Pensacola, Florida
Sunday May 27th 2018


Power List Hall of Fame

Once you’re named the most influential, you deserve a special place. All top finishers earn berths in this prestigious hall of fame.

The flamboyant and outspoken Pensacola trial attorney has the University of Florida law school named after him. 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.

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, along with The Fish House, Atlas Oyster House and Jackson’s Steakhouse in Pensacola. He is respected and admired throughout the community.

His company, The Lewis Bear Company, was founded in 1876 and 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. Both his wife Belle and son David are on the 2012 IN Power List.

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, where his Major League Baseball Double A team, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, play. He and his wife Rishy have been catalysts for the rebirth of Pensacola.

Pensacola’s young mayor is a superstar on the state, regional and national political scene, accomplishing most of his top 20 campaign goals in his first year in office. Pensacola voters wanted a strong leader and got it in Hayward. His latest feat was getting Pen Air Federal Credit Union to move downtown.