January 25, 2015
Making connections work for minority professionals

Photo: Pensacola News Journal

Lloyd Reshard focuses on helping other African-Americans launch their careers.


Making connections work for minority professionals

Wendy Dixon | 10/9/2013

Lloyd Reshard began learning about putting together resources and people during high school. A guidance counselor advised him to take up a trade to pay his way through college. Reshard, however, had higher ambitions that he shared with a teacher, who helped connect him with financial aid.

22.9% African-American population of Escambia County vs. 16.6% for the state average

$930 million Aggregate household income for Escambia’s African-Americans in 2012

Reshard was awarded an IBM scholarship at Florida A&M University and ultimately earned an electrical engineering degree from the University of Florida in 1980. “It turns out there was so much money available I couldn’t take it all,” Reshard says. “My counselors weren’t aware of these resources.”

His experience convinced Reshard, who became an engineer for the Air Force Research Laboratory Munitions Directorate at Eglin Air Force Base, to help other African-Americans find resources that could help launch their careers. He established the Historically Black Colleges & University Minority Institutions Technology Program, through which he recruited 12 career employees for the Munitions Directorate and enabled the hiring of dozens of minority interns.

Since retiring in 2011, the 56-year-old has started Tip or Tap Marketing, where he designed an iPhone networking app (1st Friday Mobile). He also started Pensacola Network, an organization that facilitates connections between businesses and African-American job seekers. “African-Americans don’t realize the power they have,” he says. About 23% of Escambia County’s population is African-American.

Pensacola Network holds monthly meetings and is open to all businesses that want to connect with minority professionals. No membership is required, and there are no fees. The group has attracted support from Gulf Power. About 100 people showed up in August at the group’s first meeting.

“There’s nothing unique about what I’m doing,” Reshard says. “There are many resources around us. The key to economic prosperity is finding them.”

Tags: Education, Northwest

Digital Access

Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single ditgital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.


Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

Google wants to be your phone company
Google wants to be your phone company

New reports suggest that Google is teaming up with Sprint and T-Mobile to offer wireless service directly to customers.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

What would make you willing to change your cellular phone service?

  • Lower price per month
  • More data / faster service
  • Great deal on a better phone
  • Nothing, because the fee to break contract is too high
  • Nothing. I am quite happy with my current plan.

See Results

Ballot Box