• June 2016 Business Briefs / Member News Part 4

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    June 28, 2016
    Wells Fargo Advisors Moves to Grand Boulevard
    Wells Fargo Advisors has relocated its Destin office to 625 Grand Boulevard Ste. 200, in Miramar Beach. The branch has served as a staple in the community for 23 years and currently has nine financial advisors on staff. It offers a complete spectrum of financial products and services to both individuals and businesses.  

    National Marina Day Volunteers Make Progress on Reef
    The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA) and Bluewater Bay Marina Complex held a community-wide volunteer effort on National Marina Day, June 11, to construct oyster reef breakwaters along the marina’s eroding Rocky Bayou shoreline. Fifty-six volunteers, of all ages, came out to provide support for the expansive restoration project. When complete, this living shoreline site will house the largest oyster reef CBA has constructed in 20 years.   

    Grand Fitness Offers Corporate Rates
    Grand Fitness is in the final stages of construction with an August opening planned.  Pre-sale specials end July 1. If you are interested in a corporate rate and have 10 or more employees, please contact pamela@grandfitnessfl.com.

    6th Annual Smoke on the Coast BBQ & Fireworks Festival at Destin Commons 
    Destin Commons - Smoke on the CoastWho will be king of the grill and win the coveted “People’s Choice and Judge’s Pick Awards” at this year’s 6th Smoke on the Coast BBQ & Fireworks Festival at Destin Commons? It will be held on Sunday, July 3, from 5 - 10 p.m. More than a dozen area restaurants and BBQ experts will fire up their grills vying to be the best. This year’s judges are Q92 DJ Chelsea Castoria, VIP Destin Magazine editor Steve Barber, and Ken Wampler of Newman-Dailey Resort Properties. From 6 - 8 p.m., for $1 per sampling, attendees can sample mouth-watering BBQ dishes hot off the grills and cast their votes to determine the People’s Choice winner. The evening concludes with a big bang at 9:15 with a fireworks finale.

    2015 Tax Collector Rolls
    Okaloosa County Tax Collector Ben Anderson is pleased to announce another successful year of real estate and tangible personal property tax collection for the citizens and taxing authorities of Okaloosa County. The 2015 Tax Roll was set at $216 million. Collection began in November 2015 and recently concluded with the Online Tax Certificate Sale held on June 1, 2016. This year’s tax certificate sale produced $5,042,583.77 in revenue for the Okaloosa County Taxing Authorities from the sale of 3,166 tax certificates. Taxpayers saved $7,449,108.42 by taking advantage of early payment discounts.

    Alert Okaloosa Registration Encouraged
    A new program called Alert Okaloosa will replace the existing Code Red Weather Warnings System on July 1, and you can register now, prior to activation. Alert Okaloosa utilizes a new program, called Everbridge, acquired through the State for a substantial savings; however, current Code Red users will have to re-register, if you are a registered Code Red user. Select this link to register: https://member.everbridge.net/index/892807736724689#/signup.

    Okaloosa Information Technology Director Don Vanderhoek Retires 
    After 26 year,s Don Vanderhoek, the Okaloosa County information technology director is retiring. Over the past 25 years, the Okaloosa IT Department, under Vanderhoek’s leadership, created Geographical Information Systems (GIS-mapping), an Applications Division, and a Systems and Networks Division to meet the needs of day-to-day operations of the county in one department. However, Vanderhoek’s vision greatest accomplishment, with the support of staff and the BCC, is the Fiber Optic Network that not only saves the county significant money, but also will serve the county well into the future.

    Painting with a Purpose Gives Local Families a Fresh Start
    Fresh Start for Children & FamiliesFort Walton Beach Painting with a Twist Franchise Owners David Presnell and Barbara Dean hosted a painting event to benefit Fresh Start for Children & Families. The event was open to the public, and 100% of the registration fees were donated to Fresh Start. Nearly $2,000 for the local non-profit and a few Fresh Start residents were sponsored guests at the painting event. Seen here, owners Presnell and Dean present a check to staff and leadership of Fresh Start.

    FNBT Team Donate Xbox to Children
    Children In Crisis - FNBT BankThe employees of FNBT Bank recently presented the kids living at the Children in Crisis (CIC) Neighborhood Travis Tringas Memorial Foster Home a new Xbox with wireless remotes and new games. Seen here, FNBT Bank employees Ann Nelly, Patti Miller, Meghan Queen, and Joanie and Al Dudas present the gaming system to Ken Hair, CIC president and CEO, and Travis Tringas Memorial Home parents Christy and Rick Johnson.  

    Local Nonprofit Breaks Ground in Nicaragua
    The Sonder ProjectThe Sonder Project recently broken ground on a school in Santa Rita San Juan Yaro, Nicaragua, which is a small village in the Waslala region where people typically farm corn, beans, bananas, and plantains to generate income. At the time of construction, Santa Rita San Juan Yaro had one temporary classroom, with incomplete walls and mud floors. There were 64 students learning in this classroom, taught by two teachers, teaching six grades. Students walked as far as 5km to another community with suitable classrooms for learning. For more information on this and other projects, please visit www.thesonderproject.org.

    Allegiant Announces First Route Between Las Vegas and VPS
    Allegiant today announces its first route between Las Vegas and Destin / Fort Walton Beach, Florida, beginning Oct. 7, 2016. In conjunction with the new route that will launch just in time for the holiday travel season, the company is celebrating with a “Christmas in July” Facebook sweepstakes to give away seats on the route’s inaugural flight.* Allegiant is offering one-way fares on the route for as low as $69.** Flight days, times and the lowest fares can be found only at Allegiant.com. The “Christmas in July” sweepstakes is part of Allegiant’s ongoing $1 Million Summer, a promotion in which the company is giving away $1 million in airfare throughout the summer. For more information on Allegiant’s $1 Million Summer, visit Allegiantair.com/blog/million

    Burgers, Beach Time, and One Very Happy Papaw!
    ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation RentalsKenny Harmon, the social media sensation known as “Sad Papaw,” is all smiles now! He’s currently spending four glorious days vacationing in Destin, with 20 of his close family and friends…and all under one roof thanks to ResortQuest! Back in March, a tweet by one of Harmon’s granddaughters catapulted him into celebrity status. Nearly 180 thousand people retweeted “Sad Papaw” eating a hamburger while seemingly heartbroken that only one of his six grandkids showed for a dinner. But it all worked out for Papaw. Allegiant Air and Destin-based ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals have given him a vacation of a lifetime, complete with direct flights on the new Oklahoma City to Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport Route and a 7-bedroom, beachfront home perfect for all three generations traveling together. 
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