Board of Directors’s Great Northwest Board Members are the movers and shakers of our region and are committed to building a diverse and vibrant economy. They represent regional businesses, utility partners, economic development organizations, higher education institutions, and workforce boards. Because of their support, businesses and residents have a wealth of opportunities to flourish and grow in the Florida Panhandle.  

Executive Committee

Bruce Vredenburg, Hancock Whitney  Chair
Rick Byars, Gulf Power Immediate Past Chair
Scarlett Phaneuf, PowerSouth Energy Cooperative Vice Chair
Rhea Goff, The St. Joe Company Secretary
Chuck Landers, Saltmarsh, Cleaveland & Gund Treasurer
Lewis Bear, Jr., The Lewis Bear Company Sustaining Member
Roger Hall, Sacred Heart Health System Sustaining Member
Roy Baker, Opportunity Florida Economic Development Representative 
Ed Meadows, Pensacola State College Higher Education Representative
Sheryl Rehberg, CareerSource Escarosa Workforce Development Representative
Tracy Bailey, White Construction Corporate Representative
David Melvin, David H. Melvin Inc. Consulting Engineers   Corporate Representative


Board of Directors


Sustaining Partners  
Rick Byars Gulf Power Company
Verdell Hawkins Gulf Power Company
Roger Hall Sacred Heart Health System
Jules Kariher Sacred Heart Health System
Scarlett Phaneuf PowerSouth Energy Cooperative
Lewis Bear The Lewis Bear Company
Corporate Partners  
Brett Aldridge Baptist Health Care
Jennifer Grove Baptist Health Care
Tracy Bailey White Construction
Roy Baker Opportunity Florida
Scott Barrow Regions
Megan Fry Clark Partington 
Rick Bitner Farm Credit of Northwest Florida
Stewart Ramsey Pen Air Federal Credit Union
Joe Brown Hopping Green & Sams
Bill Dagnall Navy Federal Credit Union
John Daniel Beggs & Lane
Michael Diehl SunTrust Bank
Dan Flynn Pensacola International Airport
David Gaines Goldring Gulf Distributing
Rhea Goff The St. Joe Company
James Howe LandrumHR
David Hulse Bank of America
Chuck Landers, CPA Saltmarsh, Cleaveland & Gund
James C. Lee, III Buffalo Rock
David Melvin David Melvin Consulting Engineers
Danielle Ruiz Duke Energy
Gay Nord HCA Healthcare - West Florida Healthcare
Bruce Vredenburg Hancock Whitney
Raymond Walker AT&T
Dave Whalen HCA Healthcare - Twin Cities Hospital
Eddie Norris Synovus Bank





Nicole Gislason University of West Florida
John Holdnak Gulf Coast State College
Sarah Clemmons Chipola College
Devin Stephenson Northwest Florida State College
Ed Meadows Pensacola State College
Randy Hanna Florida State University
Economic Development  
Becca Hardin Bay County Economic Development Alliance
Bill Imfeld Walton County Economic Development Alliance
Scott Luth FloridaWest
Jim McKnight Gulf County Economic Development Coalition
Shannon Ogletree Santa Rosa Economic Development 
Nathan Sparks Economic Development Council of Okaloosa County
  Holmes County Development Commission
Tiffany Garling Jackson County Economic Development Committee


Workforce Boards

Richard Williams CareerSource Chipola
Sheryl Rehberg CareerSource Escarosa
Kim Bodine CareerSource Gulf Coast
Michele Burns CareerSource Okaloosa Walton




Florida’s Great Northwest is here to provide you the practical, on-the-ground resources and support you need for your business location/expansion project. From incentives to site selection to workforce development, we’ve got the expertise and connections to help your business be even more competitive with a Northwest Florida location.

Kim Wilmes - President & CEO

President & CEO