• October 2018 Business Briefs / Member News Part 1

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    September 27, 2018
    ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals Employees Hosted Lake Carillon Clean Up Initiative
    ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation RentalsResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals (RQWVR) recently hosted a Lake Carillon Clean Up initiative. Whitby Jerkins, RQWVR Seacrest Beach-based area general manager, and his volunteer team at Carillon Beach Inn Panama City, participated. Fifteen ResortQuest associates, guests, and employees from Carillon businesses came together to clean and clear more than 70 pounds of trash and overgrowth that was suffocating the healthy vegetation. Seen here, Calvin Kahl of Freeport, dives right in, while other ResortQuest associates used paddle boards to fish out debris from Lake Carillon. ResortQuest associates are always looking for volunteer opportunities and new ways to truly make a difference in the local community. ResortQuest offers a “Wish Day” program, as an opportunity for all employees to take a day to take a day solely for giving back to the community through volunteering. 

    Gulfarium Achieves Re-Aaccreditation for the Highest Standards of Animal Welfare
    Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park successfully participated in a rigorous re-accreditation process from the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks & Aquariums (AMMPA) and the International Marine Animal Trainer's Association (IMATA). IMATA is an international association representing marine life parks, aquariums, and zoos dedicated to the highest standards of care for marine mammals and to their conservation in the wild through public education, scientific study, and wildlife presentations.

    Crane Fund for Widows and Children Donates to CIC
    Children In CrisisSeen here, Ken Hair, Children In Crisis president and CEO, receives a check for $3,000 from Scott Strunk, representing Crane Fund for Widows and Children and its workforce of more than 150 who voted for CIC to receive the donation. The CIC donation will help provide a home, food, clothing, and care for the foster children living at the CIC Neighborhood. 

    Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen to Open In Destin Commons
    Destin Commons Paula DeenPaula Deen and Destin Commons have announced plans to open the family-style restaurant at Destin Commons in the first quarter 2019 on South Street by Uncle Buck’s Fishbowl & Grill.  Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen exemplifies traditional Southern hospitality and brings her famous family recipes, including Paula Deen’s Southern Fried Chicken to the restaurant table. The Destin restaurant is the latest announcement in a rapidly growing expansion of the Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen brand, which also has locations in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Fairview, Texas; San Antonio, Texas; and coming soon at Pier Park in Panama City Beach and OWA in Foley, Ala.

    Newman-Dailey Real Estate Sales Division Announces 2018 Second Quarter Top Producers 
    Newman-Dailey Resort Properties Real EstateNewman-Dailey Resort Properties Real EstateBroker Associate Diane Green (left) and Broker Associate Mark DeSalvo were recognized as the 2018 Second Quarter Top Producers in Newman-Dailey Report Properties Real Estate Division. Green was recognized as the Top Listing Agent and DeSalvo was the Top Sales Agent for April through June 2018. Green is regularly recognized on the top producers list. She achieved top listing and top sales agent for 2015 and 2016. She is teamed up with her daughter Heather Green, and together the mother-daughter duo are driven to find their clients the perfect home or rental investment. They bring a combined 65+ years of success in both residential and commercial real estate. 

    DeSalvo has been a valuable member of the Newman-Dailey Real Estate Team for nearly two decades. Regularly recognized as one of the top producers, DeSalvo takes great pride assisting customers in achieving their goals from start to finish. With extensive knowledge of the local real estate market, his clients regularly return for advice and his help with future real estate transactions. DeSalvo is a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), an Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR), a Graduate of REALTOR Institute (GRI), and an Internet Professional (e-PRO). 

    Festival of the Arts 2018 Volunteer Sign Up
    The Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation’s 23rd Annual Festival of the Arts event takes place on Oct. 27 - 28. It takes community-wide support to put on this annual fall favorite Destin event, and volunteers are needed. Sign up is easy! To see available shifts, please visit http://signup.com/go/RbfoZLU.

    Emerald Coast Theatre Company Is Official Member of Theatre Communications Group
    Emerald Coast Theatre CompanyEmerald Coast Theatre Company (ECTC) announces it has been selected as a member of Theatre Communications Group (TCG). Based in New York, TCG, a national organization for theater, exists to strengthen, nurture, and promote the professional not-for-profit American theatre. Its programs serve more than 700 member organizations and more than 12,000 individuals nationwide. As the US Center of the International Theatre Institute, TCG connects its constituents to the global theatre community. In all of its endeavors, TCG seeks to increase the organizational efficiency of its member theatres, cultivate and celebrate the artistic talent and achievements of the field, and promotes a larger public understanding of, and appreciation for, the theatre. As a member, ECTC has access to the TCG website, including ArtSearch, the TCG Circle, the Executive Director’s Weekly Briefing, members-only surveys and survey results, and more. Seen here is Nathaniel Fisher, ECTC's artistic director.

    Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC Announces New Partner
    Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLCHand Arendall Harrison Sale (HAHS) is pleased to announce that Attorney Hayward Dykes, Jr., has joined the firm as partner. With more than 16 years of practice in Northwest Florida, Dykes focuses his practice in the areas of civil litigation, criminal litigation, real estate law, local government, and business law. He was recognized and voted by his peers as a Florida Elite Up and Comer in 2010, only one of 111 attorneys to be included in the State of Florida. He has continued to serve the community and his clients with the highest levels of service, and he was admitted to serve in many areas, including the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and the US Supreme Court. His education and all sport loyalties lie with his alma maters of Florida State University, B.S. Criminology, 1998, and University of Mississippi School of Law, J.D., 2001

    NextHome Realty Donates School Supplies to CIC Kids
    Children In CrisisMelissa Forte and her NextHome Cornerstone Realty co-workers helped the kids living at Children in Crisis (CIC) by donating needed school items typically not available to the CIC Kids. Thanks to the generous donations from their personal campaign, the kids living at the CIC Neighborhood received supplies to help them get ready for the new school year. Seen here are Jay Waldhour, Brittany Waldhour, Allie Noah (CIC development director), Dana Topel, Melanie Smith, Melissa Forte, and Thomas Forte.

    Kellar Promoted to BancorpSouth Community Bank President 
    BancorpSouth BankBancorpSouth Bank (NYSE: BXS) has named Linnette Kellar as community bank president in its Destin market. For the role, she will be responsible for overseeing the banking operations in the area. Ron Moliterno, who previously served in the role, is now the bank's president of community affairs in Destin. Kellar has worked in the banking industry for 28 years and has experience in a variety of positions, including teller, branch assistant, Small Business Administration lender, and treasury management officer. Since joining the bank in 2011, she has served as a commercial lender. Kellar earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting at Northwest Florida State College. She has also received the Certified Treasury Professional designation from the Association for Financial Professionals. She serves as a member of the Kiwanis Club of Destin, vice chair of the Okaloosa Community Development Corp.’s board of directors, vice chair of Fort Walton Beach Housing Authority’s board of commissioners, treasurer for 90Works, and committee member for the Southeastern Regional Council-National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials. 

    Cultural Arts Alliance Awards Grants to Walton County Teachers
    The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA) is pleased to announce that 17 Mini Teacher grants were awarded during the 2017 - 2018 school year benefiting 10 area schools and hundreds of young artists. The purpose of the Mini Teacher grant is to enhance the visual, literary, and performing arts experience of all Walton County school-age children K-12 in public schools, private 501c (3) schools, and home schools through funding for special enhancement activities established by a teacher. Recent recipients include Andrea Schiller from Maude Saunders Magnet Program; Vivian Komando (Art) and Don Goodrum (Drama) from South Walton High School; Corinne Wilson and Susan Rockman from Paxton School; Corrie Sober (Music) from Bay Elementary School; Constance Rogers from Butler Elementary School; Jeri Jersey at South Walton Academy; Kristin Fliehman, Laurie Hudson, Jeanna Meyer, Heather Hester, and Sherry Ford at Freeport Elementary School; Marla Sillivant at West DeFuniak Elementary School; and Faith Anderson at The Wise Center in DeFuniak Springs. 

    Destin Commons Builds New Playground With Luckey Climber Art Feature
    Destin CommonsDestin Commons is about to offer yet another unique amenity for its shoppers. In August, the existing playground was closed and a major renovation and remodel of the popular kid’s play area in Center Plaza began. The renovation includes a Luckey Climber unique climbing structure that is part jungle gym and part functional work of art, a first-ever in Northwest Florida. It is expected to be completed in mid-September. While the kid’s playground will be closed during the remodel, the pop fountains will remain open.

    Chi Chi Miguel Fundraiser Donates More Than $93,000 to ECCAC
    Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy CenterPresented by the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, the 12th annual Chi Chi Miguel fundraiser took place this spring and raised $2 million for eight area charities. From the overall monies raised, the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC) received a generous $93,973.94. With facilities in Niceville and the Pierce Family Children’s Advocacy Center in DeFuniak Springs, ECCAC serves abused children and their families in a neutral environment. Both centers staff a multidisciplinary team of child protection personnel, prosecutors, law enforcement, DCF, therapists, and ECCAC staff and volunteers. In the organizations’ 17-year history, more than 43,000 direct services have been provided in a child-friendly environment to more than 12,000 children and their families. Seen here are major sponsors Jim Pearce of Isagenix and Frank Flautt of the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa with Chi Chi Miguel founder Mike Thompson.

    Children’s Volunteer Health Network Announces New Executive Director
    Children's Volunteer Health NetworkChildren’s Volunteer Health Network, a local nonprofit organization devoted to providing Okaloosa and Walton counties’ children access to free healthcare services, announced Brian Lowe as the new executive director. Lowe, who comes to the Emerald Coast from Boone, N.C., has served as the executive director of Hope Pregnancy Center for 13 years. There, he overhauled the organization to better serve clients, launching a successful rebranding campaign that allowed the center to grow and expand a variety of programs. He also created a fund development plan, which resulted in a 100 percent increase in income for the organization and led to a debt-free purchase of a new facility project.

    ECCAC Thanks Silver Sands Premium Outlets
    Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy CenterPictured are Lynn Wesson and Myra Williams, representing Silver Sands Premium Outlets, a Howard Group and Simon Center, with Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center’s CEO Julie Hurst-Porterfield. Wesson and Williams received the thank you gift with a child’s handprint in appreciation for the company’s 2018 involvement with ECCAC, consisting of both donations and volunteering. With facilities in Niceville and the Pierce Family Children’s Advocacy Center in DeFuniak Springs, ECCAC serves abused children and their families in a neutral environment. Both centers staff a multidisciplinary team of child protection personnel, prosecutors, law enforcement, DCF, therapists, and ECCAC staff and volunteers. In the organizations’ 17-year history, more than 43,000 direct services have been provided in a child-friendly environment to more than 12,000 children and their families. Services are provided at no cost by the nonprofit organization.

    Summer Program Attendance Exceeds 1,100 at Destin Library 
    Destin LibraryThe Destin Library’s 2018 summer programming for children, young adults, and adults reached 1,187 participants for the summer, according to Reference and Youth Services Librarian Will Rogers. This year’s theme was Libraries ROCK! During June and July offerings at the library included six themed sessions of summer reading events for children ages five years and under and elementary students ages six to 12 years; a six-session environmental science program in collaboration with the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance for elementary aged students, and three technology infused programs for elementary and middle school students entitled STEAM, LEGO Robolympics, and Techsploration. Other events included independent film opportunities, concerts, a Wellness Workshop, exotic animal performance, live puppet theatre, and puppet craft event. Planning for the summer of 2019 is already underway. Next summer’s theme has already been designated as “Space” with the slog an of “A Universe of Stories” set

    Warren Averett Partners With Compassion International in Rwanda
    Warren Averett, LLC, recently sponsored a team of employees to travel to Rwanda in partnership with Compassion International. Warren Averett has been a partner of Compassion International since 2008, allowing employees the opportunity to sponsor children in Rwanda. Compassion International is a global organization that seeks to meet the physical and spiritual needs of children in impoverished areas across the world. Warren Averett employees who sponsor children through Compassion give a monthly monetary donation to cover a specific child’s education, nutrition, and other needs. Warren Averett team members sponsor all of the children in two full Compassion villages and some of the children in a third village, accounting for more than 140 children. Warren Averett also offers employees the opportunity to visit these sponsored children in Rwanda. In June, the firm sponsored four employees, Clint Freeman, Marissa Marshall, Tiffany Johnson, and Frances Boney, to travel to Rwanda. They visited four Compassion villages: two of which are those sponsored by Warren Averett, one that the firm hopes to sponsor in the near future, and one Compassion urban center. 

    Fort Walton Beach Medical Center Donates Much Needed Teacher Supplies
    Fort Walton Beach Medical CenterFort Walton Beach Medical Center’s (FWBMC) Employee Advisory Group sponsored a school supply drive for teachers during the month of July. Employees at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center campus, the Destin ER, and Twin Cities Hospital joined together to collect the school supplies, which were divided between Wright Elementary School and Elliott Point Elementary School (pictured). Seen here are Brandi Walden from FWBMC, Principal Kathy Gates Ard, Ed.S, Emily Little from FWBMC, and Assistant Principle Scott Nuss.

    Fort Walton Beach Medical Center Auxiliary Awards $15,000 to Area High School Students
    Fort Walton Beach Medical CenterThe Fort Walton Beach Medical Center Auxiliary awarded six seniors from Choctawhatchee and Fort Walton Beach High Schools with $15,000 in scholarship money this spring. Each year the FWBMC Auxiliary accepts applications from graduating seniors at Fort Walton Beach and Choctaw High Schools, or any Volunteen with two years of service at FWBMC. This money is raised by the Auxiliary in the hospital gift shop and other Auxiliary fund raisers. Seen here are Michael Dyer, auxiliary scholarship chairman; Ginger Kelley, auxiliary president; Ashley Reynolds, scholarship recipient; Amaya Harris, scholarship recipient; Orlando Espinoza, scholarship recipient; Vanessa Byrd, scholarship recipient; and Vicki Story Tarro, director of volunteer services. Not pictured are scholarship recipients Savannah Duke and Connor Cleveland.

    Foundations Medical Center Offers Annual Memberships
    Foundations Medical CenterFoundations Medical Center is a locally owned practice that takes pride in offering a personalized healthcare experience by rethinking the typical world of medicine. Its vision for healthcare is based around a proactive mindset - not just going to the doctor when you aren’t feeling well, but making a plan to keep your body running as the fine-tuned machine it was made to be. Husband and wife physicians Kyle and Amanda Chavers are board-certified medical doctors and Destin residents that had a vision for a better way to provide medical care. They envisioned an affordable, three-tier membership plan that allows you to build an ongoing relationship with your doctor based on your own needs, schedule, and lifestyle. Foundations Medical Center is the first medical practice to offer memberships in Destin. With each plan, members start the relationship with a 75-minute comprehensive evaluation covering five major aspects of your lifestyle including diet, exercise, stress, medication and sleep. This evaluation will give the information needed to an individualized plan for nutrition, fitness, mental health, coaching support, and more to help guide you in the direction of feeling your best, maybe in ways you didn’t even know you could improve. For a full description of each plan, click here.

    Sacred Heart and St. Joe Co. Plan Healthcare Facility in South Walton
    Sacred Heart Health System will soon begin construction of a new healthcare facility in the Watersound Origins community, in collaboration with Commercial Real Estate Development, LLC, a subsidiary of the St. Joe Company. The new healthcare facility will be conveniently located along Highway 98 at the entrance of Watersound, located 20 miles east of Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast, between Santa Rosa Beach and Panama City Beach. Initial plans for the new healthcare facility include a 6,700-square-foot multi-specialty ambulatory clinic, offering primary care and OB/GYN services. Site plans for the healthcare facility will allow for future expansion up to 13,000 square feet of space offering space for additional specialty care services.

    Okaloosa Gas District Donates $3,000 to Support Grasses in Classes School Program
    Okaloosa Gas has granted the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance $3000 to support the Lewis School’s Grasses in Classes curriculum during the 2018-2019 school year. Grasses in Classes raises awareness and individual knowledge of local ecosystems through first-hand field experiences and in-class instruction. With funding through Okaloosa Gas, Grasses in Classes students will tend salt marsh nurseries throughout the school year and receive monthly education on local estuarine topics that meet Florida’s state science standards from CBA staff and AmeriCorps NWF Environmental Stewards. Periodically, the school children at the Lewis School will split the grasses to increase the nursery stock. The program instills a love of local habitat and restores shoreline. Okaloosa Gas believes the vitality of its business depends on the health and well-being of the communities it serves. Each year the company funds a variety of nonprofit organizations and collaborates with employees to provide additional volunteer support. 

    Sinfonia Gulf Coast Seeks Community Support
    Sinfonia Gulf Coast is searching for volunteers to usher during its regular season concerts, as well as various duties for its big Crescendo event, scheduled for Feb. 15 – 17, 2019. For the Crescendo event, volunteers are needed to collect silent auction donations, stuff swag bags, wrap gift boxes, event set up, check-in, wine glass distribution, auction runners, and post event clean up. If you are interested, please contact Elaine Tucker, events coordinator, at etucker@sinfoniagulfcoast.org or (850) 585-7294.
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