Power List 2017: Top 25
1. Rishy Studer
Co-owner, Studer Properties, Blue Wahoos, Bodacious Shops
2. Robert Rinke
Co-wwner/Broker, Levin Rinke Realty; Managing Partner, Levin Rinke Development
Rinke moved to Pensacola Beach in 1991. Being from California, he saw the tremendous value in this incredible waterfront community. He started Levin Rinke Realty with the late Allen Levin, selling over $2 billion in real estate over the last 25 years. Selling the Pensacola lifestyle became his passion. Seeing a need for quality inventory inspired Rinke and his partners to develop over 1,000 resort condominiums. Focusing on quality, all-concrete construction with a heavy emphasis on lifestyle amenities helped to set a new standard for development along the Gulf Coast. For 20 years, Rinke has worked with local leaders and the county to improve the quality of life for locals and tourists, advocating for change that will enrich lives, improve the economy and make the area a vibrant destination to live work and play.
3. Martha Saunders
President, University of West Florida
On Jan. 1, Saunders became the sixth president of the University of West Florida. Her plans for UWF include creating nationally-known programs of distinction that build on the university’s current successes. She has launched the Division of Research and Strategic Innovation to serve as an incubator for new ideas and support a more research-focused institution. Saunders is committed to ensuring that student success remains at the forefront for the university. With two previous university presidencies under her belt, she has the background to handle current challenges facing higher education. Saunders was the chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater for 2005-2007 and president of the University of Southern Mississippi from 2007-2012. As UWF Provost and Executive Vice President, she led the reorganization of the academic division and navigated the university’s successful rise in performance-based funding.
4. C. Edward Meadows
President, Pensacola State College
Since 2008, Dr. Meadows has served as the president of the beloved community college, Pensacola State College. He has been one of this area’s biggest champions for workforce development. Under his leadership, Pensacola State College has expanded access to its programs through increasing distance learning and developing a new center in South Santa Rosa County to complement its satellite campuses in Warrington and Milton. He commissioned a study to identify gaps in the local workforce, which led to new programs in veterinary science, healthcare management, graphic design and cyber security. PSC will host Florida SkillsUSA ‘s state conference for the next three consecutive years. The Community College Futures Assembly awarded recently award PSC the national 2017 Bellwether Award in the Instructional Programs and Services category for its virtual tutoring program.
5. Jim Reeves
Attorney at Law
The current Commodore of the Pensacola Yacht Club and the chairman of the Community Maritime Park Associates Board of Trustees is a consummate Pensacola power broker. The real estate attorney served in the Florida Legislature from 1966 to 1972 and later spent six years on the Pensacola City Council, 1977-1983. During his time in the Florida House, Reeves lobbied for a $200,000 state grant that enabled the creation of the Historic Pensacola Preservation Board. While on the city council, he pushed for the creation of the Community Redevelopment Agency. Along with McGuire Martin, Reeves created the McGuire’s Irish Politicians Club, whose memberships are highly coveted. Reeves was appointed to the State Prison Industry Board by every Governor of the State of Florida since Bob Martinez, where he serves as chairman of that board.
6. John Peacock
Financial Advisor, CFP®, Edward Jones
The chairman of the Downtown Improvement Board has worked hard to continue the growth and improvement of its 44 blocks. He spearheaded the effort to re-create the DIB with an Aesthetic Improvement Plan and Parking Implementation Strategy. Downtown Pensacola has a very positive vibe, and Peacock deserves credit for keeping the momentum headed in the right direction. His efforts with the DIB, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the Panhandle Charitable Open earned Peacock recognition as “2014 Community Leader of the Year” from the Greater Pensacola Chamber. His commitment to the Panhandle Charitable Open sprang from his pledge to make something positive out of the loss of his 17-year-old son who died in a car accident. Last year, the golf tournament netted over $210,000, all of which was donated to local charities.
7. Troy Rafferty
Shareholder, Levin, Papantonio
Rafferty is a recipient of the Perry Nichols Award from the Florida Justice Association, the highest award given by the organization and presented to an attorney who has demonstrated an extended and distinguished commitment to the cause of justice in Florida and the nation. In January, he was honored with the “Living the Dream Award,” given to those who exemplify the ideals of civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Mr. Rafferty also funds and supports several local scholarships. Most recently, he and wife established a scholarship fund to supervised by Southern Youth Sports Association to provide college educations for inner-city youth. The Raffertys pledged $50,000 annually to the program that will give hope for those selected.
8. Fred Donovan, Jr.
Principal, Baskerville-Donovan, Inc.
Donovan serves on the Florida Chamber Board of Directors and is a member of the Florida Chamber’s Political Institute and Board of Governors. He is on the Board of Directors of Florida’s Great Northwest, the Hancock Bank Advisory Board, the Florida Chamber NWFL PAC and the First City Arts Center Board of Directors. He is a past Vice Chairman of the Greater Pensacola Chamber, VISION 2015 and served as the Chairman of the Greater Pensacola Area Chamber of Commerce Sites and Buildings Committee. Donovan is a member of the Florida Engineering Society, The American Society of Civil Engineers and the Society of American Military Engineers. Donovan also chaired the effort that brought about The Bluffs, an industrial campus to be developed in Cantonment that will create some 15,000 jobs over its first 25 years.
9. Julian MacQueen
Founder/CEO, Innisfree Hotels
The former Executive Vice President of Family Inns of America founded Innisfree Hotels in 1985. His company has grown from a single- property operation to one of the largest hotel management companies in the Southern United States, with more than 2,700 rooms owned and managed and more than 1,500 employees. On Pensacola Beach alone, Innisfree has the Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front, Holiday Inn Resort, Hampton Inn, and Travelodge. MacQueen was a big advocate for breaking tourism marketing away from the Greater Pensacola Chamber. In 2014, Visit Pensacola was created to handle tourism development for Escambia County. He also created The Hive, Innisfree Hotels’ corporate social responsibility program that fosters a workplace promoting community service. One of The Hive’s first projects was a sustainable community garden in the heart of Pensacola.
10. Sunil Gupta
MD, Founder, Retina Specialty Institute (RSI), Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems (IRIS), & US Retina
After founding RSI, one of the largest retinal clinics and research organizations in the country, Gupta started US Retina, the largest association of private retina practices. To improve early detection and treatment of blinding conditions, he went on to create IRIS, a telemedicine platform for assessment of retinal disease, which was recently awarded Microsoft’s 2017 Innovation Award.
11. Belle Bear
Co-founder IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area
If Belle Bear advocates a cause, then that cause will be successful. She is a fierce advocate for several local charities, particularly Arc Gateway, and she doesn’t hesitate to call Gov. Rick Scott for help. IMPACT 100 has grown from 100 members to over a thousand, thanks to her guidance.
12. Susan Davis
RN, Ed.D, President/CEO Sacred Heart Health System
Davis is the Alabama/Florida/Community Health Ministries Ministry Market Leader of Ascension Health, Inc. She was actively involved with the American Heart Association, United Way, Hospice, American Cancer Society and serves as Trustee of Florida Hospital Association Inc. She is leading the effort for the five-story Studer Family Children’s Hospital in Pensacola.
13. Michael Murdoch
Murdoch serves as CEO of AppRiver, a company he co-founded in 2002 to provide cybersecurity solutions for business. AppRiver now has over 53,000 customers worldwide, protecting 10 million mailboxes, and has made the Inc. 5000 fastest-growing companies list for 10 years running.
14. Teri Levin
Co-owner, Levin Rinke Realty
Levin’s philosophy on philanthropy is to pay it forward, believing that being blessed carries the responsibility of giving back. She has made major contributions to the University of Florida, Gulf Coast Kid’s House, Pace Center for Girls, Covenant Hospice, Pensacola Symphony, and YMCA. She is active as a DIB member, serves on many other boards and donates to other charities as well.
15. Sandy Sansing
President, Sandy Sansing Automotive Group
In 1986, Sansing bought a Chevrolet Dealership in Pensacola. Today, the Florida Time Dealer of the Year Award recipient owns nine dealerships with over 600 employees. His philanthropy focuses on youth by sponsoring the local Spelling Bee, Cram the Van, and Communities Caring at Christmas. Sansing believes that the most rewarding aspect of his business is seeing a young person succeed.
16. Doug Underhill
Chairman, Escambia Board of County Commissioners
Underhill was elected to serve District 2 on the County Commission in Nov. 2014. He is a 25-year veteran of the Navy, currently serving as a Commander in the Naval Reserve. As a civilian contractor, he led a team of Cyber Security Analysts providing services to the Department of Homeland Security. He currently serves as the board chairman.
17. Mark Faulkner,
President/CEO, Baptist Health Care
In the past year, Faulkner’s organization opened a $6 million Baptist Medical Park-Airport, began a major expansion of its medical park in Pace, and developed a partnership with the YMCA at its new location. Last year, Faulkner served as chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Florida Hospital Association, which represents nearly 240 Florida health systems.
18. David Bear
Vice President, The Lewis Bear Company; Founder, Art, Culture and Entertainment, Inc. (ACE)
Bear comes from a long line of art supporters. When the Arts Council of Northwest Florida collapsed in 2010, he formed ACE to helped the area’s many cultural and arts organizations. Bear created Foo Foo Fest, a 12-day celebration of the arts in the greater Pensacola area.
19. Grover Robinson, IV
Escambia County Commissioner, District 4
Robinson is serving his third term as the Escambia County Commissioner for District 4 and just finished his second stint as chairman. He fought for the RESTORE Act so that Escambia County receives its share of BP settlement monies. In 2014, Robinson was elected president of the Florida Association of Counties. He chairs Florida Gulf Consortium for the RESTORE Act.
20. Clay Ingram
Florida House, District 1; President & CEO, Greater Pensacola Chamber
A member of the undefeated 1999 FSU National Championship football team, Ingram has been a key player in Tallahassee. He serves as the chair of the House Transportation and Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee and has successfully gotten funding for several area projects, including The Bluffs.
21. Henry Stovall
President, Sacred Heart Hospital
Since Aug. 2012, Stovall has provided the overall operational leadership for Sacred Heart Hospital Pensacola, The Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart, The Sacred Heart Cancer Center, The Pace Ambulatory Surgical Center and various other outlying entities. Before his current position, he served as the Senior Vice President for Special Projects at Sacred Heart Health System.
22. Brian Spencer
Pensacola City Council President; Founder and Principal, SMP Architecture
The founding principal of SMP Architecture was one of the earlier investors in the revitalization of downtown Pensacola. He has been involved in the adaptive re-use of historic structures, renovations, and new construction of hospitality, housing, and commercial office buildings in the Pensacola area. First elected to the Pensacola City Council in 2010, Spencer currently is the council president.
23. Lumon May
Escambia County Commissioner, District 3
Southern Youth Sports Association has served the academic, social and physical needs of children through the appropriate involvement of the community, mentors, and staff. When he is not in an Escambia County Commission meeting or on a job site for Mays Construction, he can found coaching kids at Legion Field or in a gym.
24. Bill Wein
CEO, IMS ExpertServices
Servant leadership is at the core of Bill’s life philosophy and is central to IMS ExpertServices’ annual double-digit growth and national recognition. Passionate about economic development and entrepreneurship in Pensacola, Bill serves on several boards, including Innovation Coast, Pensacola State Board of Governors, and Summit Bank.
25. Keith Hoskins
Western District General Manager, Gulf Power
Hoskins is responsible for customer service and sales for Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties. Before joining the company, he was Commanding Officer at NAS Pensacola where he forged a partnership with Gulf Power, helping to integrate solar energy and improve energy efficiency.