Area businesses honored at 2013 Industry Appreciation Luncheon

Published on September 23, 2013 with No Comments

On Sept. 17, the Santa Rosa Economic Development Office and Santa Rosa Business Development Coalition held the 2013 Industry Appreciation Luncheon. The event took place at the Santa Rosa County Auditorium in Milton where seven companies were recognized for excellence in their field and their economic value to the county. This year’s luncheon was sponsored by AppRiver, City of Gulf Breeze, Lifeguard Ambulance Service, Santa Rosa Medical Center, Gulf Power, and Walmart.

Awards were presented to the following local businesses:

Adventures Unlimited – Tourism Award, in recognition as an accommodation or attraction that expanded its operations, investing capital and creating jobs. Adventures Unlimited offers locals and visitors the opportunity to go canoeing, kayaking, tubing, and camping along the Coldwater Creek. Started in 1978 with two canoes, Adventures Unlimited is now a 100- acre wilderness resort with a fleet of 250 canoes, 100 kayaks, 500 tubes, and 10 stand-up paddleboards. Rustic cabins, furnished cottages, an inn and campground sites are available as well as a zip line canopy tour. More information is available at Click here to watch Adventures Unlimited’s award video.

AppRiverInnovation Award, in recognition of their innovative leadership. AppRiver is a worldwide leader in email and Web security solutions for businesses of all sizes. Founded in 2002 by Michael Murdoch and Joel Smith, AppRiver remains a privately held company that now provides 180 jobs in Santa Rosa County and protects eight million mailboxes for 45,000 business customers around the globe. With offices in Gulf Breeze, Fla., Austin, Texas, Northport, N.C. and Lupfig, Switzerland, AppRiver has been consistently ranked by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing companies in America. In addition, according to Florida Trend, AppRiver has been among the Best Companies to Work For, for five years straight. Learn more at Click here to watch AppRiver’s award video.

eKiosk Payment SolutionsEntrepreneurship Award, in recognition as a start-up company that set the standard for entrepreneurship and creativity. Founded in 2010, EKS provides merchant processing solutions to businesses in Northwest Florida and South Alabama. Their team is dedicated to making sure businesses are provided with the right product, latest technology, great prices and outstanding customer service. Click here to watch EKS’s award video or visit their website at

Fabbro Marine Group/Cape Horn Boats – Director’s Award, in recognition for being the only company that started and remains in operation within the Santa Rosa Industrial Park. Fabbro Marine is the manufacturer of Cape Horn Boats, which specializes in a unique sculpting process of hand built boats, delivering a quality product unlike any other. The company started with two staff members and now employs 25. Fabbro will celebrate its 25th anniversary in Jan 2014. More is information available at

Kool Breeze of Northwest Florida, Inc. – Small Business of the Year Award, in recognition for job growth for a company with fewer than 100 employees. Kool Breeze of Northwest Florida, Inc. has provided heating, ventilation, and air conditioning services to commercial and residential customers since 1986. Active volunteers in community events, the company is also a long time sponsor of the Teacher of the Quarter and Rookie of the Year awards presented by the Navarre Chamber in recognition of local educators. Find Kool Breeze online at Click here to watch Kool Breeze’s award video.

Lifeguard Ambulance ServiceBusiness Expansion Award, in recognition for expansion of their operations, investing capital and creating jobs. Lifeguard Ambulance Service serves as the exclusive 911 and non-emergency EMS provider for Santa Rosa County. Lifeguard has diversified its business model to realize nearly a 100 percent growth over the past six years and expanded its workforce by 300 percent, making Lifeguard the eighth largest employer in the county. The economic impact that Lifeguard has had on the county led it to be named the “2011 Santa Rosa County Business of the Year” by the Santa Rosa County Chamber of Commerce. In August 2011, Lifeguard was also placed in an elite class of ambulance providers by becoming the eighth ambulance service in Florida to receive the prestigious CAAS accreditation. More information is available at Click here to watch Lifeguard Ambulance Services’ award video.

Walmart Stores, Inc. (All four Santa Rosa County Locations) – Retailer of the Year Award, in recognition for a retailer that provides support for the community and employing over 100 people. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, more than 245 million customers and members visit our more than 10,800 stores under 69 banners in 27 countries and e-commerce websites in 10 countries. With fiscal year 2013 sales of approximately $466 billion, Walmart employs more than 2.2 million associates worldwide and over 1,000 in Santa Rosa County. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Click here to watch Walmart’s award video.

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