850 — The Business Magazine of Northwest Florida - 850 Business Magazine April-May 2012

Valeria Lento, 27, Pensacola

A native of Argentina, worked at global public relations firms in New York and Miami, including Burston-Marstellar and Edelman, before coming to Northwest Florida. She served as communications manager of the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa before joining the Pensacola Bay Chamber of Commerce to run its communications department for Visit Pensacola. In 2011, she was named Communicator of the Year by the Florida Public Relations Association Northwest Florida Coast chapter and was honored for her creativity by Visit Florida.

Michael J. Setboun, 32, Alford

Has a doctorate in pharmacology and worked for a research firm for 15 years. But he decided to pursue the American Dream, trading Paris for rural Northwest Florida, where he had often vacationed. He has transformed a historical 1930s schoolhouse into a bed and breakfast and event center that he named in honor of his mother. La Maison de Lucy was recently selected the 2012 Best Themed bed and breakfast by the online readers of Lanier BB travel guide website.

Elizabeth Ricci, 36, Tallahassee

Has made headlines with her work as an immigration attorney, but how many in her own community know that her civic participation extends far beyond the field of law? She served in the Peace Corps as a small business development volunteer, working on women’s micro loans in Guatemala. She was 2004 Volunteer of the Year at Pineview Elementary for tutoring an at-risk student, served on the Tallahassee/Leon County Cultural Resources Commission, was treasurer of the Big Bend Fair Housing Center, has written several articles, is president of CIAO! (the Capital Italian American Organization) and a founder/organizer of the Italian Family Festa.

Jason L. Kimbrell, 33, Milton

A member of TEAM Santa Rosa Economic Development Council’s Board of Directors, is a volunteer firefighter and works with a multitude of community groups. He is on the board of the Florida Rural Health Network and the Emergency Services Advisory Council, serves on the faculty of the American Heart Association training center, holds seven professional certifications, is an adjunct professor at the University of West Florida and brought a program to the community designed to help seniors avoid falls.

Creating Results

Those funny looking QR codes popping up all over the place are a new tool to help you market your business. Coded Messages An explanation of QR codes and how to use them intelligently By Laura Bradley You’ve seen them…

Taking Aim

McCoy’s Country Store is a mainstay for customers who can find anything they need, from a tank of gas to a cup of coffee to a new shotgun. Taking Aim Small-town McCoy’s Outdoors shoots down the competition with great prices…

Boutique Bank Boss

Andy Stein is a successful Panama City banker who raised millions to open his own bank even as many others in the region were failing. Boutique Bank Boss One bank CEO turns a profit while other banks fail By Wendy…

Small Businesses Pack a Big Economic Punch

Northwest Florida survives on small businesses, and the Fort Walton Beach-based Small Business Development Center helps to launch many of them. Small Businesses Pack a Big Economic Punch Small Business Development Center launches the Growth Acceleration Program By Zandra Wolfgram…

Friends and Partners

Resort Vacation Properties on St. George Island is a friendly affair, literally. The company is run by five women who learned to balance work and friendship.   Friends and Partners There’s room for both, if the rules are spelled out…