Tuesday, April 21, 2015

April 2015 Business Briefs / Member News Part 3

Dentists Donate $20,000 in Free Dentistry
Dr. Olivier Broutin of Bluewater Bay Dental, along with two other dentists, hosted the first “Dentistry from the Heart” event on April 3. The three teams of professionals worked collaboratively to provide 64 patients with their choice of a complimentary filling, extraction or cleaning. One of the patients seen during the free dental event was found to have oral cancer, a disease that may have remained undiagnosed without this event. In addition to the time dedicated by hygienists, assistants, and other dental professionals, a total of $20,000 of dental care was donated to the community in good faith. A number of local area businesses also made in kind donations to the event, including Patterson Dental, Benco Dental and Publix Super Market.
Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast Welcomes New Pulmonologist
Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast welcomed Dr. David Phillips, board-certified pulmonologist, to its medical staff. Pulmonologists add an advanced level of care for critically ill patients, such as those suffering from pneumonia, asthma, COPD, emphysema, and other pulmonary conditions. Prior to relocating to Santa Rosa Beach this spring, Phillips served on the medical staff at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola since 2002. He earned his Doctorate Degree in Medicine from Louisiana State University and is board-certified through the American Board of Internal Medicine in Pulmonary Disease.

Purse Sale and Auction Raises Money for Critical Services
Women from across the Emerald Coast recently made their way to Grand Boulevard at Sandestin for Purses with a Purpose, a unique event benefiting Shelter House. More than 270 shoppers turned out for the purse auction and sale, now in its fifth year. The VIP party on Friday night offered shoppers the opportunity to bid on designer handbags from Gucci, Coach, Michael Kors and more. They were also treated to food fromTravinia Italian Kitchen and wine as well as a purse fashion show celebrating looks from the 1930s through today. In addition to the 1,200 purses up for sale and auction, scarves donated by Ella Madison Boutique and sunglasses from Lynn Roberts International were up for sale. The two-day event raised more than $12,000 to support programs and services, such as a 24-hour rape and domestic violence hotline, emergency shelter, child advocacy, support groups, and violence prevention classes.

Food for Thought Launches Video
Food for Thought would like to thank JP Young from OneHope.Net for creating this amazing video to help spread the word about where Food For Thought’s origin and mission! 

Select Physical Therapy Offers Continuing Education Seminar
On Thursday, May 7, from 7:30 – 11 a.m., Select Physical Therapy will present a continuing education seminar, covering Common Shoulder injuries, Understanding Functional Capacity Evaluations, and Sacral Iliac Dysfunction. It will take place at the Country Inn and Suites by Carlson in Crestview. RSVP to Brenda Royster at (850) 863-4747 or email brenda.royster@selectmedicalcorp.com.

Airports Rank Near Top in State & FAA Inspections
The Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport Annual FAA Airport Certification and Safety Inspection resulted in no discrepancy and the response to the UH-60 crash was in accordance with Airport Emergency Procedures (AEP). This annual inspection occurs with or without a triggering event under Federal Aviation Regulation, Part 139. Destin Executive and Bob Sikes Airports also passed the annual state inspections with no discrepancy. The State’s Aviation inspector said he inspects 106 general aviation airports throughout Florida every year, and our two County general aviation airports rank near the top as best maintained.

Emerald Coast Exchange Club Donates to Children
The Emerald Coast Exchange Club of Fort Walton Beach continued its support to Children in Crisis (CIC) by presenting a $500 donation to help feed, clothe, and care for the children living at the CIC Children’s Neighborhood. The timing of the donation was to help emphasize April as “Child Abuse Prevention Month.” Seen here, Club President Shirley Simms presents a $500 check to CIC President and CEO Ken Hair.

Tax Certificate Sale Workshops Scheduled
The Okaloosa County Tax Collector’s Office announced that it will once again be hosting workshops for the upcoming 2015 Tax Certificate Sale. Representatives from the Tax Department will be educating citizens on the annual Tax Certificate Sale, where winning bidders may earn between 5% - 18% interest. Potential investors may visit BidOkaloosa.com to take full advantage of the demonstrations, procedural information, links to public records, and the Delinquent Tax advertising list. Bidders may also pre-register on the site before the actual event begins. Bidding will open on May 9, and the sale will conclude on May 30. Delinquent taxpayers have until 3 p.m., Friday, May 29, to make payment on their account or a certificate will be sold May 30. For questions, call (850) 651-7604.

Monday, April 20, 2015

NJCAA National Champs Honored at Chamber Lunch

NWFSC - NJCAA National Champs

Destin, Fla., April 17 – On April 14, Destin Area Chamber Chairman Ken Wampler, Newman-Dailey Resort Properties, Inc., read a proclamation from the Chamber’s Board of Directors honoring the Northwest Florida State College Raider’s men’s basketball team for its NJCAA National Championship title.

The recognition came during the Chamber’s April Leaders In Business Lunch, held at Tops’l Beach and Racquet Resort, and was witnessed by members in attendance.

Pictured here are Wampler, Athletic Director Ramsey Ross, Player Jordan Capps, Coach Steve DeMeo, Player Benji Bell, Assistant Coach Grant McMillan, College President Ty Handy, and Chamber President and CEO Shane Moody.

Read the proclamation here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

April 2015 Business Briefs / Member News Part 2

Vacasa Poised To Award Up to $60,000 for 2015 Scholarship Program 
Vacasa—named the country's fastest-growing private company in the travel industry by Inc. Magazine in August 2014—is continuing to support local communities through its annual scholarship program. Vacasa views this scholarship program, offered to both high school and college students, as a way to reinvest in the local communities it serves. This year, Vacasa’s scholarship program is available in 14 U.S. states, as well as four countries. In total, Vacasa is prepared to award up to $60,000 to support aspiring students on an international scale. 
Pike Promoted to Destin Commons Marketing Manager 
Destin Commons is pleased to announce the promotion of Heather Pike as marketing manager. Pike has worked as the marketing coordinator for more than a year and has been involved in many community activities on behalf of Destin Commons with the Destin, Ft. Walton, and Niceville chambers of commerce. At the Destin Area Chamber, Pike is chairing the Bayou, Bay & Beach full and half-marathon, and she is in the 2014-2015 Destin Forward leadership class. She is also the volunteer marketing lead for the Emerald Coast Relay for Life that benefits the American Cancer Society and is a past Chair of the Finest on the Emerald Coast event with the Northwest Florida Daily News.

Hilton Sandestin Honored with Two Awards from Hilton Worldwide 
The Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa garnered a number of prestigious awards from national industry trade publications in 2014 and in the fourth quarter received two especially significant recognitions from Hilton Worldwide: the “Make it Right” Award and the “Make it Right” Most Improved Award. To achieve the “Make it Right” Award and the “Make it Right” Most Improved Award, Hilton Sandestin Beach received the highest combined Problem Resolution and Overall Loyalty scores on the Service And Loyalty Tracking email guest survey, and the most combined improvement, quarter on quarter, out of all hotels in the Americas regions with more than 500 rooms.

Haugen and Cann Named to 2015 PLANADVISER Top 100 Retirement Plan Advisers 
Brian Haugen and Steve Cann of Emerald Coast Wealth Advisors of Raymond James are pleased to announce their team has been named as one of the 2015 PLANADVISER Top 100 Retirement Plan Advisory Teams. The PLANADVISER Top 100 Retirement Plan Advisers is an annual listing of adviser individuals, teams, and multi-office teams that stand out in the industry in terms of a series of quantitative measures. These include the dollar value of qualified plan assets under administration (AUA), as well as the number of plans under advisement. The list also includes advisers who have more than 30% of their practice focused on 403(b), defined benefit (DB) or nonqualified deferred compensation (NQDC) plans. 

Celebrate Your Graduate at Ruth’s Chris Steak House
From April 13 through July 13, receive a complimentary Ruth’s Classics three-coursee meal for the graduate with the purchase of four entrees. For full details, visit RuthsChrisDestin.com/eventspromos.html.

Airports Police Chief Recipient of a HERO Award
One of the first search calls was made to the Destin Executive Airport (DTS) in hopes the missing UH60 Blackhawk had safely landed on March 10. Chief Andrew (Andy) Johnson responded to DTS, secured the area, and waited. In the early hours of March 11, he was notified that the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office was responding in the area of the Navarre Bridge, and Chief Johnson decided to go see if he could assist in the rescue effort.

“Chief Johnson assisted in securing the heaviest debris area, documented evidence, and recovered two crew members, all above and beyond what he was required to do,” stated Chairman Nathan Boyles, Okaloosa County Commission. “There was a need to secure as much as they could prior to daylight on a public beach, and he didn’t hesitate to provide his knowledge and experience to that scene, along with a limited amount of initial responders, and for that he has earned recognition.” Two UH60 aircraft assigned to Hammond, Louisiana Army National Guard were participating in a training exercise when one of the helicopters crashed. Eleven service members were killed.

The Humanitarian Efforts Recognized by Okaloosa County (HERO) award recognizes employees who not only go beyond the scope of what his or her job entails, but has done something of a humanitarian or heroic nature. The HERO Award can include acts occurring outside work hours and submissions by people outside Okaloosa County staff. Above and Beyond forms are available online at www.okaloosafl.com or you may contact 311 Citizen Information Line for more information or to recognize an Okaloosa County employee.

Niceville Exchange Club Donates to Children
The Exchange Club of Niceville continued its support to Children in Crisis (CIC) by presenting a $1,000 donation to help feed, clothe, and care for the children living at the CIC Children’s Neighborhood. Seen here, Bill Moomaw, club president, presents the check and paper products to Ken Hair, CIC president and CEO.

Pirate Invasion at Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park
Captain Billy Bowlegs and his Pirate Krewe have land in sight and are headed straight for Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park. This year, both organizations are commemorating 60 years and one of the many ways they will celebrate this milestone is with a pirate invasion at the marine park on Saturday, April 18, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Guests can meet the infamous Captain Billy Bowlegs, his Queen, the First Mate and Mistress, and members of the Court throughout the park as they mingle with some of Gulfarium's gators and tropical birds. 

8th Annual Estuary Family Festival
The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA) and Mattie Kelly Environmental Institute (MKEI) will jointly host the 8th Annual Mattie Kelly Estuary Family Festival at Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park on Saturday, April 25, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The family-oriented festival offers exhibits and activities that celebrate Choctawhatchee Bay. Festival admission is FREE and the open to the public.

World Impact Real Estate Opens New Branch Office in Mary Esther
Broker Rodney Elkins of World Impact Real Estate announced the opening of a new office at 340 E. Miracle Strip Pkwy., in Mary Esther. With more than 80+ agents in the Fort Walton Beach, Destin, Tallahassee, Panama City, and Tampa areas, the growth has been wonderful. So, in an effort to better accommodate the agents and their needs, the Mary Esther branch office was opened. In this office agents may do floor duty, if they like. This office will be able to help clients in the Navarre, Fort Walton Beach, Shalimar, and Mary Esther areas. We want to have the convenience for not only our agents, but clients as well.

WSRE Awarded Bronze Telly Awards for Two Original Programs 
WSRE, PBS for the Gulf Coast, has been awarded the bronze Telly Award for two local productions: “The Blue Angels Air Shows” episode of “In Your Own Backyard” and “An Evening with Tommy Emmanuel,” a music special recorded live at WSRE’s Jean & Paul Amos Performance Studio.

“In Your Own Backyard,” hosted by Sheri Hemminghaus Weeks, took viewers to the skies over Pensacola with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels flight demonstration team. The program covers both world-class air shows performed annually for hometown fans—the summer show over Pensacola Beach and the season finale Homecoming Air Show at NAS Pensacola’s Sherman Field. This program was produced by James Roy and Ted King.

“An Evening with Tommy Emmanuel” documents a concert performed in 2013 by the two-time Grammy Award nominee. Emmanuel, one of Australia’s most respected musicians, is known as a legendary guitarist with a career spanning five decades and intersecting with some of the finest musicians in the world. This program was produced by Eric S. Fundin and Bill Harrell, directed by James Roy and edited by Ted King.

Support the LARGEST One-Day “Stamp Out Hunger” FOOD DRIVE in the Nation and Help Restock Our Local Food Banks
The United Way of Okaloosa & Walton Counties asks you to participate in our nation’s and our community’s Largest Food Drive…. the 23rd Annual National Association of Letter Carriers “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive to be held on Saturday, May 9, and help our local food banks restock their pantries. To participate, place your food donation(s) in a bag next to your mailbox early the morning of Saturday, May 9. Your letter carrier will pick up your donations as they make their regular mail routes and then deliver them to our local food banks. Donations may include quick meals like macaroni, spaghetti, soups, canned meats, peanut butter, canned juice, canned fruits, canned vegetables, baby food, cereal, and more.

Brotula’s Seafood House & Steamer Presents Checks to Local Charities 
Brotula’s Seafood House & Steamer celebrated its grand opening on Wednesday, April 8, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Destin Area Chamber of Commerce followed by a reception for the community. Before the official Grand Opening, Brotula’s held two complimentary soft opening dinners with all tips and proceeds benefitting two local charities, Boys and Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast and Food for Thought Outreach. Before the official ribbon cutting, owners Tyler Jarvis and Chris Ruyan presented Boys and Girls Clubs with a check for $2,092, as well as $2,220 for Food for Thought.

Okaloosa County Departments Participate in Earth Day Events
Earth Day is officially April 22, and is celebrated worldwide. The following events are scheduled in Destin and Fort Walton Beach:

April 13: Earth Day Celebration at the Destin Community Center at 3:30 p.m. Recycling information and “Edutainment.”

April 25: Okaloosa County Water and Sewer Department will promote and educate children about water conservation at the Emerald Coast Science Center Earth Day event, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. 

April 25: The Okaloosa County Environmental Council invites volunteers of all ages to participate in the Earth Day Beach Cleanup on Saturday, from 8 – 10 a.m. Receive your “Leave Footprints – NOT Stuff” event T-Shirt, trash bag, bottled water, gloves, and Get a Little Sand in your Soul! Volunteers are invited to sign in at Beasley Park on Okaloosa Island, the Beach Park west of Island Princess on Okaloosa Island, and Henderson Beach State Park in Destin. 

Habitat for Humanity Celebrates Volunteers
Habitat for Humanity in Okaloosa County is hosting a volunteer appreciation celebration on Saturday, April 18, 2015 from 12 – 5 p.m., at the Habitat ReStore in Fort Walton Beach. Volunteers are invited to come by for a free cookout and get a window sticker for a new contest, Hunting for Habitat Volunteers. Participants put the Habitat window sticker on their car and when a Habitat employee spots their car, a photo will be posted to the Okaloosa Habitat Facebook and website pages. Stickers can be picked up at the ReStore and the Habitat office until May 18. The Hunting for Habitat Volunteers contest prizes are gift certificates to Helen Back,Whataburger, Hub City Smokehouse in Crestview, and Starbucks. Volunteers are vital to the work Habitat does for families in our community and this is a small way to acknowledge their contribution. 

Mayor Mel Ponder Selected to Attend National Security Forum
Destin Mayor Mel Ponder has received and accepted a personal invitation from the Secretary of the Air Force to attend the 62nd annual National Security Forum at the Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. The purpose of NSF is to expose influential citizens to senior U.S. and international officers and civilian equivalents in order to engage each other’s ideas and perspectives on Air Force, national and international security issues. During the week of May 5-7, approximately 150 civilian leaders in business, education, and government from all over the U.S. will meet with senior military leaders to explore current and future national security issues facing our nation. The NSF provides a great opportunity for an open and candid exchange of ideas among these guests, senior military and civilian leaders, and Air War College students. Ponder will attend lectures, meet in seminars for in-depth discussions, and participate in social events.

Project 10 Kids Charity Donates Food to CIC Children
Project 10 Kids Charity “I Believe,” sponsored by Jeannie Aylsworth from Body by Vi, donated 360 bags of healthy cereal to Children in Crisis (CIC). The goal of Project 10 Kids Charity is to create partnerships with local charities and organizations to help make a difference in the community. Seen here, Ken Hair, CIC president and CEO, along with Laura Moore, CIC volunteer and event coordinator, accept the donation from Aylsworth.

TripShock.com to Donate $1 to Charities for Every Activity or Booking through August
TripShock.com announced last week that it will be starting a series of sponsorships with local non-profits along the Gulf Coast. The travel website and activity booking engine will be pledging $1 per booking up to $1,000 each month through August. For the month of April, TripShock has partnered with Destin Harvest to help curb hunger in Northwest Florida. Destin Harvest is focused primarily on assisting local feeding programs with providing quality and nutritious foods to feed the homeless. 

CIC Board Member Takes Teens Shopping
Long-time Children in Crisis board member Judy Wiseman gave the transitioning teens living at the CIC Neighborhood a real shopping treat last week. Judy volunteered to take the two small groups of teens to find that special Easter outfit and other items needed to present a pro

Monday, April 6, 2015

April 2015 Business Briefs / Member News Part 1

The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County Introduces Art Classes
The Cultural Arts Alliance (CAA) announces a new series of classes, workshops, and camps appealing to all ages. The classes will feature Abrakadoodle mobile art studio and take place at the Bayou Arts Center. All supplies are provided and parents simply need to show up and let their children’s creativity abound. Each class will have a theme, which will provide continuity throughout the sessions. Mommy and Me classes, for ages 20 months- 4 years old, will feature a six week course entitled “Little Fingers, Big Ideas.” The After School Art Classes, for ages 5-12 will feature a six-week course entitled “It’s a Jungle Out There.” The Cultural Kids Camp this summer will include a mix of nature, art, and play for kids ages 4-12. To sign up, call (850) 622-5970 or e-mail Lee Greene at lee@culturalartsalliance.com
St. Simon Episcopal Church Helps Children in Crisis
The Episcopal Church Women of St. Simon on the Sound recently helped the kids of Children in Crisis (CIC) by donating a check for $1,000 for food, clothing, and other needed items. Seen here, Ken Hair, CIC president & CEO, receives a donation of $1,000 from Joan Bomar, president of the Episcopal Church Women of St. Simon on the Sound.

BBB® Partners to Combat Identity Theft
Your BBB, along with Gilmore Services, CatCountry 98.7 FM, and WEAR-TV3, are offering individuals an opportunity to shred their sensitive data on Wednesday, April 15. This shredding event is free to the public and will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Cordova Mall in Pensacola and Santa Rosa Mall in Mary Esther. In addition to shredding, resources on how to protect your identity will be provided. For additional information on identity theft prevention and advice you can trust, start with BBB.org.

ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals® Participates as Presenting Sponsor of 17th Annual Seabreeze Jazz Festival®
Wyndham Vacation Rentals® today announced that its ResortQuest brand is again participating as Presenting Sponsor and Official Accommodation Provider of the Seabreeze Jazz Festival®. Taking place from April 22 - 26, at Pier Park in Panama City Beach, this year’s event marks the 14th consecutive year ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals will sponsor the annual festival. To explore lodging options during The Seabreeze Jazz Festival, call (855) 990-0087 or book online.

Emerald Coast Apartment Assoc. Donates Food to Children
The Emerald Coast Apartment Association showed its support toChildren in Crisis (CIC) by donating more than $900 in meat to help feed the children living in the CIC foster homes. Pictured from left to right are Ken Hair, CIC president & CEO; Jackie Foxworth; and Whitney Briones.

Forevermark Trunk Show
See more than 1 million dollars in hand-selected Forevermark diamonds on Saturday, April 4 – Sunday, April 12, at REEDS Jewelers in Destin Commons. For details, call (850) 269-0133.

8th Annual Mattie Kelly Estuary Family Festival
The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA) and Mattie Kelly Environmental Institute (MKEI) will jointly host the 8th Annual Mattie Kelly Estuary Family Festival at Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park on Saturday, April 25, from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. The family-oriented festival offers exhibits and activities that celebrate Choctawhatchee Bay. Festival admission is FREE and open to the public. For more information, click here

Young at Heart Wellness Classes Now Available at Sacred Heart Hospital
Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast has partnered with Blueprint Health Studios to offer Young at Heart Wellness Classes every Tuesday, April 7 – May 19, at 10 a.m. Through Sacred Heart Hospital’s Senior Spirit program, Young at Heart Wellness Classes give seniors the opportunity to stay fit for life. Instructors guide participants through carefully crafted exercises for seniors that help to increase balance, strength, and flexibility. No running or jumping required, the classes focus on slow controlled movements participants can learn to do at home. Diet and nutritional information is also provided, as well as disease specific preventative exercises that can be incorporated into daily life. Canes, walkers, and wheelchairs are welcome. For details, call (850) 278-3600.

Caduceus Society Donates to Children in Crisis
Members of the Caduceus Society of Sacred Heart Hospital presented a donation check for $21,500 to Children in Crisis (CIC). Seen here is CIC president & CEO Ken Hair (center) receiving the check from Caduceus Society members.

Campbell Family Foundation Helps Children
The Campbell Family Foundation presented Children in Crisis (CIC) with a grant of $40,000 to help provide support to the to the Travis Tringas Cottage, the new family foster home under construction at the CIC Neighborhood. Seen here, Ken Hair, CIC president & CEO, receives the check from Don Campbell, Campbell Family Foundation, along with Kitty Johnson, chairman of the CIC board.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March 2015 Business Briefs / Member News Part 5

Southern Vacation Rentals Celebrates 20 Years of Excellence
Southern Vacation Rentals – a proud member of the Southern family of companies - is celebrating its 20 years of excellence in the Gulf Coast real estate, hospitality, and property management industries. Founded in 1995 by two sets of brothers, Mike and Brad Shoults and Kevin and Kerry Veach, Southern has quickly grown to become one of the largest locally owned companies in the area, garnered with a reputation of integrity, experience, and knowledge of the industry. 

Southern will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a variety of exciting promotions throughout 2015. This includes everything from special sales on vacation homes and condo rentals in Destin, Perdido Key, Gulf Shores, and other areas along the Gulf Coast to social media giveaways and employee appreciation events. Other festivities to mark the momentous year will include local celebrations, recognition of loyal Southern guests, and an exclusive three-night stay in a condo presented to two winners during the year. Learn more about the Southern family of companies, their services and properties at GoSouthern.com

ABC Fine Wine & Spirits Debuts in Destin
ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, one of the largest independent retailers of wine and spirits in the U.S., announced the opening of a new location in Destin. Opening in early April at 34715 Emerald Coast Parkway, the new location will be the first in Destin and the second west of Tallahassee.

The new ABC Fine Wine & Spirits will occupy a developing space located in front of The Home Depot. At 13,000-square-feet, the new store will be bigger than the average ABC store, and it will feature an 18-door beer cooler and offer more than 500 beers, 5,000 wines, 2,000 rare and popular spirits, 400 cigars, gourmet foods, custom gift baskets, glassware, and other related items. Locally brewed craft beers sold at the Destin store will include Pensacola Bay Brewery.

Free Tax Preparation
Free Tax Preparation is available through the United Way of Okaloosa & Walton Counties Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. If you are in need of assistance and earned less than $52,000 in 2014, contact the following sites: 
- Goodwill Easter Seals, Ft. Walton Beach, by appointment only, call (251) 433-4900 
- First Presbyterian Church, Crestview, first come-first serve assistance from 3 – 5 p.m., only on Friday, March 27, and Friday, April 10
For a list of required documents that must be brought to your appointment, visit United-Way.org/VITA.htm. To volunteer for VITA, call (850) 598-4945. 

Pre-Game Activities Promote Reading at Wahoos’ Stadium
Families are invited to “Hit a Home Run for Early Literacy” during a pre-game WSRE Imagination Station event at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium on Sunday, April 12, from 2 – 4 p.m. The first 100 families in attendance will receive a free “Bats at the Ballgame” book. Activities are themed around the popular children’s book by Brian Lies and include meet and greet with Pensacola Blue Wahoos baseball players from 2:30 – 3 p.m.; appearances by Kazoo, “Readmore” The Dolphin, and the PBS KIDS characters; signup for free membership to the Pensacola Blue Wahoos Kids Club; and access to Imagination Station games and more. After the 4 p.m. game, kids can enjoy a “Fun Run for Reading” around the bases and a special jumbotron presentation of “Bats at the Ballgame” read by local dignitaries and familiar personalities.

All Types of Vendor Openings for 39th Saturday in the Park Festival
The Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida has openings for all types of vendors at the 39th Saturday in the Park Heritage Festival on April 25. Vendor spaces are available for art/craft/antique, non-profit/government agencies and clubs, community sponsors, re-enactors, and traditional craft demonstrators. Fees vary. For information, visit Heritage-Museum.org or call (850) 678-2615. 

Destin Bay House Completes Renovations 
The Destin Bay House – Northwest Florida’s premier event venue – is pleased to announce the completion of a redesigned space just in time for the spring season. Although the Bay House opened four short years ago, it has quickly emerged as a forerunner in the event industry, hosting everything from family reunions and corporate event to rehearsal dinners and weddings. The renovations, which include major overhauls and minor refinishes, will help to create a space that sets the Bay House further apart from the competition.

Improvements to the iconic 1950s home can be seen in the converted storage space that adds another outlet to personalize the layout, the refinished bar, and additions to onsite amenities. With these features, the Bay House will be better suited to cater to individual needs and create memories that will last a lifetime. For more information about the Destin Bay House and hosting an event, visit the DestinBayHouse.com.

4th Annual Food For Thought Golf Tournament
Thursday, April 9
Presented by Sunburst Beach Vacations and A Superior Air Conditioning Company
Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club
We've still got spots left for teams and sponsorship opportunities are available. To register a team or to become a sponsor, click here.

Students to Restore Dunes
As the school year begins to draw to an end, students across Okaloosa and Walton counties are also wrapping up a year-long restoration project. Throughout the 2014-2015 school year, around 500 students at four middle schools participated in Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance’s (CBA) Dunes in Schools Program. 

Dunes in Schools encourages students to develop an interest in the local coastal environment by growing sea oats at their school. Throughout April, these students will see the hands-on, science program full circle by taking a field trip to the beach to plant their sea oats. Rotating through stations, students will not only explore the habitat they learned about all year, but will also plant their sea oats at a state park restoration site. Together, students at Emerald Coast Middle School, Destin Middle School, Shoal River Middle School and Seaside Neighborhood School will help to restore the dunes at three state parks by planting more than 1,000 sea oats. For more information, please contact Brittany Tate at (850)217-5382 or tateb@nwfsc.edu

Drama and Musical Theater Summer Camps for Kids
Summertime means letting your heart sing. Emerald Coast Theatre Company (ECTC), a not-for-profit professional theater company based in Miramar Beach, has launched its 2015 summer theater camps series designed with kids in mind. ECTC’s third annual children’s theater summer series, presented with support from the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation, features three exciting programs. Dates and locations are as follows:
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
June 15–20, South Walton Campus of Northwest Florida State College, Santa Rosa Beach
June 22–27, Destin Elementary School, Destin
July 6-–11, A Class Act Studios, 80 Miracle Strip Parkway S.E., Unit 5, Fort Walton Beach

Camp Broadway 
July 6–10, Seaside Neighborhood School

Disney’s “Peter Pan Jr.” Musical Theater Camp in partnership with Rise Dance Studios
July 13–25 at Rise Dance Center, 4489 AB Commons Drive West, Destin (in shopping center near The Fresh Market)

For more information, visit EmeraldCoastTheatre.org

Fundraising Event For Local Nonprofit
The 360 Blue Foundation will be hosting These Boots Are Made For Giving - its premiere fundraising event at Arnett's Gulfside Stables in Santa Rosa Beach on the evening of May 9. Come out for a delicious dinner and stay for the fabulous live entertainment provided by the extremely talented Daphne Willis, who recently co-wrote a song with Megan Trainor. Daphne and her band will be performing original music, as well as a variety of classic cover songs. Don't forget to check out the awesome silent auction items! All proceeds benefit the 360 Blue Foundation and its goal of contributing to the end of extreme poverty worldwide by providing the resources needed for success to those who need it the most - especially those living on less than $1.25 a day. 

In 2015, the Foundation partnered with buildOn and committed to building two (three, funds permitting) schools in Burkina Faso, Africa. In February, a small number of 360 Bue staff traveled to the country and began construction on the first school of the year in the small village of Roure. 

If you or your business would like to donate something to be auctioned off at the event, please contact sarah@360blue.com. Tickets to the event are currently on sale and may be purchased here

Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast Launches Interactive Patient Care System
Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast will launch the GetWellNetwork® interactive patient care system on March 31, to help educate, engage, and empower patients in its care. The system helps patients and their families take an active role in their health care, which results in improved patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes. 

The GetWellNetwork will be installed in all inpatient rooms. Utilizing an in-room television, patients will receive customized education on their condition and medications, learn about various patient safety and infection control initiatives, and provide feedback on pain management measures. A direct link to various hospital services, such as ordering a meal or making a service request, are also available at the click of a button. Entertainment options, such as movies, shows, and games, round out the patient experience system. 

Property Tax Installment Plan Available
Okaloosa County Tax Collector Ben Anderson is pleased to announce that taxpayers can now register for the Property Tax Installment Plan online. By utilizing the Installment Plan option, taxpayers receive a 3.375% discount, and payments may be divided into four payments over a one year period. To participate in the Tax Installment Plan, complete an Installment Application located on the Tax Collector’s website at OkaloosaTax.com. Click on the green “Taxes” link on the right side of the webpage. You will be directed to search for your account/property. Once you have located your account, select the green button labeled “Apply for the 2015 Installment Plan.” The application must be submitted no later than April 30. 

Emerald Coast Magazine Presents 2015 Emerald Coast Top Salon Competition
One of the Emerald Coast’s most highly-anticipated charity events is back for its fourth year. Emerald Coast Top Salon gathers a who’s who of the salon industry for a night of makeovers, music, food, and fun. This year’s event is Friday, April 10, at 7 p.m. at the newly remodeled Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa.

This year’s event, presented by Emerald Coast magazine, is made possible by presenting sponsor Dr. Dennis Lichorwic and The Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistry. Additional sponsors include BluePrint Health StudioHilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, Marsha Doll Models, and Emerald Coast Functional Family Medicine. 

The 11 top salons selected to compete for the 2015 title and their chosen charity include: Avantgarde Salon (Emerald Coast Advocacy Center); C’est La Vie (Taylor Haugen Foundation); Euphoria (Rescued Rescuers: Dachsunds & Friends); Fushion Spa Salon Sandestin (Shelter House); La Renaissance (Sacred Heart Cancer Center); Pure & Couture (Fisher House Emerald Coast); Rollands Beauty Bar (Impact 100 NW Florida); Sanabella Spa and Salon (E.O. Wilson Biophili Center); Serenity by the sea (Bay Area Foodbank); Cutting Room Salon & Spa (Wounded Warrior Project); and The Kat House (Autism Speaks).

For more information about the 2015 Emerald Coast Top Salon competition, visit EmeraldCoastMagazine.com

RE/MAX Southern Celebrates Annual Awards
RE/MAX Southern Realty – one of the largest teams providing real estate services in Northwest Florida – held its annual awards celebrating another successful year and honoring its many well-regarded agents. Longtime RE/MAX Southern agent Susie Kirkland ranked as the firm’s Top Sales Volume and Transactions leader for 2014, as well as the Destin Team’s Top Listing Agent and Top Sales Transactions. The Individual Top Listing Awards were presented to Matt Williams of the Destin office and Jim Murphy of Panama City Beach. Rounding out the awards is RE/MAX Southern agent Carole Pleasants, who in addition to receiving the brand’s Lifetime Achievement Award earlier this year, ranked high among agents in 2014 for Top Sales Commission Earned. RE/MAX Southern congratulates its top earning agents who have strived to uphold the greatest service, courtesy and professionalism that firm can offer. For more information about RE/MAX Southern Realty and their outstanding agents, visit REMAXSouthern.com.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Travinia Italian Kitchen Offers Beautiful Setting for March After Hours



Thank you to Travinia Italian Kitchen for hosting our March 26 Business After Hours! We appreciate the hospitality shown by Matt and his entire staff. Guests were treated to Italian nachos and beverages on the beautiful patio.





Please click here for more photos from the event.

Thank you for the door prizes!
- World Impact Real Estate

Please join us on April 23 for our Business After Hours at Boathouse Oyster Bar! You do not want to miss this annual favorite event.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

March 2015 Business Briefs / Member News Part 4

White Sands Inn & Suites Renovation Complete
Destin Lodging, LLC is pleased to announce the completion of its 1-million-dollar renovation project of the White Sands Inn & Suites. The newly remodeled hotel, located at 4415 Commons Dr. E., is an 83-room hotel property, featuring a variety of room types. Each guest room features free high-speed Internet access, cable television with HBO®, a microwave, and a refrigerator. The hotel offers a complimentary full hot breakfast and features a heated outdoor pool and spa, exercise room, and an onsite laundry facility. The hotel is just a 5 minute drive to the sugar sand beaches and emerald waters of the Emerald Coast. The convenience of our location offers each guest easy access to local attractions and many outdoor activities. Hotel guests will be close to a variety of restaurants (Longhorn SteakhouseBonefish Grill, and many more) all within walking distance of the property. The White Sands Inn & Suites is located adjacent to the Shoppes of Paradise Key, just .5 miles from Destin Commons, 5 miles from the Silver Sands Premium Outlets, and 5 miles from the Destin Harbor.

Tax Deadline Approaching
Okaloosa County Tax Collector Ben Anderson would like to remind citizens that March 31 is the deadline to pay their 2014 Real Estate Property Taxes and Tangible Personal Property Taxes. Property taxes not paid by March 31 become delinquent and will be subject to delinquency interest and advertising fees, which are added to the gross amount due. Visit OkaloosaTax.com to pay online.

Another payment option for tax payers to consider is the Property Tax Installment Plan. This option is now available for the 2015 tax year. The Installment Plan divides the annual taxes into four (4) payments – due June, September, December, and March. The Installment Plan provides for 3.3% discount and adds the convenience of spreading out payments instead of one lump sum payment. Applications for the Installment Plan are accepted until April 30, 2015, and may be found in the “Forms Center” at OkaloosaTax.com.

dressbarn introduces the DRESSBAR
Introducing the DRESSBAR at dressbarn. Since 1962, dressbarn has been the not-so-secret weapon of women who look for value in what they wear, as much as they do fit and style and… fun! With the debut of the DRESSBAR at dressbarn, a chicly curated collection of dresses, we’ve upped the ante on style and designer fashion, without lowering our 50+ year standard on value. Visit dressbarn.com.

Destin Water Users Honored with Excellence Award for Fourth Consecutive Year
Destin Water Users (DWU) was honored with the 2014 Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Plant Operations Excellence Award for Drinking Water at the Annual Florida Rural Water Association (FRWA) Focus On Change Seminar in Panama City on Feb. 19. The annual Plant Excellence Awards program is one of the ways the DEP recognizes public drinking water and domestic wastewater facilities that demonstrate excellence in operation, maintenance, compliance, innovative treatment, waste reduction, pollution prevention, conservation, recycling, and other special achievements. This was the fourth consecutive year Destin Water Users was recognized with this award, and the 12th time overall.

ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals® Participates as Official Lodging Sponsor of South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival
Wyndham Vacation Rentals® announced that its ResortQuest brand will serve as the Official Lodging Sponsor of the South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival taking place from April 23 - 26, at Grand Boulevard at Sandestin. The festival includes numerous events throughout the weekend, such as a charity wine auction, culinary village, wine and food tastings, and seminars, as well as a Nashville Songwriters Showcase. There will be more than 800 wines available for tasting and purchase in addition to celebrity winemaker, chef and craft brew master appearances.

As a proud sponsor of the South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival, ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals is offering 20 percent off select properties at TOPS’L Beach & Racquet Resort. In addition, ResortQuest guests can enjoy discounted festival tickets and are encouraged to take advantage of complimentary shuttle service, which will be available throughout the weekend. Book online using Promo Code VINO. 

Okaloosa County EMT Recipient of a HERO Award
Tim Busby, Okaloosa County emergency medical technician (EMT), was transporting a patient to the University of Alabama-Birmingham Medical Center when he witnessed a near head on collision. He was presented with the HERO award at the March 17 County Commission Meeting for his care of the patient he was transporting, along with four patients from the accident. By keeping a calm demeanor and thinking clearly, Busby was able to request the proper resources to respond, assists the two medical helicopters and two ground units responding to the scene, pass on an excellent report to the local incident command, and care for the patients. He provided vital information needed to facilitate transport of the patients to trauma centers in the area.

The Humanitarian Efforts Recognized by Okaloosa County (HERO) award recognizes employees who not only go beyond the scope of what his or her job entails, but has done something of a humanitarian or heroic nature. The HERO Award can include acts occurring outside work hours and submissions by people outside Okaloosa County staff. Above and Beyond forms are available online at OkaloosaFL.com or you may contact 311 Citizen Information Line for more information or to recognize an Okaloosa County employee.

Okaloosa Beach Safety Selected Beach Patrol of the Year
Okaloosa County Beach Safety was presented the 2014 Beach Patrol of the Year award by the Florida Beach Patrol Chiefs Association and the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA)-Southeast Region. The award was presented at the 21st Annual Florida State Surf Lifesaving Awards Banquet recently held on Okaloosa Island. The process looks for a Beach Patrol that sets themselves apart through their programs and statistics, competing with larger organizations from Miami, Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale to name a few.

McDaniel Elected Florida Emergency Preparedness Association Area One Governor
Okaloosa County Emergency Management Chief Randy McDaniel has been elected as the Florida Emergency Preparedness Association (FEPA), Area One Governor. Area One consists of 10 counties from Escambia to the Apalachicola River. McDaniel will serve on the FEPA Board of Directors for a two-year period representing area one, as well as serve on the FEPA Membership and Awards Committee and the Public Private Partnership Committee. FEPA was created in 1957 to help professional Emergency Managers work to protect the people of Florida.

Borcyk Earns Certified Infection Control Credential
The Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (CBIC®) has announced that Wendy Borcyk, infection control nurse at Twin Cities Hospital, has earned the Certified in Infection Control (CIC®) credential and has demonstrated a mastery of infection prevention and control knowledge by taking and passing this comprehensive examination. Certification is maintained through successful completion of a recertification examination every five years.

Okaloosa County Interim HR Director Receives Certification
GinNeal McVay recently became the interim human resources director for Okaloosa County, replacing Kay Godwin who accepted the position as deputy administrator. McVay also became a Certified Professional by the Society of Human Resources Management, (SHRM-CP), in addition to her Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification that she already possesses. She was also to serve as the 2015 Accreditation Chair of the Emerald Coast Chapter of SHRM.

“Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies” begins March 30 on WSRE
WSRE, PBS for the Gulf Coast, will air “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies,” the three-part, six-hour documentary series directed by award-winning filmmaker Barak Goodman and executive produced by Ken Burns, on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, March 30 through April 1, at 8 p.m. The series is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer” (Simon & Schuster 2010) by Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D. 

Sacred Heart to Host an Evening with the Spine Experts
Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast will host an evening with the experts event featuring spine health on Monday, April 13, at 6 p.m., at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse in Miramar Beach. Guest speakers include Dr. Kornelis Poelstra, Dr. Charles Wingo, and Dr. John Britt, board certified orthopedic spine surgeons. Attendees will learn about the latest advancements in spine surgery and meet the team from Sacred Heart’s comprehensive Spine Center. Attendees will also learn about Sacred Heart’s new, robotic guidance system for spine surgery. Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served. Seating is limited. Call (850) 278-3600 to register. 

Okaloosa County Launches New Website
Okaloosa County’s new, improved website is now live. “It has been almost 10 years since the web site has been updated, and is designed to make it easier to find what you are looking for through navigation buttons and additional links on the home page,” said Commission Chairman Nathan Boyles.

“We expedited publishing the site so that RESTORE applications could be submitted from the web site; therefore, the site is still “under construction,” said Kathy Newby, public information officer. “We do expect a few “glitches,” and requests your patience – it will get a little more streamlined and improve each day.” The web address hasn’t changed, visit OkaloosaFL.com.

L3 Communications designed the new web site for Okaloosa County, with a content management system to allow the county to do a lot of the work, as well as continue to update the website. L3 Communications provided technical expertise and experience in networking, networking equipment, fiber connections, web site design, VoIP, routing, switching, administration, analysis, installation, security, storage, virtual environments and email to handle the large, secure site of the county. 

Air Force Enlisted Village Mourns the Passing of President and CEO, CMSAF James C. Binnicker, USAF, Ret. 
A memorial service for CMASF James C. Binnicker, USAF, Ret., will be held on Saturday, March 28, at 2 p.m., at the Emerald Coast Convention Center. See below for the Air Force Enlisted Village’s (AFEV) official press release about Binnicker’s passing and his leadership of the AFEV.

Great sadness is felt throughout the Air Force Enlisted Village today as we announce the passing of our President and CEO, CMSAF James C. Binnicker, USAF, Ret. this morning on March 21. Our prayers are with the Chief’s family. 

Binnicker has served as AFEV’s president and CEO for the past 15 years ensuring a meaningful quality of life for more than 500 residents at Bob Hope Village, Teresa Village, and our assisted living and memory care community, the Hawthorn House.

“Chief was loved and admired by people around the world, and he was able to connect across every generation,” AFEV Board of Directors Chairman SMSgt Dennis “Nick” Nicholson, USAF, Ret. said. “He exhibited grace, poise, and class in every situation. His enduring memory will be one of service to his nation and his community.”

Binnicker’s dream for Bob Hope Village included construction of an assisted living community, which opened under his tenure in 2005, and also the development of modern independent living units at Bob Hope Village, which is currently under construction.

Mentor to staff and employees, dear friend and caretaker to our residents at Bob Hope Village, Teresa Village, and Hawthorn House, Binnicker will be remembered for his kind heart and his caring spirit. As AFEV PCEO, he instituted a philosophy, which became our core values, known as The Mom Rule. The Mom Rule ensured that staff and employees treated all residents with dignity and respect as they would treat their own moms.

Binnicker also served 33 years in the United States Air Force. During his career, he served in many locations including Oklahoma, Hawaii, North Dakota, Vietnam, Taiwan, Georgia, Virginia, Texas, North Carolina and the Pentagon. He was a life support specialist, air operations superintendent, Vietnamese linguist, First Sergeant, and Command Chief Master Sergeant. He was Chief of Enlisted Retention and later appointed Assistant for Chief Master Sergeant Matters, Air Force Personnel Center. He served on the President’s Commission on Military Compensation; Senior Enlisted Advisor for the 4th Fighter Wing, 12th Air Force, Pacific Air Forces and Tactical Air Command. His three decades of service culminated in his selection as the Ninth Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force where he served as the advisor to the Secretary of the Air Force/Air Force Chief of Staff on matters concerning welfare, effective utilization, and progress of the enlisted members of the USAF.