About Our Nominee
David’s passion is giving back. This community has been very kind to him, so he is doing everything he can to give back. He loves supporting our small businesses and being connected to the people. He loves learning and would love to start a nonprofit organization to teach STEM. (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)
What inspired you or led you to your current career/owning your business?
I believe in the concept of giving back to the community. This area has been very kind to me throughout the years. There aren’t enough people that want to give back to the community. There’s a lot of takers in the world and not a lot of givers. I’m one of those people that likes to give. You can do that through various means.
Some people serve on boards and commissions and they get involved in homeless missions, they get involved in veterans missions, they get involved with feeding people. Those are all good components. I’m working to get people jobs in this area. If we can bring economic development to this area, that gives somebody a job, that gives them hope because they are now able to buy new shoes for their kids and they’re learning new skills and trades. It betters them as people and it betters our community, because they become contributors.
How long have you lived or worked in Pensacola?
I’ve been here since 1978. I graduated from Tate in 1980, went to Pensacola State, went to UWF, went off for a couple of years down to the Tampa area, but eventually came back here. My dad retired here, so this was the place to be.
Who is the most interesting person/business owner you’ve met here in Pensacola? Who would you like to see nominated as a Face of Pensacola?
The person I just talked to, Marcelo, runs Gatrone Industries, which down here is called Blue Wind. Blue Wind technologies are in the tire warehouse off of Olive Road. Blue Wind has a contract with GE and they build the boxes around the wind turbines. He transplanted his entire family from Brazil. So, he’s a come-to-America success story. Another suggestion would be a guy named Martelli. He owns Martelli Industries and is an inventor. He’s a Vietnam-era veteran and he’s got a really good military story.
What advice would you give a crowd of people? (Or someone starting their own business?)
Number one thing: do as much research as you can. I’d start with the small business development center locally, find people that are in the same lines of business, find a mentor, and be challenged by that mentor. Sometimes mentors will tell you what you want to hear. They’re not accountability partners. They may want to tell you how it was for themselves. But it’s important to have someone hold you accountable.
What current/former local business makes you the most nostalgic about (or what is most iconic in) Pensacola?
Where do you see yourself (and your career/business) in 5 or 10 years?
In theory, in 10 years I may be retiring, but I don’t see myself ever retiring. At some point, I’ll be feeding the birds somewhere. I will always be active.
What is your favorite restaurant in Pensacola, and what do you love there? (What is your favorite dish, and where do you get it?)
I’ll start with McGuire’s chicken salad. That’s always a good standard! You can get all kinds of good stuff. I like to dine at barbecue places. I love Hotspot Barbecue and like to support local businesses. I’m not so much a chain person.
If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
I’d go to Russia because I’ve always wanted to. I covet a different culture with a lot of different experiences. They have beautiful architecture.
What is your favorite movie OR what is the first movie you remember seeing in a theater?
I don’t really have a favorite movie. I remember watching the first Star Wars when it came out.
What is something on your bucket list?
Make a difference I would say, but there are still so many more things. I wouldn’t mind creating a 501C3 that helps a nonprofit organization that helps teach STEM.
What is your favorite thing or something unique about Pensacola?
The experience of the people. Pensacola is unique in one aspect. We have the largest retired military community. That means you can sit down and have a conversation anywhere and listen and learn and it will be interesting.
Choosing anyone alive and a non-relative: with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? Where in Pensacola would you have lunch?
I’d go to lunch with Ronald Reagan. Imagine the life experience from a political standpoint, a life standpoint, and the challenges that he had. I’d take him to the Scenic 90 Cafe.
What is your favorite music/ 3 bands you would like to see (dead or alive)?
There was a time I could do some 80’s disco stuff and maybe some country.
(Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
I’ve had both of my hips replaced. My first hip surgery was in 1978. That prevented me from going into the military. My sister and I both had horses up in Pennsylvania. She was an English jumper and I did western stuff. I got thrown off which caused an injury. Then I came down here and was playing on dirt bikes. I flipped a bike and my hip came out. So, my first surgery was putting a couple of pins. I hobbled on crutches when I was a sophomore in high school, so that limited what I could do.
What 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
Heart, safe, secure.
If you had a full-time staff member that was fully paid for, who would you choose?
Chef, Housekeeper, Driver, Coach, Physical Fitness Trainer, or Nanny?
Be sure to check out what our other nominees have to say!