Business News – Apr/May 2010

Apr/May 2010 Compiled by Linda Kleindienst Originally published in the Apr/May 2010 issue of 850 Business Magazine CAPITAL Hires and Promotions

The law firm of Sachs Sax Caplan has added Ross A. McVoy as senior counsel in the Tallahassee office.

Kristopher Dake, vice president and senior relationship manager of Wachovia Bank, has been appointed to represent the local financial industry on Leon County’s Enterprise Zone board.

Loyd Childree, of Lamar Outdoor Advertising Company of Tallahassee, has been appointed vice-chairman of the board.

Shawnta Friday-Stroud is the new dean of the School of Business and Industry at Florida A&M University. She formerly served as the interim dean and is a professor of management.

John Keillor has been promoted to Principal of the Tallahassee accounting firm of Lanigan & Associates.

Steve Casey is the new executive director of the Florida Sheriff’s Association, leading the lobbying and professional organization for the state’s 67 elected county sheriffs and their departments.

Steve Schale, the former Florida director for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, is now the political director for Florida’s trial lawyers at the Florida Justice Association.

Local Honors

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., has selected Aloft Tallahassee Downtown as its 2009 New Build of the Year Award winner.

Ron Sachs Communications earned 27 ADDY Awards, including two top prizes for the FSU Women’s Basketball Web site,, from the American Advertising Federation—Tallahassee. The firm won 13 Gold and Silver ADDYs for its brand launch, marketing and advertising campaign for Hotel Duval, Tallahassee’s first boutique hotel, and three awards for the National Science Foundation’s T3 program poster, origami invitation and Web site encouraging young women to pursue science, engineering and technology careers. The other winning work included a logo, Web site and video for EnergyFLA and a new branding/banners campaign for the Tallahassee Downtown Improvement Authority.

Two Tallahassee public relations firms are among the leading firms in the nation, according to O’Dwyer’s annual rankings. Ron Sachs Communications ranked No. 56 and Moore Consulting Group ranked No. 63, up 30 spots from last year.

Gerald Ferris, FSU’s Frances Eppes Professor of Management and Psychology, has been honored with the 2010 Thomas A. Mahoney Mentoring Award from the Academy of Management for making significant contributions in the mentoring of doctoral students.

The Girl Scout Council of the Florida Panhandle has named Elizabeth Ricci, of Rambana & Ricci, PA in Tallahassee, as this year’s Woman of Distinction in the Law category.

Mainline Information Systems has been recognized by VMware as a recipient of a VMware Partner Network Award, winning the Global Desktop Virtualization Partner of the Year category.

Based on sales performances, Sandi Varn of Tallahassee is among a select group of PMD Furniture Direct, Inc., franchisees named to the company’s esteemed “President’s Club” for top performing franchise owners.

Dr. Jay Reeve, the president and CEO of Apalachee Center, Inc., has won a 2010 Visionary Leadership award from the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, the national trade and advocacy organization for community mental health centers across the country. The award honors those who have significantly shaped the mental health and addictions industry and improved the lives of those in need of treatment and support.

Professor C.F. Sirmans, the J. Harold and Barbara M. Chastain Eminent Scholar Chair in Real Estate at Florida State University, has been named by Real Estate Economics as the most prolific research author in the 35-year history of the publication, amassing a total of 35 published research articles in that time. He also topped the charts as the most published real estate scholar in the journal since 1990.

Dean Gatzlaff, the Mark C. Bane Professor of Business Administration and director of Florida State’s Center for Real Estate Education & Research, topped the list of most cited research articles from 2001 to 2004 for an article he co-authored on better benchmarks for tracking movements in commercial property values.

Laserfiche presented value-added reseller MCCi from Tallahassee with the President’s Award in recognition of top sales achievement in 2009.

The Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award for the 2nd Judicial Circuit has been given to Robert Steven Goldman, a managing attorney at the law firm of Madsen Goldman and Holcomb LLP in Tallahassee. Monica Miller Evans, a Tallahassee attorney with Messer Caparello & Self P.A., has been selected to receive the 2010 Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Pro Bono Service Award.

Items of Note

Florida State University College of Law Assistant Professor Shawn J. Bayern has created an iPhone application that allows users to browse and search the U.S. Code from their phones. The free application was recently released for download on Apple’s App Store.

Lakeshore Hospitality, LLC, a local hotel development and real estate company in Tallahassee, recently opened Candlewood Suites-Tallahassee, the first locally-owned, extended stay hotel built in the city in nearly 10 years.

Tallahassee-based Ajax Building Corporation has broken ground on the $8.48 million Academic Center and Plaza for New College of Florida, the state honors college for the liberal arts and sciences.

Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC (CRI), the 4th largest accounting firm in the Southeast and 34th nationally, according to Accounting Today, has merged with Florida firm Davis, Monk & Company. Kenneth (Mike) Williams has been named the business development executive for the Tallahassee market.

Florida State University has dedicated a new “WOW! Z Lounge” in the College of Business to The Zimmerman Agency in appreciation for its branding and advertising initiatives.

Karen Rubin, a single mother of three, won $10,000 from the Florida Commerce Credit Union after a nearly year-long challenge against six other families to improve their household finances. She reduced her debt by $4,500, increased her saving by more than $30,000 and boosted her credit score from 662 to 758 to win the FCCU weLiveFIT! Challenge.

Appointed by Gov. Charlie Crist

Mark Kaplan, 42, of Tallahassee, vice president of Mosaic Fertilizer since 2007 and former chief of staff to Gov. Jeb Bush, to the state Board of Education.

Slater Bayliss, 33, of Tallahassee, governmental affairs director, Tew Cardenas LLP, to Florida Sports Foundation Board of Directors.

J. Emory Johnson, 60, of Tallahassee, president, J. Emory Johnson Interior Design Consultants Inc., to Board of Architecture and Interior Design.

Steve Evans, 62, of Tallahassee, retired IBM executive, and Lisa Echeverri, 44, of Tallahassee, executive director, Florida Department of Revenue, to Council on Efficient Government

Rachel E. Nordby, 29, of Tallahassee, attorney, to the statewide nominating commission for judges of compensation claims.

FORGOTTEN COAST Local Happenings

Tim Kerigan of Port St. Joe has been named the new executive director of the Gulf County Tourist Development Council. He is a co-founder of Mango Marley’s Restaurant in Mexico Beach.

Attorney Jeremy Novak is the newly installed president of the Gulf County Chamber of Commerce. Other new officers include: Bobby Pickels of Progress Energy, vice president; Michael Hammond, assistant county administrator, secretary; and Melissa Farrell of Joseph’s Cottage, treasurer.

Sacred Heart Health System has opened Sacred Heart Hospital on the Gulf, a new 25-bed facility located at 3801 East Highway 98 in Port St. Joe. The new $38 million hospital features a 24-hour emergency department, inpatient services, surgical services, a full complement of diagnostic and laboratory services, and a helipad to provide rapid transport for trauma or critically ill patients. Sandra Todd-Atkinson, R.N., Ed.D., has taken the reigns as chief operating officer and chief nursing officer.

BAY Local Happenings

Raymond James financial advisor Greg Scott, located at Summit Bank in Panama City, has been ranked No. 34 on Bank Investment Consultant magazine’s “2009 Top 50 Bank Reps.”

Allen Bense, vice chairman of the Enterprise Florida Board of Directors, has been named by Gov. Charlie Crist to serve on the Florida Council on Military Base and Mission Support. Bense, of Panama City, is a former speaker of the Florida House of Representatives.

Debra Edinger, 53, of Panama City, a dental hygienist with Kennon and Associates, has been appointed to the state Board of Dentistry by Gov. Charlie Crist.

EMERALD COAST Moving On and Up

Winter E. Spires has been named a partner in the Destin law firm of Pleat & Perry, P.A. New additions to the firm include Destin City Attorney J. Jerome “Jerry” Miller and Elizabeth V. LaFollette.

Alexander “Leason” Dancaescu has joined The Island Empress, a LaTour Signature Resort located on Pensacola Beach, as project analyst. Tosh Belsinger, owner and operator of the McIntosh Company, has been named director of Realtor relations and strategic alliance development.

New additions to the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa include Rick Thompson as director of sales and Valeria Lento as communications manager.

Allan Burkes has been named general manager of Regus, a pioneer in outsourced offices located in Grand Boulevard at Sandestin.

Frank Sandro has joined Legendary Inc. and the Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village as director of resort sales.

Jacque Mazoch has been named director of sales and marketing for Courtyard by Marriott Sandestin and Residence Inn.

Cox Media, the advertising services division of Cox Communications, Inc., has appointed Brian Reed to the newly created position of Florida Production Manager.

New additions to Baptist Medical Group: Dr. Henry Amos, M.D., F.A.C.R., board certified in radiation oncology; E. Wayne Mosley, M.D., orthopedic trauma surgeon.

Becky Bryant has joined the Surf’s Up Team at Beach Properties of Florida as licensed sales coordinator.

Pensacola-based marketing agency idgroup consulting + creative has hired Lindsey Braxton Shook as the director of business development and Kris Poore to serve as creative director.

Denis A. McKinnon, Jr., of Pensacola, has been named president and CEO of the Gulf States Division of Coldwell Banker United, REALTORS®.

Happenings in the Region

Le Grand Cirque, which has broken box office records around the globe, will open in Grand Boulevard on May 26 in an air-conditioned tent. The summer-long engagement is expected to pump millions into the local tourism economy.

The Rotary Club of Pensacola, which has 246 members, celebrated its 95th anniversary in March.

The Destin Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has extended the contract of President and CEO Shane A. Moody for the third time.

The Moors Golf Club in Milton, which hosted 11 PGA tournaments in its more than 16-year history, closed in March.

TEAM Santa Rosa is working with the cities of Milton and Gulf Breeze to create marketing plans designed to bring new industry to their areas.

The Port of Pensacola has received a $1.69 million federal grant to begin homeland security improvements, thanks to an application made by the Pensacola Area Chamber of Commerce to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The Pensacola City Council has approved Sandspur Development’s formal plan for Airport and 12th, a $24 million project that includes more than 11 acres of office and retail space and a 127-room Hyatt Place hotel that connects directly to the Pensacola Gulf Coast Regional Airport Terminal.

The same architectural group that designed the New York Yankee’s new baseball field is designing the Vince Whibbs Sr. Community Maritime Park multi-purpose stadium. Populous will design the ballpark as part of the major mixed-use development on Pensacola’s downtown waterfront.

Qantum of Fort Walton Beach has launched 98.1-WHWY-FM, The New Highway 98 Country.

Local Honors

Susan Story, president and CEO of Gulf Power, is the 2010 Woman of the Year Diamond Award Honoree of the Girl Scout Council of the Florida Panhandle.

Pamm Scheyd, regional sales manager for the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, has been named to the Louisiana Society of Association Executives board of directors for the 2010-2011 term.

Beach Properties of Florida, a boutique real estate agency with offices in Grayton Beach and WaterColor, was honored by the Emerald Coast Advertising Federation for creative excellence in advertising, winning a Gold ADDY® Award in Video Promotions and Best of Show for its seven-part 30A video series produced by the Travel Channel’s Shane Reynolds.

Rob Williamson of Navarre, owner of Trees Plus, one of Northwest Florida’s oldest full service tree and landscaping companies, has been named the state of Florida’s 2009 ‘Outstanding Professional’ by the Florida Urban Forestry Council.

Twin Cities Hospital in Niceville has received a 5-Star rating for the quality of treatment of heart failure from HealthGrades, the leading independent healthcare ratings organization.

Florida Trend magazine has named six Beaches of South Walton restaurants among “Florida’s 500 Best Places to Dine.” The list includes: Café Thirty-A, casual fine-dining; Bud & Alley’s, Mediterranean cuisine; Fish Out of Water, casual, fresh cuisine; Vin’tij Wine Boutique, eclectic coastal food; and Seagar’s Prime Steaks and Seafood, fine dining. Adding its name to this year’s list is Destin Chops 30A, recognized for its steaks and trendy vibe. Also, debuting on the “Best Newcomers” list was restaurant Caliza at Alys Beach.

For the third year in a row, WaterColor Inn & Resort has been selected by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine as one of the top 500 hotels in the world.

Meetings & Conventions magazine has inducted the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa into its 2009 Gold Hall of Fame for winning the magazine’s prominent Gold Key Award 13 consecutive years.

Innisfree Hotels, headquartered in Gulf Breeze, was recently chosen as one of the Top 100 Owners & Developers by Hotel Business magazine. The annual ranking rated companies based on the number of rooms they owned at the end of 2008. Innisfree was rated 89th.

Two Cox Media employees were recently honored with 2009 Gulf Coast Excellence awards: Spencer Mosness, producer/director, as Client Services Employee of the Year and Barbara Ross, account coordinator, as Sales Support Employee of the Year.

The new Woodlands Center for Specialized Medicine has received the Mayor’s Beautification Award from Pensacola Mayor Mike Wiggins and the New Development of the Year Award from the Northwest Florida chapter of NAIOP, a national commercial real estate development association.

Kristen McAllister, a CPA with O’Sullivan Creel, has attained the Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM) certification.

Appointed by Gov. Charlie Crist

Susan Story, 50, of Pensacola, president and CEO of Gulf Power Company, to the state Board of Education.

I-10 Local Happenings

Robin Punyko has been named the manager of Gulf Power Company’s local Milton office. She has worked for Gulf Power for 20 years, most recently as the business office team leader in Pensacola.

Laddie Williams, chairman of the Calhoun-Liberty Hospital’s board of directors, has been named the nation’s 2010 Trustee of the Year by Modern Healthcare magazine. The Blountstown facility is a 25-bed critical access hospital. Williams, who was named Trustee of the Year for all hospitals in Florida last October by the Florida Hospital Association, has served on the hospital’s board for more than 23 years and been chairman for the past 20 years.

Edwin Stewart Jr., 63, of Milton, owner of Esquire Barber Shop, has been appointed by Gov. Charlie Crist to sit on the state Barbers’ Board.

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