Tuesday, June 2, 2015

June 2015 Business Briefs / Member News Part 1

Davis Joins Acentria Insurace as Director of Marketing
Jessica Davis is Acentria Insurance’s new director of marketing. She is responsible for directing and managing the company's strategic marketing efforts, including brand recognition, advertising, creative direction, public relations, community involvement, web-based initiatives, and more. Davis comes to Acentria with 12 years of marketing and development experience. Her background includes promotions, fundraising, and event planning with companies, such as Clear Channel Radio, American Heart Association, and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast. She holds a BS in Broadcast Journalism and Communications from Troy University. 
New Cruising Options from Destin Harbor on SunVenture I Catamaran
SunQuest Cruises announced its SunVenture I Catamaran is kicking off the summer with additional cruise options from the Destin Harbor. The Coast-Guard licensed captains of the SunVenture I are now cruising seven days a week for Crab Island Excursions and Dolphin / Sunset Cruises. In addition, the SunVenture I is extending a new Destin Harbor Fireworks Cruise every Thursday evening for adults only. For additional information, including cruise videos, schedules and online reservations, visit SunVentureCruises.com or call 850.424.6465.

Planting Promise Project Takes Root at Children in Crisis
The Provisional Class of the Junior League of the Emerald Coast visited Children in Crisis (CIC) this week for the Planting Promise Project, designed to teach CIC children the importance of budgeting resources, eating healthy, and problem solving through gardening. The JLEC provisional members walked the children through the cycle of plant life, helped them plant a container garden for each house, and used hands-on activities to involve the children in cooking with ingredients that will soon be ripening in each garden.

SHHEC Nurse Honored with Award
Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast (SHHEC) recently honored one of its nurses with the 2015 Nurse Excellence Award in recognition of the exceptional care she provides to patients. Nina Jeffords (left), chief operating officer/chief nursing officer at SHHEC, recognized Lorraine Gahagan, RN (right), of the hospital’s Med/Surg department with her award. Other nominees included Katie Trzcinski, RN, Diagnostic Radiology; Jenny Stuckey, RN, Patient Education; Tracy Perk, RN, Emergency Department; and Stephanie Masat, RN, House Supervisor.

World Impact Real Estate Opens PCB Office
World Impact Real Estate (WIRE) opened a Panama City Beach office, which is its third branch office. With more than 100 agents, WIRE is growing. Its other locations include Destin and Fort Walton Beach/Mary Esther. WIRE is a 100% brokerage, which means agents get to keep 100% of their commissions. There is only a $350 transaction fee for each closing. 

SHHEC Awarded Spine Surgery Certification
The Spine Center at Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast (SHHEC) announced it has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for healthcare quality and safety in spine surgery. The Gold Seal of Approval is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective patient care. The Spine Center at Sacred Heart Hospital provides comprehensive care for all patients undergoing spine surgery through proper evaluation, education, exceptional treatment, and follow-up. The hospital’s healthcare team of board certified-orthopedic spine surgeons, nurses, social workers, and physical and occupational therapists offer a highly individualized treatment plan for each patient to help them return to a higher quality of life. 

New Online Family Resource Guide Launched 
Founder and creator Kellyanne Bartleson announced the official launch of www.EmeraldCoastKids.org, an online family resource guide serving Okaloosa and Walton counties. The website was designed to provide both locals and visitors with a one-stop shop of the most up-to-date information on all things kids, teens, and families. It includes links to events and local calendars; places & things to do (indoor/outdoor attractions, shopping, fishing, boating, camping, beaches); education (school links, calendars, bus info, STEM, homework help, special needs); child-care (baby-sitters, preschools, KNO); activities (lessons, classes, sports, swim, art, drama, golf, dance, music, cooking, sewing); birthday party ideas (venues, cakes, gifts); teen issues (driving, college resources, volunteer links, resume help); summer (camp listings, vacation ideas); and other useful info such as local emergency contacts, community service, fitness and nutrition, pet information, DIY/crafts, cooking/recipes, churches, kids eat free, happy hours, and more! Sponsorship and advertising opportunities are available.

Be part of Digital Graffiti .... Volunteer!
Digital Graffiti at Alys Beach is the world's first projection art festival, with artists using the latest technologies to project their original works onto the town's iconic white walls. YOU can be a part of this innovative art festival by generously donating your time. Volunteer shifts are available June 3 – 6. All volunteers will receive free admission to the festival for one night and an amazing behind the scene view of the magic. Please contact Renee at renee@culturalartsalliance.com for more information and to sign up. 

Acentria Insurance Encourages Hurricane Preparedness
During National Hurricane Preparedness Week, Acentria Insurance is encouraging homeowners and businesses to properly prepare for this hurricane season by reviewing insurance policies to ensure adequate coverage. Hurricane season is June 1 - Nov. 30. As part of your hurricane preparedness, Acentria Insurance recommends accurately recording your possessions in the event you need to file a claim. It is suggested that copies of photographs or video recordings of possessions be kept in a safe place outside of your home or business, such as electronic cloud storage or a safe deposit box. Anyone with questions about floor insurance, commercial, homeowners or renters policies, or other types of insurance can call Acentria Insurance for a complimentary policy review. 

Air Force Enlisted Village Announces New President and CEO
The Air Force Enlisted Village (AFEV) announced the selection of Brooke McLean as its new president and CEO. McLean will fill the vacancy created after the passing of James Binnicker in March. He is responsible for overseeing the operations of Teresa Village, Bob Hope Village, and the Hawthorn House, and carrying out AFEV’s mission of providing a home to widows of retired airmen, mothers of active duty service members, and retired military couples. Prior to McLean’s selection to his current position, he served as AFEV’s director of development. McLean served in the US Air Force for 30 years and served in many locations, including Hawaii, Florida, Kuwait, England, Germany, Korea, Arkansas, and California. He spent the majority of his time in the Air Force as a logistics planner and also served as the senior enlisted leader in numerous organizations culminating in his posting as the Command Chief Master Sergeant for the Pacific Air Forces.

TOPS’L Beach and Racquet Resort selected as a Gold Medal Tennis Resort
Wyndham Vacation Rentals® announced that TOPS’L Beach & Racquet Resort, a property managed by its ResortQuest brand, was recently named a Gold Medal Resort by Tennis Resorts Online. “Top 100 Tennis Resorts and Camps” rankings are released annually asking Tennis Resorts Online (TRO) readers to assess resorts and camps around the world in 20 categories from on-court experiences, such as quality of program and value, to off-court offerings, including lodging and restaurants. Making the list every year since its inception, TOPS’L Beach and Racquet Resort ranked twelfth for “Top 100 Tennis Resorts and Camps,” third for “Best Value for the Dollar,” and fifth for “Best Tennis Instruction and Programming.”

Housing Needed for J1 Students
The Others of Destin, Inc., has been working with the international (J1) students for four years, assisting with lodging, medical emergencies, and more. Affordable lodging for these students is scarce. Without it, they will be sent to other areas, causing a shortage of labor in Destin. If you can offer affordable lodging, please contact (850) 543-3960. Affordable housing per student is $92/week. Typically, 4 – 6 students share accommodations.

Coastal Accounting Donates to CAC
The Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center thanks Doug Ingram and his company, Coastal Accounting of NW Florida, PA, for being a major sponsor of the Kieran May Memorial Golf and Gala weekend. Funds raised help provide services to child victims of abuse in Okaloosa and Walton counties. Next year’s event will be held March 12-13, 2016.

CAA’s A + Art Committee Announces a Solo Exhibition 
The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA) A+ Art Committee, in partnership with Northwest Florida State College, announces a solo exhibition with artist Theresia McInnis to run June 19 – Aug. 21, at Northwest Florida College’s South Walton Center. The exhibition will kick off with an opening reception on June 19, from 5 – 7 p.m., at the college in the main building’s reception area. A+Art strives to showcase artists’ work in public places throughout Walton County.

Summer Sizzles with Entertainment and Events in Grand Boulevard
Grand Boulevard’s Coastal Culture series continues its ongoing calendar of events with the debut of Theatre Thursdays, presented by Emerald Coast Theatre Company. ECTC presents “A Midsummer Night’s Dream ala Commedia,” a hilarious and family friendly take on William Shakespeare’s play every Thursday, May 28 – July 30, at 8 p.m. in Grand Park. The performances are free and open to the public. 

Grand Boulevard’s Farmers’ Market is now open Wednesdays and Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., in Grand Park through Labor Day. This outdoor market features dozens of unique vendors offering mostly locally sourced food-based items, such as produce, eggs, grass-fed beef and chicken, local honey, pickled vegetables, sweets, and gourmet jams. Specialty soaps and lotions are also sold.

Another summer blockbuster will be presented in June with “Ballet at Twilight,” when Northwest Florida Ballet presents an evening of classical ballet and contemporary dance featuring international guest artists in Grand Park, June 27, 7:30 p.m. This event is also free and open to the public. 

Locally Owned Pointe South Rebrands Under Southern Name 
Pointe South – a member of the locally owned and operated Southern family of companies – has rebranded its Gulf Coast property management, vacation rentals, and real estate divisions. With this rebranding, Pointe South Vacation Rentals, Pointe South Residential Leasing, and Pointe South Real Estate will now operate as Southern Vacation Rentals, Southern Residential Leasing, and Southern Real Estate Sales, respectively. While the name has changed, owners, tenants, and guests alike will still receive the same genuine, local service that they have come to expect from the Northwest Florida and Coastal Alabama property management and real estate company. Pointe South’s five offices, located in Downtown Pensacola, Pensacola Beach, Perdido Key, Orange Beach, and Fairhope, will remain open and staffed by the same friendly faces. 

Local BBQ Restaurant is Named Top 10 in US
Buck’s Smokehouse was named in the TripAdvisor’s Top 10 BBQ establishments in the United States. The site was compiled through its user reviews. For details, visithttp://www.cnn.com/2015/05/20/travel/tripadvisor-best-bbq-states-restaurants-feat/.

Beachside Inn in Destin Receives TripAdvisor Award of Excellence
Beachside Inn earned the TripAdvisor “Award of Excellence” for the third consecutive year by achieving an average review ranking of 4.5 out of five stars by guests during the past year. Managed by Newman-Dailey Resort Properties, Beachside Inn ranks number one out of three B&Bs/Inns in Destin. Beachside Inn is an intimate 20-room, pet-friendly inn in Crystal Beach. Located immediately across the street from the famous Destin beaches and emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Beachside Inn enjoys the intimacy of a classic Florida beach motel along with modern conveniences.

BancorpSouth Receives America Saves Designation of Savings Excellence for Banks
Officials of BancorpSouth, Inc. (NYSE:BXS) announced the company’s banking subsidiary, BancorpSouth Bank, received the America Saves Designation of Savings Excellence for Banks, a new designation from America Saves that recognizes banks and credit unions that went above and beyond to encourage people to save money during America Saves Week. This is the first year America Saves has offered the designation. The America Saves Selection Committee, in selecting BancorpSouth for the designation, was particularly impressed with the number of new savings accounts opened by BancorpSouth, the amount of the deposits made, and the number of automatic savings deposits. 

McDonald’s Coffee With A Cause benefits Children’s Advocacy Center in January
The Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center received a check for $1,500 from Costa Enterprise’s 19 panhandle area McDonalds, which donated 50 percent of their coffee proceeds in January and April to the non-profit child-friendly organization serving the needs of children dealing with child abuse and neglect.

30A Trolley Stop Locations
Sunshine Shuttle & Limo announced its trolley stops along 30A are as follows:
• Cypress Dunes: Mailbox hut near the entrance of Phase One
• Stallworth Beach: S. Bishop entrance where the road splits 
• Gulf Place: Trustmark Bank
• Blue Mountain - Eastbound: Bella Vita on Blue Mountain Road
• Blue Mountain - Westbound: Sally's Gas Station
• Redfish Village: The Bowery Restaurant 
• Grayton: Grayton Corners - by the kayak stand
• Seaside: Directly in front of Great Southern Restaurant

Sponsorships and additional funding are needed. For details, contact www.SunshineShuttle.com.

Sponsorships Available for 2015 Save The Season
For the past six years, the Taylor Haugen Foundation has been hosting Savor the Season at Alys Beach’s beautiful Caliza Pool. The event has grown reaching nearly 500 attendees in the last year. Each year, 10-12 of the area’s premier chefs agree to volunteer their time and food to provide this unique tasting event. We pair each chef’s choice with wonderful wines from a variety of worldwide vineyards. The evening opens with a welcoming sparkling wine as the guests are greeted on arrival to the pool area where they have an opportunity to taste and enjoy some of the area’s best food and wine. Music accompanies the camaraderie and networking of area natives and visitors from across the country to the 30A area. A silent auction is ongoing through the evening while a live auction of items donated to the foundation caps off the evening. Sponsorships are available, and commitments are due by June 15. For details, contactwww.taylorhaugen.org.

Local Attorneys Donate Clothing to Children
Local attorneys Stephanie Wartenberg, Megan Blancho, and Trisha Graham donate clothing to Ken Hair, president and CEO of Children in Crisis (CIC). The clothing will help more than 100 children living at the CIC Neighborhood this year to prepare for summer vacation and get a head start on the new school year.

Acentria Insurance Recognized as Top Production Leader
Auto-Owners Insurance announced that Acentria Insurance was named one of the Top 10 production leaders for the company in the Tallahassee Region for 2014. Acentria Insurance ranked third in the Tallahassee Region for growth and production amongst property and casualty insurance, based on written premiums. The agency was recognized at a luncheon meeting in Tallahassee, where they and other recipients were presented with a plaque commemorating the accomplishment. Pictured here are Jeff Harrold, CEO of Auto-Owners Insurance; Kendall McEachern, CEO of Acentria Insurance; and Brenda Hennenfent, regional vice president of Auto-Owners Insurance.

CBA Holds Annual Marina Day Celebration
The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA) of Northwest Florida State College and Bluewater Bay Marina will host the second National Marina Day celebration on Saturday, June 13, from 12 – 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, with fun activities that highlight our connection to Choctawhatchee Bay. All ages can enjoy fish printing, touch-tanks with local aquatic life, paddle board tours, a volunteer OYSTER reef build, and more! For more information about the National Marina Day celebration at Bluewater Bay Marina, the volunteer restoration project at Marina Cove, or to schedule an interview, please contact Sarah Davis at (850) 585-7926 or daviss26@nwfsc.edu.

Discover Roads Less Traveled
The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA) of Northwest Florida State College announces the summer session of its award-winning eco-tourism initiative, Discover Roads Less Traveled: Eco-Adventures of Walton County. Voted Best Outdoor Adventure in the ‘2015 Perfect in South Walton - Best of the Best’ list, the summer tour line-up falls nothing short. Led by local experts and professional naturalists, Discover Roads Less Traveled offers visitors and local residents opportunities to explore, discover, and experience the diverse natural resources that make Walton County unique. Take a guided historical tour through the pristine Coffeen Nature Preserve, paddle a rare coastal dune lake, or enjoy learning new techniques to fishing along Choctawhatchee Bay. For more information, visit www.basinalliance.org and click the “Eco-Tours” link. 

Sacred Heart Opens New Rehabilitation Clinic at Somerby in Santa Rosa Beach
Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast now offers physical therapy services at Somerby, a new senior living community in Santa Rosa Beach. The new center features an aquatic therapy pool, exercise room, and private treatment area. Physical therapy helps restore function, improve mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities for people that are suffering from joint pain, injuries, or various diseases that impact balance, strength, and gait. The physical therapy team at Sacred Heart works with both patients and their physicians to design and implement a therapy plan based on each patient’s unique needs. 

Hilton Earns TripAdvisor Top Honors
Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa and Seagar’s Prime Steaks and Seafood received the 2015 ‘Certificate of Excellence’ from TripAdvisor. This is the fifth year in a row that Seagar’s received the award, automatically placing it into the coveted TripAdvisor 2015 Hall of Fame. The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor worldwide. Approximately 10 percent of listings on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award. 

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