PENSACOLA BEACH, Fla. – March 4, 2020– The Greater Pensacola Chamber announced its 60th annual PACE Award recipients during a special one-night event at the Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front. Each year, the PACE Awards are presented to outstanding individuals in our area who have made significant contributions to Greater Pensacola’s economic, educational, and community progress.
“Pensacola has no shortage of amazing people who work every day to make our community a better place,” said Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce Board Chairman Justin Beck. “It’s an honor to have the opportunity to specifically recognize the special individuals and the work they do.”
The 2020 PACE Award winners are:
Emerging Leader of the Year: Robin Zimmern, Major Gift Officer at the University of West Florida, was named Emerging Leader of the Year. A little over two years ago, Zimmern has found herself in a leadership role with the University of West Florida managing to double her fundraising goals each year. Along with consistently surpassing the goals set for her in her professional life, Zimmern serves on several local non-profit boards and volunteers with many other community organizations. She possesses the ability to serve as a leader of a group when needed, but also serve as a productive and hard-working member of a group under the leadership of others.
Business Leader of the Year: Will Condon, President, Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart, was named Business Leader of the Year. Born and raised in Pensacola, the 2020 Business Leader of the year is an individual who could be described as a business visionary. Condon is a graduate of Pensacola Catholic High School and then chose to further his education at the University of West Florida for both his bachelors and master’s degree. In his current role as President of Studer Family Children’s Hospital, Condon oversees the operations and continuous growth and development of the Studer Family Children’s Hospital and led the move from the old children’s hospital to their new facility. Condon’s focus has been on patient experience and under his leadership, Sacred Heart was voted the nation’s best pediatric emergency department.
Professional Leader of the Year: Don Snowden, Department Head of the Performing Arts Department, Director of Bands and Assistant Professor at Pensacola State College, was named Professional Leader of the Year. Since 1987, Snowden has developed a strong relationship within our community and has assisted Pensacola State College in raising over $500,000 in support of the programs, faculty, and students in the Performing Arts Department. Snowden’s professional reach goes beyond just Pensacola State College. He has made an impact on the Pensacola Symphony, the Pensacola Civic Band, Pensacola Little Theater, Gulf Breeze High School, and many other programs throughout our community.
Community Leader of the Year: Brent Lane, radio personality at Cat Country 98.7, was named this year’s Community Leader of the Year. Since moving to Pensacola in 2005, Lane has made a positive impact on the Pensacola community by dedicating his time, energy, and talents to this community and its citizens. He supports over twelve non-profit organizations throughout the community and touches the lives of thousands of people each year through his volunteer efforts. Along with presenting a top-rated morning radio show, he has dedicated himself to Manna, where he has served on the board of directors for the past eight years, including serving as Board President as well as chairing several committees.
Advocate Leader of the Year: Dr. Kim Krupa, Executive Director of Achieve Escambia, was named Advocate Leader of the Year. In her role as Executive Director at Achieve Escambia, Krupa has tripled the volunteer base, doubled the fundraising revenues, and elevated the profile of a community-based organization that is unique to Florida. She has led the charge at Achieve Escambia in improving kindergarten readiness by 10% points at C. A. Weis Community School where they are making a long-term investment in the 3-year-old preschool program. Under her direction, Achieve Escambia has won two most-improved statewide awards as a result of their first-ever Escambia County FAFSA Challenge to connect more high school seniors to financial aid for college.
Leader in Education: Dr. Kim LeDuff, Vice President for Academic Engagement and Student Affairs at the University of West Florida, was named Leader in Education. Dr. LeDuff became an educator because she recognized the doors that were opened for her as a result of her educational experiences. She is an individual with a stellar record of education service through outstanding contributions to advancement, mentorship, and encouragement of students in or outside of the classroom. LeDuff has made a lasting impact on the University of West Florida by building a strong diversity program that infuses inclusion in all that they do and establishing a new division dedicated to academic engagement and student success.
Spirit of Pensacola: Carol Carlan, President, Ascension Sacred Heart Foundation, was named as the recipient of the Spirit of Pensacola Award. As a businesswoman and community leader, Carlan has served and bettered our community through her roles in business, education, and philanthropy. Carlan is known for her heart-felt commitment to education and social issues, and has served on more than 35 not for profit organization boards during her career including: the Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce, Pensacola State College, the Institute of Human & Machine Cognition, and the PACE Center for Girls. Under Carlan’s leadership as President of Ascension Sacred Heart Foundation she has helped raise $50 million in assets.
Pioneer Award: John Appleyard, Pensacola historian, was named as the recipient of this year’s Pioneer Award. John Appleyard has been a pioneer in the Pensacola community for two generations, having dedicated his life to sharing Pensacola’s rich history daily. Beyond founding the Appleyard Agency in 1959, he is an avid historian who has authored dozens of books about Pensacola’s past. Appleyard was named director of the Florida Quadricentennial Celebration in 1958 and has been involved with numerous local historic preservation efforts. Appleyard’s 15-minute films about Pensacola’s history are viewable Tuesdays through Saturdays in the Appleyard Storytelling Cottage, located in UWF’s historic village.
Brent Lane says: Tonight it was an honor to receive the PACE Community Leader of Year Award from the Greater Pensacola Chamber. I love our community and am inspired to work harder for it by the room FULL of community leaders. Make no mistake there are so many doers in our community who are deserving. Dave and Mary Hoxeng have created a space where “community” involvement is something to be enjoyed. I’m blessed to have a wife in Angela Lane who is not only encouraging in service, but a servant herself. As we have watched our kids Cali, Hope and Carson become leaders and servants.
As always I hope have made my community proud and will continue to represent and champion what is great about our community. I’m very blessed that God led us to here and that our family has grown.