Friday, October 24, 2014

Chamber Welcomes 18 New Members During Reception



On Oct. 16, we welcomed new members into the Chamber with a reception hosted in our office. We had the pleasure of meeting 18 new businesses and now we would like to introduce them to you. See below.

Bonnie S. Hall – Broker Associate can help you find your permanent home in paradise, perfect vacation home, or the right investment property. From Destin to Rosemary Beach and Niceville to Freeport, she is your personal realtor. For details, visit BNDestin.com or call (850) 240-9901.

Buster'sOld Time Photos in Destin offers three wonderful sets, Western, Gangster, and Victorian. We offer a wide variety of costumes for all ages and sizes. From 0 to 90, old time photos are family fun for everyone. Visit 300 Harbor Blvd. Ste. D, in Destin; visit BustersOldTimePhotos.com; or call (850) 837-3280.

Enjoy Cheeseburger In Paradise's happy hour pricing on food, including half price appetizers Monday through Friday, from 3 – 6 p.m., and on beverages Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Pricing includes $4 mojitos and margaritas, $3 well liquor and house wine, $2.50 14-ounce draft beer, and $3.50 22-ounce draft beer. Game day specials include $12.99 for 15 traditional wings, $3.50 for 22-ounce Bud Light draft, $13.99 bucket of domestic beer, and $15.99 for 100-ounce Bud Light draft. Cheeseburger in Paradise offers gluten free items on the menu. We now offer catering for your party needs. The company offers a fundraiser program, as well. Visit 10562 Emerald Coast Pkwy. W., in Miramar Beach; visit CheeseburgerInParadise.com; or call (850) 837-0197. Click here for Halloween specials. 

Destin Grocery Girls offers a convenient, time-saving alternative to one of America’s top five least liked household chores – GROCERY SHOPPING!  Our purpose is to start your vacation hassle free. The time you would spend looking for a grocery store, shopping for your groceries and household supplies, standing in line, and fighting traffic, you could be enjoying your vacation. In just minutes you can place your grocery delivery order by fax or at DestinGroceryGirls.com .  We shop, deliver, and stock your fridge and pantry prior to your arrival. You arrive to your vacation spot and head straight to the beach, not the grocery store.  For more information, call (850) 512-2347.

Dan Matacchiero is now offering a new barbeque cleaning service called Fresh and Clean Grill. Using a proprietary system from The BBQ Cleaner, this service removes all traces of grease, fat, and carbon deposits from barbeque grills, especially in the areas that cannot be seen. Fresh and Clean Grill will come to your home, remove key components of your grill, and deep clean them in specially equipped trailers. The grill racks, control knobs, and hood are degreased and cleaned with environmentally friendly treatments. The result is the cleanest grill that can be achieved in the marketplace today. For more information, call (850) 687-0787, visit FreshAndCleanGrill.com, or follow Facebook.com/FreshAndCleanGrill.

Great Southern Yacht Company is north Florida’s upscale yacht brokerage. Its personalized approach helps it to focus its resources on its client’s listing or purchasing goals. For details, visit 314 Harbor Blvd., in Destin; visit GreatSouthernYachts.com online; or call (850) 424-5344.

iTrip of Destin / Sandestin is a full service property management vacation rental company. We have been in the Destin/Sandestin market going into our third year. We pride ourselves in our ability to provide high quality service to our owners and our guests that stay in our properties. We offer very competitive fees that are attractive for our owners to ensure maximum income potential. Please visit our website at Itrip.net/Destin to learn more ITRIP and all we have to offer. For details, call (615) 969-5001.

Jack Of All TradesProductions is an all-inclusive production company offering DJ and MC services for live events, private parties, and weddings, as well as audio and video production for businesses, musicians, and individuals who want to capture the moment the right way. Other services include photography, graphic design, writing for editorials, copy, scripts, and vocal and screen acting. "Johnny C." Alexander is a true Emerald Coast local, who has the experience, knowledge, and energy to contribute to virtually any multi-media platform. Jack Of All Trades Productions – yes, it does sound cliché, but the name says it all! Visit DoseOfJohnnyC.com or call (850) 899-6339.

JAN-PRO Cleaning Systems of Northwest Florida is excited to be opening its doors in this region.  For 20+ years, JAN-PRO has provided world-class commercial cleaning services to a variety of businesses via a network of more than 10,000 highly trained, dedicated local franchise owner-operators.  JAN-PRO has the highest customer retention in the industry and consistently ranks as a top franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine and USA Today, among others.  Whether you’re a business that needs cleaning or someone who’s interested in starting their own cleaning business, JAN-PRO of Northwest Florida is here to serve you.  Please call (850) 460-2226 for more information.

The Jeffrey W. Watson Law Firm, P.L., will advise on Federal government contract law matters, whether pre-award or post-award, and sitting with the client through de-briefings, if desired. I also offer contract claims, can assist as outside counsel, and am available to those in need of a military defense counsel. Further, I am available to advise and represent on business transactions, real estate disputes, personal injury accidents, wills, and probate. Through my association with Nathan D. Boyles, PA, I am also available for real estate closings. For details, visit 225 Main St. Ste. 5, in Destin; visit Crestview-Law.com; or call (850) 460-7760.

Thomas and Kari Zingale invite you to visit their new Kilwins store in the heart of the Destin Commons shopping center. With a wide array of kitchen-fresh fudge, 24 flavors of original recipe ice cream, and a tempting selection of hand-dipped chocolates and caramels, Kilwins of Destin Commons has choices for every sweet tooth. We have a passion to share the sweet, wholesome enjoyment that comes from high quality, handmade fudge, chocolates, and ice cream. We are committed to a top-notch customer experience that brings smiles of tickled tastebuds and happy traditions to all types of faces. Visit 4142 Legendary Dr. B106, in the Destin Commons shopping center; visit Kilwins.com/DestinCommons; or call (850) 460-7868.

Markit Promotions recently opened an office in Pensacola to better serve the needs of the Emerald Coast businesses, many of which are our current satisfied customers. Markit has access to the entire promotional products industry, and we have several items that are proven winners for your region. We are always happy to share those ideas with you, free of charge.
We know that once we are given an opportunity to work for you, you will become a loyal fan of Markit because we go the extra mile for you every time. For more information, visit MarkIt.pro or call (205) 970-6780.

Established in 1991, Okaloosa Heart & Vascular Center provides current, comprehensive healthcare in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of heart problems. It offers clinical cardiology and consultation, echocardiography, vascular ultrasound, exercise testing, holter and event monitoring, nuclear cardiac imaging, cardiac catheterization, coronary angioplasty, intra-coronary stenting, electrophysiology specializing in heart rhythm disorders, and endovascular surgery. With five interventional cardiologists, one electrophysiologist, two endovascular surgeons, and five local offices to serve you, the staff is committed to exploring new technologies and techniques that provide better ways to care for their patients and to treating each patient like a person rather than a diagnosis. Visit the new office at 36468 Emerald Coast Parkway, in Destin’s Old South Centre; visit OkaloosaHeart.com; or call (850) 424-5638.

Others of Destin, Inc., represents a safe place in our community where assistance is available for individuals and families in need, whether it is the homeless or the J-1 international students. It is open Monday – Friday, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., in Building A, at 200 Beach Dr., in Destin. It relies on support from private donations and business sponsorships. For more information, please call (850) 543-3960.

Pink N Blue Avenue is a boutique for children with more than 30 hand-picked lines of unique, yet practical, clothing, shoes, accessories, toys, and gift sets for boys and girls, from 0 months to 9 years. It is a destination store for parents who want to go beyond the internet to see and touch merchandise, and beyond chains and big box stores for unique, "hard to find and love to have" girls and boys clothes, shoes, and more. Our brands are inspired by kids who like to express, explore, and create. Kids are welcome to visit the video corner and dig into the toy box, while parents shop. Visit 4467 Commons Dr. W. # 9, in Destin; visit Facebook.com/PinkNBlueAvenue; or call (850) 424-5707.

Sandestin Executive Health and Wellness Center is a brand new medical facility with state-of-the-art technology and specialized practitioners to meet every healthcare need. We have laboratory services, radiology, physical therapy, and urgent care. We will soon open our compounding pharmacy. Patients’ health and wellness are our top priority. For more information, visit 400 Audubon Dr., in Miramar Beach; visit SEHWC.com; or call (850) 267-6767.

Located throughout the Southeastern United States, Southern Earth Sciences, Inc., (SESI) has been providing innovative solutions to public and private clients for nearly 40 years. SESI specializes in Geotechnical Engineering, Environmental Consulting, and Construction Materials Testing, and is staffed with more than 130 professionals, scientists, and technicians. With the successful completion of more than 3,000 significant projects, SESI has gained the trust of numerous private entities, as well as hundreds of municipalities and school districts. Our Florida branch offices include Destin, Panama City Beach, and Tallahassee. We also have offices throughout Alabama and Louisiana. Visit us at SoEarth.com or contact Trey Wilson at (850) 769-4773, and let us know how we can assist you with your project. We’re confident you will be impressed.

Wesley T. Fontaine, Attorney at Law, is a boutique firm specializing in real estate, corporate, and general civil matters.  Wes is a lifelong resident of Destin and has a passion for the people and businesses that make the Emerald Coast such an amazing place to live.  Admitted to practice in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, Wes can assist with a range of legal issues across the Southeast. For details, visit 1160 Airport Rd. Ste. 210, in Destin; visit FontaineFirm.com, or call (850) 460-2727.




Tuesday, October 21, 2014

October 2014 Business Briefs / Member News Part 3

CBA Volunteer Opportunity
Volunteers are needed to help the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA) of NWFSC with oyster reef construction on Oct. 24, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. The construction will take place behind the Marina Cove Townhomes on Marina Cove Drive, in Niceville. Wear clothes and close-toed shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty and wet. Bring a towel, sunscreen, snacks, a water bottle, and a hat. CBA will provide water and gloves. You will be unloading bagged oyster shell and helping to place the bagged shell in the water at a reef site. Please RSVP to Rachel Gwin at gwinr@nwfsc.edu.

Sinfonia Gulf Coast to perform 'Brothers in Arts' 
History and music create a cultural crescendo on Nov. 1, as Sinfonia Gulf Coast presents the US premiere of "Brothers in Arts: 70 Years of Liberty," a piece created by acclaimed composers Chris Brubeck and Guillaume Saint-James to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day. The performance will take place at the Emerald Coast Convention Center at 7:30 p.m. It is the first concert of Sinfonia's ninth season, titled Seeing is Believing. Presenting Sponsor for the season is Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and Presenting Concerts Sponsor is LaFlorida Real Estate. Tickets may be purchased as part of a season package or individually starting at $29.50 at SinfoniaGulfCoast.org or (850) 269-7129.

Marine Science Students Discover Local Environment
The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA), in partnership with Walton High School, Northwest Florida State College, AmeriCorps, and Eden Gardens State Park, will spark environmental interest in students by hosting a field trip to learn about the local environment. The field trip, a collaboration between the marine science teachers of Walton High School and CBA, will offer students a chance to get out in the field with professionals in one of the most inviting natural areas in Walton County, Eden Gardens State Park. For more information, please contact Brandy Foley at (870) 200-4163 or foleyb@nwfsc.edu

Flutterby Children’s Arts Festival Issues Call to Artists
The Cultural Arts Alliance calls for artists to apply for the Flutterby Children’s Arts Festival, now through Oct. 27. Applications are online at culturalartsalliance.com with a fee of $150, which includes a 10x10 exhibition space. This year’s festival will include a local “celebrity” dunking booth, paint-your-own butterfly wings, butterfly bushes with Master Naturalist Snookie Parrish, a science area, food vendors, live music, numerous children’s activities, and a chance to win exciting custom raffle prizes. Admission to the festival is free and open to the public, although some activities within the festival may require a fee. New this year, festival-goers wanting to experience Flutterby in groups may reserve tables with seating for up to 10 people. The fee is $50 per table, per hour. This opportunity offers the perfect space for painting butterfly wings with friends, group gatherings, playdates, and parties. Reservations may be made by e-mailingjennifersmith@culturalartsalliance.com by Oct. 31. The festival takes place on Nov. 8 – 9, in Rosemary Beach.

Warren Averett Recognizes National Estate Planning Awareness Week
Warren Averett, LLC, will recognize National Estate Planning Week, Oct. 20 – 26, 2014. Estate planning is one of the most overlooked areas of personal financial management due to the following contributing factors:
• It is estimated that more than 120 million Americans do not have an up-to-date estate plan to protect themselves and their families in the event of sickness, accidents or untimely death. 
• The majority of Americans over 65 are totally dependent on Social Security.
• Many people mistakenly believe that since they are not "rich" they do not need a comprehensive financial and estate plan.
• The majority of Americans are unlikely to plan adequately for their retirement without professional assistance.

To learn more about the firm, visit WarrenAverett.com

United Way’s Jeans Day Brings in More Than $1,400 
On Sept. 26, 266 people donated $5 to the United Way Annual Campaign and participated in its Jeans Day. Participating businesses included North Crestview Coastal Bank and Trust, Lisa Jo Spence, PA, Embassy Suites, Big Brother Big Sisters, Gulf Power, Warren Averett, BBVA Compass Bank, First City Bank, Crossroads Animal Clinic, Trustmark National Bank, FWB Chamber, Regions, Accounting with CJW, The Law Offices of Megan Blancho, and Wells Fargo. In total, $1,416 was raised for the 2014 Annual Campaign. For more information, visit United-Way.org

Tax Collector Saves Citizens More Money
The Okaloosa County Tax Collector’s Office saved County Motorists more than $258,000 when it removed the motor vehicle registration’s 2-year renewal option earlier this year. On April 4, 2014, Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill that would lower the cost of most vehicle registrations by up to $25 per year. While this was great news, it would not go into effect until Sept. 1. This prompted Okaloosa County Tax Collector Ben Anderson to be the first Tax Collector to remove the biennial (2-year renewal) option from vehicle renewals through August in an effort to prevent motorists from electing the 2nd year option at the higher rate. During those months, more than 11,500 registrations, which historically would have been renewed for two years, were saved the extra expense for the second year registration. For details, visit OkaloosaTax.com.

Okaloosa Arts Alliance Announces Board of Directors for 2014-15
The Okaloosa Arts Alliance (OAA) announces its new Board of Directors for 2014-2015. The Executive Board of Directors is comprised of President Keri Woods, Pyramid Inc.; Vice President Ken Hair, Children in Crisis, Inc.; Treasurer Susan Kneller, Chair of the OAA Grants Committee; and Secretary Becky Belcher, Arts & Design Society. Members of the board are Nellie Bogar, Youth Village; Demetrius Fuller, Sinfonia Gulf Coast; Ursel Behnken, German Club; Delores Merrill, Mattie Kelly Arts Center of NWFSC and NWFL Symphony Guild; Chris Manson, The Beachcomber; Jean Starkey, Stage Crafters; Gayle Vann, Chair of the Events Committee; Bill Head, Chair of Volunteer Committee; Ann Abell, The Painting Vine; James K Baughman, Sr., Author; Pat Federinko, Artist; and Bill Johnston, Emerald Coast Pipes & Drums. Pictured are Nancy Kruzek, Ursel Behnken, Pat Federinko, Bill Head, Becky Belcher, Keri Woods, Susan Kneller, and Jim Baughman. For more information, visit OkaloosaArts.org.

Children in Crisis Golf Classic Raises $40K 
The Sugar Sands Charity Golf Classic benefiting Children in Crisis raised more than $40,000 to provide homes to local foster children. The tournament was held at Kelly Plantation, and more than 100 golfers from all around the panhandle came to enjoy the event. Seen here, Ken Hair, CIC president & CEO, (right) presents the winning prize to Eddie Rivera, representing the winning team. For details, visitChildrenInCrisisFL.org.

United Way Awarded Boeing Grant to Assist with Career Training and Employment Needs
The Boeing Company has awarded a grant to the United Way of Okaloosa-Walton Counties to assist with a program focusing on “Success to Stability.” The objective of the grant funds will support United Way agencies in three key focus areas, (1) increasing enrollment in and completion of degree, certification, and training programs, (2) providing access to family-sustaining employment in targeted industries and (3) providing support to help individuals retain employment and advance their careers. Seen here are Ronda Davenport, United Way VP of Campaign & Marketing; Angelika Guenther and Henry Sanders, The Boeing Company; and Martha Miller, Chair of United Way Board of Directors. For details, visit United-Way.org.

Summer Work and Travel Community Forum on Nov. 6
Others of Destin, the J-1 Outreach Team in Destin, will be hosting a SWT (Summer Work and Travel) Community Forum on Thursday, Nov. 6, from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., at the Destin Life Center in Destin United Methodist Church. The objective of this forum is to collaborate with key participants to develop a support system for welcoming, informing, safeguarding, and providing a quality cultural exchange program for international students who visit and work in our area on J-1 visas. For details and registration, please contact Terri McCollum at tmccollum@bntinc.net by Friday, Oct. 31. 

Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast is “Flocking for a Cure”
A flock of pink flamingos will be roosting on the front lawn of Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast during the last two weeks of October. The flamingos are available for “adoption” for a small fee to help raise awareness of breast cancer and to raise funds to support breast-cancer care on the Emerald Coast. “Adoption fees” are $10 for one and $25 for three flamingos. For more information, call the Gift Shop at (850) 278-3032. Proceeds of the “Flocking for a Cure” project go to the Sacred Heart Foundation and will benefit breast cancer care on the Emerald Coast.

The Other End Beergarden Celebrates Grand Opening with $25K Donation
During The Other End Beergarden’s grand opening on Oct. 2, The Other End owner Joe Campbell donated $25K to the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge from the Bill and Dianne Campbell Charitable Trust, formed by Campbell in memory of his parents, Bill and Dianne, who were longtime Destin residents. Seen here are Amanda Sutton, Joe Campbell, Matthew McGee, Gary Redden, Susan Levine, Rick Ricketts, and Jerry Melvin. For details about The Other End, which offers a unique atmosphere for guests to enjoy craft beers, wine, and pub-style cuisine, visit Facebook.com/TheOtherEndBeerGarden.

FWB HS Students Lead the Way to Mary Esther Tobacco Resolution
The Mary Esther City Council is urging tobacco retailers to stop the sale and marketing of flavored tobacco products. On Oct. 6, it made its position official by passing Resolution 2014-05. The resolution was presented by students from the Fort Walton Beach High School chapter of Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) during the Sept. 15 City Workshop. Students Itzel Rea and Jordan Thomas addressed Council members about the trends in tobacco use among adolescents and the role played by the marketing of flavored tobacco products to youth consumers. For further information about SWAT, visit floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/young-adults/tobacco-free-florida/index.html.

14th Annual Best of the Emerald Coast Celebration Showcases Winning Businesses
Emerald Coast Magazine and the Junior League of the Emerald Coast have been busy preparing for the 2014 Best of the Emerald Coast event. The 2014 winners, as voted by the readers of Emerald Coast Magazine, will be on display at Grand Boulevard at Sandestin on Saturday, Oct. 25, from 6 - 9 p.m. to showcase their goods and services. The event is open to the public. Admission is $30 per person for advance tickets and $40 the day of the event. Only 125 VIP tickets will be sold in advance and exclusively online at emeraldcoastmagazine.com or jlec.org. For details, call (850) 269-7234 or followFacebook.com/BestoftheEmeraldCoast

Duck Regatta Raises Community Support for Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast 
The 4th Annual Duck Regatta made a huge splash during the family-fun event at Baytowne Wharf at Sandestin Beach and Golf Resort on Oct. 11. A total of 3,000 ducks raced across the lagoon toward the finish line. The $5,000 lucky duck was adopted by Dr. Mike O’Donnell, DMD, on behalf of his daughters, Haley and Megan. As the rest of the flock made it across the finish line, nine other duck “adopters” won prizes, including a paddle board, airline tickets, iPads and dinner packages. The popular community event benefits Sacred Heart Hospital on Emerald Coast Volunteer Guild. For more information, visit EmeraldCoastDuckRegatta.com andFacebook.com/EmeraldCoastDuckRegatta. Joe Johnston (far right) SHHEC Volunteer Guild Fundraising Chair, presents Drs. Lan & Mike O’Donnell, center, and members of their family, with a check for $5,000. Also pictured is Carol Miller (far left) who sold the winning duck to Dr. O'Donnell.

Bolton Joins World Impact Real Estate
Gena Bolton is a full-time, full-service realtor at World Impact Real Estate. She has been married for 30 years, and her son currently serves in the Navy. She is an active member of her church and this community. As a 30A, Sandestin, and Destin specialist, Bolton is 100 percent dedicated to helping her clients find their dream homes or sell their existing properties. Call her at (251) 366-0423, email Gena@SoWal30A.com, or visit SoWal30A.com.

BancorpSouth Announces Third Quarter 2014 Earnings
BancorpSouth, Inc., announced financial results for the quarter and nine months, ending Sept. 30, 2014. Highlights include net income of $28.8M, net operating income of $30.8M, progress toward remediating Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money-laundering compliance weaknesses, generated net loan growth of $198.9M, net interest margin increased to 3.62 percent from 3.59 percent, meaningful growth in several non-interest revenue sources, and non-performing loans and leases declined $4.7M, while non-performing assets decreased $17.3M. For more information about BancorpSouth, contact the local branch of BancorpSouth Bank at (850) 269-4300 or visit BancorpSouth.com.

BBB® Warns of Award Scam Targeting Local Businesses
The Better Business Bureau serving Northwest Florida is warning businesses about the US Institute for Advancement of Trade and Commerce (USIATC), an organization claiming local businesses are recipients of a “Florida Excellence Award” and offering an opportunity to buy one or more awards to mark the honor. An email advises the business that further details on the selection process can be viewed at www.USIATC.org and includes a reference code and a press release that was produced for the occasion. The business then has an option to purchase the press release and the award with packages ranging from $97 to $588. “From what we can find, this is a money-making scheme and the award does not have any actual merit,” said Norman Wright, president and CEO of BBB serving Northwest Florida. “If you are approached about receiving a business award, research the opportunity carefully and be cautious if asked to pay money.” For additional information and advice you can trust as a business owner, start with bbb.org.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Local Chambers: The Rodney Dangerfields of History?

The post below is courtesy of Chris Mead, senior vice president of the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives and author of The Magicians of Main Street: America and its Chambers of Commerce, 1768-1945.

At this time of election campaigns, many local chambers of commerce make news via candidate forums, endorsements, and more. But after the first Tuesday in November, the silence returns. The U.S., however, would be almost unrecognizable if the million acts of 7,000 local chambers could somehow be removed from its past. Here are a few reasons why we’ve forgotten what chambers have done and continue to do:
  1. They tend to avoid taking credit. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “There is no limit to what can be accomplished if it doesn’t matter who gets the credit.”
  2. They don’t have overt power and so they must share credit for accomplishments with those who  have the final say, even if the project was the chamber’s idea. This inability to control the whole thing makes poor news copy. “The chamber was 40 percent responsible for the new convention center” is a headline none of us will ever see.
  3. Individuals, not groups, capture our attention. Do we think about the 600,000 shivering French troops outside Moscow, or the short, charismatic man responsible for it, with his hand inside his vest?
  4. Chambers, by design, start things and spin them off. Many festivals, transportation projects, and civic improvements began at chambers but went on to be managed by other groups. Years later, we forget where it all started.
  5. “Rich boy makes good” or “rich boy does good” makes boring copy. Yet most chamber members aren’t rich. And sometimes these individuals, rich or poor, put their heads together and change their communities in fascinating ways.
  6. The business of business people is business. Entrepreneurs are lionized for the way they line their wallets. We don’t usually think of their other lives, in which they may eclipse their business achievements.
  7. “It was inevitable.” Of course if you put influential people in 7,000 cities and towns together, for a dozen or more times a year for 10, or 50 or 200 years, something’s going to happen. But the real question is, why do some chambers hit it out of the park, while others hit themselves on the head – sometimes repeatedly?
  8. Government organizations and nonprofit groups have proliferated, frequently with the support of chambers of commerce. It’s not hard to get lost in these many-thicketed woods.
  9. Local chambers aren’t ideological. They often lean to the right on general economic and business issues, but when it comes to getting that bridge funded or a bond issue for a much-needed school, they can veer to the left faster than a speeding politician. Not being easily classified politically, chambers are not easily grasped by students of history.
  10. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, founded in 1912, is often seen as the leader of local chambers; in some ways it is, but there is no hierarchy or unified governing body in the American chamber universe. Local chambers are not “chapters” under the national chamber. The U.S. Chamber, often involving the loose federation of local chambers, has played a major role in American history. And so, too, have thousands of local chambers, plugging away with on policy, politics, and place-making since the first one emerged in New York in 1768.
  11. Most chamber members are neither saints nor villains. They aren’t ashamed of profits but they want to help their community. Where’s the hot story in those intertwined goals?
  12. Chambers of commerce depend to a significant extent on something you can’t touch. What is the “Atlanta spirit” or the “Spirit of St. Louis”? While we’ve toned down the boosterism of a century ago, chambers of commerce still rely on bonds among individuals within the chamber, and within the community, to make things better than they are. Whether it’s a “rah-rah” spirit or a buttoned-down, urban, noblesse oblige-inspired caring for the community, it can be very real.
  13. Local chambers are “just local.” Where’s the sweep of history and the path of armies? Where’s the glamour of Main Street? What’s the glory in changing a street-sign ordinance? And yet, as Tip O’Neill said, “All politics is local.” Jerusalem, Florence, and Athens are local. From comparatively little places, big things can happen.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Chamber's October Lunch Previewed November Elections




Thank you to Trustmark National Bank for its sponsorship of our Oct. 14 Leaders In Business Lunch! Marian Johnson, Senior VP of Political Strategy for the Florida Chamber of Commerce, shared election data ahead of the November elections.

Click here to see more photos from the event.

Thank you to those donating door prizes, including the following:
- Destin Commons
- Destin Princess & Destiny - Party Boats
- Eglin Federal Credit Union
- Emerald Coast Chiropractic
- Gulf Power
- Junior League of the Emerald Coast
- Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation
- Regional Self Storage
- Trustmark National Bank

Join us on Nov. 14, for our next Leaders In Business Lunch Sponsored by Emerald Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc. We'll recognize our Past Chairmen and Presidents, and our Military Affairs Council will present its annual Retired Military Person of the Year Award. Click here to register. (*Please note that this lunch is on a Wednesday, due to the Veteran's Day holiday.)


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

October 2014 Business Briefs / Member News Part 2

Destin Snowbirds Return to Roost
The Destin Snowbirds are returning and will reopen the roost with a ribbon cutting on Nov. 18, at 1 p.m., at the Destin Community Center. The Snowbirds are seeking door prizes for 21 meetings, held from November through mid-March. Donating sponsors, those giving gift certificates of $10 or more, are invited to attend meetings, set up a display, and provide samples. For details, visitDestinSnowbirds.org or email destinsbprizecommittee@gmail.com.

SOLARIS’ Full Moon Cruise Benefiting the Junior League
Cruise for a cause as SunQuest Cruises partners with the Junior League of the Emerald Coast for a Full Moon Cruise on the SOLARIS yacht on Friday, Nov. 7, from 7:30 – 10:30 p.m. The Junior League of the Emerald Coast is celebrating 50 years of making a difference in the community with a night of dining and dancing under the moonlight. Boarding on the SOLARIS yacht begins at 6:30 p.m., at Sandestin’s Baytowne Marina. The cost is $60 per person, which includes a three-hour cruise, food, and live entertainment. Prior reservations are required by purchasing tickets at jlec.org or calling (850) 269-7234.

Hilton Sandestin Announces Addition to Meeting Space & Spa Transformation
In October, the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa announced the addition of 7,500 square feet of exhibit and event space slated for debut in March 2015. This addition includes expansion to pre-function space, current restroom facilities, and permanent registration areas. The additional space will provide meeting planners more than 23,000 square feet of ballroom and event space on a single level with approximately 10,000 square feet of additional pre-function area to support the three rooms.

The award-winning Serenity by the sea Spa will also be receiving a complete overhaul. The spa will be expanded by 3,000 square feet providing more space for individual guests and groups in the women’s locker room, lounge facilities, and group relaxation area, as well as the salon for hair, makeup, and nails, with a total new area of 14,500 square feet. The complete transformation will also include an all-new fitness center offering 24-hour guest access and updated reception area, retail area, and new tile/paint accents throughout the spa.

For details, visit HiltonSandestinBeach.com or call (850) 267-9600.

Sacred Heart Guild Gift Shop to Host Holiday Sale Nov. 3 – 8
The spirit of the holidays will come alive in the main hallway of Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast as the hospital’s Volunteer Guild hosts its annual Holiday Extravaganza. The holiday sale will be open Monday, Nov. 3, to Friday, Nov. 7, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 8, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Guests of the extravaganza will enjoy special discounts. For more information, please call (850) 278-3032, visit SacredHeartEmerald.org, or Facebook.com/GuildGiftShop.
Museum Announces Winners of FALL Corn Hole Tournament 
On Oct. 4, the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida held its Fall Nighttime Corn Hole Tournament. More than 100 participants and spectators, young and old, attended the event with 26 teams competing in the Beginners and Masters divisions. First place winners of the beginners division (seen here) were Shannon Brinkley and Ryan Asbury. Other winners included masters first place “Two Ol’ Baggers” Russ Varieur and Bill Stolze, masters second place “Hole Patrol” Hunter Stelck and Matt O’Hair, and beginners second place Ashley and Ty Orvis. For details, visit Heritage-Museum.org.

'Savor The Season' Auction Items Due By October 23
If you would like to donate an auction item for the Taylor Haugen Foundation’s 5th Annual Savor The Season fundraiser at Alys Beach on Thursday, Nov. 6, the deadline for submitting your item is Oct. 23. Please contact the Taylor Haugen Foundation at thfdirector@taylorhaugen.org.

19th Annual Festival of the Arts
Enjoy a celebration of art, music, food, and fun on Oct. 25 – 26, at the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village. The event includes more than 100 artists, children’s art activities, wine and beer garden, cuisine on the green, live music, collaborative art exhibit, and more. Volunteers are needed. Sign up for various shifts and enjoy the celebration of this two-day art and music festival. Contact Kathy Whidden, festival volunteer chair, atkathy@destinchiropractor.com.

Two Local Financial Institutions Name to Top 200 Healthiest Banks/Credit Unions
DepositAccounts.com just released its list of the Top 200 Healthiest Banks/Credit Unions in America. First Florida Bank and Eglin Federal Credit Union made the list. Both institutions stood out in all of the primary evaluation categories, including Texas Ratio, Deposit Growth, and Capitalization. Each year, DepositAccounts.com evaluates the financial health of every federally insured bank and credit union in the United States – more than 13,000 total. The full list may be found here:depositaccounts.com/banks/health.aspx#healthiest.

Boston Butts to Support Destin Rotary
The Rotary Club of Destin is selling pre-cooked smoked Boston Butts (pulled pork) for $40 to raise funds to help support the Rotary Interact Club at the Destin Middle School, its ongoing efforts to fight hunger in this community, support local youth programs, and other projects. Cooking will take place on Oct. 24 – 25, at Coyote Ugly. Butts will be available for pick- up/delivery after 10 a.m., on Oct. 25. For details, contactpat.dehlinger@gmail.com by Oct. 19.

Local Chefs to Compete in Destin Desserts to Benefit Girl Scouts 
Seven local chefs representing six businesses will vie for the title of Destin Desserts Champion at the 2015 Destin Desserts competition, to be held Friday, Jan. 30, at The Palms of Destin Resort and Conference Center. The Destin Desserts chefs’ competition showcases the best local chefs competing for the title of champion by creating original desserts using Girl Scout cookies as the main ingredient. All proceeds from the 2015 event will benefit the Girl Scout Council’s Camp Kolomoki. For details, visitgscfp.org/destindesserts.html.

St. Joe Community Foundation Sponsors Children In Crisis Golf Classic
The St. Joe Community Foundation was a premier sponsor for the Children in Crisis, Inc. (CIC), Sugar Sands Golf Classic, held this month. The foundation’s $5,000 grant to CIC will help assist children in Walton and Okaloosa counties that have been neglected or abused and are seeking shelter and assistance. Seen here, Ken Hair, CIC president and CEO receives the check from the foundation’s Janet Greeno (center). Also pictured is Allie Noah, CIC development director. For details, visit ChildrenInCrisisFL.org.

Twin Cities Hospital Donates to the American Heart Association
Twin Cities Hospital recently donated $3,300 to the American Heart Association, making them one of the top five fundraising companies participating in the 2014 Heart Walk. Employees of Twin Cities Hospital raised funds between May and September. Members of Twin Cities Hospital’s Heart Walk team presented a check to Inger Alderfer, regional director of the Okaloosa-Walton American Heart Association, in the days following the event. For more information, please visitTCHospital.com or call (850) 678-4131.

World Impact Welcomes Scott and Tammy White
Scott and Tammy White have been in the real estate industry for more than 22 years. Scott was a Broker in Atlanta, Ga., and both were sales agents in Georgia and Colorado before permanently relocating to Florida several years ago. They are extremely well versed in vacation homes, resort properties, and high-end single-family homes having bought, sold, and invested in like properties throughout the Southeast. On the Panhandle, Scott and Tammy have bought and sold homes from Santa Rosa Beach to Destin. Contact the Whites at (941) 702-0280 or (678) 591-4282.

Newman-Dailey Awards Top Producers for Third Quarter 2014
Sales Associates Jerry Bielawski and Diane Green were recently awarded as the Top Producers for Newman-Dailey’s Real Estate Division for the third quarter of 2014. Bielawski earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Central Michigan University and a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from Michigan State University. Following a rewarding career with Dow Chemical in sales and marketing, he moved to Destin.



Green has 32 years of experience and currently holds a Broker’s license in the states of Florida and Georgia. Recognized as one of the top producing residential brokers since 1981,Green became a Life member of the Atlanta Board of Realtors Million Dollar club in 1997, a leader in the sales and marketing council's Million Dollar Club for 10 consistent years from 1995 on, and a top producer of Newman-Dailey Resort Properties in 2013.

For more sales information, call (800) 225-7652, (850) 837-1071 or visit online atDestinSales.com.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

October 2014 Business Briefs / Member News Part 1

Students Establish Salt Marsh Nurseries at Local Schools
The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA) of Northwest Florida State College, in partnership with the AmeriCorps program, is implementing 20 Grasses in Classes Programs throughout Okaloosa and Walton counties. This is a hands-on, environmental education project that gives students a direct role in the restoration of Choctawhatchee Bay. On Oct. 1, CBA and AmeriCorps kicked off the 2014-2015 Grasses in Classes program by establishing saltmarsh nurseries with 3rd and 5th graders. Throughout October, students will participate in their first lesson, which includes the planting and establishment of the salt marsh nurseries at their individual schools. At the end of the year-long program, students will travel to a restoration site along the Choctawhatchee Bay to transplant their matured smooth cordgrass. For details, contact Brittany Tate at (850) 217-5382 or tateb@nwfsc.edu.
Destin Commons’ supports Breast Cancer AwarenessIn recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, Destin Commons and its stores are showing their support by offering many ways one can support Breast Cancer Awareness with a portion of sales of jewelry, pins, clothing, sneakers, and other items going towards the cause. Some participating stores include Belk, Tervis, Apricot Lane, Boston Proper, Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl & Grill, and more. A list of all the store offerings is available at the Guest Services kiosk. Destin Commons is also a major sponsor of the local American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.

Shoppers may also purchase a pink ribbon pin for $5 at Destin Commons Guest Service Center, located across from AMC14, throughout October with proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society. For additional information, call (850) 337-8700 or visit DestinCommons.com.

Professional Actor Auditions for “A Dickens Christmas”
Emerald Coast Theatre Company (ECTC) will hold auditions for its upcoming production of “A Dickens Christmas,” directed by ECTC’s Producing Artistic Director Nathanael Fisher. Auditions will be held Saturday, Oct. 18, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Production dates will be Dec. 11-21, 2014 in Destin and Sandestin, with rehearsals beginning in early November.

“A Dickens Christmas” is an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ beloved holiday classic “A Christmas Carol.” In this version, three actors will play multiple roles as they bring to life the tale of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformational night with the three ghosts. Please prepare a one-minute comedic monologue using a Standard British dialect. Actors may be asked to participate in improv games and cold readings. For details, visit EmeraldCoastTheatre.org. To schedule an audition, email ECTC’s audition coordinator at auditions@emeraldcoasttheatre.org (preferred) or call (850) 687-1637.

2014 GCOP Vendor Show
Enjoy free samples, prizes, entertainment, food, and more during Gulf Coast Office Products 2014 Vendor Show! The event is Thursday, Oct. 23, from 2 – 6 p.m., at its Main Showroom, located at 6020 Enterprise Dr., in Pensacola. The event is free, but registration is requested. Call (850) 434-5588 or email receptionist@gcop.com.

Food For Thought Receives $100K Contribution
Food for Thought is grateful to the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation for its contribution of $100,000. For more information, visit FoodForThoughtFL.org.



Kiwanis Club of Fort Walton Beach helps Children in Crisis
The Kiwanis Club of Fort Walton Beach recently presented Children in Crisis, Inc. (CIC), a donation of $1,200 to help feed, clothe, and care for the children living at the CIC Children’s Neighborhood. Seen here, Diane Keller, Kiwanis Club president, presents a check for $1,200 to Ken Hair, CIC president & CEO, assisted by Cindy Corsentino. To learn more about Children in Crisis call (850) 864-4242 or visit ChildrenInCrisisFL.org.

Local Realtor Named 2014 Realtor Magazine Good Neighbor 
Local realtor Tricia Carlisle-Northcutt was one of five named a 2014 Good Neighbor Award winner by Realtor Magazine. The award brings national recognition and a $10,000 grant to the winner’s charity. She was chosen for her unwavering support and dedication to the Children’s Volunteer Health Network, a faith-based non-profit organization she founded to help meet the medical, dental, mental, and vision needs of children throughout Okaloosa and Walton counties. She added her foundation was double-blessed because the Dugas Family Foundation Inc. had previously agreed to match any new funds earned this year, turning the $10,000 grant into $20,000. Carlisle-Northcutt, a realtor member of the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors, will receive her crystal trophy Saturday, Nov. 8, during the 2014 National Association of Realtors Conference & Expo in New Orleans.

Up to $1K Off Destin Weddings
Reserve the SOLARIS for 3-hour private chartered evening wedding and/or reception and receive the 4th hour for free. You must book by Oct. 10. Call (850) 650-2519 or visit SunQuestCruises.com/Request-Information.

Call to Craft/Art Vendors: Yule of Yesteryear Christmas Celebration
The Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida announces its “Call to Craft/Art Vendors” for the annual Yule of Yesteryear - Christmas Celebration on Saturday, Dec. 13, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. For an application and to reserve a 10x10 space, visit Heritage-Museum.org, call (850) 678-2615 or email info@heritage-museum.org.

Rock the Yacht this Halloween on the SOLARIS
After the kids enter a candy coma, it’s time for the adults to brew up some mischief on the SOLARIS “Rock the Yacht” Halloween Party Cruise on Friday, Oct. 31, from 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Guests should come dressed in their best costume for a contest and bring their dancing shoes for live music by Cadillac Willy. The party begins at 9 p.m., as guests dressed in their Halloween best board the SOLARIS by the light of the eerie moon. The SOLARIS “Rock the Yacht” Halloween Cruise is $28.50 per person, which includes a three and a half hour cruise and live entertainment. Must be 21 years or older. Tickets are pre-sold only atSunQuestCruises.com or by calling (850) 650-2519.

2014 “Coats for Kids at Christmas…Share the Warmth”
It’s that time of the year for the United Way of Okaloosa-Walton Counties and their partners A & A Transfer & Storage, Bangkok Cleaners, The French Laundry, and Destin Cleaners to collect coats for the Annual Coat Drive… “Coats for Kids at Christmas…Share the Warmth.” Last year more than 2,000 coats were distributed to many families throughout the community and schools in Okaloosa and Walton counties. Drop off your coats from now until Nov. 7. For more information, including drop box locations, please visit United-Way.org/Coats.htm. For more information, please contact the United Way at (850) 243-0315.

Wyndham Vacation Rentals Voted "Best of the Emerald Coast”
Wyndham Vacation Rentals announced today that its ResortQuest brand was named the "Best Vacation Rental Company/Service Firm" on the Emerald Coast for the sixth year in a row by Emerald Coast Magazine readers. In addition, the company was also recognized as “Best Property Management Firm.” Each year, readers of Emerald Coast magazine cast votes for their favorite Northwest Florida businesses for the "Best of the Emerald Coast" awards. The results of this year's voting were recently published in the magazine's October/November issue. For more information about ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals, call (888) 909-6807 or visit WyndhamVacationRentals.com/Vacation-Rentals/Florida/Northwest-Florida/.

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 Friday, Nov. 14. This shredding event is free to the public and will run from 11 a.m. to 7 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.

Shelter House Receives $20,000 Grant from the Mary Kay Foundation
Shelter House received a $20,000 grant from the Mary Kay Foundation as part of the organization’s annual Shelter Grant program to maintain critical services and programs. The Mary Kay Foundation awarded a total of $3 million in funding to 150 domestic violence shelters in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam leading up to Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. The funds received from The Mary Kay Foundation will allow Shelter House to provide the comforts of home, such as pillows, linens, and food, to shelter residents. For more information, visit ShelterHouseNWFL.org.

McCaskill & Company Hosts Trunk Show
On the weekend of Oct. 31 – Nov. 1, McCaskill & Company will be hosting a Trunk Show with collections from Alex Sepkus, New York-based jewelry designer. Join us at McCaskill & Company for a weekend of beautifully handcrafted platinum and gold jewelry. For details, visit McCaskillAndCompany.com or call (850) 650-2262.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Florida Chamber’s Senior VP of Political Strategy Previews November Election During Chamber’s October Lunch

During the Destin Area Chamber of Commerce’s Oct. 14Leaders In Business Lunch, Marian Johnson, Senior VP of Political Strategy for the Florida Chamber of Commerce, will preview the November elections.

“The Florida Chamber’s polling is top-notch, some of the best we have access to. Marian always draws a big audience when she comes in.  You won’t find better information from anyone,” explained Chamber President and CEO Shane Moody, CCE, FCCP. 

The event, sponsored by Trustmark National Bank, will be held at Destin United Methodist Church, from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.  Cost is $15 for those members who pre-register, $20 for members at the door, and $30 for non-members.  Members who register before 3 p.m., on Friday, Oct. 10, will be entered to win FREE website advertising on DestinChamber.com.

For more information about the Chamber’s monthly lunch or membership in the Destin Area Chamber of Commerce, please call (850) 837-6241 or visit DestinChamber.com.