• February 2015 Business Briefs / Member News Part 1

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    February 03, 2015

    Local Agent Featured on House Hunters
    Sometime in the near future, RE/MAX Southern Realty agent Destin Lowery will be broadcasted across the country on HGTV’s popular segment “House Hunters.” Lowery helped a young couple, Ronnie and Kim Holcomb of Tennessee, buy a second home and vacation rental property in Destin. This episode of House Hunters will mark Lowery’s third appearance on the show, as well as two additional appearances on “House Hunters: Where Are They Now?” Lowery has been a member of RE/MAX Southern Realty, in conjunction with the Susie Kirkland Team, since 1999. She specializes in luxury home sales, specifically investment properties and vacation rentals, along the Gulf Coast. For more information on Lowery and Emerald Coast real estate sales, visit REMAXSouthern.com.

    The Children’s Hospital Plans Expansion
    Sacred Heart Health System has announced plans for a major expansion of The Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart. Sacred Heart’s preliminary plan envisions a 4- or 5-story building that will connect to part of the front side of the current Children’s Hospital. Susan Davis, president and CEO of Sacred Heart, said the project is estimated to cost up to $125 million, and Sacred Heart will need to raise $55 million of that from community supporters and donors. The added building would enlarge the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and consolidate other pediatric services in one location. Those consolidated services will include:
    - A Pediatric Emergency Department, now located in the hospital’s Bayou Tower
    - Pediatric Outpatient Services
    - Operating rooms for inpatient and outpatient surgery

    For more details, visit Sacred-Heart.org/ChildrensHospital.
    Okaloosa Arts Alliance Awards Five Grants
    The Okaloosa Arts Alliance (OAA) is awarding five grants of $800 each to the following:
    - Wright Elementary School for its after school art classes,
    - Fort Walton Beach High School Theatre for its production of Schoolhouse Rock Live,
    - Emerald Coast Theatre Company (ECTC) for its production of The Jungle Book For Kids,
    - Mattie Kelly Arts Center at NWF State College for its Children’s Theatre Series, and
    - Children in Crisis for painting classes.

    Amy Baty, executive director of the OAA, and Keri Woods, president of OAA’s board of directors, presented a check to Anna and Nathanael Fisher of ECTC.
    Mardi Gras Royalty Reigns Over Spirited Procession
    The 2015 Mardi Gras on the Harbor parade rolls on Feb. 7, at 2 p.m. The 2015 KING is Shane Moody, president and CEO of the Destin Area Chamber of Commerce, and this year's QUEEN is Suzy Hunt, events coordinator at the Destin Area Chamber. More than 100 floats, carts, brass bands, dancers, and festive marchers will throw beads, treats, t-shirts, and trinkets to parade-goers along the mile-long boardwalk on the Destin Harbor. After the parade, the party continues at HarborWalk Village all through the evening.

    CBA Announces Volunteer Opportunity
    The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA) of Northwest Florida State College needs volunteers to bag recycled oyster shell for use in future oyster reefs, on Monday, Feb. 9, from 9 a.m. - 12 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 and gloves will be provided. The bagging will take place at the South Walton NWFSC Center, located at 109 Greenway Trail, in Santa Rosa Beach. Please RSVP to Rachel Gwin at gwinr@nwfsc.edu.
    First-Year Realtor Becomes Multi-Million Dollar Producer 
    New Realtor Tracy Steely with World Impact Real Estate became a new realtor after a career as an elementary school teacher. Since June 11, she has had 15 closings. She currently has four pending closings and four more listings making her a multi-million dollar producer in her first year. You may reach Steely at (850) 803-9822.
    Red Ginger Asian Restaurant Grand Opens in Destin Commons
    With the recent opening of World of Beer, Destin Commons continues to add new restaurants to its line-up. The grand opening for Red Ginger, featuring Asian cuisine, was Monday, Feb. 2. Red Ginger, with its original location in Niceville, is located in the new expansion area next to Zoe’s Kitchen. It offers an extensive dine-in and carry-out lunch and dinner menu of authentic Chinese and Japanese entrees, including sushi and hibachi dishes. It will also boast six hibachi tables to entertain guests as chefs cook the meals right in front of them. For additional information, call (850) 337-8700 or visit DestinCommons.com.
    ECAR Introduces LDP Class of 2015 
    Selectees of the 2015 Emerald Coast Association of Realtors (ECAR) Leadership Development Program (LDP) began their leadership journey. The class includes Mary Coger, Morgan Graffigna, Carli Harman, Jonathan Horn, Bryan McAliley, Lauren Nehls, Hillary Olds, Bill Patterson, Rachel Simerly, Tim Smith, Kelly Webb, Matthew Weeks, Lori Wenrich, Abner Williams, and Tracy Lee Wood. As part of the program, the LDP candidates will participate in numerous activities throughout the year, including attending monthly classes and traveling to Great American Realtor Days in Tallahassee and the Florida Realtors Convention in Orlando.

    Gulfarium Offers $100 Off VIP Trainer Experience
    Ever wonder what it's like to be a marine mammal trainer at Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park? As a VIP Trainer, you can enjoy a hands-on, behind-the-scenes experience like no other. Working side-by-side with trainers, you'll learn and practice all it takes to train and care for all of the marine mammal residents, including dolphins. Visit Gulfarium.com/VIP_Trainer and use online code VIP0202 for $100 off. The regular price is $379.

    Warren Averett Announces Strategic Alliance
    Warren Averett, LLC, and Redstone Government Consulting, Inc., are pleased to announce a strategic alliance, which will serve the unique accounting and business advisory needs of government contractors. The combined experience of both professional service firms brings together best-in-class tax, audit, and advisory services with government contract compliance expertise. With the strategic alliance, Warren Averett and Redstone Government Consulting can offer an expanded level of service to each client base, including staffing and recruiting for IT, engineering, and accounting/finance fields; state, federal, and international tax planning and compliance; audits, reviews, and compilations; research and development tax credits; internal control services; technology assessments, consulting, and outsourcing; executive search and placement for IT, engineering, and accounting/finance roles; merger and acquisition due diligence; litigation consulting and expert witness testimony; incurred cost proposal preparation and review services; DCAA audit support; federal acquisition regulation (FAR) and cost accounting standards (CAS) support; government contract accounting, estimating, and purchasing systems; implementation of accounting software; government bid proposal assistance; human resources consulting; finance, contracts, and procurement staff augmentation; and government compliance training.

    CBA Offers “From Shelves to the Shores: Niceville”
    The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA) of Northwest Florida State College and Niceville Library will kick off their “From Shelves to Shores: Winter Reading Challenge” on Feb. 12, with the start of a 4-month, service-learning project for local children. Once a month, CBA will host an activity for children at the Niceville Library. The activities will include growing Spartina alterniflora in salt marsh nurseries and learning about the Choctawhatchee Bay through hands-on experiences. The program’s goal is to enhance our community’s understanding of the bay, their environment, and community service. The project is free and open to the public. Children are encouraged to come participate each month to learn something new about the Choctawhatchee Bay and the local environment. Monthly activities will occur from 4 - 5 p.m. on the following dates:
    - Feb. 12 (Introduction to Salt Marshes)
    - March 12 (Recycling Oysters)
    - April 9 (Rain Barrel Fun)
    - May 14 (Observation Tanks)
    - May 21 (Project Celebration)

    For more information, contact Brittany Tate at (850) 217-5382 or tateb@nwfsc.edu.

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