• March 2016 Business Briefs / Member News Part 1

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    March 01, 2016
    Heritage 5K Run/Walk & Kids Fun Run
    The Heritage 5K Run/Walk and Kids Fun Run is set for Saturday, April 30, beginning at 8 a.m., at the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida. Runners and walkers will enjoy a 3.1 mile scenic route along beautiful Boggy Bayou.  The first 200 applicants will receive a free t-shirt and goody bag, while supplies last.  Winners in each category will receive a unique matted and framed photograph from the Museum's library archives.

    RE/MAX Southern’s Destin Lowery Earns Lifetime Achievement Award 
    RE/MAX Southern Realty is pleased to announce that Destin Lowery has been presented with the RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Award. This award, which has been received by less than six percent of the RE/MAX network, honors highly successful agents who have earned more than $3 million in commissions and been a part of the RE/MAX network for at least seven years. Lowery has been helping her customers buy and sell real estate on the Gulf Coast for more than 16 years, and she has been instrumental in the growth of the Susie Kirkland Team since the start of her career. Since 1999, Destin has earned a spot within the RE/MAX Hall of Fame, The Chairman’s Club, Platinum Club and the 100% Club, in addition to becoming a series regular on HGTV’s “House Hunters: Destin,” and “House Hunters: Where Are They Now?” 2015 was an especially exciting time for Destin, as she and the Susie Kirkland Team finished the year earning RE/MAX Southern’s coveted “Top Team for Transactions” and “Top Team for Sales Volume” awards with 91 transactions totaling over $37 million in sales.

    Southern Residential Leasing Property Managers Pass Real Estate Exams 
    Southern Residential Leasing is pleased to announce that area property managers Sammie Barberi, Teresa Lee, and Angie Williams have passed their state real estate exams. Earlier this year, Southern encouraged all employees to attain their corresponding Florida or Alabama real estate licenses as a way to increase expertise across all areas of the property management industry. With the addition of Barberi, Lee, and Williams, 80 percent of the Southern Residential Leasing team is officially licensed to sell real estate, and more importantly, better-equipped to represent the company’s growing number of portfolios in the greater Mobile, Pensacola and Destin areas. Barberi and Williams both passed Florida’s state exam and will continue to manage condos and homes for rent in Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Navarre, Gulf Breeze, Pensacola, Perdido Key, and the surrounding area. Lee, assistant residential leasing manager in Fairhope, received her Alabama license and will oversee all long term rentals in Mobile, Spanish Fort, Daphne, Fairhope, Gulf Shores, and Orange Beach.

    Ruckel joins First Florida Bank as Vice-President/Director of Marketing
    First Florida BankFirst Florida Bank is proud to announce that Steve Ruckel has joined the Bank as Vice President/Director of Marketing. Ruckel brings more than 20 years’ experience in the banking and real estate development industries. He was previously the president and CEO of Vanguard Bank & Trust Co. and most recently served as the President of Ruckel Properties, Inc., in Niceville.  Ruckel earned a BS in Finance and Business Administration from Florida State University and also holds an MA in Practical Theology from Regent University. 

    Children’s Advocacy Center Announces New Director of Development
    Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy CenterThe Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC) announced Kim Henderson will be its new director of development, effective May 1. Graduating from Wright State University with a Bachelor of Science in marketing, Henderson is the consummate professional who knows all about the nonprofit sector. Whether it’s handling events, volunteers, patrons or fundraising, she’s done it all for years. From working with David M. Costa Enterprises, Inc., and Villere, Inc. (dba McDonalds) as their marketing/special events coordinator; the area manager of Okaloosa, Walton and Bay counties for the Ronald McDonald House of Northwest Florida; to most recently serving as the executive director of Fisher House of the Emerald Coast, Henderson has a wealth of experience.

    Century 21 Fine Homes & Estates Blue Marlin Announces Seven Additions
    Century 21 Fine Homes & Estates Blue Marlin continues to expand the team with new realtors Bill Burt, Nick Collins, Bill Lofé, Phil Lofé, Jordan Pehowic, and Jane Snyder, and new property manager Stormy Bones.
    Raised in Benton, La, Burt attended Louisiana State University and Northeast Louisiana University, graduating with a degree in Pharmacy. In Burt’s early professional career, his jobs included pharmaceutical sales, management, and Government affairs. Burt served in the United States Navy, Army National Guard, and Reserves, and attained the rank of Colonel before retiring.

    A native of Charleston, W.V., Collins moved to Florida’s Emerald Coast in October 2011 after being stationed at Eglin Air Force Base with the Marine Corps. Having joined the Marine Corps in 2006 following graduation, Collins worked as a structures and hydraulic mechanic on the F-18 fighter aircraft until 2011, when he was chosen to learn and work on the F-35 “B” STOVL Fighter aircraft before introducing the aircraft to the US Marine Corps fleet. Still an active duty service member, Collins’s experience lends well to his real estate career.
    From Niceville, Bill Lofé is familiar with the Emerald Coast. He is a graduate of Niceville High School and the University of Florida. Previously, Lofé was a broker's assistant and licensed sales associate for two years and considers himself an expert on condominiums in the Destin area. 

    Born in Valparaiso, Philip Lofé has lived on the Emerald Coast his entire life. At the age of 21, Lofé became a realtor for Century 21 Coastal Realty Services and has worked in real estate ever since. He has been honored with awards, such as Okaloosa County Boss of the Year and Top Listing and Selling Award. In his new role as team leader and broker associate, Lofé understands that buyers and sellers rely on his expertise and 30 years of real estate experience.
    A native of Northwest Florida, Pehowic lived in Crestview, before moving to Destin in 2011. A recent graduate of Northwest Florida State College in business, Pehowic feels her new position with Century 21 Fine Homes & Estates Blue Marlin is the perfect fit for her budding real estate career.

    Born and raised in Cleveland, Miss., Snyder graduated from Delta State University with a degree in Fashion Merchandising and a minor in Business and Art. After moving to the area in 2004, Snyder managed parasail and watersport companies and instructed fitness classes. Snyder believes her role as a realtor at Century 21 Fine Homes & Estates Blue Marlin is well suited for her passion for homes and design.
    Originally from Starkville, Miss., Bones relocated to the area in 2011. With 10 years of experience in property management, Bones aims to help her coworkers any way that she can in her new role as property manager.

    David Seering and Friends Raise $28,000 for CIC Children
    Children In CrisisLocal accomplished and brilliant musician David Seering and friends performed their annual concert to benefit community charity Children in Crisis (CIC). This year Seering performed with the Swing City Band and singer Amanda Holmes.  The show was held at the Village Baptist Church. Seen here, Ken Hair, CIC president and CEO, receives the donation from Holmes and Seering.

    Sandestin Family Retail Shops Announces New Look for Island Clothiers and Barefoot Princess
    The Sandestin Family Retail Shops announced today that two staple stores, Island Clothiers and Barefoot Princess, are unveiling a brand new look in March. Both stores are located in the Village of Baytowne Wharf in Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. With all new fixtures, lighting, and layout, the interior design of Barefoot Princess and Island Clothiers will be markedly improved, and will still carry favorite brands such as Lilly Pulitzer, Vineyard Vines and Lauren James. Island Clothiers will now feature a Southern Tide “shop-within-a-shop.” This comes at a fortunate time for both Island Clothiers and Southern Tide, as the highly successful clothing line is launching an extensive, all new women’s line. Island Clothiers is proud to be able to feature the line, alongside the brand’s well-known and loved men’s collection, in the newly remodeled store. The stores will reopen Thursday, March 3, and will celebrate the new remodel with a fun-filled grand reopening weekend on March 18-20. 

    723 Whiskey Bravo Donates Custom Made Guitar to ECCAC Golf & Gala
    Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy CenterSkip and Victoria Moore, owners of 723 Whiskey Bravo restaurant in Seagrove Beach, commissioned Chris Alvarado, musician and owner of Driftwood Guitars, to hand-craft a guitar customized for the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC). The $5,550 guitar will be in the live auction at the upcoming Black Tie & Board Shorts Gala, along with other exciting items such as trips to the Kentucky Derby and San Miguel, Mexico. The event is part of ECCAC’s annual signature Kieran May Memorial Golf Classic and Gala. The Gala is Saturday, March 12 at 5:30 p.m., at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa. Guests will enjoy dinner, dancing and entertainment, live and silent auctions, and a cork wine pull. The golf tournament will be held Sunday, March 13, at Kelly Plantation Golf Club with a noon t-time. An energetic, yet important black tie optional fund raising event will benefit children who have been impacted by abuse, abandonment and neglect by providing services to help identify, treat and support them in abusive situations.

    Stage is New Airports Director
    Okaloosa County AirportsTracy Stage, A.A.E., was approved by the Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners as the new airports director at a meeting this morning. Stage has been with the Airports for almost 10 years, has earned the distinction of Accredited Airport Executive, by the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), and had a successful military career prior to his employment with Okaloosa County.  
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