Thursday, April 24, 2014

Chairman's Message: Seeking Your Ideas & Your Participation to Create a Better Chamber

May is almost here.  Wow, time has passed by so quickly.  Although our spring break season was a little cooler than usual, it still seemed to be very successful.  I loved hearing friends who were visiting with their kids say how beautiful this area is and how great it would be to live at the beach.  Yes, it is!

What else is great? Well, the Chamber has had a very good few months.  Just recently we had the Tax Relief Golf tournament at Kelly Plantation.  I do not play golf myself, but I had the pleasure of riding in a golf cart and visiting all the golfers.  The golf course at Kelly Plantation is absolutely gorgeous.  If you play and you’ve never played there, I recommend you give it a try, or a swing.

We also have a new mayor, Mel Ponder.  Call me crazy, but I just had a feeling he was going to be our next mayor.  (That was a joke by the way so no need to write and set me straight).  I had lunch with Mayor Ponder and your CEO Shane Moody recently, and I must say I was so impressed, excited, and hopeful about the Mayor’s vision for Destin.  Also, congratulations to new City Council members Rodney Braden, Prebble Ramswell, and returning Councilman Jim Foreman.  Destin is in good hands. 

Our Chamber lunches are still going strong.  I’ve noticed a trend – all of you who are bringing door prizes to give away are WINNING door prizes too.  Maybe this is just pay it forward in fast motion.  What a great way to take advantage of having a pool of business people with whom to connect and do business. And, just to make sure you are still reading – I want to do something different at one of our lunches this year – what is your idea for a different type of lunch?  Last year’s Bowling for Business was such a huge success that we are doing that one again too, but I want to add one more unique lunch this year.  Personally, I think a dunking booth featuring Shane, Suzy, Elizabeth, Dena, and Jen would be awesome.  Can I get some support for that??

I will again ask you to participate in YOUR Chamber, if you don’t already.  We have several committees and would love to have you join one or more of them.  Our current committees and the Vice Chairs in charge of the committees are Marketing (Julie Cotton); Membership (Rebecca Jones); Harbor (Jami Jones); Community & Economic Development (Hayward Dykes); Events (Karen McCarthy); and Military Affairs “MAC” (Kim Wintner).  If you are not sure about joining a committee, but have a great idea, we would love to hear it.  In the meantime, we do have some exciting things coming out of these committees so stay tuned.

And even though it is only the end of April, it’s not too soon to put Paddle at the Porch on your calendars.  This year Paddle at the Porch will be held on August 16.  Paddle at the Porch features a one-mile recreational race, a three-mile recreational race, and a six-mile elite race, to be followed by awards (including a bigger cash purse), food, and fun!  The Destin SUP Cup is sponsored by BOTE Boards and The Back Porch.  Other sponsorships are available, but they seem to be going quickly, so call now to be a part of this great event.  Registration is open on

Finally, a big congratulations to Board member Jami Jones for taking the lead on the Destin Seafood Festival .  If anyone can make this year’s Seafood Festival a raging success, it’s Jami.

As always, thanks for reading and thank you for your membership.

Amy Perry
2014 Destin Area Chamber Chairman
Pleat, Perry & Ritchie, P.A.

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