Know Your Neighbor: Pam George Delivers Smiles

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By Paul Bonnette

For decades, Gulf World Marine Park has been an iconic staple of Panama City Beach. Offering unique educational experiences for guests to get up close with local marine life as well as rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing animals back into natural habitats, Gulf World is flourishing under the leadership of Bay County local Pam George. Although today Pam is proud to call Bay County home, she lived in many different areas of the country before she found her way to the Gulf Coast.

Pam George of Gulf World Marine Park“I was born in Mobile, Alabama, and lived there for five years with my family and they decided they wanted to live up north, so we moved up to Michigan. I lived in Michigan for a lot of years. My dad was a foreman of a farm. My first job was picking strawberries from a strawberry patch for a summer job. We lived up there until I was sixteen and then we moved back to Florida and my dad ended up taking over as foreman of an orange grove.”

For Pam, this would be the start of moving around, however it wasn’t until she moved to Bay County that she found a home. “We moved back to Mobile when I was in high school and that is where I met my high school sweetheart,” Pam remembers. “We got married and traveled because he is in the Coast Guard. We traveled from Buffalo to New Orleans to Florida, Alabama, and Virginia. We then had the wonderful experience of being transferred here to Panama City during one of those tours and I fell in love with Panama City.”

According to Pam, getting transferred to Bay County was one of the best things to happen as it showcased Bay County’s small-town vibe with friendly southern hospitality. “It is that small-town feeling when you go to the grocery store, and you run into your neighbor, and you end up standing in the grocery store talking for twenty minutes or going to a gas station and running into a co-worker. Having a small-town feeling was really capturing for me. With my dad, my family and my husband moving around so much, I didn’t have that “home” feeling. When I lived here, I got that feeling of “roots” and “home” and knowing your neighbor and running into people at the department store. It was a great feeling for me, and I have loved it.”

After moving to Bay County, Pam worked as a business manager for a radio station, as well as a manager at Rock It Lanes, however, it wasn’t until 2005, that Pam found her calling at Gulf World Marine Park. “I heard about Gulf World looking for a Marketing Director and so I applied and started working in 2005 and I’ve been here ever since,” Pam says. After working in multiple departments including Marketing, Human Resources, and Park Management, Pam would eventually be promoted to General Manager. “It seemed like over the years, I just got more and more experience in all the different departments at Gulf World, so when Dolphin Discovery purchased Gulf World in 2015, they were looking for someone to manage the park and I knew enough about it, so I applied and got it.”

For Pam, working at Gulf World Marine Park has been a uniquely rewarding experience.
“Out of all the jobs I’ve had, I’ve started at entry level and worked my way up. When I first came to Gulf World, it was so easy to sell memories and smiles and interactions. I just fell in love with being able to bring memories and smiles to families as they come here.”