Pensacola, Florida
Sunday June 16th 2019


Winners & Losers 3/21/19

Adam Putnam
The former Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam has been named the chief executive officer of the national group Ducks Unlimited. Putnam finished his second term as agriculture commissioner in January after losing a Republican primary for governor. Ducks Unlimited President Rogers Hoyt said the organization wanted the new CEO to have backgrounds in conservation, policy and agriculture. He said, “In Adam, we feel we have hit on all three. Not to mention he’s an approachable, passionate and visionary person, so Adam was the perfect fit.” Putnam starts work on April 1.

Autumn Beck Blackledge, PLLC
The law firm was recognized during Florida State University’s 2nd Annual Seminole 100 Celebration. The 2019 Seminole 100, hosted by the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship at the FSU College of Business in partnership with the FSU Alumni Association and EY, recognized the 100 fastest-growing businesses owned by Florida State alumni. Autumn Beck Blackledge, PLLC was ranked No. 58 with a compound annual growth rate of 25.08 percent.

SH Pediatric Emergency
The Pediatric Emergency Department of the Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart has been named a winner of the Excellence in Healthcare Award by Professional Research Consultants, Inc. (PRC). The Excellence in Healthcare Awards recognize organizations which achieve excellence throughout the year by improving patient experiences based on surveys of their patients. Sacred Heart received PRC’s highest excellence award because its pediatric emergency department earned the highest score on key measures of patient satisfaction in 2018.

Mike Hill
The District 1 state representative last month withdrew his proposed legislation that would have repealed parts of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act that was passed last year after the Parkland shooting. In January, Hill told the PNJ that he had made a campaign promise to file a bill repealing the gun control portions of the law. The promise apparently didn’t mean he would actually have the House discuss it.

Linda Hanford
Judge Jennie Kinsey sentenced Hanford to 10 years in state prison for the crime of organized fraud and a violation of probation for a previous conviction for theft. From 2015-2017, she managed the online sales division of Lender Services, Inc. and embezzled over $60,000 by diverting sales proceeds to an off-the-books account and then redirecting the funds to a personal account. During this time, she was on probation for embezzling funds from a previous employer.

House Higher Education & Career Readiness
The panel last week approved a bill, HB 839, that would require Florida public universities to survey faculty members and students about their personal viewpoints. Committee Chair Cord Byrd, R-Neptune Beach, said the survey is necessary because of concerns about indoctrination in the university system. If the proposal ultimately passes during this year’s legislative session, the Board of Governors, which oversees 12 universities and more than 341,000 students, would compile and publish the results each year. It remains unclear, however, what the Legislature would do once the data is gathered.