Pensacola, Florida
Sunday June 16th 2019


Winners & Losers 3/22/18


Jonathan Tucker
The Director of Business Sales for Cox Business Florida and Georgia has joined the Board of Directors of FloridaWest Economic Development Alliance. Tucker is a 20-year veteran of the internet and telecom industry, with experience with start-ups, rebuilds and large corporations. He’s a member of the Gulf Breeze Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Leadership Pensacola Class of 2018. His strong technology background will serve the FloridaWest board well, given its strategic interests in Cybersecurity and IT expansions to the Northwest Florida area.

Jay Patel
Real estate developer and entrepreneur has joined the board of directors of the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition. Patel manages multiple franchised hotels and various related assets in Florida and throughout the nation. He is an early member of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association and for three decades has been instrumental in bringing together Asian hoteliers and other Asian associations to become the world’s largest hotel association with more than 22,000 hotels and 16,000 members.

Greater Pensacola Area
At a recent meeting for realtors and homebuilders, Dr. Rick Harper said the Pensacola metro area has outperformed the nation since January 2000. Employment has trended about the national growth rate. Harper pointed out the unemployment in the metro area is currently below 4 percent. Housing has rebounded from the collapse ten years ago. However, to increase family household incomes, we need better education, training, and skills.

Steven Kunkemoeller
The Ohio businessman last week was convicted of racketeering and organized fraud concerning the Newpoint Academy and other charter schools around the state. The prosecutors said Kunkemoeller intentionally overbilled Newpoint charter schools for equipment and allegedly split the proceeds with Marcus May, owner of the management company that ran the schools. Prosecutors said the two men stole nearly $1 million in public funds through their scheme. Kunkemoeller’s attorney argued his client was innocent and that it was May who acted in bad faith. He also contended Escambia County School District failed to provide proper oversight.

Escambia County Health
The 2018 County Health Ranking report, issued by the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, ranked Escambia 53 out of the state’s 67 counties. County residents are 136-percent more likely to die prematurely than the state average. Black county residents are nearly twice likely to die prematurely. In contrast, Santa Rosa County is ranked the twelfth healthiest, Okaloosa the eighteenth. We should be grateful Sheriff Morgan insisted the Escambia County Commission continue to fund the Escambia Community Clinic.

Rex Tillerson
The former of ExxonMobil CEO was fired by President Donald Trump last week. He leaves a decimated State Department that has lost nearly two-thirds of its career diplomats, had numerous unfilled ambassadorships and has seen its new applications to join the foreign service drop by 50-percent.