Northwest Fla., Panhandle Business Briefs - November 2010
BAY COUNTY — Tyndall Air Force Base will host a new squadron of 21 F-22 Raptor aircraft, the result of Air Force plans to consolidate its F-22 fleet. The additional aircraft, expected to begin arriving in late 2012, will bring some 600 more personnel to the base. Tyndall has the largest contingent of F-22s.
ESCAMBIA COUNTY — Emerald Coast Utilities Authority's new $320-million Central Water Reclamation Plant is expected to be fully operational by January, replacing the hurricane-damaged Pensacola Main Street Wastewater Treatment Plant. Reclaimed water from the new plant goes to International Paper Co. and Gulf Power Co. for industrial processes.
JEFFERSON COUNTY — American Hunter owners Tom and Sarah Cooksey bought seven acres and are building a 45,000-sq.-ft. warehouse in the Jefferson County Industrial Park. They plan to relocate their business from Tallahassee, expand and add five employees to the current 14. American Hunter is an internet wholesale and retail distribution company selling outdoor equipment, hunting and recreational products.
PANAMA CITY — Bay Medical Center has completed its five-story addition. The $70-million project adds 144 private rooms, a new cafeteria and a new hospital entrance.
PANAMA CITY BEACH — Doral Bank New York has formed Doral Bank Florida, which opened Sept. 1 at Panama City Beach. Five Bay County branches are planned within a year, plus others in north Florida. Raymond Powell, formerly CEO and president of the recently closed Peoples First Community Bank, is president of Doral Southeastern U.S. operations.
PENSACOLA — The Naval Aviation Museum Foundation completed construction of Hangar Bay One, a $7.5-million, 55,000-sq.-ft. expansion and the museum's first addition in 14 years. It has room to house 35 aircraft.
» Cogon Systems, which manages patient information exchanges between multiple
health providers through a virtual health network platform, is now owned by Smartronix, based in Hollywood, Md. Cogon founder and CEO Huy Nguyen will operate Cogon as a Pensacola-based subsidiary of Smartronix, which also has offices at Shalimar in Okaloosa County.
TALLAHASSEE — The National Science Foundation has awarded a $2.5-million grant to Florida State University's Florida Center for Research in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The grant will fund a three-year project to create an electronic performance support system connecting educators across the nation with online resources for teaching math and science.
» Former Innovation Park bookkeeper Shanna Lewis, accused of stealing nearly $650,000 from the park while she worked there, pleaded guilty to bank fraud, cashing forged checks and aggravated identity theft and will be sentenced this month.
» Former FSU President T.K. Wetherell has formed a new FSU research center, the Center for Higher Education Research, Teaching & Innovation, to promote best practices and scholarly research in higher education administration, especially in Florida community colleges and the state university system. Wetherell is now president emeritus and a professor in the university's College of Education.
WALTON COUNTY — Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida is opening a redistribution center in the Walton County Industrial Park at Freeport. The distributor, a division of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, bought a six-acre parcel, the last remaining parcel in the park's first phase, and will build a 20,000-sq.-ft. building. The Freeport Redistribution Center will employ 60.