Up Front - The Publisher's Column
Florida's Great Northwest
The northwestern sector of Florida, often called the Emerald Coast, is experiencing a renaissance.
While the military is the dominant force in northwest Florida — providing tens of thousands of direct and indirect jobs — there are also opportunities at places such as Navy Federal Credit Union, with its major presence in Pensacola. Tourism is also a prominent sector, with hotels, restaurants and retail growing all along the Gulf of Mexico. Education has established itself with the University of West Florida, several state colleges and, of course, the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition. And health care is coming up fast as another key sector.
Gulf Power points out that aerospace and manufacturing hold the greatest opportunity, especially with an Airbus plant in nearby Mobile, Ala., combined with the proximity to the entire southern United States.
If you thought table tennis was just for the den or cornhole was just for family picnics, think again.
The Best Companies reporting notes that companies big and small are using games to bring colleagues together in a fun way while also encouraging team-building.
Each year, companies jump at the chance to participate in our Best Companies survey. We use a questionnaire to query employees anonymously about company policies. All companies that participate get a report on the findings, and then we list the top 100.
You might be familiar with the larger firms such as uniform provider UniFirst, law firm Hunton & Williams or stock brokerage Edward Jones. But you might be learning the names of winners in the medium and small categories, which range from 15 to 249 Florida employees.
While fun and games might bring a certain type of loyalty, measures of success include pay, benefits, corporate communication and leadership.
Summer is awards season, and Florida Trend has been honored several times.
The Society of Professional Journalists named Mark Howard first-place winner for serious commentary in the Southeast. Mark believes that the most important part of writing is thinking through a topic and knowing what you want to say before you start typing, and I’ve learned not to knock when his door is closed. Thinking is in process.
The national Alliance of Area Business Publications noted Florida Trend four times:
- Best feature for Jason Garcia’s cover story on Cuba
- Best recurring feature for Art Levy’s monthly pieces on iconic Floridians
- Best Explanatory Journalism for Mike Vogel , who wrote about Florida reaching 20 million population
- Best Editorial for Mark Howard’s commentary on water issues.
Among the features highlighted in Florida Trend’s 2017 editorial calendar are perennials such as Floridian of the Year, Economic Yearbook and the Top 350 public and private companies in Florida.
But we also have first-time features scheduled on Women in Leadership, Climate Change and Millennials.
— Andy Corty
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