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The Flightline team is as follows, left to right: Cindi Goodson, CFO; C. Daniel Langston, President and COO; Cody Langston, Director; Mac Langston, Chairman and CEO; Paul Watts, CEO Electronet Broadband Communications

RE AL CUSTOMERS . RE AL ISSUES . RE AL SOLUTIONS . “The worldwide aviation community relies on Flightline Group and our family of companies to provide them with excellent aircraft, parts, maintenance services and aviation expertise to help them keep their families and employees safe and their companies profitable. Our voice and data communications are vital to the success of all of our businesses. That is why we chose Electronet Broadband Communications for our telephone system, dial tone services, long distance and Internet access. By bundling our services we were able to enhance performance and reduce costs. Electronet has been a great local choice for our business communication needs that span the globe. Their responsiveness to our needs has been excellent, and we highly recommend Electronet to anyone looking to improve their business communications.” C. Daniel Langston

Paul “Mac” Langston

3 4 1 1 C a p i t a l M e d i c a l B l v d . Ta l l a h a s s e e , F L | 2 2 2 . 0 2 2 9 | w w w. e l e c t r o n e t . n e t


FLORIDA’S PREMIER JEWELER

SINCE 1977

105 West 23rd Street, Panama City, Florida 850-763-4224 • shopmaharajas.com

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850 Magazine December 2013 – January 2014

IN THIS ISSUE

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850 FEATURES The Future of Our Ports 20 As the Panama Canal prepares to open its locks to the world’s mega-freighters, two Northwest Florida ports ponder what that means for their economic future — and hope grows for a rebirth of the once bustling, but now dormant, port at Port St. Joe. By Jason Dehart

Dressing for Success 28 As a CEO — or a manager who regularly represents your company before the public — what are the rules of dress you should follow? An etiquette expert points out some of the important “dos” and the even more important “don’ts.”

By Elizabeth Redfearn

PHOTOs BY scott holstein (ports); eric marcus studio

Tallahassee Business Journal 35 Boosted by an improving economy and a growing entrepreneurial fervor in the Capital City, the region’s major stakeholders have joined together to create a comprehensive economic development vision for the future. From health care to real estate to education, read about what’s happening in Tallahassee and Leon County. On the Cover: The Advanced Technology Center at Gulf Coast State College in Panama City. Photo by eric marcus studio

In This Issue

8 9 96 98

 From the Publisher  Letters to the Editor  Sound Bytes  The Last Word From the Editor

Departments IT’S THE LAW 10 Salaried employees — are you paying them properly?

84

THE BOTTOM LINE 14 How to use your frequent flyer miles and get the connections you want.

LEADING HEALTHY

Corridors BAY

16 Find out what some local business leaders do to relax and relieve stress.

84 The $35 million state-of-the-art Advanced Technology Center at Gulf Coast State College will have major regional implications for employment.

GUEST COLUMN

FORGOTTEN COAST

83 Gulf Power CEO Stan Connally outlines efforts to boost economic development.

90 The Wakulla Environmental Institute will create jobs and train students for new careers.

Sponsored Report

Special Section

88

93 Deal Estate

O  UTREACH 850 News from the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship at Florida State University.

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

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December 2013 – January 2014

850 THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE OF NORTHWEST FLORIDA

Vol. 6, No. 2

President/Publisher Brian E. Rowland EDITORIAL Director of Editorial Services Linda Kleindienst Staff Writer Jason Dehart Editorial Coordinator Chay D. Baxley Contributing Writers Lazaro Aleman, Steve Bornhoft, Laura Bradley, Kathleen Laufenberg, Elizabeth M. Redfearn, Jeffrey D. Slanker, Cecelia Smith, Heather N. Tyndall-Best, Zandra Wolfgram Proofreader Melinda Lanigan CREATIVE Creative Director Lawrence Davidson Production Manager/Network Administrator Daniel Vitter Assistant Creative Director Saige Roberts Senior Graphic Designer Jennifer Ekrut Graphic Designers Lizzie Moore, Shruti Shah Advertising Designers Jillian Fry, Monica Perez Staff Photographer Scott Holstein Contributing Photographers The St. Joe Company, Marcus Duval, eric marcus studio SALES, MARKETING & EVENTS Marketing and Sales Manager McKenzie Burleigh Director of New Business Daniel Parisi Traffic Coordinator Lisa Sostre Account Executives Rhonda Chaloupka, Darla Harrison, Tim Hughes, Lori Magee, Tracy Mulligan, Linda Powell, Paula Sconiers, Chuck Simpson, Chris St. John, Drew Gregg Westling Marketing and Sales Assistant Nicole Liang OPERATIONS Administrative Services Manager Melissa Tease Special Projects and events coordinator Lynda Belcher Accounting Specialists Tabby Hamilton, Josh Faulds Receptionists Tristin Kroening, Jazmeen Sule WEB Social Media/Systems Management Specialist Carlin Trammel 850 Business Magazine 850businessmagazine.com, facebook.com/850bizmag, twitter.com/850bizmag Rowland Publishing rowlandpublishing.com

Greater Pensacola Chamber

A competitive advantage for your business Our programs and services are designed exclusively to help you connect with our network of more than ϭ͕ϮϬϬŵĞŵďĞƌŽƌŐĂŶŝnjĂƟŽŶƐ͘

WĞŶƐĂĐŽůĂŚĂŵďĞƌ͘ĐŽŵͻŚŽŽƐĞWĞŶƐĂĐŽůĂ͘ĐŽŵͻϴϱϬ͘ϰϯϴ͘ϰϬϴϭ 6

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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 in Tallahassee, Destin and Pensacola and in Books-A-Million in Tallahassee, Destin, Ft. Walton Beach, Pensacola and Panama City and at our Tallahassee office. 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 December 2013 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.


JAY REVELL Executive Director, Tallahassee Downtown Improvement Authority 850 Magazine advertisers since 2010

850 MAGAZINE

works for us “We believe in 850 Magazine just like we believe in Tallahassee Downtown.”

Tallahassee Downtown is “always in session,” and we mean business. Today, we are redefining the term “capital investment,” striving to bring new business to Downtown and providing opportunities for the entrepreneurial spirit to thrive in the heart of our city. Over the past seven years more than $450 million has been invested in our Downtown. It is our job to tell that story, and 850 Magazine is the cornerstone of our messaging efforts.

850BusinessMagazine.com

P R O U D LY P U B L I S H I N G 8 5 0 M A G A Z I N E S I N C E 2 0 0 8 | ( 8 5 0 ) 8 7 8 - 0 5 5 4 | r o w l a n d p u b l i s h i n g . c o m 850 Business Magazine

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From the Publisher

Evolve with the Times … or Become Extinct

Workforce Development Leadership Institute in February. This initial gathering of 80 to 100 women from a cross section of the community will explore the characteristics, qualities and values that allow women to reach their highest potential in their personal and professional lives. There will also be a keynote address by Nancy M. Carter, PhD., Catalyst Inc.; a review of women and organizations that have demonstrated resilience in difficult times; break-out groups to examine individual stories and priorities. An initial compilation of this information will help to develop a new vision for women’s programs and services at TCC. Please contact the TCC Center for Workforce Development office for more information, (850) 201-6200.

Brian Rowland browland@rowlandpublishing.com

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Photo by SCOTT HOLSTEIN

In an average month I’m asked several times if I feel printed magazines are fading away … or are dead and don’t have the sense to lay down. Based on very firsthand experience, print magazine publishing in Northwest Florida is doing just fine. I know there is a good flow of blood coursing through our veins — I also know that five to seven years ago we consciously made the decision to evolve and broaden the base of services to complement the emergence of new technology available to every business in today’s rapidly changing world. And we have consciously developed a relationship with a younger professional demographic. Let me share some facts about a global company that didn’t see or recognize the writing on the wall and chose not to evolve and make some fundamental changes in its business — and today is scrambling to stay alive. BlackBerry — the gold standard at one time for mobile email combined with cellular communications — recently slashed its workforce by 40 percent, stopped selling its products to the consumer market and has begun a desperate search for an investor who will purchase its assets. The bottom line: Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics have assumed their market share, leaving BlackBerry in a very difficult situation. I know many BlackBerry diehard disciples who have resisted moving to smartphones, remaining loyal to the hard keyboard. Today, they’re left seeking legacy models in hopes of delaying the inevitable switch to the touch-screen smartphone. At one time BlackBerry owned 50 percent of the phone market that handled email, and currently its market share has fallen below 3 percent. At its peak, 12,700 people were part of the $80 billion organization. Today, company executives are looking to just get their assets sold. There is a very strong message and lessons to learn from seeing this business fall from top to bottom: Never be complacent with where you are today. Always look for and be aware of the trends in an everchanging marketplace. Be committed to constantly adjusting your business plan to meet your customers’ needs and demands. Continue to learn more about the industry you are in through B-to-B trade publications and industry conventions where “what’s on the horizon” is being addressed all the time. So many factors contribute to the demise of a business — and not being willing to make change is at the top of that list. On another note, a Day of Dialogue For Women–About Women– By Women will be presented by Tallahassee Community College


FROM THE MAI LBAG Congratulations on the publishing of your fifth anniversary edition of 850 (October/November 2013). As usual it was filled with stories that piqued my interest, from Crook Stewart to craft beers to Governor Scott — all very informative, and all so well written. Your magazine adds much to NW Florida by capturing the vibrant spirit of our region. Ed Moore President, Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida Tallahassee

I want to congratulate you on five years of 850. There are so many magazines that are just not worth reading, but I always find several articles in 850 that I read from start to finish. In this issue (October/November 2013), I loved reading about the way the Tedios structured their successful business (Uptown Cafe) so that they would have time for each other and their children. I found the information helpful in A New Health Insurance Era and enjoyed Barbara Corcoran’s words of wisdom. I now want to go to The Dixie Theatre in Apalachicola and try some Southern Craft Creamery ice cream. And I’ll be lobbying Governor Scott soon on spring protection, so reading the article about him helps me know how to approach him. Speaking of springs, that would be a good article for a future issue. Tourism in our state depends on clean water. See the website for Springs Eternal. It is an interesting mix of business related articles. Good job! Donna Legare Native Nurseries Tallahassee

Just a quick note to say “Thank you!” once again for the very generous editorial on Leadercast in 850 Magazine (August/ September 2013). That was a wonderful plug for TCC and for Leadercast, and I appreciate it very much! Robin C. Johnston, MBA, CMC Vice President For Institutional Advancement & Executive Director, TCC Foundation Tallahassee Community College

From our friends on Facebook Thank you for the GREAT article about Uptown Café and Catering’s 30 year anniversary in this issue (October/ November 2013)!! You guys rock at 850!!! Fred and Beth Tedio Tallahassee CORRECTION An article on craft beers in the October/November issue incorrectly identified a Tallahassee brewing company. It should have been Proof Brewing Company. 850 Business Magazine

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Executive Mindset

It’s the Law   

H ow to handle salaried employees

Exempt v. Non-Exempt Employees

Do you understand the Fair Labor Standards Act? By Heather N. Tyndall-Best and Jeffrey D. Slanker

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espite employers exerting great efforts to properly compensate their employees, businesses of all sizes and in varying industries find themselves running afoul of the wage and hour laws. Unfortunately, providing fair and adequate compensation to employees does not automatically translate to complying with the technical and often convoluted requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)1. The FLSA turned 75 this year, yet many misconceptions regarding its regulations continue to puzzle employers. To understand the exempt versus nonexempt classification of employees, you must first understand the basic requirements of the FLSA. At its core, the FLSA requires employers to pay employees at no less than the minimum wage for all hours worked, and one and one half times their regular hourly rate for all hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek. While most employers are generally familiar with the minimum wage and overtime requirements, confusion quickly ensues when determining whether an employee is entitled to overtime. An exempt employee is not entitled to receive overtime compensation. A nonexempt employee is entitled to overtime compensation. While the exempt versus nonexempt classification is a fairly simple concept, determining whether an employee should be classified as exempt or nonexempt is anything but simple. First, titles mean nothing. Designating an employee as a director or manager has little to no value for purposes of classification under the FLSA. Second, compensating an employee on a salary basis also means nothing. Employees compensated on a salary basis may still be entitled to overtime compensation. The FLSA’s most common overtime exemptions are known as the white collar exemptions: executive, administrative, professional, computer employee and outside salesman. The determination of whether an employee falls within one of these exemptions is highly fact-specific (see sidebar for details). Moreover, all exemptions under the FLSA are narrowly construed against the employer. Hence, employers must be meticulous in classification of employees and should avoid applying blanket classifications. For example, a manager at one retail location may qualify as exempt, while a manager at a smaller retail location may not, depending on his/her daily duties and responsibilities. For all the white-collar exemptions, the key issue is whether an employee’s primary duties are of an exempt nature. The FLSA’s regulations recognize that most, if not

The following is an overview of the FLSA’s most common overtime exemptions. These exemptions are commonly referred to as the five white collar exemptions: executive, administrative, professional, computer employee and outside salesman. However, to qualify for each of these exemptions from overtime, specific factors must be met. Executive employee exemption: Must be compensated on a salary basis at a rate not less than $455 per week; primary duty must be managing the enterprise, or managing a customarily recognized department or subdivision of the enterprise; must customarily and regularly direct the work of at least two or more other full-time employees or their equivalent; and must have the authority to hire or fire other employees, or the employee’s suggestions and recommendations as to the hiring, firing, advancement, promotion or any other change of status of other employees must be given particular weight. Administrative employee exemption: Must be compensated on a salary basis at a rate not less than $455 per week; primary duty must be the performance of office or non-manual work directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer or the employer’s customers; and primary duty includes the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance. Learned professional exemptions: Must be compensated on a salary basis at a rate not less than $455 per week; primary duty must be the performance of work requiring advanced knowledge, defined as work which is predominantly intellectual in character and which includes work requiring the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment; advanced knowledge must be in a field of science or learning; and advanced knowledge must be customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction. Computer employee exemption: Must be compensated either on a salary or fee basis (as defined in the regulations) at a rate not less than $455 per week or, if compensated on an hourly basis, at a rate not less than $27.63 an hour; must be employed as a computer systems analyst, computer programmer, software engineer or other similarly skilled worker in the computer field performing the duties described below; and primary duty must consist of the application of systems analysis techniques and procedures, including consulting with users, to determine hardware, software or system functional specifications; the design, development, documentation, analysis, creation, testing or modification of computer systems or programs, including prototypes, based on and related to user or system design specifications; the design, documentation, testing, creation or modification of computer programs related to machine operating systems; or a combination of the aforementioned duties, the performance of which requires the same level of skills. Outside sales employee exemption: Primary duty must be making sales (as defined in the FLSA), or obtaining orders or contracts for services or for the use of facilities for which a consideration will be paid by the client or customer; and must be customarily and regularly engaged away from the employer’s place or places of business.

(Endnotes) 1. Florida’s wage and hour law is located in Chapter 448, Florida Statutes.

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It’s the Law

all, exempt employees perform some nonexempt work. To that end, the regulations provide four factors for employers to consider in determining whether an employee’s primary duties are exempt: 1) The relative importance of the exempt duties as compared with other kinds of duties; 2) The amount of time spent on exempt duties; 3) The employee’s freedom from direct supervision; and 4) The relationship between the employee’s salary and the wages paid to nonexempt employees performing the kind of nonexempt work performed by the salaried employee. Again, this analysis is highly fact-specific and blanket classifications must be avoided. Not only must employers proceed with caution in the initial classification of employees, but employers must also avoid taking actions that could destroy an employee’s exempt status. Employers may be unaware that certain practices threaten the exempt status of employees. Employers should regularly evaluate the daily duties performed by exempt employees and update job descriptions accordingly. Indeed, an employer may inadvertently expose itself to risk if it fails to utilize up-to-date job descriptions for exempt employees. Similarly, improper salary reductions based on absences from work, poor work quality or misconduct that causes a financial loss to the employer will also jeopardize an employee’s exempt status. With the number of claims filed under the FLSA up 10 percent in 2013, employers must be proactive in ensuring compliance with the intricate and rarely commonsensical wage and hour regulations. Be proactive and invest in a wage and hour audit. Learn how to comply with the FLSA’s extensive record keeping requirements and implement best practices that provide protections against unpaid wage claims.

 Common Misconceptions/Myths under the Fair Labor Standards Act

» Paying an employee on a salary basis automatically results in no overtime compensation owed.

» Merely labeling a person as an independent

contractor circumvents the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime requirements.

» Employers are not required to keep records regarding salaried employees.

» Providing paid time off is a viable substitute for paying overtime compensation.

» Hours worked over a two week period may be averaged to avoid overtime compensation.

» Employees must be paid double-time for hours

worked on holidays. The FLSA trumps state wage and hour laws.

Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice. You should seek advice and counseling from a licensed attorney experienced in wage and hour law regarding whether your business’ particular compensation practices are lawful.

Heather N. Tyndall-Best and Jeffrey D. Slanker are attorneys who specialize in employment and labor law in the Tallahassee office of Sniffen & Spellman, P.A.

Join Us in our Professional Offices Grand Boulevard offers a variety of office spaces for your business.

Regions Bank Spiker International Brock Investor Services, Inc. Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation Sandestin Homeowners Association The Continental Group Burke Blue Law Firm

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Executive Mindset

The Bottom Line    G etting your money’s worth

Having a Frequent Flier

Freakout? Don’t despair — help is closer than you think By Cecelia Smith

A

sk a handful of people what their biggest pet peeves are, and you’re certain to get some complaints about airline services. Airlines don’t want to make their deals easy for you. Luckily, there are a few companies that do. Business travelers can quickly rack up free mileage. But frequent flier miles are always a tricky trade. Don’t despair! By exploring a few specialists’ websites your miles can take you much further than you thought. These specialists are trained travel agents with access to software that makes comparing flights between airline “families” easy. According to Eli Ostreicher from miles4flights.com, the most common mistake travelers make is thinking their frequent flier miles only transfer to one specific airline. “Airlines are divided into families. The three major families are Star Alliance, SkyTeam and OneWorld. Miles from one airline can be redeemed for another airline in the family,” he explained. Some of Star Alliance’s main airlines are United, US Airways and Air Canada. SkyTeam consists of airlines like Delta, Air Europa, Air France and China Airlines. Lastly, OneWorld’s

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member airlines are American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Japan airlines and others. There are many services like miles4flights.com that will research and utilize your miles for the best ticket they can find for a small fee. “When you’re flying first class, $200 is nothing, especially considering your flight will be free with your miles,” Ostreicher said. As a travel junky who has more than a million miles under his belt, Ryan Lile from savvytravel.net knows how complex airline situations can be. “Airlines don’t make frequent flier programs easy, so having someone on your side who knows the ins and outs can be a huge asset,” Lile said. His rates for frequent flier mile consultations start at $125 an hour. For this price he will research spaces available, book the tickets and create a personal itinerary for the customer. Lile knows what an asset extra training in this area can be, which is why he recently started offering “Travel Bootcamps” on his website. This eight-hour course will educate you in “all aspects of the industry, covering travel management,


loyalty program status, mileage earning and redemption, upgrades, an insider’s look at airfares and much more.” Gary Leff from bookyouraward.com understands that when clients use his service, they’re looking to simplify their booking experience. Leff’s team charges $150 per person, and they only ask for the service fee once the client is completely satisfied with the ticket. “People accrue lots of miles and find the whole process of using them confusing. They get frustrated when they try to use their points, so they’re thrilled when I’m able to help make it possible,” Leff said. The team at bookyouraward.com keeps helping you even after you’ve booked your trip. Their “Mileage Replenisher” can help you re-earn 40,000 to 100,000 miles and give you a head start on your next trip. The strategies and offers will be provided after you’ve completed your booking. All of the services provided by these companies are dedicated to getting their clients the best tickets they can swing, and they won’t stop until you are satisfied. So make your frequent flying easier by leaving it to the experts.

Need more incentive to use a frequent flier miles service? Check out some of these bookings they’ve gotten clients:

» Booked four first-class tickets on a 12-seater British Airways plane to Europe for a family traveling together. savvytravel.net » Redeemed hotel points for free bungalows for a South Pacific honeymoon. savvytravel.net » Four business-class tickets to Australia for Christmas. (Booking during the holidays — we all know how hard that can be). bookyouraward.com » Leveraged miles and hotel points for a family of six to fly first class to Hawaii and stay for free at four-star resorts. savvytravel.net » Five business-and first-class tickets to the Maldives and Macau for Christmas and New Years. bookyouraward.com » Booking a first-class ticket on Singapore Airlines (notoriously hard to find). savvytravel.net

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Executive Mindset

Leading Healthy JOIN THE WELLNESS INITIATIVE

&

Keep Calm Live On Leading Northwest Florida business leaders talk about how they deal with stress By Laura Bradley and Chay D. Baxley

S

tress at work is almost a given. Whether it’s a managerial crisis or a deadline approaching too quickly, these worries can get under our skin and fill our home life with feelings of impotence, irritation and general angst. The good news is that, with the right technique, anyone can effectively manage stress and keep the bad feelings at bay. Every person is different, and we all manage stress a little differently. Below you will find techniques from successful professionals across the 850 region — and advice on how to beat your own stress.

Fred Levin

Levin, Papantonio, Thomas, Mitchell, Rafferty & Proctor P.A., Attorney Although his job does not cause him much stress now after 52 years of practicing law, Fred Levin recalls a time when stress was constant, and balancing work with family was tough. The key to resolving stress, in any situation, is to make a decision, said Levin. “Most people want to get away from it, and I guess I’m one of those who wants to tackle it … I don’t leave it up to somebody else; I don’t delegate solutions to stressful problems … I usually come up with a good solution, or one that satisfies me.” When faced with a tough situation or decision, Levin advised that any decision — even a potentially wrong one — is better than procrastinating. “Take out a piece of paper and write down the different

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possibilities, and then the pros and cons to each, and then make a decision. Whatever you do, make a decision. Indecision is the most stressful situation you could probably face … You haven’t solved anything.” Looking back, Levin realized that any stressful problem he faced, in work or in life, he solved through a decision. And sometimes, retrospectively, those decisions were mistakes. But, he maintained that he regretted nothing. “Looking back, I’m glad I did not fail to do something,” he said. “So my advice — in career, life — has always been decision making. Not indecision. Even when the decisions were, looking back, a mistake.”


Brian Ballard Ballard Partners, President

Stan Connally Gulf Power Company, President/CEO

In Stan Connally’s experience, stressful situations always come in waves — and as the leader of a team of 1,400 people, he notes that the buck often stops with him. For Connally, beating stress takes a two-pronged approach — in and out of the work environment. Upon first encountering a stressful issue or decision, Connally stresses the importance of taking a step back and making sense of the situation at hand. “The first thing to do is take a deep breath and don’t react,” he said, noting that panicked decisions are often bad ones. “Certainly there’s going to be times when you need to make snap decisions, and then you need to follow your gut. But if you have time, take a deep breath. Get a few folks around you who like to debate. Take some time to think it through with some trusted advisors … It’s a relief to me to be able to talk out loud with a team.” Outside of work, Connally emphasized the importance of finding a release. For him, that is usually spending time outdoors, being active — particularly hunting, fishing or playing baseball with his children. “We as a society work really hard … to a point where we probably take too much stress home with us. Find whatever outlet you can outside of work that lets you re-energize,” he advised. “Figure out a way to let that be what energizes you. And by becoming energized, you’ll make better decisions when you re-enter the stressful environment.”

Photo by SCOTT HOLSTEIN

As a lobbyist, Brian Ballard is accustomed to a three-month period of absolute stress during the annual legislative session. This could be overwhelming, if improperly managed. But for Ballard, maturing in his career has also meant learning a couple of lessons. “It’s okay to take time off,” he said, explaining that many professionals — particularly those who are younger — are reluctant to take a break, which can sometimes lead to unbearable stress. Lobbyist culture used to involve endless gatherings and entertaining politicians at home, effectively creating endless workdays. Now, with some legislative changes in the industry, the practices have changed, and lobbyists’ workdays can actually end when they go home. In his spare time, Ballard exercises regularly to keep the stress at bay. He used to run, but now uses an elliptical machine, which is easier on the knees. “I’ve always tried to work out … It sort of lets your mind release,” he said, adding that spending time with his family is another activity that re-energizes him. “I come home and get a total immersion in everything but work,” he said with a laugh. Although it is sometimes difficult, Ballard emphasized how important it can be to spend time away from your smartphone. While these devices can improve our lives and our productivity by giving us constant access to friends and coworkers, sometimes this exact virtue can become a source of stress, as the office can follow us home or even on vacation. When facing a mountain of stress or a crisis, Ballard advised, “Leave work. Leave your cell phone at home and take an hour-long walk. See how it looks when you get back.”

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Leading Healthy

Robert Davis

Robert Davis is the clairvoyant architect and developer behind Seaside — the rustically inspired coastal community bursting with charm and worldclass views, located just off 30A in Walton County. According to Davis, stress is only truly neutralized when combined with just the right amount of leisure. In his own words, “work hard; play hard.” Reading, exercise, meditation and talking through a hectic day with his wife is what keeps Davis on track. For him, taking a moment of reflection, a breather, helps in discerning what’s truly important in life. “Meditation is a great way to let go of the busyness that surrounds us, especially in this era of constant connectivity,” said Davis. “Disconnecting, how-ever you do it, is essential for sanity.” To help him disconnect, Davis has taken up racing and rallying vintage cars, reading Hemingway history and, most recently, cooking. “I love to cook, and I’m pretty good at it,” admitted Davis. “Especially since I started spending time in Italy learning how simple good food can be if you start with great ingredients.”

Photo courtesy robert davis

SEASIDE® Community Development Corp., Founder

When the diagnosis is stress, Davis’ prescription is relaxation every time — but that doesn’t necessarily have to mean an extravagant getaway. It’s about taking a moment to decompress by letting go of work-related anxieties and indulging in an activity that’s truly your own. “The more demanding your work,” urged Davis, “the more essential play becomes.”

Dixie Russell Realtor 566.9285

Mike Ferrie Realtor, SFR 566.8373

Located:

in the NE Tallahassee Conservation Community situated in a natural setting off Centerville Road,

00 Only 71 ofa2in lots rem 18

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near the historic Pisgah Church. Lot prices will start at $80,000 and sizes will range from 1–2.77 acres. Home sites within Centerville Conservation Community are strategically located to protect the views and pristine ecosystems of the Red Hills Region. The home sites are located along two lakes, mature longleaf pine forests, oak groves, wiregrass preserves and horse pastures. The 200 home sites have been divided into ve distinct settlements: Oak Grove, Savannah, Forest Preserve, Lakefront and the Meadows. These settlements have been chosen to reect the characteristics of the landscape within the community where the historical legacy, lifestyle and rolling red hills are preserved.

www.PrimeSouthRealtors.com | 850.329.7000 www.CentervilleConservation.org


Member FDIC

Cecilia Homison

First Commerce Credit Union, President/CEO The key to stress management, according to Cecilia Homison, is not to fight tough situations, but to take them in stride. Although she undoubtedly encounters stressful decisions and issues at work, Homison says that on average her stress level stays between 3 and 4 on a scale of 1–10 (10 being the most stressed). The key element to being prepared to manage stress, she says, is to have good habits consistently. To keep her own stress at bay, Homison runs daily (she tries to hit 5K each day), eats healthy (avoiding caffeine, excessive alcohol or stress eating) and tries to maintain a consistent schedule at work, without overbooking herself. “You have to learn where you are in life, and what you control, and what you have accountability for. And I think sometimes what happens is we over-respond, because we’re trying to take control of things we can’t. And I think those are the places people feel the greatest degree of stress,” she explained. When an unanticipated problem arises at work, Homison maintains that it is important to get some perspective. “These things come and go, and they’re going to be fine,” she said, adding that people encountering stress should look forward, envision the worst possible outcome — and realize that, in the end, it probably won’t be the end of the world. “If you had the absolute worst outcome from where you are, where are you now? And is it going to be okay?” she advises people ask themselves. Additionally, for Homison, practicing faith with her family provides a sense of structure and perspective that greatly help in beating stress. “We’re consistent about going to church; more importantly to me we’re pretty intentional as a family ... to spend some time reading through the Bible and just praying as a family together,” she said, adding, “Everything kind of comes back to that core, and it’s my faith … It anchors me.”

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Northwest Florida’s ports see a bright future on the world stage By Jason Dehart

here’s an old saying that goes: “A rising tide lifts all boats.” And as a wider Panama Canal opens its locks for the world’s mega-ships, Northwest Florida’s local ports — Port Panama City, Port of Pensacola and Port St. Joe — are taking stock of what that means for their business, as well as the economic health of the region they serve.

Canal Expansion Improvements to the Panama Canal will dramatically change shipping by allowing super tankers to cross the isthmus between the Atlantic and Pacific.

“I feel very strongly that what Florida ports need to be focused on is using our assets to attract industry to the state,” said Wayne Stubbs, executive director of Port Panama City. “It’s great to handle a lot of cargo, but if you fail to translate all that cargo into high paying manufacturing jobs in the state, then you’re not getting the largest advantage from your ports.” The three ports are located in some of the more rural areas of the state that need all the economic advantages they can muster, according to Doug Wheeler, president and CEO of the Florida Ports Council. “The impact of our Florida Panhandle ports on the economic health of their communities cannot be overstated,” Wheeler said. “They are already providing much-needed jobs and have the potential to see significant increases as the Central and Latin America markets continue to grow.” While ports along the Gulf Coast are looking to advance the economy of their home regions, they live in a global market. And the billion-dollar expansion of the Panama Canal is set to satisfy the increasing demand of world maritime trade. The massive project involves the construction of a third lane of traffic that will allow the passage of large Post-Panamax vessels, which will double the Canal’s capacity and have an important impact in world maritime trade. The expansion was 62 percent complete in August. Only time will tell how this change will affect the ports of Northwest Florida as larger ports on the Gulf Coast and East Coast jockey for position, but they stand ready to take advantage of whatever opportunities float their way.

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Steady Hand A container is carefully lowered onto a ship headed out of Port Panama City. The port has an active trade with Latin America.

Port Panama City Located in St. Andrews Bay, Port Panama City is easily the busiest of the three and annually handles 1.7 million tons of cargo valued at $3 billion. Imported commodities such as aluminum ingots, copper plates and wire, steel pipe, plates and coils fill the warehouses, and tons of wood pellets from Green Circle Bio Energy’s Cottondale plant await shipment every week to European ports. Stubbs said the port has worked very hard over the past 10 or 12 years to diversify and grow its cargo base because cargo activity shrank in the 1990s — a combination of the shifting of cargo from break bulk ports on the Gulf Coast to East Coast container ports and a decline in export markets for forest products. The Panama City Port Authority is focused on two priorities: supporting industrial development in Bay County and developing modern seaport facilities to promote trade. But the latter has been hurt by the shifting economy. “By the year 2000, port activities were actually down to 300,000 to 400,000 tons a year in cargo, and 60 ships a year coming and going, and that’s just not sustainable. So we made a concerted effort to turn this port around and grow our cargo activity to become a sustainable port and have the funds to keep reinvesting in facilities,” he said. “That’s been successful for us. We made a number of key investments. We dredged the port deeper in 2003, from 32 feet to 36 feet, and that made us a lot more attractive to new customers, particularly in the copper trade.” The dredging opened the door for getting the wood pellet export business from Green Circle. The port authority also invested $60 million in facilities over the past 10 years. That’s paid off in terms of helping to attract and retain some key customers, among them a container operator that moved from New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Since 2005, Panama City has also developed the most active container trade business with Mexico of any U.S. port.

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It doesn’t end there, as pallets of copper plating fill the warehouses. The copper import business was something Panama City’s port really focused on winning from places like New Orleans and Mobile. “We were successful in building partnerships with key shippers in that trade,” he said. “We became, over time, the most active port in the country for handling imported copper. That really boosted the value of the cargo we were handling because copper is so valuable. When we went into the copper business, we went from handling $800 million to $900 million worth of cargo to almost $3 billion worth of cargo. It put us on the map.” The container trade tonnage has also steadily increased over time. In 2001, the port handled 400,000 tons and in 2013 it was looking at 1.7 million tons. Over the next three or four years they hope to push the overall tonnage to at least 2.3 million tons a year. The investments in the port were made possible as the state became more aggressive in offering significant financial aid through matching grants over the past decade. “Over the last three years, since Gov. Rick Scott’s been in office, the support from the state has grown — to the range of $250 million in the last year in matching grants for ports around the state,” Stubbs said. Another project in development is the Port Panama City Intermodal Distribution Center about 15 miles north of town. A 150,000-square-foot warehouse was recently built for transferring dry and liquid bulk products between rail and trucks. Rail sidings have been added, and work continues to improve the 250-acre site with the hope that new manufacturing can be brought to the area. Actually, it’s larger than that, because an additional 50-acre site is being prepared for use. The governor in August announced the $1.9 million distribution center project would get a $900,000 grant from the Florida Department of Transportation.


Over the last three years, since Gov. Rick Scott’s been in office, the support from the state has grown — to the range of $250 million in the last year in matching grants for ports around the state. Wayne Stubbs, executive director of Port Panama City

“I’m committed to ensuring that our transportation projects create more job opportunities for Florida families,” said Scott, a big advocate of Florida’s ports. Meanwhile, the port continues to support the industries that exist on site, which include long-time tenants like Berg Steel Pipe (a major employer in Bay County that makes large-diameter steel pipe) and newcomer Oceaneering International Inc., which arrived at the port in 2004. Oceaneering invested about $50 million in facilities when it first set up business and just committed to spend another $15 million on more capital projects, Stubbs said. Oceaneering makes large-scale underwater cable systems called umbilicals.

Port of Pensacola Located in historic (and strategic) Pensacola Bay, this port has its sights set high. Its top strategic priority is to become the most diverse port of its size by incorporating cargo, non-cargo commercial maritime, marine-related manufacturing and assembly, and other business opportunities. Currently, it’s more a service-oriented port, and tonnage isn’t the primary metric used to determine success. “When we talk tonnage stats and that sort of thing, we’re a little different animal than other ports that you might visit. And that business is as a support base for the vessels that work out in the U.S. oil and gas industry in

the U.S. Gulf of Mexico,” said Clyde Mathis, longtime port director until his resignation in Novemeber. The main business partner engaging in that service is Offshore Inland Marine, which specializes in project mobilization and de-mobilization, topside repair and maintenance services to offshore oil and gas exploration and production fleets, including supply boats, pipe layers and construction vessels, dive support vessels and tankers. “There’s a lot more happening finally again in the Gulf, so we expect their business to increase,” Mathis said. “They have a long term lease with us here at the port.” Aside from providing support for service vessels, the port also does a booming business exporting locally produced wind turbine nacelles for GE Wind. “General Electric has an assembly facility here in Escambia County where they assemble the nacelle, which is the generator unit of a wind turbine,” Mathis said. “They have had a huge project in Brazil, which they’ve been exporting to for the past year or so. Just this year to date they have loaded 359 units, had 14 vessel calls and there’s about 100 or so units on port now waiting to be exported.” The port also works with GE Energy to handle the storage and transportation of portable generator units that can power upwards of 42,000 homes in

Servicing the Gulf Clyde Mathis, until recently director of the Port of Pensacola, said his facility serves as support base for ships that service the U.S. oil and gas industry.

Photos by SCOTT HOLSTEIN

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This is an infrastructure investment that will change the landscape of North Florida. The business it will bring, the jobs and the growth potential are all huge. State Rep. Halsey Beshears

the event of emergencies such as natural disasters. The units are essentially rolling power plants in the form of four separate trailer-mounted components that, when fully assembled and connected, can power a small city. The port’s responsibility is to keep these units maintained and ready for deployment around the world. And while that’s certainly important, it means the port functions in a different capacity than other cargo-bearing shipping facilities. “Both GE operations involve very large pieces of equipment but they don’t weigh very much, and Offshore Inland doesn’t move any cargo at all,” said Amy Miller, who took over the port director’s post on Nov. 20. “So when we measure our success, it’s the number of vessel dockage days that is important to us, because that is where we generate our revenue. When we look at GE, we look at the number of units. They’re actually billed on a per-unit basis. So that’s how we measure our success, more so than looking at the number of tons of cargo.” However, the port still does a healthy bit of export in the form of lumber products that are shipped to the Caribbean. All types of wood products, such as plywood, fence board, posts, timber poles and rolls of paper ship out of Port Pensacola, along with some steel products. But lumber is the primary commodity, and Sapphira Shipping of Savannah, Ga., has been a port customer for close to a year now, its business growing each month. “I think they’re at 24,000 tons total that they’ve exported,” Mathis said. “And the principals have many, many years of experience in Caribbean trade, so they’re very savvy with what they’re doing and their results have proven that as well.” That’s not the only type of cargo, though. CEMEX moves bulk cement products for local construction and road building projects, Martin Marietta Aggregates imports aggregate rock from the Bahamas, which also goes toward local construction, and the port has been successful in exporting gondola rail cars to Columbia for the Columbian coal trade.

steamships and freighters from all over the world is idle and needs maintenance; specifically, dredging. Two new business opportunities being sought by today’s St. Joe Company, which still owns property around the port, have opened the door to a resurgence of the port’s viability, although it will require the old port to be renovated and reopened. State Rep. Halsey Beshears thinks such a project has tremendous opportunity, not only for Port St. Joe but Gulf County and Northwest Florida. “This is an infrastructure investment that will change the landscape of North Florida. The business it will bring, the jobs and the growth potential are all huge,” he said. “We are working jointly with the port board on how we can assist them moving forward. Whatever red tape we can cut so they can move forward expeditiously is our first priority.” In May, St. Joe announced it had signed a letter of intent with Green Circle Bio Energy Inc., which ships wood pellets overseas in a brisk renewable energy business with Europe. Green Circle is interested in leasing a site from St. Joe along the railway to develop a new wood pellet plant. Green Circle already operates the world’s second-largest wood pellet plant in Cottondale, but that plant sends its product to Port Panama City by the Bay Line Railroad. The new plant would use the AN Railway to ship its product via the port at Port St. Joe. The second opportunity was announced in June with the signing of second letter of intent, this time with Enova Energy Group, a full-service,

A Blank Slate in Port St. Joe The old port on the shore of historic St. Joseph Bay, once a formidable actor on the maritime stage, has been inactive for many years. Just about all signs of industrial usage have been demolished since The St. Joe Paper Company’s paper mill was closed down and demolished. Two chemical plants were also shut down and razed. A short-line railroad (the AN Railway, owned by St. Joe) that serviced the industries here was left intact but has been unused for more than a decade. Out in the bay, the shipping channel and turning basin that once saw

Seeking Rebirth Tommy Pitts (right), director of the Port of Port St. Joe, and Port Authority Chairman Leonard Costin are looking for funds to dredge the channel and reopen the once bustling port.

Photo by SCOTT HOLSTEIN

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clean energy development company that is interested in expanding its own wood pellet plants in the Southeastern United States. Like Green Circle, Enova needs a functioning railway and port to get its product to market. St. Joe officials say that dredging the port’s shipping channel, and repairing the AN Railway’s bridge over the Apalachicola River, is necessary prior to starting any shipping activities. “Adequate infrastructure is paramount to bringing new business and jobs to Northwest Florida,” said Park Brady, St. Joe CEO. “The prospective rail improvements on the AN Railway are critical to open doors for economic development for the port of Port St. Joe and surrounding areas.” Jorge Gonzalez, the company’s senior vice president, said the rail itself is in great shape but a series of bridges — namely, the bridge over the Apalachicola River — need repair. The Florida Department of Transportation and the railway operator, Genesee & Wyoming, have been working to secure a rail grant to do the repairs. The state will provide 75 percent of the $5 million cost and St. Joe Company and G&W will pay the remaining 25 percent. As of August the grant hadn’t yet been released, but the company is anxious to get the project rolling so it can help give the port a new lease on life and boost the regional economy. “Anything we do in Port St. Joe, we want it to be a net add,” Gonzalez said. “Neither ourselves nor the Port Authority want to take away from any other port. We think the three ports in Northwest Florida need to work together, so that’s an important point. We’re not taking one wood chip from an existing port.” Port St. Joe Port Authority officials are excited about the possibility of having a working port again and are working with The St. Joe Company and whoever else they can get in their corner to get things turned around by 2014, the earliest deadline called for in the agreements with the two wood pellet companies. “We have a cooperative, collaborative relationship with The St. Joe Company, which is committed to developing the port here,” said Port Director Tommy Pitts. Combined, the Port Authority and St. Joe Company have about a 300-acre footprint to work with, plus 5,000 additional St. Joe acres right next door that are prime for development of port support activities, like trucking and transfer facilities. But that’s for future projects. Right now the company and the port authority have other pressing matters. The immediate focus is on the permitting process for dredging the channels to the proper depths, restoring the rail and getting the port ready to serve the cargo needs.

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“We’re now under the gun to hit the ground running,” said Pitts. “The ship channel is a public asset. So that falls under the Port Authority’s responsibility to restore it to depths that they need to move the wood pellets.” And we are talking a lot of pellets. Enova wants to move one million metric tons a year, and Green Circle wants to ship 150,000 tons a year. In order to do any of the necessary studies and actual work, they have to find the money. And right now no rock is being left unturned in that search. “There’s not going to be one silver bullet that takes care of the needs. It will have to be a collection. It’s not going to be done on a federal level alone,” said U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, who sits on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and is an ally to the region’s ports. Right now, the state is providing $750,000, which will be matched by The St. Joe Company to the tune of $250,000, for dredging studies that will determine the type of sediment engineers will have to deal with and where it can be disposed. That will help determine the overall dredging cost. Officials think it could be in the $20 million to $25 million range. If that’s the case, it’s clear that one pot of money isn’t going to get the job done. Port Authority Commissioner Leonard Costin said that Restore Act funds could provide money, as well as the Florida Seaport Transportation and Economic Development Program and/or the State Infrastructure Bank, just to name a few. Southerland said the Restore Act, passed by Congress in 2012 to distribute penalties collected in wake of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill, could be a vital source.

photos courtesy THE st. joe company

Bygone Era The port of Port St. Joe was once one of the busiest ports on the Gulf of Mexico, enjoying a brisk maritime trade. Today it sits idle, nearly all evidence of its former heyday demolished.


“I think the Restore Act is an important component and another tool we can use to get the job done,” he said. “That’s a significant piece of legislation. I think the stars are aligning. I think it’s going to be great for jobs and great for the economy of the state, especially in Florida’s 2nd congressional district.” One thing is clear. The port has had its share of boom days and bust during its 180-year history. It’s lost much industry in just the past 20 years alone. “With the decline of the real estate market and the Great Recession, that was a real blow to really the only thing we had left, because the manufacturing industries had gone away,” Pitts said. “We’ve been in a recession here (in Port St. Joe) for 25 years.” While the town has a prospering tourism market, Pitts said the town has lost important well-paying jobs. “We find ourselves with all our industrial assets gone again. The paper mill is gone. The box plant is gone. The Arizona Chemical Plant is gone. Premier Chemical gone. Demolition has taken place on all these. We had a bulk terminal, it’s shut down,” he said. “And because there are no rail customers, the rail service has been discontinued. And that is vital to our economic recovery efforts, to restore the rail and certainly the port as well, so we see, again, the port and rail as the best opportunity to recover the economy in this region.” St. Joe’s Gonzalez said the redevelopment is one of his company’s highest priorities. Not only will it raise up the community, it should brighten local property values as well. “We believe redevelopment can be an economic engine that will bring jobs and economic activity not only to Port St. Joe, but to the entire region,” he said. “We also believe that the effort to develop the port needs to be a community-wide effort to include not only the Port Authority but the entire community.”

22 containers wide and stand 160 feet out of the water. They need between 48 and 50 feet of water to operate in, and dredging to that depth is problematic. “It’s a very expensive proposition for most ports to try and deepen their channels to those depths,” Stubbs said. “But Miami is doing it. They have funding from the state, and they had the easiest route to get it done. They have a short entrance and it’s all sandy material, and it was easier for them to do it than most ports. Most ports are river ports and very expensive to dredge that deep and very expensive to maintain it that deep.” So how will this new ship traffic impact the ports in Northwest Florida? Officials say none of these massive ships will ever be within sight of our local ports; rather, smaller “feeder” ships just might come our way. “It’s similar to wide bodied airplanes landing in Atlanta and regional jets flying on down to Panama City. A similar concept,” Stubbs said. “A hub and spoke system will grow based on the larger ships coming through the Panama Canal. So in terms of the ports in Northwest Florida, the long-term prospect of the impact of the Panama Canal might be that we see more opportunity to handle feeder vessels, which would be smaller.” That assessment was shared by Port of Pensacola’s Clyde Mathis. “Pensacola is never going to be your big container handling port, but we might be able to get in with the feeder service concept,” Mathis said. “That will be probably the only thing that any of your three Northwest Florida ports are going to participate in.” Stubbs said that ports like Tampa, Mobile and Houston might be able to accommodate large feeder vessels holding 3,000 to 4,000 20-foot containers. Port Panama City would be limited to feeder ships in the 2,000 TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) range. “That’d be about the limit that we could handle here,” he said. “But our focus is really not on that. Our focus is on trying to attract more regional carriers serving Central America, Columbia and Mexico. “I think our location is going to become more and more appealing to carriers that need to keep their vessels in the Gulf. I also think that we can keep our costs significantly lower than most major ports, because we’re not forced to make these huge investments associated with handling the larger ships.” Meanwhile, the three ports have a big cheering section in Washington. Southerland said Florida enjoys the largest delegation on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and it is currently working on a significant piece of legislation called the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), “This legislation will make major reforms to increase transparency, accountability and Congressional oversight in reviewing and prioritizing future water resources development activities,” said Committee Chairman Bill Shuster. The WRRDA is a reauthorization bill that is typically addressed every five years, Southerland said. Sometimes it takes much longer, which means it doesn’t keep up with changes in the real world. “Chairman Shuster is attempting to make the WRRDA bill something that’s authorized every two years, because things change quickly in the world of business,” he said. “For us to have a (WRRDA bill authorized every two years) I think benefits the Florida ports in particular.”

“Anything we do in Port St. Joe, we want it to be a net add. Neither ourselves nor the Port Authority want to take away from any other port. We think the three ports in Northwest Florida need to work together, so that’s an important point. We’re not taking one wood chip from an existing port.” Jorge Gonzalez, St. Joe senior vice president

The good news is that Port St. Joe has an abundance of public works infrastructure, including water, power, gas lines and wastewater treatment. “We have all those infrastructure items that are needed to quickly get back to where we were,” Costin said. “We’re a blank slate now. We’re starting over. And I see the port being bigger and better, and more far-reaching, than ever in the past.”

Mega-Ships and Feeder Vessels The ports of Northwest Florida are all a part of a global economy, and if there is one single most important development going on today, it is the $5.3 billion expansion of the Panama Canal. The expansion will allow the Canal to accommodate the passage of “Post-Panamax” ships, mega-vessels that are bigger than most anything afloat. They can carry up to 12,000 20-foot containers, even though they primarily carry 40-footers. They’re 900 feet long,

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DO YOU HAVE Professional Polish? Making a good first impression is critical to business success By Elizabeth M. Redfearn | Photography by Marcus Duval

H

ave you ever been passed over for a promotion or a job, or have a client go with a competitor and you have no idea why? No one will ever tell you if the reason was due to a bad first impression or because of your behavior. A lack of business etiquette is a silent killer. Business etiquette provides a foundation for business people to operate, communicate and collaborate. When a code of etiquette is understood in the work environment, it can be easier for diverse and multi-generational individuals to work together. It is a mark of professionalism and respect. Etiquette is a topic that has occupied writers and thinkers for millennia; a subject matter that continues to feature on

today’s bestseller book lists, appears daily on social media networks and tweeted about hourly. Why? Because knowledge of business etiquette is vital to success. It will make the difference between you and another person with the same technical skills and knowledge. It will make the difference to a potential employer or client. Business etiquette encompasses a wide range of verbal and nonverbal communications. Many of the rules of acceptable behavior are common sense. Unfortunately, in our work environment in the United States certain accepted behaviors are not acceptable to the rest of the world or to sophisticated business people. But there are some valuable non-verbal guidelines that can get you started on the right path. It is a matter of commitment, common

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Best Practices for Men B e lt s

To Be Avoided Uneven and bushy without defined lines or symmetry.

Best Practices The leather color should match your shoes. Black is best. The buckle should be the same metal color as your watch.

D e s i g n e r S tu bb le Best Practices Clean and maintained. To Be Avoided Looking disheveled. If you are going to have designer stubble then the rest of your grooming needs to be perfect, otherwise you will look grubby.

To Be Avoided The belt buckle should be discrete. Brown belts are suitable for khakis and jeans. Hair

E y e b r ow s

Best Practices Clean, cut, styled and maintained. If you wear your hair long (not advisable) then it must be out of your face.

Best Practices If you have bushy eyebrows, ask your hairdresser to trim them. To Be Avoided Long, course stray hairs or excessively bushy eyebrows can destroy a clean and classic look.

To Be Avoided Dirty or overgrown. Keep your hands out of your hair. Fac i a l H a i r

Ear and nose hair

Best Practices If you have facial hair, keep it clean and maintained.

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Best Practices Remove it immediately. This is important and needs to be a top priority.

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To Be Avoided No one appreciates looking at hair protruding out of your ears or nose. It is distracting and leaves a very negative impression. Hands and Nails Best Practices Your fingernails must be clean and trimmed or filed without exception. Hands need to be squeaky clean and moisturized daily. Getting a man’s manicure is a great way to keep your hands and fingernails in good condition. Make this a regular routine. It is that important. To Be Avoided Callused, cracked and dirty hands. Keep hands out of mouth. Sh o e s Best Practices Along with watches, shoes make a big impression. Clean and polished shoes project attention to detail and pride. Dirty or scuffed-up shoes give the opposite impression. Poorly

maintained shoes can ruin the effect of a nice suit. A nice pair of highly polished shoes can make a medium priced, off-the-rack suit look expensive and tailored. Black shoes go with everything. Dark brown or cognac are also acceptable colors provided they match the color tone of your suit. Shoe color should match your belt color. To Be Avoided Suede shoes and loafers are not appropriate with suits but are fine with chinos. Don’t worry about scuff marks on suede shoes. Never wear polished shoes with jeans. Socks Best Practices Dark socks to match the same color tone of the suit and shoes. When the sock color matches the color of the suit you get a longer appearance. Another option is to match the color of the sock to your shoes. To Be Avoided Do not wear socks that are lighter than the color of the suit.


Rings Best Practices No more than one ring on each hand is acceptable. Not wearing any rings is also acceptable. To Be Avoided Large and bulky rings. Fidgeting with your ring(s). Ti e s Best Practices A tie can make a statement about a person even before an introduction. The tie should always be darker than the shirt. With patterned ties, the background color can be different but the foreground should contain the shirt color. The tie should also integrate the color of the suit. Ties should rest at or just a hairline above your belt. To Be Avoided Don’t wear a tie that will become the center of attention. S u it s Best Practices Suits should be made of wool. A nice all-weather 100 percent wool can be worn year-round. The classic colors are solid navy blue, medium or charcoal grey and black. Black is very formal. A herringbone pattern or subtle colored pinstripe is fine. The most important factor is that the suit fits properly. If you are a short person, wear a singlebreasted jacket. If you are large around the middle, wear a lower-buttoning jacket to lengthen the look. Double breasted jackets are not common these days but still suitable and remain buttoned even when you are seated. Single-breasted jackets with two buttons are the most common, although some have three buttons. Never fasten the bottom button. With a threebutton jacket you can fasten the middle button and sometimes the top button. When sitting, unbutton the jacket so it doesn’t bunch up. The collar of the jacket should fit so that at least a quarter inch of your shirt collar is visible at the neck. To Be Avoided Browns, greens and windowpane designs are not classic and considered informal. The armholes in your jacket should be high and roomy so that when you reach over your

head the entire jacket doesn’t ride up and cover your face. Never try to mix and match suits and trousers. They come in a set and should be worn as a set. Suit jackets should not extend beyond the natural width of your shoulders. Jacket length should be just long enough for you to curl your fingers under the hem of the jacket when your arms are resting at your sides. S u it Tr o u s e r s Best Practices Flat front or pleated is a matter of personal choice. Trousers should fit at the waist without the need of a belt. Traditionally pleated trousers have cuffs, and flat front trousers don’t. Trousers that fit properly allow for freedom of movement. When standing the pressed crease should hang uninterrupted. The length of the leg should allow the bottom to break on the top of the shoe with about one crease or fold. To Be Avoided Tight trousers should be avoided. Trousers that are too long and fold up on top of the shoe — or when the back hem is touching the ground — are unacceptable, as are short trousers where your socks are exposed. Wat c h e s Best Practices Your watch makes a statement. A good stainless steel, silver or other metal with a leather band will look good with any suit. To Be Avoided Excessively large face, digital or watchbands made of plastic or other material. Sh i r t s Best Practices Your shirts should be well ironed and clean. The cut, color and collar shape are a personal choice. The color should be a similar color tone as your suit. You should be able to fit one finger between your shirt collar and neck. All the buttons need to be buttoned. Shirt cuffs should not ride up your arm when you stretch. The cuff should rest right at the wrist. Monograms are fine but should be on the pocket, not the cuff. Rolling up your cuff sleeves is acceptable when at work. White shirts are classic and go with everything. To Be Avoided Shirts that are too tight. Loud colors should be avoided. Leaving buttons undone. Never wear a wrinkled shirt or one with stains. An untucked dress shirt is not appropriate.

“From these visual cues, others make assumptions about your dedication and competence; your personality, habits, tastes; social life, friends and quirks.” – “Dress Smart: Women Wardrobes that Win in the New Workplace” Kim Johnson Gross and Jeff Stone

sense and practice. Knowledge has to become habit before it is useful. It takes less than five seconds to make an impression, and 90 percent of that impression is based on non-verbal signals. You only have one chance at a first impression. Make it count.

Appearance Your personal grooming and clothes are the first impression you make. Consider your business wardrobe an important investment and go for quality. Go for a neat, clean and crisp appearance. Your wardrobe should consist of tailored and fitted professional clothing. You don’t have to spend a fortune, just make wise choices. It is simple and inexpensive to have clothes altered to fit you perfectly. Some businesses or office cultures have dress codes that are acceptable to that specific industry. The dress code described on these pages is for those individuals interested in conveying an image of confidence and professionalism — dressing for success! The classic look is always in fashion and will convey a sense of professionalism and credibility.

Posture How you carry yourself and how you carry off what you are wearing is deportment. Correct posture displays success, confidence, high self-esteem and pride. Stand tall with your head up and shoulders back. When your shoulders are slouched or if you walk around looking as if the weight of the world is on your back your appearance and the impression you make is negative.

Punctuality Being late is one of the worse offenses you can make in business. If you are only a minute late you will be perceived as unreliable,

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“I don’t care what you look like before 9 and after 5. Put purple in your hair, expose your midriff, pierce everything. But I run a billion-dollar company, and I want that company to look like a billion bucks.” – J ane Friedman, CEO HarperCollins Publishing

selfish, unmotivated and disrespectful. Even if you have a valid excuse, there will be doubt. When you are late for a meeting you are telling the other person that you have other matters that are more important than meeting with him/her. Having to apologize for being late puts you in a defensive and inferior position. The only exception would be a late or cancelled flight, in which case you would have ample time to reschedule the meeting at a later time. Aim to be at least five to 10 minutes early. When you are punctual or a little early you have time to collect your thoughts and mentally prepare for the meeting. You can focus on the purpose of the meeting. Punctuality projects professionalism, organization and respect. Being late for work shows a lack of motivation, a perception of unreliability, arrogance and therefore a lack of professionalism.

Make an entrance Most everyone watches the entrance to a room, so use it to your advantage. When you walk into a business meeting, reception or party you need to walk in with confidence. Keep your shoulders square and chin up. Create an impression of confidence and leadership. Pause for a moment to survey the room and the people in it. Make eye contact, smile and acknowledge people. Don’t be in a rush, and don’t walk in texting, talking on your cellphone or otherwise ignoring the people around you. Utilizing these non-verbal tips will put you on the right path to enhance your professional image and leave others with a polished and positive first impression. Elizabeth M. Redfearn is a certified corporate etiquette and international protocol consultant based in Tallahassee. Her company, Redfearn Etiquette, specializes in contemporary etiquette and international protocol training and support for individuals, corporate organizations, public officials and the hospitality industry.

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Best Practices for Women Hair Best Practices Clean and neatly styled at all times. Coloring should be natural looking with or without highlights. Chemical coloring should be meticulously maintained. To Be Avoided Unruly styles requiring constant attention to keep in place or out of your eyes. Streaks of blue, orange, pink or other artificial coloring are unacceptable in most work environs. Makeup Best Practices Less is best. Neatly applied and virtually undetectable. Never go without some makeup even if it’s a light dusting of powder. To Be Avoided Long false eyelashes, heavy eyeliner and mascara or overly thick eye-shadow. Save your smokey eyes for the evening. Nails Best Practices Hands and nails should be impeccably clean. Nails should be even and maintained. If you wear polish, make sure it always looks fresh and maintained. To Be Avoided Jagged or unusually long nails and dirty or stained hands. Keep your fingers out of your mouth. Shocking, bright or unusual nail color and embellishments like flowers or glitter. C lo th i n g Best Practices Wear clothing that gives you credibility as a business person. Look professional. If your image reflects success then your success potential is obtainable. Hem lengths on skirts and dresses should be to the knee, slightly above the knee or just below. Wear clothing that fits properly. Invest in your work wardrobe. Your clothing should always be wrinkle free and properly laundered. To Be Avoided Never wear slinky or sexy dresses to the office. Hem lines more than an inch above the knee

are inappropriate. Showing cleavage or bra straps is extremely inappropriate in the work environment. Excessively baggy or tight clothing is not appropriate. No blue jeans, sport clothing, shorts or strapless clothing. Sleeveless is sometimes acceptable. J e w e lry Best Practices Less is more. Spend a little extra for a nice business watch. To Be Avoided Noisy jewelry that makes sound when you move. Do not wear jewelry in your nose, eyebrows or lips. Perfume Best Practices Subtle scents, lightly applied. To Be Avoided Heavy application of perfume is offensive. H o s i e ry Best Practices Most corporate and high-end businesses require hosiery. Acceptable colors are nude, black and sometimes blue in solid, sheer or semi-sheer. Bare legs are sometimes acceptable in hot climates. To Be Avoided Bare legs. Snags, runs or baggy ill-fitting hosiery. Unusual colors. Sh o e s Best Practices Heels should be three inches or less. Classic toe. All leather. Occasionally open-toed pumps are acceptable. Keep your shoes in clean and polished condition at all times. To Be Avoided Run down heels. Back heels with marks or peeling back leather. Worn out shoes with scuff marks. Never wear stiletto heels, ballerina slippers, flip flops, sport shoes or beach sandals to work.


A woman manager staggering around in the latest stiletto heels usually looks more like a “wrong decision” than a smart executive. – Letitia Baldrige’s “New Manners for New Times: A Complete Guide to Etiquette”

Models: Page 29: Daniel Sinor. Page 30, left to right: Daniel Sinor, Calynne Hill, Terra Palmer. This page, left to right: Terra Palmer, Calynne Hill. Clothes: Page 29: Black Fleece Pinstripe Classic Suit in Gray, Brooks Brothers located at Silver Sands Premium Outlets, $1,375. Page 30: Sinor: Camel Hair Sports Coat, Brooks Brothers located at Silver Sands Premium Outlets, $273; Cotton Sweater, Brooks Brothers located at Silver Sands Premium Outlets, $69.50; Oxford Sport Shirt, Brooks Brothers located at Silver Sands Premium Outlets, $69.50; Fall Trousers, Brooks Brothers located at Silver Sands Premium Outlets, $129.50. Hill: Uncle Frank Dress, Narcissus, $140; ZAC POSEN Claudette Multi Tassel Black Clutch, Narcissus, $425. Palmer: Trina Turk Brown Leather Sleeveless Dress, Narcissus, $798; Trina Turk Black & Brown Print Blouse, Narcissus, $278. Page 33: Palmer: BCBG Hannah Color-Blocked Dress, Dillards, $248. Hill: Tory Burch Rosemary Fitted Tweed Dress, Narcissus, $425. Jewelry: Page 29: Longines GMT automatic watch, Gem Collection, $1,600. Page 30: Palmer: Shelia Ring, Swarovski located at Silver Sands Premium Outlets, $170; Segment Bangle, Swarovski located at Silver Sands Premium Outlets, $200. Page 33: Palmer: Alexis Bittar Earings, Narcissus, $195; Seiko Solar, Gem Collection, $315. Hill: Diamond Rolex Datejust, Gem Collection, $17,300; Spiral Ring, Swarovski located at Silver Sands Premium Outlets, $175.

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TO U R I S M GROW TH E D U C AT I O N I N N O VAT I O N H E A LT H C A R E R E A L E S TAT E T R A N S P O R TAT I O N

Tallahassee Business Journal 2014


20 12

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Marpan Recycling is excited to announce we are now accepting Single Stream Material from across the panhandle to be processed in our state of the art facility!

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2014 TA L L A H A S S E E B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L


LONG LIVE LOCAL LOYALTY An IT outsourcing company, Aegis Business Technologies resides in a trendy Midtown location fitting their high-tech personality. But after a loan struggle with a national bank they needed a loyal partner by their side who was invested in the community. First Commerce was there with the financing to make it happen.

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WE LCOM E L E T TE R

I

t’s truly an honor to be chosen to lead the economic development initiatives in our community as chair of the Economic Development Council (EDC) of Tallahassee/Leon County. I feel fortunate to serve as both president of Tallahassee Community College and chair of the EDC of Tallahassee/Leon County during this unique and exciting time in our region. Our communities across the Panhandle are at a collective tipping point in their reinvention and advancement. We must continue our efforts — in Leon County and across the region — to plan strategically for future growth and development of local business and industry, to support new ideas and innovation emerging in our communities, colleges and universities, and to recruit companies outside of North Florida to relocate here bringing with them a significant number of jobs, investment and opportuniJim Murdaugh ties for our residents. The EDC of Tallahassee/Leon County focuses on enhancing three main areas: entrepreneurism, business retention/expansion and new business recruitment. These areas form the foundation for strengthening our community and allow us to be laser-focused in our strategy for enhancing our region’s economic climate. The benefits inherent in being the capital city of the country’s fourth most-populous state serve as a springboard for collaboration between three excellent higher education institutions, actively engaged local government and a resilient business community that turn good ideas into profitable ventures. The EDC works closely with city and county officials, business owners, CEOs, entrepreneurs and community leaders in identifying economic By connecting the private development opportunisector with education ties and projects that will and local government, bring jobs, investments the EDC helps: and sustainability to our » Foster entrepreneurialism region. We are a program of the Greater Tallahassee » Advance local businesses Chamber of Commerce » Grow targeted industry and work collaboratively sectors to not only recruit and retain business, but to » Attract innovative also ensure there is supcompanies to our area port, infrastructure and » Create a competitive resources to help new and business climate existing businesses thrive. We are on the verge of

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a game-changing economic development opportunity in our region. Earlier this year, representatives from the City of Tallahassee, Leon County, business owners and numerous other strategic partners assembled to support a framework for sustainable job creation and economic growth and a vision for the future of our community through an effort called IMAGINE Tallahassee. A true community-wide initiative, IMAGINE Tallahassee offers citizens the opportunity to identify economic development strategies, weigh in on capital investment decisions, give feedback and share their ideas related to Tallahassee’s future. And with the support of the EDC and Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce, it has the potential to make our community one of the most innovative and competitive in the world. There is so much potential in our region and surrounding counties. We have world-class research facilities, an enviable commercial transportation infrastructure, a skilled and educated workforce, nationally-recognized institutions of higher learning, and our region offers a quality of life like no other. The commitment to fund economic development through partnerships with local, state and federal government, significant support from our area school districts and higher education partners and the forward-thinking vision of the private sector is unrivaled in most markets our size. Through product development, marketing, research, technical and business assistance, oversight of industry sector initiatives and advocacy that strengthens the competitive advantage of the region, and collaboration with our public and private sector partners, the EDC seeks to serve the needs of our business community and create opportunities for our graduates and our children to stay in Tallahassee. On behalf of the EDC Board of Directors, investors and executive team, I pledge to you our continued efforts to help our region reach its potential through the attraction of new capital, job creation and support for local businesses. I invite you to invest with us as we shape and develop our community. The future is bright. Sincerely,

Jim Murdaugh, Ph.D. Chair, Economic Development Council of Tallahassee/Leon County


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PHOTO BY SCOTT HOLSTEIN

PRESIDENT/PUBLISHER BRIAN E. ROWLAND EDITORIAL EDITOR Linda Kleindienst STAFF WRITER Jason Dehart

TAB L E OF CONTE NTS

4 Welcome Letter

30 Commerical Real Estate

EDITORIAL COORDINATOR Chay D. Baxley PROOFREADER Melinda Lanigan CREATIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR Lawrence Davidson PRODUCTION MANAGER/NETWORK ADMINISTRATOR Daniel Vitter GRAPHIC DESIGNER Lizzie Moore

8 Imagine Tallahassee

10 Health Care

ADVERTISING DESIGNERS Jillian Fry, Monica Perez

33 Demographics

34 Capital Corridor

STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Scott Holstein SALES & MARKETING MARKETING AND SALES MANAGER McKenzie Burleigh

19 Innovation

DIRECTOR OF NEW BUSINESS Daniel Parisi TRAFFIC COORDINATOR Lisa Sostre ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Rhonda Chaloupka, Darla Harrison, Tim Hughes, Lori Magee, Tracy Mulligan, Linda Powell, Paula Sconiers, Chuck Simpson, Chris St. John, Drew Gregg Westling MARKETING AND SALES ASSISTANT Nicole Liang

CREATIVE. PRINT. SOLUTIONS.™

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37 Growing Communities

22 What’s New

26 Education

41 Where to Get Help

29 Transportation

42 Tourism


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I MAGI N E TAL LAHASSE E

IMAGINING THE FUTURE

Community-wide effort focuses on economic development By Linda Kleindienst

Tallahassee is a vibrant city poised for economic growth.

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PHOTO BY LARRY DAVIDSON

I

t’s time to start a conversation that’s long overdue. That was the attitude of a small group of Tallahassee’s business leaders when in early 2013 they began forming the nucleus of what would become Imagine Tallahassee — a cross-section of community interests that have joined together to develop a coherent and cohesive vision for the region’s economic development. “The big question is, where are we trying to go?” said Kim Rivers, who co-founded the group with business partner J.T. Burnett, and a driving force behind the effort. “There’s been no concentrated effort to ask that question in a meaningful way.” Rivers confessed her confusion when she found out from city and county planners there was no single economic vision that had been embraced by the region’s many major stakeholders, from health care to education to local government. There has been visioning, but it’s been in silos — meaning there has been little cooperative effort to develop a comprehensive plan that all sectors of the community have embraced. “Everyone has been operating in their own world,” explained Kim Williams, a former chairman of the Economic Development Council of Tallahassee/Leon County and a member of the Imagine Tallahassee Committee. “It made perfect sense to put people at the table with common interests. We need to tear down the silos.” As the grassroots movement began to grow, Rivers said there were a variety of issues that needed to be addressed. “What is economic development in our county? What can we realistically accomplish? And where do we get the biggest bang for the bucks?” she asked. “And we need to look at how we fit into Northwest Florida and how it compares to the rest of the country.” By late spring, Imagine Tallahassee had embarked on the most ambitious effort ever seen here to get input from the community and leading interest groups and then develop a consensus on how to shape Tallahassee’s economic future. This month the group will present its results to

the county’s sales tax committee with a list of proposed economic development projects in hopes the committee, the city and county commissions and then Leon County voters will agree to spend a potential $113 million to help fund that future. “Imagine Tallahassee is about an aspiration; it’s about a vision for the future,” said John Fernsler, principal with Wallace, Roberts & Todd, a Philadelphia consulting firm hired with private donations to work with the committee on the vision and funding priorities. (It has been involved in similar efforts with Austin, Tex., Key Biscayne and Erie, Pa.) “But it’s got to be more than platitudes. It’s got to be: What are we going to do about it to achieve it?” The tool for change would be a voterapproved local option penny sales tax paid within Leon County. The law that gives counties the option of seeking the extra sales tax to fund local infrastructure projects like road improvements and new parks now allows up to 15 percent of that additional tax revenue to be set aside for economic development projects. Leon County’s sales tax committee has tentatively agreed to do that and has been waiting to see what Imagine Tallahassee, an official offshoot of the committee, comes up with. The extra penny tax was approved by Leon County voters in 2000 to fund Blueprint 2000 projects and will expire in 2019. Before then, voters will be asked whether they want to extend it. This month, Imagine Tallahassee is presenting its list of priorities for how some of that tax money should be spent to boost economic development. That list has been put together as a result of the grassroots visioning process that has taken place over the past six months. The sales tax committee will review it and then decide which, if any, of the projects should be put on the referendum that will go before voters. (Please go to 850businessmagazine.com for the final list of projects being recommended by Imagine Tallahassee.) “Our job is to look out 15 to 20 years, to look at the real needs of the community,” explained Steve Evans, chairman of the sales tax committee, of the next step. “What

does the community need and what’s a major disaster if we don’t address it.” If the sales tax committee does opt to ask voters to set aside some of the tax proceeds for economic development — and the city and county commissions approve the plan — Leon will become only the second county in the state to take advantage of the law’s new provisions. “It’s a unique opportunity. It is game changing,” said Sue Dick, president and CEO of the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce. “The key is ensuring all the stakeholders are working together. It is for economic development projects that are going to create sustainable jobs.” Tallahassee and Leon County already have a lot going for them. Tallahassee was recently named one of the top 100 cities in the world for innovation — and it’s attracted six major national retailers in just the past two years. Last year, 31 international representatives came to town — a sign, says former EDC Chair Karen Moore, that “we are on the global map” — and this fall there were 33 potential projects in the EDC’s pipeline that represent the possibility of 7,000 new jobs. Kyle Touchstone, the EDC’s newly hired executive vice president, sees the economic development dollars as vital to the city’s growth. “It will help shape the future,” he said. “We could see some dynamic opportunities arise. We will work actively to see it happens … two areas we’re really focusing on are developing an entrepreneurial ecosystem and creating an economic hub.” Touchstone said the area has many attributes that will make it attractive to business, like 1,000 undeveloped acres at the Tallahassee Regional Airport, access to major highways that can transport products anywhere in the nation, top-notch university research and development and an education system committed to turn out a top-notch workforce. “When I moved here, it was a very eye-opening experience to see what is going on,” he said. “There is a forward momentum, and we need to continue that. I think Tallahassee is definitely going to be on the map as a premier location.” 2014 TA L L A H A S S E E B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L

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H E ALTH CARE

TAKING THE PULSE

When It Comes to Health Care, Could Tallahassee Hold the Key to the Future?

F

or a number of reasons, Tallahassee might just be the place where health care’s bright new future begins — and, in fact, has already started. “Tallahassee is very rich in its health care. I think one of the strengths of the community is the health care provided,” said Brian Cook, CEO of Capital Regional Medical Center. “Residents have two very good hospitals to choose from … they have lots of great doctors and many access points to choose from (including) walk-in clinics.” The concept at the core of health care’s future, say those involved in the industry, is trending away from hospitals, emergency rooms and specialists and toward primary care — the family doctor, pediatrician or internal medicine doctor. Or maybe not even a doctor at all, but a physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner. Mark O’Bryant, Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare president and CEO, sounds practically giddy when discussing the subject. “We are in a great, great environment for transforming health care. It’s going to be a very difficult transition in any market, but we’ve got the perfect laboratory population for really creating a new model of care,” he said. “It’s a large population but not too large. It’s large enough to have morbidity patterns that reflect what you see across entire communities. We’re a diverse population, which is a very positive thing because it also is representative of the challenges people have. Community health research is not something a lot of people want to do or can do well, but we think with the new medical school … (TMH can) partner with them to do community health research.” In addition, primary care has been front-and-center in Tallahassee for decades. Forty years ago, the TMH established the Family Medicine Residency Program, a three-year post-graduate program that has since graduated more than 300 physicians. “If you look at … residency programs, one of the roles is to bring doctors into your community,” said O’Bryant. “Probably two-thirds of them are practicing somewhere in the bandwidth of North Florida and South Georgia. It’s been very effective at doing what it was designed to do.” In conjunction with Florida State University’s College of Medicine, TMH recently added a residency program in internal medicine, now in its second year, with an ultimate capacity of 24 doctors. It’s also in the midst of establishing a five-year-long residency program in general surgery, slated to begin in the fall of 2015. HMOs have been around since the early 20th century and got a huge boost in 1973 when federal law encouraged employers to offer managed care plans in their benefit package and subsidized 10

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the creation of HMOs. But this “new” way to deliver health care caused a backlash, and many HMOs fell by the wayside. In the midst of the HMO hullabaloo, in 1982, a group of local civic leaders created Capital Health Plan. While CHP embraced managed care, it has thrived over three decades, with about 126,000 members, a more than 30 percent share of the potential market in its seven-county service area — one of the highest rates of HMO coverage in the nation. It has received national acclaim, most recently ranked as the No. 3 private health insurance plan in the U.S. by the National Committee for Quality Assurance. Why did CHP make it when so many other HMOs failed? Two words: nonprofit and local. One distinct advantage in the beginning was that CHP was able to draw from a huge pool of potential members who work in government and education jobs. But John Hogan, CHP’s president and CEO, who has worked for the HMO since its inception, credits the hyper-local focus of the organization — and its responsiveness to the needs of both members and network physicians — with its continued success. Many of the HMOs operating in Tallahassee that weren’t successful were operated from afar, often by insurance companies that were well versed in the payment end of things but not in the actual delivery of medical services, said Hogan. Without taxes and shareholders to pay, Capital Health Plan can invest in local wellness projects such as CHP Champions, a joint effort with the Leon County school system to provide physical activity — “45 or 50 minutes in constant motion,” is how Hogan described it — to more than 18,000 schoolchildren in first to eighth grades. In another project, CHP partnered with Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare in 2011 to establish The Transition Center, a facility that provides follow-up care to patients after they are discharged from the hospital. From inception, CHP has encouraged primary care, with free wellness visits and preventive screenings, and urged members to select a personal physician with whom they can have a longterm doctor/patient relationship. “The primacy of the relationship between physician and patient is key to everything we do,” Hogan said. And decisions about appropriate care — even those that may entail telling the patient no for a particular test or treatment — are made easier when the doctors have long-standing relationships with CHP and easy access to the gatekeeper. “If we have clinical issues going on in Tallahassee and a physician wants to talk to the chief medical officer about something,

PHOTO BY SCOTT HOLSTEIN

By Rosanne Dunkelberger


Tallahassee’s health care leaders: (left to right) Mark O’Bryant, Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare; Nancy Van Vessem, Capital Health Plan; John Fogarty, Florida State University College of Medicine; and Brian Cook, Capital Regional Medical Center. 2014 TA L L A H A S S E E B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L

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DECEMBER 14TH IS MY REMISSION DAY.

Twelve years ago, I was a new law school graduate studying night and day for the bar exam. That level of stress could give anyone an ulcer. But, I was shocked when my stomach pain turned out to be leukemia. I found peace of mind and the care I needed at the Tallahassee Memorial Cancer Center. Now, I am grateful to be in remission and living each day to its fullest. I can focus on the activities I love, like training for my first triathlon.

ERIC TROMBLEY

431- 4226 RemissionDay.org Affiliated with 12

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H E ALTH CARE

he picks up the phone and calls Nancy (Van Vessem). I think that’s their clinical training in doctor’s offices, nursing homes and other a huge advantage of our program and how we operate,” he said. facilities from board-certified physicians. While it could serve as a model for other HMOs, Hogan said “We have over 2,400 community faculty that take students CHP is not interested in expanding its geographic reach. into their offices and provide them the six or eight weeks of rota“We get asked why don’t we go to Gainesville, why don’t we go tion experience,” Fogarty said, in such areas as obstetrics and to Panama City,” he said. “We don’t because we’re very local and gynecology, general surgery, pediatrics and family medicine. In focused on Tallahassee. We’re comfortable in our own little niche.” a typical medical school, a student might be assigned one or Another homegrown health care innovation is Patients First. two patients in a hospital, he said. “When you’re in the office, While the urgent care “doc-in-the-box” concept existed before you’re seeing 6, 8, 10, 12 patients every day … . Our students are the company started nearly 25 years ago, Patients First took it a delivering 20 or 30 babies over the course of their time in their step further, by combining the convenience of urgent care with third-year rotation. They’re picking obstetrics (for their residena family care practice. cies) at twice the national average, because they’re having such “I’m hearing it from everybody,” said President and CEO a positive experience.” Brian Webb. “The concept we have is where the next generaA common comment when doctors are introduced to FSU’s tion is heading.” learning experience is, “‘I wish I could have gone to this medical There are now seven locations in Tallahassee with an eighth, at school.’ It really is unique,” the dean said. the intersection of Capital Circle and Crawfordville Highway, in the Since the FSU school started, several medical schools have works. Like CHP, Webb said his company doesn’t feel the need to expand into other regions. “We need to do it well in our hometown; that’s our main focus,” he said. One of Tallahassee’s most advantageous assets when looking to the future of health care came in 2000, when Florida State University opened its College of Medicine, the first new med school established in the U.S. in a quarter century. The Florida Legislature funded it but with strings attached — this new school was tasked with graduating doctors focused on primary care, particularly for the elderly and in underserved rural areas. Aside from the obvious benefits of In their final year of medical school, patient contact is a key component home-growing more doctors, FSU’s med of aspiring doctors’ education. school also adds a certain cachet to Tallahassee — O’Bryant said it was one of the reasons he chose to take his TMH position 10 years ago. The College of Medicine also attracts talented come online, including three others in Florida at the University doctors to its faculty as well as research projects to the community. of Central Florida, Florida International University and Florida In the ensuing years, FSU has not only embraced its mandated Atlantic University. All of them, said Fogarty, are using the more mission, but also chosen to create a new model for training the traditional teaching model rather than FSU’s. next generation of doctors that provides an exceptional opporBricks and Mortar and Doctors tunity for students to learn via hands-on care. For the past 100 years, the standard for health care training Mention “health care” and “hospital” is one of the first images was centered on “big, academic medical centers,” according to that comes to mind. And hospital care does eat up the largest Fogarty, who came to FSU in 2008. But, he said, “in the last 25 part of the nation’s health care expenditures — 31 percent of the or 30 years, health care has changed dramatically, so the only total in 2010, according to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. people that are in the academic medical centers are the sickest (Physician/clinical services came in a distant second at 20 percent.) of the sick … the high-end folks with unusual diseases.” These Tallahassee’s hospitals are large and visible businesses — the days, “more and more care is being provided out in the commufourth (TMH) and 11th (CRMC) largest employers in the area. nity hospitals and more care (is provided) outside the hospital” So it’s a bit of a surprise to hear the chief executives of both in doctors’ offices and other medical settings. hospitals say the future of health care lies outside of their hallways. For their first two years, students learn on the college campus, “We’re creating more outreach efforts for people to see but for their final two years of medical school they are sent to primary care doctors and specialists,” said CRMC’s Cook. The one of six satellite campuses located throughout the state to get region’s for-profit hospital, part of the HCA chain, just added 2014 TA L L A H A S S E E B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L

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two floors — 44 patient rooms — to the top of its building, bringing the bed count to 242. But much of the focus now, he said, is on developing physician practices around the hospital and in communities outside of Tallahassee. And enhanced select medical services are seen as growth areas in the future. “What hospitals are realizing (is) their business model, which is filling beds, is the opposite direction of where things are going. The movement is to keep people out of the hospital,” said the FMA’s Stapleton of statewide trends. “They’re having to adjust their business model to deal with the outpatient side of things and to make sure they’re not just on the losing end of this. What we’re looking at more and more is sort of cooperative types of relationships.” Cook said the model of physicians on the payroll model “started to blossom” six or seven years ago, with primary care doctors. “They were tired of running a practice — the billings, the collections, the hiring and firing,” he said, as well as expensive mandates relating to patient privacy and electronic records. “The overhead became cost prohibitive, but also the time. Basically we run the practice; we give them a place to practice.” That has now expanded, with Capital Regional practices dedicated to such specialties as cardiology and obstetrics and gynecology. Nationwide, HCA employs about 5,000 doctors, according to Cook, with the chain’s central service managing such things

as billing, collections, credentialing and insurance. And it’s not just the older, established doctors who are embracing employment. Newly minted doctors are also getting on board with working for a paycheck. “A lot of the younger ones have no interest in running a practice,” Cook said. For Gen Xers and Millenials, “it’s work/life/family balance and being a doctor, not being a business person. It’s about balance with these doctors, more so than the money aspect.” Another doctor-related trend is the rise of the hospitalist, a physician who cares for patients when they are in the hospital, rather than their primary care doctor. “What we are seeing are less and less doctors that want to round on their patients,” Cook said. “They feel they’re more productive, their time is better spent, by staying in their office seeing clinic patients. They have no desire to go to the hospital, they have no desire to be on call.” When Dr. Gary Winchester started practicing medicine more than 30 years ago, he was not only responsible for his patients in the hospital, but was also on call to work in the emergency room. Today, he lets the specialists do those jobs. With fast-changing medicines, techniques and equipment, for both inpatient and emergency room care, “medicine has just gotten too complicated,” he said. “It’s utterly impossible for somebody who does outpatient medicine to be able to do hospital medicine because they’re worlds apart.”

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Newly opened 24-hour TMH emergency care center off Interstate 10.

Tallahassee Memorial Hospital recently completed two major brick-and-mortar projects that are not directly attached to the main hospital campus. The TMH Cancer Center is located a few blocks away, while the freestanding Tallahassee Memorial Emergency Center – Northeast was built in that population center near the intersection of Interstate 10 and Thomasville Road. TMH has also unveiled plans for a $170 million, 294,000-square-

foot Surgery and Adult Intensive Care unit expansion on the south side of the existing hospital. O’Bryant calls it a “50-year building,” because it is planned to meet the community’s needs for that long, with design flexibility to accommodate new health care equipment that might come along in the future and the ability to add more floors if they’re required. TIME magazine dedicated most of its March 4, 2013, issue to an article named “Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills are Killing Us,” and author Steven Brill aimed particularly harsh comments at not-for-profit hospitals that were, in fact, posting multi-million-dollar profits. Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) reported TMH posted a profit of $66 million in 2011 (Capital Regional’s profits in the same time period were nearly $3 million.) These profits, said O’Bryant, are used to fund construction and community projects as well as keep the hospital attractive to investors when it seeks bond money. Not to mention serve as a rainy day fund for unexpected expenses, such as lowered payments for Medicare and Medicaid — even federal sequestration is taking a financial toll, according to TMH Chief Financial Officer Bill Guidice, who estimates profits in 2013 will probably drop to about $40 million.

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O’Bryant doesn’t apologize for trying to keep a healthy balance on the books, even though his hospital is considered nonprofit. It’s a lesson he learned from a nun when he worked for a Catholic hospital system before coming to TMH. “Sister Thomas de Sales was a great mentor and boss during my early years as a health care executive. She would constantly remind me, ‘No margin, no mission!’ Sister would add, ‘All those visions you have are just pipe dreams if you don’t have a margin to support them.’”

If It Is To Be, It’s Up To … You With all the talk about coordination and cooperation between providers and payers, those on the front lines of health care’s evolution say one key player often seems to be left out of the conversation. “One of my big frustrations with all of this discussion around health care reform is we talk about the government, we talk about the hospitals, we talk about the doctors, we talk about insurers — we very rarely talk about the patient,” said Dean Fogarty. “Maybe the paternalistic health care system that we’ve developed has created this, but at some point we’re going to have to empower patients to actually care for themselves.” Half jokingly, he puts the blame on little Speedy Alka-Seltzer. He might best known for the “Plop, plop; fizz, fizz” line, but in

one of his earliest commercial incarnations, he assured us “relief is just a swallow away.” “We’ve created a little bit of a monster in terms of saying whatever you’ve got, we can manage it,” Fogarty said. “From the family physician’s viewpoint and from the generalist’s viewpoint I think we’re more interested in having you take care of yourself as opposed to me taking care of you when you have a problem.”

The Final Say “Nobody has a crystal ball that can say exactly what all the impacts of the (ACA) are going to be,” said CHP’s Hogan. “I’m optimistic that in spite of all the uncertainties of health care reform that Tallahassee’s in a good position to have sustainable high quality health care and hopefully increasing the healthy population going forward.” O’Bryant has loftier ambitions. He only half-jokingly says, “The goal is to have Tallahassee on the cover of TIME magazine as the healthiest community in the nation. I think the new models of care aren’t going to come out of the big academic centers. When we talk about community health initiatives, primary care programs and engaging around populations … I think people will be looking at the Tallahassees of the world and trying to figure out how (to) take population health management and move it into the communities.”

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3... 2... 1... LAUNCH Tallahassee is a great place for new businesses to grow By Jason Dehart

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allahassee might be an academic town, but there’s nothing academic about how its universities and research centers foster new businesses, promote new ways of doing business and prepare entrepreneurs for a high-tech, global job market. There’s no shortage of incubators, accelerators and high-tech test beds to do just that. Let’s take a look at two examples.

Helping New Businesses Help Themselves You probably know this by now. Starting up a new business is not exactly easy, what with all the regulations and rules that have to be followed. Fortunately, in Tallahassee, there are resources that can give the budding entrepreneur a roadmap of sorts to success. Among these resources are The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship and Florida A&M University’s Small Business Development Center. The Jim Moran Institute in the College of Business at Florida State University is a world-class institution that has been on the leading edge of economic development and growth for nearly 20 years. It offers a wide range of innovative services and programs designed to develop and serve new entrepreneurs at home and across the world. One enterprise in particular, the FSU Student Business Incubator (also known as the InNOLEvation Accelerator), is aimed specifically at assisting student start-up businesses and helping them reach independence. The budding entrepreneurs in this program connect with mentors culled from faculty and community, and are provided with their own office space for research. The student business incubator opened in the fall of 2009, said Matt Jarvis, JMI operations manager. Jarvis said that student business incubators were popping up at other universities, and to keep

FSU competitive it was decided to “put ourselves on their playing field,” he said. The incubator is now ranked one of the world’s best university student business incubators for 2013 by the University Business Incubator (UBI) Index, a Sweden-based research group. The UBI Index is the first global index to benchmark performance and best practices of university business incubators. FSU’s InNOLEvation Accelerator ranked among the top 10 incubators in the Americas and in the top 20 globally. Jarvis said the incubator was designed to give student entrepreneurs a space to lay the ground work and do research. It’s not a storefront, and not every budding businessman can get in. The program is so popular that students now have to go through an application process during which a five-member committee vets their proposals. Once you’re in, you’re golden. The resources of the entire Tallahassee community are at your disposal. “We have established enough relationships in the community to provide them with in-kind services, like accounting and legal and marketing — anything a new business might need we try to bridge the gaps for them,” Jarvis said. This is very important for those students who may be from out of town and don’t know the lay of the land, he said. “They’re not going to have the same connections, because they’re on campus most of the time and don’t have the ability to connect the way we do,” he said. “They don’t know who to go to. So hopefully by virtue of who we are we have the quality connections they can utilize.” Until recently, the incubator had cubicle space for eight student businesses. But it has become evident that there are more than eight businesses on campus. So, some of the cubicles are being removed to open the space up and allow for an “E-Clinic,” a place where students who

have yet to establish a formal business plan can come in and ask questions. “We’re getting a lot of applications, all the time. The incubator attracts a variety of people, and with 40,000 students there are businesses all over the place,” Jarvis said. “At the E-Clinic a student can come in and have resources for them in print, or a person sitting there in the room to help guide them. The clinic will be for people who want to know how to start up a business. We are positioning ourselves as the expert on entrepreneurship.” Nearby, Florida A&M University’s Small Business Development Center, located at Innovation Park, helps other fledgling businesses perform marketing research and loan packaging, and helps them identify marketplace competition. It also performs an in-depth analysis of financial records, financial statements, income statements, balance sheets and cash flow analysis. It’s all a part of helping them isolate hidden profits and missed market opportunities. But that’s not all. The SBDC has joined forces with the Leon County Research and Development authority to create the Technology Incubator at Innovation Park. “That is still in development, and what we have agreed in principal is that we would provide technical assistance to companies within that incubator,” said Keith Bowers, Small Business Development Center director. The SBDC also works with Leon County on a partnership called Small Business Enterprise, which allows small businesses to join in Leon County’s purchase of goods and services. This innovative program teaches young businesses how to compete in the bidding process. “Some small businesses don’t have bonding capacity and that’s often a requirement if it’s a construction company, and what the SBDC does is put together applications with surety companies, gather 2014 TA L L A H A S S E E B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L

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financial statements and put together loan packages for working capital if they need mobilization funding,” Bowers said. “As small businesses are being encouraged to increase their contracting opportunities with Leon County, sometimes a gap exists in their level of expertise or capacity and the SBDC steps in to bridge that gap. The idea is to expand contract opportunities with small businesses, and sometimes small businesses aren’t fully prepared to operate on those contracts.” Over the last year the center has focused on providing more in-depth services to existing businesses. Its focus is on small and medium-size businesses that have three or more employees and have been in business for at least three years. “Our strategy is to devote a higher level of resources to them, because they are the ones most poised to create the most economic impact in terms of job creation, sales growth and turning more money, recycling more funds and spending power into the community,” he said.

All in all, the SBDC helps bring the right resources to bear on particular small business problems, Bowers said. It might mean bringing in a higher level of expertise, or helping with cash flow management, financial management planning, increasing market visibility or helping them decide whether an e-commerce model would work for them. “We have been developing resources to make sure we can meet the needs of that target market,” he said. Post-grad students at the FAMU School of Business and Industry have also entered the mix as readily available mentoring resources. “We have used MBA candidates in our service delivery model,” Bowers said. “Over the last year we’ve assigned probably 40 students to work with eight different clients of ours. It’s incredible what we’ve been able to do with the help of the students. A lot of business owners have a list of things they would like to do but don’t have the ability or the money

or manpower to devote to it, so we pair them up with our students who have lots of time and energy and skills. It’s been a really good pairing, and the students benefit as well from working on a realtime client in the real world.” The SBDC has also formed a grassroots alliance with other entrepreneurial support organizations like The Jim Moran Institute, Workforce Plus, Tallahassee/Leon County Economic Development Center, the Tallahassee/ Leon County Chamber of Commerce, Tallahassee Community College, Leon County school district, the City of Tallahassee, the City of Tallahassee Minority Business Enterprise, Access Florida and the Leon County Women and Minority Business Development Center. “We are networking all these partners together to help provide a roadmap of assistance and resources for small businesses and entrepreneurs. We started the effort in May, and our next step is developing a comprehensive website

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where they can go and plug in and it will list all the services and programs our community has to offer,” Bowers said. “We are encouraged by the increase in economic development opportunities. It’s refreshing to see that happening in the community as well as the commitment from the city, county and universities. They realize that helping them helps the entire community to not be so dependent on state contracts and sort of become or have a community that is self-sustaining.”

Innovative Spin-Offs Thanks to not only personal inspiration but connections to the university system, innovative new manufacturing materials and new drugs are being commercialized right here in Tallahassee.

Bing Energy Big ideas often start out with simple questions. Probably the most relevant one today is, wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to make a more commercially

feasible and efficient fuel cell? Well, thanks to Dr. Jim Zheng, professor of electrical engineering at FSU and FAMU, we are getting closer to that reality. Zheng uses patented, cutting-edge nanotechnology (based on the pioneering work of Dr. Ben Wang, inventor of “buckypaper”) to replace or reduce the need for costly platinum in the process of making fuel cell components. Bing Energy International, a technology company that arrived in Tallahassee in 2011, has the exclusive commercialization agreement to use Zheng’s technology in its effort to create greener, cheaper and more efficient power generation systems.

Prevacus Sometimes, a “What if?” moment can form in the wake of a personal near-tragedy. When Jacob VanLandingham suffered a concussion that nearly killed him, he began a mission to create a drug that could help treat concussions. Today, Dr. VanLandingham is not only an assistant professor of

neuroscience at the Florida State University Department of Biomedical Sciences, but he is the founder and president of Prevacus, a drug development company currently hard at work trying to bring new concussion therapies to market. Prevacus is another example of how new companies can spin off from their academic incubators. “The majority of his ideas were created during his time at FSU,” said Jeff Johnson, head of investor relations and corporate communication. To date, the company has raised about $4.5 million from more than 50 local investors. “It’s from people who believed in us from day one,” Johnson said. “Our financial foundation is our friends and neighbors.” The first drug in the Prevacus product lineup is Prevasol, a neurosteroid administered through the nasal cavity. Most neurosteroids can’t be used for too long because of adverse side effects, but according to Prevacus, Prevasol doesn’t have the same side effects, and yet still offers great protective benefits.

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Gov. Rick Scott joined a host of political and sports stars to welcome Bass Pro Shops to Tallahassee.

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PHOTO BY MEREDYTH HOPE HALL

WHAT’S N EW


BIG NAMES IN TOWN

Notable companies and firms have discovered Tallahassee By Jason Dehart

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here’s been a lot of change in the landscape of Tallahassee business this past year, as many big names have decided to tap into the Capital City marketplace. Here are just a few of the new, big-name companies that have decided to make a new home in Tallahassee. Perhaps the biggest grand opening Tallahassee has seen in a while happened back in late August, when a Bass Pro Shops Outpost officially arrived in town. The event was attended by Gov. Rick Scott, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam, Bass Pro Shop founder Johnny Morris and NASCAR driver Tony Stewart. The all-star event drew in hundreds of North Florida hunters, fishermen and other outdoor enthusiasts. “We have enjoyed a long relationship with Florida sportsmen,” Morris said. “We opened our first Florida store in Ft. Lauderdale 15 years ago and our new Outpost store, our seventh location in this great outdoor state, will be dedicated to better serving the sportsmen of Northern Florida and South Georgia.” The 70,000-square-foot store is located next to Costco on Mahan Drive. “We already have a great working relationship with Bass Pro Shops, from support for our youth conservation programs to our exciting new TrophyCatch program promoting catch and release of trophy bass in Florida,” said Nick Wiley, executive director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. “They have always been a pleasure to work with and continue to show outstanding leadership and support for fishing, hunting and outdoor recreation in Florida.” The addition of the Bass Pro Shops Outpost now means that Tallahassee is host to four notable sporting goods stores: Sports Authority, Academy and DICK’S Sporting Goods.

Whole Foods Market, the world’s leading natural and organic foods supermarket and America’s first national certified organic grocer, opened its new Tallahassee store in October. Whole Foods Market Tallahassee, located at 1817 Thomasville Road, is the company’s 20th store in Florida. The Tallahassee store will, like others in the chain, be committed to helping the community. Whole Foods Market Tallahassee anticipated donating 5 percent of net sales from the opening day to a local nonprofit organization. Four times a year, each Whole Foods Market store holds a “5% Day,” where they choose a local nonprofit or educational organization to receive 5 percent of a specific day’s net sales. “This is just one of the many ways we plan on being involved in the Tallahassee community,” says Michael Muskat, Tallahassee store team leader. “Like many others, we’ve been looking forward to being a part of this community for a long time.” Designed with Southern hospitality in mind, Whole Foods Market Tallahassee captures the essence of the neighborhood it serves. From community partnerships to unique and products and features, the Tallahassee store will be one the neighborhood can call its own. Trader Joe’s Specialty grocer Trader Joe’s opened in October at the Carriage Gate shopping center on Thomasville Road at I-10. The California-based retailer’s space there totals 13,000 square feet and will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Trader Joe’s carries an extensive array of domestic and imported foods and beverages, including fresh-baked artisan breads, Arabica bean coffees, international frozen entrées, fresh crop nuts and deli items, as well as such basics as milk and eggs. Batteries Plus Bulbs, the nation’s largest 2014 TA L L A H A S S E E B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L

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Thomas Howell Ferguson congratulates Russell Perkins for being admitted as our newest Shareholder.

and fastest-growing battery and light bulb franchise, recently announced an important milestone: the one-year anniversary of its Tallahassee shop. To celebrate, franchise owner and Tallahassee resident Jim Clarke held a ribbon cutting ceremony with the Chamber of Commerce and other members of the community. Clarke came to Tallahassee because he saw a need in the community for a specialty light bulb and battery retailer here. His store is the first Batteries Plus Bulbs in this region. He is now an active member of the city’s Chamber of Commerce and felt like celebrating his first year in operation. The store provides locals with access to an unrivaled selection of batteries and light bulb products and services, ranging from battery rebuilds and installation, in-store recycling and business assistance programs. In addition, Tallahassee residents can meet with trained experts to learn more about new developments in home lighting trends, light bulb legislation and even the best – Michael Muskat, ways to save money with new Tallahassee energy-efficient options. Whole Foods Kaye Scholer, a national store team leader law firm founded in 1917, has offices in Washington, D.C., New York and Los Angeles. But in 2013 they decided to move a 100-employee operations center to Tallahassee. This new office centralizes many of the firm’s support functions in one location. “It’s a great day for the Economic Development Council when we can create new jobs in the community and add a centralized operations center to our tax base,” said Karen Moore, who was chairperson of the Economic Development Council of Tallahassee/Leon County at the time of the annoucement. “I’m proud of the coordination among all of our economic development, workforce and educational partners who came together in support of this important project.” The firm looked at many states and evaluated several options but picked Tallahassee for many of the same reasons other businesses have over the years. Namely, an accessible highly skilled workforce, proximity to state government and the major education centers that are here. A wide variety of office space offered at reasonable prices and great quality of life also helped attract the firm’s attention. “Clients expect and deserve quality legal services delivered as effectively and cost-efficiently as possible,” said Kaye Scholer’s Managing Partner Michael Solow. “Establishing an Operations Center in Tallahassee will help us meet that need by allowing us to centralize services previously scattered across our New York, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles offices.” The company’s new hires are filling a variety of jobs, including accounting, document services, graphics, technology, library services, human resources and marketing.

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E DUCATION

EDUCATING FUTURE BUSINESS LEADERS

Schools focus on training and fostering entrepreneurship By Linda Kleindienst

“A university is typically the primary asset (for attracting new business). The technologies and research that occur at universities are phenomenal in recruitment and the growth of existing business,” said Kyle Touchstone, executive vice president of the Economic Development Council of Tallahassee/Leon County. “The entrepreneurs bring ideas, technology and research out of the university and turn them into businesses that … we hope to retain here.” Florida State University is a top-tier research university that

Tomorrow’s business leaders are nurtured at The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship at Florida State University.

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PHOTO BY SCOTT HOLSTEIN

A

s home to two state universities, one of Florida’s largest community colleges and one of the state’s best performing public school districts — and with close to half its citizenry having earned a bachelor’s degree or higher — Leon County has one of the most highly educated populations in the Sunshine State. A skilled workforce and economic development go hand-inhand. But just the higher education presence itself is a major factor in the economic health and entrepreneurial focus of a community.


has prompted several research-to-industry spinoffs. And both FSU and Florida A&M University (FAMU) have nationally recognized business schools that graduate savvy entrepreneurs while also providing a wide range of resources to help the local business community, especially emerging companies. FSU President Eric Barron’s vision for FSU has entrepreneurship at its heart. Not just an entrepreneurship program, which he says has become “fairly typical” at institutions of higher learning, but a cutting-edge concept like The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship, which gives students start-up funds, office space, mentoring by gifted local business people and coaching by a dynamic faculty. “What distinguishes Florida State is the extent to which we’re looking at this as an incubator program and the extent to which we’re assisting companies,” Barron has said. To be truly unique, according to Barron, FSU’s entrepreneurship can’t be limited to a few programs, however effective; it must be comprehensive and campus-wide. It’s not expected that every FSU graduate will become an entrepreneur, but the idea is to instill the entrepreneurial spirit in all students. “We’re opening the entrepreneur curriculum to the whole campus,” said Caryn Beck-Dudley, dean of FSU’s College of Business. “We will have entrepreneurs in residence in every college at the university and really be an engine of economic development for the entire state.” Entrepreneurism, Beck-Dudley said, in recent years has become a “sexy topic,” and a lot of student businesses are being developed. There were more than 100 teams that competed in the 2013 InNOLEvation challenge, a business plan competition hosted by The Jim Moran Institute that is one of the largest of its kind in the world. It’s unique in that it is open to undergraduate as well as graduate students — and judges select the winners based on which companies they’d be more likely to invest in. “There’s a pent-up desire, a new brand of student who is comfortable going out on his or her own, who is able to market themselves and network,” she said. One of the more popular programs is the Sophomore Experience run by Jim Dever. Students work in small groups to identify and create a business using seed money from The Jim Moran Institute. The program will only take 40 students — and more than 100 applied in 2013. “They apply as freshmen and come in as sophomores,” Dever said. “They’re handpicked. Over five years we’ve only lost one student who wasn’t admitted to the College of Business (in the junior year).” The business ideas come from the students, and about 12 are selected. The students work on developing the companies for two semesters, then have the option of keeping the business and continuing to run it outside the university or shutting it down and walking away. Over half of last year’s businesses

Florida A&M University has a nationally recognized business school.

were profitable. One group built a website — then sold 3 percent of the company for $15,000. Most importantly for Tallahassee’s future economic growth, Dever said, “A lot of the students talk about going back to South Florida, but we strive to connect them with people in the community so they have roots in Tallahassee.” That’s what universities should do, insisted Beck-Dudley, “be active in the community, research and spin businesses out. A lot of that has been going on, we just didn’t talk about it.” Many educational offerings and programs in the region have also been designed to complement the targeted industry sectors that match the region’s strengths and goals, ensuring the local economy is diversified and sustainable while providing quality, high paid jobs. Those sectors include: aviation, aerospace, defense and national security; engineering and research; health sciences and human performance enhancement; information technology; renewable energy and the environment; and transportation and logistics. About one-third of FAMU’s students are majoring in disciplines such as science, technology, engineering, mathematics and the health sciences — matching their interests with where the county wants to grow its economic base. At Tallahassee Community College, training is offered in fields where workers are most in demand, and the Advanced Manufacturing Training Center provides customized quick response training for businesses that are here. TCC also operates the Ghazvini Center for Healthcare Education in the heart of the city’s burgeoning health care corridor, close to both major hospitals and the Red Hills Surgical Center. At Ghazvini, students train on cutting-edge technology. “If we could retain just a small portion of our students along with our young professionals, imagine that youth and energy and what it can do for us,” Touchstone said. “This used to be a sleepy college town, but now it’s really moving forward with business and technology.” 2014 TA L L A H A S S E E B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L

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AT T O R N E YS AT L AW

INSIGHT INTEGRITY INNOVATION

REMEMBERING THE PAST, SEEING THE FUTURE

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TRANSPORTATION

BY ROAD, RAIL AND PLANE

Connecting you from here to there By Jason Dehart

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allahassee’s traffic demographic is a reflection of the people who call the Capital City home. There are construction workers, heavy equipment drivers, downtown office workers, state government commuters, college students, pedestrians, bicyclists, mopeds, and motorcycles. Not to mention public transit busses (including a new downtown trolley service) and golf cart shuttles, Greyhound buses, a smattering of smart cars and the occasional freight train. All meshed together into one award-winning community that keeps the local economy ticking like a Swiss watch. Tallahassee is a bustling crossroads of commerce, education and politics and it has to have the roads and railroads in place to meet the demand of today’s markets and growth. There are approximately 271 miles of major highways and 343 miles of secondary roads throughout the Tallahassee-Leon County area, and these serve as important ground transportation corridors within the central Panhandle. From a business perspective, Interstate 10 is a major highway with easy access from several points in Tallahassee. Pensacola and Jacksonville are just a three-hour trip in either direction, and Interstate 75 is about 90 minutes away. The other important roads of commerce are U.S. Highway 90, U.S. Highway 27, State Road 267 and U.S. Highway 319. U.S Highway 231, an important north-south route between Panama City and Montgomery, Ala., is little over an hour west of Tallahassee.

Perhaps the one thing that makes this capital town a real transportation hub is the city-owned Tallahassee Regional Airport. The airport serves a market with more than 1.4 million people in Tallahassee, 11 surrounding counties and 12 counties in southern Georgia. Our airport accounts for 32 percent of air passenger travel in Northwest Florida. The airport is served by American Airlines with daily flights to Dallas/Ft. Worth and Miami; Delta Air Lines, which offers daily flights to Atlanta and Ft. Lauderdale, with connections to any destination on the globe; U.S. Airways Express, which makes daily trips to Charlotte, N.C., and Washington, D.C. But there’s also a new “face” at the airport these days. Silver Airways arrived in November and now offers daily flights to Tampa and Ft. Lauderdale. But our local airport isn’t the only option for air travelers. Jacksonville International Airport is a two-and-a-half hour trip, but from there you can fly to the Bahamas, Boston, New York, Puerto Rico, Washington D.C., Miami, Las Vegas, Ft. Lauderdale, Denver, Chicago, Atlanta and more. And two hours west of Tallahassee in Panama City is Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, which opened in 2010. Beaches International offers flights by Delta and Southwest. Delta runs nonstop daily flights to and from Atlanta with connections to destinations worldwide. Southwest runs daily nonstop flights to and from Baltimore, Houston and Nashville, with connecting service to destinations across the country.

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COM M E RC IAL RE AL E STATE

AN UPDATE ON REAL ESTATE

Commercial properties are once again attracting new investors By Chay D. Baxley

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alk to one of Tallahassee’s commercial real estate gurus, and you’re certain to hear reassuring turns of phrase like “stability” and “consistency,” generally followed by a short yet telling sigh of relief. Following the 2007 rupture of the housing bubble, a stable commercial real estate market was a luxury Tallahassee and its surrounding areas simply did not possess. Today, things are beginning to bounce back to a shadow of the market’s former glory, and for those in the real estate business, the current respite is much appreciated. But according to Clay Ketcham, owner of Ketcham Appraisal Group Inc. and a Tallahassee native, there’s nothing wrong with encouraging the slow-and-steady approach to winning this race — at least for the time being. “All in all I think the decline in values have stopped — that’s a good thing, that’s a positive thing,” assured Ketcham. “We haven’t seen any increases in value. It’s pretty much stable right now. From the commercial aspect, if we can get a stabilized market to develop, I think that overall no one could ask for anything better.” Though many are still reserved in endorsing an overtly optimistic future for commercial real estate in Florida’s capital city, others believe that as a number of Tallahassee’s retail and commercially based neighborhoods continue to maintain a healthy level of expansion, the best may still be yet to come. 30

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Midtown, the budding commercial and hospitality haven nestled between Tallahassee’s downtown and Interstate 10, has managed to develop an outstanding track record in recent years for enticing upscale local and national vendors alike. The Gaines Street District, CollegeTown, SouthWood and the Market District have also seen a spurt in expansion efforts as of late. For Ed Murray, director, president, broker and founder of Tallahassee-based NAI TALCOR and chair of the Chamber of Commerce, the success of Midtown and places like it means that growth in Tallahassee is not only possible, but probable. Murray and his team have handled many of the high profile real estate transactions that characterized 2013, including CollegeTown and Miracle Plaza off of Thomasville Road where Whole Foods is located, as well as the Gateway Center at the intersection of Monroe and Tennessee, which is scheduled for completion in early 2014. For Murray, the surge in commercial real estate speaks volumes about not only Tallahassee’s economic future but also its cultural potential. “It shows we’re healthy, and it shows that this is a place that people want to live,” said Murray. “I also think it shows that the next three to five to 10 years here are going to be just fantastic.” In other words, the horizon is bright. “2014 is looking good,” continued Murray. “There aren’t necessarily as many high profile projects on the books, but there’s still a lot of projects out there.”

Residential development is on the upswing — and that’s good news for the commercial market.

According to Murray, success in one branch of the real estate market often translates into anther, so it’s not surprising that Tallahassee’s residential arena is also experiencing a substantial increase in activity. “Retail wants to see a relatively healthy residential market,” explained Murray. “If residential is flat, retail is not as excited. They’re tied in.” In 2013, the Tallahassee Board of Realtors reported having multiple successful months. From September of 2012 to September of 2013, the number of sales jumped by 19.8 percent in Leon County. During that same time, the average sale price rose by 8.5 percent to $189,000. For Steven Louchheim, executive director of the TBR, those numbers can


PHOTO BY SCOTT HOLSTEIN

only mean one thing: progress. “Every month has [consecutively] been the best month since 2007, 2008,” explained Louchheim of Tallahassee’s residential real estate. Both the residential and commercial markets are only as productive as the economy that funds them. For Floridians and venture capitalists looking to invest, Louchheim said a secure economic climate is the decisive factor in allocating funds. “In Florida, especially, you [now] have a much better job market, everything starts with that,” emphasized Louchheim. “Everything starts with the economics.”

The entry of Whole Foods into the market kicked off redevelopment of a Midtown shopping center. 2014 TA L L A H A S S E E B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L

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DEMOGRAPH IC S

Age Breakdown of Population Leon County Persons under 18 years

18.6%

Population (2012 estimate) Leon County

283,769

Persons 18 to 64 years

71.1%

Florida

Persons 65 years and older

10.3%

Education Level

Bachelor’s degree or higher (age 25+) Leon County

43.1% Florida

26.0%

Government —

Leon County — $37,553 Florida — $42,446 Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Florida Office of Economic and Demographic Research, Economic Development Council of Tallahassee/Leon County

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Persons per square mile Leon County

416.4 Florida

355.7

54.5%

20.6% Education and Health Services — 20.5% Professional and Business Services — 17.5% Leisure and Hospitality — 17.2% Trade, Transportation, Utilities —

Leon County — 19.8 minutes

Average Annual Wage

19,317,568

Leon County’s Five Largest Industries/Percent of Workforce

Mean Travel Time To Work Florida — 25.7 minutes

Leon County is Florida’s 22nd most populous county

Recent National Rankings:

#10

Top 10 College Destinations (Small Metro), American Institute for Economic Research

#10

Ten Best Cities for Millenials, Huffington Post

#1

Best Retirement Destination for Baby Boomers


IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO CHANGE. Survival is not mandatory.

— W. Edwards Deming

Survival experts:

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JOURNAL

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CAPITAL CORRI DOR

TOM PAINTER’S PATH

A magnet maker joins an international experiment that could change the world By Kathleen Laufenberg

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t sounds like science fiction: a giant ball of star-energy suspended inside an enormous chamber, providing the world with clean power. But sci-fi it’s not. It’s an international science project based in France called ITER (pronounced “eater”), which in Latin means the way or path. Thousands of Americans now work on this futuristic energy experiment, including several researchers at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee. MagLab engineer Tom Painter is one of them. “Working on ITER is definitely exciting because it could be a world changer,” says Painter, 48. “I would love to be able to tell my grandchildren that I helped deliver even one small component to this project and made it successful.” To work on ITER, however, Painter first had to accomplish several big tasks. Perhaps the biggest: He had to start his own company — something he’d always wanted to do — so he could bid on an ITER contract. He also needed a unique place to house his new business, someplace where he could lay out a half-mile of expensive ITER cable. He would need to slash his time at the Mag Lab, too — from 40 to 10 and 20 hours a week — in order to get his fledgling company, High Performance Magnetics, off the ground. “There’s a whole lot of uncertainty in becoming an entrepreneur,” he allows. “My own money was at risk.” But the opportunity to become his own boss and work on ITER was just too compelling. He took the leap.

Engineer Tom Painter inside his shop at Compass Pointe with a compaction mill, a specialized machine that compacts a steel tube snugly around a superconducting cable. 34

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ITER is an experiment to create fusion, a type of nuclear energy, on a scale never before attempted. The genesis for ITER came in 1985, but the chamber where the fusion reactions will take place — called a tokomak — won’t be operational until 2020. And while ITER began as an acronym for International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, the words “thermonuclear” and “experimental” sitting sideby-side made many people uneasy; today the ITER

PHOTO BY DAVE BARFIELD

ITER: What Is It?


community prefers to link its namesake with its Latin meaning. Fusion is literally star power: Our sun’s warmth and light are the result of fusion reactions. Fusion happens when the nucleus inside a hydrogen atom smashes into the nucleus of another hydrogen atom, causing the two nuclei to fuse into heavier helium atoms. When they fuse, they release tremendous energy. But fusion is not the type of energy produced in today’s nuclear plants. That’s fission. Fission (which in Latin means to split apart) is what happens when an atom’s nucleus is split open. Fission, when done slowly, can generate electricity. When released all at once, it’s an atom bomb. “Fission and fusion are similar in that both get away from continuing to rely on oil,” Painter says. “The advantage of fusion over fission is that it’s cleaner and safer.” Nuclear fission plants, such as the Fukushima facility in Japan, have had meltdowns that result in environmental and human disasters. But fusion is quite a different process, Painter and others say.

Big Technology, Big Bucks “I liken fusion to trying to light a match on a cold, wet, windy night in the forest. It’s very hard to get the reaction to start, and if anything happens, it just goes out,” Painter says. “And because it’s made from gases and not heavy metals, there’s very little radioactive waste. Fission waste lasts for tens of thousands of years. But with fusion, the byproducts — the reactor and whatnot — become benign in about 40 years.” So why aren’t we using fusion to power our communities now? Well, it’s complicated. Literally. To contain and control such power is tremendously complex: The ITER tokomak alone will have more than a million parts. It’s also supremely expensive: The latest estimate puts the cost for ITER’s tokomak and other building at roughly $21 billion. It took seven of the world’s most technologically savvy powers — the U.S., the European Union, Russia, Japan, China, India and South Korea, which represent 34 countries and half the world’s population — to join together to create and pay for ITER. One of the biggest problems with a massive fusion reaction is that there’s no material that can contain it. “Fusion recreates the power and the conditions inside the sun, and all that energy is very hot: 100 million degrees,” Painter says. “It can’t be contained in any material.” So how do ITER’s top scientists plan to control such a big, hot mess? “They’re going to contain it with high magnetic fields. They’re going to levitate it in space and contain it inside the tokomak (estimated to weigh 23,000 tons when finished — about the weight of three Eiffel Towers).”

Coming in for a Landing This is where researchers such as Painter, who got his master’s degree in engineering from MIT, enter the picture. Painter’s an expert in high-magnetic fields and magnets that use superconducting wire — wires that conduct electricity without resistance or loss of energy. The catch with superconducting wire, however, is that it must be kept extremely cold using liquid helium, an expensive resource.

In 2011, Painter put his expertise with superconductors to work for ITER. He and his team of eight employees at High Performance Magnetics began to set up the tools and equipment they needed to insert a half-mile-long cable of very expensive superconducting wire inside a protective metal tube of conduit. Now, on most days, you’ll find him out on a barren stretch of flat, sandy terrain at the old Tallahassee airport, now a private airport. It’s next to the city’s new airport and about six miles from the MagLab. Painter had two buildings constructed that are 800 meters, or about one-half mile, apart. Between the two buildings, he placed a row of 140 steel posts connected by a long steel beam. Each post rests on a concrete foundation anchored five feet into the ground. Painter’s contract requires his team to weld together eight 100-meter-long tubes of conduit, then place this one half-mile metal tube onto the posts. Then the exacting process of pulling the expensive cable of superconducting wires through the tube of conduit begins. Superconducting wire costs about 10 times what regular copper wire costs, making the cable his team inserts worth about $5 million — which is one reason having this part of his business behind the private airport’s security is a necessity. In addition to making sure his materials and machines would be safe from harm, Painter also worked with the state to relocate some endangered gopher tortoises from the area. That took several months and had to be done before any construction began. The contract has included some travel, too. He’s gone to the ITER site in Cadarache, in southern France, on several occasions, as well as to an ITER meeting in Japan. “In Japan, we went to the forge where they actually melt the metal, and we also went to the place where they actually make the tubes. It was pretty exciting.”

Early Lessons Pay Off To set up his super-specialized, high-tech company, Painter sought the help of the Economic Development Council of Tallahassee/ Leon County, a private/public partnership. “If it weren’t for them, I probably would have never gotten started. They put in one of the initial proposals for us for a planning study when we were just a virtual company.” But Painter also learned a lot about overcoming obstacles as a kid. He grew up the youngest of eight children; his dad, a steel worker, died before Painter was even one year old. His mom raised the family by herself. As the baby of the family, “I was spoiled by my mom and tormented by my brothers,” he recalls fondly. In addition to torment, one of his older brothers also inspired him to become an engineer. “He went to Penn State extension campus, and he was in the library every night until 11 o’clock, and he got straight A’s. I said, ‘Well, that’s what you’ve got to do.’ And if he could do it, I could do it.” Today he’s trés contente that he did. “I think we’re entering a golden age of magnets and materials here in Tallahassee,” he said. “I’d encourage any young people to consider getting into the engineering field, as an opportunity to contribute not only to their own lives but to the world in general.” 2014 TA L L A H A S S E E B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L

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GROWI NG COM MUN ITI E S

GROWING COMMUNITIES

As the economy bounces back, the city’s most distinct districts are embracing a new lease on life By Chay D. Baxley

PHOTO BY TRISTIN KROENING

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eon County residents have been whispering lately. There have even been a couple of smirks. If it’s been a while since you’ve explored Florida’s capital city, perhaps you should consider taking a stroll down Gaines Street or a jaunt through the Market District to see what all the chatter’s about. After a few steps, you’ll start to realize what’s been going on … the evidence of expansion is everywhere. Tallahassee is reaching its potential, and the city is flourishing. For those who have witnessed Tallahassee’s steady metamorphosis from sleepy college town and parttime legislative powerhouse to booming metropolis, the upward progression is irrefutable. And city officials are eagerly encouraging this transformation. To equip up-and-coming neighborhoods with what they need to succeed, the Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department established its “Sense of Placement” initiatives in the hopes of enhancing the heart and soul of many of Tallahassee’s most diverse districts. Neighborhoods like Gaines Street, Midtown and the Market District — all of which have developed largely organically over the years — were among the first communities of distinction. “When you think about a Sense of Place, you think of a Sense of Place as being one that can be considered a destination where people want to be,” explained Earnest McDonald, principal planner at Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department. “It’s a unique area that has characteristics that are either physical or somehow unique to that particular area.” Along with their counterparts at the planning department, the City of Tallahassee’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) has been instrumental in getting these niche neighborhoods up and running. After formulating and presenting “action plans” to local community leaders, they work hand-in-hand with merchant

New stores have opened on Downtown’s Gaines Street, close to both universities.

associations and committed investors to bring to life some of Tallahassee’s most charming places.

GAINES STREET: The Project That Started Them All Just steps away from Railroad Square Art Park, the Gaines Street District was the first initiative of this magnitude. Renowned as an eclectic place for creative endeavors, this stretch of land is located snuggly between Florida State and Florida A&M universities. But for years, it did more to separate the two campuses than it did to unite them. Luckily, the fate of Gaines Street changed drastically when the city got involved in 2007. According to Roxanne Manning, 2014 TA L L A H A S S E E B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L

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GROWI NG COM MUN ITI E S

executive director at Tallahassee Community Redevelopment Agency and one of the visionaries behind Gaines Street’s reconstruction, the city capitalized on Gaines’ potential for walkability with calculated due diligence. “One of the things that we really focused on when we were designing the street was making the physical scale of the street friendly to people rather than just automobiles,” explained Manning. “We incorporated elements like, for example, benches that face each other, to create little social spaces. We were very particular about the width of the sidewalk and the height of seating walls that we incorporated all down the street so that it becomes very clear to the pedestrian that we want people to gather here, we want them to be comfortable here.” Now, Gaines Street is a fluid continuation of artistically developed, urban-inspired prime real estate within walking distance of both university campuses as well as many other downtown venues and dwellings.

every budget, this district is always buzzing with excitement. For Carrie McNeil, owner of Cole Couture, one of Midtown’s most iconic boutiques, the achievements of Midtown are due in large part to the tight-knit merchants association the neighborhood has formed. “I think [visitors] get a feeling of family,” McNeil said of the overall vibe of the area. “I think they leave with a sense of community that’s been carefully threaded together.”

COLLEGETOWN: The Mold Breaker

Unlike its fellow districts of distinction, CollegeTown materialized in less than a decade, entirely through the encouragement of city officials and generous investors. Driven by Florida State’s Seminole Boosters, this largely corporate endeavor, situated just off of Gaines Street and Madison on Florida State’s campus, has managed to combine upscale living options for students with Tallahassee’s love for FSU football into one supremely located place of interest. CollegeTown wowed patrons when it officially opened its MIDTOWN: A Delicious Success Story doors in the fall of 2013 with the debut of Madison Social, a Encompassing everything from Hotel Duval and Level 8 Lounge casual American fusion restaurant with a rustic motif. at the intersection of Monroe and Tennessee, to the new Miracle “It’s the up-and-coming area,” enthused Jason Walker, Plaza where Whole Foods resides on Thomasville Road, Midtown general manager at Madison Social and a long-time Tallahassee may indeed be the most geographically extensive district Tallaresident. “It’s where everyone is going to want to be.” hassee has to offer. According to Will Butler, the real estate asset manager for the As both a commercial and residential hotspot for Leon CounSeminole Boosters, Walker’s assertions are exactly right — and ty’s growing professional population, Midtown has embraced they come as no surprise. Before local, regional and national an upscale, yet relaxed persona that is visible throughout at all investors would get involved, ample analysis was conducted to times of the day and night. ensure that their investment would be a profitable one. In Midtown, dozens of retail and dining options await, as well “We did a tremendous amount of research to establish if the as some of the city’s most acclaimed salons and spas. From market was ready for CollegeTown,” said Butler. “The overstate-of-the-art personal training facilities to gourmet coffee whelming answer was yes.” shops, upscale shopping and award-winning restaurants for Now, with more than half a dozen restaurants, eateries and bars under its jurisdiction, CollegeTown executives are confident that the current infrastructure is only the Whole Foods has helped boost first phase of what is destined to be the offerings in Midtown. a far larger district.

Officials have recently been paying close attention to Tallahassee’s growing Market District, located on the cusp of northeast Capital Circle. A bustling, family-friendly environment with more than 50 specialty shops, the “Market District” encompasses Market Square, The Verandas, The Gallery at Market Street, The Pavillions, Cornerstone Place and Market Plaza at Timberlane. With more than enough recreation to warrant a day trip, the Market District is characterized by the beauty of Alfred B. Maclay Gardens as well 38

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PHOTOS BY TRISTIN KROENING

MARKET DISTRICT: The Next Frontier


as by high-end service providers, French bakeries, authentic Mexican cuisine, locally owned clothing boutiques and designer home goods stores. Strictly speaking, the Market District has something for everyone. And according to Sam Varn, owner of Awards4U and president of the Market District Merchants Association, with such close proximity to Interstate 10, location is on their side, too. “[The Market District] can become a gateway into Tallahassee for people,” explained Varn. “It’ll be great exposure for the Tallahassee community. It can give people a little taste of our shopping and dining experiences on our end of town, and maybe even encourage them to think about Tallahassee as a place to move or open a business or just see as a great place to live.”

CollegeTown mixes retail, residential and restaurants.

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WH E RE TO GE T H E L P

NEED FINANCING?

Here’s where to seek help

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here are a wide variety of financing options available for businesses looking to locate in Leon County — or local businesses looking to expand their footprint. Business dollars already go a lot further here because there is no state personal income tax, no corporate income tax on limited partnerships and subchapter S-corporations, no statelevel property tax, no property tax on business inventories and no sales and use tax on goods produced in Florida for export outside the state. There are also federal, state and local government programs that provide low-cost loans, tax breaks and/or grants that will specifically help boost job creation and business development. Several state programs provide seed money to inventors of commercially viable products, or work to pair the inventors with investors and local entrepreneurs — an especially important tool to promote technologies being developed at the state’s universities. And, in an effort to boost the development of manufacturing jobs which pay above-average wages, the state eliminated the sales tax on new manufacturing equipment. There are programs designed to increase the number of qualified black business enterprises, support the export of goods and services from the state and provide low-cost capital to Florida manufacturers. Others will help with the training of workers needed by new businesses moving into the area or the retraining of currently employed workers. Below is just a sampling of help that is available. A more comprehensive listing can be found on the Economic Development Council of Tallahassee/Leon County’s website, taledc.com.

Enterprise Zone

The Tallahassee/Leon County Enterprise Zone is nearly 20 square miles in size. New businesses that want to locate there, or existing businesses that want to expand jobs, equipment or square feet, can earn a monthly credit against their state corporate or sales and use tax for wages paid to new employees.

Florida Opportunity Fund

This $29.5 million program directs investments into venture capital fund managers, who invest in seed and early stage concepts.

Florida Growth Fund

This is $250 million capital venture initiative managed by Hamilton Lane that invests in technology and growth-related businesses.

Florida Institute for Commercialization

Commercially viable technologies and products provided by publicly supported institutions are paired with seasoned entrepreneurs and investors.

Clients Remain the Center of All We Do.

City of Tallahassee/Leon County Targeted Business Program

Incentives are offered to new and existing businesses that create value-added jobs within the city and county, rewarding businesses that will diversify the economy, are suited to the local business mix and will generate revenue growth from the sales of goods and services outside the local economy. The program also seeks to reward businesses that locate in designated target areas for economic growth and development; that build environmentally sensitive projects; and that do business with other local businesses.

Community Redevelopment Agency

The Tallahassee CRA, created in 1998, consists of more than 1,450 acres of residential, commercial/retail and industrial land uses, all conveniently located near the heart of downtown Tallahassee. Included within the boundaries of the redevelopment area are 13 neighborhood communities; seven major commercial/retail areas; and numerous mixed-use areas. The area borders parts of Florida A&M University and Florida State University. Extensive city infrastructure, including water, sewer, electricity and gas, are available throughout the redevelopment area.

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TOURISM

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TOURISM IN TALLY

Why Florida’s capital city is more than just the sum of its givens By Chay D. Baxley

Florida State University’s football games are a major tourist draw for the city.

PHOTO BY KANSAS PITTS

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allahassee has a unique advantage when it comes to attracting visitors. It’s a little thing people in the tourism industry refer to as “the givens.” Givens, or the factors in an equation or situation that are well established, vary from destination to destination. For Tallahassee, the givens consist of two major universities, Florida State and Florida A&M, both of which have extensive athletic departments, as well as a lively state government. For Lee Daniel, executive director of the Leon County Division of Tourism Development, Tallahassee’s givens are a very good thing. “We’re very fortunate,” beamed Daniel. “The universities bring an amazing amount of people to the community, not just for football but for meetings and other related activities. The universities [help increase tourism] through graduations, move-in weeks and previews and those kinds of things. The Legislature is also a terrific asset to have for a couple months out of the year.” The city’s hallmark activities make for a great foundation in a fickle industry. So great, that it would be effortless for Tallahassee to rest on its laurels, to give in to the hype of being a “college town” and strive for little else. But the reality is with approximately 52 weekends to fill every year, only 12, or just over 23 percent, are characterized by the excitement of the city’s higher education facilities. Likewise, the majority of tourism generated by legislative activity at the Capitol is mid-week

and does little to increase revenues in hospitality-oriented businesses. For Daniel and his colleagues at the county level, highlighting Tallahassee’s other assets is crucial to maintaining a wellbalanced, sustainable tourism industry. “I think we’re really blessed to be able to complement [our core attractions] with just an amazing array of nature-based activities, history and heritage, which a lot of people travel for, and visual and performing arts,” Daniel said.

Beyond the Givens Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park, located off of Thomasville Road just a half mile north of I-10, is exactly that kind of blessing. A lush and fragrant property, the grounds of Maclay were shaped by the historic gardens methodically developed by Alfred Barmore Maclay in the 1920s, ‘30s and ‘40s. Deemed a “masterpiece of floral architecture” by the state, it is one of Tallahassee’s most beloved locales. Since the property was signed over to the state in 1954, it has been the backdrop for countless marriage ceremonies, family picnics and romantic strolls. “This was the winter home for the Maclay family,” explained Beth Weidner, park manager, on Maclay Gardens’ rich history. “The gardens were designed to bloom when they were here in the winter and early spring. January through April is the peak blooming season, and a special fee is charged for garden entry during that time.” 2014 TA L L A H A S S E E B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L

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PHOTO BY SCOTT HOLSTEIN

TOURISM

Woven between the park’s hundreds of camellias and azaleas is over five miles of rustic roads perfectly suited for the avid walker and three miles of trails created by the Tallahassee Mountain Bike Association. Trailahassee.com, one of Leon County’s newest initiatives geared at promoting the area’s trail systems, featured Maclay as an ideal outdoor experience for any novice hiker, runner or bicyclist. With opportunities to canoe, fish, swim and horseback ride, the gardens this year attracted 172,360 visitors, a slightly higher number than their usual annual average of 160,000. The diverse topography of Northwest Florida gives way to a variety of outdoor activities. At the Tallahassee Museum, located on the banks of Lake Bradford on the southwest side of town, natural and historical elements of the region have been combined into one compact experience. The museum boasts an 1880s farm and schoolhouse, an extensive three-course zip line known as Tallahassee Tree to Tree Adventures and an abundance of native wildlife, including the Florida panther and black bear. “It really gives the visiting tourist a good sense of what the 850 region is all about,” said Russell Daws, executive director and CEO of the Tallahassee Museum. “At least from the 1800s to the current times, our natural history and our culture are so closely interrelated.” According to Daws, the Tallahassee Museum hosts between 30,000 and 40,000 visitors each year. Generally, the park recommends carving out a two-hour time slot to fully experience all of the exhibits, but the outing can also be made into a daylong event. “There’s a lot of interesting components our region has to offer, from Indian mounds to historical civil rights movements,” continued Daws. “Because we’re a living museum and have a 52-acre campus, we can impact visitors of all ages from preschoolers to senior citizens, and we do it in some very meaningful ways.” History aficionados will also appreciate Mission San Luis, another one of Tallahassee’s major attraction and a nationally recognized living museum. The Mission’s history is wide-ranging, dating back to the mid 1500s. Scholars believe Mission San Luis was the location of North America’s first Christmas — a humble mass held in 1539 that was followed by a feast of seafood and fruit. Both the Apalachee Indians and Spaniards inhabited the museum’s current location from 1656 to 1704. At its peak, the mission was home to more than 1,400 residents and was the primary religious and military center for both ethnic groups. Today, the 60-acre living museum hosts a variety

Miles of rustic roads and trails await outdoor enthusiasts at Maclay Gardens.

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TOURISM

Visitors learn the region’s Spanish and Indian history at Mission San Luis.

Kelsey Appellate Law Firm, P.A. Florida Appellate Practice of educational and community events. Visitors are invited to explore the facility’s rich past or simply take in its beauty with a relaxing picnic. Karin Stanford, program supervisor at Mission San Luis, said not only is this museum historically significant, it also represents a timeless message of cooperation. “It’s an absolutely lovely site with an incredible history,” said Stanford. “It’s a place where the Spanish people who came over … lived together with the Apalachee Indians. They became a village and lived here for three generations. I think people relate to [Mission San Luis] as far as living together and making two cultures come together.”

Leon County tourism increased by 14.6% during the last six months of 2013. Those traveling on business or to conventions 7,440 room nights and brought more than $3 million in direct spending.

SUSAN L. KELSEY Tallahassee | Admitted 1988

The 11,973 visitors coming to Tallahassee for leisure in 2013 booked 9,049 room nights — an estimated $3.8 million in direct spending. Sports, or Tallahassee’s primary “given,” led to more than 40,000 visitors booking 19,064 rooms nights and putting $13.7 million in direct spending into the local economy. Hotel revenue increased by 11% between January and August 2013.

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The county’s tourism website, visittallahassee.com, had 417,473 total website visits — a 9% increase over 2012.


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Executive Mindset

Business Speak

Regional Economic Development in Northwest Florida

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ne of my top priorities as Once improvements have been made to president of Gulf Power the sites, McCallum Sweeney will give Company since I started its stamp of approval and certify that a year ago has been to the site is ready for a new business. step up our economic development efRecommended site improvements forts across Northwest Florida. could include things like acquiring We have moved quickly to reallonecessary permits, drainage and gradcate resources and launch new proing, transportation infrastructure or grams to help create jobs and renew environmental assessments. Each site economic activity. will have one year to complete the list We have added an economic develof improvements. opment representative to work in the Once the sites complete their Panama City region. checklist, they will notify McCallum We have hired a research analyst Sweeney to have them re-evaluate to provide us with the data we need the site and assess whether or not it to make informed decisions on target can be certified. industries, workforce needs and identify Large companies today compete our economic development assets. in a global market and want to move We’ve introduced a Re-occupancy quickly when they are ready to expand. Stan Connally Jr. has been president Incentive to support companies that Having sites with a stamp of approval and CEO of Gulf Power since July are willing to re-occupy buildings that from a reputable site consultant means 2012. He previously served as senior have been vacant for at least 12 months. Northwest Florida can meet the short vice president and senior production And, we launched a Site Certification timeframes with quality sites that busiofficer for Georgia Power. He has program in April to prepare communinesses are looking for. served as plant manager at plants ties for business expansions and to entice If this first round of site certificaWatson, Daniel and Barry and has new industries to Northwest Florida. tions is successful, we’ll consider offerworked in customer operations and The Site Certification program has ing a second round. sales and marketing. Gulf Power is a exceeded our expectations — with Gulf Power’s ultimate goal with this subsidiary of Southern Company, one 14 sites being submitted from six difprogram is to help communities think of the largest producers of electricity ferent counties in Northwest Florida. long range about economic developin the United States. These sites are currently being evalument and job creation. We want comated for industrial sites and future munities to be in a continuous cycle commerce parks. Cities, counties and private developers are all of identifying and preparing potential sites and commerce parks participating in the program — making it a huge, positive colfor new business. That’s a key element of our region’s future laboration for economic development in our region. competitiveness. Having certified sites makes our region more competitive Gulf Power has served Northwest Florida since 1926, and we for new business projects. This is the first program of its kind in hope to be in business for many years to come. We realize that one Florida; and we believe it will make us more competitive with way to ensure that is to help our communities grow, help create surrounding states — Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama — that jobs and help create a shining future for all of our citizens. already have certified sites. We are more committed today to that vision than ever before, The sites are currently being evaluated by McCallum Sweeney, a and we will continue to look for ways to offer effective, innovaprofessional site selection consulting firm retained by Gulf Power tive and common-sense economic development programs to help to make recommendations for preparing sites for development. move Northwest Florida forward.

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The Inspiration Coast

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With opening of its technology center, Gulf Coast State College moves focus to jobs

Going Green The roof of the Advanced Technology Center sports wind turbines, green space and a solar panel array.

Architect – Florida Architects, Inc.; Photos by eric marcus studio

By Steve Bornhoft

aul Ashman looked up from his workstation in a glassed-in laboratory at the new Advanced Technology Center at Gulf Coast State College and spied a familiar face. Presently, he exited the lab and shook the hand of a Florida State University professor from whom he once took communication classes. Weeks earlier, Ashman had encouraged the old professor to tour the ATC and was pleased to find that he was doing so. “What do you think?” Ashman eagerly asked. “It’s magnificent,” the professor offered. “Once inside this place, it’s hard to believe you’re still in Bay County.” At that, Ashman was unleashed. He enthused about the learning spaces in the ATC and the equipment housed there and the commitment to education and the future that the facility represents. Chef Paul is a staple in the Culinary Arts Program at Gulf Coast and has been for years. In his confections and bakery laboratory, students hover over mixing bowls, not Bunsen burners. “No one can resist what we produce here,” Ashman has found. “We’re going to take this place over.” Fat chance. Culinary Arts enjoys status as one of a few legacy Gulf Coast career/technical education programs — public safety is the other prominent one — but with the August opening of the $35 million, 100,000-square-foot, alternative energy driven ATC, it has now been joined by many others. Plus, as Stephen Dunnivant, dean of the ATC, is quick to point out, the technical center is accessible not just by students but by “anyone with an idea.” Dunnivant, who served as the old professor’s tour guide, spread his arms wide. “It took a perfect storm to bring about a project of this magnitude. But, first and foremost, we had to have the right president.” That man was Jim Kerley, who arrived at Gulf Coast in 2007 and soon thereafter wanted to know why the school had limited career and technical pathways to offer. Kerley hails from Kentucky, where close cooperation between schools and industry has

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enabled the state to land Ford and Toyota plants and other high-wage manufacturing operations. Six years into Kerley’s Gulf Coast tenure, the school’s conversion from transfer college to state college is complete. In its former life, Gulf Coast took great pride in the performance by its students on the College Level Academic Skills Test (CLAST) and the high percentage of its graduates who went on to four-year universities. Now, said Dunnivant, the emphasis is on “jobs, jobs, jobs.” Dunnivant does not discount entirely the value of universities and their focus on long-term research, but he draws a clear distinction between

them and Gulf Coast’s new direction and focus. “The big challenge faced by universities is that only half of their degrees are resulting in jobs,” Dunnivant said. “We have a generation of bartenders who pursued soft degrees and can recite the Canterbury Tales, but they can’t get a job that affords them a good quality of life. Meanwhile they have incurred substantial debt. It’s impossible for them to both stay current on their student loans and buy a home.” Dunnivant is both a product and a practitioner of public education. He grew up as a member of a welfare family in housing projects in upstate

New York before arriving in Florida at age 16. “Despite all of its problems, public education was my escape,” Dunnivant recognizes. He is a graduate of Rutherford High School (in Bay County), then-Gulf Coast Community College and Florida State University-Panama City. He earned a master’s degree online from George Washington University and his doctorate in education from the University of West Florida. For seven years, Dunnivant was a middle school science teacher in Bay District Schools where he found that disproportionate resources were devoted to gifted students “who could have learned in a closet” and cognitively and financially challenged students. “We ignored all those students in the middle,” Dunnivant regrets. “They didn’t fit the model. But I know that if they had had the opportunity upon graduating from high school to come to the ATC, their lives today would be radically different.” While Kerley’s vision was critical, so, too, says Dunnivant, was the support of a district board of trustees that was willing to “build it before they come” and the efforts of key state legislators, including Senate President Don Gaetz and onetime House Speaker Alan Bense. “Without that combined support, the ATC, at any point, could have been deemed another crazy idea and we would have been left with the conference center that the previous administration had, to its credit, raised money to build,” Dunnivant said. (The ATC includes a conference center on its third floor.) Does the dean harbor any fears that the ATC will become a white Dunnivant? None. Already, Dunnivant said, the ATC is attracting the “best and brightest” minds from Bay County and from other communities that “have not evolved to the point where they have put in the ground the flag that we have planted here.” Planning for the ATC involved a thorough workforce analysis and careful consideration of a fundamental question: What industries and activities do we want to support with the ATC?

If You Build It… Students seeking job-winning skills are flocking to the newly opened technology center, which is overseen by Dean Stephen Dunnivant.

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Photo by SCOTT HOLSTEIN


Architect – Florida Architects, Inc.; Photo by eric marcus studio

Smart Learning A faculty smart desk, with an iPad, in one of the new center’s classrooms, which sport state-ofthe-art equipment.

“Number one, we determined, was entrepreneurialism,” Dunnivant explained. “Silicon Valley isn’t built upon the big, giant companies because they come and go. When they are leveraged geographically or globally or the supply chain leaves, they leave. They don’t care. But entrepreneurs who start locally, predominantly stay local. “Anyone with any idea can walk into our ATC and immediately get help from our small business development center. We have six certified business analysts who will help them establish a business model. We have a shark tank where investors meet to hear the ideas of entrepreneurs,

and we have a rapid prototyping and fabrication accelerator. If you have a product idea, we can build it right here in this building.” Currently, the ATC is working with an emerging company that is piloting a “hurricane stove” fueled by biopellets made from kudzu and, says Dunnivant, “all that other stuff that grows between the pine trees.” Instead of storing propane in their garages in anticipation of the next hurricane, householders will store bags of biorenewable charcoal and use it to heat their food when the power goes out. Credit courses are taught at the ATC on Mondays through Thursdays — morning, noon and night — in certificate and degree programs ranging from the culinary program to engineering technology, information technology and digital media. In support of those programs, the ATC houses

some $10 million in equipment, including stateof-the-art digital printers, some costing more than $200,000. (On order at this writing is a chocolate 3-D printer. Chef Paul, always on a sugar high, can scarcely contain himself.) Dunnivant is sensitive to the predictions of futurists who forecast that most homes in the U.S. will be equipped with a 3-D printer by 2030 and will be able to fabricate and print most anything — toilet parts, tail lights and eyeglasses — in their living rooms. “I spoke to a businessman recently who said that Bay County has always been a talent puddle,” Dunnivant said. “We’re about creating a talent pool that will anticipate and shape the future. We’ve built an inspiration engine here. We don’t have to remain the Forgotten Coast or the Redneck Riviera. We can become the Inspiration Coast.”

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SPONSORED REPORT

OUTREACH 850 a program of the jim moran institute for global entrepreneuership

Q&A

DIRECTOR’S NOTE

Vocelles | The Bridal Shoppe

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one are the days when brides had to travel to Atlanta, Jacksonville and beyond to purchase a beautiful wedding gown. Kristen Barstow opened Vocelles | The Bridal Shoppe (vocellesbridal.com) in 2009, and the Tallahassee boutique has quickly become the go-to shopping destination for brides in the Florida Panhandle, South Georgia and South Alabama. KB: What are the best tactics to use when negotiating prices with wholesalers? The Jim Moran Institute: Like any negotiation, do your homework beforehand. What is the quality of the product? Is it current? What is the supply/demand in the industry? You should do the same on your end. What is the bottom line price you are willing to pay that fits your business model? When negotiating, stay professional and listen very closely. This will usually give you an idea on how far the wholesaler is willing to go. It also shows that you are respectful of them and their product. You must also decide beforehand if this is a wholesaler you want to have a long-term business relationship with. If so, let them know during the negotiations. This could help with pricing. KB: From a cash flow perspective, besides working capital needs, what other reserves do you recommend maintaining? The Jim Moran Institute: There are always unexpected business expenses that come up from time to time which reserves can cover. Reserves are also beneficial to help meet any changes in market demand or when preparing for expansion or other business opportunities. KB: Besides compensation, what are the most effective ways to motivate employees? The Jim Moran Institute: Most employees also value recognition and rewards they receive from their employer. These are usually tied to either individual performance goals or company goals. Consider having a company dinner or retreat, and recognize those who have met their goals. One company does this during the summer so the employees don’t look at it as a holiday bonus or gift. Another great way to motivate employees is developing or offering outside training for them to expand their personal knowledge and skills.

photo by scott holstein

The Jim Moran Institute’s experts answer your business questions What do your peers do?

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ow meeting for more than six months, The Jim Moran Institute’s CEO Peer2Peer Groups have been successfully sharing insights about challenging situations, topical issues and solutions to problems. I thought this forum would be ideal to share one of the questions that surfaced and how it was resolved within one of the five noncompeting business groups of presidents and owners. Perhaps you have experienced this same problem in your business or just need some validation. The question one member posed was, “What are the Do’s and Don’ts in regard to bartering with another business?” This particular member’s company was getting a large number of requests for its product/services in exchange for a traded product/service from the requesting businesses, and the member was not always comfortable with the product/ service received in return. The group members, who had experienced the same situation, expressed the need to always be careful in bartering. First, the value of the product/service received has to be equal to what is being provided. Secondly, the received product/service needs to align with the values, integrity and strategy of your business. The bottom line: Bartering can be effective as long as it is done the right way.

Mike Campbell Director, North Florida Outreach

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SPONSORED REPORT

UPCOMING EVENTS January 6

1st day of class at Florida State University

January 14

North Florida Small Business Executive Program (NFL SBEP) Class Day: Covering sales, legal issues for businesses and protecting your creation.

January 15

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Chamber One-on-One Program: Confidential, no-cost consultations with Director of Outreach through the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce.

Nurturing students through an in-house incubator program

upporting Florida State’s “Entrepreneurial University” initiative, The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship is committed to providing all Florida State students with opportunities to start and run their own businesses. A cornerstone of this commitment is the InNOLEvation Accelerator, which is currently ranked 8th in the Americas and 16th in the world by the University Business Incubator (UBI) Index. Located in the College of Business’ Rovetta Building, the incubator provides office equipment and facilities, as well as coaching and mentoring, free of charge to students eager to grow their businesses while attending college. Drawing on the talents of faculty and business volunteers

February 5, 19

called “Entrepreneurs-in-Residence,” the incubator accommodates four resident businesses and a host of virtual businesses for up to one year (renewable annually). One of the incubator’s major initiatives for the 2013–2014 academic year is the addition of regularly scheduled, onsite mentoring sessions from business executives and experienced entrepreneurs. The partners and associates of Carr, Riggs & Ingram championed this concept and became the first mentors of the program. The InNOLEvation Accelerator is looking for partners who are interested in supporting entrepreneurial-minded students. If you are interested, contact The Jim Moran Institute at jmi.fsu.edu/ Contact-Us.

UPDATE - NORTH FLORIDA SMALL BUSINESS EXECUTIVE PROGRAM Designed for non-profit and forprofit businesses, this intense, fast-paced program has helped 23 established businesses get a better understanding of where they want to go with their business and how to get there. Class content has covered time management, strategic planning,

accounting and financials, financing growth, management, operations and human resources. One participant has used the class worksheet, “Answers to Market,” to truly drill down on their company’s performance/position in the marketplace. For more information on the next class, visit nfl.jmi.fsu.edu.

Chamber One-on-One Program: Confidential, no-cost consultations with Director of Outreach through the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce.

February 7

Florida State InNOLEvation Challenge Top 10 Finalists Announced

February 11

NFL SBEP Final Class and Closing Ceremonies: Covering technology, exit strategy and succession planning. Closing ceremony is at The Challenger Center.

ONGOING EVENTS CEO Peer2Peer Groups

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

The Jim Moran Institute supporters include:

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forgotten coast Corridor

Gulf, Franklin + Wakulla Counties

TCC’s Wakulla Environmental Institute How this environmentally and economically savvy game changer plans on saving Wakulla County By Chay D. Baxley

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future in that, though they want to carry on the tradition. How do you do that? You do aquaculture. You do aquaculture oysters.” Oyster farming, or oyster aquaculture, is a well-established method of maritime harvesting, and will thus be one of the most well equipped areas of study at WEI. The practice itself is an ancient one, with ties as far back as the Roman Empire. Today, politics are a tad more involved, but the basic principals are the same. After obtaining a lease from the governor and Florida Cabinet for state-owned submerged lands, the oyster seeds are purchased from a hatchery — of which there are three of in Florida — and placed in anchored plastic cages. When rotated and monitored once weekly, the oysters have a 90 percent chance of growing to adulthood within 10 to 12 months. Compared to the reported one-in-a-thousand that survive through adulthood in the wild, the jump is startling. It’s just the sort of innovation that Wakulla County needs — and that WEI can deliver. According to a 2012 report by the Florida Department of Academics and the Importance of Aquaculture Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Apalachicola oyster population The plan, which was originally conceived 15 years ago by Bill Law, former can be, and frequently has been, depleted by a number of factors, often president of TCC, is for the Institute to offer two-year Associate of Science deincluding climatic conditions, water quality, drought and flood events, grees in an array of ecologically responsible fields. Throughout their schoolcatastrophic storms and hurricanes, natural mortality from diseases and ing students will receive onsite training, though the majority of their course predation, and fisheries. work will actually be done online. Degree options will Oyster aquaculture can help control those variables. include Hospitality and Tourism Management, AquaSince oysters operate under a natural filtration system, culture Management, Parks and Leisure Services Techthe process of oyster aquaculture has practically no negaGreener nology, Agribusiness Management and Recycling. tive environmental impact and can often help promote an Training Green Guide Certifi“These [majors] are designed for once they get out, even healthier ecosystem — making oyster aquaculture cates will be one of the once they graduate, to go right into a job,” explained the environmentally and economically preferred method. key courses offered at WEI Executive Director Bob Ballard. A truth some Wakulla residents like Leo Lovel, owner of WEI. Currently available through TCC’s Wakulla For Ballard, who described the Institute’s role as a Spring Creek Restaurant in Crawfordville, have already Center, the 90-hour “one-stop shop for all things environmental,” the misfound out for themselves. certificate program is sion behind WEI is really quite simple: to preserve a way Together with his wife and two sons, Lovel has designed to educate nature enthusiasts and of life while staying in tune with the changing times. owned, operated and supplied much of the seafood to entrepreneurs alike. “What I envision is the sons and daughters of oysterhis eatery for the last 30 years. But after a series of natuThe program emphamen who want to start their own business but aren’t ral disasters and stricter regulations hit the Gulf Coast, sizes general guidelines and skills for anyone quite sure what they want to do,” said Ballard of the business was suffering. interested in owning an Institute’s prospective student population. “They love “We had the restaurant, but what we started to look for environmental-based what dad did and granddad did, but they don’t see a was something that could supplement our income so that business should know.

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rendering courtesy Wakulla Environmental Institute

ife in Wakulla County hasn’t been easy over the last decade. Rattled by the Great Recession of the mid-to-late 2000’s, this small community has had to face the hardship of a dying oyster industry head on. For many, the changing tides have made traveling to Tallahassee in search of increased economic opportunity, as well as viable employment options, an absolute necessity. But the winds of fate may be whistling through this sleepy community faster than many folks realize. Tallahassee Community College’s newly designed Wakulla Environmental Institute — scheduled to open to students in the fall of 2014 — is a real game changer for the region. If successful, the school not only carries the potential to put a fresh stream of well-informed, highly skilled workers and entrepreneurs into the local economy, it also has the power to impact a little thing called “ecotourism.”


we could survive the economy,” said Lovel. “Oysters got scarce. They got so expensive we could hardly serve them.” Though the process of oyster aquaculture is familiar overseas, and is routinely used on the northeastern coast of the United States, it had never been attempted within the 850 region. But Lovel and his family took a chance, and the gamble paid off. “All of it was done as an experiment,” shared Lovel. “In other words, we had the opportunity to get ten thousand oyster seeds and we designed cages to put them in and then we planted them in different ways.” Spring Creek Restaurant is just beginning to see the fruits of those labors, but Lovel’s success gave Ballard the proof he needed.

Conservation and Ecotourism The sprawling 158 acres comprising WEI’s campus are located 10 miles southwest of Wakulla Springs State Park off U.S. 319. The land exemplifies old Florida’s untouched natural heritage by paying homage to a number of distinct ecosystems throughout the property’s boundaries. Purchased from a private owner on April 1, 2013, strong pine trees, rugged brush and a variety of wildlife cover the terrain. The land also boasts two connected sink holes, each with a unique ebb and flow that seem somehow related to the Gulf of Mexico’s tidal currents. Extensive diving studies are currently underway to verify the link. “The reason Wakulla Environmental Institute is here is that we’re surrounded by a million acres of conservation land,” explained Ballard on TCC’s Wakulla location choice. “There’s not many places in the United States, especially in the southern 48 states, that have a million acres located right together.” It’s a feature Ballard hopes will entice not only prospective students to visit WEI’s campus, but also vacationers looking for a back-to-nature inspired getaway. “We’ve got the Gulf of Mexico at our back door, these million acres and they’ll come for Disney — but they’ll stay for the real Florida,” beamed Ballard. “We’re excited about that.” And others are, too.

Felicia Coleman, director of Florida State University’s Coastal and Marine Laboratory, has been a guiding light in establishing the academic vision of WEI. According to her, careers in oyster aquaculture aren’t the only promising thing to come out of the Institute’s “fabulous” location choice. “The other types of jobs that are important in Wakulla County are in tourism,” said Coleman. “That means training people to understand how to limit their ecological footprint on those environments. Wakulla County is in a fabulous position, not just for this Institute, but also for providing the sorts of things [and services] that this Institute can.” Ecotourism is a major component to WEI’s future success. The ultimate goal of the Institute is to draw in 200 families from around the world to Wakulla County each year by emphasizing outdoor adventures and educational experiences. Things on the menu include kayaking and airboat tours, deep-sea fishing and the chance to stay overnight in a real life (and air-conditioned) tree house. Over a hundred potential excursions are in the works, and all carry the potential to draw in a very broad clientele. Once demand for WEI’s ecotourism exceeds the capacities of the county’s local lodging facilities, a 200-room hotel and spa will be built on the campus grounds and run under the management of WEI’s student population majoring in Hospitality and Tourism Management. Locals, including Tammie Barfield, president of the Wakulla County Chamber of Commerce and co-owner of Bay Leaf Market in Crawfordville, are excited about what that could mean for the county’s economy. “I can’t pretend to know exactly what the impact will be in terms of ecotourism,” admitted Barfield. “But our county is really ripe for expansion in that area. The key is to retain the natural qualities of our county and promote our coastal location and everything there is to see and do here, and that’s what WEI’s certification program will train those graduates to do.”

Natural Advantage Students at the soon-to-open Tallahassee Community College Wakulla Environmental Institute will learn skills they can put to work immediately after graduation, boosting environmentally based businesses.

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Counts Real Estate Group, Inc. 850.249.3615

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MCCALL | COUNTS COMMERCIAL Commercial Real Estate Advisors

STEPHEN COUNTS Senior Advisor 850.249.3623 stephen.counts@countsrealestate.com

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Deal Estate Just Sold

Hotel Duval

Tallahassee’s beloved boutique hotel sold for $23 million By Chay D. Baxley The leaders of Tallahassee-based Hunter+Harp Hospitality are well

acquainted with large-scale business transactions, but when Schulete Hospitality out of Louisville, Ky., approached the group in the summer of 2013 regarding the future ownership of Hotel Duval, the principals of Hunter+Harp were beyond intrigued. A few months and $23 million later, this iconic boutique hotel located on Tallahassee’s main drag officially changed hands. The purchase, which included the 117 guest rooms and suites of the hotel, two upscale restaurants, a large ballroom and Tallahassee’s highest bar, Level 8 Lounge, was sealed on Oct. 25. Hunter+Harp spent millions revamping the historic 1950s hotel into a sleek and elegant lodging. The group, which originally purchased the property in 2007 for $4,750,000, elevated Hotel Duval’s status so much so that the property became a member of Marriott’s prestigious Autograph Collection of fine boutique hotels and resorts — a major asset in the competitive hospitality industry. According to Chad Kittrell, co-founder and principal of Hunter+Harp, the unique concept behind this boutique hotel made it an easy sell. What’s equally as interesting and revealing as the transaction itself, shared Kittrell, is that out-of-state investors are realizing Tallahassee’s potential in unprecedented ways. After opening its doors in 2009, this facility made $9 million in revenue in the first year alone — showing national

investors the region’s promising future. “Several years ago major investors were not as interested in a destination like Tallahassee,” said Kittrell. “This transaction proves our town is becoming more attractive and desirable to entrepreneurs.” As for Hunter+Harp, the company intends to stay an active member of Leon County’s emerging hospitality industry. “By developing, creating and selling a successful business like Hotel Duval, this affords us the opportunity to reinvest in new ventures in our community,” shared Kittrell.

Quick Look: Address: 415 N Monroe St., Tallahassee List Price: Undisclosed Sold For: $23,000,000

Deal Estate

SHOW ME THE MONEY

The Truth Behind PMIs A stepping-stone to getting in the real estate game, not a cash saving technique By Chay D. Baxley Private mortgage insurance, or PMI, is designed to protect lenders from losing their investment in case a mortgage holder is unable to repay their loan. Utilized as an alternative to a complete down payment of 20 percent, PMIs are generally reserved for first-time homebuyers or those with little equity in their current home. Monthly rates typically range between $30 to $70 for every $100,000 borrowed. According to Pat Gaver, Residential Division Lending manager at Capital City Bank, PMIs in their most useful form are gateways to letting the next generation of real estate investors get their feet wet in what can be a very pricey pond.

“In your first house, you’re trying to get in there to at least get in the game of not putting your money down the rat hole, because there is certainly no return on your rent,” stated Gaver. “Overall, as an investment, there’s a 3 to 5 percent return on real estate. Regardless, one day you’re going to pay that loan off. But by having that initial opportunity, even though you’re paying to privately insure the mortgage, or you’re accepting the government form of PMI, your second home doesn’t necessarily have to be that way.” Occasionally, some buyers have opted to keep cash in their pocket by taking the PMI route,

allowing other obligations with higher interest rates to take precedence for their money. But experts say this can be a dangerous juggling act and is generally ill advised. It’s also important to note that PMIs can behave very differently, depending on the type of loan they are insuring. Once you owe less than 78 percent on your mortgage with a conventional loan, and 24 months have passed since your purchase, you can cancel your PMI policy. For governmentbacked loans, however, this is never the case, and your PMI is destined to stay with you until the balance of the loan is paid in full.

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Deal Estate second home

Gulf Condo Retreat Exclusivity with unbelievable views and amenities are what define the community at One Beach Club Drive

This unit is for the serious investor looking to have some serious fun.

Located just steps away from Miramar Beach, this four-bedroom, four-bathroom penthouse on the 14th story of One Beach Club Drive has been fully upgraded in every possible way. Granite counter tops and custom cabinetry make the chef’s kitchen complete, while bamboo flooring in all bedrooms ensures comfort and elegance is felt throughout the space. Being sold fully furnished, the unit’s current owners have made picking up furniture during their travels overseas and throughout the United States a happy pastime. As a result, the condo is filled with exotic and eclectic items that have a lush, tropical theme. And as for the neighborhood, nothing is lacking. A sub-community of Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort, these condominiums have views of the Gulf of Mexico, Choctawhatchee Bay and Sandestin’s golf course. Every direction is pure beauty. And with this unit’s 670 square feet of wrap-around balcony to look from, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better vantage point. Poolside cabanas are always available for property owners, as well as access to private tennis courts, a first-class fitness center, clubroom, media room, large pool and a hot tub. Traditional and golf cart parking is also part of the package. “It really is a type of living,” said listing agent Stephanie Vogel on all that this luxury property has to offer. “It’s truly resort living.”

Quick Look: List Price: $1,189,000

Bedrooms: 4

Year Built: 2003

Contact: Stephanie Vogel, Sandestin Real Estate, Office (850) 267-8705, Cell (915) 346-7355

Square Feet: 2,347

Bathrooms: 4

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Deal Estate Just listed

Raw Potential A bare piece of land plus prime interstate exposure could equal a smart investment for a patient entrepreneur By Chay D. Baxley Think of the patch of land on the corner of Highway 77 and Interstate

10 in Chipley as a massive, 56-acre blank canvas that’s ripe for investment. The current owners purchased the raw land at the height of the market. During their ownership, plans were drawn by CIVICA, a Miami-based architectural firm, for further development of the property. But after years of wading through a tumultuous market, they’re ready to concentrate on other projects. The site, which is heavily wooded in places and is ready to be harvested, is referred to as the Washington Center Development Site. According to listing agent Scott Bowman with Prudential Shimmering Sands Realty, one of the most striking draws to this property is its unique location — a rare find that makes it suitable from a number of developmental standpoints. “I think the location is fantastic,” stated Bowman. “We have high visibility on I-10 right there at the corner of 77.” Bowman, who initially saw the property as the future location of an automobile dealership, is now widening his view, citing the architectural firm’s inspiring designs as a persuasive factor.

architectural rendering of property potential

Quick Look: Address: Lost Lake Road, Chipley Size: 57.9 Acres (56 acres included in the master plan) Price: $1,400,000 ($24,175 per gross acre) Contact: Scott Bowman, Prudential Shimmering Sands Realty, (850) 319-0509 “When I started researching [the property] and realized the master planning of things — it had some retail components, some office and some residential — thought it was a great spot for that,” shared Bowman. The site is appropriately zoned for commercial development.

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Capital New beginnings >>  The lobbying firm Southern Strategy Group has merged with Fearington & Smith. Mercer Fearington Jr. and Clark Smith join the dozen lobbyists Southern Strategy Group has in Tallahassee and will be part of the firm’s network of five offices in Florida. >>  Gigi Rollini, an attorney in Holland & Knight’s Tallahassee office, was recently appointed by the chair of The Florida Bar’s Appellate Court Rules Committee (ACRC) to serve as vice-chair of ACRC’s Administrative Law Practice Standing Committee for the 2013–2014 term. >>  Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Bryan Koon was elected vice president of the National Emergency Management Association. He will assume the role of president in 2014.

Local Happenings >>  The Leon County Division of Tourism Development (Visit Tallahassee), the official tourism marketing organization for Leon County, has unveiled a new marketing campaign that focuses on residents and visitors sharing their favorite Tallahassee-area sights, activities and events with their friends through a variety of social media channels. The campaign, #IHeartTally, utilizes the people who were born, live, visit, work and play here to share their love of the area through messages, photographs and videos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. >>  Hunter+Harp Hospitality and the new Tallahassee Memorial Hospital Emergency CenterNortheast have partnered in an effort to improve the patient experience through a hospitality training program called “100+1,” striving for 100 percent patient satisfaction 100 percent of the time.

Local Honors >>  Association Trends magazine has named Jack Cory as one of its “2013 Leading Association Lobbyists.” Cory, a founding partner of Tallahasseebased Public Affairs Consultants, received special recognition for his work with the Florida Alliance of Boys cory & Girls Clubs, helping the organization receive over $23 million in state appropriations. >>  Capital Health Plan has been honored as the best health plan in Florida for the ninth year in a row. In its annual ranking of health plans across America, the National Committee for Quality Assurance also gave Capital Health Plan’s Medicare Advantage Plan the highest ranking in Florida and one of the top rankings in the nation. >>  At the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations southeastern district conference,

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Tallahassee Community College’s marketing and communications efforts won more regional awards than any other participating Florida college and earned the third most in the district competition that included institutions from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the Bahamas. >>  Tallahassee Museum Director of Finance Rebekka Wade was named the 2013 Outstanding New Professional by the Florida Association of Museums for her service and accomplishments. >>  Leadership Tallahassee named Leon County Administrator Vincent S. Long as its 2013 Distinguished Leadership Awards’ Leader of the Year, long which recognizes an individual whose ideas, vision and hard work brought significant, tangible benefits to the community within the past year.

Appointed by Gov. Scott >>  Ellen Anderson, 32, of Tallahassee, state advocacy director for the Florida Hospital Association, to the Children and Youth Cabinet. >>  Ronald A. Brisé, 39, of Tallahassee, to the Florida Public Service Commission. He is the current PSC chair and serves as a board member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. >>  Tiffany Cruz, 31, of Tallahassee, an attorney with Marie Mattox PA., to the Board of Landscape Architecture. >>  Clyde Daniel, 63, of Tallahassee, former executive director for the Florida Commission on Human Relations, to the Florida Commission on Human Relations. >>  Rob Diaz de Villegas, 37, of Tallahassee, a producer and editor for WFSU-TV, to the Florida Greenways and Trails Council. >>  Thomas McHaffie, 56, of Tallahassee, the owner of Thomas McHaffie LLC, to the Electrical Contractors Licensing Board.   >>  Larry J. McIntyre and Debra Waters to the State Emergency Response Commission. McIntyre, 57, of Tallahassee, is an emergency coordinating officer at the Department of Economic Opportunity. Waters, 57, of Monticello, is the manager of environmental regulatory strategy for the Mosaic Company. >>  Rachel E. Nordby, 32, of Tallahassee, deputy Solicitor General for the Office of the Attorney General, to the Statewide Nominating Commission for Judges of Compensation Claims.  >>  Cari Roth, 55, of Tallahassee, an attorney with Bryant Miller Olive PA, to the Environmental Regulation Commission.

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Forgotten Coast Local Happenings >>  The Northwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board has approved approximately $2.5 million in grant funding to the City of Apalachicola to improve water quality in Apalachicola Bay. The funding will be used for the design and construction of three stormwater retrofit projects within the city.

Appointed by Gov. Scott >>  Jason Shoaf and Carl “Eugene” Raffield to the Port St. Joe Port Authority. Shoaf, 34, is vice president of St. Joe Natural Gas Company Inc. Raffield, 51, is vice president of Raffield Fisheries Inc.

Emerald Coast New Beginnings >>  Colleen M. Castille has been named city adminstrator for the City of Pensacola. Castille is a former secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Florida Department of Community Affairs (DCA), serving under former Gov. Jeb Bush. Since leaving the state in 2007, she has worked in the private sector as a consultant to businesses and government. >>  Rebecca Boles, a native of Pensacola and former interim publisher of the Pensacola News Journal, has joined Gulf Power Company as its Corporate Communications director. >>  Andrea Farrell is now an official agent for Luxury Properties International and is the only representative for the Destin and 30A area. >>  Dr. Roland Reeves, MD, FACS, ASAM has been named director of Addiction Services for Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast. >>  Beach Properties of Florida has added Cliff Cohen to its sales executive team at Beach Properties of Florida’s WaterColor Crossings office. He most recently served as vice president of Residential and Rural Land Sales for The St. Joe Company.

cohen >>  QMotion Advanced Shading Systems of Pensacola has announced several personnel changes. Ben Kutell has been placed in the new post of director of Strategic Programs and will have Cory Hogue and Matt Uhl on his team. Preston Stokes has been named logistics and inventory specialist. Cassie Metzger heads the newly designated Brand Development Department and manages a team that includes Kevin Holcombe and Lauren Hayward.

Local Honors >>  The Walton County Tourist Development Council presented Malcolm Patterson with its 2013 Van Ness Butler Jr. Hospitality Award, which recognizes a


BUSINESS NEWS

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pioneer in the tourism industry. Patterson was the Walton County TDC’s first executive director and one of South Walton’s original tourism advocates in 1988. The TDC also announced Mary Hong as the 2014 South Walton Artist of the Year. She has been a professional artist for more than 20 years. >>  The Santa Rosa Economic Development Office and Santa Rosa Business Development Coalition honored several local businesses during their 2013 Industry Appreciation Luncheon: Adventures Unlimited — Tourism Award; AppRiver — Innovation Award; AppRiver Kiosk Payment Solutions — Entrepreneurship Award; Fabbro Marine Group/Cape Horn Boats — Director’s Award; Kool Breeze of Northwest Florida Inc. — Small Business of the Year Award; Koo Lifeguard Ambulance Service — Business Expansion Award; Walmart Stores Inc. (all four Santa Rosa County locations) — Retailer of the Year Award. >>  Victory Media, the premier media entity for military personnel transitioning into civilian life, has named Pensacola State College to the coveted Military Friendly Schools® list, which honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus. More than 1,200 veterans and active duty military personnel are currently enrolled at PSC for the fall term.

Appointed by Gov. Scott >>  Greg Jones, 41, of Pensacola, a senior project manager with WCI Communities LLC, to the Florida Communities Trust.

Bay Local Happenings

“ S E L L I N G B U S I N E S S E S I S O U R B U S I N E S S”

Mike Goleno has specialized in selling NW Florida businesses since 1994 with over 250 businesses sold. Confidentiality is always a priority.

Contact Mike: 850.864.2727 CONFIDENTIAL EXPERIENCED PROFESSIONAL Mike Goleno, Broker Certified Business Intermediary phone: 850.864.2727 email: broker@bizbro.com 201-E Miracle Strip Pkwy, SE | Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548

>>  Richard A. McConnell, A.A.E., has been hired as deputy executive director of Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport. McConnell has more than 27 years experience in airport management. >>  Summit Bank, N.A, Panama City has promoted Terri Hester to vice president and loan compliance officer. He is one of the bank’s original employees (2008), and has been responsible for all loan operations, document preparation and storage.

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>>  iSirona, a provider of simplified solutions for medical device integration, has been named a recipient of Inc. magazine’s Hire Power Award, which recognizes those U.S.-based private companies that are leading the nation’s efforts to create jobs. iSirona has created 150 new jobs since the start of 2012, growing from 31 employees to 181.

WE WANT

CUSTOMERS.

I-10 Appointed by Gov. Scott >>  Anthony Anderson, 60, of Bristol, a retired educator, as Interim Liberty County Superintendent of Schools. Anderson has nearly 30 years of experience as a teacher, principal and superintendant in Liberty County, having served as Liberty County Superintendent from 2000–2004. To the Holmes County Hospital Corporation: >>  Larry F. Cook, 51, of Bonifay, owner of Sons Tire Inc. and deputy chief of the Bonifay Fire Department. Michael S. McCormick, 58, of Bonifay, paramedic supervisor with Holmes County EMS. Oscar E. Cullifer, 85, of Westville, retired. Felecia D. Fisanick, 46, of Bonifay, co-owner of Woodham Plumbing and Utilities Contractors. Joseph W. Sowell, 71, of Bonifay, retired district supervisor with GTE Electric. To the Jackson County Hospital Corporation: >>  Dr. Larry J. Cook, 64, of Marianna, a self-employed dentist. Sandra L. Helms, 55, of Bascom, an advanced registered nurse practitioner at the Sunland Center. Arthur L. Kimbrough Jr., 66, of Marianna, president and CEO of The Overstreet Company. Sarah M. Clemmons, 61, of Marianna, senior vice president of instruction at Chipola College. William H. Floyd, 47, of Bascom, a radiation protection supervisor with Southern Nuclear. Dr. Joe H. Gay, 65, of Marianna, a physician with Chipola Medical Associates. James B. Ward, 50, of Marianna, owner of Chipola Property Development LLC. 

Compiled by Linda Kleindienst

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The Last Word The year was 1701 and Johann Martin Kleindienst had just arrived in Empfingen, a small village in the Swabian region of southwest Germany. A ziegler (brick maker) by trade, he had come from a neighboring town to lease and eventually purchase the local brickyard. Many of the homes there today still boast the foundation bricks and roof tiles made with his hands — and every Kleindienst in the town is directly descended from him.

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Editor Linda Kleindienst (center), daughter Victoria Bruns (right) and local historian Dieter Reich, outside the village museum in Empfingen bei Haigerloch, Germany. Linda is holding a gift — a roof tile made in 1703 by her seventh great-grandfather, Johann Martin Kleindienst, owner of the town brickyard.

Learning new facts about my own family has helped me better understand. Those who left behind the life they knew to take a chance on a new life in a new country were mostly risk takers, a trait that runs very strong in every entrepreneur. They had no guarantee what would happen when they came to America, but they were willing to give it a try. And they were successful in what they did after they settled here. I have much more research to do, many gaps yet to fill, but I am thankful for the knowledge I have gained in only the last couple of months. Thankful from a selfish perspective of learning more about myself, but thankful for the lessons I have learned and the newfound respect I have for those among us today who are willing to take that entrepreneurial leap — that chance.

LINDA KLEINDIENST, EDITOR lkleindienst@rowlandpublishing.com

Photo courtesy Linda Kleindienst

I learned that genealogical lesson on an October trip to Germany, where I had hoped to find some trace of my blood relatives. Kleindienst, my maiden and professional name, is rare in the U.S. So too in Germany, where many of those who share the name are congregated in a small collection of villages near the Black Forest. Like many Americans, I had just assumed most of my German forebears were peasants. On this trip, I learned I was wrong. Not only was Johann Martin — my seventh great-grandfather — ready to move to a new town and take a chance on buying a business. Another of my ancestors — Heinrich Bischoff, my second great-grandfather, who lived in the small North German town of Brinkum, now a suburb of Bremen — was an enterprising businessman as well. I didn’t know much about the Bischoff side of the family when I arrived at Brinkum this fall and knocked on the door of the church office. Despite showing up unannounced, the pastor was happy to take some time with an American looking for her roots. It didn’t take long to find the book that recorded the baptismal date of my greatgrandmother (one of Henrich’s five children). But that entry gave us more information than we expected — it also told us that Henrich had moved to Brinkum in the early 1800s from another town, was a farmer and a painter. A photo I had of the prosperous-looking family home gave the pastor another clue. Because it showed two nice looking carriages outside, Henrich had very likely been in the transportation business, a profitable side venture for some locals. Again, an entrepreneurial spirit that unexpectedly shined through the centuries. I grew up knowing that my Swedish grandfather, Frederick Palmer, came to the U.S. in the early 1900s, invented and patented electrical conduit and cable manufacturing methods and helped found Triangle Conduit and Cable Co. in New Jersey. But I had no idea that this spark of entrepreneurism ran so strong throughout my family. This knowledge resounds particularly loudly with me now, being editor of 850 and each day hearing about so many of the entrepreneurial endeavors in our own region of the world. Many Americans go on a genealogical quest to find their roots. Where did we come from? Who were our ancestors? What did they do — and why did some of them venture across the ocean to build a new life in America?


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2013-14 December-January Issue of 850 Business Magazine  

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

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