohler is often forced to expand his search to Madison’s surrounding areas to ensure his buyer’s needs are being met. “Buyers all over the country and all over the world want properties like this,” Kohler said of Madison’s market. “The issue is finding high quality properties — they very rarely come on the market.” Beyond its picturesque antebellum architecture, Madison’s probusiness local government also makes it a prime location for forward thinking investors. Many large tracks of land, like the 1,246 acres known as Norton Creek on the county’s east side, are ripe for development. Fronting on Interstate 10, 87 acres of Norton Creek are considered highway interchange land. In layman’s terms, that translates into 2.5 miles of frontage on I-10 as well as State Road 53. Flush with 96 acres of ponds, lakes and streams, 406 acres of pine trees and another 254 of hardwood stands, a variety of industries from commercial to residential and even industrial could call this plot of land home. “On top of all the potential future land uses it’s a very pretty piece of


By Chay D. Baxley

property,” emphasized Lisa Davies, sales manager at Florida Woodland Group, the listing agency for Norton Creek. According to Davies, Madison officials are doing all they can to make this property attractive to potential investors, including offering rebates and proactively prepping

it for natural gas, water and sewage. “The incentives are in place for the right person to make this a special piece of commercial development,” explained Davies. “We’ve had quite a few large companies look at it, and we’re actively promoting it.”

Facts & Stats » Madison County singlefamily home sales saw a 9.1 percent increase in 2013 over 2012. » Cash sales increased by 4.2 percent. » The median single-family home price increased by 12.5 percent to $99,000. » Madison had 10 foreclosures on singlefamily homes and one short sale. » The median time a home lingered on the market was 126 days.

The 1,246-acre Norton Creek property off Interstate 10 is ready for industrial, commercial or residential development.

*Data comparing Madison County single-family home sales in 2013 to 2012, courtesy of Florida Realtors.




Marianna 850.482.3045 Tallahassee 850.671.7221

2014 M A D I S O N C O U N T Y B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L





Farmers and ranchers use Best Management Practices to help save water in the Suwannee River Basin By Jason Dehart


low in nitrogen content, and at their ranch holdings near Greenanching and farming have come a long way since the day ville a riparian buffer zone keeps the cattle out of Hixtown Swamp. Cyrus McCormick first demonstrated his mechanical reaper Their herd of Angus beef cattle is rotationally in 1831. Today’s farmer has to make grazed on grass and not given any grain, antisure his or her operations follow sustainable, biotics or growth hormones — which means environmentally friendly methods that protect they fatten up naturally. If needed, the cattle not only their land, but help save entire waterare fed on perennial peanut; but for the most sheds. Such is the case in Madison County, part, it’s an all-natural, all grass-fed beef that where many farmers and ranchers have taken goes to markets from Florida to Kansas. the initiative to do the right thing for the envi“We’ve won hay competitions for our hay ronment in and around the Suwannee and forages, and that’s when we started raising Santa Fe River Basin. our cattle on 100 percent grass and forages,” For 20 years scientists have noted that said Platt, whose family moved up to Madison nitrate levels have gone up in this watershed. County from Central Florida about 10 years But thanks to the Suwannee River Partnerago. “We have a high-quality forage with no ship and the Florida Farm Bureau, this form This award was nitrates.” of pollution is on the decline, and farmers created in 2001 by throughout the region — including those in the Florida Farm The Big Picture Madison County — are helping to make a Bureau as a way to difference. They’re being recognized for using There is a lot of agribusiness going on publicly recognize “best management practices” on their land, in Madison County, according to Dan farmers and ranchers recognition in the form of the County Alliance Fenneman, the county agricultural extension who have voluntarily for Responsible Environmental Stewardship agent. Fenneman said that the 2010 census implemented (CARES) Award. listed some 150,000 acres of vegetable farmbest-management But it’s not just nitrate loading that worries land, tree farms and cow pastures. He said the practices. The mission people. It’s water usage as well, and the old soil is good, but with changing commodity of the program practices may not be the best management prices the actual acres devoted to row crops is to promote practices anymore. That’s why many farmers vary from year to year. For example, he said environmentally have started using the latest breakthroughs that last year the price of corn was good, so friendly and in best-management practices to protect the more corn was planted. But normally, there are economically basin. Madison County farmers and ranchers usually 9,000–10,000 acres of peanuts, some sustainable farming are key players in conservation and good 5,000–6,000 acres of corn and soybeans and practices in an stewardship efforts. More than 80 Madison perhaps about 2,000 acres of cotton. And attempt to reduce County farmers have received the CARES since Madison County shares a border with the amount of award since 2004, according to The Florida Georgia, he said that some Georgia growers nitrates entering the Farm Bureau. have bought or leased property across the ecosystem. Troy Platt is a Madison County rancher who Florida line to grow carrots. is just one of the many locals who have won Family farms and agriculture-related busithe conservation and stewardship award (his nesses are plentiful here, Fenneman said. in 2009). His philosophy is based on healthy These include not just the Platt family and soils; the healthier the soil, the less it needs additives that might others, but the Maultsby family’s Florida Plywoods Inc., a manuharm the environment. Any fertilizer they might use is organic and factured particleboard plant founded in 1956, and the Greenville 20


2014 M A D I S O N C O U N T Y B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L

It’s your business.

We’re simply here to help. COMMERCIAL AND PROFESSIONAL LOANS^ Birdsong Peanuts, a world leader in the industry, owns about 10,000 acres in Madison.

Timber Corporation, which was founded in 1954 and managed today by the second and third generation of the Vernal Webb family. “Overall, there’s probably 10 or 15 major farmers, and a lot of them are old farms where it’s a father-and-son operation,” Fenneman said. Other companies calling Madison County home are Greenville Fertilizer & Chemical Co. Inc., Mayo Fertilizer & Farm Supply, Farmers Cooperative Inc., Superior Trees Inc., Serenity Acres Farm & Goat Dairy and Gray Logging. In addition, the Townsend Livestock Market, located right off Interstate 10 in Madison, has a livestock sale every Tuesday afternoon. However, the fine land has attracted the attention of larger outfits over the years, he said. Birdsong Peanuts, a world leader in the peanut industry, buys peanuts from farmers and sells them to customers all over the world. Birdsong has plants in Georgia, Texas and Virginia. Fenneman said Birdsong has about 10,000 acres in Madison County. “They have a buying point where they receive peanuts and grow them as well,” he said.


343 West Base Street l 850.973.4161

to credit approval. *Client purchases checks. Account subject to fees if overdrawn. Transaction limits apply. Ask a banker for details. **Available through Capital City Banc Investments and Capital City Trust Company. Investment products are not FDIC insured, are not bank guaranteed, and may lose value.

^ Subject

2014 M A D I S O N C O U N T Y B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L



Madison County’s renowned bicycle loop meanders through103 miles of picturesque countryside.


An Equal Opportunity Program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. All voice numbers can be reached by persons using TTY/TDD equipment via Florida Relay Service at 711. | 850.973.WORK (local) | 866.367.4758 (toll free) 22


2014 M A D I S O N C O U N T Y B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L


CareerSource North Florida serves Hamilton, Jefferson, Lafayette, Madison, Suwannee and Taylor counties.


Madison County’s economic development benefits While the State of Florida provides a long list of economic incentives for businesses to locate here, Madison County also has some local tools it can tap into to help.

Possible Property Tax Abatement

The county commission has the authority to abate property taxes on capital improvements for up to 100 percent for 10 years.

Possible Donation of Land

Available to qualified businesses.

Expedited Permitting

Madison provides a quick, cost-effective, easy permitting process for significant economic development projects. The first step is a site development review and approval, followed by building permit approval. Both can be handled in less than 30 days.

Free Training

This is available to employers through the local CareerSource office.

Low Taxes

CSX has rail service through Madison County. The Jacksonville Port is two hours to the east, but the county also has access to ports located in Pensacola and Panama City in Northwest Florida, Savannah, Ga., and Mobile, Ala. Airports located in Valdosta, Ga., Tallahassee and Jacksonville are 30 minutes, 60 minutes and two hours from Madison.

Florida is consistently ranked as a top probusiness state, in part because of its low corporate income tax rate, it’s lack of a personal income tax and the fact it is only one of 10 right-to-work states. Florida has no corporate income tax on limited partnerships and subchapter S-corporations; a state personal income tax is prohibited by the state constitution; there is no state-level property tax and no property tax on business inventory or goods-in-transit for up to 180 days; no corporate franchise tax on capital stock; and no sales and use tax on goods manufactured or produced in Florida for export outside the state.

Chamber of Commerce Benefits

Businesses that choose to join the Madison Chamber can enjoy free: Facebook setup clinics; referral services; display of business cards/brochures; maps for distribution; use of Small Business Development Center library; Small Business assistance classes and training; customized website listing on madisonfl. org; posting on the Chamber’s events calendar; and announcements in the Chamber’s monthly email. Members are also afforded a 20 percent discount on vendor booths at Chamber-sponsored events.

Location, Location, Location! Madison lies between Tallahassee and Jacksonville on Interstate 10, which dissects the county. Interstate 75 is 30 minutes to the east and Interstate 95 is two hours east.

Quality. Safety. Reliability.

Annett Bus Lines has been known for its Quality, Safety and Reliability for over 38 years. Our record stands the test everyday, traveling in excess of 2.6 million miles annually. New North Florida / South Georgia location to serve you better!

When only the BEST is expected, Annett delivers! • 800.282.3655 2014 M A D I S O N C O U N T Y B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L




hether you ride our 103 Mile Loop enjoying the beautiful countryside, the Southern Tier Section 7 Adventure Cycling Association Highway 90 Route, or cycle through our beautiful wooded paved Rails to Trails 12 mile Four Freedoms bike trail, you will enjoy the beauty of our habitat. A cycling experience awaits all ages and experience levels. Cycle Madison County, Florida and you will see why we call it home.

Madison County, Florida


Honey Lake Plantation Resort & Spa

167 SE Bandit, Madison, FL 32340 1-800-WESTERN •

1290 NW Honey Lake Road, Greenville, FL 32331 850-948-9911 •

Days Inn

The Manor House

6160 South State Road 53, Madison, FL 32340 850-973-3330 •

141 NE Range Avenue, Madison, FL 32340 850-694-2244 •

Deerwood Inn Motel & Campground

Super 8 Motel

155 SW Old St. Augustine Road, Madison, FL 32340 850-973-2504 •

6246 S. State Road 53, Madison, FL 32340 850-973-6267 •

Grace Manor Bed & Breakfast Inn

Unity House Bed & Breakfast

117 SW US 221, Greenville, FL 32331 800-750-6305 •

3070 SW Dade Street, Madison, FL 32340 850-973-4556 •

Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park & Campground 1051 SW Old St. Augustine Road, Madison, FL 32340 800-347-0174 • Greater Madison County Chamber of Commerce, Inc. | Madison County Tourist Development Council P.O. Box 817 • 248 SW Range Avenue • Madison, FL 32340 TEL: 850-973-2788 • FAX: 850-973-8864 • TOLL FREE: 877-272-3642 Website: • Email: • Cycling Facebook Page: Four Freedoms Trail & 103 Mile Loop • Madison County, FL 24


2014 M A D I S O N C O U N T Y B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L


Coastal Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa + Walton Counties

A Successful Mission By Liesel Schmidt


hile Defuniak Springs may not be on the cutting edge of the culinary world, it’s definitely become buzz-worthy over the past year. And while the only Michelin anything in this sleepy little town might be the tires coasting along its roads, celebrity chef-dom has left a lasting impression here. It all started with a phone call. When Carolyn Cuneo answered the telephone last February, she had no idea that her life –– and her restaurant, Mom and Dad’s Italian Restaurant –– was about to change. Admittedly, Mom and Dad’s was finding itself in increasingly dire straights, as debt was mounting with alarming speed and business was slowing. But the voice on the other end of the phone was offering Cuneo a lifeline. All she had to do was accept it. Unbeknownst to Cuneo, her daughter, Lisa Pitts, had contacted the producers at “Restaurant: Impossible.” They took notice, finding Cuneo’s plight to be a worthy cause. “My husband [George] passed away in 2007, and it was very difficult for me to manage both financially and mentally,” she recalls. In the midst of a nationwide economic crisis, Mom and Dad’s financial downward spiral continued, and the ruin of the restaurant seemed inevitable. The network’s offer of assistance came as quite a shock, and Cuneo’s initial response was flat-out refusal –– a first for the famed television show. It wasn’t until she found out just who had made the plea to the Food Network that Cuneo relented, admitting that she was in over her head. It was her daughter’s urging that made all the difference. When the show’s crew rolled into town in late February 2013, they did it with the precision of a military operation. It was, after all, a mission. A rescue mission, helmed by celebrity chef Robert Irvine. The culinary master,


A HELPING HAND Lisa Pitts (right) turned to Restaurant: Impossible to help her mom, Carolyn Cuneo, make Mom and Dad’s profitable again.

850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014



RESTAURANT REMAKE After two days and $10,000, Mom and Dad’s reopened to good reviews.

known for his Scottish lilt, unmistakable crew cut and formidable presence –– both in physique and in manner –– marched through the doors at Mom and Dad’s determined to bring the Italian eatery back from the brink. “Robert is a very imposing figure,” Cuneo observes. “He’s very expressive and very energetic and very in your face. But you get the feeling that he really, really wants to help you succeed.” From the first moment, it was, by all accounts, a whirlwind operation. That momentous Tuesday in February, Restaurant: Impossible’s production crew came prepared to conduct interviews with the staff at Mom and Dad’s and get a layout of the land. When Irvine himself came the next day, a plan of attack was beginning to take shape, and the restaurant shuttered its doors and cleared out as old began to give way to new. By Thursday night, the crowd packed into the parking lot at Mom and Dad’s was holding its collective breath, patiently waiting for Cuneo to welcome them into her revitalized restaurant. It was, as Irvine so famously intones on each episode, “Two days and $10,000.” What happened in those hours between the



APRIL – MAY 2014


“I WAS OVERORDERING AND UNDERCHARGING. ROBERT HELPED ME ON THOSE POINTS, AND IT’S WORKED.” CAROLYN CUNEO, MOM AND DAD’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT closing of one incarnation of Mom and Dad’s and the opening of the next was nothing short of miraculous. Hard flooring replaced tired carpet; old wood wall paneling was repainted in fresh, airy colors; and a feature wall of reclaimed, repainted window shutters was installed. A barrier wall was constructed between the service area and back dining room to solve noise issues, new lighting bathed the interior, tabletops were replaced and cluttered antique-store knickknacks made room for a cohesive collection of

eye-catching artwork thoughtfully displayed along the walls. Anyone who watches “Restaurant: Impossible,” however, knows that dining room renovation isn’t the extent of the program’s objective. Merely addressing the decor would only serve as a temporary band-aid to the real issues, and so Irvine had two other components to tackle: an overblown menu and Cuneo’s reluctance to accept change. While regular, loyal patrons might have seemed satisfied by the actual food, there were definite problems with the restaurant’s profitability and the size of its menu, which was both lengthy and priced too low to cover costs. There were other drains to the income, as well. Copious amounts of salad and bread were given as complimentary accompaniments to each order, and the staff was being fed for free. It was, in Cuneo’s opinion, part of what kept people coming back into her restaurant, an innate part of her nurturing desire to see people well fed. But it was also bleeding her bank account. Irvine’s arrival brought with it a well-edited list of dishes to kick-start the reinvigorated


restaurant. Improvements were made on some of Cuneo’s existing menu items, and Irvine urged her to try scratch baking her breads, as George had. As with most of the proposed changes, Cuneo was, at first, extremely resistant to Irvine’s attempts to alter her menu. And while a majority of the foods being prepared at Mom and Dad’s had always been made from scratch, they were lackluster. One notable exception was her pizza. With that in mind, Irvine encouraged additional pizzas, building on her signature pie. Admittedly, some of the modifications have not taken permanent hold. Though the house-baked bread has been outsourced to a local bakery, “We’re still offering one of the pizzas that he made and a few items that he came in with, but we went back to a good portion of my menu,” Cuneo says. Happily, however, one important change remained in place: “It’s not as large –– [we needed] to streamline it.” “It’s gotten a mix of responses,” the restaurant owner says of the menu adaptations and remodeled decor. “Some of my locals were like me –– they didn’t like change. They didn’t want it to be any different than it was. But for the most part, the majority [of our diners] like it.” The show’s airing cast a wide net, bringing in fans from around the country. “So many people are just rabid about that show,” Cuneo observes. “They’ve got a huge following,” she marvels, citing calls she’s received from travelers who seem to plan their itinerary around “Restaurant: Impossible” episodes. Cuneo’s personal transformation was part of the process, as well. Emotionally, she had a lot to overcome. Mom and Dad’s had, since the day she and her late husband took over for the original owners in 1988, been an integral part of their lives. George’s death left her alone –– not only in keeping her business afloat in a tanking economy, but in the emotional struggle of watching their long-held dream come to an end. She suffered in silence, feeling an acute sense of shame. “I think it would have embarrassed George to admit that we needed help, just like it was hard for me. But I think if we hadn’t done it, in a couple of months, we would have had to close,” she confesses. “That would have devastated me, and it would have devastated him.” Fortunately, the show left her with a fresh perspective, and now Cuneo has implemented Irvine’s greatest advice regarding the restaurant’s actual operation. “I was over-ordering and undercharging. Robert helped me on those points, and it’s worked.” Her advice for other restaurateurs? “You really have to watch your bottom line and charge enough,” she says. Fearing that an increase would overwhelm diners in such a small town, Cuneo’s prices had always remained unrealistically low; and over time, it ate her profits. “You’ve got to do a cost analysis,” Cuneo realizes. “That’s your profit, and you’ve got to make a profit to stay in business.” Certainly food for thought.

Kelsey Appellate Law Firm, P.A. Florida Appellate Practice

SUSAN L. KELSEY Tallahassee | Admitted 1988 850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014




Northern Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa + Walton Counties and Holmes, Washington, Calhoun, Jackson + Liberty Counties, Madison

The Starting Point Test tube plants grown in Calhoun County are on the cutting edge By Lazaro Aleman


rom the roadside, the main facility of Oglesby Plants International (OPI) — just north of the small community of Altha in rural Calhoun County — resembles a nondescript agricultural processing plant amidst a vast expanse of croplands. Step inside, however, and you discover a multimillion-dollar company with a state-of-the-art research and development arm and a national/international reputation in horticulture. Headed by partners Gary Hennen (president), David Oglesby (vice president) and Mary Oglesby McKenzie (secretary/treasurer), OPI annually produces 12 million young plants, which it supplies to 400-plus commercial growers the world over. The company, moreover, is universally recognized for the propagation and production of tropical/ perennial plants and ornamental grasses, with a product line of 150 or so different species and the development and production of between 10 and 20 new varieties every year. Not to mention that its 90-strong workforce ranks OPI among Calhoun County’s top five employers. “We’re the starting point for the nursery industry,” Hennen says. “If you visit your local garden center, you see beautiful, well-grown potted plants. We’re the people who cultivate the plants and send them to the wholesale growers to grow larger, before they go to the retail companies. We develop new varieties, improve varieties, come up with new flower colors, new CUTTING-EDGE methods of growing, new leaf shapes, disease PRODUCTION Opposite Page: (left to resistances — all kinds of criteria that we develright), David Oglesby, op through a breeding process. Then we propaMary Oglesby McKenzie and Gary Hennen in a gate them, primarily using plant tissue culture, greenhouse at Oglesby and market them to commercial growers. Plants International in Altha. Eventually, they end up with retail consumers.” Above: A tissue culture jar Plant tissue culture (PTC) — variously containing sterile nutrient called micropropagation, meristem culture media and plants. and cloning — involves the replication of 82


APRIL – MAY 2014



850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014



“The media are like cake recipes; you don’t share them,” McKenzie says of the formulas. Inside the various sterilized lab rooms — visible through plate-glass windows and resembling clinical settings — workers in lab coats go about their designated tasks in strict adherence to established procedures. “You can lose a culture if you don’t follow protocol,” Hennen says. “It’s like a hospital. You have to have a lot of controls to keep the patients alive.” Once “harvested,” the plantlets are counted, graded and packaged in clear plastic bags and boxes for transport to the greenhouses or direct shipment to international customers, respectively. The reason for the direct shipments is that some countries won’t allow the import of soil-rooted plants, as soil may contain insects, diseases and other pathogens. “They’re easy to ship this way and pass borders efficiently,” Hennen says of the tiny plants, resembling nothing more than boxed salad greens. THE STARTING POINT Plantlets not shipped go to the research and developAbove: Oglesby Plants International produces 12 million young plants a year and supplies more than ment greenhouses behind the administrative/lab build400 commercial growers. ing, where they are soil potted and grown to a certain Left: In the lab, plants are removed from the level. Here also are kept the breeding stock plants, each culture jar and sent to greenhouses for planting or placed back into another culture jar for further possessing a distinct and desired trait, whether it’s a observation. flower color, leaf shape or unusual configuration. “Some of these are 20 years or older,” Hennen says. “We vegetative tissues in nutriuse them for their genetic lines. The breeder takes pollen from one and ent-rich culture media under puts it on another to develop a new flower color or leaf shape or whatever.” aseptic conditions. This Once the breeder creates a new variety, it goes to the research and develmethod not only allows opment people to figure how to grow it in a lab environment. If successfully for the rapid duplication of grown in the lab, the new plant is returned to the R/D greenhouses for moniplants, it also greatly reduces toring to ensure it exhibits the desired qualities before going to national and the transmittal of diseases, pests and pathogens. Raymond Oglesby, international commercial growers for testing in different environments. who founded the company in South Florida in 1947 and moved it “If test growers like the plant, we know we’ve got something,” Hennen to Altha in 1984, is an acknowledged pioneer in the commercial use says. “If they say, ‘Boy, this is a real dud,’ we throw it away and start again.” of PTC, which was largely confined to academia before the 1970s. Once a plant is a go, it’s patented, listed on the company’s products Oglesby’s early PTC experiments focused on the Aztec Gold daylily. brochure and website, exhibited at trade shows and actively marketed to “The theory is that from a single plant cell you can duplicate a plant,” commercial growers and garden centers. Hennen explains. “We don’t go down to a single cell, but we’ll take a bud Oglesby’s nursery proper is three-fourths of a mile from the main facility — the growing point of a plant where the leaves and stems come out — and consists of several greenhouses, each with a specific function. Here the and we’ll isolate a piece no bigger than a dot and put it in a test tube with soil-rooted miniature plants are finished, quality inspected, bar-coded for a fancy fertilizer solution. If we do everything right, that tiny bud will genetic lineage and accountability purposes, and ultimately shipped. grow and eventually little leaves will pop up. We then transfer the plant These are high-tech greenhouses, equipped with computer-operated to a new medium and using different chemicals tell it to start branchsystems that ensure maintenance of the proper temperature, ventilation, ing. We then cut these branches and put them in new tissue cultures. watering, fertilizing and lighting schedules for the different plant varietSo we start with one and get two, and from two we get four, and from ies 24-7. Should a power outage or other malfunction occur, generators four, 16 — it’s a geometric progression. And over a short period, we have automatically kick in to operate the systems. hundreds of thousands of plants.” The nursery also contains an outdoor garden where new and experimenIt takes about five years from the breeding/development stage to the tal plants and grasses cultivated by Oglesby’s breeder, outside professionals retailing of a new variety, a process that entails much testing, teamwork, or hobbyists, are tested. If a breed proves viable and goes into production, creativity and not a bit of risk and luck in anticipating future market Oglesby pays the breeder royalties. trends. And it’s all accomplished within the lab and greenhouses, making Hennen notes that Oglesby’s seemingly simple yet extremely efficient for an intensive agriculture operation. Which explains why Oglesby and effective operation is the culmination of years of experimentation and doesn’t require the large acreage that more traditional nurseries require. forethought, if with a bit of fortune thrown in. “You can grow a lot of plants in 3½ acres of greenhouses,” Hennen says. “Gregor Mendel was lucky he happened to pick the pea, which has a small A tour of the operation typically begins with the 15,000-square-foot number of chromosomes,” Hennen says of the 19th-century friar/scientist whose pea plant experiments led to modern genetics. “Had Mendel picked something laboratory adjacent to the administrative/sales offices. A series of sepamore complex, the field of genetics might be years behind. And Ray Oglesby rate and specialized airtight rooms, the laboratory is where the bud tiswas lucky he picked Aztec Gold, a daylily that does very well in plant tissue culsues are developed and grown inside test tubes and jars containing gelture. Had Ray picked another of the daylilies, we might not be here.” like cultures unique to each species. 84


APRIL – MAY 2014



Discover interesting people, places & things to do along the Gulf Coast.

WATCH Thursdays 7 PM

Thursdays 7:30 PM 850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014




Gadsden, Jefferson + Leon Counties, Taylor

The Flavor of Perseverance Klassic Katering owner Karen Chapman embraces the good, the bad and the delicious for more than 17 years By Chay D. Baxley



APRIL – MAY 2014




n the spring of 1997, Karen Chapman’s husband of 19 years, Don, was diagnosed with a rare form of highly aggressive bone cancer. Life had handed her the sourest of lemons. After a good cry, she took a breath. Then, Chapman proceeded to make lemonade, lemon squares and the most delectable lemon meringue pie you’ve ever tasted. What else could she do? Don’s prognosis was poor, and the couple’s teenage daughter, Samantha, was utterly devastated. “We never knew what every day was going to bring,” said Chapman of those dark times. “It was always something new.” One thing was blatantly clear, though — Chapman’s every waking moment needed to revolve around keeping her family unit intact. A career change was in order for this highly educated former schoolteacher and principal, but in what direction? With their finances tied up by the construction of a new home, her decision weighed heavily. A Brooklyn transplant, she had spent the previous 16 years getting adjusted to life in sunny Fort Myers. Now, in her time of need, those two familiar places were worlds away. “I was just a Yankee from the big city who lived in Fort Myers for some time,” joked Chapman on her mindset after moving to Tallahassee in 1991. “But Fort Myers and Tallahassee are two completely different things.” For better or worse, fate had brought her to Florida’s capital city. And when in Rome, it’s best to do — or at least barbecue — as the Romans do.

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS Karen and Don Chapman with a memento from their earliest catering days.

That was the philosophy Chapman embraced when she decided to set up shop for KC’s BBQ. About a year after Don was diagnosed, Karen quit her day job and started serving up savory pork sandwiches full time. The learning curve was a major culture shock. “First of all, what did I know about smoking barbecue? You should have seen me. I was outside, in my driveway, the flames were coming up,” laughed Chapman as she animated the memorable scene. “I learnt what Southern mentality was all about,” she said in a moment of poetic conversation. “I learnt what Southern hospitality was all about.” Admittedly, Chapman’s first culinary endeavor in Tallahassee was one of pure necessity, but it gave the Chapman family — as well as local residents — a taste of things to come. “It was me, in a dump truck, with a $100 charcoal grill,” shared the vivaciously determined caregiver and entrepreneur about the early days, when her builder would lend her his work truck so she could get from point A to B — maybe earning ten bucks along the way. At the same time that Chapman’s life had been turned upside down, the couple’s daughter Samantha — now a successful television producer in New York City — was pursuing her education and, with it, her dreams. “I think there have been times she’s often wondered if I was proud of her,” admitted Samantha, 33, during an emotional and raw interview about her and her mother’s relationship. “I’m not going to lie, when you’re 18 years old and a senior in high school, and your parents are selling sandwiches at a football game … everyone loved the food, but because I’m private, there was always the feeling of ‘Oh, I don’t want anyone to know we’re selling sandwiches.’ 850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014



SMOKIN’! Barbecue was Karen Chapman’s first foray into food service.

Get Anywhere From Here Yes, now you can compare fares to go anywhere in the world and book your ight on

The convenience you expect. Low fares you deserve! | 850.651.7160 2013

Atlanta (ATL)



APRIL – MAY 2014


Dallas (DFW)

Houston (IAH)

Charlotte (CLT) Washington DC (DCA)


“At the end of the day, she afforded me the ability to graduate college early and go to New York. She afforded me the ability to never want for anything, but also never take anything for granted,” shared Samantha, choking back tears. For Don, who was forced to resign from his job due to health complications, those days consisted of sitting by his wife’s side, taking his aching body and folding chair wherever barbecuing led them. Weeks turned into months. Surgeries came, along with hospital bills. They made the rounds of Tallahassee Memorial, Shands, Moffitt and Sloan-Kettering seeking care for Don’s cancer. And, despite the odds, things started to look up. He was getting better. After gaining recognition within the community, Chapman sat her smoker aside for something more akin to her own style. A change of pace, and taste, was once again in order. Klassic Katering was born in early 1999. “I knew I wanted it to be different, so I called it Klassic Katering,” said Chapman on how her current business venture came to be, playing off her first name’s initial. “One thing led to another, and here I sit.” She’s not sympathetic to people who have a “can’t do” attitude: “When people tell me that they can’t do something here in Tallahassee or when people tell me that they can’t provide for themselves … . We had nothing. Nothing.” For years, the new, struggling business took any and every catering opportunity that came their way. Weddings, corporate soirees, political gatherings and family get-togethers — Chapman handled them all. Nothing was too miniscule or grand. “It was a matter of self survival,” she said of those early days. “It was a

WE DON’T WANT ORDERS, matter of wanting to do the best that you can do not only for your family, but also for your own business.” Word of her delicious concoctions spread, and Klassic Katering’s client list began to multiply. “She’s wonderful,” said repeat Klassic client Ysonde Jensen, Development & Communications Associate at Tallahassee Community College. “A consummate professional. She delivers an outstanding product.” While born of necessity, opening up a catering company was a logical step in the evolution of Chapman’s career. Coming from a long line of entertainers, she was blessed with a knack for cooking in quantity as well as with the “fabulous” recipes from her father’s personal archives. When it came to catering, delicious, decorative and unique were her specialties from the very beginning. And, to this day, no one pulls them off quite like she does. “I didn’t only do the food, the bride became my bride,” beamed Chapman. “She became important to me.” That combination of heart and creative flair has made Klassic Katering a favorite for Tallahassee’s brides, partygoers and party throwers. Part of the allure is also Chapman herself. “I always say everyone wants a little piece of Karen,” laughed Chapman. “I love things that are beautiful,” she enthused. “I love things that are not typical. (I) always do something that’s a little edgy, a little different. I just decided that since that’s what I like to do, that’s what I was going to do to make a living.” Since that fateful decision, a lot has changed for Tallahassee and the Chapmans as well. After a period of remission, Don’s cancer recurred. And once again, he won. At that time, the couple owned a small café known as the Fickle Pickle which, due to the health limitations of both Don and Karen, was forced to close prematurely. “The one thing that has stayed the same I think is the generosity of a lot of people,” said Chapman of Tallahassee — then and now. “I think that even though it has grown, the same people who built my house — the same plumbers, the same air-conditioning people — they’ve grown up with me.” And as for Don? “Now he’s retired, and I have a company that’s crazy,” laughed Chapman of their hectic life together.



PRINTING PUBLICATION SPECIALIST WEB AND OFFSET PRINTING FOR 80 YEARS Boyd Brothers Printing of Panama City has been my preferred magazine printer for the past five years. Their work quality and customer service is excellent ... they stand behind their work and their pricing is very fair and reasonable. Brian Rowland, President, Rowland Publishing

425 East 15th Street | Post Office Box 18 Panama City, FL 32402-0018 | 1-800-677-BOYD (2693) 850-763-1741 | Fax: 850-769-6526 |




Alex Kuznetsov Winner of the 2013 French Open Wild Card Attend the final tournament of the Har-Tru USTA Pro Circuit Wild Card Challenge and see the greatest tennis stars face off for a chance to earn a Main Draw Wild Card into the French Open. Bring your family, and watch the action. April 26–May 3, 2014 at Forestmeadows Tennis Center in Tallahassee, FL. For more information about tickets, sponsorships or volunteer opportunities, visit our website or call the TMH Foundation at 431-5389.


850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014




Panama City, Panama City Beach + Bay County

Looney Birds Bay County saves base and jobs by landing ‘more mission’


man named Looney was the first to float the idea. A retired four-star general, he was aware that the Air Force was preparing to activate a combat-coded squadron of F-22s that would need a permanent place to land. Maybe Bay County’s Tyndall Air Force Base could host the mission, thought the former commander of the Air Education and Training Command at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. “Yes,” said Gen. William Looney III to himself. “Why not?” Turning to the members of “Tyndall Team,” a six-member committee of the Bay Defense Alliance, Looney encouraged, “We’ve got to socialize this idea with the leadership of the Air Force and members of Congress.” The team was willing to explore any avenue Looney thought worthy of pursuing. Everyone concerned — especially the BDA — was convinced that Tyndall was vulnerable. The BDA, a group of 30 volunteers, was formed in 1992 after Bay County’s Navy base, Naval Support Activity-Panama City, survived a closure threat. It has since mobilized in response to Base Realignment and Closure Commission proceedings in 1993, 1995 and 2005. Simply put, “We’re in the vigilance business,” says BDA President Tom Neubauer. Tyndall had been home to 30 F-22s and 48 F-15s. Then came the Combat Air Forces Restructure Plan, whose recommendations were relayed by the Air Force to the BDA on Oct. 14, 2008. The plan called for the retirement of 112 F-15s, including all of those based at Tyndall. Lost to Bay County



APRIL – MAY 2014


would be 800 jobs associated with them. “Worse still, we feared that a remaining presence of just 30 jets would not be enough to warrant keeping Tyndall open,” recalls Neubauer. “We had to find more mission.” The BDA secured a state-funded Florida Military Base Protection Grant administered by Enterprise Florida and, with it, hired Looney. “We chased a bunch of trails,” Neubauer said. “We thought for a time, for example, that we might be able to attract some of the F-35s slated for Eglin Air Force Base.” But it was the Looney plan that proved to be the most logical and, ultimately, saleable. On June 23, 2009, the Tyndall Team met with Gen. Norton Schwartz, the Air Force Chief of Staff, and Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley in the Eagle Room at Tyndall. The sextet emphasized the value of the Gulf of Mexico Range air space; the lack of development in a wide area surrounding Tyndall; and the fact that Tyndall, since 2003, had been a fifth-generation (F-22) fighter community whose importance and contributions to the local economy were understood and appreciated by Bay County residents. Their presentation concluded, the Tyndall Team escorted the dignitaries to an adjoining room where 65 prominent Bay County leaders, including municipal and county officials, representatives of the Bay County and Panama City Beach chambers of commerce and Economic Development Alliance officials, had assembled. “The secretary and the chief of staff thought they were about to be lynched because of the

cutbacks Tyndall had sustained,” Neubauer remembers. “Instead, they were embraced, applauded and presented with proclamations of support from the chambers and every local government in the county. We think that didn’t hurt.” Indeed, when, five months later, BDA members met with Gen. Schwartz in Washington, D.C., the delegation was assured that Tyndall would not lose its 30-jet F-22 training squadron and, in addition, Schwartz appeared interested in the visitors’ suggestion that Tyndall might also host a combat-ready squadron. That suggestion materialized. In July 2010, the Air Force announced plans to move F-22s from Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico to Tyndall. Today, the Air Force is discovering the advantages and efficiencies associated with having both a training mission and a combat mission at Tyndall. “The benefit is consolidation and having the opportunity for the training mission and the 95th Fighter Squadron to interact,” says Lt. Christopher Bowyer-Meeder at Tyndall. The F-22s originally were to arrive in Florida from New Mexico in late 2012 and early 2013, one move among several involving the positioning of aircraft at three bases. Tyndall began to make ready: It transitioned from the Air Education Training Command to the Air Combat Command, prematurely, as it turned out. Poliltics would intervene. In January 2013, the Air Force announced that the scheduled arrival


By Steve Bornhoft

F-22 Raptor PRIMARY FUNCTION: Air dominance, multi-role fighter

WINGSPAN: 44 feet, 6 inches (13.6 meters)

CONTRACTOR: Lockheed-Martin, Boeing

LENGTH: 62 feet, 1 inch (18.9 meters)


HEIGHT: 16 feet, 8 inches (5.1 meters)

POWER PLANT: Two Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 turbofan engines with afterburners and two-dimensional thrust vectoring nozzles THRUST: 35,000-pound class (each engine)

WEIGHT: 43,340 pounds (19,700 kilograms) MAXIMUM TAKEOFF WEIGHT: 83,500 pounds (38,000 kilograms)

FUEL CAPACITY: Internal: 18,000 pounds (8,200 kilograms); with two external wing fuel tanks: 26,000 pounds (11,900 kilograms) SPEED: Mach 2 class with supercruise capability RANGE: More than 1,850 miles ferry range with 2 external wing fuel tanks (1,600 nautical miles) CEILING: Above 50,000 feet (15 kilometers)

ARMAMENT: One M61A2 20-millimeter cannon with 480 rounds, internal side weapon bays carriage of two AIM-9 infrared (heat seeking) air-to-air missiles and internal main weapon bays carriage of six AIM-120 radar-guided air-to-air missiles (air-to-air loadout) or two 1,000-pound GBU32 JDAMs and two AIM120 radar-guided air-to-air missiles (air-to-ground loadout) UNIT COST: $143 million

850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014



of F-22s at Tyndall would be delayed for a year. Even as F-22s, each costing $143 million, were to be moved from Holloman to Tyndall, F-16s at Luke AFB in Arizona were to be assigned to Holloman. Wait just a minute, said Arizona’s senior senator, John McCain. The process waited a year instead, until new F-35s were ready to be delivered to Luke. The first five of 24 Tyndall-bound, operational squadron F-22s arrived on Jan. 6. The remaining 19 are scheduled to be in place in Florida by April 1, according to Bowyer-Meeder. At that point, Tyndall AFB will host more F-22s than any other base in the world. Along with the F-22s will come a total of 20 T-38s, which will act as “adversary air” during F-22 training exercises. Ten arrived in January. All of this military hardware has translated to an uptick in intangibles, Neubauer says, including Bay County’s outlook on itself. “We’re enjoying a regained sense of optimism,” Neubauer, a real estate broker, has found. “Businesses that have been holding off in the five years since Tyndall’s mission was scaled back are now expanding. People feel good about the future of the base.”

and transfers. Department of Defense spending accounted for 22,493 jobs in Bay County. Hass calculated that DoD spending in 2013 made a $2.088 billion contribution to Bay County’s gross regional product. DoD-related employment had fallen to 20,891 jobs, but the new F-22 squadron and related activities will increase that number by more than 1,000. Southerland is a former chairman of the Military Affairs Committee of the Bay County Chamber of Commerce. As such, he is keenly aware of the symbiotic relationship between the military and Bay County. “The Bay Defense Alliance and the Military Affairs Committee have been instrumental in advocating on behalf of our bases and welcoming military families into our community,” he says. “That strong connection will serve both the community and the military well, now and in the future.” Neubauer hopes so. “There were lots of high-fives among BDA members when the first of the new squadron of F-22s landed here in January,” Neubauer said. “But the truth is that the Air Force located them at Tyndall because it’s the best place for the Department of Defense to put them. We’re just fortunate to have such an enthusiastically vocal community that Bay County wasn’t overlooked. And we’re grateful for the grant that brought us Gen. Looney’s insights and influence.”


MISSION ACCOMPLISHED Larry Dantzler (left) and Ted Neubauer of the Bay Defense Alliance do a high five over the F-22.

Is it reasonable to assume that the presence of the F-22s and related aircraft at Tyndall makes the base less vulnerable to future base realignment and closure activity? “Yes, but it does not completely eliminate vulnerability,” says Craig Deatherage, the military liaison in the office of U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Panama City). “A continued focus on sustaining existing missions and pursuing ways to bring new missions to Tyndall are an ongoing focus of the community and Congressman Southerland’s office.” Each Base Realignment and Closure Commission — if an established pattern is prelude, there will be another BRAC in 2017 — has its own scoring criteria. That reality makes for moving targets, and communities must be flexible if they are to lock in on what matters most. But certain factors are a given, including the encroachment issue; evidence of military family-friendly legislation at the state level; and the availability of interstate professional certifications for military spouses and other educational opportunities. To be sure, there is a lot at stake. In 2008, defense spending in Bay County totaled $1.068 billion, according to the Haas Center for Business Research and Economic Development. Of the total, 31 percent was tied to wages and salaries; 44 percent to the purchase of goods and services; and 25 percent to pensions



APRIL – MAY 2014



Gulf, Franklin + Wakulla Counties

Talking ’Bout My Generation Young business leaders find their voice in Wakulla County By Sarah Kelley



t’s common for young professionals to have the desire to be involved in the community and network with other professionals, but the hardest part is figuring out where to begin and what organization to join. Two years ago, the Wakulla County Chamber of Commerce decided it was time to help the area’s business leaders of tomorrow begin growing their own network. And so was born Focus Wakulla. The idea began with Amy Geiger, a past president of the Wakulla Chamber, who saw a need to bridge the generation gap between the county’s older, more established business leaders and a growing number of young professionals who call Wakulla home. “Courtney Armitage and I were brainstorming prior to my tenure as Chamber president, and we knew we needed to start a movement to attract those young professionals that felt they did not have a voice in the business community,” she said. Geiger had been involved with the Chamber for six years, but was still one of its younger members. And there were a limited number of seats on the Chamber board that could be offered to the younger set. But Armitage had been involved with Access Tallahassee, the young professional program in Leon County, so the two joined with Tara Kieser, the Chamber’s membership chair, to set the wheels in motion for a similar Wakulla program. Kieser, Armitage and Jessica Revell met with a small group of Chamber members in April 2012 and settled on some specific initiatives they felt the young professionals would benefit from, such as networking events. They also developed a mission statement: Foster and support economic development; Optimize networking opportunities; Create and cultivate future leaders; Understanding and awareness of

government processes; Strengthen and enrich our community. “The initial intent was to boost membership and educate the next generation on the benefits of being a Chamber member,” Geiger explained. “We have many small businesses that are being passed down from generation to generation and wanted to be able to reach those (individuals who) are taking over from their parents.” Added Revell: “We want to continue to diversify the Chamber; we were having too many members in the older age group.” It would be better for the community, the group reasoned, to get input from a wide range of age groups when making local decisions. The age range for Focus Wakulla is 18–45, and members even include Tallahassee residents who live, work or play in Wakulla. The group gathers for networking three to four times a year, using social media and personal visits to local businesses to spread the word about upcoming events. Adds Kieser, “Our goal was to attract the next generation of leaders, which seems to be working. Our attendees have been the local younger business owners and young professional employees of Chamber members.” The first event was in the summer of 2012, a meet and greet at Posey’s Dockside Café, where about 100 young professionals gathered to enjoy a live band. Other gatherings have been focused around speed networking and political forums. “At each event, we try to accomplish one of our goals, such as economic development. Lately, we have been working on lots of networking, trying to help the young professionals get out more. It’s hard to get the younger members of the community out; it’s intimidating for them to go to an event full of 50-, 60-, and 70-year-olds and pick someone to go talk to,” Revell explained.

GETTING FOCUSED Young business leaders meet at Posey’s Dockside Café for FOCUS Wakulla’s inaugural event.

But Focus Wakulla is getting support from the older generation, which wants to encourage the involvement of young professionals in the community. “It is a great venue for young professionals to get to know each other and become accustomed to networking, while still getting the benefits of [Chamber of Commerce] membership. The Chamber also greatly benefits from the influx of new young members,” said former President John Shuff. “Focus Wakulla members also have activities and functions planned outside the regular meetings. The events are an excellent venue … to get to know younger business people that may have an interest and the time to further serve their community as a member of the board of directors.” In fact, all three of the initial “ring leaders” of Focus Wakulla are now Chamber board members. Armitage serves on the executive board as treasurer. “All business owners are challenged with juggling their time, especially the younger set as they raise their children,” Shuff said. “Our older members have obviously had to deal with these issues and serve as examples of ‘where there is a will there is a way’ and that the benefits outweigh the challenges.” 850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014



CAPITAL LOCAL HAPPENINGS >>  The Division of Workforce Development at Tallahassee Community College has received a Plus 50 Encore Completion Program grant from the American Association of Community Colleges. The goal of the Plus 50 project is to help more adults over age 50 successfully complete TCC workforce training certificates and not-forcredit credentials in high-demand career fields. The project will focus on training that leads to employer-recognized certificates in the fields of Medical Administrative Specialist and Health Information and Management. >>  The Gadsden County Chamber of Commerce in Quincy has installed a fully integrated solar energy system in collaboration with Independent Green Technologies. Residents will be able to monitor and analyze the productivity of the solar array via a real time visitor video kiosk at the Chamber office. >>  The Pennington P.A. law firm has elected its board of directors and officers for 2014: J. Breck Brannen, president and CEO; William H. “Billy” Hughes III, chief financial officer; Kory J. Ickler, secretary; Brandice BRANNEN D. “Brandi” Dickson, assistant CFO/CFOelect; Barrie Buenaventura; John C. Pelham Jr.; R. Terry Rigsby; and Donald D. Conn. Pennington has also added two new shareholders, Adrienne C. Love, who is practicing Intellectual Property Law and Litigation, and William D. “Bill” Horgan, who is practicing Insurance Defense Litigation, Products Liability Litigation and Commercial Litigation. >>  Four Points by Sheraton General Manager Bo Schmitz has been appointed to the Leon County Tourist Development Council. The hotel is also expanding its team by adding Cheryl Horne as senior sales manager, Laurin Fuller as sales manager and Maria Matilszki as catering manager. Kevin Keating, former Dean of Culinary Arts at Keiser University, is joining the team as the hotel’s Executive Chef. Keating’s hospitality industry career spans more than three decades.

NEW BEGINNINGS >>  Cambria Solutions Inc., a national information technology and management consulting firm, has opened a new office in Tallahassee. Health and human services industry veteran Suzanne Vitale will lead the Tallahassee office.



APRIL – MAY 2014


Most recently, she served as deputy secretary for the Florida Department of Children and Families. >>  Ken Armstrong has been named president and CEO of the Florida Trucking Association. He brings extensive nonprofit experience to the association, the chief advocate for the state’s trucking industry, including over a decade at the United Way of the Big Bend.

>>  Carr, Riggs & Ingram LLC, ranked as the 28th largest accounting firm nationally and third largest in the South, has added Timothy Palmer as the business development executive serving the Tallahassee area. >>  Accounting and tax services firm Thomas Howell Ferguson PA, headquartered in Tallahassee, has promoted Kavisha McCranie to Senior, Tax Services Department, and Meagan Camp to Senior, Assurance Services Department. The firm has also added Elaine Sutter to its tax staff and Nick Whitaker as an assurance senior. 


>>  Greg Ungru has left the Florida Sports Foundation to join N.G. Strategies as director of Client Strategy in Tallahassee. NGS specializes in corporate political and opposition research. >>  Cherry Communications has added Blaine Cherry to its management team. Cherry will serve as director of research for the Floridabased firm. >>  Foyt Ralston has joined Bryant Miller Olive’s Governmental Consulting Practice. Ralston has more than 20 years of experience in governmental affairs in the public and private sectors.

LOCAL HONORS >>  Miller’s Plumbing and Mechanical of Tallahassee received top honors — the National Excellence in Construction Eagle Award — during the 24th annual Excellence in Construction Awards celebration. The award is for the Capital Regional Medical Center expansion project. >>  Jack Cory, founder of Public Affairs Consultants, received the Association Trends 2013 Leading Lobbyist Award for his work with the Florida Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs over the past eight years. He is the only state lobbyist to receive the award in 2013.



>>  Shaddrick A. Haston has been hired to take the helm of the Florida Assisted Living Association. He most recently worked as manager of the Agency for Health Care Administration’s Assisted Living Unit.

>>  Taproot Creative, a Tallahassee-based integrated marketing and behavior change firm, won three Gold ADDY Awards and seven Silver ADDY Awards in the local 2014 American Advertising Awards. The firm also won the Best of Show for Web and for Print, highlighting its work for Lucy & Leo’s Cupcakery and Rayonier, a publicly traded international company based in Jacksonville. >>  Tallahassee Bar Association Young Lawyer Section President Andrew Manko was honored with the 2014 Thomas M. Ervin Jr. Distinguished Young Lawyer Award.

>>  Jamie Mongiovi has left CoreMessage to become communications director for the Florida Office of Financial Regulation. >>  The Florida Dental Association has hired Ashley Liveoak as a meeting assistant for the association’s annual Florida National Dental Convention. >>  Robert G. “Bob” Nave has joined the Florida TaxWatch Research Team as director of the TaxWatch Center for Educational Performance & Accountability. He will serve as a senior education policy analyst. >>  Shawn C. Kalbli, MLA, ASLA, has been promoted to vice-president/director of the Tallahassee office of Wood+Partners Inc., a land planning and landscape architecture firm with offices in Hilton Head Island, S.C., and Tallahassee.

>>  The Young Lawyers Section of the Tallahassee Bar Association received the President’s Choice Grant Award at The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Affiliate Outreach Conference for its “Thunderdome Tallahassee” grant proposal. The Legal Aid Foundation is spearheading the initiative in order to train and assist a select group of young attorneys in



addressing the persistent backlog of family law and other pro bono cases in the area. >>  Sachs Media Group has been named the top Environmental & Public Affairs public relations firm in Florida and 12th in the nation by O’Dwyer’s, the national public relations industry journal. The firm is one of only two in Florida to earn a ranked spot on the list in the February 2014 “Environment” issue of O’Dwyer’s magazine. The rankings are based on 2012 net fees. >>  Centennial Bank has added Erin Ennis to its Northeast Florida Board of Directors. Ennis is vice president of finance and administration at Residential Elevators.



>>  Vicki Lukis, 55, of Tallahassee, a partner of Sylvester Lukis & Associates LLC, to the Prison Rehabilitative Industries and Diversified Enterprises Inc. board of directors. >>  John E. Fischer, 57, a hearing aid specialist and regional manager for Hearing Lab Technology, and Thomas M. Hollern, 72, a supervisor with the Leon County School Board, both from Tallahassee, to the Board of Hearing Aid Specialists. >>  Christine “Chris” Smith, 61, of Lloyd, a teacher with Leon County Schools; Kristina HolmanMohr, 64, of Havana, a business training consultant with Wells Fargo; and Vincent Giglio, 88, of Tallahassee, an advocate for persons with disabilities, to the Area Two Family Care Council. >>  Bill Wertman, 55, of Tallahassee, CEO of the Alzheimer’s Project Inc. and an adjunct professor at Florida State University, to the Alzheimer’s Disease Advisory Committee.

of life. The Studer Institute will be led by former Pensacola News Journal Executive Editor Randy Hammer, who will serve as CEO and president. Other staffers will include Mollye Barrows, Brian Hooper and Reggie Dogan. >>  A new book, “Brands in Glass Houses: How to Embrace Transparency and Grow Your Business Through Content Marketing,” has been written by Dechay Watts and Debbie Williams, cofounders of content WATTS & WILLIAMS marketing agency SPROUT Content, to showcase the trend of brands connecting with people by being transparent and giving away knowledge to build trust. >>  The Greater Pensacola Chamber, the region’s oldest and largest business association devoted to promoting and improving the Greater Pensacola Region through economic improvement, community involvement and workforce development, split with its tourism department, Visit Pensacola, in January. The Pensacola Bay Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, which was the Chamber’s tourism arm for the past 25 years, kicked off 2014 as a standalone entity that will be directed by an 11-member board of local hospitality leaders and tourism professionals. Steve Hayes, who served as the Chamber’s vice president of tourism and who was one of the leaders at its helm during the last few years of record-breaking tourism growth, will remain with Visit Pensacola as its president.







SOUNDBYTES Pensacola has promoted Ashley Jansky to vice president of operations. Jansky has been with Gulf Winds for more than 11 years. >>  The statewide law firm of Broad and Cassel has named Ginger Barry Boyd a partner in the firm’s Destin office. >>  Local financial advisor Dustin W. Terry has launched Clear Harbor Wealth Management, the Emerald Coast’s newest independent wealth management firm. >>  Carolina Aeronautical Airframe & TERRY Powerplant, based in Simpsonville, S.C., has opened a branch center in the Okaloosa Industrial Air Park in Crestview. The company specializes in the FAA Mechanic and Inspection Authorization Certification and offers other technical courses. >>  The Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of West Florida has named Kelly Massey as its new director. In this position, Massey will oversee the operations of SBDC offices located in Pensacola and Fort Walton Beach. >>  Beef Jerky Outlet in Destin has a new owner — Scharlean Cooper. The Destin store will be managed by Casey Lowery.

LOCAL HONORS >>  The Pearl Hotel in Rosemary Beach has become a member of the Southern Living Hotel Collection, a small, curated group of independent, four-and five-star level hotels, resorts and inns that span 18 Southern states.






>>  Pensacola entrepreneurs Quint and Rishy Studer are funding a nonprofit institute to sponsor research into the development of strategies and tools to help cities evaluate and address the health of their economy, government and quality

850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014



>>  Twin Cities Hospital Chief Nursing Officer Shaun Lampron, RN, BSN, was recently presented the Patriot Award by Employer Support of Guard and Reserve. Nominations come from military reservists who recognize employers that provide outstanding support of military duties. >>  Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast has been named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals® by Truven Health Analytics for the third year in a row and the fourth time since opening in 2003. Truven Health Analytics, formerly Thomson Reuters, is a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of health care. >>  Harley-Davidson of Pensacola has been awarded the 2013 Gold: Bar & Shield Circle of Excellence award from Harley-Davidson Motor Company, one of only four out of 120 dealerships in the Southeast to be so honored. The prestigious award recognizes dealerships that have excelled in customer satisfaction and other measured operational practices. >>  For the third year in a row, Gulf Coast Electric, a 34-year-old Destin electrical contracting firm, has earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award. >>  SunQuest Cruises SOLARIS has been

selected as a 2014 winner in the Knot Best of Weddings — the fifth consecutive year it has been honored. Winners represent the top 1 percent of reviews from recently married couples. >>  Dr. Henry Hsiang has received a three-year appointment as Cancer Liaison Physician for The Cancer Care Center at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center, the area’s only oncology program certified by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC). Dr. Hsiang is among a national network of more than 1,500 volunteer physicians who are responsible for providing leadership and direction to establish, maintain and support their facilities’ cancer programs. >>  Destin was recently named a “Destination on the Rise” by TripAdvisor. It was ranked third among the top 10 destinations in the U.S. >>  Legendary Marine, the top ranked boat dealer in North America for 2012 and 2013 and the Emerald Coast’s largest boat dealership, was presented with the 2013 Neptune Award for Best Regional Marketing in North America during the Miami International Boat Show by the Marine Marketers of America. >>  The 2014 officers of the Pensacola Chamber Foundation, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit arm of the Greater Pensacola Chamber, are: president, Jim

Mathis, Coastal Bank and Trust; vice president, Susan Davis, Sacred Heart Health System; treasurer, Scott Barrow, Regions Bank; and secretary, Mark Faulkner, Baptist Health Care. Recently honored by the Foundation for their contributions to Pensacola’s economic progress were: Jessica Lee, Kia AutoSport of Pensacola’s vice president and general manager, Emerging Leader of the Year; Pensacola native and Fitness Onboard Founder/CEO Cindi Bonner, Professional Leader of the Year; Chairman of the Downtown Improvement Board John Peacock, Community Leader of the Year; and Gulf Power Company President and CEO Stan Connally, Business Leader of the Year. Charles Carlan was awarded the Spirit of Pensacola Award, and the late Dr. Reed Bell was posthumously honored with the prestigious Pioneer Award.

APPOINTED BY GOV. SCOTT >>  To the Fiesta of Five Flags Commission of Pensacola: Mary Hoxeng, 58, owner of ADX Communications; Thomas Owens, 50, market president of Branch Banking & Trust Co.; and Dr. Jimmy Jones, 82, a physician at Nemours Children’s Clinic. >>  To the Board of Massage Therapy: Robyn Dohn Havard, 33, of Gulf Breeze, an insurance




APRIL – MAY 2014



agent with McMahon Hadder Insurance Inc., and Lydia Nixon, 32, of Pensacola, a licensed massage therapist and owner of Eimaj Spa Inc. >>  To the Pensacola State College District Board of Trustees: Frank White, 35, of Pensacola, general counsel and a business analyst at Sandy Sansing Dealerships and co-founder of CollegeFrog; Stephania Wilson, 38, of Navarre, a financial advisor with Regions; Carol Carlan, 59, of Pensacola, president of the Sacred Heart Foundation; and Herbert Woll, 65, of Gulf Breeze, a systems manager at Quest Management/Pyramid.

BAY LOCAL HAPPENINGS >>  The Business Innovation Center is partnering with The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship to bring the CEO Peer2Peer Group program to Panama City. The CEO Peer2Peer group provides a structured and confidential environment for executives to share their knowledge and experiences to help one another with business challenges. Participating executives will gain further insight to improve business decisions, communication skills and build long-term relationships while helping each other’s businesses grow. For more information, visit >>  Eastern Shipbuilding Group has been named a finalist to vie for a $10.5 billion U.S. Coast Guard contract that could bring thousands of new jobs to Bay County. Three shipbuilding yards are competing for a 20-year contract to develop 25 next-generation offshore patrol cutters for the U.S. Coast Guard. Eastern was given $22 million to design its prototype. The other firms are located in Maine and Louisiana. >>  DeTect Inc. has unveiled its new mobile RAPTOR® XBS-BL Radar Wind Profiler, which represents a revolutionary advanced technology for real-time measurement of upper atmosphere winds. The XBS offers a high performance, modern, digital system in a compact, portable design that is simple and quick to set up and was developed to be rapidly deployable for severe weather event monitoring. >>  Bracken Engineering has relocated its Northwest Florida office from Tallahassee to Panama City to better serve its clients throughout the Florida Panhandle and lower Alabama. >>  With traditional jobs becoming harder to secure, many local citizens are discovering their love for arts and crafts, baking and gardening and are transforming their passions into jobs. In February, Gulf Coast State College opened the doors to its Advanced Technology Center


to aspiring hobbyists of all ages for the nation’s first Farmers Market University.

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity will work with the city to create a strategic economic development plan tailored to its assets and then help market the plan.



>>  The Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce in February honored six local ROBERTS residents for their dedication and accomplishments in the community and with the Chamber. The honorees included: Carol Roberts, president of the Bay County Chamber of Commerce, Pioneer of the Year; Derrick Bennett, 2013 chairman of the Chamber board, the Past Chairman’s Award; Dana Sudheimer, HYPE (Helping Young Professionals Evolve) Member of the Year; Terri Hoehn, Ambassador of the Year; Dr. Jon Ward, 2013 Small Business Person of the Year Award; and Dave Johnson, Humanitarian of the Year.

APPOINTED BY GOV. SCOTT >>  To the Gulf Coast State College District Board of Trustees: Don Crisp, 71, of Panama City Beach, vice president of First American Title Insurance; Elizabeth Kirvin, 42, of Apalachicola, assistant principal of Apalachicola Bay Charter School; Steve Millaway, 57, of Panama City Beach, a self employed electrical engineer; and  David Warriner, 48, of Port St. Joe, owner and president of Tapper & Co.

FORGOTTEN COAST LOCAL HAPPENINGS >>  The Port St. Joe Port Authority in February unveiled an economic impact study conducted by the Washington Economic Group that concluded proposed port infrastructure improvements would generate nearly $133 million in net state revenues — a return of nearly $4.66 to state taxpayers for each state dollar invested in the project. The study specifically analyzed the potential economic impacts of: dredging the port channel; port operations; rail expansion; and the development of a wood pellet production facility. The findings also concluded the port modernization plans would generate an average of 803 annual equivalent jobs from 2015 through 2025 (including temporary construction jobs in 2015) and have a more than $941 million total economic impact, adding $490 million to Florida’s Gross Domestic Product by 2025. >>  The City of Port St. Joe is one of four communities that will participate in the pilot program for the Competitive Florida Partnership, a new rural community development initiative. The

>>  Kathie Brown, 62, of Panacea, director of ReNu U Medical Spa, to the Department of Elder Affairs Advisory Council.

REGIONAL HONORS >>  Among winners of the 2013 Governor’s Innovators in Business Awards during Florida Business Innovators Week were:

Business Expansion — Navy Federal Credit Union of Escambia County, which recently announced a project that will add more than 1,500 jobs in Florida’s Northwest region over the next five years. Newcomer — AMTEC Less-Lethal Systems Inc. of Taylor County, one of three domestic full-service manufacturers of products for law enforcement and corrections agencies in the U.S. and worldwide. Tourism — Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum of Escambia County, which has grown from a volunteer organization to a booming business in a few short years.

APPOINTED BY GOV. SCOTT >>  To the Gulf Consortium: Pam Anderson, 64, of Panama City Beach, operations manager of Capt. Anderson’s Marina; Peter Bos, 67, of Destin, president and chief executive officer of Legendary LLC; Lino Maldonado, 41, of Niceville, vice president of Wyndham Vacation Rentals North America; Collier Merrill, 53, of Pensacola, president and co-owner of the Merrill Land Company; Mike Sole, 49, of Tallahassee, vice president of state governmental affairs for Florida Power and Light; Neal Wade, 67, of Panama City, executive director of the Bay Economic Development Alliance. >>  To the Apalachee Regional Planning Council, Region Two: Edward E. Brimner, 55, of Crawfordville, a real estate agent with the BlueWater Realty Group; Steven A. Cutshaw, 48, of Bristol, park manager for Torreya State Park; Henry G. Grant, 65, of Quincy, extension director for the University of Florida in Gadsden County; Dawn E. Radford, 65, of Eastpoint, an author and an instructor at Gulf Coast Community College; Donald R. Stephens, 74, of Blountstown, retired president of Lasdomar Inc. 

Compiled by Linda Kleindienst

850 Business Magazine


APRIL – MAY 2014



The Last Word

Going to college during the late ’60s (during the infamous burn-the-bra era), I was a front row witness to major changes in how women were beginning to see themselves and their roles in society, at home and in the business world. It was fast becoming a different world than the one inhabited by my mother, who as a youth had dreams of a career as a physician, a classical pianist or a banker. She did go into banking to help support her family after her father’s early death but left her job when she married my father at the end of World War II. She was a wonderful mother and wife, helped care for her mother, her mother-in-law and other family members who needed assistance or were stricken with devastating diseases like cancer, including her sister and nephew. But in her later years she often expressed regret that she hadn’t had the career she had once envisioned. Today, women hold major positions in corporate America. Mary Barra leads GM, Meg Whitman is at HP, Virginia Rometty heads IBM. Among Fortune 1000 companies, 46 are led by women. And soon one more will join the list, Susan N. Story, who will be remembered by Northwest Florida for her years of leading Gulf Power as president and CEO. On May 9, she is slated to take over as the CEO of American Water Works Company. Somehow, more than 40 years after the end of my college career, I honestly thought there would have been more. So, what’s the issue? During the Day of Dialogue we were provided an insight by Nancy Carter, senior vice president of Catalyst, an international company that uses “data-driven, scientific approaches to pinpoint and address the causes of talent management gaps,” especially when it comes to women. A lot of the continuing gap has to do with the leadership style of women. While men “take charge,” she noted, women tend to “take care,” a style often seen as weak. Women are also less likely to take risks, embrace change or be willing to accept failure.



APRIL – MAY 2014


Looking around the room at the 100 women who had gathered to talk about leadership at the Day of Dialogue, I was amazed at how many I didn’t know, women who are accomplished in their lives and their careers. There were selfstarters, risk-takers, women who had already shown they were ready and willing to step into leadership vacuums and take up the slack. Yet, despite their success, many felt they faced challenges that their male counterparts never encountered, challenges that sometimes prevented them from moving as far up the leadership ladder as they wanted to go. So, how do you provide women the support to face the challenges they have in the workplace? It’s important for women to learn to become leaders in their personal lives first. But giving women the skills to succeed has to begin early, with support from family, with mentors willing to give advice, with resources from the community. One of the objectives of the Day of Dialogue was to begin talking about what support women need to succeed. What form that will take has yet to be decided. A new women’s resource center, an expanded leadership institute, enhancement of existing programs are all possibilities. As one participant commented after the event, “It was enlightening to realize there are so many accomplished, professional women in this town going through the same sorts of challenges as me. I think in the world of work, and particularly in the world of women, we have a tendency to sit around and talk about stuff. I’m more interested in DOING.” Of one thing I am sure. There is sure to be some “doing” on this front, especially considering the energy of the women who gathered for a day to discuss their hopes, their goals, their challenges. Many of us entered the room that day as complete strangers. Seven hours later we left as friends, comrades, colleagues, ready to go to battle for each other and the generations of women that will follow. Women have come a long way since the bra-burning days of the 1960s. But they still have a long way to go to be considered equals in the business world.



I recently had the incredible opportunity to participate in an event (A Day of Dialogue: For Women, About Women, By Women) that allowed dozens of amazing women in the Tallahassee community to gather and have some heart-to-heart discussion about leadership.

Old Old Florida’s Florida’s Undisputed Undisputed Sales Sales Leader! Leader!** Gulf Coast Real Estate Group, a family-owned Real Estate brokerage founded in 1965, leads the Gulf Coast Real Estate Group, a family-owned Real Estate brokerage founded in 1965, leads the way in both sales volume and number of transactions in the local market - the result of careful way in both sales volume and number of transactions in the local market - the result of careful preparation, a dedicated staff, local insight, years of experience and superior marketing. preparation, a dedicated staff, local insight, years of experience and superior marketing.

Gulf Community ofof GulfFront Front Community Jubilation located on Cape San Blas Jubilation located on Cape San Blas

*NEW *NEWLISTING* LISTING* Gulf Front Gulf Front4 4Bedroom/2 Bedroom/2Bath Bath

Historical Sales Production Historical Sales Production (1965-2013) (1965-2013) » Over $650,000,000 in closed sales » Over $650,000,000 in closed sales » Almost 3,200 transaction sides » Almost 3,200 transaction sides » More volume than the next 4 » More volume than the next 4 local companies combined local companies combined

Recent Sales Production Recent Sales Production (2013) (2013) » Almost $30,000,000 in closed sales » Almost $30,000,000 in closed sales » Nearly 200 transaction sides » Nearly 200 transaction sides » Closed home sales ranging from » Closed home sales ranging from

Sold Sold

112 Rosemary Court 112Price: Rosemary Court Sales $500,000 Sales $500,000 Sold andPrice: Closed In Just 68 Days! Sold and Closed Just 68 2500 Days!sq. ft. 4 Bedroom/4.5 BathInw/ over 4 Bedroom/4.5 Bath w/ over 2500 sq. ft. X Flood Zone X Flood Zone

San SanBlas BlasPlantation Plantationlocated located ononCape CapeSan SanBlas Blas

$750,000 – MLS#251382 $750,000 – MLS#251382 7080 CR30-A, Cape San Blas 7080 CR30-A, San Blas to the Beach Over 2,000 sq. ft.Cape w/Boardwalk Over 2,000 sq. ft. w/Boardwalk to the Beach Multiple waterview decks run width of home Multiple waterview decks run width of home

*PRICE *PRICEREDUCED* REDUCED* Large LargeRental RentalIncome Income

$35,000 to $875,000 $35,000 to $875,000

» Closed lots and vacant land sales » Closed lots and vacant land sales

ranging from $4,500 to $1,837,500 ranging from $4,500 to $1,837,500

» Closed acreage tract sales ranging » Closed acreage tract sales ranging from $13,250 to $960,000 from $13,250 to $960,000

Buying? Selling? Need a consultation Buying? Selling? Need a consultation about your Real Estate options? about your Real Estate options?

Please contact me directly at Jay@ Please contact me directly at Jay@ or 850-227-5569. or 850-227-5569.

William J. “Jay” Rish, Jr. William J. “Jay” Rish, Jr. Licensed Real Estate Broker Licensed Real Estate Broker (850) 227-5569 (850) 227-5569

*Source: MLS, RAFSG. 2011, 2012 and 2013 Gulf *Source: RAFSG. 2012 and 2013 Gulf County and MLS, Mexico Beach 2011, Sales Volume Leader. County and Mexico Beach Sales Volume Leader.

Sold Sold

106 Sand Dollar Way 106Price: Sand Dollar Way Sales $555,000 Sales Price: $555,000 bath Gulf Front Beautiful 4 bedroom/3.5 Beautiful 4 bedroom/3.5 bath Gulf Front Home; X Flood Zone Home; X Flood Zone

Cape CapeSan SanBlas BlasGulf GulfFront Front located in Seagrass located in SeagrassSubdivision Subdivision

Sold Sold

A Premiere Agent on A Premiere Agent on

10 Haven Road 10 For: Haven Road Sold $320,000 Sold For: Unique Road$320,000 to Gulf parcel Unique Over ½ anRoad acre to Gulf parcel Over ½ an acre

$798,900 – MLS#250605 $798,900 – MLS#250605 109 Barbados Dr., Cape San Blas 109Front; Barbados Dr., Zone Cape ;San Blas Gulf X Flood 4 Bedroom/4.5 Gulf Front; X Zone Elevator ; 4 Bedroom/4.5 Bath Exquisitely Flood Furnished; Bath Exquisitely Furnished; Elevator Equipped for effortless access to every level Equipped for effortless access to every level

“Gentlemen’s - 75 “Gentlemen’sFarm” Farm” - 75acres acres

$399,900 – MLS#249524 $399,900 – MLS#249524 111 Bayberry Dr., Wewahitchka 111 Bayberry Dr., Wewahitchka 3 Bedroom/1Bath over 1400 sq. ft. 3 Bedroom/1Bath 1400 sq. ft. 2 Story Barn/Pastureover Land/Woods 2 Story Barn/Pasture Land/Woods

252 252Marina MarinaDrive, Drive,Port PortSt.St.Joe Joe» »32456 32456 | |

LONG LIVE GETTING IT DONE Small business owners have to juggle a lot of demands. Just ask April Salter, owner of public relations firm Salter-Mitchell. Making a difference for her clients and employees keeps her busy 24-7, so she can’t afford to let bureaucracy or unnecessary costs slow her down. That’s why she trusted First Commerce to refinance her office building with an SBA loan at a much more competitive rate.

“I feel like First Commerce cares. The loan rates are very competitive and it helps to know you only need to make one phone call to get things done.” APRIL SALTER, PRESIDENT & COO


LOCAL STRONG 850.410.3559 | 1.800.533.5772 Federally insured by NCUA

2014 April-May Issue of 850 Business Magazine  

850 — The Business Magazine of Northwest Florida — is the premier business publication dedicated to telling the dynamic story of the region'...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you