October-November 2012

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40 Under 40

40 Under 40

Meet more of Northwest Florida’s-up and-coming business leaders in this fifth installment of 40 Under 40. From Tallahassee to Pensacola, from a former major leaguer to an economic development specialist to a hot shot realtor, see who is making a mark on the business world and in their own community.
Ryan Cohn, 25, Tallahassee

Ryan Cohn, 25, Tallahassee

Started What's Next Marketing right after graduating from Florida State University three years ago. In 2011, the company was named as a finalist by Forbes Magazine for America's Most Promising Companies. The Ad Club of Boston named the company as Emerging Interactive Business at the 2011 South by Southwest Festival. No surprise then that this summer his company was acquired by Ron Sachs Communications — and that he's writing a book to help business and government leaders navigate the fast-changing landscape of social/digital media platforms.
Heather and Chris Thomas, 35 and 39, Destin

Heather and Chris Thomas, 35 and 39, Destin

Chris left the high pressure life of working for a Fortune 100 company after his father, a Destin charter boat captain, passed away. He took early retirement from corporate life and returned to Destin with his wife, Heather, to start Destin Vacation Boat Rentals, now in its third year of operation. Heather Thomas does PR and marketing for the company. She has a tourism blog and was named one of the Amazing Women of 2011 by a top website for women.
Jeremy S. Johnson, 30, Gulf Breeze

Jeremy S. Johnson, 30, Gulf Breeze

Realtor who works on Pensacola Beach — and closed more than $4 million in sales during the first half of 2012 in spite of the economy. His grandmother established the first Pensacola Beach newspaper, The Islander, which his mom owns and manages today as Island Times. An expert marksman, he is in the process of opening a gun sales shop — and is involved in a rescue program for golden retrievers.
Jennifer Conoley, 29, Panama City

Jennifer Conoley, 29, Panama City

A mainstay for the Bay County Economic Development Alliance, where she heads up the marketing program. She got her professional start with Herrle Communications in Tallahassee and now lives in Panama City, where her job with the EDA is to promote Bay County to businesses looking to relocate.
John-Ford Griffin, 32, Tallahassee

John-Ford Griffin, 32, Tallahassee

Introduced this year to the FSU Baseball Hall of Fame, spent a decade playing in more than 1,000 major and minor league ballgames before returning to Tallahassee.
Fun Can Make Your Team Stronger

Fun Can Make Your Team Stronger

Humor is the salve that helps relieve the stress of our publishing world, and our team does it so well.
Measure Success By Satisfied Customers

Measure Success By Satisfied Customers

No matter what we do, we should never forget the people who help us stay in business, our customers.
Holmes County is A Well-Oiled Machine

Holmes County is A Well-Oiled Machine

Tiny Holmes County has become a hotbed for manufacturing in Northwest Florida.
An American Horseman

An American Horseman

Trey Young is the quintessential American cowboy, a Wakulla County native who has a special knack for training horses and is now spreading that knowledge through television and national appearances.
Bay County Hopes to Land a Whale at New Airport

Bay County Hopes to Land a Whale at New Airport

Bay County's new airport was supposed to be an engine for economic growth. Has it succeeded?
Scaling Up

Scaling Up

How he lives to take on a challenge.
Staging a Coup

Staging a Coup

Company made a big splash on the national production scene by beating out New York and Hollywood companies to produce a major fishing show and work with big time music headliners.
When is The Right Time For Your Business to Bring in a Consultant?

When is The Right Time For Your Business to Bring in a Consultant?

What to look for when choosing a consultant or a coach to help your business get back on track.
How And When to Find a Good Attorney For Your Company

How And When to Find a Good Attorney For Your Company

If you're in business, chances are you've already dealt with a situation where you needed an attorney — whether you know it or not. From incorporation to employee I-9 forms, the advice of a competent legal mind can save you money, worry and time in the long run.
Take a Stand

Take a Stand

The health benefits of standing up while you are at work.
Are Words Obsolete in Marketing?

Are Words Obsolete in Marketing?

World wide brands have proven through marketing that strong visual messages are just as important as verbal messages.
The Internet Levels The Playing Field For Businesses

The Internet Levels The Playing Field For Businesses

The importance of including the Internet in your marketing plan.
Social Media Reports Can Ensure Client Understanding

Social Media Reports Can Ensure Client Understanding

Why you should deliver concise and relevant reports to your clients.
The New DBPR: Friendly, Fast and Fair

The New DBPR: Friendly, Fast and Fair

Ken Lawson, secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, talks about helping business thrive — and asks for your suggestions.
Karen B. Moore: Energized Entrepreneur

Karen B. Moore: Energized Entrepreneur

Karen Moore is active in her business, her community and life.