JULIAN MACQUEEN Innisfree Hotels has been selected by Intercontinental Hotels as the 2011 Developer of the Year for American mid-scale brands. The company, which was founded in 1985 by MacQueen, was honored for its development of the Holiday Inn Resort on Pensacola Beach, which was part of this year’s DeLuna Festival. Innisfree is the largest employer on Pensacola Beach and has six hotels along the Gulf Coast.
DAVID ANDREWS This 1976 graduate of Pensacola State College has been awarded the Leroy Collins Distinguished Alumni Award for Lifetime Achievement by the Association of Florida Colleges. Named in honor of former Florida Gov. Leroy Collins, who was instrumental in establishing Florida’s community college system, the Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes distinguished graduates from a Florida community college who have made substantial contributions to their college, community, state and nation. Dr. Andrews is Dean of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Education.
GE WIND Pensacola is the beneficiary of a new contract signed by BP Wind Energy, which is purchasing 350 GE 1.6-megawatt wind turbines for U.S. wind farm projects being developed in 2011 and 2012. Total value of the equipment orders and a five-year services agreement is approximately $750 million. The turbines are being built in Pensacola.
MICHELE BACHMANN Once the darling of the GOP-right, the congresswoman is losing ground fast. Now the Tea Party is asking her to drop out of the race. American Majority President Ned Ryun, who’s group operates in seven states, wants Bachmann gone. Ryun now supports Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
BLUE-COLLAR WORKERS The Pensacola area lost 600 construction jobs over the past 12 months. Construction employment declined in 153 out of 337 metropolitan areas between September 2010 and September 2011, increased in 145 and stayed level in 39, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials noted that declines in publicly funded construction projects continue to offset modest improvements in the private sector market.
PENSACOLA RETAIL MARKET Civic Economics and the American Booksellers Association have released their annual Indie City Index which ranks every Metropolitan Area in the United States based on the health of the local, independent retail sector. Areas get “dinged” if Wal-Mart and other major chains have a substantial portion of retail sales in the market. The Pensacola MSA ranked no. 296, behind Gulfport, Pascagoula, Mobile and Panama City.