• November 2015 Business Briefs / Member News Part 1

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    November 03, 2015
    Destin Water Users receives Florida Rural Water Association (FRWA) Recognition
    Destin Water Users (DWU) won the Florida Rural Water Association (FRWA) Medium Wastewater Plant of the Year Award, and Joe Fosdick was named FRWA Wastewater Operator of the Year at the FRWA Annual Conference, held recently in Daytona Beach. A medium public waste water system is defined as serving a population greater than 3,300. To qualify for an award, the plant must have a state certified drinking water operator, be in compliance with the State of Florida, and be a current FRWA member in good standing. 

    Fosdick, DWU’s wastewater treatment plant operator, is responsible for the overall operation and preventative maintenance of the wastewater treatment plant and associated equipment in accordance with federal, state, and DWU operating instructions, policies, and procedures.  Currently second in charge of the operation of the George French Wastewater Reclamation Facility, Fosdick has been with DWU since January of 2006. In order to qualify for the Operator of the Year award, a wastewater operator must possess active certification in the State of Florida, must be in compliance with the Department of Environment Protection, and be employed by a current FRWA Member System.
    World Impact Real Estate Welcomes Realtor Chris Sennett
    World Impact Real EstateRealtor Chris Sennett’s family was in the military and moved around the U.S. and overseas often, until the Sennetts settled in the Panhandle in 1979.  Sennett loved the area immediately, but left to pursue an undergraduate degree in marketing and a master’s degree in international business.  His professional career took him to San Francisco, Houston, Fort Lauderdale, and abroad to France and Belize. Sennett brings a lot of marketing savvy to his clients and is keen on listening to their needs, as he tailors a strategy for both his sellers and buyers.  He is a resident of Santa Rosa Beach, but knows the area well from Pensacola to Apalachicola.  He is fluent in French and Spanish, is a licensed pilot, and loves the outdoors, remodeling, and spending his free time with his wife and daughter. Now with World Impact Real Estate, you may reach Sennett at (850) 259-156.

    Hilton Sandestin Appoints New Director of Marketing
    Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa announced Angela Vaughn as the resort’s new director of marketing.  In her role, Vaughn will help grow visibility through public relation efforts, strengthen brand standards, and implement innovative marketing strategies for all brands under the Hilton Sandestin umbrella, including Seagar’s Prime Steaks and Seafood, Serenity by the sea, Sandcastle’s Restaurant and Lounge, Hadashi Sushi Bar, and Barefoot’s Beachside Bar & Grill. Vaughn joins Hilton Sandestin Beach with more than 12 years of experience in the marketing, public relations, and advertising fields. Most recently, Vaughn worked as community & public relations coordinator for Visit South Walton (VSW). 

    Okaloosa Arts Alliance Announces Board of Directors
    The Okaloosa Arts Alliance (OAA) announces the 2015-2016 board of directors: President Bill Head; Chair of the Volunteer Committee/Vice President Ken Hair, Children in Crisis; Treasurer Susan Kneller; and Chair of the OAA Grants Committee/Secretary Becky Belcher, Arts & Design Society. The Board of Directors are Keri Woods, Pyramid Inc.; Nellie Bogar, Youth Village; Demetrius Fuller, Sinfonia Gulf Coast; Ursel Behnken, German Club; Jeanette Shires, Mattie Kelly Arts Center of NWFSC and NWFL Symphony Guild; Chris Manson, The Beachcomber; Jean Starkey, Stage Crafters; Gayle Vann, The Arc of the Emerald Coast; James K Baughman, Sr., Author; Pat Federinko, Artist; and Bill Johnston, Emerald Coast Pipes & Drums. 

    Emerald Coast Toys for Tots Needs Volunteers
    With the holidays on the horizon, it’s time for Emerald Coast Toys for Tots to ramp up its efforts. The mission of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them into becoming responsible, productive, and patriotic citizens. Hundreds of volunteer hours need to be filled to ensure the program will run smoothly this year.  The organization and the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors are asking for help from anyone that would like to help kids or from any group that needs volunteer hours. Please email emeraldcoasttoysfortots@gmail.com to learn how you can get involved. 

    Children in Crisis Opens New Foster Home
    Children In Crisis - Travis Tringas HomeChildren in Crisis (CIC) cut the ribbon on its fourth new foster home, “Travis Tringas Cottage” located at the CIC Children’s Neighborhood.  More than 150 community leaders were in attendance to witness yet another significant milestone in CIC’s development. The new facility provides a home to 12 foster children and keeps sibling families of brothers and sisters together. Seen here are Kitty Johnson, chairman of the CIC Board of Directors; Ken Hair, CIC president and CEO; other members of the CIC Board; the John and Pat Tringas Family; and representatives from the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation.

    Arts in Medicine Program Hosts November Art Show at Sacred Heart Hospital’s Atrium Gallery
    Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast Arts in Medicine program will host an art show and sale featuring the works of 15 members of the Local Color Artists Club, based in Okaloosa County. The exhibit will feature a variety of works and mediums, including oils, pastels, acrylics, watercolors, plen air, photography, and metal. The art exhibit opens in the Sacred Heart Hospital 2nd Floor Atrium Gallery on Tuesday, Nov. 3, and continues through Wednesday, Dec. 30. The public is invited to come meet the artists and enjoy refreshments on Wednesday, Nov. 4 from 3 - 5 p.m.

    Halloween Howled at Destin Commons 
    Destin Commons Halloween Haunt
    The Halloween Haunt and store trick-or-treating was a howling hit at Destin Commons this past weekend. More than 300 kids, their parents, and dogs strutted their creative costumes in a costume contest, while hundreds of on-lookers observed the haunting happenings. Winners included Nix Thomas and Harley Fagan for 0-2-year-olds; Aiden Bartlett and Landon Fagan (seen here) for 3-4-year-olds; and Amber Villareal, Sara Newfield-Grover, and Alayna Curray for 9-12-year-olds. Kids enjoyed Halloween trick-or-treating at stores throughout Destin Commons, as well as a lively costume contest for kids and dogs.

    Okaloosa Arts Alliance Accepting Grant Applications
    The Okaloosa Arts Alliance (OAA) is accepting grant applications through Dec 1, 2015.  The Okaloosa Arts Alliance will be awarding $4,000 in grants to local non-profits and schools within Okaloosa County to aid in their art and/or cultural programs for 2015. The grant application and guidelines are available on the website at www.okaloosaarts.org. For questions or comments, please email Amy at amybaty1@gmail.com.
    Two Hospitals in Tri-County Area Earn “A” for Patient Safety 
    An announcement released nationally by the independent hospital watchdog The Leapfrog Group shows key shifts among many hospitals on the A, B, C, D and F grades rating them on errors, injuries, accidents, and infections. Fort Walton Beach Medical Center and Twin Cities Hospital earned an “A” in this elite national ratings program, recognizing its strong commitment to patient safety. The Hospital Safety Score is the gold standard rating for patient safety, compiled under the guidance of the nation’s leading patient safety experts and administered by The Leapfrog Group, a national, independent nonprofit. The first and only hospital safety rating to be peer-reviewed in the Journal of Patient Safety, the Hospital Safety Score is free to the public and designed to give consumers information they can use to protect themselves and their families when facing a hospital stay.

    Invasive Plant Removal Volunteer Opportunity
    Choctawhatchee Basin AllianceThe Longleaf Alliance is partnering with Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance to cut down invasive Chinese tallow and mimosa trees, and volunteers are needed to help move the tree debris, including limbs and cut up trunks, from participating properties to a collection point at the edge of the properties. Volunteers are needed on Wednesday, Nov. 11, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Wear clothes and close-toed shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty. Bring sunscreen, snacks, a water bottle, and a hat. Water, Gatorade, and gloves will be provided. For details, contact Rachel Gwin at gwinr@nwfsc.edu.

    Harmony Beach Vacations Introduces...
    Harmony Beach Vacations introduces Harmony Beach Realty! Whether you want to sell your existing property, or if you are looking to acquire a new condo/home/land, Harmony Beach Realty is here for you providing a full range of real estate services. The Harmony Beach Realty team includes John Toombers, realtor and licensed real estate broker, and Sharon F. McCreary, realtor. Call (850) 650-0551.

    Help the Children’s Advocacy Center Make a Difference this Holiday Season
    It’s not too early to start planning for the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center’s (ECCAC) 2015 Adopt-a-Family program to help children in need over the upcoming Holiday season. ECCAC is seeking donors who will purchase gifts for individual families who have been identified by the Center. Last year, the program helped more than 300 children and their families have a brighter Holiday. Contact ECCAC at ChristmasProgram@hotmail.com or call (850) 833-9237x268 to make arrangements to identify an Adopt-a-Family, then shop for them, and bring unwrapped gifts by Dec. 11, or sooner, to the Niceville Center.  
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