Business & Economy

UWF College of Business and Combined Rotary Clubs of Pensacola name 2018 Ethics in Business Award Recipients

Yesterday, the University of West Florida College of Business and the Combined Rotary Clubs of Pensacola named Nan DeStafney and Buzz Ritchie as the 2018 recipients of the annual Ethics in Business Award during the 2018 Combined Rotary Luncheon at New World Landing in downtown Pensacola.

The Ethics in Business Award recognizes individuals who exemplify the concept of “service above self” and work to build a positive sense of self-worth within both the business community and the broader community as a whole. Criteria for the award is based on adherence to the high ethical standards of honesty, integrity and consistency in dealing with employees, contractors and customers, while positively enhancing the economic well-being of the firm’s stakeholders and providing jobs, opportunities and profits.

Ritchie, founding CEO of Gulf Coast Community Bank, was recognized for the large business sector, organizations with 50 or more employees. DeStafney, founder of the Blues Angel School of Music, earned the honor for the small business sector for organizations with 49 or fewer employees.

“This is the 16th year that the Combined Rotary Clubs of Pensacola and the UWF College of Business recognize community leaders who demonstrate the highest standards of honesty and integrity in their dealings with customers, employees and contractors, as well as the Rotary value of service above self,” said Dr. Ed Ranelli, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Dean Emeritus for the UWF College of Business. “It’s our pleasure to acknowledge Nan and Buzz as the 2018 winners of the Business Ethics Award.”

In addition to founding the Gulf Coast Community Bank, Ritchie was the founding president of Southern American Mortgage Company and is one of the founding members of Rebuild Northwest Florida and actively continues his involvement today as a member of its Board of Trustees.

A member of the Florida Bar and past president of the Florida Mortgage Bankers, Ritchie also served as a District 3 representative to the Florida Legislature between 1988-98, and supports the local community through active participation on several boards such as the UWF Florida Mentor Program. He has served in many organizations such as Pensacola Five Flags, Escambia Community Clinics and Healthy Start, and continues to serve as an active member, board officer, president and chair of many of these organizations.

“One lesson I have learned in life is to help others,” said Ritchie. “It’s just that simple. That’s what I am going to do. That’s what I love to do.”

A member of the Choral Society of Pensacola and a piano teacher for over 40 years, DeStafney founded the Blues Angel School of Music to further its mission of making music available to citizens, including children, in Escambia County. Blues Angel School of Music presents “Blues on the Bay” for Escambia County residents in addition to hosting eight free concerts throughout the year at the Community Maritime Park in downtown Pensacola. Blues Angel School of Music also helps to provide instruments to children who otherwise could not afford them, giving them the chance to participate in available music programs in their schools.

“I have received awards in my life,” said DeStafney. “Nothing has ever meant more than Ethics in Business. This is a tremendous honor and I thank you so very much. I hope I can continue to deserve the recognition and I will work hard to be the best rotarian I can be.”

When tornadoes caused some serious damage in Escambia County in 2016, DeStafney organized a benefit concert for the community in which all the proceeds went to aid victims of the storms.

For more information about the Ethics in Business Award, visit

For more information about the UWF College of Business, visit