Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Member News: Award Winners, Fundraisers, Dolphins, Crawfish, & More

"The March of Destiny" Boxing Event
Galaxxy Fire Promotions, along with Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort and The Palms of Destin, have planned a weekend of professional boxing and entertainment. Saturday will feature a co-main event fight between Danny Santiago and Richard Hall and a main event NBA title fight between former lightweight World Champion, Nate "Galaxxy Warrior" Campbell and his opponent Gilberto “Gordo” Venegas. Many of boxing's living legends and celebrity guests will be in attendance, including Evander Holifield, Roy Jones Jr, Zab Judah, Chad Dawson, and many more. Event will be March 27-29 at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort and The Palms of Destin Resort and Conference Center. For tickets visit https://marchofdestiny.eventbrite.com. For information, visit www.marchofdestiny.com or call (904) 300-4938.

Wyndham Vacation Rentals® Associate Wins 4 ADDY Awards
Wyndham Vacation Rentals announced that associate Robyn Patterson was recently recognized with the prestigious ADDY Award for her work on three print campaigns. During the 21st Annual American Advertising Federation (AAF) Emerald Coast chapter ADDY® Awards Gala, Patterson was awarded a Gold ADDY in the category of Sales Promotion and Best of Show-Print for Destin Pointe Living, a company-produced publication in conjunction with ResortQuest Real Estate®; a Gold ADDY in the category of Sales Promotion for Beach Vacation Guide, a company-produced publication; and a Silver ADDY in the category of Non-traditional Advertising for a two-page advertisement in Beaches, Resorts & Parks magazine. To learn more about Wyndham Vacation Rentals and ResortQuest Real Estate, visit WyndhamVacationRentals.com.

Seagar’s Prime Steaks and Seafood Adds Advanced Sommelier, Launches New Website
Located in the beachfront Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, Seagar’s Prime Steaks and Seafood has announced the addition of Myres M. McDougal as the restaurant’s director of wine. McDougal holds the distinction of Advanced Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers, and in late 2013 joined the culinary team at Seagar’s, the longest-standing AAA Four-Diamond restaurant on Northwest Florida’s Gulf coast. As McDougal steps in as director of wine, the newly renovated Seagar’s has launched its fully redesigned Seagars.com website. Elegant as it is functional, the new site perfectly captures the traditional, yet sophisticated interior following an extensive renovation of the 4-Diamond restaurant. For more information, call (850) 622-1500 or visit Seagars.com.

Avantgarde Named Salon Today 200 Salon for 2014
Salon Today recognizes the top salons in the industry, and local salon and spa Avantgarde Salon made its 200 Salon list for 2014. To make the list, businesses are evaluated on age, focus, size, diversity, involvement, productivity, competitive pricing, fueling the economy, and services. For more information, visit: http://www.salontoday.com/features/salon-management/2014-SALON-TODAY-200-Defining-Success-for-Salon-and-Spa-Business-238615791.html?utm_source=20&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20.
CIC Golf Tourney Raises $30,000
The 8th Annual Children in Crisis Charity Golf Classic, held on March 14, at the Ft. Walton Beach Golf Course, raised almost $30,000 for the abused, neglected and abandoned children of our community. This year’s winning team was Mike Sowers, Greg Lile, Brian Young and Scott Corley with a winning score of 56 net. Over 130 golfers competed for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes, including longest drive/closest to the pin awards. John Williams’ of Ft. Walton Beach was the lucky golfer drawn out of the hat to try for the Million Dollar Shot. Unfortunately, John’s shot just missed going in the hole. To learn more about CIC, visit www.childrenincrisisfl.org, or call (850) 864-4242.

Dance for Life Event Supports Covenant Hospice
The Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Crestview is hosting the 4th Annual Dance for Life, an evening of ballroom dance to benefit Covenant Hospice, on Saturday, April 5, at 6:30 p.m., in the Crestview High School Auditorium. The event will feature amateur and professional dancers from across the Emerald Coast. This year’s featured performers are Justin Guilmette and Kimalee Piedad, winners of both the United States Dance Championship and the British Invitational Exhibition World Championship. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $30 for VIP admission, which will include premier reserved seating for the show and an exclusive post-event cocktail party with Guilmette and Piedad. Call (850) 682-1455.

Gulfarium Reunites Dolphins, Opens Exhibit 
Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park announced a family reunion of sorts, welcoming Chopper, a juvenile male dolphin born at Gulf World Marine Park in Panama City Beach, offspring of Gulfarium resident, 18-year old Sebastian. Recently, Chopper made the hour-long road journey from Gulf World accompanied by Gulfarium training staff and veterinarians, while Sebastian's transport was just a short distance from the circular dolphin show habitat to the newly renovated Dolphin Point exhibit on the northwest end of the Gulfarium. While limited dolphin encounters have already begun, The Dolphin Point exhibit is estimated to open for park guest viewing in early April. For more information, visit www.gulfarium.com.

Harbor Docks Charities Hosts Cobia World Championships
Harbor Docks Restaurant announced its 30th Annual Cobia World Championships kicked off March 21. It is the area’s premier cobia fishing tournament and continues to grow and incorporate new aspects to remain unique in the world of competitive fishing. After hosting the largest and most successful tournament to date in 2013, the Cobia World Championships has expanded to now feature four different weigh-in locations across the Gulf Coast including Orange Beach, Pensacola, Destin and Panama City. The tournament will end on May 4, 2014. For more information and a complete list of events, visit www.cobiaworldchampionships.com.

Harmony Beach Vacations Welcomes Guests to 2nd Cajun Crawfish Bash
For stays April 26 – May 4, Harmony Beach Vacations is offering 10% off and two tickets to its 2nd Cajun Crawfish Bash. The event is May 2, at 5:30 p.m., at the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village. Live music will be provided by Season Ammons Band. Tickets are $50. Visitwww.luvdestin.com, call (866) 501-0551, or email rentals@harmonybeachvacations.com to select your vacation home.

Make History - Volunteer!
Valparaiso, FL - Have you been thinking you would like to give back to your community in some way and do something that can really make a difference? Do you enjoy history and working in a positive and inspiring environment? Then you ought to consider volunteering your time and talent with the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida. Friendly and reliable volunteers are needed to greet guests and answer phones in the Museum’s Gift Shop. Help is needed Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. or 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. If you’re interested, call the Museum today at (850) 678-2615, info@heritage-museum.org, or stop by 115 Westview Avenue, Valparaiso, FL.

Murder Mystery Fundraiser Dinner
The Okaloosa Arts Alliance and Act4Murder are holding a fundraiser at the Wyndham Garden Inn on Okaloosa Island on April 12, 2014. Social/Cash Bar begins at 6:15 p.m., and dinner and show begin at 7 p.m. Enjoy a delicious 3-course plated dinner and HUNDREDS of laughs during this fundraising event for a worthy cause. Tickets are $50 per person and may be purchased at (850) 499-8335 or www.okaloosaarts.org. The show, ON STAGE FOR MURDER, gives you a backstage look at what REALLY goes on in the green room during a night of songs, dances, and plenty of murderous fun! 

The Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart to Host 45th Annual Pediatric Symposium
The Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart is hosting the 45th Annual Pediatric Symposium May 23 – 26, at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa. The Symposium is designed to give primary care providers of children information on the latest developments for diagnosing, treating, and managing the pediatric, adolescent, and young adult patient. For more information or to register for the conference, visit www.psdestinfl.org or contact conference coordinator Teri Bowman at (850) 416-6204.

Shelter House Becomes Certified Rape Crisis Center
Shelter House is now the certified rape crisis center for Okaloosa and Walton counties. The local agency recently received official notification from the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence (FCASV). Shelter House began providing sexual violence services to the community in 2013, with the goal of becoming a certified center this year. Services include a 24/7 hotline, crisis counseling, medical and law enforcement accompaniment, support groups, and emergency shelter. The center also offers community education and support for friends and family members of victims. Shelter House, Inc. is the first new rape crisis center to achieve certification since 2005. For details, visit www.shelterhousenwfl.org.

SimpleHR Welcomes Keller as Staffing Administrator
SimpleHR announced Megan Keller as its new staffing administrator. She is responsible for all staffing activities to include recruiting for the company job bank, answering candidate’s questions, interviewing, completing new hire paperwork on temporary employees, and other numerous responsibilities related to staffing. She is also responsible for overseeing the strategic development of SimpleHIRE and is integral to the success of the staffing functions. Keller is a Panama City Beach native with seven years’ experience as a recruiter and staffing specialist. You may reach Keller at www.mysimplehire.com.

United Way of Okaloosa-Walton Counties Announces Fund Allocations
United Way of Okaloosa-Walton Counties approved the allocation of funds from the 2013 Campaign. Allocating funds to the Partner Agencies’ programs is a very involved process. Many trained volunteers from within our community serve on the Fund Distribution Committee (one in Okaloosa and one in Walton County) which focuses on three key areas: Children & Education, Financial Stability & Disaster Preparedness, and Health & Prevention. Volunteers who serve on the United Way Fund Distribution Committee are caring individuals who annually evaluate the community problems and direct your dollars given to the Community Care Fund to the area of service that will make the greatest impact. To see the allocations, visit www.united-way.org/press.htm.

Instructions to Submit Member News ItemsDo you have special business information you would like to share with all Chamber members and our website visitors? Please send your exciting news, which can be about an upcoming event or other timely information, to news@DestinChamber.com. Only Chamber members are allowed to post news, each news item has to be less than 100 words, only one item per member is allowed each week, and Chamber staff reserves the right to reject or edit postings that do not meet the requirements. All news items are due by Friday for posting the following Monday. The link to this page will be sent out in our weekly Tuesday Talking Points email, and the news item will remain on the website until the next Monday's posting. We will not keep an archive of these pages, and no photos, logos or general business descriptions will be posted. Also, member news items will only be published once.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Chamber TV Show Highlights Destin's Week of Blessings, Local Law Firm, and Qivana Products

During March, the Destin Business Forum, the Destin Area Chamber of Commerce's monthly television program on Cox Channel 6, highlighted the Church of Destin; Pleat, Perry & Ritchie, P.A.; and Qivana.

The Church of Destin is a collaboration of the 16 churches in Destin, who partner to bring the annual Destin's Week of Blessings.

Pleat, Perry & Ritchie, P.A., is a full service law firm in Destin, serving the Florida panhandle with offices in Destin, Navarre, and Rosemary Beach. 

Qivana markets scientifically validated pharmaceutical grade natural products. It takes a systems approach to proactive wellness and supports the body's ability to heal itself.

Check out the show on the Chamber's YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/destinchamber or watch it on Cox Channel 6 in Okaloosa County.  The show is also available on Cox OnDemand.

A feature on the Destin Business Forum is a free benefit of membership in the Destin Area Chamber of Commerce.  To have your business featured here, please call (850) 837-6241.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Member News: Sandestin Wine Festival, Discover Roads Less Traveled, and Seafood Festival Issues Call to Artists

Shannyn Stevenson joins Newman-Dailey
Shannyn Stevenson joined Newman-Dailey Resort Properties’ team of real estate sales agents. Stevenson moved to the area in 1980 and became an accredited buyer’s agent in 1999. She added listing agent to her portfolio four years later. She specializes in selling and buying rental investments, second homes, and all beachside communities along the Gulf Coast. Visitwww.KnowTheGulfCoast.com for more information.

ResortQuest Real Estate® Congratulates Top Producers of 2013
Congratulations to ResortQuest Real Estate’s 2013 top producers:
- Top Closed Sales: Nathan Abbott Team at $31.7M
- Top Closed Listings: Janette Klein at $25.4M
- Top Closed Sales: Eddie Krasauskas at $17.7M
- Production Honors: Mary Stephens Team at $15.6M, Mary Fletcher at $11.7M, Lauren Cottrell at $11.1M, Chip and Caroline Wasson at $10.8M, Rick and Dale Martinez at $10.2M, and Linda McKnight and Pat Dehlinger at $9.2M

Visit ResortQuestGulfCoast.com to search current real estate listings, or followFacebook.com/ResortQuestGulfCoast

28th Annual Sandestin Wine Festival
Don't miss the 28th Annual Sandestin Wine Festival on April 10-13, named the “Best Annual Event” by Destin Magazine. It is a picture perfect event complete with white tents, flowing wine, food, ladies strolling in hats, and live music. It draws thousands of people to the Village of Baytowne Wharf at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort every year. Four days of unique events open up a wide range of experiences from attending wine dinners, participating in preview events throughout the year, and taking part in wine tastings that showcase an unprecedented hundreds of international and domestic wines. Discount for advance tickets and accommodations are available (Code: WINE14). Visit www.SandestinWineFestival.com or call 866.91.BEACH for more information.

Hilton Sandestin Completes Major Transformation
The Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa completed a four-month, $12.5 million renovation of its lobby and public space, Sandcastles Restaurant and Lounge, Hadashi Sushi Bar, Spa Tower guest rooms, and award-winning Serenity by the sea Spa. The renovation is part of a comprehensive, multi-year transformation project totaling more than $30 million, which has enhanced every aspect of the resort experience. For more information on Destin’s premier beachfront resort and the transformation project, visit HiltonSandestinBeach.com or call (850) 267-9500.

Snowbirds Visit Children in Crisis – Help Kids
The Walton County Snowbirds, Inc., visited Children in Crisis (CIC) and the kids living at the CIC Neighborhood for a final goodbye of the season. Seen in this photo, CIC President and CEO Ken Hair (center) welcomes Snowbirds President Dom Trolian, Dee Trolian, and other members of the Walton County Snowbirds. The Snowbirds adopted CIC as one of its “Home Town” charities to support and presented a $1,000 check to help feed, clothe and care for the at-risk foster children. The group also supported CIC with numerous volunteer projects, the David Seering Concert, the CIC Charity Golf Tournament, work projects, and more. To learn more about Children in Crisis call (850) 864-4242 or visitwww.childrenincrisisfl.org.

Discover Roads Less Traveled
The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA), in partnership with Visit South Walton and Northwest Florida State College, presents a series of Spring eco-adventures in South Walton County. Discover Roads Less Traveled offers visitors and residents varied opportunities to explore and discover the natural resources that make South Walton unique. Descriptions are available online at www.basinalliance.org by clicking the EcoTours information box at the lower-left. Prices vary, starting at $15. Registration is by phone at (850) 200-4160. 

Covenant Hospice to celebrate National Social Worker Month
Covenant Hospice proudly celebrates National Social Work Month throughout the month of March. The 2014 theme “All People Matter” was selected to help raise awareness about the American social work profession’s 116-year commitment to improving social conditions and quality of life opportunities for everyone. Throughout its 34-county service area, Covenant Hospice social workers help patients and families live with dignity and the highest degree of physical, emotional, social, and spiritual comfort. For more information about Covenant Hospice or to make a hospice inquiry, contact the local branch offices at (850) 729-1800 (Fort Walton Beach) and (850) 682-3628 (Crestview) or visit www.covenanthospice.org.

6th Annual Ling-A Palooza
Destin Charter Service presents the 6th Annual Ling-a Palooza! Registration takes place now through April 10, at the Destin Fishing Fleet Marina. The tournament is April 11 – 13, from 4 – 8 p.m. Cobia entries will be weighed at the Destin Fishing Fleet Marina. The event is hosted by Destin Charter Service. Call (850) 837-1995 for details.

Call to Artists: Heritage on the Destin Harbor Boardwalk
Destin Seafood Festival Announces 2014 Poster Contest The theme of the 36th Annual Destin Seafood Festival – ‘Heritage on the Harbor' – celebrates the festival’s location, right on the Destin harbor, among its docks, charter boats, and fishermen. Artists are invited to submit their handcrafted work showcasing this theme by Monday, June 2, at 11 a.m. NO COMPUTER-GENERATED OR ENHANCED ARTWORK WILL BE ACCEPTED. The winner will be announced on June 15. For an artist’s application or to find out how you or your business can be a part of the festival, contact the Festival Event Coordinator at (850) 428-7783 orinfo@destinseafoodfestival.org or visit www.DestinSeafoodFestival.org. 2014 festival dates are Oct. 3 – 5.

Destin Water Users’ General Manager, Richard Griswold, Retires
Destin Water Users announces General Manager Richard Griswold has retired. Griswold’s decision to retire will bring to a close a remarkable career of nearly 15 years serving as the general manager with the company. Griswold assumed the leadership role at Destin Water Users in August 1999. During his employment, Destin Water Users has won well over 20 State and National awards, including being named Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Water Plant of the Year, Wastewater Plant of the Year and EPA Reclaimed Water System of the Year.

Destin Water Users is currently reviewing potential candidates to assume the position of general manager.

Emerald Coast Magazine Presents Top Salon Makeover Charity Competition
The 3rd Annual Emerald Coast Top Salon will be held on Friday, April 4, at 7 p.m. at the newly remodeled Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa. EC Top Salon 2014 will completely challenge the expertise and creativity of the top nominated 10 area salons as they embark on a 24-hour head-to-toe makeover transformation of a local resident (model) of their choosing. The event culminates with all 10 newly made over models enjoying their moment in the spotlight as they reveal their new look during a dazzling runway showcase. The event is open to the public. Tickets are $57 per person. To purchase tickets or for more event information, visitEmeraldCoastMagazine.com

Sunset Camp is Back
Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park is pleased to announce the return of its popular Sunset Camp, an evening program for children ages 6-14. This fun and educational experience is available select evenings from 4 – 9 p.m., in spring and summer. Activities include a dockside dolphin interaction, with the opportunity to feed and give behavior signals to an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, an ocean-themed scavenger hunt throughout the park, and an exploratory trek along the beach. Program participants will receive a t-shirt and enjoy dinner next to the seals. Spring dates are March 18 and 25, and Florida residents receive a 10% discount (call to get discount). Visit www.gulfarium.com or call (850) 243-9046 to register.

38th Saturday in the Park Heritage Festival and Heritage 5K Run/Walk & Kids Fun Run
The Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida will host the 38th Saturday in the Park Heritage Festival on April 26, from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. This free family oriented event offers activities for everyone. The festival begins with the Heritage 5K Run/Walk & Kids 1 Mile Fun Run at 8 a.m., and then continues through the day with live entertainment, historic craft demonstrations, re-enactors, folk artists, food vendors, and a Kid Zone with old-fashioned toys, contests, and more! Register for the race on Active.com or call (850) 678-2615. For event details, visitwww.heritage-museum.org

Gimme Abbey Concert Celebrates The Beatles and The Rolling Stones
The Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation and Ocean Reef Vacation Rentals and Realty are delighted to present Gimme Abbey, a tribute to the two greatest bands in rock and roll history, on April 24 at the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village. The Return and Satisfaction, two nationally acclaimed tribute bands, have joined forces for this special tribute that takes audiences back to the 60’s. Admission is $18/adult and $15/adult for members. Children under 12 are free. Picnic Supper Club tables are available for $125 for a table for six and $150 for a table for eigh. For more information, visit www.MattieKellyArtsFoundation.org or call (850) 650-2226. 

Identity Theft and Financial Scam Prevention Complimentary Seminar
Don David, financial advisor with Merrill Lynch, is presenting a complimentary seminar “Identity Theft and Financial Scam Prevention.” The featured speaker is Jonathan Woolcock, a special agent with the United States Secret Service. The event takes place Wednesday, April 9, at Regatta Bay Golf and County Club. Enjoy refreshments from 5 – 5:30 p.m., and the presentation from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. RSVP is required. Please call Don David at (850) 269-7007. The event is sponsored by Legg Mason Global Asset Management.

Okaloosa Arts Alliance School Poster Contest
The Okaloosa Arts Alliance (OAA) invites all Okaloosa County School students to participate in the 6th Annual OAA Okaloosa County School Poster Contest. The OAA wants to know what you consider “Summer Fun. ” It can be anything you can create on paper with markers, pencils, paint, pastels, charcoal, or crayons. There will be a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner for three elementary school students (K-4), for three middle school students (5-7), and for three high school students (8-12) in Okaloosa County. The poster contest deadline is April 15, 2014. For details, please contact Amy Baty at (850) 499-8335 or amybaty1@gmail.com.

Master Naturalist Special Topics: Wildlife Monitoring Course
The UF/IFAS Okaloosa/Walton County Extension, Florida Sea Grant, and participating organizations throughout the state are offering Florida Master Naturalist Program (FMNP) Special Topics modules on April 7 – 9. The FMNP Special Topics classes are designed to provide detailed information and/or hands-on skills in specific subject areas. As such, the objectives of these courses are to provide participants with additional knowledge and skills to make them more effective educators, citizen scientists, and informed participants when engaging in conservation issues. Registration is open at http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/fmnp/wildlife.html. For more information, contact Brooke Saari, UF/IFAS Extension & Florida Sea Grant, at bsaari@ufl.edu or (850) 685-7359.

Publix Presents Check to United Way of Okaloosa-Walton Counties

Pubix managers presented a check for $363,041 to United Way of Okaloosa-Walton Counties for the 2013 Campaign, making Publix this local United Way’s largest campaign donor. PUBLIX SUPER MARKETS CHARITIES, INC, supports the generosity of their Publix associates in Okaloosa & Walton Counties by giving a matching dollar gift to the United Way of Okaloosa-Walton Counties. Publix’s commitment to the local United Way and our community is strong in their dedication to improving the quality of life for many of our residents. The United Way joins many in our community to say “thank you” Publix for making a difference!

2nd Cajun Crawfish Bash
The Rotary Club of Destin presents a “Cajun Crawfish Bash” on Friday, May 2, at 5:30 p.m., at the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village. Proceeds will benefit Food For Thought, Harvest House, and the Boys & Girls Club of the Emerald Coast. The public is invited to join in the Cajun festivities with all the classic crawfish cuisine and fixings. Grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, and barbeque chicken will also be served. The Season Ammons Band will perform. Enter an exciting charity raffle to win fabulous prizes. Tickets are $25 per person and $10 for children under 12. Day of event, tickets are $30 per person. Call (850) 837-1071 or ask any Destin Rotarian. 

Sacred Heart to Host Blood Drive March 19 
Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast will host the Oneblood mobile unit on Wednesday, March 19, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the main entrance of the hospital. All donors will receive a free t-shirt and a meal ticket to the hospital’s cafĂ©. Whole blood expires after only 42 days, which increases the importance of ongoing blood drives. You must be 17 years old or older, weigh at least 110 pounds, have a picture identification card, be in good health, and not have donated within the last 55 days. Donating one unit of blood can help save three lives! For more information about Oneblood, please visit www.oneblood.org. For more information about Sacred Heart, please visit www.sacredheartemerald.org

Sinfonia Gulf Coast Creates Youth Orchestra
Sinfonia Gulf Coast is broadening and strengthening its music education initiative on the Emerald Coast by creating the Sinfonia Gulf Coast Youth Orchestra. The program will launch immediately by incorporating the talents of a longstanding local youth orchestra into the area's only fully professional symphony, following a unanimous vote by Sinfonia's board of directors. More than fifty Okaloosa and Walton county students who previously performed with the Northwest Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra, which is under the umbrella of Northwest Florida State College, will transition into Sinfonia's new program. For details, visit www.sinfoniagulfcoast.org.

Taylor Haugen Foundation Receives Dugas Grant
The Taylor Haugen Foundation Youth Equipment For Sports Safety (YESS) Program recently received a very generous $140,000 grant from the Northwest Florida-based Dugas Family Foundation. The goal of the YESS Program is to educate and equip middle school and high school student athletes with modern sports equipment available to protect our most valuable resource...our children. In partnership with safety equipment vendors, such as EvoShield, the Foundation provides grants and matching contributions to organizations to access high-quality, new aged sports safety equipment. Visit www.taylorhaugen.org for details.

Request for Information for the “2014 Children’s Summer Fun Guidebook”
The United Way of Okaloosa and Walton Counties is gathering information on children’s summer programs for the “2014 Children’s Summer Fun Guidebook,” designed to help parents find safe, fun and educational daytime summer activities for children. The criteria for the guidebook includes programs offered to youth ages 4–18 and during the months of June, July, and August. If your agency/business offers such summer programs, please send us a general description of the programs you wish to have listed including dates, times, cost, and any items the children may need to bring. Visit www.United-Way.org for details. Deadline to submit your event is April 4, and books will be available May 1.

Tracy Steely – Realizing Opportunities
Tracy Steely joined World Impact Real Estate as a full time agent. She holds two Bachelor of Science degrees and has a great deal of knowledge about the real estate industry. While living in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia, she sold real estate and worked closely with building contractors and land developers. Today, she lives and works in the Santa Rosa Beach area. She is a certified Military Relocation Professional, and 10 percent of all of her proceeds are donated to the United Service Organizations (USO). For details, visit www.worldimpactrealestate.com.

WSRE Celebrates 18 Years of “Shining Stars”
The Escambia County School District’s Elementary Principals Association, in partnership with WSRE, PBS for the Gulf Coast, hosted the 18th annual Shining Star Awards on March 6, honoring 33 elementary school students in Escambia County for their leadership and service to the community. In an awards ceremony at WSRE’s Jean & Paul Amos Performance Studio, each winner was presented with a certificate of achievement along with a new bicycle and helmet. Area principals and teachers selected the Shining Stars based on good citizenship, leadership and adherence to the core values of the Escambia County School District: equality, responsibility, integrity, respect, honor and patriotism. For more information, visit wsre.org

Instructions to Submit Member News ItemsDo you have special business information you would like to share with all Chamber members and our website visitors? Please send your exciting news, which can be about an upcoming event or other timely information, to news@DestinChamber.com. Only Chamber members are allowed to post news, each news item has to be less than 100 words, only one item per member is allowed each week, and Chamber staff reserves the right to reject or edit postings that do not meet the requirements. All news items are due by Friday for posting the following Monday. The link to this page will be sent out in our weekly Tuesday Talking Points email, and the news item will remain on the website until the next Monday's posting. We will not keep an archive of these pages, and no photos, logos or general business descriptions will be posted. Also, member news items will only be published once.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Member News: BlazeFest2014, BBB Warning, Mimosas, Job Fair & More

Karen Cook Realty Team Joins ResortQuest Real Estate®
ResortQuest Real Estate announced that Karen Cook and her team of real estate professionals have joined the company. The Karen Cook Realty office, currently located at 731 Pensacola Beach Blvd., on Pensacola Beach, will now be the newest ResortQuest real estate office, effective March 1, 2014. Broker Karen Cook and the firm’s five REALTORS® will join the ResortQuest Real Estate team of more than 100 sales associates from Perdido Key to Panama City Beach, Fla. To search all current real estate listings on Pensacola Beach, visitRQPensacolaBeachRealEstate.com.

Apex Broadcasting Hosts BlazeFest 2014
Apex Broadcasting, comprised of Highway 98 Country, 103.1 The Blaze, 102.1 The Wave, and Q92, along with the City of Niceville, Eglin AFB, and all participating sponsors, are hosting BLAZEFEST 2014 on May 24. Enjoy special advance discount public pre-sale of $30 from March 7 – 16, at www.blazefestrocks.com and www.ticketmaster.com. Military pricing of $20 is also available until March 16, at www.govx.com and the ITT Centers on base. On March 17, general admission will be $40 in advance and $50 on the day of the show. For ticket information and line up, visit www.blazefestrocks.com.

BBB Warns of Misleading “Annual Minutes Requirement” Mailings
Your BBB received reports that misleading mailings from Compliance Services are being sent to businesses across northwest Florida. For a $125 fee, Compliance Services claims they will prepare documents “to satisfy the annual minutes requirement for your corporation.” There is no requirement that you submit the information they’ve requested or any annual minutes to the State of Florida. Compliance Services is not associated with the State of Florida or the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations. Do not confuse these notices with the messages sent by the Division of Corporations reminding each business entity to file its Annual Report by May 1, 2014. For additional information, visit bbb.org.

Belk Charity Day is May 3
Belk announced that its Charity Day is May 3, from 6 – 10 a.m., and all non-profit organizations may pick up charity tickets to sell starting NOW. The charities may keep 100% of its ticket sales. Contact Brandy Hafely, regional administrative assistant – Pensacola region, atbrandy_hafely@belk.com or (850) 650-4091 x202 for more information. Charities are also needed to help sell tickets at the door the morning of the event, and those charities will get to keep 50% of those sales.

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast Invites Our Community to Experience the Magic Happening Behind the Blue Door 
The local Boys & Girls Clubs is joining other Boys & Girls Clubs across the country for the annual celebration of National Boys & Girls Club Week, March 23-29. On Friday, March 28, the Destin Club, located at Destin Elementary School, will open its doors to the community for visitors to learn how the Club helps children achieve great futures. Event hours are 4 – 6:30 p.m., and the special guest will be County Commissioner Dave Parisot. For more information, contact Penny Alexander at (850) 833-3132 or palexander@bgcec.com.

Spring Panhandle Job Fair is April 17
The Spring Panhandle Job Fair is Thursday, April 17, at St. Mary’s Parish Life Center in Fort Walton Beach. Doors will be open to the public from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. The check-in and registration for employer set-up is from 8 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. You may register at www.panhandlejobfair.com, until one week prior to the event. The event is sponsored in part by CareerSource Okaloosa Walton, Hurlburt Field, Eglin and Tyndall Airman & Family Readiness Centers, and the Northwest Florida Daily News. For more information, emailpanhandlejobfair@gmail.com.
First Judicial Circuit Law Enforcement Assoc. Donates to CIC’s Children
During a donation ceremony last week, the Okaloosa County Sheriff First Judicial Circuit Law Enforcement Association presented a check for $750 to Children In Crisis, Inc., along with several other community charities. Those in this photo include L. A. Woodall, Horizons; Julie Hurst, Children’s Advocacy Center; Okaloosa County Sheriff Larry Ashley; Julie Mcnabb, Horizons CEO; Ken Hair, CIC President & CEO; and J. D. Peacock, Okaloosa Sheriff’s Department Administrator. The funds will be used to purchase computer and educational equipment for at risk children living at the CIC Neighborhood. For additional information on CIC or ways to support the CIC vision, please visitwww.childrenincrisisfl.org or call 864-4242.

Complete Signs Adds Economy LED to its Inventory
Complete Signs is excited to introduce the latest addition to our LED sign inventory--the Economy LED. This is your opportunity to save thousands and still capture the attention you deserve. The latest LED sign is designed to allow any business to have great communication regardless of budget. For information, click here

Covenant Hospice Offers Free Evening Education Series 
Covenant Hospice will offer a free seminar, “Prevention of Medical Errors and Methods to Improve Patient Safety,” on Tuesday, March 18, at 5:15 p.m. at its Fort Walton Beach office, located at 220 Eglin Parkway NE. Kathleen Doran, R.N., and Edie Henley, R.N., CHPN, will present the course. Seminar attendees can expect to learn about “Failure Mode,” “Effects Analysis,” and “Root Cause Analysis.” The course is required for Florida nursing licensure. Two (2.0) Credit Hours will be awarded to Florida nurses, Florida social workers, LMHC, and MFT, as well as Florida nursing home administrators. Reservations are required by Thursday, March 13. Call (850) 598-0861 to RSVP. For details, visit www.covenanthospice.org.

Destin Women’s Club Spring Event to Benefit Shelter House
Come and join the Destin Woman’s Club for a night out on the bay to Wine, Dine & Dance the night away all to benefit Shelter House. On Wednesday, April 9, board the Solaris, which is docked at the Baytowne Wharf Marina, for an evening of fun. Boarding time is 6:15 p.m., and the cruise is 7 – 9 p.m. Dress is resort attire. Tickets are on sale now and are only $75 per person. They are available by emailing JoAnne@JandJChandler.com or at Today's Boutique in Destin. Activities include a Silent Auction and a 50/50 Raffle. Net proceeds will directly benefit Shelter House. For details, visit www.destinwomansclub.org

Mimosas in the Morning
Join Emerald Coast Wealth Advisors of Raymond James for mimosas and insightful discussion of “Estate Planning – Preserving Your Legacy” with guest speaker Joy Marler Masters, Esq., of Burke Blue Hutchinson Walters & Smith, P.A. The event is Wednesday, March 12, at 9 a.m.m, at the Vue on 30A. Call (850) 650-0990 for reservations.

Gulf Coast Electric Earns Esteemed 2013 Angie's List Super Service Award
Gulf Coast Electric, a 34-year-old Destin Electrical Contracting firm, earned the service industry's coveted Angie's List Super Service Award for the third year in a row. The award reflects an exemplary year of service provided to members of the consumer review service in 2013. 

"Only about 5 percent of the companies Gulf Coast Electric competes with in North West Florida are able to earn our Super Service Award" said Aggie's List Founder Angie Hicks. "its a mark of consistently great customer service."

Learn more about Gulf Coast Electric at www.gcedestin.com.

McCaskill & Company
On March 28 – 29, McCaskill & Company will host a Konstantino Trunk Show, featuring the extraordinary collection of handcrafted jewelry from Greece. Event is 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

On May 2 – 3, McCaskill & Company will host a David Yurman Special Event with an opportunity to win a unique piece of David Yurman jewelry. Event is from 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. For additional information on either event, call (850) 650-2262.

Mid-Bay Rotary Donates to Heritage Museum
The Mid-Bay Rotary Club recently donated $500 to the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida in support of its upcoming 38th Saturday in the Park event, planned for April 26, from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday in the Park is a family oriented festival that includes the Heritage 5k Run/Walk and Kids Fun Run, live entertainment, historic exhibits, demonstrations, re-enactors, craft & food vendors, and a kid zone. Additional sponsors and craft vendors are invited to participate. For event information, contact info@heritage-museum.org or call (850) 678-2615. Seen in this photo are Dave Underwood, Mid-Bay Rotary; Harold Peek, Mid-Bay Rotary; Gordon King, Museum Chairman; Gina Marini, Museum Manger; and Don Bohler, Mid-Bay Rotary.

Regatta Chiropractic and Laser Center Hosts Posture, Purses and Prosecco
Regatta Chiropractic and Laser Center will host Posture, Purses and Prosecco on Thursday, March 27, from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m., to benefit the Junior League of the Emerald Coast. Enjoy wine tastings by Deliver my Wine, hors d’oeuvres provided by Elephant Walk, and live music by Bo Adams. LuxExchange will be present designer handbags and wallets available for purchase with a portion of proceeds benefiting Junior League. All attendees may have a free chair massage with Orlando Branch, voted “Best Massage Therapist” by the readers of Destin Magazine. There will be a silent auction with packages valued over $1,000 and a swag bag for everyone. RSVP tojessica@proffittpr.com.

Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast Named One of the Nation’s Top 100 
Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast has been named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals® by Truven Health Analytics for the third year in a row and the fourth time since opening in 2003. Truven Health Analytics, formerly Thomson Reuters, is a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of healthcare. The Truven Health 100 Top Hospitals® study identifies hospitals and leadership teams that provide the highest level of value to their communities, based on a national balanced scorecard. For more information about Sacred Heart, please visit www.sacredheartemerald.org

Sandcastle Escapes Expands Into Real Estate
Sandcastle Escapes Vacation Rentals announced its recent expansion into real estate sales with the launch of www.SandcastleEscapesRealty.com and the introduction of Ash Caswell as the Licensed Real Estate Broker. From its inception in 2006, Sandcastle Escapes’ vision has been to offer only the best in vacation rental services to homeowners and guests alike, and now it can also proudly extend its professional services to customers looking to sell or buy real estate in the area. Whether it is to expand a portfolio of rental investment properties or to sell a home, the team at Sandcastle Escapes vacation rentals and sales can make the process a breeze. For more information, visit www.sandcastleescapesrealty.com or call (855) 544-5934.

Purses with a Purpose Returns to Silver Sands
Clutch, satchel, tote or hobo – whatever type of handbag you prefer, you'll find it at Purses with a Purpose. The much-anticipated purse extravaganza returns to Silver Sands Premium Outlets on March 21 - 22. Purses with a Purpose is a two-day purse sale and auction where new and gently used designer handbags are donated to be sold and auctioned off with all proceeds benefiting Shelter House, the domestic and sexual violence center serving Okaloosa and Walton counties. For more information about Purses with a Purpose or donating, please contact Shelter House at (850) 243-1201.

Champagne & Gulf Coast Seafood Cruise | SunQuest Cruises SOLARIS Yacht
Celebrate the opening of the Sandestin Wine Festival with a Champagne & Gulf Coast Seafood Cruise aboard the SOLARIS yacht on Friday, April 11, from 12 – 3 p.m. Docked at Sandestin’s Baytowne Marina, the SOLARIS is an elegant dining and entertainment yacht offering three decks of fun. The celebration begins with a dockside reception, introducing Moet & Chandon champagne paired with Fresh Mint-infused Diver Scallops and Lime & Grapefruit Ahi Tuna Ceviche. During the cruise, enjoy three additional premium champagnes coupled with salads, Lobster Claws, Jumbo Gulf Shrimp, and dessert. $69/pp including food, champagne & a two hour cruise. Reservations required at www.SunQuestCruises.com or (850) 650-2519.

2013 Dr. Frist Humanitarian Award Recipients Announced
Twin Cities Hospital announced its recipients of the 2013 Dr. Frist Humanitarian Awards. At a luncheon in Niceville, David Whalen, CEO, presented awards to Dr. Thomas Fox, Jackie Vogler (volunteer), and David Bennett (employee). These individuals are now eligible for the Nationwide 2013 Dr. Frist Humanitarian Award, the highest honor an employee, volunteer, and physician can receive at HCA, the parent company of Twin Cities Hospital. In addition to a framed certificate and lapel pin, the recipients also received monetary allocations to be donated to the charitable organization(s) of their choice. For more information, visit www.TCHospital.com or call (850) 678-4131.

United Way Celebrates Accomplishments at 2013 Annual Meeting
More than 200 people gathered at Shalimar United Methodist Church on Feb. 27, to celebrate and to recognize United Way of Okaloosa-Walton Counties accomplishments and the conclusion of the 2013 campaign. The United Way, led by Ed Taylor and 35 board members, is a volunteer-driven organization and could not operate without these volunteers. Those recognized included Loaned Executives, Okaloosa Fund Distribution, Walton Fund Distribution, Marketing, and Board of Directors. The Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Brice Horwell, a Covenant Hospice volunteer for seven years. For more information, visit www.United-Way.org

Instructions to Submit Member News ItemsDo you have special business information you would like to share with all Chamber members and our website visitors? Please send your exciting news, which can be about an upcoming event or other timely information, to news@DestinChamber.com. Only Chamber members are allowed to post news, each news item has to be less than 100 words, only one item per member is allowed each week, and Chamber staff reserves the right to reject or edit postings that do not meet the requirements. All news items are due by Friday for posting the following Monday. The link to this page will be sent out in our weekly Tuesday Talking Points email, and the news item will remain on the website until the next Monday's posting. We will not keep an archive of these pages, and no photos, logos or general business descriptions will be posted. Also, member news items will only be published once.

Monday, March 10, 2014

President's Message: Chamber Board Takes Positions on Helicopters in Harbor, Strip Club, & More

It’s been a very interesting time around Destin lately.  There has been a lot of activity taking place, lots of issues brought forward before the Chamber and the city.  Your Board has been engaged in most of these issues, whether you’ve heard about them or not.

As always, your Board considers all angles on all issues.  Mostly, the decisions it makes, the positions it takes, are geared around whether or not its position 1) improves the quality of life/quality of place, 2) has a positive impact on the economy and business climate, 3) what are the repercussions of our actions.

Recently, the Board voted to take a position opposing aircraft taking off and landing in/around/near the harbor, East Pass, and Crab Island (it’s a harbor for boats, not an airstrip!).  The Board voted to support the widening of Highway 98 from Silver Sands Outlets to Airport Road in Destin.  The Board supported the extension of existing development orders by two years, as long as these were date specific with an end date. (Destin City Council actually passed an ordinance to extend by one year rather than two, a position your Board fully supports).  And we’ll continue to monitor the progress of the city’s new comprehensive plan, specifically what happens with the tiering system for development. 

One of the more tense issues has been that of the opening of a strip club in the industrial district of Destin.  While we haven’t heard from a large number of members from either side of this issue, your Board of Directors has discussed the issue at numerous meetings.  At its February meeting, the Board voted to take a position of opposition to the strip club.  The Board’s official position and statement are: “We acknowledge that City Council is bound by law to make its decision, and we understand our position may not affect its decision in any way.  This Chamber has worked hard over last three years to diversify our economy.  It is going to take redevelopment within the city.  The industrial park is primed for redevelopment, so it is an area we can use to diversify our economy. What hi-tech research business is going to want to come in and locate its business next to a strip club?  It is going to hurt our efforts to diversify our economy and create jobs.  Therefore, we are opposed to a strip club in Destin.”

So there you have it – your Board’s position on the strip club.  As always, we welcome your comments or questions.


Until my next blog, I wish you continued success in your business.  I hope to see you soon at an upcoming Chamber event!

Shane Moody, CCE, FCCP
President & CEO
Destin Area Chamber of Commerce

Friday, March 7, 2014

Thank You to Our Newest Members!

We appreciate the businesses who joined our Chamber in January and February 2014!  When thinking about your next purchase, consider these members and others in our online Business Directory.

Almighty Installations, LLC
Todd Womack
183 Durango Rd., Destin, FL 32541
(850) 585-1591
Handyman

Aqua Tropic / Destin Cushion Company
Frank McKenzie
211 Main St., Destin, FL 32541
(850) 837-6079
www.aquatropicflorida.com
Upholstery

Chipser Wealth Management
Brett S. Chipser
4458 Legendary Dr. Ste. 230, Destin, FL 32541
(850) 424-6330
www.chipserwealthmanagement.com
Financial Services

Compass Association Management
Michael McDaniel
4507 Furling Ln. #113, Destin, FL 32541
(850) 269-1005
www.compass-resorts.com
Association Management

Destin Glass
Dan Haney
639 Harbor Blvd., Destin, FL 32541
(850) 837-8329
www.destinglass.com
Glass Repair & Replacement

Destiny Strategic Advisors, LLC
Greg Hasley
4481 Legendary Dr. Ste. 100, Destin, FL 32541
(850) 424-6776
www.destinystrategicadvisors.com
Business Consulting

Ella Madison Boutique
Heather Jenkins
232 Harbor Blvd., Destin, FL 32541
(850) 685-3693
www.shopellamadison.com
Women's Clothing

Emerald Coast Business Brokers
Greg Hasley
4481 Legendary Dr. Ste. 101, Destin, FL 32541
(850) 424-7541
www.ecbrokers.com
Business Brokers

Emerald Coast Hospice
Daina Skinner
340 Beal Pkwy. N.W. Ste. C, Ft. Walton Beach, FL 32548
(850) 862-1069
www.gentiva.com/patients_caregivers/
Non-Profits

Fenn Properties, LLC
Fred Fenn
246 Matties Way, Destin, FL 32541
(850) 687-9078
Real Estate

Food For Thought
Tiffany Shelton
174 Watercolor Way Ste. 103 #286, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
(850) 290-4056
www.foodforthoughtfl.org
Non-Profits

Larry W. Hines
(850) 654-6078
Individual Member

Impact Life Church, Inc.
John Skiles
101 Stahlman Ave., Destin, FL 32541
(888) 727-3357
www.impactlifechurch.us
Churches

Internet Marketing Expert Group, Inc.
Candice McNamara
305 Elm St., Sevierville, TN 37862
(865) 622-2008
www.imegonline.com
Internet Marketing

Liufau McCall Insurance Group, LLC
Dottie Liufau
36008 Emerald Coast Pkwy. Ste. 601B, Destin, FL 32541
(850) 460-7490
www.lmigflorida.com
Insurance

Skip Overdier
(850) 503-1958
Individual Member

Robert G. Patrick, CPA, P.A.
Robert G. Patrick
1234 Airport Rd. Ste. 224, Destin, FL 32541
(850) 654-3030
www.destincpa.com
Accountants

Sadie Lane Loft
Crystal Yeabower
238 Harbor Blvd., Destin, FL 32541
(850) 424-3139
www.sadielaneloft.com
Consignment

The Sherwin-Williams Company
Geoff Matthews
36248 Emerald Coast Pkwy., Destin, FL 32541
Paint Manufacturers & Wholesalers

Stillwater Marketing
Mitch Roberts
5190 Pole Moon Dr., Pensacola, FL 32502
(850) 712-8468
Publications

TSYS Merchant Solutions
Carlos Sendel
508 Airport Rd. Ste. A, Panama City, FL 32405
(850) 508-5411
www.tsysmerchantsolutions.com
Credit Card Processing

Tuffy Auto Service - AAM Group
Kendall McClure
4604 Opa Locka Ln., Destin, FL 32541
(850) 269-2300
www.tuffydestin.com
Automobile - Repair

Unified Property Restoration
Jerry Fox
17747 Ashley Dr., Panama City Beach, FL 32413
(855) 9ON-LYUP
www.uprestoration.com
Restoration Construction