Tuesday, August 5, 2014

August 2014 Business Briefs / Member News Part 1

Destin Rotary Awards Scholarship
The Rotary Club of Destin awarded a $10,000 four-year scholarship to Charles Shackelford II. Shackelford is a 2014 Summa Cum Laude graduate of Fort Walton Beach High School where he ranked #3 in his class with a weighted GPA of 4.6477, having never made less than an “A.” He will be attending Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., in fall 2014 pursuing a major in Business Enterprise Management and a minor in Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise. The Rotary Club of Destin offers one four-year scholarship annually to deserving graduates residing in Destin. Students interested in applying for scholarship assistance can apply through their school guidance office on the Rotary Club of Destin Scholarship.

Difebo Finds Perfect Fit at World Impact Real Estate
Carolyn Difebo and her three young sons moved to the Emerald Coast in 1988, leaving her Beaufort, SC county job behind. After a career in law enforcement, a vacation to the Emerald Coast had them hooked. In 1991, Difebo started her busy real estate career, as one of the first licensed assistants in the area working for some of the area’s top realtors. She learned the market and not only ran many of the local real estate offices, but trained the new agents as well. Difebo is very active in her community, with the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, The United Way, The Destin Rotary, Children’s Miracle Network, just to name a few. You may contact her at World Impact Real Estate at (850) 685-4013.

Red, White and Blue Heroes on The Harbor 
Sam Brooks and Harbor Partin were honored as HarborWalk Village’s Red, White and Blue Celebration Heroes on July 24. Destin locals Brooks Partin work as beach attendants. The two spend their summers making sure visitors enjoy spending time with their families on the beach. On June 15, the Emerald Grande Shuttle Captain noticed a young girl being swept away by the undertow. She was too small to fight the current and was struggling to stay afloat. Simultaneously, the girl's mother was also fighting the current and needed assistance. Brooks and Partin dove into the water without hesitation to rescue the mother and her daughter. Onlookers described that Partin and Brooks acted swiftly and in the nick of time to save them both from drowning. For more information on events at HarborWalk Village, followFacebook.com/HarborWalkVillageDestin.

WSRE and PBS announce fall lineup and new programs for 2015 
PBS announced updates to its fall schedule and new programs for 2015. WSRE viewers can look forward to Ken Burns’ “The Roosevelts,” the PBS documentary “Navy Seals—Their Untold Story,” and the PBS Fall Arts Festival lineup this fall. A highlight of 2015 will be the PBS and American Experience production of “Walt Disney,” a new four-hour, two-night film that explores the life and legacy of one of America’s most enduring and influential storytellers. For more information, visit WSRE.org.

AT&T Donates $3,000 to United Way
For more than 60 years, AT&T and the AT&T Foundation have been strong supporters of the United Way both at the national and local levels. Recently, AT&T continued this legacy of support through a contribution of $3,000 to United Way of Okaloosa Walton Counties.

“AT&T shares United Way’s commitment to strengthening communities and improving lives,” said Ray Walker, Regional Director for AT&T Florida, “The United Way of Okaloosa Walton Counties support for programs with proven results in our community improves the lives of our citizens by connecting them with resources and expertise that helps them impact countless lives in Okaloosa and Walton counties.”

For more about the United Way, visit United-Way.org.

Boeing Global Month of Service Supports Children in Crisis
More than 60 team members from the Boeing Company rolled up their sleeves on July 26 to help make the Children in Crisis Neighborhood a little nicer for the more than 100 kids that will call it home this year. To learn more about CIC, visit ChildrenInCrisisFL.org, or call (850) 864-4242.

Make History - Volunteer!
Are you looking for a way to give back to your community? Do you enjoy history and working with people in a positive and inspiring environment? Consider donating your time and talent to the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida, a non-profit museum whose mission is to collect, preserve, and promote the history of Northwest Florida. This busy museum seeks friendly and reliable volunteers to greet guests and answer phones in the gift shop. Shifts are Tuesday – Saturday, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. or 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Interested? Call the museum at (850) 678-2615, or stop by 115 Westview Avenue in Valparaiso.

Motorcycle Vendors Wanted for “Biker’s Blast for the Past” Motorcycle Poker Run
Motorcycle Vendors - MAKE HISTORY! Join us at the “Biker’s Blast for the Past” Motorcycle Poker Run, on Saturday, Sept. 20, at the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida. Commercial Vendors, Artisans, and Craft Vendors are all welcome. Bikers will start and stop at the Museum with an after party that includes food, beverages, music, prizes, and much more! Register online at Heritage-Museum.org. Early registration savings are available through Sept. 14.

ResortQuest Real Estate® Congratulates Top Producers
ResortQuest Real Estate announced the May and June top producers for its offices from Perdido Key to Panama City Beach. Eddie Krasauskas of the Santa Rosa Beach office received highest honors for top closed listings in the month of May. The Nathan Abbott Team of the Destin office received highest honors for top closed listings in the month of June and for top closed sales for the months of May and June. To meet with these top-producing associates, visit ResortQuest’s office locations at 95 Laura Hamilton Boulevard in Santa Rosa Beach or 35000 Emerald Coast Parkway in Destin. Krasauskas may be reached at (850) 855-9378 or at the Santa Rosa Beach office and the Nathan Abbott Team may be reached at (850) 803-7653 or at the Destin office. Also, visit RQEmeraldCoastRealEstate.com to search current real estate listings, or followFacebook.com/ResortQuestGulfCoast

Donations Requested for Museum’s Annual Inside-Outside Yard Sale 
The Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida is requesting donations for its annual Inside-Outside Yard Sale Spectacular planned for Saturday, Aug. 30, from 7 a.m. – 12 p.m. Donations are being accepted during regular Museum hours, which are Tuesday – Saturday, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Outside spaces are available for sellers at $10. Clothing donations will not be accepted. For additional information or to reserve an outside space, call the Museum at (850) 678-2615.

Emerald Coast Surgery Center Welcomes Kachelhoffer
Anne Kachelhoffer, RN, joined White-Wilson Medical Center’s Senior Leadership Team as the administrator of the Emerald Coast Surgery Center on June 16. Kachelhoffer oversees all aspects of the ambulatory surgery center’s operations. Known as a strategic leader in the ambulatory surgery center industry, Kachelhoffer is an advocate for quality patient care. She is the former director of the Pace Surgery Center, where she oversaw the opening of the center and achieved repeated accreditations and CMS certifications. She is a graduate of Fort Walton Beach High School and obtained her ASN degree from Mobile College.

Business Tax Receipt Application Now Online
Those conducting business in Okaloosa County may now complete the Business Tax Receipt, formerly Occupational License, application online. 

Tax Collector Ben Anderson said, “Previously that transaction had to be completed in person. In our ongoing efforts to streamline Customer Service and make doing business with us as easy as possible, we encourage all new businesses to apply for their Business Tax Receipt online.”

A Business Tax Receipt is issued by the Tax Collector for those operating a business. Anyone providing merchandise or services to the public, including a one-person company or home-based occupation, must obtain a county Business Tax Receipt. The cost for a Business Tax Receipt is $35 per location, regardless of the nature of the business. New businesses may apply for a Business Tax Receipt at OkaloosaTax.com. For more information, contact the Field Services Department at (850) 651-7310.

BBB® Announces “Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics” Winners 
Your BBB Foundation serving Northwest Florida is proud to announce the recipients of the 9th annual Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics program from its District II area, which includes Okaloosa and Walton counties. 

1-10 employees category- J&F Autowerks
11-59 employees category- Alpha Foundation Specialists 
Customer Service Excellence- Joshua Griffin, Alpha Foundation Specialists

“These winners exemplify what your BBB stands for: trust, integrity, performance and ethics,” said Norman Wright, president and CEO of your BBB serving northwest Florida. “These organizations and individuals like Joshua Griffin really stand out in the marketplace against those who don’t always do the right thing.”

Visit www.NWFL.BBB.org for more information.

SunQuest Cruises Awarded 2014 Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence
SunQuest Cruises received a Tripadvisor® Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Establishments awarded the Certificate of Excellence are located all over the world and represent the upper echelon of businesses listed on the website. The SOLARIS has also been the recipient of the “Best Wedding and Reception Venue” award by readers of The Knot for five consecutive years. For more information, visit SunQuestCruises.com or call (850) 650-2519. 

Courageous Coach On and Off the Field
On Thursday, July 31, Cuong Lewis was honored at HarborWalk Village's Red, White and Blue Celebration for the time, effort, dedication and investment he puts into the youth of our community especially during his personal struggles. Lewis is a little league baseball coach and father of three. He is also active in other sports at Pryor Middle School and started the Fort Walton Beach Sports Youth Association to assist with sports fees and uniforms, highlighting his dedication to providing opportunities for kids to find success and strength on the field. In November, Lewis went to the hospital with severe muscle spasms. After a biopsy he received news that he was in severe kidney failure. As Lewis awaited a donor match, he was put on dialysis three days a week for four hours each day. During the search, Lewis' younger sister, Sherri Ly, was found to be a compatible kidney match. In March, as the Pryor Pirates were on a 5-game winning streak, Lewis and his sister traveled to Birmingham, Ala., to undergo a kidney transplant, forcing the Pirates to carry on without their coach. After his surgery, one of his first questions was about his team's baseball game. True to form, just weeks after surgery, Lewis was back out on the field. As an avid volunteer and coach, he inspires and impacts the youth to have the courage to fight and is a role model on and off the field. For more information on events at HarborWalk Village, follow Facebook.com/HarborWalkVillageDestin.

Grand Opening of New Clinic Space at Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County
On July 27, community members and civic leaders joined together to celebrate the grand opening and ribbon cutting of the Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County’s (DOH-Okaloosa) new Clinic Annex in Fort Walton Beach. The 3,300-square-foot modular building, located on the southeast corner of the Fort Walton Beach campus, was generously donated by Twin Cities Hospital in summer 2013. The newly renovated space includes a reception area, six exam rooms, a classroom, and procedure room. The Clinic Annex will house DOH-Okaloosa’s One Problem Clinic, which provides acute care for patients with minor injuries and illnesses. For more information, follow @HealthyFla on Twitter or Facebook.

Junior Lifeguards Season Ends in Success
The Junior Lifeguard six-week program has ended in success. The Emerald Coast Chapter of the Junior Lifeguards from Okaloosa County had a total of 66 kids, ranging in age from 9 to 17. Eleven competed in the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) regional competition, earning two First Place Awards, five Second Place, and four-Third Place Awards. The Junior Lifeguard Program is a great way to learn about personal and public safety and includes an open house, tours, trips, and learning CPR, as well as interactions with EMS Ambulance, Coastguard, Gulf Flight, marine life, and more. For more information, contact Beach Safety at (850) 651-7150 or visit OkaloosaBeachSafety.org.

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