I am humbled and honored to be your incoming Chairman for 2013. You don’t get the opportunity to become Chairman without the encouragement, support, and understanding of extraordinary people along the way. I'm especially blessed by the people who surround me, and thank you just doesn't seem adequate enough to express my deep and humble appreciation for your investment in me. My plan is to give all that you've given me and more back to the Chamber in 2013. I'm looking forward to a great year!
Getting ready for the New Year, the entire Destin Area Chamber Boards from 2012 and 2013 met at the Northwest Florida College in November 2012 for our yearly Strategic Planning. My goal is simple...to improve our community by increasing the quality of life in Destin for businesses and residents to work and live and play. It's a simple philosophy derived from the concept of the more the give, the more you get back. Now, I would agree with those of you who are thinking, "well, how can you improve on Destin!" I know, right! But, we're going to try.
Already, we're not happy about those pesky helicopters, cool as they are, buzzing all over our clean open air space. So, that's on the list. Would you like to see Norriego Point stabilized? We would, too, and we're making that a priority on behalf of the over 900 members we represent to make that happen.
What else, you ask? Well, we've already sent a Resolution to Destin City Hall reminding them that Code Enforcement and Zoning are important in a small community. We've asked that they "beef up their security" a bit and keep a level playing field for cleaner neighborhoods and business areas. After all, rules are designed to help everyone, and they're created to protect the public. We can't have some people following the law while others get away with havoc - that's chaos we aren't willing to accept any longer.
Have you ever tried to find an address on Highway 98 East...I mean Harbor Boulevard....well actually it might be Emerald Coast Parkway. It's so confusing, and we live here. Imagine if you are from out of town...what the heck! So, we're planning to figure out a way to get mile markers, maybe even every half mile, from the Destin Bridge to the eastern city limits. That way, businesses can advertise their location by the mile markers, and everyone who is looking for them can find them sooooo much more easily.
These are just a few of the exciting things we've got coming up this year. Of course, we'll continue offering you opportunities to network, to socialize, to drink, to dine, and to advertise...but if you know someone who isn't a member of the Destin Area Chamber of Commerce, let them know that they are welcome to be part of the great things happening at the Chamber. We're forming more committees this year and looking for ideas from the membership. If you'd like to get more involved, please contact Elizabeth Spies at (850) 837-2711 x5.
Mary Anne Windes
Real Estate Professionals of Destin, Inc.
Destin Fishing Fleet Marina, Inc.