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BEST OF THE COAST | Vol. 11, No. 38, October 15, 2009
(Best of the Coast 2009)

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Community & Media

Winner: Best Community Leader

The managing partner of O'Sullivan Creel, LLP has helped guide this community through three difficult decisions. He worked with the Emerald Coast Utility Authority, Escambia County and the City of Pensacola on how to pay to relocate the Main Street Sewage Treatment Plant.

O'Sullivan took a lead role in explaining the Community Maritime Park to the community and has volunteered his time to the Community Maritime Park Associates Board of Trustees.
As the past chairman of the Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, O'Sullivan took on the daunting task of restructuring how this community approaches economic development.
That's leadership.

Winner: Best Rising Leader

The next generation is filled with leaders who are already making contributions to the community.
Justin Beck, president of Beck Property Co.,  is at the top of his class. He is active in many civic and professional organizations including N.W. Florida chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP), where he sits on the board of directors, National Association of Realtors, Florida Association of Realtors, Pensacola Association of Realtors, Suburban-West Rotary, Junior Achievement and United Way.

Justin was a member of the 2008 class of Leadership Pensacola (LeaP) that successfully pushed for curbside recycling in Escambia County.

Winner: Best Politician

The Sheriff of Escambia County has a difficult job. Fighting crime while reorganizing an agency and cutting operational costs isn't easy.
Morgan has handled it well while still walking neighborhoods and keeping open lines of communication with the media and the public.
His handling of the murder investigation of the deaths of Byrd and Melanie Billings won admiration for his professionism and built trust and confidence in the capabilities of the Escambia Sheriff's Office.

Winner: Best Volunteer

This former educator and state representative makes things happen. If Ritchie is involved with a fundraiser, that event will raise more money than it ever has. From the Council on Aging's Perfectly Aged Calendar to the American Cancer Society's Cattle Baron's Ball, Ritchie has had a huge impact on the quality of life of this community through her volunteer efforts.

Winner: Best Boss

The man who has written books on hardwiring excellence and getting results that last is the perfect fit for this award. Studer has focused on helping healthcare systems improve outcomes by improving employee satisfaction for more than 15 years.

He has reached out into the community and offered scholarships to local businesses and government leaders to his "Taking You and Your Organization to the Next Level" seminars to help others build better organizations.

The Studer Group has also volunteered its time and talent to help the Escambia County Public School District and United Way of Escambia improve its communications and processes.


Winner: Best Place to Work
Top 3 Finishes: Best Hospital, Best Boss-Al Stubblefield

More than 5,500 people who live in northwest Florida and south Alabama chose to work at Baptist Health Care for one reason-Baptist understands that employees are people first.
This is probably a good reason why the healthcare system has been voted BOC Best Place to Work.

Baptist Health Care is a locally owned, not-for-profit healthcare organization driven by a culture of compassion, empowerment and open communication. Employees' commitment to ongoing training and development as well as leadership opportunities create an environment that engages, energizes and inspires.

Happy employees receive resources to apply their knowledge and empowerment to achieve Baptist's mission of improving quality of life.

"We know that happy employees mean happy patients," says Baptist CEO Al Stubblefield. "Employees are the reason Baptist Health Care continues to meet the needs of our patients and provide access to quality care for our community."


Winner: Best Local Artist

For the past 12 years, LB Zayszly has owned and operated the Zayszly Artz Studio and Gallery on 12th Avenue.

Zayszly says she is "blown away" by the IN award. 
"There are jewelers, teachers and others way above my expertise," she says. "But I have been here 12 years. I guess people like consistency."

Winner: Best Local Band

Lou and Jay Smart have become Pensacola bar scene institutions. Any time you see these dashing gents stroll up in their suits and whip out their banjos, guitars and slide whistle, you know you're in for a musical experience like no other.

Winner: Best Radio Station

This country station has won this category for three consecutive years, thanks, in part, to its tremendous outreach in the community. Cat Country's yellow tent is at nearly every event.