We are pleased to share the Destination 2020: Designing Our Future Together Report with the Greater Pensacola Bay Area community. 

This strategic planning process engaged a wide range of community stakeholder opinions, relevant research about industry trends and current visitor behaviors, as well as the best practices in the destination marketing industry. 

Over the past nine months more than 300 community members from all walks of life and from all areas of Escambia County participated in this process. Together, we were guided by our desire to create a community where people want live and visit—sharing perspectives on our community strengths and aspirations, as well as things we need to work on. 

I’m proud to share the results of this work with you. The strategic framework as well as the tactical action plans for 2015—2016 can be downloaded here.

I encourage you to continue being part of this process, as we work together to implement the ideas we have all generated together.

I look forward to the future we have designed together.


Steve Hayes, President
Visit Pensacola, Inc.


About Destination 2020

Destination 2020 is a community initiative led by Visit Pensacola, Inc. to engage community members from Pensacola, Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key in identifying opportunities to enhance our community and assets in a way that positions us as a great place to live and visit. 

About Visit Pensacola, Inc.: Visit Pensacola, Inc. is a destination marketing organization (DMO) dedicated to positioning the Pensacola Bay Area community as a world-class travel destination. 



The seven community dialogue sessions were held in January and February of 2015. The six-hour Destination 2020 Summit kicked off the process in January 9, 2015 at the Pensacola Museum of Commerce and featured a panel of industry experts: Michael Gehrisch, President and CEO of Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI); Bill Geist, Chief Instigator of Zeitgeist Consulting; Will Seccombe, President and CEO of Visit Florida.

The remaining six community dialogues were held in various areas of the Greater Pensacola Bay Area community with both a 3-hour morning and afternoon session:

  • Perdido Key, January 22, 2015 at Eden Condominiums
  • Pensacola Beach, February 3, 2015 at Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front
  • Downtown Pensacola, February 4, 2015 at New World Landing


By developing a comprehensive 5-year strategic plan, Visit Pensacola, Inc. will provide a road map for tourism as an economic engine for our community. The strategic team will identify critical issues and opportunities that will drive success over the next five years. 

The plans’s areas of strategic focus are defined through the analysis of information gathered through a multi-pronged approach:

  • interviews and surveys with key opinion leaders
  • research of model communities
  • review of local tourism data
  • insights from tourism experts
  • six community dialogues
  • online community survey

In early 2015, Visit Pensacola held the Destination2020 Summit, followed by six community dialogues to gain your perspectives and ideas on how to “rev-up” tourism as an economic engine for our community.

Approximately 300 people attended the Destination2020 Dialogue Sessions held in January and February. Additionally, approximately 200 community citizens and business owners participated in an online survey distributed to community members between March 26, 2015 and April 9, 2015.

All of the data and information gathered from the six community dialogue sessions and community survey have been analyzed to produce themes that community members have identified as important. On May 7, 2015, the 5-Year Destination2020: Designing Our Future Together Strategic Plan was presented at the Historic REX Theater in Downtown Pensacola. 

Board of Directors

  • Robin Reshard, Chair
  • Tosh Belsinger, Vice Chair
  • Ajit Patel, Treasurer
  • Richard Lamar, Secretary
  • Dr. Brendan Kelly
  • Collier Merrill
  • Jason Nicholson
  • John Panyko
  • Monica Sherman
  • Lt. Gen. Duane Thiessen
  • J.T. Young


  • Steve Hayes, President
  • Joyce Black, Visitor Information Supervisor
  • Leslie Brosofsky, Executive Assistant
  • Shawn Brown, Interactive Marketing Manager/Webmaster
  • Lori Coppels, Tourism Sales Manager
  • Brooke Fleming, Communications Manager
  • Leslie Mathews, Convention Sales Manager
  • Larry Orvis, Operations Manager
  • Kimberly Sparks, Accounting Manager
  • Barbara Williams, Destination Services Manager


  • Steven Barry, District 5 Chair
  • Grover C. Robinson, IV, District 4 (Vice Chair)
  • Wilson Robertson, District 1
  • Doug Underhill, District 2
  • Lumon May, District 3




  • Ashton Hayward, Mayor
  • Andy Terhaar, Council President, District 3
  • Larry B. Johnson, Council Vice President, District 4
  • P.C. Wu, Council Member, District 1
  • Sherri F. Myers, Council Member, District 2
  • Gerald Wingate, Council Member, District 5
  • Brian Spencer, Council Member, District 6
  • Jewel Cannada-Wynn, Council Member, District 7
  • Charles Bare, Council Member, At-Large


  • Collier Merrill (Design Team Chair), Great Southern Restuarants
  • David Bear, Art, Culture & Entertainment, Inc.
  • Dave Cleveland, HighPointe Hotels
  • Shirley Cronley, Tourist Development Council
  • Nicole Dixon, Gulf Coast African American Chamber
  • Jim Homyak, Pelican Real Estate
  • Dr. Brendan Kelly, UWF Historic Trust
  • Pete King, Mainstreet Properties
  • Buck Lee, Santa Rosa Island Authority
  • Jerry Maygarden, UWF Historic Trust
  • Tina Morrison, Perdido Key Chamber
  • Ray Palmer, Pensacola Sports Association
  • John Peacock, Edward Jones
  • Robin Reshard, Robert Robino Productions
  • Nicole Stacey, Pensacola Beach Chamber
  • Gen. Duane Thiessen, Naval Aviation Museum


  • Steve Hayes, Visit Pensacola, Inc.
  • Mona Amodeo, Ph.D., idgroup & Showcase Pensacola
  • Ellis Bullock III, EW Bullock & Showcase Pensacola
  • Bill Geist, Zeitgeist Consulting
  • Travis Peterson, Impact Campaigns & Showcase Pensacola
  • Kristoffer Poore, idgroup & Showcase Pensacola
  • Carly Quina, idgroup & Showcase Pensacola
  • Lindsey Braxton Shook, idgroup & Showcase Pensacola
  • Jeff Shusterman, Majority Opinion Research
  • Caron Sjoberg, APR, CPRC, ideaworks & Showcase Pensacola
  • Showcase Pensacola Members


  • Glenn Breed
  • Doug and Kaye Dickerson
  • Greg Klimetz, Hillcrest Baptist Church
  • Lisa MacKendrick
  • Bobby Switzer
  • Doug Herrick
  • Brian Butler
  • Greg Riegler Photography
  • Matthew Coughlin Photography
  • Jacquelyn Wilson, UWF Historic Trust
  • Michael Duncan


As part of the on-going Destination2020 planning process we invited  the community to participate in the Tactical Planning Workshops. These workshops produced a 2015-2016 tactical plan that is available to download below.  All sessions were held at the UWF Innovation Institute

Each workgroup explored three of the areas of strategic focus: Product Development, Infrastructure, Collaboration and Partnerships. Each group was tasked with producing recommended tactics and action plans for 2015-2016. The tactics were prioritized through a community survey and vetted by the Visit Pensacola Board of Directors, the Destination 2020 Planning Team and Visit Pensacola President, Steve Hayes. To download the 2015-2016 Tactical Plan click button below. 


Please send media inquiries to Caron Sjoberg