• September 2017 Business Briefs / Member News Part 2

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    September 18, 2017
    Hurricane Irma Donation Drive
    Based on the American Red Cross’ current needs, the Air Force Enlisted Village is collecting the following items for Hurricane Irma victims: packaged foods such as granola bars, cookies, chips, crackers, etc.; baby supplies, such as wipes, diapers of all sizes, and receiving blankets; linens such as clean sheets, pillow cases, blankets, towels,wash cloths, and new pillows in packaging; and toiletries, such as tooth brushes, tooth paste, mouth wash, soap, lotions, wipes, and adult diapers of all sizes. Items may be dropped off Sept. 18-19, from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. at the Gates Welcome Building, 92 Sunset Ln., in Shalimar. No clothes, shoes, perishable food, water, or canned goods will be accepted. For details, call (850) 651-3766 or email info@afev.us.

    Festival Volunteers Needed 
    Do you have a heart for art? Then feel free to lend a hand. Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation is seeking volunteers for the 22nd Annual Festival of the Arts to be held on Saturday, Oct. 28 and Sunday, Oct. 29, at the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village in Destin. Various shifts are available, including set up (on Friday, Oct. 27), main entry, artist relief, children’s tent, and beverage booths, as well as break down and more. All volunteers are welcome to arrive prior to their assigned shift or after their morning shift to visit the artists and enjoy the festival.  To volunteer, go to http://signup.com/go/HxTXwQs to reserve your desired shift or contact Festival of the Arts Volunteer Coordinator Kathy Whidden at (850) 376-7391 or email kathy@destinchiropractor.com.  

    Go Pink for Local Women!
    This October, we will be going pink for breast cancer awareness. Support the White-Wilson Community Foundation and local women in need of breast cancer screening and treatment by purchasing a "No One Fights Alone" t-shirt. Click here to order your shirt.  If ordered by Sept.22, they will be available for pick up on Oct. 2. If your office orders multiple shirts, we will be happy to deliver.

    A Superior Air Conditioning Donates More Than $36K to Area Non-Profits
    A Superior Air Conditioning Company is excited to share the success of its Choose Your Charity Program, during the first seven months of 2017. The program started in January of 2017 and has already given more than $36,000 to non-profit organizations across Okaloosa, Walton, and Bay counties. Its goal for 2017 is to donate at least $50,000. The Choose Your Charity Program is made possible by the customers of A Superior Air Conditioning Company. A portion of each service performed is designated to the local charity of the customer’s choice. A Superior Air Conditioning has supported the mission of more than 75 local non-profits, serving a very diverse population along the Emerald Coast. 
    Cultural Arts Alliance Executive Director Jennifer Steele Appointed to VISIT FLORIDA Committee
    Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton CountyThe Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA) is proud to announce Executive Director Jennifer Steele has been appointed to serve on VISIT FLORIDA’s Culture, Nature, Heritage, and Rural Committee for a term effective July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018.  This committee works with VISIT FLORIDA to develop and promote the growing segments of nature-based tourism, culture, heritage, and rural tourism to increase Florida visitors and promote extended stays for greater economic benefit and quality of life for all areas of the state. The VISIT FLORIDA committee is a volunteer position. Steele has been the executive director of the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County since 2008 and a part of South Walton her entire life, having spent summers in her Grayton Beach family home before making it her full-time residence in 2000.  

    Twin Cities Hospital is a Healthgrades 5-Star Recipient for Hip Fracture Treatment
    Twin Cities Hospital announced it has achieved 5-stars for its performance in Hip Fracture Treatment from Healthgrades, the leading online resource helping consumers make informed decisions to find the right doctor and the right hospital for the right care. This achievement is part of new findings and data recently released by Healthgrades and is featured in the Healthgrades 2017 Report to the Nation. Every year, Healthgrades evaluates hospital performance at nearly 4,500 hospitals nationwide for 34 of the most common inpatient procedures and conditions. In addition to this 5-star achievement, Twin Cities Hospital also received Healthgrades 2017 Patient Safety Excellence Award, which recognizes superior performance in the prevention of serious, avoidable patient complications during hospital stays.  This award puts Twin Cities Hospital in the top 10 percent of all short-term acute care hospitals nationwide.

    Artist Taylor Shaw Completes Mural at Destin Commons 
    Destin CommonsArtist Taylor Shaw just completed Destin Commons’ eighth mural with its cultural art initiative comprised of invited artists creating their original mural art on walls throughout the outdoor lifestyle center. Shaw’s colorful mural is entitled “Greetings from Destin, FL” and is located on the side street wall by Abercrombie & Fitch, across from Build-A-Bear. A native of Destin, Shaw attended elementary and middle school in Destin and high school in Ft. Walton Beach. Beginning at age 14 as a dishwasher at Indian Bayou Country Club in Destin, Shaw, now 32, eventually moved to Austin, Texas, with his own restaurant business. He sold it three years ago and relocated to Athens, Ga., to continue his education at the University of Georgia. With an undergraduate degree in painting from Mississippi State, he is currently working on his Masters of Fine Arts in Sculpture at UGA.

    Hyatt Place Hotel Planned for Grand Boulevard at Sandestin Town Center
    Howard Group - Grand Boulevard - Hyatt PlaceHoward Group, a Northwest Florida-based portfolio real estate development company, has announced plans to develop an 84-room, five-story Hyatt Place hotel in Grand Boulevard at Sandestin. The project team and local dignitaries attended the ground-breaking ceremony at the hotel’s future site at the west end of the town center. Howard Group will develop and own the hotel. Howard Hospitality, a division of Howard Group specializing in hotel management, will manage Hyatt Place Sandestin at Grand Boulevard. The project will bring an estimated 100 construction and hotel operation jobs to Walton County. It is projected to open in late 2018.

    Investing in the Past for the Future - Museum Receives Contribution 
    Heritage Museum of Northwest FloridaInvesting in the past for the future, Financial Advisor Fred Semasko made a $5,000 contribution to the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida in support of its efforts to preserve the past for future generations. Seen here (left to right) are Diane Plank, trustee secretary; Barbara Palmgren, trustee; Fred Semasko, financial advisor; Steve Czonstka, trustee chair; Gina Marini, museum manager; Harold Peek, trustee; and Marie Hallion, trustee.  

    Legendary Marine Brings New Level of Luxury to Emerald Coast Waters
    Legendary Marine announced that it has partnered with Riviera Yachts, as well as Absolute, to introduce both luxury yacht and cruiser brands to the Emerald Coast market. Legendary will carry Riviera models from 36 – 77 feet, including the SUV, Flybridge, and Sport Motoryacht lines. Legendary will also offer Absolute models including the Sport Yacht, Fly, and Navetta series. The new inventory is scheduled to arrive beginning in September 2017.

    Niceville Young Professionals Donate Pantry Items to CIC
    Children In CrisisMembers of the Niceville Valparaiso Chamber Young Professionals donated much needed pantry items toiletries and paper products to help the kids living at the Children in Crisis (CIC) Neighborhood.  They are seen here with CIC President and CEO Ken Hair.

    Sacred Heart Medical Group of Destin Welcomes Dr. Michelle Parker
    Sacred Heart HospitalSacred Heart Medical Group is pleased to welcome Michelle Parker, M.D., R.D., to its regional network of providers.  Parker is a Board-certified internal medicine physician with diversified experience in general medicine, advanced wound care, nutrition, and progressive skin care. She received her medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, Ga. After medical school, she continued at the Medical College of Georgia with the completion of her internship training and internal medicine residency. Parker received her Master’s degree in Nutrition Science from the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga., and her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Hartwick College in Oneonta, N.Y. Additionally, she served as a commissioned officer in the United States Air Force for seven years.

    Stubbs Orthodontics Raises More Than $1,400 for ECCAC
    Local orthodontist Dr. Casi Stubbs of Stubbs Orthodontics presented Chelsea Fox of Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center a check for $1,425 from a recent raffle for a BOTE Board. Stubbs Orthodontics enjoys hosting bi-monthly raffles to benefit different local charities in an effort to help educate the hundreds of kids that come into its offices each week on the importance to give back to the local community.

    Cook Named Vice President of Development for Big Brothers Big Sisters
    Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest FloridaCourtney Cook has joined Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida as vice president of development. Her role will include event sponsorship, donor development, and partnership cultivation. Cook holds her graduate degree in clinical social work from Florida State University and her undergraduate degree from the University of West Florida, and she is a licensed clinical social worker. Cook has more than 13 years in the not-for-profit community, working previously at Covenant Hospice, Alzheimer’s Family Services, and most recently at Baptist Hospital’s Cancer Institute, where she led a successful mission of growth for the cancer support program. 

    Local Agents Earn REAL Trends America’s Best Real Estate Agents National Ranking
    Keller Williams Realty Emerald CoastKeller Williams Realty Emerald CoastKeller Williams Realty Emerald Coast
    Keller Williams Realty Emerald CoastKeller Williams Realty Emerald CoastKeller Williams Realty Emerald Coast
    Keller Williams Emerald Coast Realty
    (KWEC) had a nice showing of its agents named to the 2017 REAL Trends America’s Best Real Estate Agents national rankings. Also, the KWEC franchise was ranked in the top 500 for buyer/seller transactions. KWEC agents named in the Individuals By Volume category were Cindy Cole (top left) and Tosha Corrigan (top center). In the Teams By Volume, At The Beach Team headed up by John Moran (top right) was named. Individuals and Teams By Sides, representing the number of buyer or seller transactions, also earned national rankings. Individual KWEC agents Heather Blatz (bottom left) and Rima Cole (bottom center) took home these honors. In the Teams By Sides category, The Meghan Hall Team (bottom right) and John Moran’s At The Beach Team earned national rankings.

    Sullivan Named President of Florida Association for Women Lawyers
    Guilday LawGuilday Simpson West Hatch Lowe & Roane P.A. is pleased to announce Jennifer Sullivan is the Florida Association for Women Lawyers President for 2017–2018. Her other honors include Leader in the Law Award Recipient for 2015-2016 and Tallahassee Women Lawyers Past President from 2011-2012.

    Emerald Coast Theatre Company Partners With Seaside Neighborhood School
    Emerald Coast Theatre CompanyEmerald Coast Theatre Company (ECTC) is excited to announce an addition to its youth theater program in the form of a new Junior Thespians troupe chapter. According to the Educational Theatre Association (ETA), this is the only Junior Thespians Troupe in Walton County, and it is believed to be the first ever. It will serve the west end of the Okaloosa and Walton counties area. Currently there are troupes in Okaloosa, Bay, and Escambia counties. In partnership with the Seaside Neighborhood School campus of Seaside School, Inc., on 30A, this ensemble of thespians will be a chartered member of the Educational Theatre Association's Junior Thespians. The new troupe (No. 89447) will be part of District 10 and will be competing with other chapters in regional and state competitions and making appearances within our community sharing their love of performing and promoting ECTC's educational programs.   

    Military Comptrollers Donate School Supplies and Food to CIC Kids
    Children In CrisisSeen here (left to right), Jeff DeCocker and Maria White with the American Society of Military Comptrollers donate over a truckload of school supplies, food, and paper products to Children In Crisis (CIC) President and CEO Ken Hair, along with Sarah Carroll.  The much needed back to school items will help the 50+ children living at the CIC Neighborhood and the 100+ that will call CIC home this year.

    Fitness U.S. Gym and Bootcamp of Destin Opens in Destin Commons
    Destin CommonsWith the opening of Fitness U.S. Gym and Bootcamp in Destin Commons, there is yet another option available at the popular outdoor lifestyle center. This is the second location for partners Jersey Giambrone and Roberto Larrivey, who also operate a Fitness U.S. Gym and Bootcamp of Niceville. The 3,000-square-foot facility in Destin Commons offers state-of-the-art fitness equipment, including self-propelled HiitmillX treadmills. With full body group training workout programs that combine strength and cardiovascular to tone and sculpt the body, they focus on the body’s lower, upper, core, and kinesthetics, which is targeted awareness training to strengthen the overall workout experience. 

    Hilton Sandestin Beach Appoints New Director of Rooms and Director of Front Office 
    Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa announced the appointment of Chad Armistead as director of rooms and Wayne T. Stokes as director of front office. A native of Mount Juliet, Tenn., and a veteran of the US Marine Corps, Armistead brings 18 years of hospitality experience. His career has encompassed numerous hotels and resorts in Nashville, Tenn., including Gaylord Opryland Hotel, Hilton Nashville Downtown, Hotel Preston, Hyatt Place, Union Station Hotel, Hutton Hotel, and Hilton Nashville Downtown. At these diverse properties, Armistead held various positions covering critical tasks, such as managing and directing hotel operations, supervising front office and housekeeping, managing revenue, and providing daily management reports and monthly forecasts. As director of rooms at Hilton Sandestin Beach, Armistead will oversee all aspects of the Rooms Division operation, including housekeeping, front desk management, bell stand, and concierge services.

    With more than 37 years of experience in hospitality, Stokes has held senior level positions with industry-leading companies and properties, such as The Royal York Hotel and L’Hotel in Toronto. Stokes recently held the position of rooms division manager with a Marriott Autograph Collection property in Orlando, before stepping into the director of front office position at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Ariz. Prior to that, he was part of the Casino Del Sol Resort and Conference Center's opening team in the spring of 2011 and directed front office operations of the successful opening of Orlando's newest and most luxurious Westin property, the Westin Lake Mary. In his new role at Hilton Sandestin Beach, Stokes will oversee front office operations, including management of front office, front desk agents, and telecommunications. 

    LandrumHR Names New CEO
    LandrumHRH. Britt Landrum, III, has been named chief executive officer for LandrumHR. In a meeting with all staff members present both in person and via video conferencing, the multistate organization's founder H. Britt Landrum, Jr., announced that he is stepping down as CEO and that his son, Britt Landrum, III, will be heading the company. Now in his 25th year with the company, Landrum III's career began in sales, but company growth and the need for technology advancement placed him in information technology, where he succeeded in making a number of key system improvements. As a Microsoft-certified systems engineer he served as the company's chief technology officer. A later promotion to vice president placed him on the company's senior leadership team with responsibility for several key departments. He was appointed president in 2016. 

    Gulfshore AC Holds Food Drive for Children In Crisis
    Children In Crisis - Gulf Shore Air Conditioning & HeatingSeen here (left to right), Children In Crisis (CIC) President and CEO Ken Hair receives a huge donation of food and pantry items from Gulfshore Air Conditioning and Heating, Inc., Owner/President Steve Reynolds, along with Office Administrator Krista Landen. The food drive helped provide needed food items to the at-risk kids living at the CIC Neighborhood.

    A Successful Week of Fundraising Events for Harbor Docks Charities
    Recently, Harbor Docks Charities hosted three events, raising a total of $51,151 to benefit the 23rd Annual Take-A-Kid Fishing Day and Destin Harvest projects. The 32nd Annual Caddyshack Classic Golf Tournament took place on Thursday, Aug. 24, at Emerald Bay Golf Course. Sixteen teams competed in the four-man scramble, raising a total of $9,031. Winners of the The 4th Annual Harbor Docks Summer Open, a top-notch King Mackerel Tournament on Aug. 26-27, were as follows: 
    1st Place: "Strike Two" - Kelly Patton - 54.9lbs.
    2nd Place: "Slip-A-Way" - John Tyson - 42.7lbs.
    3rd Place: "Boggy Bayou" - Kramer Clark - 20.8lbs.
    4th Place: "Sea Fix" - Joe Gump - 20.1 lbs.
    5th Place: "Come Fly With Me" - Miki McClung - 10.9lbs.
    Big Three: "Strike Two" - 118.9lbs.
    Day 1 Daily: "Strike Two" - Kelly Patton - 33.9lbs.
    Day 2 Daily: "Strike Two" - Kelly Patton - 54.9lbs
    Ladies: Kelly Patton - "Strike Two"
    Dolphin: "Loose Hookr" - Shawn Straud - 4.4lbs.
    Blackfin Tuna: "Boggy Bayou" - Si Nelson - 21.8lbs
    Finally, Harbor Docks Charity Auction, a silent and live auction on Aug. 26, raised more than $41,000. With these funds, Harbor Docks will treat more than 350 underprivileged children to a day of fishing on local charter boats on Nov. 5. Children and their chaperones will be treated to breakfast, a day of fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, and a fish fry. Each child will take home a rod and reel and a t-shirt. 

    Emerald Coast Theatre Company Honors Young Thespians 
    Emerald Coast Theatre CompanyEmerald Coast Theatre Company (ECTC) opened its doors on Aug. 12, to launch the 5th anniversary season of its Theatre Education Program with a breakfast and bonding open house celebration. As part of the celebration, ECTC founders Anna and Nathanael Fisher personally presented the company’s annual ECTC Educational Program Awards. Recognition was given to young thespians who have participated in five, 10 and 15 ECTC productions. Other honors awarded were the ECTC Community Award and Most Dedicated Actor Awards. In addition, Jake Maher, a sixth grader from Destin, was selected as the grand prize winner of a Trek bicycle. Seen here (front row, left to right) are Savannah Herndon, Heaven Stelly, Serenity Stelly, Phoebe Barron, Ariel Linton, Maya Sien, Jake Maher, (back row, left to right) Lily O'Brien, Maya Mcghee, Aurora Meyer, Spencer Meyer, Kayla Barnes, Soulara Joslin, Braya Faust, Rachel Calderazzo, Ciara Quinn, and Lilly Fleming.

    Youngblood Joins Progress Bank
    Progress BankDewayne Youngblood, a 17-year banking veteran, has been named market president for Okaloosa and Walton counties for Progress Bank. He will lead the efforts to grow both consumer and commercial lines, as well as mortgages and wealth management in the area. Youngblood’s career spans numerous management roles within business banking, community banking, commercial banking, and industrial banking within the local area. Progress Bank recently merged with First Partners Bank on June 30, 2017, expanding Progress Bank’s footprint into the markets of Birmingham, Ala.; Vestavia Hills, Ala.; and Destin, Fla. 

    Emeril’s Coastal Italian Now Open in Grand Boulevard
    Emeril's Coastal ItalianEmeril's Coastal ItalianEmeril's Coastal Italian
    Emeril Lagasse’s (left) newest restaurant is now open in Grand Boulevard at Sandestin. Emeril’s Coastal Italian opens daily at 11:30 a.m., seven days a week offering one menu for both lunch and dinner. The menu is Italian and Gulf seafood-inspired, serving a variety of dishes from fresh pastas, flatbread pizzas, and housemade meatballs to a local fish special of the day, oysters Florentine, and skillet Gulf shrimp. To the delight of his customers, Chef Emeril’s famous banana cream pie is featured on the dessert menu. Gulf Coast born and raised, Shane Quinlan (center) is chef de cuisine of Emeril’s Coastal Italian and Ki Song An (right), a long-time Chef Emeril protégée, is the general manager.

    Destin Library Receives Donation
    Destin LibraryThe Destin Library got an unexpected donation recently from two children’s story-time program fans.  Sisters Lena, age 10, and Mia, age 7, stopped by the library to donate some of their books, so that others could enjoy them too. 

    “We liked these books and hope that other kids can enjoy them too,” said Lena.  The sisters are the daughters of Liz and Angel De La Cruz of Destin.

    Newman-Dailey Real Estate Sales Division Announces the Green Team as Top Producers 
    Newman-Dailey Resort Properties, Inc.Newman-Dailey Resort PropertiesBroker Associate Diane Green (left) and Sales Associate Heather Green (right) were recently recognized as the 2017 Second Quarter Top Producers in Newman-Dailey’s Real Estate Division. Heather Green was recognized as the Top Listing Agent and Diane Green was the Top Sales Agent for April through June 2017. Earning the esteemed title of the top listing and top sales agents for second quarter 2017, the Green team continues to power its way through the real estate market. Diane Green was awarded top listing and top sales agent for 2015 and 2016. Last year, Diane teamed up with her daughter, Heather Green, and is continuing to set company records.  

    Emerald Coast Theatre Company Opens Fifth Anniversary Season 
    Emerald Coast Theatre CompanyEmerald Coast Theatre Company (ECTC) launches its fifth anniversary season on the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast with a hilarious musical comedy — the first ECTC has produced on its Professional Main Stage. “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” (cast pictured here) with music by Jimmy Roberts and book and lyrics by Joe Dipietro opened the season Sept. 14, and runs through Oct. 1. ECTC artistic producing director Nathanael Fisher directs the talented four-member cast that includes Fort Walton native Marcellis Cutler (Robert) returning from central Florida, where he performed with Orlando Repertory Theatre and Walt Disney World; Hope Golds (Jennifer) making her ECTC debut after graduating with a BFA in acting from University of Florida, where she appeared most recently as Regan in “King Lear” and Athena in “The House of Altreus;” Brian Hilario (Jordan), a graduate of Gulf Coast State College, where he portrayed Jack Worthing in “The Importance of Being Ernest” and Harry in “The Explorer’s Club” for Nine Muses Theater; and Mckenzie Pollock (Melissa), who recently played Guinevere in “Camelot” and Missy in “The Marvelous Wonderettes” for Carey Dinner Theatre. 

    723 Whiskey Bravo Raises $28,000 for Children’s Advocacy Center
    Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy Center723 Whiskey Bravo owners Skip and Victoria Moore announced that to date their restaurant has successfully raised $28,000 to benefit the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center’s (ECCAC) Pierce Family Children’s Center in Defuniak Springs.  They achieved this by accepting $20 or greater donations from guests for the stuffed animal Riley therapy dogs on each table, during the past 18 months. The Riley stuffed animal dog donations will continue at 723 Whiskey Bravo, located on Scenic Highway 30-A in Seagrove Beach. The real Riley, an 11-year old Maltese dog, is a registered AKC Therapy Dog who is on the “staff” of ECCAC. He earned his American Kennel Club credentials by completing more than 400 therapy visits with the kids at the center dealing with abusive situations. ECCAC has numerous other therapy dogs and a bunny named Bailey at its centers.
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