The Escambia County Sheriff Foundation Board Members graciously volunteer their time and resources to engage both the public and their respective businesses while championing the mission of the Foundation. Through both action and dialogue, these key stakeholders lead the discussion on public safety and community engagement, while also passionately advocating for recognition and appreciation of our ECSO’s employees.
Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons has been in the field of law enforcement for more than 30 years.
He previously served as Chief Deputy for the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, assistant county administrator for Escambia County, and as police chief for the Pensacola Police Department before retiring from the police department in August 2015. He began his law enforcement career in 1984 as a corrections officer for the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and was hired by the Pensacola Police Department as an officer in 1986. His assignments have included Patrol, Investigations, Narcotics and SWAT.
Sheriff Simmons has received numerous department awards in recognition of his service to the community, including a Bronze Cross and the Gold Medal of Valor, which is the department’s highest award for heroism. He also has been named to the Police and Firefighters Heroes Hall of Fame, the Pine Forest High School Alumni Hall of Fame, and received the Volunteer of the Year and Sports Lifetime Achievement awards from the Emerald Coast Youth Sports Association. In 2013, he received the Mayor’s Leadership Award for the city of Pensacola.
The Pine Forest High School graduate holds an Associate of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Pensacola Junior College, a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Troy State University, and a Master of Public Administration degree from Troy State University. He also graduated from the FBI National Academy in Quantico, VA.
Sheriff Simmons has had memberships on the Statewide Terrorist Network Group, Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, U.S. Customs Blue Lightning Strike Force, Favor House Board of Directors, Ronald McDonald House Board of Directors, and is currently on the Board of Trustees for Pensacola State College. He was a member of Leadership Pensacola class of 2004.
Brian Williams is the founder and President of Kool Companies. He's been a leader for other non-profit boards in the area such as Big Brothers Big Sisters and is a founding member of Krewe of Priscus.
Some of the other organizations he's supported are:
Board of Ambassadors of Covenant Care
Co-Founders Krewe Of SWAT
Pace Center for Girls
Studer Community Institute
Gulf Coast Kids House
Rally! Pensacola Children’s Cancer research
Manna Food Bank
Pensacola Little Theater
American Heart Association
American Cancer Association
Mr. Robbins Neighborhood
Habitat for Humanity
Capstone Adaptive Learning Centers
Pensacola Mess Hall
Independence for the blind
Whitney C. Lucas is currently the General Manager for Gilmore where she is responsible for the
management, planning and directing of their daily operations. She previously held the position of Chief
Financial Officer for Escambia County’s Corrections Department, operating a budget of over 55 million
dollars annually. During her tenure with Escambia County, she was selected for the Above and Beyond
Award and completed Leadership Pensacola, Class of 2019. After making the transition to Gilmore,
Whitney was named one of Inweekly’s Rising Stars of 2021. She was raised in Pensacola and graduated
from the University of West Florida in 2009. Whitney is a community minded leader with a true passion
for giving back. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the natural beauty our area has to offer with her
husband and two young daughters.
A graduate of Davidson College and the University of Florida Levin College of Law, Brenton Goodman is a practicing attorney at Levin, Papantonio, Rafferty. Born and raised in Escambia County, Brenton is dedicated to helping his community as a member of several organizations including Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Temple Beth El and the Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Association. He has also taught at the University of West Florida as an adjunct professor and at his Temple's Sunday School. Brenton enjoys spending time with his friends and family especially his wife, Stephanie, and their son.
Commander Andrew Hobbs is a career law enforcement officer with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office. He is currently
assigned as the Commander of the Community Relations division, including Public Information, Professional Standards,
Traffic, Crime Stoppers, Community Policing, and Domestic Security. He began his career in 2003 and has held many
different assignments within the agency. He has been the agency representative for Domestic Security, hurricane
preparedness, and large event coordinator throughout his career.
Commander Andrew Hobbs has a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration. He is a graduate of the National
Command and Staff College and Florida Department of Law Enforcement Leadership Academy Class 21. Additionally,
Commander Andrew Hobbs was selected as an In Weekly “Rising Star” in 2015 and is a member of Leadership Pensacola
Class of 2018. Commander Hobbs serves on the Board of Directors for Manna Food Pantries, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Mr.
Robbins’ Neighborhood, and Escambia County Sheriff Foundation nonprofit organizations.
Leadership Pensacola (Class of 1998)
Fiesta Board of Governors (1996-2003)
Member of Fiesta Forces
Fiesta Court (Knight 2014, Childrens Court 1978)
United Way Board of Directors (2000-2005)
United Way Foundation Board Member (2007-2010)
United Way Agnes Weis Society (2000-Present)
United Way Silver Feather Giver (1997-Present)
United Way: Agnes de Tocqueville Society [Bear Family Foundation] (Presently)
Gulf Coast Kid’s House Capital Campaign (2001-2002)
Gulf Coast Kid’s House Board (2002-2006)
Alzheimer’s Family Services Board (2008-2016)
Vice Chair (2010-2012)
Big Brother Big Sister of N.W. FL Board (2009-Present)
Vice Chair (2011-2012)
Big Brother (2009-2020)
Capital Campaign Chair (2019-2021)
Covenant Hospice Joyce Goldenberg Residence Capital Campaign (2006-2007)
Covenant Hospice Board of Directors (2011-2013)
Board of Directors The Lewis Bear Co (1995 – Present)
Trustee of Bear Family Foundation (2005-Present)
Mardi Gras Pensacola [King Priscus 1999]
Member Tristan (1999-Present)
Tristan Board Member (2011-2018)
Member Rebellaires (1997-Present)
Pace Center for Girls Volunteer & Donor (2010-Present)
Hunting, Fishing, Scuba Diving, Boating, Snowboarding, Riding Motorcycles, Computers
Shaun Carpentier, founder and owner of Complete DKI and 1-800-Packouts of the Gulf Coast. I was raised on the west coast, but my heart is in Pensacola. I moved to the Gulf Coast in 2004, 10 days before Ivan. That is where my passion for the mitigation industry began. I graduated from UWF in 2010 with a BA in Marketing with an emphasis on Sales Management and a Certificate in Logistics. I stared my career in business ownership in 2012 and obtained my FL General Contractor’s License in 2016. Since then, I have also got contractor license in Alabama and Mississippi. Part of my company mission is “being an asset to our community,” I do this by being involved The Sheriff’s’ Charity, serving as an active member of Generation’s Church, spending time volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters, participating as a member of Krewe of Lafitte and Krewe of Priscus, and serving on the UWF collage of Business Advisory Council. Outside of my career and professional life, I enjoy boating, snowboarding, and off-roading.
Belle Bear has been a lifelong community volunteer and philanthropist. She has actively served on several community boards and contributed countless service hours to her favorite charities. She was a founding board member of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Northwest Florida. She was a board member of Catholic Social Services, now known as Catholic Charities, and remains an honorary member of their board. She has served as president of the ARC Foundation Board and as a board member for FavorHouse, Girl Scouts, the YMCA of Northwest Florida and the Women's Board of Sacred Heart Hospital. She is a Sustainer with the Junior League of Pensacola and has been awarded the Joan Gonzalez Award for her outstanding contribution to the League and the Community. She continues to support each of these agencies by hosting events, recruiting volunteers, and contributing her time and resources to the various projects and activities for each. Belle was recently awarded the "Best Behind the Scenes Volunteer" by Independent Weekly newspaper.
My Name is Jesse Casey. I was born ln, Monroeville AL.1953. My family moved to Pensacola Fl., when/ was 4 years of age. That was In 1957. I resided on Hogan Road in Pensacola until April of 2017, when I moved with my wife to Mobile Hwy, Pensacola Fl..
At the early age of 13 my father had me working with him in the construction trades, after school, weekends, and holidays and during summer vacations. By the time I reached the age of 18 I had moved up in that field to foreman for H.R. Doty Construction Company, at the Naval Air Station Pensacola Fl. I continued to work my way up through the, residential, commercial, and nuclear power construction fields. I acquired a position at Marble Hill Nuclear Power Plant in New Washington Indiana, in 1980. As a
consultant to Public Service of Indiana, I was one of the five on staff below project manager, responsible for renegotiating all contracts, from lump sum to cost reimbursable contacts. I also filled a civil structural estimating position at the same time.
I was an agent for National Assistant Bureau a 501C3 Non Profit Corporation and Vice President of Major Contracting INC. out of Nashville Tn. I was building Health Care facilities, such as Nursing Homes, Kidney Dialysis Centers and retirement homes, (Summers Landing) I was doing Jobs in Nashville Tn., Birmingham, Atlanta, Dublin, Cordele GA. and Panama, and Fort Meyers Fl.
I have held General Contractor licenses for, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida.
In the early nineties I got tired of living out of a suit case. I decided to do away with all my licenses except for Florida.
I am currently a Certified General Contractor for the State of Florida; I specialized in the masonry field for over 30 years. I started building houses in 2018 and finished those up in 2021. I have now been contracted to build a manufacturing plant in, Century, Florida.
I have served on the Board of Adjustments (BOA) for Escambia County, and The Mass Transit Advisory Committee (MTAC)
I was also on the board for Step Out and Walk for Diabetes. I am now serving on the board for AMI Kids and Boys Base
I am a Major In the Auxiliary Air Force (Civil Air Patrol), I currently hold a private Pilot's license , and I am a lifetime member of NRA.
Part Owner and Director of Business Development for Hanto & Clarke General Contractors. Married to Chelsie for 13 years. Two sons, Collin 11 and Brendan 9. I’m a native of Pensacola and looking forward to continuing to give back to the community that has given me so much. When I’m not working I love coaching my son’s in baseball and football, boating, fishing, and golfing.
Birthplace: New York City
Husband Dave Hoxeng
Pets A really sweet cat named Kizzy
Education: City University of New York Baccalaureate Program
Bachelor of Arts
Duel concentrations in Marketing and Business
1989 – 1991
Summa cum Laude
Fashion Design Degree
1973 – 1975
Organizational Affiliations and Radio Honors: See attached.
Community Involvement and Service:
ARC Gateway Board Member
ARC Crab Cake Cook-off Chairman
ARC Wreaths of Joy Chairman
Board Member, ARC Foundation
Board Member, Better Business Bureau
Board Member, Chain Reaction Board Member
Board Member, Fiesta of Five Flags Rotary
Board Member, Impact 100
Board Member, Junior League of Pensacola Community Advisory Board
Board Member, Make a Wish Foundation
Board Member, PACE Center for Girls
Board Member, Pensacola Opera
Board Member, Pensacola Police Department’s Citizen Police Academy
Board Member, Rebuild Northwest Florida Concert Committee
Board Member, Tourist Development Council (TDC)
Committee Member, Autism Gala
Committee Member, Impact 100 10th Anniversary Celebration
Committee Member, Sertoma 4th of July Downtown Fireworks Celebration
Executive Committee, Membership Chair for Impact 100
Executive Committee, Secretary for ARC Gateway Foundation
Fiesta of Five Flags Commission – Florida State Board
Fiesta of Five Flags – Gold Sponsor Chairman
Impact 100 Member since it began
In Weekly 100 Most Influential People in Pensacola
Junior League Advisory Committee
Junior League Honorary Lifetime Member
Leadership Pensacola Advisory Committee
Leadership Pensacola Curriculum Committee
Leadership Pensacola Graduate – Class of 2007
Member of the Krewe Du YA YA’s
Member of the West Florida Advertising Federation
Navy League Member
Paul Harris Fellow with Rotary International
Pensacola Police Department Citizens Police Academy Graduate
Team A Member for cooking breakfast at Loaves & Fishes on Thursday mornings
Cat Country 98.7/NewsRadio92.3/ESPN Pensacola 99.1/Pensacola’s Playlist 94.5
Pensacola, Florida (July 2003 – Present)
Owner and General Manager.
Sinclair Broadcasting, KABB FOX 29/KRRT WB 35
San Antonio, Texas (1994 – 2003)
Regional Sales Manager
Waterman Broadcasting, KTFM-FM
San Antonio, Texas (1991 – 1994)
Local Sales Manager
TVX Broadcasting, KRRT TV 35
San Antonio, Texas (1986 – 1989)
National Sales Manager
MMT Television Sales
New York, New York (1983 – 1986)
Senior Account Executive
John Blair Television Sales
New York, New York (1981 – 1983)
Foote, Cone, Belding
New York, New York (1979 – 1981)
Benton and Bowles
New York, New York (1975 – 1979)
Family and friends, travel and sitting on Pensacola Beach being grateful to live here.
Howard C. Jacques III (Joc) is a native of Florida and has lived in the Panhandle since 2007. Born in Lake City, Florida he attended school in Crisp County, Georgia until he joined the Navy in 1983. Joc completed Aviation Air Crew School training in Pensacola, Florida during his time in the Navy and fell in love with the area. He earned his Air Crew Wings and was assigned to a P3 Squadron in Jacksonville completing a tour of duty in the middle east during his time in the military. Joc has owned and operated several businesses. Currently he is the CEO of Eager Beaver Professional Tree Care and Eager Beaver Recycling, which is a 71-acre tree debris recycling center.
Honey is the President of Star Lake Strategies, a firm specializing in strategic planning and development for non-profit, political, and advocacy organizations. Prior to founding her firm in 2018, she spent over a decade working in the political and campaign world in Washington, DC. During that time she covered everything from grassroots organizing for a successful Senate campaign to managing and growing donor relationships for national trade associations, a national party committee, and multiple Members of Congress.
Honey was born and raised in Pensacola, and after almost twenty years away she and her husband Chuck are delighted to be back home. She currently serves on the board of Pensacola Little Theatre, chairs the Greater Pensacola Chamber Policy Committee, is a contributing writer for the Pensacola Mom Collective, and is a member of Impact100. She and Chuck are proud parents to two wonderfully energetic young children.
Wadih El Khoury, Born in Lebanon; migrated to United States of America in 1999 where he made Pensacola his Hometown, Married to his Beautiful Wife Elena. Wadih Graduated from PJC with an associate degree in Business, then completed his Bachelor degree in Computer Science/CIS at UWF in 2004. Go Argos! In 2002 Wadih joined Florida Insurance Agency as a Computer Administrator. He has proven his dedication to the industry in a short period of time and became a partner, and then the owner of the Organization. Meanwhile, in 2004, Pensacola and surrounding areas were hit by Hurricane Ivan. Wadih and his Team drafted an emergency plan to assist their clients and managed to help thousands of additional claims in the area. He did this again when Pensacola was struck by another natural disaster, hurricane Sally in 2020. He brought his dedicated team to help the community in the efforts to restore the city. Through his experiences, Wadih has observed firsthand the needs of his community, and wanted to ensure that he plays a vital part in making the lives of its citizens better through his ongoing support of community leaderships and entrepreneurs. Wadih has learned a true meaning of giving back and takes pleasure and pride in participating in local events where he can show his philanthropical support. Wadih currently serves as Vice Chairman of Legislative and Regulatory Advocacy Council for Florida Association of Insurance Agents in Tallahassee and he is a member of Board of Directors for Capstone Adaptive Learning.
Adrienne Maygarden serves as service line director for women’s and children’s services at Ascension Sacred Heart. Her responsibilities include developing new opportunities for women’s and children’s services in Northwest Florida including community engagement and relationships. She also assists with advocacy work at the local, state and national level. She is responsible for program growth and the alignment of acquisitions, and she oversees the development of clinical and business processes. She works closely with regional providers and ensures outpatient services are provided in communities where most needed. Prior to this position, Adrienne served as regional director of the Ascension Sacred Heart Foundation for almost five years where she worked on the capital campaign that raised $30 million towards the opening of the new Studer Family Children’s Hospital. Adrienne is a graduate of Leadership Pensacola and of Ascension’s national ASPIRE leadership program. She was a 2020 Pinnacle recipient of the Turnbull Award from 850 Business Magazine, as an “up and coming” woman in our community. Before joining the Ascension Sacred Heart team, she served as a public accountant and at the YMCA of Northwest Florida, where she worked on the development of the $ı6 million Bear Levin Studer Downtown Pensacola YMCA.
Bubba is the Chief Deputy for the Escambia County Property Appraiser. He has worked at the Property Appraiser’s office for 18 years and has risen through the ranks, beginning as a student. Bubba is a lifelong resident of Escambia County and is a graduate of Tate High School, Pensacola State College and the University of West Florida. He has a bachelor’s degree (UWF) in Business Management/Finance and a graduate degree (UWF) in Master of Business Administration (MBA). He is a licensed appraiser, realtor and a Certified Florida Evaluator (CFE).
Bubba is active within our community and serves as a member of the following organizations; Olive Baptist Church, Santa Rosa Island Authority (SRIA), Enterprise Risk Management Committee (Gulf Winds CU), NAIOP of NWFL and Molino Recreation Association. In addition, he was an Inweekly 2020 Rising Star and a graduate of Leadership Pensacola (LeaP), class of 2018.
Mr. Pike has over 42 years of experience with the Criminal Justice System. As the Department of Corrections Director, his responsibilities included the supervision of the following Escambia County programs: Jail, Road Prison, Work Release, Pre -Trial Release, Pre -Trial Diversion, Check Diversion, Community Service Work, Misdemeanor Probation, Code Enforcement and Animal Control. Prior to Director, he was Senior Deputy Court Administrator for the First Judicial Circuit under the supervision of the Court Administrator and Chief Judge. He also served as Interim Assistant County Administrator for two years.
He is a former Board Member of the Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency and is actively involved in the community through his Fraternity Kappa Alpha Si, Inc.
His knowledge of Corrections, finance, and community relationships would make him an excellent candidate for the Escambia County Sheriff Foundation Board of Directors.
FRED ROBBINS- BIO
Former NFL starting defensive tackle, Super Bowl Champion (with NY Giants,
2007), Fred Robbins, began his illustrious 12-year professional football career
when he was drafted in the second round (55th pick) of the 2000 NFL Draft by
the Minnesota Vikings. During his career, Fred named Sports Illustrated All Pro in
2008, recipient of the 2008 Pensacola Sports Association’s Professional Athlete of
the Year award, and the recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award in 2009. Fred
was a member of the Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants and the St. Louis
Rams. He retired from the NFL in 2012.
Upon retirement from the NFL, Fred returned to his hometown of Pensacola, FL
with his wife Tia, and their two sons Tré and Troi to begin a new chapter in Gulf
Breeze, FL. Robbins is now the co-founder of Mr. Robbins’ Neighborhood with his
wife Tia. Mr. Robbins’ Neighborhood is a non-profit dedicated to preparing,
positioning and developing high school student athletes for opportunities after
high school sports through education, college preparedness, career exploration,
Robbins also founded Fred Robbins Performance LLC, where he coaches and
mentors collegiate and NFL (defensive linemen) football players training for the
NFL Combine and the upcoming NFL season for EXOS, a human performance
company, located in the world renowned Andrew’s Institute in Gulf Breeze. Aside
from his coaching athletes, Robbins is an active member of the Pensacola
community. Robbins serves on the Executive Board of the Pensacola Chamber of
Commerce and supports many local charities.
Robbins attended J.M. Tate High School in Pensacola where he lettered four
years in football and baseball. Robbins played college football at Wake Forest
University where he started every game for four years at defensive tackle, and
was chosen as ALL-ACC during his senior year, where he went on to play in the
Senior Bowl. In 2008, Robbins went back to school to complete is
undergraduate. He graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Sociology in 2009. His
love of Wake Forest led him to become a member of the Deacon Club Board of
Directors, which he is charged with supporting and building university athletics.
Robbins’ alma mater honored his collegiate career in 2015 by inducting him into
the Wake Forest University Hall of Fame. In 2016, Robbins was inducted in to
the Pensacola Sports Hall of Fame, in that same year, Robbins was a recipient of
the Living the Dream award in Pensacola, which honors local leaders who
exemplify Dr. Kings dream of fairness, equality, and compassion. In 2018
Robbins and his wife, Tia Robbins were inducted into the Pensacola Sports Hall
of Fame, for their outstanding work with Mr. Robbins’ Neighborhood.
Jessica is the Chief Financial Officer for The Rockhill Group, Inc. (TRG), a Department of Defense military contractor that specializes in training warfighters within the aviation realm. Jessica is responsible for negotiating and managing contracts with the federal government, overseeing hundreds of employees (most of which are unionized), implementing policies and procedures, assessing risks, and executing plans for strategic growth and development. Jessica owns Rockhill Farms, Inc., which also supports Molino Park Elementary as a Partner in Education. Jessica serves on the Executive Board for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida, where she is Chair of the Human Resources Committee. Jessica is also a member of IMPACT 100 and serves on the Finance Committee at Highland Baptist Church. She and her husband “Rock,” a retired USAF fighter pilot, reside on a farm in Molino, FL with their three children. Jessica is passionate about giving back and supporting the brave men and women that protect our community and our country.
Chris Roney has lived in Pensacola for nearly 30 years. Graduated from University of West Florida and was a student athlete. Started his company, Ace Unlocks in 1998. Has served on several volunteer boards and still serves on Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida and the UWF Foundation Board. Married to Jenny Roney in 2008 and is a father with three boys, Hogan, Tyne, and Evan.
Believes “there is no higher calling in life than the opportunity and responsibility to serve others.”
As a technology veteran, Phillip has assisted countless organizations across the globe overcome some of their most challenging puzzles. He's led an effort for large communication providers in Canada to efficiently and effectively manage large streams of data detailing the performance of their UMTS Cellular networks. Later, while working with financial institutions, he helped design a system virtualizing their data center operations. Today he's launched the new Salz Studio where he's helping small to medium-sized businesses capitalize on the data they have for a more effective web and social presence, marketing operations, and workflow automation.
He and his wife Michelle have been long-time volunteers and board members for numerous nonprofit organizations throughout the community.
Stephen Simpson serves as the
Managing Director S2
Investments a holding company
for Waterview Management
Group, The Establishment, 1898
LLC and AeroCapital International. Responsible for Executive Business Operations of FAA
Certificate(s) 135, 133, 137 and 145. Aiding commercial Aviation with the
Department of Defense. (DoD)
Mr. Simpson served as Chief Executive Officer and Owner of Heliworks, Inc.
Mr. Simpson opened Heliworks, Inc. in Watertown, New York in 1993 and
moved the company to Pensacola, Fl. in April of 2000 to better serve the
Commercial Gulf and DoD Government contracts. Mr. Simpson became an
authorized Bell Helicopter Customer Service Facility (CSF) in 2005 as a
recognized center of excellence for Helicopter Maintenance / Repair /
Prior to opening Heliworks in 1993, Mr. Simpson served in the U.S. ARMY
from 1987-1993 as a member of the US Army Aviation community.
Mr. Simpson is current in the following FAA Ratings with over 10,000+
accident free flight hours: Commercial / Instrument Rotorcraft Pilot, A&P
Current Memberships include: American Helicopter Society,
Association of the United States Army, AAAA, Helicopter Association
International, American Heart Association and Smart Bank Advisory
Aaron Watson is a Personal Injury Lawyer. Before graduating from law school, Attorney Aaron Watson was named a national champion in trial advocacy after defeating 248 teams from 148 law schools in the American Association for Justice student trial competition. The competing teams were judged by lawyers and judges on their trial advocacy skills, opening statements, examining witnesses, using facts, and closing arguments. During this time, Mr. Watson was also named Who's Who Among American Universities & Colleges.
Mr. Watson is involved in the following legal associations:
The Supreme Court of the United States, Bar Member
Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Association, Member
Stetson University College of Law, Board of Governors
The Florida Bar, First Circuit Attorney Grievance Committee, Member
The National Order of Barristers, Inductee
The Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Member
The National Bar Association, Member
American Bar Association, Member
The Florida Bar Association, Member
Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers, Past Member
The National Trial Lawyers, Member
The National Black Lawyers, Member
The American Association for Justice (AAJ), Past Board member
Florida Justice Association (FJA), Past Board member
Northwest Florida Guardian Ad Litem, Past Board Member
Phi Alpha Delta, Member
Bar and Bench Professionalism Committee, Northwest Florida, Past Member
RECOGNIZED FOR EXCELLENCE
Mr. Watson has served as president for the Black Law Students Association, interned with the United States Department of Justice, and volunteered with the Florida Attorney General's office. He was selected for the Stallworth Trial Team Award by faculty at Stetson College of Law for his achievement of excellence in trial advocacy. He was inducted into The National Order of Barristers for attaining high honor in the art of courtroom advocacy. Mr. Watson currently serves on the Board of Governors for his alma mater, Stetson University College of Law. He has served on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and the Florida Justice Association. He has recently been named one of the National Black Lawyers Top 100 attorneys in the United States. Super Lawyers Magazine has named Mr. Watson to its prestigious honoree list, based upon his peer recognition, professional achievement, verdicts/settlements, representative clients, experience, pro bono, and community service. No more than 5% of lawyers in each state are selected for this honor. Additionally, Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review rating systems have rated attorney Watson "AV Preeminent," the highest possible rating given to attorneys by this prestigious organization. The "AV Preeminent" rating is assigned to attorneys ranked at the highest level of professional excellence for their legal expertise, communication skills, and ethical standards by their peers.
Because of his outstanding legal work, Mr. Watson has earned several prestigious accolades:
Voted "Best Attorney" by Pensacola Community, 2020 Annual Best of The Coast Awards
Super Lawyers, Honoree, 2020
Super Lawyers, Rising Star 2016-2019
Alumnus of the Year, Stetson University College of Law, BLSA
Martindale Hubbell "AV Preeminent" Rating, 2016-2021
University of West Florida, Trailblazer Award, 2019
Entrepreneur of The Year, Studer Business Institute, 2019
Good Brother Award, National Congress of Black Women, Washington, D.C., 2019
Living the Dream Award, Studer Properties, and SYSA, 2016
Business & Industry Award, Pensacola Chapter of NAACP, 2019
The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 under 40, Top 100
Million Dollar Advocates Forum: The Top Trial Lawyers In America
Florida Super Lawyers, Honoree
Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Life Member
Top 100 Black Lawyers in the U.S by the National Black Lawyers
Power List Top 100 Most Influential People in Pensacola, 2018-2019
Featured Alumni Success Story, Stetson University College of Law
Top 40 Under 40, The National Trial Lawyers
In 2008, Mr. Watson participated in multi-billion-dollar litigation alongside famed civil litigator and mentor, attorney Willie Gary. In 2009, the Pensacola News Journal recognized his achievement by naming him a "Panhandle Personality." In 2010, Mr. Watson served as lead counsel in a high-profile civil rights case against the City of Pensacola. The Steen case received national attention through news agencies such as CNN and the St. Petersburg Times. It resulted in one of the largest civil rights settlements to date against the city of Pensacola. In 2015, Watson achieved the honor of becoming the first African-American shareholder of the Levin Papantonio law firm, a personal injury law firm, since 1954. He subsequently founded The Watson Firm in 2016.
MILLIONS OF DOLLARS RECOVERED FOR CLIENTS
Mr. Watson recovered one of the largest verdicts to date in the national Yamaha Rhino litigation on behalf of a Pensacola resident who was seriously injured while operating a defective Yamaha Rhino vehicle. After nearly three weeks of trial, a Montgomery County jury returned a verdict of 3.3 million dollars as compensation for his clients.
Additionally, Mr. Watson obtained a jury verdict of 12.6 million dollars for his client for injuries sustained in a truck accident in Pensacola, Florida. The verdict was named in the National Law Journal as one of the Top 50 Trial Verdicts in the nation in 2014. Additionally, in recognition of his achievements both inside and outside the courtroom, the National Trial Lawyers Association recognized Mr. Watson as one of the top trial lawyers in the nation under the age of 40 in 2014. Membership into the "Top 40 Under 40" organization is by invitation only and is extended to individuals who exemplify superior qualifications, trial results, and leadership. Mr. Watson was also invited to become a Life Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a prestigious organization for those who have obtained million and multi-million dollar verdicts. Less than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members.
In 2016, Mr. Watson recovered a one-million-dollar settlement (insurance policy limits) on behalf of a Pensacola family injured due to a house fire. In 2019, he obtained a $750,000 settlement on behalf of a slip and fall victim wounded at a local business.
GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY
Mr. Watson credits his award-winning style of advocacy to his church background and his experience listening to his father, Reverend Larry Watson, Sr's, fiery sermons. Locally, he has served on the board of directors for the YMCA of Northwest Florida and as choir director and general counsel for the Englewood Missionary Baptist Church. He is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., and enjoys mentoring and public speaking at local colleges, high schools, and churches. Each year, he and his wife host bookbag and school supply giveaways, holiday turkey and dinner giveaways, and Christmas dinner giveaways. In 2019, the Watsons gave away 500 whole turkeys and grocery bags to Pensacola families in need for Thanksgiving. Mr. Watson and his wife, Kimberly Watson, co-founded The Watson Family Foundation to provide support, mentoring, and resources to local families.
The United States Supreme Court
U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida
U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida
Law Degree, Stetson University College of Law
Honors: Book Award, Civil Procedure, Honor Roll
Honors: Member, Stetson Trial Team
Honors: National Champion – AAJ National Trial Advocacy Competition
Honors: Regional Champion – AAJ National Trial Advocacy Competition
Honors: Stallworth Trial Team Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy
Honors: Inducted into The National Order of Barristers
Honors: Selected for Who's Who Among America's Colleges and Universities
Honors: Voted "Most Likely To Be In Library" by Graduating Class
B.A., Florida State University
Hendrix v. Burford Tree, 2014, Florida, 1st Cir, 2013 WL 9060750
McMahon v. Yamaha, 2012, AL 2012, 95 So.3d 769
Steen v. City of Pensacola, 2011, N.D. Florida, 809 F. Supp. 2d 13452
Levin Papantonio, Shareholder
Willie Gary Law, Law Clerk 2008
Ruden McClosky, Law Clerk 2007
Public Speaker: How Information from Focus Groups Can Shape Your Damages, American Association for Justice National College of Trial Advocacy, CLE (2021)
Opening and Managing Your Law Practice, Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Association, CLE (2019)
Leadership and the Law: Building your Brand, Stetson University College of Law (2018)
How to Grow Your Entrepreneurial Mindset to Create Success, Entrecon Business and Leadership Conference (2016)
The Recipe for a Successful Lawsuit, SHRM, 2017
Overlooked Issues In Proving Damages in Motor Vehicle Crash Cases, American Association For Justice, 2016
Florida Insurance Law, Peoples Law School, Pensacola State College, 2015
My First Trial Series, moderator, Florida Justice Association, 2014
Media Management in High Profile Cases, National Trial Lawyers, 2012
The Watson Family Foundation, Co-Founder (2020)
Voted "Best Attorney" by Pensacola Community, Best of The Coast Awards (InWeekly) (2020)
Community Outreach Day with Gulf Power (2018)
Annual Holiday Turkey Giveaway, Organizer (2016-present)
Named to IN Magazine's Power List, 100 Most Influential People In Escambia and Santa Rosa County (IN Magazine 2015 and 2016)
Guardian Ad Litem, Past Board Member
Step Up For Kids: Childhood Hunger, Community Impacts & Solutions, Moderator (2015)
Dixon School of the Arts, Lip Sync Battle with Innisfree Hotels, Judge, (2015)
University of West Florida Mock-Trial Judge, Student Trial Competition (2013-2015)
Avvo Client's Choice Award Recipient (2015)
Public Speaker: 100 Black Men Award Banquet (2016)
Public Speaker: University of West Florida (2016)
Public Speaker: Pensacola NAACP Chapter
Public Speaker: Concerned Citizens Outreach, Crestview Florida (2016)
Public Speaker: Escambia County Santa Rosa Bar Association (2019)
Public Speaker: The Greater Pensacola Society for Human Resource Management
Annual Sponsor, Stomp Fest, Omega Lamp Lighters
Annual Sponsor. American Breast Cancer Society Walk
Annual Sponsor, March of Dimes
Public Speaker: Autism Pensacola
Public Speaker: 100 Black Men of Pensacola
Public Speaker: Mr. Robbins Neighborhood Sp
Public Speaker: Englewood Baptist Church
Living the Dream Award Recipient: Southern Youth Sports Association, 2015
Attorney Coach, Tate High School, Florida High School Mock Trial Competition Championship Team (2010)
YMCA of Northwest Florida, Past Board Member
TV Personality, BLAB TV (a call-in legal talk show)
TV Personality, Ring of Fire Radio (2015)
Honored as Rising Black Urban Professional (Pensacola News Journal, 2013)
Honored as Rising Star in Pensacola (IN Magazine, 2012)
High School Public Speaker and EndDD.Org Texting and Driving Campaign Participant
Lecturer, The People's Law School Community Event
Nominated by Mayor of Pensacola for DIB, 2019 (later withdrawn)
Mr. Robbins Neighborhood Super Bowl Bonanza, Annual Sponsor
In The News
JET Magazine: ARTICLE
Annual Turkey Giveaway: ARTICLE
In Weekly Best of The Coast Award: ARTICLE
IN Weekly: ARTICLE
Pensacola News Journal: ARTICLE
Pensacola News Journal: ARTICLE
Pensacola News Journal: ARTICLE
Stetson Law: ARTICLE
Legal News Line: ARTICLE
Ring Of Fire: ARTICLE
Ring of Fire: ARTICLE
WEAR News Channel 3: ARTICLE
WEAR News Channel 3: ARTICLE
WEAR News Channel 3: ARTICLE
WEAR News Channel 3: ARTICLE
WEAR News Channel 3: ARTICLE
WEAR News Channel 3: ARTICLE
WEAR News Channel 3: ARTICLE
WKRG News Channel 5: ARTICLE
WEAR News Channel 3: ARTICLE
Northwest Florida Daily News: ARTICLE
Stetson Lawyer Magazine: ARTICLE
Stetson University College of Law: ARTICLE
Stetson College of Law: ARTICLE
Legal Newsline: ARTICLE
Crisp Video Group: ARTICLE
Studer Community Institute: ARTICLE
Studer Community Institute: ARTICLE
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