The co-chair of the Chamber’s Vision 2015 initiative for economic development, was recently named Community Leader of the Year by the Greater Pensacola Chamber for her efforts with both the initial fundraising effort and the securing of its more than $8.5 million in pledges, as well as for her work with the Community Maritime Park Board and helping to ensure that several minority contractors were given the opportunity to be a part of the project.
Coming off another record-setting season, the Pensacola Opera has announced its “Secure its Future” fundraising campaign that will raise $1 million to secure the organization’s future. Its first goal is stabilize the company financially by eliminating debts, growing the endowment fund and establishing annual operating reserves. The second is to expand and enhance programming to excite opera patrons, reach new audiences and educate more children.
Emerald Coast Utilities Authority presented its “Protector of the Environment” (POE) Award to Beaver’s Inc., operator of six Arby’s franchised restaurants located in the Pensacola area. The POE award rewards local businesses and food service establishments that promote a positive safe working and clean eating environment through the ECUA’s Fats, Oils, and Grease and Backflow Programs.
Florida’s Lieutenant Governor suddenly resigned after law enforcement officials questioned her regarding her ties to Allied Veterans of the World, a phony veterans charity that owned a $300-million Internet café network that allegedly operated as mini-casinos. Carroll said in her resignation statement that she does not believe that investigators have targeted her. The former U.S. Navy lieutenant commander was the first African-American Republican woman elected to the Florida Legislature and the first African-American woman elected lieutenant governor.
Honor Our Marines
The volunteer group that raised funds for the Marine Aviation Memorial Tower at Pensacola’s Veterans Memorial Park has left the contractor responsible for building its base hanging for $32,420 because Pensacola companies reneged on their pledges. The 30-foot steel clock tower, which features a 250-pound bronze bell and recorded music from a carillon, was dedicated last August.
Did city employees give up their pensions too quickly? Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford is pressing to change Florida’s retirement system, which he says is in trouble. He wants to phase out the pension plan by enrolling new state workers in a 401(k)-style investment plan. If that happens new city workers could see their pension plan drop from a Cadillac model to a pedicab.