• October 2018 Business Briefs / Member News Part 3

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    October 09, 2018
    Emerald Coast Foundation Donates $26,000 to CIC Kids
    Children In CrisisThe Emerald Coast Foundation (ECF) selected Children in Crisis (CIC) to be one of the benefiting charities of the ECF Boat Week and Poker Run and donated a check for $26,000. Seen here, CIC staff members Ken Hair, Allie Noah, and Laura Moore, receive the check from Donna Tashik, ECF board president, and members of the Board. The funds will be used to help feed, clothe, care, and give a safe, loving home to more than 100 at-risk children this year.

    Step One Automotive Group Celebrates Grand Opening of Buick GMC Cadillac Fort Walton Beach
    Step One Automotive GroupOn Thursday, September 27, Buick GMC Cadillac Fort Walton Beach celebrated its grand opening. The event marked the official formal opening of the recently acquired car dealership, previously named Sam Taylor Buick GMC Cadillac, which was purchased from the Hudson family in May 2018. The new dealership brings 60 new jobs to the market and adds to the 200 plus families that Step One Automotive Group already employs.
    “The celebration is an opportunity for us to officially welcome the General Motors brands to the Step One Automotive Group family,” said Fernando Arellano, Step One Automotive Group managing director.

    Fishing for Fame Celebrity Sport Fishing Tournament Is A Success
    Recently, the Florida Sports Hall of Fame, along with AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar, Destin Charter Boat Association, and All Sports Association, hosted the first Fishing for Fame Celebrity Sport Fishing Tournament. Fishing for Fame’s star participants included Randy Grimes, Daren Puppa, Chiti Ahanotu, James Jones, Bill Capece, Luis Alicea, Michelle Snow, Randy Coffield, Barry Smith, Walter Carter, and Bobby Butler. These celebrities, with the help of 34 participants, caught a variety of Mahi-Mahi, Amberjack, King Mackerel and Mango Snappers. Proceeds from the Fishing for Fame Celebrity Sport Fishing Tournament benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Emerald Coast, Okaloosa County Special Olympics, Kids on the Coast Foundation, and the Eleanor J. Johnson Youth Center in Fort Walton Beach.

    Gulf Power Foundation Helps Children in Crisis
    Children In Crisis - Gulf PowerThe Gulf Power Foundation presented Children in Crisis (CIC) with a grant of $1,800 to help provide educational programs and wrap-around services support to the at-risk children living at the CIC Children's Neighborhood. This is the third grant awarded to CIC by the Gulf Power Foundation. The first grant helped build and furnish a room in Blessings House, one of CIC's Family Foster Homes, and the second helped with the at-risk children’s educational needs. Seen here, Ken Hair, CIC president and CEO, along with Allie Noah, CIC development Director, receives the check from Bernard Johnson representing the Gulf Power Foundation. 

    Volunteers Needed to Support CBA at the 30A 10K
    This year, the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance is one of the nonprofit beneficiaries of the 30A 10K, held on Thanksgiving morning. In order to earn a portion of the registration proceeds, the organization must cover 40 volunteer slots on race day, as well as the Wednesday and Friday before and after. Volunteer activities include registration, packet hand-out, water stations, finish line managers, and more. Each volunteer receives a free race-day t-shirt. Email zambelle@nwfsc.edu for more information.

    Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast implements Canine Assisted Learning Mentoring Program 
    Emerald Coast Boys & Girls ClubsIn 2018, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast were awarded Office of Justice Program (OJP) funding in support of mentoring programs for at risk teens. Nearly a year in the works, the organization, in partnership with Pawsitive Works ® and the Panhandle Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) in Fort Walton Beach, are prepared to implement S.E.E. Spot, a large group, followed by a small group canine assisted learning program, both focused on the social emotional development of mentees. The programs require a considerable amount of planning from after school training schedules, transportation of animals and or participating youth, volunteer schedules, and even securing dog training treat donations. Karen Schumacher, founder of Pawsitive Works and a Pensacola native, was instrumental in making this project possible. Pawsitive Works does not just hand over curriculum; they provide training, serve as a liaison between the service provider and the local shelter, solicit donations from local businesses to support the program, and offer ongoing assistance as the program proceeds. 

    Code Club Returning to Destin Library
    The Destin Library’s popular Code Club is returning. The club, which is entering its third year, is open to all students in grades 5-8 with an interest in learning the fundamentals of programming. This fall’s focus will be on app development for Android using the MIT App Inventor, based on the block-based programming language Scratch. Meetings will be held every Friday from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m., in the library’s computer classroom from Oct. 5 through Dec. 14. Registration is required, as space is limited. There is no cost to attend. To register please call the library at (850) 837-8572 or email Code Club coordinator Megan Fontaine at mfontaine@cityofdestin.com.

    Century 21 Blue Marlin Pelican Hosts Company CEO for Ten Year Anniversary
    Century 21 Blue Marlin PelicanRecently, Century 21 Blue Marlin Pelican (C21BMP) celebrated 10 years of business by hosting the company’s chief executive officer, Nick Bailey, to speak on the most recent branding changes within Century 21 and how to defy mediocrity in the world of real estate. Bailey was appointed president and CEO for Century 21 Real Estate LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp., in Aug. 2017. Bailey leads the iconic Century 21 brand along with the 8,000 independently owned and operated offices with more than 118,000 independent sales professionals in 80 countries and territories worldwide. He is a leader in franchising, brokerage, management, and technology, and is known as a trailblazing revenue-generating operator who increases margins while mitigating the impact of economic change. 

    The Sonder Project Announces New CEO
    The Sonder Project recently announced Chad Zibelman as its new chief executive officer. He is a returned Peace Corps volunteer, former director for the international non-profit buildOn, and a small business co-owner. He will lead the organization in its mission to strengthen communities through food security, clean water and education. The organization just completed its first irrigation project in Burkina Faso, resulting in the irrigation of 22.4 acres of land in two villages and providing food security for more than 1,650 community members. In the US, The Sonder Project is partnering in the creation of community gardens to support low income communities, schools, and organizations combating hunger. Its very first garden is currently in progress and is being built in partnership with a local non-profit, Food for Thought, in which all produce will benefit deserving youth through their programs to combat hunger. 

    The Arc of the Emerald Coast Receives $32,000 from the Emerald Coast Foundation
    The Arc of the Emerald CoastThe Arc of the Emerald Coast was thrilled to again be one of four recipients of funds raised by Emerald Coast Foundation's annual Poker Run and Boat Week. The Arc appreciates the tireless efforts of the Emerald Coast Foundation in helping continue its mission – From disability to capability. Seen here, the Emerald Coast Foundation board of directors presents funds to John Roper, ARC CEO.

    Janet Parker Joins ECCAC Board
    Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy CenterMeet Janet Parker, the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center newest board member. She retired this year as an executive vice president from Regions Bank in Birmingham, Ala., where she had strategic HR oversight in numerous corporate areas. Parker is a member of SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) and past chair, national board of directors, for SHRM. She is former chair of the Workplace Subcommittee for the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy. She also served on the Personal Finance Employer Education Foundation Board, SHRM Foundation Board, the Alabama Career and Technical Advisory Committee, and the Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) board. Holding a bachelor’s degree from Jacksonville (Ala.) State University, Parker is a graduate of the American Banking Institution’s Graduate Human Resources School. She also has a Senior Professional in Human Resources Certification. 

    Destin's Electric Utility Explained
    Click here to listen as Councilman Parker Destin explains the City of Destin’s electrical franchise with Gulf Power and the city's intent regarding purchase options and franchise negotiations. 

    Gulf World Mourns the Loss of Beloved Bottlenose Dolphin, Angel 
    Gulf WorldManagement and employees of Gulf World are mourning the sudden and unexpected loss of beloved bottlenose dolphin Angel. Angel passed away recently after having earlier been observed swimming normally by animal care staff. While the exact cause of her death remains unknown, she was being treated for a long term fungal infection that is found to have up to a 98% fatality rate in dolphins. This fungal infection, known as mucormycosis, can affect both the wild populations and animals in human care. Despite this infection, Angel had not shown visible signs of illness and was behaving normally, even on the morning of her passing. A necropsy was conducted immediately and the findings are still being investigated.

    The Village Door 98 Announces New Executive Chef
    The Village DoorJohn Wehner’s Village Door 98 proudly announces Chef Ernie DanJean has joined the team as the new executive chef of the new location in Seascape Towne Centre. DanJean is well known locally from his past endeavors as the owner and executive chef of both Café New Orleans and Ernie’s Dockside Café & Oyster Bar in Niceville. Born and raised in New Orleans, DanJean grew up in the kitchen. With a family full of incredible cooks, he learned the essence of true Cajun cuisine from both his mother and grandmother and all the family recipes, including gumbo, Bienville, and the family’s famous chicken and andouille sausage jambalaya. His father, affectionately known as “Big Dan,” was the owner of Danny & Clyde’s Po-Boys chain, where DanJean learned the ins and outs of foodservice operations. He moved to Destin in 1998 with his wife Dawn and has since worked alongside with popular area restaurateurs, such as Chan Cox, Jim Altamura, and Mike Abadie. 

    Okaloosa Gas Donates Grill to CIC Kids
    Children In CrisisOkaloosa Gas continued its great support to Children in Crisis (CIC) by presenting a huge gas grill to the children living in the CIC Children’s Neighborhood. Seen here, Jenni Brunson, Okaloosa Gas marketing director, along with Kenny Kilpatrick and Eric Black also of Okaloosa Gas, present the grill to Ken Hair, CIC president and CEO, and Allie Noah, CIC development director. The grill was used at the recent United Way of Okaloosa-Walton “Day of Caring” to feed the hungry volunteers and then found a perfect home in the CIC Children’s Neighborhood. Now CIC has a gas grill big enough to fit all the kids’ hamburgers and hot dogs at the same time.

    Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida Unveils New Brand Positioning Aimed at Volunteer Recruitment
    Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest FloridaBig Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida, along with more than 270 Big Brother Big Sisters affiliates across the country, unveiled a new, modern look and brand repositioning with a goal of recruiting more diverse volunteers. From Pensacola to Panama City, there are more than 100 children waiting to be matched with a mentor. At any given time, about 70 percent of the children waiting are boys. A major goal of the new brand is to recruit male volunteers. After months of research, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America found that the brand was not effectively connecting with younger, prospective mentors or conveying the urgency of this agency’s mission. The organization is intentionally pivoting from messages of the importance of mentoring, to messages of the urgent need for the adults in the community to step up to defend the potential of every child.
    Big Kahuna’s Announces New Event & Season Pass Sale
    Big Kahuna's Water and Adventure Park announced a new Halloween event for 2019, which has yet to be named. 2019 will be the park’s 33rd season as the largest water park on the Emerald Coast, and this will be the first time entering the water might not be a good idea. Adding additional events to the parks operating calendar is in line with the park’s efforts to not only increase benefits for Season Pass holders, but to extend the season. The park just finished another successful season; however, the new “EZ Pay” sale has begun. You can buy a 2019 Season Pass for only six payments of $8.33 a month. That is only $49.99 per pass and includes all of the benefits like “Bring A Friend” opportunities. Visit bigkahunas.com for details. 

    NFL Star Jordan Leggett of Jets Launches Touchdowns for Taylor Fundraising Campaign
    The Taylor Haugen FoundationNFL Star Jordan Leggett of the New York Jets has announced the start of the fundraising campaign for the Taylor Haugen Foundation with hopes to raise $5,000 during this football season. The campaign, Touchdowns for Taylor, encourages supporters to pledge a donation to raise awareness of the severity of abdominal injuries and money for state-of-the-art protective gear to ensure safety for all athletes. Leggett was born and raised in Navarre. He attended Navarre High School and was ranked a three-star recruit. Although Leggett was two years behind Taylor Haugen in school, their shared passion for the community and love for football solidified his support for the Taylor Haugen Foundation. Leggett grew up with story of Taylor and is passionate about the vision of the foundation. 
    Volunteer for 2nd Annual Harvest Wine & Food Festival
    The Harvest Wine & Food Festival, scheduled for Oct. 25-27, is the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation's (DCWAF) fall event that helps to raise money for the foundation. The Children’s Volunteer Health Network (CVHN), a DCWAF charity partner, provides volunteers for DCWAF events. The CVHN needs your help to get this done. To volunteer, email kellyt@cvhnkids.org.
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