FRED LEVIN (2007)
The flamboyant and outspoken Pensacola trial attorney has the University of Florida law school named after him. Fred has won more than 25 jury verdicts in excess of $1 million. His biggest achievement was helping rewrite legislation in 1993 that led to a $13.2 billion settlement by the tobacco industry with the State of Florida.
Fred has attended cocktail parties with former President Bill Clinton, former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev, U2′s Bono and David Rockefeller. He was honored at the United Nations by being made a Chief in the Republic of Ghana, one of only two non-Ghanaians ever so honored.
J. COLLIER MERRILL III (2008)
This developer and restaurateur works behind the scenes for our university, maritime park, downtown improvement and political candidates and causes. With his brothers, Will and Burney, Merrill co-owns Merrill Land Company, a real estate development and holding firm, The Fish House, Atlas Oyster House and Jackson’s Steakhouse in Pensacola. He heads nearly every board critical to this area’s future, including the Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce and the Community Maritime Park Associates.
LEWIS BEAR JR. (2009)
The cornerstones of influence in Pensacola are business success, commitment to improving the area and stubbornness to persevere regardless of how monumental the task may seem. You can check all three boxes when you look at Lewis Bear Jr. His company, The Lewis Bear Company, is a beverage distributorship founded in 1876 that holds the regional franchise for Anheuser-Busch with offices in DeFuniak Springs and Panama City. It’s difficult to find a charity or community organization that hasn’t been helped by the Lewis Bear family. His latest victory is getting the state legislature to pass the Oil Spill Recovery Act, which provides the Panhandle counties $10 million each for the next three years.
QUINT STUDER (2010)
When it comes to this town’s progress over the past decade, it’s hard to overlook the contributions of Quint Studer. His company, Studer Group, is a national leader in healthcare and recently won the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. He was the big champion for the Community Maritime Park, which is set to open early next year. He founded the Better Pensacola Forum, which provides a measurement tool on how the community is moving. His latest coup is the acquisition of a Major League Baseball Double A team, which has been named the Pensacola Blue Wahoos.