Northwest Florida Manufacturing News Monthly
Member Highlight: G.S. Gelato
In 1997, G.S. Gelato became the first U.S. manufacturer to produce authentic gelato and sorbet. After partnering with Olive Garden, their facility grew from 1,000 to 26,000 square feet and they began producing both their own retail line and private-label retail. Using imported Italian manufacturing equipment, they make all products from scratch and do not use any artificial flavors, colors, hormones, or trans fats. The G.S. Gelato facility holds a Safe Quality Food (SQF) Level 3 certification with an Excellent rating and also produces products that are USDA Organic and Fair Trade Certified.
New Board of Directors Member
On July 1, we welcome Barbara (BJ) Mitchell (American Elite Molding) to the Board of Directors. As a member of the Council, BJ has devoted her time to building a talent pipeline and understands the importance of developing a future manufacturing workforce. We are excited to have her bring fresh ideas to an already strong Board of Directors.
Opportunities in Manufacturing
Urgent Need: Pensacola High School needs an instructor for the Automation and Production Technology Academy. The ideal applicant has either six years of industry experience or a bachelor’s degree, is able to pass the engineering and technology education exam (grades 6-12), and is passionate for developing the next generation of the manufacturing workforce. There are several available paths to certification for this position. Please contact Steve Harrell, Workforce Specialist ECSD, for more information at 850-469-5309 or

International Paper is seeking a Mill Communicators Coordinator for the Vicksburg Mill in Mississippi. Please refer to IP's website to learn more about this opportunity.
BP Dollars to Be Distributed to Panhandle
Governor Rick Scott signed HB 7007, guaranteeing the distribution of $300 million to eight counties hit hardest by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. This influx of funding will help support job growth and encourage new businesses to relocate to Northwest Florida. NWFMC will work to ensure that manufacturing remains in the top five industry sectors being supported by these funds. For more information, see Florida Politics and Northwest Florida Daily News.

As funding distribution remains ongoing, know that NWFMC is engaged in this process to ensure manufacturing remains in the forefront of the region's priorities.
TeCMEN Industry Day
TeCMEN Industry Day will be held on Tuesday, August 29, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Don't miss this opportunity to showcase your company's capabilities, network with industry peers, and receive meaningful content from high-profile speakers. Learn more about TeCMEN Industry Day and how to register.
FloridaMakes Webinar: International Expansion
Did you know that companies that export grow 15% faster and are 12% more profitable than companies that don’t? Nearly 70% of Florida exports are from small businesses. On June 29, Deborah Lanford, International Trade Specialist, will discuss how your company can expand internationally. Register for this free webinar by June 28.
MAF Updates
On May 25, Governor Scott approved the final version of HB 7109 (Taxation). SB 1018 (Pollution) was presented to the Governor on May 31 and is currently awaiting his action.
Our Students at Work
Educator Curt Palermo (Pryor Middle School) has found a way to make learning fun: turning a distraction into a learning opportunity. His eighth-grade manufacturing students have been using SolidWorks and 3D printing to design their own fidget spinners.

Pryor Middle School’s manufacturing program was started by the recently-retired Patricia Bonezzi and April Branscome, director of Okaloosa County Choice Schools. NWFMC and American Elite Molding support this program, with a special thanks to Barbara Mitchell. The manufacturing program includes an additional middle school program at Davidson Middle School and a high school program, hosted by Northwest Florida State College.
Thanks to Joe Tannehill
Since the Council’s inception four years ago, Joe Tannehill (MERRICK Industries, Inc.) has been one of its most valuable volunteers. Serving as the inaugural Treasurer, Joe has taken the Council through three clean audits and has accounted for the $1.5 million Education Fund that was established with the University of West Florida and the Florida Legislature. Please thank Joe for his work with the Council as he steps down and allows Dan Velazquez (St. Joe) to take the role.
CPT Certified
Tristan Mooney is a sophomore at Crestview High School and has recently completed the last CPT certification exam. Tristan's future plans include a career in engineering.

Wesley Smith is a sophomore at Niceville High School and is a second-year student in the iDesign manufacturing program. His dream job is to be a diesel engine mechanic.

Celeste McRae is a first-year iDesign student and plans on continuing into the second year of the class. Her goal is to use what she's learned to become a mechanical engineer.

Cole Rogers is a senior at Niceville High School. He wants to apply what he's learned to get a job working with HVAC systems. He has also enjoyed learning how to use SolidWorks software.

Jasmine Jade Allen is a junior and in her second year of the iDesign program. While she initially though the program involved digital design, she fell in love with the class and hopes to become a mechanical engineer.

Kolby Martin has enjoyed learning about the technology and machinery that keeps our society functioning. In addition to the CPT certification, he has earned 15 college credits toward an engineering degree.

June Calendar
Board of Directors Conference Call
Thursday, June 15
3:00 - 4:30 PM
Mark your calendars for these future training opportunities:

FloridaMakes Webinar:  International Expansion
Thursday, June 29, 8:00 - 9:00 AM
Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing
Wednesday, August 16 - Thursday, August 17
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
General Membership Meeting
Thursday, July 20
2:30 - 5:00 PM
International Paper
Project Management Professional
Tuesday, August 22 - Thursday, August 24
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

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This newsletter was developed in collaboration with the University of West Florida.