Pensacola, Florida
Tuesday August 14th 2018


Best of the Coast ’13: Etc.


Hitting a Home Run
Although baseball season just ended, meaning you’ll have to wait patiently before getting to see the Pensacola Blue Wahoos minor league baseball team hit home runs again, the good news is, it once again becomes something you get to eagerly look forward to. Not only do the Wahoos shine on the field, their stadium serves as an eye-catching community focal point, and the organization shines within the community year round, long after the season’s end. “The commitment to the community is wide ranging,” said owner Quint Studer. “It includes creating enjoyment, creating jobs and providing development opportunities for staff so that they can increase their skill sets for current and future job successes and opportunities.” Speaking of staff, the Wahoos currently have a home run hitting chef team as a part of their lineup, who during season, give sports fans something out of the box to chomp down on between innings and have even been known to challenge fans with signature food items large enough to feed entire families.

Pensacola at Play
Pensacola’s numerous squares and parks are highly esteemed and recognized as a source of pride and venue for activity for many a local in Pensacola. “Our parks are wonderful showpieces for the City of Pensacola,” Kim Carmody, Pensacola Neighborhood Services Superintendent, said. “While each of our parks are unique and offer a variety of recreational and natural amenities, they all help promote physical and psychological health, strengthen our communities, and make our neighborhoods more attractive places to live, work, and play.” This idea of play comes in many shapes and forms, and certainly isn’t limited to merely sliding down a slide. “Daily, our residents are playing tennis, hosting family events, walking a trail with a friend, getting married under the pavilion, and even fishing in several parks,” she said. When it comes to upkeep, Carmody credits partners and volunteers with assisting to make the parks better for everyone. “On any given weekend, you will find a park project taking place, where groups are planting sensory gardens, painting equipment, or constructing obstacle courses or swimming docks for our four legged friends.”

Festivals on Festivals
Pick a festival—any festival. Fiesta of Five Flags is best known for putting on events that are left lingering in your memories after they’re gone that execute their mission: “To celebrate our heritage, promote tourism and build pride in Pensacola through festive activities which enhance the quality of life in our community.” Not only do these events draw in attendees from far and wide, they eagerly leave people waiting for their return year after year. Although the most eagerly awaited food event of the year—the Seafood Festival just passed, the Crawfish Festival returns in late Spring, before things heat up again bringing with it thousands and thousands of mud-bugs to suck on. Still, festivals aren’t limited to stationary events, we can’t forget the Fiesta Day parade, where spirits fly high, and beads rain down. 2121 W. Intendencia St.,

New and Notable
Caitlin Gottstine joined the Greater Pensacola Chamber in February 2013 as the Programs & Events Coordinator. In less than a year, Gottstine has quickly distinguished herself among young professionals in Pensacola. From monthly membership meetings to the PACE Awards, Gottstine oversees event planning for the Chamber. “Caitlin has done a great job analyzing the programs and events we deliver to our members, as well as looking for ways in which we can improve our services,” said KC Etheredge, the Greater Pensacola Chamber’s Vice President of Membership and Investor Development. “She is responsible for the design, implementation and management of all Chamber programs and events. She is also responsible for managing the Leadership Pensacola (LeaP) program.” Though Gottstine has only been on the job for a short while, Etheredge stated that it has been long enough for members—including the LeaP volunteers—to take note of her contributions, “They feel confident in her ability to help them grow their professional networks.”  117 W. Garden St.,

For Kids’ Sake
“My favorite part of the job is the collaborative nature of the work and that I don’t have a ‘typical’ work day,” said Stacey Kostevicki, executive director of Gulf Coast Kid’s House. “I get to do a variety of things, from public relations, to volunteer management, to building maintenance, to fundraising to grant-writing.”  As a children’s advocacy center, Gulf Coast Kid’s House serves abused children and their families, and conducts child abuse prevention awareness outreach. Chocolate Fest, the non-profit’s largest public fundraiser is a Pensacola favorite. “We raise approximately $30,000 each year from that event. These funds go to support operational expenses—our utilities alone are over $20,000 annually,” Kostevicki said. Of her work at the helm of a very busy organization, Kostevicki believes it is her “get in and get it done” approach combined with a dedication to collaboration and communication that makes both her and the non-profit’s staff effective. “We all have such different strengths and weaknesses,” she said, “the only way we can succeed is to work together.” 3401 N. 12th Ave.,

Sing Your Heart Out
Some children go to soccer practice. Others attend swimming lessons. Then there are those who spend their after school hours singing their hearts out practicing for musical extravaganzas that draw in the masses year after year. If you haven’t at least heard of “Christmas on the Coast” by now you clearly have been living off the grid. Twenty-four years strong, The Pensacola Children’s Chorus serves as an after school favorite of area children and it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down anytime soon. “Founding Artistic Directors Allen and Susan Pote have devoted themselves to enriching the lives of children through music education and it is their passion that has set a standard of excellence within the organization,” said Executive Director Hillary Turner. “Being a member of the Children’s Chorus gives children the opportunity to be a part of an organization that encourages their musical talent through weekly rehearsals while working toward three large public productions each season.” Not only are the children on board, but parents are also forever singing the chorus’ praises. And why shouldn’t they? It’s a productive, educational and musical opportunity for their kiddos like no other. 46 E. Chase St.,

Flying High
“We have tremendous support in Pensacola with some of the Southern Professional Hockey League’s most loyal fans,” said Chuck McCartney, president of the Pensacola Ice Flyers. Preparing to kick off a new season as the 2013 SPHL President Cup Champions, the Ice Flyers organization is, in addition to hiring a new coach, making plans for a new and improved game experience for fans. “We have put a lot of effort during the off season to increase the fan experience,” said McCartney. “We have added a ton of elements out front on the plaza for fans as they arrive including a hockey slap shot game kids can play with a radar gun to see how hard they can shoot.” The team has also revamped the game intro and starting lineup routine and has new items for fan contests, including an electronic system for the 50/50 Raffle. McCartney is looking forward to those changes, and welcoming fans back to the Bay Center. “We all can’t wait to see the Hangar full on opening night to see the smiles on all of the fans as we raise the Championship Banner.” 201 E. Gregory St.,

Everyone Loves a 
On the northern Gulf Coast, Mardi Gras is a special time of year. Danny Zimmern, president of Pensacola Mardi Gras, Inc., reports that though Mardi Gras 2014 will be February 28, organizers are already planning the carnival season festivities. “Our website is already getting hundreds of visitors, and we have gotten dozens of emails from krewes and businesses who want to participate in the citywide events,” Zimmern said. Pensacola’s celebration is certainly growing, too. “It appears we will have dozens of balls and other events that raise awareness and money for local causes,” said Zimmern of the work of dozens of new krewes that have sprung up in recent years. “Pensacola is known for its throw, and seeing the crowd at the end of the parade is terrific,” said Zimmern. “Of course, seeing downtown Pensacola alive and thriving with Mardi Gras events and celebrations during the entire months of January and February is very rewarding too.” 124 E. Wright St.,

Opera at Its Finest
The Pensacola Opera showcases a big city opera rooted in small town charm, providing an unmatched cultural experience to all those who experience the glory. “Opera is for everyone. It combines all the art forms to produce this crazy, over-the-top experience like no other,” said Executive Director Erin Sammis, CRFE. “It combines singing, acting, orchestral music, dance, sets, costumes, lighting, history, art, politics, religion, love, hate—you name it—and on top of that, hundreds of people are required to pull it off.” Besides attending performances, partaking in the Pensacola Opera’s special events provide you the chance to network with other arts-loving people, and support the Opera at the same time. Pensacola Opera is currently hosting a series of open houses offering you the best seats to upcoming spring performances, “Carmen” and “Cinderella” at exclusive prices. Guests can also learn more about volunteer and membership opportunities, and as a special feature, opera singers will perform musical highlights from “Carmen.” Plus, their signature fall fundraising event, Jukebox Gala, is coming up Oct. 26. 75 S. Tarragona St.,

The Group Effect
What do the terms teamwork, respect, integrity, generosity, learning and measurable achievement all have in common? They’ve each become synonymous with the group effect of Studer Group. It’s no wonder this standout group has been consistently ranked as a great place to work. “We are a passionate group of people who are motivated to have purpose, do worthwhile work and make a difference,” said Debbie Ritchie, COO/Operations Leader. “Consequently that is reflected in our work environment. We measure what’s important and focus on improvement until we get it right.” This starts with their leader, Quint Studer, who radiates this practice of service through his own organization and any outside organization his team works to serve. This value system naturally carries over into a fully involved commitment of service to the community. “Studer Group is fully committed to its employees and the local community, which is reflected in how we treat those we work with and those we serve,” said Ritchie. In case you were left wondering if Studer Group has fun, fret not. They are equally committed to the quality of a well-rounded life. “We also recognize the importance of fun so our work environment reflects that too,” said Ritchie. “We promote activities that let us enjoy each other away from work, for example talent competitions, luncheons and baseball games. 913 Gulf Breeze Pkwy., Ste. 6,


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