• September 2017 Business Briefs / Member News Part 3

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    September 22, 2017
    Arc Receives $2,500 from Destin Commons
    The Arc of the Emerald Coast - Destin CommonsIn July, Destin Commons held its 7th Annual Smoke on the Coast & Fireworks Festival. This was its biggest one ever with more than 15,000 locals and visitors coming to the outdoor lifestyle center to enjoy the festivities. The Arc of the Emerald Coast was one of the 18 local non-profit participating in this year’s event. Seen here, The Arc of the Emerald Coast CEO John Roper and Community Development Coordinator Donna Tashik (right) receive a check for $2,500 from Destin Commons Director of Marketing Heather Ruiz, for The Arc’s participation in the event.

    Okaloosa County’s 4th Annual ‘Wear Pink Day’ Presented by Fort Walton Beach Medical Center and Twin Cities Hospital
    The Okaloosa County Commission has proclaimed Sunday, Oct. 1, as “’Wear Pink Day” in Okaloosa County for the fourth consecutive year. Fort Walton Beach Medical Center and Twin Cities Hospital encourage residents to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness month by wearing pink and posting their photos to social media using the tags #WearPinkDay and #StandingUpToBreastCancer. As part of Fort Walton Beach Medical Center and Twin Cities Hospital’s Breast Cancer Awareness month activities, they’re following up Wear Pink Day with a free community dinner – Standing Up To Breast Cancer – on Thursday, Oct. 5, at the Niceville Community Center from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Keynote speaker Sally Baskey is an author, humorist, and motivational speaker from Texas, whose message radiates around using humor to get through life. Seating is limited, and registration is required. For more information or to secure your free reservation, call (855) 614-7274!

    Warren Averett Announces Harry as New COO
    Warren Averett announced April Harry as the firm’s new chief operations officer. Effective immediately, Harry replaces Mary Elliott, who is transitioning into the CEO role, effective Jan. 1, 2018. Harry currently serves as the firm’s chief financial officer, where she manages the financial area of the firm, including reporting, budgeting, risk management, treasury management, and performance reporting. She will continue in this role and act as both CFO and COO. Harry’s diverse business knowledge stems from her financial and accounting experience, when she served in the healthcare, real estate, and manufacturing industries prior to joining Warren Averett in 2007.

    RealJoy Properties Collecting Donations for Hurricane Irma Victims
    RealJoy PropertiesIn conjunction with Mission Love Seeds, RealJoy Properties is serving as a collection point for donations to one of areas hit hardest by Hurricane Irma - Immokalee, Fla. The families are field and packinghouse workers and will not have work for weeks to come. The biggest needs are baby diapers, baby wipes, water, tarps, bottled water, pet food, blankets, sheets, towels, tarps, non-perishable food, can openers, heavy duty trash bags, gift cards for Wal-mart and Home Depot, and gas money. Other donation items include dish soap, deodorant, feminine hygiene products, towels, wash cloths, matches, insect spray, sponges, cleaning supplies, coloring books, crayons, shelf-stable milk, backpacks, school supplies, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, sunscreen, medicine, hand sanitizer, floor fans, and bleach. Donations can be dropped off at RealJoy Properties, 4014 Commons Drive, Ste. 100. Call (850) 424-3094 before bringing donation.

    Destin Seafood Festival Prepares for its 39th Year
    The much-anticipated annual Destin Seafood Festival is excited to invite you to another entertaining, seafood-rich event, on October 6-8! The festival layout continues to expand each year. For special tickets, don’t miss out on your chance at passes for the VIP tent, which are currently on sale for a limited time on the festival’s website, DestinSeafoodFestival.com. The exciting lineup of musical performances includes True Soul, Continuum, Gunner, and Black Eyed Blonde. Stay tuned for updates and further information on this year’s event at Facebook.com/DestinSeafoodFest or DestinSeafoodFestival.com. The support of the property hosts, sponsors, harbor businesses, and volunteers make the festival possible. For information on sponsorship opportunities, please visit DestinSeafoodFestival.com.

    Destin Seafood Festival Seeks Volunteers
    The Destin Seafood Festival, which takes place Oct. 6 – 8, needs your help! Volunteers are needed for t-shirt and poster booths, beer and wine booths, VIP check-in, volunteer check-in, and more. For available shifts, please visit http://signup.com/go/DcJhLUW.

    Phishing Scam Alert - Do not Click on Links or Open Attachments 
    The Better Business of Northwest Florida said it has been hearing from many BBBs throughout the US and Canada that an email going out to area businesses in early August is resurfacing again. The emails could say that your business is in violation of the “Fair Labor Standards Act” and ‘The Safety and Health Act,’ but may have another title. The claim is the violations were brought to the Better Business Bureau’s attention and ask you to click on a link to read the violation. THESE EMAILS ARE NOT COMING FROM BBB. DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK. This is a phishing scam; clicking on links or opening attachments could allow hazardous materials to be downloaded on your computer and compromise your network. If you should receive such an email, please forward it to phishing@council.bbb.org

    The Arc Celebrates 20 Years with Ashley
    The Arc of the Emerald CoastThe Arc of the Emerald Coast congratulates Ashley Mallini for celebrating her 20th year of employment. Mallini was the receptionist at The Arc of the Emerald Coast’s main office for a number of years before transferring to the Children's Center, located on Holmes Boulevard in Fort Walton Beach. Ashley is a dedicated employee who always does her job with a smile on her face. 

    Emerald Coast Theatre Company Receives $10,000 Donation
    Emerald Coast Theatre CompanyEmerald Coast Theatre Company (ECTC) has received a “modern” gift. As it nears the launch of its 5th anniversary season, ECTC received a donation from a local business that specializes in modern interior design and furnishings. Todd D. Reeves (left), who is a member of ECTC’s Board of Directors, and Jorge I. Saiz (right), both owners of Isidro Dunbar Modern Interiors (idMI) based in Miramar Beach, recently presented Emerald Coast Theatre Company with a check for $10,000. They are seen here with ECTC founder Nathanael Fisher. The gift is the largest single donation ECTC has received from a local business and qualifies idMI as a Title Sponsor for ECTC’s 2017-2018 season. To make a tax-deductible donation, become a member, volunteer or learn more about Emerald Coast Theatre Company, find them on Facebook, call (850) 684-0323, or visit www.emeraldcoasttheatre.org.

    Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Emerald Coast Opens in Gulf Place
    Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Emerald Coast opened a new office at Gulf Place on 30A. The Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Emerald Coast franchise began in September 201 by Owner/Realtor John Holahan. As part of the Better Homes and Gardens, which was established in 1924, the Emerald Coast branch has access to a database of 16,000+, an internet presence of 125+ webpages with syndications, 19 agents, and a team of three support staff – all of which translates into a group of people representing clients with a proactive, service-oriented, innovative strategy. If you are interested in listing, selling, or buying real estate, the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Emerald Coast agents will provide a free comprehensive Competitive Market Analysis (CMA) report with informed choices. 
    Sinfonia Gulf Coast Celebrates the Classics During its 2017-2018 Season
    Sinfonia Gulf CoastKeeping the tempo at the forefront of the Emerald Coast’s cultural scene since its founding in 2005, Sinfonia Gulf Coast maintains the tradition of a “symphony redefined” as it enters its 12th season. The region’s only fully professional symphony orchestra led by Music and Artistic Director Demetrius Fuller presents a stellar lineup of concerts and educational initiatives. Music lovers venturing to the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast will enjoy a range of “classics” from Broadway’s best to Motown’s most rockin’ maven and from classical solo performers to a quirky trailblazing quintet, as well as a marvelous Florida first — the world premiere of America’s most beloved musical. The season begins on a high note on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017, with “An Evening with Chris Mann,” (seen here) whose crystalline voice — which garnered both his place as a finalist on NBC’s “The Voice” and rave reviews in “Phantom of the Opera” — will take you on a musical journey from Broadway to contemporary standards to the Great American Songbook. For more information about this concert and others or to purchase tickets, visit SinfoniaGulfCoast.org and call (850) 460-8800. 

    Troop 3 Does Project at Arc Santa Rosa
    The Arc of the Emerald CoastBoy Scouts, Troop 3, replaced posts surrounding the blueberry bushes at The Arc of the Emerald Coast Santa Rosa on Labor Day weekend. These posts help support the blueberry fields at The Arc of the Emerald Coast Santa Rosa, which opens up the blueberry bushes at its annual event in June, The Blueberry Bash. Troop 3 consists of six 11-year-old boys, one 14-year-old boy, and one 15-year-old boy. 

    Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast Prepares for Major Hurricanes 
    In collaboration with the Walton County Emergency Management (WCEM) and the South Walton Fire District, Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast (SHHEC) developed a hurricane evacuation plan to protect the safety of patients and also provide emergency care during and following the storm. One part of the plan is to ensure that physicians and associates essential to staff the hospital are available before, during, and after a hurricane. When hurricanes threaten our area, the hospital also tests its backup generators and orders extra supplies of food, water, and medications. In certain hurricane threat conditions, the hospital will evacuate patients to more secure healthcare facilities away from the storm’s path. Additionally, Walton County Fire Rescue and the South Walton Fire District have a policy to stop sending ambulances when winds exceed 45 mph, but exceptions may be made depending on the particular situation upon the discretion of the Command Team at the Walton County Emergency Operations Center. 

    Touchdowns for Taylor
    Jordan Leggett, Navarre High School Class of 2012, last year’s Clemson stand out, and now rookie tightend with the New York Jets, has selected the Taylor Haugen Foundation to be his focus charity for a new fundraising initiative on PledgeIt.com. A donation to the foundation will be made for every receiving touchdown by the Jets this season. Leggett is seeking pledges to help him reach his goal. Please consider making a pledge to this great campaign at the link below and scroll down to read Jordan's message: https://pledgeit.org/touchdowns-for-taylor.

    United Way Day of Caring Helps Children in Crisis
    Children In Crisis - United Way of Okaloosa-Walton CountiesThe United Way of Okaloosa-Walton Counties Annual Day of Caring volunteers helped the Children in Crisis Neighborhood (CIC) get ready for fall. Thanks to the generous donations of time, talent, and a lot of hard work, members of the City of Fort Walton Beach Police Department, city staff, and additional volunteers from Hurlburt Field gave the CIC homes and grounds a "fall cleaning." This is the eighth year United Way volunteers have adopted CIC for their Day of Caring support.

    School Superintendent Goes the Extra Mile for Children
    Children In Crisis - Okaloosa County School DistrictOkaloosa County School District Superintendent Mary Beth Jackson received the CIC “Extra Mile Club” award for her long-time service and support to Children In Crisis (CIC). For years, Superintendent Jackson has devoted herself to serving the children of our community and the at-risk children living at the CIC Neighborhood. Seen here (left to right) are Anne Johnston, Alpha Delta Kappa Retired Teachers Sorority and CIC Change for Children committee; Ken Hair, CIC president and CEO; Jackson; and Jenny Hamilton, Alpha Delta Kappa Retired Teachers Sorority and CIC Change for Children committee.

    Hilton Sandestin Beach Offers Feast & Sleep Package
    This fall, couples are invited to dig in for the ultimate weekend-for-two at Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa with the new Feast & Sleep Package, which features a tempting mix of beachfront bliss and delicious dining. Enjoy a $200 gift certificate to Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood, the area's only four-diamond steakhouse featuring fresh local Gulf seafood and the highest rated black-diamond prime beef. Awaken early to enjoy breakfast for two each morning at Sandcastle's Restaurant, where the buffet features made-to-order omelets and waffles. Rates start at just $347* for a two-night (2) stay, based on standard accommodations and double occupancy. This package is available online at http://www.hiltonsandestinbeach.com/feast-and-sleep-package or by calling (800) 559-1805. Use code “P9.” 

    Emerald Coast Theatre Company Opens Fifth Anniversary Season 
    Emerald Coast Theatre CompanyEmerald Coast Theatre Company (ECTC) launched 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. 

    2018 Business Tax Receipt Renewal Reminder
    According to the Okaloosa County Tax Collector's Office, 2018 Business Tax Receipts (BTRs) should be renewed by midnight on Sept. 30, 2017. BTRs are required for businesses that provide merchandise, entertainment, or services to the public, even if it is only a one-person company or home-based business located within Okaloosa County. BTRs are issued for a one year period beginning Oct. 1. Business owners will incur a late penalty, if the renewal is not accomplished by Sept. 30. Visit www.OkaloosaTax.com for details. 

    White-Wilson Medical Center Now Provides Ophthalmology Care
    White-Wilson Medical CenterWhite-Wilson Medical Center (WWMC) is now offering ophthalmology care at the new White-Wilson Ophthalmology Clinic in Fort Walton Beach and has welcomed Dr. Andrew Mohammed to its team of health care providers. The White-Wilson Ophthalmology Clinic features new, cutting-edge equipment and is led by Mohammed. He is a fellowship-trained physician with more than 12 years of experience. Mohammed relocated to the area from New Mexico and specializes in the treatment of common eye diseases, such as cataracts and glaucoma. He utilizes advanced techniques to manage eye disease and prevent loss of vision. 

    In addition to Mohammed, White-Wilson will welcome two additional advanced practice clinicians to its team this month. These new members include Scott Zastrow, PA-C, who will be caring for patients at White-Wilson’s Immediate Care Clinics and Jennifer Wilson, ARNP, who will be caring for White-Wilson Internal Medicine patients in Destin. 

    10th Annual Children in Crisis Sugar Sands Charity Golf Classic 
    The 10th Annual Sugar Sands Charity Golf Classic will be held Monday, Oct. 9, at the Kelly Plantation Golf Club. The two-day event kicks off with a pre-registration party held at Tommy Bahama's Restaurant, Bar & Store on Oct. 8. The tournament will raise vital funds to help feed, clothe, and care for the foster children living at the Children In Crisis (CIC) Neighborhood. Sponsors are needed. For details, call Allie Noah at (850) 864-4242 or visit facebook.com/ChildreninCrisisFL.

    The Family Birth Place Celebrates 10 Years 
    Ten years ago, Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast (SHHEC) celebrated its first delivery at the Family Birth Place (FBP). Baby Zoie Anne Pierce of Santa Rosa Beach, born at 7:24 a.m., on Sept. 4, 2007, was Walton County’s first hospital-delivered baby. Pierce was delivered by Dr. Jennifer Esess, OB/GYN with assist from Registered Nurse Shelia Groves. Since then, there have been more than 8,600 births at the Family Birth Place. To celebrate, community supporters, SHHEC associates, and family and friends of babies born at the Family Birth Place enjoyed an afternoon full of fun activities. Guests were treated to an inside look at the specially equipped mobile neonatal critical care transport ambulance, which is stationed at Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast to provide rapid transport of premature or critically ill newborns to The Children’s Hospital in Pensacola when necessary. To better serve our community and help keep families together during the first days of a child’s life, Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast is building a 10-bed, level II NICU to provide high quality, personalized care for babies who need special medical care. Adding this next level of care for babies will enhance the overall quality and experience for families for generations to come.

    Purchasing a Car? Do Your Homework First
    If you are in the market for a car, the Better Business Bureau of Northwest Florida asks you to do your homework and purchase from a reputable dealer in order to ensure the car you buy isn't a refurbished one from the recent storms. Thousands of cars will be deemed a total loss when their owners submit insurance claims and then there will be many others that will not go through the claims process. These vehicles will be the ones to look out for. They can be refurbished and sold to unsuspecting consumers.

    For some tips to help you spot flood-damaged vehicles, visit https://www.bbb.org/northwest-florida/news-events/news-releases/2017/09/purchasing-a-car-be-sure-to-do-your-homework-first/.
    Century 21 Blue Marlin Announces Expansive Merger with Pelican Real Estate 
    Century 21 Blue Marlin PelicanCentury 21 Blue Marlin recently announced its merger with Pelican Real Estate to form Century 21 Blue Marlin Pelican. Century 21 Blue Marlin Pelican joins the companies’ affiliates, Fine Homes & Estates and Commercial divisions. Pelican Real Estate was established in 1996 by Bill Smith in Seagrove Beach and has grown into one of the largest locally owned real estate companies in Northwest Florida, with 11 offices spanning from Panama City Beach to Pensacola. As founder and longtime real estate broker, Smith will stay on board with Century 21 Blue Marlin Pelican. The same can be said for Pelican Real Estate’s Qualifying Broker Ron Jones. The merger between the two powerhouse real estate companies means an expanded footprint for Century 21 Blue Marlin Pelican, which will now include more than 16 offices spanning a 125-mile radius and boasting more than 150 agents.

    Emerald Coast Theatre Company Receives $5,000 Donation
    Emerald Coast Theatre Company - Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton CountyEmerald Coast Theatre Company (ECTC) received a $5,000 donation from the Cultural Arts Alliance (CAA) of Walton County. Led by Jennifer Steele, the CAA is a local arts agency founded in 1993 to support the arts through leadership, advocacy, funding, programs, and education. The generous gift qualifies CAA as a Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) Executive Producer for ECTC’s 2017-2018 season. Emerald Coast Theatre Company’s Professional Theatre for Young Audiences program showcases professional actors performing productions especially selected for young audience members. Seen here, Steele (left), executive director of Cultural Arts Alliance, presents a check to Nathanael Fisher, producing artistic director of Emerald Coast Theatre Company, with the help of local young art lovers.

    CareerSource Okaloosa Walton Announces Veteran’s Spouse Employment Program 
    CareerSource Okaloosa Walton’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce the award of a grant to provide employment readiness and placement services exclusively to Veteran’s spouses. The Veteran’s Spouse Employment Program will provide Veteran’s spouses with comprehensive assessments, labor market information, resume assistance, interviewing skills workshops, transportation assistance, participation incentives, supportive services, skills-based job matching, and job placement assistance. The Veteran’s Spouse Employment Program is open to Veteran’s spouses who reside in Okaloosa or Walton County, are US citizens, or are eligible to work in the United States. For more information, please visit careersourceokaloosawalton.com or contact Keysha Lott at (850) 833-7587 x207 or klott@careersourceow.com

    DAN JAM Raises Funds For Local Family 
    A fundraising event for the Collins Family, Dan Jam, was hosted on Sept. 18, at AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar. The event was a huge success, raising more than $12,043. Dan Collins, who is a local music icon, has helped shape the local music scene for decades. Collins recently suffered a significant heart attack, requiring a hospital stay in ICU and required life-saving surgery. With his health on the line and a new baby on the way, a group of his friends have teamed up with AJ's to help ease the financial burden and assist the family in their recovery. The event was a collective effort of Alan Laird, owner of AJ’s Restaurant Group, his team, and talented musicians from across the Northwest Florida area. 

    Eight Rehabilitated Sea Turtles Are Scheduled For Release
    The Gulfarium's C.A.R.E. Center will be releasing eight rehabilitated sea turtles on Tuesday Sept. 26. The release will be held at Fort Pickens National Park in Pensacola Beach, at 11 a.m. The press and public are invited to attend this special event. All of the turtles - Guill, Elle, Sprout, George, Rocko, Jeff, Lorraine, and Okra - came in at different times with different malady's and have all been recently cleared for release. Follow the C.A.R.E. Center on Facebook to learn more about sea turtles, their individual stories, and rehabilitation efforts. 

    Looking for Run/Sup Race Volunteers on Sept. 30
    The 3rd Annual South Walton RUN/SUP (Stand Up Paddle) Series event takes place on Saturday, Sept. 30, at Grayton Beach State Park from 7:45 a.m. until 1 p.m., with the After Party and Awards Ceremony occurring at The Craft Bar 30A immediately following. This year, the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance is the RUN/SUP charity recipient. Volunteers are needed to assist. If you're interested in working at registration, vendor assistance, water stations, and more, email Communications Coordinator Erika at zambelle@nwfsc.edu to sign up. Shifts are 2.5 - 4 hours.
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