VIP Destin Magazine, September 2019

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Where the South Comes for Smiles !"#$%& '"#$%& !"#$%&'(")$*+,+-")& !"#$"!%&'()&"%#*#!$



D e sti n Den t i s 03.indd 1




(850) 502-2122 8/28/19 10:08 AM

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S E L L I N G T H E L I F E S T Y L E F O R OV E R 25 Y E A R S






25297 US HIGHWAY 98 DAPHNE, AL 36526

J M I L L E R S F U R N I T U R E . C O M

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with the newest autumn shades captured in luxurious pearls, gemstones and 18k gold. Couture jewelry by Renee Launiere, Owner and Designer.



by Renee Launiere • Designer & Owner

!"#$%&'($%()*%+(,$-.&%(/$+0*'&("1(2*345$+(67(!(8869(:;-<*13(!$1&=(>;*%&(?@A(!(B&0%*1=(:!(CD98? !"#$%"&$%#'(# !!)*+,-./0102%3,4

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CALL (850) 650-7100 FOR RESERVATIONS Dine at Beach Walk Cafe, Destin’s favorite adult-only outdoor dining, for breathtaking views and exceptional food from Executive Chef Daniel Peters.


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Copyright © 2015 Joseph Ribkoff Inc. All rights reserved. Any reproduction and/or use of the Joseph Ribkoff logo for commercial or promotional purposes is forbidden without the written authorization of Joseph Ribkoff Inc.


TRUNK SHOW Sept 21 & 22


850.837.5565 Voted Best Womení s Accessories, Apparel and Local Retailer VIP DESTIN MAGAZINE READER CHOICE AWARD 2019


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events 16 Little Black Dress All That Glitters Gala 22 Jack & Jane of All Trade 24 Step One Automotive Kia 2020 Launch Event 26 First Friday Coffee 30 Velia Lala presents Maxine Orange 33 Amazing Lash Studio Grand Opening 50 Emerald Coast Rental Management Ribbon Cutting 53 Power of Networking 56 DYW Walton County Showcase 58 Walton Area Chamber BAH 61 AnimorĂŠ Cocktail Party 65 Emerald Coast Poker Run 71 BOTE Welcome Party 75 Groundbreaking Ceremony Youth Village 77 Paddle at the Porch 80 Autos in August 86 Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber BAH

on the cover !"##$%&'$(')*%+'),$%+-(.* /"00$%/'1-,.2)%3%4),-%5'62)"$

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departments 38 48 68 78 82 90

Adventure Out May We Suggest Give Care Share Locale Save the Date I Am Destin

features 31 Leading Ladies The Destin area has some of the top business owners and managers around... and many of them just happen to be women.

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

6(&%21() Sheila McDiarmid

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

7+1.)%#".%12/8)%.()&9 !'+.+2)-:'()& Mary Aho Greg Alexander Jen Deeb Zhalman Harris Shanna Magnuson Verla Price

0-1-2%12/34%.+) Steve Barber !)+4",.%+1/34%.+) Jessica GraĂąa *45().%&%12 Steve Barber Missy Kimbrough Elizabeth Netherland Linette Ragsdale

;<!/=+"14() Jeff Watson

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!"##"$%&$'(%#)"%*+,!-.)"$ As we officially round out the summer this month, we celebrate the not-so-hot days and all that comes along with the upcoming autumn season. Summertime seems to move faster each year, as do the other three seasons. While I have reflected on the great times and fabulous things that took place over the summer, I feel excited for where this great community is finding itself. The Real Estate market is thriving, tourism has been very strong, our infrastructures are strengthening (albeit, drivers along Emerald Coast Parkway may think it too slowly), and retail and restaurants are booming. The continued growth and strength of Destin and the surrounding area is directly relative to the types of leaders that call this great place home. Our area’s leadership comes in many forms‌ and this month, we are highlighting some Leading Ladies that are making their own mark in one way or another. Be sure to check out their profiles and if you do not know them already, you should certainly reach out and introduce yourself. We could have filled the entire magazine with profiles of deserving women who are doing great things, but we will save some for upcoming issues. Another reflection that has been rampant in our offices covers the last 15 years. That’s right, VIP Destin Magazine is celebrating 15 years of publishing and we are planning big things to thank you all for your support and encouragement. We have evolved over the years and since change is good, we will continue doing so as the Destin area progresses and becomes an even greater place to be. I look forward to sharing more about our milestone in upcoming issues. While the summer months have fewer social and business events than other times of the year, we had no problem finding plenty to keep us busy and our photographers caught many of you there, as well. Take note of the important and prominent events from the last few weeks with highlights captured in this issue. You will also find, on our Save the Date pages, some exciting events that are happening in the next few weeks. Additionally, start marking your calendars for October, when the nominations for Best in Destin will get under way. Get out and be social as the sun sets a little earlier and the temps get a little cooler and we hope we run into you along the way.

!"#$%&'#()*+#" Publisher


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8/28/19 11:38 AM

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PepperĂ­ s Panama City Now Open! newly remodeled after the hurricane and ready to serve bay county!

best happy hour & drink specials!

2 for 1 everything, any fl avor, any size including top shelfdaily 1pm - 5pm and all day sundays!

House margaritas and draft beer 2 for 1 all day every day. shalimar - 1176 eglin pkwy, shalimar fl 32579 - 850.398.5042 crestview - 1900 s ferdon blvd suite 140, crestview, fl 32536 - 850.631.6970 panama city - 2061 N Cove Blvd, Panama City, FL 32405 - 850.785-2227 14.indd 1

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VIP Destin at Magnolia Ballroom at Sandestin

photos & story by Zhalman Harris


n August 3, the White-Wilson Community Foundation presented its 10th anniversary Little Black Dress Party, All That Glitters Gala. Hosted by 2019 honorary chairs Levin and Jessica Bracken, the evening raised more than $115,000 for community health programs. Guests glittered and sparkled as they enjoyed dinner, dancing, performances by Aerial Events, and live and silent auctions. The funds raised during the evening will support the foundation’s community grant program and provide life-changing health services for local community members in need.


Kacy & Matt Turpin

Paul & Donna Montalvo

Karen & Drew Scroggs

Steve Barber & Amanda Schrand

Renee Launiere & Vlad Babich

David & Colleen Smith


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Brooke & Jacob Zadaruika, Rachel Guidry

Mary Francis Mullins, Jessica Bracken & Kacy Turpin

Bonnie Chary, Young Kim, Verla Price & Martina Mason

Ewa & Chris Ruyan

Ana & Chris Simpson

Haley & Ian Blaise

Shervin Rassa & Bernard Johnson

Kelly Layman, Sandy Sims, Debby Davidson & Andi Mahoney September 2019 | 17

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VIP Destin at All That Glitters Gala

Megan Caulfield & Tom Newcomb

Carmen Wilkinson & Ada Bowman

Heather Thrash, Sharon Martin & Hannah Martin 18

Sabrina Shelton, Kevin Beall & Danielle McGraw

Eppi & Jack Azzaretto

Catherine Gauthier & Andrea Korenek

Evan & Dina Meeks

Steve Philpot & Tammy Laborde

Elayne James & Kim Cox


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!"#$%&##''Profile A Reputation Built on Trust... !"#$%&'()*+,'-'(.+/"0+,

Davis-Watkins Funeral Homes and Crematory has always taken great satisfaction in our diligent pursuit of superior service and our dedication to exceeding the expectations of the families we serve. Davis-Watkins was founded on dignity, integrity and the grace of God united with the belief that serving our community is our calling and purpose. We continue to be committed to focus on personal service and family values not corporate standardization, profit margins and contract averages. We are proud to be the first choice amongst family owned and operated funeral homes and crematory in Okaloosa and Walton counties.



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!"#$""$%&#'#%() !"#$%#&%'())*)+$,&#-*.&,$(#&$(,$%&#,/)('$(,$0/"$1*,23$4(5&$1*62$",$*)$6/6('$ confidence, without undue stress. We offer a full range of services with flexible funding options to meet the needs of the families we serve. We realize families want the quality and value of our professional services at their time of need. 72&$,6(88$(6$9(-*,$:(6;*),$<")&#('$=/4&$,6#*-&,$6/$#&5".&$62&$&4/6*/)('$ stress and financial burden of surviving family members. Our licensed pre%'())*)+$5*#&.6/#,$()5$8(4*'0$,&#-*.&$./"),&'/#,$.()$(##()+&$./),"'6(6*/),$ with no cost or obligation in your home or at our funeral home.

$(*(+#*(,'#*-.*%##/ The directors at Davis Watkins Funeral Home are able to arrange national ()5$*)6&#)(6*/)('$6#(),8&#,3$%#&(##()+&4&)6,$()5$.#&4(6*/),3$(,$1&''$(,$ 6#(5*6*/)('$8")&#(',$()5$4&4/#*('$,&#-*.&,$*)$!;('//,(3$:('6/)3$>()6($?/,($ and Holmes counties. We will listen to you and your wishes to help plan a celebration consistent with your trust expectations. We will take the time to plan every detail and help to relieve the burden on your family during your time of loss. We are able to assist you in holding services in a wide variety of areas from one of our locations, your home, your church, lodge or at the cemetery. A staff member is available around the clock to be of assistance in that difficult time. Davis Watkins Funeral Home serves all cultures, faiths and religion.

-0"*1-'',('#%( Whether you’re making arrangements in advance or require caring assistance at a time of need, our experienced friendly professionals can answer all your questions about funeral planning and cremation. They will explain without pressure or obligation the wide range of options available to help you create a fitting and poignant tribute perfectly suited to the individual. Our family at Davis Watkins Funeral Homes & Crematory realizes the 5&%62,$/8$./4%(,,*/)$()5$*)6&+#*60$)&&5&5$6/$2&'%$8(4*'*&,$(6$62&*#$6*4&$ of loss. Being a funeral director has always been more a calling than a profession. Joel Davis and Travis Watkins have complete confidence that every detail will be handled with care and compassion. The staff exudes the ,(4&$%#/8&,,*/)('*,43$&62*.,$()5$(66&)6*-&$4())&#$(,$62&$/1)&#,$12/$1/#;$ alongside their team. !).&$0/"@-&$4&6$62&$,6(88$0/"$2(-&$4&6$62&$,(4&$%&/%'&$62(6$1*''$.(#&$8/#$ your family and your loved one throughout the entire service. We refuse to participate in third party cremation or body transfer services.

Due to the overwhelming support of our community, we have expanded, once again, to Miramar Beach. Our new office, located at 9561 US Hwy 98 West in Miramar Beach will enable us to comfortably offer funeral and cremation arrangements to all the families of South Walton as well as Destin.

2-1$(,-%) .345678*+9:5

AAB$?(.&6#(.;$?/(5$CD Fort Walton Beach, Florida 32547 (850) 864-1822

165;<=>5?*'5:96>78 492 East Pine Avenue Crestview, Florida 32539 (850) 682-2252

.345678*+9:5* @*165:7<96A

1474 Highway 83 North DeFuniak Springs, Florida 32433 (850) 951-1822

165:7<>94*154<56 @*.345678*)56=>B5

9561 US Highway 98 West Miramar Beach, Florida 32550 (850) 842-4355


September 2019 | 21

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VIP Destin at Hyatt Place Sandestin

Jack & Jane of All Trade photos & story by Zhalman Harris


he Young Professionals of Walton County held an amazing professional development lunch at the Hyatt Place Sandestin at Grand Boulevard on August 8. The event, sponsored by Matthews & Jones Law Firm, had five outstanding industry experts who came with a plethora of information for attendees. The fivepanel members were Todd Bierbaum, Kaitlyn Bryant, Kali Davis, Wilson McGuiness, and Simon Smith. Those who attended the luncheon had the opportunity to get valuable tidbits from the panel of industry leaders ranging from cooking to cyber security. Ms. Davis talked about sautéeing, learning how to make sauces, cooking your food up to temp, and being sure you have “sushi grade” seafood to prevent food poisoning. Licensed Aesthetician, Kaitlyn Bryant from Spa 98, stressed on the use of sunblocks, she displayed a few great ones, and gave the audience a guide to knowing the difference between chemical and physical sunscreens, with physical sunscreen being the best choice. Wilson McGinnes talked about how changing our air filters are important and he also touched on pest infestation in homes and how to prevent them. Mr. Smith gave attendees some valuable information on the auto industry, from why our blinkers blink fast at times (because a bulb is burnt out) to maintaining our tire pressure, and how to spotting a mechanic trying to pull a fast one. Todd Bierbaum gave the room some simple, but very important information on cyber security, from monitoring your credit to creating strong passwords. Young Professionals of Walton County (YPWC) is affiliated with the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce and was formed to provide a venue for ambitious individuals to network and enhance their professional development skills.

Abigail Miller & Kate Sneed

Todd Bierbaum & Kaitlyn Bryant 22

Wilson McGiness & Donovan Perry

DC Matthews & Megan Harrison

Chelsea Calhoun, Leighann Elliott & Ragan Griggs


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VIP Destin at Step One Auto Kia

2020!!LAUNCH EVENT photos & story by Zhalman Harris


t’s always a great time, and an all-out party at a Step One Auto event. Clients, employees, and the community came out for the launch of the new 2020 Kia Sportage, 2020 Kia Telluride, and 2020 Kia Soul, on July 25, at Step One’s KIA Dealership on Miracle Strip Parkway. Guests enjoyed great food, cocktails, and music. Some lucky guests even got to test drive the all-new 2020 Kia Telluride, and then pick a prize out of the gift bag after their test drive. Ms. Alexis Barksdale also took delivery of her brand new 2020 Telluride in front of the unexpected crowd. She thought she was just going to leave quietly with her new ride, but was surprised when she was called up on stage to also receive her plaque of purchase. Before the party began, the managing director/partner of Step One Auto, Fernando Arellano, took the stage to thank and welcome his guests, and also talked a little about the culture of Step One, and how they impact the community and their clients. “We are empowered to serve our community and our clients. We don’t sell cars, but we help friends buy cars,” said Arellano.

Jaylin Clay & Alexis Barksdale

Lauren & Nondyao Hennen

Fernando Arellano & Travis Elliott

Tori Jones & Meg Pettis

Maureen Bierman & Katie Lightfoot 24


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Bobby & Jennifer Lynch

Susan Ozbirn & Jackie Kirley

Ebony Day & Andrew Helve

Patrick Hensley & Erica Diaz

Kat Brown, Bella & Matt Bloom

Paul & Karen Garappo

Lance Lyles & Mike Lewis

Kyle & Charlie Bushaw

Jackie Grigsby & Jess Elliott

Lisa Curry & Kim Denman September 2019 | 25

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VIP Destin at First Baptist Church

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


reater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce held their First Friday Coffee on August 2 at the First Baptist Church in Fort Walton Beach. The event was sponsored by Eglin Federal Credit Union. This monthly breakfast meeting is the largest regular networking event in Okaloosa County. Each month, a different member or organization sponsors the event and attendees have the opportunity to meet and network with newly joined Chamber members. During the breakfast, FWB Chamber of Commerce CEO Ted Corcoran announced Paul Singleton and Kim Denman as the most outstanding ambassadors for the first and second quarters. They were chosen by their peers for their commitment and great work as ambassadors.

James Cooper & Neko Stubblefield

Bev Bain & Trisha Marks


Jan & Dave Pooley

Debbie Dodge & Jenna Testa

Kendra Becker & Myla Martinez

Rachel Strayer & Olivia Young

Michael Jimmerson, Matt Turpin, Scott Smith & Tracy Hart


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Kathy Houchins & Trudy Romjue

Donna Tashik & Jessy Bautista

Jackie Kirley & Marlayna Goosby

J. Gustave & Nathan Monk

Ted Corcoran, Holly McHargue & Paul Neal

Jennifer Kraus & Dean Covey

Candace Lovell & Sallye Belton

Kim Nauta, Bron Ringstad & Lesli Harding

Mary Tinsley, Lisa Jo Spencer & LA Woodall September 2019 | 27

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he story of Bay Foot and Ankle Center began in 2016 when Dr.Francia Squatrito, DPM, established the podiatry practice in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. The practice was founded with the purpose of serving the community with all of its podiatry needs, from basic foot issues to complicated surgeries. Dr. Squatrito’s vision for the practice was to bring the highest quality foot and ankle care to their patients by practicing evidence based medicine. The Doctor and her professional staff work diligently each day to continue their mission of providing a positive and welcoming environment where every patient can have a pleasant experience. The primary focus of their practice is centered around the well-being of their patients. Bay Foot and Ankle Center serves Fort Walton Beach, Okaloosa, and Walton County with the most advanced care in Podiatry. Dr. Squatrito is supported by an eager group of medical professionals ready to meet the needs of every patient and she is proud to be the only female podiatrist serving our community. Dr. Francia T. Squatrito, DPM is the president and founder of Bay Foot and Ankle Center. She graduated medical school at Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine. She completed a rigorous surgical residency program at Cleveland Clinic Foundation and Mercy Regional Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. This rigorous three-year surgical training provided Dr.Squatrito with the basis to treat some of the most complex foot and ankle problems. She is a member and a Board Certified fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Patients are treated with state of the art technology including digital X-Ray imaging and non-invasive vascular testing, all which are available onsite. She is also part of the medical staff at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center and Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast. Dr. Squatrito volunteers and participates as a surgical team member for medical missions to the underserved country of Honduras, which focuses on reconstructive surgery of patients in need. Dr. Squatrito, her husband, and two sons are proud to call the Gulf Coast area their home.

Open Monday - Friday 7AM | Call Today to Make an Appointment at 850-855-4048 1775 Lewis Turner Blvd. • Fort Walton Beach (close to Fort Walton Beach Medical Center) More information is available at 28


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!"#$%&'(%)*# “I had the chance to repair my foot, and change the possible chances of life issues. Thanks to Dr. Squatrito, my foot should never have another problem” - Patient N.P. “Dr. Squatrito is great about explaining her treatment plan and offering options. She’s very friendly, as is her staff, and I never feel rushed. All of my questions are answered before I leave the office each time” – patient C.M.

September 2019 | 29

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VIP Destin at Velia Lala Designs

presents Maxine Orange


photos & story by Zhalman Harris

elia Lala hosted the talented Maxine Orange at her beautiful gallery and boutique in Fort Walton Beach on August 5. The event was opened to the public and displayed some of the beautiful art pieces of Maxine Orange. Guests enjoyed some adult beverages and helped themselves to the spread of light bites that were available to eat. Maxine gave some of the guests first-hand information on some of the pieces that were displayed, as well as an inside scoop on her journey as an artist from a graphic designer to a well-known talented and successful artist. Referring to the pieces that were on display, she went on to say, “Even though I have been an artist for as long as I can remember, the whole bridal art work started two years ago.� She said she had always been interested in fashion, which also drove her to design purses and handbags.

Ryan & Julie Marino

Ida Carter & Linda Kernick 30

Elaine Tucker, Velia Lala & Hulda Mahlum

Neal Bern & Maxine Orange Bern


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!#$%"( !

!"#$%&$'()*$%+,,-%%.+/$/&,(/$0+%!)-%%-%$()1$&23()!4("!&)%$(/&)3$"#-$5'-2(/1$6&(%"7$!"8%$ )&$%+292!%-$"#("$'()*$&.$"#-'$(2-$&:)-17$'()(3-1$&2$/-1$0*$:&'-);$

From boutiques and nonprofits to medical practices, the women behind the counters, in the 0&(212&&'%7$()1$:-(2!)3$"#-$%"-"#&%,&9-%$#(<-$,-2"(!)/*$9+"$!)$"#-$"!'-$"&$02!)3$*&+$"#-$0-%"$ "#-2-$!%$"&$&..-2; =-8<-$#!3#/!3#"-1$%&'-$&.$"#-%-$1-1!,("-17$/-(1!)3$/(1!-%$()1$"#-$0+%!)-%%-%$"#-*$2-92-%-)">$ find out what they do and what drives them to keep making a difference.


self-proclaimed “starter-upper,” Erin manages The Hive’s marketing and development operations. She generates creative solutions to keep businesses relevant. Her beta test for business relevance: Is the community talking about

them? A graduate of Auburn University, Erin studied public relations and early childhood education. Erin started her teaching career at Jeter Primary school in Opelika, Alabama and then continued at Destin Elementary School. Thanks to an innate entrepreneurial acumen—Erin founded her first business, Abrakadoodle Art Education of Northwest Florida, at the young age of 24 years old. She was the youngest franchise owner of Abrakadoodle Art Education, and pioneered many new programs for the franchise of her eight years of ownership. Co-founding The Hive in 2017, she says, was an instinctively synergistic decision. “We moved from, ‘Do we want to do this,’ to ‘We’re doing this’ within an hour. We named The Hive, bought the LLC, and created the logo in less than a week.” Like we said, Erin’s a starter-upper. Erin enjoys spending time with her husband Cole and their three children: Jackson, Brantley, and Hunter Grace. When she’s not creating a buzz for Principal, The Hive local businesses, you’ll find her cheering on her young Creative Consulting athletes from the sidelines


850.278.6758 88 Lynn Drive, Santa Rosa Beach

♀ Leading Ladies 2019 | 31

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r. Stephanie Baya has been working with the Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry for 7 years. As a leader in dentistry and the community, Dr. Baya is very serious about providing the best care possible, but does so with compassion and lightheartedness to ease her patients. She enjoys the culture of The Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, stating, “We have more than 30 employees between our two offices, and it’s like coming into a big family reunion every day. I feel like The Center for Cosmetic this atmosphere & Family Dentistry helps patients 850.654.8665 that are uneasy in 4635 Gulfstarr Drive, Destin what some see as a stressful time.” Dr. Baya is a firm believer that dentistry and oral health are major components of total body health. Dentistry is unique in that “it combines both health and esthetics; you may have a healthy gall bladder, but do you really care what it looks like?” With dentistry, she can provide the tools and education to have healthy, great looking teeth! Dr. Baya truly believes in the restorative aspects of dentistry and The Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry’s mission statement that reads, ‘We strive to exceed our patient expectations at every level’.



ena Bochkareva is the Director and Marketing Manager at Water Entertainment Transportation Inc (WET Inc), where she oversees the retail, events, marketing, and social media for the company. After spending nearly 14 years for multimillion-dollar brands and startups, Lena knows what truly drives businesses and how to spread brand awareness efficiently for optimum product promotion and client relationships. She joined owner Ray Proffitt to build a brand focusing on water activities, athletic adventures, and relaxation of interacting with water. Co-Owner, WET Inc Having grown up around the largest river 850.974.0134 in Far East, Russia, 981 US Hwy. 98, Suite 11, Destin she developed a deep appreciation and love for the water. Lena moved to the United States in 2004 and made her way to Destin in 2015 to make her home with her two teenage children. Working with WET, Lena can apply her love of water to the ever-growing sport of paddle boarding. Paddle boarding has many opportunities with other activities such as fishing, SUP surfing, SUP touring, paddle yoga, SUP fitness, and paddle racing. Paddle boarding has become a world-wide sport with fantastic athletes of all ages. “Got to admit it, if it’s fun, relaxing or athletic it has to be better when you get WET,” added Lena.



essica Proffitt Bracken of Santa Rosa Beach, FL, founded Proffitt PR in 2011, nurturing the company atop tables at local coffee shops and bookstores. Since then, her hard work and powerful team has helped the company to blossom as the leading public relations, advertising, branding, social media and event planning firm on the Emerald Coast, with a host of accolades and loyal clients to prove it. Proffitt PR specializes in resorts, restaurants, real estate and retail. Jessica is the past president of the Young Professionals of Walton County, serves on the board of directors of the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Marketing Committee for the Visit South Walton Tourist Development Council, board member of the La Lumiere Foundation, the past president of the Northwest Florida Coast Florida Public Relations Association and has served on the Board of Directors from 2007 - 2018. She was been named Walton County’s Young Professional of the Year in 2016 and 2018, FPRA’s For-Profit Communicator of the Year, and also been highlighted in 850 Business Magazine as one of the 40 under 40. Jessica is very active in philanthropy raising over $800,000 for local charities. Jessica is married to husband Levin Bracken. They have a goldendoodle puppy named Champ and enjoy Founder traveling, boating, music, sporting events, cooking, Proffitt PR and entertaining!

JESSICA PROFFITT BRACKEN 850.460-.7777 9375 Emerald Coast Pkwy #24, Miramar Beach 32


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VIP Destin at Amazing Lash Studio



!"#$%&& '()$*$+


photos by Verla Price | story by Proffitt PR

estin’s very own Amazing Lash Studio, located in the Shoppes at Paradise Isle, opened its doors on June 7. To celebrate the new, upand-coming business in the community, franchise owner, Mary-Frances Mullins, and the team at Proffitt PR hosted a Tri-Chamber Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening Celebration fi lled with champagne, delectable appetizers, good company, and luscious lash demonstrations. On July 25, Mullins welcomed three chambers to the studio, including the Greater Fort Walton Beach, Destin Area, and Walton Area Chambers of Commerce. In front of numerous friends and family, the three chambers simultaneously cut the ribbon to formerly welcome the studio to the community. After a champagne toast and a few words from Mullins and her family, guests made their way into the studio to continue mingling with other community members and grab a bite to eat from Sarah K’s Gourmet. The studio was elegantly decorated inside and out with fabulous balloon décor provided by Mingle. After getting a drink from the bar in a branded koozie or Frill Seeker’s Gifts-designed branded cup, guests made their way down the balloon-lined hallway to the various Lash Rooms where the talented lash technicians were demonstrating different lash treatments that the studio provides. This was an opportunity for guests to ask more questions and learn more about the benefits that can come with the many services Mullins and her hardworking team provide. If you’re in the area and looking to treat yourself to a new look, stop by and visit Mullins and her fantastic team at Amazing Lash Studio, located at 34940 Emerald Coast Pkwy Suite 108, Destin, FL 32541. Appointments can also be made by calling (850) 424-4779.

Mary-Frances Mullins & Jessica Bracken

Emma Stubley & Courtney Stubley

Taylor Sheekley & Megan Harrison

Victoria Majors & Keasha Jones

Bobby Wagner & Mayra Quinones

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VIP Destin at Amazing Lash Studio Grand Opening

Paul Singleton, Anne Ziegenhorn, Susan Fritz, Michael Wright & Renee Groom

Kathy McKenney & Ashleigh Woolly

Bella Powell, Olivia Githens, Taylor Powell, Brooke & Joe Zasa

Jenni Brunson & Lori Ellen Ward 34


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r. Ashley Dubois is an Emerald Coast native and a proud leader in the community. She returned to the area after completing an advanced general dentistry residency. She adores helping her community, declaring, “It is incredibly rewarding to serve the community in which I was born and raised. From a very young age, I had a strong desire to become a dentist. This was largely fueled by both a physical and emotional transformation I experienced with my own smile.” Dr. Dubois’ passion is giving her patients a healthy and happy smile. As a dentist, she enjoys restoring health, alleviating pain, and helping build confidence. She values integrity and accountability in her work and promoting a caring environment for her patients, stating, “I work with an amazing team, and we have fun while bringing our best to the table. For me, my position at The Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry is much more than working on teeth. I feel empowered to create trusting relationships with my patients, as we work together to achieve their ideal smile and oral health.”

Director of Marketing Emerald Grand 850.279.6410 10 Harbor Boulevard, Destin


riginally from Natchitoches, Louisiana, Brittany Byrd grew up vacationing on the Emerald Coast. It was during one of those family vacations that she decided to make the area her home. After graduation, Byrd accepted the position of Event Coordinator at The Village of Baytowne Wharf. During her time there she helped launch the Baytowne Wharf Beer Festival, now in its 12th year, and Sparkling Wine & Holiday Lights. Byrd’s career has taken her to Scottsdale, Arizona, and Atlanta, Georgia, planning events for large-scale, master-planned communities. While she loved living in bigger cities, she missed the smell of the saltwater. After landing back at the beach, Byrd is now the Director of Marketing and Events at HarborWalk Village and Emerald Grande. She looks forward to bringing her experience to the Destin Harbor to create unique and diverse events and experiences.

ASHLEY DUBOIS, DMD The Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry 850.654.8665 4635 Gulfstarr Drive, Destin

TAMI GROTH Senior Vice President and Commercial Lender Community Bank 850.269.5905 12590 Emerald Coast Pkwy.,Miramar Beach


aking care of clients is what Tami Groth does best. She dedicates herself to making a successful financial future not only achievable for her clients, but enjoyable. Throughout her 27 year banking career, Tami has served in various capacities, most recently as Senior Vice President and Commercial Lender in Community Bank’s Miramar Beach office. Tami’s dedication to her job is apparent through achievements, which is evident in her receiving Community Bank’s Rainmaker Award each of the last four years. This award is presented to loan officers throughout the Bank’s footprint to recognize and reward excellence in business development. Not only does Tami dedicate herself to her work, but also her community. She is very active in various civic activities throughout the Florida Panhandle. She currently serves as the President of Habitat for Humanity – Walton County and as the Community and Social Chair on the Rotary Club of Destin’s Board of Directors. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Communication and is a recent graduate of The Graduate School of Banking of the South at Louisiana State University. Tami moved to Destin in 1991 and has since considered Florida home. She and her husband of 25 years, Jerry, have two children, Erin and Evan Groth. ♀ Leading Ladies 2019 | 35

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ebra Henry has been a practicing CPA in both Florida and Alabama since 1982 and is the owner of her own practice, Debra Henry, CPA, located in Miramar Beach. The majority of her professional career has been working in public accounting with an emphasis on tax planning and compliance for individuals, self-employed business owners, small business corporations, LLCs, and nonprofit organizations. Debra is also experienced in representation of clients with IRS issues. Her firm was voted “Best in Destin� earlier this year due to her commitment to client service and development of close client relationships. Debra takes a proactive approach helping her clients make better decisions to decrease tax liability with effective tax planning. She also helps small businesses improve profitability by assistance with accounting, sales, and payroll tax needs. A graduate of Auburn University, she is a member of the American Institute of CPAs, Florida Institute of CPAs, and Alabama Society of CPAs. Debra is very active in the community serving as Treasurer on the Alaqua Animal Refuge Board, Sinfonia Gulf Coast Board, and Scenic Walton Board. She is also actively involved with the annual Alaqua Sip N Shop event.

TERESA IMDIEKE Executive Director Walton County Habitat for Humanity 850. 660.1681 110 County Hwy 393 South Santa Rosa Beach


DEBRA HENRY, CPA Owner Debra Henry, CPA 850.687.4461 Miramar Beach 36

eresa Imdieke has been the Executive Director of the local Walton County Habitat for Humanity for over 8 years, but has been involved with the organization for over 11 years as a previous Board Member. Workforce housing is a passion for Teresa as she believes it is the key to the future success of this area and necessary to provide a higher quality of life for the hard working families that live here. Under her leadership, Habitat has built over 34 homes in our area and also runs a building thrift store (called our ReStore) that serves thousands of local residents through their efforts. Last year, Habitat was awarded the Small Business of the Year through the Walton County Chamber of Commerce. In addition to running the local Habitat, Teresa serves on the Walton County Affordable Housing Committee, Habitat for Humanity of Florida Board, and is a NexGen Member of Impact 100. As a collegiate athlete, Teresa still participants in recreational sports in the area playing softball and kickball throughout the year and loves watching her six-year-old son, Braden on the ball fields. Originally from Minnesota, Teresa has fallen in love with the panhandle and is proud to call our beautiful beaches home for over 13 years.

imone Justesen and her husband own L.S. Management & Associates, a homeowner and condominium association management firm opened in 2005 in Atlanta. Traveling and vacationing to this area for many years, and instantly falling in love, Simone and her husband decided to expand to the panhandle area in 2014. They saw a need to concentrate solely on homeowner and condominium association management and to set themselves apart from the many rental management companies. L.S. Management & Associates provides full-service HOA and Condominium Association Management with the flexibility to offer a-la-carte services tailored to the individual community. They offer web-based financial and management reports for the Board of Directors. Their firm understands the challenges faced by the Board of Directors of communities large or small to maintain low costs, increase property values, and enhance the community experience for their fellow neighbors. L.S. Management & Associates provides a caring approach to community management. They are small enough to care about each client individually, yet big enough to deliver the services their community needs. Simone and her husband have raised two beautiful daughters and are enjoying their recent empty nest.

SIMONE JUSTESEN CFO L.S. Management & Associates, Inc. Emerald Coast Division 850.269.7285


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Enjoying a Good Book story by Mary Aho


.K Rowling once said, “I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book.” In today’s world it can be hard to find the time to sit down and enjoy a “good book.” When you have others to share it with, it can make it a little easier. Book clubs have been around for centuries, starting as a women’s rights movement in the 1800s when women were prohibited from attending college and intellectual gatherings. In the past, they would secretly meet and read together and expand their knowledge. Today, book clubs are anything but a secret. They are worldwide and an estimated five million people in the United States belong to a book club. If starting a book club seems like a daunting task to you, think again! To start, all you need is a group of friends (or new friends) and a shared love of reading. From there, it’s completely up to you how you would like to make it your own. When starting a book club for the first time, it’s best to keep it small, around 10 members is a good size group. Next, you need to decide on what kind of structure you’re going to have. For 38


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Must Read Collection

example, some book clubs have themes such as mystery, romance, or non fiction. However, most book clubs are open to anything that grabs your attention. Another thing to consider is when each member will host. It can be based on volunteers, you could draw spots, or you could randomly assign. It also can be arranged based on what works best for each member. Now that your book club is established, it’s time to talk hosting. You could host at your home, a restaurant, or even your local library. Hosting at your home is the most popular. If you’re serving hors d’oeuvres make sure you keep them bite sized. Conversation will be flowing and you don’t want your guests to be caught with a mouthful when its their turn to talk. It’s fun to match your snacks to the book you’re reading. If your book takes place in Paris,

consider serving charcuterie and macaroons. There is so much room for creativity. Wine is a very popular libation among book clubs- and if you plan on serving wine, it’s nice to have a red and a white option. The possibilities are endless when it comes to book clubs. You can do all males, all females, co-ed, or even a certain age group. Coming together as a group and making it your own is all part of the fun. At the end of the day, the food, topic, or place doesn’t really matter. A book club is all about coming together and sharing your love of literature with friends.

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odi Ketchersid opened RealJoy Properties in 2006 and has been a fixture on the local real estate scene ever since. In 1999 she graduated from law school where she met her husband, Bill, who is a practicing local real estate attorney and licensed agent. Together, they have five children, ages 7 to 33. Local, personal, and highly-involved in the community, her boutique firm focuses on being expert real estate consultants in the area. Jodi has consistently been a top producer on the Emerald Coast and is proud of the close-knit team she has cultivated over the years. “Buying and selling real estate is a huge process and we take each transaction very seriously, guiding our clients each step of the way,” says Jodi. “The cornerstone of our business is building trust and putting the client first. We live in paradise and it’s a joy to help people purchase their own little slice.” Owner

JODI KETCHERSID RealJoy Properties

850.424.3094 4014 Commons Dr., STE 100 Destin


orn and raised in Louisiana, Velia Lala has had a multifaceted art career. From abstract to classical to castings, Velia’s work reflects her passionate background and zest for life. Her talent is highlighted through a multitude of artistic techniques that include acrylic, mixed medium, resin, photography, and life casting. Velia’s eye for design brought her work into the world of fashion through Owner & Artist her Wearable Art Velia Lala Designs clothing line. Always growing 985.507.9784 and learning 310 Eglin Parkway NE, Fort Walton Beach new things, Velia has spent time in Chicago learning the finest techniques for transforming any walls or counter tops into truly gorgeous works of art. Velia was named the 2017 Sculptor of the Year by Visit South Walton Tourist Development Council. Most recently, her work is being displayed at Luis Sottil Gallery in St. Petersburg, The Henderson Beach Resort & Spa, Hyatt Place Sandestin, and on the set of Golf TV. Her artistic skills have garnered invitations to private training opportunities across the world in locations like London and Romania. Velia shares her passion for creating with others through various classes both at her Design Center in Ft. Walton Beach and in private homes and businesses. She leads corporate team building programs to create a learning experience with incredible artistry, team interaction, and communication.



wner and Jewelry Designer, Renee Launiere derives her creative inspiration from memories of summers spent at the beach, as well as international travel throughout her life. Bijoux De Mer, meaning “jewels of the sea” in French, is a fitting name for her fine jewelry line. After 10 years of successfully selling her brand to over 60 fine jewelry stores all over the US and internationally, Launiere recently opened her flagship gallery at City Market Owner & Designer Bayside in Destin. Bijoux De Mer Fine Jewelry Working primarily 850.830.5465 with pearls, she loves City Market Bayside (on Hwy 98) to push the boundaries 4495 Furling Lane, #170, Destin of conventional pearl designs. Her jewelry can be described as bold and innovative; yet retain timeless elegance. Every piece of jewelry found at Bijoux De Mer is designed exclusively by Launiere and handcrafted either by herself or her master goldsmith. She expertly selects the finest materials for her designs, typically starting with Tahitian, South Sea, or funky baroque freshwater pearls and incorporating rare, exotic gemstones set in 18k gold and/or oxidized silver. Launiere offers personal design consultation, which includes jewelry styling and custom creations for clients. The true beauty of Launiere’s fine jewelry is captured in the quality and uniqueness of each item that creatively combines elegance with a fashion forward edge.


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fter years of supporting a wide range of businesses all over the country as a business strategist, Dawn Moliterno relocated to the Emerald Coast to further her career and continue to utilize her multifaceted skill set to help grow our area’s economy. As incredible success followed her during her time with the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce and the South Walton Tourist Development Council, Moliterno led some of the most influential programs that spurred wondrous growth in our area, including developing a regional brand to encourage Southwest Airlines and other airlines to provide better air service to Northwest Florida. Now, she brings her expertise in growth and fiery personality to Henderson Park Inn and Beach Walk Café. As the General Manager for both the Inn and award-winning restaurant, Moliterno focuses on building unified teams that work in harmony to ensure the best experiences for guests. In her first year at Henderson Park Inn and Beach Walk Café, she’s grown revenue, improved operations, and built relationships, leading her team of top-notch talent to provide expert care that consistently exceeds guest expectations. Henderson Park Inn is like no other hotel on the Emerald Coast, and Beach Walk Café is known for its signature dishes to General Manager locals and visitors alike. Her goal is to continue to build off past Henderson Park Inn success, ensure future growth and remain focused on creating Beach Walk Café special memories for each and every guest.



r. Yola Noumeh is an associate dentist at the Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry. There are many reasons why she loves working for this community and with this business, most notably, the teamwork. She talks about the team and her work fondly, stating, “We work as a unit to ensure our patients are treated like family, from the moment they call our front desk and through their treatment; our team members prioritize the patient’s comfort and satisfaction.” The Center for Cosmetic As a leader in & Family Dentistry the community of Destin and in 850.654.8665 4635 Gulfstarr Drive, Destin dentistry, she values educating the community on the correlation between oral health to overall health, striving to provide the best possible care and understanding. “There is nothing more rewarding to me than hearing my patients say ‘you’ve helped me smile again,’” she says. “I strive for excellence and patient satisfaction by communicating with them honestly and earning the trust of my patients.” Dr. Noumeh is excited for her future in not only dentistry but in this community, expressing, “Knowing that we invest so much into the functionality of this practice through continuing education and commitment to teamwork, it makes me proud to serve the community of Destin with The Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistry.”




r. Julia Skinner has been a practicing dentist with the Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry for 8 years. She has greatly enjoyed working with her patients and her coworkers, expressing, “We are a team and we are family; we celebrate our successes and our patient’s triumphs together. As a team, we believe in each other and strengthen our relationships through continued education. I feel that this fosters a comfortable and enjoyable environment for our patients.” Dr. Skinner believes in The Center for Cosmetic earning the trust of her & Family Dentistry patients, going above and beyond to give 850.654.8665 4635 Gulfstarr Drive, Destin her patients the best results on their terms. Her passions are healthy teeth, conservative dentistry, and helping her patients with their confidence to foster a successful lifestyle. Education is an incredibly important value she conveys, teaching her patients about the oral/overall body connection and continuing her own education to have a full and complete understanding. As a leader in the community, and dentistry, Dr. Skinner believes in honesty and transparency, stating, “These two values are key when working with my patients. We are working together to make a beautiful smile and the best way to achieve this goal is to be in it together.”



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DR. FRANCIA SQUATRITO Bay Foot & Ankle Center 850.855.4048 1775 Lewis Turner Blvd Fort Walton Beach


r. Francia Squatrito is a board certified foot and ankle surgeon who specializes in medical and surgical treatments of lower extremity ailments. Dr. Squatrito is a graduate of Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine and completed her post graduate residency training at Cleveland Clinic and Mercy Regional Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. This rigorous three-year surgical training provided Dr. Squatrito with the basis to treat some of the most complex foot and ankle problems. She specializes in plantar fasciitis, ingrown toenails, flatfeet, arthritis, ankle sprains, fractures, warts, fungal toenails, diabetic foot care and wound care. Patients of all ages are welcome, making Bay Foot and Ankle Center the best place to serve the needs of the entire family. Dr. Squatrito is board certified by the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. She is part of the medical staff at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center and Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast. She is proud to be the only female podiatrist serving our community. Dr. Squatrito and her husband Eric reside in Miramar Beach and are the proud parents of two sons, Oliver and Rory. The Squatrito family enjoy the coastal outdoors and are avid travelers.

athie Staton, Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) at Eglin Federal Credit Union (EFCU), has a passion for credit unions and for doing what is best for the members. She has had an amazingly rewarding career at EFCU, which started in 1986. She was Branch Manager when she opened the South Crestview Branch in 1989, and then the Bluewater Bay Branch in 1997. Prior to being promoted to CSO she was Senior Vice President for Marketing and Compliance. As CSO she collaborates with senior management to help establish strategic initiatives that are in alignment with the Mission. Excellent service will always be the Credit Union’s primary focus. Developing convenient and secure electronic services and community engagement are in our DNA. Cathie is also passionate about her faith. “It’s my oxygen!” She leads a woman’s Bible study and serves on the Finance Committee at Crosspoint in Niceville. Her family is her biggest blessing. She and her handsome and talented husband have raised two brilliant and beautiful daughters. It is exciting times during the 65th anniversary of EFCU. With thanks to loyal members and committed employees assets have reached $2 Billion and membership 120,000. Come join the family… Eglin Federal Credit Union is a great place to work and offers the best financial services around.

CATHIE STATON Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) Eglin Federal Credit Union 850.862.0111 838 Eglin Parkway NE, Fort Walton Beach

ALI WEIL Principal, The Hive Creative Consulting 850.278.6758 88 Lynn Drive, Santa Rosa Beach


natural business-woman, Ali gravitates toward people with a ‘yes’ mentality. “‘Let’s do it’ is my go-to phrase,” she explained. In addition to her indomitable positivity, Ali ensures clients receive a clear-cut inventory of the necessary steps to take their marketing and branding vision from the drawing board to the profit-margin—and then she handles the details. “One of the best things I get to do is connect with people,” she said. “I learn their stories and hear their dreams for their businesses. We’re privileged to get to do that and to help make it a reality.” Prior to co-founding The Hive, Ali earned an MBA from Auburn University in Montgomery and coordinated International Logistics in Washington, DC, and later worked in international finance with EBSCO Industries in Birmingham, AL. After moving to Santa Rosa Beach with her husband Rob, she opened Nest 30A, a home decor firm in Grayton Beach. “I don’t think there’s any other place like this,” she said. “There are so many great things happening in our area and we get to be a part of it.” Ali serves on the board of directors of her daughter, Isabel’s preschool, The Tree House Episcopal Montessori School. Additionally, she is a sustainer of the Junior League of the Emerald Coast and member of Impact 100. ♀ Leading Ladies 2019 | 45

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helter House is the state-certified domestic and sexual violence center serving survivors across Okaloosa and Walton counties. The nonprofit organization operates a 24/7 crisis hotline for domestic violence, 24/7 helpline, and rape response team for sexual assault and a confidential emergency shelter for survivors with an on-site kennel for pets. Shelter House also provides advocacy, counseling, support groups, youth services, play therapy, and legal assistance for injunctions Executive Director for protection through Shelter House licensed staff attorneys at multiple outreach offices, 850.243.1201 where all services are free 16 Ferry Road SE, Fort Walton Beach and confidential. Rosalyn Wik first joined the organization as the Financial Manager in 2009 after relocating to Destin from Texas and was drawn to the empowerment model that serves as the agency’s foundation. Even after moving to the Northwest Florida State College Foundation, Rosalyn stayed involved as a volunteer and supporter before returning to Shelter House as the Executive Director in 2015. Rosalyn is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and though a Texan at heart, she has found her home in Destin with her two children and two pups. Rosalyn serves on the statewide Board of Directors for the Florida Council Against Violence (FCASV) and as a member of Emerald Coast Theatre Company.



ethany Worley serves as the President of the Junior League of the Emerald Coast (JLEC) and as a Nursing Director at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center. In 2013, Bethany received her Master of Science in Nursing and then moved to the Emerald Coast to pursue her nursing career. She later earned a Doctorate of Nursing Practice in Executive Leadership and is an HCA Frist Humanitarian Award recipient. Although her medical career is a high priority in her daily life, Bethany has a huge passion for her community and gives back by leading the JLEC DNP, RN-BC, President to seek its mission. Junior League of the Emerald Coast The JLEC is an organization of nearly 300 women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. The JLEC’s main focus is to fundraise for its community projects, with the largest project being their Child Clothing Project, which provides brand-new clothing for over 400 children in Okaloosa and Walton County elementary schools. The JLEC operates the closets in local schools and nonprofits to ensure that children in need receive appropriate clothing to help develop a positive self-image in their everyday learning environment. The JLEC’s signature fundraisers include: Best of the Emerald Coast, Rock the Road 5K & 10K, Touch-ATruck, and Down & Derby Fest.


Distributed from 30A to Fort Walton Beach





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Uniolia - ankle-strap high heel sandal - $90 Aldo

Hot Hoops by Gabriel & Company One-half carat of diamonds exquisitely set in 14k yellow gold - $1,605 Emerald Lady

Burberry Haymarket Speedy - $1,320 Sea and Sand Jewelry

“La’ Petites” - 4” to 12” one of a kind collectible art pieces - prices vary Velia Lala

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Geode Bath Bomb - $6.45 / 5.2 oz. Lush Cosmetics

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VIP Destin at Emerald Coast Rental Company

photos & story by Zhalman Harris


merald Coast Rental Management held their grand opening and ribbon cutting at their Fort Walton Beach office on July 24. The event was well attended by the general public and clients of the management company. Members of Greater Fort Walton Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors were also there to conduct the ribbon cutting. Lite bites and drinks were served during the celebration with the founders of the new management company. Some guests also brought school supplies to donate, joining ECRM in giving back to the community through a partnership with United Way. Those who brought items were also put in a drawing to win great prizes. Stevie McInnes, who is one of the founders of the management company, welcomed her guests and thanked them for their support. She also thanked her partner, Martha Dowd, for going on this venture with her, saying, “I could not have done this without you!” With the heart for service first from owners to tenants alike, Emerald Coast Rental Management was started by Martha Dowd and Stevie McInnes. They wanted to create a long-term property management company that put an emphasis on service and giving back to their local community. Emerald Coast Rental Management’s goal is to serve Okaloosa, Walton, Santa Rosa, and Bay Counties long-term rental management options that can’t be found anywhere else.

Mary Florence & Tammy Hunter

Rachel Secord & Lakin Devaus

Jessie Bentley, Chelsea Dowd, Stevie McInnes, Kristen Howard, Kayla McInnes & Martha Dowd

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Chase & Pamela Sparks

Sophie Lins, Kayleigh Bollhoefer, Lacey Dowd & Bailey Wyant


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Pam & Roberto Lins, Sophie Lara

Susan Fritz & Anne Ziegenhorn

Martha Alexander, Mary Debona & Debbie Harless

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VIP Destin at Acme Oyster House

-!'%( !"#$%&'!()*+, Walton Area Chamber of Commerce

photos & story by Zhalman Harris


Hannah Green & Brittany Graves

alton Area Chamber held their Power of Networking Luncheon at the Acme Oyster House - Seascape in Miramar Beach. The event drew in professionals and business leaders from around the community for an afternoon of mingling and fun. The Chamber organizes and hosts such events to give local business men and women the opportunity to showcase their respective businesses, create new leads, and meet potential clients- all while having fun. Attendees had the opportunity to play games during the event while enjoying lunch, and door prizes were given away to a few lucky winners.

Arielle Cameron & Kristie Scheler

Dave Jefferson & Denise Kendust

Carolynn Zonia & Adrianne Stutz

Dale Witter & Susan Pace

Kathy Whidden, Maria Ramos, Stephanie White & JD Whidden

Kim Denman & Allison DiSalvio

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VIP Destin at Power of Networking

Andy Poveda & Janet Parker

Haley Horkman & Matt Algarin

Carol Lipe & Laura Pentel-Klang

Brian Whitehead, Lea Capers & Kellie Jo Kilberg 54

Ragan Griggs & Leighann Elliott

Ann Kief & Jinny Richardson

Allison Smith & Mike Storey

Dewayne Youngblood & Kim Holley

Juliet Milam & Mark Wendel

Lane Redding & Scott Mitchell


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VIP Destin at South Walton High School

DYW of Walton County

!"#$%&'( photos & story by Zhalman Harris


istinguished Young Women (DYW) of Walton County held their showcase on August 11 at South Walton High School auditorium. Ms. Lauren Snodgrass, a senior at South Walton High School, was named Distinguished Young Woman of Walton County. She won the interview, scholastic, talent, and physical categories of the competition. The runner up was Ms. Brionna Keys, who won the self-expression category award. Both ladies were qualified to go to state. Distinguished Young Women of Walton County is part of a national scholarship program that promotes leadership and talent in young women. The program works to inspire high school girls to develop their full, individual potential through a fun, transformative experience that culminates in a celebratory showcase of their accomplishments. The mission of Distinguished Young Women is to provide scholarship opportunities to outstanding, college-bound high school girls, and to encourage personal development in all young people through its “Be Your Best Self� outreach program.

Daniella Everett, Brionna Keys, Michela Gray, Lauren Snodgrass, Reese Whitehead & Ella Mallory

Angela Johnson & Tina Snodgrass 56

Brandy, Bryson & Brian Keys

Charlie Moss & Ashley Klima

Rhonda Chandler & Julie Mooney

Maggie Matthews, Gina Moss, Katie Fuentes, Julie Stuckey & Sara Hill


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VIP Destin at Gulf Place Santa Rosa Beach

Business A�er Hours Walton Area Chamber of Commerce photos & story by Shanna Magnuson


he monthly Walton Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours met for the Third Thursday Wine Walk at Gulf Place 30A on August 15. Light rain right up until 5:30 didn’t stop over 100 people from showing up to this get together. Fourteen Gulf Place merchants participated, serving wine, appetizers, and even full meals and dessert while networking. At the end of the Wine Walk, everyone was welcomed back to the Artist’s Colony for prizes awarded to those who participated and completed all fourteen merchant stops. Then the evening continued with more prizes and networking while enjoying the beautiful Gulf Place atmosphere and music.

Renee Sappington & Lyn Fulcher

Paul Copleland & Tiffany Ashley


Amberly & Josh Osbourn

Darius Walker & Aimee Morris

Ron Couget & Cathy Jones with Cody

Amy Torretto, Kittie Blanchard, Margita Doherty & Benita Morgan

Anika & Lowell Wilson


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Come Visit the New Medical Spa On the Emerald Coast

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MAY 14-17

205 Brooks St. . SE #301 . 850.503.1060 Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548 ∙ renew≠

Emerald Coast Theatre Company is located at 560 Grand Boulevard, Suite 200 in Miramar Beach. The entrance is on the south side of the building facing Highway 98, take the stairs or elevator to the second floor.

Tickets or info, call 850-684-0323 or visit


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8/28/19 10:59 AM

VIP Destin at Cuvee Kitchen + Wine Bar

!"#$%&'()%*+,-#.(/-&,0 photos & story by Zhalman Harris


laqua Animal Refuge held a cocktail party to introduce the 2019 Animoré Weekend at Cuvee Kitchen + Wine Bar on August 14. Friends and supporters of Alaqua were invited to the event to get more info about the grand event planned for October 18 and 19. During the cocktail party, the Chairman of the Board, Joe Capers, welcomed guests and proudly introduced his fellow board members; then talked about celebrating the big weekend. He later welcomed Alaqua Founder Laurie Hood to the stage to give more information on “Animoré.” She said she was super excited about the fundraiser for Animoré, and she gladly shared that they had a grant match of up to $1 million. After she thanked her volunteers who are helping to make a difference in the lives of people and the animals they care for, she also touched on the equine therapy that they had embarked on and announced that Alaqua was the first organization in the United States to use their equine therapy program to help human trafficking victims. The Animoré Weekend benefit was born out of an idea from Alaqua’s Founder Laurie Hood to create a community event combining music with excellent food and wine in support of animal welfare.The festival will take place October 18 and Saturday, October 19, 2019 on the grounds of Alaqua Animal Refuge’s future home in Freeport.

Marisol Gullo & Angela Ragsdale

Richard McNeese, Lane & Trevor Redding

Young Kim & Verla Price

Virginia Tzaskus & Angie Resiak

Joe Capers, Laurie Hood & Jack Wilson September 2019 | 61

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VIP Destin at Animore Cocktail Party

Steve Barber & Joe Nacchia

Christine Fox & Susan Dunman

Jon & Marion Kling, Kent Lillie

Charlie Palmer & Debra Henry

Cynthia Roberson, Annie Parker & Gabriele Haffron 62

Steve Akers & Hunter Harman

Demetria McNeese, Laurie Hood & Lea Capers

Glenda & Chuck Palmore

Will & Allison Nazarowski

Tyler & Chad Hardwick, Jeff Dannelly


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VIP Destin at Emerald Coast Convention Center


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

Chris & Sarah Peavy


he 2019 Emerald Coast Boat Week and Poker Run kicked off August 7-11. Over 100 boats participated in the “Big One,” which raises funds each August for local children’s charities. In its 27-year history, the Emerald Coast Foundation has raised over 2.7 million dollars with all proceeds going directly to the charities. This is an all-volunteer organization made up of 23 local business leaders who donate their time for one reason, because “it’s all about the kids.” They expect to make over $130,000 this year. The “Big Poker Party” which was held at the Emerald Coast Convention Center, brought hundreds to party, eat and have a chance at poker. There were even some great raffle prizes and a silent auction. At the end of the night, Scott Marcotte walked out with the Harley, and Terry Phillips with 2nd prize, a Honda Rencon ATV from K&M Cycle and Marine.

Lauren Ewashko, Donna Tashik, Chanel Cegielski, Ashley Allegretto

Mark Parish & Sarah Carrillo

Fernando Arellano & Rafaella Fant

Dennis & Heather Ruiz, Shervin & Michele Rassa September 2019 | 65

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8/28/19 11:09 AM

VIP Destin at Emerald Coast Poker Run

Tiffany & Shon Kingrey

Mandy Young & Taryn Bullers

Rachelle Graves, Erin Thatcher, Allie Noah & Crystal Weatherly


Kaitlyn Holland & Jordan Laborde

Anthony Autmon & Kathy Bowen

Donald & Maureen Bierman

Johnathan & Lucy Malone, Luke & Meredith Flanagan

Allie Noah & Laura Moore

Jeff & Sandra Reid, Ruthann & Keith Kreider


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Bernard Johnson, Erin Thatcher & Todd Gatlin

Rob Ard & Kari Painter

Peggy King & LA Woodall

Steve Philpot & Tammy Laborde September 2019 | 67

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8/28/19 11:09 AM

photos provided by Path of Grace

| story by Greg Alexander

“We believe that faith and time are required to restore lives and sustain recovery.�


any of us drive by the Path of Grace Thrift Store in Miramar Beach daily. Some of us have donated items there, some of us have shopped there, and lots of us have done both. What we may not realize is the impact that Path of Grace is having on the lives of women and their families. The organization helps women find freedom from addiction and regain hope for healthier and more fulfi lling lives through the faith based, long term, sober living, nonprofit residence program for women who are recovering from alcohol and/or drug abuse. The recovery home and thrift store work environment offer a structured, protected opportunity for women to grow in their recovery, rebuild relationships, recover personal confidence, and return to productive lifestyles. The highly structured, faith based 12 step program lasts from 12 to 24 months and teaches the women how to lead a life fi lled with self-respect, sincerity, and responsibility. It enables the women to deal with the challenges of daily life, allowing them to have a better life free of federal assistance or potential homelessness. Alas, they incorporate a transition to work model in their program – which happens to be in their thrift store that funds the program. Path of Grace is also investing in a savings plan for residents, which will be given to them upon graduation. Its purpose is to give the residents a clean and fresh start after graduation. This savings plan is also helpful in eliminating the financial pressures that can lead to a relapse. Path of Grace believes their graduates should be well


equipped with the skills and tools necessary for a fresh start. Most recovery programs are costly and prohibitive for many women suffering with addictions. Path of Grace offers a very affordable and successful alternative with a one-time fee of $800. Residents receive counseling from a licensed mental health counselor, along with Bible study and church services. Upon graduating from the program, many of the women endeavor on paths to help others. Several have even been added to the staff at Path of Grace, as their success has stimulated growth in the program.


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Interview with Eddie Mansfield Managing Director – Path of Grace

What is the mission of Path of Grace?

Path of Grace’s mission is to help women recover from the grips of drug and alcohol addiction. We first aim to restore the lives of the women in the program, and then ensure the restoration of their relationships with their children and families. Path of Grace has been serving women who want to be free from drug and alcohol addiction for 10 years. What sort of staff does Path of Grace have?

I have served as the Managing Director for seven years. Tiffany Garner and Brandee Wilson each serve as Assistant Managing Directors. Both are Path of Grace Graduates. Kimber Givens acts as Supervisor of Homes and is a Path of Grace Graduate. Valerie Peterson is our Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Scarlett Horton carries out our Christian Counseling and Coaching program. Additionally, we have many volunteers involved in constructions jobs, as well as volunteer doctors and dentists that work with our program. How is Path of Grace funded?

Path of Grace is funded by the thrift store sales, along with financial contributions. Our thrift store is located at 10962 US Hwy 98 in Miramar Beach, selling quality furniture, art, appliances, electronics, household goods, books, designer apparel, jewelry, and more. You can drop-off at the store or we can facilitate a pick up. Your donations enable our mission and make our program possible. What is your outreach? How do women find your services?

Path of Grace is currently helping 35 women achieve sobriety. The program has a 100% success rate for women who graduate after 24 months in the program. The women that participate in the Path of Grace program work daily at the thrift store.

What is the most rewarding part of your involvement with the organization?

Everyday I see the difference this program is making in the lives of our residents, and their families. Many women in the program are being led to Jesus Christ. That’s the best! There’s nothing better than witnessing someone go from down and out, on drugs and alcohol, to blossoming and thriving in their walk with God! To me, God is the key to their success. How did you become involved with Path of Grace?

In November of 2010, I was asked to join the Board of Directors by the founder. Then, later in 2012, I became more involved and started to help run the program. I have experience in recovery and in retail. What is one thing you want readers to know about Path of Grace?

Nothing is impossible with God. No matter what challenges or what struggles you are facing, there is hope for you. You don’t have to fight the battle alone - reach out to an organization equipped to help you in the area where you are being defeated. How can someone become involved or help the organization?

There are many ways someone can support and become involved with Path of Grace, with the easiest being to contribute gently used furnishings, clothing, artwork, transportation, tools, toys, etc., to the thrift store. Another way to show your support is to shop at our thrift store. Purchases made at the thrift store help to cover the operating cost of the program. Financial donations are an intricate part of the continued growth we experience at Path of Grace. Instructions for donations can be found on our website at

What impact has Path of Grace had on the community in the last year?

In the last year about 18 - 20 women have graduated the Path of Grace program and are now living alcohol/drug free. Not only have these women’s lives been liberated and empowered, but families have been restored too. Approximately 20 - 24 children have been reunited with their mothers in the last year.

Tiffany Garner, Eddie Mansfield, Brandee Wilson and Kimber Givens September 2019 | 69

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VIP Destin at BOTE



photos & story by Zhalman Harris

he 8th Annual Paddle at the Porch racer meet and greet Welcome Party was hosted by BOTE Destin, at their flagship retail store. This event helped to kick-off the big event which was scheduled for August 17, at the Back Porch Restaurant. The party gave racers a chance to meet with other event-goers in town over drinks and delicious food provided by AJ’s Seafood & Oyster House. Cannon Colwell, a racer from Pike Road, AL, won a BOTE $100 gift card for attending.

Chad Welsh & Amber Scheel

Ray Proffitt & Elena Bochkareva

Josh Flenniken, Chris Blumenthal, Suzy Hunt & Matt Crane

Debbie Eggers & Sarah Hockett

Magda & Corey Cooper

Janice Iverson, Rebecca Bush, Andrew & Leanna Dickey September 2019 | 71

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VIP Destin at BOTE Welcome Party

Catherin Pyne & Justin Bickham

Kyle Howard & Skye Bailey

Shane Moody & Elizabeth Spies

Jennings & Alex Moody, Karen Singleton 72


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September 2019 | 73

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LO C A L S H O P P I N G , U N I Q U E D I N I N G A N D E V E N T S


BUSINESS AFTER HOURS SEPTEMBER 19, 2019 | 5:30 – 7:30 P.M.



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8/28/19 11:03 AM

VIP Destin at Youth Village

Groundbreaking Ceremony

Youth Village photos & story by Jen Deeb

On August 16, Nellie Bogar, Valerie Bogar, Impact 100 representatives, and Youth Village Board Members broke ground on the land for their new soon-to-be 6,200+sqft building. With the addition of their new building, Youth Village will be welcoming 3-5 year olds for their preschool program. This will help them serve children at an earlier age, allowing structured early learning to foster the abilities needed for later success in school and in life. Nellie and Valerie Bogar are two incredible women who have the heart and passion to help our area’s children. Youth Village, which was established in 1999, has a mission to provide a safe, fun and educational place for children to gather during non-school hours in an adult-supervised environment. Being a non-profit, after-school program and summer camp, Youth Village has served over 2,700 children. With their goal of $750,000 for this project, the property will be equipped with great safety features, which include closed-circuit television cameras inside and out, a new state-of-the-art playground, two four-year-old pre-school VPK classrooms, one three-year-old pre-school classroom, a multi-purpose room where the elementary students can gather, and so much more.

Lewis & Donna Maddox

Cindy McCue, Marty Broderick & Major Eric Aden

Nellie & Valerie Bogar

John Russell & Karah Young

Bill Head & Jean Dutton September 2019 | 75

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8/28/19 11:12 AM

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8/28/19 11:15 AM

VIP Destin at The Back Porch

8th Annual

photos & story by Shanna Magnuson


he 8th Annual Paddle at the Porch sponsored by Destin ER was held on August 17 starting at 9AM. Suzy Hunt of BOTE Destin added that their partnership with the Destin Chamber of Commerce since 2012 has definitely helped get the word out about the event in the community. The welcoming pre-party for sponsors and racers on Friday set-up for the big races on Saturday morning. Every year there is a 1-mile race, 3-mile, 6-mile, and a kid’s fun race. All participants get one of the free t-shirts to commemorate the event. The winner this year got to choose what prize they wanted, with a selection including a new Aero hair, cooler, and high water pack. Vendors set-up along the beach with free drinks and goodies to help cool down the runners as they made thier way in from the Gulf to the finish line. Awards were held after all races are completed. It was an extremely sunny and warm morning and afternoon, but with refreshments at tents, and excitement from the bystanders and participants, it was a fun day enjoying the Emerald Coast at the Back Porch in Destin.

Grace Velasquez, Jenny Larson, Tammy Laborde & Christine Martinez

Katherine Pyne & Andrew Dickey

Elena Bachkerva & Carena Baker

Pete Buzelli, Suzy Hunt, Sandra Mofitt, L’Den McAllister, Brenda Callaway & Lance Callaway September 2019 | 77

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LOCALE O Beach Walk Café at Henderson Park Inn Appoints Daniel Peters as Executive Chef The Henderson Park Inn’s signature restaurant, Beach Walk Café, announced the appointment of Destin-native Daniel Peters as its new executive chef.

“Chef Daniel brings a fresh perspective and palette to Beach Walk on top of his understanding of the local ingredients and flavors customers love and want to see on the menu,” said Beach Walk’s food and beverage manager, Michael Mcintosh. “We’re thrilled to have a chef of his caliber and experience leading our kitchen.” Peters’ journey in the kitchen began initially with Chan’s Wine World at its original Destin location, honing his skills and appreciation for fine foods and wines. In 2011, Peters moved to Napa County, California, to expand his knowledge of the implementation of the sumptuous harmony of fresh seafood and locally-sourced ingredients. “My time in Napa totally changed the way I look at food,” said Peters. “I learned so much there, and I’m excited to bring that influence into the Beach Walk Café kitchen.” Peters said he comes to Beach Walk Café with a zealous curiosity to work with a “gulfto-table” concept, focusing on fine dining and fine wines extending beyond the nestled comfort of Napa Valley. “I’m honored to be here. Beach Walk’s staff has become a family to me,” said Peters. “And I’m excited to work together with them to cook for the community that raised me.” For more information about Peters and Beach Walk Café, visit www.beachwalkcafe. com, and to make a reservation to try what Chef Peters is cooking up, call 850-650-7100.


Fort Walton Beach Medical Center Announces $10.1M Free-Standing ER in Navarre Fort Walton Beach Medical Center will expand access to emergency care in Santa Rosa County with the opening of a freestanding emergency department. The new free-standing ER will be located at 8600 Navarre Parkway near the foot of the Navarre Beach bridge. Construction is expected to start early 2020. The new, 24/7 full service freestanding ER will feature 11 emergency exam rooms, CT scan, general X-ray and an on-site laboratory, and will be capable of caring for all ages, including pediatrics. The 10,860 squarefoot, one-story facility will front Navarre Parkway. This ER is expected to serve more than 10,000 patients a year. The $10.1 million project will employ approximately 30 fulltime healthcare professionals with additional staff hired to support growing needs.

“The new ER in Navarre will allow us to deliver emergency care right where many of our patients and families live,” said Mitch Mongell, Fort Walton Beach Medical Center CEO. “This freestanding ER will provide the same expert and compassionate care we deliver throughout the region, but in a more convenient setting for our patients in Navarre.” As a means to continue improving access to local high-quality care, this will be the second free standing ER for Fort Walton Beach Medical Center. The other freestanding ER is located in Destin on Hwy 98. Just like Fort Walton’s main facility, the Navarre free standing ER will be a full service, fully staffed emergency room with ER physicians, RN’s and a medical team ready to service the needs of the community. The new freestanding ER will also include a lab for testing and a radiology suite with X-Ray and CT equipment.

Silver Sands Premium Outlets Welcomes New Brands and Offers Strong Savings for Back-to-School Shopping Silver Sands Premium Outlets is set to welcome Häagen-Dazs this fall. In addition, fan-favorite Vera Bradley is relocating to a larger storefront to better serve its shoppers. Guests can also explore recently opened stores Proletics and Perfumes 4U – with all 110 stores at the center offering savings up to 65% off every day! “Back-to-school shopping season is the perfect time to rediscover the ever-evolving selection of stores and fast-casual dining options at Silver Sands Premium Outlets,” said General Manger Jeremy J. Murrin. “Our newest brands help round out our retail roster and provide locals and tourists with an exceptional experience – making our center the go-to destination for all shopping needs!” Häagen-Dazs strives to bring new, innovative frozen dessert experiences to its customers, including distinctive flavors from the finest ingredients such as Vanilla Swiss Almond, Butter Pecan and Dulce de Leche. A lifestyle brand that encourages selfexpression through playful patterns, sophisticated solids and accessories, Vera Bradley offers handbags, luggage, jewelry and more – all designed to bring joy. Beginning in August, the Silver Sands Premium Outlets Information Center will temporarily move to the Management Office, located down the breezeway next to kate spade new york. Shoppers are encouraged visit the Information Center to purchase Simon Giftcards; rent strollers and wheelchairs; pick up a Savings Passport; find a map of the center; and receive retailer coupons.

For more information or to become a member of Silver Sands Premium Outlets’ VIP Shopper Club, providing free access to hundreds of exclusive coupons, offers and deals right from your phone before every shopping trip, visit silversands.


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VIP Destin at Village of Baytowne Wharf

!"#$%&'(&!")"%#& photos & story by Jen Deeb


n August 10 from 11am-4pm, Emerald Coast Customs held their inaugural event Autos in August. The event took place at the beautiful and family-friendly Village of Baytowne Wharf. For those who don’t know, Emerald Coast Customs is a family-owned business, which was founded in 2005 by Tammy Larney and Joseph Larney. The event on Saturday benefited two great causes- one being Alaqua Animal Refuge, a South Walton local charity many know of, and the other being a benefit for an unwell, long-time friend of Joseph and Tammy’s, Jason Worthen. All car entry fees went to Alaqua with all raffle tickets and shirt sales going to Jason and his medical bills. With over 50 cars available to view, there was something for everyone. Just a few classic cars to share were a Firebird, a Chevrolet ThriftMaster, a Cougar and even Omar, WET Inc’s classic Volkswagen Bug mascot was there too! After speaking with Joseph, he’s happy to share that the show was an overwhelming success! People have already started signing up for next year’s event.


Kennedie Bass & Mason Webb

Ray Proffitt & Elena Bochkareva

Maddie Tims & Adam Subul

John & Harriet Hart

Daniel & Kelly Lovern

Tim Antes & Davina Rollins


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Rod Perkins & Duncan Crittenden

Cadyn, Karyn & Michael Biggs

Robin Carter, Jessica Monahan & Afra Gerstenfeild

Glenn Pysh, Cameron & Noah Copple, Stefanie Young September 2019 | 81

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Makin’ Bacon 4 Beds

Twilight in White

Destin Commons 4100 Legendary Drive | Destin 12:00pm – 4:00pm

Fort Walton Beach Landing Park 139 Brooks Street SE | Fort Walton Beach 5:30pm – 7:30pm

This new event will highlight local eateries and their take on a bacon themed food item. There will be live music, an auction with repurposed headboards painted by local artists, craft vendors and a People’s Choice winner. Samples are only $1. Come out and support a great cause and try them all. Proceeds from this fun-fi lled day will benefit A Bed 4 Me Foundation, a local non-profit providing beds for children in Okaloosa County who would otherwise be sleeping on the floor or in other inadequate spaces.

Attendees will don their best all-white outfits and the evening will feature the music by the Moos Brothers, a raffle, and a photo booth as well as a VIP experience. Guests are encouraged to bring white decor for their tables to compete in the table decorating contest. Food vendors will be on-site for food purchase, outside beverages are welcome. Funds from Twilight in White will go directly towards funding the Project90 Impact program.

Visit for more information.

Tickets are available at



Women in Science Conference

International Coastal Beach Cleanup

Northwest Florida State College 100 College Boulevard E | Niceville 5:30pm – 7:30pm

Destin Bridge Beach | Destin 8:30am – 10:30am

Join this celebration of women in all STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) professions. Hosted by the Emerald Coast Science Center, the evening will consist of inspirational presentations from professional women in STEM careers. Proceeds benefit the Emerald Coast Science Center’s Girls Engaged in Making (GEM) Workshops. All ages are welcome, especially middle school and high school students looking to discover careers in STEM. Guests will have a chance to mingle with the speakers and other guest professionals. Food and drink provided.

The World of Beer team members will be teaming up with the Coastal Guardians for International Coastal Cleanup Day! We will be meeting at the Destin Bridge beach aka Redneck Beach! Please wear comfortable shoes and clothing, gloves, bags, and buckets will be provided, debris collected will be recycled and disposed of properly, sunscreen will be provided as well as a first aid kit, water is provided but you must bring a reusable water bottle to fi ll up! #ChooseToReuse Together we will make a difference! If you have any questions or need help finding the location please contact Megan at 850-428-7985.

Visit for more information.

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Save the Date


Taste of Fort Walton Beach Food and Wine Festival

Racquets for Rescues

Fort Walton Beach Landing Park 139 Brooks Street SE | Fort Walton Beach 2:00pm – 5:00pm

Hidden Dunes Resport 9815 US Highway 98W | Miramar Beach 12:00pm – 3:00pm

Join the Downtown FWB Organization for our 4th Annual Taste of Fort Walton Beach Food and Wine Festival benefiting Children in Crisis. Come out to the beautiful Fort Walton Beach Landing Park and enjoy a sampling of eclectic wines, local restaurants, and food trucks! What a great way to spend a beautiful Sunday afternoon - music, beverages, food and fun... all with an AMAZING view!

The annual Racquets for Rescues fundraiser for DogHarmony, Inc., is hosted by Hidden Dunes Resort Tennis Center. This is a fast feed tennis clinic & round robin event and will feature a silent auction. The registration fee is $40/ person and includes lunch and beverages. All funds raised from this event will support Dog-Harmony’s mission to reduce the shelter dog population through ongoing humane education.

Tickets are available for advance purchase at

SEPTEMBER 26 Sinfonia’s An Evening with Gavin Creel Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood 4000 S Sandestin Boulevard | Miramar Beach 5:30pm – 8:00pm Join Sinfonia Gulf Coast as the season starts on a high note with Tony and Olivier Award-winning singer and actor, Gavin Creel. Creel received a Tony Award for his performance as Cornelius Hackl in “Hello, Dolly” starring Bette Midler and David Hyde Pierce. The evening includes valet parking, a sparkling wine reception, four-course meal prepared by Seagar’s Executive Chef Lee Guidry, wine, all gratuities, and the performance. Visit for more information.

SEPTEMBER 27 7th Annual Golf Outing Benefiting FORE Her Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club 4801 W Co. Hwy. 30A | Santa Rosa Beach Golfers can expect special prizes, food and drink samples on the course, breakfast before tee off, lunch after the outing, a silent auction and more! Tee off is at 9:00am. Registration is $125 per golfer and $450 for a team of four and includes green and cart fees. For more information visit


SEPTEMBER 29 Destin Charity Cornhole Tournament Destin Commons 4100 Legendary Drive | Destin 12:00pm – 5:00pm Join us for the 4th annual Destin Charity Cornhole Tournament benefiting the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center! Registration includes World of Beer and Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen Beer Garden access with bottomless Craft Beer and DELICIOUS appetizers! This double elimination tournament is limited to 100 teams that have the chance to win $750 in cash & prizes! Spectators can also purchase wristbands that include access to World of Beer and Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen Beer Garden. There will also be one of a kind painted cornhole board sets to bid on that have been designed by local artists.

Eggs on the Beach EggFest Seascape Resort 112 Seascape Drive | Miramar Beach 10:00am - 1:30pm Presented by Bay Breeze Patio, the 6th Annual Big Green Egg EggFest Cooking Competition will be celebrating the delicious results of cooking on the Big Green Egg smoker/grill. EggHeads (cook teams) will be smoking and grilling their favorite dishes while tasters vote for their favorites. Participants will enjoy live music, Knob Creek craft cocktail tasting seminar, ENCO Sports Zone, charity drawing and more. Proceeds benefit the Fisher House of the Emerald Coast and Food for Thought. For more information visit

Visit for more events!

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Rings provided by McCaskill & Company Fine Jewelry. Photos by Alissa Aryn Commercial.

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VIP Destin at Emerald Coast Harley Davidson

Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber

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


n July 18, Emerald Coast Harley Davidson was the venue for Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber’s Business After Hours. The event, which is designed to create a platform for professionals to gather in a casual setting after a long day’s work to network and socialize, is one of the many ways for the Chamber of Commerce to be involved in the community. Guests attending the event at the Harley’s dealership enjoyed sharing the experience of celebrating when a new bike was purchased. Sales agents fired up bikes around the showroom and revved the engines and honked as they welcomed the new buyers to the Harley family. They also enjoyed live music by the band Group Therapy. Food and wine for the evening were provided by The Twisted Grape Wine Bar and Café in Shalimar. The evening also saw some big winners from the drawing that took place.

Sharon Hines & Mike Makara

Tiffany Merrell & Shawne Werne


Sandi Bernier & Charlotte Bergman

Darlene Allen & Alexis Lear

Ron Grissom & Debra Oberhausen

Sara Mitchell, Cindy Riggenbach, Monica Colquett & Jordan Costillow

Bill & Debi Roberts


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Aerika Wardrip & Sarah Peavy

Daniel & Samantha Gusoff, Robin Donlon & Nathan Kelley

Adea Griffis & Tammy Hunter

Shawna Laethem, Pam Woodall, Elaine Sheldon & Paul Singleton

Sue Davis & Whitney Miller

Josh Foster & Mike Coupe

Dawn Schaeffer & Jenny Coy

Ken Hair & Monica Herrera September 2019 | 87

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VIP Destin at Business After Hours

Jan Pooley, Patricia Payne & Mary Florence

Aline Ibanes, Rachel Borgio & Melissa Read

Mary Tinsley, Ted Corcoran & Pam Woodall

Jeff Guajarado, Paul Stinebiser & Edward Mitchell 88


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What is your hometown, what brought you here to the Emerald Coast, and how log have you lived here? I am originally from Salisbury, NC, and made a pit stop at Auburn University prior to moving to the Emerald Coast. I moved to Destin in 2006 after graduating simply because of my love of water with no real plan of what and how I would survive and thrive. What is your profession and give a brief description of what you do. I am the cofounder of BOTE (started in 2009), and was an integral part of getting the company off the ground. I’ve played a part in every segment of the business, because for the first years in the business it was just me and my husband. As our team has grown over the years, I still have my eye on all pieces of the business and focus on the operational and financial sides today. What do you like best about Destin? My favorite part of Destin is still what brought me here, the water. It’s easy to get frustrated with your surroundings in the hustle of everyday life (especially now that I have 3 children to take care of), but every time I make a trip to the beach (whether it be for a quick run or an all-day beach day) I get reminded why I initially made the move here. What are three words that best describe you? Devoted. Nurturing. Motivated. Tell us some of your favorite things about Destin. Outside of the obvious (the beautiful water), I love living in a place to where I feel I have a community around and my family, the small town feel of knowing your children’s peers and their families is something that I find highly beneficial to raising a family. Finish this statement, I AM DESTIN because… I am a local business owner who has been able to provide a unique career opportunity to many individuals in the area, and we create a product that spreads a little piece of Destin globally as we continue to push our brand forward.

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!"#$%&'()! with

NORTHWEST FLORIDA STATE COLLEGE Fall mini-term begins October 11.

Register today!

State College



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