Pensacola, Florida
Thursday October 17th 2019

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Best of the Coast 2019: Featured Winners—Community, Media & Music

ADX Communications
7251 Plantation Road, catcountry987.com, newsradio923.com
What does being the “best” mean to you?
“Best” means service to our communities, a commitment to be a solid and dependable neighbor, in good times and in challenging times. Everyone here understands the depth of this commitment, and the result is our collective “best.”
If you had to define your business with just one sentence or phrase, what would it be?
Success through service with commitment to community.
What do you think makes you and your business unique?
100% locally-owned and family-operated, by a team who all live here, shop here and worship here.
Other than your business, what are some of your local favorites?
We really do love all local business. It makes good company.
Answers by:
Kevin King, Operations Manager

Bare Hand Collective
2370 N. Palafox, Bldg. 1, barehandcollective.com
What does being the “best” mean to you?
For me, being the best means being humble, hardworking, passionate, well-organized, kind, appreciative and inclusive, while always having a philanthropic motive.
If you had to define your business with just one sentence or phrase, what would it be?
“Let’s do better; let’s make better.”
What do you think makes you and your business unique?
The motive behind our market is pure. We care. We genuinely want our fellow makers to succeed. We want our local community to thrive. We want to be able to give back. We want to make Pensacola better.
Other than your business, what are some of your local favorites?
Charlotte Mason Print Co., Mrs. Jones Cold Brew, Losobe Woodworking, Big Jerk Soda, End of the Line Cafe, Hula Moon, Wild Lemon, Jade Tree Succulents, Tire Trust, Inc., Makers Merch Co., Odd Colony, Gary’s Brewery, George Bistro, Quayside Art Gallery, Le Dough, Greg Bond, Blue Levee Band and Asher & Bee Apothecary and Tea Room.
Answers by:
Rachel Eidson, Market Manager

Cheer Omega
380 Lurton St., cheeromega.com
What does being the “best” mean to you?
Being the best to us means offering the Gulf Coast the highest level of cheerleading and tumbling training. Along with offering the top level of cheer training, we also train each athlete to be well-rounded individuals and to be their personal best in all areas of their lives.
If you had to define your business with just one sentence or phrase, what would it be?
Training athletes from Alpha to Omega.
What do you think makes you and your business unique?
We are the only program in Pensacola and surrounding areas to offer competitive cheer teams and classes for all skill levels, 1-6. We have classes and teams for 3 years old through college. We are the only program in Pensacola to have Level 6 teams attend the Cheerleading World Championships.
Other than your business, what are some of your local favorites?
We love to support any local business that started small like us and, through hard work, have grown to offer amazing things for our community.
Answers by:
Kelly Fitzpatrick, Owner

Cindy Mathis Murals and Fine Art
cindymathisart.com
What does being the “best” mean to you?
Being part of a collective that is recognized as being the “best” in the community that I live in is an honor that I am excited to be a part of.
If you had to define your business with just one sentence or phrase, what would it be?
“Murals and fine art, Pensacola, New Orleans, Paris. Have brush, will travel.”
What do you think makes you and your business unique?
Experience and being fluent in many creative mediums allows me to offer my clients a vast array of possibilities. With every project, it’s my goal to go above and beyond to turn creative energy and ideas into something beautiful that resonates with others.
Other than your business, what are some of your local favorites?
The vision, passion and devotion to excellence behind so many of our fine establishments is awe-inspiring. There is not enough room to list all of my favorites, but a few that come to mind are Fiore, Susan Campbell Jewelry, Urban Objects, Carmen’s Lunch Bar, Restaurant IRON, Global Grill and Jackson’s Steakhouse.
Answers by:
Cindy Mathis, Artist

City of Pensacola Parks and Recreation
222 W. Main St., playpensacola.com
What does being the “best” mean to you?
Being named in the Best of the Coast is an honor because it means that the community values the parks and services we provide. Our team is committed to a healthy, happy community through people, parks and programs.
If you had to define your business with just one sentence or phrase, what would it be?
Building a healthy community where everyone has access to fun, safe and affordable services to meet their recreation and leisure needs.
What do you think makes you and your business unique?
Being a city department, we face unique challenges in providing services that meet a variety of community recreation needs that most private businesses do not face. Our staff is committed every day to providing meaningful, innovative and affordable parks, programs and services.
Other than your business, what are some of your local favorites?
We don’t like to pick favorites. We love all of the local individuals, nonprofits, businesses and organizations that help us deliver on our promise every day.
Answers by:
Tonya Vaden, Recreation Superintendent

Council on Aging of West Florida
875 Royce St., coawfla.org
What does being the “best” mean to you?
Being voted the best is flattering, but it is also humbling because being the “best” simply means that I am working with a group of hardworking, dedicated staff and volunteers.
If you had to define your business with just one sentence or phrase, what would it be?
A nonprofit service provider agency helping Escambia and Santa Rosa elders live in the least restrictive environment possible.
What do you think makes you and your business unique?
The key word in our business definition is “service.” We are about the business of serving elders. Our entire agency should therefore be about servant leadership. I try to demonstrate that myself, and I encourage all of our staff and volunteers to do so as well.
Other than your business, what are some of your local favorites?
One of my greatest joys in life has been meeting with and talking to our many wonderful, dedicated volunteers and donors. That and grabbing lunch with a friend at Blue Dot or Scenic 90 Cafe or dinner at The Grand Marlin.
Answers by:
John Clark, President/CEO

Friends of the Escambia County Animal Shelter
ecasfriends.com
What does being the “best” mean to you?
Being the “best” means that our “Friends” (followers on social media) recognize all the love and hard work we put in for the animals of our community. Our “Friends” are the best, too. We cannot do what we do without them.
If you had to define your business with just one sentence or phrase, what would it be?
We are a dedicated group of volunteer animal advocates working to better the lives of the animals in our community.
What do you think makes you and your business unique?
We are just one part of a great rescue community. The FOTECAS team celebrates our wins and learns from our losses, and we aren’t afraid to tell the ugly truth when it needs to be told. We always look for ways to improve, and we really love what we do.
Other than your business, what are some of your local favorites?
The staff and volunteers at the Escambia County Animal Shelter, of course. We also love our veterinarians—Ferry Pass, Spanish Trail, AHOP and Coastal Sunrise. Our absolute favorites are our volunteers, fabulous fosters and the kind and super generous “Friends” that support us every day.
Answers by:
Kim Schraishuhn Rainer, President

Gallery Night Pensacola
13 S. Palafox, gallerynightpensacola.org
What does being the “best” mean to you?
Being the “best” means providing an experience that appeals to people of all ages, lifestyles and cultures to represent the utmost quality that Pensacola has to offer. It means striving to improve, grow and always ask for feedback from the community.
If you had to define your business with just one sentence or phrase, what would it be?
Gallery Night Pensacola is a nonprofit organization with the goal of inspiring art and culture in the Downtown Pensacola area.
What do you think makes you and your business unique?
Our monthly Gallery Night events are unlike anything else in Northwest Florida. Gallery Night is put on by a volunteer board of directors made up of business owners and community creators who work hard each month to provide unique themes and events surrounding a wide range of art and culture.
Other than your business, what are some of your local favorites?
Gallery Night is a big fan of our friendly art community nonprofits like First City Arts Center, Barehand Collective, the Visual Arts Association and Artel Gallery. We love supporting our downtown merchants, including O’Rileys Irish Pub, Bluejay’s Bakery, Blue Morning Gallery, Hopjacks, World of Beer, Cigar Bar, Casks and Flights and more.
Answers by:
Sydney Robinson, Director

Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival, Inc.
ggaf.org
What does being the “best” mean to you?
Being the best festival in Pensacola means that the community enjoys the variety of fine art and performing art venues GGAF offers every November in Seville Square, Bartram Park and Fountain Park. According to Majority Opinion Research survey, the festival had a $17 million impact on our economy in 2018.
If you had to define your business with just one sentence or phrase, what would it be?
GGAF is an annual festival of fine and performing arts, art education and appreciation of the arts for the community.
What do you think makes you and your business unique?
GGAF is free to all. In our 47th year, we are an all-volunteer committee. We have a variety of fine and performing arts, heritage arts, an international artist, free hands-on arts activities for children, musicians, food, champagne and other beverages. The outdoor event is held annually in November.
Other than your business, what are some of your local favorites?
RadioLive, UWF Historic Trust events, JazzFest and Bands on the Beach.
Answers by:
Eileen Perrigo, President

National Naval Aviation Museum
1750 Radford Blvd., Ste. C, navalaviationmuseum.org
What does being the “best” mean to you?
Being the best means that when our patrons leave the museum after a visit, they walk away with a greater appreciation for those who defend our nation and the feeling that they have had an exemplary experience.
If you had to define your business with just one sentence or phrase, what would it be?
Honoring the past and inspiring the future.
What do you think makes you and your business unique?
Not every museum can provide visitors with an opportunity to watch the Blue Angels practice while immersing them in more than a century of history.
Other than your business, what are some of your local favorites?
Since the museum’s visitors are largely drawn from tourists visiting our beaches and restaurants, our local favorites are those businesses that provide a quality experience to those visiting Pensacola.
Answers by:
Capt. Sterling Gilliam, United States Navy

onbikes Pensacola
onbikespensacola.org
What does being the “best” mean to you?
It means fulfilling our mission to provide every at-risk and foster child with a brand-new bike, helmet and lock to call their own.
If you had to define your business with just one sentence or phrase, what would it be?
We want kids to get to be kids, and that’s being able to hop on their own bike and be outside.
What do you think makes you and your business unique?
Having an all-volunteer board with a mission to put bikes in the hands of deserving children.
Other than your business, what are some of your local favorites?
Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Club, Southern Youth Sports Association and Guardian Ad Litem.
Answers by:
Walker Wilson, President and Founder

Pensacola Children’s Chorus
46 E. Chase St., pensacolasings.org
What does being the “best” mean to you?
Being best is not about trying to be better than others. Being best is about striving to be the best version of yourself. We strive to be the best Pensacola Children’s Chorus we can possibly be for our singers, our families, our audiences and our community.
If you had to define your business with just one sentence or phrase, what would it be?
We use music not simply to train talented performers but to mold compassionate, empathetic and energetic leaders.
What do you think makes you and your business unique?
We are a true professional arts organization. While we are comprised of children and youth, we set incredibly high expectations. We enable our singers to excel beyond their perceived capabilities. We do this through rigorous instruction, an emphasis on personal growth and leadership development and meaningful community partnerships.
Other than your business, what are some of your local favorites?
We love our partners—Arc Gateway, Studer Family Children’s Hospital, Rally Foundation, University of West Florida, Big Brothers Big Sisters, First Presbyterian Church and, of course, our arts colleagues at Pensacola Opera, Pensacola Symphony, Ballet Pensacola, The Choral Society of Pensacola and Pensacola Little Theatre.
Answers by:
Alex Gartner, Artistic and Executive Director

Pensacola Mardi Gras, Inc.
124-B E. Wright St., pensacolamardigras.com
What does being the “best” mean to you?
So many adjectives come to mind when thinking of what “best” means referring to parades. We may be the biggest, and we are well run, but most important to us is the diversity of both participants and observers. To us, “best” means everyone enjoys the parade—both participants and observers.
If you had to define your business with just one sentence or phrase, what would it be?
A group of energetic volunteers working hard to bring a fantastic day with fantastic people to downtown and our community.
What do you think makes you and your business unique?
It’s the people, including the Krewes, along with all of the wonderful volunteers that work hard to ensure the community and Krewes with their parade participants have a safe and wonderful day that make us special and unique.
Other than your business, what are some of your local favorites?
Here at Pensacola Mardi Gras, we love Bluejay’s Bakery king cake during Mardi Gras; we love cold Bud Light while having fun; we love Pepsi products cold and plentiful; and we love reading Inweekly with local stories and annual special editions.
Answers by:
Danny Zimmern, President

PSC Kids College
1000 College Blvd., pensacolastate.edu/ce
What does being the “best” mean to you?
It means we gave our all to ensure KC kids had the best opportunity to make the most of their summer while learning something new. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth making a positive difference in a child’s life, even if only for a few weeks.
If you had to define your business with just one sentence or phrase, what would it be?
No tests, no grades, no stress. Kids College makes learning something new fun.
What do you think makes you and your business unique?
PSC Kids College was established in 1990, and 2020 will be our 30th year. The majority of our KC staff is current or former teachers, and our admin staff is some of the best people. Our No. 1 priority is the kids and their summer.
Other than your business, what are some of your local favorites?
Kids for Camp and UWF Explore Camps.
Answers by:
Deven Walther-Thead, Coordinator, Continuing Education-Recreation & Leisure and Kids College

Santa Rosa Island Authority
1 Via De Luna Drive, visitpensacolabeach.com
What does being the “best” mean to you?
We strive to be the best by hosting many family-friendly events and keeping our beaches looking beautiful. Visitors keep coming back year after year because of the great atmosphere and the amount of activities there are here on Pensacola Beach.
If you had to define your business with just one sentence or phrase, what would it be?
We are the local governing agency for Pensacola Beach.
What do you think makes you and your business unique?
The Santa Rosa Island Authority is one-of-a-kind. We are a family-friendly beach and hold events for people of all ages.
Other than your business, what are some of your local favorites?
Pensacola Beach is home to many great businesses and attractions. It’s hard to choose a favorite.
Answers by:
Kara Gauntt, HR/Events Coordinator

UWF Historic Trust
120 Church St., historicpensacola.org
What does being the “best” mean to you?
To us, being the best means providing the highest quality educational experiences, special events and community programming in our city.
If you had to define your business with just one sentence or phrase, what would it be?
Our mission is to collect, preserve, interpret and share the history of Northwest Florida.
What do you think makes you and your business unique?
We own and operate 32 museums, sites and properties throughout downtown Pensacola and also in Milton. This gives us a unique view into the history of our area and what makes our town so special.
Other than your business, what are some of your local favorites?
South Market, Perfect Plain, Pensacola Bay Brewery, Pensacola Symphony Orchestra, Pensacola Opera and Pensacola Little Theatre.
Answers by:
Claire Stewart, Director of Communications & Special Projects, UWF Advancement

Visit Pensacola, Inc.
1401 E. Gregory St., visitpensacola.com
What does being the “best” mean to you?
Visit Pensacola strives to be a central voice for all things to do and see in our community. We want our site to be user-friendly, visually appealing and something someone wants to look at time and time again.
If you had to define your business with just one sentence or phrase, what would it be?
We promote and share Pensacola experiences with guests from all over the world.
What do you think makes you and your business unique?
As the destination organization, we promote what everyone loves about Pensacola, Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key. The site allows for us to share experiences and create memories. We are growing tourism as an economic engine for our community through leadership, collaboration and communication, and we have fun doing it.
Other than your business, what are some of your local favorites?
The hustle and bustle of downtown to the miles and miles of sugar-white beaches; our museums, outdoor activities, festivals and the culinary scene that is exploding throughout Pensacola. Pensacola’s community is friendly, and this city is an experience unlike any other. We are fortunate to call it home.
Answers by:
Nicole Stacey, Director Marketing and Communications

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