Campus Life

UWF’s Larry Strain wins PACE Award

Larry Strain, director of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the University of West Florida (UWF), won the 2012 Pensacola Area Commitment to Excellence (PACE) Professional Leader of the Year award Tuesday, Feb. 21.

“I am honored and humbled to be the 2012 Pace Award Professional Leader of the Year,” said Strain. “To be recognized by my peers for doing the things I am passionate about is truly special.  It has been and is my goal to try to make our region and our community a better place to live, work and play each and every day. I am simply thrilled about the recognition this award brings to the SBDC and UWF.”

The staff at the SBDC nominated Strain because of the impact he had on Gulf Coast businesses after the BP/Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

In the aftermath of the oil spill, Strain worked with numerous area Chambers of Commerce and business groups to increase exposure of the services offered by the SBDC.

Strain was also interviewed by many regional and national media outlets and spoke at length about the community he was dedicated to serve and the services that UWF offered to assist in the aftermath.

Because of his efforts, Strain has been nominated for and won multiple area awards.

“The Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to honor Larry Strain as Professional Leader of the Year,” said Carol Carlan, vice chair of membership and investor development for the Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce. “Larry’s dedication to this area is incredibly encouraging and we appreciate his support throughout his career.”

According to the Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, this award goes to someone who “not only works with his team to achieve success and goals, to have the mindset of one who is determined among all hurdles, but also one who is able to regain and retain a professional composure and encourage the community in the midst of a crisis.”