Without Blaise Adams, the 4-H/Navy Federal Credit Union Deal may not have been done. The regional president of PNC Bank worked hard negotiating between 4-H, Escambia County and Navy Federal Credit Union over the financial institution’s purchase of the 240-acre Langley Bell 4-H Center for $3.6 million.
Adams, who notes the help of Debbie Calder, senior vice president of Greater Pensacola Operations at Navy Federal Credit Union, spent almost two years working on the deal.
“I had to act as a liaison with 4-H to interact with them, assist and inform their constituents and maneuver them through the process,” he said.
The deal added hundreds of jobs to Pensacola.
“In the short-term there was an addition of 700 jobs,” Adams said. “Above 2,300 have already been created. Employees have great benefits. It’s important for us to do what we can to continue to add jobs.”
The impact of not just more jobs, but good jobs can be seen in the employee parking lot of the Navy Federal’s new campus. Adams said there are plenty of shiny, new cars.
“You look at the parking lot and start to realize the impact this has on the community,” he said. “It’s a very significant impact.”
Beyond the economy, Adams is proud that Navy Federal is a company that gives back. As part of the sale agreement between Navy Federal and 4-H, the company agreed to use the pond area as a memorial site to establish historical makers and maybe even picnic grounds to be open to the public.
“It’s a great corporation,” Adams said. “The company itself gives a lot to the community.”
As Adams’ headline grabbing deal comes to an end, he is optimistic about the rest of Pensacola’s future.
“The future is very bright thanks to the change in the city’s charter, Ashton’s [Mayor Ashton Hayward] vision of the city and his plans to move the city forward and the renaissance of downtown,” Adams said.
Adams sees the responsibility of moving forward in the hands of Pensacola residents. It’s up to them to make sure the city heads in the direction they want to go.
“The city needs more demands of its citizens,” Adams said. “I think people need to stay focused on what they want. There needs to be more discussion of the future and not so much harping on the past.”
With the opening of the Maritime Park and the city’s own Major League Double-A baseball team, Adams believes the city is moving in the right direction.
“It’s opened people’s eyes to the possibilities,” he said of the waterfront baseball park. “It’s a very exciting time to be in Pensacola right now.”