VIP Destin Magazine - September 2022

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events departments contents Adventure Out CoastalSwizzle Cuisine Give Care Share SaveLocalethe Date Destin Style I Am Destin7871686353453721 Publisher Greg Alexander Associate Publisher Verla Price Publisher’s Assistant Nicole Partridge Advertising Stephanie Alvarez Kristin Moffitt Verla Price Graphic Design Patti Hall Alicia Noble Art Director Priscilla Atkins Content Creator Anna Stockton ContributingPhotographersWriters/ Alicia Noble Harley S. Sampson, Jr. Anna SavannahStocktonVasquez VIP Founder Jeff Watson VIP Destin Magazine Staff Volume XIX • Issue IX 10th Annual Paddle At The BrokerPark Open & Magazine Launch All White Party Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge Golf Tournament Hype on the Harbor Food for Thought Stock the Pantry Party Power of Business Luncheon Dermatology Specialists of Florida Ribbon Cutting Ladies Who Launch Bubbly Baytowne Destin Chamber Business After Hours & Ribbon DestinCuttingChamber Business Before Hours 30th Annual Emerald Coast Juried Art Exhibition 746660575048413427241713 features Leading Ladies Flavia Ramos & Sarah Drew Mulvaney at Power of Business Luncheon on the cover Photography by Harley S. Sampson, Jr. 8 | 31

While sharing about our area’s proli c charities is paramount, we also love the various business and community events, many of which still tie into a charity in some way. The Destin area is so fortunate to have such great things to do and as we enter September, many of our annual outdoor events are getting into gear. We look forward to them more this year with a new sense of pride after having missed a few over the last couple of years. Be sure to look for our photographers when you are out supporting these events – our team will always identify themselves as a VIP photographer. Did you know that our cover images are almost always organic shots from the people we photograph at events, so smile big and give them your best self. You may just land on the cover like Flavia Ramos and Sara Drew Mulvaney who attended the Walton Area Chamber Power of Networking event at Mezcal and ended up on our September cover.

Thank you for reading VIP Destin Magazine. We are glad you are here, and we are excited that our area is so rich with generosity, with ingenuity, and with success. Go get out this month and smile for our cameras.

letter from the Publisher 10 |

Greg Alexander Greg@VIPMag.comPublisher

Spreading Good Words

Be on the lookout for our VIP Destin Ambassadors, Joe & Lea Capers, at area events.

Publishing an events magazine in the Destin area is such a rewarding experience. Because we highlight so many charitable events, we get the opportunity to learn about the many causes and the people who run them, who support them, and who started them. Seeing good things happen through the various nonpro ts is always ful lling. We enjoy looking back throughout the year to see the many nonpro ts whose causes we shared with you, and it is always such a warm feeling to know we helped spread the word about what they are all doing.

This Leading Ladies Issue is lled with many things that salute the fairer sex. We explore the successes and celebrate the empowerment of women this month. Most prominently, see the pro les of some notable women who are leading businesses, families, and organizations in our area. Get to know them here and seek their expertise when you need someone in their respective eld.

Ray Proffitt, Elena Bochkareva & Matt McCardy

Mackenzie Greis, Victoria Pavlik & Peyton McEachern

Henderson Beach State SeptemberPark 2022 | 13


Abby Cain & Jay Azzaretto

Branden Crosby & Shane Moody Lexy Burns & Veronica Deveau


enderson Beach State Park hosted the 10th Annual Paddle at the Park on August 20. Sponsored by HCA Florida Destin Emergency, and open to the public, the race weekend commenced early Friday morning with packet pick up at the Destin Chamber, followed by a welcome party in the afternoon at the BOTE agship retail store in downtown Destin. In addition to race packets being available at the welcome party, guests enjoyed beverages from Destin Brewery and food from AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar. As the racers readied their gear, VIP Destin Magazine met with Destin Chamber’s President and CEO, Shane Moody. “We are always glad when we can pull this off as Henderson Beach State Park is a great partner. People call this a stand-up paddle board event, but it’s really a community branding event with BOTE being a multi-million-dollar international company and bringing something this popular to Destin as a chamber event.” Shane continued, “so that’s why we do it. As you can see, just looking around, everyone loves it . . . and we’re glad to be here.” Sponsors from all walks of life supported the race to produce an event with 1, 3 and 6 mile races followed by a kid’s fun run. There were refreshments, awards, and race shirts for volunteers and racers alike.

photos & story by Harley S. Sampson, Jr. Destin at

VIP Destin at 10th Annual Paddle At The Park

Robert Marshall & James Geveden Fenn & Christian Carlee & Ric VillamorCowsert & Kayla O’Leary

Eric Gillum & M.J. Janczewski


Mika & Charles Gellinger

14 | Eric

Logan Townsend & Carol Zorn Suzy & Rich Hunt


Ashley Hutton & Katie Walsh

Janis Iverson & Michelle Feits


Elizabeth Spies, Debbie Eggers & Stacy Head John & Kathryn Madden

September 2022 | 15

Holly Hawn & Alexia Burke

John Hammonds, Charlotte Caroom & Ely Caroom


photos & story by Harley S. Sampson, Jr.


VIP Destin at Corcoran Reverie Broker Open & Magazine Launch All White Party September 2022 | 17

Suzanne & Joe Simpson, Libbi Cartwright

B oasting beautiful beaches and some of the most picturesque homes on the Emerald Coast, on August 25 30a saw brokers from all over visit the area’s highest-income producing property. Hosted by Jacob Watkins and Hilary Farnum-Fasth of Corcoran Reverie, this all-white event was not to be missed. Decked out in their all-white out ts, guests strolled the almost 7,500 sq foot home and enjoyed live music from New South Jazz Duo, appetizers from Swiftly Caterings, and beverages prepared by The Wandering Spirit. With outdoor living space on three oors and a commanding view of the Gulf of Mexico, this estate was an appropriate setting for Corcoran Reverie’s release of their new real estate magazine: Reverie. Since its inception in 2020, this Corcoran af liate brokerage has grown to three of ces on the Emerald Coast and one in Tennessee. With over 200 agents, listed properties range from the hundreds of thousands to several million. Specializing in luxury real estate, the brokerage’s covers everything from fashion to nonpro ts and local eateries. Being a real estate you will also nd dozens of listings from throughout the area. During a toast to the group and the magazine, co-founder Jacob Watkins offered, “a big thanks to Bobby (Parker), the marketing team, and the leadership team for putting this together.”

Kevin & Greta Schuler Sydney Volkert & Lori Roland

Delanne Bernier & Bobby Parker

Jacob Watkins & Hilary Farnum-Fasth Briley Smith & Georgia Henderson

Cherie Himes & Susan Kadi Tom & Joan Carmody Conner Morrison & Rob Augustine Bedel Thome & William Mitchell Tonya Pippin & Devan Watkins Trey & Jordan Minchew James & Julianca Gorski Chris & Rachel Moore

Ally Stowers & Rick Lowe & Lynn Moore

Beau Blankenship & Chris Wheeler VIP Destin at Broker Open & Magazine Launch All White Party 18 |


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Fairhope, Alabama

September 2022 | 21

The Fairhope single tax colony was founded, and it attracted supporters and financial backers from around the country and drew a broad group of hardworking, creative, and freethinking people to the new city.

erhaps it’s because of my small-town upbringing, or maybe my father’s influence and love of all things back roads and o the beaten path, I love to visit and explore small towns. There’s nothing like getting o the highway and driving through a charming downtown, past the old pharmacy, shops, and restaurants. Picturing the homecoming parade that floats down the main street every year, with the high school marching band playing while the homecoming queen sits atop a convertible. That community and history are what makes small towns great, and this area has no shortage of them.

Located on Mobile Bay, Fairhope has all the southern charm you’d expect from a small town in Alabama. With an enchanting, walkable downtown, along with a beautiful waterfront, it’s no wonder tourists flock to this town for a day trip or weekend getaway. Whether you’re shopping for clothing, antiques, gifts or just browsing around, Fairhope’s downtown has it all. Walking amongst the beautiful buildings and interesting architecture, you’ll find shops and shopkeepers eager to help you find what you’re looking for. With everything from pizza to coffee shops to seafood restaurants, there’s plenty of places to sit and enjoy the view and good food in Fairhope as well. Fairhope Pier is another attraction that draws tourists and locals alike. Built on the site of the original commercial pier from 1894, it was destroyed during Hurricane Katrina and was rebuilt and reopened in 2006.

Small Town Charm

Offering fishing, dining, and a great place for strolling, the pier offers a place to gather and enjoy the views of Mobile Bay.While Fairhope’s name is as charming as the city itself, the history behind the name offers a glimpse into the utopia settlers were hoping to find there. The eastern shore of obile Bay was chosen after a search of the South and November , , was declared as round-up day. The founders decided on the high bluff and purchased clear-cut land for . 0 per acre. They thought using Henry eorge’s single tax plan would give them at least a “fair hope” of succeeding.


story by Anna Stockton

Apalachicola, Florida

Apalachicola’s downtown is nestled along Apalachicola Bay. Shrimp boats are docked along the seawall while once abandoned buildings have been revitalized as event spaces, restaurants, and shopping. Restaurants vary from seafood and waterfront dining to pizza and wings downtown. While there are some shops catering to tourists, many are also local shops that offer everything from unique jewelry to neatly organized maritime salvage. Apalachicola has a long and impressive history dating back to Native Americans, as early as 2000 BCE. The Civil War brought the cotton shipping industry, followed by the lumber, railroad, and even briefly was involved in the sponge industry. However, seafood is king in Apalachicola, with charter fishing, shrimping, and of course, oysters leading the way.

On the eastern part of the Florida panhandle, you’ll find Apalachicola, a longer drive but well worth it if you’re seeking smalltown southern charm. This sportsman’s paradise also has something for those who are fishing for great shopping, a cocktail, and a good meal.

Florala is a small town on the border of what else, but Florida and Alabama. It’s the town everyone says, “Hey! I’ve driven through there,” but few people stop. If you’re coming from the north, it’s right before you get to the beach, the last hour before vacation starts for those visiting the area, and the homestretch for people on the panhandle who are headedLocatedhome.onLake Jackson, the largest natural lake in Alabama, Florala is definitely more than just a pass-through town. The lake offers a wide variety of outdoor fun with a swimming area, camping area, and multiple walking and biking trails. A boat ramp is available for the boaters and the Lake Jackson wetlands park and picnic pavilions are perfect for making a day of your Florala visit. For those who want to spend less time soaking up the sun and more time soaking up the culture, Downtown Florala is the place to be. With Victorian homes carefully kept and wellthroughoutdottedloved the city, there’s no shortage of historic charm in Florala. The quaint main street boasts restaurants as well as many impressive antique stores. Not only does this unassuming city have a lot to offer, but it also has an interesting history. Sitting on the sight of General Andrew Jackson’s encampment in the Creek War, the city was slowly filled with settlers in the years following the war. By the beginning of the twentieth century, Florala was officially a boomtown as the lumber, textile, and agriculture industries took off -- the population went from 300 to 2,000 in a matter of ten years. By the Great Depression, these industries slowed down and Florala was left to depend on tourism surrounding Lake Jackson as their new industry, leaving the quaint, charming town we see today.

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VIP Destin

photos & story by Alicia Noble at Golf Course COAST WILDLIFE TournamentGolfREFUGE

Emily Shelton & Natalie Dyson Mitch & Brenda Robbins

Champ Stokes, JR Stokes,


ozensof golfers hit the links on August 26 to raise funds for the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge during their annual golf tournament. Each year, the non-pro t organizes the fun- lled event at a different golf course in Northwest Florida. This year, it took place at the world-class Blackstone Golf Course and Country Club in Defuniak Springs.Thebad weather dissipated just in time for a gorgeous start to the tournament. Teams of golfers met at 9 a.m., grabbed a complimentary beverage, explored the pro shop, and hopped on their carts, excited to start the competition. In addition, the day included games and prizes, including a silent auction.Allproceeds from this year’s tournament bene t the mission of ECWR and assist with their daily operations expenses for medical and rehabilitation care of our native Florida fauna. The refuge recently moved to their new home in Navarre where they consistently see high numbers of wildlife come through their doors in need of assistance.


Denise Song & Gretchan Ryan David Crumbley & Adam Bement Rand Stokes & Trae Pappas Cocker & Kevin Kelly

Tony Olmsted & John Bradshaw





Danny Marshall & Jacob Rodgers

Kris & John Anness Abbott, Dyson & Mitch Robbins

September 2022 | 25

Stephen Bobe & Allen Salter


Front: Sophia Sharp, Kristianna Rowland, Briar Ramswell, Lexi Ventimiglia, Macy Sexton & Megan Vaccaro - Middle: Reese Goins, Keziah Clayton, Kamryn Rieger & Madison Nobles - Back: Alaina Granier, Carrie Hill, Juliana Iovieno, Abby Fortenberry & Alex Rieger

Drumlines kept the beat as cheerleaders spelled out their school names and mottos. Mascots had a face-off to see who could get the crowd to cheer the loudest and bands played their ght songs to get their home teams ready for action. The last school to take the stage was newly formed Destin High School. Destin is now in their of cial second year, but this will be their rst year with a football team. Head coach E.G. Green took the stage to introduce the football team and cheerleaders, and encourage the crowd to repeat Destin’s school motto, “It’s a great day to be a shark!” “We loved hosting this event, and we are excited to coordinate this annually with the Okaloosa County School District,” said Bryd. photos & story by Savannah Vasquez

VIP Destin at HarborWalk Village

September 2022 | 27

F ive local high schools; Fort Walton Beach, Choctaw, Crestview, Niceville, and Destin, gathered for the rst time at HarborWalk Village on August 20, to celebrate Hype on the Harbor. Instead of meeting as rivals, each school got to take the stage to showcase their school spirit. Cheerleaders, mascots, dance teams, bands, and athletes did their best to hype up the crowd. “Growing up, my high school participated in community pep rallies with other schools in the area to kick off the new school year and football season,” said Brittany Bryd, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for HarborWalk Village. “It was always so much fun, and I thought HarborWalk Village would be the perfect place to recreate that atmosphere.”

Front: Ella Holland, Carter Spellings & Abbey Holland - Back: Jacob Moulton, Westin Cadenhead, Amy Lynn, Peyton Blumer, Ashton Mason, Kaylei Staples, Honglinh Tran, Taylynn Haston, Mackenzy Rhea, Katherine George & Madison Barbour

E.G. Green & Phil Dorn

HYPE on the Harbor

Back: Kingston Ward, Jackson Schneider, Daniel Lancaster & Ronald (Ronnie) Gurney - Middle: Sydney Shinn, Caden Charlton, Sebastian Funk, Andrew Randolph, Rylan Boller, Ricardo (Ricky) Cruz & Catherine Yanez - Front: Andy Swierzbin & Matthew (Matt) Jackson

VIP Destin at Hype on the Harbor 28 |

YayaVIPDestinMagazine.comMcClain,Julianna De Souza, Sydney Davis & John Watson Jaylen Clark, Natalie Lynn, Ramona & Tom Leith

Reagan Magee, Caroline Stanford, Mylie Kuennen & Mackenzie McIntyreJulie Worth, Sarah Stone & Denise Fauntain John Spolski & Charlie Marello Haleigh Sallee, Natalie Larsen & Cameron McAllisterEleanor & Joanna Dawson

Prebble Ramswell & Jen Owczarski Back: Simone Jenkins, Trinity Quarrier, Keegan Bonvechio, Heather Hansen, Cadance Strickland, Kady Patterson & Hailey Kruse - Front: Olivia Granger, Caitlyn Dill, Presli Williams, Shelby Brooks & Bella Spies

Shop online at TODAYSBOUTIQUE.COMWehave moved to Destin C m s near Belk & Level 10 Salon Inoah made in the USACozy Casual Wearable Art Look for our signature pink awnings! We can’t wait to show you our new store! New address: 4106 Legendary Drive, Destin (850) 837-5565 BToday’stiqueBtique

CompoundingOwner/PharmacistEmeraldCoastPharmacy REGINA JAQUESS, PHARMD Leading Ladies 2022 | 31 StubbsOrthodontistOrthodontics DR.


a connection between patient, physician, and pharmacist, and strives to develop a comprehensive plan to improve patient’s overall health and quality of life. They have been voted the “Best Pharmacy” on the Emerald Coast from 2016-2020. In addition to running an elite compounding pharmacy, Regina is the 2022 World Games Slalom Champion, the current World Waterski Champion, and has been a world champion 10 times in her career. She is the current world record holder in slalom skiing and has set the world record 13 times. You can check out her personal website at reginajaquess. com as well as


If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader. -Dolly Parton R egina


D r. Casi B. Stubbs grew up locally in DeFuniak Springs and opened her orthodontic practice on the Emerald Coast in July of 2008. She always knew she wanted to come back home after graduating from UF Dental School and completing her orthodontic residency at Nova


5 times by different publications in our area including VIP Destin Magazine. Dr. Stubbs is full lling her dream of providing excellent orthodontic care and servicing the families of the Emerald Coast, who she considers family. With two convenient of ces located in Niceville and Miramar Beach, Dr. Stubbs is available to see you for a free consultation to begin your orthodontic treatment and journey to a new smile. CASI STUBBS, DMD, PA

Ashleigh has worked in the jewelry industry from a very young age. In her early 30s she decided to open her own store and four years later she couldn’t be happier.Herphilosophy is that jewelry should be meaningful. It represents a special time, place, and/or person in your life. People often use the phrases “love beyond measure” and “excited beyond measure” or “grateful beyond measure” and that is how her store got its name.

A shleigh opened Beyond Measure Jewelers in Destin in 2018, and after four years she is thrilled to be open at a second location at City Market Bayside. She specializes in custom design, giving client’s the opportunity to have something unique to them and make their jewelry dreams a reality. Ashleigh is passionate about selling engagement rings and wedding bands because it is truly special to help people celebrate one of the biggest moments of their lives. At Beyond Measure Jewelers they offer a vast collection of fine jewelry and other services such as jewelry repair, watch repair, and jewelry insurance appraisals.

Jamie’s online platform is The Social Media Agent - Making influencers out of agents. She likes helping agents discover their “why” and build their brand through networking online.

Jamie notes that 100% of her business has come from social media through referrals from other agents that have connected with her online and referrals from friends that have followed her journey.

Ashleigh is so thankful of her customers. She is truly grateful beyond measure for the community support. Opening a new business in 2018 and then soon afterwards facing the challenges of Covid, her business couldn’t have survived without the community of people who love to see small local business thrive.

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Her online networking is about more than selling homes. She helps women build businesses, makes them laugh, and sometimes it’s just being that friend on the other side of the screen for them.

When not working Jamie can be found at the beach, relaxing at her favorite spot in the Bay, or enjoying the Playstation with her daughters. Fun Fact about Jamie: she took line dancing classes for three years.Coastal Group LADIES


Ashleigh and her husband, Chuck Woolly, live in Destin with their ShihTzu, Guy. Chuck is a retired golf professional, so if they aren’t at their shop, they are most likely on the golf course. Her personal and professional goal is to grow Beyond Measure to its full potential so that her thriving business can give abundance back to the community. She believes that supporting the community that has supported her business is truly what it is all about.


Realtor® MK



As a realtor, Jamie is passionate about helping clients with their needs and does her best for them while also being able to help other agents learn how to master their social media skills and create online connections.

Whether it is helping declutter for listing photos or waiting for a moving truck for a military family that hasn’t arrived yet, Jamie is there for her clients. She answers her phone and replies to messages and treats each client how she would want her family to be treated.

amie Combs was born and raised in West Tennessee and moved to the area seven years ago with her family. Jamie became a realtor after she became an influencer. She built a successful business in network marketing through social media and then coached other women how to do the same. Then she jumped into real estate.

Jamie works hard to exceed client expectations and makes the sale a smooth and easy process while helping clients prepare for their move to another state.

Leading you in the right direction MKCoastalGroup.com850.420.1959 9675 Hwy 98W Miramar Beach, FL 32550 Kelly SipesJamie Combs Miya Hanselman Lacy ButrimSasha PedenYara De Leon Broker Associate realtorrealtorrealtorrealtorrealtor

All this does not come easily as evidenced by thousands of volunteer hours and tens of thousands of dollars donated each year. On August 25, FFT kicked off their 12th year of service with the 9th Annual Stock the Pantry Party, which had food and beverages provided by Whataburger, Kona Ice and Wine World. Founded in 2010 as a family project to serve food-insecure children at an area school, FFT has grown to serve thousands of school-aged children in Okaloosa and Walton Counties. As with any nonpro t, fundraising is very important and FFT not only has corporate sponsors, but also receives funding from a variety of area events such as the Destin Charity Wine Auction and Eggs on the Beach. However, the Stock the Pantry is the organization’s biggest event. During the summer, local teams were hard at work raising money and collecting food items. “Our food drive teams collected over 37,000 food items, while the fundraising teams raised over $85,000,” stated Tiffanie Nelson, founder and CEO. With over a dozen teams participating, Newman-Dailey Resort Properties won the fundraising category while the Legendary Group brought in 16,000 food items to win the food drive

Eric, Bodie & Melinda Alban

ver 3,000 food insecure children are served on a weekly basis by Food For Thought (FFT) based in Santa Rosa Beach. During the 2021/2022 school year 96,000 backpacks with food were provided in order to support the physical development of local children and help them grow into productive students and healthy, happy children.

photoscategory.&storybyHarley S. Sampson, Jr.

VIP Destin at Food for Thought Stock the Pantry Party food for ought 34 |

Suzin & Fernando Arce Angel & Russell Mitchell


Parker, Rachael & Presley Jones

Braces for children and adults. Most insurance accepted. NICEVILLE 4633 E. Highway 20 Niceville, FL SOUTH WALTON 11394 US-98 Unit B Miramar Beach, FL Voted BEST Orthodontist in Destin and Finest on the Emerald Coast! Thank you for voting for us! We love our community and patients! Dr. Casi Stubbs, DMD, PA Two Locations 850-678-833 | STUBBSORTHO.COM Hallie Oalde & Tiffanie Nelson Melissa Aiken & Lisa Morgan Mindy Holscher & Imani Wright Rachel Grimm & Lindsey McEwan September 2022 | 35

story by Anna Stockton

French 75 story by Anna Stockton

French 75 Ingredients: 1½ oz gin ¾ oz fresh lemon juice ¾ oz simple syrup 2 ozs Champagne Long spiral lemon twist (for serving) Step 1 Combine gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice, cover, and shake vigorously until outside of shaker is very cold, about 20 seconds. Step 2 Strain throughcocktailastrainer or a slotted spoon into a large flute. Top with Champagne; garnish with lemon twist.

The French 75 story starts like the tale of many cocktails, with different versions told by people who may or may not have been there and may or may not have indulged in said cocktail while spinning a story brought together by bits and pieces of information. One thing everyone can agree on though is that the French 75 was named after the French Army’s 75-millimeter light field gun, also known as the French 75 cannon. With over 20,000 of these guns, and over 200 million shells used during WW1, this gun is known as the one that helped the French make much needed progress against the Germans, as it allowed soldiers to shoot 15 rounds of ammo per minute. So, how does this seemingly delicate concoction get named after a powerful killing machine? It all starts with ingredients, the French 75 recipe we know today is a little different than the original. It was heavy on the liquor and included gin (or cognac), applejack brandy, grenadine, and absinthe. As years went on, different versions came about, some including champagne and different types of brandy. Its liquor forward nature is the reason for the powerful name, although there are a few stories of who takes credit for it. One such story is that a French bartender wanted to pay homage to the gun that made the French Army so successful and came up with a strong drink and named it the “Soixante-Quinze,” or the 75. Spurred on by the name, this drink quickly caught on and became known as the “most powerful drink in the world” or much like the 75, “it hits with remarkable precision.” While another story attributes the name to an Allied Fighter Squadron made up of French and American pilots, who would drink cognac and champagne after successful air raids. Legend has it they would make a toast and thank the French 75 cannon for their continued safety and triumph. While this cocktail lives on and continues to be a popular and well-known drink, the ingredients have changed a bit over the years, morphing into a concoction that’s sippable and light, while still hitting with remarkable precision. The French 75 is tough, powerful, and gets the job done, perfect for relaxing after a long day at the office, a night out with fellow leading ladies, or even an air raid.


O ne of my absolute favorite things about being a writer is finding out the interesting history of topics, as most of the time, the history is a long and winding road that takes you on a journey you never expected. When I took on Swizzle for our Leading Ladies issue this month, I chose a French 75 because of its light, and slightly feminine appearance. I was shocked and amused to find out the tough, strong, and powerful history of this cocktail. And while upon discovering the not-so-feminine history of the French 75, I considered changing the story, until I thought, nopea tough, strong, and powerful cocktail is perfect for our area’s Leading Ladies.

with underinsured limits… September 2022 | 39

4495 Furling Lane Destin FL 32541 Unit 150 850.424.7772 L U X E X C H A N G E

Power of LuncheonBusiness

VIP Destin at Mezcal Mexican Grill

Jasmine Brown & Rachel Walker

Friends and business associates gathered at Mezcal Mexican Grill in Miramar Beach for the Walton Area Chamber Power of Business Luncheon on August 10. While registration always goes well, registrants were taken aback by the request to grab squares of toilet paper. Of course, everything became clear after the chosen number of squares was selected and the attendee was handed instructions to meet and share facts about themselves equivalent to the number of sheets chosen. And that’s how the August event began. The chatter and fact sharing were going well when the meeting was called to order with the invocation and Pledge of Allegiance. The regular announcements were heard, however, this time there was a new Chamber staff member announced: Abbie Bright. As the newest employee, Abbie will assist the Chamber as the Events and Communication Manager. “I am so honored to be the newest asset to the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce. Everyone has been so welcoming and I’m already meeting so many great people in the community.”, said Abbie. Other notable announcements included reminders for The Next Big Thing leadership conference and registration for Leadership Walton. New Chamber members were welcomed and renewing members were by Harley S. Sampson, Jr.

September 2022 | 41

Brenda Gray & Peggy Moravec Allison Smith & Gayle Gafford

Megan Harrison & Michael WhalenAbbie Bright & Mike Storey Mike Feyerer & Teresa Allen

Kaylor Timmons & J.T. Tollett Flavia Ramos & Sarah Drew Mulvaney

Ann & Duaine Kief Nathan Cordle & Chris Hellums

Linnette Wolfgram & Sandy Isenhart

Galina Wells & Patricia Parker Maggie Brady & Mike Feyerer

Chris Cordt & Heather Buhl-Henderson

Cameron Johnson & Paul Waild

Scott Mitchell & Kim McIntosh

Janet Piepul & Angela Turner

Gabby Kilgore & Bradley Ball

VIP Destin at Power of Business Luncheon 42 |


Toby Williams, Teresa Allen & Peggy Moravec Richerson, Jimmy Dallas & Judith Watkins

Greg Torres & Victoria Swinford

September 2022 | 43

Charlie Haje & Sam DeWeese

his area is known for its beautiful white sand, crystal clear waters, laid back lifestyle, and awesome beach bars. But as we are enjoying the Panhandle paradise, our neighbors, not too far north of us, are growing a tasty and versatile crop that single handedly changed the farming and economy of the South... for the better. Although peanuts are believed to have originated in South America, the Spanish explorers fell in love with the tasty and nutritious nut and are considered to be responsible for spreading the word and this new food across the New World. After making their way to Europe, traders saw the value in peanuts and eventually brought them to Asia and Africa. Slaves are credited with bringing peanuts to North America on the sailing ships that brought them from Africa in the 1700s. However, peanuts were not as widely embraced in North America as they were in other regions. Considered a food suitable for only poor folks and livestock, the rest of the country turned their nose up at the nut and there was little demand for it. This, combined with the fact that growing peanuts was tedious and time-consuming work due to lack of harvesting equipment, there were few farmers willing to gamble their livelihood on something so finicky. The first peanuts grown commercially were in Virginia and didn’t take place until the early 1800s. The crop was used for oil, food, and a substitute for cocoa. It wasn’t until the Civil War that peanuts became more accepted as food for all when soldiers on both sides of the war turned to peanuts for their high protein content that helped sustain them. It was the Union soldiers though, whose love of this newfound food, that brought peanuts home with them and spread the peanut love throughout the north. By the late 1800s, P.T. Barnum’s circus was selling roasted peanuts at their shows while peanuts became the all-American snack of choice at baseball games with vendors yelling “get ya peanuts here,” especially in the cheaper sections. Something many may not know, these cheap seats and the fans that sat in them are credited with where the term “the peanut gallery” originated. While the peanut business was growing, it was hard to keep up with the demand as the harvesting process hadn’t changed much over the years. By the early 1900s, advancements were made and harvesting became easier, resulting in a boom in the peanut business. But just when you thought peanuts wouldn’t get any more popular, enter botanist George Washington Carver. Carver began to recognize the value and versatility of peanuts while experimenting with them at the Tuskegee Institute. He saw them as a potentially successful cash crop and found that they could be alternated with cotton crops to keep the soil enriched throughout both seasons and help combat the boll weevil problem that was plaguing southern farmers. Carver went on to develop over 300 uses for peanuts, and while some of these uses are questionable, such as peanut and prune ice cream (yikes), others are quite useful, such as laundry soap, ink, and gasoline. The botanist helped change the look of the Southern farm and at one time, peanuts nearly surpassed cotton as the South’s premier crop.

Get Ya Peanuts Here

Today, Georgia holds the crown as the largest peanut growers in America with 50%, and Florida and Alabama trailing behind with 11% and 10%, respectively. This crop has come a long way baby, from being dismissed as food for livestock and the poor to being respected and lauded as a versatile, well rounded (ha!), and an established pillar of cash crops.

story by Anna Stockton T

Optional seasoning - 2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning, smoked paprika, shrimp boil mix

INGREDIENTS: 1 pound of raw, fresh peanuts 1/4 cup kosher salt, preferably Diamond Crystal (or 2 tablespoons table salt) 4 cups water


Step 1 - Combine the first 3 ingredients in a large glass bowl. Microwave on HIGH 5 minutes, add peanuts and microwave for 2-4 more minutes. Stir in remaining Stepingredients.2-Pour into a buttered 15- x 10-inch pan; shake pan to spread thinly. Cool until firm, then break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.

INGREDIENTS: 1/2 cup light corn syrup

Panhandle Peanut Brittle

1 cup sugar

Bayou Boiled Peanuts


1/8 teaspoon salt 1 cup dry-roasted or shelled raw peanuts 2 tablespoons butter 1 teaspoon baking soda 2 teaspoons vanilla

Step 1 - Rinse the peanuts. Step 2 - Put water, salt, seasoning, and peanuts in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil. Step 3 - Cover and reduce the heat just enough to maintain a low boil. Boil for 2 to 3 hours or longer, until peanuts reach desired level of Stepsoftness.4-Drain and eat up within a couple of days.

September 2022 | 47 AUTHENTICLUXURY We guarantee our products are 100% authentic 4495 Furling Lane Suite 150 • Destin, FL myluxexchange.com850.424.7772 SHOP COLLECTIONOUR Louis Vuitton, CHANEL, Gucci, Prada, Hermes, Burberry & more SELL YOUR BAG We purchase preowned authentic luxury goods,including handbags, wallets, jewelry and sunglasses CONSIGNMENT Put your bag on consignment in our store “SHOP OUR COLLECTION” on

Specialists of Florida of cially opened their newest location in Watersound Origins on August 1, and celebrated with a ribbon cutting event on August 16. Members of the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce and other local business people gathered at the new, state-of-the-art of ce to celebrate the occasion. Guests snacked on hors d’oeuvres and sipped wine as they mingled. The 5,000-square-foot of ce was open for guests to explore and learn about their services.

photos & story by Alicia Noble FLORIDA Smith, Alisa Ghazvini & Andi Ogden

VIP Destin at Dermatology Specialists of Florida Ribbon Cutting DERMATOLOGY SPECIALISTSOF

Dermatology Specialists of Florida has multiple locations throughout the panhandle. At this location, they offer general dermatology, cosmetic dermatology, Mohs surgery, plastic surgery, hair transplant and restoration, as well as the Aqua Medical Spa. Board Certi ed Dermatologist and Mohs Surgeon Dr. Jon Ward and Nurse Practitioner Angela Pearson offer these treatments with the latest advanced technology to help care for their patients. Dr. Ward founded the practice in 2006.

48 | AbbieChrisVIPDestinMagazine.comBrooks&JanetPiepulBright,ChrisCordt& Judith Watkins Allison

Nicole Souza, Lauren Booth, Angela Pearson, Nikki Dillan, Monica Rennspies & Melinda Hanly

Rachel Dickerson, Lisa Williams & Katie OlivaresSandra Mars, Krystle Sealy & Krysten Hickmon


Chris Brooks, Harmony Nagy, Keri Lee Carpenter & Jill Bauer


VIP Destin at Destin Chamber of Commerce

photosyourself.”&storybyHarley S. Sampson, Jr.

StephanieCooperHolcomb & Brenda Gray


Chamber’s Ladies Who Launch committee hosted its Powerhouse Women Series on August 17, by highlighting BOTE Co-founder, Madga Cooper. As a chamber committee, Ladies Who Launch offers the Chamber’s female membership a platform for strategic networking and relationship building, while training, motivating and inspiring those members. Highlighting her early years, Magda introduced herself as someone who arrived in Destin via Auburn and South Florida. From a rough startup of maxing out their credit cards and cashing in their 401ks, BOTE is now a leader in the standup paddleboard (SUP) industry. The talk was intertwined with facts, wit, and wisdom. When speaking of failure, Madga told the attendees to look at failure, “as an opportunity to make changes to make things better.” Regarding risk, Magda described how the early years found her wearing multiple hats and monitoring multiple company emails. What she learned from that experience is that when you are a startup you need to make yourself seem and feel bigger. In other words, many times one person lls multiple roles and answers the email accounts of, and Magda also stated, “you do what you have to do and you don’t give yourself the option of losing. Work hard and don’t spend time getting down on

Ladies Who Launch

Christine Martinez & Nicole Noblitt Dedicke & Beth Clavier

50 | JenVIPDestinMagazine.comBeaty&BobbieCelanoSuzyHunt&TanyaRauch


September 2022 | 51 Melissa Fertitta & Rio Clavier Courtney Dombroski & Elizabeth Spies Hannah Cobb, Deanna Simonsen & Kayla O’Leary Tatiana Kakliauskas & Cynthia Garber 34990 Emerald Coast Pkwy. | Suite 300 Destin, FL | (850) 974-3435 @thebeachworx BECOME A VIP AT BEACHWORX A new synergistic partnership between Beachworx & VIP Destin Magazine is designed to support your business’s growth in a professional office environment. Your membership includes a dedicated workspace and value-packed digital and print promotions to VIP Destin Magazine’s audience. • Dedicated desk with 24/7 access • Three monthly meeting room credit hours • Advertising for your business on • Inclusion in VIP Destin Magazine’s email blasts • Invitations to exclusive events presented by VIP Destin Magazine & Beachworx • Access to a community of amazing professionals BECOME A VIP DESTIN BEACHWORX MEMBER AND RECEIVE: Contact info@thebeachworx.comus: INTRODUCING OUR NEW DEDICATED DESK PROGRAM:

CALM serves the community in a number of ways, mostly through giving a “hand up” to those who are considered a problem. Our priority is to get moms and children healthy through counseling, education, support, and guidance. We give them a safe home environment where they can learn and start to be a bene t to those in their community. Many of our residents come from homelessness, we have saved children from going into foster care by accepting their mothers and teaching them the right way to parent and be successful.

What impact has your organization had on the community?


story by Anna Stockton photos provided by CALM Organization

Tenants of CALM village will still fall under the protective canopy of CALM however with more of an independent style living.

CALM started as a weekly single moms’ group by founder Grace Nuffer and Terri Steadman. They were meeting with some women who were realty struggling. Terri and Grace would help with their needs from their open pockets and homes. CALM was discovered through these women continuing to say, “If only I had known or been taught that.” They wanted to step out in faith and have a permanent home they can come to and get what they need in a safe and supportive environment. What are some of the challenges CALM faces? Finding the residents daycare so they can get a good paying job is our number one problem, number 2 is affordable housing. Once we have them successfully in a job and have secured daycare, we look for housing but affordable housing in our area is almost nonexistent. We usually rely on other organizations, government systems, or HUD housing which isn’t ideal when they are trying to get away from utilizing the government for their success.

I am the current President of CALM and have been involved in the organization since before we had the home in 2017. I came to the organization like most, searching for my purpose in life, knowing I wanted to serve those that are less fortunate and lost. I have served in several positions on the executive board, as project manager for the renovation of the old church and community building, and now as acting president.

CALM stands for Crisis Aid for Littles and Moms. We are a transitional living facility for women and children that come from multiple crisis situations such as homelessness, domestic abuse, substance abuse, and more. We strive to provide them with the foundation they have lacked for most of their life through education, resources, guidance, love, and support. A typical time at CALM is up to 6 months. We have a 76% success rate. How did CALM come about?

Women lifting themselves out of a cycle of substance abuse, domestic violence, homelessness, or overall distress often nd their situation very dif cult. When there are children who depend on you, lifting everyone out of the cycle might seem impossible. This is where the CALM Organization comes in. This faith-based organization helps single moms by providing transitional living for those moving forward from a crisis situation. They provide education, resources, and support to provide the best possible outcome for moms and their littles.

What are some future goals of CALM?

What is your position and how did you get involved?

CALM is looking to solve our own lack of affordable housing on our own land. We are building CALM Village. It will consist of 7 cottages complete with 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, kitchen/ living combination.

September 2022 | 53

What is the CALM Organization?

Interview with CALM Organization President Chanie Erb

Please visit our website at and see what we are doing. Find the volunteer tab and get started. We have multiple opportunities such as teaching, babysitting, driving, cooking, gardening, and more. Our director will receive your application and then we can get you put into a position of serving. We also host a volunteer workshop quarterly. This helps our volunteers stay involved and up to date on the needs of the residents and organization. |


How can our readers get involved or donate to your organization?


What else would you like our readers to know about CALM?

What are some events your organization hosts? We host our annual fundraiser in April every year. We also participate in chili cookoffs, 5k fun runs, golf tournaments, trivia nights, scavenger hunts, and so much more. Our next big event is our Ground Breaking Ceremony for CALM Village on Sept 12, 2022. It will be in our VenYou parking lot at 4:30. We are excited to have community members, past residents, and government of cials there to celebrate such an amazing step for the Organization.

CALM is special, we are a one of a kind organization that exists in the panhandle of Florida, we are faith based and feel that everyone deserves the love of God and a second chance. We are all broken, and everyone can be pieced back together with the love and support of one another. CALM is exactly that – a place of peace to help these families piece their shattered lives back together. We help moms realize they’re great, because we show them they are.

Family Owned and Operated 6235 N. Davis Hwy Pensacola, FL 32504 (850) PetlandPensacola637-1123THANK YOU FOR VOTING US BEST PET CARE & ACCESSORIES!415MaryEsther Cut Off NW Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548 (850) PetlandFortWaltonBeach796-2424 ACCESSORIES! Come Play with Our Pets



photos & story by Alicia Noble

Jeffrey Grosholz & Eleanor Sills Melissa Beadle & Linda Gleason

September 2022 | 57 Christina & Lance Anderson

S ipping complimentary wine and shopping the merchants of Baytowne Wharf is the perfect way to spend a Thursday evening. And that’s just where many Emerald Coast locals and visitors found themselves on August 18.

Bubbly Baytowne is an exciting event that takes place on select Thursdays throughout the year. Participants sign in by the fountain at 5 pm, and receive a wristband, map of merchants, and special wine glass for the event. When Randy and Judy Phelps saw the engraved words on their glass boasting “35 years of Bubbly Baytowne,” their eyes lit up. The couple stayed at Baytowne Wharf 35 years ago for their honeymoon, and returned this year for their anniversary, not knowing this long-standing event was just as old as their marriage. Guests took their glasses and made their way to the various participating merchants. There, they received a pour of free wine and browsed their collection of goods ranging from clothing to candy to art pieces. Baytowne Wharf organizes this free event to allow the public a chance to explore the wonderful shops they have to offer.

VIP Destin at Baytowne Wharf

Eileen Porcaro & Mary Lutz & Joni Alexander, Carrey & Bob Burgner


Judy & Randy Phelps Kensley Brooks & Bryan Martine

VIP Destin at Bubbly Baytowne 58 | Ryan Wallace & Amanda Eng Michael Gomes & Chloe Berry Jim Adduci, Kathleen & Vincent Adduci Kati, Melissa & Laura Cross Caree Jo Hodge & Joey Hodge Janice Fisher, Jennifer Liszewski, Kim Cooper & Joshua Liszewski Mark & Cherie Entrekin Tati Nizker & Alexandra Peuzner

Steve & Vicki McMichael

Monica Bell & Cindy Russell Joshua Cowsert, Carla Jordana, Michelle & Larry Cowsert

TheDestin Chamber of Commerce held their monthly Business After Hours event at Fair eld Inn & Suites by Marriott on August 25. But this time, it was also in celebration of the hotel’s recent renovation and joining of the chamber. The event began with a ribbon cutting outside the hotel where staff and Chamber members joined in cheering for the new partnership. Everyone made their way into the newly redesigned lobby to mingle and network. Down the hall in the dining area, hors d’oeuvres and cocktails were available forAsguests.partof the celebration, the Fair eld Inn & Suites hosted a silent auction to bene t the Air Force Enlisted Village. Many businesses, both a part of the chamber and not, donated goods and services to the cause. The Destin Chamber hosts these monthly events as a way to bring businesspeople from the area together in a casual and fun atmosphere to build connections and celebrate successes.

photos & story by Alicia Noble

Shane Moody & Glenn Eichelberger Lisa McGraw & April Atkinson

Donna Montalvo, Stacy Head & Trisha Marks

VIP Destin at Fairfield Inn & Suites DESTIN CHAMBER Business After Hours & Ribbon Cutting 60 | AbbeyVIPDestinMagazine.comOpalenik&Andrew Wentz

Big Kahuna’s, an island-themed, indoor/ outdoor family-fun destination, will provide free admission to members of these deserving groups and discounted tickets for up to six of their guests, according to the following schedule: Appreciation Days August 1 – September 25 • Teachers • Military/First Responder • Healthcare Worker Teachers, Military, First Responders, and Healthcare workers should bring a work ID (with a photo on it or accompanied by a valid photo ID) or pay stub with them to the park for day-of admission. Learn more:

NWFSC Executive Director of Campus Safety and Security, Chief Aaron Murray, explained that the College’s investment in officer training and development has contributed significantly to its current ranking.“Inthe last four years, we have developed a robust response capability and built great relationships with other public safety agencies in our region,” Chief Murray said. “We have added several technologies and installed additional cameras that vastly improve our ability to monitor situations and respond. We have also actively worked with multiple departments throughout the College on emergency response training, including bleed control, active shooter responses, firearms safety, self-defense, and rape aggression defense training.”

The College has also implemented a FLIR SkyWatch Mobile Surveillance and Deterrence Tower, courtesy of Florida State University, which allows officers to have

“Nearly every business in Florida has had to implement new and creative ways to attract and retain employees as the nation experiences near historic lows in the unemployment rate,” says Florida Trend Executive Editor Vickie Chachere. “The competition for high-quality talent has never been greater and employees are raising the expectations of their workplaces. Companies that support, elevate, and celebrate their employees and are changemakers in creating positive workplace cultures will be the winners in the talent race.”

Big Kahuna’s Destin also offers discounted tickets for friends and family of these groups.

SimpleHR Named to Top 100 Best Companies List

Military and First Responders, Healthcare Workers, Teachers Get Free Admission at Big Kahuna’s Water Park Teachers, Healthcare Workers, Military, and First Responders can get a day of family fun this summer with free admission to Big Kahuna’s Water Park in Destin. “These frontline workers have been through it all over the last few years,” says Tim Murphy, CEO, Boomers Parks, which operates Big Kahuna’s. “We hope that Big Kahuna’s can help lighten the load for these valuable members of our society and create some special memories for their families.”

Among the Top 10 Safest Colleges in Florida Northwest Florida State College (NWFSC) has ranked among the top 10 safest college campuses in Florida, according to Niche. com.The rankings for campus safety were established after evaluating campus and community crime rates, rates of violent crimes, and student surveys on crime. NWFSC ranked number 10 out of the 48 colleges and universities evaluated in 2022.

Northwest Florida State College Ranks

SimpleHR was recently named one of Florida’s Best Companies to Work For.

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The annual Best Companies To Work For In Florida list featured in the August issue of Florida Trend magazine ranks 100 companies in small, medium, and large employer categories.“Ourteam is once again honored, for the fifth time, to be recognized as a best company to work for in Florida. This award belongs to our team of dedicated professionals and is a tangible recognition of their tireless efforts to deliver only the very best client experience. I am immensely proud of our team and for the opportunity to share this award with them.”Bill Lindsley, President of SimpleHR To participate, companies or government entities were required to have at least 15 workers in Florida and to be in operation for at least one year. Companies that chose to participate underwent an evaluation of their workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems, and demographics. The process also included a survey to measure employee satisfaction. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking.

Among the newly incorporated technologies are the Unmanned Aerial Systems. Last month, the College was recognized as one of 10 colleges in the United States to have implemented security drones to improve campus safety, and it is the first in the region to implement a fourmember team that can respond to any campus location and launch an aircraft to assist with emergency responses.

students in Walton and Okaloosa Counties. Eggs on the Beach has donated more than $205,500 to local non-profits since its inception in 2013. Eggs on the Beach will take place from 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 15, 2022. Tickets are $45 in advance and $55 day of the event. For Grill Masters, cook team registration is still open as well. Learn more and purchase tickets at www.

The Fisher House of the Emerald Coast, which provides a home away from home for military families during medical treatment, and Food for Thought, which aims to fight childhood hunger and food insecurity among

Shaun Foster has been named Branch Manager of the Santa Rosa Beach office. Foster graduated from Troy University with a degree in Business Administration. With a 15-year history of banking in Okaloosa and Walton Counties, he has extensive knowledge and experience in retail management, consumer loans, business products and mortgages. Shaun is also involved with the local Chambers, participating in many events throughout the year.

Christopher Bass has been named Assistant Branch Manager of the Panama City office.

“As our offices in South Walton and Bay County continue to grow, we are thrilled about the addition of Shaun and Chris to our teams in Santa Rosa Beach and Panama City,” said Redding. “With their banking history and established relationships in our local community, I know they will serve our customers well.”

The 2022 Eggs on the Beach Festival will be held on the deck overlooking the pond at the Seascape Towne Centre. With the Seascape outdoor tiki bar as the centerpiece and flat screen TVs airing the top college football games, tasters are invited to walk the perimeter sampling delectable bites from a variety of cook teams competing for votes. Live music, a Knob Creek tasting area, seasonal beer samples and opportunities to enter to win prizes, including a mini-Max Big Green Egg, enhance the Eggs on the Beach experience.

Last year, four local non-profit cook teams, including Healing Paws for Warriors, South Walton Academy, Sinfonia Gulf Coast and Boys & Girls Club of the Emerald Coast, earned the most taster votes and cash toward their cause.

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Progress Bank Welcomes New Florida Branch Leadership

a bird’s eye view of outdoor events and identify security issues within a crowd; and the Raider Connect app, which turns cell phones into mobile alert devices. Once the Raider Connect app is activated, campus police officers and the emergency communications center are alerted for an immediate response. The app also provides users access to campus maps, emergency response plans, notifications, and safety training links. “I am proud of our campus police for their efforts in making our College one of the safest in the state,” said NWFSC President Dr. Devin Stephenson. “This recognition is proof of our commitment to fostering a safe and supportive environment for all of our students, faculty, and staff. We will continue prioritizing safety as we improve our capabilities and expand our Raider Safe Training Program.”


Progress Bank’s South Walton & Bay County Market President Lane Redding announced today that the Santa Rosa Beach and Panama City offices have welcomed new leadership.

A native of Longview, Texas, he graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with a degree in Instrumental Music Education/ Percussion. Bass’ previous work experience includes several positions over his seven years in banking, including Personal Banker, Teller, Business Advocate and Branch Operations Manager. He is also the Minister of Music at Carlisle Baptist Church.

Proceeds from Eggs on the Beach benefit

Tickets Now on Sale for 8th Annual Eggs On the Beach Cooking Competition Returning to Seascape Resort, October 15 Tickets are on sale now for the 8th Annual Eggs on the Beach Big Green Egg cooking competition, returning to Seascape Resort in Miramar Beach on Oct. 15, 2022. Presented by Bay Breeze Patio, the garden-partystyle event celebrates the delicious results of cooking on the Big Green Egg while benefiting two local charities--the Fisher House of the Emerald Coast and Food for Thought.

Taster tickets provide access to the event as well as unlimited bites and five tickets to vote for the “People’s Choice” winner. From backyard grillers to local restaurants to non-profit organizations, cook teams present a wide variety of dishes, ranging from meats and seafood to veggies and desserts, all cooked on the Big Green Egg. Cook teams will be competing in a variety of categories. They will be working to impress tasters to earn “People’s Choice” votes in an effort to earn bragging rights and win a brand new Big Green Egg. Honorary judges will also be in attendance sampling bites to present the coveted Judge’s Award Trophies. Non-profit cook teams will be competing for a donation toward their cause.

Kim Holley & Angie Sanchez

VIP Destin at Shoreline Church

The main presentation was a panel of local insurance experts discussing property and casualty insurance in Florida. The panel was made up of Brad Davies, Dave Morrow, along with Ryland Morrow and Dennis Gagnon, Jr. The panel was entertaining and informative as they discussed property and casualty insurance, and how the legislative process and litigation affects insureds and the insurance industry in Florida. With 8% of the nation’s claims, Florida accounts for 79% of the nation’s litigation. An additional presentation by the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Department went over a program where businesses can register their security cameras in order for authorized personnel to access the cameras in the event of an investigation.

HoursBefore 66 | MaureenVIPDestinMagazine.comBierman&Debbie Bruce

Jason Belcher & Dennis Gagnon, JrJen Higgins & Cory Fosdyck

Regina Piazza & Christine Martinez

photos & story by Harley S. Sampson, Jr. Destin Chamber Business

Dave Morrow & Brad Davies

Shoreline Church in Destin again hosted another fun- lled and informative Destin Chamber of Commerce event on August 12. Sponsored by A2Z Specialty Advertising, old and new friends assembled for another morning of networking and education. Presentations ranged from the Sponsor’s Corner to the Business Person of the Month, and the Ambassador of the Quarter. After their presentation A2Z Specialty Advertising continued with the presentation of the Gabby Bruce “You Make a Difference Award.” Founded in 2021 to honor the late Gabby Bruce, the award honors his legacy by acknowledging businesses that give back to the community. “Today we are celebrating the legacy of Gabby Bruce (A2Z Advertising) by honoring Step One Automotive Group as a community-minded business,” said Debbie Bruce of A2Z Advertising. Additional awards were presented during breakfast and included the Chamber’s Business Person of the Month (Cory Fosdyck) and Chamber Ambassador of the Quarter (Christine Martinez).

September 2022 | 67 125 Poinciana Boulevard, Miramar Beach, FL 32550 850-842-3200 | Sun-Thur 11 am to 9 pm; Fri-Sat 11 am to 10 pm Happy Hour $1 o all drinks and selected 1/2 price appetizers ~ Daily 3-6 Live Music Wednesday thru Saturday ~ 5:30-8:30 Home of the 102 foot bar including 32 beers on draft. Sandy Lichauer, Sylvia Vazquez & Paul Montalvo Bryana Bahmer & Jearl McCall Adana Elder & Donna Montalvo Elizabeth Spies, Jennifer Gutai-Comella & Neko Stubblefield

An Evening with Jeremy Jordan Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood 4000 S. Sandestin Blvd. | Miramar Beach 5:30pm Celebrate the evening with Tony and Grammy-nominated singer-actor, Jeremy Jordan. Jeremy, who portrayed Jack Kelly in “Newsies” on Broadway, has been performing his solo cabarets to sold-out audiences around the US and London since 2014. The Sinfonia Cabaret evening includes valet, four-course dinner, wine, gratuity, and performance. Visit for information and tickets. Visit for more events!

Destin Chamber Annual Golf Tournament

Emerald Bay Golf Club 4781 Clubhouse Drive | Destin 12:00-6:00pm This Annual Golf Tournament is sponsored by Renasant Bank. The ighted 4-person scramble tees off with a shotgun start. A pre-tournament cookout and some time on the practice green with sponsor Ben & Jerry’s is provided, and a beverage cart will make rounds, thanks to sponsors Florida Power & Light and SimpleHR. Call (850) 837-6241 or email for playing and sponsorship opportunities.

Emerald Coast Harley Davidson 788 Beal Parkway NW Fort Walton Beach 2:00-4:00pm



The Big Scoop-Okaloosa County

Wiggin’ Out For A Cause


The Big Scoop is the sweetest event in town! The event will take place at Emerald Coast Harley Davison and will bene t Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida services in Okaloosa and Walton Counties. Enjoy all-you-can-eat ice cream, games, activities and more! Go to bbbsnw .org/events/ for more information.

Destin Fishing Rodeo Kids Wagon Boat Parade

AJs Seafood and Oyster Bar 116 Harbor Blvd. Destin 6:00-7:00pm Come be a part of the 74th Annual Destin Fishing Rodeo and kick off the festivities with our 14th Annual Kids Wagon Boat parade! Decorate your wagon to look like a charter boat, pirate boat, sailing sloop, or whatever you can dream up. The parade will roll down the docks from AJ’s to Harbor Walk Village at 6pm, This is a free family event sponsored by AJ’s and The Destin Fishing Rodeo, pre-registering is required for participants. There are 5 different parade categories that will be judged: Most Creative, Most Spirited, Crowd Pleaser, Overall, and Best Theme. To sign up to participate, email

Shoreline Church Event Area 140 Palmetto Street | Destin 6:00-10:00pm



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The Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC) presents their 6th Annual Wiggin’ Out For A Cause event, presented by Great American RV Superstores. This year, ECCAC is encouraging men to attend, too. With a “Prom Night of Your Dreams” theme, ladies and gentlemen can come dressed accordingly in their best (or worst) prom attire. The entertaining event will be lled with wine and punch cocktails, along with food, fun, photo booths, and live DJ music with dancing. Visit to purchase tickets.


hen you think of leather, you might think of bikers -- roaring down the road looking tough and maybe a little menacing. Or you may think of Sandy from Grease, whose leather pants were sexy, formfitting, and left you with questions like, how did she get those on? And how did seven-year-old me possibly think she passed for a high schooler. However, leather is more versatile and stylish than ever and with fall approaching, leather might be just what you need to add a little edge to your wardrobe. While this Fall’s leather trend calls for head to toe leather, c’mon, we live in Florida so we must improvise. These leather pieces are perfect additions to your closet and will keep you looking fashionable, while still respecting Florida’s tropical climate.

story by Anna Stockton W


Leather pants and leggings are a little bit harder to pull o , (literally!) but are also a bold and stylish fashion choice. When paired with a softer top, they can easily go from daytime fab and can be dressed up a bit with a fun top for nighttime glam.

Bold Bottoms Believe it or not, leather skirts and pants are a great addition to your wardrobe, ladies. You can go for a leather miniskirt, perfect for a night out, or a classy leather pencil skirt that’ll take you from the o ce to a girls’ night.

Trendy Trimmings Leather accessories are a fun way to participate in the trend in a more subtle way and without the commitment of buying leather clothing. Leather clutches and handbags in bold colors or patterns are sure to make your outfit pop and can be paired with many di erent styles. While leather cu s and other jewelry polish o your perfect stylish look and add and sass you didn’t know your outfit needed.

Leathered Layers Leather jackets are the coolest! No other outerwear can tie together an outfit quite like a nice leather jacket. There are options for every sense of style as well, so you can find the perfect fit and form for you. Traditional biker leather jackets are just that, classic lines and classic style. Moto jackets tend to be a little shorter and with more patterned stitching and padding that gives this leather jacket a more detailed look, however, it also serves a safety purpose as these jackets are made for sports bikes. If you like clean lines, the leather racer jacket is for you, it’s a modern twist on a biker jacket but is made for looks rather than safety so it has a sleeker and form fitting style with less bulk.

Co r me Stylish Want to soften or jazz up your leather look? Leather comes in many colors and options that are perfect for putting your own spin on this trend. Reds, blues, oranges, greens, and other lively options can spice up your handbag, jacket, or other leather duds. Another fun way to change up your leather look is prints. Croc e ect, snake print, or even embossed are all great options to add di erent textures to this stylish look and take your look to the next level.

Of course, flight jackets and bomber jackets are also options for leather jackets and since most leather jackets are sturdy, you can wear them for years to come.

Destin at

Juried ExhibitionArt

Art Center Galleries at Northwest Florida State College

The winners of the 30th Annual Emerald Coast National Juried Art Exhibition are Aniz Alipour for his virtual reality piece, which guests can try via a virtual reality headset. Second place went to Diego Waisman for his photo of the gentri cation of Miami. Third place went to Jason Reblando. In addition to the art gallery, last year’s rst place winner, Dong Kyu Kim, an LA-based artist and fashion designer, has a solo show in the McIlory Gallery showcasing his textile and mixed media art exploring the topic of western attitudes towards the pandemic.

30th Annual Emerald Coast

VIP Mattie Kelly

T he Mattie Kelly Art Center Galleries were abuzz with people eager to see the art pieces selected for display at the 30th Annual Emerald Coast Juried Art Exhibition on August 26. This year, the show featured art across several mediums including audio art, projected computer art, textiles, pottery, and even robotic drawings, to name a few.

“My vision this year was to invite all media so that we may see how artists employ traditional or new technologies or motifs,” said MKAC Galleries Director and Curator J. Wren Supak. “Today artists experiment with digital drawing, virtual reality, robots and so much more. I hope that makes this show fun but also that it encourages imagination and experimentation.”

J. Wren Supak, Dustin Daugette, Charlene & David Daugette

74 | DevinRobynLoisVIPDestinMagazine.comHenry&LynneFehrenbachDonaldson&KemeHawkinsStephenson&JimmyRheaStaceyYoung&EmilyRoyal

Carla Sandstrom & Mary ChurilloLeQuita Parker & Kiara Parker

The Mattie Kelly Arts Center Galleries are free to the public and are open Monday-Thursday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. photos & story by Savannah Vasquez

Melissa Oropesa & Tori Oropesa

& Bailey

Dong Kyu Kim & Yovonne Dawes

Jeanette Shires, Caitlin

& Ray

Ruta Janiulis TaraBori TaraBori

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Honest, Loyal, Diligent. Fun Fact… While living in Hawaii I used to dance the Hula as luxury liners came into port, along with my Hawaiian dance troop. Favorite place for dining, entertainment, and outdoor activities?

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Kim Dettle

What is your hometown and how did you end up on the Emerald Coast?

Three words that best describe you.

Lately, it is Chans Wine World – it’s close to my store and has great food. Also -- behind the Crab Trap at the openair area I nd great sunsets. I collect sunsets! What is one thing thay you do not go a day without?

My hometown is Honolulu, Hawaii. My father was a Navy Commander and we settled in Oahu. At 20, I visited roommates in Colorado and California. In Vail, I learned to ski and decided to take 6 months off from my teaching position in Hawaii. There, I met my soulmate and future husband, Jim, who was visiting from Destin, Florida. After ski season, I packed my bags and didn’t go back to Hawaii but moved to beautiful Destin. Jim and I got married, had two fabulous kids, and grew Today’s Boutique over the next 40 years. What is your profession and what led you to choose it?

Coffee and some outdoor exercise. Finish this statement. I AM Destin because… I have lived, raised a family, and built and maintained a local business for over 40 years. We have been an integral part of the Destin community with fashion shows, Sinfonia, and giving to charities. I remember years back walking down the street and we knew everyone by name. I love living and being a part of the Destin community.

photo by Harley S. Sampson, Jr.

My college degree is in psychology and special ed, which I used in Hawaii. When I got to Destin the retail opportunities were abundant and Jim and I started going to markets in California, Dallas, and Atlanta. We fell in love with retailing and opened Today’s Boutique, as well as six other concept stores. We started bringing in new brands, fabrics, and styles to Destin. The excitement kept growing with our merchandise mix and our brand kept growing. What are some of your favorite things about Destin?

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