VIP Destin Magazine, March 2020

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Where the South Comes for Smiles!



9 Time Winner Best Cosmetic Dentist !"#$%&'())()*&+,-./0(1&2/)0(-0$3&4&+5-0,./$&678/$(/)1/! !!"# $ % &' ( # $ ( &' % &") *+ !"#$%&#$'(')'' *+,#&-./012344&54678&9'$$ 58126:;&<=&,'#*)

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Jacqui Luberto

BEST Real Estate Professional Jacqui Luberto Realty Jacqueline Luberto Broker/Owner 34990 Emerald Coast Pkwy., Suite 303 | Destin, Florida 32541 | 850.830.5955

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contents events 15 Masquerade Gala 19 La Lumière: Madly Giving 24 Expansion Ribbon Cutting & 20 Year Celebration 28 Fisher House Charity Event 32 Nonprofit Mingle 41 Mardi Gras Parade 47 31st Annual Sandestin Gumbo Festival 51 Palate & Palette 56 Friendraiser 60 Mardi Gras Masquerade 63 ReStore Ground Breaking Ceremony & Brunch 66 Rock the Road 5k & 10k 72 Groundbreaking of Parkside at Henderson Beach Resort 74 Lulu’s Tropical Reunion Vow Renewal 79 Crescendo! 2020


features 34 Luxury & Financial Profiles Take a look at some of Destin’s leading professionals in the business of luxury and financial matters.

58 Best in Destin Winners Announcing Best in Destin 2020 Winners! Check out the full list of winners voted Best in Destin.

departments 26 38 54 64 69 76 82

Adventure Out Swizzle Coastal Cuisine Give Care Share Save the Date Locale I Am Destin

business profiles 22 Krueger, Fosdyck & Associates of Merrill Lynch 30 ENCO Electronic Systems, LLC

;<!/6(&.%1/0-2->%1(/?.-@@ !"#$%&'() Greg Alexander

on the cover !"#$%&%'()#%*+,,+ !"#$#%&'(")*+) !"#$%#&'(#))*+ ,'*,-./0&12*3'45)*6/7/8% '$*9'$1&*:#5#&*,';1*<#-=1

*&&+,%-.(/!"#$%&'() Verla Price 0-1-2%12/34%.+) Steve Barber !)+4",.%+1/34%.+) Jessica Graña *45().%&%12 Steve Barber Verla Price Jeff Sarault

6(&%21() Priscilla Atkins Sheila McDiarmid 7+1.)%#".%12/8)%.()&9 !'+.+2)-:'()& Greg Alexander Zhalman Harris Shanna Magnuson Verla Price Liesel Schmidt ;<!/=+"14() Jeff Watson

Correction - MKAF 25th Anniversary Launch Party, February 2020 Issue, “Fort Walton Beach Medical Center’s Director of PR and Communications, Denise Kendust was honored with the Chairman’s Individual Sterling Award for her service as a board member, marketing committee member, and procurement committee member.” March 2020 | 11

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As we March into spring with expectations of warmer weather, leaving behind the fun of Mardi Gras and masquerade balls, I look forward to the plethora of forthcoming outside events. In this issue, our writers and photographers present you with fundraisers, ball gowns, masks, wine festivals, and groundbreaking events. As you flip through the pages you will find golden opportunities for festive drinks in Swizzle, a taste o’ the Irish in Coastal Cuisine, and history on the Sandestin Wine Festival in Adventure Out. Give Care Share features an interesting story on the Community Foundation of North West Florida (CFNWF), a good read on how over $625,000 was raised and donated to nonprofits in our area. Our Luxury and Financial profiles feature two very interesting people who live different lifestyles. Leo Lynne works with charter yachts and country clubs while Mark Kilbride plans retirements and investing. We recently added Business Profiles. Here you can read about ENCO electronics as they introduce “Halo,” adding to your peace of mind and Krueger, Fosdyck & Associates touch on the financial side of life. I thoroughly enjoyed myself at Crescendo! A Sunday afternoon with friends spent tasting wine, bidding on auction items, and buying shoeboxes filled with surprises! Read all about this event on page 79 and the fundraising efforts of Sinfonia Gulf Coast as they ad to their education funds. As we move forward it is back to work for our team at VIP as we prepare for the Black Tie Ball. On March 14, the winners of Best In Destin will be welcomed to the Hilton Sandestin with cocktails, dinner, awards, and dancing to celebrate their much-deserved wins. A complete list of winners can be seen on page 58. In closing, I ask you to support the businesses in the construction war zone. On a daily basis, I see first-hand the financial stress the businesses are weathering during this much-needed expansion for our continued growth in Destin. It may take a few extra minutes to give patronage to these local eateries and retail businesses. Plan ahead saving a few minutes to work through the barrels, to stop in and say Hi! I am sure they will appreciate your efforts.

photo by Kristina Wright


!"#$%&'#()" Associate Publisher 850-502-7970


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Voted Best Boutique and Best Local Retailer BEST Locally Owned Retailer BEST Womení s Clothing

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VIP Destin at Hilton Sandestin

Allison Smith & JR Page

Jane & Bob Adams


Walton Area Chamber of Commerce photos & story by Zhalman Harris


alton Area Chamber of Commerce held their annual award gala at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa. The masquerade-themed event hosted by Hilton Sandestin on January 31 was an evening of high fashion with a twist of anonymity for the chamber’s 95th birthday. Guests helped to celebrate the successes of the past year, share the Chamber’s vision for the future, and enjoy top-notch entertainment. The event format was a seated dinner with a networking reception and chamber awards ceremony. Attendees watched as the gavel was passed, and raised glasses to the companies and volunteers who partner with the Chamber to be the voice of businesses, create jobs, and help their members thrive. The black-tie optional Gala kicked-off with a cocktail reception where guests had the opportunity to socialize with other attendees including elected officials, dignitaries, business owners, Chamber members, and guests. The CEO of WACC, Megan Harrison, thanked all of the sponsors who made the event a success, saying, “All of this would not have been possible without your generosity and your unwavering support.”

Kris & Megan Harrison

Ann & Duaine Kief

Kellie Jo Kilberg & Kelly Webb

Jim & Jenni Bagby, Aleta & Dave Jefferson March 2020 | 15

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VIP Destin at Masquerade Gala

Leah Vanhoose & Amy Milligan

Kate Bryant, Kelly Thompson, Jessica Plowden & Kelly Curry

Aime & Jason Schiess

Lee & Margaret Northcutt

Kevin Moran & Shanelle Lucas

Rebekah Manley & Bobby Wagner

Shelby Schuler, Justin Gaffrey, Nancy Stanley, Lanier Motes & Victoria Grandal 16

Summer & Kyle Davis

Mike & Jane Kerrigan


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9500 Grand Sandestin Boulevard

Lauren Woodard, Erin Harrold & Theresa Kaliski

-..#+#)$'/$$389,500 3%2?<%@#BB4D%@7##M%7HA>?"A%EB8AB%58%?<"%B7?9?>8A58O%I4>8A%G>8A"9?58%#BE>?"A%58%G>8A"9?58% IB#@%>8A%R">E<%J"9B4?K%;<4B7O<%?<"%AB7=#"%ABB49%MB7%F5##%="%H#">9"A%?B%@58A%B8"%B@%?<"% #>4O"9?%785?9%>L>5#>=#"%F5?<%.-,@BB?%E"5#58O9D%?FB%="A4BBC9D%?FB%=>?<4BBC9D%8"F%?5#"% @#BB49D%>8A%L5"F9%B@%!<BE?>F<>?E<""%R>M%@4BC%?<"%#>4O"%=>#EB8MK MLS #834826


1751 Scenic Highway 98, Unit 217

Dawn Billalobas, Jennifer Haynes & Lisa Chrastina -..#+#)$'/$$419,000 ;<59%?FB,="A4BBCD%?FB,=>?<4BBC%EB8AB%59%BL"4%.D-))%9Q7>4"%@""?%>8A%@">?74"9%>% 9?78858O%L5"F%BL"4#BBN58O%?<"%HBB#D%?5#"%@#BB49D%F<5?"%E>=58"?9D%>8A%>%OB4O"B79% I7#@%L5"F%@4BC%?<"%C>9?"4%="A4BBCK


MLS #821667

112 Seascape Drive, Unit 201


Kevin Boyle, Julia & David Milam

;<59%=">7?5@7#%?<4"",="A4BBCD%?<4"",=>?<4BBC%EB8AB%59%#BE>?"A%58%345"#%678"9%:%F5?<58% ?<"%G">9E>H"%IB#@%>8A%;"8859%J"9B4?K%!B8L"85"8?#M%#BE>?"A%B8%?<"%9"EB8A%@#BB4D%?<59%785?% <>9%=""8%7HA>?"A%F5?<%FBBA,#5N"%?5#"%?<4B7O<B7?D%@4"9<%H>58?D%H#>9C>%;P9D%8"F% >HH#5>8E"9D%>8A%EBC"9%@7##M%@74859<"AK MLS #835474


Tammy Summers

Amanda Grandy



Molly Moroze


.,!/!012/%34/5,+610,(7/7'890(:/12'/;-'865*/<,671 =3>?=?>/#;?<$////9375 Emerald Coast Parkway, Unit 18 | (850) 267≠ 0050 %?.@?/>A%?/#;?<$

7684 W. County Highway 30A | (850) 267≠ 0013

.3<;B3CC;////1073 E. John Sims Parkway Suite | (850) 729≠ 0176 &;.%?<AC? &;.%?<AC? DEC)/#>;;F; Commercial and Residential Real Estate Group

Sarah White, Hannah Green & Carly Harmer

8775 Foxtail Loop | (850) 944≠ 3700 17 W. Cedar St. | (850) 434≠ 2244

836 Gulf Breeze Parkway | (850) 932≠ 6278


Real Estate Team

©2020 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 HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.Æ Equal Housing Opportunity.

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VIP Destin at Water Color Lake House

photos & story by Zhalman Harris


t was an EPIC get together on February 9 at the Water Color Lake House for the 6th Annual Birthday Bash/Fundraiser for Hannah Martin’s birthday. The fundraiser, benefiting Special Olympics Florida-Okaloosa County and Westonwood Ranch, could not have been any any more elaborate or well put together. “La Lumière: Madly Giving” was presented by Destin Plastic Surgery & Duckies Shop of Fun – SeaSide, and was well attended by friends and associates of Hannah. The tantalizing event took guests down the rabbit hole to an exotic yet entertaining “Alice in Wonderland” dining and interactive experience like never seen here in the panhandle. Patrons dressed in quirky cocktail attire to go along with the “Alice in Wonderland” theme, and were greeted with a glass of champagne and fun pictures in Epic Photo Co. photobooth before entering “Wonderland”. Guests had the opportunity to purchase exclusive food and beverage items for their table to enjoy while watching special performances and theatrical experiences provided by Aerial Dragons Entertainment out of Miami. “I wanted to create an atmosphere that the Emerald Coast has never seen before at any type of event,” Martin said. “When traveling to New York City and Saint Barth’s in the French West Indies this year, I went to these places that transformed your typical Sunday brunch into a vibrant, lively, extravagant and dramatic experience that I knew we had to create for this year’s party.”

Nina & John Freer

Hannah Martin & Jessica Bracken

Stephanie & George Brannon

Sharon Martin & Adrian Parrish

Daphne & Bryan Corr

Mary Francis Mullins, Barrie Lackey, Darron Walters, Bethany Campbell & Alexa McGhee March 2020 | 19

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VIP Destin at La Lumière: Madly GIving

Kayla Rooks & Johnnie Sfakianos

Taylor Reichstadt & Jessica Anderson

Mike & Catherine Moore


Donna Proffitt & Levin Bracken

Sarah & Blake Svoboda

Angel & Clark Mabry

Chris & Kim Brundage

Katie Witherspoon & Bryan Whitehead

Shelby Schuler & Meg Castleberry

Marisol & Tony Gullo

Joy Adams & Pam Wellborn


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Maranda & Jody Graham

Leslie Dagasatino, Mindy Norris & Rhonna Davis

Matt Provow, Bill Burden & Nikhil Abuvala

Johnnie Sfakianos, Stacy Agerton & Pam Burden March 2020 | 21

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Krueger, Fosdyck & Associates Serving the Financial Needs of the Destin Area Since 1999 story by Jeffrey Sarault

photo by Zhalman Harris


e recently had the opportunity to meet the professionals of, Krueger, Fosdyck & Associates at their offices in Destin, FL. Their team is comprised of talented and experienced individuals committed to building strong client relationships based on trust and personalized service. Krueger, Fosdyck & Associates is led by R. Timothy Krueger, Senior Vice President and Senior Financial Advisor. Tim has over 37 years of experience in the financial services industry. In 1999, he founded the Krueger Group which joined Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in 2006 and was later renamed Krueger, Fosdyck & Associates to recognize partner Cory Fosdyck. Tim focuses on investment strategies and oversees all aspects of the group.


Tim credits his success with understanding the client’s current situation, goals, feelings, and family dynamics. Cory Fosdyck, CPFA, CPWA®, CIMA®, CFP®, CRPC® is Krueger, Fosdyck & Associates’ Senior Vice President and Senior Resident Director. Cory works for a number of high net worth families as their Wealth Management Advisor. Cory holds the CFP® certification as well as holds the CIMA®, CPWA® and CRPC® designations. He received a Certificate in Financial Planning from Florida State University in 2005, a CIMA® designation sponsored by the Investments & Wealth Institute™ (The Institute) at the University of California-Berkeley in 2008, and a CPWA® designation sponsored by the Investments & Wealth Institute™ (The Institute) at the University of Chicago in 2012.


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Nina McClanahan, CRPC® is a Financial Advisor. Her passion for providing wealth management advice comes from her desire to support people in their efforts to achieve their life and financial goals. Nina works with clients to formulate an approachable plan that is customized to their unique needs to bring clarity to investment opportunities and ever-changing market conditions that can impact portfolio returns. Her goal is to assist clients in every aspect of their financial lives and to become their trusted first point of contact. Donald W David, CPFA, CRPC® works with affluent clients on the management of their financial affairs. He has been in the financial services industry since 1987 and has been with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management since 2010. Don holds the Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM (CRPC®) designation. He assists with retirement planning leading up to and during retirement and is also very knowledgeable about individual and employer-sponsored retirement plans. Julia A Kearns, Client Associate has been in the financial services industry since 1985. In 1997 she began working with Tim Krueger as a Client Associate and Sr. Branch Administrator. Julia is the senior member of the Krueger Group support team and works closely with the team to assist high net worth clientele with all service-related issues.

Lindsey J Peters, Registered RD Assistant joined Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in 2006. Lindsey is fully registered and able to process trades in the absence of Tim or Cory. Lindsey grew up in Mobile, AL and was an accomplished equestrian rider. She and her husband, Joey, live in Ft. Walton Beach with their two sons, Luke and Benji. Collectively, the mission of Krueger, Fosdyck & Associates is to understand you and your priorities. They take the time to ask hard, smart questions and to listen carefully, then to understand, in great detail, exactly where your wealth stands today, and where you’d like it to be tomorrow. To learn more and connect with the investment professionals of Krueger, Fosdyck & Associates, continue the conversation by calling their Destin, FL office at (850) 269-7003. .

34990 Emerald Coast Parkway Ste 400 Destin, FL 32541 850.269.7003 • Toll Free 866.625.2305 Fax 850.391.1735

The mission of Krueger, Fosdyck & Associates is to understand you and your priorities. They take the time to ask hard, smart questions and to listen carefully, then to understand, in great detail, exactly where your wealth stands today, and where youí d like it to be tomorrow.

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VIP Destin at The Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistry


567,&2.*&$8.99*&$%:''.&; 1$<=$>#,($%#/#9(,'.*& photos & story by Shanna Magnuson


he Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistry celebrated 20 wonderful years in business with a ribbon cutting for the new dental suites in the Destin office, which started construction last year as part of the office expansion. From 4pm- 6:30pm, guests enjoyed champagne, wine, delicious food catered by 790 on the Gulf, and cake while taking tours of the office. Original plans first shown on a piece of paper, drawn up by one of their own employees, is almost exactly what the finished offices look like today. Giveaways also were included with a Zoom! Teeth Whitening and an Oral B Genius Toothbrush. The ribbon cuttings with Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commere, Walton Area Chamber of Commerce, and Destin Chamber of Commerce all took place with the staff surrounding and celebrating. Dr. Lichorwic says, “This expansion has allowed us to take better care of our patients, to be more flexible for them, and live out our core value of delivering the best quality dentistry in a warm, comfortable atmosphere.� The office was established in 1999 and underwent construction in May 2019; with much hard work, an additional location was opened in Panama City Beach in 2010.

Todd Royall & Megan Harrison

Trisha Marks & Anne Ziegenhorn

Tracy Sneed, Alyssa Jesmain, Dr. Dennis Lichorwic, Val Callahan & Eric Halter

Nic Dezinski & Mike Coupe 24

Linda Brady & Theresa Williams

Kate Callicotte, Brea Sizer, Helen Everett & Cathy McCoy


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Jinny Richerson & Jimmy Dallas

Angela McNulty & Teresa Crafton

Ashley Dubois & Julia Skinner

Bill & Mary Bradford

Paul Singleton, Kathy McKenney & Stacey Marcus

Linda Hodges & Sylvia Vazquez

Donald Slappey, Proctor McInnis & Jeff Danelly

Dave & Laurie Jesmain

Ulli & Zachary Aberth

Christine Martinez, Ivana Coteat & Jenny Larson March 2020 | 25

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Full≠ Bodied Festivities photos by 30A Food & Wine | story by Liesel Schmidt


unning each year for four spectacular days in April, the Sandestin Wine Festival has been immersing the Emerald Coast in an unforgettable experience fi lled with award-winning wines and chef-created cuisine for the past 34 years. And while this highly anticipated event could easily stay on the radar of only the locals, it has gained a reputation as being one of the top wine festivals in the country, featuring renowned chefs, vintners, and vineyards whose talents and products draw in crowds from far and wide. Creating a can’t-miss experience is top priority for the wine festival, offering opportunities to taste, smell, sip, and savor provided at every turn as The Village of Baytowne Wharf transforms into a veritable


village of tents with everything from cooking demonstrations by award-winning chefs and samples of exquisite cuisine to wine tastings and informative presentations given by various wine experts and representatives from vineyards around the world. “This event continues to bring a wide range of experiences for all guests, including meeting wine experts from across the globe and having the opportunity to taste unique, hand-selected wines,” says The Village of Baytowne Wharf Events Manager Leighann Elliott. “We host roughly 4,000 people over the course of the four-day weekend, and the festival is a picture-perfect series of events, complete with white tents, flowing wine, gourmet food, live music, one-of-akind seminars, wine dinners, grand wine tastings, and culinary experiences. The

main events, known as our Grand Wine Tastings, showcase more than 500 domestic and international wines over a two-day span, and guests can enjoy the opportunity to talk to vineyard owners and wine makers about their favorite appellations or try something new,” Elliott goes on. “During the Grand Wine Tastings, guests are also treated to a gourmet experience—courtesy of some of the best chefs on the Emerald Coast; and Savor South Walton tents are sprinkled within the festival to allow guests to pair delectable bite-sized appetizers with their current glass selection.” Starting things off on Thursday, April 16, the Kick Off Party features bite-sized appetizers and mixed drinks as well as craft cocktails from Timber Creek Distillery. During the Wine Dinner, guests will enjoy


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“We host roughly 4,000 people over the course of the four-day weekend, and the festival is a picture-perfect gourmet food, live music, one-of-a-kind seminars, wine dinners, grand wine tastings, and culinary experiences.”

a gourmet experience at select restaurants throughout The Village. Friday brings with it the Champagne & Seafood Lunch Cruise and Grand Wine Tastings as well as a VIP Lounge experience, while Saturday eases into the weekend with Mind, Body, Beach—a unique event featuring yoga and mimosas on the beach geared toward the rejuvenation of body and mind. On Sunday, guests can indulge in a Bubbly Brunch as the weekend of festivities comes to a close. Naturally, the daily wine tastings are a must, as anyone with a penchant for sipping something new can satisfy their curiosity and perhaps even find a new favorite. Pairing perfectly with each pour, Savor South Walton tents scattered throughout the grounds offer samplings from acclaimed local restaurants that showcase the culinary genius of some of the area’s best chefs—and prove the level of talent at work along the Emerald Coast. Each day during the event, the ABC retail tent offers the opportunity to purchase any of the domestic and international wines featured during the tastings at special event pricing. Keeping things effervescent with excitement, the Bubbly & Boozy tent on the Grand Sandestin Lawn is back for its second year, offering champagne and sparkling wines, specialty liquors, and a wide array of luxurious desserts. “It’s become a festival favorite,” notes Elliott. From first pour to last sip, the Sandestin Wine Festival is an annual event worth relishing—and 34 years have made this one full-bodied event.

The 34th Annual Sandestin Wine Festival runs April 16-19, 2020. For event information and tickets, visit

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VIP Destin at Better Homes & Garden Real Estate Emerald Coast

Fisher House

!"#$%&'()*+,& photos & story by Zhalman Harris

Kerry Becnel & Yeidy Mundo

Jennifer Bond & Kristi Matthews

Angela Passehl & Erica Hollon

Asdis Guercio, Yitka Ivanovic & Veronica McCann 28


etter Homes and Garden Real Estate Emerald Coast held their 5th annual Chili Cook-Off benefiting Fisher House on Eglin Airforce Base. The event, which took place on January 29 at the Destin BHGRE office, was a fun-filled one. John Holohan and Yeidy Mundo entertained the crowd lip-syncing to some old hits from the 90s while guests sampled great tasting chilis- which were later voted on. The winner of the chili contest was Jennifer Bond. All together the event raised $1,800 and a truck full of donations from the wish list including flavored creamers, snack crackers, to-go coffee cups with lids, cereal bars, assorted cereals, assorted mini chocolates, fruit snacks, flavored sparkling water, Gatorade, Hormel Compleats, paper plates, mixed nuts, handmade winter scarves, and Beanie Babies. Mia Hughes from the Fisher House expressed her gratitude and thanked all who attended the event saying their support was greatly appreciated by the Military families.

Tonnye Stapp & John Holohan

Nick Hunter & Heather Holliness

Cherie Himes & Mia Hughes

Johnathan Stueckle, Sydney Harris & Larue Holiday


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An Introduction to Halo photos & story provided by ENCO Electronics



It’s March, and your hot water heater is leaking. You haven’t been to your condo in months, neither have the neighbors below. How long might a leak go undetected? Could be days, weeks? Or possibly even months! Imagine how much damage might be caused? What if... an unexpected leak in your condo could be detected in less than 30 seconds? That’s the goal of Halo a revolutionary new detection system from ENCO Electronics. Halo is a robust system of building-wide sensors that work around the clock to mitigate both property damage due to water leaks and waste caused by unwanted water flows. Water damage is the number one source of property damage in the United States. Water leaks are likely to happen to every property owner and when they do, it’s important to have the Halo system for protection. “We designed Halo specifically for condominiums because there’s so many different places and different water appliances, sinks, toilets, showers,” says Gary Dietzen of ENCO Electronics. “And we also know that not every leak can happen on the floor, sometimes leaks can be hidden in your walls.” Thanks to Halo–ENCO Electronics is able to become a partner in the maintenance staff of your condominium. When a leak happens, Halo automatically stops the water which mitigates the risk of damage.


“At the exact same time the alert goes to the monitoring system, it then alerts everybody who needs to be aware of the problem,” Gary continues. “Our monitoring team follows up with the property management to make sure that those alerts have been accepted and that the people who are receiving them, like the maintenance staff, know what’s going on.”


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• Condominium Fiber Optic WiFi Networks • MDU Satellite via fiber optic TV solutions • Fiber to the Home (FTTH) Communities • Electronic Systems Design and Installation • Surveillance and Access Control Solutions • “Patented” Halo Water Protection Systems

One of Halo’s unique attributes is its ability to detect water running inside the walls of the unit. It allows maintenance professionals to catch toilets that are running in situations where a flapper has gone bad, or a handle might be stuck. This high level of building intelligence cuts down on the amount of water that’s wasted, and it helps detect leaks that might otherwise go undetected. ENCO Electronics understands the demands of property management. They believe in proactive monitoring and maintenance to help property managers control cost and identify building issues early. For over 24 years ENCO Electronics has honed their craft by bringing together a collective of electrical engineers, software engineers, designers, and master technicians. ENCO’s interdisciplinary approach towards Home Automation, Commercial Integration, and Facility Management is necessary to achieve the simplicity and reliability you deserve.

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VIP Destin at Boys & Girls Club

Matt & Jennifer Cooper

Jessica Roberts & Kate Meeker

Chelsea Calhoun & Andy Poveda

photos & story by Zhalman Harris


he Walton Area Chamber of Commerce and The Hive Creative Consulting were the hosts of Nonprofit Mingle on February 19. The event took place at the South Walton Boys and Girls Club, bringing local nonprofit organizations and members of the business community together to mingle for the second year. “Nonprofit Mingle” showcases and gives nonprofits the chance to share their mission and current needs with businesses and individuals in the community. Community members who were looking to volunteer, donate, or provide assistance came out to meet the various organizations. “This will be a great place to come learn more about the work these nonprofits do in our community,” said Megan Harrison, CEO of the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce. “This admission free event is a great way to bring everyone together and make it easy for individuals to mingle with local organizations and connect with a cause that is important to them,” said Ali Weil, principal of The Hive Creative Consulting. The Walton Area Chamber of Commerce was established in 1925 and provides leadership for a healthy business community. As the area’s leading voice of business, the more than 800-member organization represents the interests of business with government, promotes the local community, and provides business education and networking opportunities toward building a strong Walton County economy.

Amy Walsh & Melanie Row

Kelly Thompson & Hannah Green

Angie Wagoner & Melissa Beadle 32

Lynn Grossi & Kathryn Egan

Danielle Putnam & Hannah Pollock


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Laura Andrews, Ali Weil & Gabrielle Woods

Michelle Eddington, Kathy Edelman & Adrienne Stutz

!"#$%&'()*"(+#,(-&#,.(/, 850.650.8511

DESTIN FLOORING AMERICA 12889 Emerald Coast Parkway Suite 113B ∑ Miramar Beach, FL Dexter Peyton & Sam Sanchez


DESTIN FLOORING AMERICA 2254 South Ferdon Boulevard Crestview, FL

Leslie Mickles, Taylor Goode & Socorro Pierce

des t infloo r in g a me r ic a d e s tin . c o m March 2020 | 33

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Destiní s Leading Professionals in the Business of Luxury and Financial Matters


Leo Lynne, a commercial banker for many years, enjoys boating and golfing…. so nobody was surprised when he sold his finance company and headed to the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. With his 100-ton commercial captain license 850.898.2271 34

he began to charter private yachts. Never meeting a stranger he quickly learned the array of yachts and crew personalities and, with that knowledge, his company Caribbean Charter Yachts (www.CaribbeanCharterYachts. com) has become a top agent for 100 privately crewed yachts in the Caribbean from 40’240’. These turn-key exotic vacations can be customized to fit a wide range of budgets and create lifelong memories. In his ‘’off season,’’ Leo chose Pensacola, Florida, for his home. Presented with a unique opportunity to turn his second passion – golf, into a profession, Leo and a few of his friends purchased the Scenic Hills Golf Course and Country Club ( which keeps him on land more now than at sea. Scenic Hills Country Club was established in 1958, and recently Leo and his team have initiated plans to build resort style accommodations and residences to propel the Club to an award winning local and travel destination.

Your money at work, your mind at ease! Over the last 20 years I have worked in many different financial sectors, in several different capacities, giving me a unique perspective and valuable experience in strategic financial and retirement planning. I want to increase the education and awareness of all the financial tools available because all tools work in the right situation. Schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation to formulate a plan to meet your goals. Representatives are registered, securities sold, advisory services offered, through CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. Securities sold through CBSI under contract with the financial institution Not NCUA/NCUSIF/FDIC Insured ∙ No Financial Institution Guarantee ∙ May Lose Value FR-2963052.1-0220-0322

EGLIN FINANCIAL SERVICES located at Eglin Federal Credit Union 838 Eglin Parkway NE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547 (850) 862≠ 0111 Ext 1321


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story by Liesel Schmidt




t’s long been considered a treasure, a precious metal that people have fought wars over, traversed thousands of miles in search of, spent countless hours seeking. And while most people think of it in the form of jewelry, it’s become quite the trend to incorporate gold into food and drink, fancifying these consumable creations and elevating them to a whole new level.


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Like most trends, the concept of gold consumption is not new. In fact, it’s got some very ancient roots, tracing back all the way to the times of the Egyptian pharaohs, when gold was often ingested for the purification of mind, body, and soul. Eastern cultures have also been in on the idea for centuries, using gold leaf as a decorative garnish for their food and beverages in addition to believing it to have effective healing properties. And in 16th century Europe, the nobility often decorated their food with it because it was believed to supplement health and longevity. Gold leaf was also added to drinks by alchemists to soothe sore limbs. Clearly, the idea of little flakes of gold floating in a drink are hardly novel. But instead of breaking out the 24-karat because

of its medicinal properties, we now do it…just because. We want that drink to be over the top, something absolutely unique and fabulous. And what’s more luxurious and extravagant when we’re wanting to go all out than GOLD? Not much. And the Instagram factor is off the charts. The key, of course, is choosing a cocktail or alcoholic beverage that lends itself well to the gold leaf, something whose color and transparency will allow the metal to shine through. Think clear alcohols like gin, schnapps, vodka, and, of course, champagne. Depending on the type of look you’re going for, you can float them in the drink or rim the glass. Whatever you do, you’ve got gold-level lavishness.

!"#$%&!%"'() 4 parts Citron vodka 2 parts Triple Sec 1 part fresh lime juice 2 parts cranberry juice Edible gold flake or dust &!$%*'!+"() Rim a chilled martini glass with fresh lime and coat edge with edible gold flakes or dust. Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker and add more edible gold flakes or dust to the mix. Shake over ice, then strain into the martini glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.

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VIP Destin at HarborWalk Village

Janice Gosier, Katrina Brown-Revels & Tracie Larkin

Gaige & Cole Cook, Emilio Ferrari

photos & story by Zhalman Harris


azzling floats of local businesses, organizations, and street performers paraded the HarborWalk at Emerald Grande on February 22 for the annual Mardi Gras Parade. Some guests opted to ride in one of HarborWalk Village’s authentic Mardi Gras parade floats, while enjoying free drinks and a chance to throw beads

to the waiting crowd. Vacationers and locals all gathered along the path of the parade to be showered with beads. Before the parade Fais Do-Do took to the stage to entertain the audience. There were even event-goers from out of state who traveled just for the fun-filled occasion.

Caroline Mullins & Mary Louise McGhee

Dylan Hoover, Rachel Guidry & Emily Nuncio

Chelsea & Shannon Fox

Charissa Mitchell, Kaylee Sinnett, Kyrie Stapleton, Alexandra Seymore & Brianna Mitchell March 2020 | 41

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VIP Destin at HarborWalk Village Mardi Gras Parade

Trish & Chris Loncrier

Ashley, Julie & Scott Tarnell

Elizabeth & Doug Dragoo, Mary Francis Mullins

Mike Johnson & Joe Adsit

Chyna Prisco, Venita Daniels & Nick Prisco

Enchanted Parties Princesses 42

Taja Wells, Julie Marino, Taylor Goode & Cheryl Goode

Tammy & Steve Green


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February 2020 | XX

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VIP Destin at The Village of Baytowne Wharf

photos & story by Shanna Magnuson


he 31st Annual Sandestin Gumbo Festival kicked off with a delicious seafood boil on Friday evening. The main event at The Village of Baytowne Wharf was held on Saturday, featuring Gulf Coast restaurants and their top secret recipes. Attendees had the chance to spend the day sampling gumbo- light and dark roux, chicken and sausage, seafood, and more while enjoying live Zydeco music and family activities. Attendees also were able to vote for “People’s Choice Award,” while local celebrity judges helped name “Area’s Best” and “Best Display.” The Sandestin Gumbo Festival has been known as one of the “largest and most popular winter events along Florida’s Emerald Coast,” and the warm weather definitely welcomed the crowd to enjoy the day.

Ashley & Joe DeMonte

1st place winner for Gumbo People’s Choice - Old Florida Fish House Best Display Creative Set-Up - Slick Lips Best Bloody Mary at the Beach - Carlito’s Amazing Products Veteran’s Award - Bubba Gump Shrimp Co Best Non Restaurant - System Service and Engineering Best 1-5 Years - Slick Lips Best New Participant - Royal Palm Grill Angela & Emily Cox

Tabitha & Dan Howard

Sarah & Brian Blazek

Buddy & Maria Burgess

Kristen Woods, Benita Bussell, Madi Bussell & Richard Woods

Christine Fox & Mark Bammann

March 2020 | 47

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VIP Destin at Sandestin Gumbo Festival

Ashley Merchant & Caroline Overmier

Matt Labo, Mike Graham, Leighann Elliott, Quentin White & David Phillips

Jack & Terri Desemer

BJ Wood, Mark Calhoun, Bill Adams, Carlos Shaffran, Tommy Tiblier & Jack Turner

Steve & Janet Baczweski

Dan & Raquel Wasilausky 48

Lauren Bezou, Heather Perrish, Meagan Calvi, Britney Knox & Jan Perrish

Kathryn Youngblood, Courtney Youngblood, Megan & Kris Harrison, Lance Youngwood


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VIP Destin at Legendary Marine

photos & story by Zhalman Harris


he 4th Annual Palate & Palette dinner benefiting Shelter House took place on February 1 at Legendary Marine’s Showroom in Destin. The event raised funds and helped shed light on Shelter House’s operations and what they do in the community. This year’s featured artists were mother and daughter duo Kathy Sura Schumacher and Krista Schumaker- two great artists who specialize in palette knife oil painting. Both artists created beautiful pieces that were auctioned that evening during the live auction conducted by Chris Camp of Luxury Estates Auction Company. The expansive silent auction offered prize packages including fishing trips, restaurant experiences, custom art, spa packages, and more. At the end of the evening a whopping $47,000 was raised, and the paintings were auctioned at $4000 and $4200, respectively. The chic, pop-up style wine dinner was a unique experience, as Legendary Marine’s showroom was transformed into an intimate venue with a trendy, metropolitan feel. Attendees indulged in a five-course seated dinner featuring six of the area’s most respected chefs. Each chef created a dish for their course, Elite Worldwide Imports handled selecting fine wines to pair with each dish. Local distillery, Timber Creek Distillery, offered craft cocktails and Grayton Beer Company featured their brews throughout the night. B-Boy Productions, Inc.’s live DJ entertained the crowd to some great music, and Davista Photography captured the night and some special moments, while guests said “cheese” in the Epic Photo Co. Booth sponsored by The One - Destin.

Cathy Kolbert & Laurie Hollowell

Katie Fuentes & Stephanie Pettis

Lan O’Donnell & Jayme Whitehead

Danielle & Rich Torley, Dion & Mindy Moniz

Rosalyn Wik & Whitney Lee

Sara Hill & Malory Gardner

March 2020 | 51

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VIP Destin at Palate & Palette

Theresa Cabael & Cindy Ritter

Cheryl Medina, Stacey Wallace & Nancy Churosh

Shann & Oscar Diaz

Sheri Vrandenburg, Sherry Baluner & Gili Woodhams 52

Chris & Vicki Camp

Bill McKissick & Sam Pearman

Lea Maraman, Bronwyn Toombs & Jill Harms

Amanda Rockwell & Kerri Ford

Giovanni Fillipone & Dan Pettis

Nicole Roig, Brenda Shaver & Becky Thorton


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March 2020 | 53

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story by Liesel Schmidt

hen St. Patrick’s Day rolls around, green beer, shamrocks, and garish green tee shirts emblazoned with phrases like, “Kiss me, I’m Irish” are pretty much a given. And though they might be festive and fun, they’re hardly authentic to the Emerald Isle—a land full of history, lore, and spirit whose time-honored traditions and culture are as rich and colorful as any rainbow. Sure, it’s fun to get in on the kitsch, but an even better way to get a taste of Ireland is to REALLY get a taste of Ireland. St. Patrick’s Day wouldn’t be complete without Irish soda bread, and with good reason. It has great ties to their history, making its mark in the late 1830s, when the first iteration of baking soda was introduced to the U.K. Because Ireland was in such a state of financial distress and lacked access to many ingredients, they had to make the most of the basic and inexpensive ingredients that were available to them—“soft” wheat flour, baking soda, salt, and soured milk. Hence, the creation of Irish soda bread. Soda bread was also ideal for families who lived in isolated areas with little access to cooking equipment and ovens, as the bread was cooked in iron pots or on griddles over open hearths rather than being oven-baked. This method of cooking also gave rise to the bread’s signature dense texture, slightly sour taste, and hard crust. One of the dishes most associated with St. Patrick’s Day here in America, corned beef, is actually an Irish-American dish.


Interestingly enough, the Irish were once historically too poor to eat the corned beef that they produced and exported to England. When they came to America and observed the holiday not as a religious one but instead as a celebration of their homeland, the Irish immigrants began to splurge on the corned beef that they had not been able to afford back home. Traditional accompaniments to the beef were potatoes and boiled cabbage.


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And speaking of cabbage…While cabbage was already once incredibly important to the farmers and the poor people of Ireland because it was nutrient dense and grew well, it became an even more crucial part of the Irish diet during the Great Potato Famine, when the potato blight wiped out their crops. Where once the country relied mostly on potatoes to feed them, they now relied on cabbage, making it a food whose presence in Irish cuisine is indelible. Shepherd’s pie is another dish quintessential to Ireland and, by extension, St. Paddy’s Day. A hearty, flavorful mixture of ground lamb, peas, onions, celery, corn, and carrots cooked in a gravy and topped with mashed potatoes, this “pie” has long been a part of Irish culture and is the perfect way to fill a

hungry belly. Traditionally, meat pies made with ground (or minced) meat and mashed potatoes were called cottage pies throughout the countries of Great Britain—Ireland among them. In the late 1800s, those made with ground lamb became known as shepherd’s pie due to the fact that shepherds tended sheep, while pies made with beef kept the name of cottage pie. Beloved enough to have its own song, colcannon is a traditional dish of mashed potatoes and cabbage. Most commonly made with potatoes, butter, milk, and cabbage, some recipes substitute the cabbage for kale, and it sometimes also contains such ingredients as scallions, leeks, onions, and chives. Because it was cheaply made, the dish was once a common part of the Irish meal.

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3 lbs. potatoes, peeled and sliced 2 sticks butter 1 1/4 cups hot milk

1 head cabbage, cored and finely shredded 4 scallions, finely chopped Ground black pepper

&!$%+'!,"() In a large pot of water, steam the potatoes for 30 minutes, then drain. Mash thoroughly to remove all the lumps and add 1 stick of butter in pieces. Gradually add hot milk while stirring. Season with a few grinds of black pepper. In another pot, boil the cabbage in unsalted water until it turns a darker color. Add 2 tbsp. butter. Cover with a lid for 2 minutes and continue cooking. Remove from heat and drain thoroughly before returning the cabbage to the pan. Chop into small pieces. Add cabbage and scallions to mashed potatoes, stirring them in gently. Serve in individual soup plates. Using a spoon, make an indentation on the top and put 1 tbsp. of butter into each indentation. March 2020 | 55

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VIP Destin at The Carter’s Penthouse

Lisa Armini & Joan Carter


Valerie & Nellie Bogar

photos & story by Zhalman Harris

oan and Steve Carter held a dinner at their penthouse on January 30 to raise funds for the Youth Village Center in Fort Walton Beach. The “Friendraiser” brought friends of the Youth Village and the Carters under one roof for an evening of wining and dining for a cause. Guests had the opportunity to sponsor children at the village by directly buying a leaf on the “Village Tree” and donating for specific causes including the Summer Camp Program, the After School Program, and the Pre School Academy. Over $20,000 was raised that evening, along with a donation from Renee Launiere from Bijoux De Mer- a hand-made Baroque pearl necklace with diamonds. Ms. Valerie Bogar thanked the guests for coming and promised their support would be used to give the children at the village a jump start to greatness, because their support will directly go to their capital campaign. The new building will replace the older one on Pelham because of its size in relation to the rising numbers of the children who attend the facility. The Youth Village mission is to provide a safe place, a fun place, a learning place, and a place where people care.

Renee Launiere & Vlad Babich 56

Laury & Bob Gelardi

Joni & Chris Lawson

Nina Jeffords & Aleta Jefferson

Gregory & Shantelle Dedicke, Melanie Moore & Denise Song


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March 2020 | 57

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VIP Destin at Destin Commons

Ryan & Amanda Kennedy

Rachel, Gabby, Heidi, Sarah & Stacy Clearman

photos & story by Zhalman Harris


estin Commons hosted another fun-filled Mardi Gras Masquerade on February 21. The annual event which takes place at The Commons each year, brings local businesses, the community, and families together for a fun evening of live music, face painting,

Jack Beyer & Liam Dardem

Angie Slay & Jean Summerfield 60

and a lot of beads. Those who came braved the very cold evening to enjoy the fun and the goodies that were thrown from the floats. This year’s Grand Marshall was Shervin Rassa, head of the Boys & Girls Club Emerald Coast.

Shervin, Michele & Jacinda Rassa

Marley & Avery Veneszee, Courtney Williams, JR & Jessica O’Neill


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ON TARGET ! ON TREND Serving the Emerald Coast and Beyond since 2011

Best Public Relations Firm 2013≠ 2020 Best Event Planner 2018≠ 2020 Best New Business 2012

9375 Emerald Coast Parkway, Unit 24 |

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Best Public Relations / Advertising Firm 2015≠ 2018 Best Event Planning Firm 2015≠ 2018

Miramar Beach, FL 32550


Finest Public Relations / Ad Agency 2016

(850) 460≠7 777


2/26/20 3:55 PM

VIP Destin at ReStore Habitat for Humanity




photos & story by Shanna Magnuson

he official groundbreaking event brought in over 60 leaders, donors, volunteers, and staff for the ReStore Habitat for Humanity Walton County on February 5 in Santa Rosa Beach. The morning started with the celebration ceremony for the new space, which is projected to open later this year, and then followed by brunch at Grayton Brew Pub. Publix also hosted the complimentary shuttle service provided by GoVetted to take guests to the groundbreaking site. The new ReStore building will be 18,500 sq.ft. providing much-needed room for growth. Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Walton County Teresa Imdieke added, “I am excited for what this new ReStore will not only mean for our organization but our area.” The ReStore is the largest funding for the Habitat for Humanity of Walton County program. Teresa also noted, “We just want a place to call home and provide permanent homes for people in the community.” Habitat ReStores are independently owned, accept donations, and sell home improvement items to the public. As of now, the ReStore is being operated in an approximately 2,500 sq.ft. space where some donations have to be turned away due to lack of storage. Impact 100 is a huge support and in 2016 awarded Habitat for Humanity a $123,000 grant- which is now providing a down payment for the land. It was a huge turn out for the soon-to-be new location, and one the community is excited to continue to support.

Donnie Natal, Barry Cazt, Teresa Imdieke & Steve Buffington

Randy Natal & Doug Landry

Megan Harrison & Ken Bryant

Calvin Jones & Kathy Whidden

Mike Baker & Dennis Evans

Habitat for Humanity of Walton County Groundbreaking March 2020 | 63

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story by Greg Alexander photos provided by Community Foundation of Northwest Florida


ince 2012, The Community Foundation of Northwest Florida (CFNWF) has been enriching lives and strengthening communities by serving charitable causes in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Holmes, and Washington counties. The Foundation originated in 1995 as The Greater Escambia Community Foundation and was first founded with a mission to serve only Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties. Initial funding came through a grant from the D.W. McMillan Foundation and commenced the process of helping support charitable organizations in the greater Escambia area. As support for the causes grew, in February 2012, the Foundation’s Board of Directors voted to change the Foundation’s name to Community Foundation of Northwest Florida. With this, the Foundation’s role expanded to serve all communities and areas of Northwest Florida. The Foundation is a tax-exempt public charity that brings together the financial resources of individuals, families, and businesses to support effective community nonprofits throughout Northwest Florida. Since 2013, the CFNWF has been nationally accredited by the National Standards Board of Community Foundations. For more than 15 years, the Community Foundation of Northwest Florida has been assisting donors in establishing longterm charitable giving that reflects their individual philanthropic interests while positively impacting our local communities. As a resource for individuals, families, businesses, and non-profits, the CFNWF works hand in hand with professional advisors to meet the philanthropic needs of donors. One does not have to be wealthy to make a difference. You can contribute to an existing fund or new funds can be established with as little as $5000. If you are interested in learning more, visit or call (850) 434-5890.

The CFNWF has assets of nearly $5,000,000 and currently provides management expertise for sixteen funds including: • Donor Advised Funds allowing the donor an active role in the grant-making process • Scholarship Funds that support education for deserving students • Agency Funds that are created by a non-profit agency to further carry out the charitable, cultural and educational purposes of the Agency within the general charitable purposes of the Foundation. • Field of Interest Funds allowing donors to target their contributions to fields most important to them (ie: healthcare, environment, etc.) • Endowment Funds where contributions are not spent, but instead invested with annual earnings supporting selected community needs.



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Interview with Suzie West, Executive Director Community Foundation of Northwest Florida

Our Mission is simple: To enrich lives and strengthen the communities we serve. For Good. Forever. How long have you been with the Foundation? I have been fortunate to work with the CFNWF since June, 2017. I was working with the Boys Scouts of America, Gulf Coast Council, as the District Executive when I was approached to interview for the Executive Director of the CFNWF. It’s been a great fit and I truly love what the CFNWF does for our community. What is the primary mission of the Foundation? Our Mission is simple: To enrich lives and strengthen the communities we serve. For Good. Forever. The Community Foundation of Northwest Florida is a charitable organization under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, a public charity that promotes and facilitates charitable giving. The Foundation helps individuals, families, and businesses accomplish their charitable goals and helps non-profits as a source of grants and as a vehicle for building endowments for their future. All contributions to the Foundation qualify for the maximum available tax deduction allowed by the federal tax laws for charitable contributions. How much has been awarded through the Foundation in the last year? In 2019, the CFNWF awarded over $625,000 to non-profits throughout Northwest Florida. The CFNWF received over $200,000 in national grant awards to support community non-profits in their recovery efforts following Hurricane Michael. These grant funds assisted ten

community groups in the hardest hit areas of the Panama City region. The majority of 2019 donations came from individuals and families through funds they established with the Community Foundation. What is your means of attracting/ recruiting new donors? To recruit new donors, we spend time instead of money. We work closely with financial advisors, estate planning attorneys, and those who assist individuals and families when they desire to financially help others in our communities. Members of the CFNWF Board are wonderful ambassadors of our mission and are regularly featured as speakers at local civic and community meetings. How is overhead funded? Funding for staff and overhead comes from an annual administrative fee of 1%. The fee is paid in advance each year based on the average market value of the Fund’s assets during the previous year. The minimum annual fee is $100.

to better our communities, now and in the future. How is the use of your unrestricted funds determined? All funds at the CFNWF are used to support the betterment of the Northwest Florida region. The CFNWF Board determines use of unrestricted funds to support a particular project or community need. How many individuals sit on the board? The Foundation’s governing Board of Directors is comprised of leading community citizens who live in Northwest Florida. They represent a diverse group of people who have different areas of expertise and community knowledge. They oversee the management and policies of the Foundation. Currently our board consists of eleven members who serve a two year term, with a limit of three terms (six years).

What does the future of the Foundation look like?

With so many opportunities for philanthropy, why might someone choose Community Foundation of Northwest Florida?

The Community Foundation of Northwest Florida’s future is very bright. The concept of a community foundation is pretty simple – we are a means to build, over time, substantial funds through contributions large and small and to pool many funds together in order to have a greater impact on community needs. Our region is full of generous individuals who call Northwest Florida home and regularly answer the calls of many charitable causes. As a vehicle for people of all means to make a lasting difference in their communities, the CFNWF is uniquely positioned as the one organization that can manage a pool of resources all meant to address issues that impact our region. As our region continues to grow, we will assist more individuals and families as they establish charitable funds with the CFNWF. Our main purpose is to serve the needs and philanthropic aims of these donors who wish

Simple, because you can support so many charitable organizations with one gift through the CFNWF. Essentially, the CFNWF acts as the holder of your charitable fund and provides management and investment expertise. All contributions are tax deductible to the maximum amount allowable for gifts to a public charity. Indeed, because community foundations are classified as public charities under the tax code, some donors are able to claim larger tax deductions on gifts to community foundations than they are on gifts to their own private foundations. A community foundation represents a wide variety of ideas and interests of individual donors who have united in a common purpose - the bettering of their communities both now and in the future. Whatever your charitable intentions, there are ways to achieve them through your gifts to your community foundation. March 2020 | 65

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2/26/20 3:56 PM

VIP Destin at Pompano Joe’s Seafood House

Christopher Solecki & Eliabeth Curvin

Leigh Merkel, Jessica Lerner, Kashunna Fly, Matt Marsh, Mallory Fraley & Adrianne Clark

8th Annual

!"#$%&'(%!")*%+,%-%./, photos & story by Shanna Magnuson


he Junior League of the Emerald Coast, along with Pompano Joe’s Seafood House in Destin, hosted the 8th Annual Rock the Road 5K & 10K on February 8. It turned out to be a perfect morning with the sun shining for this run along Scenic Highway 98. The run was followed by awards for best times for each category and best dressed, as participants were encouraged to dress as their favorite rock ’n roll icon. The Coastal Grove band played on the beach outside Pompano Joe’s Seafood House after the run as all relaxed to eat and drink- there was even free beer for those who signed up for the race. Emcee Aimee Schaffer announced all the winners. This event is not only for runners, but is pet and stroller-friendly, some used walkers, and a woman who finished the course on crutches- with huge determination. This race benefits The Junior League of the Emerald Coast’s (JLEC) Child Clothing Project. They supply clothing to over 400 children from Okaloosa and Walton County Elementary Schools each year. JLEC is an “Organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the affective action and leadership of trained volunteers.”

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Lisa & Jim Tessener

Roy Owensby & Melissa Weyland

Chauntell Jannazo, Cindy Jannazo, Jenna Jannazo, Adrianne Clark


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850.796.2424 ∑ 415 Mary Esther Cut Off NW, FWB PetlandFortWaltonBeach

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Berlin Gardens, Brown Jordan, Jensen Leisure, Klaussner, Lane Venture, Lloyd Flanders, Outdoor by Design, Polywood, Ratana, Seaside Casual, Skyline Design, Summer Classics, Telescope, Tommy Bahama, Tropitone, and Winston AOG, Big Green Egg, Broilmaster, DCS, Delta Heat, Fire Magic, Green Mountain, Memphis Grills, MHP Products, Twin Eagles, and Wilmington Grill







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MARCH 5 Ladies Night Out: An Evening of Health, Wellness and Fun! The Henderson 200 Henderson Resort Way | Destin 5:30pm – 8:30pm Learn. Explore. Laugh. Ladies are invited to attend an exclusive celebration of health, wellness and fun! From botox to aching feet, chair massages, and fabulous mini makeovers, attendees will have a chance to talk one-on-one with over 18 physicians and experts about various health and wellness topics that are most important to women! Ladies will be greeted with champagne upon arrival and will also indulge in a delicious display of heavy hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, and have the opportunity to win over 25 door prizes. Hosted by Fort Walton Beach Medical Center and Twin Cities Hospital, this annual event debuted last year as an invite only and was a sell-out! This event is held in partnership with Fort Walton Beach Medical Center, Twin Cities Hospital and Destin Chamber of Commerce.



Downtown FWB Street Fest

WSRE PBS KIDS & Family Day at Gulfarium

139 Brooks St SE | Fort Walton Beach 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park 1010 Miracle Strip Pkay. SE | Fort Walton Beach 10:00am – 2:00pm

The Downtown FWB Street Fest is a fun and exciting way to spend your Friday night downtown! The sidewalks of Downtown FWB will be fi lled with amazing vendors, live entertainment, live music, and more! See you...Downtown! Visit for more information.

Dive into family fun during the fifth annual WSRE PBS KIDS and Family Day at Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park! Enjoy kids’ activities and Gulfarium fun with The Cat in the Hat, Clifford the Big Red Dog and Curious George. Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park will operate under regular park hours with their dolphin and sea lion shows, animal exhibits and aquariums. A portion of the proceeds from the day’s admission fees will be donated to the WSRE-TV Foundation. Come rain or shine!



ECCAC Gala & Golf Weekend

Tequila and Taco Festival

Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa 4000 Sandestin Blvd. S | Miramar Beach Saturday Gala 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Seascape Towne Centre 80 Seascape Drive | Miramar Beach Friday Launch Party 6:00pm – 9:00pm Saturday The Main Event 1:00pm to 5:00pm Sunday Brunch 11:00pm – 2:00pm Acme Oyster House | Seascape

Kelly Plantation Golf Club 307 Kelly Plantation Drive | Destin Sunday Golf 11:00am - 6:00pm Please join us for our annual Gala & Golf Weekend! This year we will be celebrating ECCAC’s 20th Anniversary as well as paying tribute and honoring one of our longtime supporters, Zeke Bratkowski, an NFL professional football player for many years and assistant NFL coach for over two decades. He was an avid supporter of ECCAC, founding the first Golf & Gala in 1999. The Gala will be emceed by David Seering, guests will enjoy dinner, dancing, and live entertainment by Mr. Big Band, as well as amazing live and silent auction items. The Kieran May Memorial Golf Classic will be held on Sunday at Kelly Plantation Golf Club with golfers enjoying a shot gun start. Visit to purchase tickets.

Sample over 40 different types of Tequilas from Blancos, Resposados, Anjieos, Mezcals and taste some of the best Margaritas of your life! Local restaurants will be competing for the Best Taco on The Emerald Coast with a first place prize of $2,500. Visit to purchase tickets. March 2020 | 69

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Mac & Cheese Festival

BizTech Spring 2020: Marketing

Destin Commons 12:30pm – 4:00pm

Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village 10 Harbor Boulevard | Destin 1:00pm – 5:00pm

Thought macaroni and cheese was just for kids? Think again! Join us at the 2nd Annual Mac & Cheese Festival benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast. This family-friendly event will feature gourmet, chef-inspired twists on the South’s favorite comfort food. Local restaurants will compete for the best mac in town. Be there to sample everything for yourself and cast your vote! Samples will be for sale at Destin Commons starting at noon the day of the event.

Presented by Five Channels, this half-day digital marketing conference has something for businesses of all sizes and levels of expertise. Learn tips of the trade from industry professionals to take your businesses to the next level. Sessions include Plan for Success, Social Media, Email Marketing, and Dominating Google. There will be a cookie and coffee break and a cocktail reception. Visit to register.

For information visit

MARCH 12 World’s Greatest Baby Shower Emerald Coast Convention Center 1250 Miracle Strip Pkwy. SE | Fort Walton Beach 5:30pm – 8:00pm Hosted by the Healthy Start Coalition of Okaloosa and Walton Counties, this event is a memorable occasion especially designed for expectant parents, new parents who have had a baby within the last three months, and their families. There will be 50+ informative exhibits highlighting topics such as parenting, prenatal health, new baby care and community resources. There will also be numerous prizes, guest bags, and light refreshments. Admission is FREE for guests!

MARCH 17 St. Patty’s Day Delight The Village of Baytowne Wharf 9100 Baytowne Boulevard | Miramar Beach 6:00pm – 9:00pm Come and celebrate the Luck of the Irish! Get your green on and head over to the Village of Baytowne Wharf and paint the Village green! The Blenders will be live with jazz and blues tunes beginning at 6:00pm. Then we’ll be bringing sounds of Ireland with a special performance by Carpenter Academy of Irish Dance at 7:00pm. Enjoy merchant specials around the Village this St. Patty’s Day. Admission is free and kids are welcome.



Blue & White Gala

Emerald Ball

Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa 4000 Sandestin Boulevard S | Miramar Beach 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa 4000 Sandestin Boulevard S | Miramar Beach 6:00pm – 11:00pm

Join us for an unforgettable evening with former White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, an elegant meal, music, and a silent auction. There are only a limited number of seats remaining. If you are planning to attend, buy your tickets today!

The Emerald Ball will be an elegant evening made complete with cocktails, dining, and live music to make for an engaging experience. 100% of your contribution will support the comprehensive spine and cardiology programs. 2020 is sure to deliver an even bigger night of fun and entertainment as we honor and celebrate Roger Hall, President of Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast, for his contribution and service to this community. Guests are encouraged to wear shades of emerald green.

Visit to purchase tickets.

For more information about the event and tickets visit

Visit for more events! 70 |

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VIP Destin at Parkside at Henderson Beach Resort & Spa

GROUNDBREAKING OF PARKSIDE At Henderson Beach Resort photos & story by Shanna Magnuson


old shovels pushed through for the official ground breaking event for Parkside at Henderson Beach Resort & Spa that took place on February 7. More than just a “beach condo” it was stated by the team, “It will set a new standard for luxury living on the coast.” Only a few residences remain available, and along with the comforts of ownership, residents will also enjoy full access to the Henderson Beach Resort & Spa’s range of amenities and services including the Salamander Spa, fitness center, restaurants, daily cleaning, on-site maintenance, and more. There are options for 1, 2, and 3 bedroom residences with covered and assigned parking, balconies, ten-foot ceilings, and more. Parkside at Henderson Beach Resort is being developed by Premier Development Group, and the team has overseen more than $2.5 billion in development activity. The ground breaking site was surrounded by an arch from Cindy White Balloon Design and execution of this exciting event by Proffitt PR. Todd Stephens, Jeff Prescott, Michael McNeil, Bill Hagerman, Bryan Whitehead, David Mars, and Garrett McNeil were the official ground breakers. David Mars, General Manager at The Henderson, stated, “What struck me was the connections, complimenting The Henderson as a whole, with residential experience in about a year.”

Katie McNeil & Juliette Milam

Cindy & Jason White

Bryan & Kishia Obsourn

David Mars & Rhonda Lang 72

Tim Bugas & Cali Hlavac

Jessica Bracken & Taylor Sheekley

Vivian & Steven Menchel


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Paul & Debbie Landers, Megan Harrison

Todd Stephens, Phillip Adams & Jonny Driscoll

Blake Becnel, Vincent Sabarre & David Tazhwboe

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VIP Destin at LuLu’s Destin

photos & story by Shanna Magnuson


he 5th annual LuLu’s Tropical Reunion Vow Renewal on February 8, brought over 100 local and out-ofstate couples, many who have been participating this event yearly. Local minister, Hurricane Jane, began the ceremony with a few jokes and warm wishes adding, “Here we celebrate the renewal of vows and warranties.” A truly special event that brought tears not only to the couples and families that surrounded them, but even the employees and volunteers upon witnessing this event. Hurricane Jane spoke of the winding journey’s way and read the poem “Footprints,” ending with a new vow for the couples. This unique Valentine’s Day present for loved ones included flowers for the brides, wedding cake, champagne toast, certificate of renewal, ceremony, and photos. There were also prizes for the longest married couple, which went to Alice and Milton Shepperson married in 1951, shortest time married which went to Brian and Jennifer Weightman married 2019, and best dressed, Ray and Jed Griffith. LuLu’s private sandy beach along the Choctawhatchee Bay was filled with couples excited to celebrate with one another on the bright sunny day, enjoying drinks and delicious food.


Kim & Kim Cavros

Debbie & Fred Card

Janet & Danny Youmans

Dave Hubbard & Tami Shirley

Dave & Deb Kirsch

Alice & Milton Shepperson


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LOCALE O Local Coast Guard Aux Unit 081-01-04 Change of Watch The Destin / Ft Walton Flotilla (F14) of the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Aux held its Change of Watch ceremony on Saturday, January 11th, 2020, at USCG Station Destin. Flotilla 14 is part of Division 1 of the 8th Coastal Region of the USCG Aux.

FC Henry Rice, USCG STA DES, Master Chief Sulski, VFC Sheresa Waller & DCDR Daniel Berry

Henry Rice is now serving as the new Flotilla Commander (FC). Sheresa Waller, who served as the Flotilla Commander in 2019, is the new Vice Commander (VFC). The swearing in ceremony for the oath of office for leaders and their staff was administered by Division Commander (DCDR) Daniel Berry USCGAUX F14 has been serving the greater Destin/Ft Walton area, inspecting commercial vessels, providing logistical support for search and rescue, marine environmental safety, public affairs, boating safety, and contingency preparedness for Coast Guard Station Destin for over 60 years. The United States Coast Guard Aux has over 28,000 members and is an organization of uniformed volunteers authorized to perform all of the functions of the active duty Coast Guard except direct law enforcement and military operations. Aux members take great pride in being a part of ‘Team Coast Guard’ and often work side by side with the active duty United States Coast Guard. The Coast Guard Aux is the uniformed volunteer component of the U.S Coast Guard and supports the Coast Guard in nearly all its service missions. The Aux was created by Congress in 1939. For more information, please visit


Twin Cities Hospital Announces ER Expansion at Special GroundBreaking Ceremony Twin Cities Hospital announces a $6.7 million expansion of their ER at a special ground-breaking ceremony held Wednesday, January 22nd.

The project includes the expansion and renovation of the ER, relocation and replacement of the existing CT, and a small surface parking addition. Currently, the ER is approximately 4,800 square feet and comprised of 8 rooms, with one room serving as a low acuity area with 3 chairs. The proposed project adds approximately 2,650 square feet to the north side of the ER. The new construction will include seven triage and treatment sites. The existing waiting room, triage, and support space will be renovated and reconfigured. The existing 16-slice CT is located on the opposite side of the hospital. The expansion project incorporates relocating and replacing the existing CT within the ER. A small, gravel area adjacent to the ER parking lot will be paved, providing 24 additional parking spaces.

Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club Announces Anna Parish as New Private Event Director Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club today announced the appointment of Anna Parish as Private Event Director for its signature restaurant, Vue on 30a. In this role, Parish will be responsible for continuing to foster relationships with members and our community to book private events that deliver consistently exceptional levels of service. She will contribute to and support the continued development and initiatives for the club and its entities. Parish attended University of Southern Mississippi where she received a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in Psychology. Prior to joining Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club, she worked at Hattiesburg Country Club where she gained valuable experience in the food and beverage and event industries. Parish has flourished while taking on many leadership roles and she brings her enthusiasm with her to Florida where she is eager to focus on events and all of the intricate details that leave clients in awe. “Anna is a valuable asset to have in the mix of our current management team at the club. We could not be more excited to welcome her to this position,” said Michael Bickett, general manager for Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club and Vue on 30a. Parish will join the club team on Tuesday, January 28th. For more information on private events or weddings at Vue on 30a, email events@ or call 850.267.1240 ext. 3.

“The newly expanded ER will allow us to deliver the same expert and compassionate care we have always delivered, but in a larger and better configured setting for our patients”, said Dave Whalen, Twin Cities Hospital’s CEO.


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Bracken Law, PA serves the areas of Destin, 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, Miramar Beach, Panama City Beach, Niceville and Fort Walton Beach, Florida.


(850) 792-2677 | | 30A | 2930 W. County Highway 30A, Suite 210 | Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 Holiday Plaza | 12273 Emerald Coast Parkway, Suite 107 | Miramar Beach, FL 32550


2014 - 2019

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2016 - 2019

2/26/20 4:03 PM

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VIP Destin at Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa

!"#$%#&'()*+,+, photos & story by Zhalman Harris


rescendo! The exciting cultural extravaganza to benefit Sinfonia Gulf Coast and its music education and community engagement initiatives throughout Northwest Florida. Known for producing the highest caliber concerts and events along Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast, their finale was held on February 16, at the Hilton Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort.The main event dubbed “La Vie en Rose” (life in pink) was an energy-infused experience celebrating the cultural and culinary arts by showcasing world-class vintners, expert spirit purveyors, amazing auction items, and an electrifying musical performance by Violectric, with most of the patrons wearing a shade of pink to really bring the name of the event to life. Crescendo! was presented by SETCO for this year’s extravaganza. Vintner Dinners on February 14. hosted in elegant homes and venues throughout the region featured some of the country’s most exclusive vineyards including: Rombauer Vineyards Tournesol Wine, Bouchaine Vineyards & Winery, Theorem Vineyards, and On Q. Culinary maestros included top chefs from the Gulf Coast region and beyond. Hosts this year were Stephanie & George Brannon with Marisol & Tony Gullo, Yvonne & Greg Lala, Dana & Glenn Armentor & Jane Solomon. With over 400k raised, some of the initiatives the funds are going to help with includes: The Youth Orchestra Program, Link up Program In conjunction with Carnegie Hall, Live Orchestra Performances for students including a transportation bus, musicians in schools, Arts in Medicine with Sacred Heart Hospital and Paint the music project for 3rd-8th graders in Okaloosa and Walton Counties

Brownwyn Toombs & Whitney Lee

Katie Witherspoon, Rachel Herring & Kathy Garrity

Anastasia Stull & Keith Dean

Joy Adams & Peggy Stevens

Judy & Omar Wiseman

Jo Stewart & Connie Yarbro

Denise Kendust, Deb Nissley & Marcia Hull March 2020 | 79

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VIP Destin at Crescendo! 2020

Jennifer Knight & Shanelle Lucas

Tracy McFarland, Steve Barber, Stephanie Phillips & Leta Dehon

Beverly & Larry Sassano

Ali Gorman & Carly Harmer

Kim Dettle & Kristin Humphrey

Katie Atwater & Vicki Camp

Brian & Tonia Peterson, Yvonne & Greg Lala, Bart Begley 80

Aleta & Dave Jefferson

Jennifer Hewitt & Stephanie Brener


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Gloria Sellers & Tabitha Marvel

Steve & Shelley Black, Verla Price & Francia Squatrito

Magaret Wetherell, Joseph Son & McKenzie Gorie

George & Stephanie Brannon

Lori Ward & Melanie Cuff

Haven Burley & Heather Jourdan

Grace Nuffer & Anne Hinze

Jill Cadenhead & Jennifer Creehan

Kitty Taylor, Alex McDowell, Mary Jane Kirby & Kathy Barry March 2020 | 81

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What is your hometown, what brought you to the EMERALD COAST and how long have you been here? I was born in Baton Rouge, LA, and moved to the Emerald Coast ten years ago to raise my children. What do you like best about Destin? The people are friendly, and the food and culture are world class. Three words that best describe you. Friendly. Philanthropic. Father. What are some of your favorite things about Destin? Destin is one of the most generous communities in the country. For such a small beach town, the locals do so much to make such a huge impact in the lives of others. Last year, I became closely involved with Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation. I stand behind their mission of giving back to our local charities across the Panhandle, and am excited to see what a difference they will make in our community in the years to come. Finish this statement, I AM DESTIN because‌ I am a part of this wonderful community of people that get to enjoy this magical place. We have world-class beaches, dune lakes, 30A, countless festivals and events, and the warm hospitality of Destin. We are all so fortunate that we get to call the Emerald Coast our home.

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