Pensacola, Florida
Tuesday November 25th 2014

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Winners & Losers 10/3/13

Winners
Erin Kelley Sammis
The executive director for Pensacola Opera has been named a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) by CFRE International. Sammis, an IN 2010 Rising Star, joined Pensacola Opera six years ago as the Development and Marketing Coordinator, and in August 2011 she was promoted to executive director. Prior to this, she worked at Chicago Opera Theatre in Chicago and Girl Scouts of Tulip Trace Council in Bloomington, Ind.

Judy Bense
The University of West Florida president was evaluated regarding the achievement of institutional goals and priorities established by the Board of Trustees. As a result of the evaluation, Dr. Bense received a base salary increase of $14,750 and a one-time bonus of $39,000.

John Peacock
The downtown resident and Downtown Improvement Board member persuaded the Escambia County Commission to contribute $50,000 toward bollards for Palafox Street events. The September Gallery night was the first time locals enjoyed open streets because of them. Without Peacock’s efforts, we might still be waiting for them to be installed.

Shedrick Johnson
The Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan awarded Sgt. Shedrick Johnson with the ECSO Purple Heart at that agency’s Quarterly Awards Ceremony.  Johnson was shot in the leg last March while pursuing two robbery suspects in Pensacola’s Scenic Hills neighborhood.

Losers
Mayor Ashton Hayward
The Pensacola mayor failed to win support from the Pensacola City Council for his recommendation to bring Chick-fil-A to the Pensacola International Airport. How could not support Grits a Ya Ya, Bagelheads’ bagels and brewskis from Pensacola Bay Brewery? How can Pensacola ever get over its “inferiority complex” if we won’t promote its homegrown foods?

Escambia County Destination Marketing Organization, Inc.
The lodging industry, Pensacola Sports Association and Perdido Key chamber will have to wait 90 days before they can take control of the $5.5 million in tourist development tax revenue. The mad dash failed to push the county commission to accept Visit Pensacola with bylaws that left little room for outside input. The delay will give them time to work out their ethical and leadership issues.

Florida SAT Scores
Just 43 percent of the students who took the SAT nationwide last year scored high enough to be considered ready for college-level work, according to the College Board, the test’s creator.  Florida’s SAT scores did not change much from 2012. The average Florida student earned a 488 on the reading test, 486 on the math test and 469 on the writing test. Students who scored a combined 1550 or higher are the most likely to finish their degrees.