Tuesday, November 18, 2014

November 2014 Business Briefs / Member News Part 3

Hawthorn House to Hold Free, Confidential Memory Screenings on Nov. 18
As part of National Memory Screening Day—an annual initiative of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA)—the Hawthorn House will offer free, confidential memory screenings on Nov. 18, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., 1200 Hawthorn House Dr., Shalimar. The Hawthorn House is the Air Force Enlisted Village’s assisted living and memory care community located at Bob Hope Village. Please call (850) 609-0397 to schedule an appointment for a free confidential memory screening. The public is invited. For more information about National Memory Screening Day, call (866) 232-8484 or visit NationalMemoryScreening.org.

Sizzlin' and Smokin' at BBQ Festival 
Smoky, sweet, and savory BBQ filled HarborWalk Village on Saturday Nov. 8, for the 7th Annual Blues, Brews, and BBQ, which was attended by more than 2,500. Seven celebrity judges had the task of sampling every restaurants dish in a blind tasting, and the winners were as follows:
• Best Seafood BBQ – Lillie Q's BBQ
• Best Traditional BBQ – Buck's Smokehouse
• Most Creative BBQ – Joey's Italian Bar & Grill
• Best Booth – Buck's Smokehouse

People's Choice Awards went to the following competitors with a cash prize donated in their honor to the beneficiary of their choice:
• 3rd Place – Buck's Smokehouse selected St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for its $500 cash prize.
• 2nd Place – Crab Island Cantina selected the Salvation Army for its $750 cash prize.
• 1st Place – Harry T's Lighthouse selected the Destin History and Fishing Museum for its $1,000 cash prize.

Award Sponsor was Infinite Lasers LLC.

Destin Outdoor Christmas Decorating Contest
The City of Destin’s Holiday Committee will be forming soon to survey and select the best outdoor Christmas decorations for 2014. The categories and rules follow:
• Best Decorated Home: includes single homes, duplexes (best side), mobile homes, etc.
• Best Decorated Business: includes restaurants, shops, department stores, schools, professional offices, etc.
• Best Decorated Organization: includes entrances to homeowner associations, golf courses, etc.
• Best Overall Holiday: includes all homes, business and organizations throughout the city limits that go above and beyond.
• Best on the Harbor: includes homes on the harbor.
• Best Decorated Condominiums: includes entrances to condominiums and the property as a whole.

Judging will take place Dec. 1 – 15, only within the city limits of Destin. All decorations must remain up from Dec. 1-31. Winners will be announced Dec. 20, in the Destin Log and will be recognized by the mayor and city council at the Jan. 5, 2015, city council meeting. To suggest areas for the committee to view, call (850) 650-1241 or email recreation@cityofdestin.com.

Wyndham Vacation Rentals® Managed Property Honored with ConventionSouth Award
Wyndham Vacation Rentals announced that readers of ConventionSouth magazine awarded Tidewater Beach Resort as one of the “2014 Readers’ Choice Award” recipients. ConventionSouth magazine, a national multimedia resource for planning events that are held within the South, announced its “2014 Readers’ Choice Award” winners on Oct. 21. Tidewater Beach Resort, a ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals managed property, is among 175 convention and visitor bureaus (CVBs), meeting facilities, and hotels located across the South to receive this year’s award.

Emerald Coast Theatre Company Presents “A Dickens Christmas”
Emerald Coast Theatre Company (ECTC) will present the first ever staging of “A Dickens Christmas,” directed by ECTC’s producing artistic director Nathanael Fisher at two different venues along the Northwest Florida Gulf coast. The performance schedule includes five performances in Destin at the Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Villagein the Veranda Room on Dec. 11, 13, and 21 at 7:30 p.m., and on Dec. 13 and 20 at 2 p.m. Four additional performances on Dec. 18, 19, and 20 at 7:30 p.m., and on Dec. 21 at 2 p.m. will be staged in Miramar Beach at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in the LeCiel Ballroom. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children 5 to 12. Not recommended for children under 5. To purchase tickets or make a tax-deductible donation, visit EmeraldCoastTheatre.org or call (850) 687-1637.

Celebrating 20 years of Thanksgiving Traditions at Harbor Docks
This is the 20th anniversary of Thanksgiving dinner with Harbor Docks and Habitat for Humanity. Okaloosa Habitat coordinates volunteers to act as wait staff to serve a complimentary traditional meal to locals and tourists at Harbor Docks in Destin. The annual Thanksgiving event has become a welcomed tradition to families along the Emerald Coast both as guests and volunteers. Guests are offered a complimentary meal and Habitat accepts “tips” as a donation to its mission. Last year, volunteers served more than 1,400 meals and brought in more than $20,000 in donations. Doors open on Thanksgiving at 11 a.m., with dinner being served until 7 p.m. A cash bar is available.

Shelter House to Host 4th Annual Luminaria Run
Shelter House will present a unique twilight run designed to shine the light on abuse in our community. The 4th Annual Luminaria Run to End Domestic & Sexual Violence will take place on Saturday, Dec. 6, at 4:30 p.m. Runners will start at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. in Destin and follow a course lined with more than 2,000 luminarias lighting their path. The race includes 5k and 9k courses winding throughout the Indian Bayou neighborhood. Children are encouraged to participate in the run, and walkers are welcome. This family-friendly event will have a “sweet finish” at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. featuring treats donated by Karaboo Bakery, s’mores, and hot cocoa, as well as Bubba Gump’s famous gumbo. To register and to find complete details, visit ShelterHouseNWFL.org or call (850) 243-1201.
ECAR Donates to Maude Saunders Elementary
The Emerald Coast Association of Realtors (ECAR) made its final stop on its recent donation spree Nov. 12, at Maude Saunders Elementary in DeFuniak Springs. When the ECAR representatives arrived, several students and the school’s PE coach joined them to accept the $875 donation to the school’s physical education program. Terry Pilcher, ECAR North Walton director, and Marsha Babe, Community and Military Outreach Committee member, were both on hand to greet the school’s staff and students and present the check.

Wang Obtains Certified Government Financial Manager Designation
Warren Averett, LLC, is pleased to announce Kevin Wang, CPA, CGFM®, has been granted the designation of Certified Government Financial Manager® (CGFM®). The Association of Government Accountants’ (AGA) CGFM® program was designed to meet the critical need for an increased emphasis on the professional qualifications and stature of government financial managers. The CGFM® designation recognizes the unique skills and special knowledge required in the areas of governmental accounting, auditing, financial reporting, internal controls, and budgeting at the federal, state and local levels. Wang is a supervisor in the Audit Division of the Fort Walton Beach office. His responsibilities include the review of entry and intermediate work and supervision of attest engagements. He specializes in single-audit engagements and focuses the majority of his time on nonprofit and governmental entities.

Boeing Employee Fund Helps Children in Crisis
The Fort Walton Beach Employee Community Fund of the Boeing Company has awarded a grant of $7,000 to Children In Crisis, Inc., (CIC) to purchase computer and educational equipment for at risk children living at the Children’s Neighborhood. The grant application was approved by the local community Boeing Employee Foundation. This is the 5th grant from the Foundation to help with CIC educational programs. Seen here, Laura Moore, CIC volunteer and events coordinator, receives a check for $7,000 from Hank Sanders, representing the Employee Community Fund of the Boeing Company.

Free Webinar: The Affordable Care Act - “Health Care Reform- 2015 and Beyond”
Landrum Human Resources is offering a free webinar, “Health Care Reform- 2015 and Beyond,” Tuesday, Dec. 2, at 3 p.m. CST. The LIVE webinar will cover the key elements of the Affordable Care Act and discuss how this complex law will impact your business. Important employment law updates will also be presented, such as the impact of social media in the workforce and how employers can avoid liability. Ted Kirchharr, Landrum vice president and chief operating officer, will co-host the webinar with Amie Remington, Landrum general counsel, and Todd Torgersen, president, Combined Insurance Services, Inc. To take part, participants should go to LandrumHR.com/Webinar and register. For more information or to register by phone, please call (850) 266-6128. If you have a question you would like addressed by the panel, send toQuestions@LandrumHR.com.

Lifetime Sportsman’s License Fee Half Price for Limited Time
For hunters and fishermen ages 5 to 21, Christmas has come early! Okaloosa County Tax Collector Ben Anderson says, “Just a few days ago, Governor Rick Scott signed an executive order authorizing the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to offer Lifetime Sportsman's Licenses for Florida children and young adults at a greatly reduced cost.” The license now costs up to $1,000, but from Nov. 24 – Dec. 31, the price will be reduced to $500 for Florida residents who are 5 to 21 years old. The lifetime license covers saltwater and freshwater recreational fishing, hunting, and most associated permits. Find out more atOkaloosaTax.com.

Blue Marlin Realty Group Continues to Expand
Blue Marlin Realty Group continues to grow its team with new realtors Matt Clark, Donna DePriest, Brittney Simonette, Mary Heafner Suthers, Amber Thomas, and broker’s associate Virginia Purser.

Newest Realtor Matt Clark was born and raised in the Destin area and received his Bachelors of Science degree from Florida State University. Clark’s past experience includes work in the construction industry, electrical contracting, and as an insurance adjuster after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Clark’s father was a developer and real estate agent and his mother is the sales office manager at a local firm. Coming from a family heavily involved with the industry, a career in real estate is a natural fit for Clark.

Realtor Donna DePriest moved to Destin last December. She graduated from East Central College in Union, Mo., in 1992 with honors and in 1994 was named Alumni of the Year. Having an array of past work experience, DePriest has worked in the transportation industry, social work, and most recently as a massage therapist. As an advocate for domestic violence awareness, Feline Friends of Destin, an active Destin Area Chamber of Commerce member, and most recently co-chair of membership committee with the Destin Woman's Club, DePriest enjoys meeting new people and making lasting connections.

Virginia Purser is the newest broker’s associate to join the Blue Marlin Realty Group. Born and raised in Mississippi, Purser moved to Houston, Texas, where she lived for 20 years and held her real estate sales license. Having moved to Destin in the late 90s, Purser has experience in accounting and management and had previously worked as broker of record and condominium association manager for a local condominium for 15 years.

Originally from Hot Springs, Ark., Brittney Simonette moved to our area after her husband, a Staff Sergeant in the Air Force, was stationed at Eglin Air Force Base. Although Simonette just recently became a resident of Florida’s Emerald Coast, she has been vacationing in the area since the age of 14 and has been bringing her children for several years. Simonette graduated from National Park Community College with her Associate's of Applied Science in Radiographic Technology and worked for seven years as an x-ray tech.

North Carolina native, Mary Heafner Suthers relocated to the Destin area in 2009. Having 20+ years in mortgage and consumer lending, Suthers has held her real estate license in North Carolina, California, and now Florida. In her new role as a sales licensee, Suthers will represent buyers and sellers in residential homes, commercial properties, and rental and vacation rental properties. When she is not working, Suthers enjoys being active in her church, singing, spoiling her dogs, and exercising on our beautiful emerald coast beaches.

Nicknamed Ambitious Amber, Amber Thomas has years of experience under her belt. Hailing from Ithaca, N.Y., Thomas moved to Florida at the age of seven. Thomas received her real estate license in 2001 and has worked for DR Horton and KB Home. In the downturn of 2008, Thomas left the real estate market to become an entrepreneur, opening four cupcake bakeries with a friend in Memphis, Tenn. Having most recently relocated from Memphis to Destin in August, Thomas has two daughters and a son and is happily married to her husband, James.

Lee Subaru Selects Covenant Hospice as “Hometown Charity”
On Thursday, Nov. 20, from 4 – 6 p.m., Lee Subaru and Cumulus Media will host a kick-off party for the 2014 Share the Love campaign, an annual national initiative of Subaru of America. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held at Mango’s on the Bayou, 200 Eglin Parkway NE, in Fort Walton Beach. Share the Love allows each new Subaru owner who purchases or leases a Subaru during the campaign, which runs Nov. 20 – Jan. 2, to select a charity from a pre-determined list of non-profits with a national scope. That charity then receives a $250 donation from Subaru of America. This year, Lee Subaru of Fort Walton Beach has selected Covenant Hospice as its “Hometown Charity,” to be featured on the list of charitable organizations supported by Share the Love, giving new Subaru owners the option of selecting a local non-profit to benefit from the campaign. 

Want to Quit Smoking? Double Your Chances
The Great American Smokeout is Thursday, Nov. 20. The Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa Countyand Tobacco Free Florida are encouraging tobacco users in Okaloosa County to quit on that day or to use the day to make a quit plan. Two local organizations are offering information and support to help with the planning. Niceville Urgent Care will be answering questions and giving support to those wanting to quit on Wednesday, Nov. 19, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., during its Oral Cancer Screenings event. A representative from AHEC will be present. The event will be held at 906 Palm Blvd S. in Niceville. On Thursday, Nov. 20, a Okaloosa County Tobacco Free Florida representative will be at the Crestview Urgent Care to answer any questions related to tobacco cessation. Crestview Urgent Care is located at 2400-A South Ferdon Boulevard in Crestview. For more information, please visit TobaccoFreeFlorida.com.

City of Destin to Receive $3.6 Million Stormwater Grant
The City of Destin was notified today that it will receive approximately $3.6 million in grant funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for stormwater improvements. City staff submitted the grant application this past summer with a goal to enhance, maintain, and restore the ecological integrity of Choctawhatchee Bay, Joe’s Bayou, Indian Bayou, and Destin Harbor through the accelerated implementation of the final six projects identified in the city’s 2004 Master Stormwater Management Plan. The implementation of these projects will result in greatly improved benthic (water bottom) habitat quality, increased biological diversity and productivity, and improved water quality to assist seagrass recovery in the bay. The proposed construction will also create trash/debris collection points, remove invasive species to protect the surrounding wetlands, and provide seagrass monitoring. Click here for more information.

No comments:

Post a Comment