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Volume XVIII • Issue III

And the winners are...

events 12 Hotel Effie Grand Opening 16 Palate & Palette 25 Mardi Gras Celebration at HarborWalk Village 35 Power of Business Luncheon 40 Fatboys Ribbon Cutting 46 Walton Works Grand Opening Reception 48 Chili Cook Off Benefiting CALM 53 Sandestin Gumbo Fest 56 ECWR Mardi Gras Murder Mystery Dinner 58 Ladies Who Launch Powerhouse Women Series 62 Walton Area Chamber Business After Hours 69 Pins & Pancakes 73 Business Before Hours

departments 21 32 42 44 50 60 65 76 78

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

features 28 Business Profile - Gateway Payments 31 Luxury & Financial Profiles 38 Best in Destin Winners

VIP Destin Magazine Staff

on the cover Melissa Mercer Brown & Colella Coe Quinlan

Publisher Greg Alexander

Art Director Priscilla Atkins

Associate Publisher Verla Price

Graphic Design Patti Hall

Editor Jeff Watson

Contributing Writers/ Photographers Britt Clark Julie Connerley Patti Hall Zhalman Harris Clare Lee Verla Price Anna Stockton Gabby Swenson

Photography by Zhalman Harris

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

at Hotel Effie Grand Opening

Publisher’s Assistant Anna Stockton

VIP Founder Jeff Watson March 2021 | 9

letter from the Associate Publisher

March brings with it the promise of warmer weather, sunny days, and most importantly, the return of Daylight Savings Time. “Spring forward” and set the clocks one hour ahead on March 14. As we dive into this month’s VIP Destin Magazine issue, we are excited to bring you pages fi lled with fun outdoor events, a few lingering Mardi Gras parties, and some intriguing editorial. Adventure Out brought back a rush of memories for me with “Going Topless,” a feature on convertibles, which threw me back to my younger years. I wasn’t lucky enough to have a convertible, but I did meet my future husband while driving a T-top Mustang, and our chariot to the prom was a bright red T-top Camaro. We were really styling in West Virginia in the 80’s. If you like Martinis, Swizzle on page 32 could take you to the floor. Martinis are not my favorite drink. However, I will indulge in one every now and then if the establishment adds blue cheese stuffed olives. Coastal Cuisine spotlights some luxurious kitchen appliances that are to die for. I may need to invest in one of the new espresso machines. Give Care Share introduces us to “Folds of Honor,” a nonprofit that funds scholarships for families of fallen or wounded soldiers. If you would like to sponsor this patriotic event, nearby Scenic Hills Country Club in Pensacola will host a golf tournament and concert with Lee Brice in May, with proceeds providing military scholarships for the charity. I was able to brave the cold in February and attend a few events. It was good to see some old friends and associates at the Hotel Effie Ribbon Cutting. It was great seeing a some of Destin’s annual events take place last month. If you missed them, pay special attention to our coverage of Palate & Palette on page 16 and Sandestin Gumbo Fest on page 53. If you are like me, you usually see something in our magazine and think, how did I miss that? Flip to page 76 and review Save The Date - our calendar of upcoming events. Maybe I will see you at some of the St Patrick Day events or the Crescendo! Kickoff. Let’s hope March comes in like a lion so it will go out like a lamb and give an early spring instead of a lingering winter. Shop local, be patient and kind. Thank you for reading VIP Destin Magazine.

Associate Publisher 10


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VIP Destin at Hotel Effie

GRAND OPENING & RIBBON CUTTING photos & story by Zhalman Harris


he long-awaited and most talked about new luxury hotel on the Emerald Coast held its grand opening and ribbon cutting on February 4. Unlike any other, Hotel Effie, named after the grandmother of the owner and developer, is surely an extraordinary treasure nestled between the white sandy beaches and the Choctawhatchee Bay in exclusive Sandestin. Invited guests witnessed the ribbon cutting and heard from Sara and Tom Becnel, the father and daughter duo who spearheaded the grand project. Tom made it clear it was a team effort and they would not have been there to celebrate the success of the project without the tireless efforts of all the teams and consultants who were part of the process, however, he recognized his daughter Sara for the success of the hotel. “She was involved from the beginning and she took on a behemoth task to coordinate all the contractors and sub-contractors,” said Becnel. Sara is also responsible for the design. The rooftop pool bar concept and interior finishes of the hotel. “It was truly a family effort,” said Sara, who also thanked her dad for his guidance and mentorship. After the cutting of the ribbon some of the guests went up to enjoy the rooftop pool bar and restaurant’s hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and the beautiful 360 degree aerial view of beautiful Destin and Santa Rosa Beach.

Tom Becnel & Sara Becnel 12

Jeff Watson & Maggie Yelverton


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Megan Harrison & Matthew Carr

Julia Robertson, Lee Rekas, Dana Rhoden & Gianna Wyatt

Ann Keif, Allison Smith, Ginny Richerson & Jimmy Dallas

Melissa Mercer Brown & Colella Coe Quinlan

Barbara Cummins & Kelly Crowe

Keith Kikasola & Brenda Gray

Bobby Sandhue & Flavia Bonilla

Sarah Citron, Tom Becnel, Debi Pearce & Angela Becnel March 2021 | 13

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VIP Destin at Hotel Effie Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting

Sara Becnel & Brenden Parker

Nirali, Hannah & Manoj Chauhan

Jillian McCarthy & Kevin O’Rourke

Pat Lutz, Kari Painter & Jeff George 14

Victoria Swinford & Dayna Luby

Annalise Dedicke & Shantelle Dedicke

Shannon Upton & Mark Jones

Connie Yarbro & Kay Crawford

Bill & Gwen Pysh

Sharon Vaughn, Cali Hlavac & Micha Everett


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VIP Destin at Bitterroot Restaurant

PALATE & Palette photos & story by Zhalman Harris


helter House celebrated a successful evening on February 6 with two intimate dinners at fine dining establishments, George’s and Bitterroot, for their 5th Annual Palate & Palette Dinner. “The event, which is usually held at Legendary Marine, was held at two locations this year to adhere to Covid restrictions while keeping patrons safe,” said Rosalyn Wik, executive director at Shelter House. Each dinner had its own unique experience, showcasing the talents of a different chef and artist. Chef Chadwick Donelson was featured at Bitterroot in Destin, while Chef Camille Withall featured her finest at George’s at Alys Beach. Attendees indulged in a four-course seated dinner, each paired with hand-selected fine wines from around the world. The expansive silent auction, held through a virtual software platform, offered prize packages including fishing trips, restaurant experiences, custom art, spa packages, and more. The event featured four local artists including Matt Staver, Beth Roberts, Estelle Grengs, and Rhodalynn Jetton. Matt and Beth created their artwork among diners at George’s in Alys Beach while Estelle and Rhodalynn painted at Bitterroot in Destin. The unique pieces were later put on a virtual auction software so patrons at both dinners and those who were not present could bid. Wik noted, “Thanks to all of our patrons and sponsors who made the evening a success. We raised thousands of dollars that will go to great use to protect and save the vulnerable and battered.”


Keith Lemasters & Rosalyn Wik

Rachelle Wyatt & Sara Hill

Robert & Crissy Jennings

Lisa & Lee Lewis

Gale Colbourne & Brownie Boswell

Mindy & Dion Moniz


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Whitney Lee, Todd Royall & Heather Hintz

Estelle Grengs

Peter & Dawne O’Donnell, Gwendolyn Verchur & John Choquer

Jamie Cooper & Ashley McMahon

Peter Mohylsky & Meredith Williamson

Ashley Bowen & Rachel Spencer

Diana & Justin Phelps

Estelle Grengs & Rhodalynn Jetton

Jacob & Clarissa Seales, Blakley Bakker & Emily Rogers March 2021 | 17

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spring madness member for a day






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member benefits Member pricing on gift cards Member pricing on any massage or facial service Save 10% on product purchases

DESTIN | 850-389-0015 34940 Emerald Coast Parkway Best Buy Plaza | Across from Ulta

Open 7 Days | Extended Hours | Walk-ins Welcome | *Valid at Destin, FL spa only. Session include time for consultation and dressing. Offers may not be combined. Rates and services may vary by location. One per customer. Special offer valid 3/1/21 - 3/31/21. Independently Owned & Operated. ©2021 Hand & Stone Corp.Franchises Available. MM39215/CE10017484

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Going Topless C

story by Anna Stockton

onvertibles make a statement. Movie producers have been proving this for years. The cool kid, the mean jock, the corporate bigwig, the dad having a mid-life crisis, the homecoming queen, the scarf and sunglass wearing girlfriends driving down Pacific Coast Highway -- what do they all have in common? They’re all driving convertibles. Whether you go for the soft top, hard top, affordable, or luxurious, convertibles represent freedom, opportunity, and the wide-open road.

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If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering how convertibles came about. I mean, who decided to take the top off a perfectly good car? Well, they actually started that way. Henry Ford’s first stab at an automobile, the Quadricycle, was nothing more than a regular horse buggy with an engine -- no windshields, no doors, no windows, and of course, no roof. With the turn of the twentieth century, more powerful, faster engines were being developed and folding roofs and fabric tops became available to spruce up your ride. Now, these automobiles shared the dirt road with those who were still “kickin’ it old school” with their horse and buggies. This created an unfortunate problem for automobile drivers who were getting hit with dirt and other debris, including of the horse variety, so a need for an enclosed cover became necessary. Enter Henry Leland, founder of Cadillac and Lincoln, stepping in with his knack for inventing interchangeable auto parts and his mad engineering skills. He brought the first fully enclosed car to the public. By 1906, Cadillac offered the fully enclosed body as an option on new automobiles.

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By 1910 this sedan body style became standard and by 1920, 90% of all autos on the road were sedans. By 1934, when roofs were standard on cars, some people felt a little claustrophobic or maybe they just had a desire to feel the wind in their perfectly coifed hair. So French automobile company Peugeot came up with the retractable hardtop design, which is a roof that folds down and is selfstoring behind the driver’s compartment. However, the French didn’t keep this design under their berets for long and this design crept its way into the American market fairly quickly. Leave it to the Americans to take this manual feature and make it power operated, allowing drivers to drop their tops fast and furiously. Since then, adjustments and tweaks have been made leading up the convertibles we know and love today. The popularity of convertibles in the United States has ebbed and flowed. American soldiers returning from France and the UK after WW2 created a huge demand as they fell in love with them while overseas, then those pesky new safety standards ruined everyone’s topless fun during the 1970’s. This, along with air conditioning becoming standard in vehicles and the popularity of sunroofs, the country’s

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love affair with convertibles took a dive. Enter the Mazda MX-5, or known to the common folk, the Miata. The tictac looking car debuted at the end of the 80’s and suddenly, convertibles were cool again. In fact, with over one million Miata’s sold, it’s the most popular convertible ever. The convertibles on the market today are better than ever and are available in all price ranges and levels of luxury. The squared away Mini Cooper, powerful Mustang, and the immortal Miata all offer reasonably priced, yet fun models. If you want to spend a little more, Mercedes, BMW, and Lexus all offer both classic and sport convertibles that will have you going topless everywhere. If those aren’t fancy enough for you, the exotic sport market has what you’re looking for. Both Audi and Aston Martin have sport convertibles that run close to a quarter of a million dollars. I mean, your kids don’t really need to go to college, do they? While all these ups and downs (ha), the fact remains, people love convertibles! They are engrained in our culture, representing freedom and opportunity, pleasure over practicality, and wide-open spaces. With safety features and technology improving, convertibles are here to stay and to remind you that the open road awaits.

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Another in a series of Capers Family Adventures


Protect Your Pot of Gold with Insurance Zone

(850) 424-6979

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


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VIP Destin at HarborWalk Village

Mardi Gras Celebration AT HARBORWALK VILLAGE


photos & story by Zhalman Harris

ardi Gras Celebration took place on February 13 at HarborWalk Village, with a twist. This year it was a “parade in place” instead of the usual rolling parade, where floats slowly drive by enthusiastic people waiting for beads to be thrown at them. The good times did not stop because of the changed format. The parked floats still engaged in the fun activities and threw out beads and treats for people who strolled by to scramble over. Even though it was an open-air venue for the event, HarborWalk Village encouraged their guests to follow CDC guidelines in regards to mask-wearing and social distancing while still enjoying the ambiance of the Destin Harbor. Those who came enjoyed live music by Fais Do-Do, the dazzling floats, face painting, and street performers. For this year, a portion of the proceeds will benefit Fresh Start for Children & Families.

MaryFrances Mullins, Keasha Jones & Tori Majors

Carly Johnson & Kailah James

Nicole Browning & Veronica Deveau

Matt & Andrea Bonnette, Amber Garcia, Charlene Elliot, Tara Banks & Matt Workman March 2021 | 25

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VIP Destin at Mardi Gras Celebration at HarborWalk Village

Kiara Marquez, Hayley Netro & Mariam Mendoza


Alison Findley, James Hughson & Gabriel Gamez

Verla Price & Donna Tashik

Cali Hlavac & Rachel Valesquez

Hunter & Xiomara Nelson

Dawn Royall & Mary Taylor

Phil Cook, Rod Lazmby, Lynda Cook & Mike Whitley

Stella O’Neal & Sophia Ryals


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Kari Painter, Josh Story & Melissa Heath

Ruby Tetreau, Rylie Cleveland, Bailey Scheel & Caige Baum Front: Parker Love & Vivian Lucy



1280 Emerald Coast Parkway Suite 113B, Miramar Beach, FL



2254 South Ferdon Boulevard Crestview, FL

Amy, Nolan & Reed Faulkner, Kamron & Mellisa McClendon March 2021 | 27

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Small Business Owners Interest Free Loans

Merchants that sign up with Gateway Payments for Payment Processing qualify for an interest free loan. The loan is determined by the merchants annual processing volume. The loan is also paid back in 12 months.

Cost Free Credit Card Processing

Merchants will never have to pay credit card processing fees again. The cost of card acceptance is transferred to the consumer. Merchants will be compliant with industry standards and will be able to successfully remove processing related fees.

609-364-6546 Mobile • 850-359-6300 Office • 34990 Emerald Coast Pkwy #300 • Destin FL 32541

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Meet Josh Foster of Gateway Payments

Originally from New Jersey, in 2016 Josh decided to move to Destin to live near his brother and has never looked back. Of all the things to love about the Emerald Coast, Josh most loves being part of a close-knit community - something he never fully understood until he moved to Destin. Between 2007 and 2015, Josh worked for BC Technologies and became an expert in the payment processing industry, building one of the largest portfolios in the region. He loved working with small businesses and becoming an “industry guy.” BC Technologies ended up being acquired which left Josh with a major life decision to make. He wasn’t sure which career path he would take, but one thing was certain - he wanted to be in Florida. In 2017, Josh decided to partner with an old work colleague and created Gateway Payments, opening offices in New Jersey and Destin. Three years later they had expanded and serviced clients from New Orleans to Panama City. Gateway Payments currently works with hundreds of merchants and processes over 300 million dollars a year in Northwest Florida. Josh estimates that Gateway is saving local businesses around two million dollars a year in Northwest Florida alone. They also employ professionals in the local markets and support local and community non profit efforts whenever possible. Josh has always had a passion to be an advocate for small business owners and that goal will continue being a priority. November 2015 | XX

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DESTIN'S NEWEST FINE ART DESTINATION J L EO N G A L L E R Y.C O M | 8 5 0. 8 4 2 . 3 0 5 1 13370 US HWY 98, MIRAMAR BEACH, FL 32550


Sip N’ Stroll


F IR ST FRIDAY O F EACH M O N T H 5 PM - 7 P M Enjoy an evening of art at J.Leon Gallery and Studio with wine, champagne, and light snacks. Get the chance to view artists creating their work. Enter into a drawing for a pottery piece by Skip Deems. Tour our gallery and fully functioning ceramics studio and delight in a night of creativity.

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Luxury & Financial Profiles Carmen Ioanascu

Jane Kerrigan Stephanie Alvarez Stephanie switched gears on life and career seven years ago, moving to the Florida Panhandle. Having raised a large family and having been church administrator for a large church north of Atlanta, she moved first to Destin and then on to Pensacola. She is thrilled to be able to live where other people vacation and feels very connected to this area - more than she ever has to any other place. She has so many connections now in personal and professional life in both Destin and Pensacola, proving the friendly and genuine nature of the people who live here. Originally introduced to the sales industry by the “best’ (Verla Price of VIP Magazines), she then took an opportunity to come on board with Gateway Payments 2.5 years ago. Josh Foster’s mentoring and knowledge has further helped her become an advocate for small business owners and she is very appreciative for the clients she has been able to help and get to know. 678-571-2565

With a global background in customer service and teaching (Japanese-English), Carmen moved from Romania to Italy, Tokyo to London, and then to Destin, Florida, about three years ago. She is diverse and cultured and can work with people that are from all walks of life. She also speaks 4 languages Romanian, English, Japanese, and Italian. “When I first came here I instantly fell in love with the region, and became a huge fan of the different towns and communities in the area. This love organically developed into a real estate career and I decided to join The Nathan Abbott Team.” Carmen strongly believes that it is not only her duty to represent her customers to the best of her ability but also to educate them throughout every step of the process, armed with top-notch information and market insight so that her customers make the best decision possible. She chose Abbott noting, “The Abbott family carries on the Abbott Real Estate tradition today as the third generation of Abbott Realtors. We sell paradise.” She would be honored to schedule a consultation with developers looking to successfully launch and sell out their new and upcoming communities. 850-376-7507

Jane Kerrigan with Hand, Arendall, Harrison, Sale has been a practicing attorney for over 15 years, gaining experience in many facets of the law since graduating from the Indiana University School of Law. Estate Planning and Asset Protection however, has become her niche. After returning to school to earn a master’s of law in taxation from the University of Alabama School of Law, Jane’s primary focus has been on assisting families and individuals as they plan for the futures of their loved ones and navigate some of life’s difficult decisions. Jane finds it very rewarding to provide guidance and council on topics that may be difficult for some and to be able to put her clients’ minds at ease with the knowledge that they are prepared for the future. Since moving to the Gulf Coast in 2008, Jane has become a very involved member of her community. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce and Habitat for Humanity of Walton County. She is the president of the Estate Planning Council of the Emerald Coast, which is a professional organization for multi-disciplinary estate planning professionals from across Florida’s Emerald Coast. 850-650-0010 March 2021 | 31

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One Martini, Two Martini, Three Martini, FLOOR F LOOR !


story by Clare Lee

he drink may be clear but the martini’s origin is more opaque. Many stories exist, but still, at the end of the day, as you’re enjoying a martini, the drink’s origin probably doesn’t matter that much.

Sometimes, but usually after you have had a few, drinkers wonder how their cocktail of choice originated. New drinks are created daily but many are forgotten as quickly as they were consumed. The martini, however, has splashed around since the late 19th century and even has its own love language -- dirty, dry, shaken, straight up, or stirred. With a suave name and a pedigree, you might imagine that “martini” comes from some elegant European stopover, but the truth is, nobody really knows. One thing though, this truly American cocktail has a strong, sophisticated, and sexy swagger – everything that we want to project when ordering one. There is no certified story on the conception of the martini, but folklore alludes the drink was first drafted during the California Gold Rush when a miner struck it rich and was returning to San Francisco. Stopping at a bar in Martinez along the way, he celebrated by asking for champagne. With none available, the bartender persuaded the miner that he had something much better and served him a drink he called a ‘Martinez Special.’ It was such a hit, he ordered rounds for the house. Over a period of years, the name Martinez became martini… but, then again, this in only one of various tales after hours of celebrations. It’s no wonder the stories change – the next day nobody remembers. Others argue that the history of the martini name is simply a matter of branding. Martini & Rossi, an Italian sweet vermouth first produced in 1863, has been alluded as an obvious source. After all, asking for a “gin and Martini” could easily become asking for a martini. There are more variations on a martini than there are fables of how it was born. First, let’s get one thing on the table – apple, chocolate, espresso, and other modern drinks ending in “tini” are better called cocktails than martinis, as the only thing they have in common with a true martini is the glass. Despite these drinks’ questionable credentials as an authentic form of the martini, they convey how the martini name is so ubiquitous it has become synonymous with the word cocktail. Martini lovers have tweaked their concoctions to their individual likings and that is what makes the martini so fun. Alfred Hitchcock's

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famous martini recipe was "five parts gin and a quick glance at a bottle of vermouth." LBJ preferred to swirl vermouth around in the glass before dumping it out and adding the gin. Clark Gable merely ran a vermouth cork around the rim of the glass. While it's broadly thought that the martini is an American invention, the libation became popular in Europe. It was a favorite of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill but vermouth, usually made in Italy and France, became scarce during WWII. This did not hamper Churchill's martini drinking as he was quoted, "The only way to make a Martini is with ice-cold gin, and a bow in the direction of France." While many old school drinkers consider gin and vermouth with an olive as the only legit partners in this concoction, it has become acceptable to specify your spirit. Vodka martinis have taken hold and are here to stay. A dry martini has little or no vermouth, dirty is a reference to olive and olive brine making the drink less clear, and shaken means shaken while stirred means stirred. Whether you like it with gin or vodka, dirty, dry, shaken, or stirred, the martini is a treat at any day’s end.

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Prince Phillip Martini Add a triple measure of gin to some ice. Leave for 10 minutes to chill. While gin chills, lace a martini glass with vermouth by stirring a slice of lemon and a small amount of vermouth over ice, then discard, leaving the glass wet inside. Pour the chilled gin, not ice into the martini glass. Add a skewer of olives and enjoy.

2/25/21 9:22 PM

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VIP Destin at Embassy Suites by Hilton

Power of Business Luncheon photos & story by Zhalman Harris


he Walton Area Chamber had their February Power of Business Luncheon and Annual Meeting sponsored by Community Management Associates, Inc., on February 10. The luncheon, held at Embassy Suites in Miramar Beach, was held for the new 2021 Chamber Board of Directors to be sworn into their positions. The Young Professional of Walton County was also installed. They celebrated the successes of the past year, shared their vision for the future, and enjoyed a wonderful lunch. The Chamber passed the gavel and raised glasses to the companies and volunteers who partner with them to be the voice of business, create jobs, and help members thrive.

Jason Cutshaw & Jane Kerrigan

Chelsea Fox & Kelly Cash

Sarah Davidson & Jessica Bracken

Allison Smith & Jennifer Cooper

Vicki Burris & Laura Bommarito

Christine Powell & Janet Piepul March 2021 | 35

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VIP Destin at Power of Business Luncheon

Ashton Burkes & Kelly Curry

Joey Boudreaux & Nathan Cordle


Patricia Parker & Hallie Oalde

Kari Painter & Kathrine Green

Juliet Milam, Lane Redding & Megan Harrison

Joyce Hankins & Alyssa Jasmain

Hanna Green & Laura Andrews

Jennifer Frost & Gina Rutherford

Renee Christenson & Denise Carter

Robin Hicks, Kristina Bracewell, David Hubble & Christina Cole


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Heather Cleveland & Kim McIntosh

food and spirits Kittee Stewart & Jimmy Dallas

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.

Jeff George & Mike Storey

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! Rhea Vinzant & Sandy Marshall March 2021 | 37

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Shopping & Retail Place to Spoil Her Allyson Salon and Spa Gift Shop Bay Breeze Patio

Outdoor Furniture Bay Breeze Patio

Wine Shop/Liquor Store Beach Liquors Seafood Market Blalock Seafood & Specialty Market

Locally Owned Retailer Cheetah Chix Boutique

Shopping/Lifestyle Center Destin Commons Place to Spoil Him Electric Cart Company Jewelry Emerald Lady Jewelry

Furniture isidro dunbar MODERN INTERIORS

Home Decor/ Accessories Not Too Shabby by Marisol Gullo Eyeglasses/Sunglasses O’Donnell Eye Institute Children’s Clothing Pink -n- Blue Avenue

Women’s Accessories Sea & Sand Jewelry

Shoe Store Sunset Shoes & Lifestyles Women’s Clothing Today’s Boutique

Men’s Clothing Tommy Bahama Retail

Entertainment Place for “Girl’s Night Out” AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar Place for a Date Beach Walk Cafe

Place to Go Dancing Bric à Brac Restaurant & Bar Water Sports Experience Cruisin Tikis Destin Local Annual Event Destin Fishing Rodeo

Place to People Watch HarborWalk Village

Place to Watch a Sunset HarborWalk Village Hotel The Henderson Beach Resort & Spa Resort Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort

Party Boat Experience Destin Princess/ Destiny Party Boat Fishing

Golf Course Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club

Charter Fishing Experience Gulf-Angler Fishing Charters

Place to Be Seen The Village of Baytowne Wharf

Place to Take the Kids Emerald Coast Science Center

Place for a Weekend Getaway The Island Ft. Walton Destin by Hotel RL

Health & Wellness

Anti Aging Service Aqua Medical Spa

Podiatrist Bay Foot & Ankle Center Dermatology Practice Coastal Skin Surgery and Dermatology Urgent Care Destin ER

Plastic Surgery Destin Plastic Surgery Weight Loss Dr. Cheri DunnDunn Diabetes & Wellness Center

Pediatrician Dr. Richard Reno White-Wilson Medical Center

Alternative/Natural Medicine Kyle Chavers, MD, IFMCP Foundations Medical Center Place for a Massage Hand and Stone Massage & Facial Spa Aesthetician Janice CraigheadThe Aesthetic Clinique

Doctor Michael Stickler, MDDermatology Specialists of FL Women’s Wellness Provider Renew Aesthetics & Anti-Aging Clinic Dental Practice Smileology

Pain Management Dynamic Pain & Wellness

Medical Spa Stephen F. Weiner, MD The Aesthetic Clinique

Vision Care Eye Center South

Cosmetic Dentist The Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry

Chiropractic Clinic Emerald Coast Chiropractic Miramar Beach

Medical Center Fort Walton Beach Medical Center

Orthodontist Stubbs Orthodontics

Senior Living Community The Manor at Blue Water Bay Vein/Vascular Care The Vein Center of Florida

Medical Practice White-Wilson Medical Center

Wedding & Bridal Wedding Venue Destin Bay House

Wedding Planner Fancy Events Place for Stationery/Invites Frill Seekers Gifts Reception Venue Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa

Place to Buy Wedding Dress Simply Elegant Bridal Place to Get a Tuxedo Simply Elegant Bridal

Place for Rehearsal Dinner Vue on 30a Place to Pop the Question Vue on 30a

Place to Buy Engagement Ring McCaskill & Company

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Services Limo/Transportation Service 654LIMO, Inc. Event Rentals 850 Event Rentals

Charity/Non-Profit Alaqua Animal Refuge Hair Salon Allyson Salon and Spa

Specialty Contractor Destin Discount Granite & Cabinets

Flooring Destin Flooring America Florist Destin Floral Designs Golf Cart/ATV Dixielectricar

Place for Eyelashes, Nails, or Makeup Amazing Lash Studio

Bank/Financial Institution Eglin Federal Credit Union

Real Estate Company Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - PenFed Reatly

Landscaping/Lawn Service Emerald Coast Outdoor Services

Vacation Rental Beachwalk Vacation Properties

New Business Bitterroot

Photographer Bobby Wagner

Real Estate Team Century 21 Blue Marlin Pelican

Alarm/Security Company Coastal Protection, Inc. IT Firm/Web Design CRC Data Technologies Accounting Firm Debra Henry, CPA

Place for Coffee 2 Bird’s Coffee & Cafe BBQ 98 Bar-B-Que

Catering Big Red Truck

Special Occasion Restaurant Bijoux Outdoor Dining Brotula’s Seafood House & Steamer Buffalo Wings Buffalo Jack’s Legendary Wings & Pizza Margarita Cantina Laredo

Italian Restaurant Clemenza’s at Uptown Breakfast Crackings

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Sign Company Eloquent Signs

Property Management Emerald Coast Rental Management

Boat Sales & Service Gulf Coast Boating Centers Heating & Air Service Gulfshore Air Conditioning & Heating, Inc. Title Company Hall & Runnels, P.A. Customer Service Insurance Zone Insurance Firm Insurance Zone

Interior Design Firm isidro dunbar MODERN INTERIORS

Real Estate Professional- Female Jacqui Luberto Realty ONE Group Architect JDF Architecture

Real Estate - Residential Jodi Ketchersid RealJoy Properties Banker Lane ReddingProgress Bank

Real Estate - Commercial Mary Anne Windes, CCIMReal Estate Professionals of Destin Inc. Law Firm McNeese Title, LLC

General Contractor Michael SpicerSpicer Design Build, Inc. A/V Provider Palm Audio Video Inc

Pet Care & Accessories Petland Fort Walton Beach Luxury Automobile Sales Porsche Destin

Cocktails & Cuisine

Gumbo Dewey Destin’s Harborside Restaurant

˜Bartender Maggie White - Slick Lips Seafood and Oyster House

Pizza Grimaldi’s Coal Brick-Oven Pizzeria

Locally Owned Restaurant Mimmo’s

Dessert Emeril’s Coastal

Casual Dining Harbor Docks

Sushi Jackacuda’s Seafood & Sushi Chef Jay AmmonsSlick Lips Seafood and Oyster House Crab Cakes Louis Louis

Burger LuLu’s Destin

Event Planner Proffitt PR

Public Relations Firm Proffitt PR

Mortgage Lender Progress Bank - Brandi Ealy Homebuilder Randy Wise Homes

Real Estate Professional- Male Royce W. Mitchell Event Venue Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort

Payroll Firm/Human Resources SimpleHR Automobile Dealership- New Step One Automotive Group Automobile Repair/Service Step One Automotive Group Pool Building/Service Sunset Blues Pool Service

Interior Designer/Decorator Todd D. Reeves Automobile DealershipPre Owned Volkswagen Subaru Fort Walton Beach

Financial Advisor William Edward Blanken, Jr. Blanken Management

Steakhouse Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood

Fine Dining Marina Cafe

Bar/Tavern Shunk Gulley Oyster Bar

Place for Cocktails Ocean Club Restaurant

Seafood Restaurant Slick Lips Seafood & Oyster House

Asian Osaka

Appetizer Pazzo Italiano Ristorante & Bar

Mexican/Latin American Restaurant Pepito’s Mexican Restaurant Happy Hour Pepper’s Mexican Grill & Cantina

Oysters Shunk Gulley Oyster Bar

Brunch Sunset Bay Cafe

Outdoor Bar The Beach House Restaurant Bloody Mary The Red Bar

Wine List Vin’tij Food & Wine Beer Selection World of Beer

2/25/21 9:24 PM

VIP Destin at Fatboys


Ribbon Cutting Ivana Coteat & Brenda Gray

photos & story by Zhalman Harris


he area’s newest burger and wings joint – Fatboys, held their ribbon cutting on February 9. With the help of Destin Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors, Fatboys celebrated the launch of the new restaurant in Destin with the community. The restaurant’s manager, Bernadette Gray, welcomed those who came to celebrate the opening of the new restaurant. She expressed how excited they were to engage and get involved with their newly found community and promised that Fatboys was here to take care of the locals because the locals are the ones who will take them through during the slow season. The local burger and wings restaurant located on Harbor Boulevard promises to serve fresh, never frozen, beef and chicken made to order. Fatboys also offers meatless options and gluten-free buns. Kristin Moffitt & Cassy DeJulio

Jerry Sullivan, Bernadette Gray & Leslie Sullivan


Scott Miller & Lori Leath Smith


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Fred Fenn & Trisha Marks


Cora Rasmussen, Lisa Buchman & Matt Luberto


Exclusive area dealer for Integrity Cabinets of Alabama

Ivana Coteat & Jacqui Luberto

7 brands of quartz and a huge variety of granite and quartzite

Quick and free estimates... Call today for an in home quote!

850-777-3135 Christy Rightly & Brittany Passmore Shoreline Village Mall 816 Hwy. 98E, Destin, FL 32541 March 2021 | 41

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2/25/21 10:57 PM

The Luxurious Heart of the Home story by Anna Stockton


itchens are often the heart and control center of the home. Whether its kids making lunch before school, the family cooking dinner or guests all congregating during a get-together, kitchens are always brimming with activity. So why not make it the most functional, beautiful and luxurious part of the home.

I Followed My Heart, It Led Me To The Fridge The “center of the center” of a home is usually the refrigerator. Where else does everyone go first in the kitchen Where else contains all the good food Where else can my kids stand in front of and claim there is nothing to eat Fridges come in all styles, sizes and of course, price ranges. But if you really want to make a statement in your kitchen, you go big and you go home. These restaurant quality beasts are a whopping four feet across and seven feet tall, many have wifi monitoring and control and even a sabbath mode for our friends who celebrate Jewish holidays. Now I’m not proud of the feelings this refrigerator invokes in me and I absolutely did NOT double check my bank account to see if I had an extra fifteen thousand dollars or so just hanging around, but this refrigerator makes one major statement in the kitchen.

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Gimme Some Oven Now you can’t have the refrigerator of all refrigerators and just a basic range. No, you need THE range. Like fridges, there are many different price-points and styles of ranges. In recent years, ranges have become the focal point in kitchens, and the colors…. oh, the colors. Deep blue, graphite gray, cypress green and reduction red are just a few colors that are available these days, each one more eye-catching than the last. But these festive focal points aren’t just for show, with 4, 6 and 8 burner models available and either single or double ovens, they’re made to keep you and your family stylish and well fed.

2/25/21 10:10 PM

"Espress" Yourself

Ice Ice Baby

If you’re like me, you have family and friends who live for their morning pick-me-up. You can treat them to barista quality espresso or coffee in your very own home, without the judgement of their overly complicated order. These new, modern machines do it all, and most have a touch screen to make it as user friendly as possible. You can grind the beans as fine or coarse as you’d like, adjust the texture and temperature of the milk and the strength of your coffee. Of course, you can save your setting so your “order” is always accurate, and feel free to mis-spell your name to give it that true coffee shop experience.

A Happier Hour Why waste room in your luxury refrigerator with beer and wine when you can have a separate beer/wine fridge combo? This ingenious fridge is dual zoned to keep wine chilled at just the right temperature and a separate zone for beer and sodas to keep them ice cold. It’s a good appliance for any kitchen, luxury or not, and helps free up space in your main refrigerator while allowing you to have cold drinks available anytime, especially for that friend who always seems to drop by around happy hour time.

When I was younger my neighbors got an ice machine and in my young mind, I thought that meant you had made It in life, it was the epitome of class and sophistication. Now, thirty something years later, I KNOW that means you’ve made it. People who have ice machines drink wine that isn’t twist off and take their car in for service when the first warning light comes on. In reality though, ice machines are a functional and helpful addition to any kitchen. Always having plenty of ice for your family, guests and parties is a convenience that’s well worth the investment and especially important for preparing when we have one of our hurricanes swirling in the Gulf.

Bring it Outside Now all the good cooking doesn’t just happen inside, outdoor kitchens can be just as luxurious and functional. With our wonderful weather here in Florida we can enjoy the outdoors most of the year (sit back down January, you’re not welcome at this party), and that includes cooking and entertaining. Outdoor refrigerators and dishwashers are placed alongside built-in grills big enough to feed the entire neighborhood, while you have everything you need at your fingertips in the custom cabinetry and bar. Install a television for the ultimate outdoor kitchen experience that will have your friends flocking to your place for the big game and a strategically placed sprinkler system nearby will ensure they don’t overstay their welcome.

Love what you see here? You can check out many of these appliances locally at All South Appliances in Miramar Beach or online at

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2/25/21 10:10 PM

Magnum 2014 Heitz Cellars Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon - $800 Vin’tij

2021 Cadillac Escalade RWD Sport - $92,660 Buick GMC Cadillac Fort Walton Beach Comfort Air- Rainier Stratus-Bison-Deep Blue isidro dunbar Modern Interiors

Point to Point Jet Charter Service - Pricing Based on Route Verijet

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TAG Heuer Carrera 42mm - $5,350 McCaskill and Company

2/25/21 10:10 PM



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2/25/21 10:11 PM

VIP Destin at the Chautauqua Center

Walton Works


Lori Kelly & Randy White

photos & story by Verla Price


hursday, February 18 at the Chautauqua Center in DeFuniak Springs, Northwest Florida State College celebrated the grand opening of the new Walton Works Training Center of Excellence. The new center houses an expansion of career education programs in public safety, cybersecurity, drone technology, and building trades. Students will now have the opportunity to earn industry-recognized credentials, including state licenses and certifications in northern Walton County. The ceremony, presented by Dr. Devin Stephenson, NWFSC President, was uplifting as the center’s plans for education in the Defuniak Springs area were explained to the audience. Dr. Stephenson noted, “At Northwest Florida State College, we are committed to helping each student who comes through our doors to achieve their individual goals for education and career success. In everything we do, from academics, arts, and athletics, our mission is to improve the lives of citizens in Northwest Florida.”

Walton Works Board Of Trustees

Dr. Devin Stephenson & Russell Hughes 46

Amanda & Todd Bierbaum

Dr. Charlotte & Charlie Stevenson

Christie Kedroski, Julie Schrodt, Drew Bowman & Madison Berrong


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Jared Taylor & Michael Erny

Cole Allen, Drew Bowman & Sam Renfroe

SAVOR THE CLASSIC & SOPHISTICATED One of the finest dining destinations along Florida’s Gulf Coast, Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood features an award-winning 600-label wine list, hand selected prime steaks and Gulf-to-table seafood dishes. With fresh, seasonally inspired Steve Jernigan, Kelly Wieczorek & Bill Wallace

ingredients, Seagar’s prides itself on providing the most decadent and indulgent meals.


4000 Sandestin Blvd. South, Miramar Beach, FL 32550 RESERVATIONS 850-659-7014 | Heather Dietzold, Pauline Anderson & Anthony Boyer March 2021 | 47

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2/25/21 10:11 PM

VIP Destin at 3rd Planet Brewing




photos & story by Zhalman Harris

Lisa & Coy Surprise

rd Planet Brewing Co. hosted a Chili Cook-Off to benefit CALM (Crisis Aid for Littles and Moms) House of Niceville. Guests who attended the event not only enjoyed some delicious homemade chili, but also enjoyed the live music of Kyle LaMonica, who entertained the great crowd who came out to support CALM. The sold-out event, sponsored by Tempacure HVAC, raised $2959 for the organization. The winners of the evening were Anthony Cope, who took the “Too Hot To Handle” Award, JD Malone took the People’s Choice Award, the 3rd Place Award went to Shawn Matney, and Amber MacCormack snagged the 2nd Place Award. The 1st Place Award went to none other than Mary Bates. CALM Organization, Inc., is a 501c3 nonprofit organization with a goal of breaking the generational bonds of poverty for single moms and their children in Northwest Florida. Their vision is to rehabilitate a home in Niceville for single moms and their children living in crises such as homelessness. They also teach them how to live independently and transition into their new life.

Heather Julseth, Tim & Sue McCool

Chantel & Chris Martin 48

Chris & Peter Loffler

JD Malone, Amber MacCormack & Anthony Cope

Terri Steadman, Mark Barber, Kristy Hopkins, Scott Bruce & Bill Burke


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2/25/21 10:12 PM

Laurie Burrough & Jamie Stillings

Brooke Edwards, Katie Fuentes & Avery Miller

Wanda Siefke & Terri Steadman

Deedee Smith, Diane & Bruce Stark

Tyler Gorman & Grace Mayo

Tessa Tyburski & Alex Linzy

Todd Brigman, Russell Stefanik & Kevin Cook

Josh Foster & Carmen Ionascu

Tim McCool & Stephanie Alvarez

Chanie Erb, Heather Julseth, Sue McCool & Wanda Siefke March 2021 | 49

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2/25/21 10:12 PM



HOROLOGIST? story by Clare Lee


nce upon a time, we had to wear a watch to know what time it was. Innovation and technology chimed in over the last two decades and re-conditioned us with additional ways to tell time. Those once watchless souls asking a stranger what time it was, now just rely on everyone’s new BFF’s – “Hey Siri, what time is it!” or “Alexa, set a reminder at 9am.” What we consider a wristwatch began in 16th-century Europe, where watches evolved from portable springdriven clocks. Wristwatches (aka bracelet watches) were only worn by women until the 20th century. Gentlemen sported pocket watches until WWI when soldiers strapped them on for warfare strategy and the style stuck becoming both preferred and fashionable. Early clock-watches were not worn to tell the time. The accuracy of their movements was so poor with errors of perhaps several hours. They were worn as jewelry and novelties for the nobility. Today, we could compare notes with our ancestors as many of us wear our fun or fine watches as much for jewelry as we do to tell time. With many evolutions of watches over the years (pun totally intended), the old adage – “the more things change, the more they stay the same” might be in check. As hot as smartwatches are today, jewelers are selling as many or more high-end luxury watches than ever. Wearable technology has had a revolution since eiko introduced the first iteration of smartwatches in . Folks were amazed by the ability of this wrist gadget that could help with schedules, calculations, take memos, all while still telling us the time. Within a decade, they were communicating with s which led to the first watch/phone combo in 1999. Apple’s initial smartwatch was released in 2015, the same year as Samsung’s water-resistant Gear S2. Smartwatch features continue to become more robust with each much anticipated release and several models function as standalone phones compatible with volumes of apps, and others are scaled-down for a sleeker, more luxurious appearance.



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There’s absolutely no doubt that smartwatches are here to stay, but that’s enough about this disposable ‘timepiece’ with its everchanging technology that will probably have us time travelling before long. Let’s get to the good stuff. Rolex, a mere latecomer compared to some, may be one of the most widely known luxury watch brands, and a well-earned title that is. But many others with pedigreed lineages line the lighted glass cabinets of the world’s finest jewelers. Patek Philippe & Co., founded in 1845 when a Polish and French watchmaker combined their expertise, continues to be a prominent watch label. Proving their worth as some of the most coveted and exclusive luxury watches, in 2016 their stainless steel Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 was auctioned for $11,136,642 and is said to be the most expensive watch ever sold. Watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre began in 1833 and spent a century reinventing horology by developing 1,242 different calibers and registering hundreds of patents and inventions which, today offers some of the most artistic watches on wrists. From until , fficine anerai watches were unavailable to the public. Panerai had been exclusively designing timepieces for the Royal Italian Navy thanks to Giovanni Panerai’s 1916 patent on Radiomir which made the watch dials glow, especially in the depth of the sea. Sold today as updated tributes to these WWIIera watches, Panerai are elegant but functional pieces that reflect maritime history with fashionable Italian flair. Traditional watches with intricate moving parts are technological marvels in their own right that adds a welcome touch of class to the wearer’s wardrobe. Add some sparkling diamonds to the precious metals and the delicate features are enhanced. Like a beautiful piece of jewelry, a luxury watch is uni ue, special, and long-lasting. A well-designed watch never looks outdated and is often described as wearable art. As one famous watchmaker’s slogan states – “You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely take care of it for the next generation.” While smartwatches don’t hold their value like traditional luxury watches do, there’s certainly a place for them in nearly any wardrobe. Modern times call for modern measures as smartwatch revelers can be content with their technology and also find passion with a traditional luxury timepeice. The two are coexisting in some cases on a shared band. These innovative bands allow die hard horology lovers to wear the traditional watch on the top of the wrist as usual and the slender face of the smartwatch is on the underside of the wrist where the clasp would normally be found. Style plus technology makes the wearer happy and makes others around them ask “where did you get that!” March 2021 | 51

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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 ( )



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2/25/21 10:13 PM

VIP Destin at Baytowne Wharf

photos & story by Zhalman Harris


he 32nd Annual Sandestin Gumbo Fest was held at the Village of Baytowne Wharf in Sandestin on February 20. This year, the sold out event benefited the Sandestin Foundation for kids. Twenty-four Gulf Coast restaurants were featured in this iconic festival and they all came with their secret recipes to create some amazing roux and great tasting Bloody Marys. Guests voted for their favorite gumbo by crowning Slick Lips Restaurant with the People’s Choice Award, while local celebrity judges named the area’s best, the best display, and others. The winners this year in the Veteran category were- 3rd place: The Village Door, 2nd place: Harry T’s and 1st place: Marlin Grill. The 5 Years and Under category- 3rd place: Hurricane Oyster Bar, 2nd place: The Beach House and 1st place: Old Florida Fish House. The non- restaurant Category went to Jag Boilers. The Gumbo People’s Choice winners were3rd place: The Village Door, 2nd place: The Beach House and 1st place: Slick Lips Seafood & Oyster House. The best New Participant crown went to The Beach House, and the Best Display went to Slick Lips Seafood & Oyster House. Bloody Mary People’s Choice awards went to Carlito’s Amazing Products with the 1st place crown, Sunset Café with 2nd place and Café Nola coming in snagging the 3rd place spot.

Glenn Liguori & Denise Song

Theresa McKone, Jocelyn Smith & Madison McNabb

Linda McArdle & Kelly Reiss

Jenni Brunson & Bobby Parker

Beth Gouin, Lou Ann & Danny VanDeventer, Bruce Gouin & Laurie VanDeventer March 2021 | 53

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2/26/21 9:07 AM

VIP Destin at 32nd Annual Sandestin Gumbo Fest

Caroline, MaryFrances & William Mullins

Christie Solomon & Nancy Bown

Haleigh, Greg Jr., Greg Sr. & Debbie Schwartz, Alicia Eubanks

Liz & Andrew Dorman

Maureen Justusson, Megan Justusson & Ryan Fillingame 54

Matthew Sparks

Kristin Moffitt, Trey & Jay Ammons


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Baltazar Esquivil, Nick Wright, TJ Baker, Bryce Jarvis & Jay Ammons

Andy & Haley Poveda

Shelly & Robert Hinojosa

Glenn Liguori & Kevin O’Rourke

Ron Couget & Cathy Jones

Carlie Biegler & Jakob Lewis March 2021 | 55

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2/25/21 10:14 PM

VIP Destin at Holley By The Sea Beach House Recreation Center

Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge

Mardi Gras Murder Mystery Dinner


photos & story by Julie B. Connerley

ho doesn’t love a mystery--especially when the invited guests are the entertainment! The Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge hosted a Mardi Gras Murder Mystery Dinner fundraiser at the Holley By The Sea Beach House Recreation Center on February 1. Where Ya At? restaurant provided a full course, Cajun themed dinner, and the Navarre High School NJROTC assisted with parking. The fictional murder took place in New Orleans, with acting roles assigned to all attendees. Numerous silent auction and raffle items, along with a photo booth, provided opportunities for guests to support the ECWR while role playing in the “who done it.” “Our first Mardi Gras Murder Mystery Fundraiser was very successful,” said Dr. Natalie Dyson, ECWR Board of Directors President. “We raised almost $5000 thanks to the generosity of all who attended. These funds will go directly to our rescue and rehabilitated animal care, including much needed supplies as we prepare for the upcoming baby season. We have such great supporters and are so grateful for every single one!” For more than 20 years, ECWR, now located at 3051 Clopton’s Circle, Navarre, has provided rehabilitation and release of orphaned and injured wildlife indigenous to Northwest Florida. The Refuge provides wildlife rescue services, and environmental outreach to five counties in Northwest Florida. With several resident ambassador animals at the facility, visitors are welcome.

Bill & Carol “Stormy” Andersen

Dr. Mike Hartzell & Kathy Krafka

Dana Cassady & Sandee Tolbert

Ashley & Adam Bement

Dawn & Rick Neitzey

Janelle Jalil & Mika Watson

Ashley & Adam Bement

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2/25/21 10:15 PM

Jordan Spencer, Denise Song, Crystie Baker, Dr. Natalie Dyson, Morgan Pelfrey & Michelle Pettis

r. uatrito speciali es in forefoot and rearfoot medical and surgical procedures for the entire family. er areas of treatment and specialty include: • Bunion & Hammertoe Surgery • Arthritis • Ankle Sprains • Fractures • Tendon & Ligament Reconstruction • Plantar Fasciitis • Heel Spur Syndrome

• Achilles Tendinitis dult ediatric flatfoot • Lateral Ankle Instability • Diabetic Foot Care • Ingrown Toenails & Nailcare • Warts • Wound care • Sports Injuries

Paige Lorenz, Jason Cook, Caressa Conway, Jason Brown & Nicki Vanderhovel

Jimmy Jalil, Chris Breed, Dawn & Rick Neitzey

Fred Abbott, Jayne Carpenter & Birdie Carpenter March 2021 | 57

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2/25/21 10:17 PM

VIP Destin at Destin Chamber of Commerce

Ladies who Launch

POWERHOUSE WOMEN SERIES photos & story by Zhalman Harris


n February 17 the event, “Ladies Who Launch” was held at Destin Chamber of Commerce. The Powerhouse Women Series highlights impactful women in our community. The event, which was attended by local businesswomen during their lunch, featured Domenica Farmer, Area Vice President of Waste Management of the Gulf Coast, who shared her journey of more than 25 years’ experience in the comprehensive waste and environmental services industry, while serving the community and raising a family. Domenica began her career with Waste Management in April 1992 as a sales representative. In addition to holding a variety of sales positions, Domenica has also served as a district manager responsible for the operations of three hauling districts and two transfer stations. She is presently leading a 4-state area for Waste Management that consists of 1,600 employees and 50+ facilities. Domenica served as the Chairman of the Board for the Niceville-Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce in 2015, after serving on the Board of Directors since 2012. She remains active in the community by educating groups on benefits of recycling and creating sustainable solutions. She currently lives in Niceville, with her husband and two children. Ladies Who Launch, is a committee of the Destin Chamber, which offers the chamber’s female membership a platform for strategic networking and relationship building, while training, motivating, and inspiring those members.

Jennifer Cooper & CJ Lydon

Muri Kersanac & Claire Maisel

Brenda Walker, Domenica Farmer & JeanAnne Encardes 58

Domenica Farmer & Jenni Brunson

Meloney Howell & Kim McIntosh

Brenda Gray & Marlee Tucker

Elizabeth Spies, Cassy DeJulio & Lisa Robles


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March 2021 | 59

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story by Greg Alexander


| photos provided by Folds of Honor

t. Colonel Dan Rooney was on his fl ight home from his second tour of duty in Iraq. As his fl ight landed, the pilot announced they carried the remains of Corporal Brock Bucklin on board. Lt. Colonel Rooney watched as Corporal Bucklin’s twin brother walked somberly alongside the flag-covered casket to meet his family on the tarmac. Among them was the deceased Corporal’s young son, Jacob. As an F-16 fighter pilot in the Oklahoma Air National Guard, Lt. Colonel Rooney became painfully aware of the realities families face when a loved one in uniform is fallen or disabled. The impact of what he witnessed on his fl ight home from Iraq led him to start Folds of Honor over his garage in Oklahoma. In the last 14 years, Folds of Honor has provided over 29,000 scholarships totaling $145 million. Among the students served, 41 percent are minorities. This year 292 scholarships were awarded equaling $1,424,660. Now that number sounds impressive, but just in the State of Florida 128 fully qualified applicants went without scholarships this year because the needed $609,615 could not be funded.


With about 30 chapters nationwide, Florida is the 4th largest recipient state in the country. Folds of Honor’s long-range goal is to have chapters in every state in the country. Chapters can mobilize at the local level, raise money, and provide scholarships in their local community.Rooney is a Class A Member of the PGA of America. He partners with the PGA and the USGA to host Patriot Golf Day on Memorial Day weekend, the Folds of Honor’s largest national golf fundraiser. Patriot Golf Day is the nation’s largest grass roots golf event and has raised over $50 million to benefit Folds of Honor. Lt Col Rooney is the founder of two nationally acclaimed golf courses. The Patriot, Tulsa, Oklahoma, is a Robert Trent Jones II design and the home of the Folds of Honor headquarters. In 2020, Rooney partnered with golf icon Jack Nicklaus to design and build American Dunes, Grand Haven, Michigan. American Dunes honors the birthplace of Folds of Honor while providing hope and healing to military veterans. Locally, there is currently a Folds of Honor golf tournament that takes place each year to assist with scholarship funding. Again this year, the Folds of Honor tournament will be held at Scenic Hills Country Club in Pensacola on May 17. In addition to the golf tournament, the Folds of Honor committee in Pensacola is bringing in Country Music superstar singer/songwriter, Lee Brice for a Patriot Party in the Panhandle all to benefit Folds of Honor held on May 16 on the Scenic Hills Golf Course.


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Interview with Larry Robinson, VP of Development Folds of Honor- Florida Chapter What is the primary mission of Folds of Honor? The unwavering mission of Folds of Honor is to provide academic scholarships to the spouses and dependents of America’s fallen or disabled service members. It is to Honor Their Sacrifice and Educate Their Legacy. Scholarships are available to support private education tuition and tutoring for children in grades K-12, as well as higher education tuition assistance. Where does scholarship funding come from? Funding comes from generous individuals and corporations. Two popular opportunities to get involved are by joining the Folds of Honor Squadron, a $13 monthly commitment to help provide scholarships (the American flag is folded 13 times at a burial before it is presented to the family of a fallen service member) and by participating in Patriot Golf Day, held Memorial Day weekend in partnership with the PGA of America and is the largest grass roots golf fundraiser in the country ( Folds of Honor has earned the top fourstar rating on Charity Navigator as over 90 percent of donations go to scholarships. “Kind and generous individuals and our corporate partners help continue the legacy of those who served,” said Lt Col Dan Rooney, founder and CEO of Folds of Honor. “Through their donations we are able to assist the families of the service members who protect our country. These individuals and companies provide funds that create scholarships for spouses and children for the betterment of their future.”

How large is your staff? The headquarters staff is located in Owasso, Okla. and there are chapters throughout the country. Volunteers play an important role in fundraising activities.

How does your organization connect with veteran’s families, how do they learn in the scholarship opportunity? Folds of Honor stays in close contact with scholarship applicants and recipients. Scholarship applications are currently available through March 31 at The greatest challenge is unfunded scholarships. Due to high demand and limited funds, there are qualified students that are unable to receive a scholarship. The goal is to provide every deserving student with an opportunity to attend school. Fundraising and donations make that possible. What are the types/levels of scholarships available? Scholarships are available to support private education tuition and tutoring for children in grades K-12, as well as higher education tuition assistance. A portion of those receiving secondary education scholarships are first generation college students. This changes the student’s life, his or her family’s and future generations. Among the scholars served, 41 percent are minorities.

What is one thing you want readers to know about Folds of Honor? Since its inception in 2007, the mission of Folds of Honor has never wavered: to provide academic scholarships to the spouses and dependents of America’s fallen or disabled service members. These scholars need and deserve our help. And while Folds has provided nearly 30,000 scholarships, the need is still great. Every qualified applicant should be provided a scholarship. How can someone become involved with or support Folds of Honor? Please visit the web site foldsofhonor. org for more information or to make a donation. Are there any upcoming events? On March 21, the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 will be held at Atlanta Motor Speedway. On May 3, American Dunes Golf Club in Grand Haven, Michigan will have its grand opening. American Dunes honors the birthplace of Folds of Honor while providing hope and healing to military veterans. Jack Nicklaus designed the course and waived his $3 million design fee as his contribution to the project. Patriot Golf Day will be contested over Memorial Day weekend. Folds of Honor hosts the event with the PGA of America and it raises necessary funds for educational scholarships. Patriot Golf Day is the largest grass roots fundraiser in the country.

“Every year I feel so blessed and am thankful for the support we receive and what we’re able to accomplish. Our goal is to continue to grow and to provide scholarships to every deserving student.” -- Lt. Col Dan Rooney, Founder - Folds of Honor March 2021 | 61

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VIP Destin at Hyatt Place at Grand Boulevard

Walton Area Chamber

Business After Hours

Keith & Melissa Miller

photos & story by Britt Clark


he Walton County Chamber hosted a Business After Hours event on February 18 at the Hyatt Place at Grand Boulevard. Members of the chamber met to network while enjoying cocktails and listening to music provided by a DJ. Guests had a great time and enjoyed meals provided by Tommy Bahama Restaurant, also located at Grand Boulevard. In attendance were representatives from media companies, insurance providers, HVAC businesses, realtors, property management companies, and more. Everybody enjoyed their time at the event and the hotel provided staff to cater to guests throughout the event. The Walton Area Chamber’s Business After Hours is one of the most popular networking events in the area. These monthly events bring together members of the business community in a fun fi lled atmosphere, designed to encourage networking and interaction, while enjoying locally provided food and drinks.


Joey Boudreaux & Jennifer Dodge

Kittee Stewart & Matt Cooper

Michelle Foley & Sherry Williams

Kevin & Morag Rosa

Megan Harrison & Larry Greene

Kristin Moffitt, CJ Lyndon, Jimy Thorpe, Jimmy Dallas & Jeff George


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Angie Resiak & Mike Storey

sunset cruises sandbar cruises retirement parties birthday parties harbor lights cruises corporate retreats bachelor/bachelorette parties

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(850) 200-0573

Katelyn Lenderman, Denise Carter &Kevin O’Rourke

302 Harbor Blvd. •

Tracy Douglas, Ginny & Dennis Gagnon

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Best Architect

Laurie Markoe, Heather & Don Toler March 2021 | 63

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LOCALE O Grappone’s, Sons Of Italy Donate to ECCAC

The Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC) received a generous $5,000 donation from Bob and Ginger Grappone, who represented the Order of the Sons of Italy in America/Richard A. Capozzola Lodge #2865 in Crestview. In its 112th year, the Sons of Italy of America is a non-profit organization with chapters throughout Florida and the United States. It is the oldest and largest organization for people of Italian heritage who preserve Italian-American culture. Under the Sons of Italy Foundation, they raise funds to benefit many causes from disaster relief to helping many charitable organizations. “We are so appreciative of the Grappones and the Crestview Sons of Italy Lodge for their generous donation,” said Julie Porterfield, CEO of ECCAC. “These funds will go a long way towards helping our children find hope and healing.” ECCAC is in its 21st year of operation with centers in Niceville and DeFuniak Springs. They have provided over 150,000 services at no cost to more than 15,000 children experiencing abuse, abandonment or neglect to include mental health therapy, crisis intervention, referrals to other community providers, interviews and medicals.

Café Thirty-A Charity Ball Raised a Record-Breaking Grand Total of $35,564 for Caring and Sharing of South Walton Café Thirty A held its annual Charity Ball in January at the restaurant. After being rescheduled from the original December date, the long-standing winter event, raised

a record-breaking total of $35,564 for Caring and Sharing of South Walton, an organization that provides food and financial assistance to area families and individuals in need. Guests were invited to enjoy a decadent buffet featuring some of the restaurant’s signature dishes in addition to passed hors d’oeuvres and a champagne toast upon entry. A commemorative photo booth by Epic Photo Co. and music provided by DJ 30A entertained the guests while they mixed and mingled. Event goers also had the opportunity to view and bid on various pieces of art, jewelry, gift baskets, trips, and other luxurious items featured in the extensive silent auction.

Funds were raised through ticket sales, silent auction, raffle, and personal donations. This is the most money raised in the event’s history and is almost double the amount raised from last year’s event. The money will be used to provide food and assistance to local area families with the additional support from churches, civic groups, individuals, and other businesses. “The funds raised at the annual Cafe Thirty- Charity Ball will help us continue providing thousands of Walton County residents with food, financial assistance, and access to community resources during the next several months,” said Carly Barnes, executive director for Caring and Sharing of South Walton. “The community’s generosity at this event, and the continued generosity of Cafe Thirty-A, is greatly appreciated by the Caring & Sharing team and the families we serve each month, thank you!”

Furniture South Announces Interior Designer of the Year for 2020 During a Record-Breaking Year

In addition to reporting a record-breaking year, Furniture South, located in Santa Rosa Beach, has named Tammy Mathews as its Designer of the Year for 2020. Each year, Furniture South awards the designer who has the highest sales volume while also maintaining extraordinary customer services and exhibiting the highest level of teamwork. According to the owner, Frank Kovach, “Tammy Mathews has surpassed her goal of one million dollars in sales volume, gone above and beyond for her customers despite pandemic-related challenges in the supply chain, and exceeded expectations in working with our outstanding inventory and delivery team.”

A graduate of the University of Montevallo, Mathews has more than 25 years of experience as an interior designer. She worked in Birmingham, AL, before relocating to South Walton with her family in 2012. As the senior design consultant at Furniture South, she works with clients to handle all aspects of interior decorating, including paint selections, lighting, window treatments, cabinets and even bedding and kitchenware – everything needed to make a house a home! This is the third year Mathews has won the Designer of the Year award. Mathews said, “I cannot thank Julie Kovach and Shelley Rodgers with Furniture South’s merchandise team enough for getting my clients’ orders in stock as well as Juan Waters, Jacob Morgan, and the rest of the delivery team for always being ready to assist with delivery and assembling in the most professional manner.” March 2021 | 65

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LOCALE O This past year has been the retailer’s largest year in total customer base and sales as this local business processed thousands of transactions while maintaining a very high approval rating from its customers. Kovach says that he “attributes the store’s high approval rating to his partner in life and work, Julie Kovach by stating that she “guides their team to excellence by setting the best example of customer service.” Furniture South Offers a Collection of Thoughtfully Priced and Custom made, Kandcrafted Pieces for Every Taste.

Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club Renovation Underway

Named “Best Golf Course” by Visit South Walton and VIP Destin Magazine, Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club is excited to announce that the best golf course in town is getting even better with its 2021 renovation underway. Just weeks into construction, the new and improved look for Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club is coming together. The threemillion-dollar renovation will set apart this popular golf club from every course in the area as a semi-private course destination. Almost unheard of in the golf club industry, the club boasts more than a yearlong waitlist for locals wanting a chance to be members of the new and improved course. Current members will be the first to experience the newly constructed beachside fairways and greens when the course reopens this fall. Among other significant changes, six greens have been rough shaped and holes 11 and 14 have been the initial focus of the construction team. Both holes received new contouring to the greens with attention focused on drainage. Hole 11 received an entirely new look with an elongated pond, a 66

wider fairway, and a narrow green that sits close to the pond. Meanwhile, the par five hole 14 is very well bunkered and has an exciting “Redan” inspired putting surface which has been elevated for better visibility. Beyond the course, there are more enhancements to the golf club in creating spaces intended for seasoned golfers, beginners, and youth. In the fall of 2019, the club’s new short game area opened. The added practice area has proven to be a fantastic opportunity to work on situational practice for all shots within 50 yards of the hole. Almost any situation found around the greens on the renovated course can be duplicated and practiced at this short game area. The short game facility added two practice bunkers and ample chipping areas - all surrounding a USGA specified practice green. Hole-by-hole renderings are available online at Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club is the only member-owned golf course and private beach club on the coast – located on scenic Highway 30A in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

Chef Jim Shirley Honored as 16th Van Ness Butler Jr. Award Winner and Elected as Chairman of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association In 2020, Chef Jim Shirley received two honors, the first was becoming the 16th recipient of the Van Ness Butler Jr. Hospitality Award, which honors and recognizes excellence in the hospitality, service, travel/tourism, advertising, and promotion industries, as well as contributions to the local community. Shirley’s contributions to the community throughout the years make him a natural choice for the honor. “It’s an incredible honor to get the Van Ness Butler Jr. Award,” Shirley says. “I mean, how does that happen to a chef in South Walton? I’ve seen all the great work done by the people that have received this before and it’s amazing when you achieve something like this.” As proud as he is of the blossoming culinary scene, Shirley may be just as proud,

if not more so, of the giving nature that’s ingrained in the South Walton community. He’s a true believer in giving back to those in need, whether it’s through food or through any of the local charities and professional groups he volunteers with. “I think you should just give back instinctively,” he says. “You shouldn’t have to think about it. It’s just an immediate reaction — if somebody falls down, you pick them back up. That’s just the way you do things.”

Despite all of the professional accolades and the honors he’s received throughout his culinary career, Shirley remains down to earth and approachable. He’s not the type to boast about his achievements in conversation. Instead, he continues to take the same simple approach that has brought him to where he is today. Also in 2020, Chef Jim Shirley was elected as The Chairman of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA). The FRLA members have over one million employees. In this role, Jim is the chair of the association’s board and the executive committee who serve to identify and achieve priorities for the year to advance Florida’s hospitality industry. He helps direct policy efforts and serves as a liaison and leader to Florida’s statewide hospitality industry and to FRLA’s 10,000 members across the state. He also appoints various committee chairpersons, with the approval of the Board of Directors and works to further the purposes of this association and the attainment of its objectives.


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Pins & Pancakes

VIP Destin at Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl & Grill

Alissa Tidwell, Branden Crosby & Shannon Roberts

photos & story by Zhalman Harris


t was a fun morning in the “alley” where the 2021 Destin Forward Class had a very successful Pins & Pancakes fundraiser at Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl & Grill in Destin. The event, which took place on February 19, showcased all levels of bowlers, from amateurs to professionals to help the class raise funds to enhance the City of Destin’s Nancy Weidenhamer Dog Park. Vice president of the chamber, Elizabeth Spies congratulated the Destin Forward class on the morning’s event success. She later commented, “We appreciate all the bowlers, sponsors, silent auction donors, and bidders for helping make the event a success, your participation always reminds us of the awesome community we live in and the people who make it so great.”

Trisha & Lewis Smith, Tracy & Gerard Perillo

Kevin & Morag Rosa

Chris Wade & Rita Cummings

Robin & Clayton Hicks

Presley Sullivan & Stefanie Greenwood

Steve Akers, Brad Simmons, Mike Daopoulos, Jeff Dannelly, Donald Slappey & (front) Shannah Hanks March 2021 | 69

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VIP Destin at Pins & Pancakes

Julia Grabko & David Butler

Renee Black & Cynthia Gilley

Tami Growth, Ashley Bowen, Rachel Spencer & Mindy Moniz

Nicole Noblett & Alina Silva

Elizabeth Spies & Shane Moody

Lindsey Polk, Cody, Bradly, Troy & Danielle Harris

Bill Lindsley, Jake Maurer, Dion Moniz, Sean O’Shea, Jake Armstrong & Kevin Kramer 70


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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

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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, 2018 - 2020

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VIP Destin at Emerald Grande

Mel Ponder & Skip Overdier


Melanie Howell & Brian Haugen

photos & story by Zhalman Harris

D Michael Howell & Ashley Bailey

estin Chamber of Commerce held their monthly breakfast meeting at the Emerald Grand at Harbor Village on February 12. The Business Before Hours event brings local businesses and business owners together every month to socialize and network before the start of their work day. Attendees at the event witnessed the first ever Business Person of the Month award given to Destin Mayor, Gary Jarvis. The executive director of the Haas Center at the University of West Florida, Nicole Gislason also shared insights about the economy as we move into 2021, such as comparing metro areas, jobs, different top industries, and education. Some lucky guests received door prizes which were donated by local businesses. The Chamber’s mission is ‘Advocating for Businesses and Strengthening our Community.’ The Chamber of Commerce is a catalyst for successful businesses and a vibrant economy, which helps make Destin one of the best communities in which to live, work, and play.

Bernard Johnson & Bernita Everett

Tracy & Gerard Perillo

Mike Carraway & Muri Kersanac

Emily Friedlander & Aline Ibanes

Jerry Sullivan & Gary Jarvis

Lindsey Polk & Myla Martinez March 2021 | 73

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VIP Destin at Business Before Hours

Lori Joyner & Jason Belcher

Gary & Pamela Jarvis

Kevin O’Rourke, Kristin Moffitt, Verla Price & Tim Kersanac

Cassy DeJulio & Brenda Gray

Neko Stubblefield & Ashley Bailey

Nicole Noblitt & Alexis Evans

Monica Autrey & Lockwood Wernet 74

Tera & Brian Keister

Trisha Marks & Ivana Coteat

Kevin Lovelace & Greg Britton


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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

March 2021 | 75

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MARCH 7 Fore Her Tea in the Garden Clay 30A 4808 East Scenic Hwy 30A | Seagrove Beach 12:00-3:00pm The 7th annual Tea in the Garden, presented by Emerald Coast Hospice invites guests to come and go as they please to enjoy tea, lite bites individually wrapped provided by Swiftly Catered, and a complimentary specialty beverage while raising funds for breast cancer patients along the Emerald Coast. Masks and hand sanitizer will be available. Tickets and all the details are available at


MARCH 11 - 14

Mac & Cheese Festival

Buggin’ Out: A Vintage VW Festival and Car Show

Destin Commons 4100 Legendary Drive | Destin 12:30 - 4:00pm

This family-friendly event will feature gourmet, chef-inspired twists inspired by the South’s favorite comfort food. Guests are invited to taste each delicious vendor and then cast their vote for their favoriteall the while supporting The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast. For more details or for ticket info, visit mac-and-cheese-festival.

The Island Ft. Walton Destin by Hotel RL 1500 Miracle Strip Pkwy, SE | Fort Walton Beach Thursday -6:00 - 10:00pm Friday - 11:00am - 10:00pm Saturday - 12:00 - 10:00pm Sunday - 7:00 - 11:00am The Island is thrilled to host this 1st time event combining the luxury of a beachfront getaway with numerous events for avid classic car and Volkswagen enthusiasts. Visit the Buggin’ Out Facebook page to register your car or buy tickets to attend at

MARCH 17 St. Paddy’s Day Delight- Paint the Village Green

MARCH 25 Crescendo! 2021 Kickoff Lunch Bijoux Restaruant + Spirits - The Market Shops 9375 US Highway 98 W Ste 22 | Miramar Beach 11:00am

Celebrate the Luck of the Irish at this free event featuring Carpenter Academy of Irish Dance and live music from Shenanigans. Find merchant specials throughout the village.

Kick off Crescendo! 2021 safely and in style with an incredible lunch prepared by award-winning chef Jack McGuckin along with elegant wines, delectable desserts, and a showcase of all the must-have accessories and fashions from local boutiques. Crescendo! benefits Sinfonia Gulf Coast and its music education programs throughout Okaloosa and Walton Counties. Seating is capacity controlled with social distancing and safety precautions in place for your safety.

Find out more about this free event at

Tickets and program info are available at

Village of Baytowne Wharf 9100 Baytowne Blvd Miramar Beach 6:00 - 9:00pm

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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APRIL 15 - 18, 2021

Food & Fun in the Sun!


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Todd Reeves

What is your hometown, what brought you to the Emerald Coast? I am originally from Topeka, Kansas, a born and raised midwestern boy! I first came to the Emerald Coast to work with a client on their first condo that they purchased in 1998 and absolutely fell in love with the area. We relocated our business here opening in Spring 2007. We have been here for 14 years. What is your profession and what led you to choose it? I am an Interior Designer and a Retail Showroom Owner. In NYC, I was in the Couture Fashion Industry for 15 years prior. When we moved to Kansas from NYC for family reasons, there was not a store we would shop in --- and since furniture follows fashion, the decision was made to open a store where we would enjoy shopping in Kansas. We have always been Modern in our style and our products, and we are celebrating 28 years of being in the furniture industry. I am lucky enough to be doing something I love -- creating new, fresh and different spaces for people to enjoy. What do you like best about Destin? Destin brings people from all over the world to this once “little fishing village.” I find that to be very incredible, always wondering how did they find this place we are lucky enough to call home? What makes it unique? Destin is unique because of the absolutely beautiful sugar white sand beaches and the gorgeous water we have. Three words that best describe you. Accomplished. Stylish. Talented.

photo by Zhalman Harris

Favorite Things you like about Destin. In the Months of October, November, and December, when most of the tourists have returned home…this is the most beautiful place in the USA! The water, the beaches, the sunsets --- and the lifestyle! Finish this statement, I AM DESTIN because… We are supported by great clients, customers and friends here.

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