VIP Destin Magazine - June 2021

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JUNE 2021

Fashion & Style issue


We just reeled in something big. Destin’s respected RealJoy Properties

has joined the Corcoran Reverie family.

4 0 1 4 C O M M O N S D R . , S T E 1 0 0 | D E S T I N , F L O R I D A | 8 5 0 . 4 2 4 . 3 0 9 4 | C O R C O RAN . CO M/CO RCO RAN -RE VE RI E ©2021 Corcoran Group LLC. All rights reserved. Corcoran® and the Corcoran Logo are registered service marks owned by Corcoran Group LLC. Corcoran Group LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each franchise is independently owned and operated.

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Volume XVIII • Issue VI

events 12 17 22 26 28 31 37 42 45 50 52 54 67 70 73 79

Crescendo! Main Event Tequila & Taco Fest Southwest Inaugural Flight Toast to the Coast Sip N’ Stroll 9th Annual Crawfish Bash Bow Ties and Bling Preview Party at The Blake The M80S Street Art Festival Business After Hours: Mentoring Emerald Coast Mixer Home by VIE Book Signing Corcoran Reverie Celebration of Success Sunblock Social Business Before Hours Crescendo! Vintner Dinner at Church Hill Oaks

on the cover Tori Majors, Keasha Jones & MaryFrancis Mullins Photography by Zhalman Harris at the Tequila & Taco Fest

departments 24 40 48 56 60 63 76 82

Destin Style Swizzle Coastal Cuisine May We Suggest Give Care Share Locale Save the Date I Am Destin

features 35 Style Profiles 58 Beachworx Business Profile

VIP Destin Magazine Staff Publisher Greg Alexander

Art Director Priscilla Atkins

Associate Publisher Verla Price

Graphic Design Patti Hall

Advertising Stephanie Alvarez Kristin Moffitt Kevin O’Rourke Verla Price Jeff Watson

Contributing Writers/ Photographers Will Estell Zhalman Harris Verla Price Anna Stockton Jeff Watson

Publisher’s Assistant Anna Stockton

VIP Founder Jeff Watson

June 2021 | 9

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letter from the Associate Publisher

As May started winding down and the process of putting the June issue together began, my mind briefly slipped back to last year. The June issue in 2020 came out fi lled with pages of zoom meetings and more editorial than typically found in a VIP magazine. You might have asked yourself what was missing? The people. When publishing a magazine based on events, charity functions, and people in general, it was hard to hold the course when the group events were canceled and the fundraisers that we support each month were not maintained. This brief trip down memory lane fi lled my chest with love for you, our clients, and readers who kept us in your homes and on your coffee tables when you could have found other things to read. As our city continues to recover from the economic impact of COVID, VIP Destin Magazine will donate numerous pages each issue to these goodwill happenings. If you are in charge of a fundraising event, I would be pleased to include the occasion in a future publication. Please feel free to contact me with the information. I think you will enjoy this issue of VIP Destin Magazine as we once again take you from evening gowns to street festivals with the fl ip of a few pages. You will find details on events such as Toast to the Coast, Sip N’ Stroll, and Southwest Inaugural Flight for a start. I would be remiss if I did not mention the fun I had at Crescendo! I also attended a Derby party and had my photo made with the honorary race horse. Destin Style throws us into beachwear with hats and coverups while Coastal Cuisine is all fishy. Swizzle made me smile and think of the wine glasses in my cabinets, and as you finish the June issue, meet Maureen Bierman, Head of Communications and External Affairs for Step One Automotive Group in our I Am Destin feature. Thank YOU for supporting VIP Destin Magazine; please be kind, courteous, and shop local.

Associate Publisher (850) 502-7970

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VIP Destin at Hilton Sandestin

Crescendo! Main Event photos & story by Zhalman Harris


infonia Gulf Coast’s Crescendo! Main Event at Hilton Sandestin was infused with a lush backdrop of all things red with a Moulin Rouge theme. The event, which took place on May 2, was a huge success as patrons had a blast at Sunday’s Main Event. The energy-infused experience celebrating the cultural and culinary arts showcased world-class vintners, expert spirit purveyors, amazing auction items, and an electrifying musical performance. Guests enjoyed reserved table seating, hors d’oeuvres, a full seated lunch, and an all-inclusive afternoon of incredible fun. Crescendo! is an exciting cultural extravaganza that benefits Sinfonia Gulf Coast and its music education and community engagement initiatives including live orchestra performances for students, musicians in schools, guest artists in schools, youth orchestra programs, Arts in Medicine with Sacred Heart Hospital, Paint the Music project for 3-8 graders in Okaloosa and Walton Counties, and more. “I’m lost for words, we started with a vision and delivered a phenomenal event that set the bar higher than ever before,” said Ann Hinze who serves as a program coordinator for Sinfonia Gulf Coast, as she thanked her team and all the people who made the event a success.

Pam Welborn & Hannah Martin

Ewa & Chris Ruyan

Ashlee Beard & Lisa Turpin

Jaris Buehler, Ada Bowman , Nicole DeMartini, Hulda Mahlum, Nichole Veillon, Shawn Springfield, Velia Lala, Elaine Tucker & Demitrius Fuller

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Brooke St. Hilaire, Stephanie Brannon, Marisol Gullo & Summer Bell

Amanda & Gene Hurd, Ashley Turner

Leanne Anderson & Amy Parrish

Carol Zorn & Lane Redding

Travis Watkins & Charles Alexander

Kate Owen & Jessi Beauchamp

Marcia Hull, Shantelle Dedicke, Teresa Allen & Cindy Hyatt

Heather & Jeff Jourdan

Mary Aho, Leighann Elliott & Chelsea Fox June 2021 | 13

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VIP Destin at Crescendo! Main Event

Haley & Ian Blaise, Rachel Prescott

Ashley Bowen & Rachel Spencer

Tony & Marisol Gullo

Verla Price & Maureen Bierman

Young Kim & Martina Mason

Stacey Young & Eric Koe

Kay Crawford & Connie Yabro

Mike & Angela Ragsdale 14

Ada Bowman & Amy Milligan

Angel & Clark Mabry

Tabitha Howard & Lynn Wesson


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Burnt Pine

3212 Bay Estates Circle

Brad Smith

Offered at $5,995,000 Find bay-front luxury living at its finest in this immaculately updated estate. The brand-new family room features impact glass accordion doors, a bar and grilling area, beer tap, and double-sided fireplace. Other recent upgrades to the property include a new pool and spa area that is completely screened in, a new theater room, dock, flooring, master suite, fireplaces, and HVAC systems. You can’t find anything better than this.

Waterford at Kelly Plantation

4325 Breakwater Drive

William Flynn 850-428-2424

Offered at $4,285,000 Mediterranean Bayfront estate situated on 1.5 acres in the exclusive gated waterfront community of Waterford, within the gated community of Kelly Plantation. The 8,000 square foot home, including 154 feet of waterfront and 350’ dock offers amazing views of the Choctawhatchee Bay and Mid Bay Bridge - easily enjoyed from screened outdoor living areas with zero entry pool, fireplace, grill, and dining area. Six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, including Master Suite with luxurious office, Venetian Plaster walls, crystal chandeliers, luxurious finishes, travertine and hardwood floors, grand entrance with stunning landscaping. No detail overlooked. Perfect for entertaining family and friends.

Catherine Hicks 850-586-5301

Now with FIVE locations serving the Emerald Coast MIRAMAR BEACH 9375 Emerald Coast Parkway, Unit 18 | (850) 267-0050 SANTA ROSA BEACH 7684 W. County Highway 30A | (850) 267-0013 NICEVILLE 1073 E. John Sims Parkway | (850) 729-0176 PENSACOLA GULF BREEZE

Commercial and Residential Real Estate Group

17 W. Cedar St. | (850) 434-2244 836 Gulf Breeze Parkway | (850) 932-6278

Real Estate Team

©2021 BHH Affiliates, LLC. Real Estate Brokerage Services are offered through the network member franchisees of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Most franchisees are independently owned and operated. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServicesand the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServicessymbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Equal Housing Opportunity.

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VIP Destin at the Village of Baytowne Wharf

photos & story by Zhalman Harris

Tim Brand, Bryce Jarvis & Jay Ammons

T Victoria Majors, Keasha Jones & MaryFrancis Mullins

he Village of Baytowne Wharf hosted the 8th Annual Tequila & Taco Fest April 30-May 2. The 2nd longest running Tequila & Taco Fest in the USA brought patrons and connoisseurs from miles around to enjoy a weekend full of delicious tacos, smooth tequila, live music from Merengue 4 from the Dominican Republic, face painting for the little amigos, and a fun fi lled afternoon. All proceeds from the event went to The Fisher House of The Emerald Coast. A Tortilla toss competition was also held to benefit The Boys and Girls Club of the Emerald Coast. There were over 2,000 people in attendance sampling an array of unlimited fresh tacos prepared on site while sipping on the finest tequila available today. There were over 20 competing restaurants and 15 tequila tents. And the winners are: • 1st Place Slick Lips Seafood & Oyster House, 2nd Place Café Nola, 3rd Place Stanleys Street Treats, and 4th Place Pepper’s Taqueria • People’s Choice Winners were 1st Place My Ohana, 2nd Place Café Nola, and 3rd Place Slick Lips Seafood & Oyster House • Best Margarita went to Black Sheep Tequila, while the title of Most Exotic Taco was claimed by Slick Lips Seafood & Oyster House.

Aaron Coelho, Scott Roberson & Kayla Campbell

Hope Muterspaugh with Ninja

Stephanie Dobransky & Kenna Wiles

Nelly Rondon & Taylor Goode June 2021 | 17

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VIP Destin at Tequila & Taco Fest

Katie Sowell & Susie Saldovar

Toni Aguilar with Coco & Roy Cambron

Yvette Smith, Kevin O’Rourke, Jeff Watson & Maggie Yelverton

Jani & Josh Schmidt

Jeremy Johnson & Karen Singleton

Bianca Holmes, Rachel Harris, Rebecca Diederick, Toni Becker & Jessica Karlasky

Penny Shrum, Dee Haubert, Stacy Turco, Mary Patterson & Leighanne Slate 18

Ruby Torres & Alejandra Rincon

Tiffani Salinas & Cheryl Manganiello


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VIP Destin at Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport

Southwest Inaugural Flight photos & story by Zhalman Harris


he long-awaited wish of many has finally come true with the arrival of Southwest Airlines to VPS. The world’s largest lowcost carrier airline made their inaugural fl ight on May 6 with a full fl ight of southwest employees and tourists, who were just as excited as those on the ground patiently awaiting their arrival. Guests and well-wishers included some of the top brass in the community including, Mel Ponder, Carolyn Ketchel, Paul Mixon, and others. The airline will be flying directly to 9 cities from VPS. Cities which will be served from VPS are Nashville, TN, Baltimore/Washington, Dallas, TX, Chicago, IL, Austin, TX, Houston, TX, Kansas City, MO, St Louis, MO, and Milwaukee, WI. Tracy Stage who serves as the Airport Director at VPS welcomed everyone who was there to witness history stating, “I could not be more proud of the collective teams of Southwest and the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport for their hard work to see such a dream come true in just a few months. VPS emulates the destination and more importantly, recognizes the community that we all are made of, and I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of it.”

Mel Ponder, Bill Tierney, John Hofstead & Tracy Stage

Amanda Negron & Carolyn Ketchel 22

Catherine Card & April Sarver

Kerry Sutsko, Stacey Young, Jackie Blue & Katelyn Eriks


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Thank you for voting for us! We love our Community and Patients!

Dr. Casi Stubbs, DMD, PA Winning Best in Destin Makes Us

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Beachin Beachwear O

story by Anna Stockton

h beach season, we have such a complicated relationship. On one hand, I adore the sunny days with my feet in the sand and the sound of the waves gently crashing while I relax in a beach chair. On the other hand, maybe I don’t love the whole trying on swimsuits thing, maybe it’s about as much fun as doing all those crunches I was supposed to do well before the season even started. But fear not my fellow sun worshippers, we’ve got a little something for everyone to look their best as you enjoy our beautiful Gulf Coast beaches.

We’ve got you Covered

Perhaps traipsing around in your swimsuit isn’t your jam or maybe you prefer to protect your delicate skin, cover-ups are the way to do both while looking fashionable. Sarongs, a delicate gauze tunic or even a simply cotton pullover, all serve double duty as both style pieces as well as providing both modesty and sun protection.

Sporty Spice

In conversation with my friend the other day she mentioned a desire for a sporty swimsuit, one that moves with you as you run, jump and swim. Of course I looked at her confused as I don’t understand why anyone would be that active at the beach when there’s perfectly good lounging that can be done (see paragraph above) but alas, I suppose there are those out there. So, lines like Athleta and Jolyn are here for those overachievers who want to make the most of their beach time and look cute doing it.

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Hats Off To You

Is there anything more glamorous than a fabulous straw hat with a pop of color? Protection from the sun with the added bonus of style and a fashion statement. Some of these hats even have a dose of sass with sayings like “Beach Please” and my personal favorite “Resting Beach Face.” Let’s not forget the gentlemen, they need some fun sun protection too. Straw hats with under brim designs are all the rage along the Gulf oast a on st fisher an and ea h oers ali e eri an a s tropi al owers and nautical themes are just a few under brim designs on these cool straw hats that keep your face and neck protected while looking your best.

Nobody Likes a Shady Beach

Another beach must-have are sunglasses, or as the cool kids used to call them “shades.” Now with all the “Mavericks-in-training” we have here in the Pandandle you might forget there’s options other than aviator sunglasses. Now don’t think we’re losing that loving feeling for aviators, we’re just pointing out that shades come in many styles and colors -- mens or womens, cheap or bougie, colorful or plain -- there’s something for everyone. Stylish, all while protecting your delicate eyes and maybe providing a little discretion while, ahem… checking out the other beachgoers. Great balls of fire

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VIP Destin at HarborWalk Village

Toast to the Coast

Micha Everett, Tori Wright & Cali Hlavac

photos & story by Will Estell


t was a great weekend along Destin’s HarborWalk Village for the annual Toast to the Coast, with locals and tourist alike, taking in the great sampling of local cuisine and sipping of the vast array of coastal concoctions, cocktails, craft beer, and more. The beautiful day on the harbor was fi lled with people from all over the country, and abroad, taking in the sunshine, live entertainment and libations while mingling with fellow attendees and perusing the numerous shops that make up Destin’s well-known HarborWalk Village. It’s definitely an annual event worth putting on your calendar for the coming years.

Patrick Nasri, Mike Brown & Kevin Schmidt

Stephanie Parsons & Sarah Parsons 26

Tony Mallett, Ana Leurinda, Rebecca & Aaron Johnson


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VIP Destin at J.Leon Gallery + Studio


photos & story by Zhalman Harris

n May 7, J.Leon Gallery + Studio, the area’s newest fine art gallery, hosted their ninth Sip N’ Stroll event where they debuted three new artists. The gallery welcomed new artists, Maxine Orange, Betsy Latham, and Steve Wagner to their talented lineup of featured artists. In addition, the gallery hosted the reveal of one-of-a-kind, mother/daughter painting by artists Kathy Schumacher and Krista Schumacher. During the Sip N’ Stroll event guests received a first look at the gallery’s new Summer Art Installations featuring 14 talented local and national artists. Visitors took a tour of the gallery and the fully functioning ceramics studio while enjoying wine, champagne, and light eats. An evening fi lled with creativity, guests also experienced live paintings by artists Estelle Grengs and Joan Vienot. Kathy and Krista Schumacher revealed, “The Unity of Koi”, their 2021 mother-daughter collaborative oil painting. This painting comes at a time of a global pandemic that brought hardship but also lessons of unity. Both Kathy and Krista state, “We all braved the storm that was 2020 and because of such are all deeply connected.” “The Unity of Koi” is a reminder of our resilience, and hope for the future as we move forward in harmony.

Elizabeth Campbell, Carolyn Brigman & Bill Campbell

Peggy Landskroener & Ashley Shirk

Jenna Varney & Matt Nevius

Rich Tomasello & Estelle Grengs

Kamie Papke, Demetrius Fuller & Janet Creekmoore

Lisa Rackley, Jim Schumaker, Don Patrick, Kathy Schumaker, Jane Patrick & Krista Schumaker

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#1 R EA L ES TATE TEA M , 2 0 1 9 -2 0 !

It is our pleasure to serve your Real Estate needs! Please give us a call and tell us how we can help you make your home buying and selling dreams come true!


Amanda Hurd Team Leader-Realtor 850-375-3570

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Ashley Turner

Buyer’s Specialist 850-226-2102

5/26/21 9:04 PM

VIP Destin at Seascape Mezcal Mexican Grill

Lane Redding & CJ Lydon

JD & Whitney Whidden

Robyn & Clayton Hicks


Crawfish Bash photos & story by Zhalman Harris


he Rotary Club of Destin held their 9th Annual Cajun Crawfish Bash on May 7, at The Towne Centre at Seascape, Mezcal Mexican Grill. Guests enjoyed over 2,200 pounds of fresh Louisiana crawfish. The hot and spicy treat dished up with the traditional potatoes, sausage, and corn on the cob, was prepared by Rhett Fontenelle and his team, making guests head back for second and third servings. For those who didn’t crave crawfish, grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, and rotisserie chicken prepared fresh on-site was served. The Rotary Club of Destin is known for serving up the best Cajun crawfish, libations, and live music. Back by popular demand, Fais Do-Do Band performed their unique genre of zydeco music. Integrating a blend of R&B, soul, brass band, reggae, hip hop, ska, rock, and Afro-Caribbean style music. The proceeds from the event benefited young families in need through Food For Thought, Harvest House, Boys & Girls Club of the Emerald Coast, Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation’s community outreach initiatives, and The Rotary Club of Destin Scholarship Fund.

Jeanne Dailey & Marcia Hull

Jennifer & Wayne Bernheisel

Chelsea Fox & Leighann Elliott

Denis Song, Lisa Neal, Mike May & Cory Neal June 2021 | 31

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VIP Destin at 9th Annual Crawfish Bash

Pam Martin & Kathy Whidden

Phil & Pat Madden 850.585.1598

Contact Mary Fletcher

to learn about buying and selling property along the Emerald Coast

$56 Million in Sales! Nelly Rondon, Taylor Goode & Rita Cummins


Sandestin • Tops’l Miramar Beach • Destin

Carmen Ionescu, Dion Moniz & Ada Bowman 32


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sunset shoes & lifestyles

sunset shoes

sunset shoes & lifestyles

sunset shoes

Town Square Shoes

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15 hub lane Watersound, Fl 32461 850-832-0359

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Style Profiles Sunset Shoes & Lifestyles has found a new home in Grand Blvd 25 years after Eddy and Mary Hardy opened the first Sunset Shoes Store with a personalized, full-service approach, offering custom shoe fittings and expert advice. Eddy, with his daughter, Joy Hardy, now part of the family business, are excited about the new digs. The energy of the Center, including restaurants and an annual calendar of events, feels fresh to the pair, with extra space in this new FLAGSHIP store allowing for better merchandising and the addition and expansion of lines. Serendipitously - it’s just down the street from the original store, so loyal customers - both locals and tourists, receive the same great experience on a larger scale! In addition to the ever-popular, high-end, trendy shoe lines the store carries, customers will now find more of everything from swimsuits and sunglasses to handbags and the perfect little dress for a night out. More than two decades in the business, and six terrific stores around the Destin and 30A areas, the Hardys continue to bring firstto-market brands, in addition to customer faves: Birkenstock, ON Cloud, Chaco, Hammitt, Mephisto, FLY London, Patagonia, Olukai, Yeti, Hey Dude, and more!

Sunset Shoes & Lifestyles (850) 837-5466

Tasteful Staging Design Services can help you with every step of the design process, all the way from space planning, staging, and product selection, to picking the perfect textiles and on to order placement. Whether it is your boat, your primary home, or a rental space, Tasteful Staging by Brandilee can help it be the best space possible. Brandilee is the owner, designer, and artist and she just happens to be a serial real estate investor. She stages homes and provides interior design services. Brandilee is a European-trained artist with 20-plus years of experience. She has been a contractor fl ipping and building houses. The combination of her art training and her experience as a contractor bring the perfect skill set to her interior design business. Brandilee also has behind-thescenes experience working on TV shows including one for HGTV, where she transformed a dismal space into a beautiful, happy home in a matter of hours. Branidlee encourages that you never have a second chance to make a first impression so make sure that first impression is the right one. Tasteful Staging with Brandilee is here to help you accomplish all of your design needs.

(850) 775-8117

Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak. -- Rachel Zoe No one can put style in a box - it reaches to places ranging from what we wear to what we eat. One’s personal style can be exhibited by the jewelry they wear, the car they drive, the design of their house and landscape, and yes - by the clothes they wear. Style infiltrates all parts of our life- it is diverse and and we love to share that diversity through our many advertisers and their offerings.

June 2021 | 35

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You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Home Staging 850.775.8117

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Interior Design

5/26/21 9:07 PM

VIP Destin at Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa

Bow Ties & Bling Gala E

photos & story by Zhalman Harris

merald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center hosted its 22nd Bow Ties and Bling gala at Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa on May 21. The community turned out to support the organization to make the event an amazing and record breaking one; to help raise funds to prevent child abuse and neglect, protect children, and restore the lives and futures of impacted children. “We are still tallying the many gracious and generous gifts from our patrons. It was the best night ever and a record-breaking gala for kids! God certainly was in that room providing for his most vulnerable children,” said Julie Porterfield, Executive Director of ECCAC. Aimee Shaffer shared her heart wrenching and extra ordinary story of abuse and survival to patrons who attended the event, conveying to them that she was a survivor. She said, “Even though people may look fine, happy and cheerful, sometimes there are deep pains, traumas and scars beneath the exterior. This is why ECCAC is doing so much in this community, to save the vulnerable children.” Some names worth mentioning for the success of such a great event, are the likes of Cory Fosdyc and Doug Ingram, for their leadership, Jim & Tammy Pierce for matching up to $100,000 of paddle raises, George and Stephanie Brannon of SETCO, and other sponsors.

Jim & Lara Watt

David Kirk & Carolyn Brigman

Marty Buchman & Christen Cowgill

Joe & Lea Capers, Demetria & Richard McNeese

Les & Julie Porterfield

Keith Krul & Renee Launiere

Brian & Erin Liesveld

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VIP Destin at Bow Ties & Bling Gala

Greg & Keri Atchley

Whitney & JD Whidden

Dan, Tabitha, Mary & John Howard


Glenda & Dennis Lichorwic

Ben & Jen Hannigan

Bill & Langley Lindsley

Tammy & Steve Philpot

Kelly Layman & Melissa Mercer Brown

Dion & Mindy Moniz, Linda & Hogan Bryan

Heather Curry & Leah Vanhoose


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Kerri Fowler & Solange Arnett

The one and only boutique for children in Destin with over 240 hand-picked brands.

Carmen Konert, Blake Mora & Julie Porterfield

Sharon Brockenbrough, Mary Fletcher & Janet Parker

Thank you for voting us


Best Children’s Clothing

Audie Rowell, Renee Pellegrino & John Colletta (850) 424-5707 4339 Legendary Drive D112, Destin, FL 32541 June 2021 | 39

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Sip in Style


story by Anna Stockton

once had a set of wine glasses with the numbers 1-12 etched into the glass, a unique and fun way to ensure no one got their wine glasses confused at a party. Oh how I loved those wine glasses, somehow having barware with numbers on them made me feel like the “hostess with the mostest.” My run as entertainer of the year came to an abrupt halt one night at the hands of my friend, Angela…literally. As her spirited way of gesturing when she spoke sent glass number 10 flying through the air, crashing on the tile floor. Now 10 years and 6 moves later, only glass number 5 remains, she’s still my favorite and I do everything I can to protect her from the horrors that befell the other eleven glasses. While I admit I’m being a bit dramatic with my tale of wine glass woes, barware can be a fun and unique way to show off your personality while you serve your guests.

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rowback while you throw down ~ Mid-century pieces are all the rage right now, including the barware. Oranges, greens and funky designs can be found on glasses and ice buckets, all ready to serve your groovy guests. Most antique shops have a plethora of full sets to choose from or piece together a few different kinds to make a fun make-shift vintage set. A word of caution though, product standards weren’t the same then as they are now so do a little research before you sip from your vintage find. Contrary to what our grandparents thought, whiskey does not, in fact, cancel out harmful chemicals. It’s science y’all.

You So Fancy ~ While vintage and holiday barware

Holiday Spirits ~ Okay so I’ve become one of those

glasses in your bar, you have to have stylish accessories as well. Cocktail shakers in the shape of the Empire State Building, sugar cane stir sticks from a plantation in Louisiana, your grandmother’s 1950’s serving tray and monogrammed cocktail napkins, these are just a few examples of lively ways to add style to your bar. Especially unique items that have a backstory from a trip, person, or experience make a great conversation piece while you’re serving your guests.

people who change out my dishes for the holidays. I don’t know when that happened, probably around the same time I started putting plastic bags into other plastic bags. Anyway, doing the same with barware adds a festive feel to your get together. Whether it’s “Ho Ho Ho” on your highball glasses or a skeleton stem on your wine glass, getting into the holidays is a fun way to entertain. And just like those plastic bags, I can’t stop, won’t stop until I run out of room.

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are fun, it’s a good idea to have some nice, upscale pieces in your collection as well. Sometimes you want to host a fancy dinner party or have your family over to a nice Thanksgiving dinner, you definitely don’t want to be serving your guests their cocktails in a glass that says “shut up liver, you’re fine.” Classics like Waterford and Vietri and more modern companies like Estelle Colored Glass are good staples to have in your collection. Check out some of your local high-end gift shops and jewelry stores to see what they carry.

Cocktail Curios ~ Now, you can’t have just stylish

5/26/21 9:09 PM

VIP Destin at The Blake

Heidi Steeves & Keith Freudenberger

Susan & Trip Hill, Glenn & Jackie Barclay, Barb Garbel

Preview Party at The Blake photos & story by Zhalman Harris


he Blake at Miramar Beach hosted a “preview party” on May 4. VIP community members were able to tour the community before it opened. Guests were treated to champagne, sangria, and a spread prepared by Chef Keith Freudenberger including charcuterie, pickled shrimp, stuffed roasted peppers, and assorted desserts. Dicky Ross provided entertainment. The Blake is Miramar Beach’s newest senior living resort. The community features 124 apartments in its assisted living and memory care communities.


Susan Connor & Caroline Barry

Suzi Maddox & Marice Maddox

Donna Hamilton & Trish Waddle

Reed & Mary Waddle

Michael Jordan, Maria Heckscher, Kevin O’Rourke, Janelle Knight & Susan Connor


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VIP Destin at Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village

Linda & Mike Vazquez

CJ Lydon & Shannah Hanks



Lisa Turpin & Mary Chris Murry

Suzy Spence & Cheri Williams

photos & story by Zhalman Harris

he mild temperature and cool breeze made it a perfect day to enjoy live music under the stars, at the most beautiful outdoor music venue on the Emerald Coast. We went back to the 80s on May 13, when cover band M80 took to the stage at Mattie Kelly, playing their favorite hits, from the 80s, with our favorite hits, from artists like Michael Jackson, Journey, The Go-Go’s, Bon Jovi, Prince, and Cheap Trick making up the perfect repertoire for concert goers to dance and sing along to. Formed in 2007, The M-80s are a Birmingham, Alabama-based band of experienced, professional entertainers that take you back to the best music from the 1980s. Playing instantly recognizable hits that we all know every word to. Building the Foundation of Arts and Culture in Our Community, Mattie Kelly Art Foundation is Northwest Florida’s premier cultural arts and arts education organization.

Glenda & Chuck Palmore, Candis Wilson

Renee Launiere & Keith Krul

Gerard & Tracy Perillo, Gale Colbourne & Brownie Boswell June 2021 | 45

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VIP Destin at MKAF Concerts in the Village: M80s

Shane Moody & Ashlee Beard

Wayne Paul & Susan Kiley

Nichole Veillon & Velia Lala with Lexi

Henley & Jessi Beauchamp

Bobby Parker & Jenni Brunson

Belinda Small & Karen Singleton

Anna Dedicke & Gwyn Wendt

Melanie Moore & Beth Clavier

Brittany Byrd & Rachel Velasquez

Christie Solomon & Bree Gallo

Denise Song & Tracy Wood

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Glenda, Johnny & Dennis Lichorwic

Jason Hall, Kevin O’Rourke & Glenn Liguori

Hillaree Durso, Shantelle Dedicke & Kayla Koger

AnnMarie, Laura Mutter, Lynda Hook & Bobbie Haskins June 2021 | 47

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5/26/21 9:11 PM

Oh Snap! It’s time to go fishing! story by Anna Stockton


long the Gulf Coast we have our own kind of four seasons, boating season, football season, Mardi Gras season, and of course, red snapper season. Few things evoke such excitement as the opening of the red snapper season. Bait shops and boat ramps fill up with hopeful fisherman, each one crossing their fingers that their sweet spot will deliver. The start of the Gulf Red Snapper harvest began in the Pensacola area around the 1840’s. Although fisheries were in the early stages and still working out the kinks AND since nobody likes rotten fish, the majority of red snapper harvesting stayed local until ice and trains made it possible to transport the fish safely and for longer periods of time. This allowed the snapper harvesting vessels, known as “smacks,” to seek out new fishing areas. By the end of the 19th century, overfishing had taken its toll on the snapper population in the local Gulf waters and nearly depleted it. So what did the fisherman do? Well, they took a trip south of the border and found success in Campeche Bank off the coast of Mexico. It wasn’t until the 1940’s and after giving the Gulf a 50-year break to replenish the snapper population that fishing in the Western Gulf picked back up. Gulf red snapper fishing is well managed now, thanks to highly regulated fishing “seasons” by NOAA Fisheries and other agencies. So what exactly is a Gulf Red Snapper? Well, as the name suggests, they’re red in color, but they don’t all look alike. The red snapper that happen to live in the deep depths of the ocean, up to 620 feet in fact, are a much deeper red than their shore loving 48

counterparts. They won’t be winning any beauty contests with their triangular face, protruding underbite and large canine teeth, also called “snappers,” but they probably have a great personality. Red snapper can live to the ripe old age of 57 years and can get as long as 40 inches and as hefty as 50 pounds.


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The females start to reproduce around 2 years and spawning season is usually from May to October. They don’t seem to be terribly particular about their dining preferences, shrimp, crab, squid and even plankton are all on the menu for red snapper, while red snapper themselves are on the menu for, well, bigger fish, marine mammals, barracudas, and turtles. Red snapper has a mildly sweet, nutty and gentle flavor that doesn’t have the “fishy taste,” making it popular even among non-fish eaters. While the meat is moist, lean, firm and easy to add to a variety of dishes. The possibilities are endless on how to prepare your snapper. Roasting, frying, blackening, and steaming are all good options as well as simply baking it. Some serve the fish with the head still on while others prefer their food not to stare at them. Whatever your preference, there are serving styles and recipes to suit everyone’s taste.

Grilled Snapper INGREDIENTS:

Whole Red Snapper- descaled 2 tbsp olive oil Salt and pepper for seasoning ½ lemon, juiced DIRECTIONS: Preheat your grill to medium heat. Season the Red Snapper with the salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Place the fish on the grill and cook until the meat is opaque (about four minutes per side). Serve with tropical fruit salsa, or your favorite summer salads, and enjoy! June 2021 | 49

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VIP Destin at Grand Boulevard

Rory Quinn & Ashley Hand

Lily Gravlie & Ferrell Crawley

T photos & story by Zhalman Harris


he Cultural Arts Alliance Signature event, the South Walton Street Art Festival, made its debut in 2021 during Mother’s Day Weekend May 7-9 in Grand Boulevard Town Center, featuring visual artists and students creating works of art using only pastel chalk and their imagination. More than 25 artists were participating in one of three categories: Artist, School Team, or Friends & Family. The socially distanced event joined the Art Month South Walton line-up and featured live music from regional singer-songwriters and lawn games in Grand Park throughout the weekend. Event goers purchased refreshments while strolling the avenues as they watch the works come to life. The CAA of Walton County is a Local Arts Agency that supports the arts through leadership, advocacy, funding, programs and education. The vision of the CAA is to be the catalyst for Walton County’s growth as a destination for cultural and artistic excellence through which lives are enriched, economy is stimulated and community is strengthened.

Alonzo & Alex Gonzalez

Kathy & Keith McCardy with Remi

Liv Dimauro & Aria Gaffrey

Vivian Komando & Bonnie Yu

Christine, Theo, Jade & Sally Smiley, Jake & Julie Hefner


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i t w h y O a u l rP P e




Family Owned and Operated 6235 N. Davis Hwy Pensacola, FL 32504 (850) 637.1123 Mission Statement PetlandPensacola

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415 Mary Esther Cut Off NW Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548 (850) 796-2424 PetlandFortWaltonBeach

5/26/21 9:13 PM

VIP Destin at Farm & Fire Pizzeria

DC Matthews, Kelly Webb & Laura Pentel Klang

Megan Harrison, Emily Cain & Amie Schiess


Mentoring Emerald Coast Mixer

Kelly Noelle & Bob Redmond

Mary Fletcher, Janet Parker & Lisa Medley


photos & story by Zhalman Harris

outh Walton Chamber of Commerce held their monthly Business After Hours on May 19, at Farm & Fire Southern Pizzeria. The dual Spring Mentoring Emerald Coast Mixer and Business After Hours, was sponsored by Matthews & Jones, LLP. The after hours networking event brings professionals from the community to mix and mingle while enjoying drinks and lite bites in a friendly business atmosphere to learn more about each other’s businesses and chamber programs. The South Walton Chamber is known to be the driving force which promotes, develops and advocates for successful businesses in the community. As they strive to achieve excellence in all they do.

Minette Bruce & MJ Bush

Sheree & Jeff Moody

Gabby Kilgore, Hannah Green & Laura Andrews

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RAW BAR | HAPPY HOUR, 3-6 p.m. | Check our Facebook page for entertainment schedule Home of the 102 foot bar including 32 beers on draft. Some of our specialties include little neck clams, freshly shucked raw oysters, New England style clam chowder and jumbo shrimp cocktail! Austons on 98, of Nashville roots, also features its very own “Real Deal Nashville Hot Sauce”! 125 Poinciana Boulevard, Miramar Beach, FL 32550 | 850-842-3200 | | Hours: Sun-Thur 11 am to 9 pm; Fri-Sat 11 am to 10 pm


Don’t get blown away with underinsured limits… GET COVERED!

(850) 424-6979

iz June 2021 | 53

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VIP Destin at isidro dunbar Modern Interiors

Home by VIE BOOK SIGNING photos & story by Zhalman Harris

Nathan & Polly Yoakum


n May 19, isidro dunbar Modern Interiors and Vie Magazine held a book signing event at the showroom of idMI. The luxury coffeetable, home-inspiration for Home and Life by VIE, featured arts by local artists, local homes, gardens, décor, furniture architecture, and beautiful stories with heart and soul. The publisher and creators of the book were on hand to sign and share their inspiration and creativity that brought the book to life. Guests mingled, and enjoyed charcuterie by cc.boone, and cocktails by Tip Top Proper. Both Lisa Burwell of VIE and Todd Reeves of idMI thanked their guests for coming and supporting the publisher and creators of the book. Kelly O’Shea & Regina Fischer


Todd Reeves & Lisa Burwell

Mary Chris Murry & Lea Capers

Jordan Lampert & Margaret Biggs

Jamie Graves & Carrie Ritchie

Sue & Oscar Perez

Don & Jan Patrick


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Bob & Lorre James, Bryan Whitehead

food and spirits Jessica Malsam, Jim & Mara Clark

Established in 2020, Bitterroot Food and Spirits is Destin’s premiere establishment for high-end cuisine and cocktails. Thoughtfully crafted and always fresh, we aim to lead the industry by example. No exceptions, no compromises.

Fred & Ampy Cox, Peter Mohylsky

Hours of Operation: Dine In or Take Away Lunch: Monday-Friday, 11a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Brunch: Saturday-Sunday, 11a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner: Monday-Sunday, 4 p.m. Small Bites: Daily from 2:30-4 p.m. Happy Hour: Daily 3-6 p.m.; $5 Old Fashioned Mondays Ladies’ Night Every Thursday

850-460-8881 4463 Commons Dr West STE A | Destin, FL 32541

THANK YOU FOR VOTING US BEST NEW BUSINESS! Jordan Staggs, Amanda Salucci, Emme Martin & Kelly Curry June 2021 | 55

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Vietri Regalia Wine Glasses - $75 Bastide Home & Garden Santa Rosa Beach 850-622-9550

Rakish Fellow Salvitude Beard Balm $12.50 Rakish Fellow Manufactured 100% in Switzerland Developed right here in Destin! $995 - $2695 Emerald Lady Jewelry

Hammitt Oliver Medium Bag in Ricotta Raffia - $345 Sunset Shoes & Lifestyles 850-837-5466

Tip Top Proper Cocktails - Canned Craft Cocktails Always Balanced -Never too sweet - $3.99-$4.99 ABC Fine Wine & Spirits

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(850) 460-2933

1004 Hwy 98E • Destin, FL 32541

Annemarie McClain Sr. Home Loan Advisor

Cell: (850) 461-1474 Office: (850) 533-8414 NMLS ID # 1600155 Apply Online

165 Brooks Street, Suite A Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548 NMLS ID #2004055 CBM Mortgage is an Equal Housing Lender CBM Mortgage, Inc.– Company NMLS #282839 ( )

June 2021 | 57

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Business Profile


eachworx is enjoying great success by innovating for today’s business owners and entrepreneurs. The chicly modern co-working space is a desirable environment in an even more desirable location. Only two blocks from the beach and adjacent to Destin Commons, this shared workspace offers a flexible, affordable plan for almost any business’s need - whether you pop in for daily use, rent a dedicated office or desk - weekly, monthly or longer. Beachworx’s conference room meeting space is available by the hour. The new Virtual Membership offers a number of services designed to strategically assist the small business owner and entrepreneur.

he e e t o a


tho t the o t

A Beachworx virtual office gives businesses an introduction to Beachworx’s member benefits. Virtual membership is ideal for locals and those who want a dedicated Florida address, mail service to that address and access to Beachworx’ community. Virtual Office members are welcome to expand their access to Beachworx by scheduling use of conference rooms, Hotdesks and private offices.

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• Receive a dedicated suite number to register a Google My Business address • Affirm your online presence with a “Class A” Business Address that appears on local maps in web searches • Mail delivery service (mail forwarding also available) • Member Spotlight - have your business listed in Beachworx’s member directory, share your social business content to our social media channels • Access theBeachworx member’s only app and directly connect with other members • Realize significant tax benefits by registering your business with a physical address in the State of Florida • More affordable than a PO Box • More credible and secure than listing your home office address • Networking Opportunities with members and group

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m orta t

Having a oogle verified address increases awareness for your business. • Having a oogle verified address increases awareness for your business • Create your own content for your oogle My Business listing • nvite customers to leave reviews about your company • Appear in a geographical search • rive traffic to your website by including links within your listing


my a



hen you sign up, you will be provided your own suite number to use along with the main Beachworx address. ou will be able to receive mail, packages and deliveries at this physical address. pgrade to mail forwarding for the ultimate convenience.



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very month Beachworx promotes a member in a special social media post called “Member potlight.” e will include your logo and information regarding your company and the services you offer.



et or

th other mem er

Once you become a member of Beachworx you will be added to the Member etwork. ou can reach out to other members, and can access the members-only Beachworx app. ou will also get exclusive invitation-only access to educational and professional networking events in our space from community members and business professionals.



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here are many reasons but here are ust a few • A .O. Box can make your business look uncommitted or low-budget. A virtual address gives off the impression of a physical office and pro ects a more professional business image. • hile .O. Boxes are more private than a home street address, clients could still track down your personal address. A virtual address ensures your privacy. • A virtual business address with Beachworx affordable option offering privacy, credibility and convenience so you can focus on higher-value business activities. rop by today for a tour or call . ake a virtual tour at


Co orking pace

nnovative hared Office pace ocated in the B OC ted

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of estin,


tedx official Host pace

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story by Greg Alexander photos provided by Caring & Sharing of South Walton


imply by the name of the organization, you know they are doing great things for the community. Caring & Sharing of South Walton has been serving neighbors in need since 1994 when the organization was established to provide families living in Walton County with access to food, financial support, and other resources. Over the last 27 years, the organization has assisted thousands of local families and improved lives. The sign of an effective non-profit organization is to be able to recognize new and changing needs that may be unfulfi lled elsewhere and find a solution. For Caring & Sharing, 2020 was a year defined by change, wider impact, and partnerships. From offering financial assistance to all of Walton County, to expanding their programs and partnerships, to safely serving clients during a global pandemic, they found new needs and found means and ways to satisfy them. The impact Caring & Sharing had on the community in the

last year has been tremendous. They were able to connect with hundreds of local families needing food and financial assistance during very uncertain times. With the services they added, and around 200 brand new clients, the amount of financial support they provided grew by 850% compared to 2019. At Caring & Sharing, they truly care about their clients. They are not there to provide a handout, they are there to provide relief and to walk with their clients through whatever crisis they are experiencing, providing support and direction as it is needed. So many families are living paycheck to paycheck and one little unexpected expense can create chaos. They exist to help them work through that chaos.

By the Numbers 2020 Annual Report 13,698

clients served


average number of households served each month


average number of individuals served each month


average number of children served each month


average number of seniors served each month

Since the pandemic started, OVER 200

new households and

OVER 575 new individuals served 60


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Interview with Carly Barnes , Executive Director Caring & Sharing of South Walton Caring & Sharing is not here to provide a handout. They are here to provide relief and to walk with their clients through whatever crisis they are experiencing, providing support and direction as it is needed. What is the mission of Caring & Sharing? Caring & Sharing of South Walton was established in 1994 to provide low income Walton County residents with access to food, financial assistance, and connection to other resources. This work is made possible with the support of our community. How has the organization had to pivot in the last year due to COVID 19 and still stay directed toward your mission? Pivoting in 2020 was necessary to meet the increased needs of our community and to keep our clients, volunteers, and staff safe. We started operating a drive-thru pantry in order to continue serving our clients during the pandemic, this is something we will continue to do moving forward. It has greatly improved our efficiency and actually works better for clients with limited mobility. We were also able to add services to better meet the needs of the clients we were seeing. We now offer Case Management and Mental Health Counseling where we serve all of Walton County (not just the south end of the county) and we have a fantastic team in place that truly cares about our clients. With the store closed for a few months (and an amazing Intern), we had the time to create resource guides and build some new relationships so that we could make referrals and suggestions on additional services clients could benefit from in the area. What are some of the greatest challenges your organization faces?

We always need volunteers, we have over 10 volunteer spots to fill each day! Our volunteers help us run our Thrift Store, Food Pantry, and sort through all the amazing donations we get. Without them, the work we do would be impossible. What is the most rewarding part of your involvement with the organization? We have worked hard to create an environment in which those we serve feel loved and cared for. We are here to support our neighbors in need and they leave here knowing that we will do everything we can to get them connected to the resources they need. The reward comes from seeing the relief on our clients faces when we help them avoid or recover from a crisis situation. How did you become involved with Caring & Sharing? I started serving on the Board of Caring & Sharing of South Walton in 2018. When the position of Executive Director was created in late 2019, I expressed interest in taking on that position and was offered the job in January 2020- starting in February 2020. They didn’t warn me about all that was ahead in 2020! How is Caring & Sharing funded? Caring & Sharing of South Walton is funded by our generous community! We receive a lot of support from local churches and individuals who know about the services we provide. We also receive a large portion of our operating funds from the sales in our Thrift Store located at 112 Lynn Drive - open Monday - Friday from 9-4.

In addition to those sources, we are United Way Partners and are working closely with the Homelessness and Housing Alliance to enhance the services we provide for individuals who are homeless in Walton County. Is Caring & Sharing involved in any upcoming events? We have some fun things in the works for Fall 2021, so stay tuned for details! What does the future of your organization look like? We are working towards becoming a one stop shop for finding support in Walton County! With all the challenges our clients face, we have learned how helpful it is to have as many resources as possible in one place. In the near future we hope to offer classes to help our clients navigate some of the challenges they might face budgeting, applying for benefits, creating a resume and applying for jobs, and a number of other things. We also want to create a laundry/shower facility for clients who are homeless or living in a situation where they cannot regularly do these two basic things. We have a list of 100 other things our clients could benefit from and we implement them as resources become available. How can someone become involved or donate? To get involved or to donate to the work Caring & Sharing is doing in Walton County visit our website www. We are also on Facebook and Instagram if you want to follow along!

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You heard it here first! .




Best Public Relations Firm 2018-2021 Best Event Planner 2018-2021 Best New Business 2012

(850) 460-7777

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Best Public Relations / Advertising Firm 2015-2018, 2020 Best Event Planning Firm 2015-2018, 2020


5/26/21 9:16 PM

LOCALE O White-Wilson Medical Center Welcomes Six New Health Care Professionals

White-Wilson Medical Center has welcomed six new health care professionals to its team this year. These additions reiterate the 75-year-old medical center’s dedication to bringing highly skilled providers to the community and offering health care to meet a wide range of needs. “With the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine and the pandemic becoming more manageable, patients are once again feeling comfortable enough to go and see their doctor,” said White-Wilson CEO Alan Gieseman. “These new additions allow us to meet the increasing need for quality health care, and we are excited to bring these talented and experienced professionals to our community.” White-Wilson’s newest additions include: Dr. Grace Carlson - Internal Medicine, is now caring for patients as a hospitalist with the White-Wilson In-Patient Care team. Dr. James “Jim” Martin has a 40+ year career in health care in Internal Medicine joininig Dr. Brad Arbogast in treating and managing diseases and disorders of the kidneys at the White-Wilson Nephrology Clinic in Fort Walton Beach. Kimberly Burke, PA-C joins with more than 18 years of experience as a physician assistant, including a diverse background providing care at military instillations on remote islands. Emily Haffner, MS, RD, LD, CDE is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. Her addition allows WWMC to reintroducing its Diabetes and Nutrition Management program. Gretel Rowland, APRN joins Dr. William Gross at the White-Wilson Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic bringing more that 20 years of health care experience.

Shana Haywood, PNP joins WWMC in Navarre as a pediatric nurse practitioner. Her 19 years as a registered nurse in a neonatal intensive care unit and training as a pediatric nurse practitioner will be an asset. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida Announces New Okaloosa/Walton County Community Board Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida (BBBSNWFL) recently announced a new community board ready to spread the mission and vision in Okaloosa and Walton Counties.

given the opportunity at the right times,” says Community Board Chair Rique Gwin. “Our priority must be in recruiting adults who are willing to meet this need. This will require personal recruitment, publicity efforts, and building ties with community organizations.” 50+ children in Okaloosa/Walton Counties have been placed on the waiting list with the hopes of being matched to a Big. The new community board is excited to grow the BBBSNWFL presence by cultivating new relationships with local organizations, law enforcement, and city officials to recruit more volunteers within these communities. Destin’s Own “Forrest Gump,” Geoff Speyrer Makes His Way Around Destin Florida (X5) Times--

New community board members include: Rique Gwin, DoD – Duke Field; Kelly Gwin, DoD – Duke Field; John A. Halguin II, Okaloosa Tax Collector’s Office; James Wilson, Streamline Defense; Sue Laushine, Coastal Realty Services; Jim Brechin, former owner of Destin Animal Clinic. “I’m honored to have such wonderful Bigs associated with the agency,” says BBBSNWFL CEO and President Paula Shell. “Big Brother and Community Board Chair Rique Gwin’s passion and leadership has pulled together six wonderful community leaders who will lead in sharing the BBBS’ mission. I’m excited to see what the future holds.” In February, BBBSNWFL Leadership and board members met with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Department and the Fort Walton Beach Police Department to discuss and educate them on BBBSNWFL’s mentoring programs including its Bigs with Badges initiative; a unique one-to-one mentoring program to help bridge the gap between law enforcement and local youth. “We recognize the incredible impact that one positive, consistent, and caring role model can make in a young person’s life if

SET 22, standing for Strength Endurance and Training was a testament from Army veteran, Geoff Speyrer, the highlight of th SET-22 event held on May 21-22 starting at midnight in Destin at Harbor Tavern. The event included Running 26.2 miles, Cycling 100 miles and Flipping a 200lb tire for 1 mile -- all within 24 hours. Aide stations were set up along the way and many came to show support and cheer Geoff on as he brought awareness to veteran suicide by racing to the finish.

During the military, Geoff was injured from explosives and received medical care that adversely affected his health resulting in lower leg trauma/surgery leaving him with a life-long injury. Faced with the challenges of Post-Traumatic Stress (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Geoff spent the next 13 years in/out of incarceration and treatment facilities, leaving the military, becoming a fugitive. However, it was during these darkest years that he turned his life around instead of becoming a suicide

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LOCALE O statistic. Sadly, 22 veterans and active-duty members take their lives a day thinking there is no hope. Geoff found health and wellness as his tool to face adversity and turned his life around. He is a true example of resiliency - transitioning from dark times to physical fitness, bringing hope and awareness to veteran suicide awareness. Geoff pushes himself both mentally and physically for the endurance event; setting the example for other veterans to follow who are faced with challenges to have hope and do not give in to suicide. These endurance events raise awareness of veteran suicide attempting to reduce the statistic from 22 to none. Last year Geoff raised over $10K for supporting veteran suicide. This year’s event proceeds will be donated to Healing Paws for Warriors. Shoreline Church Reaching the Community Through Destin Grub Club and Church at Crab Island

The Destin area is such a cool community to be able to provide amazing experiences for both locals and visitors alike. Shoreline Church has realized some needs and has further developed two unique opportunities for individuals or businesses to partner with them. These two different opportunities are Destin Grub Club and Church at Crab Island. Each opportunity will run 15 weeks from Memorial Day to Labor Day. A few of the current partners include Costa-McDonalds, Luther’s Pontoon Rentals, and Realty-One Group Emerald Coast. Opportunities exist for one week or longer term partnerships. Through Destin Grub Club, the weekly event will bless service industry staff working along the Destin harbor and Holiday Isle beaches by delivering 100 free lunches each Thursday. This is just one small way to show the support and love to those working on the docks, in restaurants, parking and beach attendants, and more.


million in closed sales volume recorded within the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors and FLEX Multiple Listing Service since becoming an affi liate of The Corcoran Group in April 2020, Corcoran Reverie announced that RealJoy Properties in Destin has joined the Corcoran Reverie family. The announcement was made at The Palms of Destin Resort & Conference Center during a sales meeting, and virtually for all Corcoran Reverie agents.

Back by popular demand, Shoreline Church will be hosting Church at Crab Island at 10am each Sunday this summer. This year’s partnership with SplashBOARD Media allows the services to be broadcasted to locals and visitors at Crab Island. To partner for Destin Grub Hub or Church at Crab Island visit

Corcoran Reverie Welcomes Realjoy Properties with Expansion into Destin, Florida Destin’s respected RealJoy Properties joins top-ranking real estate brokerage Corcoran Reverie, expanding the broader Corcoran network to the Destin, Florida market Recognized as one of the top brokerages in Northwest Florida with more than $750

“For us, it has always been about the culture that we cultivate within our brokerage and with our agents,” says Jodi Ketchersid, former owner of RealJoy Properties. “We saw how recognized the Corcoran brand is and the power that it would have for our agents, and we knew that was something we wanted to be a part of.” RealJoy Properties was founded in 2006 and has since won numerous awards including ‘Finest on the Emerald Coast’ in 2014 and 2015, ‘Best of the Emerald Coast’ by Emerald Coast Magazine in 2015, and most recently, ‘Best in Destin’ by VIP Destin Magazine in 2019 and 2021. “RealJoy Properties brings a strong reputation in the Destin market to Corcoran Reverie as we continue to expand our reach in Northwest Florida, and that is something that we are incredibly proud and excited to continue in the Destin market,” says Jacob Watkins, partner at Corcoran Reverie. Having launched its first location in Seagrove, Florida with the merger of Hilary & Reverie and 30A Realty in 2020 with 80 agents, Corcoran Reverie has now grown to more than 130 agents through the welcoming of RealJoy Properties, and specializes in the high-end real estate market – from Destin to Panama City Beach.


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VIP Destin at Corcoran Reverie

Corcoran Reverie

Celebration of Success photos & story by Zhalman Harris


orcoran Reverie, an affiliate of The Corcoran Group and led by broker/owner Hilary Farnum-Fasth and partner Jacob Watkins, celebrated their one-year anniversary and the launch of their Destin office with Destin’s RealJoy Properties joining the Corcoran Reverie family on Thursday, May 20th at their Seagrove office. Guests enjoyed live music from Yacht Rock Schooner Trio, lite bites by Plate to Plate, and desserts by Sugar & Heart Bakery. Local artist Maxine Orange created an original “Live South Walton” mural for the special occasion as well as did a live painting at the event as part of the silent auction benefiting The Sonder Project, which raised over $6K for the organization. Since becoming an affiliate, Corcoran Reverie now has over 130 agents and has been recognized as one of the top brokerages in Northwest Florida with over $750 million in closed sales volume.

Jordan Staggs & Kelly Curry

Rick Ellis & Delanne Bernier

Hilary Farnum-Fasth & Jacob Watkins

Agnes Topp & Rebekah Manley

Mitch & Brayanna Bernier

Alexandra Clark & Teri McCall June 2021 | 67

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VIP Destin at Corcoran Reverie Celebration of Success

Sara Violette & Allyson Adamson

Marla Hanna & Vicki Hoover

Whitney Whidden, with Jessica & Rita Wright


Angela Peoples & Elizabeth Harrison

Wade Cotton, Mendy Gregory & Megan Waldstein

Annette Sepulveda & Brenda Quiroga

Bobby Parker & Jenni Brunson

Jayne Smith & Tiffany Haseker

Crystal Whitely & Meg Whitener

Matt & Noelle Tabor

Shannon William & Carly Saucetime


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3 Locally Owned Restaurants 3 Different Experiences ALL BY THE SAME CULINARY PROFESSIONALS

Seafood & Sushi for the whole family

Fresh from the Gulf Local Ingredients Southern Hospitality

210 HARBOR BLVD. | DESTIN, FL | 850.460.8900 | BROTULAS.COM 56 HARBOR BLVD. | DESTIN, FL | 850.424.3507 | EASTPASSSEAFOOD.COM 36120 EMERALD COAST PKWY. | DESTIN, FL | 850.460.2909 | JACKACUDAS.COM 69 brotulas.indd 1

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VIP Destin at The Gulf on Okaloosa Island

Sunblock Social


photos & story by Jeff Watson

unblock Social was held May 21 at The Gulf on Okaloosa Island. A beautiful Friday afternoon made for the perfect waterfront setting with live entertainment and plenty of food and beverages for the guests while Splashboards Media’s boat provided the ideal backdrop for music and visuals. Ada Bowman, founder of Sunblock Social, did an amazing job creating an evening of socializing with friends and colleagues while raising money for a great cause. While the name speaks for itself, the mission of this event was to help bring awareness to the most common cancer in the U.S., skin cancer. With May being Skin Cancer Awareness Month, the timing was perfect to remind and educate those who live and frequent the Emerald Coast as they head to the beaches and water this summer. Guests were greeted by guest speaker Lt Col Buddy Bowman who had some words of wisdom on prevention and awareness of this slowly progressive and cumulative disease caused by the harmful effects of unprotected sun exposure. His common theme, Sun-block!


Chiara & Mickey DiVinci

Yunus Bulutoglu & Corbin Stucky

Jordan Burke & Annie Shae

Sunblock Social Crew

Lt Col Buddy Bowman & Ada Bowman

Ray Profitt & Elena Bochkareva

Brodie Bowman & Daniel Abel


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The Area’s Premier Rehabilitation Facility Thank you for making us a winner


Best Senior Care Facility 850-897-5592

5-Star CMS Rated Facility

1500 N White Point Road, Niceville, FL 32578 June 2021 | 71

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VIP Destin at Henderson Park

photos & story by Zhalman Harris

Jason Hall & Ross Kilpatrick

CJ Lydon & Shannah Hank


he Destin Chamber held their monthly Business Before Hours on May 14, at beautiful Henderson Beach State Park, with 100 Chamber members and even a few dolphin friends swimming close to shore! After enjoying a Chick-fi l-A Destin breakfast and the gorgeous view, the Chamber awarded Ken Wampler of Newman-Dailey Resort Properties as Businessperson of the Month, and A2Z Specialty Advertising presented the new Gabby Bruce ‘You Make A Difference’ Award to Simple HR. Breakfast featured Catherine Card of City of Destin Government talking about the Leave No Trace Program, Henderson Beach State Park Ranger Quinten Selby sharing details about the park’s history and amenities, and Veronica Deveau of Friends of Emerald Coast State Parks discussing ways to support our area parks. A 2 Z Specialty Advertising, Visit Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Eglin Federal Credit Union, Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge, Fort Walton Beach Medical Center, Henderson Beach State Park, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, and Shoreline Church all donated door prizes, for those lucky attendees who won them.

Emily Friedlander & Kevin O’Rourke

Catherine Card & Christopher Harold

Ken Wampler & Tanya Rauch

Courtney Dollson & Toby Williams

Bernita Everett & Myla Martinez

Stefanie Greenwood & Mel Ponder

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VIP Destin at Business Before Hours

Jen Higgins & Fred Fenn

Paul Johnson & Melissa Garza

Rachel Borgie & Jennifer Comella

Shane Moody, David Butler & Jerry Sullivan 74

Trisha Marks & Ivana Coteat

Veronica Deveau & Elizabeth Spies

Neko Stubblefield & Brenda Gray

Bell Head & Heather Julseth

xx Barbara Marcum & Lori Smith

Jim Wood, Deborah Bruce & Tony Mallet


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JUNE 3, 10, 17 & 24 MKAF Concerts in the Village 4323 Commons Drive W | Destin Doors open at 6:oopm Concerts begin at 7:00pm June 3 - The Tams June 10 - Kara Grainger June 17 - Petty Hearts, Tom Petty Tribute June 24 - Air National Guard Band of the South Enjoy a night under the stars at the most beautiful outdoor music venue on the Emerald Coast. Bring a bottle of wine, your favorite craft beer, some delicious snacks, and a blanket or chair. Food and drinks are available for purchase. Tickets may be purchased at entry. For further details visit



One Year Celebration!

Summer Pop Fundraiser

J. Leon Gallery + Studio 13370 US Highway 98 | Miramar Beach 5:00-8:00pm

Emerald Coast Theatre Company 560 Grand Boulevard, Suite 200 | Miramar Beach 7:00pm

Join J. Leon Gallery in celebrating one year in business. Enjoy a night of art, champagne, and hors d’oeuvres. There will be LIVE artist paintings throughout the night and a very special giveaway. Learn more at

Pop goes the music … and more! Emerald Coast Theatre Company is bringing in summer 2021 with a hot new live entertainment series. For the first in the series enjoy side-splitting comedy by a line-up of regional comedians hosted by Northwest Florida’s funniest, Jason Hedden. The evening features comedian/actor/singer Jenn Weeks with a hilarious headline act by “blue-collar dad” Nathan Wallace. Visit for more info and upcoming entertainment.

JUNE 24-26


19th Annual Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic

Smoke on the Coast

Baytowne Marina 9300 Emerald Coast Pkwy | Miramar Beach Noon-10:00pm daily All weigh-in events are open to the public. Live entertainment and refreshments available. Lots of excitement always follows this longstanding, fun annual event For a full schedule of events and more info visit

Destin Commons 4100 Legendary Drive | Destin BBQ Competition 5:30-8:00pm | Fireworks 9:30pm Join the 10th Annual Smoke on the Coast BBQ and Fireworks Festival with family entertainment and live music. BBQ aficionados can enjoy $1 samples from area restaurants and BBQ groups and vote for their favorite as People’s Choice winners with over $85,000 in donations benefiting local charities. Stop by for family fun activities including an Independence Day firework extravaganza! More info at

Visit for more events!

Event information may be out of date due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Please confirm details with event organizers. 76 |

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Registered Investment Advisor offering customized guidance based on your entire financial position. Our goal and fiduciary responsibility is finding solutions aligned with your complex financial needs. Blanken Management is a Veteranowned Financial Advisor where your success is our obligation and privilege.

Thank you for Voting Blanken Management Best Financial Advisor

WILLIAM EDWARD BLANKEN JR 850-660-1164 - Office 570-236-0076 Cell


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VIP Destin at Church Hill Oaks

Crescendo! Vintner Dinner at

Church Hill Oaks photos & story by Zhalman Harris


IP Destin Magazine attended one of the three Crescendo! Vintner dinners on April 30. This year marks the 5th annual Crescendo! The event, held at the beautiful and luxurious Church Hill Oaks in Santa Rosa Beach, was hosted by Tony and Marisol Gullo, and presented by SETCO Services LLC. Guests enjoyed tasty delicacies of top chef and culinary maestro Phillip Bauer and wines from exclusive vineyards of St. Helena Winery. Before dinner, Sinfonia Gulf Coast Musical Director Demetrius Fuller welcomed his guests and thanked the Gullos for hosting the dinner. “It’s wonderful to see everyone out and enjoying life again,” Fuller said in his welcoming remarks. Sinfonia’s Crescendo raises funds for music education initiatives on the Gulf Coast through donations and live and silent auctions at their events. Sinfonia Gulf Coast is committed to entertaining, educating, and inspiring the community through imaginative and innovative musical programming. Our goal is to enrich and expand the traditional orchestral experience through unique artistic disciplines and collaborations, enhancing Northwest Florida’s cultural vitality.

Marisol & Tony Gullo

Kevin & Anastasia Stull

Demetrius Fuller & Marisol Gullo

Renee Launiere & Keith Krul

Trevor & Lane Redding

Kevin & Kelly Carter, Ashley & Travis Hollington

Jessi Beauchamp & Tracey Behr

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VIP Destin at Crescendo! Vintner Dinner

Verla Price & Mary Chris Murry

Thomas & Tonia LaMontagne

Shelly & Robert Hinojosa

Brendon & Jessica Munn

Sam Perman & Bill McKissick

Cindy & Dr. Carlton Schwartz

Will & Lori Clause

Emerald & Jim Little

Whitney Lee & Jessica Roberts 80

Marisol Gullo, Steve & Hyde Hollbrooke

Vicki & Chris Camp


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Progress Looks Like Creating Memories That Make A New House

Destin 35008 Emerald Coast Pkwy 850.837.1380


Inlet Beach 12805 US Hwy 98 E 850.909.0420 Santa Rosa Beach 3063 US Highway 98 850.724.1400

NMLS# 401921

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Maureen Bierman What is your hometown and how did you end up on the Emerald Coast? I was born and raised in New York City and at 18 years old moved to New Orleans to attend Tulane University. During college, we traveled to the Emerald Coast for weekend trips. I fell in love with the area then. After college, my husband and I bought a condo here and we started coming on a regular basis. Eventually, we were spending so much time here, we just decided it was time to move! What is your profession? I am currently the Head of Communications and External Affairs for Step One Automotive Group, but I have held just about every position in Marketing from my first job as a marketing assistant and up. I chose Marketing because, well it’s fun! It’s also impactful. It’s never the same thing from day to day. One day, we might be shooting a TV commercial at the beach and the next day, we’re hosting an event to raise money for children. We do things on a daily basis that can really make a difference in people’s lives. That’s what gets me out of bed in the morning. The chance to make a difference in the community. What are some of your favorite things about Destin? Well of course, it’s beautiful. From the beaches to the harbor to the pass. It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. It’s also authentic. And what I mean by that is it is real Florida. Real Florida heritage. The origin of the Destin Fishing Fleet goes back more than 100 years. The descendants of the same families that settled this area are still here - working, living, and raising their children. It makes it unique and it’s really important that we preserve that heritage as much as possible. Three words that best describe you. Adaptable, Positive, Empathetic. Favorite place for dining and entertainment? Any place that I can be near the water. I love to sit on the back porch at Dewey Destin’s Harborside. The Chef there, Jim Shirah, is a good friend of mine. The building the restaurant is in was the family home years ago. They used to dock their boats right at the back of the house – see that’s what I mean by authentic Florida. I love stories like that. I also love Marina Café for something more formal. But again, anytime that I can sit out on the deck of a restaurant and look out at the water, I am happy! What is one thing that you do not go a day without? Coffee. Finish this statement, I AM DESTIN because… I love this community. And because this community has welcomed me with open arms. I plan on spending the rest of my life here and I can’t think of anyplace else I would rather be! photo by Zhalman Harris

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