Tuesday, December 9, 2014

December 2014 Business Briefs / Member News Part 2

Okaloosa Arts Alliance Accepting Grant Applications
The Okaloosa Arts Alliance (OAA) is accepting grant applications through Dec 15. OAA will be awarding $,4000 in grants to local non-profits and schools within Okaloosa County to aid in their art and/or cultural programs for 2015. The grant application and guidelines are available on the website at OkaloosaArts.org. For questions or comments, please email Amy at amybaty1@gmail.com.

Saltmarsh Elects Landers as Shareholder
Saltmarsh, Cleaveland & Gund is pleased to announce that Chuck Landers has been elected to shareholder as of Jan. 1, 2015. Landers joined the firm in 2005 and has served as a senior manager in the Audit & Assurance Services Department. His primary areas of focus include providing audit and assurance-related services to not-for-profit and governmental entities, utilities, manufacturers, contractors, home builders, and related trades within the construction, real estate, and development industries. His professional designations include Certified Public Accountant (Florida) and Construction Industry Technician (CIT). 
Vaughn Graduates from the Florida Criminal Justice Executive Institute Senior Leadership Program
The Okaloosa County Department of Corrections is proud to announce that Operations and Security Captain Stefan W. Vaughn has graduated from the Florida Criminal Justice Executive Institute Senior Leadership Program. Each candidate must submit an extensive application to the Florida Criminal Justice Institute. The application requires a minimum tenure of five years in criminal justice, a history of increasing supervisory responsibility, and the agency chief’s endorsement. The course of study include topics, such as leadership, communication, criminal justice research, budgeting, managing change, and team building. He is one of 33 graduates of the 17th Criminal Justice Executive Institute Senior Leadership Program.

Welcome the New Year on the Water with Fireworks, Dinner & Dancing
Ring in the New Year in true Emerald Coast style and on the water. SunQuest Cruises is hosting its annual New Year’s Eve Fireworks, Dinner and Dancing Cruise on the SOLARIS yacht on Wednesday, Dec. 31, from 8 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. Patrons will embark on a memorable evening that includes a five-course seated dinner, live entertainment, fireworks, party favors, and champagne. This is an all-inclusive event for $110 per person. All guests over 21 are welcome to attend. Reservations required by visiting SunQuestCruises.com or calling (850) 650-2519.

Okaloosa County Commission Chair, Vice-Chair Named for FY2015
Okaloosa County Commissioner Nathan Boyles and Commissioner Kelly Windes have been selected to serve as Chairman and Vice-Chairman, respectively, in January for the 2015 calendar year. Commissioner Boyles was elected to the Okaloosa County Board of Commissioners in 2012 and has served as the Vice-Chairman of the Commission for the 2014 calendar year. Commissioner Boyles is a lifelong resident of Okaloosa County and currently resides in Holt, representing District Three. He possesses a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering and a law degree from Florida State University. Commissioner Boyles and Commissioner Windes may be reached at (850) 651-7105 or 689-5030. Email Commissioner Boyles at nboyles@co.okaloosa.fl.us and Commissioner Windes at kwindes@co.okaloosa.fl.us.

6-Year-Old Docent Gives “Tours for Tots” to Benefit Sharing & Caring
“Tours for Tots” to benefit Sharing & Caring will be presented by Selah Moore, a 6-year-old Docent at the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida, on Saturday, Dec. 20. Each guest who brings either a new toy or non-perishable food item will receive $2 reduced admission and a VIP-guided tour with Selah. Tour times begin at 10 a.m. and run each hour through 3 p.m. For more information, call (850) 678-2615.

Sinfonia Gulf Coast Receives National Endowment for the Arts Grant
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Jane Chu announced on Dec. 2, that Sinfonia Gulf Coast is one of only 163 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Challenge America grant. Sinfonia Gulf Coast is recommended for a $10,000 grant to support its Jan. 23, 2015, performance of the world premiere of American composer Nico Muhly’s electric violin concerto “Seeing is Believing,” featuring award-winning electric violinist Tracy Silverman. The performance will also include two special morning concerts for more than 2,000 third-eighth grade students in Okaloosa and Walton counties. This announcement marks the third NEA Challenge America Grant for the organization since 2010. 

A Little Joy This Christmas
Receive a free Italian Nacho when you drop off your “Toys for Tots” donation at Travinia Italian Kitchen.

Lucy Buffett Bringing LuLu’s to Destin 
Lucy Buffett, owner of LuLu’s Gulf Shores, plans to open her next restaurant in Destin. The Gulf Shores, Ala., landmark restaurant, Lucy affectionately calls the “Mother Ship”, is a 15,000-square-foot dining destination currently serving more than 4,000 guests a day during the peak summer tourist season. Creative chef, business woman, author and story teller, Lucy Buffett is more than a sibling of famous troubadour Jimmy; just as her business, LuLu’s, is more than a restaurant. Her love for living the “good life” has led to loyal followers of her LuLu’s and Crazy Sista brands, which include clothing, cookbooks, Bloody Mary mix, dried seasonings, hot sauces, and the new Crazy Sista Honey Ale, all in high demand. Buffett will be opening the Destin location of LuLu's within the Legendary Marine complex, at the base of the Mid-Bay Bridge. Like her Gulf Shores landmark, the restaurant will feature a family-pleasing complex with sandy “beach” areas, great views, and a winning combination of locally sourced food and live music. For more information, visit LuLu’s Facebook page or LuLuBuffett.com.

Emerald Coast Parrot Head Club Helps Children in Crisis
The Emerald Coast Parrot Head Club 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 Neighborhood. Seen here, Emerald Coast Parrot Head Club President Hank Bittmann presented a $1,000 donation to CIC President and CEO Ken Hair.

Like Silver Sands Facebook Page
Premium Outlets is having a contest to see which shopping destination can increase its Facebook "likes" the most. Silver Sands Premium Outlets would love to have you "like" its page, not only to win the contest, but also so it can keep you posted on upcoming sales, events, and fun fashion trends that can be found at Silver Sands Premium Outlets. 

ECAR 2015 Board of Directors Installed
The Emerald Coast Association of Realtors, which represents more than 2,700 Realtors in Northwest Florida, installed its 2015 officers and directors on Friday, Dec. 5, at the Sandestin Hilton. Those installed include the following:
• President: Sam Kinkaid of REMAX Paradise Properties in Miramar Beach
• President-elect: Cathy Alley of as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed in Niceville
• Vice President: Terry Pilcher of Merrifield & Pilcher Realty in DeFuniak Springs
• Treasurer: Diane Keller of Endless Horizons Realty Inc. in Fort Walton Beach
• Assistant Treasurer: Liz McMaster of The Premier Property Group in Destin
• Immediate Past President: Ed Smith of Real Estate Brokerage Inc. in Destin
• Fort Walton Beach Chapter Director Ben Acock of Emerald Wave Realty Inc. in Mary Esther
• Navarre Chapter Director Rob Brooks of Rob Brooks Realty in Fort Walton Beach
• At Large Director Mike Cadogan of Century 21 Wimco Realty, Inc. in Mary Esther
• Destin Chapter Director Eric Hanson of The Premier Property Group in Miramar Beach
• Miramar Beach Chapter Director Justin Lindsey of The Premier Property Group in Miramar Beach
• South Walton County Chapter Director Nina McCaslin-Horn of Scenic Sotheby’s Intl Realty in Santa Rosa Beach
• Niceville Chapter Director Susan Rood of Keller Williams Realty in Niceville
• Commercial Chapter Director Gordon MacLean of NWF Realty Inc. in Fort Walton Beach
• Crestview Chapter Director Kathy Wilhelm of ERA American Real Estate in Crestview

Hofstad Selected as Okaloosa County Administrator 
John Hofstad was unanimously supported as the next Okaloosa County Administrator at the Dec. 4 county commission meeting. Hofstad was Public Works director for the county for the nearly five years and has served as county administrator on a temporary basis twice in recent years. Hofstad has been a resident of Okaloosa County most of his life and has nearly 30 years experience in local government service, which includes 10 years with the City of Mary Esther and 14 years with the City of Fort Walton Beach, prior to his employment with Okaloosa County.

McGuire’s Hosts Dec. 17 Wine Dinner
You are cordially invited to enjoy a Holiday Dinner with McGuire's Irish Pub of Destin, featuring fine boutique wine's from Bordeaux, France, and hosted by French native Madame Cecile de Szolnok. The event, which features six wines and five courses, begins at 7 p.m., and is $75 per person. For reservations, please call (850) 654-7002.

Nominate a Distinguished Alumni from OWJC, OWCC, OWC, or NWFSC
The Northwest Florida State College Foundation is calling for nominations for its 2015 Distinguished Alumni Awards, and it needs your participation! This is a wonderful opportunity to honor a deserving alumnus of Okaloosa-Walton Junior College, Okaloosa-Walton Community College, Okaloosa-Walton College, or NWF State College. All Alumni Award recipients will be recognized at the 2015 NWF State College Foundation Annual Dinner. For more information, call the foundation office at (850) 729-5357 or email alumni@nwfsc.edu. For complete descriptions of eligibility requirements and nomination information, please visit NWFSC.edu/Alumni. All nominations for the 2015 awards are due by Feb. 1, 2015. 

NWF Regional Airport Assists the USO with Military Student Exodus
The Northwest Florida Regional Airport (NWFRA) and USO are already hustling and bustling with set up for local military students traveling home for Christmas. The largest movement of students will be Saturday, Dec. 20. The USO and NWFRA set up an extended lounge to accommodate students beginning Friday, Dec. 19, and will run operations 24 hours until Dec. 23. The extra space will provide sleeping, movie viewing, showers, and more substantial food offerings for young military members that get delayed or stranded at VPS. The USO is accepting donations of individually packaged snacks and drinks, to host a large number of our military families. Call ahead to (850) 609-4738, and a USO volunteer will come out to the curb to retrieve donations. 

Emerald Coast Theatre Company Stages Three Productions
Emerald Coast Theatre Company (ECTC) continues its mission of providing art education to the Northwest Florida region by recently staging three after school/weekend program productions. Just prior to Thanksgiving in November, ECTC staged two productions of “Alice in Wonderland” at both Destin Elementary School and Butler Elementary School, and Saturday, Dec. 6, ECTC staged “Yes, Virginia: The Musical” at the Destin Community Center. For more information on Emerald Coast Theatre Company, call (850) 687-1637, emailinfo@emeraldcoasttheatre.org, or visit EmeraldCoastTheatre.org.

Kiwanis Helps CIC Build Next Home
The Kiwanis Club of Niceville - Valparaiso recently presented a $5,000 donation to Children in Crisis (CIC) to help build a new home for foster children from Northwest Florida. Seen here, Kiwanis Club of Niceville-Valparaiso President Tim Parsons presents a $5,000 check to CIC President and CEO Ken Hair, CIC President & CE

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