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PeRSPeCTIveS 9/11: The Tenth Anniversary

A Story of Hope from Behind the Lens

The Pursuit of happiness

O You! Conference in Atlanta

The ART OF LIFe Pensacola Opera Presents

Jukebox Gala

BehINd The LeNS The Language of Light

An Exposé on Its Power

Northwest Florida Physicians Spotlight Feature A Cajun Road Trip

Celebrating Mardi Gras along Louisiana’s Acadiana Trail

VIE ’s Favorite Things

Gift Giving, Recipes, and Ideas for Entertaining



NYC MerCedes - BeNz FashioN Week


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santa aRRiVes Saturday, December 3 | 12PM Santa flies into the Center at noon.

ChaRitY giFt WRaP and angeL tRee December 3 – 24 Sponsored by Sinfonia Gulf Coast, Charity Gift Wrap will be open beginning December 3 located near Shopper Services. Visit or call 850.654.9771 for Charity Gift Wrap hours of operation. Also, visit the Angel Tree, located inside Charity Gift Wrap, benefiting foster children in Walton County.

big WinteR saLe 20th anniVeRsaRY giFt With PuRChase January 13 – 16 Spend $200 and receive a $20 Silver Sands Gift Card. While supplies last.


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In this issue:


82 168 34

People + Places Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week 60 Galati’s Destin Seafood Festival Rendezvous 178 REED’s Jewelers Grand Opening 71 The Art of Life Some Coin for a Song 34 Fashion Feature Who What Wear 51 My Crush With Fashion 62 Living in Leona 72 Holiday Spotlight VIE’s Favorite Things: Gift-Giving 90 Festive Entertaining 99 For the Love of Food Vue on 30a 106 Bricks and Mortar Navigating a Challenging Homebuilding Market 150

51 22

99 Perspectives The Language of Light 22 O YOU! The Pursuit of Happiness 82 Voyager A Cajun Road Trip 168 The Business Corner Hollywood Glamour Comes to the Emerald Coast 78 The Second Annual Women’s Symposium 162 Guarding Against the Next Potential Bubble 158 Get Healthy COLA 2 COLA Physicians Guide 110 Dr. Leslie Fleischer 112 Dr. Nitin Bawa 116 Destin Plastic Surgery 118 Dr. Steve Weiner 122 Dr. Kimberly Moskowitz 126 White Wilson Medical Center 130 The Andrews Institute 134 Sacred Heart Hospital 140

Behind the Lens September 11: The Tenth Anniversary 40 VIEZINE.COM WINTER 2011



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Primary Targeted Audiences


ur stories and distribution cover COLA 2 COLA®—Pensacola to Apalachicola. We explore the people and places of our region in the

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restaurants, bed-and-breakfast locations, special events and much more! We are thrilled you have picked up a copy of VIE and hope you enjoy exploring the people and places of our coveted area. We have a passion for VIE, our area, and the people and businesses found within and hope you will share in the excitement and know that we live in a great place and that "life is good."

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On the Cover:

VIE Creative Team: Lisa Burwell Publisher

Gerald Burwell Editor-in-Chief

Bob Brown VP of Creative Services

Mary Jane Kirby Account Executive

Ainsley Rogers Public Relations Director

James Ryan Account Executive

Tracey Thomas Graphic Designer Troy Ruprecht Graphic Designer Since the inaugural issue of VIE in 2008, members of the creative team have traveled to New York City to attend Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week three times—this time it was to view the incredible Spring 2012 lines. The runway shows displayed exquisite pieces from many of the world’s most acclaimed designers, but one dress in particular caught our eye and we knew it would be the one to grace our Winter 2011 cover. Andreea Diaconu modeled the cocktail dress from the Badgley Mischka Spring 2012 Collection—she is a chiffon and champagne vision. Photographer Dan Lecca beautifully captured the ethereal movement of the dress that lingered in the minds of many. A special thanks to the team at Badgley Mischka for their help in securing our cover shot.

Bill Weckel Web/Project Manager Darby Kellum Public Relations Assistant

Tim Dutrow Video Producer Margaret Stevenson Copy Editor Shannon Quinlan Distribution Coordinator Aaron Sutton Ad Design

VIE Contributors: Contributing Writers: Sallie W. Boyles Steve Cann Stephanie Clay Michelle Blair Coslik Dr. Leslie Fleischer Melanie Gunnell Brian Haugen Seleta Hayes Howard Madison Mayberry Lacey McLaughlin

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hen you had the cowboy, w of ys da e th apes. With age to d social landsc oot pays hom an sh al o ic ot ys ph f ph af st with fierce rugged VIE’s annual ic challenges to survive the om e ac on gr ec t d en an rr it gr ies of good the cu to have both inging you stor e’ve embraced w br d, g— ol in of ow it gr ir sp s and adverive and a pioneering ith our reader to keep VIE al w ty ds ci en na d te d an an , begins ory with us! determination story, though explored territ ur O un . to le in op y pe ne jour news and good continuing to thank you for e w d an , rs tise Burwell —To Life, Lisa

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The Language of Light. The Language of Life. By Michelle Blair Coslik Photography by Romona Robbins

We cannot escape it. It surrounds us; it flows through us. It is the most powerful source in the universe. It can burn and it can heal. We cannot live without it. We cannot see it, but we see because of it. We cannot hold it but we can hold because of it. It is everywhere. It defines our external and internal spaces—the space of our surroundings and the space of our hearts. I am referring to LIGHT— both spiritual and earthly light.




believe my awareness of Light began at age four. Years ago, I came across a photograph of me celebrating my fourth birthday. Of all the snapshots of me as a child, this is the one that stays in my mind. I have often studied that picture, wondering why its image and its essence have imprinted onto my memory. Seated in front of a window with sunlight reflecting off my whitish blonde hair, I look like I have a halo. I am smiling and biting my lip somewhat. I am happy. My head is tilted downward slightly, as if I know something or have a secret that I’m hesitant to share. There is a shyness, a reluctance. There are no others in the picture. Just me, seated at a table, clothed in a proper party dress, raising four fingers above my birthday cake with four lit celebratory candles. Today, I am amazed by the clarity of this picture. It reveals both worlds of Light. The daylight is infiltrating the space, highlighting the subject matter, and the flame of the candle is capturing the occasion’s celebratory essence. Yet, the snapshot also shows the intangible—my emotions and my state of being. Sometimes, I wonder if that little girl already knew her own essence but has spent a lifetime finding what already existed through the metaphor of Light. I was fortunate. I grew up in a creative hub with my mother, an interior designer, so I was surrounded by 24


various elements of the creative world. I will never forget the moment I was awed by the effect of light in the interior environment. While helping my mother with one of her commercial installations, I realized this space was different from others. A specialist had designed the lighting. The furnishings and fabrics helped define the space, but I was experiencing them differently—their colors and textures were richer, more intense. But, what really drew me into the space was a single, highly illuminated gerbera daisy. It was seductive. I looked everywhere to find the cause of this effect. I could not see from which direction the beam of light was coming. It was mysterious. Like most great lighting, the power source was deeply concealed in a recessed housing, hidden from the observer. All the various fixtures spread different size beams and intensities, creating a harmoniously orchestrated experience. Some find conversion in church; mine took place there, at that moment. Like most light-bulb moments, the impact of that awakening has been everlasting, real, and constant. My continual questioning of “Why?” seemed like an unending nag but, in retrospect, was a divine hint. Years later, a series of hints or synchronicity led me to New York. There, I obtained a Master of Fine Arts in Architectural Lighting from Parsons School of Design, and I worked for one of the top lighting

design firms in the world. While illuminating museums, hotels, and high-end retail spaces, I became versed in the human response to light and its direct effect on how one sees and interacts in space. However, as I was breathing, dreaming, and surrounded by the field of light, I was simultaneously searching for a better version of my life—a rebooting of sorts. The freedom in New York opened a portal to start anew, to find a way of living life instead of life living me. Recovering from the effects of my father’s murder and a fragmented childhood filled with divorce and dramas, pain was an efficient motivator for change. (Isn’t it always?) While lighting up my external environment, I was also seeking to change my internal landscape. Harnessing the enormous, intangible source of light from a box in the ceiling, I was also learning to tap into another source from a place called Heaven. The language of light became the language of life. To assist me on this journey, I have had amazing mentors. My most eccentric teacher at Parsons gave us the same assignment everyday: to observe light everywhere—from Central Park at various times of the day to the ladies’ room at a local pizza joint. Journaling my observations and reactions to them, I developed a “muscle” for being aware of this amazing

Photo by Brooke Powell

illuminating source. Without fail, the three principles of light—color, intensity, and angle—were (and always will be) present in both worlds. Physically, the light that creates various responses affecting our five senses also serves as a clue to the ever-present intuitive system we call the sixth sense. Below, I try briefly to bridge these two worlds by using the captivating experience of the gerbera daisy from years ago.

Photo by Brooke Powell

for a different reality. They are “textural” and interesting, never victims. They are happy.



Lastly, the beam coming from a slight angle gave the petals of the gerbera daisy their form by producing shadows and definition—a clear perspective. The steeper the angle, the more dramatic the shadows; the shallower the angle, the more subtle the shadows. In lighting, we utilize both applications. For example, when lighting a fabulous Monet painting, the objective is to allow the light to capture its full depiction. Therefore, with an old master in a typical heavy, deep frame, we would utilize a shallower angle, guarding against harsh shadows on the image. Spiritually, my angle is always my discernment. At times, I must adjust my spiritual perspective with harsher judgment or severity, for example, when it comes to keeping my children safe or taking the right path in the midst of confusion. At other moments, my angle must be merciful, tolerant, and nonjudgmental to soften many of life’s offerings.

We create moods with various light levels, but we are always drawn to the brightest point of light. Just like I was drawn to the gerbera daisy, we are drawn to positive people. Typically, these are people who have transformed life’s dark moments into a deeper meaning through conscious choices and their desire

Light, just like life, can be so simple in its raw, pure, and unaltered state. I am convinced that it why people tend to be happiest when life is free of clutter or fragmentation. As lighting designers, we are master manipulators. With all three aforementioned

Color The flower’s lush persimmon orange appeared saturated due to that same color frequency being present in the source; this gave it its lush vitality. Spiritually, in order to see a quality in another, positive or negative, we must also have the same vibrating quality. Knowing this can be challenging but helpful in vanishing the veil of disconnect between two people. Furthermore, this awareness offers the instant remedy of compassion, not only for others, but also for ourselves.

principles always present, we use various tools to alter each element to produce the desired effect. Light often seems mysterious because we can only see the effect or the object that is struck by its beam. In life, we often question the presence of a higher power because of the same mysterious quality. The easiest way to see the effect spiritually is to observe how Light can strike another human with a smile or a caring act. What I now know is that the language of light as metaphor is not limited to just the principles; there are also endless examples of how it directs our awareness of the language of life. The following insights may initiate an observation of how the two existing worlds mirror each other; consequently, this can lead to more wonder, enjoyment, and fulfillment.

Lighting Plan Most forward thinkers and successful people have a vision plan. As in the use of different intensities to illuminate objects, we must also know what is important in our lives. Where do we focus our energy, our Light, and our time? Sometimes a narrow, intense pin spot is required, while background walls require only a subtle wash. It’s all about focus and the delicate balancing of active and passive energies to achieve the desired effect. VIEZINE.COM WINTER 2011




While lighting up my external environment, I was also seeking to change my internal landscape. Harnessing the enormous, intangible source of light from a box in the ceiling, I was also learning to tap into another source from a place called Heaven. The language of light became the language of life.



Reflectors are used to bounce a light source in a certain direction. I learned one of my earliest lessons on reflection from my husband. When we react to people or their behavior, they are mirroring back to us our own blind spots that keep light from coming in. The hot box of family and relationships become like gurus directing where the black holes are waiting to be illuminated. Stress becomes a welcome indicator letting me know where I need to let go, to let come.

When selecting a light source, efficacy can be important, especially today with the awareness of energy conservation. Efficacy is the number of lumens per watt— or the amount of bang for the buck. In life, what words and actions reveal the most Light? As a mother, this has been very challenging for me. Words have impact when selected wisely. And, actions have become more effective since I learned that saying ”no” is supercharging my “yeses” with more lumens. Worry, guilt, and doubt are always the most inefficient uses of energy.

Refractors In lighting, lenses are used to spread light where needed to wash walls or produce an overall nondirected quality of light. As reflectors bring coherence, a lens fragments the beam. This dispersion also decreases the light level of each ray. In life, our energy lessens with the same type of fragmentation. The various voices in our heads, trying to fix or figure out an issue, a friendship, or a business deal, often leave us emotionally exhausted. As a continual spiritual practice, I attempt to get out of my present thinking and help another with their dreams. Focusing outside of myself allows my intuitive voice to direct more light-filled actions.


I am often asked what my favorite light sources are. Immediately, I travel back in time to my fourth birthday. Forty years later, with a portfolio full of experiences, my favorites remain the same. First, candlelight. Candles are simple, quick, full spectrum, and affordable; but mostly, they represent a celebration of the human spirit. They are an instant “happy” and remedy for me. Second, daylight. I am always awed by the variation of angles and colors the sun produces and by the reliability of sunsets and sunrises. Also, it is free. And last, but most important, people. The joy of witnessing others, each an essential ray of light, adds immeasurably to the full spectrum of life.

Human Level Lighting Often lighting designers are consumed with integrating fixtures into architectural features or the reflective ceiling plan while forgetting the overall desired intent. While designing a New York hotel with tall ceilings, I discovered the importance of human level light. The addition of decorative light fixtures, commonly referred to as lamps, produced an intimacy that was just as important. As humans, we need the warmth and connection of others for a full, light-filled experience. When those we love, who are imperfect, hurt us, remembering their divine light or essence, even when dim, keeps us together.





Michelle Blair Coslik Lighting designer and life experiencer Michelle presently lives in Fort Worth, Texas, with her husband of almost twenty years, her two beautiful gurus disguised as children, and her sweet dog, Izzy. She also considers herself a local of WaterColor, living there physically three months of the year but virtually the majority of the year. Her passion for Light is now focused on the more intangible One; thus she has created her blog, “Leave Light Everywhere.”


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Some Coin for a Song Pensacola Opera’s Seventh Annual Jukebox Gala By Gerald Burwell


lend the sophistication of opera and musical theatre with the spirited charm of a live jukebox and it makes for a magical one-of-a-kind event. This past September, my wife and I were invited to attend the annual Jukebox Gala hosted by Pensacola Opera. Founded in the early 1980s and having celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary in 2008, the Pensacola Opera had humble beginnings but now finds its home in the beautifully restored, historic 1800-seat Saenger Theatre in downtown Pensacola. I had never been to the gala before—or any opera for that matter—and since I had always been interested in going to the Pensacola Opera, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to get my feet wet. I have seen my fair share of fund-raising dinners. The premise is usually the same: a donation to attend, a silent auction to bid on some personal luxury one might take pleasure in, a cocktail and/or dinner to enjoy while talking to fellow patrons, a live auction for some big ticket items, and then depart. One might leave the event feeling good because the money spent was hopefully going toward some good, charitable cause. Walking through the doors of the New World Landing in downtown Pensacola on Saturday, September 19, 2011, everything appeared to be standard operating procedure—check in, peel and paste the name tag, find the table, and then mingle. It was a large meeting room: on one side of the room, at least thirty eight-person dining tables with attention focused on a small stage, and a gorgeous black Steinway grand piano nestled into the center of the mix; on the other side of the room, a long, undulating train of cloth-covered tables displaying the silent auction items. Again, aside from the fact that the auction items were songs, nothing appeared that unusual. But there was something different at this fund-raiser. The other patrons appeared unusually happy for attending a fund-raiser; they had a look in their eyes like they were actually looking forward to the evening’s events. It seemed like everyone in the room knew something really great was about to happen. I seemed to be the only one without the inside information. I would soon find out why this was no ordinary fund-raiser.

The guests were all seated for dinner. I looked about the room in anticipation of what was about to take place. The enjoyable salad in front of me helped to distract me from my anxiety. It was one of four delightful courses that evening prepared by Chef Nick Farkas of 600 South. The first of many of the dinner’s elegant wines, paired to each course by Premier Beverage, began to pour. Before long, gala chair Anna Bertolucci and gala vicepresident Andrea Arnof welcomed guests, thanked them for coming, and declared that the evening would not disappoint. And, to get the ball rolling, a three-set operatic preview was introduced. Suddenly, two people stood from different dining tables within the room and took strategic positions among the seated guests. The piano began to play and, within seconds, their powerful voices were belting out an amazing performance of La traviata by Verdi. I was amazed—and frankly somewhat shocked—at what I had just witnessed. My first operatic experience was not in the anonymity of a large, darkened theatre with a few thousand people, but at an intimate wine dinner. Still somewhat bewildered, I almost didn’t even realize what unfolded next. The attractive woman with regal posture sitting next to A performance of Madama Butterfly

The Jukebox Gala, now in its seventh year, is Pensacola Opera’s signature fund-raising event, where, over a gourmet wine dinner, opera stars serenade guests tableside with well-known opera and musical theatre hits. All proceeds go toward supporting the nonprofit organization’s mission to enrich the culture of Pensacola and Northwest Florida by producing professional opera performances, educational programs, and other opera-related community events for people of all ages, interests, and backgrounds. Our gracious hosts for the evening were Dr. Ruth Orth and her husband, Rick Harper. As longtime supporters of the Pensacola Opera and Gold Record Sponsors of the event, they understand the importance of art enrichment. It is called the Jukebox Gala because guests determine the evening’s musical lineup as they bid on popular selections from opera and musical theatre. With over sixty songs to choose from, the atmosphere was intense with friendly competition as each guest hoped their bid would be tops. Fifteen minutes before dinner, an announcement was made that the bids were closed. As if putting a coin in the slot, the jukebox was now in play.



“From my experience, the Jukebox Gala is not just another fund-raiser. I was completely blown away. It is a cultural experience and a privilege to be savored.”

me stood up from her seat, took a few steps toward the grand piano, and, with a heavenly voice, sang an impressive selection from Madama Butterfly. She then took her seat as if nothing was out of the ordinary. It’s hard not to take notice of someone at your dinner table after something like that. Of course, I had to learn her name—Sewell Jeter Griffith from New York City. I humorously thought: She didn’t have to go through all that just to get my attention. The usual run-of-the-mill introduction would have worked. The third and final set of the preview was a stunning quartet from Rigoletto performed by artists Jane Redding, Elise Quagliata, Tyler Smith, and Kenneth Overton.

Antonio Perry and wife, Bentina Dr. Greg Tomso (left) and Conor Cronin

And, so the night continued. During the salad course, the main course, and on to dessert, some of the best operatic voices in the country obliged and amazed. Just as the wines were paired with each course, so were the song selections. From the classic “The Impossible Dream” to

Howard Reddy and Hanan Tarabay the lively “My Favorite Things,” there was something for every music connoisseur to enjoy or novice to discover. Hearing these powerful and smooth vocals in such an intimate setting was literally a feast for the senses—all of them.

Sewell Jeter Griffith



It was interesting to learn that several of the artists performing were actually married couples, some of whom are local residents. Husband and wife Howard Reddy and Hanan Tarabay of Gulf Breeze were two of my favorites of the night. Mr. Reddy sang an incredibly moving performance of “Danny Boy,” and Ms. Tarabay a powerful rendition of “Habañera” from the opera Carmen. They sang other greats beautifully, performing some together, including “I Have Dreamed” from The King and I. Other featured artists from the event included: Sheila Murphy, Betsy Uschkrat, Roderick George, and Blake Riley, who played the piano.

From my experience, the Jukebox Gala is not just another fund-raiser. I was completely blown away. It is a cultural experience and a privilege to be savored. This year’s gala, sponsored by Appleyard Agency, raised $40,000. Many in attendance, including myself, gained a newfound appreciation for opera. No matter your background, you are sure to enjoy it. I know I did. And, I am looking forward to placing my bid at next year’s event.

Dr. Ruth Orth and husband, Rick Harper

On January 20 and 22, 2012, Pensacola Opera will produce Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, performed in Italian with English supertitles. Tickets are $25 to $100. To purchase tickets or for more information, call 850.433.6737, or visit

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September 11: The Tenth Anniversary

A Story of Hope from Behind the Lens Introduction by Ainsley Rogers Photography by Romona Robbins


he tenth anniversary of September 11 weighed heavy on the hearts of Americans across the nation. No one, however, stared this memory in the face more than the New Yorkers committed to rebuilding their city and their lives after such a devastating tragedy. Upon our arrival at Ground Zero, it was obvious the throngs of people, there to pay tribute to the fallen and the survivors, were surrounded by emotion. Flags of red, white and blue, lining the streets and hanging from buildings, seemed almost mournful as they snapped in the gentle breeze. Protestors of all types filled the streets: some were there to create controversy and to question the events that had

occurred on 9/11 ten years before; still others were there for a different cause entirely. They created a stark contrast to those gathered with heads bowed in quiet memory of those who were lost in the attacks. But above all the chanting, tears, and voices, an impromptu a cappella rendition of “I Surrender All,� sung together by strangers, filled the air and placed hope in the hearts of many. Award-winning photographer Romona Robbins was there to capture the emotion that permeated the day from behind her camera lens. A photographer often sees details that otherwise go unnoticed by the average passerby. It was with this eye that

Robbins was able to encapsulate the emotion, grief, healing, and hope that defined the tenth anniversary of September 11. Below is VIE’s exclusive Q&A with Robbins.

VIE: First things first. How did you personally interpret the mood of New York City on this tenth anniversary of September 11? Robbins: That day in particular was appropriately somber. Ironically, for seven days that we were there, there was not a cloud in the sky. On September 11, however, there was no sunshine; it was windy and



chilly. It was as if all the souls lost in that tragedy were present to remind us of what happened that day ten years ago. The energy of the entire city seemed mournful.

VIE: The memory of what happened is such a sensitive one to New Yorkers. How were you equipped to cover the tenth anniversary and talk to people affected by the event? Robbins: I couldn’t actually say that I was emotionally prepared. I honestly didn’t know what to expect when we arrived at Ground Zero. I remember telling the cabbie to take us to Ground Zero, and he said, “I’ll take you as close as I can get you. But you can hardly walk down there right now.” Most of the people had the attitude of being survivors and yet there were others trapped in that moment a decade ago. Security was tight because of bomb threats. People were practicing their rights of free speech and religion. It was somewhat emotionally overwhelming.

VIE: Which of these people’s story stood out the most? Robbins: There were so many stories to hear that day. Some of the policemen we talked to were survivors, and when I asked how they felt about not being invited by the President to attend the official memorial, one responded, “Honestly, I’d just rather be at home with my family that day. Because I can.” John Hamm’s story of escape was also heroic and powerful. His company was located on the eightyseventh floor of the first tower to be hit. He was able to describe the whiplash effect of being inside the building when the plane crashed into it. John carried a woman down eighty-seven flights of stairs to safety and when they reached the bottom, a firefighter, using a penlight, found an escape route for them. But his joy the day we met him was contagious; he was so grateful for the life he had. He was with his elevenyear-old son, who would have been a year old at the time of the attack. And he wouldn’t stop smiling. John’s brother’s story was even more profound. Steve Hamm wasn’t in either of the towers but he had five family members that were. At first, all were presumed dead. But, one by one, they each came home to him that night. Each and every one of them had a unique story, yet they all shared one experience that day: they survived. 42


Mourners tied ribbons of remembrance to the fence at St. Paul’s Chapel on the 10th anniversary of September 11.




• I







Sed fhe







Approaching Ground Zero, in the Financial District. 44



Survivor John Hamm with his son and brother Steve.

Flags printed with the names of those lost on 9/11 filled Battery Park in memory.



Symbols of patriotism were seen on every corner. 46


VIE: How did talking with these people about their experiences feel? Robbins: There were moments that were hard to take in. When dealing with grief, you have to be so delicate. You have to be respectful of people and their journey. To see a full-grown man in uniform crying broke my heart. I could not bring myself to steal him from his moment to snap a photo. Images like this were all over the city, but they weren’t for anyone else to take.

Any fresher, you’d have to catch it yourself.

VIE: From the people and scenes you photographed on September 11, 2011, what is the story behind the tenth anniversary? Robbins: I certainly feel that the tenth anniversary was a story of hope and strength. In my mind, America is a powerful nation that was once deemed untouchable. That day (9/11) destroyed or touched the lives of millions, whether it was with lives lost, through economic fallout, or in connection to our freedoms in general; and the repercussions continue to be felt. Maybe we aren’t invincible like I thought we were, but that experience definitely taught us how to come together, to rebuild our spirit, and to make ourselves stronger, and that will make us more resilient. This is what I witnessed on the anniversary of that day.

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VIE: Is that why the skyline shot you captured of the Twin Towers Tribute in Light is so dear to you? Robbins: Yes, but I wasn’t expecting that. I had read over the years that the city had discussed ceasing the light tribute due to various factors. Someone mentioned that it cost several million dollars to run it for just a few hours. This was probably the last time those lights would illuminate the New York skyline, so I wasn’t going to miss it. We had been walking for ten hours that day covering the tenth anniversary, and when we finally managed to get across the Brooklyn Bridge to make the shot happen down by the river, that skyline was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. What struck me in that moment was how the clouds that had hung ominously in the sky all day were trapping the beams of light and creating a protective blanket over the city. To me, that blanket of light is so symbolic. It represents the lives that were lost and that will live on in our hearts forever.

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Who What Wear: At Mercedes-Benz FAshion Week spring 2012 by Ainsley RogeRs

Badgley Mischka

Photo By Peter Michael Dills Š Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz




Quite a few trends stood out in the collections for Spring 2012. Homage was paid to the American woman across the runways at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, with pieces that celebrated effortless style, showstopping confidence, and delicate femininity. Many designers incorporated breezy looks, chiffon accents, and soft colors into their collections, while others featured bold color and luxe embellishments. © Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011

© Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week swept the New York City social scene, bringing out the fashion obsessed and the fashion elite alike from all over the globe. But Fashion Week is, of course, all about the clothes. and the pieces for Spring 2012 did not disappoint.

At the Luca Luca Spring 2012 show, models sported my favorite trend of the past few seasons—bold lips—and showcased a wide variety of pieces. From powerhouse blazers to feminine silk dresses and skirts, the designer included colors from soft pastels to rich jewel tones. I fell particularly in love with a deep sapphire chiffon gown, belted at the waist, with tiny cap sleeves. Delicate yet modern, it was perfectly lovely and fit for any black-tie affair. Speaking of gowns, Lela Rose’s dreamlike gowns stole the show and left all the female attendees with princess ambitions. Rich with texture, metallics, and dotted tulle, the Lela Rose Spring 2012 collection embodied whimsical fantasy.

Lela Rose

One of my favorite pieces of the week made up for in beauty what it lacked in practicality: a beaded chiffon playsuit by Jenny Packham. This British designer’s delicate Spring 2012 line included made-for-the-red-carpet floor-length ball gowns, body-hugging silhouettes, and chiffon sheaths beaded with colorful flowers. Packham’s pieces proved they were made with an artist’s hand, as the chiffon kept an airy effortlessness though weighed down by the intricate beadwork.

© Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011

Photo By Mike Coppola

Luca Luca

Photo By Frazer Harrison

Jenny Packham Photo By Peter Michael Dills

Donna Karan’s little sister line, DKNY, sent models clad in an eclectic mix of updated fashion staples down the runway, including a trend that swept Fashion Week and will nestle quite nicely into the mainstream American woman’s closet—the “step dress.” These dresses feature hemlines that are short in the front while long in the back, adding a punch of sass to an otherwise classic frock. A good many floppy hats were also on the DKNY runway. Fittingly, the models’ final walk was to the Guess Who’s “American Woman,” which had attendees ready to sport the cherry red and blue prints that permeated the line.

Nicole Miller was also reminiscent of yesteryear: this time it was the 1980s with punchy color and relaxed athletic silhouettes fused with modern graphic prints. (Think your favorite ’80s high school movie meets the runway.) Aqua, watermelon, and purple were Miller’s colors of choice, staying on point of the kicked-up decade. No side ponytails or teased hair needed—models wore long, relaxed locks and natural makeup. Color was also a main focus at Naeem Khan, as punches of bright yellow, red, orange, and magenta ruled the runway. Khan depicted colorful, racy glamour with his embellished gowns and pieces featuring cutout backs. Metallic fabrics in gold and silver and oversized accent necklaces were also present on the runway, creating high-fashion eye candy for all attendees. At Jason Wu, models were done up with poppy lips and spiky updos, adding a little spunk to Wu’s classic, tailored pieces. In navy, white, black, and grey, it is clear that his pieces are easily incorporated into a woman’s everyday wardrobe. However, it was hard to remember the rest of Jason Wu’s Spring 2012 collection

Anna Sui

Photo By Frazer Harrison

after seeing his finale gowns in hot shades of chartreuse and pink. A personal favorite was a strapless chartreuse high-low gown, belted subtly at the waist with a thin black belt on top of a voluminous skirt. However, the king of color may have just been Badgley Mischka, who brought bright hues and ornate embellishments to the runway for their Spring 2012 show. Models, made up with thick liquid eyeliner and pink lips, paraded a palette of blues, purples, citrons, and oranges down the runway. The flouncy peplum made a comeback on many of this line’s pieces, but also present were structured pieces

© Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011

Another of my favorite looks of the week came in the form of Anna Sui’s eclectic spring collection, which channeled the 1940s. Models sauntered down the runway in ’40s-style separates, freshly styled with vintageinspired headwear. In traditional Sui fashion, purple and black made up most of the palette, while pastels, white, and reds also made an appearance. I wanted to steal one look right of the leggy model as she glided by: a pastel pink and purple rose-printed romper, topped off with a black and gold sequined swing jacket and turban. Romantic with a twist, this collection fused femininity and bold pieces.

© Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011

At Milly, models were clad in pieces that describe the quintessential Milly audience—girls that like classic silhouettes but still want to be noticed. Vintage ’50s and ’60s styles were reflected in sheath dresses, cropped pants, swing coats, and cat-eye sunglasses, channeling an updated Kennedy-era style. Staying true to designer Michelle Smith’s tradition, prints were the focal point of this show, ensuring that attention was placed on the artistic expression of the line. Milly wasn’t the only show where a tribute to an earlier decade would be paid.


Photo By Frazer Harrison

“I wanted to steal one look right of the leggy model as she glided by: a pastel pink and purple roseprinted romper.” VIEZINE.COM WINTER 2011


© Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011

“the palette for tahari was clearly inspired by sand, cerulean skies, and orange sunsets.”

with defined waistlines. The champagne-colored gown was a personal favorite: an ethereal piece composed of a structured silhouette accented with longer, flowing chiffon—gorgeous enough to make VIE’s coveted cover. The Tibi show was perhaps my most anticipated runway of the week, and Tibi designer Amy Smilovic surprised her audience as she ventured away from her normal use of color, playful prints, and preppy dresses in favor of a minimalist style for Spring 2012. Boxy leather tops, pleated halter high-low gowns, and tangerine tunic dresses appeared instead. Although I’ve always been an enthusiastic fan of her figure-flattering frocks, the new Tibi look was an understated breath of fresh air, but perhaps a tad too relaxed for my taste. Luxe glamour and dramatic embellishments were all the rage across the runways, with the Norman Ambrose show dripping in gilded glamour. Metallics, animal prints, and textures worked together to form a showstopping line of both practical pieces and exquisite gowns. Tory Burch took a surprising twist on embellishment, adding fringe detailing to her otherwise preppy line, creating a fresh contrast with creams and sequined pieces. Her nautical-inspired collection embraced the beach life we hail as our own on the Emerald Coast. Stripes, gold polka dots, and color-blocked skirts were all shown mixed with the prints Burch has become famous for in resort wear; these were paired with her collection of shoes that have started a fashion frenzy across the nation. Elie Tahari did not disappoint within the confines of luxe pieces. The palette for Tahari was clearly inspired by sand, cerulean skies, and orange sunsets, and the pieces were complemented by gold accessories, layered textures, and plenty of embellishments. Featuring relaxed blazers, flowing chiffon skirts, harem pants, and tunics, this line exhibited understated glamour with an exotic edge. Carlos Miele’s inspiration was also drawn from nature as he incorporated ocean blues and mossy greens into sheer, ethereal pieces that moved like liquid as the models paraded down the runway. Fluttery kaftans and evening wear with high slits were his pieces of choice, creating a dramatic mood to his spring collection.

Elie Tahari

Photo By Frazer Harrison

Meanwhile, the rough-edged tunes of the Ramones mixed with the presence of Scott Disick and Kim Kardashian’s soon-to-be ex, Kris Humphries, on the front row created a boyish, edgy vibe at the Jill Stuart Spring 2012 runway show. However, once the models took the runway, it was clear there was nothing masculine in the mix. Minty green and salmon were the main colors of choice, creating an ethereal styling on pleats, chiffon drop waists, and loose silhouettes. The shoes, though, were the first thing to catch my attention—Mary Janes with thin straps, set on thick, gold mirrored heels, and done up in various shades of pastels; these could become a serious footwear fetish fit for any dancing queen. Elene Cassis also paid tribute to subtle femininity and elegance with a line filled with pastels, pencil skirts, cropped jackets, and patterned and textured black and white frocks. Silk dupioni and silk jacquard were a hit here, keeping a soft movement to the line that embodied the elegant and confident woman. Anyone wearing Elene Cassis Spring 2012 will be transformed into a lady almost instantly. Then there were the theatrical designers, praised as much for their dramatic presentations as for their pieces.

Carlos Miele

Photo By Romona Robbins

Zang Toi

Photo By Romona Robbins



Photo By Romona Robbins

The Betsey Johnson show caused quite a stir at Lincoln Center, as those that weren’t fortunate enough to secure an invitation crowded around the lobby televisions to watch the live stream of Johnson’s burlesque-inspired show. Sheer trench coats, loads of leopard print, lingerie-inspired details, and bustiers were revealed to attendees on Brigitte Bardot look-alikes to high-energy music. Johnson’s signature show-closing cartwheel left attendees on the edge of their seats with applause, reminding all that fashion is, in fact, entertaining. One of my favorite shows just happened to have nothing to do with women’s fashion and everything to do with men’s. Perry Ellis explored a more modern approach to the classic pieces that define the brand, incorporating more color and a leaner cut in this spring line. The show was heavy on cream, khaki, and light neutrals ranging from olive to off whites, and incorporated lots of linen that would make most girls weak in the knees. The models, whom we were fortunate enough to chat with for a while backstage, were clean cut and slightly preppy. The resulting look was clean and chic but effortless at the same time—something more men should test out. Zang Toi was by far the most dramatic presentation at Spring 2012 Fashion Week with his “Dream of North Africa” collection. Incorporating ready-to-wear pieces in shades of black and brown, Zang Toi relied heavily on women’s tunics, separates, and both men’s and women’s suits in shades of brown, ebony, ivory, and sapphire blue. The designer raised eyebrows in the best way possible with dramatic gowns that were as much works of art as they were ball gowns. Some of his looks featured elaborate backs; some were shown with headpieces. Following suit in the dramatic fashion, actress Kirstie Alley was the finale gown model, sauntering the runway in an imperial coat worn over a matching sapphire couture silk gazar strapless imperial gown. As Fashion Week came to a close, I couldn’t help but feel mixed emotions—a sense of closure was in the air that summoned both sadness and relief. On the last day, too-high heels were traded in for Tory Burch and Chanel flats, show invitations littered Lincoln Center’s lobby floor, and we exited those double doors giddy with relief and already nostalgic for the crowds, the shows, and the fashion. From whimsical gowns and light linen shirts to structured suits and retro shifts, MercedesBenz Fashion Week Spring 2012 had brought the best of the best to show their very best. For more photos from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2012, please visit

“Perry ellis explored a more modern approach to the classic pieces that define the brand.” Perry Ellis

Photo By Romona Robbins

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Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2012 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2012 began September 13 in a flurry of new designs, fresh fashion, and celebrity spottings. As designers, models, and fashionable attendees walked the lobby of New York City’s Lincoln Center, many were starstruck by the celebrities also in attendance. From Kim Kardashian


to Anna Wintour, famous faces were everywhere.


These are a few of our favorites. Photography by Michael Buckner, Getty Images


Mandy Moore


Jennifer Love Hewitt


Michael Kors, Heidi Klum, and Nina Garcia


Julianne Hough


Brad Goreski


Malin Akerman







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Fash My Crush with

hion ObservatiOns frOm mercedes-benz fashiOn Week spring 2012



By ainsley rogers PhotograPhy By roMona roBBins

There are a few things in life a girl doesn’t forget. Her first crush. Her first kiss. Her first date. Her first Fashion Week. My romance with fashion has been my longest relationship. As a fashion enthusiast, I’ve been known to eat peanut butter for a week to allow for my shopping expenses, and I’m sure this makes my parents very proud. But this fascination started at an early age. I was sucked into the vortex of Teen Vogue and The Devil Wears Prada, where I felt my first fascination for photo shoots, fashion, and magazines. It turns out, as frivolous as they may seem, these adolescent fascinations would shape not only my adult interest in fashion but also my career in the magazine world. I really don’t fancy myself a fashion writer as much as a keen fashion observer, and it was with this well-practiced habit that I attended Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2012 in New York City—my first assignment for VIE. Although I had actually lived in New York City once upon a time, tales of Fashion Week always sounded like they were from a land far, far away, a land I wouldn’t be a part of any time soon. So when Lisa Burwell, publisher of VIE, told me she was packing me up and putting me on the first flight to Manhattan to cover this celebrated week in her place, I stumbled through various stages of disbelief before finally settling on what can only be described as unadulterated enthusiasm. Knowing that VIE had covered Fashion Week extensively since its very first issue was a bit frightening for a first timer like me. But with VIE’s marketing assistant, Darby Kellum, and award-winning photographer Romona Robbins Reynolds in tow, I took off for the Big Apple with lofty dreams and as bright-eyed and bushytailed as our 6 a.m. flight would allow.



Beyoncé Knowles Photo by Michael Buckner © Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011

After a quick unloading of the luggage and an outfit change at our chic, sixties-inspired suite at The London NYC, we made our way to Lincoln Center to navigate the scene and familiarize ourselves with the surroundings before attending our first show the next morning. After a quick encounter with Sophia Bush, who was wearing a retro red polka-dot dress, we finally found the trailer where we were to pick up our press passes. It was here we made fast friends with Leslie, a Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week employee who was drawn to our Southern accents. She gave us the lowdown on where we should be and what we should do, and she set aside a few vouchers for us for the acclaimed Fashion Week gift bags. (Insider perks!) This wasn’t the only time our Southern accents would gain us attention with the Fashion Week force. For the rest of the week, a simple

hello seemed invariably to be followed by, “Wait, where are you guys from?” and we’d be befriended by writers, photographers, designers, servers, interns, and security guards, all curious about our use of the word “y’all” and our pronunciation of the word “good.” We didn’t mind, of course, because no good Southern girl would be rude to a new acquaintance. We did have to learn to stifle our squeals upon seeing celebrities and socialites. We still almost had a few fullblown meltdowns over Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Anna Wintour, Olivia Palermo, Sophia Bush, Emma Roberts, Kim Kardashian, and a handful of other celebrities that were on our radar. But later, the long work days jaded us a bit and, as each silver-screen darling strutted into the lobby of Lincoln Center with little or no reaction from us, we realized we’d quickly adapted to the daily grind. Our days were long and our work was hard, but our hearts were filled with an excitement for what we were doing. Each morning, our alarms chimed at 6:30 a.m., beckoning us to arise, look our best, and be our sharpest. In the South, specifically Florida, we tend to keep things casual, so you can imagine the stress that was induced first by packing for the trip and then by dressing for each day. Hot temperatures mixed with the fall fashions had us mixing up our wardrobes in a beach-meets-New York way. Up and dressed, we’d cover our sore feet in Band-Aids before slipping into another pair of heels and making a quick stop at Starbucks for three skinny lattes. A flash of our press passes to the row of security guards at Lincoln Center and the day would begin with a quick scan of our show invitations and then settling into our runway seats. As I sat on the third row of the Jill Stuart Spring 2012 show—our first show of the week—I tried my hardest to quell the butterflies on attack in my stomach. The crowd hushed a little as a thin, black-suited girl wearing a headset pulled up the plastic covering the runway and began to walk with it, the plastic fanning behind her like a haute couture skirt rustling in the breeze. Lights dimmed. Music filled the room. Silence ensued as blindingly bright white runway lights lit up the dark room and photographers raised their cameras and fought for arm space from their pit. My heart skipped a few beats. Then came the models—leggy, light-stepping models

Our first show of the week, Jill Stuart.

Leaving Lincoln Center after dark.

with no expressions—who paraded silk and chiffon pastels down this celebrated runway for the approval of an entranced audience. I was almost breathless with excitement, but a crush will do that to you. Our photographer’s experience was a different story. While Darby and I breezed into Lincoln Center to sit comfortably behind celebrities and department store buyers at the shows, Romona vied with photographers from the New York Times, Vogue, and other high-profile publications to get into the photographers’ pit. The photographers’ pit was, quite literally, a battleground. Photographers, arriving half an hour before the rest of the audience was allowed in, were forced to wait in line before each show. They raced to their minuscule roped-off area at the end of the runway to claim the spot that would allow them to get “the shot.” This often meant pushing others out of the way, arguing, or relying on the hierarchy of reputation to bring order to these competitive individuals. Romona, with her tiny frame

for their style. As street style blogs have become the of-the-moment obsession, photographers were on the hunt for the fashionable nobodies attending Fashion Week. Unlike what was happening inside Lincoln Center, where the emphasis was on designer labels, outside Lincoln Center was less about the label and more about being noticed for personal style. One afternoon, after we’d been in the city a few days— which may or may not have felt like a month—I was organizing my notes and giving my poor feet a rest when I found myself contemplating a few things, Carrie Bradshaw-style. Why did we care about Fashion Week, exactly? How could I go back to Florida and write about all the exquisite lines I had witnessed if I couldn’t describe my fascination with them in the first place? These self-analyzing questions led me to the kicker: what is the real reason we love fashion?

“Our personal style is something we ourselves can handle, and the way we handle ourselves speaks a thousand words.” and extensive experience in adventure photography, not only navigated this scene like a seasoned veteran, but managed to befriend many photographers from major publications who took her under their wings to ensure she was front and center. While the shows inside were, of course, the reason for the fashion season, the promenade at Lincoln Center was where the real-life, there-to-be-seen fashion was found. Lincoln Center was constantly aflutter. Stylish attendees milled around to discuss shows, tourists stopped by to witness the hype, journalists hung around to get a story, and photographers camped out to get celebrity shots or great examples of a growing phenomenon—street style. Street style was made popular by bloggers who feature the unique and fashionable outfits worn by “regular people” during the course of their average day. Whether at Fashion Week or in SoHo on a Sunday afternoon, these average people are celebrated

It has been said that in a bad economy, people dress their best. That seemed odd to me at one point, but it began to make sense given the circumstances. When times are challenging and it is a struggle to make ends meet, we still have control of the image we portray to the outside world by the way we dress. Dressing well when times are tough can make everything seem like it’s going to be alright. “Dressed for success” is a common phrase for a reason. Our personal style is something we ourselves can handle, and the way we handle ourselves speaks a thousand words to those we encounter every day. Why else do we dress up for an interview or a date? We are the sole owners of our personal style, and it’s not for the taking. Style, in its purest form, is just another form of self-expression. And all expression is based on some form of art. So, if style is an expression, then fashion, essentially, is an art.



The pre-show setup at the Tibi runway.

Your hair. Fantastic.

a salon at Grayton Beach Phone: 850-231-0605 1394 CR 283 Bldg 10 Grayton Beach, FL 32459 w w w. S c o tt Ta y l o r S a l o n . n e t

“The reason we love fashion is simple. It doesn’t just make us look good. It makes us feel good.” Monique Lhuillier, Oscar de la Renta, Vera Wang—these designers and others are the fashion world’s artists. In my beloved The Devil Wear’s Prada, Nigel says it best when describing designers’ work, “... what they did, what they created was greater than art because you live your life in it.” Now that’s an argument. At some point, designers’ work reforms their audience and allows people a little more room to be a little more uniquely themselves. Because ultimately, that’s what fashion does, doesn’t it? It allows you the room to be you. It allows you the opportunity to put a signature on yourself that the rest of the world sees. At Fashion Week, those of us who were aware of our self-expression through our personal styles were there to appreciate the art. The reason we love fashion is simple. It doesn’t just make us look good. It makes us feel good. It influences the style that lets us be us. No matter the label, it is your depiction of yourself.

Growing up, my mother always reminded me that it doesn’t especially matter where your clothes come from as long as you can take pride in the way you look. She was a smart one, because that was an early lesson in owning my personal style. This is exactly what I was seeing at Fashion Week—fashion is important because it influences people’s self-expression. The designer labels inside Lincoln Center will influence the upcoming trends and the interpretation of these trends outside on the everyday person. The artists showed their work inside and the admirers expressed themselves outside. People came here from across the globe to celebrate these famous designers who would influence how the masses would decorate and adorn themselves for the upcoming season, and all were expressing their eye for fashion through their personal style. I looked down at my own outfit, one I happened to really love. I felt pulled together, I felt comfortable and, therefore, I felt confident. Fashion, like any other crush, makes me feel good.

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REEDS Jewelers On October 6, REEDS Jewelers celebrated the grand opening of their Pier Park location in Panama City Beach, Florida. REEDS Jewelers is excited to provide the Panama City Beach area with excellent service and fine jewelry, including designer lines such as Ippolita, Tacori, Pandora, Roberto Coin, Citizen, and many others. A portion of the sales generated during the grand opening was donated to Beach Care Services. “I am extremely excited to be


a part of the REEDS family and proud to have been chosen as the store manager for their 63rd store. We are committed to continuing the REEDS tradition of treating customers as if they are family and providing a superior jewelry experience,� says Kimberly Koen, store manager. Photography by Jim Ryan




Felicia Cook; Ed Smith, Vice President of Reeds; Kimberly Koen, Manager


Amber Miller; Assistent Manager; Kimberly Koen; Alex Flores, District Supervisor; Gina Murphy, Sales Associate


Jessica Weirich, Michael Koen, Kimberly Koen, Alysia Weirich, Mckenzie Weirich, Julia Danzig


Bob Howard, Michael Koen, Kimberly Koen, Jason Lent and son Brady




Matt Creamer and Kamilah Ferrari


Kimberly Koen and Michael Koen VIEZINE.COM WINTER 2011


l i v i n g

i n

Leona By D ar by Kellu m

photo by: hello gorgeous photography

Lauren Leonard always knew she wanted to run her own creatively driven business. So, with fashion as her first love, she became a designer—quite a successful designer, in fact. She is the creative mind behind the Leona Collection. Her first collection entered stores in March of 2008 and Leona has flourished ever since. “I am an entrepreneur at heart. Fashion is my first love and first choice,” Leonard says. With a collection that includes perfectly lovely pieces, it is easy to see that Leonard is doing something right. Leonard describes the Leona line as her “heart.” This is the key to Leona’s success—the undeniable heart and personality behind the work. “My favorite part about design is most definitely creating our custom prints,” Leonard states. “They have been the focal point of the collection since day one. They are all hand painted by me at our studio and, therefore, they are extremely personal.” From these injections of Leonard’s personality, the “Leona girl” has emerged. Leonard says the Leona girl has “the perfect combination of charm and allure. She is whimsical, sophisticated, and adventurous.” The clothing certainly reflects this charming sophistication, and it is easy to see that Leonard herself is the true “Leona girl.” Driven and delightful, this Leona girl is taking the design world by storm. Charm was a key motivator for the Leona Fall 2011 collection, a collection inspired by 1970s Britain.

Throughout the creative process, Leonard says she “tried to imagine a young Charlotte Rampling in all of the clothes,” using Rampling as her muse. The timeless style icon is perfectly reflected in the collection. With Leonard’s personal touches, Leona’s Holiday Collection is also reflective of the Leona girl. Leonard says she always adds “a little extra sparkle” when it comes to holiday wear. With bows, ruffles, and polka dots, the collection is festive and feminine. “Holiday is about parties, champagne toasts, and celebrating the year! I am just loving that polka dots are making a comeback,” Leonard says. “Of course, the Leona girl wears them always because they are so chic and classic!” With so many projects on her plate, it is obvious that life as a designer is extremely busy. Leonard is currently designing Leona’s Fall 2012 collection, prepping the Spring 2012 collection for production, and delivering Leona’s holiday collection to stores. Whatever keeps her busy, Leonard always remembers how rewarding her work is. “Striving to make my customers happy is always in the forefront of my mind and my main motivation. Nothing thrills me more than to spot Leona on the street!”

“I am an entrepreneur at heart. Fashion is my first love and first choice.” — lauren leonard



“My favorite part about design is most definitely creating our custom prints ... They are all hand painted by me at our studio and, therefore, they are extremely personal.” — lauren leonard

photo by: brad rankin photography

What’s in the near future for the Leona Collection? “We are expanding, going more global, and working our way into new product categories. We also just launched Leona bridesmaids to be sold through Bella Bridesmaid retailers nationwide,” Leonard says. “I am specifically looking forward to branching out into accessories, and eventually opening our own flagship stores. I have always viewed Leona as a full-scale lifestyle brand where the Leona girl can not only dress herself in our clothing but also truly live in Leona!” Stay tuned for more Leona in VIE’s upcoming Spring 2012 issue. Leona’s beautiful line of bathing suits for Spring 2012 will be featured with the amazing Caliza Pool at Alys Beach as an elegant and fashionable setting!

photo by: brad rankin photography VIEZINE.COM WINTER 2011






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Hollywood Glamour comes to the emerald coast

By Liesel Schmidt Photography by Lesley Isacks ASk A-LISt ceLeBrItIeS And they’LL reAdILy teLL you thAt their hair stylists hold their lives in their hands—hands that shape and shade hair into masterpieces: the perfect look, the perfect finish for any major event. Power this great requires both confidence and humility––enough confidence to inspire the trust of clients, and enough humility to deal with some of the demanding personalities encountered in such a challenging field. hairstyling is, in hollywood especially, a make-it-or-else career, and few hold as much status as stylists who wield the shears skillfully.

Among that exclusive set of stylists is Scott taylor, whose fingers have teased, sheared, and painted the tresses of a lengthy list of celebrities. After working under the trained eyes of such heavyweights as Paul Mitchell, Sam Lapin (famed for his color transformations of rita hayworth and Marilyn Monroe), Jon Peters, and Gene Shacove, taylor broke out on his own and built his clientele to include such notable names as Shania twain, kathy Bates, Joan Lunden, diane Sawyer, Luke Perry, and clint Black. he has maintained the locks of cast members from The Facts of Life, Primetime Live, Good Morning America, Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, Falcon Crest, General Hospital, The Young and the Restless, and The Bold and the Beautiful. he has been the man behind the masterpieces of many on-screen makeovers during his career and was the head stylist for the Academy Awards three times. taylor possesses a magic touch, an undeniable talent, and a burning passion that have long kept him at the forefront of his field and earned him national acclaim—and even an emmy Award. his skilled hands have coiffed many a celebrity and he has collected a multitude of stories along the way. his is a rich history replete with the names and faces of hollywood royalty. “Barbara Walters was my favorite to work with by far!” taylor recalls. “heading The Young and the Restless was the most challenging. The funniest was doing Julia child after her return from a wine tasting at the rex in Los Angeles, though I’m not sure who was funnier––her, regis, or rose Marie from The Dick Van Dyke Show! The coolest were keith urban, Frankie Avalon, the rock band cinderella, and Joan Jett.” The hairdresser’s list of great names could very well rival the number of hairs on his head. “The most glamorous— Sophia Loren, Sharon Stone, tina Louise. Glamorous yet very challenging was

Zsa Zsa Gabor. Amy Grant was very kind,” taylor continues. Surprisingly, his interest was piqued most by such clients as erin Brockovich, designer nicole Miller, Maria Shriver, and some of the princes of Saudi Arabia. “Plácido domingo was so real!” taylor exclaims. While working for ABc television, taylor was chosen as the key hairdresser for the Miss World America pageant. It was there he met and fell in love with Miss tennessee 1992, tiffany Adams. They later married. After his years on the hollywood circuit, taylor moved to nashville, continuing his high-profile career for the next fifteen years with a top ten–rated salon. during that time, they welcomed a son and three daughters into their lives. taylor regards his family as one of his greatest accomplishments by far. All of that recognition might have gone to his head, but taylor seems to have maintained that perfect balance of confidence and humility, years after he picked up his very first pair of shears. “Without a doubt, this has been the journey of a lifetime,” says taylor. “But before I go on any further, I must give God all the glory for guiding me on this amazing path.” That path has brought him, finally, to Grayton Beach. “coming to the emerald coast is a dream,

“the MoSt GLAMorouS—SoPhIA Loren, ShAron Stone, tInA LouISe. GLAMorouS yet very chALLenGInG WAS ZSA ZSA GABor. AMy GrAnt WAS very kInd.” VIEZINE.COM WINTER 2011


and I am very excited to bring all this unique experience here! Some time ago, tiffany and I decided to bring Scott taylor Salon to this beautiful area, but we wanted to give it a new name and face—a soft, coastal feel—which makes it very inviting and relaxing. In a collaborative effort, we coupled tiffany’s classic and elegant flair with the shabby chic style of James and Gloria Adams of Seahorse Glori designs, and have captured the true essence of the coast we were looking for. yet, it still has my elements of hollywood tucked in it—I just couldn’t help myself!” taylor continues. “We are proud to introduce our new salon, taylor by the Sea – A Salon at Grayton Beach.” “My life has been nothing short of high demand and very high expectations,” he says. “hairdressers these days are not required, for the most part, to undergo such intense training. to meet the level of work demanded in the areas I previously described requires far more—and the work shows for it.” despite a lower profile, he maintains an unerring, high level of commitment to his craft. taylor’s golden touch will bring a special glow to the emerald coast, collecting a clientele as diverse as the shells along the shores of his newly found home.



Francesc a Sulliva n路Hest e r, Co-Anchor & Special Even ts Reporter

Nick Vava s, Beach TV Local News Anchor

Margit Bisztray, Top 5 Restaurant Countdown

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O You! The Pursuit of Happiness By Lisa Burwell • Photography by Gerald Burwell Hope. It’s a small word, but a word with lots of power. Without it, you can’t do great things, and at times you need it just to make it through the day. Life wasn’t easy even before the “Great Recession”; hurdles and challenges have always been part of the equation. The ups and downs of life have always been guaranteed, but many never suspected that trying times similar to those experienced by our grandparents and great-grandparents would or could plague our nation again. Since 2008, most of us have had to face the music. Things were going to be different—coping skills and tools would be needed. The O You! conference was designed to inspire those looking for ways to make the most of their lives, not just make do in tough times. Since her triumphant arrival on the television talk scene in 1986, respect and admiration for Oprah Winfrey have been ingrained in my consciousness. She’s Oprah. Who can deny her success? Her power? Her larger-than-life persona? Owning a business that requires me to work ten to twelve hours each day, I was not a faithful devotee of Oprah’s talk show. Clearly, I was in the minority; millions tuned in to watch her daily. On the rare occasion that I stayed home sick, one of my secret pleasures would be to watch The Oprah Winfrey Show. When she started O, The Oprah Magazine ten years ago, Oprah gave readers the chance to connect with her message in print, thereby expanding her reach to a broader audience, including me. On a monthly basis, I was able to



experience Oprah and her panel of experts, authors, and columnists: Dr. Mehmet Oz, Suze Orman, Bob Greene, Nate Berkus, Martha Beck, Peter Walsh, Donna Brazile, Val Monroe, Adam Glassman, and Lisa Ling. They became new voices for a nation seeking knowledge, selfimprovement, and fulfillment. Don’t get me wrong—my respect for Oprah didn’t mean that I’d hang on her every word. I understand implicitly what the “O Effect” is all about, and I’ve dreamed about what that kind of blessing—a Midas touch—could do for my company. But that wasn’t why I led members of my staff on a trek to attend the daylong O YOU! conference sponsored by O Magazine at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, on October 15, 2011. It was a business trip to get away from the office, a chance to bond with one another, to experience something new—and, hopefully, to be inspired. When we purchased the tickets, months in advance, we hoped Oprah would be at the conference, but there were no guarantees. A few weeks before the event, we heard there was a good chance she might be there. We heard that it would be the first conference that Oprah would attend since launching the O YOU! conference series in 2008. The possibility of seeing, hearing, or maybe even meeting her was exhilarating. We thought by arriving at the venue at 7:00 a.m. we could beat the crowd for the best seats. Alas, as it turned out, we were some of the last to arrive for a symposium that would not start for another

“An estimated 7,500 to10,000 people...The line was intimidating as it stretched for what looked like a mile.�

two hours. An estimated 7,500 to 10,000 people (99 percent of whom were women) attended. The line was intimidating as it stretched for what looked like a mile. These hard-core Oprah fans were taking the day seriously. But everyone was courteous, polite, happy, and hopeful in their search for learning, inspiration, or the possibility of meeting Oprah or their favorite “Oprah celebrity.” Thanks to the efficiency of the event organizers, the line moved quickly and before we knew it we were inside the huge three-story lobby of Building C at the convention center. Standing before us, in the midst of a crowd of politely anxious fans and media, were Gayle King, O Magazine’s editor-at-large, and several of the day’s headliners including Lisa Ling, Suze Orman, and Dr. Oz, graciously signing autographs and posing for photos.

everyone to achieve their “best life.” Additional words of emotion and inspiration were presented by Lisa Ling, Dr. Oz, and Martha Beck. And, if that was not enough, Gayle took the spotlight once again to announce—to an already eager audience—that Oprah herself would indeed be addressing the audience at the close of the conference. In an instant, looks of utter amazement leapt onto the faces around me. The reaction—thunderous applause and joyful sobs from thousands—was an awesome sight and sound. As the assembly broke, excitement was in the air. Each person became a small speck in a sea of people as it flowed from one auditorium to the next. The uniquely designed stages at the individual sessions were impressive, the massive “O you!” emblem being a constant theme throughout. With expert keynote speakers delivering custom-tailored and specific messages, each seminar proved to be as moving and self-empowering as the last. The level of cheers and applause from the audience for each of the experts was stirring—a testament to the prestige and power that each possesses.

“As the assembly broke, excitement was in the air. Each person became a small speck in a sea of people. ”

The auditorium doors opened fifteen minutes before the first of the day’s two general assemblies and, again, thanks to well-executed planning, the enormous throng was effortlessly directed to designated seating without delay. The stage decorations consisted of elements that were both simple and dramatic: large elegant shapes, bold colors, and theatrical lighting. An oversized but elegant “O you!” emblem, made up of simple pink letters across a giant “O” with oversized sequins, was positioned high for all to see. Setting the tone for the dynamic day ahead, Gayle King gave energizing opening remarks, described the framework of the day’s individual sessions, and explained how they were intended to help

Some of the loudest cheering was for Dr. Oz; he is a beloved brand within the Oprah family. But one of my favorite speakers of the day was Donna Brazile. Having seen her in her role as a political pundit on numerous news and talk shows over the years, I’ve always found her to be intelligent and personable. Donna’s presentation that day was personally inspiring to me. Her words packed a punch like that of a Gospel preacher—but with a new twist. VIEZINE.COM WINTER 2011


“It felt like Oprah was sharing her deepest thoughts with her closest friends— all ten thousand of us.”

Oprah is a well-respected businesswoman who has successfully made waves first in television and now in the magazine industry—two media forums that are tough and fraught with, what else, politics. Lately, that word isn’t the most popular in our cultural mainstream, but it sure is discussed at great length. Politics is a strange business and we all have to “play” politics in life to some degree—in both society and commerce. Connected with that is the constant learning process of how to give and take without really getting all you want. It’s a game of compromise at ever turn. But that’s life. Oprah is one of the most transparent people on the planet. Over the years, she has talked about a wide range of subjects—many of them considered too taboo for conventional media, especially television. She has been both criticized and revered, but I mostly admire her for her unabashed honesty. At the close of the day, everyone had gathered in the large auditorium for the second and final general assembly. The black backdrop of the stage was punctuated by bright starry lights and, of course, the giant “O you!” It had been a long day. Everyone attending the conference had probably started their day by at least 5:00 a.m., but you would never have known it since everyone was as bright-eyed as when the day started. Once again, Gayle took the stage to introduce the panel of powerhouse speakers who each gave a personal summation and a thank-you to the audience—a farewell that lasted about twenty minutes. Finally, the keynote speakers exited the stage. It was the big moment everyone was waiting for: the anticipation was palpable. After a jubilant introduction from Gayle, Oprah appeared, and the crowd’s reaction was a unanimous roar of approval. As large as the room was, her persona filled it completely. It was exhilarating to see Oprah in person, even if it was from almost a hundred feet away. I could VIEZINE.COM WINTER 2011


practically feel the shared disbelief that was emanating from everyone around me. What surprised me most, however, was what was about to be revealed to the crowd. Oprah admitted that she had experienced, for the first time in her life, the feeling of fear. As you may know, Oprah has embarked on the ambitious enterprise of establishing her own television network, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), which launched on January 1, 2011. Part of OWN’s programming is the development of Oprah’s Lifeclass as the world’s largest classroom, which incorporates the Internet and Facebook as instruments to reach around the globe to a new world audience. The inaugural webcast of Oprah’s Lifeclass online this past October had a viewership of more than one million people. It was over this new undertaking that Oprah wrestled with the fear of failure. On May 25, 2011, The Oprah Winfrey Show signed off for the last time. After twenty-five seasons and more than 4,500 episodes, it was the highest rated talk show in the nation’s

history—Oprah’s brand had been established as a household name. With the undeniable successes of her television and magazine ventures under her belt, I was awestruck that someone like Oprah could have been battling any fear that her network might not make it. Hearing Oprah’s revelation of trepidation somehow gave me comfort about my own feelings of fear; in light of everything, they seemed normal. Few have been insulated from the financial repercussions of the recent economic downturn. And where there are financial pressures, there are also emotional ones, namely, feelings of fear, failure, uncertainty, regret, and low self-esteem. To adapt and survive the economic dip, everyone has had to regroup to varying degrees—some having to take more drastic measures than others. But it’s all relative in that, on some level, all of our lives have changed. For over an hour, Oprah spoke powerful words of passion and inspiration with the conviction and

energy of a zealous preacher. Recounting her recent experience with fear, Oprah explained that, because she had always had a strong foundation in faith, she did not recognize at first what was bothering her. What helped her to overcome the fear was remembering and meditating on the words of Psalm 46:10—“Be still and know that I am;” and Acts 17:28—“In him we live and move and have our being.” The auditorium was perfectly silent after she spoke these words. Her words reminded me that anything could be accomplished if only I believed and had faith—you must have faith! Oprah’s message was simply one of empowerment as she encouraged her audience to “press on.” It felt like Oprah was sharing her deepest thoughts with her closest friends—all ten thousand of us. She said a quote that she continues to live by is “What I know for sure is that what you give comes back to you.” Her words made me realize how good things really are, even though I’d been experiencing one of

the hardest years of my life—mainly because I understood that many people in that room may have had it even harder than I. I wanted to reach out to help others. I wanted to start believing in my own dreams again. At the close of her address, Oprah thanked everyone for attending and said that she knew we all had busy lives. She appreciated the effort made by so many to clear time schedules and to do something for ourselves. It was a genuine and humble statement to make to a room filled with people who paid $125 per ticket, with many traveling to Atlanta from the far corners of the country, and some from around the world. Oprah is a trailblazer of epic proportions, but her message that day was, and continues to be, that we can and should also be trailblazers in our own sphere of influence. By doing so, the world will be a better place. I think she’s right. Oh, and I did hang on her every word that day! The VIE Team: Margaret Stevenson, Tracey Thomas, Mary Jane Kirby, Melanie Latrash, and Lisa Burwell.



THINGS What We Love for This Season’s Gift Giving

For Her: Whether she’s a trendsetter, a product lover, or always on the move, we’ve got the perfect gift for the girl in your life. Sheridan French Clutch Sheridan French, author of The Southern Eclectic and the creative mind behind her self-labeled line, hits the nail on the head with her Saphira clutch, featured here in Peacock. Her line captures the essence of laid-back luxury and has us dreaming of spring despite the chilly temps. Snatch this clutch up to put a little spring in your girl’s winter step. Saphira Clutch in Peacock, $495

A Winter Wardrobe Must-Have With parties sure to be part of your holiday calendar, `tis the season to be trendy. One of our favorite staple pieces for the cold winter months happens to be the Celia boot by Frye. This versatile boot can be worn over the knee or folded over, fusing a winter look with feminine style. Wear them with a bright scarf and skinny jeans or throw them on with a sweater dress and tights for instant style. Available at Willow, $350 90


HStudio Accents Unique accent pieces, such as Rocky the Rhino featured here from HStudio, an L.A.-based design company, serve as the perfect present for anyone immersed in home decor. HStudio is donating 10 percent of each sale of this sculpture to an organization striving to help save the almostextinct rhinoceros. The original sculpture is also being auctioned off, with all the proceeds from the sale being donated to benefit the rhino. The perfect gift and addition to the modern home. Available at HStudio, $1737.50 (without base)

The Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Treatment This treatment is an indulgent gift for anyone who needs a little “me time.” The line will treat hair from the inside out with eight luxury products, perfect for all types of hair. Make an appointment for the damage-undoing KeraTriplex Treatment, then take home your favorite products for silky, shiny, healthy hair. KeraTriplex Treatment (in salon), $35 Featured here: Keratin Cream Rinse, $26 Styling Treatment Oil, $28 Moisturizing Lather Shampoo, $24 Available at Pure & Couture

HEAVYmetalbyLW Necklace For the trendsetter in your life, HEAVYmetalbyLW—a chunky, eclectic line of one-of-a-kind necklaces and bracelets by Nashville-based designer Lauren Weiner—is just the ticket for this season. This line has been worn by such singing sensations as Natasha Bedingfield, Lauren Alaina, and Meghan Linsey (of Steel Magnolia). We adore HMbyLW so much we’re giving away this featured piece, designed exclusively for VIE, in our next Facebook giveaway. Beginning January 1, 2012, simply Like VIE on Facebook and enter under the Givies tab for your chance to win this exclusive piece! Necklace Feature Here, Exclusive to VIE, $275

Pure Barre Classes Founded by dancer, choreographer, and fitness guru Carrie Rezabek Dorr, Pure Barre uses the ballet barre to isolate body areas with small isometric movements. Fast-paced music and quick results make this an exercise regimen to experience—perfect for any girl in your life who is on the move. Go to for prices and a location near you.



For Him: No exchanges or returns will be necessary for the guys in your life if you choose one of our favorite gifts for him this season. Vintage Memories For the sports enthusiast on your gift list, these vintage football calendars, available at Sundog Books in Seaside, Florida, are the perfect option. Available in a wide variety of teams, these calendars feature vintage photos of his favorite players. Don’t see your team? Simply call Sundog and they’ll place a special order on your behalf today. Available at Sundog Books, $19.95 And online at

Go on YOLO The YOLO Express paddleboard is the perfect gift for someone who loves to be on the water. Shorter than the original YOLO, it’s perfect for easy transport and will make any day on the water one to remember. You Only Live Once! YOLO Board, $985

Timeless Ray-Bans The Ray-Ban Wayfarer is one of the most recognizable styles in the history of sunglasses. Worn by many celebrities, musicians, and artists, Wayfarers are the perfect addition to your main man’s wardrobe, making these famous shades one of our favorite gift options. Available at Sunglass Hut International at Silver Sands Factory Stores, $194.95

Gordie Hinds Original Artwork Sure to be loved by any art collector in your life, “Western Lake” by Gordie Hinds captures one of the best views of our home on Scenic Highway 30A. Available at the Donna Burgess Gallery at Grand Boulevard in Sandestin or Albert F’s in Seaside, this gift is the perfect addition to any home or office looking to remember summer on the Emerald Coast. “Western Lake” by Gordie Hinds, featured here 30” x 40”, $1800



A Gentleman’s Drink For the slightly preppy man on your list, this needlepoint flask makes any nightcap a stylish affair. Perfect for mixing up a cocktail on the beach or on the go, this is sure to be a favorite for Southern gentlemen across the map. Made in many different designs by Smathers & Branson. Available at Barefoot Princess, $65 850.534.0825

A Golf Getaway For the man who’s always on the golf course, why not send him to one of the most luxurious courses in the South? Named “Course of the Millennium” by Travel + Leisure magazine, this 18-hole, par-72 championship course is located just off Northwest Florida’s Scenic Highway 30A within the Town of WaterSound, making it the perfect location for a golfer’s getaway. Book a weekend away for him now! Camp Creek Golf Club

For the Pet: Not to forget the pets on your list, this Hard Core Fire Hose dog toy will make you a favorite with the family dog and keep him away from your favorite shoes! Made from the same material as fire hoses, it is a bestseller with pets across the country. Available at Bow Wow Meow Pet Company, $10.95 850.534.0009

For the Kids: Give them something that will only make them cuter! These crocheted Owl Hats by My Swallow’s Nest will not only help beat the frigid winter temps but will also ensure your favorite little guy or girl is the cutest kid in town. Available at Duckies Shop of Fun, $39.00 850.231.4800



For the Hosts Don’t show up empty-handed to all those festive holiday parties you’ve been invited to! Here are some gift ideas for your gracious hosts. Sucré’s Sweets From our favorite New Orleans–based sweet shop, the Sucré Holiday Gift Box is sure to satisfy anyone with a sweet tooth. The Holiday Gift Box is filled with a 15-piece Mint Chocolate Collection, 15-piece Holiday Macaroon Collection, Peppermint Drinking Chocolate, a Maracaibo 65 Chocolate Bar, and Homemade Vanilla Marshmallows. Sucré, $90

Chalk It Up For a fixture in the host’s home, why not wrap up one of these decorative chalkboards from Tracery? They are perfect for leaving reminders anywhere in the home. Write a personal thank-you on the board before wrapping it up with a fresh box of chalks. Available in many shapes and sizes. Available at Tracery Interiors, from $2 to $44.

A Festive Red For an indulgent gift, Belle Glos Clark and Telephone Vineyard Pinot Noir is the perfect pairing for many of the season’s favorite dishes. From a California coastal vineyard, this wine is produced in one of the top wine-growing regions. Available at Chan’s Wine World, $47.99

Seasonal Scent When you arrive, be sure to light up the room with a gift of scent for the season. Get your hands on the exclusive and acclaimed Melograno in Terracotta (or Terra-Cotta Pomegranate). This is a pomegranate fruit handcrafted in terra-cotta. It has been soaked in pomegranate cologne from Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, and the characteristic fragrance is slowly released in the air. A sure hit with any host! Available at Patchouli’s, $60



Fantasy Gifts ’Tis the gift-giving season, but what to do for the person on your list who has everything? If your pockets are deep enough, VIE’s favorite fantasy gifts are sure to surprise. A Chic Sparkler If diamonds are a girl’s best friend, then this fancy yellow cushion-cut diamond necklace, at over ten carats, is sure to be your girl’s fantasy gift! This exquisite piece not only exudes class and style, but is sure to command attention as soon as she walks in the room. Daniel K Fancy Yellow Cushion-Cut Diamond Necklace, Price Upon Request Available at McCaskill and Company

All Aboard Send him off for his next fishing adventure in style with a new Viking 76 Convertible, equipped to the hilt and begging to fish. Upgraded materials, genius design, and state-of-the-art systems make this vessel a one-of-a-kind fishing machine for your main man. 2012 76 Viking Convertible, Price Upon Request Available at Galati Yacht Sales

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Festive Entertaining F est i v e e n t e rta i n i n g Ideas for the Holiday Season



A Winter Wonder Tablescape

“Nature is always my source of inspiration for designing anything in the home.

I love the variety of powerful colors and dramatic shapes found in

the simplest of things, such as magnolia leaves. These luscious dark green leaves are the perfect complement to a creamy winter wonder tablescape. Being a Mississippi girl, I always favor magnolias. They make a dramatic statement and add an element of classic charm to any table setting. Paige (of Tracery Interiors) and I snipped indigenous wild magnolia stems and placed them in the center of the table, as if making a runner. For a punch of color, we spray painted pinecones from the woods in a festive Chinese red, and then dotted them in the sea of green. The simple yet sparkly party favor atop the plate shows beautifully against the pale palette. To add dazzle for a soiree, we weaved sparkly mercury glass votives within the grouping. Once you light the candles and pop open the wine, you have the perfect makings for a cozy winter dinner party.”

—Seleta Hayes Howard

............................................................................................ A TV personality turned designer, Seleta Hayes Howard left Atlanta for beachside living in Santa Rosa Beach. While she navigates the role of wife and juggles four children, Seleta manages to sprinkle life with “pearls and a splash of panache” via her blog, Simply Seleta, where she showcases daily inspirations for adding a fresh flair to creating a stylish home with a welcoming attitude.

Cider + Cinnamon

“I love greeting holiday guests at the door with a tray of piping hot cider,

garnished with cinnamon stir sticks. It kicks things off on a

festive note, and the warm, spicy scent wafting through the air provides a

Photo by Mike Bullock

major dose of holiday cheer.”

—Camille Styles

............................................................................................ Camille Styles is the owner and creative director of, a site with a mission to provide stress-free style and creative entertaining to its readers. She is also the event designer for Camille Styles Events of Austin, Texas.

Candied Cinnamon & Sugar Almonds

“These absolutely terrific and easy cinnamon-sugared almonds are a staple around our house during the holiday season.”

—Mel Gunnell

and bake for about an hour, stirring/flipping every


15 minutes, until the almonds look and feel dry. To

1 egg white

check to see if the almonds are done, pick up an

1 teaspoon cold water

almond and make sure no wet sugar comes off. The

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

coating on the almond should be hard and crunchy.

2 cups unsalted almonds

Cool completely before serving or packaging.

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

*Makes about 2 cups of candied almonds

1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon



Mel started her food blog simply as a way to cat-

Preheat oven to 250ºF. Line a large (11- by 17-inch) rimmed baking sheet with

egorize and keep her personal favorite recipes in

foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.

one easily accessible place and to encourage her

1. In a large bowl, beat the egg white until stiff peaks form. Add the water

hobby of cooking and baking. Now, several years

and vanilla and beat again until stiff. Add the almonds to the mixture and

later, her blog still houses her favorite tried-and-

stir gently to coat.

true recipes as well as the new dishes and des-

2. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Add this mixture

serts she has made and loved. Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

to the almonds and stir gently to mix well.

features healthy recipes cooked from scratch with

3. Pour the almonds out onto the prepared baking sheet and carefully spread

fresh ingredients.

them out into a somewhat even layer. Place the baking sheet in the oven

Glittery Champagne

“I adore experimenting with new recipes, whether for food or for drink, and have

recently stumbled into my new favorite—pomegranate cham-

pagne. To make this, pour together 1/2 cup of pomegranate juice, 1 cup

Photo by Shannon Kirsten

pear nectar, 1/4 cup Grand Marnier, and 1 bottle of champagne. Delicious! I like to line the glasses with edible glitter for a touch of glamour during the holiday season. This also works as the perfect New Year’s Eve cocktail—just purchase silver or gold adhesive numbers at your local craft store to decorate with 2012!”

—Sarah Tucker

............................................................................................ Sarah Tucker is the author of the blog Fairy Tales are True, where she writes about everything from fashion and entertaining to her world travels with her husband. She is a native of Florida’s Gulf Coast. VIEZINE.COM WINTER 2011


Chocolate-Covered Marshmallows

“This recipe is one of my favorites to make during the holidays because it is incredibly easy but delivers impressive results.” —Madison Mayberry ingredients:

3. Allow chocolate to harden, at least 2–3 hours. To speed up process, place in the fridge to harden.

24–30 large marshmallows

Store in the fridge until ready to eat.

8 oz. white chocolate, chopped


2 tsp. vegetable or canola oil Chocolate sprinkles

Madison Mayberry is a 24-year-old Midwesterner

instructions: 1. Place chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high in 20-second intervals until chocolate is melted. Stir in the oil until well combined.

and the voice behind Espresso and Cream, a website featuring recipes that reflect how she likes to

2. Drop marshmallows, one at a time, into the melted chocolate, using a spoon

eat: simple food made with quality ingredients

or a fork to be sure marshmallows are completely covered on all sides. Lift the

and a whole lot of yum. Mayberry is a food editor

chocolate-covered marshmallow with a fork and place on waxed paper or parch-

at a large publishing company and can usually be

ment paper. Top with chocolate sprinkles while chocolate is still soft.

found in her kitchen at night.

Keeping It Bubbly

“Create a signature cocktail for your parties and get-togethers. Since champagne

cocktails are arguably the easiest and most glamorous

option, they tend to be a hit at large get-togethers. If you have champagne that has gone a bit flat, a sugar cube (soaked in Angostura bitters for an extra twist) will actually help to reawaken the bubbles in a champagne flute and make it fizz once again. And since you can never fit a champagne cork back into an unfinished bottle once it is popped, you can keep it bubbly by placing a spoon handle down into the neck of the bottle and then placing in the refrigerator. My mom taught me this trick when I was very young after our New Year’s Eve parties. I’ve now even bought a really pretty silver spoon just for this purpose.”

—Em Weed

............................................................................................ Em Weed is the author of the lifestyle blog, Hip Hip Gin Gin. Born in the Mediterranean and raised in the Midwest, she now resides alongside the New England coast. Photo by Em Weed



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Vue on 30A By Darby Kellum

If you haven’t visited Vue lately, then you haven’t encountered what has taken the 30A restaurant scene by storm. “There is a new, positive energy here,” says Christine Walker, Vue’s weddings and special events coordinator. Attributing the newfound energy to some changes recently made at Vue, Walker says, “Business is great and the reviews are even better!” Vue’s success is apparent as the “new” Vue boasts a chic, contemporary atmosphere. The decor mimics that of an upscale New York City lounge, but guests quickly recognize the most stunning aspect of the locale: Vue’s spectacular view. Appropriately named, Vue is a favorite spot for watching the amazing sunsets that make the Emerald Coast so desirable in the fall—a unique experience that is a must for locals and tourists alike. “Picture yourself enjoying a martini—friends by your side, dragonflies darting about—waiting for that famous ‘green flash’ that happens right as the sun disappears,” Walker says. “That is the scene that plays out on a nightly basis!” To complement the breathtaking view is an exceptional cuisine. Together they endow Vue with the total dining experience. “With a view like no other restaurant on 30A and a delicious menu that will please any palate, Vue boasts a winning combination that is hard to beat,” Walker says. Speaking of the delicious menu, the selections are the creations of Vue’s chef, Giovanni Filippone. He presents special dishes inspired by his Italian family upbringing. “My inspiration for every menu is to make my parents proud from up above,” says Filippone. “My strong Italian upbringing, along with



core family values, has inspired me to bring families together to enjoy my succulent creations.” Although Chef Filippone is Italian by birth, he works with a broad range of flavors, including Italian, French, and Asian influences. Vue’s staple items are their Venison Rolls, Pistachio-Crusted Grouper, Fruits de Mer, and their Tempura Portobello Fries. The unique menu clearly reflects its wide array of influences. However, like a true Italian, Chef Filippone will be the first to tell you that he always falls back on his Italian roots when “in a pinch.” Stories always make a menu more interesting. When asked about the anecdotes that enhance his menu, Chef Filippone laughingly told the tale of his venison rolls, which he created while working as a personal chef at a hunting camp. “Now imagine the fears of a Northern boy with strong Italian views hanging out with a bunch of good ol’ Southern hunters,” Filippone says. “Driving up to the camp on a five-mile dirt road brought back visions of an old scary movie, and I seriously thought the experience would end with me running through the woods, having become the hunted.” I for one am thankful for Chef Filippone’s own version of a My Cousin Vinny hunting episode. Otherwise, we wouldn’t get to enjoy those delicious venison rolls. Chef Filippone’s experiences truly make his menu more enjoyable. Combining an inspired menu with a new, energetic atmosphere makes Vue a special place. Now, if you’re ever looking for somewhere to wind down with a drink, excellent food, and a view like no other, you know where to find it!



Located at the Baytowne Marina in the Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort in Destin, FL 1850-650-2519

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~ Up personal UP close CLOSE PERSONAL and AND

The COLA 2 COLA PhysiCiAns Guide

sPeCiAL AdverTisinG seCTiOn

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The COLA 2 COLA PhysiCiAns Guide

by AvA WOOd

It’s not a news flash that for the past few years national health care has been debated, discussed, and analyzed. (With the recent passage of the health care bill, a new era is being ushered in—time will tell how this will affect both the medical profession and our collective well-being.) What is noteworthy is that during those few years, as the communities of our region have developed, the quality of health care services has continued to improve through state-of-the-art facilities and high-quality physician care. We now have facilities such as those of the Sacred Heart Hospitals in Miramar Beach and Port St. Joe, the Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in Gulf Breeze, and countless other medical offices throughout the COLA 2 COLA area. These hospitals join the already well-established Baptist Hospital and Sacred Heart Hospital, both located in Pensacola, as well as Bay Medical Center of Panama City, Florida, which has consistently received numerous awards over the past several years. To supplement the advances in improved medical infrastructure, best-in-class physicians from universities and hospitals around the country have opened or relocated their practices here. In years past, patients have had to travel out of market in search of physicians with exceptional knowledge and experience with cutting-edge medical techniques. Now, patients

.1 .1

in need of specialty care have the comfort of knowing that there is a greater choice of physicians and services right here at home. The vision for this “Up Close and Personal” exposé in VIE’s newest Physicians Guide is to showcase and educate the reader about the capable medical community we live in as well as to allow a glimpse into the personal lives of the some of the physicians who live and work here. The unique relationship between patient and doctor is unlike any other: the trust and confidence fostered between them can be an important factor in attaining both the best medical experience and outcome possible. The medical profession is a noble one, and for many physicians it is their vocation first and their career second. Small-town living affords a sense of community not found in larger cities; knowing your physicians as neighbors, youth sports coaches, and fellow association and club members can sometimes provide a sense of comfort and security when seeking out their services. In the following feature, VIE invites you to meet some of the physicians who are helping to change the face of our local medical community. Read on as they share their lives, philosophies, and goals, and educate us on the new procedures and treatments that serve our community.





By dr. leslie fleischer | Photography by romona robbins I LEFt tOWN gOINg SOutH WItH AN OLd dOLLAr BILL FOLdEd ANd tuCkEd AWAy IN My WALLEt. I HAd COME FrOM tHE EASt ANd tOyEd WItH LEAvINg tHE SAME WAy, But SACrIFICINg SyMMEtry FOr EXPEdIENCy, I HEAdEd StrAIgHt SOutH. I HAd A LONg WAy tO gO. I am a doctor. I had moved to the Midwest eight years before from the East Coast. The change had been a healthy one. But now, after two years of worry, I was moving to the South to a new job. I had gone to school in North Carolina but hadn’t been back for thirty years. My family was staying behind for two months to let my two girls finish school and pack up and move. So I drove alone, going south, through terrain I had flown over weekly and driven more often.

distance a steam engine a hundred years ago could go before needing water. Now the long cargo trains whistled through without blinking, but the land remained prime farm real estate. I stopped at local bakeries to bring doughnuts, cookies, or crullers with me.

The upper Midwest is flat thanks to ice age glaciers that also brought the thick topsoil. Most of the area was a swamp thousands of years ago. I used to drive this road in the spring. The land was flooded then from the spring rains: acres of lakes reflecting acres of sky.

Most of the patients I saw were farmers. They taught me that the whole state had been an inland sea millions of years ago and because the water table remained high, they needed to drain the fields well with long, snaking rows of underground pipes. As I drove, I visualized the “tiles,” as the pipes were called, providing an unseen lattice as far as I could see. I remembered conversations about the prices of soybeans and corn, here and in Brazil, and differences between tractors, antique and new.

I drove this direction weekly to visit patients in small clinics in small towns. Initially, I had flown in a tiny plane to a distant clinic, but for the past six years I traveled by car to a small city about a hundred miles from where I lived. The towns along the route were spaced about fifteen miles apart on the railroad tracks: the

I regretted leaving the people. Over that last few months, each meeting was a long good-bye. Many had been very sick when they first came to see me. They were scared but trusted me to treat them, surrounded by medical students and residents, in the university medical center a hundred miles. After a cardiac



catheterization or angioplasty, when they felt better, the trust deepened. I heard more: the children who lived far away, the spouse who never talked to them, the stress when the price of corn dropped. Now I was leaving. It was wrenching. We knew we’d never see each other again. I consoled myself that they would do well long into the future but still told them to call me if they wanted to talk. Some still do. As soon as I could see the edge of the glacial moraine ahead, I reached my familiar turn. I had gone this way weekly for the past six years, to a small city named after a fancy European capital. It had been quite a center thirty years ago, before the interstate bypassed it, leaving the main square empty. Many people retained the grace of that era. I met the ninety-year-old “Misses” who, decades ago, had taught ballet to all the “good” girls in town, including my nurses. One was the pianist, the other the dance mistress. She showed me all five positions at our first visit. Her sister beamed.

to talk several times after my evening rounds, when the medical students and residents were gone, before I went home. After the war he married his high school sweetheart and settled in California. He went to night school and became a builder, then a contractor, working hard for decades. He retired to an easy life. Later he moved back to the area where he had grown up. He had few friends in California; the only important one, his surgeon buddy, was unpretentious. I had talked to him earlier over the phone to vet my plans. He was friendly and promised to ease the way. It worked. The surgery was a success. My patient was smiling, walking, and playing some golf. Thereafter, we saw each other infrequently, conversing three or four times a year. The same courtly manner, the same crisp blue eyes and measured answers without artifice. No banter or small talk, but I sensed a slight change. The pace of his replies had picked up and he was a little less guarded. The legs were fine. I was relieved.

Five years earlier, soon after I started my Another year passed. Things began to unravel. weekly pilgrimage, a man came in to see me He noticed that he couldn’t walk as far as he who had recently moved to the area. That’s “It WOrkEd. tHE SurgEry WAS wanted, but not because of his legs. He was not quite right: he had been born here sevA SuCCESS. My PAtIENt WAS getting short of breath. He was getting tired. enty years before but left to enlist in the army His wife watched him intently as I asked him when World War II broke out. He was nearly SMILINg, WALkINg, ANd PLAymore. He shrugged it off. six feet tall, and had a sunburned, weathered INg SOME gOLF. tHErEAFtEr, face, crisp blue eyes, and a full head of white “It’s minor … I can do most of what I want.” hair. His gravelly voice struck me. It was clear, WE SAW EACH OtHEr INFrEto the point. He considered briefly before requENtLy, CONvErSINg tHrEE “I’ll see you next month. Let me know how it plying to my questions, measuring his courtly Or FOur tIMES A yEAr.” goes.” I took this seriously. phrases. His wife sat patiently by his side, looking ahead or at him, holding his hand We had seen each other every three months from time to time. She didn’t speak much, while he was doing well. He didn’t want to admit to anything. He started to say sometimes smiled briefly. He had been a developer in California, making and something. His wife touched his arm. He stopped, nodded his head silently, maklosing fortunes. He became ill, needing bypass surgery. When he could, he moved ing up his mind. back to the area, remembering the days of his youth. He came to take my measure. He wasn’t interested in what I had to say medically. He talked about California and his best friend, his golfing buddy, a cardiac surgeon. I talked about my reasons for leaving the East Coast, my family, my discoveries in the area. It was an interview. Was I trustworthy? How did I stack up against his friend? No mention of medicine or credentials or treatment philosophy. He was interested in something else. They left. I wondered if I had made the cut. He came back several months later. We chatted again: more of the same. He was easier to talk to and his wife joined in. Then he allowed he had trouble walking, his legs cramping after a block or two. He was either going to have to ride a golf cart, a prospect to which he was opposed, or give up the game entirely. I made some suggestions about diagnosis and treatment but he was not interested. Over the next few visits, we began to negotiate and he finally agreed to X-rays of his arteries and treatment, either with surgery or balloons. I brought him to my hospital, where he had a successful procedure. Our relationship changed then. He saw me in my element while he was out of his. We weren’t so much on an equal footing now and I was afraid he wasn’t comfortable with it. I stopped by

“He can’t do very much at all,” his wife told my nurse before the next visit. We had a long, clear talk. The bypass grafts were in jeopardy after all these years. He knew what was coming. “Only pills. No surgery,” he insisted. We started to meet weekly. Pills made him better briefly, but as I suspected, his respite was short-lived. He was tired, defeated, and admitted that he knew what must happen. But he didn’t acquiesce to looking at his bypass grafts, a heart catheterization, or considering surgery. He thought it was his end. He agreed only to see me next week. “He couldn’t preach last Sunday,” his wife told me when I walked into the examining room and asked him how he had been. “I didn’t know you were a preacher.” “That’s why I retired—to do this. I’m a lay pastor in a small Baptist church. I VIEZINE.COM WINTER 2011


preach every Sunday. Last week I had to stop. I was short of breath and exhausted. I couldn’t finish the sermon.” He explained that he moved from California to a church near his boyhood home to be a minister, a goal he’d had since his twenties. His wife shut her eyes, nodded, and squeezed his hand.

We talked carefully at our next visit. He heard what I had to say, staring ahead. His wife was concerned. Weeks passed. He could do whatever he wanted effortlessly and his golf game had even improved. I had cured him but he was not healed.

“We can’t let this be the end. Let’s do what we need to. Let’s look at the arteries and decide. you’re strong enough to get through and I’ll help, whatever it takes.” quiet.

He shook his head, not meeting my eye.

A silent nod. The heart catheterization the next Monday was easier than he had anticipated, much easier than years ago. The arteries were worse than he had thought: bypass surgery again. Everyone expects the worst, hopes for better, accepts the bad news. I called California. His friend talked to him. resigned, he went to surgery the next day. I made it my business to go into the operating room in the morning, saw his heart quiet in his open chest. I talked to the surgeon about the quality of the arteries, watched the grafts being sutured in place, and left only when he was separated successfully from the pump.

“Are you preaching again?”

“How dare you give up!” Both of them stiffened at my tone. “Why did you fight through the surgery and the pain? you’re not doing what you wanted your whole life, now that you can. don’t give in. don’t waste all of our efforts.” He missed the next appointment. After clinic, I drove home depressed, reliving last week’s scene. The following week he appeared without an appointment. I came into the room, expecting the worst. He stood up when I walked in, shook my hand, and thanked me. Last Sunday’s sermon was a success. His eyes shone. The congregation’s welcome had been overwhelming. After that, we met several times a year. He was doing well, playing golf, preaching.

The recuperation proceeded as many others had in the past. After a few days he felt well enough to jokingly complain to me about how much trouble I put him through to remain on earth. I reminded him of redemption through suffering and that I had suffered enough getting him through to this point. His wife smiled. He laughed, making his incisions hurt. I threatened him with a troop of comedians if he didn’t stop complaining. We were both relieved. After he went home, I saw him weekly for the next two months. His incisions healed. He began gaining weight, walking, doing what he wanted.

Finally, it was my last trip to the town. Weeks before, my patients had received a letter indicating that I was relocating. I was busy saying good-byes during each office visit, revisiting the past trials as if the act of remembrance made the future’s uncertainty lose its sting.

“Have you gone back to preaching?”

“We want to thank you for what you’ve done,” he started. His wife smiled, nodded, folding her hands in her lap, knowing what was coming. “After we got married, we lost our child, the son we both wanted. Afterwards we could no longer have children. If our son had survived, we would have wanted him to grow up like you.”

“Not yet. I’m not ready.” I let it go, but I was concerned. Many people get depressed after surgery. As a young physician, it had seemed paradoxical, but life-threatening operations are a true rite of passage. They are different from most, however, in that death can be tasted in the nausea after surgery, felt in the weakness of the passing months. 114


The pastor and his wife stood up when I came in. We shook hands as we usually did. He was doing well and hadn’t slowed down. I told them I was convinced of the durability of the surgery and that it would last long into the future. They were both pleased with the assurance and smiled.

“I was in the Marines in the Pacific during the war. We landed on more islands than I can remember, but the battle that I can’t forget happened early on a Saturday.

We were crossing a river when the Japanese opened fire. My company was caught in the water. two companies came up and soon the Japanese were in the river with us. It ran red. I was up to my chest in it, firing, ducking behind the bodies floating face up and face down. Some of us. Some of them. Hand to hand. It seemed like I was in blood for hours, praying to stay alive. Most of my platoon was killed. Afterwards, I came up the bank stained red—face, uniform—head to toe. We all were. Still are.” “Later, washing my uniform, I emptied my wallet and pulled two of these out.” He handed me a one-dollar bill, a silver certificate signed by Andrew Mellon, folded and creased to the length and width of a thumb, shiny from rubbing the leather in his wallet for fifty years. The back was bright green and white with a big “ONE” in the center. No “In god We trust.” No eagle. No pyramid. The front had Washington’s picture and looked like a normal bill until I realized that this side was stained with a reddish brown tint. The blood from the river. “ I always wanted a son. I kept two dollars from that awful day, one to give to him when he was twenty-one, and one for me forever. I never had a son to give it to. I’d like you to have it.” I looked into his eyes, speechless. I usually demur when given gifts. Not this time. I took out my wallet and carefully placed the bill between the pictures of my children. “Thank you. I’ll never forget.” “Nor will we.” We stood up and shook hands. His wife embraced me and they left, her arm in his. As I passed that left turn heading south from the flat prairie to the rolling hills, I remembered the last time I saw them, walking slowly from the examination room to the door leading out. He held the door for her and she left, glancing up at him with a soft smile. He looked back at me: we both nodded good-bye.

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aBeautiful life Cutting-edge treatments that renew his patients’ youthful glow, energy, and appearance are among Bawa’s specialties. Photography by Lesley Isacks

listening to his patients, which is a rare quality.”

ask anyone if how they look plays a part in how they feel about themselves overall, and you’ll most likely get an answer that the two are deeply interconnected. This close relationship is much of what drives Dr. Nitin Bawa. His practice, which focuses not only on the physical but also on the emotional concerns of his patients, specializes largely in treatments such as bio-identical hormone therapy and aesthetic anti-aging services like fillers, Thermage, and Zerona.

“Dr. Bawa is approachable and attentive,” praises another woman. “He listened, cared, and addressed my health concerns. The first day I met him, I was in tears of desperation and sleep deprivation. I recently left his office with tears of accomplishment and blessing. Thank you!”

and in control of my emotions. I have energy and an increased libido. I recommend Dr. Bawa and his staff to everyone.”

Gratitude and accolades such as this are rarely found in the medical world today. Cold, impersonal, hurried, and imperious mannerisms generally pervade the ranks of the white-coated men and women who hold our health in their hands. Doctors whose first

Cutting-edge treatments that renew his patients’ youthful glow, energy, and appearance are among Bawa’s specialties. His arsenal includes Thermage, which naturally stimulates the body’s collagen renewal processes. He also uses Zerona, a noninvasive laser procedure which removes excess fat from isolated areas of the body with little to no downtime. In addition, hormone therapy is customized to patients’ needs through genetic testing, and natural, holistic treatments continue to be a priority at

priority is their patients are the exception.

Bawa’s practice.

While a sense of desperation might be the driving force behind many of his initial consults, Bawa offers his patients solutions that renew their health and their self-images. “I came in initially as a last resort,” claims one woman. “Between my psychiatrist and OB-GYN, we could not find any combination of medication or therapy to help me stabilize my moods and emotions. Finally, my psychiatrist referred me to Dr. Bawa. He got me started on adrenal support and bio-identical hormones; after a couple of appointments to make adjustments to dosages, I have never felt better. I am feeling stable

While he could be satisfied with his successes so far, the past ten years have taught Bawa that the face of medicine is constantly changing, constantly renewing. With that in mind, he maintains a desire to seek the latest ways to improve the lives of his patients–– inside and out. The results show in their smiles as they greet him, the white-coated man who holds their health in his hands.

“Looking good is part of the overall wellness of feeling good. We believe that our patients can be armed with a better outlook on life when they feel confident in their physical appearance.” Making his patients look good and feel good, however, is only part of Dr. Bawa’s magic. He seems to possess the rare qualities of approachability and charm. It is, in fact, his friendliness and willing ear that are most appreciated by his patients. Overwhelmingly, his patients have praised his openness, his kindness, and his apparent need to minister to both the soul and the body. Bawa’s bedside manner might be what has driven his practice so far; he has attracted such a faithful following that he decided to open a second office location in Destin. “Many of my patients were traveling to our Seagrove office from Destin, Atlanta, Pensacola, Gulf Breeze, and even farther away,” explains Bawa. “We knew we had to expand to service our growing practice.” That growing practice shows no signs of slowing down, either. In fact, patient surveys reveal that there is little, if nothing, that they would change about the gentle doctor’s approach. Says one of Bawa’s devotees: “Dr. Bawa is very compassionate and open to

A Beautiful Life By Liesel Schmidt VIEZINE.COM WINTER 2011




By Tori Phelps


“It’s a unique environment, and I’m really proud of it.” Prospective patients can find plenty of good plastic surgeons in even small cities. So why do people from all over the world seek out the services of Destin Plastic Surgery? Because, thanks to pioneering procedures performed by Dr. William Burden and Dr. Scott Ennis, it’s simply known as the best. And when it comes to our bodies, no one should settle for less than the best. Destin Plastic Surgery is the brainchild of Burden, who chose to open a practice on the Emerald Coast despite offers from Dallas and Washington, D.C. Within a few years, Burden resolved to act on his long-term business plan by creating a state-of-theart regional beachfront center. The Grant Building, named after Burden’s son, opened in 2002. Ennis joined the group the following year, bringing with him numerous awards and honors, along with extraordinary skills. He quickly adopted the surgical techniques Burden had developed and has contributed substantially to Destin Plastic Surgery’s reputation as a premier center for excellence. Burden and Ennis have agreed to give Emerald Coast residents a peek inside what makes Destin Plastic Surgery so successful—and share why there’s never been a better time to explore everything the world of plastic surgery has to offer. VIE: You and your colleagues have pioneered many “firsts” in the area. Tell us about some of them. Burden: We performed the first endoscopic brow lift, endoscopic breast augmentation, and microvascular free flap breast reconstruction in the area. Our success in those areas actually helped put us on the map. In addition, we made several decisions during the seven years prior to opening our current facility that have greatly benefited us. For starters, Pam Burden, who helped me open the practice, had taken an interest in nonsurgical skincare treatments. I’d been focused on surgery because, at that time, surgeons rarely pursued nonsurgical treatments. But after listening to Pam’s ideas, I realized we needed to begin working on this aspect of plastic surgery. Pam helped renovate the adjoining office space and soon thereafter founded our skincare clinic.

Dr. Burden playing the guitar after hours. Photo by Lesley Isacks. Botox® was something else we pioneered. Years ago, it was used for muscle spasms around the eyes and other areas of the body—not typically for cosmetic reasons. I was among the first plastic surgeons in north Florida and, in fact, the country to use Botox® for the treatment of facial wrinkles. Other members of our team have contributed to our tradition of innovation as well. Bill Edelman joined the practice while I was finalizing the Botox® treatment regimen. Using his knowledge of facial muscles from surgery and having an excellent knowledge of the abilities and limitations of Botox® and fillers, he’s been able to develop a large practice for nonsurgical facial rejuvenation. People fly in from around the country specifically to have him perform their treatments—like a patient from northern California who could easily go to anyone in San Francisco or the rest of the state but chooses to come to Destin for Bill’s care. VIE: Does your location in Destin contribute to attracting an international clientele? Burden: Yes, it’s a unique environment, and I’m really proud of it. Before moving to the Destin area, I had formulated a business plan that involved a beachfront community and a world-class facility and surgery center. After buying the property in which we’re now located, Destin Surgery Center CEO Wes Battiste and I worked day and night, weekends, and holidays for seven years to achieve our goal of a one-stop destination for excellence. The Grant Building now houses Destin Plastic Surgery and its Skincare Clinic, Destin Surgery Center, and the Destin Vein Center. VIEZINE.COM WINTER 2011



VIE: What procedures are becoming more popular with your patients? Burden: Body contouring and abdominoplasty procedures are more popular than ever with our patients. I was the first in the area to use ultrasonic liposuction, and as technology became more refined, I adopted power-assisted liposuction that boasts very discreet, well-hidden incisions. Ennis: Hair transplantation is a particular specialty of mine; in fact, I started offering it here at Destin Plastic Surgery because of the demand. We offer the latest technique in single follicular hair restoration surgery for natural-looking, permanent hair and have many happy patients as a result. VIE: How have you been recognized as leaders in your industry? Dr. Ennis Ennis: With this facility, I’m able to continue to visit the international patients we have been accustomed to seeing and allow them to recuperate in a one-ofa-kind beach setting. Additionally, we offer technology, such as our Vectra 3D system for face and breast, which only thirty other practices in the entire country own. This makes us a true cosmetic surgery destination for location, experience, and the technology we possess. VIE: You offer a wide range of treatments and procedures, why do people travel from around the world to your practice? Burden: We have four specialties: breast, face, body, and hair transplantation. Our goal is to provide first-class services for our patients in a safe, comfortable environment. We perform breast augmentation using multiple approaches and techniques, but our No-Scar-on-the-Breast augmentation is unique. We’re one of the few practices able to perform this procedure using both saline and the new silicone memory gel implants. We’ve even instructed other plastic surgeons in advanced endoscopic techniques for breast surgery, and surgeons from the U.S. and Europe have visited our facility to observe surgical techniques. Ennis: Facial surgery has become a specialty for us due to the minimal incision techniques we use. The endoscopic brow lift is an advanced procedure that delivers dramatic results while minimizing visible scars. Most plastic surgeons aren’t comfortable or experienced with the endoscopic technique, but with our expertise, we can enhance the patient’s appearance without the pulled, stretched look so common with older techniques. 120


Burden: Recently, I was selected as a lead investigator for a new breast surgery product, and Dr. Ennis has joined me as a coinvestigator. Early in my practice, I was one of the few plastic surgeons in the region performing breast reconstruction. I utilized tissue expanders, postoperatively adjustable implants, and free flaps to perform these procedures. Having had experience with tissue expanders and postoperatively adjustable implants, the Mentor Corporation asked me to be an investigator with the new postoperatively adjustable silicone gel implants (Becker implants). Only thirty investigators across the country were asked to join this group. Presently, we’re awaiting FDA approval to begin the study. Ennis: Dr. Burden and I have been selected for the Leadership, Experience in Augmentation and Development (LEAD) program. Only twenty-five plastic surgeons nationwide are selected for this elite group of surgeons by the Mentor Corporation, which is part of Johnson & Johnson. Our selection was based on experience and volume in breast enhancement surgery. And we feel very honored to be a part of this group. Burden: In addition, we have received recognition by the Allergan Corporation for our expertise with Botox® and Juvéderm injections for nonsurgical facial rejuvenation. One of the designations of which we’re proudest is our Black Diamond status for Botox® and Juvéderm, which is reserved for the top 1 percent of practices nationwide. We’re among only two Black Diamond practices in the region. Our patient testimonials and referrals offer us our greatest recognition. It’s a testament to our experience, our results, and how seriously we take patient communication. These are the reasons people travel from around the world to Destin Plastic Surgery.

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Making Life Beautiful at The Aesthetic Clinique Photography provided by Dr. Weiner

Steven F. Weiner is a board-certified head, neck, and facial plastic surgeon. After graduating from U.C.L.A., he completed medical school at the University of Michigan. He interned and spent his residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital where he became an instructor for two years in the Department of Head and Neck Surgery/Facial Plastic Surgery. World renowned, the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, has been the number one–rated hospital in the U.S. for the past twenty years, with the Department of Head and Neck Surgery rated number one for the past fifteen years. In 2005, he “laid down his scalpel” and created The Aesthetic Clinique, concentrating 100 percent of his efforts in noninvasive and minimally invasive cosmetic procedures. He envisioned the future of cosmetic procedures as nonsurgical. Less downtime, less expense, and more natural results are his goals. Dr. Weiner takes pride in being at the forefront of new technologies and procedures. Dr. Weiner has used BOTOX for over seventeen years, and several different lasers over the past twenty-three years. Dr. Weiner has perfected the blunt cannula technique from Europe to inject such dermal fillers as Juvederm, Restylane, and Radiesse. This technique leads to significantly less discomfort, less bruising, and less swelling than the customary use of needles for injection. He has used this technique exclusively on his patients for about a year. Ulthera: To tighten one’s skin without scarring, downtime, or significant risks seems intriguing to most people. Up to this point, most plastic surgeons have been critical of devices that have touted these claims—until now. Ulthera (short for ultrasound therapy) uses micro-focused high-frequency ultrasound to create precise one cubic millimeter lesions called thermal coagulation points (TCP) in the lower skin and deeper tissues. These controlled lesions create an inflammatory response and eventually tissue contraction, leading to skin tightening. The full result will take about ninety days to appreciate, but immediate results can be seen before one leaves the office. 122


What has plastic surgeons interested is that the area of tightening is performed at the level of the superficial muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS), which is the tissue that is tightened during a facelift. Using direct visualization of this layer obtained through the device’s ultrasound imaging mode, Ulthera can lay down small holes in the SMAS which will then contract as the tissue heals. So, theoretically, a noninvasive facelift is performed. CoolSculpting: The science behind the Zeltiq procedure, called cryolipolysis, was developed by world-renowned dermatologists at Massachusetts General Hospital, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. Their research showed that fat cells are naturally more vulnerable to the effects of cooling than other surrounding tissues, and that fat cells can be safely eliminated without harming the skin. This discovery led to the development of the noninvasive CoolSculpting procedure. During the procedure, a noninvasive applicator delivers precisely controlled cooling to target and eliminate fat cells in specific areas of your body. When fat cells are exposed to cooling during the CoolSculpting procedure, it triggers a process of natural removal, which gradually reduces the thickness of the fat layer. The result is a reduction in fat bulges that is visible in most patients in about two to four months. The CoolSculpting procedure is comfortable for most patients. No anesthesia and/or pain medication was needed during treatment by any patients in clinical trials. Sculptra: Sculptra is a facial volumizer which is used to rejuvenate areas of the face where age has caused loss of volume. This is the result of losing fat, muscle, and bone as one ages. The benefit of Sculptra is that it can last two years or longer. A typical treatment consists of about three sessions at six-week intervals. Full effects from each injection session are not fully appreciated until six weeks because the correction is actually the result of the body creating collagen in response to the Sculptra.







Although Sculptra has been FDA approved for a few years for cosmetic use, Dr. Weiner has not embraced it until recently. Problems with nodules (bumps) after the procedure were too common for him to recommend it for his patients. Newer protocols for the dilution of the Sculptra have led to this occurring in less than 1 percent of patients, and Dr. Weiner feels this is now an acceptable procedure. LightSheer Duet: The NEW High Speed LightSheer with its dramatically increased spot size of 22mm x 35mm combined with innovative vacuum-assist technology offers you an exciting treatment option for hair removal. This is great news for both men and women, since backs and legs can now be treated comfortably in about fifteen to twenty minutes, with no need for topical anesthetics or messy treatment gel. The High Speed LightSheer produces a larger beam of highly concentrated light. The light emitted is well absorbed by the pigment located in the hair follicles (melanin). During the hair removal procedure, the laser pulses for a fraction of a second, allowing the hair to absorb the light and heat up. As the hair follicle heats up, the hair shaft and bulb are damaged. This significantly reduces the hair’s ability to regrow and results in permanent hair reduction over time. • Dramatically increased treatment spot size for faster coverage • Vacuum-assist technology significantly improves treatment comfort • No topical anesthetic is required, which eliminates lengthy preparation • No treatment gel is used either, saving additional time • High Speed LightSheer reduces treatment times up to 75 percent



Fraxel Dual: Fractional laser resurfacing is treating a fraction of the skin with the laser and leaving the majority of the skin unaffected. Typically about 20–35 percent of the skin is treated with microthermal zones (MTZs). These MTZs are columns of tissue heated by the laser that are much smaller than the diameter of a hair. By only treating a portion of the skin, the downtime and risks are minimized but the treatment depths can actually be higher—leading to more effective treatments.

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The Fraxel re:store Dual is a combination of the 1550nm laser and the 1927nm laser. With the older Fraxel re:store, four treatments were recommended; now the same correction with the Dual can usually be done in only three treatments. The improvements in the 1550nm are: • Faster treatment times – With upgrades in the software, you can cut treatment times by about 25 percent and have no degradation in effectiveness. • More comfort – The new handpiece has an integrated Zimmer cooling device (cold air) which allows for the skin to be chilled directly where the treatment is occurring. The 1927nm wavelength allows for: • Groundbreaking pigment eradication – The 1927 allows for a very superficial resurfacing which can eliminate pigmentation from melasma, hyperpigmentation, sun damage, and actinic keratosis safely in all skin types and on all parts of the body.

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Dr. Kimberly Moskowitz By Sallie W. Boyles

The human longing to remain young and beautiful has existed since the beginning of time. Interestingly, Spanish explorer Ponce de León was purportedly searching for the Fountain of Youth when he discovered Florida in 1513. Although the desire to recapture youth is alive and well, the idea of taking daily sips of an elixir seems obsolete considering the long-lasting, nonsurgical rejuvenation treatments now available. In the hands of a physician skilled in using today’s state-of-the-art equipment and techniques, patients see years disappear with cosmetic procedures that cause minimal or no discomfort. Among the leading specialists treating medical and cosmetic vein and skin disorders, Dr. Kimberly D. Moskowitz is a board-certified phlebologist (or vein specialist), a skin and laser medicine specialist, and a board-certified internist. Her technique not only appeals to patients who want to look their best without appearing overdone, but Dr. Moskowitz’s extensive medical background also delivers peace of mind that their procedures will end successfully. “After graduating Georgetown University School of Medicine, I spent four years in residency training at Georgetown University Hospital,” says Dr. Moskowitz. “My first year was in pathology because I wanted to expand my knowledge about diseases from the inside. Pathology at Georgetown was an extremely cerebral year; I absorbed everything I could about the appearances and behaviors of diseases, especially cancer and skin disorders. The remaining three years of my residency were in internal medicine with a focus on dermatology.” After becoming board-certified in Internal Medicine, Dr. Moskowitz worked as an internist for a year. During that time, patients learned of her extensive dermatology training, so that area of her practice grew rapidly. “The following year,” says Dr. Moskowitz, “I was asked to be the physician for the American Vein Institute and Aesthetic Medical Associates, a dual practice that combined dermatology and veins.” Above all Dr. Moskowitz cherishes her role as a mother. After spending twelve years in Washington, D.C., the May cherry blossoms that enticed her to pursue her studies and embark upon her professional career there could no longer compete with the family-friendly lifestyle and glorious beaches of Northwest Florida. Relocating to Panama City Beach, she launched the Cosmetic Vein & Laser Center in 2005. Dr. Moskowitz has since grown her practice by helping patients present a positive image as they age and, concurrently, become healthier. To make any cosmetic enhancement appear natural, she diligently evaluates available medical options. “Years of gravity and aging cannot always be repaired with a single procedure, so it is often necessary to combine treatments to achieve desired results,” Dr. Moskowitz says.

Addressing a range of skin disorders—skin cancer, acne, rosacea, wrinkles, birthmarks, and aging skin— requires a clear assessment of each patient’s condition and objectives. “I place enormous emphasis on my relationship with patients,” says Moskowitz. “As a board-certified internist, I am incredibly thorough in understanding and managing their medical problems when needed.” To stay up to date on the most effective procedures, Dr. Moskowitz is constantly researching new technologies and best protocols. “I am an obsessive reader of the literature, so I remain abreast of all vein and skin disorders and treatments, laser and light technology, cosmetic dermatology, body contouring and cellulite treatments, anti-aging medicine, and internal medicine,” she says. Attending medical conferences is another essential component of Dr. Moskowitz’s continued learning. “I just returned from the annual American College of Phlebology conference in Los Angeles,” she says, “where the world experts in venous treatment and disorders share current research and trends. I also attend internal medicine, dermatology, and aesthetic conferences, and meetings for the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery.” As her specialties continue to evolve, Dr. Moskowitz insists that her number one priority is to practice medicine with integrity, facilitating informed patient choices that lead to the results they desire. “I never buy into all the hype until I know something really works with research-proven results to back it up,” she says, emphasizing that she has no interest in selling any procedure. Her office, a reflection of Moskowitz’s own research, is equipped with over a dozen laser and light devices that provide up-to-the-minute options for rejuvenating, resurfacing, and tightening skin. “I specialize in combining advanced technology, such as Fraxel™, intense pulsed light (IPL), photodynamic therapy (PDT), and Thermage™, with injectables, like Botox® and Restylane®. The results are limitless with little to no downtime.”


Like skin therapies, vein procedures have changed dramatically over the past decade. Endovenous laser treatment, or EVLT, is a nonsurgical treatment of varicose veins recently approved by the FDA. “I was one of the first physicians in the Washington, D.C., area to perform the procedure,” says Dr. Moskowitz, who adds that the success rate for EVLT in closing abnormal varicose veins is almost 100 percent, compared with a 65 percent recurrence rate for surgical stripping. “EVLT has turned a surgical procedure with weeks to months of downtime into a thirty-minute in-office procedure with essentially no downtime at all.” “During my two years at the American Vein Institute, I performed hundreds of EVLTs and thousands of other nonsurgical vein treatments,” she continues. “Since that time, the field of phlebology, or venous disorders, has rapidly grown.” An expert and pioneer in the discipline, Dr. Moskowitz was part of a charter group of vein specialists to become board certified in phlebology in May of 2008. Having performed over 6,500 EVLT procedures, Dr. Moskowitz is alarmed by the majority of individuals, including physicians, who still know so little about the health risks and symptoms caused by varicose and spider veins. “It is a core objective of mine to educate people about these risks and help minimize them,” she says. Acknowledged as one of the best in her practice areas, Dr. Moskowitz does not take her credentials for granted. “I am grateful for training and experience that I can pass along to my patients,” she says, citing examples of patient concerns she addresses on a daily basis: My legs ache, burn, or swell at the end of the day. I just can’t stand to wear shorts or bathing suits with my legs looking like this. If I could just have beautiful skin, I would feel better about myself. “I wake up every day feeling absolutely blessed to be able to help people feel emotionally and physically beautiful and healthy,” she says. Beyond advising others, Dr. Moskowitz personally takes advantage of the rejuvenation procedures she offers patients. “I perform Botox between my eyebrows to prevent the development of glabellar ‘frown lines’ every four to six months. I have also performed IPL, also known as photorejuvenation, on my face for sunspots, and on my axilla, legs, and bikini area for hair removal. IPL—a simple procedure with no downtime—targets abnormal pigmentation, facial veins, birthmarks, and unwanted hair on the body and face. Last month, I performed a Fraxel Dual 1927 laser treatment on my face for sunspots and mild melasma. I have also performed a Fraxel re:store under my eyes to soften lines, and Restylane treatments to soften my nasolabial folds.” A living testimony to her treatments, Dr. Moskowitz adds, “This winter, I hope to perform a light Fraxel re:pair to give myself a one-to-two millimeter eyelid and brow lift.” When asked what she would not do to look younger, Dr. Moskowitz says, “Personally, I would not have a surgical facelift because there are so many minimally invasive options for skin rejuvenation and tightening. In particular, fractional laser devices have become the new gold standard because of excellent results with reduced risk and side effects. Also, as I mentioned, EVLT has completely redefined how we treat abnormal veins.” A decade of history further documents the safety and effectiveness of other relatively new procedures, such as Fraxel, EVLT, Botox, and hyaluronic acid fillers, which are better known as Restylane and Juvéderm.



I'm Not Going to Sit Out This Dance! In college I loved to dance - I even taught dance classes. Well, fast-forward to age 47. I was less than five feet tall and weighed 200 Ibs. Dancing was out of the question - I could barely make it through a day at work, on the air at the radio station. Standing that long was painful and exhausting. I had tried every kind of diet known to man, but nothing worked. I was miserable, and I was losing hope. The happiest day of my life was in October 2010, when I was approved for gastric bypass surgery with Dr. Lord. His staff helped me every step of the way - from working with my insurance to preparing me for surgery and what to expect afterwards. Weight loss surgery is the best thing I have ever done for myself, period. One year after the surgery, I've lost 102 Ibs., and the aches and pains are gone, too. I feel hopeful about my life again. In fact, I feel like dancing!

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Besides treating existing conditions, Dr. Moskowitz urges her patients, to take proactive measures to protect their skin. As much as she loves her practice, Dr. Moskowitz cherishes spending precious time with her two children, who are always covered in sunscreen. Emma, who is 15, plays varsity tennis and volleyball, and Luke, eleven years old, is on an all-star traveling baseball team. “The sun is our friend and our enemy,” says the physician, who spends a good bit of time outdoors enjoying her family and playing competitive tennis. Whether playing sports or splashing in the Gulf of Mexico, Dr. Moskowitz says that sunscreen is the most valuable weapon against aging. “I always use the words ultraviolet radiation when writing or discussing the sun’s damaging rays. I look my patients in the eyes when I say this so they understand the gravity of what I am telling them. Radiation is a scary word and kind of creepy when you imagine it all over your skin. It is responsible for approximately 90 percent of skin’s aging, including skin cancers.” In advising her patients, Dr. Moskowitz values her responsibility to continue learning as much as she can about life and medicine. Likewise, sharing the intimate experiences of her patients and their families has taught her humility. “I listen to my patients,” she says. “They are usually right.” Cosmetic Vein & Laser Center 12238 Panama City Beach Parkway Panama City Beach, FL 32407 Phone: 850.233.0264 Hours of Operation: Monday, Tuesday & Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wednesday: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.; Thursday: Closed during the winter PROCEDURES: SKIN: Fraxel re:store™, Fraxel DUAL® and Fraxel re:pair®, Photorejuvenation, Thermage™, Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) for Acne & Skin Cancer, Botox®, Restylane®, Juvéderm®, Microdermabrasion, Chemical Peels, Anti-aging Skin Care Products, Scar Reduction, Liquid Face-lift, Lightwave LED Therapy BODY: VelaShape™ for Cellulite and Body Contouring, Laser Hair Removal, Stretch Mark Removal, Scar Reduction VEINS: EVLT™ (Endovenous Laser Treatment), Sclerotherapy, Foam Sclerotherapy, Duplex-Guided Sclerotherapy



White-Wilson Medical center World class care close to hoMe By Lisa BurweLL

Cutting-edge medical care and Fort walton Beach

the naked eye, helping to detect cancer at its earliest most treatable stages. In fact,

might not be inextricably linked in our minds, but

White-Wilson’s goal is to continually and vigilantly bring its patients the best,

maybe they should be. with over 50 physicians in

most advanced quality of care––a goal that has been in place since Dr. Henry

over 20 different specialties, white-wilson provides a level of medical care that is uncommon in a community this size. Did you know that it was white-wilson Medical Center in Fort walton Beach that led the

White began his practice in 1946, then founding what is now known as WhiteWilson Medical Center. What began as a home-based doctor’s office on Brooks Street grew first into a small clinic with some hospital beds, a lab, X-ray, and a surgical area, and ex-

way in offering technologically advanced applica-

panded into a partnership with Dr. Joseph Wilson, a friend and classmate of Dr.

tions such as Mri (magnetic resonance imaging) and

White. As the practice grew, a larger facility was built on Mar Walt Drive. Today,

CT (computerized tomography) scans to the area?

that facility still serves as the main campus to White-Wilson’s eight locations

White-Wilson also offers iCAD Second Look mammography which provides

throughout Destin, Niceville and Fort Walton Beach. Patients appreciate the

a second “read” of all mammogram films after the radiologist has viewed them.

convenience of having all of their medical needs addressed at the same location,

This technology can detect microscopic areas that may not be readily seen with

and with one medical record.



“i have been with white-wilson more than 25 years because i am able to work as part of a team of experts. This allows me to provide my patients the most comprehensive and highest quality of care possible.” —Dr. KarL MeTz

comprehensive and highest quality of care possible,” said Dr. Karl Metz, Medical Director and Gynecologist at White-Wilson Medical Center. “For that same reason, White-Wilson is able to recruit some of the nation’s best physicians. Physicians want to practice with other highly skilled and dedicated physicians, and of course the beautiful lifestyle on the Gulf Coast helps.” Did you know that in addition to an impressive staff, White-Wilson has been expanding its reach with four new locations in Fort Walton Beach in 2011? Even though the healthcare industry is retracting nationwide, White-Wilson is leading the way by offering its services to a wider range of patients in need of quality care. In addition to serving its patients, White-Wilson believes in playing an active role in this community. In fact, White-Wilson hosts an annual event called The Little Black Dress Party to promote the importance of preventative healthcare and to raise funds for the American Heart Association, Shelter House, Opportunity Place and The American Cancer Society. The event features a fashion show, auction, food and dancing, and will be held next year on May 19, 2012, at the Emerald Coast Convention Center. White-Wilson has also hosted the H.C. White Golf Tournament for the past 25 years to raise money for local scholarships.

Did you know that White-Wilson is fully accredited by the American College of Radiology in all modalities and has increased its community locations and areas of specialty? “What once was the first doctor’s office in Fort Walton Beach is now the largest multi-specialty physician group in this area, and providing a medical home for our patients continues to be our focus,” said Dr. Douglas Rigby, Pediatrician and President of White-Wilson Medical Center. The physician group has grown to offer specialties such as Ophthalmology, Pulmonology, Cardiology, Pain Management, and of course Primary Care. WhiteWilson is actually the largest Primary Care provider in the area with Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatric and Immediate Care physicians. It is no surprise that the center has claimed the attention of a number of world-renowned surgeons with expertise in areas such as Vascular, Orthopedics and Neurosurgery. Did you know that some of the nation’s top physicians comprise the impressive group at White-Wilson? Neurosurgeon, Dr. Joseph E. Levine, M.D., PhD, for example, is world-renowned and was the first in the region to successfully perform Pro Disc-C Artificial Cervical Disc Replacement surgery which is considered a medical breakthrough because of its ability to preserve motion and restore balance to the patient. “I have been with White-Wilson more than 25 years because I am able to work as part of a team of experts. This allows me to provide my patients the most



The long-standing charitable focus of the members of the White-Wilson family is a priority that has earned them renown in patient care. While the practice continues to grow, the focus on Fashion Designer Jewelry and Accessories

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quality healthcare remains the driving force behind its success. With more than 40 percent of Okaloosa County residents under their care, the nearly sixty doctors in more than twenty specialties are certainly well steeped in the community. “White-Wilson has been dedicated to providing comprehensive healthcare services to our community for over 60 years,” said Alan Gieseman, CEO of White-Wilson Medical Center. “We strive to be the community’s choice for physician and healthcare services by continually enhancing our service to patients and their families.” The focus on quality care has served White-Wilson Medical Center well as they address new cases and new patients every day—patients that may well become, in this tightly knit community, just like family.

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From the beginning, The St. Joe Company set out to do much more than build homes — we set out to create truly authentic places. This belief in the power of “place-making” inspires everything we do. Every place we create begins with big-picture planning, a deep commitment to protecting the environment and preserving the region’s authentic way of life. We believe from primary homes and vacation homes to resorts and rural retreats, every community we create is unique, yet offers something for everyone. If you’re considering purchasing a home along the Emerald Coast, talk to us before you make any decisions. With five premier communities, we offer a variety of homes, homesites and an array of amenities to fit your lifestyle.




© 2011 The St. Joe Company. “JOE,” “St. Joe”, “WaterColor”, “the triple bar” design, “A Southern Coastal Landscape”, “RiverCamps”, the “RiverCamps” logo, “WaterSound Beach”, the “WaterSound Beach” logo, “WaterSound”, the “WaterSound” logo, and the “Taking Flight” design are service marks of The St. Joe Company. The materials and features and amenities described and depicted herein are based upon current development plans, which are subject to change without notice. WaterSound Beach Club, Camp Creek Golf Club, and Shark’s Tooth Golf Club are private clubs for St. Joe designated communities which require purchase of separate memberships subject to application and acceptance and may be subject to payment of fees, membership requirements, rules or other limitations which are subject to change. This does not constitute an offer to sell real property in any jurisdiction where prior registration or other advance qualifications of real property is required. Void where prohibited by law. Equal Housing Opportunity. The St. Joe Company does not guaranty the obligations of nor provide any warranties for homes built by unaffiliated or thirdparty builders who build homes in WaterColor, WaterSound, WaterSound Beach, WaterSound West Beach and RiverCamps. Beach Properties of Florida, LLC, is an independent, third-party not affiliated with The St. Joe Company. Obtain the Property Report required by Federal Law and read it before signing anything. No Federal agency has judged the merits or value, if any of this property. *For qualified buyers. Restrictions may apply.



By Sallie W. Boyles


eeping pace with technological advancements, medical procedures that patients once avoided now take place with little apprehension. When considering, too, that baby boomers have inched passed middle age, it’s no wonder that the demand for joint replacements has grown. In the U.S. alone, approximately 300,000 hip replacements and 500,000 knee replacements are currently performed each year. Along with refined surgical techniques that eliminate downtime and scarring, patients also benefit from the latest material and design enhancements of implants. Previously, for instance, doctors encouraged patients to wait until their sixties before having a hip replacement, but younger patients in their forties and fifties can now rest assured that their implants will last a lifetime. While even top surgeons will not promise the same longevity for knee implants, ongoing improvements to polyurethane parts continue to add years to their useful life. Although joint surgeries are more successful than ever, a conservative, noninvasive approach could eliminate or delay the need for an operation. Likewise, if surgery is the recommended treatment, having it done properly is the only way to prevent future complications. In fact, undergoing a surgical revision to correct what went wrong from a previous procedure is far more involved than implementing measures to achieve optimal results the first time around. Therefore, according to the professionals at the Andrews Total Joint Center of Baptist Health Care, a division of the Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, the most important step that an individual with knee or hip problems can take is to proceed with the right orthopaedic surgeon, preferably a subspecialist in joint care. Dr. James Andrews, founding partner and medical director of the Andrews Institute, applied the same philosophy when faced with a growing demand for knee surgeries among patients with sports injuries. Recognizing the value of dedicated expertise, he recruited top-notch talent—Dr. Robert Snowden, followed by Dr. Brett Smith—to launch and codirect the Total Joint Center.

Andrews Institute, Gulf Breeze Sharing a talent for handcraftsmanship with uncles who were cabinetmakers, Dr. Snowden decided to specialize in orthopaedic medicine after gaining summer work experience as a student at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He went on to complete his post-doctoral training in Orthopaedic Surgery and Total Joint Replacement at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. After leaving Johns Hopkins, he served in the US Army Medical Corps for two years. A Florida native, he was pleased to receive an invitation from Dr. Joseph Saiter, a medical school friend, to join the prominent surgeon’s private practice in sunny Pensacola. Dr. Snowden has specialized in reconstructive joint surgery of the hip and knee for over thirty years. Dr. Smith started out as an engineering student and earned his master’s degree in biomedical design with the intent to design medical implants. Realizing that he preferred interacting with patients over working in a lab, he entered the Medical College of Pennsylvania-Hahnemann University, and completed his residency and internship in Orthopaedic Surgery at Allegheny General Hospital. His



résumé includes serving as an attending physician involved in resident training at the Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh and as codirector for the Adult Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship program at the Institute for Bone and Joint Disorders in Phoenix. He also held a position with the Southern California Orthopedic Institute in Van Nuys, California. says. “Running in moderation is healthy. Marathons and supermarathons are not.” Referred by the medical community, insurance companies, and former patients for their demonstrated success in relieving pain and restoring mobility, both surgeons agree that long-term results are best when individuals are informed and actively involved in their own joint health. Whether the appropriate prescription is joint preservation, reconstruction, or replacement, people tend to take their knees and hips for granted until they experience pain and loss of mobility. Of course, as time marches on, joints endure wear and tear. Osteoarthritis is the most common degenerative joint disease. Natural skeletal misalignments, such as bowing of the legs, also hasten the natural decline. “It’s remarkable that hips and knees last as long as they do,” says Dr. Snowden, who Dr. Snowden emphasizes that an individual’s personal habits play another key role in joint health. “Problems arise when the mechanics are altered, usually by excessive body weight or injury,” he explains. For every one pound added to the body, the knees must bear three additional pounds of pressure, while the stress on the hips multiplies by six. “Weight loss alone often eliminates joint problems,” says Dr. Smith, who will refer obese patients to Baptist Hospital’s Bariatric Center. “A healthy lifestyle with regular, moderate physical activity is the best way to promote healthy joints,” says Dr. Snowden. Undoubtedly, certain activities are safer than others, especially over the long term. Running and jumping, for instance, place a load on the hips and knees that can reach seven times an individual’s body weight.

“Stay active and keep moving,” advises Dr. Smith, who enjoys outdoor activities like hiking and camping. Dr. Snowden likes to golf, play softball, work out on his treadmill, and, occasionally, snow ski. Beneficial levels of exercise not only keep joints in good working order, but physical fitness also facilitates favorable surgical outcomes. “There’s no question that surgery is safer and rehab is more predictable for those who are in good shape,” says Dr. Snowden. “A severely deconditioned patient is at a greater risk than someone who is much older but in excellent shape.” Mrs. Lorraine Tudor, one of Dr. Smith’s older patients, had superior results after he operated on her right hip and knee in Phoenix. ConDr. Smith sequently, when she more recently required a left hip replacement, Mrs. Tudor traveled from Arizona to Florida to be in his care. “I wouldn’t dream of using anyone else,” she says. As a former RN, Mrs. Tudor relays her personal and professional approval of his methods. “I cannot think of anything Dr. Smith could have done better. You judge the success or failure of a surgery based on pain. I had a lot of pain before the surgery, very little pain for a few weeks following, and no pain now.” Her youthful lifestyle and mind-set also made a difference in her outcome. “I’m an active 80-year-old woman,” she says. “I go shopping, to the grocery store, I travel. In my mind, I’m 35!” Despite such optimism, before resorting to surgery, the physicians of the Total Joint Center first rule out other viable procedures. “I’ll treat you as if you were my brother coming to me for advice, and I’ll talk you out of surgery,” says Dr. Smith. “Over half our patients can be treated satisfactorily with preservation techniques,” adds Dr. Snowden. “My philosophy is to take the simplest, safest measure.”

“One of the most common questions people ask is if running is safe,” Dr. Snowden Nonsurgical remedies vary from physical therapy and exercise modification to anti-inflammatory medications and nonnarcotic painkillers. Injections can also be effective over the long term. In addition to cortisone, a steroid familiar to many for reducing joint swelling, injectable treatments now include viscosupplements, VIEZINE.COM WINTER 2011


Center receives a large number of referrals to redo prior operations performed by other doctors. “My calendar for revision surgeries is currently booked into February,” says Dr. Smith, who has corrected the mistakes of highly regarded physicians.

“ONE OF THE MOST COMMON QUESTIONS PEOPLE ASK IS IF RUNNING IS SAFE.” Choosing a prominent doctor might seem a wise way to avoid future hip or knee complications, but a surgeon’s experience will not necessarily encompass the particular expertise required. “We are now subspecialized,” Dr. Smith says, explaining that the best hand or foot surgeon is not necessarily the ideal person to perform a knee or hip procedure. In just one year, he will operate on approximately three hundred hip and knee patients combined. Another physician who performs fewer than thirty of the same procedures could do a fine job, but the value of having perfected a technique over hundreds of times is undeniable. “Think of your joint health as the championship game,” says Dr. Snowden. “You don’t want to leave anything to chance. Any pitcher could conceivably do the job, but your likelihood of striking out the other team is highest if you bring in your best player.” Among the main causes for revision surgeries are implants that loosen or pop out. “The acrylic cement must be bonded securely,” says Dr. Snowden. Other issues stem from severe arthritis, which can shorten the length of a leg. Some surgeons have a tendency to overcompensate when performing hip replacements, so the affected leg ends up being too long. “Achieving stability in the hip requires skill,” Dr. Snowden says. “This is why the surgical technique is critical.”

Andrews Institute, Gulf Breeze which are gel-like substances that simulate natural joint fluid to reduce friction and absorb shock. With benefits that last from nine to twelve months, viscosupplementation can be repeated over several years and, therefore, delay surgery for just as long. “If you can do what you want without pain, then continue with alternative treatments,” says Dr. Snowden. “When you can’t enjoy your quality of life despite good measures, then it’s reasonable to proceed with surgery. You don’t want to wait until you’re too far gone. Determining what is right for a patient is part of the art of medicine.” While the majority of their primary cases do not require surgery, the Total Joint



Beyond researching a surgeon’s qualifications to ensure that the procedure itself goes well, individuals should also consider the quality of care available before and after the operation. “The Total Joint Center takes a team approach to patient care,” says Dr. Smith. Along with undergoing a comprehensive pre-op visit that includes meeting the nurses, the anesthesiologist, and other hospital staff, patients benefit from consulting with a case manager who works with patients to make sure the home is set up for the recovery period and to instill a rehabilitation plan. “The Andrews Center has an excellent rehab facility for continuity of care,” Dr. Smith says, “but I won’t discourage a patient from using another physical therapy group if that’s where he or she is comfortable going.” Individuals who adhere to the treatment plan—whether that entails working with a physical therapist or following a prescribed exercise regimen—report the best outcomes. “A young lady in her fifties had a hip replacement, and twelve days post op she was professionally dressed in her wedged heels with no walker, no crutches, no cane,” says Dr. Smith. “We did our job, and she did hers, and she told everyone that her surgery was a piece of cake.”

With the objective to foster many more positive outcomes the first time around, plans are under way to offer a fellowship training program at the Total Joint Center for orthopaedic surgical residents who are interested in a subspecialty. “We must have enough cases to support a fellowship program,” says Dr. Snowden. “Baptist Hospital has had to grow to meet the need with new instruments and additional beds. Our capacity has doubled in the past two years.” Currently handling about eight surgeries per week, the facility is expanding to conduct twelve to fourteen surgeries weekly. Although the Total Joint Center will accommodate more patients, the codirectors insist that personal concern will continue to be a hallmark of their medical expertise. Dr. Smith, for one, carries vivid memories of how it felt to be at the mercy of doctors and nurses who had little concern for his personal well-being. While still a medical student, he was assaulted and left with Le Fort fractures in his face and a long hospital stay. “I had thirteen broken bones and three surgeries,” he says. “I wanted to shout, Get me out of here! Looking back on my time in the hospital, I continually wonder how I can make each day better for my patients. I know what it’s like being on a gurney.” Quite possibly, that perspective is what gives patients of the Total Joint Center the greatest advantage. Andrews Institute, Gulf Breeze

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I WANTED OPTIONS. FORT WALTON BEACH MEDICAL CENTER HAS THEM. Private postpartum suites. Couplet care. A Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit on site. Highly skilled nurses and physicians. We moved to Fort Walton while I was pregnant with my second son. After looking at all of our options, Fort Walton Beach Medical Center was the natural choice. We felt good knowing that a physician administers all epidurals and that a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is available on site, should we need it. And the nursing staff was amazing. They were with me from predelivery through postpartum, keeping us comfortable and at ease so we could enjoy our time together as a family. We felt so great about our experience, we just delivered our third son there three weeks ago! For so many reasons, Fort Walton Beach Medical Center is our hospital of choice. — Bridget McCune and son Cruze Patients at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center

Open or Shut Case by stephanie clay

It was a defining moment. In 1959, the Daughters of Charity sent Sister Frances Michael from the provincial motherhouse in Emmitsburg, Maryland, to Pensacola, Florida, to decide the fate of Sacred Heart Hospital. The Sisters’ vow to serve the region’s sick, poor, and vulnerable had been faithfully fulfilled since they built and opened the majestic, castlelike hospital in 1915. But, by the late 1950s, the 145-bed hospital on Twelfth Avenue had a difficult time keeping up with Pensacola’s burgeoning population. The hospital building, while still magnificent on the outside, was antiquated and deteriorating inside. Mindful of the burdensome cost of upgrading and expanding the outmoded and overcrowded hospital, the Daughters considered leaving their ministry at Sacred Heart Hospital. But after arriving in Pensacola, Sr. Frances Michael, the new hospital administrator, became convinced that the people of Pensacola wanted the Sisters and Sacred Heart to stay. She made an appeal to the Daughters of Charity and rallied support from the community to build a bigger, better hospital with modern facilities. As Sr. Frances Michael and the visionary Sisters sought out a location for a new hospital, business leaders encouraged them to consider property on the far northern outskirts of the city. Many of the citizens and physicians asked the Sisters, “Who would come to a hospital way out in the woods off of a terrible clay dirt road?” 140


The Daughters of Charity opened the Pensacola Hospital School of Nursing in 1915 and trained approximately 750 new nurses throughout the next fifty-two years.

The Sisters gathered on the land, located on a hill past the end of the pavement on Ninth Avenue, and prayed to ask God if this was where the new hospital should be built. Satisfied they had received their answer, the enterprising Sisters baked homemade raisin bread to help sweeten the negotiations with the owner of the land. The new hospital was built on that secluded hill, and in 1965, the Sisters and staff of Sacred Heart left the original hospital behind and moved to the new one.

At the Heart of Pensacola … and Beyond Today, Sacred Heart Hospital is at the heart of central Pensacola. The beautifully landscaped hospital campus encompasses the better part of a city block at the busy intersection of Ninth Avenue and Bayou Boulevard, across the street from a popular shopping mall. The “new” hospital built by the Sisters has now become the command center for a regional

“We wanted to expand the regional availability of our services to improve birth outcomes in areas that are most in need. We opened our satellite locations to allow patients to get expert prenatal care closer to home,” said Dr. James Thorp, a specialist in maternal-fetal medicine and medical director of the Regional Perinatal Center at Sacred Heart.

health system with facilities spanning Northwest Florida and Southern Alabama. Sacred Heart Health System honors its rich history and the sacred trust the Daughters of Charity have placed in its leaders and associates. They continue the Sisters’ mission of serving all persons, with special attention to the poor and vulnerable. The Health System as a whole provides approximately $16 million per year in charity care and $122 million in uncompensated care charges per year. The Health System is now part of Ascension Health, the nation’s largest system of not-for-profit health care facilities, and has a regional presence, with hospitals in Pensacola, Miramar Beach and Port St. Joe, Fla. A regional network of more than seven hundred primary care and specialty doctors reaches from Foley, Ala., to Panama City Beach, Fla. Sacred Heart also supports training of medical students and operates residency programs in pediatrics and OB/ GYN in affiliation with the Florida State University College of Medicine. Student nurses from several local universities also receive training at the hospital. Sacred Heart’s 466-bed acute care hospital in Pensacola is consistently chosen by consumers as the most preferred hospital in Northwest Florida in a survey by National Research Corporation. It also is ranked in the top 5 percent of the nation’s hospitals for clinical excellence in 2011 by HealthGrades, a leading independent health care ratings firm. The Pensacola campus offers the only women’s and children’s hospitals in the region; Children’s Hospital operates in partnership with Nemours Children’s Clinic. Other key services based in Pensacola include the Regional Heart and Vascular Institute; the Regional Stroke Center; the Trauma Center (a Level II facility); and the Cancer Center, which is affiliated with MD Anderson Physicians Network.

The original Pensacola Hospital (later renamed Sacred Heart) was built and opened on 12th Avenue by the Daughters of Charity in 1915. 142


In 2003, the Health System added Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast, a 58-bed community hospital in Miramar Beach, Fla. This hospital consistently achieves outstanding customer satisfaction scores and currently leads the state of Florida in overall patient experience, as measured by Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS).

Bringing Care to the Patient Another example of taking expert care to patients in rural areas is Sacred Heart’s Regional Perinatal Outreach Center. Each week, three high-risk pregnancy specialist physicians, along with staff members and portable ultrasound equipment, take turns traveling from Pensacola to satellite offices that are two and three hours away to see patients in their own communities. The perinatologists are able to examine and provide treatment plans for women with high-risk pregnancies, allowing them to receive expert care without having to travel to Pensacola. Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola is the main campus for the Health System

In March 2010, the new Sacred Heart Hospital on the Gulf, a 25-bed hospital, opened in Port St. Joe, Fla. The Gulf and Franklin county communities warmly welcomed the new hospital, which provides 24-hour emergency services, inpatient and surgical services, and access to Sacred Heart’s regional air ambulance for trauma or critically ill patients.

“We wanted to expand the regional availability of our services to improve birth outcomes in areas that are most in need. We opened our satellite locations to allow patients to get expert prenatal care closer to home,” said Dr. James Thorp, a specialist in maternalfetal medicine and medical director of the Regional Perinatal Center at Sacred Heart.

Extending the Reach of Expert Care Sacred Heart’s regional presence allows it to extend its physicians’ expertise to secondary and rural regions that would otherwise not have access to that level of care. One such example is Sacred Heart’s telemedicine program for remote stroke care. Through telemedicine, emergency room physicians at several regional hospitals are able to receive round-the-clock access to the region’s top stroke specialists at Sacred Heart in Pensacola, led by Dr. Terry Neill, a board-certified vascular and critical care neurologist. With the help of telemedicine technology and a bedside nurse, Dr. Neill can conduct a long-distance neurological exam as if he were standing at the patient’s bedside. The system’s portable, high-resolution camera can zoom in so close that Dr. Neill can examine the patient’s pupils. The technology also allows him to view the patient’s CT scan and vital signs on his computer screen at the same time he is communicating with the patient and ER staff. The teleconferencing technology allows Dr. Neill to quickly and remotely diagnose a stroke and determine whether the patient is a good candidate for the clotbusting drug tPA or for interventional therapies. After the two-way video examination, the physicians on each end of the teleconference link can also decide whether the patient should stay where he is or be transported by air ambulance to the Sacred Heart Regional Stroke Center in Pensacola. Currently Sacred Heart has telemedicine capabilities at Sacred Heart on the Emerald Coast in Miramar Beach, Santa Rosa Medical Center in Milton, and North Okaloosa Medical Center in Crestview.

Dr. Terry Neill conducts a stroke consult on a patient in Miramar Beach from his office in Pensacola via Sacred Heart’s telemedicine system.



The Perinatal Outreach Center currently has satellite offices in Mobile, Fairhope, and Dothan in Alabama, and Destin, Panama City, and Chipley in Florida. From the diligent work begun almost a hundred years ago by the Daughters of Charity, Sacred Heart Hospital took root in Pensacola and grew into the fabric of the community. During the past century, one small hospital has grown into a regional health system that reaches and responds to the needs of the people it serves.

For more information about Sacred Heart Health System, please visit Dr. James Thorp talks with a young mother whose baby received life-saving treatment from the Regional Perinatal Center during her pregnancy.

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Charting a New Course: navigating a challenging

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uring the booming housing market about ten years ago, builders flooded Northwest Florida, taking full advantage of the surge in demand for vacation homes. As new developments seemingly materialized overnight, custom builders had multiple spec houses under way in a number of different locations. Unprepared for the downturn, many overbuilt and went under with the economy. To survive the unexpected downturn, David Lilienthal, founder and CEO of Dune Construction, has taken a different course. Serving a niche of buyers who share his uncompromising commitment to timeless design and lasting quality, he stands among a handful of builders who have remained on solid financial footing. Perhaps most importantly, his hands-on work ethic has provided the foundation for a successful business model. Growing up in the Southeast, David graduated the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and then worked as a stock trader in Charlotte. In the late 1990s, he added real estate to his portfolio. Highly involved in each project, David applied what he learned from his North Carolina real estate investments to Florida’s hot market, where he continued to build knowledge and refine his eye for design. “While still living in North Carolina,” says David, “I hired a general contractor to build a spec house for me. Though I was happy with the builder, I realized that I not only wanted to make my own decisions during the building process, but that I could make my own decisions.” Whether working or vacationing, the more time he spent in Northwest Florida, the more he appreciated the sheer beauty and small-town atmosphere of the coastal communities along Walton County’s Highway 30-A. In 2004, seizing the opportunity to live on the beach and dive into real estate full-time, he made a permanent move to south Walton County and established Dune Construction. His personal home and business office are now both located in the premier coastal development of WaterSound. “We prefer jobs located between Rosemary Beach and WaterColor,” says David, “so you’ll find most of our homes in WaterSound and neighboring Seaside.” VIEZINE.COM WINTER 2011


The ability to live where he works has suited David’s personal inclination to be involved in day-to-day operations. Clients, in turn, see the value in consulting with a builder who is highly vested in the community and individually focused on their projects. “Builders have a tendency to stretch themselves too thinly,” says David. “While they’re wasting hours on the highway, driving from one job site in Destin to another in Panama City, I’m spending one-onone time with one or two homeowners at one location.” David, in fact, admits that he has declined projects because he knew he could not give them the time and attention they deserved. “A client of mine is not one of twenty others,” he says. Dune Construction builds an average of four or five high-end houses each year, a comfortable pace for the company and an impressive track record in light of the sluggish housing market. Choosing features that are a cut above rather than trying to cut corners, Dune Construction has consistently appealed to buyers who demand an impeccably built home. “They are built to last,” he says. “Gary Belling, my superintendent, says that, in a hurricane, our homes are more likely to sink than be blown away by the wind.”

Create Balance


interior design ~ project management Melissa Quinn Bartlett



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Additionally, not a fan of fads that eventually make a home look dated, David and his homeowners are loyal to the Florida cottage style that has endured for well over a century. Hallmark elements include cedar roofs and siding, oversized porches, all-natural hardwood decking, horizontal lapboards on interior walls, and dark wood floors that contrast with white cabinetry. “Our clients want a beach cottage that they will enjoy over the next twenty to thirty years,” says David, hoping that many future generations appreciate the beauty and integrity of his homes. “Every client has a different vision of the ideal beach home,” says Kelly PorterSmith, an interior designer and owner of Porter-Smith Designs, headquartered in nearby Destin. She began working with David when he first built his home in WaterSound over ten years ago. “Because the ideal home is defined only by the owner, I am always striving to incorporate new and innovative selections and applications for interior finishes,” adds Kelly. “David and Gary are always willing to accommodate the challenging requests I make to achieve the vision I have for a client.” For the same reasons mentioned, Dune Construction has secured the exclusive right to build on five lots that, until now, have been held in reserve by the St. Joe Company, the developer of WaterSound and other premium properties in Walton County. Located in the Crescent Keel neighborhood within WaterSound, these lots are not obstructed by sand dunes and, therefore, will grant permanent Gulf vistas from all levels, including the first floor of each home. “They also overlook a rare coastal lake and the main boardwalk at WaterSound Beach Club,” says David. “The views are the best in the neighborhood. We are fortunate to work with St. Joe and feel privileged to have been chosen for these extraordinary homesites.” making no apologies, David will not presell any of the lots. Instead, he insists on carrying out a vision he has in mind for this rare opportunity. “At the end of the day, it’s my name on the project and my reputation in the community,” he says. In this endeavor, Dune Construction plans to proceed with care, building about one house annually. The last home in Crescent Keel should be completed in about five years. Whatever the future holds, David is optimistic. “We are currently busier than we’ve ever been,” he says. “A healthy energy has returned to 30-A, and I am very excited. It’s refreshing to see that opportunity has returned for everyone—real estate agents, architects, restaurants ... it’s a great time to live and work at the beach.”

Readers can learn more about Dune Construction by visiting the company’s website at, or by calling 850.218.0905. 154


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A Testimonial Dear Alan, It has been almost four years since our wonderful Gulf-front home was completed, and I wanted to take a moment to tell you how happy Ed and I are with each and every detail. As an interior designer myself, and Ed with a career in real estate, we were knowledgeable and very involved clients. You and your staff handled our endless meetings with professionalism and patience. Building a house on the dunes presents its own set of engineering complexities. Our project was especially challenging because of the massive amount of steel and concrete involved. You accepted the task with confidence and skill with an end result of beauty and structural integrity. Besides hearing of the fine craftsmanship of Ficarra Builders from previous clients, we heard the words “honest and trustworthy� time and time again. Having worked with many builders in our respective fields, Ed and I really value quality and honesty. These qualities are often very hard to find, but we found both in you and your firm. We always felt you could solve any unforeseen problem, and that confidence allowed us to experience, with pleasure and excitement, the building of our custom home. We also appreciate the fact that you are as accessible today as you were during construction.

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Thank you, Alan, for everything. You have our highest recommendation. Sincerely, Anne and Ed Erbesfield

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Guarding against the Next Potential Bubble by DaviD WaDDle, brian Haugen, anD Steve Cann In finance, the term “bubble” generally refers to a situation where the price for an asset greatly exceeds its fundamental value. As interest in the asset/sector/position/commodity grows, the price of that particular asset becomes increasingly inflated while the underlying intrinsic value pales. Eventually, the asset becomes so excessively inflated that it collapses under the weight of its own price. At least that is the fundamental sequence of events. When the human factor is considered, the scenario looks quite different. The asset normally begins its monumental growth from a relatively humble beginning. In fact, the asset is normally quite undervalued and unpopular. Smart investors detect the asset’s fundamental valuation and the asset slowly gains in price and momentum. This tends to garner some attention and the masses begin to buy in. Popularity ensues and the pricing soon rockets past its proper valuation. Since everyone loves a bandwagon, the popular position soon soars. Eventually, people are leveraging their other assets in order to buy 158


more of the asset at the elevated prices. Finally, when it seems that everyone is “all in” on the position—when no one is left to buy—it falters. Almost instantaneously, it is obvious that the price cannot withstand the valuations and suddenly the price collapses under its own weight. Examples of bubbles are plentiful. Perhaps the earliest example dates back to the seventeenth century and the Dutch tulip mania. To this day, the Dutch tulip bubble of the early 1600s remains the quintessential yardstick by which speculative bubbles are measured. The mesmerizing beauty of high-grade tulips, combined with the long years it takes to grow them, led to rising prices as the Dutch tulip fad began. Tulips became symbolic of wealth in Holland, and the wealthy became increasingly willing to pay higher prices for them. By February of 1637, prices peaked at levels that were more than ten times the annual income of many Dutch workers. Then suddenly the bubble collapsed, sending prices plummeting to a mere fraction of their peak value.

While the tulip price appreciation and depreciation exhibit an extreme, there are more realistic and recent bubbles we’ve faced in our day. Tech stocks began to garner attention once the survivors emerged from the first computer companies of the ’80s. Soon, the Internet revolution was well on its way in the ’90s and with it came the bubble of the decade. As the tech bubble reached its climax, relatively unknown companies with absolutely no earnings and huge debt were trading at share prices that were mind numbing. Joe Blow was suddenly a tech guru as he seriously considered making day-trading his full-time job. I recall a client of ours who would take sick time from work just to day-trade from the house! At the turn of the twenty-first century, just as it appeared that the bubble would keep inflating, the “dotcoms” became soon and forever known as the “dot-bombs.” I was going to mention the real estate boom and bust. But, I was told that subject is still

too sensitive for many of us along the Emerald Coast! We’ll have to save that story for some other time perhaps.

Protect Yourself. Know the Symptoms! Economist Hyman Minsky identified the five common stages of a bubble: displacement, boom, euphoria, profit taking, and panic. Displacement occurs when investors become enamored with a market transformation and start “justifying” a new paradigm to friends, family and, well, everyone at the cocktail party. This displacement in the marketplace seems to provide logical justification to invest in a particular asset. Boom is how the price appreciates—slowly at first—and then it just skyrockets as more investors seek to “get in.” Often, the quick escalation of price provides further evidence to the investor that “now is the time to buy—before it’s too

late.” During the euphoria phase, new valuation metrics are created in order to properly justify a sustained rise in asset prices. Eventually, smart traders begin liquidating, and the profit-taking phase kicks in. The profit-taking phase will likely go unnoticed at first, until the remaining pool of speculative buyers is exhausted and prices start dropping. By the time a clear downtrend in prices is established, panic sets in as investors “rush for the doors.” This selling stampede becomes self-reinforcing, and the asset price plummets. Becoming familiar with the emotions that surround a bubble is perhaps as important as understanding the fundamentals of an investment. As they say, “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.” Where or what is the next bubble? We keep our eye on several areas of caution. One area of concern might be exchange-traded commodities/funds/notes. These relatively new investments create a vehicle for Joe Blow to

access sectors previously unattainable to the common investor. Keep in mind what John Maynard Keynes once said, “The markets can remain irrational far longer than you or I can remain solvent.” With that, watch out for sectors with booming prices and look out below!

Prepared by David Waddle, Brian Haugen, and Steve Cann of Emerald Coast Wealth Advisors of Raymond James and Associates, which specializes in designing personalized, diversified financial portfolios for highnet-worth investors along the Emerald Coast. Past performance does not guarantee future results. There is no assurance these trends will continue. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or a loss. Raymond James & Associates, Inc. is a member of the New York Stock Exchange/SIPC.

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SeconD AnnuAl Women’S SympoSium A SucceSS With the help of pAnAmA city BeAch chAmBer preSiDent by Darby Kellum

On Friday, September 23, women from COLA 2 COLA® gathered at Florida State University Panama City’s Holley Academic Center for the Second Annual Women’s Work-Life Symposium. The day focused on presenting women with insights, inspiration, and innovative ideas on achieving a healthy work-life balance. With so many amazing women from the area congregating, the symposium was lively, informative, and, most of all, entertaining.

the conference

featured sessions on various subjects led by fantastic women from all over the country. Keynote sessions included “What’s Love Got to Do With It?”, “Leave a Legacy”, “Deadlines and Bylines”, “The Art of Amore”, and “Achieving Dreams Against All Odds: The Power of Believing in Ourselves”. Dr. Tererai Trent, Oprah Winfrey’s “favorite guest of all time,” brought the day to an end as the keynote speaker. To kick off the event, VIE sponsored a VIP Welcome Reception for hosts and speakers on Thursday evening at Kingfish at Bay Point Marriot. On Friday, along with the sessions, event guests enjoyed a networking breakfast, lunch, and “Mix and Mingle” wine reception following the symposium. Each “break” offered guests time to meet one another, network, and form relationships with the amazing, driven women around them. With 180 attendees, the symposium was a huge success, a success attributed to The Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce. The organization orchestrated the event after attending similar events in a few states throughout the country and felt that they could make a difference in the Panama City Beach community with the conference.



“One special quality of the Beach Chamber is that we aren’t afraid to try a new idea,” says Chamber president Beth Oltman. “We want to provide value while keeping it fresh and respecting everyone’s time. I’m a true believer that time is the biggest commodity that professionals have, and we always need to respect that.” Along with the Women’s Work-Life Symposium this fall, the Chamber hosted a golf tournament at Hombre Golf Club and UNwineD, Bay County’s portion of Taste of the Beach. The upcoming year is sure to be packed with even more exciting events for Panama City Beach. Chamber president Beth Oltman and her team are the energy behind the organization. As president of the Panama City Beach Chamber, Oltman is one busy woman. The demanding job requires endless dedication and heart for the community and Oltman embodies these qualifications.

“I love people and I bleed the hospitality industry. For the first twenty years of my professional career I worked in the resort industry, so I love my job and relate to the daily issues of the number one industry in our region,” Oltman says. “I adore the Beach Chamber board members and the entire team I work with daily. We have a lot of fun!”

Beth and her daughters, Sadie (age 6) and Mary Grace (age 10)

Being president requires Oltman to give of herself to the community, and that takes up much of her time and energy. Thankfully, she has a wonderful support system in place—both in and out of the office. Her husband and two daughters, ages six and ten, are her support system at home, and her colleagues work shoulder to shoulder with her on Chamber business. With busy schedules at home and events to plan for the Chamber, the backing of both “teams” is imperative. Working closely every day, the Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce has become her extended family. VIEZINE.COM WINTER 2011


“Not only do I have a phenomenal husband and two wonderful daughters, I’m a member of an incredible team of professionals. We are a true family and we all feel blessed to be representing our community,” says Oltman. “The 2011 Chairman, Robert Carroll, has been incredibly supportive and selfless. With our 2012 Chairman Paul Wohlford, this will be another actionpacked year—if I can keep up with that man.” Oltman says she is the “luckiest girl in town,” and we agree with the self-proclamation. With such a passion for others and her community, Beth Oltman has found her calling.

Karen Blackerby, Laurie Olshefski, Beth Oltman, Liz Bennett, Marta Rose and Lisa Burwell at the 2011 Women’s Symposium VIP Welcome Reception sponsored by Cornerstone Marketing

“I have been welcomed into a wonderful community, I love working with all the volunteers, and I never take for granted all the blessings I’ve been given,” Oltman says. “What really keeps our team going is pleasing our board, challenging each other, and trying new, innovative ways to keep our Chamber informed and connected in the business world. We’re getting better with each new challenge!”

SCENIC 30A ~ DESTIN ~ PANAMA CITY BEACH Gary “Coop” Cooper Interior Designer Seagrove Beach, FL 850.933.9993



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Pick Up Your 2012 Copy Today! Available at the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau & the Panama City Beaches Chamber of Commerce. v i s i t pa n a m a c i t y b e a c h . c o m • w w w. p c b e a c h . o r g

By Lacey McLaughlin | Photography by Aaron Phillips


isiting New Orleans during Mardi Gras each year makes me feel like I have left the country and entered a world where anything goes. But the throngs of bead throwers, crowds, and nonstop fun can require a bit of a recovery period afterwards. Instead of venturing to the carnival capital of the world this year, I decided to explore southern Louisiana’s Mardi Gras by taking a road trip down the Acadiana Trail for a unique opportunity to experience smaller, off-thebeaten-path celebrations. The 150-mile Acadiana Trail begins near Lafayette in the heart of Cajun country and extends to Houma along U.S. Highway 182. Many residents in this region can trace their roots back a century or more and embrace music, cooking, and celebrations as a way of life.



Cajuns are proud of their heritage and with good reason. Many of their ancestors were French immigrants who had settled in Acadia, a part of Canada. The Acadians were not strangers to oppression. During the French and Indian War, the British deported the Acadians from their homes; many migrated to and settled in the Spanish-owned swamps of Louisiana. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem Evangeline tells the love story of an Acadian girl who searches for her lost love after the Acadians’ expulsion from Nova Scotia. Today a street in Lafayette and a city in Louisiana, as well as other landmarks, are named after Evangeline as a reminder of the inhabitants’ tumultuous history. The majority of Mardi Gras celebrations in Cajun country are community oriented and family

friendly. The best time of the year to visit is during these celebrations, while the weather is cool and signs of approaching spring abound. For a truly unique experience, locals in Lafayette suggest traveling to smaller rural communities, such as Eunice, Church Point, and Mamou, to see “chicken runs” in which men clad in costumes and masks venture from house to house on horseback, asking for offerings of food. In return, they dance and partake in tomfoolery. The men must also capture, with their hands, the most valuable offering: a live chicken. When the day is done, the men cook dinner for the community with all the ingredients they have collected throughout the day.

DAY 1: LAFAYETTE Lafayette offers much more than just Mardi Gras celebrations. The city’s historic district, music venues, and restaurants alone are worth the trip. During the weeklong holiday, most of the locals are off work and enjoying themselves. Riding bikes around Lafayette, or any town during Mardi Gras, is one of the best ways to avoid traffic and parking fees. After acquainting myself with Acadian history at the Jean Lafitte National Park Acadian Cultural Center, I explored downtown via bicycle and happened upon the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, which was built in 1821. The massive brick facade and graceful arches lead up to the octagonal steeple, and oil paintings of Christ and German-made stained glass adorn the interior.

Lafayette’s arts district is a burgeoning community of visual and culinary artists. Located on the corner of Vermilion Street in the midst of several small galleries, the French Press is a small and sophisticated restaurant with a creative menu. Thirty-year-old Justin Girouard opened the breakfast and lunch spot last year after working as a chef in New Orleans. Girouard’s father and uncle used to own a printing press in Abbeville, La., and several original and antique printing presses, shelves, and drawers decorate the restaurant’s interior. One of Girouard’s most popular menu creations is the Cajun Benedict: toasted French bread, boudin, poached eggs, chicken and andouille gumbo, and scallions. Order a side of praline-maple bacon and a French-pressed coffee, and you are in heaven. Girouard’s wife is the one

who can take credit for the Cajun Benedict. While she was pregnant with the couple’s second child, she asked her husband to satisfy a craving she had for an eclectic breakfast that combined all her favorite Cajun foods, and she listed all the ingredients for the original recipe. “One day she asked me to cook it for her, and other customers saw the dish and started asking for it,” Girouard says. “It’s been one of our top sellers ever since.” A few blocks away, Susannah Craig owns Pottery Alley, which offers one-day workshops for pottery enthusiasts and handcrafted pottery for sale. On the second Saturday of each month, from 6 p.m. to VIEZINE.COM WINTER 2011


Lafayette offers much more than just Mardi Gras celebrations. The city’s historic district, music venues, and restaurants alone are worth the trip.

8 p.m., Craig and other gallery owners open their doors for Lafayette’s monthly ArtWalk. “There are a lot of active artists. It’s a good community and all the artists stay pretty close,” Craig says. In addition to Mardi Gras, one of Lafayette’s most well-known events is the Festival International de Louisiane, which brings musicians and performers from all over the world to the city’s historic district for a weeklong festival every April. As the community gathered in anticipation of the city’s night parade on the Friday before Fat Tuesday, local musicians gave impromptu street performances while downtown restaurants hosted street parties and provided outdoor dining. I made sure I stopped by Vic Kilchrist’s peanut 170


stand. The 90-year-old restored an eighteenthcentury coffee bean roaster and has spent the majority of his retirement serving fresh-roasted peanuts during parades and football games. While you might not catch any beads, one of the best vantage points of the parade is at Agave Mexican Grill and Cantina. The restaurant’s sprawling and colorfully lit porch sits on the parade route and, if you ask nicely, the owner might let you watch the parade with other residents on top of Agave’s roof. I, however, was more than happy to sit back and enjoy the restaurant’s famous margaritas and live music as the floats passed by. The parade route ends at Cajun Field, where a carnival is held and tailgating parties gather. After the parade, I ventured to the Blue Moon, one of the South’s leading music venues and one of the VIEZINE.COM WINTER 2011



best places to experience Cajun nightlife. Located just outside the University of Louisiana at Lafayette campus, the Blue Moon is a hostel/music venue where travelers from all over the world come to hear zydeco, swamp pop, folk music, and the blues. The outdoor music venue seems more like a house party that has spilled out into the backyard with dancing until the early hours of the morning. The Bluerunners, a popular music group from the 1990s, took the stage with accordions, washboards, and guitars. Wallflowers should take heed—signs on the wall discourage them at the venue. For a good night’s rest, La Maison de Belle is a quiet respite from the Mardi Gras festivities. The bed-and-breakfast dates back to 1898, though it was moved from its original location some years ago. The front porch overlooks a large grassy yard and pond where ducks roam freely. The owner also acts as chef and spoils the guests with her Cajun cooking. Famous guests have included author John Kennedy Toole, who wrote part of his Pulitzer Prize–winning book, A Confederacy of Dunces, while staying there. Unfortunately, the home was undergoing renovations when I visited, but the owner allowed me to take a peek.



Highway 182 is a winding road that takes you south past plantation homes and picturesque white churches and into New Iberia. Despite grey skies, I decided to take a twenty-minute detour west to Avery Island to tour the McIlhenny Company, makers of Tabasco brand sauces, and the famous Jungle Gardens. The island sits on top of large salt mines and in the midst of several oil fields. Edmund McIlhenny began making Tabasco Pepper Sauce on Avery Island in the 1860s, and it has since grown into a worldwide brand. Many of the company’s peppers are still fermented on Avery Island using salt from the island’s salt mines. The tours, which are free, tell the history of the family and their successful products but the best part is the gift shop, where you can sample the wide array of sauces and even some jalapeño ice cream. Edmund McIlhenny’s claim to fame might be hot sauce, but the 170-acre Jungle Gardens that his son Edward Avery “Ned” McIlhenny cultivated (and which his family later donated as a state park) is perhaps the most majestic, hidden gem of the South. For more than forty years, McIlhenny worked to expand the gardens that contain Chinese bamboo, alligators, hundreds of varieties of azaleas and camellias, a forest pool, and a bird sanctuary. The garden is too big to travel the entire length by foot and requires a map to navigate through. One of the most distinguished Buddha statues in the world is located in the garden. Now encased in glass for protection, the thousand-year-old Buddha sits cross-legged in the center of a lotus flower overlooking a pond. The bird sanctuary is one of the most enchanting parts of the garden. Hundreds of white egrets soar and settle into their nests on wooden planks above a green, algae-filled pond. Determined to find a local dive with authentic Cajun food, I decided to take a gamble and wait until I was back near New Iberia and heading south towards Houma. Between Baldwin and Jeanerette, on a dark stretch of road, I noticed a glowing sign displaying a large yellow bowl and quickly turned around to scope it out. The Yellow Bowl Restaurant is about as far off the beaten path as you can get.

The opportunities for finding hidden treasures in Cajun country are endless—you just have to let go a bit and let Cajun Land lead you by the heart.

In 1927, a woman named Mrs. Scranton founded the restaurant for hungry passengers coming off a nearby Greyhound bus line, and in 1953 the Roberts family took over. The restaurant has had a few more family owners since then, but the food hasn’t changed. For the sake of indulging my newfound love of crawfish, I got the crawfish platter which consisted of golden-fried crawfish tails, crawfish au gratin, crawfish balls, étouffée, and crawfish stew.

DAY 3: HOUMA If I hadn’t been looking for Julia’s Cajun Country Bed and Breakfast outside Houma, I probably wouldn’t have found it. Located in a residential neighborhood without a sign or display, Julia White’s bed-andbreakfast is an oasis for French travelers and is featured in French tour guide books. White has contracted with a French travel agency to host foreign visitors for the past twenty years. White cooks traditional Cajun and French cuisine for her guests and is a great source for local history and travel tips. I woke up to a breakfast of French toast, fresh fruit, and homemade jam, which I shared with a French couple who were passing through. We exchanged travel stories, and I picked up a few new French words. When I mentioned that I was looking for an authentic swamp tour, White recommended Munson’s Swamp Tours, located twenty minutes down the road in Schriever, La. Advertisements for swamp tours are almost everywhere you turn in Louisiana, and it can be difficult to know where you’ll get your money’s worth. Unlike many swamp tours, Munson’s is located on private land and takes visitors through a canal that French settlers built in the 1800s. Bill Munson owns the land, but a father-and-son team manages the tours. Our tour guide, Daniel, knew the names of every alligator and raccoon we encountered on the tour. Using chicken meat as bait, he enticed them to visit the edge of the boat and even made a few dance for their food. After the two-hour tour, I headed to downtown Houma on my bike to watch one of the most talked



about parades in Cajun country, the Krewe of Mardi Gras. Families grilled on the sidewalks and local business owners hosted street parties, welcoming me to join them. The most important thing about Houma’s parades, they told me, was the quality of the “throws.” Unlike New Orleans, beads are plentiful and you might end up with an entire backpack full if you’re not careful. (The locals will literally make sure visitors don’t leave empty-handed.) In addition to beads, you’re likely to catch trinkets, stuffed animals, flowers, and footballs. It seemed the closer I got to New Orleans, the more elaborate the floats became. In Houma each float had its own unique theme, and I saw everything from fairy-tale scenes to a krewe’s favorite basketball team. The natives of this coastal town pride themselves on being as or more friendly and welcoming than their Cajun counterparts. But I found that when I showed any interest or curiosity, most of the native Cajuns throughout my entire trip were eager to show me their homes. Many travelers stop in Houma before venturing on to New Orleans, which is less than an hour away. For me, Houma was where my trip ended, but for many visitors, it was where their carnival began. Traveling the landscape and regions of Louisiana is like going back in time to a familiar yet foreign place. The opportunities for finding hidden treasures in Cajun country are endless—you just have to let go a bit and let Cajun Land lead you by the heart. As the natives say, “Laissez les bons temps rouler!” Let the good times roll!


Anthony J. Vallee, Architect

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Burke Blue Law Firm Sustains Decade Long Relationship and Success in Grand Boulevard with New Office Space After over a decade, why did Burke Blue Law Firm decide to remain in Grand Boulevard’s Suburban Office Park? “Burke Blue’s central location in Northwest Florida has been important to our continued

Les Burke, Senior Partner M. Todd Burke, Partner

Rob Blue, Senior Partner

success. Our close proximity to the Sandestin Resort and Grand Boulevard’s growing business community has also enabled us to cultivate relationships that have resulted in numerous, quality referrals,” stated Todd Burke, one of Burke Blue’s partners.

For Leasing Information: Merlin Allan, Vice President of Real Estate 850.837.1886 ext. 209 or GR ANDB OULEVARD.COM

Give The Greatest Gift Of All. The Panama City Rescue Mission is proud to host the 8th Annual Festival of Trees: November 29-December 2 at the Marina Civic Center in Panama City, Florida. | (850) 481-1093 The Panama City Rescue Mission is proud to host the 8th Annual Festival of Trees: The Greatest Gift of All, November 29- December 2 at the Marina Civic Center in Panama City, Florida





Destin Seafood Festival Rendezvous


Galati Yacht Sales hosted the Destin Seafood Festival Rendezvous to bring their customers to the docks in support of the local seafood festival and activities along the harbor. The September event was hosted by Joe and Jennifer Galati with customers from around the Panhandle joining in by land and sea for happy hour and a private dinner on the docks. Team Galati hosts these exclusive, fun gatherings on the water to promote the boating lifestyle and all it has to offer.



Photography by Lisa Ferrick

Jennifer and Joe Galati


Susan and Ron Irby


Micah and Rob Caldwell, Jack and Candice Wilson,


Shelia and Paul Schlosberg, Selma Wilson Michael and Margie Howard


Tim Malambri , Mary Jane Kirby and Nick Malambri


Patricia Ritchie and Marissa Fritz








In Stock Now! Come and see for yourself the remarkable 48 Cantius with its unique styling, open-concept living spaces and integrated double salons.This is truly a must see vessel. Galati Yacht Sales has consistently been a leader in the marine industry since 1970. Our commitment to our customers experience on the water has earned us our industries highest achievements. Come visit us to see the best selection of New, Pre-Owned and Brokerage vessels on the market today!








Nature has a way of protecting her beaches. Dune Construction has a way of protecting your investment.

“Dune Construction Builds the Perfect House.� John Thurber, Thurber Architecture P.A. Quality Homes Built to Last. Specializing in Gulf-front Luxury Along 30-A, Walton County, Florida WaterSound, SeaSide, Watercolor, roSemary Beach, alyS Beach,

850.218.0905 CBC 1254239


the retreat

Profile for The Idea Boutique

VIE - People + Places / Winter 2011  

VIE is a French word meaning “life” or “way of living.” VIE sets itself apart as a Northwest Florida regional, high-gloss publication focusi...

VIE - People + Places / Winter 2011  

VIE is a French word meaning “life” or “way of living.” VIE sets itself apart as a Northwest Florida regional, high-gloss publication focusi...