Sound Bytes: Our ear to the ground in the 850

Betty Castor, former state senator and Florida Education Commissioner, has joined Pennington, Moore, Wilkinson, Bell & Dunbar to launch the Center for Education Policy, an advocacy center for education.

Sound Bytes: Our ear to the ground in the 850 Compiled by Daniel Mutter and Linda Kleindienst




Betty Castor, former state senator and Florida Education Commissioner, has joined Pennington, Moore, Wilkinson, Bell & Dunbar to launch the Center for Education Policy, an advocacy center for education.

Visit Tallahassee, the new, consolidated tourism marketing organization for Tallahassee and Leon County has officially begun operations under the direction of Executive Director Lee Daniel. Kerri Post has been named senior marketing director. Other staff members include: Brian Hickey, Sports Council director; Chris O’Brien, Sports Council assistant director, Katie Kole, marketing communications director; Lorrie Allen, leisure sales director; Raymond (Rico) James, visitor services director; Kaye Hogan, assistant to the executive director; and Wanda Barnard, administrative assistant.

Radey, Thomas, Yon & Clark lawyers Elizabeth W. McArthur and Travis L. Miller of Tallahassee are among the 101 attorneys statewide who recently earned Florida Bar board certification.



Karen B. Moore, president of Moore Consulting Group Inc. in Tallahassee, was this year’s recipient of the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce 2009 Godfrey Smith Past Chairmen’s Award in honor of her work for the Chamber and the community.

Agustin G. "Gus" Corbella, director of the Governmental Affairs Practice of the Tallahassee office of the international law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A., was listed by Campaign and Elections’ Politics Magazine among its list of 100 "Influencers in Florida."

For the fifth year in a row, Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare is the recipient of the National Research Corporation’s 2009/10 Consumer Choice Award.

Leon County At-Large Commissioner Cliff Thaell was recently named to the National Association of Counties Board of Directors. Thaell has previously served NACo on the Community and Economic Development Steering Committee and currently serves as a member of the Environment, Energy, and Land Use Steering Committee.

Tallahassee-owned commercial and medical facility contractor Childers Construction Company won the Associated Builders and Contractors’ 2009 Project of the Year Award for Excellence in Construction from the Associated Builders and Contractors – North Florida Chapter for the FSU College of Education Expansion and Renovation project. The $10 million project included the construction of a 26,000 square foot addition and 11,000 square foot renovation of the existing structure. Childers’ construction methods and materials also earned LEED Silver recognition from the U.S. Green Building Council.



Kimberle Moon McKee, 57, of Havana, professor at the Baptist College of Florida and.Dana G. Callen, 66, of Tallahassee, assistant principal for Chiles High School, to the Tallahassee Community College board of trustees.

Harry Duncanson, 62, of Tallahassee, vice president of Dynacolor Graphics Inc., to the Early Learning Advisory Council.




Joyce S. Estes, 72, of Eastpoint, owner of Sea Oats Art Gallery, to the Northwest Florida Water Management District governing board.

Gulf County Tax Collector Shirley J. Jenkins, 54, of Port St. Joe, to Gulf Coast Community College Board of Trustees.

J. Allison DeFoor II, 55, of Crawfordville, consultant and managing member of Castille, DeFoor and Armstrong, to the Tallahassee Community College Board of Trustees.




Scott Brian Barloga of Pope & Barloga P.A. in Panama City is among the 101 attorneys statewide who recently earned Florida Bar board certification. Barloga is board certified in wills, trusts and estates.

Ledman Construction & Development Inc. of Panama City was among several southeast builders and designers of environmentally friendly new homes that recently received a national AURORA award during the Southeast Building Conference/Green Building Show.

Edgewater Beach Resort Management, Inc., the management company for The Resort Collection of Panama City Beach, recently earned the Accredited Association Management Company designation from the Community Associations Institute.

Local Happenings

Wanda Kaye Tillery, B.S.N., M.B.A., has been named vice president of quality and safety for Baptist Health Care. Tillery will focus on clinical outcomes, patient safety and satisfaction and regulatory compliance.

Fahlgren, a group based out of Ohio, with ties to VisitFlorida and Southwest Airlines, has been chosen as the ad agency for Panama City Beach. Public relations for the city will be handled by the Lou Hammond agency out of New York.

Gov. Charlie Crist has reappointed Dan Estes, a self-employed private investigator in Lynn Haven, to the Gulf Coast Community College Board of Trustees.

Hombre Golf Course in Panama City Beach hosted the second stage of the PGA TOUR Qualifying School in November — for the 16th time. Q-school is a survival test of as many as three tournaments that will eventually determine the players who earn their PGA TOUR cards for the 2010 season. The final stage for the 81 golfers will be held in West Palm Beach in December. Among local golfers competing are Ben Bates of Pace and Chris Devlin of Panama City.




Ice River Springs water bottling plant in Marianna is one of 20 companies throughout the state recently honored with a Governor’s Diversification Award.



Spring Ridge, a new master-planned community in Washington County, is open for business. The developer has set up a welcome center at Pier Park Mall and expects to start breaking ground on the development near Chipley in early 2010. With home prices expected to start in the $160s, residents will also have private beach club access through the Spring Ridge Beach Club.



Joseph W. Sowell, 67, Bonifay, (reappointed) to the Holmes County Hospital Corporation.

Latresha M. Pittman, 35, Graceville, health educator with Jackson Country Health Department, (reappointed) to the Campbellton-Graceville Hospital Corporation.

Patrick L. Pelham, 62, of Graceville, owner of Pat Pelham Insurance Agency, to the Campbellton-Graceville Hospital Corporation.




Lord and Son Construction, Inc., Fort Walton Beach, was awarded five Excellence in Construction Awards by the North Florida Chapter Associated Builders and Contractors for quality construction and innovative practices. The company also won the Gold Level Safety Award for its jobsite safety program.

Legacy Boating Club in Destin was named the fastest growing private boating business in Florida in Inc Magazine’s the Inc. 500|5000, a compilation of America’s fastest growing private companies.

Pen Air Federal Credit Union President/CEO Ron Fields recently accepted the Covenant Hospice Diamond Society Award, given in appreciation of the Pensacola credit union’s continued support, which includes contributing holiday toys to the children’s program and sponsoring fundraising events.

The Defense Credit Union Council has inducted former Pen Air Federal Credit Union President/CEO John A. Davis Jr. into its Hall of Honor. Mr. Davis served as President/CEO of Pen Air Federal Credit Union from 1998 until his untimely death in 2008.

Preston Hood Chevrolet has been selected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a 2009 Energy Star Small Business Award. The Fort Walton Beach dealership is one of only seven small businesses in the country to be recognized by the U.S. Government-sponsored Energy Star program for effective energy-management practices and innovative efficiency solutions.

Silver Sands Factory Stores in Destin won the Gold Image Award and the Judges’ Award from the Florida Public Relations Association.

600 South Wine and Tapas Bar at New World Landing was selected as one of "Florida’s Finest Bars" by M magazine.



Zandra Wolfgram, a marketing and public relations professional formerly with Portofino Island, Seaside and Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, has formed Wordplay Ink, a Fort Walton Beach-based corporation focused on marketing communications.

Chef David Cunningham has joined the team of Commander’s Palace in Destin.

Beach Properties of Florida has hired five new agents, Bryon Dumas, John Fitzpatrick, Tom Fitzpatrick, Jennifer MacBride and Anne Winicki, who will work from offices in Grayton Beach and WaterColor.

O’Sullivan Creel, LLP, one of the region’s largest CPA and consulting firms, has promoted Judd S. Jackson to partner in the consulting division of the Destin office. Promotions in the tax division of the Pensacola office include: Scott Warren, to partner; Randall Wells to senior manager; Tina Cox, Jenna Minter and Brittany Youngblood to senior; and Ashley Englisch to AII. Audit division promotions: Jonathan Buxton to supervisor; Geoff Barnes, Ross LeBlanc and Tyler Smith to senior; and Adrienne McDanal to AII.

W. Hampton Baggs III, M.D., has joined Baptist Medical Group — Perdido. Baggs, a board-certified Internist with 25 years of experience in hospital-based community medicine, is also certified in advanced cardiac, trauma and pediatric life support.

Bette Harriman has been named director of neurosciences at Baptist Health Care, Pensacola.

Destin lawyers Jason E. Havens of Havens & Miller PLLC and Kirby H. Williams of Clark, Partington, Larry, Bond & Stackhouse are among the 101 attorneys statewide who recently earned Florida Bar board certification. Havens is board certified in wills, trusts and estates and Williams is certified in real estate.

Joanie Pape has joined Beach Community Bank to manage the Navarre office.

Jennifer Bell, MD, has joined the Division of Endocrinology at Nemours Children’s Clinic Pensacola.

Judy Hoepfl was recently appointed account executive with Cox Media, based in Fort Walton Beach.

Bill Cleary, vice president and director of Client Relations, Landrum Professional Employer Services, has been appointed as a board member for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida agency.



Virginia W. Asthana, 67, of Niceville, business manager of Hygeia Medical Group, to the Mid-Bay Bridge Authority of Okaloosa County.

Lois A. Holwerda-Hoyt, 63, of Destin, retired, to the Mid-Bay Bridge Authority of Okaloosa County.



Avalex Technologies of Pensacola is teaming with the United Kingdom’s Police Aviation Services to provide displays and digital video recorders to the Dorset, England, police department and other UK law enforcement agencies.

The State of Florida and Escambia County have partnered to provide $1 million apiece for the expansion of the Navy Federal Credit Union.

The Northwest Florida Coast Chapter of FPRA has inducted a new board of directors for 2009–2010. They are: Angela Triplett (president), Jami Anderson, Steve Barber, Stacey Brady, Tracy Louthain, Carley McMillian, Kay Phelan, Jessica Proffitt, Andi Ratliff, Lori Smith and Zandra Wolfgram.

The Pensacola Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association’s 2009–2010 board of directors includes: Karen Szulczewski, president; Gordon Paulus, president-elect, vice president/membership: Natalie Smith, secretary; Dina Justice, vice president/ finance; Michael English, vice president/networking: Jeff Rogers, vice president/ communications; Kris Thoma, vice president/programs; Whitney Vaughan, vice president/Image Awards; Auriette Lindsey, vice president/Toolbox; Jeff Nall, vice president/accreditation; Joy Tsubooka, past president.

Bobby Hutchison, a long-time Destin resident, business owner and real estate entrepreneur, has launched the National Real Estate Auction Group located in Destin.



The Navarre Beach Area Chamber will premiere its 1st Annual Combined Health & Business Expo on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010, from 9 a.m.–1 p.m. at the Navarre High School, 8600 High School Blvd. Although the Health Fair is entering its ninth year, this is the first year that businesses have been added to the venue. The event will feature local small businesses, community and non-profit organizations, and health-related businesses from throughout the Gulf Coast with interactive booths and activities. For more information, registration forms, and sponsor information, log on and click on "Special Events" or call the Chamber at 850-939-3267.