• February 2019 Business Briefs / Member News

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    February 12, 2019
    Representative Ponder Visits Children In Crisis
    Children In Crisis - Florida State Representative Mel Ponder - Northwest Florida State CollegeFlorida State Representative Mel Ponder visited Children In Crisis (CIC) this week to learn more about the foster care challenges in the community and CIC’s efforts to help. Ponder is the chair of the Florida House of Representatives Children, Families & Seniors Subcommittee.  The subcommittee has been addressing the changes to the foster care program and is working with the Florida Department of Children and Families and Community Residential Providers to be better prepared for the new guidelines and changes to the foster care program. Ponder (left) is seen here with Dr. Bo Arnold, CIC board chairman; Ken Hair, CIC president and CEO; and Dr. G. Devin Stephenson, Northwest Florida State College president and CIC board member.

    Okaloosa County Tax Collector’s Office Collecting Delinquent Business Tax Receipts 
    The Okaloosa County Tax Collector’s Office began collecting delinquent Business Tax Receipts (BTRs) in January.  BTRs, formerly known as an Occupational Licenses, are required for businesses that provide merchandise, entertainment, or services to the public, even if only a one-person company or home-based business. They are renewed annually and should be paid by Sept. 30. Business owners can initiate, renew or pay for BTRs online at www.OkaloosaTax.com.  For questions, please call (850) 651-7300. 

    New Hyatt Place Sandestin at Grand Boulevard Provides an Ongoing Celebration of South Walton’s Artistry and Culture
    Hyatt Place Sandestin at Grand BoulevardThe South Walton community is known for its beautiful beaches, friendly people and its dedication to cultural experiences, making it the chosen location for world-renowned architects, writers, musicians and artists. The Hyatt Place Sandestin at Grand Boulevard, a Howard Group development, aligns perfectly with these ideals, pairing the artistic influences of the community with the Hyatt Place brand’s mission to create a thoughtfully designed experience around each guest. While many hotels seek to provide a comfortable and accessible stay, Hyatt Place Sandestin at Grand Boulevard exists both as an industry leading, upscale select service hotel and a true cultural offering with the thoughtful placement of local artists’ works throughout the entire property. Guests experience a seamless, modern stay, while being surrounded by a museum of local artistry. Visit the hotel's Facebook page as featured artists and their works are introduced regularly. 

    Sinfonia Gulf Coast Youth Orchestras Welcomes New Music Director
    Sinfonia Gulf CoastThe Sinfonia Youth Orchestra program is the premier training orchestra in Northwest Florida and consists of more than 50 students who perform throughout the school year in one of two ensembles: The Sinfonietta Strings and the Sinfonia Youth Orchestra. Sinfonia is pleased to announce the appointment of interim music director Aaron King Vaughn. King Vaughn will lead both the Sinfonietta Strings and full youth orchestra during the spring semester. Before completing his Masters of Music in orchestral conducting from Florida State University this spring, King Vaughn was director of orchestras at Manatee High School in Bradenton, Fla. He specializes in string pedagogy and is a member of the American String Teachers Association and the Florida Music Educators Association.

    Carrabba's Italian Grill - Miramar Beach Receives Distinction in the 11th Annual WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards®
    Carrabba's Italian Grill - Miramar Beach was announced a winner of the renowned WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards®. WeddingWire, Inc., a leading global online wedding marketplace, annually celebrates the top wedding professionals on WeddingWire across more than 20 service categories, from venues and caterers to florists and photographers. These distinguished vendors exhibit superior professionalism, responsiveness, service, and quality when interacting with the five million monthly consumers who turn to WeddingWire to help ease their wedding planning process. Carrabba's Italian Grill - Miramar Beach received this esteemed award based on its outstanding experience working with real newlyweds. WeddingWire features more than three million reviews, and these notable vendors all received prompt, reliable, and quality feedback.

    Lenny’s and BuffaLove Foundation Donate to Kids
    Children In CrisisKen Hair (left), Children In Crisis (CIC) president and CEO, received a donation of $2,900 from Glenn Schaible of Lenny’s Sub Shop. The money was raised in conjunction with the BuffaLove Foundation and Buffalo Wings. A portion of the donation came from the Lenny’s “Round Up” program that encouraged customers to donate their change to CIC.

    Center For Cosmetic and Family Dentistry Celebrates 20 Years
    Dr. Dennis Lichorwic, D.M.D., and The Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistry celebrate 20 years of business in Destin. Lichorwic received his dental degree from the University of Florida’s College of Dentistry in 1997. Following continued education in the practice, Lichorwic brought his aspirations to life by opening his own practice in 1999. With great success over the years, Lichorwic was able to grow his practice not only in Destin, but to a secondary location in Panama City Beach in 2010. The Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistry provides an array of dental services, including full cosmetic restoration, dental implants, porcelain veneers, dentures, same day crowns and ZOOM teeth whitening. It has been awarded for Cosmetic Dentistry by Best in Destin eight times, Best of the Emerald Coast 13 times, Inc 5000 three times, and  Finest of the Emerald Coast three times. Lichorwic and associates have been featured in prestigious publications, such as Florida Trend, Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies, VIP Destin Magazine, Emerald Coast Magazine and others. 

    Warren Averett Announces Two New Members In Northwest Florida
    Warren Averett is pleased to announce that six individuals have been promoted to members of the firm. Two of the new members are located in Northwest Florida. Jason Alves, CPA, leads the Panama City Audit Division and works across multiple industries, both domestically and internationally. Additionally, he is a key member in the Firm’s National Transaction Advisory Practice and has extensive experience in corporate and private equity sell-side and buy-side financial diligence transactions. Matt Walker, CPA, CGMA, of Destin specializes in consulting, accounting, tax and transaction advisory services. He also has experience in outsourcing accounting, CFO/Controller solutions and the documentation and implementation of internal controls in finance department structuring.

    Other members include Cristy Andrews, CPA, CGMA, of Montgomery; Chip Hoover, CPA, of Birmingham; David LeGrand, CPA, MTA, of Birmingham and Atlanta; and Chris Newman, CPA, of Birmingham. For more information about these new members, visit www.warrenaverett.com/newmembers

    Children’s Volunteer Health Network Announces New Dentist
    Children's Volunteer Health NetworkChildren’s Volunteer Health Network (CVHN) is thrilled to announce the addition of Dr. Stephanie Curley to its Dental Clinic Program. Curley joined CVHN after Hurricane Michael damaged the Lynn Haven dental office she was working in at the time. Originally from Louisville, Ken., Curley moved to the area in 2015 with her husband just months after graduating from the University of Louisville School of Dentistry. When the opportunity to work for CVHN emerged, Curley was excited to join a nonprofit team that focused on serving children.

    Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa Announces New Winter Menu at Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood
    Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa announced a new winter menu at Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood. The menu highlights favorite dishes of Executive Chef Lee Guidry, including Beef Carpaccio with baby arugula, artichoke heart, ricotta salata, lemon, olive oil and garlic; Jumbo Lump Blue Crab with tempura, warm vegetable salad and ginger dressing; Heureux Farms Pork Belly with braised short rib and pork belly cannelloni, wild mushroom, poached carrot and pork jus; Seared Snapper with white bean stew, wilted spinach and warm shrimp salad; and more. The newest salad on the menu is the Beet Salad, with roasted beets, bibb lettuce, candied pistachio, chevre and champagne vinaigrette. Exciting desserts on the menu include a Bruleed Poached Bosc Pear with vanilla bean, mascarpone, walnut butter and maple shortbread and the restaurant’s classic, tableside Bananas or Peaches Foster flambéed and served over vanilla ice cream. Visit Seagars.com/menus for more information. 

    Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation Installs 2019 Board, Bestows Awards
    Mattie Kelly Arts FoundationThe Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation (MKAF) recently kicked off its 24th season with an awards and induction ceremony. MKAF applauded the following retiring board members for their dedicated service: Keri Atchley, Meagan Atwood, Debbie Dodge, Kim Holley, Pat Madden, Misty Rae Ruthrauff, Elizabeth Spies, Alexis Tibbetts and Kathy Whidden. More than 300 annual volunteers support the MKAF, but there is always someone who stands out in the crowd. The Volunteer of the Year Award recognized Shane Moody of the Destin Chamber of Commerce for contributing countless hours of volunteer service. The foundation's most prestigious award, the Chairman's Sterling Award, honors that special board member who exemplifies commitment, spirit and vision to the Foundation's mission. Elizabeth Spies of the Destin Chamber of Commerce was this year's recipient recognizing her efforts on Special Events Committee, Marketing Committee, Volunteer Committee, and as the driving force behind the Venue Committee. 

    After the passing of the gavel to the 2019 Chairman Heather Ruiz, she announced her fellow Executive Committee members, including Kevin Bowyer, vice chairman; Bill Lindsley, treasurer; Teresa Halverson, secretary; Shantelle Dedicke; Dion Moniz; Wayne Paul; and Todd Wilkinson. Also installed were the 2019 elected board of directors, including  Maxine Orange Bern, Jenni Brunson, James Campbell, Robin Donlon, Rand Fernandez, Mike Freeman, Meloney Howell, Gilda Jackson, Denise Kendust, Bill McQuillan, Patricia Parker, Lori Leath Smith, Shawn Tomasello , and Marcela Vucovich.  Seen here are (back row, left to right) Vucovich, Wilkinson, Fernandez, Kendust, Paul, Ruiz, Dedicke, (front row, left to right) Jackson, Howell, Donlon, Smith, Parker, and Bern. Photo was provided by Kay Phelan. 

    Lewis Named New RN Supervisor for Sacred Heart Hospital Family Birth Place
    Sacred Heart on the Emerald CoastSacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast named Amber Lewis as the new nurse supervisor of the Family Birth Place at Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast (SHHEC).  Lewis has been with Sacred Heart since 2008. Most recently, Lewis served as the nurse educator for Family Birth Place at SHHEC. She graduated from Pensacola State College with a Bachelor of Nursing degree and received her Master of Science degree in Nursing Leadership and Management from Western Governor’s University in 2017. In addition to her time as an educator, Lewis has worked in perinatal nursing for nearly 10 years in various areas to include labor and delivery, postpartum, newborn nursery, NICU float, triage, and OB/Emergency department

    Employment Law: Employer Myths, Mistakes & Misunderstandings
    Number 2 – January 2019 | Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon
    This article is one of a series of articles intended to identify and discuss some of the mistake’s employers make and misunderstandings that employers have with respect to employment laws.  It is not intended, and should not be construed, as legal advice. Author – Brad Adams

    “If I have entered into an independent contractor agreement with a worker and issue the worker an IRS Form 1099, then the worker is an independent contractor under the law.”  
     A surprising number of employers wrongly assume that if they simply have an independent contractor agreement with a worker, the worker necessarily is an independent contractor and not an employee under the law.  Not only is this assumption incorrect, but an employer who operates under this assumption may be doing so at a significant risk. 

    Keep reading…

    United Way Grants $50K to Purchase Van for Disabled Individuals
    United Way of Okaloosa - Walton CountiesUnited Way of Okaloosa & Walton Counties 2018 Community Impact Grant awarded The Arc of the Emerald Coast $50,000 for its transportation program.  United Way Board of Directors, members of The Arc Board of Directors, and The Arc Beneficiaries gathered Jan. 17, to celebrate the arrival of this new van, a 10-passenger handicapped accessible with wheelchair lift and two wheel chair spaces. The van replaces one of the declining vehicles in The Arc’s 16-vehicle fleet and went into use the day it arrived for transportation of five adults with intellectual disabilities living in a new 6-person group home in Crestview. The van serves as the sole transportation for The Arc clients, with daily rides to and from The Arc’s Ft Walton Beach Adult Day Training Facility, and including all day-to-day transportation needs, outings and hurricane evacuation. 

    City of FWB Police Dept. Helps Children in Crisis
    Children In CrisisKen Hair (left), Children In Crisis (CIC) president and CEO, receives a check for $362 from Sheila Mercier of the City of Fort Walton Police Department, Crime Scene Investigation office, along with Major Tracy Hart also from the FWB Police Dept.  The fundraiser was coordinated by Mercier with the Crime Scene Investigation office, but all of the police department team pitched in to raise the funds to help the children living at the CIC Neighborhood have a special New Year.

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