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SPECIAL SECTION: FOCUS ON JACKSON COUNTY

BARRY RICHARD: ‘The Most Recognized Lawyer in the World’

MEDICAL TOURISTS BRING ECONOMIC BOOST

BENJAMIN ‘BEN’ CRUMP: Civil Rights Crusader

WHAT DEFINES A 1099 WORKER? FROM HAVANA TO MARIANNA, AN IMMIGRANT’S STORY

BIG-TIME BARRISTERS In our midst are attorneys whose profound influence has changed the course of our nation’s history


PERSONAL WEALTH MANAGEMENT Ashley Tucker | Jeff Helms, CPA, CFP® | Mort O’Sullivan, CPA | Joseph McNair, CFP,® JD, CPA


RESOURCES TO HELP YOU AND YOURS THRIVE Warren Averett Asset Management is an independent investment advisory firm. Everything we do is personal and fashioned to create present and future value. With us by your side, expect: • A comprehensive financial planning approach • Collaborative investment, tax, estate and financial planning services • Intimate knowledge of your personal and financial objectives • Regular meetings to foster communication and enhance satisfaction • A team of advisors dedicated to you and your family • Salaried advisors operating free from quotas, investment restrictions and proprietary products • In-house investment committee directing all investment research and decisions • Tailored portfolios consisting of equity, fixed income and alternative investments • Disciplined, data-driven approach to investing All designed and delivered to help you and yours thrive.

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Florida | Alabama | Georgia 850 Business Magazine

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850 Magazine August – September 2016

IN THIS ISSUE 850 FEATURES

SPECIAL REPORT

34

Jackson County Business Journal A focus 67 on Jackson County: A major sales push is on

A Medical Twist on Tourism

Medical tourism is a $100 billion market, and several Florida cities are in the hunt for these tourists. Now some folks in Northwest Florida are trying to figure out just how they can take a bite out of that pie. They reason that the beaches and other amenities offered in the area could be a major attraction, especially during the winter months, for Northerners and others who might want elective surgery or a getaway to focus on wellness.

By Linda Kleindienst

COURTESY DOUG MAYO/UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IFAS EXTENSION

40

to attract an auto manufacturer that could result in up to 10,000 new jobs. Chipola College ranks as one of the country’s best community colleges. Struggling farmers and the environment are getting some help. Marianna offers the only cave tours in Florida. On the Cover: Big time barristers Barry Richard and Benjamin Crump, via their involvement in cases of nationwide import, have taken star turns in the media spotlight. Photo by Dave Barfield

High Impact Attorneys There

are about 5,350 lawyers practicing in Northwest Florida. The vast majority quietly ply their trade in the office and you don’t hear much about them. Then there are others who — because of talent, a client, a cause or even shameless selfpromotion — have names that were, for a time, or still are at the forefront of public consciousness. By Rosanne Dunkelberger,

Tisha Keller, Steve Bornhoft and Tony Bridges

TALL COTTON? That depends. Cotton, along with other commodities grown by farmers in Jackson County, is subject to unpredictable price swings — and then there’s the weather.

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850 Magazine August – September 2016

IN THIS ISSUE

94 Corridors

THE 850 LIFE

CAPITAL

17 Glen McDonald of Applied Research Associates in Bay County is a very colorful chemist who does a lot of good in the local community.

86 Dr. Susan Fiorito, director of FSU’s newly established Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship, talks about her plans for what will be the nation’s largest interdisciplinary, degree-granting entrepreneurship school once it begins offering college courses in 2017.

HUMAN ELEMENT 20 Non-compete clauses are common in many contracts that new employees are required to sign upon hiring. But are they enforceable?

In This Issue

10 14 83 98

 From the Publisher  Business Arena  Sound Bytes  The Last Word from the Editor

SPONSORED REPORT

51 Professional Profiles introduce you to the leading businesses in Northwest Florida.

DEAL ESTATE

62 What’s trending, what’s selling and what’s hot to buy in the 850? Find out here.

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22 Many companies are turning to the use of W9 workers. So, how do you handle these workers and what do you need to include in contracts?

WI-FILES

Special Section

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MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES

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26 Manufacturing output in the U.S. has steadily increased since the end of World War II, but manufacturing jobs peaked around 1975 and have been declining ever since. The introduction of 3D printers could reverse that trend.

CONVERSATION 32 Jim Kelly, an NFL Hall of Fame quarterback and the First Commerce Credit Union “Power Forward” speaker for 2016, talks about his keys to success, dealings with adversity and efforts by the Hunter’s Hope Foundation — named after Kelly’s son, who died at the age of 8 -- to promote the broader use of atbirth screenings for treatable diseases.

BAY 88 An engineering visionary, Randall Shepard, CEO/President of RSAE Labs, has turned his real-world experience into a focus on global asset tracking and monitoring that has helped the military and world businesses keep track of their goods.

I-10 92 Jorge Garcia, CEO of Marianna Toyota, who fled Cuba at age 13 to come to America, worked up to three jobs after high school to care for his family and then finally found his calling selling cars.

EMERALD COAST 94 As the oldest privately held corporation in Florida, Pensacola’s Lewis Bear Company is now on its fifth generation of ownership. A look at how the company has survived 140 years and the man who leads the business.

PHOTOS BY TIM SKIPPER PHOTOGRAPHY (94) AND COURTESY 3DHUBS.COM (26)

26

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850 THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE OF NORTHWEST FLORIDA

August – September 2016

We can put that WHOLE “growing up” thing on hold.

Vol. 8, No. 6

PRESIDENT/PUBLISHER BRIAN E. ROWLAND EDITORIAL DIRECTOR OF EDITORIAL SERVICES Steve Bornhoft EDITOR Linda Kleindienst SENIOR STAFF WRITER Jason Dehart EDITORIAL COORDINATOR Rebecca Padgett CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Lazaro Aleman, Chay D. Baxley, Steve Bornhoft, Tony Bridges, Rosanne Dunkelberger, John Hornick, Tisha Keller, T.S. Strickland EDITORIAL INTERNS Joseph Zeballos-Roig, Reeves Trivette PRODUCTION SPECIALIST Melinda Lanigan COPY EDITOR Barry Ray CREATIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR Lawrence Davidson PRODUCTION MANAGER/NETWORK ADMINISTRATOR Daniel Vitter SENIOR ART DIRECTOR Saige Roberts ART DIRECTOR Jennifer Ekrut GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Charles Bakofsky, Meredith Brooks, Sarah Mitchell, Shruti Shah DIGITAL PRODUCTION SPECIALIST Chelsea Moore CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Dave Barfield, Michael Booini, Matt Burke, Lawrence Davidson, Scott Holstien, Kay Meyer, Tim Skipper Photography SALES, MARKETING & EVENTS VICE PRESIDENT/CORPORATE DEVELOPMENT McKenzie Burleigh Lohbeck DIRECTOR OF NEW BUSINESS Daniel Parisi AD SERVICES COORDINATORS Tracy Mulligan, Lisa Sostre ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Bess Grasswick, Darla Harrison, Lori Magee Yeaton, Rhonda Murray, Dan Parker, Linda Powell, Paula Sconiers, Brianna Webb INTEGRATED MARKETING SPECIALIST Jennifer Ireland EVENTS AND SPECIAL PROJECTS COORDINATOR Leigha Inman MARKETING AND EVENTS ASSISTANT Mackenzie Ligas OPERATIONS ADMINISTRATION & HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER Jim Bratton CORPORATE CLIENT LIAISON Sara Goldfarb ACCOUNTING Jackie Burns ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT Lisa Snell RECEPTIONIST Katherine Marshall

DIGITAL SERVICES 850 BUSINESS MAGAZINE 850businessmagazine.com, facebook.com/850bizmag, twitter.com/850bizmag, linkedin.com/company/850-business-magazine ROWLAND PUBLISHING rowlandpublishing.com SUBSCRIPTIONS A one-year (6 issues) subscription is $30. To purchase, call (850) 878-0554 or go online to 850businessmagazine.com. Single copies are $4.95 and may be purchased at Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million in Tallahassee, Fort Walton Beach, Destin, Panama City, Pensacola and at our Tallahassee office.

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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 August 2016 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.


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From the Publisher

The Art of Giving In my line of work, I interact with a wide range of people representing countless organizations, passions and fields of endeavor. For some, I have noticed, giving is something that is difficult, if not impossible, to do. This is true of people who may have enjoyed great professional and financial success and others who have not. All of the non-givers have a hard time articulating respectable reasons for their seeming selfishness and inability to give. Giving comes from the heart, but it also is an acquired behavior. Giving is learned early in a person’s development. Experts say it begins around the age of 2 when kids confront the challenge of “sharing their toys.” Children observe what their parents and family members do to give to others and this helps establish their own philosophy of giving for their lifetimes. Once established as a practice, giving may manifest itself in tithing at church, buying Girl Scout cookies, preparing a meal for a sick neighbor or participating as a member of a family that always made it a practice to help others. I believe that as members of society we have an obligation to give back, something that can be accomplished in many ways other than writing a check. We all have something that would be of value to another person or organization, even if it’s just a few kind words, a bit of our time or unused items that others can use. Prior to making my most recent annual trip to Central America, where I unite with friends from decades past to hang out, rest, reminisce, fish and eat well, I came up with an idea. The country we visit is a poor one, but its people are rich in character and pride. Every year, we are greeted by Arturo Soto, who grew up with little but was influenced by a family that was moved by the spirit of giving. His mother, for example, would take in people from the local hospital who needed to recover from surgery until they were ready to travel to their homes in the countryside. Arturo was called upon to give up his bed to these persons in need. Today, Arturo helps many organizations in his town

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and serves as a city councilman. He is respected and admired by many for doing what comes to him naturally. My traveling companions and I either own or work for successful companies, and I suggested that we all likely had serviceable, but retired, computers sitting around. I challenged each of our group’s members to bring one along on our trip. Two of us from Tallahassee each managed to stuff three systems with towers and keyboards into our overweight luggage. It was an adventure to push them through Customs, but the bubblewrapped equipment arrived safe and sound. Meanwhile, Arturo arranged for us to visit two schools in a remote area where the classrooms were hot and spartan. Teachers worked to manage six grade levels simultaneously, including emotionally disabled students from abusive homes. It was here that we delivered our computers. In response, teachers were sincerely thankful and their students were wide-eyed. Many had never seen a computer before. After we got the computers set up, the students honored us by presenting us with handmade gifts of appreciation. I don’t hesitate to tell you that I was touched. The school is without internet service, but Arturo has contacts in the public education system and will be providing teachers with educational CDs to facilitate learning and help students take their places as global citizens. I encourage you to assess your life at home and at work and resolve to do one additional act of giving this year. Doing so will make a big difference in another person’s life — and yours. Take care,

BRIAN ROWLAND browland@rowlandpublishing.com

PHOTO BY SCOTT HOLSTEIN

Giving opens many doors, creating new and numerous opportunities along our life paths.


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Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare is the only Comprehensive Stroke Center in North Florida. We’ve got the most innovative stroke intervention technology and the expert physicians needed to use it, giving our patients the best possible outcomes.

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850businessmagazine.com ONLINE POLL RESULTS

Eight counties in Northwest Florida that were disproportionately affected by the Deep Water Horizon oil spill are set to get $1.5 billion in economic reparations from BP that will be used over the next 30 years to diversify the area’s economy. What types of employers should the money be used to attract? SILICON VALLEY-TYPE TECH COMPANIES:

67% PINNACLE AWARDS Ten outstanding women from the

18-county region of Northwest Florida were selected from nominations and will be honored at the third annual Pinnacle Awards presentation, presented by 850 — The Business Magazine of Northwest Florida and sponsored by Gulf Power, ResortQuest and Sacred Heart. The Pinnacle Award shines a spotlight on business leaders who hold themselves to high standards and contribute to the betterment of the community. The presentation takes place during a luncheon at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola. For more information, visit 850businessmagazine.com/Pinnacle-Awards.

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the latest from 850 Business Magazine? Sign up for our e-newsletter and get updates about our website, video previews and additional offers.

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AVIATION & AEROSPACE COMPANIES:

33%

CURRENT ONLINE POLL

Small businesses around the country are benefitting from the growing availability of 3D printers. It’s a trend that some say will help boost the nation’s manufacturing base. Do you use a 3D printer in your office? If so, has it increased your bottom profit line? If not, do you plan to purchase a 3D printer in the near future?

LET’S GET SOCIAL! Have all the latest business stories at your fingertips by following us on Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram. No matter what device or social medium, we want to be a resource for you. Find 850 Business Magazine in all the best spots. Twitter: @850BizMag; Facebook: 850 – The Business Magazine of Northwest Florida; Instagram: 850bizmag; LinkedIn: 850 Business Magazine

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ONLINE EXCLUSIVES

»F  lip Books: View this issue and past issues in a digital book format. »D  eal Estate: View the latest real estate deals and listings.

PHOTO BY LAWRENCE DAVIDSON

Visit 850businessmagazine. com/polls/ to take our newest poll now.


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Executive Mindset

Business Arena NEWS AND NUMBERS

The Technology Sector When it comes to employment and economic drivers, technology remains a hot ticket in the U.S. and in Florida, according to a national report released earlier this year. According to Cyberstates 2016: The Definitive State-by-State Analysis of the U.S. Tech Industry, the 17th such annual report compiled and published by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), the technology industry makes up 7.1 percent of the country’s GDP. In 2015, the industry added close to 200,000 NEW JOBS and now employs 6.7 MILLION WORKERS. The largest gain came in the computer and peripheral manufacturing category, with a year-over-year INCREASE OF 3.7 PERCENT. And Florida is getting in on the action, ranking as one of the top five states in technology job gains — 11,400 — in 2015. The other top states were: California — +59,500, New York — +15,500, Texas — +13,800 and Massachusetts — +11,700. Source: Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA)

KEY FINDINGS FROM CYBERSTATES 2016 NATIONAL »T  ech firms employed 5.7 percent of private sector workers in 2014 »T  ech industry workers earned an average wage of $105,400, 104 percent more than the U.S. average private sector wage »A  tech industry payroll of $708 billion in 2014 accounted for over 11.6 percent of all U.S. private sector payroll »4  73,460 tech establishments in 2015 »9  38,500 tech occupational job openings in Q4 2015 FLORIDA »T  ech industry employment, 311,807 »T  ech business establishments, 30,168 »T  ech industry payroll, $25.7 billion » Average wage in technology industry, $82,566 »P  ercent of private workers in tech, 4.5 percent »S  tate ranking, tech employment, 4th » State ranking, average tech wage, 24th

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FLORIDA LEADING TECH INDUSTRY SECTORS

(By employment)

78,500*

Computer Systems Design (IT Services)

52,900 Telecommunications 50,900 22,800

Engineering Services

Internet Services

21,200 R&D and Testing Labs 0

10000 20000 30000 40000 50000 60000 70000 80000

* IT showed the biggest year-to-year increase, going from 73,100 jobs in 2014 to 78,500 in 2015.


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Executive Mindset

(850) Life The    D EVELOPING FORMULAS FOR SUCCESS

Nothing Formulaic About Him GLEN MCDONALD, PANAMA CITY

G

Chemist, Businessman

len McDonald is the senior vice president for Applied Research Associates in Panama City, a highly technical research and development company. In addition, he devotes countless volunteer hours to nonprofit organizations related to public education, business development and the preservation of the military presence in Bay County. Unfailingly affable and a defier of any mental picture of a scientist that you are likely to have, he holds degrees in biochemistry and business administration from Florida State University. Recently, he fabricated answers to a few questions from Rowland Publishing’s director of editorial services, Steve Bornhoft. In layman’s terms, what do you do for a living? Great customers pay us to conduct many types of research projects related to energy, explosives, pavements, bio-aerosols, weapons and robotics. One large recent project involved the delivery of 160,000 gallons of jet and diesel biofuel that is a complete chemical replacement for current petroleum fuels, with no ethanol, and will be price-competitive with its petroleum counterparts. We are the first company in the world ever to accomplish this, and the technology was developed here at our office in Panama City.

Who or what were the influences that led you to a career in the hard sciences? My father is a mechanical engineer. As a child, I was always amazed at how he knew how everything worked; he could fix anything. We would build things together from the ground up. I loved math and science. We spent a lot of time outdoors growing up, and I became fascinated with how living organisms worked and thrived in many different environments, and all of this moved me toward biochemistry.

What for you was the most difficult college course you ever completed? Physical chemistry or PChem, as it’s called. Physical chemistry is the study of macroscopic, atomic, subatomic and particulate phenomena in chemical systems in terms of laws and concepts of physics. To get into this class, you had to have completed courses in advanced

Photo by MICHAEL BOOINI

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850 LIFE

mathematics, advanced chemistry and advanced physics. I studied more those two semesters (PChem I and II) than I did in my other three years combined.

The last time I picked up the local paper and smiled broadly was when … I read about how well our new airport is doing. Our community went through some deep soul-searching concerning building the new airport, and it has been nice to see a vision coming into focus. I fly frequently and smile all the way from the parking lot to the gate each time.

I totally surprised myself the time … I was escorted by my wife, Katrina, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City in 1995 and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I had never developed an appreciation or concept regarding art. That visit radically changed my perception of the art world. Tell us about an especially gratifying moment arising from your many community involvements. In fiscal year 2010, the Air Force reduced the number of F-15s located at Tyndall Air Force Base from 48 airplanes to zero, costing Bay County 850 jobs. Our local Bay Defense Alliance hired a former Air Force four-star general as a consultant and developed a plan to bring a new operational wing of F-22s to Tyndall to complement our training wing. The secretary of the Air Force and the chief of staff of the Air Force then visited Tyndall. Every Bay County municipality and dozens of community organizations presented them with a signed letter of support. Our strategy was so sound and we made such a compelling case that the Air Force decided to move 24 F-22s from Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico to Tyndall. Tyndall also received 18 T-38s to help with training, and we gained 1,000 jobs to replace the 850 we lost.

Express a formula for Bay County’s future success as a scientific equation. Bay County’s Future Success: (F) = ie2. This is based on the most revolutionary physics equation of all time, Einstein’s E=mc2, where energy equals mass times the speed of light squared. In the Bay County equation, future success equals infrastructure times educational progress squared. Educational progress is the most important variable in this equation and it is squared, or multiplied by itself. Both infrastructure and education will help everyone in our community.

You have a chance to go to the concert of your choice and sit in the front row. Who would you see? The Eagles. And if this is a total fantasy, I’d like to see them playing at the Kennedy Center when they were in their prime.

Bay, surf or offshore? Bay. I developed my hunting and fishing skills in the Louisiana swamps. I like to see all the facets of the bay system: water, trees, geography, sky, fish, birds, animals, currents, winds, etc. Almost every time I go out in the bay, I see something new or notice something different.

Parasail, bungee jump or go-carts? Of these three, definitely bungee jump. One could get hurt doing the other two.

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FLORIDA FIRST SITES WELCOMES CAPE HORN Fabbro Marine, manufacturer of the world-renowned Cape Horn offshore boats, has broken ground on their new facility in Milton, Florida, becoming the first company to build on one of Gulf Power’s Florida First Sites. Gulf Power’s Florida First Sites program adds project-ready industrial sites to Northwest Florida’s portfolio of competitive advantages. All sites have been certified by the internationally-recognized firm, McCallum Sweeney Consulting. Florida First Sites should be a consideration in your next site selection decision.

For more information, contact Rick Byars, Gulf Power Community and Economic Development manager, at 850-444-6750 or crbyars@southernco.com.

FloridaFirstSites.com

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Executive Mindset

Human Element SAFEGUARDING BUSINESS INTERESTS

THE

NONCOMPETE Non-competes are becoming more popular in Florida — but are they really being enforced? BY CHAY D. BAXLEY

T

enure in the workplace isn’t what it used to be. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these days the average employee stays at his or her job for about 4 1/2 years. Blame it on the millennials if you like, but the truth is the faster turnover rate is becoming more prevalent among all three working generations. And the trend is only gaining momentum.

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So it’s no surprise that with our new expedited employment timeline comes a certain contractual standard — the non-compete. For business owners, this clause can be both a blessing and a headache. First you have to get the candidate to sign. Then, when they inevitably move on in four or five years, you’ll need to fire off a letter reminding them of a promise made roughly 60 months back. Even

when handled with an abundance of niceties, the process can put a strain on otherwise professional relationships. Across the country, states have different ways of dealing with the issue. California, for example, errs on the side of the employee, while Massachusetts almost always gives a nod to the boss. In Florida, though, non-compete clauses have been embraced with an exceptionally high success rate, usually


entice clients to follow them to their next venture. “It’s a valid restraint on trade to protect a legitimate business interest,” explained Shari Thieman-Greene, a senior partner at Lynchard, Greene, & Seeley, P.L. Thieman-Greene’s firm is headquartered in Navarre but serves all Northwest Florida. To skeptical would-be employees, non-competes might sound like the modern workplace’s jaded attempt at discouraging entrepreneurship, but non-competes are actually not a contemporary construct. The idea first emerged during the Middle Ages with the formation of guilds. It didn’t take hold, though, until 200 years later in a small town just outside of London, England. The legal documents are a little jumbled now, but the case (Mitchel v. Reynolds, if you’re curious) had something to do with a baker, a parish and not waiting the recommended five years before trying to sell biscuits again. A sum of 50 pounds was awarded to the plaintiff and a precedent was forever set.

without ever having to be presented before a judge. For that you can thank Section 542.335, Florida Statute. SO EXACTLY WHAT IS A NON-COMPETE? Non-competes, or covenant not to compete, exist to protect the hiring body in any employment agreement from former employees who could potentially share trade secrets or

WHEN ARE NON-COMPETES MOST EFFECTIVE? AND WHAT IS FLORIDA’S OFFICIAL STANCE? As a general rule, non-competes have to be “reasonable.” In Florida, that means between six months and two years in length, and within a 100-mile radius. If an agreement meets these standards, the law generally is on the side of the employer. Cases like this rarely make it to court, as most parties opt to instead settle quickly and quietly between attorneys. Exceptions to the rule are addressed in Section 542.335, Florida Statutes: “If a contractually specified restraint is overbroad, overlong, or otherwise not reasonably necessary to protect the legitimate business interest or interests, a court shall modify the restraint

and grant only the relief reasonably necessary to protect such interest or interests.” NON-COMPETES ARE MOST PROMINENT IN WHAT INDUSTRIES? Everyone from medical groups to radio stations and marketing agencies are utilizing non-competes in their employment contracts. “You can have a noncompete clause in almost any industry,” explained Thieman-Greene. “We see them in the medical community quite a bit, but you’ll usually see them when there’s a profession as opposed to a job.” For employers, non-competes are always a good thing to enforce. On the flip side though, things can get a little tricky for the employee. For those on the signing end, whenever a contract’s in question it’s always less expensive to have an attorney review the document prior to initialing rather starting a lengthy courtroom battle. Having signed a non-compete without hesitation initially, one Tallahassee self starter (who asked to remain anonymous) found that fighting her contract’s year-long clause seemed overwhelming as a new business owner, and perhaps even “mutually destructive” where clients were concerned. “It felt like it was forever, and it made the process of finding clients somewhat challenging,” she said. According to Thieman-Greene, though, there is a bright side for those who decide to sign. “There are some ways that it benefits the employee,” she said. “If you go to work with someone and you’re going to sign a contract and have a noncompete clause in that contract, your employer is going to give you more information and more trade secrets. So there are reasons why an employee would want a non-compete, and it generally means that the employer is going to value you more.”

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Executive Mindset

Management Strategies CLASSIFYING EMPLOYEES

W-2

W-9

W2? OR W9? Whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor isn’t always easy to answer BY ROSANNE DUNKELBERGER

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W

hatever the reason — the gig economy, the millennial mindset, post-recession jitters, technological advances — more and more employers are foregoing the standard 40-hourswith-benefits worker and relying on independent contractors to get their businesses’ work done. In many companies today, hiring 1099 workers (named for the IRS form sent at the end of the year) can be a sound practice. But, experts warn, employers should keep in mind that governmental agencies — including the IRS, U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), worker’s compensation and unemployment — have sometimes overlapping, often unclear definitions what constitutes an independent contractor. And “misclassifying” a worker can lead to a lawsuit. After reviewing state studies and reports on the subject, a paper by the National Employment Law Project in 2012 estimated that 10 to 30 percent of employers misclassify their employees as independent contractors. The NELP also concluded the reports they studied “most likely underestimate the true scope of misclassification.” “Unlike some areas of the law where you have a bright light test that you could look at, a set of facts and saying yes, this is A or B, the independent contractor test, unfortunately, is not one of those,” said Daniel Harrell, a shareholder in the Pensacola office of the Clark Partington law firm who practices employment law. “It is oftentimes a difficult analysis to have certainty about whether someone qualifies as a contractor or W2 employee.” And don’t think an employment contract is valid even when both sides cheerfully sign on the dotted line and declare the relationship is between a business and an independent contractor. “The concept of contracting around the law is not applicable in the eyes of, for example, the IRS,” said Harrell. “The IRS is going to examine the realities of the situation …. If the IRS or the court determines that declaration is invalid, then that declaration in the contract is worth nothing.” In most cases, workers are required to be in the workplace at a particular time, doing specified tasks, using company equipment. Those are W2 employees, with employers withholding income taxes,

withholding and paying Social Security and Medicare taxes, and paying unemployment taxes. But fast-paced changes in technology are providing opportunities for working remotely as an independent contractor in careers that used to be dominated by more traditional work models. Harrell mentioned journalism and advertising as two places where freelancing works well, and said even his own profession is ripe for the offsite worker. “Twenty years ago you couldn’t practice law at your house. Now, most lawyers have the ability to remote in to their system and they can practice from anywhere they want to,” he said. “You can have all your files online; you don’t have to be in a particular location.” Within the past five years, the tech sector has led an explosion of “on demand” services, creating jobs that have completely altered the landscape between employer and worker. In June 2015, the California Labor Commission declared that an Uber driver was an employee, not a contractor. The housekeeping service Homejoy went out of business around the same time, its CEO saying four lawsuits over whether workers should be classified as employees rather than contractors were a “deciding factor” in the choice to shut it down. Broadly, the IRS looks at a few different categories when trying to determine a worker’s status, said Harrell. For starters, what is the “behavioral” relationship? “Behavioral control is: Do they have to come to work at a particular place on a particular schedule? Do you give them all the tools they need in order to do their work? Do you control how they perform on a day-in, day-out basis?” he posited. The second consideration is the financial relationship. Here are a few questions the attorney says an employer can ask that will suss out what sort of worker the person they are considering hiring might be: “Can they go make money doing something else or are they pretty much captive to you? Do they have the opportunity to make profit? Do they have the opportunity to potentially have expenses paid? Financially, are they standing alone or are they relying on you? How are they associated with you? Is it a contract, is it a one-off type of scenario?”

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MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES

Still confused about what your relationship with a worker — or as a worker — might be? No worries, the IRS has the four-page questionnaire (Form SS-8, Determination of Worker Status for Purposes of Federal Employment Taxes and Income Tax Withholding) available online. An employer or a worker answers the queries and submits it to the agency, which will then make a determination — but it might take up to six months to get an answer. If there’s already a working relationship in place, Harrell suggests one “exercise caution” before going to a government agency “and saying, ‘Here’s how we do it. Are we doing it right, or not?’” If you’re uncertain whether a worker could be considered a contractor, your best bet, said the attorney is to … call an attorney. “You can usually get some advice on the situation relatively quickly without spending a lot of money and that helps safeguard you,” Harrell counseled. “You have the opportunity and the potential to ask (the IRS or DOL) what is their take on it, but you’re probably equally well served to get an opinion letter from a lawyer without potentially tipping off a governing agency as to what you’ve been doing that is problematic. You’ll pay a small amount on the front end versus potentially a much larger amount on the back end if you’re not doing it right.” And misclassifying an employee can have expensive repercussions for an employer. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, if a person is not being paid correctly under the law, the worker can go back three years when filing a lawsuit for back wages. Any underpayment can be doubled and the employer can be required to pay the employee’s attorney. “What looks like a very small amount of money on a biweekly basis can turn into a major issue over that three-year look-back period,” Harrell said. All is not doom and gloom for employers. Evolving with the times can create a new work model that works well for both businesses and the people who work for them. Millenials, for example, have a different view of working that meshes well with the independent contractor model. “An emerging workforce and emerging technology has made it more plausible for people to perform the kind of work that’s necessary without being that traditional employee,” Harrell said. “One of the bigger factors is the ability to accomplish the same things that used to require an employee … but to be able to accomplish that with a freelancer or an independent contractor. There’s just more opportunity today based off of the way people work.”


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Executive Mindset

Wi-Files EXPANDING BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES

Technological Revolution?

M

anufacturing output in the United States has steadily increased since the end of World War II, but manufacturing jobs peaked around 1975 and have been declining ever since. This means that U.S. manufacturers have become very efficient, making more things with fewer people. But as we lose jobs to faraway places, a big question arises: What are Americans to do for work? 3D printing may be a big part of the answer to that question. It is already creating jobs, many of which are small businesses.

3DHUBS.COM

BRINGING JOBS HOME Because 3D printers can make entire parts or products with fewer machines, fewer steps and, therefore, fewer people, they can eliminate the benefits of making things where labor

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is cheap. The implications are obvious: More manufacturing in America but not many jobs running the machines. Ten manufacturing jobs lost in low-wage countries may create only one job in a 3D printing-based economy, but let’s be careful to compare apples to apples. If it takes 10 people to operate the traditional machines needed to make a single part, it may take only one person to operate the 3D printer that makes that part in America. To the optimist, that is one more manufacturing job than we had without 3D printing. To the pessimist, we still need nine more jobs. But the pessimist is missing an important point: If the part is made in America by a local worker operating the 3D printer, most of the supply, support and distribution chain will be here too. This creates opportunities for both big and small companies. Because chasing cheap labor is unnecessary in a 3D-printed world, this technology can break the grip of centralized manufacturing because it democratizes manufacturing. But don’t assume that huge factories will simply replace their traditional machines with 3D printers. As 3D printers become more and more capable of making almost any finished product, centralized mass production may no longer be needed and, as a business model, may become as antiquated as the dinosaur. 3D printing will pull manufacturing away from the manufacturing hubs and redistribute

3DHUBS.COM

3D printing opens the door for new small businesses and new jobs BY JOHN HORNICK

NEW MEANS OF PRODUCTION In many cases, 3D printers can do what used to be the work of 10 people, but they can be expected to generate employment by reinvigorating supply lines. At left, a polyjet part is printed in the Stratasys Objet1000 3D printer, also pictured, above.


it, product by product, among thousands or tens of thousands of smaller factories across the globe. Many parts and products will be made regionally, close to where they will be used, by small, independent service bureaus. I call them independent fabricators. They are usually small businesses that 3D-print parts for customers as a service. Because 3D printing substantially reduces the labor costs of manufacturing, these fabricators can offer manufacturing services close to the point of need. All of the services in the supply and distribution chain follow these regional fabricators.

END OF THE LINE The days of thousands of unskilled American factory workers performing highly repetitive, mindless tasks along an assembly line are gone for good. The factory of the future will be inhabited mostly by 3D printers, robots and other advanced machines, all driven by software. Some people will be needed on the factory floor to make sure everything is humming along, but the jobs they will do may not exist today. As technology advances, there will be little place on the factory floor for unskilled workers. In fact, even today there are

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3DHUBS.COM

WI-FILES

NEW GENERATION OF FABRICATORS The Concept Laser M2 3D printer, above, produces objects by fusing together powdered metal through use of a heat source. In photo at bottom of page, unfused metal powder is removed from the finished prints.

THINK ABOUT THE HORSE So if 3D printing factories will not employ many people and most of the jobs will be for skilled workers, how will 3D printing spark a new industrial revolution, launch a manufacturing renaissance, bring jobs home and spark the creation of new small businesses? Think about the horse. When the horse was the main form of transportation, there were many horse-related jobs: saddle makers, blacksmiths, wagon makers, stable owners, feed suppliers, etc. When the automobile came along, most of those jobs were lost. But think of how many new businesses and new jobs were created by the invention of the automobile. 3D printing has the same potential. 3D printing will spawn businesses, products, services and jobs that are as unimaginable today as the auto industry was at the

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dawn of the 20th century. There are already hundreds of independent 3D printing fabricators in the United States, most of which are small businesses. They are the 3D printing factories of the future. There are two sides to the 3D printing industry: industrial and consumer. The consumer side is almost entirely small businesses. 3D printing is also a springboard for many other types of small businesses. A new breed of service-oriented business is starting up around the 3D printing of parts. These small businesses service the 3D printing industry. Others are using the technology to start small businesses, such as companies that 3D-print models of what you will look like after cosmetic surgery, companies that 3D-print selfies and bobble heads, companies that 3D-print pet models, and companies that 3D-print toys, customized wedding cake toppers and accessories, and jewelry. Other startups are using 3D printing to make medical devices, implants, surgical guides and surgical models. The U.S. Marine Corps stated in a recent report that it expects 3D printing to allow many small businesses to compete with the big players in the defense contracting industry. NEW BUSINESSES, NEW JOBS Of course, my crystal ball is not perfect, but some types of 3D printing-related jobs are suggested by its strengths. Regional manufacturing means many factories will be independent fabricators.

850businessmagazine.com

A growing number of 3D printing fabricators can be found throughout the world. 3D printing fabricators are the regional and distributed manufacturers of the 3D printing age. They are the employers of the factory workers of the 3D printing-fueled manufacturing renaissance. Individually, they may not employ a large number of people, but together, they will be a major source of factory jobs. They may be traditional machine shops that add 3D printers, or they may own only 3D printers. As more and more 3D printers are sold, they will probably be networked. 3D printer networks such as 3DHubs, which connects users to thousands of consumer-grade 3D printers around the world, are already springing up. Many of the printer owners are one-person fabricator shops. 3D-printable digital blueprints are a company’s crown jewels. If they lose control of them, their businesses could be destroyed. Several start-ups have their sights set on this problem.

3DHUBS.COM

fewer and fewer jobs for workers without skills or a college education. Between October 2008, when the world economic crisis began, and mid-2014, the U.S. unemployment rate hovered in the 6 percent to 10 percent range. During that same time period, the unemployment rate for college-educated workers was only about 3 percent to 5 percent. In a 3D-printed world, the demand for skilled workers will increase, but we don’t know yet exactly what their jobs will be like. People will be needed at every step of the now-localized supply and distribution chain, even though their jobs will be radically different from what they are today.


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WI-FILES

Computer programmers in the 3D printing job market will be like kids in a candy shop. They and their businesses will be in high demand to write, update and manage software to meet 3D printingrelated software needs for customization, design, manufacturing, quality control and many other needs yet to be discovered. Another small-business growth area will be 3D-printing product designers. Before 3D printing, products were designed so that they could be made with traditional manufacturing methods, which is called “design for manufacturing.” 3D printing eliminates such limitations and enables manufacturing for design. This allows designers to create products that never existed before and to give existing products a radically different look and feel. 3D-printed designs can be complex, customized and one-of-akind. Designers who take full advantage of 3D printing will design parts and products that look radically different from their traditionally made counterparts and designs that could not be made before. Yet companies that use 3D printing chronically complain of the dearth of designers who understand 3D printing. The 3D printing world is a product-design company’s oyster. Skilled 3D printing-related jobs soared 1,384 percent from 2010 to 2014 and were up 103 percent from 2013 to 2014. The three jobs most in demand were industrial and mechanical engineers and software developers.

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MAKING US MAKERS AGAIN We are all makers at heart. For all of human history, except the past hundred years or so, when people needed something, they made it. Then came the Industrial Revolution, and eventually we became buyers, not makers. Today’s makers and small businesses are one important key to job creation. A quarter of U.S. manufacturing companies employ fewer than five people, and 60 percent of new jobs generated from 2009 to 2013 were created by small businesses. 3D printing can take us back to our maker roots, fostering technical innovation, new businesses and jobs we never heard of.

John Hornick is the author of the new book “3D Printing Will Rock the World.” He has been a counselor and litigator in the Washington, D.C., office of the Finnegan IP law firm for more than 30 years, advising clients about how 3D printing may affect their businesses. Hornick also frequently writes about 3D printing and has lectured about 3D printing all over the world.


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Executive Mindset

Conversation A PROFILE IN COURAGE

‘Kelly Tough’ Tackles Adversity

N

FL Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly is the First Commerce Credit Union “Power Forward” speaker for 2016. Kelly, who played college football at the University of Miami, led the Buffalo Bills to six divisional championships and four consecutive Super Bowls. Today, he is a successful businessman, author and children’s advocate. The Power Forward event will be held Wednesday, Oct. 5, at the Ruby Diamond Concert Hall. Tickets may be purchased at FirstCommerceCU.org/PowerForward. Kelly spoke recently with Steve Bornhoft, Rowland Publishing’s director of editorial services.

SB: Tell me about the work of the foundation named for your son. JK: The Hunter’s Hope Foundation is trying to get every state in the country to require that all available screens for treatable diseases are performed at birth. My wife and I were devastated when we found out that thousands of babies

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die because they are born in the wrong state. We thought Hunter was perfectly healthy, and when we found out about his illness (Krabbe leukodystrophy) at four months, it was too late.

SB: At your Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Marv Levy, your coach in Buffalo, said he was luckier than good because he had you as his quarterback. How fortunate were you to have him as your coach? JK: I was blessed in football from start to finish with great mentors. My coach in high school, Terry Henry, set me straight and told me what I had to do if I wanted to achieve my goals. At Miami, Howard Schnellenberger was a drill sergeant who taught me discipline and Marv Levy taught me how to play well with others. You can have a collection of great players, but if you don’t come together, you’re not going to succeed. That’s as true in business as it is in sports.

SB: If you were playing today, would you still be calling your own plays or would you make

NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly will speak in Tallahassee on Oct. 5 as the First Commerce Credit Union “Power Forward” speaker for 2016.

concessions to technology such as a radio in your helmet? JK: I’d be calling my own plays, no question. I know where I like players to be on the field and I know when you are in the flow of a game, the feeling that you have.

SB: Have you ever considered a run for public office? JK: One of my brothers told me never to even think about it. He said, “You don’t have a closet with a skeleton in it, you have a warehouse.”

PHOTO COURTESY OF FIRST COMMERCE CREDIT UNION

SB : You have had to deal with four Super Bowl losses and the death of your son, Hunter, when he was just 8 years old, and you’ve had two bouts with cancer. “Kelly Tough” is the phrase you use for the posture you assume in response to difficulty. Is Kelly Tough a product of adversity or was it inherent in you — or maybe it helps to have grown up in Pittsburgh? JK: A little bit of all of that. I grew up in a family of six boys. My dad was a machinist and he taught us that it’s all about your attitude when you encounter tough times. Things aren’t always going to be great, and you have to turn negatives into positives. My daughter Erin watched her little brother suffer with his illness, and I had to teach her what my dad taught me.


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Medical Tourism Tapping into a booming trend would bring big economic benefits to Northwest Florida communities BY LINDA KLEINDIENST

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Medical Tourism

I

magine going somewhere for your health care — a surgery, a rehab or a place to focus on your wellness — or attending a medical convention where you can also enjoy the local amenities, such as a pristine beach, world-class shopping and restaurants, cultural events and festivals. That’s called medical tourism. And it’s an increasingly hot trend.

A BOOST FROM THE STATE In 2014, the Florida Legislature allocated funds to Visit Florida to distribute to communities looking to increase their share of the medical tourism market and to set up a Web portal, DiscoverFloridaHealth.com. In January 2015, 25 grants totaling $3.1 million were distributed. Grants were awarded in two categories: nine for medical-tourism destination promotion and 16 for medical meetings and training promotion. Each grant was matched with private dollars from the community. “When you have the No. 1 travel destination in the world, attracting 105 million visitors a year, Florida communities are well positioned for this,” said Will Seccombe, president and CEO of Visit Florida. Visit Pensacola was the only community in Northwest Florida to earn a grant, for $50,000. Entering a partnership with The Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, a world-renowned orthopedic and sports medicine facility in Gulf Breeze that provided part of the private dollar match, Visit Pensacola’s medical tourism campaign was launched within two months. Its target audience was patients looking to have knee or hip replacement surgery at Andrews who could then undergo rehabilitation and recovery somewhere in the Pensacola Bay area. “I was approached by the folks from Andrews who thought there would be value to the idea,” said Steve Hayes, president of Visit Pensacola. “The key question was what is special about us that is going to drive someone from Point A to here. Andrews was a natural because of how well known Dr. Andrews is.” Research revealed that the average medical tourist would spend $172 a day. Someone having a joint replacement would likely spend $3,600 in non-medical

COURTESY THE ANDREWS INSTITUTE

Globally, medical tourism is estimated to be a $100 billion market. Patients Without Borders estimates that the number of Americans seeking medical care outside the United States this year will reach 1.4 million. According to a report by the Florida Chamber Foundation, each year, Florida generally sees between 300,000 and 400,000 medical tourists who generate almost $6 billion in medical expenses. And that doesn’t take into account money that these tourists spend on lodging, food, shopping and visits to local attractions and cultural events during their recovery time. A 2013 survey by the Medical Tourism Association revealed that 60 percent of medical travelers stay in their destination country for more than 11 nights. Many areas of Florida, such as Miami and Orlando, are already engaged in extensive medical tourism activities. And now Northwest Florida is trying to figure out how to get a bite of that lucrative business. The push for all communities in Florida to focus on this increasingly popular method of boosting tourism and the resulting economic benefits is coming from the Florida Chamber Foundation. HIPS AND KNEES “As global health and techVisit Pensacola partnered with nology expands, there are the Andrews some real opportunities for Institute for Orthopaedic and Florida communities to capiSports Medicine talize,” said Tony Carvajal, the in launching a medical tourism foundation’s executive vice campaign that president. “Communities can targets people with leverage what they have.” a desire to spend their recovery For instance, Jacksonville is period following home to the University of Florhip or knee surgery in coastal Florida. ida’s Health Proton Therapy Institute, one of only 43 places in the world where proton beams that minimize damage to healthy tissue are used to treat cancer patients.

Miami has the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. A popular procedure to have done in Southwest Florida is hip and knee replacement. “When people are traveling, particularly international travelers, they want the totality of the experience, and that’s what we can offer them,” Carvajal said.

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Medical Tourism

expenses — “and because it was a procedure unique to our destination, we weren’t competing with others like Miami, Tampa and Orlando,” Hayes said. “If you are from Chicago, and it’s the latter part of the winter, would you want to recover at home or on the beach?” A Facebook campaign resulted in 7,500 conversations and 6,700 website clicks out of 285,000 impressions. “Especially with Andrews being here, we see a lot of medical tourism,” said Scott Raynes, president of Baptist Healthcare Inc. and senior vice president of Baptist Healthcare Corp. and The Andrews Institute. “Folks think of Andrews as a place where all the professional athletes and high-level college athletes come. While that is true, there are a lot of people who aren’t athletically injured who come to the institute. Often we see people for second opinions, as well as to participate in research and other things we do. On any given day, between five and 25 people from somewhere outside a 150- to 200-mile circle are here. And some are from other continents.” He estimates that The Andrews Institute has an economic impact on the region of tens of millions of dollars. “Very rarely do people come here and just stay for a day,” Raynes said. “The norm is three days or longer.”

Scott Raynes, president of Baptist Healthcare Inc. and senior vice president of Baptist Healthcare Corp

Keys to Successful Expansion of Medical Tourism (according to the Florida Chamber Foundation) ✚

Quality, accessible, timely and affordable care. ✚

Reputation and brand. Brand development initiatives should speak to patient experience as well as quality of care and outcomes. ✚

Easy to find and use online information. Web presence is essential, as many patients and facilitators will use it for information and referrals. ✚

Relationships with intermediaries such as facilitators, payers, governments and personal referrals. ✚

Coordination with Florida health care centers. Collaboration throughout the state is needed, and not just within the medical community. We should ensure Florida’s successful transition from local mavericks to a broader medical and community cluster that focuses on wide-ranging health and hospitality opportunities. ✚

Coordinated community-level connectivity. ✚

Expanding medical meetings. ✚

Targeted economic development strategy. Source: A Strategic Look at Florida’s Medical Tourism Opportunities

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WORD-OF-MOUTH MARKETING Dr. William Burden always knew he wanted to live on the coast. But instead of the Atlantic Coast, where he expected to land, he settled on Florida’s Emerald Coast in Destin. Twenty years later, the founder and CEO of Destin Plastic Surgery enjoys a practice that not only covers most of the Emerald Coast but reaches into southern Alabama. He has patients that come from across the United States and foreign countries — about 30 percent of his patients come from outside Florida. So, yes, Burden is in a sense involved in medical tourism. But it wasn’t actually planned that way, and he doesn’t market his practice that way. Most of the growth has come from word of mouth — from his patients, including those from local military bases who have spread word of his work as they were transferred around the world. “I was just out of school, and when I moved here there was a great need for breast reconstruction, so I decided to start doing it,” Burden recalled. “Basically the practice grew out of word-of-mouth referrals from patients who had breast reconstruction.” As word spread because of his military patients, Burden began getting business from other states and nations. “We started seeing people from Washington, D.C., Austin, and we’ve had people fly in from Korea, believe it or not,” he said. “We just had a lady come down from Indiana who had been in the military here 15 years ago. She spent two weeks and then went back home. We don’t get medical tourism like Miami, which is an international city. Most people don’t know where Destin is, but if you’re in the military, you know where Destin is.” The local influx of tourists during the Emerald Coast’s busy summer season has helped business too. And Burden said he has spoken with other doctors in the region who have had a similar experience with medical tourism. “People come to this area from Atlanta, New Orleans, Dallas on vacation and drive by our building,” Burden said. “People may not fly here from Los Angeles, but they will drive here from New Orleans. Part of our draw is that this is a nicer place to stay than some place like Birmingham or Atlanta. And it’s a little quieter here. You don’t have the nextdoor neighbor checking on you and knowing your business.”

COURTESY THE ANDREWS INSTITUTE

Research revealed that the average medical tourist would spend $172 a day. Someone having a joint replacement would likely spend $3,600 in non-medical expenses.


A 2015 SURVEY OF MEDICAL TOURISM PATIENTS CONDUCTED BY THE MEDICAL TOURISM ASSOCIATION FOUND: Future interest in medical travel is driven by cost savings and quality.

Patients spent between

$3,600 and $7,600

on medical treatments per medical travel trip. Patients require between

$4,900 and $8,600

COST SAVINGS

in cost savings to pursue medical tourism.

61% 21%

Nearly 57 percent

of patients reported costs of

QUALITY

less than $1,000

for air travel for treatments outside their region of residence.

20 PERCENT of patients would be willing to seek medical treatment at a destination outside their region of residence if air travel was between one and five hours.

Top destination choices by country are

Mexico, the United States and Costa Rica.

PATIENT SAFETY is the most important factor in choosing a medical tourism destination.

65% of patients participating in medical travel are not covered by insurance.

Mexico

27%

United States

26%

Costa Rica

23%

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Medical Tourism A COMMUNITY EFFORT State funding for the medical-tourism grant program lasted one year. Efforts to put more money into it died in the legislature earlier this year. So that puts the onus on local communities to pull together partnerships and money for marketing if they want to move forward. Carlton Ulmer, CEO of Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center, is hoping Bay County can manage to do that. He has taken the lead for the Bay County Economic Development Alliance in looking at ways to boost this specialized tourism. “We’re generating interest,” Ulmer said. “I think we have interest from lodging and restaurants that want to participate and interest from the medical community. The next steps are trying to begin to understand the center of excellence that you’re going to market as a destination. The intent is you create a destination package for the consumer so that person is coming into Bay County and receiving world-class health care while staying in a great destination. We’re trying to understand what we have and see if that matches the demand.” The question the county has to answer is why a medical tourist would fly into Bay County for medical care when that individual could choose a place like Miami or New Orleans. “We’re trying to align all the assets we have across the county and get everyone moving in the same direction,” Ulmer said. WHAT NOW? Being a fledgling industry in Northwest Florida, there are many directions the push for medical tourism can take. “You have all the basics in Northwest Florida,” said the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Carvajal, who has held meetings around the state with tourism and economic development groups to discuss the industry’s potential. “It’s as beautiful as the rest of Florida. We have health care in the region. And we have assets we can build on.” But most of the work rests with locals who want to make it happen. “A lot of development needs to happen at the local and regional level, where groups of stakeholders get together and recognize their unique selling points as to what their services are and then work with hotels to put together destination packages,” counseled Renee Marie Stefano, president and co-founder of the Medical Tourism Association and editor-in-chief of Medical Tourism Magazine and the Wellness Destination Guide Series of books. “Medical tourism is a $100 billion industry and growing,” she added. “By the year 2017, at least $228 million in medical care is predicted to leave the

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“Medical tourism is a $100 billion industry and growing. By the year 2017, at least $228 million in medical care is predicted to leave the United States for foreign markets. And that figure has been forecast to grow each year.” — Renee Marie Stefano, president and co-founder of the Medical Tourism Association and editor-inchief of Medical Tourism Magazine and the Wellness Destination Guide Series of books

The top specialties for health and wellness tourism, according to Medical Tourism Guide Dentistry Cosmetic surgery Weight loss Orthopedics Reproductive health Cardiovascular, including heart transplants and coronary artery bypass grafting Cancer Health screenings

United States for foreign markets. And that figure has been forecast to grow each year.” Collaboration and funding to launch a marketing campaign are the biggest challenges. Part of the problem is the lack of state financial support for communities that want to expand their tourism industry’s horizons. “It doesn’t seem like the state is doing much. It’s up to locals to see what they are willing to pay,” Stefano said. “And how do you differentiate yourself?” For Northwest Florida, she suggests that a cluster of stakeholders be organized to create a roadmap that addresses how the region compares to the rest


COURTESY DESTIN PLASTIC SURGERY AND MEDICAL TOURISM (STEFANO)

of the state and determines how to expand business from markets abroad and domestically that already have patients coming to the area. “Because of the number of providers in Northwest Florida, a regional initiative makes sense,” Stefano said. “You almost need to include multiple cities to have an attractive offering.” While he wants to grow business in Panama City and Bay County, Ulmer said he recognizes “the big picture,” adding that there are a lot of strong institutions in destinations across the Panhandle. After the Legislature drove some of the thinking on the issue by establishing the grant program,

ACCIDENTAL TOURISM The Destin Plastic Surgery Center didn’t set out to become a destination for medical tourists, but it has grown to become one. Patients from across the United States and many foreign countries visit the center. Only 70 percent of its customers are from Florida.

Visit Florida’s Seccombe said several communities around the state, including Pensacola and Bay County, had their eyes opened to the potential of the medical tourism market. “There is a real opportunity for medical tourism in the state of Florida,” Seccombe said. “But it largely lies at the local community level in building cooperation between the hospitality and medical communities.” As for Northwest Florida, he added, “We have incredible services in the region. The opportunities lie in leveraging the strength in your area. Medical tourism is about the care and the outcomes … and having it happen in a great environment.”

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HIGHIMPACT LAWYERS

From taxes to civil rights, from fighting Big Tobacco to helping win the presidency, these lawyers from the 850 region have somehow touched the lives of most Floridians. BY ROSANNE DUNKELBERGER, TISHA KELLER, STEVE BORNHOFT AND TONY BRIDGES

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e’ve all seen the polls: Lawyers are less trusted than journalists, and just a little bit higher than car salesmen and members of Congress. And, according to one survey, it’s the second-most popular job among psychopaths. But when a wrong needs to be righted, you’ve been injured, the marriage is kaput or an airtight contract needs drafting . . . who ya gonna call? There are about 5,350 lawyers practicing in Northwest Florida. The vast majority quietly ply their trade in the office — granted, some are very cushy offices with great views of the courthouse, but still, the office. And you don’t hear much about them. Then there are others who — because of talent, a client, a cause or even shameless self-promotion — have names that were, for a time, or still are at the forefront of public consciousness. Here’s a chance to meet 10 such attorneys from throughout the region. Some are wrapping up stellar careers; others are at the peak of their legal prowess. All have made a difference.

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BENJAMIN ‘BEN’ CRUMP:

Civil Rights Crusader

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hen the media spotlight shines on the mistreatment of young men of color by law enforcement and the legal system, chances are it’s going to be focused on Tallahassee attorney Ben Crump. For most of its 20-plus-year history, Crump and his partner Daryl Parks’ Tallahasseebased practice had focused on personal injury, wrongful death and malpractice cases. But Crump got statewide visibility when he represented the family of Martin Lee Anderson, a 14-year-old who died in 2006 at the hands of guards at a Bay County juvenile boot camp. And he catapulted into the national consciousness after Trayvon Martin — making a convenience store run for soda and Skittles — was shot to death by a neighborhood watch volunteer. He was a fixture on the nightly news, seeking justice for the 17-yearold and his family. Other high-profile cases included the police shootings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Robbie Tolan in Bellaire, Texas. Crump is currently president of the National Bar Association, which represents more than 60,000 black lawyers, judges and legal professionals in the United States and abroad. Locally, he served as board chairman of Legal Services of North Florida. He and Parks donated $1 million to the organization’s capital campaign, to help ensure that poor people have legal representation and access to the courts.

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MIKE STONE:

DAVE BARFIELD (CRUMP) AND COURTESY JOHN MORGAN / FORTHEPEOPLE.COM

Defender of Children and Civil Liberties Panama City attorney Mike Stone has been defending the accused for more than 20 years, both as a public defender and a private attorney. And while he takes on everything from burglaries to DUIs, his passion seems to be fighting the death penalty. In fact, Stone and his law partner literally helped write the book on defending death penalty cases for the Florida Public Defenders Association. Among his most high-profile cases: the 1991 shooting death of JD Barnes Sr. by his then 16-year-old son, JD Barnes Jr. At trial in 1993, Stone and his team raised the battered-child syndrome defense, a first ever in Florida, arguing the boy was defending himself from his father’s attacks. The jury acquitted Barnes of the first-degree murder charges after family members testified that his father abused him and had threatened him the night he was killed. After the trial, Stone reportedly told the media the case set a precedent, saying, “I think it’s important to understand that society can’t reach all of these kids. As a consequence, it means the kids have a right to self-defense.” Stone also serves as head of the Bay County chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, where his work has included opposing plans by the Bay County Sheriff’s Office to put “In God We Trust” bumper stickers on all of its vehicles. He called the move “divisive” and “bad policy” for a public

agency that already has to deal with tense situations. “He’s a longtime defender of civil liberties in Florida and a leader in advocating for justice in Panama City,” said Benjamin Stevenson, staff attorney with the ACLU of Florida’s Northwest Regional Office. “The ACLU’s impact and influence in the Bay County area has flourished under his leadership.” Stone grew up in Bay County and attended Harvard University and New York University School of Law. He’s also an amateur thespian, occasionally acting in local productions.

JOHN MORGAN:

For the People — and Medical Marijuana Perhaps the most recognized lawyer’s face in Northwest Florida doesn’t even live here. But if you haven’t seen John Morgan’s cherubic face, his family, even his German shepherds, on television, billboards and municipal buses, you’re just not looking hard enough. He has planted the Morgan & Morgan flag on either end of the 850 region, with offices in Tallahassee and Pensacola, as well as 33 other locations throughout Florida, the southeastern United States, New York City and Philadelphia. Morgan made his fortune with a successful Orlando-based trial practice that has won multimilliondollar verdicts for individuals and organized class-action lawsuits for everything from airbags to drugs to predatory towing.

FAMILIAR FACE John Morgan’s ubiquitous marketing efforts have made him one of the most recognized lawyers around. A “political philanthropist,” he is dedicated to making marijuana available to people who would benefit from its medicinal properties.

“He’s (Stone’s) a longtime defender of civil liberties in Florida and a leader in advocating for justice in Panama City. The ACLU’s impact and influence in the Bay County area has flourished under his leadership.” — BENJAMIN STEVENSON, STAFF ATTORNEY WITH THE ACLU OF FLORIDA’S NORTHWEST REGIONAL OFFICE

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Morgan made news in 2011 for hiring Gov. Charlie Crist after his time in office was over. And Florida’s former governor has nothing but praise for his new boss. “People love and trust John because he’s affable and willing to stand up for what he believes,” Crist said. “I’ve never been surprised at his success — he’s earned every inch of it.” But Morgan’s highest profile started with the 2014 effort to amend the Florida Constitution, which would have to allowed people with medical conditions to be prescribed marijuana. With 57.6 percent approval

from voters, it fell just shy of the 60 percent needed for passage. A tweaked version of Amendment 2 will appear on the general election ballot in November, and Morgan is once again on the trail — and reaching deep into his pocket — to assure its passage in 2016. So far, Morgan and his firm have committed more than $7 million to the efforts (2014 and 2016). His self-styled “political philanthropy” is rooted in his personal history. Morgan said his father used marijuana for pain relief when suffering from cancer, and it has been helpful

FRED LEVIN:

Outsize Personality, Outsize Verdicts

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t’s practically impossible to wrap up the life and accomplishments of Pensacola trial attorney Fred Levin in a short sentence, although the title of his 2014 biography by Josh Young gives it a whirl: “And Give Up Showbiz? How Fred Levin Beat Big Tobacco, Avoided Two Murder Prosecutions, Became a Chief of Ghana, Earned Boxing Manager of the Year and Transformed American Law.” “He had a huge ego — as most great lawyers do — and he used that to his great advantage in the courtroom and in fighting against his enemies throughout his entire life,” Young said. Now 79, Levin grew up in Pensacola and graduated near the top of his class in law school at the University of Florida, returning home to practice. Because he was Jewish, the silk-stocking corporate firms were closed to him, so Levin went into a small practice and took cases nobody wanted, usually people, often minorities, suing for wrongful death and personal injury. He was extremely successful, and his methods controversial, all of which led to the suit that would propel him to fame — and a $300 million fortune. In the early 1990s, Big Tobacco hadn’t paid a settlement to any individual claiming to have been harmed by smoking. But after perusing the Florida statutes, Levin realized that with just a small change to the law, the state of Florida could sue to recover

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to his brother, who was partially paralyzed in a swimming accident.

CARROLL MCCAULEY: Big Money, Big Heart

When Tiger Woods wanted a quiet end to his highly publicized divorce from wife Elin Nordegren, he chose to file in out-of-the-way Bay County. And his choice of attorney? Local family law specialist Carroll McCauley. With McCauley’s help, Woods and his soon-to-be ex-wife slipped into


income earners.” For instance, he also represented an ex-wife of singer Billy Ray Cyrus (not Miley’s mother). McCauley is originally from Ohio and paid his way through college by working summers in steel mills. After law school, he moved to Bay County and worked briefly as a municipal judge and as a city attorney in Springfield before going into private practice. Three of his children and a son-inlaw have gone on to become attorneys. “He’s been a big help and a great mentor,” McCauley III said. In addition to family law, McCauley is known in Panama City for his

humanitarian work. When city officials ordered a church organization to stop feeding the homeless in a downtown park several years ago, McCauley stepped in to offer his parking lot across the street as an alternative. He even put out tables to make it easier. “He’s always been there, he’s always backed us up,” said program organizer the Rev. Elaine Lopez from Springfield Community Church. “He got a few of the other lawyers involved. He told us as long as we kept it clean, we’d never have to move, and we’ve been there ever since.”

money spent via Medicaid to treat illnesses caused by smoking. Enlisting the help of then-Senate President W.D. Childers and with the blessing of Gov. Lawton Chiles, the change was made unanimously in a latenight legislative session, with potential opponents none the wiser. Ultimately, the tobacco industry would settle with the state for a record-setting $13 billion. A settlement with remaining states and territories reached in 1998 guarantees payments totaling at least $206 billion over 25 years. After the tobacco settlement, Levin made a $10 million gift to UF’s College of Law, which was then named after him. His motives weren’t truly altruistic; it was a bit of a poke in the eye to the stuffed shirts who prosecuted him in Bar ethics proceedings to see the name of a nemesis on their alma mater.

COURTESY FREDRIC G. LEVIN

town, spent less than an hour in the Bay County Courthouse, and were gone again, two newly single people. “That was such a well-kept secret that I didn’t even know that he represented Tiger Woods until I read it in the paper after they were divorced,” said McCauley’s son, Carroll McCauley III, also an attorney. “I guess as a lawyer, you have to be good at keeping secrets.” McCauley said his father, who has been practicing since finishing law school at the University of Florida in 1968, has quite a bit of experience with “large marital estates, high-

“One of the things that’s appealing about him is that he’s a maverick … this very sort of Gatsby-esque figure with a very exciting life. He’s certainly a great character, but he’s also a person of amazing substance.” — BIOGRAPHER JOSH YOUNG, “AND GIVE UP SHOWBIZ? HOW FRED LEVIN BEAT BIG TOBACCO, AVOIDED TWO MURDER PROSECUTIONS, BECAME A CHIEF OF GHANA, EARNED BOXING MANAGER OF THE YEAR AND TRANSFORMED AMERICAN LAW.”

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DANIEL UHLFELDER: Fighting a Symbol

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n the surface, Daniel Uhlfelder’s professional life is pretty ordinary. His solo practice in Santa Rosa Beach does lots of general practice work: litigation, estate planning, real estate, family law … ordinary things. But there’s a streak of firebrand in his genes — more on that later — that occasionally leads him to do the extraordinary. When he moved to Walton County in 2001, “I just remember going to the courthouse and noticing the Rebel flag was out there, and I was pretty surprised,” the 44-year-old recalled. The flag was added to an existing Confederate monument in 1964, a reaction to the newly passed Civil Rights Act. At the time, he partnered with the local NAACP to have it removed. “We worked pretty hard … it got shot down pretty quick.” Fast-forward to June 2015, in the aftermath of the massacre at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church that left nine people at a prayer meeting dead. The shooter, hoping to incite a race war, left a website manifesto that included photos of him posing with a Confederate flag. Reinspired, Uhlfelder renewed his efforts to remove the flag from the courthouse. For his troubles, he got statewide publicity — as well as physical threats. “People showed up in my office. We had to get security at our house,” he said. On July 14 — four days after the Confederate flag that had been a fixture on South Carolina’s statehouse grounds was taken down for good — he and his wife, Michelle, got the item on the Walton County Commission’s meeting agenda. The commission, however, was only persuaded to change to a different style of Confederate flag. “From my experience, living here, in terms of race relations, things haven’t changed,” he said. “To think we’re open-minded and progressive … we’ve got a long way to go.”

Uhlfelder comes from a family tradition of activism. His grandparents survived the Holocaust. His father, attorney Steve Uhlfelder of Tallahassee, was a student firebrand at the University of Florida and continued to fight for causes, often unpopular, throughout his career. “My parents, they don’t just get mad at the TV,” Daniel Uhlfelder said. “It’s important to stand up for people. It’s just who I am.”

On July 14 — four days after the Confederate flag that had been a fixture on South Carolina’s statehouse grounds was taken down for good — he and his wife, Michelle, got the item on the Walton County Commission’s meeting agenda.

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ROBERT L. NABORS:

SCOTT HOLSTEIN/ROWLAND PUBLISHING FILE PHOTO (UHLFELDER) AND COURTESY NABORS, GIBLIN & NICKERSON AND ROBERT A. PIERCE

The Father of Home Rule In the days before home rule, local governments would have to go “to Tallahassee” for special permission from the Legislature to enact even the smallest of authorities — from traffic signals to local taxes. Under home rule, the ability of local entities to establish their form of government through a charter — and to then enact ordinances, codes, plans and resolutions without prior state approval — is a tremendous authority. For decades, Tallahassee’s Robert Nabors helped shape the home rule question and argued to the Florida Supreme Court for local governments’ abilities to solve local problems with quick — and meaningful — funding solutions. “Florida is very progressive,” Nabors said. “Home rule has diminished substantially over my lifetime, but it still creates good ideas that bubble up to the rest of the state.” Thanks in large part to Nabors’ influence and leadership, local governments use a bevy of funding sources PROGRESSIVE such as special Robert Nabors, assessments, through his embrace and impact fees, promotion of tax increments, home rule, expanded the cooperative efpower of local forts and other governments governance to take care of their own affairs solutions to with limited state nimbly provide oversight. And, he proved able to sell the services and a sales tax idea. facilities their residents need. Besides home rule, Nabors also led the effort to enact a statewide penny

sales tax — to benefit both state and local-level projects. This, he said, is one of his proudest career moments. “Half of that 1-cent sales tax was allocated to local governments,” he explained. “It took four special sessions — and nobody thought we could do it in an election year, but we did. The sales tax hadn’t been raised since 1949, but (Gov. Bob) Graham was committed to it. It really helped relieve the pressure on property taxes, which were a bigger and bigger issue in the 1980s.” Nabors’ name appears in the state’s landmark home rule and revenue cases, and he has served on judicial nominating commissions and task forces including the 1997–1998 Constitution Revision Commission. Ever devoted to local solutions and empowerment, Nabors has published two editions of his “Florida Home Rule Green Book,” a comprehensive manual for those in the field.

ROBERT PIERCE: Florida’s Tax Man

Bob Pierce is one of the few people you’ll meet who makes the tax process intelligible and interesting. A practicing attorney since the 1970s, Pierce was instrumental in paving the way for state taxpayers — businesses in particular — to interact with the Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) on taxing issues. With a law degree from Florida State University and a master’s in tax law from the University of Florida, Pierce has earned his reputation as a creative and deeply knowledgeable authority on all things that involve state and federal taxes. As the first general counsel for the DOR from 1979 to 1981, he organized the formal ruling process and first formal appeals process for the state tax-

ing authority. Before then, there was no clear-cut method for a taxpayer challenging the department’s taxation methods — including how to sue the agency for relief. Pierce outlined the process and identified the Division of Administrative Hearings as the binding ruling process at the DOR. TAX EXPERT While it’s Robert Pierce not necessarily speaks a language that most people a sexy area of prefer to avoid. litigation, one He has influenced the evolution can imagine the of Florida’s tax implications code and readily this process has untangles for people and for corporate businesses taxpayers lookunwelcome correspondence ing at multifrom revenuers. million-dollar sales and state income tax bills. Pierce’s efforts not only gave an “answer you could live by” for these challenges, he also formalized and clarified issues through the agency’s first Technical Assistance Advisements — a term he coined but now is in wide use in the taxing authority world. In fact, much of the state code for taxation was influenced by Pierce either directly because he helped write it, or because he’s litigated it on behalf of clients large and small. After leaving the DOR, Pierce joined the Ausley McMullen firm in downtown Tallahassee, a post he still holds. He practices in several areas now, but taxation is still his passion. Working with specialized experts such as auditors and forensic accountants on cases, Pierce has furthered his reputation in the field. When a corporation receives a letter from the IRS or the DOR, Pierce is one of the most authoritative experts to which they can turn.

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On Top of His Game The pub room at Tim Jansen’s house is a man cave dream — with a bar, TVs, comfy chairs and display cases full of an exceptional collection of sports memorabilia, most relating to his beloved University of Florida Gators. But amidst all the orange and blue is a framed jersey in shades of garnet and gold and signed by Jansen’s most “famous” client — Jameis Winston.

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“I probably have 12 players in the NFL who probably wouldn’t be there if I didn’t get their charges dropped or dismissed or prevent them from being charged,” he said. For the past two years, Jansen has also been a licensed NFL agent. He has also defended clients in federal trials including Larry Lombardi, the so-called FAMU bomber, who terrorized the Florida A&M University campus in 1999 when he set off two pipe bombs. After law school, Jansen was the body man for Gen. Alexander Haig during his short-lived campaign for president in 1988. He then worked as a federal prosecutor in Tallahassee and Jacksonville before opening his criminal defense practice 30 years ago. Jansen is a prolific tweeter and comments no-holds-barred on subjects ranging from conservative politics to sports. He and his wife, Stephanie, are enthusiastic entertainers, opening their expansive lakefront home for social and charitable events. The couple helped raise more than $300,000 for Boys Town North Florida as gala chairs this year. In 2014 and 2015, Jansen served as president of Springtime Ta l l a h a s s e e , DEFENSIVE the city’s largCriminal defense est community lawyer Tim event, and was Jansen’s practice increasingly has recently tapped overlapped the to serve as “Anworld of sports. Perhaps his most drew Jackson,” famous client was the costumed Jameis Winston, now a quarterback — and controwith the Tampa versial — festiBay Buccaneers. And, he’s an NFL val figurehead agent. and a goodwill ambassador to others, including Fort Walton Beach’s Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival, Panama City’s Dominique Youx Mardi Gras festival, and Pensacola’s Fiesta of Five Flags and Krewe of Lafitte parade.

DAVE BARFIELD (RICHARD) AND LAWRENCE DAVIDSON (JANSEN)

TIM JANSEN:

Jansen was called to represent the freshman “before anybody knew who he was and got all the charges dropped before he threw a football or a baseball,” he said. But the allegations that Winston raped a Florida State University student resurfaced and led to a media frenzy. “I spent all my time on that case for about a month or six weeks, which is unprecedented in my 30 years practicing law,” Jansen said. His firm, Jansen & Davis, has represented many athletes throughout the years.


BARRY RICHARD:

‘The Most Recognized Lawyer in the World’

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or the denizens of Tallahassee, the 36-day recount after the 2000 election was a surreal time. Dozens of satellite trucks ringed the state Capitol. The hoi polloi could gawk to their heart’s content as news correspondents they had only seen on their TV screens did stand-up reports in front of local landmarks. And, every so often, you’d spot a neighbor in the background.

But perhaps the surrealist of the surreal was experienced by Barry Richard, who was tapped to represent George W. Bush throughout the recount process. “Every time I walked out of my office, I had 50 or 60 reporters from all over the world, cameramen and boom mikes,” he recalled. “They would walk in front of me everywhere I went. I remember at one point, one of the news anchors said to me, ‘You know, you’re the most recognized lawyer in the world at this moment.’” A couple of weeks after it was over, Richard said, one of his 2-year-old twin sons was sitting in front of the TV and asked his mother to “turn Daddy on.” While the nature of Richard’s practice changed somewhat in the nearly 16 years after the excitement died down — for starters, clients don’t ask what his fees are — he remains a shareholder in the Tallahassee office of Greenberg Traurig, now one of the largest law firms in Florida. His practice today revolves around what he was hired for in Bush v. Gore — constitutional law — and complex commercial litigation. Interestingly, Richard has been a registered Democrat all his life and his wife, Allison Tant Richard, is currently more in the spotlight as chairwoman and CEO of the Florida Democratic Party. In the early 1970s, he served as deputy to Florida Attorney General Robert L. Shevin, defending several high-profile cases, including those related to no-fault auto insurance and no-fault divorce. He served in the Florida House of Representatives for two terms from 1974 to 1978, followed by an unsuccessful run for attorney general. Afterward, he came to Tallahassee with the Roberts, Baggett, LaFace and Richard firm, which was acquired by Greenberg Traurig in 1991.

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DANA MATTHEWS

Champion of the Have-nots

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Scott has appointed agency heads committed to lowering hurdles. Local land use regs are another obstacle and vary, Matthews has found, from county to county. “Today, you make a mistake if you close on a piece of raw land and you don’t already have your development order in place,” Matthews said. “You can get screwed.” Matthews founded the law firm today known as Matthews & Jones, LLP. His practice includes commercial litigation, residential and commercial real estate development, land use permitting, finance structuring, condo projects, bank representation, business organization and consulting. He is a graduate of the Florida State University College of Law.

SCOTT HOLSTEIN/ROWLAND PUBLISHING FILE PHOTO

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hen Dana Matthews was 25, he was one of four attorneys in Destin and a good day at work involved making connections and becoming part of the city’s professional community. Now 60, Matthews has met a lot of people over the intervening 35 years. These days, a good day is about speaking justice to power. Over the course of his career, Matthews has earned – and it’s probably fair to say he has pursued – a reputation as something of a maverick. With relish, he will take on banks, the government and other moneyed interests. “I am a great believer in truth and fairness,” Matthews said. “But the reality is – it’s the best attorneys who win. That’s not the way our system should work, but that’s the way it does work. When I can help justice prevail in a case involving a have-not versus the haves, I’m happy.” A case in point, Matthews carried to the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals a matter involving a man whose conviction on racketeering, bank fraud and tax evasion charges had been overturned on appeal. “The appellate court admonished the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” Matthews said, “and said they never should have brought the case because the actions that the defendant was accused of were not violations of the law.” Under those circumstances and relying on an arcane federal statute, the Hyde Amendment, Matthews eventually succeeded in winning for his client an award of court costs and attorney’s fees. Rarely has the Hyde Amendment, which entitles defendants to consideration when government prosecutions are demonstrated to be frivolous, been employed successfully. “It looked better on paper that it has been in practice,” Matthews said of the statute. “It felt good to set a precedent that might be used by others.” Matthews spends most of his billable hours helping developers deal with Florida’s regulatory climate, which, he says, historically has been “horrible,” but has gotten better lately because Gov. Rick


S P E C I A L A DV E RT I S I N G S E C T I O N

PROFESSIONAL PROFILES It’s all about trust. Every day you make choices to consult professionals on matters as varied as real estate purchases, legal representation and health care. In this special advertising section of 850 Magazine, we introduce you to Northwest Florida professionals dedicated to earning your trust by serving you well.


PROFESSIONAL PROFILES

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DOUG CROLEY INSURANCE SERVICES 2 8 1 4 R E M I N G TO N G R E E N C I R C L E

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Left to Right: Will Croley, Angie Hearl, Mary Katharine (Croley) Lawler, Doug Croley

WHAT SERVICES DO YOU PROVIDE? Business and personal insurance, life insurance and group health insurance.

strive to provide the highest level of knowledge and service. Insurance is not a commodity. We tailor our clients’ insurance to meet their specific needs.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN BUSINESS? Over three decades.

WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF YOUR JOB? Working with our clients. We are a local business; we live in the Tallahassee area and our clients are our neighbors. Many of our clients have been with us since we first opened our doors. We have watched their families and businesses grow, and now we insure their children and grandchildren.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR LOCATION? When we built our location on Capital Circle NE, the highway was a two-lane country road. But, we knew Tallahassee was growing north and we wanted to grow with the city. Capital Circle NE is now a six-lane highway! WHAT SETS YOUR BUSINESS APART? Our team! Everyone in our office has an insurance license, including our college interns. We value professionalism and

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR YOUR BUSINESS? Our agency has a group of young agents and customer service representatives that are bringing in new ideas and specialty knowledge. We are continuing to expand and think outside of the box. We have aggressive growth plans for the future!

‘Our team is what sets Doug Croley Insurance Services apart.’

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MICHAEL BOOINI

3 0 0 5 LY N N H AV E N PA R K W AY, LY N N H AV E N

Left to Right: Jim Slonina, P.E., President and Chris Forehand, P.E., Vice President PANHANDLE ENGINEERING, INC. was established in 1991 and formed to meet the local civil and environmental engineering needs of the Southeast. Our corporate mission focuses on a commitment to provide professional services to our clients in a proper, prompt and costefficient manner. In October of 2014, Chris and Jim merged their two firms together to strengthen their position in Northwest Florida and other markets. WHAT KIND OF ENGINEERING DO YOU SPECIALIZE IN? Panhandle Engineering, Inc. specializes in a full range of engineering services from Civil, Environmental, Residential Development, Land Planning, Coastal, Commercial Development, Water and Wastewater, Reuse, Transportation, Regulatory Permitting and Grant Writing. WHAT IS YOUR BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY? We truly believe hard work and dedication is KEY to providing talent, technology, teamwork and creativity in order to be responsive to our client’s needs.

WHAT IS THE “SECRET” TO YOUR SUCCESS? Client service is key to Panhandle Engineering, Inc. Our clients can expect an honest assessment of their needs without empty promises. We strive to develop relationships with each and every client. For our public clients, the secret is “obtaining State and Federal funding for their projects.” TELL US WHAT YOUR GOALS ARE. Our goals are to grow the business in both the private sector and public sector and allow our staff to grow both professionally and financially with us. We also give back a portion of our profits to deserving nonprofit organizations in the communities we work in. WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT? We like to think big and outside the box, but not reinvent the wheel. By doing so, it allows us to produce and deliver the service that our clients expect from us.

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PROFESSIONAL PROFILES

S P E C I A L A DV E RT I S I N G S E C T I O N

RESORTQUEST– GROUP SALES TEAM 5 4 6 N W M A R Y E S T H E R C UT O F F, S U I T E 3 | F O R T W A LTO N B E AC H | ( 8 4 4 ) 2 0 7 - 8 2 0 7 | S P OT L I G HTO N R Q . C O M

When you idealize the perfect getaway weekend it likely includes toes in the sand, splashing in waves and soaking in the sun. ResortQuest’s vacation rental homes and condominiums ensure comfort and priceless memories, not only for vacationers, but for meetings and groups. JOYCE SERINA, DIRECTOR OF GROUP SALES

CHASE YAKABOSKI

Joyce Serina and her team play an imperative part in providing expert advice to ensure the goals of meeting and event planners, brides, grooms and reunions are met. For nearly 20 years, her enthusiasm and knowledge have been essential in collaborating for inspired meetings and events in Northwest Florida, from Pensacola Beach to Panama City Beach and beyond! “I develop close relationships with my customers and treat them like my family,” said Serina. “I place emphasis on providing flawless customer service and run the business as if it were my own.” Her success is seen in group travelers who continually make it back to the sandy white shores year after year. She has recently witnessed prosperity in the company’s expanding wedding and sports group market. She credits a considerable portion of these accomplishments to the staff she works with on a daily basis. “I recruit great people and let them work their magic,” smiled Serina. “I hope to be a great leader for my sales team and help them accomplish their goals while providing amazing experiences and memories for our guests.” Kristen Cagadas, Joyce Serina and Heather Recor

‘I develop close relationships with my customers and treat them like my family.’

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PROFESSIONAL PROFILES

AMERIS BANK 15 0 S . M O N R O E S T. , S U I T E 10 0 , TA L L A H A S S E E | ( 8 5 0 ) 6 5 6 - 2 110 | A M E R I S B A N K . C O M

LAWRENCE DAVIDSON

WHAT SERVICES DO YOU PROVIDE? Ameris Bank is a high-performing community bank that uses customizable technology to create real value for any size business, in any industry. Our Treasury Management services offer solutions designed to improve cash flow, streamline payables, manage liquidity and mitigate unnecessary transaction risk.

WHAT SETS YOUR BUSINESS APART? Ameris Bank is unique in that we are able to provide services and solutions typically found at larger financial institutions, coupled with a community bank feel and level of service. With local relationships and local decision-making, we are able to give our customers the consideration they deserve.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO PURSUE THIS CAREER? I enjoy meeting with customers, learning about their business and offering innovative solutions to meet their objectives. It gives me a great sense of accomplishment when I have helped our customers save time and money by improving operational and financial efficiencies.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY OUTSIDE OF WORK? I like living an active and healthy lifestyle and including several types of activities, such as long walks and yoga. I enjoy listening to music and most of all spending time with my family and friends. I admire nature and love traveling around the world. I have a lot more to explore!

‘With local relationships and local decision-making, we are able to give our customers the consideration they deserve.’ Vicky Shetty, CTP, Vice President, Regional Treasury Solutions Officer

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PROFESSIONAL PROFILES

S P E C I A L A DV E RT I S I N G S E C T I O N

BECK PARTNERS TIM SKIPPER PHOTOGRAPHY

15 1 W. M A I N S T. , S U I T E 2 0 0 | P E N S AC O L A | ( 8 5 0 ) 4 7 7 - 7 0 4 4 | T E A M B E C K . C O M

Justin Beck and Reid Rushing Beck Partners’ unique combination of commercial real estate brokerage, property management and insurance services allows their team to collaborate openly, share ideas and provide solutions that help their clients in a way that few other firms can. In other words, Connect and Protect: It’s what they do. Their mission is to create innovative partnerships that bring awesome people together to forge successful futures. They do this by recruiting and developing the best people, securing their clients’ best interests and investing in the community. Beck Partners was founded in 2014 through a merger of Beck Property Company — a commercial real estate firm established in 1981 led by Justin Beck — and McGraw Insurance, a proven veteran insurance producer led

by Reid Rushing. After establishing respectively successful businesses in Pensacola, Beck and Rushing realized they could better serve their clients if they joined forces. In addition to brokerage, property management and business insurance, Beck Partners also offers personal insurance services. With a team that specializes in Home, Auto, Flood, Life and RV insurance services, they work to minimize your losses and make sure you have the right coverage for you. To Beck Partners, you’re not just an account number; you’re a person. With nearly 30 team members from Mobile to Tallahassee, Beck Partners has your business needs covered, from step one and beyond. If you’re looking to streamline your business’s operational needs with a trusted, proven company, contact Beck Partners today at (850) 477-7044 or visit teambeck.com to find out more.

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PROFESSIONAL PROFILES

AMERICAN COMMERCE BANK 536 N. MONROE ST. | (850) 681-7761 | AMERICANCOMMERCEBANK.COM WHAT SERVICES DO YOU PROVIDE? American Commerce Bank provides financial account options for our clients to meet their needs and make banking a pleasure. We are dedicated to partnering with businesses to create solutions that make sense for their everyday business or future growth. WHAT SETS YOUR BUSINESS APART? We are the community bank that asks our clients, “What can we do for you?” instead of, “What can you do for us?” WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH? To grow in our current markets by providing quality customer service with unique products to fit everyone’s financial needs. WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO PURSUE THIS CAREER? I enjoy the process of assisting people, especially those that might not always feel welcomed in a financial institution. The relationships that you develop as a community banker drive me to be the best banker that I can be. WHAT IMPACT DO YOU HOPE TO MAKE ON THE COMMUNITY? To provide products and services to assist the community with growth. Our team of bankers is dedicated to the communities we live in and seeing them prosper. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY OUTSIDE OF WORK? I enjoy traveling and creating memorable adventures with family. Cynthia Weier, Branch Manager

INSPIRED TECHNOLOGIES M A NAGING PARTN ERS: N I CK RO U TA, CRAI G GO O D S O N , P H I L I P S H O E MA K E R 3058 HIGHLAND OAKS TERRACE, TALLAHASSEE | ( 8 5 0 ) 4 0 2 - 3 7 0 0 | I N S P I R E D - T E C H . N E T

WHAT SERVICES DO YOU PROVIDE? We are an all-inclusive technology firm that provides consulting, wireless, telecom and managed services. As a managed services provider, we allow businesses to offload IT operations and support at a flat-rate price. WHAT TRAINING HAVE YOU HAD? Our industry knowledge and training in each of our service areas is second to none. We pride ourselves on staying current in industry trends, safety standards and certifications. WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF YOUR JOB? Without a doubt, building and cultivating our relationships with clients. The excitement of offering the

diverse set of services that we do at Inspired allows us to collaborate with a very diverse client base and challenges us to excel in multiple business environments. WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR YOUR BUSINESS? Opportunity. We work every day to provide new opportunities for our clients, for our team of employees and for the communities we serve. We’ve been able to achieve this by assembling an exceptional team and building excellent long-term relationships in the 850 market that we call home. That opportunity is what we will continue to provide, and it’s what defines Inspired Technologies.

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S P E C I A L A DV E RT I S I N G S E C T I O N

TALLAHASSE STATE BANK

A DIVISION OF SYNOVUS

601 N . MONROE ST., TALLAHASSEE | ( 850) 576- 118 2 | TA L STAT E B A N K . C O M TALLAHASSEE STATE BANK offers a full array of products and services for both commercial and personal clients. As a division of Synovus Bank, which has offices in multiple states, Tallahassee State Bank benefits from the resources of the parent organization while maintaining local autonomy. CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER MATT BROWN says community engagement is important to his company and points out, “We contribute to approximately 30 charities which are determined by a committee of our employees.” According to Brown, courtesy and accountability are at the heart of TSB’s practices.

G. Matthew “Matt” Brown Chief Executive Officer

Bill Moore IV Executive Vice President

“We treat our customers as we want to be treated and strive to distinguish ourselves with caring team members who take 100 percent responsibility for meeting the needs of each customer,” Brown emphasizes. “We believe business is personal. Done right, business is an interaction between real people with names, faces and dreams.”

SUMMIT GROUP COMMERCIAL PROPERTIES 2073 SUMMIT L AKE DRI VE, SU I TE 155 | TALLAHAS S E E , F L | ( 8 5 0 ) 2 19 - 5 3 0 0 | S U MMI T E AST. C O M SUMMIT EAST MANAGEMENT BEGAN as the real estate arm of the Summit East Technology and Business Park. The portfolio now includes the 116 acre office park with 525,000 square feet of Class A office space, three retail centers with over 160,000 square feet of restaurant/retail, a 104-bed Staybridge Suites Hotel and a forthcoming residential development with over 150 lots and homes. WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD? In the immediate future, we are working on a hotel and grocery store development adjacent to the FSU campus and a self-sufficient, tiny home community, which will address affordable housing within our area. WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH? To effect a positive change in the landscape in our community, and make our community a better place to live and work with aesthetically pleasing projects. Left to Right: Kevin Collins, Licensed Real Estate Associate; Claude Walker, CEO; Ron Brafford, Licensed Real Estate Broker

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PROFESSIONAL PROFILES

RJ YOUNG COMPANY 2 5 W. C E DA R S T. , P E N S AC O L A | ( 8 5 0 ) 4 3 3 - 8 6 5 5 | R J YO U N G . C O M

WHAT SERVICES DO YOU PROVIDE? Solutions to securely manage paper and digital information, maintain vital information technology systems and empower businesses with leading printing and copying technologies, including 3-D printing and managed print services. WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY CONSIST OF FOR YOU? Consulting with customers and prospective customers on strategies to improve efficiency and productivity in their businesses. A goal is to show them how their copier, or multifunctional printer, is an on-ramp to digital information management rather than “just a copier.” WHY DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR LOCATION? Florida is a growing market with unlimited potential. RJ Young brings a unique product to the table by offering solutions for many of today’s business challenges under one roof to ensure business managers and owners are successful. Many customers in Florida today have to contract with multiple partners to accomplish the goals that RJY can provide in one stop. WHAT TRAINING HAVE YOU HAD? Our teams are consistently going through various training from our manufacturing partners such as Ricoh USA, Canon USA, Samsung, Lexmark and more, to be certified to service their products. Our solutions and IT teams retain multiple certifications and complete ongoing training programs to stay on top of software and information technology systems.

TODD DOUGLAS

Chris Bethea, Sales Manager

ALEXANDER SHUNNARAH & ASSOCIATES 25 E. WRIGHT ST., PENSACOLA DZIMMERMAN@ALEXANDERSHUNNARAHLAW.COM (850) 696-1119 | ALEXANDERSHUNNARAHLAW.COM

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT WHAT YOU DO? I love guiding someone through the process and like working for a firm that allows me to put the client first every time. Communication, explanation, building rapport and relationships with clients is what I love. WHAT MAKES YOUR COMPANY UNIQUE? We are not going to limit our business and therefore our clients’ results by trying to be what everyone else thinks a law firm is supposed to be. We look different, our office spaces are different, the way we interact with our clients and each other is different. WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE TO OFFER? Be aware that it’s OK to stand up for yourself. There is nothing wrong with using our civil justice system. It’s the only place in the world where some wrongs can be righted. HOW DO YOU MEASURE SUCCESS? Through my clients’ eyes. It’s two parts: results of our efforts and the satisfaction of our clients. Damian Zimmerman, Attorney

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PROFESSIONAL PROFILES

S P E C I A L A DV E RT I S I N G S E C T I O N

PATIENTS FIRST 7 C O N V E N I E N T TA L L A H A S S E E L O C AT I O N S | PAT I E N T S F I R S T. C O M

Brian S. Webb, President & CEO

VISION

Since 1989, our vision has been to provide a unique blend of quality family medicine along with urgent care and employer health. We offer a comprehensive array of occupational medicine services and always focus on controlling employer expenses.

CONVENIENCE

We recognize the need for a more convenient solution to the community’s health care needs. Patients First provides care 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day of the year. Our motto is we are here “when you need a doctor, not an appointment!”

COMMITMENT

Through our charitable efforts and contributions, we take pride in giving back to the community and getting involved in civic and local charity events.

DEDICATION

Throughout our seven Tallahassee locations, our medical team and dedicated staff strive to provide a quality medical experience for all of our patients. We are “Patients First,” and that’s our goal!

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Tallahassee’s largest annual business event

POWER FORWARD WITH

JIM KELLY From NFL Great to Successful Entrepreneur Pro Football Hall of Fame Quarterback East Championships and four consecutive Super Bowl appearances, but his winning record extends far beyond football. This successful CEO, entrepreneur, author, father, philanthropist and cancer survivor shares his insights on teamwork, leadership, and perseverance in sports, business, and in life.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

TICKETS:

3:30 to 5 p.m.

FirstCommerceCU.org/PowerForward

Ruby Diamond Concert Hall Florida State University

$50 Main Level Seating $40 Balcony Seating $10 Students (student ID required) *Service fees apply

Andy Serwer - Moderator Editor-in-Chief of Yahoo Finance

Federally insured by NCUA


DEAL ESTATE Second Home

Peaceful Retreat Offers Priceless Views If you’re going to get away, do it the right way, just 52 feet from your deck to the waves meeting the shore. This custom home was built with an emphasis on enjoyment and serenity and includes five spacious bedrooms, a wet bar, sun deck, spectacular views of the Gulf and a hot tub that makes for the ideal perch for watching a stunning sunset. — BY REBECCA PADGETT

List Price: $2,498,500 Square Feet: 3,790 Address: 791 Scenic Gulf Drive, Miramar Beach Bedrooms: 5 Bathrooms: 6.5 Features: Private beach access, a sea wall, outdoor deck with hot tub, partially covered balcony and deck, gourmet kitchen, wet bar, mahogany doors throughout, including garage, entry and patio doors, elevator, Travertine flooring, crown molding and raised ceilings. Realtor remarks: “This five-bedroom home stands beautifully atop white sand dunes, offering breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico,” said Janette Klein. “This magnificent water view can be seen from the living room, dining area, kitchen, master suite and one of the guest bedrooms. In addition, this home is conveniently located on Scenic Gulf Drive close to shopping, dining and golfing.” Contact: Janette Klein, ResortQuest, (850) 585-7872, jklein@gnt.net

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JANETTE KLEIN / RESORTQUEST

Year Built: 2000


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DEAL ESTATE Just Sold

COURTESY JOHN KOHLER

A Ravishing Resort is Off the Market

The acclaimed Honey Lake Resort finds new owner, promises same beauty By Rebecca Padgett Tables are set, guests are arriving, the flowers are fragrant and the bridal party is posing for pictures in front of a gorgeous and stately plantation style resort. The new owners of Honey Lake Resort are smiling — they will watch scenes like this unfold many times in years to come. Honey Lake Resort is widely known as one of North Florida’s top wedding venues, event locations and recreational retreats. The campus consists of 99 acres of astoundingly beautiful grounds with magnificent oak trees and a picturesque lake. The options for wedding, event and vacation stays are endless at the resort, which features a 7,500-square-foot gathering hall, seven cottages, a trophy lodge, church, equestrian lodge, lakeside pavilion, saloon,

fitness center, horse stables, pastures and outdoor swimming pool — all on one property. Bob Williamson was the seller and developer of the resort. He is overjoyed that the buyers plan to maintain and use the property for established purposes including weddings, retreats, conferences and other life events. “Soon after we sold Bob Williamson the original plantation in 2008, we watched him masterfully implement his vision and build a beautiful, world-class event campus on a portion of the property,” said Broker Jon Kohler, “the likes of which no one has seen since the heyday of Pebble Hill and other grand estates. It quickly became one of North Florida’s top wedding destinations

and recreational retreats, not to mention the job creation and impact it has had on the local economy.” A variety of event venues are available ranging from a church to the pavilion overlooking the lake. Whether you are hosting a retreat, honoring a wedding party or simply want a getaway, there are rooms to fit your need ranging from a luxurious lodge for a family of 12, a lake house for a bridal party or a cozy cottage for two. With a multitude of gorgeous venues, acres upon acres of land, any amenity you could imagine and a memorable setting, the sale price of $6.5 million seems like a steal. Contact: Jon Kohler, (850) 508-2999, jon@jonkohler.com

DEAL ESTATE Just Listed

Slip Into A Sale Waterfront property primed for occupancy

COURTESY CRAIG BARRETT / NBI PROPERTIES

By Rebecca Padgett

List Price: Now taking offers Address: 14 Miracle Strip Parkway, Fort Walton Beach Square footage: 3.46 acres and water frontage Features: More than 80 deepwater boat slips, visibility from U.S. Highway 98, located within hotel corridor, full-service marina, Gulf and bay access Contact: Craig Barrett, Broker, (850) 243-0007, craig@nbiproperties.com 64

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Property situated along the water piques the interest of many as a desirable location for success. This 3.46-acre tract sits on the Intercostal Waterway at Fort Walton Beach with access to the Gulf of Mexico and Choctawhatchee Bay. Traffic in the area is heavy given the proximity of Destin, the Hurlburt Air Field and the hotel and resort community. Additionally, there is a development order in place that allows for additional in-water slips, a dry storage facility, marina store and 100-room hotel.


Paul V. Watts, CEO Electronet Broadband Communications and Bruce Sellers Golden Eagle Golf and Country Club

REAL CUSTOMERS. REAL ISSUES. REAL SOLUTIONS. At Golden Eagle Golf and Country Club we aim to provide our members with an exceptional experience on and off the golf course. We expect the same quality from our vendors that we work with and rely on. We have used Electronet for Internet access for over eight years. Once we learned that Electronet was offering business class voice and long distance services, we decided to make a move to them. Their knowledgeable and courteous staff made the transition simple. Now I don’t have to call an 800 number and deal with an auto attendant. I dial a local number and talk with someone immediately. By bundling our services, we were able to save money as well. I’d recommend Electronet to anyone wishing to improve their reliability, improve performance and reduce costs. Bruce Sellers

2012 TECHNOLOGY BUSINESS OF THE YEAR WINNER

3411 Capital Medical Blvd. Tallahassee, FL | 850.222.0229 | www.electronet.net 850 Business Magazine

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MARK YOUR CALENDAR 3RD ANNUAL PINNACLE AWARD LUNCHEON

AUGUST 19, 2016

GREENHUT AUDITORIUM ON SACRED HEART HOSPITAL’S MAIN CAMPUS 5151 N. 9TH AVENUE, PENSACOLA

850 BUSINESS MAGAZINE’S 2016

PINNACLE AWARDS HONORING THE OUTSTANDING WOMEN BUSINESS LEADERS OF NORTHWEST FLORIDA Ten women have been selected to receive the 2016 Pinnacle Award. Join us to honor the 2016 Pinnacle Award recipients and hear from past recipient, Carol Carlan, President of Sacred Heart Foundation. From Left: Cindy Eade, Alice Collins, Bentina Terry, Kitty Whitney, Betsy Couch, Jennifer Jenkins, Lisa Barnes, Melanie Lee, Valerie Mincey, Angie Hill

GOOD NEWS FOR SHOPPING LOCAL

PINNACLE AWARDS THE PRESIDENTS OF HIGHER LEARNING

2015 BAY COUNTY BUSINESS JOURNAL

SAVING HISTORY, BOOSTING TOURISM

HONORING THEPinnacle OUTSTANDING WOMEN Awards BUSINESS LEADERS OF NORTHWEST FLORIDA These Northwest Florida leaders have made outstanding contributions to the business world and their communities

Table of 8: $550 Individual Ticket: $75 To purchase tickets or for more information, visit 850businessmagazine.com/Pinnacle-Awards/ PRESENTED BY

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SPECIAL REPORT

2016 JACKSON COUNTY BUSINESS JOURNAL

FLORIDA ALABAMA MEGA SITE • AGRICULTURAL INNOVATIONS • CHIPOLA COLLEGE • DEMOGRAPHICS


POWERING

LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT WITH FPU

DID YOU KNOW that FPU’s Electric Economic Development Program can help contribute to your local economy by creating new jobs and tax revenues from electric usage and area expansions? SEE HOW FPU can work with your Economic Development Organization to attract new businesses and industries to Florida— and make a difference in your community!

FPUC.com 888.220.9356 STAY INFORMED:

Conserve energy (and earn rebates!) with energy-efficient upgrades.

2 / 2016 J A C K S O N C O U N T Y B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L

PROMO: MA 16-108A 062116


LONG LIVE LOCAL CARING

As family practitioners, Dr. Spence and Dr. Akerson take pride in being able to make a difference in their patients’ lives. They know that when you truly care, amazing things can happen. That’s why they chose First Commerce Credit Union as their financial partner for Panhandle Family Care. Our Business Services team took the time to understand their needs and prescribed a mortgage refinance that improved the health of their business. Building healthier lives, businesses, and communities: that’s the power of local caring.

THAT’S THE

POWER OF YES

“The First Commerce loan process was highly organized, “First Commerce truly efficient and personable. cares, and they’ll do They came to my office to whatever they can make it easy on me.” to help a member or potential member.” DR. AKERSON, PANHANDLE FAMILY CARE

FirstCommerceCU.org/Business 850.718.0081 | 1.800.533.5772 Federally insured by NCUA

2016 J A C K S O N C O U N T Y B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L / 3


COURTESY DOUG MAYO/UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IFAS EXTENSION

6 FLORIDA ALABAMA MEGASITE 8 AGRICULTURE INNOVATIONS 10 CHIPOLA COLLEGE 14 DEMOGRAPHICS ON THE COVER: Cotton, along with peanuts and cattle, is a top-three commodity in Jackson County, where farming is first. It is the county’s No. 1 private-sector employer. COURTESY DOUG MAYO/UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IFAS EXTENSION

PRESIDENT/PUBLISHER BRIAN E. ROWLAND EDITORIAL DIRECTOR OF EDITORIAL SERVICES Steve Bornhoft EDITOR Linda Kleindienst SENIOR STAFF WRITER Jason Dehart PROOFREADER Melinda Lanigan CREATIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR Lawrence Davidson PRODUCTION MANAGER Daniel Vitter SENIOR ART DIRECTOR Saige Roberts ART DIRECTOR Jennifer Ekrut GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Charles Bakofsky, Meredith Brooks, Shruti Shah SALES & MARKETING VICE PRESIDENT/CORPORATE DEVELOPMENT McKenzie Burleigh Lohbeck DIRECTOR OF NEW BUSINESS Daniel Parisi AD SERVICES COORDINATORS Lisa Sostre, Tracy Mulligan ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Bess Grasswick, Darla Harrison, Lori Magee, Rhonda Murray, Dan Parker, Linda Powell, Paula Sconiers, Alice Watts, Brianna Webb SALES AND MARKETING ASSISTANT Mackenzie Ligas

rowlandpublishing.com | 850BusinessMagazine.com

4 / 2016 J A C K 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 RECRUIT YOU WIN CareerSource Chipola serves Jackson, Calhoun, Holmes, Liberty and Washington counties 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.

careersourcechipola.com | 850.633.4417 (local) | 800.382.5164 (toll free) 2016 J A C K S O N C O U N T Y B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L / 5


SPECIAL REPORT

JACKSON COUNTY BUSINESS JOURNAL

SHOVEL-READY With big and small ready-to-build sites, Jackson County is looking to lure in business and jobs by LINDA KLEINDIENST

W

hen it comes to economic development, Jackson County is thinking big. Mega-big. As in Florida-Alabama Mega Site big. It’s been in the planning already for a couple of years, but projects this big — at 2,240 acres, one of the largest ever in the region — take time to develop and find the right tenant. In October 2014, 12 Florida and Alabama counties rolled out a joint venture that they hope will eventually attract an auto manufacturer that could provide up to 5,000 new jobs for the region. Add another possible 5,000 jobs provided by new suppliers for the manufacturing plant, and the project is estimated to have a total economic impact of more than $833 million. Two years later, they’re continuing to look for takers while moving ahead on getting the north Jackson County acreage in Campbellton ready for a tenant that has the potential to boost the region’s economy in a New York minute. “It’s been out there for a while, but in the meantime we’re going through some preliminary certification processes on the site so that we can answer questions for site selectors,” says David Melvin, Florida’s co-chair of the unusual regional cooperative dubbed FloridaAlabama Mega Site. Last year, Florida Gov. Rick Scott met with Japanese auto manufacturers to promote the site during a trade trip. In April, Melvin, owner of Marianna-based David H. Melvin Engineering Inc. Consulting Engineers, traveled to South Korea and Taiwan to meet with different industries, primarily the automotive industry, to promote the site. The focus has been on trying to attract a Far East auto manufacturer. “It was very positive reception,” he says, adding that the Korean auto-industries association offered to run a free advertisement in its magazine to promote the site and the region. Their pitch focuses on the Jackson site forming a point in a triangle that stretches to KIA Motors Manufacturing in West Point, Georgia, on one side and Hyundai Motors Manufacturing in Montgomery, Alabama, on the other side. Inside that triangle, there are already more than 70 auto parts suppliers that provide everything

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from gaskets to engines — and they’re less than three hours from the Florida-Alabama Mega Site. An added incentive: Degrees in auto-related engineering are offered at universities in Florida and Alabama, while Chipola College in Marianna — 15 miles from the site — has an award-winning automotive training program. And, within a 75-mile radius, there is a workforce of more than a half-million. “The Mega Site is ideally located to offer high-wage workforce opportunities beyond our 12-county partnership,” said Matt Parker, president of the Dothan (Alabama) Chamber of Commerce when the regional alliance was unveiled in 2014. “The labor shed to support a manufacturing or assembly facility of this magnitude would not only include Dothan, just 30 minutes north, but also has the opportunity to encompass as far east as Tallahassee, less than one hour away. This site’s prime industrial location will provide economic prosperity for the citizens in our entire region.” Right now, the site’s proponents are working on the preliminary studies, among them environmental and archaeological surveys, that must be completed before the acreage is considered “shovel-ready.” But a project this big is going to take some patience, Melvin counsels. “This is such a large site, it will take us several years to accomplish certification,” he says, adding that the county started the process of identifying a site in 2011. “You hope someone will come in the door tomorrow, but I think it’s at least a three- to five-year process, getting the site ready, having enough marketing about it out there and getting it on the radar.”


FLORIDA FIRST SITES

An Alabama-Florida partnership is readying a 2,240-acre site in North Jackson County to receive a tenant, ideally, an auto manufacturing plant, that would employ thousands and spawn related businesses.

LaGrange

431

LEGEND HYUNDAI AND KIA SUPPLIERS

280

65

West Point

231

185 Auburn

Opelika Columbus

85 Montgomery

431

ALABAMA 65

280

231

GEORGIA

431

231

65

FLORIDA

Dothan

CAMPBELLTON SITE 10

Here’s what else it says about the Jackson County sites:

Marianna

10

Tallahassee

231

Pensacola Panama City

DISTANCE AND DRIVE TIME FROM FLORIDAALABAMA MEGA SITE TO DEEPWATER PORTS Port Panama City

60 miles (95 km)

1 hour 20 minutes

Port of Pensacola

130 miles (209 km)

2 hours

JAXPORT

250 miles (400 km)

3 hours, 40 minutes

Port of Mobile

180 miles (290 km)

2 hours, 40 minutes

Source: FloridaAlabamaMegasite.com

Hoping to give Northwest Florida’s economy a boost, Gulf Power Company established a program designed to help counties obtain certification that proposed sites within their borders are ready with completed environmental and archaeological studies and the necessary infrastructure to accommodate new businesses. In Jackson County, two sites at local commerce parks — Marianna Airport Commerce Park and the Marianna/Jackson County Distribution/ Construction Services Park — have been certified through the utility giant’s program. Each site has undergone a rigorous screening process, developed by McCallum Sweeney Consulting, that offers an objective, third-party analysis to ensure that the sites are ready for development. “It really accelerates a company’s speed to market,” explains Jennifer Conoley, an economic development representative for Gulf Power. “A company needs to start producing its product quickly. Site certification helps them do that and cuts development costs.” Gulf Power markets the certified sites online and provides the counties with marketing materials, including fliers and postcards each community can use for its specific site or sites. “We’ve also launched an ad campaign with Site Selection magazine, along with digital advertising and LinkedIn, to focus on target audiences,” Conoley says. “We’ve generated several leads that have come in from users of the website.” In the first program of its kind in the state, Gulf Power’s Florida First Sites website was created with site selectors and businesses in mind and provides details about each of the sites, including size, proximity to commercial transportation, demographics of the area and specific benefits of each site. For Jackson County, it emphasizes that the area has a history of being a manufacturing and distribution center, where employers have access to a highly skilled workforce as well as “an outstanding transportation infrastructure.”

Marianna Airport Commerce Park — This industrial site in Jackson County features 237 acres of property adjacent to an airport. The park is adjacent to the Marianna Municipal Airport with two 5,000-foot runways. The park, 7.6 miles from Interstate 10, offers expandable boundaries and a Class 4 ISO fire rating. Marianna/Jackson County Distribution/ Construction Services Park — This industrial park in Jackson County features 258 acres of property (213 developable) with easy access to major transportation corridors. The park offers immediate access to Interstate 10 at Exit 136. The park has expandable boundaries and a Class 4 ISO fire rating.

2016 J A C K S O N C O U N T Y B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L / 7


SPECIAL REPORT

JACKSON COUNTY BUSINESS JOURNAL

RIPPLE EFFECT Falling commodity prices and water protection issues dominate the Jackson County agricultural landscape by JASON DEHART

T

he business of Jackson County is farming, and farming is a business much like any other. Except it’s harder and not very predictable. Rising and falling commodity prices can have a big impact on a rural economy, and right now, Jackson County is facing the latter situation. “The biggest thing going on in farming now is we’ve seen a significant reduction in income,” said Doug Mayo, Jackson County extension director. “Almost everything we grow is sold as commodities, whether it’s cattle or peanuts or corn or soybeans, and all those things are sold on a fluid market that changes every day. Of course, the

larger farmers certainly try to contract to lock in a price before they plant, but there’s not a lot of control over the prices they receive.” According to the University of Florida, Jackson County farmers contribute $624 million to the local economy. They also account for 4,026 full- or part-time jobs. Farms are the second largest employer behind government. Peanuts, cotton and cattle are the “big three” commodities grown in Jackson County, and all three are subject to swings in price. For instance, Mayo said cotton was a dollar a pound back in 2012, but this year it’s 62 cents. There’s some hope it may get up to 70 cents this year, but it didn’t happen last year. That may not be high enough to reach the breakeven point, he said. “Most farms tell you they need 80 cents Jackson County a pound to cover their is producing more peanuts expenses,” Mayo said. than ever, reports “So what’s challenging Doug Mayo, the is the cost associated county’s extension director. The with growing the crop development of and the fixed cost to disease-resistant cover tractors, and strains of goobers has increased employees, and faciliyields. ties and storage bins.” Overall, “I guess the big thing that is changing is the economy of farming. 2012 was a banner year, and since then it’s been declining, so the profit

8 / 2016 J A C K S O N C O U N T Y B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L

margin is really diminished in farming, and that impacts the whole community.” Federal farm subsidies are also down a bit, and that has hurt farmers too, but one challenge in particular is China’s down economy. China is a major buyer of Jackson County cotton and peanuts. “The economy in China has declined, and we are not exporting what we were three years ago,” Mayo said. “Certainly most of our peanuts and corn are used domestically, but when you lose a percentage of your overall market, it hurts. Regarding peanuts, we’ve had some breakthroughs with diseaseresistant varieties and we’re producing more peanuts than we every had, which is a good thing, but if you can’t find a home for extra peanuts, the price goes down.” And when prices go down, it sends ripples throughout a farming community like Jackson County. “In 2012, we bought new trucks and tractors and new implements,” Mayo said. “At that point, crop prices were good enough that you were purchasing herbicides and pesticides, anything needed to make a top yield, because the price covered that and rewarded you. But when the price falls, you have no choice but cut back, and we’ll see lowered production and lowered income. And that affects a lot of small businesses in a rural county. There’s not as much money to spend when these commodity prices fall like they have. The parts stores and agricultural supply dealerships that sell fertilizer and feed and pesticides/herbicides are all affected when prices decline. So it definitely affected the total economy of this county, and there’s not a lot of control. You have to get by until things improve.”

PROTECTING JACKSON BLUE Commodity prices aren’t the only issue on the minds of Jackson County farmers. Jackson Blue Spring, a first-magnitude spring and one of the county’s hotspot


COURTESY DOUG MAYO/UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IFAS EXTENSION AND COURTESY OF HTTP://VISITJACKSONCOUNTYFLA.COM

Jackson Blue Spring, a popular swimming hole and tourist attraction and part of the watershed that includes record fish-producing Merritt’s Mill Pond, had been declared impaired by state officials. Water quality is threatened by nitrate pollution.

tourist destinations, was declared an “impaired body” by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in 2012. The DEP said the spring was impaired because of high nitrate levels, Mayo said, and a basin management action plan was put in place in May. “There’s been a lot of interest in dealing with impaired waters around the state with primary interest in springs, and so Jackson Blue was identified as a spring of concern when a TMDL (total maximum daily load) report came out several years ago,” Mayo said. TMDLs are water quality targets based on state water-quality standards for specific pollutants, such as excessive nitrate. The Jackson Blue Spring and Merritts Mill Pond Basin takes up a vast swath of eastern Jackson County and includes a small part of southern Alabama. The 154-square-mile region takes up about 90,000 acres. Roughly 38,000 acres of that is used for farming. Jackson Blue Spring forms the headwaters of the 270-acre Merritts Mill Pond, which was once part of a free-flowing spring run called Spring Creek. The pond now forms

the headwaters for a tributary of the Chipola River, a designated Outstanding Florida Water. According to the DEP, Jackson Blue Spring contributes approximately 69 percent of the total flow of Merritts Mill Pond. Seven minor springs contribute 14 percent of the flow, with other sources contributing to the balance. Water samples taken from Jackson Blue Spring and Merritts Mill Pond indicate that the predominant form of nitrogen there is nitrate. According to the DEP’s basin management plan, the nitrate concentrations measured at Jackson Blue Spring have increased from the EPA-acceptable limits of 0.34 mg/L in the 1960s to greater than 3 mg/L. That doesn’t necessarily mean the lake is in trouble; the Jackson County Commission website describes the water as being clearer than that of Lake Tahoe. The idea is to keep it that way, but it’s going to be a long-term proposition. “Over the next 20 years or more, they’re going to be working with people who live and farm and have businesses in the basin to try and reduce the nitrate levels,” Mayo

said, noting that the basin management plan now in effect calls for a 90 percent reduction in nitrates over time. “There are many different sources of this stuff, such as local septic tanks, rainfall and fertilizer, but the largest land use is agriculture, so it’s going to be a major issue for farmers,” he said. “There’s going to be a lot of efforts in years ahead to work with everybody in that basin to identify ways to reduce nitrates,” Mayo said. “It means we’re going to have a greater emphasis than ever on farming efficiently. That’s nothing new. Farmers have been trying for years to be more efficient. I think many of the farmers have been to the public meetings and heard the issues, and they understand these aren’t necessarily unfunded mandates. They recognize the people are trying to work with them, not against them.” For example, Mayo said, farmers in particular can take advantage of a 75/25 cost-sharing program offered by the government to help farmers pay for the high-tech equipment needed to take nutrient management to a higher level.

2016 J A C K S O N C O U N T Y B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L / 9


SPECIAL REPORT

JACKSON COUNTY BUSINESS JOURNAL

Students and faculty are winning kudos and scholarships by JASON DEHART

C

hipola College was recently named one of the nation’s top 150 community colleges by the Aspen Institute. The Aspen Prize, awarded every two years since 2011, is the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among community colleges. Chipola has been nominated for all four of the Aspen Award cycles — 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017. The Aspen Institute, an international nonprofit organization that focuses on ideas and leadership, identified the top community colleges through an assessment of institutional performance measures. It recognizes exceptional student outcomes in areas such as persistence, completion and transfer. Chipola was just one of more than 1,166 public two-year colleges evaluated using publicly available data. The college ranked 23rd in the nation in first-year retention rate and 28th in three-year graduation rate. The college ranked 20th in credentials awarded per John Gardner, an automo100 full-time students tive technoland 14th in credenogy instructor at tials awarded per 100 Chipola College, has been named minority students. professor of “We are proud to the year by the be nominated for the Association of Florida Colleges. Aspen Prize for a fourth He hosts “Tech time. This nomination Garage” on Disaffirms that Chipola covery’s Velocity Channel. College is committed to improving our educational programs to ensure student success,” said Chipola President Jason Hurst.

Ten finalists will be named in fall 2016. Aspen will conduct site visits to finalist colleges to collect additional data. A distinguished prize jury will select a grand prize winner and a few finalists with distinction in early 2017. John Gardner, Chipola College automotive technology instructor, was recently named Professor of the Year by the Association of Florida Colleges (AFC). “John went head-to-head with two other excellent teachers. It was so impressive to see him practice his craft and earn this honor,” said Darwin Gilmore, Chipola’s dean of workforce development. Thousands of teachers from all 28 colleges

10 / 2016 J A C K S O N C O U N T Y B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L

PHOTO COURTESY CHIPOLA COLLEGE

CHIPOLA COLLEGE

in the Florida College System were eligible for the competition. Gardner competed with two other finalists who each presented a lesson at the recent AFC Conference. Gardner had seven students when he began teaching at Chipola 16 years ago. Today, his classes are full and his automotive lessons reach millions of people each week. He began sharing some of his teaching videos on the web after more than a decade in the classroom. This led to an opportunity with Advance Auto Parts to co-star in that company’s Automotive Training Series along with fellow Chipola automotive instructor Chase Vlieg. The short educational videos are viewed by thousands of Advance employees across the country. Exposure from the Advance program led Gardner to a starring role in the new automotive how-to show “Tech Garage” on Discovery’s Velocity Channel. All episodes of the program have been filmed in the Chipola automotive shop. Gardner said his “edutainment” teaching philosophy is the key to the success of his program. Edutainment includes content


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that is primarily educational but also has entertainment value. It engages students, keeps interest high, and delivers technical and complex information through multimedia techniques. He incorporates learning modules, videos and hands-on practice in all lesson plans to appeal to various learning styles. “As an instructor, I believe it is my responsibility to not only teach technologically sophisticated material but also to promote moral development, coach and mentor, honor differences and adapt to meet students’ needs in innovative and effective ways,” Gardner said. As a stipulation of his agreement with Discovery, Gardner asked that all technical schools in the country have access to each episode of “Tech Garage” within two days of airing. Gardner said the growth and success of these videos demonstrate the educational community’s approval of this innovative teaching method in the ever-changing automotive field. The Chipola automotive program also was a two-time finalist for Tomorrow’s Technician School of the Year and was selected as a 2012 finalist for a Bellwether Award. Graduates of the program have a 98 percent placement rate in the industry. Students also have an 85 percent pass rate on first attempts on Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) exams. Chipola’s automotive program has earned Master Accreditation from ASE and the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation. “The feeling I get when a successful student returns years after graduation and says ‘Thank you’ is reward enough to keep me working to improve for many years to come,” Gardner said. “I can hardly believe that it’s brought me so many opportunities to share my knowledge and love of automotive technology with so many people. I have the most rewarding job in the world.” Rex Lumber recently established the Robert and Kathryn McRae scholarship fund to help students planning to pursue an Associate of Science degree in engineering technology with a specialization in advanced manufacturing: Pneumatics, Hydraulics and Motors Certification. “The McRae family and Rex Lumber are important partners in this new program. They are making a significant investment to help students get enrolled, and they have the capacity to hire skilled workers who successfully complete the course,” Gilmore said. Multiple one-year scholarships for up to 30 semester hours of tuition and/or books and supplies will be awarded by the Rex Lumber Graceville plant and the Rex Lumber Bristol plant. Applicants must have a minimum 2.5 high-school grade point average to apply, and must maintain a 2.5 each semester in order to retain the scholarship. First-year scholarship recipients are eligible to reapply during the second year of the program. Second-year funding is subject to economic conditions and the student’s performance in the program. Students who do well in the program may be eligible for paid internship positions at Rex Lumber. Chipola College was established in 1947 and is designated as a state college in the Florida College System. The college offers bachelor’s, associate in arts, and associate in science degrees as well as workforce development programs.


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850BUSINESSMAGAZINE.COM (850) 878-0554 2016 J A C K S O N C O U N T Y B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L / 13


SPECIAL REPORT

JACKSON COUNTY BUSINESS JOURNAL

POPULATION

JACKSON COUNTY DEMOGRAPHICS

Jackson County, the state’s leading producer of peanuts and soybeans, is Florida’s 42nd most populous county with 0.3 percent of the state population. The third county established in the state, it is named after Andrew Jackson.

2015 (ESTIMATED) — 48,599 CHANGE SINCE 2010 — –2.3% PERSONS UNDER 18 YEARS — 18.8% PERSONS 18-64 YEARS — 63.2% PERSONS 65 YEARS AND OLDER — 18% LABOR FORCE AS PART OF POPULATION — 42.3%

EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT

(Persons 25 years and older) HIGH SCHOOL DEGREE OR HIGHER — 78.8% BACHELOR’S DEGREE OR HIGHER — 14.82%

INCOME Jackson County Peanut Farm

MEDIAN FAMILY INCOME — $46,356

MAJOR EMPLOYERS FAMILY DOLLAR DISTRIBUTION CENTER WALMART REX LUMBER COMPANY ANDERSON COLUMBIA INC. MOWREY ELEVATOR

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT JACKSON COUNTY ▪ Florida Caverns State Park, located near Marianna, offers the only cave tours in the state. ▪ An average of 85 million gallons of water daily flow through Blue Springs. ▪ Spanish soldiers and missionaries arrived in 1674 and there are 11 colonial Spanish sites to explore.

located several miles north of Marianna on Hwy. 162. The historic span is said to be haunted by the restless ghost of Elizabeth Jane Bellamy. ▪ Completed in 1860, Great Oaks is believed to be the last true antebellum home built in the South. It’s located in Greenwood. ▪ L.S. Pender’s Store on State Highway 71 in Greenwood was built in 1869 and is believed to be the oldest such enterprise still in operation in Florida.

▪ Established in 1680, Mission San Carlos, located off U.S. 90 in Sneads, was at one time the westernmost European settlement in Florida. It was destroyed by Creek Indian raiders in 1696. The site was discovered by archeologists in the 1940s. ▪ Florida’s oldest Baptist church in continuous service, the historic Campbellton Baptist Church was founded in 1825 as Bethlehem Baptist Church.

UNEMPLOYMENT

▪ Built in 1914, Bellamy Bridge is the oldest iron bridge in Florida — and it has some ghost tales to tell. It is

MAY 2016 — 4.8%

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Jackson County Tourism Development, Enterprise Florida

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COURTESY DOUG MAYO/UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IFAS EXTENSION

PER CAPITA PERSONAL INCOME —$28,459


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BUSINESS NEWS

BAY NEW BEGINNINGS

» Vistage Florida has appointed

Art Kimbrough to lead the Vistage Florida group in the Panama City area, which encompasses the Central Panhandle and also includes Dothan, Alabama. Kimbrough was president and CEO of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce in Marianna for 10 years and is owner and CEO of Overstreet Funeral Group, with funeral homes in Florida, Mississippi and Tennessee.

LOCAL HAPPENINGS

» DeTect has released its free

DroneWatcher™ APP that turns smartphones using the Android™ operating system into detectors for consumer drones and small unmanned aerial vehicles. It detects, tracks, alerts and records information on 95 percent of commercially available drones using advanced signals intelligence technology developed by the Panama City-based company.

» Los Angeles-based Son-

nenblick Development LLC has been selected by Panama City to take the lead in planning the redevelopment of the Panama City Marina.

APPOINTED BY GOV. SCOTT

» Philip Griffitts Jr. to the Bay

County Board of County Commissioners. Griffitts, 44, of Panama City, the owner of Sugar Sands Inn, was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Mike Thomas, whose term ends Nov. 21.

FORGOTTEN COAST APPOINTED BY GOV. SCOTT

Florida is returning $3 million to its 916 member-owners through a patronage refund approved by its board of directors. The refund represents 20.86 percent of the interest customers paid on their loans last year.

features inspiring leaders, powerful ideas and networking opportunities. 2016 speakers include Stan Connally, Tom Fanning, Daymond John and Bentina Terry.

» Crestview-based Bay State

Hutto & Carver P.A. has joined Warren Averett, LLC, Certified Public Accountants and Advisors. CPAs H. Sam Hutto, Jr. and Ann B. Carver join as Members in Warren Averett’s audit division.

Cable Ties, a leading U.S. manufacturer of nylon cable ties, has changed its name to American Elite Molding. Company officials say the name change reflects rapid growth over the past 12 years from a small reseller to a $25 million manufacturer that produces 1.5 billion cable ties a year.

EMERALD COAST NEW BEGINNINGS

» Capt. Keith Hoskins, former

commanding officer at Naval Air Station Pensacola, has joined the Gulf Power team. He will serve as the Major Accounts and Military Affairs manager, leading a team of energy experts who serve the company’s largest customers. Hoskins is replacing the retiring Ellis Oswald.

» BBVA Compass

has promoted Nathan Sommer to the position of city president in Pensacola. SomSOMMER mer has 13 years of experience, most recently as South Alabama’s Global Wealth market executive.

PHOTOS PROVIDED BY PROFILED INDIVIDUALS

I-10

LOCAL HAPPENINGS

» Farm Credit of Northwest

» Pensacola-based CPA firm

» The University of West Florida Department of Chemistry has received a grant totaling more than $649,000 from the National Science Foundation that will provide scholarships, research opportunities and professional development for academically talented, financially disadvantaged students in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. » Pensacola State College is the first in the region to earn accreditation from two national agencies for its Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-to-BSN) program. » The Doolittle Institute of Okaloosa County has been awarded a state grant to establish a technology innovation center in support of Eglin Air Force Base. The Doolittle team will utilize the funds to identify Small Business Innovation Research recipients

who can help accelerate the commercialization of new products and bring them to market, based on Department of Defense technologies.

» The Palafox Historic District, spanning from Chase to Zaragoza streets and Spring to Tarragona streets in downtown Pensacola, is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. University of West Florida public history alumna Cynthia Catellier began the nomination process in 2011 while a student. » Gulf Coast Health Care, a provider of short-term, post-acute and skilled nursing services, has broken ground for the Olive Branch Health and Rehabilitation Center, a 90-bed all private room skilled nursing facility delivering short-term, post-acute services. The 78,000-square-foot center will be built across the street from West Florida Hospital in Pensacola. » Acentria Insurance has expanded its presence in the Niceville-Valparaiso community through the recent acquisition of Lighthouse Insurance Agency. Founded in 2006 by Ron Corbin, Lighthouse Insurance Agency specializes in personal and business insurance coverage. » National women’s retailer Anthropologie is now open in

» Hunter Gatewood is the new vice president and credit officer at ServisFirst Bank Pensacola.

» Paula Patching, Jodi Van

Wagner and Claire Betts have joined the Keller Williams Realty Emerald Coast’s team in the Navarre office.

» Larry Carlan is

» Ricky Jones and Michael

Thornburg to the Eastpoint Water and Sewer District. Jones, 45, of Eastpoint, is the manager of Gander Autoparts. Thornburg, 61, of Eastpoint, is the owner of TTC Storage LLC.

SOUNDBYTES

CARLAN

now a mortgage loan officer with Gulf Winds Federal Credit Union.

LOCAL HAPPENINGS

The Gulf Power Symposium will take place October 2-4 in Panama City at the Sheraton Bay Point. This three-day economic development event of the year

The Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance headquartered in Pensacola, has won a best practice award from the Florida Sterling Council for its annual Quality Improvement Program review process of the network’s 11 regional centers.

850 Business Magazine

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AUGUST – SEPTEMBER 2016

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BUSINESS NEWS

SOUNDBYTES

Grand Boulevard at Sandestin, joining recently opened men’s and women’s retailers Lilly Pulitzer and Vineyard Vines.

Louis Francis Ray, Jr., Pensacola; and G. Thomas Smith, Gulf Breeze.

Newman-Dailey Resort Properties, Jordan Lacenski and Mike Ragsdale.

» Destin Commons has expand-

» United Bank, which has three

locations in Santa Rosa County, and Gulf Winds Federal Credit Union in Pensacola have received a 5-Star Superior rating for strength and security from BauerFinancial, the nation’s leading independent bank rating firm. The 5-Star award is based on profitability, capital, level of delinquent loans, charge-offs, repossessed assets and liquidity.

APPOINTED BY GOV. SCOTT

ed its dining, shopping and entertainment options, with the addition of three more new stores: Watch Station International, Blu Spero and High Cotton Clothing Co.

LOCAL HONORS

» The Florida Association of

Counties presented Santa Rosa County Commissioner Rob Williamson with the Presidential Advocacy Award during the 2016 Florida Association of Counties’ annual conference. The award is given annually to county commissioners from around the state who have shown exceptional leadership in partnering with the association to advance the counties’ legislative agenda. Williamson was also selected for the Florida Counties Foundation board of directors, elected to the FAC board of directors representing Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties, and appointed vice chair of the Public Safety Policy Committee.

» Hospital Corporation of

America facilities Fort Walton Beach Medical Center and Twin Cities Hospital in Niceville have been awarded “A” grades in the Spring 2016 Hospital Safety Score by The Leapfrog Group, which rates how well hospitals protect patients from preventable medical errors, injuries and infections within the hospital.

» Fort Walton Beach Medical

» Rex McKinney, president

and CEO of ServisFirst Bank Pensacola, has been selected to serve a two-year term on the Florida Bankers Association Board of Directors

» The National Security Agency

and the Department of Homeland Security have designated the University of West Florida as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education through the academic year 2021-22. The program seeks to reduce vulnerability in the nation’s information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in cyber defense and increasing the number of professionals with cyber defense expertise.

» The Florida Bar has hon-

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AUGUST – SEPTEMBER 2016

» Residence Inn Sandestin®

at Grand Boulevard and the Courtyard Sandestin® at Grand Boulevard have won Platinum Circle Awards, Marriott’s highest distinction for brand service.

» Catie Purdon

DALTON

Dalton and Olateju “TJ” Oyenpemi of Saltmarsh, Cleaveland and Gund recently earned the designation of Certified Public Accountant.

» Eight members

of the Northwest Florida Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) were presented with Image Awards for excellence in public relations programming and projects at a recent awards ceremony. Among the honorees were: Visit South Walton, Proffitt PR, TLC-PR, Bay Breeze Patio, Grand Boulevard at Sandestin, OYENPEMI

ored 226 attorneys, including seven from the Emerald Coast, for their 50 years of dedication to the practice of law: Edward Turner Barfield, Pace; Frank L. Bell, Pensacola; Charles L. Cetti, Pensacola; John Clifford Foster III, Destin; Roderic Gregg Magie, Pensacola;

84

Center has been designated by Florida Blue as one of the first hospitals to receive the Blue Distinction® Center for Maternity Care designation, a new designation under the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association’s Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

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850businessmagazine.com

» Timothy Bolduc, 39, of Fort Walton Beach, development services manager for the City of Fort Walton Beach, to the Florida Building Code Administrators and Inspectors Board.

CAPITOL

LOCAL HAPPENINGS

» Capitol Insight, a statewide lobbying firm based in Tallahassee and led by former House Speaker Dean Cannon, has joined with GrayRobinson, P.A. The merger makes GrayRobinson’s government relations and lobbying practice the largest such practice of any law firm in Florida and one of the largest groups of legislative and executive branch lobbyists in the state. LOCAL HONORS

» Mike Bettinger, CEO of Bettinger Welding Inc., was presented with the Governor’s Business Ambassador Award by Gov. Rick Scott. The family-owned welding business is based in Tallahassee and has specialized in creating ornamental handrails, gates, decorative artwork and structural steel since 1976. » Tallahassee attorney Seth Miller recently received a Florida Bar President’s Award of Merit. Since 2006, Miller has served as the executive director of the Innocence Project of Florida and litigates post-conviction innocence cases, supervises the IPF’s internship program and regularly lectures to students, lawyers and community groups on issues related to wrongful convictions. » Leon County Commissioner Bryan Desloge was honored by the Florida Association of Counties with the Presidential Advocacy Award. The award is given annually to county commissioners from around the state who have shown exceptional leadership in partnering with the association to advance the counties’ legislative agenda. Leon County Commissioner Nick Maddox was overwhelmingly elected second vice president at the association’s 2016 Annual Conference.

» Jason Allison, executive director of the Agency for State Technology, was selected as a winner of the StateScoop GoldenGov Executive of the Year award. » Lisa Mergel, owner of Tallahassee’s Kanvas Spa and Boutique, was named 2016 Retailer of the Year by the Florida Retail Association. » OliverSperry Renovation & Construction has been selected as the 2016 Chamber Business of the Year by the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce. Other winners of the chamber annual awards are: Entrepreneurial Start Up, Cuttlesoft; Nonprofit, Tallahassee Museum; Locally Owned Business, OliverSperry Renovation & Construction; Service Business, Alpha Foundation Specialists Inc.; Manufacturer, Proof Brewing Company; Technology & Innovation, MCCi; and Next Generation Business, Diverse Computing Inc. » Michael Kalifeh of Thomas Howell Ferguson won the Tallahassee Network of Young Professionals’ Golden A.C.E. Award in the Finance category. The firm’s Debie Leonard has won the Florida Institute of CPA’s Women to Watch Experienced Leader Award.

KALIFEH

LEONARD

NEW BEGINNINGS

» Christopher Mills

has joined SunTrust Bank’s Commercial and Corporate Banking team as its new commercial MILLS banker and vice president covering the Tallahassee, Northwest Florida and South Georgia markets.  

» Former House Majority Office Communications Director Kristen McDonald is a new account supervisor in the Hill+Knowlton Strategies’ Florida Public Affairs practice. » Kay Kammel is the new director of administration for the Tallahassee-based Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.


» Larry J. Overton & Associates has added Jimmy Card to its lobbying team as a senior associate. Card is the former director of government relations for Coral Cables-based HMO Preferred Medical Plan. » Jennifer Krell

PHOTOS PROVIDED BY PROFILED INDIVIDUALS

Davis has joined The Florida Bar Public Information and Bar Services Department as its DAVIS new deputy director. Most recently, she was vice president of public affairs for the Florida Ports Council.

» CareerSource Capital Region has welcomed Ruthann Campbell as its new marketing and communications coordinator. » Kelly O’Keefe has joined

the Tallahassee office of Stearns Weaver Miller as a litigation shareholder.

» CAMPUS USA Credit Union has brought Jaime Hoffman on board as its new Business Development Specialist and Mortgage Loan Originator in Tallahassee. » Sawyer Schmookler, Savannah O’Hara and Bennett Stein have joined Thomas Howell Ferguson as staff accountants in the Tax Services Department.

SCMOOKLER

» Allison Carter O’HARA has joined The Fiorentino Group, a government relations and business development firm, as Principal STEIN in its Tallahassee office. She brings more than 15 years of legislative and state government experience to TF,

most recently serving as the Chief Process Advisor to the Speaker of the Florida House.

» Renovate America, the largest provider of residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing in the U.S., has hired Florida-based executives John Charles Thomas and Mike Antheil to lead the expansion of the company’s HERO PACE Program into the state, working with the Florida Development Finance Corporation. Thomas will serve as vice president of market development for Florida. Antheil will be Florida director of market development. APPOINTED BY GOV. SCOTT

» Heidi Roeck-Simmons, 42,

of Tallahassee, vice president of operations for Health Connections Rehab Services, to the Board of Occupational Therapy.

» Kelley Smith Burk, 37, of Tallahassee, Office of Energy director for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, to the Florida Building Commission. » Robert E. Long Jr., 34, of Tallahassee, general counsel for the Leon County Sheriff’s Office since 2014, to the Second Judicial Circuit Court. » M. Kemmerly Thomas, 49, of Tallahassee, an attorney and senior partner with McConnaughhay, Coonrod, Pope, Weaver, Stern & Thomas, P.A., since 1991, to the First District Court of Appeal. » Craig Varn, 47, of Tallahassee, an attorney with Manson Bolves Donaldson Varn, to the Environmental Regulation Commission. Varn previously served as the general counsel at the Department of Environmental Protection. Compiled by Linda Kleindienst

VENUE

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PENSACOLA LITTLE THEATRE

NOVEMBER 3 - 4

400 S. Jefferson St.

CREATING A CULTURE OF LEADERSHIP: Connecting People, Purpose & Passion A two-day business conference that will provide an opportunity to learn from local and national entrepreneurs on creating a culture of leadership where everyone thinks, feels and acts like an owner. SPONSORS

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CAPITAL CORRIDOR

Gadsden, Jefferson + Leon Counties

Entrepreneur-in-Chief FSU’s Susan Fiorito is ready to prepare the entrepreneurs of tomorrow By Lazaro Aleman

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ver since her appointment as founding director of Florida State University’s newly established Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship in January, Dr. Susan Fiorito has been busy preparing for the school’s 2017 fall opening. Which is not to say that she wasn’t busy previously as an FSU business professor, entrepreneur-in-residence, university administrator, chair of the Department of Entrepreneurship and Information Systems in the FSU College of Business, and

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president of the FSU Faculty Senate. And did we mention also owning four apparel and jewelry stores and a whole leather goods company before joining academia? It’s all to underscore that Fiorito possesses the academic credentials and business experience and acumen to make her eminently qualified to head what is expected to be the nation’s largest interdisciplinary, degree-granting school of entrepreneurship, thanks to a $100 million donation from Jan Moran and the Jim Moran Foundation.


850 Magazine caught up with Dr. Fiorito recently and asked what entrepreneurship meant to her. SF: It’s a kind of state of mind. It’s identifying opportunities, problems that need solving, or needs that have to be met, and taking those opportunities, problems or needs through all the steps to fruition, whether it’s a service or product. Much of entrepreneurship is applying basic business concepts to realworld problems and concerns. You can be entrepreneurial in everything you do by looking at all the opportunities and working to get things done. An entrepreneur is the individual doing that.

COURTESY FSU PHOTOGRAPHY

850: How does entrepreneurship differ from business leadership? SF: Business leadership is someone at the top who is more delegating, or possibly developing the strategy. When I think of entrepreneurship, I think of the person actually doing the work. It may be a team. Sometimes one person is the team leader and sometimes another, depending on their area of expertise. The entrepreneur is taking responsibility for the idea, but other people may also serve in leadership roles to make sure it gets done. 850: Can entrepreneurship be taught? SF: Some people don’t know whether it’s in them or what it takes to be entrepreneurial. That’s what we want to clarify through the courses we teach. Someone may go through all

this and say, that’s not me. I want to work an eight-to-five job. That’s fine. There has to be a passion within the individual, but they may not know they have it. So we have courses that set a path and allow creativity. Some people don’t realize they’re creative until they take an innovation or creativity course. Is everyone entrepreneurial? No, not necessarily, but I think it can very well be taught. 850: Are there elements of entrepreneurship that can only be learned by experience? SF: Of course. You can’t teach every possible outcome or situation. All of us learn by doing the job. Oftentimes in entrepreneurship, people take an idea and work through it and fail. Well then, they have to go back to the drawing board. Failure is a way to learn. We try something and fail and we pick ourselves up and try again. Failure is only a bad thing if you let it stop you from achieving your goals. 850: If you fail, what’s the lesson? SF: You need to ask, why did I fail? If I’ve been trying to produce a product, was it in the production process, the wrong materials or wrong ways of putting the product together? Did I not take enough time to research the product or is this a target market? Maybe I’m selling it to the wrong people. Maybe I’m using the wrong marketing strategy or wrong social media to promote the product. You have to look at every step in the process that

goes into taking that idea to the marketplace. Without looking deeply into the reasons we failed, we may fail again. 850: Is there a point at which failure is an indication you should reconsider your options? SF: Sometimes you fail and what you have to realize is that maybe you need more education or experience. So you go back to school or get more experience. And then, if it still doesn’t work and it’s not making you happy, maybe it’s not your passion. We can work really hard and be tired and frustrated sometimes, but we still have passion for what we’re doing. That’s the key. If you’ve lost your love for what you’re doing, you need to do something else, because we have to have some kind of desire and passion to succeed. If that’s gone, there’s no use pushing it. Maybe you should pursue a different avenue. What we try to do through the school is help students find what they love doing more than anything else. 850: Sounds like the school will provide a safe environment for experimentation and risk-taking. SF: Correct, and to work with others. Each individual doesn’t have every skill needed to produce a product, provide a service or solve a problem. We need to say, “I don’t have coding skills; I need someone who can code. I’m not good at social media; I need a partner who is.” So we’re looking at solving a problem with a team

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of people who have expertise in particular areas. We rarely see solo entrepreneurs like years ago. The market is too competitive. We really need experts in a lot of different areas to succeed. 850: You’re saying entrepreneurship is more of a team effort nowadays? SF: It really is. There is too much technology, social media and process development that people need to know. It’s almost impossible for one person to have all those skills and the passion to get to market quickly. It’s not just competing on local but also on global markets. In the past, we would start at local markets and be successful, and then gradually grow farther out, but we weren’t connected around the world as quickly and easily as today. So you almost have to be able to recognize international competition from the start. 850: What about financing challenges? SF: Money, of course, is very important to bring ideas to fruition. So we have courses on different funding sources. Creativity is also extremely important, as is design, and we have these courses. We also talk about franchising as a way to be your own boss. Franchising is one way to be an entrepreneur in a little safer, more mentoring environment. Everyone’s different. We want to present as many ideas to our students as possible. 850: Sounds like you have your work cut out. SF: You could say that!

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ON TRACK Randall Shepard holds a Global Sentinel (GS-5B) used to monitor and track high-value cargo shipments such as electronics, pharma-food, embassy moves and hazardous materials. Greg Taconi, opposite page, produces a mesh device for testing and evaluation. RSAE Labs’ mist® mesh uses a system in which these devices “talk” to each other and all tags are routers, thus providing uninterrupted connections and dynamic reconfiguration around broken or blocked paths.

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BAY CORRIDOR

Panama City, Panama City Beach + Bay County

The A Bleeding Edge An engineer talks about high-tech innovation and entrepreneurship By Jason Dehart

Photos by MICHAEL BOOINI

s a kid growing up near Dearborn, Michigan, Randall Shepard admired the innovators and inventors of the auto industry and dreamed of following in their footsteps. “One of my favorite places to visit is the Henry Ford Museum and seeing all the innovations and development and engineering from over the years,” said Shepard, today the CEO of RSAE Labs Inc., a high-tech startup in Panama City. His company provides global monitoring and tracking services for critical cargo and high-value equipment. Dreamers like Ford, as well as giants in the field of aerospace technology, inspired him to become an engineer. He earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Georgia Tech in 1973 and in 1979 was a standout at Stanford University where he earned a master’s degree in astronautical and aeronautical engineering. He spent 20 years in the U.S. Air Force as a pilot and aeronautical engineer and was an assistant professor at the Air Force Academy’s Astronautical

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GO CONFIGURE Eleanore Paramore and Randall Shepard review orders and required device configurations for global tracking devices. In the background, James McDaniel prepares encrypted uplinks for remotely configuring devices around the world.

Engineering and Computer Science Department. Later, as a senior Air Force pilot, Shepard spent a lot of time at Tyndall Air Force Base testing and correcting electronic combat systems with the F-15, F-16 and other air weapons systems. After he left the service, he went into business for himself and opened Science Applications International Corporation in Panama City. There, he developed upgrades for military test ranges and facilities for the Air Force and Navy. Shepard talked recently about his aviation idols, “pushing the envelope” and what the future holds for high-tech entrepreneurs in Bay County. He admires especially the legendary Clarence “Kelly” Johnson, the team leader of Lockheed’s Skunk Works research

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and development facility. Johnson’s U-2 and SR-71 spy planes were revolutionary designs, but more than that, the rapid prototyping systems he developed can be used to solve problems in most high-tech businesses today. It all boils down to a fourphase “spiral” design process that generally involves planning, risk analysis, engineering and evaluation. “I always had a lot of respect and envy for what those guys pulled off and so I studied the Skunk Works model and tried to emulate that in a lot of things we do,” Shepard said. “There’s a saying in Silicon Valley: ‘Fail early, fail often and fail forward.’ And what that means is, don’t be afraid to put a partial solution out there to get some customer feedback, and get some testing done. Quick, short spiral design allows you to fine-tune the product quicker, and that’s one of the concepts that came out of the Skunk Works.” Elon Musk is another aerospace pioneer that Shepard holds in high regard. “I look at the guy who’s doing what I’d like to be

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doing, and he’s like a modern day Edison. One of the things that would be a goal come true is to collaborate and work a project with Elon,” he said. Whether you’re shooting for the stars, or using wireless sensor networking protocols and tags to keep track of global cargo movement (as Shepard does), the key to innovation is developing “bleeding edge” technology — which is beyond “leading edge.” “I differentiate the two in that with leading edge you cross the adoption chasm and you’re usually pushing or enhancing an established or an accepted product or service,” he said. “With bleeding edge, you’re working on raw technology and new services that basically haven’t been adopted yet that will take some additional ecosystem development to basically make the final product.” For example, Shepard said that back when he was using ARPANET — the precursor to today’s internet — it was just a way to pass data back and forth. It took time


range of advanced technologies research and manufacturing and, closer to home, Florida State University has taken a leading role in advanced research and manufacturing as well. “And I say right here in Bay County we’re doing our version, if you look at the organizations that are here to help entrepreneurs,” Shepard said. “You look at Panama City and the things that are happening at the Navy base, the things that are happening at

for it to develop into something profitable. “The point is, we weren’t making a bunch of money compared to the internet, so it was on the bleeding edge. That’s where I often work,” he said. Today, when he looks at what the future holds, Shepard said some ideas and trends interest him more than others. One thing he’s noticed is the need to increase our ability to handle and process information. “I think everyone would agree we’ve transferred from the Industrial Age to the Information Age, and now it’s about what do you do with all this information,” he said. “There’s an awful lot of work being done on ‘big data’ analytics. I think it’s obviously beyond the ability for people to do with spreadsheets anymore. We have to build tools and systems that basically can absorb and analyze that data. And what that grows into are things like artificial intelligence. That’s a scary word for some folks, but you know a lot of what it means is, you set up a program to optimize itself based on certain rules.”

Tyndall and the things that are happening in the community, whether it’s the biotech area or the aerospace area or information area. We have a very rich environment for innovation and entrepreneurs and application development. So I guess the next thing is to get word out and start to generate some local funding and folks that can invest in these technologies. But, we keep these jobs and the growth as much as is appropriate in the local area.”

Shepard was no stranger to Silicon Valley during his career and if possible would replicate it in Bay County. It’s a worthy model to emulate, he said. “One of the best models on the planet is Silicon Valley. If you look at what they have there, you’ve got the richest concentration of venture capital in the world,” he said. “You also have a demographically diverse SMALL PACKAGES domestic and internaRandall Shepard displays mistBeeTM, tional market, as well a device targeting as networking power. wireless sensor network developers. When it all kicks in MistBee is a rapid together, it’s magic.” prototyping module with accelerometer “The type of busiand temperature ness meetings you can sensors in a package the size of have, the relationships a quarter. you can have, the faceto-face interaction, the markets for rapid prototyping and spiral design are endless. So it’s hard to basically replicate Silicon Valley totally,” he said. Hard, yes, but not entirely impossible. Other regions of the country have built their own research and technology corridors. Notable among these is the Research Triangle Regional Partnership in North Carolina. Austin, Texas, is home to a wide

MICHAEL BOOINI

A Model for Success

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I-10 CORRIDOR

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

Journey to Success A strong work ethic and can-do attitude has helped Jorge Garcia succeed in business and life By Linda Kleindienst

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itting in his office at Marianna Toyota, Jorge Garcia is surrounded by family. On his walls hang photos of his wife, who he met at a square dance, his parents, children, grandchildren. His grandson’s wrestling medals are in frames. And there is a photo of Dr. Landelino Cabrera, his uncle and a medical doctor, who arranged for him to leave Cuba and come to the United States in 1970. When Garcia left Cuba at the age of 13, he didn’t think it would be long before he would be reunited with his family. By the time they could come to this country via Spain in 1990, he would be married with children. When finally arriving in the United States, Garcia’s mother handed him two books of poems that she wrote while they were apart. She wrote them on days she was missing her son. Today a successful businessman and president of the town’s Toyota dealership, Garcia, now 60 years old, still chokes back tears while remembering. “From Havana to Marianna. It’s been a journey,” he says. “Marianna has been good to me. I just love it here. I can’t see myself anywhere else. It’s a good place to raise kids, grandkids.” After arriving in this country via Mexico, Garcia went to live with his uncle in New Jersey, but only a few years later his uncle announced they would be moving to Marianna, where he had been hired as a medical director at the state-run Sunland Center. Garcia enrolled at Marianna High

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DRIVEN TO SUCCEED Mediocrity is anathema to Jorge Garcia whose uncompromising work ethic accelerated his progress to the top of the Toyota dealership in Marianna.

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and Madison + Taylor Counties

School, graduated in 1975 and went to work on the assembly line at the Lehigh furniture plant during the day shift. He added on a job at the Louisiana Pacific lumberyard that he worked from the afternoon into the late evening hours. On weekends he sometimes pumped gas at Sheffield Oil. “I needed to work two to three jobs to take care of my family. My first priority was my family,” Garcia says. “I remember my dad telling me, ‘If you don’t take care of your family, you’re not my son.’ I didn’t want to let him down.” Although he didn’t attend college, Garcia’s philosophy was to always be in the top 5 percent to 10 percent of the workers at his job, no matter what he was doing. He knew that if layoffs came, he would not be the one losing his job. “I always took pride in my work,” he says. “I said, ‘If you hire me, I will do my best.’ A lot of people do just enough to get by. Work more than you’re getting paid for and you’ll never have to worry about losing your job.” Garcia’s involvement with the car industry began the day he walked into the Marianna Toyota dealership, owned by Quen Rahan, to buy a car in 1983. He was asked by the manager, Rick Miles, if he’d like to work there. “I said, ‘Well, I work on the assembly line and I stack wood and I pump gas every once in awhile.’ And he said, ‘If you pumped gas, you’re in the car business!’ ” Garcia decided to walk through that door of opportunity, but not before getting a promise from his supervisor at the furniture plant that he could come back if the car business didn’t work out. A people-loving person — “I get my energy from being around people” — Garcia started out in sales and still proudly points to the plaques on the wall that prove he was salesman of the month for 2 1/2 years. He learned other elements of the car sales business step by step and eventually worked out a deal to buy the dealership, the final step in the deal coming in 2014. At work, he is surrounded by people who have committed much of their lives to working at the dealership. Some have been there 25 to 30 years. The worker who

Photos by TIM SKIPPER PHOTOGRAPHY

ME WALLS Plaques and other memorabilia in Jorge Garcia’s office attest to his commitments to family, business and community. Says the chair of a company that coaches executives, Garcia succeeded by “outworking everybody.”

handles detailing of the cars has been there 18 — as has the employee who answers the phone. “There’s very little turnover,” Garcia says, then adds, “You’re only as good as your people.” And the dealership is very involved in the community, which includes supporting local schools, recreation departments, Little League, Optimist Club and other clubs and, of course, the high-school wrestling team. (Remember the medals on the wall.) “If anyone represents the spirit of America and the ideals we hold dear, George is the epitome of that,” says Art Kimbrough, who served as head of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce for 10 years and now is a chair of Vistage, a coaching organization for CEOs and executives. “He took to selling cars, and people fell in love with him because he outworked everybody. He’s got an infectious energy about everything he does. And when he commits to do something in the community, it’s done.” As his children grew into adulthood, Garcia says he told them that one of the most important things in life is to set goals. “You need to have a positive mental attitude and set goals — short, intermediate and long-term goals,” Garcia says. “A lot of

people go through life with no goals.” Today his children work in a variety of fields. One son is a finance manager for another Toyota dealership, another is the used car manager at the Marianna dealership, and the youngest son is studying sports medicine. His daughter works for Eli Lilly and Company. Asked if he plans to ever return to Cuba, Garcia says he will never say never. For now, however, he’s content to be surrounded by family and dabble in his hobby of cooking Cuban dishes while he remains immersed in his dealership, preparing for a major remodeling project that he says is needed. As he eyes the plans that sit on his desk, Garcia is asked how much that is going to cost him. With a laugh, he answers, “I don’t even want to know yet.”

JORGE GARCIA’S SECRET TO BUSINESS SUCCESS ■ D  o more than you get paid for. ■ Keep a strong work ethic. ■ Show commitment through ups and downs. ■ Have integrity. Don’t cheat or steal. ■ Take care of your customers.

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EMERALD COAST CORRIDOR

Coastal Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa + Walton Counties

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Hoppiness Adaptability, foresight key to longevity for Pensacola’s Lewis Bear Company By T.S. Strickland

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idle up to any bar in Northwest Florida and order a beer, and there’s a 50-50 chance the brew you’re sipping will have been hauled by the Lewis Bear Company. The family-run firm, which is the oldest privately held corporation in Florida, holds the regional distributorship for Anheuser-Busch. It has been with the beer giant for five generations, longer than any other distributor. That longevity is a testament to the company’s adaptability in the face of shifting markets and regulatory environments. This fact is not lost on vice president David Bear, who said his family’s fortunes are the result of adaptability, foresight and a willingness to go to bat for his industry’s interests in Tallahassee.

Humble Roots In the Panhandle, the Lewis Bear Company is a household name. The family has given millions to area charities, wields enormous political clout, and oversees a beverage distribution empire that employs 225 people and stretches from Perdido Key to Apalachicola. The firm wasn’t always such a powerhouse, though, nor was it always synonymous with beer. “We sold groceries,” Bear said. “We did medicinals. We did real estate. We did

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firearms. We did appliances. In 140 years, we’ve seen a lot of change.” Bear’s great-great-grandfather, a Bavarian immigrant named Lewis, opened a grocery and chandlery shop on Pensacola’s South Palafox Street in 1876, on the site where the Saenger Theatre stands today. It would be 15 years before he ordered his first shipment of beer from AnheuserBusch. In 1892, the company moved its headquarters to the corner of Palafox and Main streets and expanded its inventory to include building materials, animal feed, liquor and other merchandise.

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Bear died in 1895, passing the company to his eldest sons, Morris and Max. The brothers worked hard in the ensuing years to expand, making use of new transportation technology to deliver goods to the small lumber towns that were sprouting up along the Gulf Coast. Since then, four more generations of the Bear family have led the company. Lewis Bear Jr., David’s father, is the most recent, becoming president of the company in 1990. At the time he took the reins, the company was split into two divisions, one for groceries and the other for beer, and the


business off as a separate entity and bought out the remaining stockholders.

Trouble Brewing

THE BEAR’S DEN With the Bear family business at a crossroads, David Bear, shown here in his office, concluded that its salvation was not diversification but a concentration on beer distributing.

grocery division was beginning to struggle. “There was a lot of consolidation among our customers,” David Bear said. “These little local grocery companies were buying up other grocery companies to become these national companies. They no longer needed a distributor like us when they could build their own warehouses.” With their business and margins shrinking, the Bears were left with a choice: go big, and buy out a competitor, or go home, and get out of the business entirely. Other, larger grocery distributors were already angling for market share, and the company’s

Photos by TIM SKIPPER PHOTOGRAPHY

shareholders, all members of the family, were anxious to sell. Fortunately, the beer division was faring better. “We were exclusively Anheuser-Busch at that time,” Bear said. “Their brands were growing every single year, and we enjoyed healthy margins.” Bear and his brother had worked in the business intermittently through college and found an aptitude for it. Recognizing this, Lewis Bear asked his sons if they had any interest in carrying the business forward. They did, and so they sold the grocery

David Bear said the choice to pull out of the grocery business illustrated the adaptability that was a hallmark of his family’s business philosophy. “If the opportunity is no longer of value to the business, then let’s get out of it,” he said. “Let’s not wait too long to get out of something, either. Because we don’t need to dump all of our resources into a dying business.” This emphasis on adaptability came into play again in 2007, when the growth of the craft beer business began to disrupt the larger beer industry in a big way. “From 1995 until the end of 2008, we were exclusively an Anheuser-Busch distributor,” Bear said. “We had all our eggs in one basket, and we were seeing the craft beer business bloom in other markets all around us.” Because of the Lewis Bear Company’s exclusive relationship with AnheuserBusch, though, these new breweries had only one choice when looking to break into the Gulf Coast market: the Bears’ main competitor, Goldring Gulf Distributing. With consumer preference starting to shift away from established brands, the Bears began to consider their options. “Overall, we were starting to lose a little bit of market share,” Bear said, “and the Anheuser-Busch sales were starting to flatline. In 2008, we decided to pull the trigger.” The Bears severed their exclusive arrangement with Anheuser-Busch, which meant sacrificing a lucrative incentive package, and began selling a selection of craft beers and nonalcoholic beverages, in addition to their flagship brands. The risk paid off. “Really in the first 12 months, we made up for the lost funding we were getting from the Anheuser-Busch incentives,” Bear said. “We maintained our market share and started improving our overall margins.” Today, the company’s roster of offerings includes beers from a number of established craft brewers, as well as regional players such as the Pensacola Bay Brewery. Their most popular craft brand is Grayton Beer Company, out of South Walton County.

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BEARHOUSE Since Prohibition, Florida law has required that the alcohol industry operate in three non-overlapping tiers: brewers, retailers and distributors. Recent developments have blurred those lines, but the Lewis Bear Co. remains focused on moving product.

Statecraft Adaptability might be a key ingredient of the Bears’ success, but it’s not the only one. State legislators can make or break a company’s fortunes just as readily as market forces, and keeping a finger on lawmakers’ pulses is especially essential in an industry as tightly regulated as alcohol sales. “We are very proactive when it comes to lobbying,” Bear said, “(and active in) building relationships with our elected officials who can, with one hand, vote to change our industry.” Those relationships have become the subject of public scrutiny in the past. The Lewis Bear Company made headlines in 2013 when state Sen. Don Gaetz was quoted pledging his allegiance to Lewis Bear Jr., a personal friend. Gaetz’s comments came in the midst of a protracted battle over the state’s alcohol laws. The trouble started when craft brewers in the state began lobbying the Legislature to lift a prohibition on 64-ounce bottles. The containers, known as “growlers,” were the most popular size among consumers and, at the time, were legal in all but three states. This seemingly innocuous issue touched off a much larger debate, with the state’s wholesale lobby using the growlers as a bargaining chip to clamp down on craft brewers’ retail activity. Since Prohibition, Florida law had mandated a “three-tier” alcohol industry consisting of brewers, distributors

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and retailers, each of whom was prohibited from operating in more than one tier. Craft brewers had begun to exploit a loophole, though, that allowed them to circumvent the law if they could be characterized as a “tourist attraction.” This exemption was first approved by the Legislature at the behest of Anheuser-Busch, so the company could sell beer at its Busch Gardens theme park. The wholesale lobby claimed that, if this loophole weren’t closed, the whole threetier system could fall apart — leading to vertical consolidation that could hurt small business and threaten public safety by flooding the market with cheap alcohol. After three years of litigation and legislative wrangling, the two sides finally reached a compromise last year, legalizing growlers while also limiting the number of taprooms a brewery could operate. Bear saw the compromise as a victory for the entire industry. “Certainly in a state like Florida, where we’re conservative and Republican and you want free enterprise, people ask why there is such regulation,” he said. “But alcohol is a regulated industry because it can become dangerous if it’s not regulated properly — Prohibition is a good example.”

Disruption Ahead Looking ahead, Bear sees more disruption on the horizon. The craft beer industry, which has enjoyed explosive growth over

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the past decade, is starting to consolidate, and Bear speculated about what this would mean for the business. “Obviously, they’ll have more resources to put behind brands,” he said, “so they can invest more in marketing and people on the street to increase distribution and grow sales, but, at the same time, they’ll also get a little more leverage on us. They’ll want to start looking at market share and volume growth, and they’ll do that through discounting and pricing adjustment.” Bear said he anticipated his margins on the craft brands, which currently hover 30 percent to 50 percent above what he makes on his Anheuser-Busch products, would begin to shrink. He is already looking for the “next big thing” in the industry. In recent months, the company has begun to pick up more craft liquor brands. Craft distilleries are beginning to sprout up across the country, and Bear said he expects the industry to follow a similar course to craft beer. This time, Bear said, he wants to get in on the “ground floor.” Whatever happens, though, Bear said the company’s commitment to playing the long game and improving its community would remain central. “It’s not just about making bigger profits today,” he said, “but also asking what can we do to ensure the protection of our business and our industry and improve our community.”


A New CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL for a NEW GENERATION Just like the children and families we serve, we are growing!

Be part of an exciting endeavor that will ensure high-quality pediatric care for children throughout the region -- for generations to come. The Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart will include: • Pediatric Emergency Department and Trauma Center • Six Pediatric Operating Rooms • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) • Pediatric Intensive Care

• • • • •

Pediatric Oncology Unit Pediatric Satellite Pharmacy Pediatric Inpatient Rehabilitation Gym Child Life Playrooms Overnight Space for Families

Make Miracles Happen. To make a gift, call Sacred Heart Foundation, 850-416-4660, or visit Foundation.Sacred-Heart.org.

thanks to The Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart. Drew is now the 2016-2017 Florida Champion for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

850 Business Magazine

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AUGUST – SEPTEMBER 2016

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97


The Last Word

This past week the system we use at home for our internet service was interrupted by a lightning strike. After a lengthy phone conversation with a specialist (yes, we did reboot the system), we were told that help would come … in five days. I work mostly from home, so that’s a problem. I raised that issue and was met with total silence. I would have been happy to at least be told that I could go on a waiting list for an earlier appointment. No such luck. It actually took 10 days to get the problem fixed. I’d like to harken back to a story we ran earlier this year about customer service. Martin Owen, regional marketing director for ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals in Fort Walton Beach, nailed it when he said, “To win at customer service, you have to empathize with your customers and anticipate their needs. Even 10 years ago, people would put up with standard or mediocre service — but not today.” And the up and coming millennials are far less likely to be understanding than baby boomers. So, it wouldn’t hurt to take stock of how well you are performing for your customers. I don’t recommend a post card or a survey. How about calling some of the folks who are depending on your business for some service? In the internet age, it’s easy for the customer to find a replacement company/practice (if your Wi-Fi is working). Just sayin’. As 850 prepares to enter its ninth year of publication this fall, I want to give a loud shout-out to the staff at Rowland Publishing that helps make this magazine what it is — a well-read, respected, award-winning publication that tells the story of Northwest Florida and has opened a better line of communication between the communities in our region.

98

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AUGUST – SEPTEMBER 2016

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850businessmagazine.com

This summer we won first place for the best special interest/trade magazine in Florida in the 2016 Sunshine State Awards, the prestigious annual statewide contest run by the Society of Professional Journalists Florida Pro Chapter. It was our fourth first place award over the past five years (2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016). In 2014 we came in second so, like Avis, we tried harder and climbed back up to first place again the next year. It’s hard to put into words how proud I am of 850, of the names (staff and freelancers) that you see in every issue and those who work so hard behind the scenes to ensure we have a quality publication to present to our readers every other month yet never get byline recognition. Sales, production, design, events, administration, finance, human resources. All are important elements in the magazine’s success. Key among them, of course, is Publisher Brian Rowland, without whose leadership and hard work 850 would never have become more than a passing thought. And there is Jennifer Ekrut, 850’s lead designer, who takes the written words and the photos and then merges them into a format that’s pleasing to the eye and easy to read. Thanks also goes out to you, our readers, and to our advertisers, who have seen the benefit of advertising to 850’s audience. We appreciate your support and encouragement. We are always seeking out new ways to tell the story of our region, including new trends and major accomplishments, and to focus on the outstanding businesses and business leaders of the 850. If you have ideas, suggestions, story ideas, please send them along to me at lkleindienst@rowlandpublishing.com. KAY MEYER

I recently went to a major health care practice and picked up a postcard that asked me to report back to them on how they are doing. I had to laugh. I was there because I had called several times over a three-week period and never got a response. So, I decided to drive over to speak to someone face-to-face.

LINDA KLEINDIENST, EDITOR lkleindienst@rowlandpublishing.com


Celebrating 20 years of growing Northwest Florida — together. Oct. 2-4, 2016 Sheraton Bay Point Resort Panama City Beach, FL GulfPowerSymposium.com

1-877-262-0598 Register early and save!


Royce Mitchell

Chris Sause

Broker Royce.Mitchell@penfedrealty.com (850) 737-0567 Cell

Broker Associate chris@sausegroup.com (850) 225-1591 Cell

Sanctuary by the Sea | Scenic Hwy. 30A 4 Bedrooms | 5 Bathrooms 4,003 Square Feet

2,570,000

$

Frangista Beach | Scenic Gulf Drive 9 Bedrooms | 6 Bathrooms 4,461 Square Feet

1,500,000

$

Catherine Hicks

catherineflys@gmail.com (850) 586-5301 Cell

Brad Smith

William Flynn

Broker Associate bradindestin@gmail.com (850) 598-6771 Cell

wmflynn@cox.net (850) 428-2424 Cell

Kelly Plantation | Destin 3 Bedrooms | 4 Bathrooms 3,492 Square Feet

Caribe | Miramar Beach

1,299,000

$

4 Bedrooms | 4 Bathrooms 2,742 Square Feet

1,094,000

$

www.BHHSPenFed.com | (850) 267-0013 7684 W County Highway 30A | Santa Rosa Beach, FL Š2014 BHH Affiliates, LLC. Real Estate Brokerage Services are offered through the network member franchisees of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Most franchisees are independently owned and operated. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.Ž Equal Housing Opportunity.

850 Business Magazine- August/September 2016  
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