Tuesday, April 4, 2017
April 2017 Business Briefs / Member News
Southern Residential Leasing announced restructuring of the company's management team, as well as the launch of its new website. Tracy Jackson, who now serves as operations manager, has been with Southern since 2012 and was named Chapter President for the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) in 2013. She will take on the responsibilities of leading operations, reporting for the division, staff management, and administering Southern's policies and procedures. Wendy Hayden, who now serves as the marketing and business development manager, has been an integral part of the Southern vision since 2011. Her previous roles in the company include property manager and director of Southern's eastern region. She is slated to focus on clients’ financial portfolios, ensuring they yield the highest return possible on investments through marketing and business development principles. SouthernResidentialLeasing.com, which launched this January, delivers a full suite of enhanced services, including an owner and tenant portal that will streamline users’ experience.
World Impact Real Estate recently welcomed several new members to its team. Elliot Marcus (left) joined the firm as a broker associate and career development facilitator. Marcus moved here from Birmingham, Ala., in March 1, 2004. He previously served as the broker of record for another locally based real estate company for 13 years, prior to joining the World Impact team.
Suzie Stinson (second from left) is a licensed Realtor in both Florida and Georgia. She has been a full-time real estate professional since obtaining her license in 2003. Within months of completing her real estate license training, Stinson completed mortgage certification at Capstone Institute in Atlanta, giving her an edge that most realtors do not have. She has been awarded the Professional Achievers Award for 14 consecutive years for sales volume which exceed millions annually.
Katie Smith (second from right) focuses on promoting economic growth and positive community relationships. Smith moved to Northwest Florida from Fort Bragg, N.C., a little more than eight months ago. Since she was 19 years old, Smith has been representing sellers and buyers in residential real estate transactions. As a military spouse, she learned quickly how to transition and adapt, while thoroughly representing her clients all the way to the closing table.
With a successful carrier in real estate in Brazil, Helena Stoppert (right) has a history of working hard for her clients, helping them through the buying and selling process with enthusiasm and a positive attitude. Her attention to details, combined with honesty and strong ethics, has ensured her growing list of happy clients, which she is also proud to call great friends. Stoppert speaks fluent Portuguese and moved to Santa Rosa Beach in 2009.
Twin Cities Hospital earned the 2016 Unit of Distinction (UOD) Award in an annual program that recognizes and rewards exemplary Medical-Surgical units at Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) facilities. The “Unit of Distinction” designation is achieved through measurable, outstanding performance in nursing leadership, professional practice, and operations and outcomes. During 2016, 477 HCA Medical-Surgical units participated in the program, and Twin Cities Hospital ranked eighth overall. Using 21 different criteria, units were scored to determine which would receive the 2016 Unit of Distinction honor, which puts them in the Top 5% of all HCA Medical-Surgical hospital units.
Gilmore Insurance & Bonding, Inc., is pleased to announce the hiring of Matt Simpson as its new commercial lines producer. During his years in the industry, Simpson has led in commercial account managing and producing with different agencies and is positioned to serve the Destin and Gulf Coast market with property and casualty needs. Simpson and his family have lived and worked in the Gulf Coast for more than 30 years. You may reach Simpson at (850) 659-2378 or visit www.insurancefast.com.
The Walton County Snowbirds, Inc., presented $2,000 to Children in Crisis, Inc. (CIC). Funding for the donation came from proceeds generated during the ladies luncheon and 50/50 drawings. The donation qualifies the organization to be a member of the CIC Kid’s Club, which helps feed, clothe, and care for the children living at the CIC Children’s Neighborhood. Seen here, Co-President Bruce Blundell presents the check to Ken Hair, CIC president and CEO. Also pictured are Co-President Timi Millar, snowbird members John Testa and Mike Krueger, and Allie Noah, CIC development director.
Destin Commons’ Coins For A Cause initiative donated $1,500 to a special needs Little League team called Challenger League Baseball. In a league that depends on sponsor contributions, the Challenger Division was established nationally in 1989 as a separate division of Little League to enable boys and girls with physical and mental challenges, ages 4 up to 22, to enjoy the game of baseball along with the millions of other children who participate in this sport worldwide. Locally, in 2005, Ronald and Diane Covey founded the Challenger Baseball League in Niceville, FL. The $1,500 donation was made through Destin Commons’ Coins For A Cause program, which was created to help benefit local charities with the monies collected from the Center’s parking meters.
A dazzling roster of celebrity winemakers and distillers will converge in South Walton, Fla., to wine, dine, educate, and entertain guests as part of the four-day celebration of wine, spirits, food, music, and fun. One of the most anticipated events of the season, South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival will be held April 27-30, 2017, in Grand Boulevard at Sandestin located within the beach communities of idyllic South Walton in Northwest Florida. To purchase tickets and view the full festival schedule, visit www.SoWalWine.com.
Wyndham Vacation Rentals announced that its ResortQuest brand will participate as sponsor of approximately 10 events this spring along Northwest Florida Beaches. Sponsorships for 2017 include the Emerald Coast Cruizin Festival on March 8-11; Pensacola Blue Wahoos Season Opener on April 6; World War II 75th Anniversary Remembrance Banquet on April 7; 34th Annual Helen Drake Invitational on April 12-16; Seabreeze Jazz Festival on April 19-23; Billy Bowlegs Charity Golf Tournament on April 20-22; Emerald Coast Volleyball Week on April 26-30; South Walton Wine Festival on April 27-30; Emerald Coast Bike Fest on May 4-7; and Jeep Beach Jam on May 17-21.
The Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation board of directors and staff applauds the generosity from individuals and businesses who have rallied in support of the recent storm damage recovery campaign.
“We are happy to announce that through generous community donations we have been able to order a replacement canopy for the Pavilion and should be installing the canopy by our opening Spring Concert in the Village in April,” said MKAF board chairman Matt Dalhman. “While we were able to order the canopy the unexpected expense has set our operating budgets back for the year. We are still graciously accepting donations to help offset those expenses so we can continue our mission.”
For organization details and upcoming concerts, please visit www.mattiekellyartsfoundation.org.
Harmony Beach Realty team announces its newest addition Karly Denes. Denes has been with Harmony Beach Vacations for more than two years and recently made the transition to real estate. Her commitment and dedication to the skill distinguishes her from competitors, and she continues to prove herself as a valuable asset to the team.
Nearly 1,500 fun-loving ladies and gents went absolutely “mad as hatters” all along the Northwest Florida Gulf coast, making Sinfonia Gulf Coast’s 5th Annual Wine Women & Shoes series of fundraising events the most successful yet. The fifth annual charity extravaganza — lead by Sinfonia Gulf Coast Director of Operations & Events Elaine Tucker and co-chaired by Demetria McNeese and Velia Lala — was an artful celebration of wine, fashion, food and fun benefitting Sinfonia Gulf Coast — the only fully professional non-profit orchestra on the Emerald Coast founded in 2005 by music and artistic director Demetrius Fuller. Each event was either sold out or nearly at capacity, and when all of the ticket sales, donations, raffle entries, silent auction bids, paddle raise pledges were tallied, $540,000 was raised to benefit Sinfonia Gulf Coast and its music education programs.
Mike Johnson (left) and Jacqui Luberto (right), with Century 21 Fine Homes & Estates Blue Marlin, have been awarded the nationally recognized Military Relocation Professional (MRP) Certification. The National Association of Realtors® awards the MRP certification to realtors who help military personnel, veterans, and their families find housing that lets them make the best use of their benefits and serves the unique needs of military life. Raised in El Campo, Texas, and a graduate from Texas A&M, Johnson and his wife always wanted to live on the Emerald Coast. After 18 years of vacationing with their family, they made the move to Destin in July 2015, where they opened their business venture, Destination Segway Tours, Inc. Previously, Johnson spent 20 years in IT (Information Technology) and 10 years owning his own business.
Born and raised in Pensacola, Luberto left the Emerald Coast for a brief period as she received her schooling from University of Alabama at Birmingham and Trident University. Luberto garnered more than 20 years of experience cultivating relationships, while a civilian employee of the Air Force and a marketing manager at ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals. With her local knowledge of the Emerald Coast, community involvement, and background in sales and marketing, Luberto is qualified to take on her new role as a Century 21 Blue Marlin agent.
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and a time to acknowledge the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect. Blue is the national campaign’s color. Show your support by participating in Strand Against Abuse. During the month of April at As You Like It Salon, located at 323 Page Bacon Road in Mary Esther, ladies (and gentlemen) can get a blue hair extension to create awareness for only a $25 donation, or $35 for two blue hair extensions. As You Like It Salon is donating time and the products for the extensions, so all money donated will benefit the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center.
Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood announced its new spring menu. Developed by new executive chef Laurie Graupner, the menu highlights seasonal favorites, such as Blue Crab Claws, Seared Scallops, Bourbon Glazed Pork Belly, Seared Snapper, Roasted Grouper, and more. New desserts added to the mix include Mixed Berry Galette and Neapolitan Parfait. Visit www.seagars.com/menus for more information.
Last fall Keller Williams Realty Emerald Coast (KWEC) hosted a BOLD class, taught by Danny Grimes, a seasoned real estate trainer. Held in Destin and attended by 52 KWEC and outside real estate agents, the results of this BOLD class were remarkable. In fact, this BOLD class ranked in the top five nationwide for its results achieved. Last week, the graduates were treated to a celebratory cruise on board the Solaris. KWEC is one of very few KW Market Centers across the nation to be selected to host BOLD training classes. BOLD is an exclusive 7-week, once-a-week class led by expert and nationally known real estate trainers. BOLD stands for Business Objective, a Life By Design. Attendees break out in various teams and record their real estate transactions during the 7-week period. The #1 team was the KW Warriors, with KWEC members Jim Meeker (pictured here), Elizabeth McGee (pictured here), Kathy Baker, Amanda Bekolay, and Kathy Bowden, and Jessica Drew. Coming in at #2 were The Top Dawgs, with Heather Blatz, Jessie Flores, Wendy Jones, Flavius Vatui, Michael Kelly and Kurt Sprigler.
The 11th Annual Children in Crisis (CIC) Charity Golf Tournament held at the Fort Walton Beach Golf Course, raised more than $20,000 for the abused, neglected, and abandoned children of our community. This year’s winning team was Mike Sapp, John Lavin, Mo Evans, and Jack Slocum with a winning score of 58. More than 120 golfers competed for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes, including longest drive and closest to the pin awards. Pictured here are Ken Hair, CIC president and CEO and members of the winning team.
Harbor Docks Restaurant is set to host the 28th Annual Frank Helton Crab Cruncher Classic on Thursday, April 6, through Monday, April 10. The top cobia fishing teams in the world will be competing for more than$200,000 in awards. Ten percent of proceeds will go to Harbor Docks Charities, which sponsors Take-A-Kid Fishing Day, an annual event that has allowed more than 8,000 children to enjoy a day fishing in the Gulf of Mexico on boats from the Destin charter fleet the first Sunday every November. For details, visit www.cobiaworldchampionships.com.
Lucy Buffett continues to spread her Gumbo Love with the announcement of the third LuLu’s restaurant location to open in the spring of 2018 at Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach, S.C. In keeping with LuLu’s locations in Gulf Shores and Destin, the Myrtle Beach restaurant will be on the Intracoastal Waterway in the Dockside Village within Barefoot Landing, a development by Burroughs & Chapin, featuring a walkable restaurant district.
Construction of the new Studer Family Children’s Hospital has begun on Sacred Heart Hospital Pensacola campus and is expected to continue for two years. The construction site has been fenced off, and the crew has begun clearing the site. Digging for the underground utility work is underway. The new four-story children’s hospital is being built in front of the existing Children’s Hospital, extending from the current pediatric transport ambulance bay into the parking lot. It will include a pediatric emergency department and trauma center, pediatric-dedicated operating rooms, neonatal intensive care unit, pediatric intensive care unit, pediatric oncology unit, medical/surgical beds, extended stay/observation beds, pediatric satellite pharmacy, pediatric inpatient rehabilitation gym, and child life playrooms.
Mark Lothson, general manager of Beal Winn Dixie, received the CIC “Extra Mile Club” award for his continued long-time service and support to Children in Crisis (CIC). For years, Mark has supported Children In Crisis events with water, soda, refreshments, and snacks. He has been an inspiration to our staff, volunteers, and board. Seen here, Ken Hair, CIC president and CEO, and Laura Moore, CIC volunteer and events director, present Lothson with the award.
Sacred Heart Oncology is starting a new Cancer Support Group at the Sacred Heart Medical Oncology Office. This is for current or former cancer patients, as well as their family members. This support group offers life changing encouragement, support, and hope regardless of your specific cancer, phase of life, or religious affiliation. The first meeting will be April 13, from 5:30 – 7 p.m. The group will continue to meet the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month. This free Cancer Support Group will meet at the Sacred Heart Medical Oncology Bldg., 27 E. Mack Bayou Loop, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459. For details, call (205) 542-6212.
When legendary chef Emeril Lagasse decides to open a new restaurant, it’s a momentous occasion. The award-winning restauranteur, cookbook autho,r and television star has announced the opening of his newest restaurant, Emeril’s Coastal Italian, which opens in Grand Boulevard late spring 2017. Lagasse’s newest restaurant joins the collection of premium restaurants based in the popular Town Center, located in the prestigious beach communities of South Walton, along the Gulf Coast of Northwest Florida.
The Okaloosa Arts Alliance (OAA) would like to invite all Okaloosa County School students to participate in the 8th 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. Each 1st place winner will receive a $75 gift card donated, each 2nd place winner will receive a $50 gift card, and each 3rd place winner will receive a $25 gift card. For details, visit www.okaloosaarts.org.
The Rotary Club of Destin will host its 5th Annual Cajun Crawfish Bash with a twist of Cinco de Crawdaddy on Friday, May 5 from 5:30 – 9 p.m. at Warren Averett’s Destin office. Event proceeds benefit young families in need through Food For Thought, Harvest House, and Boys & Girls Club of the Emerald Coast, as well as provide education support for Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation’s community outreach and The Rotary Club of Destin Scholarship Funds. The public is invited to join in the Cajun festivities, suitable for families of all ages. Fresh crawfish from Louisiana will be dished up with the traditional potatoes and corn on the cob. For those who don’t crave crawfish, there will also be grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, and barbeque chicken prepared fresh on-site. This year’s live entertainment featuring the Fais Do-Do Band is guaranteed to get your feet moving. Tickets are now on sale for $30 per person and $10 for children under 12 or free to kids age three and under. Day of event, tickets are $35 per person. For details, call (850) 837-1071 or ask a Destin Rotarian.
Broker Associate Hannah Martin of The Premier Property Group announced today her “La Lumière: A Masquerade Affair,” presented by Destin Plastic Surgery and Duckies Shop of Fun, raised $65,000 for Special Olympics Florida — Walton County. Hosted on Feb. 10, at St. Joe Club & Resorts’ WaterColor LakeHouse, the 3rd Annual event drew crowds of more than 400 in support of the area’s local Special Olympics athletes. The funds raised by La Lumière help cover costs for sports equipment and uniforms, along with travel, meals, and lodging to area and state competitions. Additionally, the local Special Olympics are working to provide new equipment to the athletes.
Dell Military brand ambassadors for Eglin Air Force Base Justine Hoffman and Jennifer Rising presented a new 13” Inspiron 2-n-1 touch screen 360 laptop to Children in Crisis (CIC). The computer will help the at risk children living at the CIC Neighborhood with tutoring and educational programs to help get CIC kids “back on track.” Seen here, Ken Hair, CIC president and CEO, receives the donation from Hoffman and Rising.
Destin Commons announced the opening of four more new retail launches at its premier outdoor lifestyle center in Northwest Florida. Coastal Outfitters, Extreme Sports Fan, and Munika Karim are now open, and Sea & Sand Jewelry will open in mid-April. For additional information about Destin Commons and its tenants, call (850) 337-8700 or visit www.DestinCommons.com.
The Premier Property Group announced Shelby Rochester has joined the locally owned and independent real estate sales firm. Rochester will be in the group’s WaterColor office. As the daughter of a successful real estate professional, Rochester inherited a love of the passionate field. Originally from Toms River, N.J., Rochester is now a full-time resident of Santa Rosa Beach. Her previous experience in real estate lends well to her new position with The Premier Property Group, having sold primary and secondary homes along Newport Beach, Newport Coast, and Laguna Beach, Calif. In addition to serving as the marketing director for a small boutique real estate firm in Newport Beach, Rochester enjoyed a two-year commitment serving on a Real Estate Ethics Committee.