Congratulations to the 18 chamber members who graduated as members of the 2017 Destin Forward class. The ceremony was held in early May. This class completed their work in the community by completing their class project, a partnership with the City of Destin recreation department that refurbished and updated the playground areas at Buck Destin Park on Legion Drive. This project will have a lasting effect on Destin and provide a safe, clean, newly landscaped playground for hundreds of children each day.
Some facts on the 2017 class: six were male, 12 were female; the youngest was 23, the oldest was 56, and the average age was 34; two had post-graduate degrees and seven had professional certifications; they represented nine different business segments; they attended at least one city council meeting, one TDC meeting and one Chamber board meeting; they each performed at least 10 hours of volunteer service for a non-profit in the community with which they were not already involved.
As you can see, this hands-on community education and leadership development program reached far and wide. The Chamber is now accepting applications for the next class. If you or someone with whom you work is looking to learn more about this great community, this is the way to do it. Not only do you learn about Destin, its history, its economy, and work on projects that improve our quality of place, you create a new network of business partners and professionals in the community. You build better and newer friendships. You hear and learn from panelists who are experts in their fields, meet elected officials, visit the Capitol in Tallahassee, and tour one of our air force bases. You learn to become a leader.
When you graduate, you leave the program as a well-rounded, educated, future leader of our community. Many have gone on to become active board members of multiple non-profit organizations. And they build their business network while doing so.
Congratulations to Jessica Johnsey of Destin Commons for winning the Destin Forward Leadership Award, as elected by her peers in the class. And congratulations to Jessica, Brandy Foley of Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance, Stephanie Larabee of Community Bank, and Brad Simmons of Hancock Bank for being elected to the Destin Forward Advisory Board.
The Chamber is now taking applications for the Class of 2018 Destin Forward class. If you’d like to apply, or have one of your co-workers apply, give us a call at (850) 837-6241 and we’ll send you the application.
Again, congratulations to the class, to Jessica, and to those elected to the advisory board. We look forward to working with them to keep the program moving forward. And we look forward to working with the Class of 2018! After all, it’s programs like Destin Forward that keep us advocating for business and strengthening our community!
With wishes for continued success,
Shane A. Moody, CCE, FCCP
President and CEO