Pensacola, Florida
Thursday December 14th 2017

Archives

Best of the Coast 2017—Community + Media/Music Featured Winners

Alex Andrade of Moore, Hill & Westmoreland, P.A.
350 W. Cedar St., mhw-law.com

What inspired you to get started?
Pensacola is special. Coming from out of town, I can attest to the fact that Pensacola is beautifully unique. I feel blessed to learn from talented and successful mentors in an environment that captures my imagination.
Now that you’re established, what motivates you to keep going?
I love living in Pensacola. There are so many genuine opportunities for young people in town. From Leadership Pensacola, to Pensacola Young Professionals to onbikes Pensacola, everything I’ve done has increased my love of Pensacola.
What’s the next goal or project you want to see happen for you and your business?
I’m hoping onbikes Pensacola continues to grow, and we see more young people getting out of the car or off the bus, and back into nature with a bike and a helmet. The more people who choose to walk or bike instead of drive, the healthier our community will become.
Answers by:
Alex Andrade, Attorney

AppRiver
1101 Gulf Breeze Parkway, appriver.com

What inspired you to get started?
Joel Smith and I saw a need among small and mid-sized businesses to have access to the same security and productivity software large enterprises have. We realized we could make it available over the internet on a subscription basis that is easy, effective and affordable for businesses of all sizes.
Now that you’re established, what motivates you to keep going?
The threats continue to grow and expand and businesses need our services more now than ever.
How would you describe your business to someone who’s never heard of it?
AppRiver protects businesses of all sizes against email hackers and scammers, while helping them remain productive and compliant.
What’s the next goal or project you want to see happen for you and your business?
We are in a constant state of improvement and growth. The bad guys never stop innovating and neither do we. We want to remain the go-to vendor for security and productivity solutions as more and more companies move to the cloud.
Answers by:
Michael Murdoch, CEO/President

Cat Country  98.7
7251 Plantation Road, catcountry987.com

What inspired you to get started?
The desire to serve our community.
Now that you’re established, what motivates you to keep going? We have enjoyed great success and love what we do.
How would you describe your business to someone who’s never heard of it?
CatCountry 98.7 is a high-powered FM radio station that provides information and music to Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties.
What’s the next goal or project you want to see happen for you and your business?
CatCountry 98.7 is completely upgrading its audio transmission facilities in 2018, which will provide listeners with the finest quality sound available in any community.
Answers by
: Dave and Mary Hoxeng, Owners

Gulf Coast Kid’s House
3401 N. 12th Ave., gulfcoastkidshouse.org

What inspired you to get started?
In 1998, a group of concerned citizens who had been working child abuse cases together in Escambia County, decided a 10-20 percent conviction rate of these cases was unacceptable. There had to be a better way to collaborate on these cases, minimize trauma and streamline the process for these young victims.
Now that you’re established, what motivates you to keep going?
Each year, the number of child abuse cases reported has increased. Most would look at that and become discouraged, we see a community uniting through education and awareness about child abuse and taking on that responsibility of reporting cases and stepping in to be a child’s voice.
How would you describe your business to someone who’s never heard of it?
Gulf Coast Kid’s House is a children’s advocacy center serving Escambia County. As a children’s advocacy center, we combine all of the professionals and resources needed for the intervention, investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases under one child-friendly facility.
What’s the next goal or project you want to see happen for you and your business?
Our next goal is to hire another prevention coordinator and expand our educational programs. We want our MBF Child Safety Matters program taught in all Escambia County elementary schools and we hope to reach 5 percent of the adult population of our county with our prevention education program.
Answers by:
Megan Chapman, Outreach and Development Director

National Naval Aviation Museum
1750 Radford Blvd., Suite C, navalaviationmuseum.org

What inspired you to get started?
The original purpose of the museum was to educate active duty personnel about the history and heritage of naval aviation. Today, that mission continues with not only those in uniform, but also the general public, as we tell the more than century old legacy of the wings of gold.
Now that you’re established, what motivates you to keep going?
Whether it is F/A-18s launching from carriers to combat our enemies overseas or naval aviators and air crew men helping their fellow citizens in hurricane-ravaged areas, naval aviation is a story whose chapters are being written every day.  The National Museum of Naval Aviation ensures that these stories are not forgotten.
How would you describe your business to someone who’s never heard of it?
We want those who visit the museum to leave here inspired by the history we present, which touches upon a range of elements that make up our national story—heroism, patriotism, sacrifice, dedication and innovation. Naval aviation is inherently exciting and we want our visitors to feel that excitement.
What’s the next goal or project you want to see happen for you and your business?
In this day and age in which technology advances so quickly, we are constantly seeking to improve the visitor experience through more immersive exhibits. Augmented and virtual reality is the logical next step for us in telling the story of naval aviation in the most dynamic way possible.
Answers by:
CAPT Sterling Gilliam, USN (Ret.), Museum Director

NewsRadio1620 / FM-92.3
7251 Plantation Road, newsradio1620.com

What inspired you to get started?
We were inspired to provide a vibrant news/talk station to our community. Our goal was a radio station that had an active local news department and interesting local talk hosts.
Now that you’re established, what motivates you to keep going?
NewsRadio1620 / FM-92.3 receives daily feedback from local listeners who say they love what we do.  This inspires us to keep getting better.
How would you describe your business to someone who’s never heard of it?
NewsRadio1620 / FM-92.3 is a locally owned and operated NewsTalk radio station that serves Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties. Fox Radio News runs every half-hour 24/7 and local news runs Monday-Friday  5a.m.-9:30 p.m.
What’s the next goal or project you want to see happen for you and your business?
We added our first FM transmitter as NewsRadio 92.3 in 2016. Currently more FM transmitters are being sought.
Answers by:
Dave and Mary Hoxeng, Owners

onbikes Pensacola
onbikespensacola.org

What inspired you to get started?
Before moving back to Pensacola, I took part in a similar charity event that made a huge impact in its community. The combination of people building something good with their hands and then celebrating with a unique party was too tempting not to bring to Pensacola.
Now that you’re established, what motivates you to keep going?
The smile on a child’s face that is receiving a brand new bike for the first time. Bicycles represent everything great about being a kid and it’s pretty awesome that this community can come together and make that happen for so many deserving kids.
How would you describe your business to someone who’s never heard of it?
onbikes Pensacola is a local non-profit with a goal to provide a brand new bike, helmet and lock to every underprivileged and foster child along the Gulf Coast through our annual Winter Wonder Ride.
What’s the next goal or project you want to see happen for you and your business?
Next for onbikes is our bike build in early December and our Second Annual Winter Wonder Ride on December 16 in downtown Pensacola. Our goal is to giveaway 700 brand new bikes this year.
Answers by:
Walker Wilson, President

Pensacola Children’s Chorus
46 E. Chase St., pensacolachildrenschorus.com

What inspired you to get started?
PCC was founded at the invitation of Grier Williams, the late maestro of the Pensacola Symphony, by Susan and Allen Pote in 1990. Fueled by their love of children and passion for music, PCC has grown and flourished for the past 27 years and continues to do so today.
Now that you’re established, what motivates you to keep going?
Our singers continue to surprise, challenge and motivate us. Just when you think they have reached their peak performance, they reach another level. As educators, that’s the best kind of work: the kind where you learn as much from them as they do from you.
How would you describe your business to someone who’s never heard of it?
People hear “children’s choir” and think of cute kids singing cute songs. Our style of “children’s choir” could not be more opposite. Our singers are incredible musicians who perform at the highest level, wowing our community with dazzling sounds and sights. Our concerts are not to be missed.
What’s the next goal or project you want to see happen for you and your business?
We strive to be out singing in our community more and more. Our singers are amazing advocates for what a musical education can do for the budding performer and growing child. We want to spread that message and partner with our friends here in Pensacola and across the country.
Answers by:
Alex Gartner, Artistic Director

Pensacola Mardi Gras
124-B E. Wright St., pensacolamardigras.com

What inspired you to get started?
This will be our 17th year as producers and the clearing house for Pensacola’s Mardi Gras celebration. We are community minded and love helping Pensacola show it’s pride thru celebration.
Now that you’re established, what motivates you to keep going?
Seeing the smiles on all of the faces, downtown businesses filled up and visitors coming to join in for almost two  months of fun based in family friendly celebration. At parade time, it’s those happy kids that make all the work seem worth it.
How would you describe your business to someone who’s never heard of it?
We directly produce the Pensacola Mardi Gras Kick Off Celebration on the 12th Night and Pensacola’s biggest event of the year—the Pensacola Grand Mardi Gras Parade. After all of that, we are the clearing house for everything Mardi Gras in the area.
What’s the next goal or project you want to see happen for you and your business?
We are always looking for ways to make the season bigger and better. Who knows what’s next, but this year, we are producing a Pensacola Mardi Gras program and magazine that will be a wonderful.
Answers by:
Danny Zimmern, President

Pensacola Opera
75 S. Tarragona St., pensacolaopera.com

What inspired you to get started?
In 1983, a group of dedicated opera lovers with incredible vision founded what would become known as Pensacola Opera. Armed with the knowledge that there was a desire and need for opera within this community, these founders presented their first production of Mozart’s cosi fan tutte in the inaugural season.
Now that you’re established, what motivates you to keep going?
Pensacola Opera has established itself as an essential jewel in Pensacola’s artistic crown, committed to producing opera performances and education programs of the highest quality. Motivation comes from our appreciative audiences, including 40,000 children and adults at 208 performances last year. If that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is.
How would you describe your business to someone who’s never heard of it?
Opera is the ultimate art form. With dramatically powerful stories told through music, scenery, costumes, soloists, chorus, dancers and orchestra, opera engages all the senses. The power of musical storytelling is second to none in its ability to touch our hearts and enrich our souls.
What’s the next goal or project you want to see happen for you and your business?
With our 40th Anniversary Season looming, we continue to honor the legacy of our founding members (some of whom still participate on our Board of Trustees) by maintaining financial stability while reaching an ever expanding audience with world-class productions on the Saenger stage and throughout our community.
Answers by:
Jerome Shannon, Executive Director

Michelle Salzman
What inspired you to get started?
I started serving the community right out of high school and enjoyed the feeling of fulfillment by helping others. When my oldest child started elementary school I was introduced to what is the largest and oldest child advocacy organization in the world, the PTA.
Now that you’re established, what motivates you to keep going?
I enjoy problem solving and collective impact. The dynamics involved in connecting community resources will always keep this adventure fresh and exciting.
How would you describe your business to someone who’s never heard of it?
I do not singularly associate with my community organizations. I actually pride myself in my ability to connect people and their resources regularly. Ultimately, it will provide a more impactful outcome to all who are involved.
What’s the next goal or project you want to see happen for you and your business?
Just continue to push forward with my vision to help all parts of our community in growth and develop into one of the best places to live and raise a family.
Answers by:
Michelle Salzman, Veteran/Community Servant/Mom/Wife

Sky Zone Pensacola
5007 N. Davis Highway, Unit 8A, skyzone.com/pensacola

What inspired you to get started?
Seeing families of all ages put down their devices and enjoy active healthy fun together.
Now that you’re established, what motivates you to keep going? The opportunity to help people smile, laugh and sweat with our new wave of innovative attractions and events coming to Sky Zone Pensacola.
How would you describe your business to someone who’s never heard of it?
We bring epic new ways to play, gather and compete. We’re the originators of wall-to-wall aerial action. We’re sky lovers, thrill seekers and people who believe that jumping is freedom. We fly high and keep it safe. To understand it, come experience it. So rally your crew and let’s go.
What’s the next goal or project you want to see happen for you and your business?
Continue to expand our positive impact of our “do good” core value. We give back to the community through dozens of charity partnerships and community organizations.  Also to launch our next generation innovations to our Pensacola fans.
Answers by:
Peter Busenlener, Owner

Visit Pensacola
1401 E. Gregory St., visitpensacola.com

What inspired you to get started?
Visit Pensacola is the destination management organization for Escambia County, which includes Pensacola, Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key. Visit Pensacola supports the community vision of tourism by serving as the central body responsible for building tourism as an economic engine for our community through leadership, connection, collaboration and communication.
Now that you’re established, what motivates you to keep going?
Pensacola has a story to tell. Actually, it has many stories to tell. One that began over 450 years ago and continues to be revealed, chapter by chapter. There are war stories and beach stories. Stories of perseverance and stories that are just now being written.
How would you describe your business to someone who’s never heard of it?
Our industry is one that relies on human interaction—whether it’s the front desk clerk at a hotel, the tour guide in the historic district or the ticketing agent at the airport, our people are what make Pensacola. The Pensacola community is known for its hospitality and welcoming personality.
What’s the next goal or project you want to see happen for you and your business?
Dedicated to being the industries voice, Visit Pensacola is the one-stop shop for information about our community. It’s a great place to live and a beautiful place to visit.
Answers by:
Nicole Stacey, Director of Marketing and Communications