Pinnacle Awards 2020

Program adds Turnbull Award honoring a rising star

Marjorie Turnbull has been many things. A county commissioner, a state legislator, the executive director of a community college, a bank director and the kind of community servant whose name is placed on buildings.

Still, Tuesday was a special day for her.

It was then that Rowland Publishing and 850: The Business Magazine of Northwest Florida unveiled a new honor as part of its Pinnacle Awards program, which was established in 2014.

Pinnacle Awards are reserved for outstanding Northwest Florida women who have emerged over the course of distinguished careers as accomplished professionals and community assets.

Effective this year, RPI decided to additionally recognize a young woman of obvious promise who has embarked on a trajectory sure to be impressive.

Turnbull, herself, was recognized with a Pinnacle Award on Tuesday and, minutes later, it was divulged that the new honor will be known as the Turnbull Award.

Turnbull was thrilled.

“I am sitting here absolutely stunned,” she wrote in an email sent to RPI president Brian Rowland and two of his key employees, McKenzie Burleigh and Steve Bornhoft. “The Pinnacle Award is in itself a recognition that was so unexpected. But you have gone above and beyond what I deserve with the new award that you have chosen to put in my name that will recognize someone early in a life of service and accomplishment.  Nothing could honor me more.”

Under normal circumstances, Turnbull would have been present for the unveiling and would have had the chance to congratulate in person the first ever Turnbull Award winner, Adrienne Maygarden. But a certain pandemic made a virtual presentation necessary.

That production originated at Tallahassee’s Downtown Community Church where Pinnacle Awards official photographer Alex Workman of The Workmans creative team helped ensure that a lot of moving parts came together. Silver Digital Media shot a video that figured in the proceedings.

Rowland got the program started by talking about the history of the Pinnacle Awards and acknowledging the sponsors of this year’s event …

  • Presenting sponsor Bank of America/Merrill Lynch
  • Ascension Sacred Heart
  • Gulf Power, which was instrumental in the initial creation of the Pinnacle Awards program
  • COX Business, a supplier of high-speed Internet and business phone services
  • Counts Real Estate Group, based in Panama City Beach
  • Project Style Salon, which coifs award winners in preparation for their photo sessions with Workman
  • Pōm Spiritual Poetics, whose online courses include “The Happy Rich Creative”
  • Sarah Grace Meckelberg, a dietician and lifestyle coach
  • VisionFirst Advisors, a regional economic development consultant

Burleigh, RPI’s vice president for corporate development, noted at least one advantage of going virtual — some 300 people were expected to view the presentation. She acknowledged winners from past years; noted plans to unite Pinnacle honorees in a brainstorming “Common Interest Retreat” in the spring; and introduced Tuesday’s keynote speaker, Lisa Walters.

Walters is a senior vice president and general counsel at the St. Joe Company and was recognized in 2015 as Pinnacle Award winner, given her extraordinary record of community service.

She thanked her parents for providing her with a supportive nurturing environment, stressing the importance of education and allowing her to do whatever she wanted to do, save for two things: changing a tire and jumping out of a plane.

Via video shot at his home, market manager Andy Harrison of Bank of America presented a posthumous award to Melissa Medley.

Medley who died in January of this year, served as chief marketing officer for Enterprise Florida and later joined in establishing VisionFirst Advisors. Her lifelong friend, Dina Boucher, recalls her as a “big encourager of others, especially women.”

RPI executive editor Steve Bornhoft presented an additional 11 Pinnacle Awards to:

  • Tracy Andrews, a Gulf Power local manager and mayor of Chipley, Florida
  • Brigette Brooks, a Realtor and president of Pensacola Bay Area IMPACT 100
  • Erica Grancagnolo, assistant director, Santa Rosa Economic Development
  • Dana Kerigan, president and principal, Kerigan Marketing Associates
  • Kellie Jo Kilberg, chairwoman, Florida Defense Alliance
  • Adrienne Maygarden, women’s and children’s service line director, Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital
  • Kay Phelan, a marketer and owner of an agency, Phelan & Lowry, Ltd.
  • Elizabeth Ricci, immigration attorney, managing partner at Rambana & Ricci, PLLC
  • Martha Saunders, president, University of West Florida
  • Marjorie Turnbull
  • Cindy Wilker, president, LGBTQ Center of Bay County

Profiles of all of the honorees will appear in the winter edition of 850 Business Magazine.

In an interview with Bornhoft, Maygarden said she recognizes that “women sometime pull back if something seems scary or hairy or too big to tackle. But lean into it, and you will be surprised at the growth that happens during your period of greatest discomfort.”

Turnbull, who has a brand new connection with Maygarden, offered Bornhoft a similar thought: “Remain open to opportunities and, once you seize an opportunity, don’t look back.”

Did the virtual awards presentation succeed?

Several honorees, including Ricci, said that it did.

“Great job on a seamless virtual ceremony, 850,” she wrote in an email. “I was really impressed by the event and was honored to be recognized among such amazing women! Congrats to all.”

Yes, congrats to all.


Categories: Pinnacle Awards