Sound Bytes December/January
- Frank C. Walker III has been named vice president of Government Affairs for the Florida Chamber of Commerce. Walker most recently served as chief of staff to U.S. Representative Daniel Webster.
Other new team members have been added to help the Chamber ramp up its voter education and employer mobilization efforts. Andrew Wiggins and Andy Gonzalez have joined efforts to elect pro-jobs, pro-business candidates. Carolyn Gosselin is the new chief marketing and strategy officer. Drew Preston assists with priority projects as well as strategic employer engagement and mobilization.
- Pamela P. Epting has been appointed deputy commissioner of the Florida Office of Financial Regulation. She has been with the Florida Office of Financial Regulation since 1986, most recently serving as director of the Division of Securities.
- Brent Edington has been appointed as Florida State University’s new director of the Office of Commercialization, a critical role responsible for turning university research into marketable products and services.
- Tom Block and Keith Jones are now hosting The Front Row for ESPN radio. The pair can be heard on Wednesday nights from 6–7 p.m., right after the Jeff Cameron show, on 97.9 ESPN radio.
- The Florida Businesses for a Competitive Workforce coalition hired GOP operative Patrick Slevin to lead its bipartisan, anti-discrimination effort during the 2016 Florida legislative session to provide protection based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.
- Tara R. Price has joined Holland & Knight’s litigation practice as an associate in the Tallahassee office. She focuses her practice in the areas of administrative, commercial, fiduciary and appellate litigation.
- Benjamin E. Stearns joined the Tallahassee office of Carlton Fields Jorden Burt as an associate practicing in the Government Law and Consulting practice group with a focus in the areas of land use and environmental law, election law, administrative law and government consulting.
- Robert Simon and John Swope are new financial representatives for the Big Bend region of Modern Woodmen of America.
- Jennifer Newbury has joined the team at Gulf Winds Federal Credit Union as the assistant vice president and regional sales manager in Tallahassee.
- Julie Fess, a veteran of the state legislative and appropriations process, has joined the governmental affairs team of Wilson & Associates LLC, a Tallahassee-based lobbying and association management firm specializing in the fields of energy, infrastructure, construction, regulated industries and defense.
- Tallahassee-based Kidd Group Communication Design has made changes to its team. Denise Bilbow has been promoted to director of public relations. New members are: Karina Colón, digital project manager; Nicole VanDerSnick, public relations associate.
- Greg Ungru has joined LeadingAge Florida as director of communications. He previously held leadership positions at the Republican Party of Florida, the Florida Sports Foundation and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
- Hill+Knowlton Strategies has promoted Ron Bartlett to deputy general manager of Florida operations and Alia Faraj-Johnson to Florida public affairs practice leader. Bartlett, senior vice president, most recently served as head of the Florida public affairs practice, the company’s largest state-based public affairs practice, and Faraj-Johnson served as senior vice president in the company’s Tallahassee public affairs office.
- Wood+Partners Inc. has welcomed back Brad Tackett, ASLA, RLA, as senior project manager. He joins the Tallahassee office with over 15 years of experience and is a registered Landscape Architect in Mississippi.
- Julian Dozier has been promoted to director in the Assurance Services Department of Thomas Howell Ferguson P.A., a professional accounting, assurance and tax services firm headquartered in Tallahassee. Brian Walgamott (Tax Services) and Brandon Mott (Assurance Services) have been promoted to senior managers. John Spence and Phil Focaracci have joined the Tax Services Department.
- Johan Van Wyk has joined the Tallahassee office of James Moore, Certified Public Accountants and Consultants, as a senior consultant in the Accounting and Controllership Services department.
- Scott Ross has joined Capital City Consulting, LLC as a partner in the government affairs consulting firm.
- Amy W. Schrader has joined Baker Donelson’s State Public Policy Group in the Tallahassee office.
- Tallahassee Community College is one of four community colleges nationwide selected to receive a $120,000 grant from The Achieving the Dream Retail Pathways Initiative, funded by the Walmart Foundation. The purpose is to prepare students to pursue middle-skill retail careers in the Tallahassee region within six months or less. Middle-skill jobs require more than secondary school but less than a bachelor’s degree. Students may also choose to pursue the Associate of Science in Business degree program.
- Tesla Motors, the California-based maker of the award-winning Model S electric sedan, has expanded its network with the opening of a Supercharger Station in Tallahassee. Located off I-10, the Tallahassee location allows Model S owners to have free seamless travel between Texas, New Orleans, Florida and the East Coast and completes the Supercharger network on the I-10 corridor.
- Kay Stephenson, co-founder and CEO of Tallahassee-based Datamaxx, and Jonathan Waters, co-founder and CTO, were recently honored with the Governor’s Business Ambassador Award. Founded in 1991, Datamaxx now has more than 750,000 end users worldwide and is one of the largest providers of advanced communications, data access, information sharing, enterprise intelligence and access control solutions to the law enforcement, criminal justice, public safety and security industries.
- Lee Daniel, Leon County’s director of Tourism Development, is now the top officer of the statewide association of tourism boards. The Florida Association of Destination Marketing Organizations named Daniel chairman of its board of directors during its recent annual meeting. He has served as director of the Leon County Division of Tourism Development, also known as Visit Tallahassee, since 2009.
- The National Council of Architectural Component Executives has elected Becky Wilson Magdaleno, CAE, as secretary of the 2016 CACE Executive Committee. Director of Administration for the Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects, Magdaleno was also awarded the CACE Emerging Leader Award.
- Two local firms won honors at the Annual Gold Image Awards Gala sponsored by the Florida Public Relations Association. Taproot Creative’s work with the Tallahassee-based Knight Creative Communities Institute earned it the Dick Pope All Florida Grand Golden Image Award, which salutes the top public relations program in the state during a given year. Taproot also received a Golden Image Award and a Judges Award for the campaign. On 3 Public Relations (On3PR) received an Award of Distinction in Public Relations Programs for the rebranding of the Florida Dental Association Services’ member exclusive savings program.
- Tallahassee’s Prime Meridian Bank has been named one of the Best Banks to Work For by American Banker magazine, ranking No. 12.
- Tallahassee-based Danfoss, the pioneer of oil-free, magnetic bearing, variable speed centrifugal compressors and a leading manufacturer of other high-efficiency components and controls for air-conditioning and refrigeration systems, is the 2015 recipient of the Alliance to Save Energy’s prestigious Innovative Star of Energy Efficiency award. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to energy efficiency with a demonstrated, cost-effective impact.
- FLAG Credit Union employees Carrie Edgerson and Beth Wheeler won first place in the PSCU KnockOut Innovation Summit, a collaborative competition for credit union employees nationwide. Participants had 24 hours to create a working prototype of a solution to a real credit union business need. Employees from credit unions across the country voted on the best ideas submitted by the three finalists.
- Tallahassee AV Preeminent-rated lawyer Reggie Garcia is the author of “How To Leave Prison Early,” which has garnered 25 “Five Gold Star” customer reviews and is a frequent Top 100 best seller on Amazon’s Criminal Law Procedure category.
- Ajax Building Corporation recently named three Tallahassee trade partners as Subcontractor of the Year award winners for their commitment to teamwork, safety and a high level of quality. Great Southern Demolition Inc.; Ingram Enterprises Inc.; and Joyner Electric Inc. were recognized for work on renovations to Oak Ridge Elementary School in Tallahassee.
- Gus Corbella, senior director of Government Law & Policy practice in Greenberg Traurig’s Tallahassee office, has been named to Class XXXIV of Leadership Florida.
- Frank Rudd, Bill Oliver and Melanie Lee have been appointed to the local advisory board of Tallahassee State Bank, a division of Synovus Bank. Rudd is president and CEO of the Florida Society of Association Executives. Oliver is president of OliverSperry Renovation, a leading commercial contractor in Northwest Florida. Lee is general manager of Kia AutoSport.
- Tallahassee appellate lawyer Diane DeWolf with the Akerman law firm has been appointed treasurer of the First District Appellate American Inn of Court and will handle all aspects of the organization’s finances and serve as a member of its executive committee, which meets regularly at the First District Court of Appeal.
- The winners of Leadership Tallahassee’s 21st Annual Distinguished Leadership Awards this year were: Lifetime Leadership Award — Althemese Barnes, John C. Riley House Museum; Leadership Pacesetter — Betsy Couch, Knight Creative Communities Institute; Servant Leadership — Debie Leonard, Thomas Howell Ferguson PA CPAs; Leader of the Year — Micah Widen, Domi Ventures LLC.
- Justin Edenfield, director in the Tax Services Department at Thomas Howell Ferguson, has been selected as a CPA Practice Advisor’s “40 Under 40” honoree. The program recognizes professionals who are making a difference in the accounting profession.
- The Agency for Persons with Disabilities has been named 2015 Customer of the Year by RESPECT of Florida. The award was presented at the 39th Annual Conference of the Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, manager of the RESPECT program, which employs more than 1,300 individuals with disabilities who provide commodities and services to businesses throughout the state.
- The Florida Surgeon General and Secretary of Health has appointed Leon County Deputy EMS Chief Malcolm Kemp to the state Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council, which serves as an advisory body to the Florida Department of Health’s Emergency Medical Services program and helps create the statewide strategic plan for the program.
- Jodi Chase, president and CEO of The Chase Firm, and Kim Rivers, financing/investing principal of Inkbridge Consulting LLC, have been appointed to The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship’s Education Fellows Program at Florida State University.
Appointed by Gov. Scott
- Dr. John Bailey, 56, of Tallahassee, a psychiatrist at John Bailey, D. O., LLC, to the Medicaid Pharmaceutical and Therapeutics Committee.
- Eugene Lamb Jr., 68, of Midway, who served on the Gadsden County Board of County Commissioners from 2004 to 2012 and currently serves as a member of the Governor’s Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding, to the Tallahassee Community College District Board of Trustees.
- Dr. Richard Nowakowski, 64, of Tallahassee, a professor and the Chair of Florida State University’s College of Medicine Department of Biomedical Sciences, to the Biomedical Research Advisory Council.
- Dame Dhyana Ziegler, 66, of Tallahassee, the Garth C. Reeves imminent scholar chair of journalism at the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, to the Florida Commission on the Status of Women.
- Brett Wilson, a lifelong resident of Walton County, has been promoted to the position of president for Destin-based First Florida Bank and First Florida Bancorp Inc. and has been elected to the board of directors.
- Megan Harrison, a multi-generation native of Walton County, has taken over as the new president/CEO of the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce.
- George’s at Alys Beach has a new executive chef, Camille Withall, and two sous chefs, Jimmy Boerma and Erik Kellison. Withall has worked as a sous chef at George’s since February of 2014. Boerma and Kellison have worked in the kitchen for four years.
- Owners of Meltdown on 30A, Chef Jim Shirley and Kelli Castille, have officially opened The Baytowne Melt in The Village of Baytowne Wharf in Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort.
- Caroline Kanzigg has joined Coastal Bank and Trust, a division of Synovus Bank, as assistant vice president and branch manager of the Navarre Branch at 8390 Navarre Parkway.
- Michele Kors has joined Gulf Winds Federal Credit Union in Pensacola as assistant vice president of Mortgage Lending and Sales.
- Realtor Heather Green has joined the Newman-Dailey Resort Properties Real Estate Division in Destin.
- Austin Mount took the helm of the West Florida Regional Planning Council on Oct. 1. He previously served as executive director of the Kaysinger Basin Regional Planning Commission in Clinton, Missouri.
- Seaside Community Development Corporation, the developer of the new urbanist community of Seaside, has hired Kim Duke-Layden as director of commercial leasing and tenant relations.
- Covenant Care of Pensacola has named Ron Fried as its new senior vice president and chief growth officer. He will focus on growth initiatives that will allow the not-for-profit to serve an increased number of patients through a continuum of integrated health care services.
- Grand Boulevard at Sandestin will be welcoming three new stores in 2016, all making their debut in Northwest Florida. Lilly Pulitzer will be joined by women’s retailer Anthropologie and men’s and women’s retailer Vineyard Vines. All will be located in a new Town Center building currently under construction, directly across from the Boulevard 10 Cinema.
- Newly opened Venture Hive Fort Walton Beach is an educational entrepreneurship program created through a partnership of the City of Fort Walton Beach and Venture Hive to bring together training programs for U.S. military veteran entrepreneurs (including veterans, ex-military, and military spouses, dependents and DoD civilians), connecting them to the resources and support they need to grow their businesses.
- Turnberry Associates has announced plans to build a 150-room select service hotel in Destin. A nationally branded property, the new hotel will be connected to Destin Commons, which was recently inducted as a high level trustee member in the Destin Chamber of Commerce. The hotel is expected to open in 2017.
- Emmanuel Sheppard and Condon Law Firm, based in Pensacola, has opened a new office in Grand Boulevard’s Town Center in Miramar Beach. Created in 1913, it is one of the oldest law firms in the area, with more than 75 attorneys and staff providing legal services in over 20 areas of practice.
- As a final step in the academic college reorganization, the University of West Florida has established the College of Health, which will be led by inaugural dean Dr. Ermalynn Kiehl.
- The Pensacola State College Foundation received a $250,000 gift to establish the Marjan Mazza Business and Management Endowed Scholarship at Pensacola State College. This is the first PSC endowed scholarship that specifically supports students seeking baccalaureate degrees.
- Two local Santa Rosa Beach companies — YOLO Board and The 30A Company — have formed a new partnership that will span numerous lines of business, including retail, merchandise, rental services, tours, marketing, charities, events and more. The new partnership involves many moving parts, including an annual line of custom 30A YOLO Bikes, 30A YOLO Boards, paddles and other related accessories.
- Two local businesses have made it on Inc. 5000’s 34th annual Fastest Growing Private Companies List. G.S. Gelato & Desserts, a manufacturer of authentic Italian gelato and sorbet in Fort Walton Beach, ranked No. 2,063. IMS ExpertServices of Pensacola, making the list for the ninth year in a row, was listed as No. 3,772.
- Mike Ragsdale, who developed the South Walton brand of 30A, was named as the Visit South Walton 2015 Van Ness Butler Jr. Hospitality Award recipient. Ragsdale moved to South Walton in 2006 after living and working in the corporate world of Birmingham.
- Visit South Walton’s Visitor Center has been named a VISIT FLORIDA Certified Tourism Information Center. The center serves approximately 20,000 tourists annually. After three years of education and development, Lead Sales Coordinator Carley McMillian has been designated a Certified Meeting Professional — only the seventh person in Northwest Florida to earn the honor.
- Lino Maldonado, vice president of Operations for Wyndham Vacation Rentals, is the 2016 Chairman of the Board of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, one of the state’s largest trade associations, representing more than 10,000 members in the hospitality industry.
- Gulf Power received another accolade for the company’s dedication to environmental issues and causes when it was recently named one of the top Environmental Champions in the country. Cogent Reports™ named Gulf Power one of the top 36 utility champions from four regions nationwide, and one of the top three in the South region.
- Three Nurses at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center — Neil Rattray, Ulysses Finley Jr., and Amanda Liles — have been honored with The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. The award is part of the DAISY Foundation’s National program to recognize the exceptional efforts nurses perform every day and honors nurses who “go above and beyond.”
- Pensacola State College sophomore Jay Tellis is the newly selected state president of Health Occupations Students of America. With more than 13,600 members in secondary and post-secondary/collegiate chapters, Florida HOSA is the second largest state association in the nation.
- SPROUT Content, a growing Pensacola-based inbound marketing agency, was recently honored with an Impact Award for Happiest Hubspot Clients at the annual INBOUND conference. This award recognizes the company’s commitment and
- ability to using inbound marketing and the HubSpot tools as means to achieve growth goals for its clients.
- Tiffany Howell and Alex Rowe of the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa Recreation Department were recently awarded the Hilton Spirit of Blue Energy Award — the highest honor for Hilton Hotels and Resorts team members in the Hilton brand — for going above and beyond the expectations of their roles.
- CareerSource Okaloosa Walton, which uses its mobile unit to reach veterans in rural areas as well as visit military installations, was honored at the 2015 Workforce Professional Development Summit with a Veterans Performance Incentive Award for the outstanding service to veterans provided by its employees.
- The Pensacola Sports Association (PSA) and Executive Director Ray Palmer were awarded the 2015 Florida Sports Leadership Award by the Florida Sports Foundation for promoting health, fitness and sportsmanship and growing sports tourism in the Pensacola area.
- Gulf Winds Federal Credit Union of Pensacola has earned BauerFinancial’s 5-Star Superior rating for strength and security, an honor it has achieved for 85 consecutive quarters.
- Michael Myhre, the Pensacola-based CEO and Network State Director for the Florida SBDC Network, has been elected to the Board of Directors for the Association of Small Business Development Centers. The SBDC is the state’s principal provider of business assistance for small businesses.
- Leslie Moland and Stephanie Pettis of the Northwest Florida Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) recently earned the professional accreditation in public relations and received the designation of Accredited in Public Relations. Moland has served as the public relations specialist at White-Wilson Medical Center in Fort Walton Beach for almost two years. Pettis is the director of Marketing and Public Relations for Northwest Florida State College.
Appointed by Gov. Scott
- Donna Ryan, 57, of Pensacola, manager of the diabetes program at Sacred Heart Hospital, to the Diabetes Advisory Council.
- Stephania S. Wilson, 39, of Pensacola, a financial advisor at Regions, to the Board of Cosmetology.
- Southern Orthopedic Specialists has welcomed its newest associate, Dr. Ethan L. Kellum, a fellowship-trained Sports Medicine, Shoulder Surgery and Advanced Arthroscopy Specialist, to Panama City. In 2014, Kellum completed a fellowship in sports medicine at New England Baptist Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, where he served as assistant team physician for the NBA’s Boston Celtics and for both Harvard and Tufts’ University Athletics.
- Wayne Stubbs, port director of Port Panama City, has been elected as chair of the Florida Seaport Transportation and Economic Development Council, which is comprised of the port directors for Florida’s 15 public seaports and representatives from the Florida Department of Transportation and the Department of Economic Opportunity. The council oversees the state and local financing program of priority seaport transportation projects.
- Mexico Beach Sergeant Anthony Kelly in late September was honored by Gov. Rick Scott with the Medal of Heroism for his bravery and quick reaction in helping to save 17 people from the top floor of a burning apartment building while off duty.
- Oceaneering International Inc. has contracted with Shell Offshore Inc. to supply umbilicals for the deepwater Appomattox development located in the Mississippi Canyon area of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The project will be managed, engineered and manufactured at the Port Panama City facility.
- Associa, an industry leader in community management, has partnered with Burg Management Company Inc. in Panama City Beach. The company, one of only 18 Accredited Management Companies in Florida, has been managing associations for more than 15 years.
- Indian Motorcycle® of Panama City Beach celebrated its grand opening in mid-October at 13830 Panama City Beach Parkway. Founded in 1901, Indian Motorcycle® is America’s first motorcycle company.
- Historic Apalachicola Main Street has received two Secretary of State 2015 Florida Main Street Honor Awards. The organization won Outstanding Special Event for the Independence Eve Fireworks Show. Board Member Lynn Wilson accepted an honor award for Outstanding Business of the Year as owner of On the Waterfront Gallery. The award is in recognition of her $4.5 million worth of historic preservation projects in the Main Street district since the 1990s, including her gallery building, the Coombs Mansion, the Sponge Exchange Building, the Montgomery building and the cotton warehouse that is now home to the Center for History, Culture and Art.
- Chimene Johnson, principal of Apalachicola Bay Charter School in Franklin County, was one of six honored for their exceptional leadership skills at the 3rd annual Florida TaxWatch Principal Leadership Awards.
Appointed by Gov. Scott
- Jerry Barnes, 71, of Port St. Joe, to the Gulf County Board of County Commissioners. Barnes previously served on the county commission from 2000 to 2008 and as a commissioner for Port St. Joe. Pinki Jackel, 57, of St. George Island, as the Supervisor of Elections of Franklin County. Jackel has served as a county commissioner of Franklin County since 2008 as well as chairman of the Tourist Development Council since 2012.
- Rick Watson, 68, of St. George Island, to the Franklin County Board of County Commissioners. Watson owns and operates Richard Watson, LLC and is a realtor with Century 21 Collins Realty Inc.
- Robert Vice of Ameris Bank has been named market president for the bank’s Blountstown operation. Vice, who brings over 40 years of lending and banking experience to the community, also serves as the market president for Ameris Bank’s Tallahassee branch. Ameris Bank acquired its Blountstown branch from Bank of America in June.
- Timothy Day is the new town manager for Greenville. His top priority for the town is economic development, especially in area of retail and food establishments.
- Hanson Professional Services Inc. has opened a second office in Chipley, bringing the firm’s number of offices in the state to seven. Brian Lemieux, P.E., has joined Hanson in Chipley as a senior project manager and regional manager. He will provide recruitment, business development and project management services for clients in the Florida Panhandle, southern Alabama and southern Georgia.
- John and Elizabeth Alter, owners of the Alter-Bevis Tree Farm in Jackson County, were selected as Florida’s 2015 Outstanding Tree Farmers by the Florida Forestry Association. The couple’s property features 600 acres of pine trees.
- Bay State Cable Ties, America’s leading manufacturer of nylon cable ties, recently celebrated the opening of a new 20,000-square-foot building at its manufacturing facility in Crestview. The expansion will create 40 new jobs, brings the total square footage of the Bay State Cable Ties plant to 75,000 and will have a more than $16 million capital investment in the local community.
- Applied Gaia Corporation of Houston, Texas, plans to build a $60 million biomass plant in Perry. The plant, to be operated by Perry Natural Technologies, a subsidiary, is expected to open in late 2016 and provide 300 jobs for the area.
Compiled by Linda Kleindienst