Submitted by Nathan Sparks, CEcD
One Okaloosa EDC Executive Director
Happy Holidays! With Thanksgiving squarely in the rearview mirror, Hanukkah already underway and Christmas and New Year’s Day right around the corner, we now all find ourselves in the proverbial “Sprint to the Finish” that comes our way this time each and every year. Inevitably, this is the time of year that our internal deadlines begin to mount as the companies and consultants we are working to assist look to achieve end of year milestones. That said, this year is shaping up to be among the busiest in recent memory as many of the companies we serve are still playing “catch up” and working to finalize plans that were shelved during 2020 due to COVID uncertainties.
Of course, like many organizations, our “new year” actually began on Oct. 1. With that came a transition on our Executive Committee – which many of you helped us celebrate at a festive reception held at the Hilton Garden Inn on Oct. 26 (our sincere appreciation to Jillian McQueen and team for their wonderful hospitality!) In addition to thanking Lee Lewis, AVCON, for his tireless dedication as FY 2021 One Okaloosa EDC Chairman and Jason Monroe, Bit-Wizards, for his outstanding leadership as FY 2021 TeCMEN Chairman, the event also allowed us the opportunity to introduce our new FY 2022 Executive Committee.
We’re especially delighted to welcome Leslie Sheekley, Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, as our FY 2022 Chair. For those that know Leslie, you know what a steady leader she is – and also how passionate she is about our community! Moving into the Vice Chair slot is Jillian McQueen, Hilton Garden Inn, while Chad Vuyovich, MAG Aerospace, now rotates into the position of Treasurer. Rounding out One Okaloosa’s FY 2022 Officer’s Slate are two longtime supporters and community champions. Specifically, Dr. Mike Mosley, Rocky Bayou Christian School, was elected Secretary and will be chairing our Investor Value and Growth Committee, while Neko Stubblefield, Eglin Federal Credit Union, was elected Member-at-Large. Meanwhile, Nic Dezinski, Vertex Solutions, was tapped to lead TeCMEN in FY 2022, while “Buffalo” Bob Marinan will thankfully remain as Chair of One Okaloosa’s Defense Support Initiatives (DSI) committee for one more year. In the spirit of the season, please join me in thanking our outgoing One Okaloosa EDC leaders for a job well done and congratulating the capable individuals that have been selected to follow them.