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Pensacola Navy Day

How it Started

In July of 2023, State Senator Doug Broxson called together a group of community leaders to ask that a special day or event be created to the show the appreciation our region has for the military stationed in and around the Greater Pensacola Area. This request was made to bring Pensacola in line with other areas and communities with large military presence who have “Fleet Week” or military appreciation events. The original committee was created and from that came, Pensacola Navy Days, Inc., a non-profit (501c3) organization with a volunteer board of directors and community leaders.

Pensacola Navy Days is an opportunity to publicly say thank you to the brave men and women who sacrifice so much to keep us safe and free.

Mission for Pensacola Navy Days

“Pensacola Navy Days will strive to foster a mutually positive and lasting relationship between the local and military communities, celebrate and publicize the rich military heritage of the Greater Pensacola Area, and highlight Pensacola as the premier military-friendly community in the Southeastern United States for veterans and service members alike.”

Why these dates were chosen

The month of May is Military Appreciation Month and Armed Forces Day is the third Saturday of May.

About the Board and Planning Committee

“Pensacola Navy Days” is a non-profit organization. The Board of Directors includes representatives from NAS-Pensacola (non-voting), Navy League, City of Pensacola, Visit Pensacola (ex officio/non-voting), Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce, Cat Country Radio, Pensacola Mardi Gras, University of West Florida, Escambia County School District and Navy Federal Credit Union. Planning Meetings have been attended by additional community leaders, including Senator Broxson, State Representative Michelle Salzman, and Escambia County Commissioner Mike Kohler. Initial planning meetings began in October 2023 and have involved members from the business community.

Board of Directors

CAPT Tim “Lucky” Kinsella, USN (Ret)
Following a 33-year career as a Naval Aviator, Tim now serves as the Executive Director of the Aylstock, Witkin, Kries & Overholtz Center for Leadership at the University of West Florida. Tim’s last assignment in the Navy was as Commanding Officer of Naval Air Station Pensacola.

Todd Thomson
Todd Thomson has almost 30 years of experience in Florida government, politics, and business advocacy. Todd Thomson is currently President/CEO of the Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce, where he has worked since February 2015. He’s been in the role of President/CEO since April 2019.

Michelle Salzman
Representative Michelle Salzman serves as the District 1 Member of the Florida House of Representatives and currently serves as the chair of the Healthcare Regulation Subcommittee. As a business owner, philanthropist, wife, mother, and a wounded warrior, Representative Salzman follows her heart and passion to help those who cannot help themselves. This passion leads her in the focus areas of children, families in poverty, and her fellow wounded veterans.

Jordan Conti
Jordan has over 13 years of experience at Navy Federal Credit Union. She has held various progressive positions within the credit union and is currently the Manager of External Affairs.

Bruce Cummins
Bruce Cummins relocated to Muncie, Indiana, in 1985. After completing undergraduate studies at Ball State University, Cummins taught high school English for two years before enlisting in the United States Navy in 1995. Cummins served in a variety of capacities during his military career, and began federal service in 2015 as the public affairs officer for the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training (CNATT), followed by serving as the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs' Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System (GCVHCS) public affairs officer. He has served as the Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola Public Affairs Officer since 2023.

Brent Lane
Brent Lane has been on air in Pensacola with Cat Country 98.7 since 2005. Brent works to serve Pensacola. He has served as the Master of Ceremonies for the King and Queen of Spain. He leads thousands of people in the annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. Brent is actively involved in event planning and execution for these events. Brent is the current Past Chair of the Visit Pensacola Board of Directors. Brent can be heard every morning on the Cat Pak Morning Show with his partner Mel from 5am-10am.

Keith Leonard
Keith Leonard has served in the Escambia County School District for 38 years in numerous roles. Keith has been a teacher, coach, Chief Negotiator, Director of Human Resources and Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources. Keith Leonard is currently the Superintendent of Schools for the Escambia County School District.

Dan McCort
Daniel McCort is a retired Naval officer and fighter pilot. He served two tours as a TOPGUN Instructor and also served as a Wing Commander. He retired as a Navy Captain and transitioned to the commercial Aairlines flying for Continental and United Airlines. Dan remains an active instructor pilot working with incoming military flight students. He is active with Navy League, Order of Daedalians and Fiesta Pensacola. He has served as the President of the Pensacola Navy League and Fiesta Conquistadors. Dan currently serves as President of the Southern Region for Navy League and Flight Captain for Pensacola Daedalian Flight.

Wes Reeder
Wes Reeder is a commercial and construction law litigator with more than 20 years of experience representing general contractors, subcontractors, design professionals, and material suppliers. Serving as the President of Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon in Pensacola since 2020, Wes has led the 115-year-old firm to receive numerous accolades.

Alex Smith
Alex Smith is currently serving as the Special Assistant to Pensacola Mayor D.C. Reeves. Alex returned home from Tallahassee, where he worked in governmental affairs, to manage Mayor Reeves successful campaign in 2022. He has been at the City of Pensacola since November 2022.

Danny Zimmern
Danny A. “Danny” Zimmern, a native Pensacolian, has made significant contributions to Pensacola and its surrounding communities, particularly through his leadership in Pensacola Mardi Gras and his successful career in commercial real estate. Danny has also served as President and long-time board member of the Pensacola Little Theatre, is the past multi-year President of the Northwest Florida Gator Club, and currently serves as congregational president of the Pensacola Temple Beth El congregation. Danny's most notable community leadership role is as President of Pensacola Mardi Gras, a position he has held since taking over leadership of Pensacola’s Mardi Gras celebration in 2002. Under his leadership, the season of events has grown from a one-weekend celebration to a multi-week extravaganza, generating millions in revenue for Pensacola and fostering a spirit of community engagement and philanthropy.