Page 1

THE CIRCUIT

THE FALL ISSUE

Unsung Heroes The L.H. Bead Gallery Local Events, & More

PA N A M A C I T Y B E A C H C H A M B E R O F CO M M E R C E

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1


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THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019


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THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019


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Call us for a free consultation or visit us online at www.HurricaneDamage.com Our Panama City office is located at: 3210 Highway 77, Suite B, Panama City, FL 32405. Office hours available by appointment only.

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THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019

¡Hablamos Español!


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7


The Circuit D E PA RT M E N TS & F E ATU R E S

14

23 43

message from

see & be seen

11 Karen Smith, Chairwoman 12 Courtney Calhoun, Editor 22 Kristopher McLane, President/CEO

58 July Friday at the Beach 59 July Business After Hours 60 August Business After Hours

air & sea

16 News from Tyndall Air Force Base & Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division

14 23 48 52

Calendar of Events Unsung Heroes The L.H. Bead Gallery Ask The Doctor

business spotlights

8

THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019

around town

features

56 The Latest Updates from Businesses in Bay County

committees

62 HYPE 63 IdeaCamp + Ambassadors

64 CareerSource Gulf Coast, Kim Bodine City of Panama City Beach, Mayor Mike Thomas 65 City of Lynn Haven, Mayor Margo Anderson 66 Florida Film Commissioner, Julie Gordon

48

56 72

67 County Commissioners, Philip “Griff” Griffitts Bay EDA, Becca Hardin 68 Gulf Coast State College, John Holdnack Visit Panama City Beach, Dan Rowe 69 Bay District Schools, Bill Husfelt FSU Panama City, Dr. Randy Hanna

membership

71 Letter from Your Chamber Rep 72 Grand Openings & Ribbon Cuttings 74 New & Renewing Members


ST E A K | S E A F O O D | S U S H I | D E S S E R T | C O C K TA I L S

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Photography by Richard Lombard

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CLIENT Trustmark DESCRIPTION Community PUB The Circuit TRIM 3.45 x 9.75 COLOR 4C

ON THE COVER Our cover photo was captured by Cierra Camper, a local photographer from Panama City, FL. This photo was taken six months after Hurricane Michael, off of East Avenue in Panama City. This photo sets the tone for our magazine and represents the strength and integrity of our community. Cierra has and continues MEMBER FDIC

to document the progress our community has made over the past year.

A true community partner helps others leave their mark. Serving the community isn’t just something we do. It defines who we are. Trustmark is a community partner you can count on, providing resources to help our communities thrive. After all, helping others reach their potential and leave their mark creates countless opportunities for a bright and prosperous future. To learn more about Trustmark, visit trustmark.com today.

The Circuit EDITORIAL TEAM Publisher Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce Executive Editors Courtney Calhoun, Kristopher McLane Production Hartley Press Advertising Sales Shannon Richmond Distribution Lewis Advertising Contributors Kevin Tanenbaum, Katherine Mapp, Valerie Sale, Laura Swartz, Sharon Owens, Tanya Rauch, Shelly Bayless, Debbie Ward, Misty garrett, Sharon Michalik, Sara Walker, Erica Martin, Nancy Paige, Alex Jones, M.D.

The Circuit Magazine is designed and produced by the Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce. All information in this guide is believed to be correct at time of production; the publisher assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions. All unsolicited manuscripts become the property of the publisher and will not be returned. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Š2019 The Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce. All Rights Reserved. 10

THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019


2019 BOARD OF DIRECTORS

executive board KAREN SMITH

Chairwoman | Beachy Beach Real Estate

DAVE TREPANIER

Past Chairman | Firefly / PCB Entertainment

MATT GRIFFITTS

Incoming Chairman | Sugar Sands Insurance

JEFF DIBENEDICTIS

Secretary | Summit Bank

CATHERINE COLLINS

Treasurer | Resort Collection

board of directors

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRWOMAN My Precious, Sweet Community, How in the world are we half-way through the year, actually half-way PLUS? Are you feeling like me and wondering how you are going to knock all those things off your list of goals for the year? You had grand plans, big visions, high hopes in January. Well don’t quit now, keep on and do what you can, with what you can, from where you are, RIGHT NOW!!!

HOPE ABBOTT-WOODS

Keller Williams

JEAN CAPPS

Sheraton Panama City Beach Golf & Spa Resort

SHAY CATRETT

BAYSOLUTIONS

MARVIN COLLEY

Beach TV

TRAVIS CRISP

Counts Oakes Resort Properties/LSI

BRAD GRIFFIN

Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center

SAKE IRFAN

Gulf Power

RICK KOEHNEMANN

Koehnemann Construction

WILL LARK

Shipwreck Island Waterpark

LEE ANN LEONARD

Gulf World Marine Park

JAKE MANN

Community Bank

PAUL SCHREINER

Texas Roadhouse

JOE SORCI

Florida Architects

APRIL WILKES

The St. Joe Company

The storms of life have a tendency to bring us to our greatness! So, for the remainder of this year let us all focus on what we can do. I have a few hacks and tricks that I use, so thought I would share: “Your brain will work tirelessly to achieve the statements you give your subconscious mind. And when those statements are the affirmations and images of your goals you are destined to achieve them." ~ Jack Canfield

honorary board RAMON DUVALL

Beachside Fellowship

DR. RANDY HANNA

Florida State University Panama City

BECCA HARDIN

Bay Economic Development Alliance

DR. JOHN HOLDNAK

Gulf Coast State College

PARKER MCCLELLAN

NWFL Beaches International Airport

DAN ROWE

Visit Panama City Beach

JOHN SKAGGS

Naval Support Activity Panama City

MAYOR MIKE THOMAS

City of Panama City Beach

CHAMBER STAFF KRISTOPHER MCLANE

President/CEO

JENA LILES

Chief Financial Officer

CASEY LATHEM

Director of Marketing & Events

SHANNON RICHMOND

Vice President, Director of Membership

COURTNEY CALHOUN

Director of Communications & Design

MISSY HOLMES

Business Support Director

• • •

Your mind will begin to find reasons to create what you talk about, write about, and think about. Think about how good you will feel when you achieve those dreams and wishes! And, guess what, there are NO TIME limits! Some goals just take time. Keep moving towards them. If you have not already done so, get creative and put them on a board, a vision board. If you already have one, PUT IT FRONT AND CENTER WHERE YOU CAN SEE IT! I THANK GOD IN ADVANCE FOR ALL THE GIFTS AND ALL THE BLESSINGS THAT I AM BEING GIVEN, AS IF THEY HAVE ALREADY ARRIVED!!! I do not listen to people who say “Yes, but…” Instead I listen to people who just say, “YES!” AND....... RUN, Don’t walk away from negative people! This is imperative!

I have noticed that as I write and talk about my goals, I find ways to make them come true and even more magical. PEOPLE SEEM TO APPEAR FROM NO WHERE TO HELP ME. PEOPLE ARE ATTRACTED TO AND WISH TO HELP PEOPLE WHO ARE TRYING TO GO SOME WHERE. My prayer for you, and for all of us, is that we keep reaching for those things that we are uniquely put here to do, so DON’T stop now, keep on! Blessings, peace and great joy as you continue to be a blessing and a part of the greatest place to live in the WORLD! I love y'all!

Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce 309 Richard Jackson Boulevard, Suite 101, Panama City Beach, FL 32407 Phone: (850) 235-1159 | Fax: (850) 235-2301 | www.PCBeach.org WWW.PCBEACH.ORG

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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR With the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Michael approaching, we wanted this issue of The Circuit to honor the strength of our community and recognize some of the courageous people who made a difference during that time. It is hard to believe that it’s been a year since Hurricane Michael devastated our community. I think about that day all the time, I think everyone does. Working on this issue of the magazine has brought back even more memories. I’ve lived in Bay County my entire life and although I’ve always been aware of their potential, I was never prepared to experience anything like Hurricane Michael (nobody had!). At our staff meeting the Monday before the storm, our President/CEO, Kristopher McLane, was very concerned and told us to bag up our computers so they wouldn’t get damaged and to go home and prepare to evacuate. He said that we would most likely reopen the office that Thursday. My co-worker, Helen and I thought he was overreacting but boy were we wrong. The next day, as the storm rapidly strengthened in the Gulf, my family was off work and preparing our home for the high winds. Just like before every other tropical storm or hurricane, we had a hurricane party at the house. Nobody had any idea the devastation that was to come the next day. When I received a notification that the storm had been upgrade to a CAT 4, I knew this was going to be different. My family stayed for the storm, and I will never forget watching the trees bend to the ground, feeling the house shake, and walking outside after it was over. I will always remember what my eyes saw and how I felt driving to check on family members right after the storm. I will never forget how it felt to walk into my sister’s apartment and see all of her belongings soaked and covered in the mold just two days after the storm. I will never forget the traffic and sounds of sirens or the curfew that was necessary for our town’s safety. My list could go on and on, but one thing that stands out the most is how our community came together when we needed to the most!

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continue to rebuild and grow over the next few years. We will only get stronger!

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THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019

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Island Time Sailing

CALENDAR OF EVENTS SEPTEMBER 30-1

everyday

Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam | Frank Brown Park

2

monday

Labor Day

7

saturday

9/11 Memorial Stair Climb | 8 am | Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort

10

tuesday

TDC Meeting | 9 am | Beach City Hall

12

thursday

City Council Meeting | 6 pm | Beach City Hall

13

friday

Friday at the Beach | 7:30–9 am | GCSC Advanced Technology Center

19

thursday

Business After Hours | 5–7 pm | St. Andrew's Bay Yacht Club

25

wednesday

IdeaCamp | 5:30–7:30 pm | Island Time Sailing

26

thursday

City Council Meeting | 9am | Beach City Hall

27

friday

10th Annual Golf Classic | 11am | Bay Point Golf Club

M O R E C O M M U N I T Y E V E N T S : pcbeach.org | All information in this calendar is subject to change after publication is printed.

14

THE CIRCUIT March/April 2019


Pirates of the High Seas Festival

Lobster Festival & Tournament

OCTOBER 4-6

everyday

Panama City Beach Oktoberfest | Aaron Bessant Park

8

tuesday

TDC Meeting | 9 am | Beach City Hall

8

tuesday

Beach Care Services 4th Annual Dinner on the Bay | 5pm | The Shrimp Boat

11-13

everyday

Pirates of the High Seas Festival | Pier Park

14-20

everyday

Lobster Festival & Tournament | Schooners Last Local Beach Club

17

thursday

Business After Hours | 5–7 pm | Rock'it Lanes

19

saturday

Bloody Mary & Music Festival | 11:00 am – 3:00 pm |

23-27

everyday

19th Annual Thunder Beach Autumn Rally

24

thursday

City Council Meeting | 9am | Beach City Hall

30

wednesday

IdeaCamp | 5:30–7:30 pm | Hampton Inn & Suites

31

thursday

Halloween

Schooners last Local Beach Club

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AIR & SEA

|

tyndall air force base

TYNDALL AFB HOLDS FIRST PRESCRIBED BURN SINCE MICHAEL B Y S E N I O R A I R M A N K E V I N T A N E N B A U M , 3 2 5 T H F I G H T E R W I N G P U B L I C A F FA I R S

“We get to dictate how the fire burns as opposed to it telling us what it wants to do.” The first prescribed fire since Hurricane Michael took place on

is the debris left over in the forested area by the hurricane.

19, 2019.

from the storm and limit the amount of fuels available for wild-

area of the base adjacent to Silver Flag training site here, July

Air Force Civil Engineer Center Fire Management set ablaze 600

acres of uninhabited forest ‘blowdown’ that was devastated by the category five hurricane. As the name implies, blowdown

Prescribed fires are necessary in order to remove the blowdown

fires, according to Dale Pfau, U.S. Air Force east regional fire management officer.

Started by a helicopter dropping small igniters into the

CAPTION: A UTV patrols the 600 acre area of prescribed fire set by Air Force Civil Engineer Center Fire Management on Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, July 19, 2019. The prescribed fire was used to clear blowdown left over from Hurricane Michael and reduce the amount of available fuels for potential wildfires. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kevin Tanenbaum)

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THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019


CAPTION: A helicopter flies over and ignites a prescribed fire across a 600-acre area of Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, July 19, 2019. The helicopter dropped ping pong ball sized igniters over the entire area to start the prescribed fire. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kevin Tanenbaum)

B Y A I R M A N 1 S T C L A S S A L E X A N D R A S I N G E R , 3 2 5 T H F I G H T E R W I N G P U B L I C A F FA I R S

designated area, the fire is 100 percent contained by mem-

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bers patrolling the area.

“With a prescribed fire there’s a lot of planning and effort that goes into putting it together,” said Pfau. “We get to dictate how the fire burns as opposed to it telling us what it wants to do.”

As with any fire, a level of danger is present and AFCEC has provided safeguards to keep the fire contained to their speci-

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“We have people on the ground, including fire engines and UTVs, patrolling the lines making sure that the fire stays

within the unit we want,” said Pfau. “If we do get something outside of that unit, we have people who can extinguish that pretty quickly.”

This first of multiple prescribed burns was planned in order to clear leftover blowdown from the category five hurricane.

Once the burned remains are removed, the Air Force plans on replanting the area on Tyndall AFB, said Pfau.

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AIR & SEA

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naval surface warfare center panama city division

NAVY DIVING EQUIPMENT TESTED BY ASTRONAUTS FOR S PAC E EXPLO R AT I O N M I S S I O N S B Y K A T H E R I N E M A P P | N S W C P C D P U B L I C A F FA I R S

“It’s exciting to see dual-purpose use for a system originally designed for navy divers, and it is an honor to work with NASA.”

Scientists, engineers and key partners of the Naval Surface

Warfare

Center

are

collaborating

by

Panama taking

City an

Division NSWC

(NSWC PCD

PCD)

technolo-

gy, originally designed for diving, from seabed to space. The Diver Augmented Vision Device (DAVD) team from NSWC PCD and partners recently joined forces with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Johnson Space Center during NEEMO-23, the 23rd voyage of the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations held at the Aquarius Reef Base underwater habitat in Key Largo. The Aquarius Reef Base, operated by Florida International University, is the only undersea laboratory in the world located 5.4 miles off Key Largo in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, 62 feet below the surface. The Aquarius and its surroundings provide an ideal training and mission analog for space exploration by providing buoyancy similar to walking on the moon, or Mars. The DAVD is a high-resolution, see-through head-up display (HUD) embedded directly inside of a Kirby Morgan-37 dive helmet. This unique system provides divers with high-resolution visual displays of everything from sector sonar imagery (real-time topside view of the diver's location and dive site), text messages, diagrams, photographs, and even augmented reality videos.

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THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019

CAPTION: David Coan, extra vehicular activity lead for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Johnson Space Center dives at the Aquarius Reef Base underwater habitat.donning a Kirby Morgan-37 helmet equipped with the Divers Augmented Vision Device Generation 1.0 headsup display during the 23rd NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations in June 2019. (Photo by Courtesy Photo)


NSWC PCD designed, developed, and tested the original DAVD prototype systems. The newest iteration of the system participating in this NASA mission is the DAVD Generation 1.0, developed under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with industry partner Coda Octopus Group, Inc. During NEEMO-23, NASA astronauts and technical personnel used the DAVD Generation 1.0 system to conduct analog training missions and determine the potential for using a similar system in their future Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) Spacesuits during space exploration missions. Allie Williams, DAVD team lead engineer, said she is thrilled to see the leaps and bounds the project is making. “It’s exciting to see dual-purpose use for a system originally designed for navy divers, and it is an honor to work with NASA. This capability is game changing for divers who usually work in zero visibility conditions - it essentially gives them sight again through real time data and sonar,” said Williams. “Even in good visibility conditions, the DAVD system allows for hands free information and less mental strain of trying to remember topside instructions. The same benefits can be gained by astronauts as well – including better situational awareness, safety, and allowing them to be more effective in their missions.” Dennis Gallagher, DAVD team project manager, explained an additional goal of integrating the DAVD system into the NEEMO-23 mission is to “develop a collaborative NavyNASA program that offers next-generation see-through HUD capabilities for the new NASA Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) Spacesuit, and the Navy 1-Atmosphere Dive Suit.” “You don’t achieve ‘warfighting dominance’ by taking 10 years to finally develop a rugged rotary dial phone,” said Gallagher. “You achieve it by becoming the collaborator of choice with academia, federal labs, and industry using innovative and creative partnerships. This allows us to develop emerging technologies into new capabilities and solutions for the Warfighter at a significantly accelerated pace.” According to Gallagher, outcomes and lessons learned from the NEEMO-23 missions will provide insight needed to move the system one-step closer to space. Naval Sea Systems Command Supervisor of Salvage, and the Office of Naval Research, are co-sponsors of the DAVD project. WWW.PCBEACH.ORG

19


Thank you to Beltone Corporate Staff and some of our local North Florida Beltone Staff for their help in the days, weeks and months following Hurricane Michael. We are 850 Strong. Local North Florida Staff: Within hours, Cameron Yordon and his wife, Rachel (an Air Force retiree), came to Panama City with a trailer of supplies. 1. They searched for Staff and friends that could not be reached. 2. They, along with other staff, boarded up windows and supplied food, water and other items collected in Crestview. 3. They gave water and gas to a stranded police officer. 4. They cleared off debris from roads and driveways and vehicles with gas powered equipment. 5. They made several trips over the following weeks with needed supplies. 6. They took in several people into their home in Crestview. 7. They also took in 5 adults and a dog in their home for months following the Hurricane.

Beltone Corporate: The Vice-President of Beltone Electronics came from Chicago along with our Regional Manager and marketing staff to evaluate Panama City and the surrounding area to determine what Beltone could do to help... 1. Financially supported local staff 2. Replaced, through the Beltone Foundation, new hearing aids for those lost during Hurricane Michael at no charge. 3. Repaired hearing aids broken during the storm at no charge. 4. Gave away Batteries and other Accessories at no charge. 5. Allowed local Staff to Sponsor an 850 Appreciation Day where over 100 people were fed and a new set of hearing aids was given away at the event. Beltone is dedicated to helping the hearing impaired and deliver the best possible technology.

We’re in Your Neighborhood! PANAMA CITY 1031 W. 23rd St., Suite A (Mon-Fri) PANAMA CITY BEACH 12234 PCB Pkwy (Tuesdays) Greg & Sharon Yordon, HAS; BC-HIS; MS Beltone Hearing Care Centers are independently owned and operated. Participation may vary by location, see office for further details. Benefits of hearing instruments vary by type and degree of hearing loss. noise environment, accuracy of hearing evaluation and proper fit. Š 2019 All rights reserved. Beltone is a trademark of GN Hearing Care Corporation.

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THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019


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WE ARE #850STRONG Bay County, Florida is a beautiful place that we are lucky enough to call home. For the 180,000+ residents and millions of annual visitors, October 10, 2018 was a day that we will never forget. Unfortunately, it is also a day many outside of the Florida Panhandle have forgotten about too soon. I say this not to bring back terrifying memories but to serve as a reminder for those who have forgotten. A reminder that Bay County, Florida was hit by an unprecedented Category 5 Hurricane named Hurricane Michael, with maximum sustained wind speeds of over 160 MPH. It was the third strongest hurricane to ever make landfall in the United States. As of July 26, 2019, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulations reported that insured losses from Michael in Florida had reached $6.91 billion. It was truly heartbreaking to see so many of our families and friend’s homes and businesses completely destroyed or hardly standing. Huge, beautiful trees (some easily over 100 years old) snapped in half or uprooted. There is still a lot of rebuilding left. There are still a lot of people displaced. Sadly, some areas still look the exact same and it has been almost one year. But one thing is certain, this community, this County, all came together to help each other. We helped our neighbors, our family and friends, our employees, and even strangers. The impact of this storm has changed Bay County, Florida forever but we never gave up. In fact, I

22

THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019

would say we are stronger now than before the storm. There are a lot of people out there that deserve recognition for making us #850Strong. The First Responders who rushed to help rescue people as soon as the storm passed. The linemen from Gulf Power worked 24/7 to restore power as quickly as possible. The Public Works Departments from each municipality and the County opened roads for travel, cleared debris, and returned water to our homes. The Police Officers and Sherriff Deputies, from all over the US, protected us when we needed it the most. Last but not least, our elected officials and EOC team took care of all of us in Bay County before they even helped at their own homes. Some of these jobs took days, weeks, and many months to complete. But do you know who also helped? You did. This special issue of The Circuit is dedicated to you— the men and women who came together to rebuild our community and pick us up when we were down. I thank you, all of you, for your help in this long journey. There is a lot of work left for us but look how far we have come. The Panama City Beach Chamber is proud to be part of Bay County and even more proud of everyone for making us #850Strong. Thank you again.

President/CEO, Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce


FEATURE

|

unsung heroes

WWW.PCBEACH.ORG

23


ALL HANDS ON DECK

Gulf World Marine Park

Island Time Sailing

BY VA L E R I E S A L E B AY C O U N T Y

The nation’s eyes were fixed on Hurricane Michael’s fate-

During a “normal” Type 3 incident, say, a small hurricane or tropical

ful trek toward Bay County last year, but for emergen-

storm,

cy

few

managers

throughout

Florida

and

the

country,

what

would become the third-strongest hurricane in U.S. his-

gency

the dozen

event bodies

Management

could at

be the

easily EOC,

Specialist

managed

with

a

Bay

County

Emer-

Frankie

Lumm

said.

tory was more than a news story, it was a call to action. “This was a Type 1, national incident. It quickly outgrew all of our The Bay County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) ac-

local resources; this was the largest thing I’ve ever been a part of,”

tivated to a Level 1 on Oct. 9, 2018, as it became appar-

Lumm, who has an extensive background in emergency manage-

ent that the area would feel impacts from what was then

ment, said. “We had more than 4,500 missions submitted to the

forecast to be a Category 3 storm. And as Michael’s in-

state that we carried out to assist people with things like food, water,

tensity quickly escalated, so did the need for outside help.

shelter, medical care, transport out of the community, and more. All of that is run out of the EOC, and the IMTs are the ones doing it.”

Now, a year later, records show that more than 3,000 individuals signed in at the EOC in those hours before and in the

At any given time during the response, the Bay County EOC had

days and weeks following the storm. Some 21 Incident Man-

380 people running around-the-clock operations, Lumm said.

agement Teams (IMTs) from throughout Florida and as far away as Oregon and Maryland, another 12 Search and Rescue

“We constructed a base camp that housed from 900 to 1,200 people

teams from throughout the nation, six Florida Telecommunica-

and we usually had about 1,100 people in there,” Lumm said. As an

tor Emergency Response Task Force (TERT) teams, contingents

example, out-of-town law enforcement and search and rescue teams

from military branches, law enforcement and fire rescue agen-

would sleep at the base camp, gather at local big box store parking

cies, volunteer organizations, and healthcare providers all con-

lots to plan for the day, then go out into the community to work.

verged on Bay County, with the EOC as the epicenter of it all. The IMTs that deployed to the EOC are intended to augment the

24

THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019


"At any given time during the response, the Bay County EOC had 380 people running around-the-clock operations, Lumm said." local staff. Emergency managers throughout the country all train to use the National Incident Management System so that an outsider can come into an area and fit seamlessly into the response effort. “With

emergency

management,

everything

starts

local

and

stays local,” Lumm said. “Because of our training, it’s ‘plug and play.’ Any of us can work anywhere within the same team.” For example, a team from Lee County, Florida, managed the county’s sheltering operations, focusing on mass care, feeding, and sheltering.

Shipwreck Island Water Park

Another team from Ohio managed the points of distribution (PODs) where the public could get food, water, tarps, and more. “We had pre-storm designated areas where we were going to do all of this distribution,” Lumm said. “Every one of those places was damaged or destroyed, so they had to go out and make arrangements with business owners, on the fly, to make it happen. They did an amazing job.” Pinellas

County

Emergency

Management

Operations

Manager

Joe Borries arrived in Bay County Tuesday night as the first drops of rain from Hurricane Michael began to fall. He spent the next two weeks helping the county, that holds a special place in his heart, where he got engaged to his wife on Panama City Beach. “The most poignant moment for me was when the Florida State drone

Lagoon Pontoons

team showed us video of Mexico Beach right after the storm,” he said. “There were 200 people in the room and you could’ve heard a pin drop.” Borries said the deployment provided him an opportunity not just to help, but also to learn from a response of such a magnitude and take that knowledge back to his own community. “I’m from Pinellas County, one of the most vulnerable, populous areas in the state,” he said. “We’ve talked about what would happen if communication went dark. Until you go through it, you don’t realize how it would be. This prompted us to do the hard training we needed to do.” Borries said it is an experience he will never forget. “It was as rewarding as it was challenging,” he said.

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25


WARMTH IN A TIME OF

NEED BY L AU R A S WA R T Z COMMUNITY BANK

As we all know, Hurricane Michael mutilated our town on October

As far as me personally, I evacuated the morning of the storm with the

10th, 2018.

rest of my family, but as the storm hit our town I was eager to get back. I wanted to help and make sure everyone in my hometown was safe.

As this day continued on and slowly came to an end, some stood in their

We returned to town on Friday. We were fortunate enough to make it

yards looking over their destroyed homes. Others walked the streets for

back and bypass the checkpoints because we lived far enough north on

hours, trying to make sure their loved ones were safe. The rest of our town

Highway 231. We immediately checked on our home to realize it was

spent hours with the never ending sound of chainsaws and generators

still standing with minor damages. After patching up what we need-

doing their best to come to the aid of anyone and everyone around them.

ed to, we immediately ventured out to check on our family’s homes.

Seacrest Wolf Preserve

The sight after Michael was absolutely devastating, but there was

The further we traveled into the devastation, the more my heart hurt. See-

beauty within the devastation as each community bonded togeth-

ing the homeless in tents, the people walking the streets with their chil-

er and became the neighborly family we never knew existed. We all

dren, carrying their animals, it broke my heart. They were in these situa-

wanted nothing more than to help each other. Everyone wanted to be

tions because their homes were gone and they had nowhere else to go. I

a part of this hurting community and take care of each other as the

wanted to give everyone I saw everything I owned just so they would be

days continued on with no power, no running water, and limited food.

okay. I wanted to take care of everyone, but I couldn’t, and it killed me. The nights went on, and as they did, it got colder and colder outside. All I could think about were these people sleeping out in the open. They were sleeping in tents, on benches in parks, in the woods, any-

Wonderworks

where they were safe from looters. All I could think about was how I wanted them warm. The babies, the kids and the families that lost it all, they deserved to be warm. I wanted to help, so I went to Ross at Pier Park and bought every blanket they had. That afternoon my fiancé and I passed out over 50 blankets to families in need. We drove all over town and stopped at every place where we saw someone that was in need. I returned back to work at Community Bank a few days later at our beach office that was luckily able to function outside of the damages. They heard about my blanket project and wanted to help. As the word spread, I had fellow employees from our offices in Mississippi and Destin wanting to help us in any way they could. They contributed money and some traveled to Panama City to help me distribute the blankets. At the end of it all, I was able to pass out over 300 blankets to people in our community that were in need. I will forever be grateful for all of the generous donations I received. They

Jackson County TDC

26

THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019

helped to contribute towards the love, hugs, and gratitude that I received from the ever grateful people I met in those days following the storm.


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THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019


HOME

homes on

that

families

were they

uninhabitable, were

serving

in

order

prior

to

to

check

the

storm.

Some of the stories that they came back and shared were horrific and became all too familiar after several families were pro-

VISITING HEROES

vided a welfare check. After driving through some unpassable

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF HEALTHY START AND PARENTS AS TEACHERS

The program staff for Healthy Start and Parents as Teachers are

BY SHARON OWENS

streets in all areas of town they would sometimes be the first “outside people� the families would see post storm. The program staff were able to provide them with a phone to communicate with loved ones, to let them know they were alive and ok. Among other services provided such as; diapers, water, food, formula, etc., some were provided with transport to safe housing out of Bay County and or another safe place to stay with extended family.

my unsung heroes because they went above and beyond for The Healthy Start Program and the Parents as Teachers Program staff were able to provide services and check on the families that they serve almost immediately after the storm, within just a couple of days. These programs provide assistance to pregnant women, expectant parents, and parents with children newborn to age three. Staff that provided services immediately after the storm were

leaving

their

own

children,

families,

and

their

the families they serve while knowing their own families were in need and they themselves were suffering from the trauma of the storm and the devastation surrounding them in our beautiful city. It is almost like they were on a plane that was going down and when handed the oxygen mask, they chose to give it to their clients instead of themselves, and for that they should be applauded.

WWW.PCBEACH.ORG

29


FEATURE

|

goodwill

ResortQuest provides “Count On Me” Service Before, During and After Michael BY TANYA RAUCH AND SHELLY BAYLESS

RESORTQUEST BY WYNDHAM VACATION RENTALS

Heroes are brave, trustworthy, respectful

team nearly cleaned out the local Sam’s Club

onto a semi-truck and delivered to a

and helpful; they’re the people who spring

of Ft. Walton Beach to provide diapers, pet

crowd

into action at a time of need. ResortQuest by

and baby food, personal hygiene supplies,

These combined efforts meant responding

Wyndham Vacation Rentals is made of em-

non-perishable goods and clothes for fellow

immediately to our owners and Association

ployees that exemplified those exact traits in

coworkers, as well as those in the Panama

boards, as well as achieving higher revenue

the wake of Hurricane Michael.

City community.

for owners during months that typically gen-

at

Tidewater

Beach

Resort.

erate less revenue for them. Our company’s Days before, all throughout and immediately

ResortQuest, led by Executive Administrator

service promise of “Count On Me” was taken

after the storm, our 24-hour local call center

Tracey “TJ” Jose, established drop-off loca-

to a whole new level during the months fol-

and local employees prepared guests, own-

tions at many of our check-in offices from

lowing Michael. ResortQuest continues lo-

ers and units for all potential outcomes.

Perdido Key to South Walton and coordinat-

cal efforts to assist our affected employees

ed the pickup of the supplies, via our laundry

and their families. The rainbow after the

Immediately after the storm, our 30A and

vans, from these locations. The supplies, in-

storm was truly seeing the company and the

Panama City Beach operations leadership,

cluding multiple generators donated by sev-

community work together as one to remain

led by Executive General Manager Jennifer

eral anonymous owners, were then loaded

strong and rebuild.

Frost, walked through our resorts and units, to communicate to staff and owners a timely conditions report. Wearied Guest Services Manager Arthur Mendoza handed out clean linens to a line of emergency personnel at Tidewater Beach Resort. Director of Group Sales, Joyce Serina, and her team, worked around the clock with countless recovery crews and displaced residents to provide affordable lodging. Frost tirelessly continued to be at the properties, encouraging her team and working to identify the immediate needs of our employees affected by the storm, as well as assessing damages. Melissa Watson, Director of Marketing, and the marketing 30

THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019

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Panama City Beach reached across the bridge 40 percent of city workforce lived in path of storm BY D E B B I E WA R D C I T Y O F PA N A M A C I T Y B E AC H

Two

days

after

Hurricane

Michael

was directed to Panama City Beach because

Hurricane Michael mostly spared the beach

struck Bay County, The City of Pan-

City Hall remained connected to the out-

but 23 years ago during Hurricane Opal, that

ama

City

Face-

side world with working telephones, Inter-

was not the case. In 1995 Opal devastated

book

page

message:

net and a wi-fi hotspot. The City was online

the beach and eastern Bay County stepped

when many weren’t and our employees were

up with resources, supplies and support.

“Can I get some help with a family member

able to respond to many requests for help

This go-round the roles were reversed.

who went out there to see family? She has

by way of hand-written notes, often hand-

been missing now 45 hours. We haven't heard

delivered from employee to employee.

Beach-Government received

this

from her and neither did the family she was

“After Michael, people had to drive to the beach for supplies like food and gas,” Mayor

going to check on. Is there a shelter number

In the days immediately following the

Mike Thomas said. “It was just like that, only

I can call? Police station that has a phone

storm, Panama City Beach was a commu-

reverse during Opal. In the past, every time

working? Please steer me in the right direc-

nications hub and to expand communica-

one part of the county is tore up, the other

tion as we are fearful. Trying to get ahold of

tions, City Manager Mario Gisbert secured

is there to prop up the other side and help.”

someone at shelter or a policeman to help

more than 100 telephones from AT&T,

search. No one is answering at police station

one network that never lost service after

“It’s been a cooperative effort in the county

as I think phone is down. I'm told not to drive

the storm. Those phones became the first

every time there has been a disaster. That’s

out there and search but what else can I do?”

communications that first responders had

how it should be. You never know when

with the outside world and each other.

your turn in the barrel is and you have to

Like hundreds of others, Cory’s message

32

THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019

be prepared and move forward and help.”


Beach first responders played a critical role in storm relief efforts, as

During the first months after Michael, traffic moved slowly on the

the day after the Cat 5 hurricane, more than two dozen PCB employees

beach, as the City housed many who were displaced and many others

were working in Lynn Haven and other places searching homes. Utility

who came in to work the disaster. There were 90,000 trips a day going

workers, street workers and others also became first responders, travel-

across the Hathaway Bridge, which tops the July 4th record of 85,000.

ing across the Hathaway Bridge to assess, search, cut out, tarp, cleanup

Police and fire used lights and sirens to escort Gulf Power workers

and rescue anyone who needed help.

from the beach across the bridge to service areas daily.

Code Enforcement officers responded to the following tele-

Many of our responders worked eight to 10 to 12 hours on the

phone call from the out-of-town relatives of a Callaway family.

job, then went and helped others. The City loaned both personnel and equipment to other communities. PCB Police gave the City

“Can you please go check on this family? There is an elderly man

of Springfield the use of its mobile command center and provid-

running out of insulin. There is a special needs child in the home.

ed security for one of the hardest hit areas susceptible to looting.

There are eight people total in the home and they are trapped.” Officers on this side of the bridge continued to maintain order, enforcCity

workers

area,

where

bers

of

parked

a

eventually

this

family

block a

away

helicopter out

for

and

walked

landed needed

the

ing the curfew and patrolling neighborhoods to prevent the looting of

get

mem-

evacuated and damaged homes and businesses. They also provided se-

medical

care.

curity and assistance at the shelters, set up at Surfside Middle School,

to

into

Breakfast Point Academy and Arnold High School. Hundreds

of

City

employees

helped

our

own

beach

resi-

dents, then moved eastward to unincorporated Bay County,

One of the City’s most critical issues right after the storm was po-

then across the bridge to Parker, Springfield, Callaway, Lynn Ha-

table water. Utility workers were frantically shutting off water

ven, Southport, Fountain and Mexico Beach. Many were armed

lines due to dozens of leaks, and repairing damaged line, espe-

with

neighborhoods.

cially farther east so as not to compromise water flow islandwide.

What they saw and how they responded was nothing short of heroic.

“We had major breaks and we were hemorrhaging a lot of wa-

chainsaws

and

cut

their

way

through

They met people who had been trapped in their homes for days. With tear-filled eyes, residents embraced our City workers with gratitude. All the while, many of these employees – about 40 percent of the City’s nearly 300 full-time employees – were themselves in homes with no power or water, severely damaged roofs, peeling drywall and blown out garage doors. Temporarily, they forgot their own needs and did what they were called to do: respond. “Fifteen of our firefighters were in temporary housing, yet they worked a 72-hour shift as the storm hit and many of them didn’t know if their spouses and children made it and yet they worked continuously,” Deputy Fire Chief Ray Morgan said. “We had to force them to go home and check on their families.” And the calls continued to come into City Hall via telephone, email and Facebook. “Is Panama City closed for entry? My brother’s car was struck with a tree. He needs supplies." “I haven’t heard from my sister. She lives in Panama City and I am in North Carolina. I can’t get in touch with her.” “Can you help people who can’t get out and pick up food? My brother and sister-in-law can’t get out. She is disabled and has COPD and all kinds of health issues.”

WWW.PCBEACH.ORG

33


FEATURE

34

|

grand lagoon coalition

THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019


ter and ran out on the east end,” said Utilities Director Al Shortt. The City gets its water from Bay County and countywide the system was severely damaged; the City maintains 25 million gallons of water in storage. Shortt drove to the Bay County Emergency Operations Center to discuss diverting water from a pumping station at Econfina Creek. This proved the most effective way of keeping water on the west end of the island. Most beach residents were without water for one to three days.

"All the while, many of these employees – about 40 percent of the City’s nearly 300 full-time employees – were themselves in homes with no power or water, severely damaged roofs, peeling drywall and blown out garage doors. Temporarily, they forgot their own needs and did what they were called to do: respond."

Street and stormwater employees worked through the night before the storm, making sure storm drains and outfalls were open. Immediately after the storm, both street and storm crews removed downed trees to make roadways passable for first responders and made sure that stormwater conveyances were open and flowing. The City then assisted unincorporated Bay County with tree removal from roads. Street department workers spent the first month after the storm with hardly a day off. Yard debris was piled in front of almost every house. As trucks cleaned up in neighborhoods, residents dragged more debris from their backyards. Sometimes it took three passes to clear a single curbside. PCB used City employees to haul and remove yard and construction debris to two designated debris management sites. In the one month after the hurricane, 661 loads of debris were picked up by the City, more than 10 times the amount of a typical year. A total of 61,000 cubic yards of debris was picked up within the city limits.

Overwhelmed at times, City workers drew together, multi-tasked, worked

side-by-side,

sometimes

laughing,

sometimes

crying.

Like a four-generation family reunion, employees felt connected. Michael helped Panama City Beach strengthen its sense of community. City workers never saw a bridge and never felt an “us versus them.” As Bay Countians, we all wanted the same things – food, water, shelter, a safe space. As our Bay County community continues to emerge from this storm, we are hopeful, grateful and humbled. The brain is an unusual and complex thing. Sometimes it allows us the gift of forgetting and other times, remembering is the gift. EDITOR’S NOTE: During the month of October 2018, the City of Panama City Beach-Government Facebook page made 274 posts. More than 50 stories were posted to the City website. During this time the City Facebook page grew by 16,000 followers.

Public Works replaced lost and damaged public signage and Building and Planning has continued to work with businesses and residents to replace damaged signage and downed fencing. Because of limited telephone service, volunteers from throughout the U.S. connected with the beach; donations came pouring in, and most of those donations were sent across the bridge to the areas of greatest need. Right after the hurricane, the police station housed police families, including young children and pets.

Police also set up a gen-

eral store of donations, made accessible to all employees. A team

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meals a day for City employees. Most of the food was donated. Parks tion

and &

Recreation

Visitor’s

Bureau,

worked making

with

the

the

hard

PCB call

Convento

cancel

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Relief efforts for fire and police lasted for weeks, as agencies worked on the county and state level helping orchestrate the response of incoming agencies from the Bay County EOC. Citywide, employees, some of whom are still living in temporary housing almost a year later, stood up the beach, and reached across the bridge with the support of the mayor and City Council.

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35


PROPRIETOR & PATRON –

LOCAL RESTAURANT OWNER GIVES BACK WHEN HURRICANE MICHAEL TOOK AWAY BY MISTY GARRETT OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE

Approaching the one year anniversary of Hurricane Michael

hoods. He understood how devastating the recovery process

munity, as they continue to work hard at rebuilding the town

of the task he had set out to do after the storm. He knew he

the devastation can still be seen and felt within our com-

they once knew. Amidst the masses of helping hands you will always find local businessman, family man, and mentor

Jonathan “JG” Garrett, proprietor of Outback Steakhouse. As the proprietor of Outback on 23rd street in Panama City, JG uses every opportunity he can to give back to his community.

Hurricane Michael was not the first storm that JG witnessed

wreck a community he loved. Moving here after Hurricane Katrina destroyed his home in New Orleans, he had firsthand

experience of what it would take as a community to rebuild after such devastation. Soon after the storm he went into action immediately, whether it be feeding faculty and staff at lo-

cal schools or feeding entire communities of county workers. Through Outback Steakhouse, JG was able to, not only feed upwards of 40,000 people that came to the parking lot of his

restaurant after hurricane Michael, but also teamed up with Florida Highway Patrol to deliver food to thousands more who were unable to get out of their homes or neighbor-

36

THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019

would be for a community and he understood the magnitude had a means and a way to come up with a vision to use those

means to help alliveate the stress of not having food for our

community. The day his restaurant re-opened they donated $5000 in sales to Gulf Coast Children’s Advocacy Center. Of course, this wouldn’t have been possible without his entou-

rage of dedicated employees that showed up day after day

and defined the word support. We’ve all heard the phrase “it’s lonely at the top”, however those who know JG know there may be some fault in that quote as he is never alone at

the top. He prides himself on bringing up those around him. Approaching his 14-year anniversary with Outback Steak-

house, JG has taken every initiative to shape, mentor, and grow his employees every step of the way as to never rise

up alone. In doing this, he has unknowingly created a team of future leaders that will carry with them the same set of values and dedication to their families and communities.

He has helped shaped his employees to take on any chal-

lenge they face with pride, fidelity, compassion, honesty


and hardwork. He has helped develope employees into

future community leaders that are now employed with the Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce, Bay Dis-

trict Schools, local Realty offices, The Port, Hospitality

Businesses’and local non-profit organizations around town. With the full support of Outback Steakhouse, he contin-

Your gift empowers our community.

The list goes on and on, but he most recently donated

“When the storm hit my whole life changed. I think it’s awesome that there are people who are willing to invest in the future of people who want to better themselves.”

and his wife Lesley, who raise thousands of dollars to-

– Brandon Writch, student

ues to recognize the multitude of hardworking men and

women in our community. Over the past few months they have provided food for; a Bay County Workers Appreciation Luncheon, a Panama City Beach Workers Ap-

preciation Luncheon, a Lynn Haven Workers Appreciation Luncheon, and a Bay County First Responders Luncheon.

wings to help local owners of R.E.V.O.L.T. Ministries, Skip wards the annual “Stuff The Bus” campaign that supplies

local communities with toys, food, diapers, and more. With the abounding backing of the Outback Steakhouse family, there seems to be no end in sight for this humble yet

sedulous leader. JG is the example of an unsung hero who will continue to do what is best for the greater good of his

community and advocate for projects he is passionate about.

Hurricane Michael created the largest financial obstacle in the history of our College. Through the Hurricane Michael Student & Employee Disaster Relief Fund the Foundation has awarded $1.5 million in support to our students and staff. Help us keep this assistance alive by donating today. Together we are stronger!

GIVE ONLINE:

gcscfoundation.org

OR CONTACT:

Margie Mazur, 850-872-3812

WWW.PCBEACH.ORG

37


FEATURE

|

pepsi gulf coast jam

Hurricane recovery: It’s a marathon not a 5k BY SHARON MICHALIK B AY D I S T R I C T S C H O O L S

Around Bay District Schools, we’ve come up with a hashtag that symbolizes how we feel about the amazing number of people who have helped us on our recovery journey … they are simply #HurricaneHeroes and we are grateful for each and every one of them. Right after the storm it became apparent that we needed to help up to 10,000 children with school clothing because they had lost everything. One simple Facebook post that pretty much went viral, and one Amazon wish list later, and the items began pouring into our warehouse. In a span of about two weeks, thanks to the help of hundreds of tireless volunteers who put these needs over their own, we managed to meet our goals with strictly donations and volunteers. Those efforts were spearheaded then, and to this day, by Rachal Smoker of Rachal’s Recovery Relief. Rachal, a talented hairstylist by trade who decided to become a stay-at-home mom shortly before the storm, sprang into action after Hurricane Michael and quickly formed her own non-profit in order to support her recovery work. She coordinated the warehouse teams day after day (spending hours in traffic as so many of us did just to even get to our location) and made sure that all the kids who needed clothing were covered before we returned to school. Most recently, she coordinated the massive clothing drive we held for the Back-to-School Bash and her work to support our students continues. Rachal is a true #HurricaneHero. We’ve also been supported endlessly by the team at Hope Panhandle. This non-profit organization, also formed directly after the impact of Hurricane Michael, has supported residents of our community with everything from emergency meals and gas for generators to “muck and gut” work at damaged homes to complete rebuilds for those uninsured or underinsured. Early on, Hope Panhandle teamed with BDS to make sure our teachers and other employees had their basic needs met. They’ve provided everything from beds to rugs to couches for our employees and their donations continue to this day. To Hope Panhandle we say “thank you for being #HurricaneHeroes for the people of BDS.” The daily work of trying to connect our employees with resources they badly need has been helped exponentially by the #HurricaneHeroes at Good 360 and High Socks for Hope. Both of these organizations specialize in disaster relief and both have been

38

THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019


there for us for everything from clothes for work needed by employ-

passed overhead and that gargantuan task would never have been ac-

ees to socks for kids to furniture and other support. We wouldn’t

complished without the selfless dedication of all of these people from

be where we are today without their assistance and determination.

across the country. We’re also very grateful for the continued support of all of the legislators who have been tireless advocates for our needs

An organization that is always a hero for us, and continues to serve in

and for the entire community of mental health providers who have

our time of need, is the St. Joe Community Foundation. The Founda-

rallied around our children to provide as much support as possible.

tion is a constant supporter of our initiatives but, specifically, after the storm they stepped up with more than $100,000 to support our plan

Finally, when we think about #HurricaneHeroes we must thank all

to provide tablets and hotspots to teachers and students who had no

of our employees who put their own needs behind the needs of

connectivity. As we all know, the lack of internet access post-storm

our children and returned to work despite devastating personal

hampered many day-to-day activities and the St. Joe grant helped

situations. Our employees more than answered the call for service

restore some semblance of “normal” to the lives of many employ-

and they have continued to put our children first for the past ten

ees and students temporarily. When we think of #HurricaneHero, we

months (and will continue to do so). We’ve heard story after story

definitely think of our friends at the St. Joe Community Foundation.

about employees (who are living in campers themselves) reaching into their own pockets to help meet the needs of their stu-

There are so many donors to thank for our hurricane recovery that

dents. Our community is forever indebted to these #Hurricane-

we could never list them all but we are grateful for each and every

Heroes and they are the reason we developed our new hashtag

one of them. Without fail, every single time I was contacted by a per-

for this year … #Community. Our BDS #Community is strong, and

son with a specific need, a donor stepped up willing to provide that.

proud and determined to help our children through this situation.

That work continues to this day – not a day goes by that specific needs are not still brought to my attention and, unfailingly, donors

And please forgive one last reference to #HurricaneHeroes … the

reach out to help me continue to support our employees and our

children. The children of our community have survived some-

children. Just recently, a generous anonymous donor stepped up to

thing that no child should have to face. So many of them have

help us provide basics like fridges and washing machines and con-

lost everything they associated with “normal” and yet they

struction materials to employees still suffering. #HurricaneHeroes

smile, they laugh, they play and they soldier on. Our littlest he-

have answered each and every request for support, and have antici-

roes teach us every day that we will survive this, we will be stron-

pated some needs we didn’t even expect, and we truly love all of

ger and better than we were before and we will continue to sup-

them! If you’ve sent us anything, you’re one of our #HurricaneHeroes.

port each other because we are all #HurricaneHeroes in the end.

In reminiscing about #HurricaneHeroes, we’d be remiss if we didn’t

Bay District Schools is deeply indebted to all of our #HurricaneHeroes

thank all of the first responders, lineman, utility crews, city and county

and we offer our sincerest appreciation for everything that has been

officials and military personnel who responded in our time of need. Re-

done for us, given to us, offered to us and taken care of for us. We live

opening school was a priority for us almost from the moment the storm

in a community of #HurricaneHeroes and we are sincerely grateful.

WWW.PCBEACH.ORG

39


LET’S BUILD

HOME CONSTRUCTION LOANS FROM CAPITAL CITY BANK ONCE THE STORM HAS PASSED, THE REAL WORK BEGINS, and your Capital City Bankers are here to help you recover and rebuild. Call us today.

Primary residences

Subject to credit and property approval. 40

THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019

Second homes

Investment property

ccbg.com/mortgage


JL Crisis Mode BY S A R A WA L K E R

J U N I O R L E AG U E O F PA N A M A C I T Y

As Bay County watched with growing concern as Hurricane Michael

With a mission dedicated to seeing the community thrive in the long-

escalated toward the Panhandle coastline, the women of The Ju-

term, the Junior League hosted two major public diaper distributions

nior League of Panama City, Inc. began preparing for a catastrophic

to help alleviate the devastation after the storm in a small way. “Di-

outcome. Among preparing their homes for the storm, gathering

aper Bank is committed to alleviating diaper need in Bay County,”

supplies to stay or possessions to evacuate, they also were strat-

said Diaper Bank founder, Christy Rogers. “We knew we had to do

egizing how to help the community immediately after the storm.

more to help, especially after the storm.” During the first event in January, JLPC distributed over 50,000 diapers and training pants, to

“We quickly realized that we were the only nationally recognized dia-

benefit more than 650 children. In May, over seven months after Hur-

per bank within hundreds of miles and that in the event of a disaster

ricane Michael hit, they hosted a second distribution that topped

of this magnitude, it would be up to us to get these necessary re-

the first with 62,093 diapers and training pants and 94,512 wipes

sources out in the community,” said Sara Walker, the 2018-19 Chair of

distributed to benefit 761 children. Today, Diaper Bank continues to

Diaper Bank. Because of their affiliation with the National Diaper Bank

provide diapers, training pants, and wipes via their partner agencies.

Network, JLPC Diaper Bank received a large shipment of over 228,000 donated diapers from Huggies and, with donated space from Gray-

Since October 2018, the women of the Junior League of Panama City

ton Beer Company, began planning logistics to distribute the diapers.

distributed over 295,000 diapers and training pants, helping more

Within 48 hours, members were shuttling in diapers in their cars and

than 4,000 children in the Panhandle. In addition to the NDBN and

from our main office and distributing them in neighborhoods and

Huggies, JLPC received a generous outpouring of donations and

at National Guard sites. In the six weeks immediately following the

would like to especially thank the Miami Diaper Bank for major ongo-

storm, the Junior League of Panama City distributed over 145,000 dia-

ing support, as well as the United Way of Northwest Florida and many

pers throughout Bay County, and into Jackson and Calhoun counties.

sister Junior Leagues throughout the southeast. The Junior League of

WWW.PCBEACH.ORG

41


Show you care…

Panama City, Inc. is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Immediately following Hurricane Michael, JLPC contributed an array of resources to assist Bay County residents and meet big needs after the destruction caused by the storm including: •

Providing complete Child Service Center clothing closet inventory of school uniforms to Bay District Schools to jump start its clothing drive (value of approximately $24,000) and providing

Invest in your team! Contact us for: Customized Training Programs Teambuilding Seminars One-on-One Coaching Sessions

volunteers to sort other donations at BDS distribution sites. •

Gifting classroom grant money to Bay Education Foundation ($14,000).

Distributing more than 265,000 diapers, wipes and training pants (valued more than $100,000).

Completing more than 600 hours of volunteer service.

The above numbers are impressive, but what is more impressive is the

pBAYSOLUTIONS

Governmental Affairs & Professional Development Specialists www.baysolutions.com (850) 763-4332

women behind them. Our membership chose service before self. JLPC members stepped up to help others when their own families were also hurting. For these reasons and more, JLPC has proven its commitment to Bay County. JLPC is seeking donations to help us continue the good work noted above and meet developing needs in our community. Hurricane Michael will forever leave an imprint on this season of life for residents of our county. The unfortunate part of that is that the storm leaves behind some sorrow and some heartache. But I truly believe there is always a silver lining. We can see the silver lining as new relationships with neighbors, as bigger opportunities to serve others and as a time for renewed energy and purpose. There must be more than sorrow and heartache when we remember this year, and JLPC has done its part to make that true.

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THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019


PCB is a great place to visit. And an even better place to live.


C E L E B R AT E T H E S P I R I T

O F PA N A M A C I T Y B E A C H Here’s to success that’s as strong as our community. Plan to join us for our Real. FUN. Fall. events this year by visiting VisitPanamaCityBeach.com/Events.

RANKED NO. 3 ON TRIPADVISOR’S TRAVELER’S CHOICE AWARDs LIST

OF top 25 beaches in the United States

Voted No. 3 Ranked No. 3 among the South’s

Best Beach Towns

by Southern Living readers

on USA Today ’s

50 Best Places

to Buy A Property in 2019

One of the best

One of the most

IN THE world

towns IN america

white sand beaches

by town & country in 2019

dog-friendly beach by coastal living in 2019

We at Visit Panama City Beach and the Bay County Tourist Development Council are thankful to serve you with events like these: 9/11 MEMORIAL STAIR CLIMB September 7 PANAMA CITY BEACH OKTOBERFEST October 4-6 PIRATES OF THE HIGH SEAS FEST October 11-13 SCHOONERS LOBSTER FESTIVAL & TOURNAMENT October 14-20 THUNDER BEACH AUTUMN MOTORCYCLE RALLY October 24-27 IRONMAN FLORIDA November 2 EMERALD COAST CRUIZIN’ CAR SHOW November 6-9 BLOODY MARY & MUSIC FESTIVAL November 9

VisitPanamaCityBeach.com


SAVE THE DATE! DECEMBER 7

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5K + HALF + FULL MARATHONS | BOSTON QUALIFIER FREE+BEER+GUMBO | LIVE TRACKING


FSU PC rises up to aid relief efforts

FSU PC rises up

to aid relief efforts BY ERICA MARTIN FS U - PA N A M A C I T Y

After the devastation of Hurricane

to ponder what was next. He and

ing food and cleaning supplies donated

Michael, FSU Panama City students,

other members of SGC banded to-

by Gulf Coast State College’s Enactus or-

faculty and staff were left with one

gether

ganization. In the first day, they tempo-

to

continue

relief

efforts.

question: What can we do to help?

rarily fixed a woman’s flat tire, brought Their effort was inspired by a social me-

supplies to a man who couldn’t leave

Student Government Council Service

dia post by fellow SGC member Angela

his home and reported potential scam-

Chair Jeffery Williams initially volun-

Donahue: “What does it mean to be a

mers to the authorities. They filed tick-

teered with the Cajun Navy, transform-

Seminole? It means that we are a tribe.

ets for extreme needs to other volun-

ing his minimally damaged home into a

We belong to each other. We work to-

teer organizations like the Cajun Navy.

staging area for the grassroots disaster

gether for the good of the people. Rise

relief group and housing volunteers. For

up 'Noles! for together, we will forever

“Not everyone was able to get out to

a week, the group woke up at dawn to

remain UNCONQUERED, We ARE FSU.”

a location where supplies were be-

load a truck with tools and supplies, then respond to calls relayed by a dispatcher. When the crew left, Williams was left

ing handed out,” Williams said. “EvThe group initially started small, going

eryone was very pleased and excited

door to door in the hardest-hit areas to

to see us. Even people who didn’t take

offer aid to those in need and distribut-

supplies thanked us for our work.” WWW.PCBEACH.ORG

43


on the community, continue to help those in need and become a leader in the rebuilding process,” Admissions Officer Mackenzie Masters agreed. “I felt such a sense of pride watching the pile of debris that we placed on the side of the road continue to grow – and knowing that it was no longer going to litter the grounds of Lynn Haven Elementary School. I was excited that the kids now had a debris-free campus and playground and trash-free classrooms to enjoy.” On Day 4, they came across a group of teenage Florida State fans, who were obviously excited to see FSU reaching out, yelling,“Oh my God, FSU is seriously here?! Guys, FSU is here at our house!” Within unteers

the

first

totaling

week, 126

their hours

team of

included

eight

community

vol-

service.

Other FSU Seminoles were called to action expanding service projects across the community. Faculty member Mark Fuelner cut trees away from driveways and atop roofs. Alumni passed out towels and toiletries in a comfort station that offered showers and other services to those without, and a staff member distributed diapers through the Junior League’s Diaper Bank. Many others distributed hot meals to first responders and those in need through Operation BBQ. Outreach was a natural way to show Seminole pride, they all said. “FSU PC is a vital member of the community and therefore, shares a responsibility to be a leader with other agencies and volunteers to assist in the recovery efforts,” said Associate Dean Irvin Clark, who organized students to serve through Operation BBQ. For the FSU Panama City admissions team, clearing debris at Lynn Haven Elementary School was a way to put action behind the campus’s mission to be our community’s university. “We call each other a family, we help students achieve their goals and always do what it takes to make them proud to be a ‘Nole,” Admissions Officer Alina Durham said. “Helping a community is our way of thanking everyone who has been so supportive of us and our students!” “I hope that through our continued efforts, we will make an impact 44

THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019

When faculty member Mark Feulner compared his lost fence to the devastation in other parts of the county, he knew he needed to help. When the roads were cleared, he checked on the dive locker at FSU Panama City then staff member Adam Wendt, who’s phone wasn’t working. After clearing debris from Wendt’s yard, they decided to keep going. Feulner bought a chainsaw that day, then starting reaching out to friends and FSU Panama City staff members to gauge their needs. “When I got the calls back from our fellow Seminoles, I started a spreadsheet and started working down the list,” Feulner said. The group of volunteers eventually grew to six or eight friends, who for weeks went from person to person to deliver gas, water, ice and other supplies. They tarped roofs and cut trees away from people’s homes. “It was so overwhelming in the beginning,” Feulner said. “It was amazing how happy people were just to cut a path for people to get to their front door. The little things that didn’t seem like that much work was really significant for people.” While some groups reached out to develop new projects, others had to transform current plans into relief efforts. Since the campus closure after the storm derailed the Psychology Club’s annual Monster Bash, club members knew they wanted to use Halloween as community outreach. With only two days before the holiday, the club decided to volunteer at an existing event rather than start from scratch. They booked their spot within an hour of discussing the event.


Decked out in costumes with their Hawaiian shirt-clad skeleton and a garnet and gold adorned trunk, the group passed out candy and joy to school-aged children and their families. “I cannot count the number of parents who thanked us for giving their children somewhere to go for Halloween,” said Melissa Adams, a member of the Psychology Club. “It was amazing to see both the children and the parents having so much fun. With the exception of the buildings around us missing roofs and windows, it was almost like life had returned to normal just for a little while.” As the community rebuilds and renews itself, local FSU Seminoles will continue to help transform the wreckage into hope. “It was important for me to help the community because I’ve been where they are. I understand what it’s like to stand in front of the wreckage that used to be your home, and wonder how anything will ever be ‘normal’ again,” said Adams, from the Psychology Club. “I think it’s important to help the community because it’s during difficult times that we need to band together to help each other in any way we can,” SGC President Justine Powell said. “One small act of kindness can completely change someone’s day. We are all in this together and we will get through this together.” “Because there was a team of us working together, we were able to help many more people,” Feulner said. “We just felt so blessed that we were spared, and we see everyone else in such bad shape. We were blessed, so we helped out.” Operation Seminole Tribe will continue canvassing the county to offer relief on weekends as long as supplies and volunteers are available. To get involved, email Williams at jlw18h@my.fsu.edu.

WWW.PCBEACH.ORG

45


Work Well

Free worksite wellness training program for all Bay County employers. Wednesday, September 4 Registration 8 - 8:15 am Program 8:15am -Noon Bay County Health Department Auditorium 597 W 11th ST Panama City, FL 32401 Topics include: CDC Work @ Health: Module 1- Making the Business Case CDC Work @ Health: Module 2 - Assessing Your Worksites Evidence based interventions Workplace Diabetes Interventions The Business Case for Breastfeeding Tobacco Free Worksites and Cessation programs Register at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LBL8P5P. Questions? Email Denise Espinosa at Denise.Espinosa@FLHealth.gov. 46

THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019


Work Well Worksite wellness is key to increasing healthy lifestyles. Worksites are valuable to health. Seventypercent of chronic conditions are attributed to lifestyle practices. Employers can create healthy work environments that make it easier for employees to makes healthy choices. Most working adults spend the much of their time at the worksite. By promoting health and wellness in the workplace, employers can help employees adopt healthier lifestyles, reducing their risk of developing chronic diseases. Health is valuable to worksites. Maintaining a healthier workforce can: lower insurance premiums and workers' compensation claims, reduce absenteeism, increase engagement and satisfaction, and improve productivity. The CDC cites a study that estimated the return on investments in worksite wellness programs. For medical costs, it's $3.27 per every dollar spent. For absenteeism, the figure is $2.73 for each dollar invested. Programs also increase presentism, or the degree of lost productivity while on the job associate with work/life factors. Keeping your healthiest workers healthy can save your organization $350 per employee annually. Targeting high-risk employees brings in a potential savings of $153 yearly for each employee.

The CDC definition of Workplace Wellness is workplace health programs that are a coordinated and comprehensive set of health promotion and protection strategies implemented at the worksite that includes programs, policies, benefits, environmental supports, and links to the surrounding community designed to encourage the health and safety of all employees. Assessment is key when creating and maintaining worksite wellness programs. The CDC Scorecard is a free assessment tool to help employers assess whether they have implemented evidence-based health promotion interventions in their worksites to prevent heart disease, stroke, and related health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity. The CDC Work @ Health is an employerbased training program. The aim of the program is to improve the organizational health of participating employers, with an emphasis on strategies to reduce chronic disease and injury risk to employees and an eye to improving overall worker productivity. All information in the training is evidence-based. For technical assistance with your worksite wellness programs, email  Denise.Espinosa@flhealth.gov. WWW.PCBEACH.ORG

47


48

THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019


The

#850 Strong

Mission of Hope BY N A N CY PA I G E THE L.H. BEAD GALLERY

“You can never out give.”

N

estled in Historic Downtown Panama City

and the owner, Lisa Hanna. They pride their shop as

is a tiny bead shop that has a huge heart.

the local happy place and share lots of warm hugs.

From all appearances, the LH Bead Gallery on Har-

The LH Bead Gallery has been in downtown Panama

rison Avenue looks like a quaint boutique from the street, but when you step inside, you are embraced with a wash of bright colors and hints of sparkle; where strands of beads, in every color, line the walls and flow like a rainbow around the room. It’s also where you’ll find a delightful group of ladies- Joanne Wilburn, Vickie Leonard, Nancy Paige

City for over 11 years. Lisa, the owner, is a Lampwork artist who creates and designs one-of-a-kind, wearable works of art made from glass. The shop also sells everything imaginable for jewelry making; from tools, beads, pearls and gemstones to findings, charms, chain and leather. The shop also has an abundance of artisan crafted jewelry and WWW.PCBEACH.ORG

49


FEATURE

|

the l.h. bead gallery

HAN EY

"When choosing a school, Lisa felt it was important to meet and personally get know the principal. She wanted to know that they shared the same mission, ideals and hopes regarding the money donated and would reach those heavily impacted by this devastating event." even offers jewelry making classes.

(which she provides free for a $10

It started in November with Merriam

Back in October, days after Hurricane

donation). And is made in the U.S.A.

Cherry St. Elementary. Not sure of how

Michael, Lisa returned and thankfully

the fundraising efforts would go, the

found her shop only had minor roof

Not sure of how to distribute the dona-

local news and paper did a story about

and ceiling damage and was able to

tions to those most in need, Lisa searched

the charms and the shop sold more than

re-open in a few short weeks. She felt

and prayed (a lot). She decided to do-

half of them in one day! Lisa noted that

blessed and a strong desire to provide

nate the money to local schools to help

“The need and interest was so strong

help in the community to those strug-

teachers, staff and students. Lisa had to

that people kept asking if we could do

gling with their own recovery efforts.

get a minimum of 600 charms to start

another school.� The fundraising con-

and would give $6,000 to each school.

tinued to Cedar Grove/Springfield El-

She had an idea to create a charm to

ementary, Bay High School, Rutherford

raise money to help as many people

When choosing a school, Lisa felt it was

High School, M.K. Lewis School, Jinks

as possible. So began the fundraiser.

important to meet and personally get to

Middle School, Parker Elementary and

know the principal. She wanted to know

St. Andrew School. The shop is currently

Lisa designed and commissioned a

that they shared the same mission, ide-

partnered with Callaway Elementary

2-sided charm that reads "#850 Strong"

als and hopes regarding the money

(their 9th school). 100% of the monies

on one side and a picture of the State

donated and would reach those heav-

raised have gone directly to each school

of Florida with a heart on the other

ily impacted by this devastating event.

to help with hurricane relief efforts. To

50

THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019


date, over $50,000 has been raised.

as a necklace, bracelet, even earrings.

bing, got 60 charms to give customers.

Some customers put them on their

Toyota

“We're hoping to reach 12 schools by

dogs’ collars, others on keyrings or

picked

October 10th (1 year since Michael)”, Lisa

hanging from their rear-view mirror.

said. “We are immensely thankful for the

of up

Panama 50

to

City, share.

Lisa’s hope is that more companies will

outpouring of support and grateful for

“So many different design options

come forward and support this won-

the generosity of everyone's donation”.

and our customers are so creative!”

derful cause and meet her goal of 12

Lisa says with a smile. “People have

schools by October 10. Lisa’s motto is,

In the beginning, some money went

given the charms as gifts or shared

“You can never out give.” Once the fundrais-

right to families to replace bedding,

them

to

ing is over, they will no longer be pro-

clothing and necessities, even por-

spread

encouragement.”

duced. The plate to create the charms

with hope

others and

in

passing,

table heaters. Some money has gone

will be retired, and the #850 Strong

to help teachers restock personal li-

Some local businesses have really

charms will no longer be available.

braries and materials in their class-

stepped up to support the efforts. Clair

rooms. One school equally divided the

Pease with Emerald View Management

The LH Bead gallery is located at

money to give to each of their faculty

Association made a generous dona-

550 Harrison Avenue. Their hours

and staff, where some of the teachers

tion and purchased 150 charms to give

are Monday through Saturday, 10

used the money to help student fami-

to her employees. Tyler Southerland, a

AM - 5 PM. Check out their web-

lies they knew were struggling. “This

realtor with Under the Palms by Keller

site at www.LHBeads.com and fol-

has been very far reaching and so

Williams got 100 charms on sea-glass

low them on Facebook or Instagram.

many personal needs are being met.”

pendants to give his clients when they close on a new home. Honda of Pana-

The #850 Strong charm can be worn

ma City General Manager, Scott Strue-

WWW.PCBEACH.ORG

51


Y

ask the doctor

HURRICANE

HERNIA BY ALEX JONES, MD

During the first few months of 2019 I had a sudden increase in the num-

eventual death of the involved intestine. Incarceration and stran-

ber of new patients evaluated in my office for a possible hernia. When

gulation is a surgical emergency and needs immediate attention.

discussing the patient’s complaint, the history always started with “Af-

The good news is both are surgically correctable with a short outpa-

ter the hurricane….” Each patient would complain of a sudden onset

tient operation. There are advanced minimally invasive repair tech-

of pain around the belly button or groin while pulling a tree, trying to

niques. Now with the advent of a robotic assisted hernia repair recov-

move a stump, running a chainsaw, moving furniture, etc. Shortly there-

ery from the operation is improved, specifically for inguinal hernias.

after the patient would notice a bump or bulge in the area of the pain.

When compared to prior open repair techniques patients who have

A hernia is basically a hole in the abdominal wall. Due to posi-

a robotic hernia repair have less pain, faster recovery, and return to

tive pressure in the abdomen, abdominal contents will protrude

work sooner. Many patients can be back to work within a few days

through this hole creating a bulge. This typically starts as just in-

of the operation. These robotic minimally invasive repair techniques

traabdominal fat but can progress to intestine. There are sever-

are available at both hospitals and one outpatient surgery center in

al different types of hernia. The two most common that have been

our area. There are multiple surgeons in our area that perform these

diagnosed since October 2018 have been umbilical and inguinal

minimally invasive techniques. Hernias are usually easily evaluated in

hernias. They both occur in areas I describe as a potential defect.

a brief office visit without any imaging or other diagnostic testing.

At the umbilicus (belly button), there is a potential defect from the prior umbilical cord we all had and eventually fell off shortly after birth. Some have a defect or hole that never closes. Over time this defect can increase in size until a bulge is noticed creating an “outie”. Inguinal hernias are more common in men but can also occur in women. Both men and women have an inguinal canal in both groin areas that is basically a small tunnel through the abdominal wall. In men the blood supply to the testicle travels through this tunnel and down to the scrotum. Again, this is a potential area that can enlarge to the point other intraabdominal contents travel as well creating a bulge. Many hernias are symptom free other than noticing a bulge. Over time hernias can progress in size and eventually become painful. Hernias can be medically threatening if intestine is involved. If the intestine herniates through the defect it can potentially become stuck and strangled. In the medical field this is known as incarceration and strangulation. This results in severe pain and can result in

52

THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019

Dr. Jones has been practicing in Panama City for nine years; and has a special interest in minimally invasive surgery. Specialty: General Surgery Certification: American Board of Surgery - Surgery Education: Medical School - University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL; Internship University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, TN; Residency - Iowa Methodist Medical Center, Des Moines, IA Office Location Emerald Bay Surgical Associates 2407 Ruth Hentz Ave 32405 Panama City , FL Phone: 850-522-5022


Pier Park & 30Avenue

GET SPARKED! The Laws of Life WOMEN’S MASTERMIND Tuesday, October 15, 2019 | 6:00-8:30 PM | Sheraton Panama City Beach Golf & Spa Resort Tickets $35 at Eventbrite.com & LawsofLife.Shop | Invigorate, Rejuvenate, Spark Inspiration. #getsparked! WWW.PCBEACH.ORG

53


54

THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019


PASSION PROFESSION

TURN WHAT YOU LOVE INTO WHAT YOU DO. Tech. Healthcare. Advanced Manufacturing. What’s your passion? With one-on-one career counseling, resume and interviewing assistance, referrals to jobs, and financial aid and training grants, CareerSource Gulf Coast can help you land your dream job. Learn more by visiting us online or stopping by our Job Center!

careersourcegc.com 625 N. Hwy 231 Panama City, FL 32401 (850) 872-4340 An equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. All voice telephone numbers on this document may be reached by persons using TTY/TDD equipment via the Florida Relay Service at 711.

WWW.PCBEACH.ORG

55


BUSINESS SPOTLIGHTS

|

featured chamber members

MORGAN L AW GROUP

KEEP PCB BEAUTIFUL

The Morgan Law Group, P.A. is a full-service Florida law firm that focuses exclusively on civil litigation. The attorneys at our law firm bring more than four decades of collective legal experience, providing clients with real-world advice along with unique and resourceful points of view. As a boutique law firm, we take pride in being able to know our clients and deliver effective legal representation in a timely and professional manner.

Keep PCB Beautiful is a local, non-profit group whose mission is to unite their community through environmental responsibility. They seek to clean up and green up from the streets to the beach. Hurricane Michael left behind a large amount of debris and took a lot of green space from Panama City Beach and surrounding areas. As a group, they knew they needed to jump in and help continue their mission and create some positive avenues for people to help after the storm. Beach cleanups were assembled and local events were planned to assist in the local community and in Panama City.

The Morgan Law Group has an extensive base of knowledge and understanding of the law that makes us a smart choice to handle matters from pre-litigation all the way to trial. Our team can also assist with post-trial and/or appellate issues when necessary. Through each phase of the legal process, we can provide personalized and smart solutions to your legal issue. The Morgan Law Group immediately jumped on the front lines right after the storm hit. Our group of attorneys and support staff traveled to remote location areas affected by the storm to meet with victims of the storm. The Morgan Law Group wanted to provide support and advice along with food and simply friendship to those who were not able to call or reach out for help following the storm. The Morgan Law Group (MLG) continues to support clients who have experienced unthinkable loss from Hurricane Michael and yet- are still real, true blue, everyday unsung heroes despite the challenges. From veterans, to school teachers, to business owners, to single moms, to blended families, to elder historians of the panhandle, the experts at MLG continue to lead the majority of settlement efforts related to insurance disputes supporting these insured. The Morgan Law Group team has already been able to settle an unprecedented number of claims and recover hundreds of thousands in benefits specifically to claimants who were initially underpaid. Since the storm last October, the firm’s expert attorneys, inspectors, engineers, and catastrophe consultants have had the opportunity to encounter the heartbeat that keeps our community making an even bigger comeback from the setback. The pulse of that heartbeat is what drives attorneys like, John Lanpher who recently attended the Veteran and First Responders Luncheon hosted by A Superior Air Conditioning Company where he had the chance to personally shake hands and recognize 200+ members of our community who have worked to make our neighborhoods and businesses safe.

56

THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019

Quickly after the storm, Keep PCB Beautiful started at Access 1 and worked their way down the 19 miles of beach in PCB. Over 900 pounds of debris/trash was collected and kept from entering the Gulf. Several cleanups were added to the schedule for the groups’ “Adopt A Road” area off Front Beach and sections of Thomas Drive and over 2,300 pounds of trash was collected. Keep PCB Beautiful was also invited by a local from Panama City to help clean a neglected area after Michael. The group went to Zone 37 and picked up 836 pounds of trash/debris on the roads and in St. Andrew Bay. Arnold High School was a shelter during the Cat 5 Hurricane and afterward was used as a staging area for utility trucks being used for Disaster Recovery. Keep PCB Beautiful partnered with Arnold to clean, plant, and beautify the campus to provide a better environment for students and faculty, to come to every day who had been through the storm of a lifetime. Keep PCB Beautiful is proud to be “850 Strong”. Learn more about how you can join them at keeppcbbeautiful.org.


THE NEWS HERALD

STUMP GRINDING BY STEVE

Ten months ago The News Herald’s multi-million dollar press sat drenched in rain and insulation and debris, its roof ripped off by Hurricane Michael, and the front half of the building was unsafe for entry after the walls, and portions of the ceilings caved in.

Steve & Sue Gambla, also known as Mr. and Mrs. Stump Grind Steve are two Panhandle locals from the Midwest, who saw the need in the community of Walton, Bay and Okaloosa County following the devastation left from Hurricane Michael.

But The News Herald never waivered in its commitment to our community, using an out-of-state press for eight days to ensure not one day’s paper was missed and getting our press operational on Day 9. Since then we’ve added local jobs by taking on the daily printing of the Pensacola News Journal and Tallahassee Democrat and have shown our commitment with the million-dollar-plus rebuilding of our facility at 501 W. 11th Street.

This storm took majestic trees, family homes built with love, companies with foundations of blood, sweat and tears, but it could not take the light that fills the darkness and allows for growth and change.

The best part of this is we don’t think we’re unique, we think the work of our pressmen, reporters, sales reps, circulation reps, and others reflect what has gone on at the myriad businesses are just as committed to this community as we are; all have done what it takes to survive and recover. “Our parent company, Gatehouse Media, rallied behind the scenes like nothing I’ve ever witnessed in my 35 years in this industry,” said Publisher Tim Thompson. “Publishing consistently was a very legitimate concern, but we were able to print in Montgomery, Alabama that first night and for the next nine days before returning to 11th St. in Panama City.” We’re not only rebuilding at our long-time 11th Street and Mulberry Avenue location, we’re doing it with style, creating a “Shoppes on Mulberry” center. It will include the return of the Editorial, Sales and Circulation departments to the building as well as setting aside 9,600 buildt0-suit square feet for which we are interviewing potential tenants. The News Herald and its employees didn’t go anywhere during the storm or after the storm and we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished since then to show our continued investment in the community.

As a faith-based couple, Steve & Sue are here to offer a great service always for a fair price. Their compassion for others is based on being the hands and feet of Jesus. Two folks who want to provide amazing customer service, attention to detail, and service, which means taking care of your property as if it was their own. Through the success of their growing clientele base, they’ve been able to provide services free of charge to multiple families with the devastation Hurricane Michael. Joy always rises in the darkest lowest points… neighbors helping neighbors with love and the gift of growth. Derrick and Kelly, living with their kids and family dog in a 500 square piece of the only part of their home that was left after the storm surely needed some help. Gigantic root balls were shredded as if nothing stood there before. Being so blessed to be a blessing, Steve and Sue contributed to a fund to help restore a new home. No one deserves to have a roof made of blue plastic. Feel good about who you’re doing your business with and feel confident your job will get done on time and done right. Licensed and insured. Locally owned and operated. Call or text us today! (850) 8032205

WWW.PCBEACH.ORG

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SEE & BE SEEN gcsc advanced technology center — july 2019

F R I DAY AT THE BEACH

1. John Dunaway, Mario Gisbert, David Powell 2. Shannon & Steve Richmond 3. Debbie Ashbrook, Ron Sharpe, Stephanie Conn 4. Aaron Rich, Kat Andrews 5. Beautification Award - C-Level Bar & Grill 6. Michael McCabe, Debbie Ward

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For all event photos, visit our Facebook: www.facebook.com/pcbeachchamber

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THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019


legendary marine — july 2019

BUSINESS AFTER HOURS

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1. Sam Tuno, Victoria Williams 2. Lauren Newton, Rick Farmer 3. Garrett Wright, Devyn DeLaney 4. Perry Williams, Shay Barnes 5. Sabrina Gintoli, Misty Mccranie 6. Harvey Webster, Brett Schlanger

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For all event photos, visit our Facebook: www.facebook.com/pcbeachchamber | Photography by

WWW.PCBEACH.ORG

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SEE & BE SEEN

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continued

dave & buster's — august 2019

BUSINESS AFTER HOURS

1. Rick Koehnemann, Emanuel Gonzales, Ron Jarmon 2. Denise Espinosa, Heather Kretzer 3. Mel & Lee Ann Leonard 4. Meg Whitener, Joby & Denise Gay 5. Allison Smith, Mike & Elaine Williams 6. Jeff Feldstein, Brad Thomes

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THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019


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CO M M I T T E E U P DAT E S

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hype

HYPE H E L P I N G Y O U N G P R O F E S S I O N A L S E V O LV E BY L AU R E N S H AW

"Our community stepped up to get things done because we had no other choice but to take care of each other. "

Just like that, a year has come and gone since the infamous hurricane that left Bay County in ruins and our residents in disbelief. We know how many billions of dollars in damage we incurred. We know how many schools have been closed. We know how many people have relocated. And we know how many lives were lost. But do you remember…

Dr. Shane and Tess broadcasting nothing but recovery and relief help non-stop for anyone needing help that was able to call in? Your neighbors, strangers, and anyone with a chainsaw, cutting through the trees to make the roads passable? Or the seemingly unending convoys of first responders, grocery outlets, linemen, and contractors, pouring into our communities and giving us the only sense of hope? And the countless volunteers who have dedicated their time to raising money, running food drives, and supplying children with essentials for school? This is what Bay County is made of and something no force of nature can destroy. While I understand the need and importance of having more national media coverage than we were granted, there is something said about why we weren’t. We are warriors who picked ourselves up rather than waiting on politicians who took their time in granting us aid. Our community stepped up to get things done because we had no other choice but to take care of each other. I have immense pride in this being my home and feel humbled to call so many of you a friend. With Hurricane Michael continuing to affect everyone’s personal schedule and flexibility, HYPE has continued to host monthly events and bring value to the membership. In June we had a blast bowling at Rock’It Lanes and networking with young professionals. The general manager of the New Panama City Beach Sports Complex, JD Wood, was a guest speaker at our luncheon we hosted in July and gave tremendous insight into our area’s new addition. Both were well attended events and we look forward to the next. We welcome you to send potential new members and invite interested co-workers to attend a HYPE event; the more we grow as a committee, the more you can grow as a young professional. Please sign up for our HYPE emails by contacting chamber@pcbeach.org to receive invitations to our monthly events and how to become more involved. Please sign up for our HYPE emails by contacting chamber@pcbeach.org to receive invitations to our monthly events and how to become more involved. We look forward to seeing you at the next function!

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THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019


COMMIT TEE UPDATES

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ideacamp + ambassadors

IDEACAMP

AMBASSADORS

INSPIRE • ENERGIZE • IGNITE

R E P R ES E N T YO U R C H A M B E R

BY COURTNEY CALHOUN

Our June IdeaCamp was held at No Name Lounge and it was a beautiful evening with Decaris Hunter as our guest speaker. He has become a light in our community, with his ability to bring people together and show us that love is truly all that matters. For our August IdeaCamp we visited La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham where Jason Hedden and Brian Hilario were our guest speakers. They spoke about “The Creative Problem,” and gave us a lot of insight on how creativity starts after an idea is formed. Jason and Brian have been favorites at our IdeaCamp, and we enjoyed having them back to speak. We would also like to thank our awesome sponsors who support IdeaCamp, without you this event would not be possible. Our June sponsors were: A Superior Air Conditioning Company, Beachy Beach Real Estate, iTrip, and Panama City Toyota. Our August sponsors were: A Superior Air Conditioning Company, Beachy Beach Real Estate, Panama City Toyota, and Sea Breeze Small Engine. Have a topic suggestion, speaker or venue in mind for this event? Please email Courtney at courtney@pcbeach.org. We will host six events next year and the IdeaCamp committee already has some fantastic ideas that we know you all will all enjoy. We look forward to seeing you at our next IdeaCamp!

BY JAMES CLEMENS

The splendid, carefree days of summer are fading into the sunset here on Panama City Beach, as the familiar late summer transformation of our community begins. Whether you have schoolaged children or not, the new school year turns everyone’s frame of mind to the discipline of earlier bedtimes, the engaging focus of academic routines, and the shared thrill of team sports. A renewed appreciation for efficiency sets in as families pull together to keep everything on course. While all of this is happening, area businesses are planning their own courses forward to keep up with what people need and want. Each business has its own way of managing the change of seasons but all share a common thread, which is having a strong network of loyal supporters. The patronage of local customers is the mainstay of the fall/winter shoulder season. Likewise, we Ambassadors are also power thriving commerce. It’s something all of us truly enjoy doing. We are matchmakers! We’re always searching for a citizen in need of a product or service so we can pair them with the perfect local business. Successful pair-ups make for a truly interconnected community and this is what makes the PCB Chamber Ambassadors so vital. We actually get a little giddy over things like this, so don’t be surprised when you see an enthusiastic outburst of conversation when you are out and about in public discussing a need you have. The Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce represents businesses of every type and trade and we Ambassadors are willing to go that extra mile to make sure your business is busy. We share what we know about the best businesses to explore. We spread the word about the great products and services to be found locally. Join with us and help connect our ever-changing, always-vibrant business community with the lovely people who live here.

W H AT I S I D E A C A M P ? IdeaCamp is a forum to inspire, energize, and ignite the community through sharing, connecting, and cultivating of open-minded discussions supporting the free flow of ideas. IdeaCamp creates an experience to learn, engage, and expand your life and your business.

W H AT I S T H E A M B A S S A D O R G R O U P ? The Ambassador group meets new people every week, those new to our community and those who are pillars of our community. Come join our group and help support the well-being of our community and the individuals who belong to it. For more information, visit the Chamber website at pcbeach.org/ambassadors-committee or call (850) 235-1159.

WWW.PCBEACH.ORG

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community updates

careersource g ulf coast

cane Michael.

KIM BODINE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

The late Maya Angelou said, “I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people”. I too believe that, which is why CareerSource Gulf Coast has spent the last couple of months recognizing our unsung workforce heroes from Hurri-

In the wake of Hurricane Michael, the CareerSource Gulf Coast Job Center was severely-damaged, forcing us to close our physical location. Beyond that, many of our staff faced their own personal challenges making it difficult for them to return to work right away. There was concern about how we would serve our community when electricity, internet-access, and technology was unavailable. Immediately following Hurricane Michael, multiple workforce boards along with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and CareerSource Florida came to our aid and offered their support. Partners in our CareerSource network sent mobile units, staff members and supplies. In addition, DEO was able to provide much needed technology, including satellites, portable Wi-Fi units, moving services, and laptop computers. CareerSource Florida immediately made funds available to help

city of panama city beach

The beach is a family-friendly location where people from across the country can enjoy the beautiful coastline, great seafood, gorgeous weather, a variety of entertainment and the shopping. The increasing number of special events on the fall calendar have blurred the lines between the summer and fall. The weather is perfect in the fall and our events attract thousands. Some of our largest events include Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam Labor Day weekend, Oktoberfest in early October, the Pirates of the High Seas festival in mid-October and Thunder Beach Motorcycle Rally in late October. Numerous other festivals take place in the fall, as well as Ironman Florida and dozens of athletic tournaments. The opening of the Panama City Beach Sports Complex on the island has spurred more sports tourism than ever. The fall calendar at the Sports Complex and at the City’s Frank Brown Park include softball, baseball, lacrosse, soccer, and flag football tournaments.

THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019

With their help, we were able to deploy mobile units around the impacted region in just one week following the hurricane. In total, we were able to operate 10+ locations throughout our regions (covering three counties) for a six-week period to help our residents and businesses. As a result, more than 10,000 individuals were able to apply for Emergency Unemployment Assistance and be connected with additional resources. In addition we hosted several parking lot job fairs, with the help of our friends, to serve employers urgently seeking to fill positions. On behalf of our entire organization, I would like to thank our unsung heroes. These individuals left their families, air-conditioned homes, and the amenities with which they were accustomed. They came into a hurricane-devastated area with no electricity and little cell phone service. They worked out of both a mobile unit powered by generators and the front of our hot/ humid, moldy, flooded Job Center to help us serve our citizens. Words really are not enough to express the gratitude we have for their support after this disaster. We hope we never have to experience anything like Hurricane Michael again, but if we do it's good to know we have the support of Florida’s workforce partners.

MIKE THOMAS M AY O R

Fall used to be the time of year when those in the tourism business could catch their breaths and maybe enjoy a little time off and travel. That’s because it used to be that everything in Panama City Beach was dead in the fall. Things slowed down tremendously. That is not the Panama City Beach of today.

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us purchase much needed equipment, furniture and supplies.

It is a busy time for sports in general, as Frank Brown Park will be home to youth soccer, basketball and Miracle League events this fall, and adult softball and soccer, as well as ongoing tennis lessons, open gym basketball, pickleball and more. Many schools now have an extended fall break, making a beach get-away even more attractive to families. It’s also the time of year that people start shopping for Christmas. And just a few years ago, our retail footprint was very small. The opening of Pier Park in 2008 and the growth of our retail community is new. Used to, our residents and visitors had to go to Panama City to shop. We’ve never had this before and it is good for all of Bay County. Fall still is a transition for us on the beach. The wide-open peak tourist season is over and we move into a more relaxed, slower pace. We transition into a bedroom community. But don’t think that means it’s a sleepy time. There’s still plenty of great weather and fun to be had right in our back yards.


city of lynn haven

MARGO ANDERSON M AY O R

The fall brings cooler weather, a nice escape for all of us, but also a lot to do in Lynn Haven. This fall will be a little different for everyone but we have been able to keep all the Lynn Haven traditions alive while adding some new traditions! Here is a sampling of all the fun coming up! Last year we were only able to have one concert for the inaugural Fall Concert Series because of Hurricane Michael. This year we are going to have 6 amazing weeks of live music thanks to some incredible sponsors. This six week-long series will feature a variety of local and regional bands from different genres so there is something for everyone. The concert series kick off is September 26th and will continue every Thursday from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm in Sharon Sheffield Park until October 31st. Halloween will be a busy night filled with trunk or treating, games, and more at the Lynn Haven Halloween Carnival! This Lynn Haven tradition will take place at Sharon Sheffield Park on October 31, 2019 from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm. Last year we were able to clear the park in time for Halloween and had over 7,000 attendees and countless community members participating. We plan to have a huge event again this year to celebrate as a community. As we near the anniversary of Hurricane Michael making landfall, we refuse to focus on all the destruction, but rather focus on how far we have come in rebuilding our City! Every day we are making strides in the right direction. Every day we find something new to be thankful for. Together we will continue working towards creating a better Lynn Haven! #LynnHavenTogetherandStrong.

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On October 10, 2019 at Sharon Sheffield Park, the City will be hosting a day to commemorate the year anniversary of the fateful day Hurricane Michael made landfall. We will have activities, speakers, and more throughout the day starting at 11:00 am, when Michael’s winds started howling through our neighborhoods, and ending with a concert that evening where Heritage Band will be performing from 5 pm to 7 pm. We will take the time to remember all that we have been through; the days without electricity, limited water, and little resources, but also celebrate how far we really have come. While the effects of Hurricane Michael are still being felt throughout the City, residents have remained resilient and strong overcoming so many obstacles, which should be celebrated. In addition, we will be recognizing everyone who has helped rebuild our City and have time to relax and have fun as a community. Publix, once again, is supporting our City in a huge way by being the food sponsor for the event and will be feeding everyone in attendance. We will be able to have surprises throughout the day thanks to the support of many other sponsors. We will be posting more information on this event soon. Continuing the celebration, we are launching a new event at the recently renovated Leslie Porter Park called Music by the Bay. Come bring a blanket, chair, or simply drive your boat up for an amazing concert and more next to the water on November 8th. Be on the lookout for the event flyer! As you rebuild and are getting ready for the Holidays, we want to encourage everyone to support local businesses during Winter Wonderland. This fair includes artisans, crafters, vendors selling clothing, candles, jewelry, furniture, and more so there is something for every taste and need! In addition, we will have free fun activities to keep the kids busy while you shop and great food vendors to get a meal at the event. Winter Wonderland will take place in Sharon Sheffield Park on November 16th from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Come out for a great time for the whole family. For more information on everything happening this Fall in Lynn Haven, visit our newly redesigned website: www.CityofLynnHaven.com. Here you can subscribe to calendar invites so you never miss an event! Don’t forget to follow uson Facebook, Twitter and Instagramtoo for updates, photosand more! You mayalsoemail communications@cityoflynnhaven.comwith any questionson eventsor to find out how toparticipate as a community partner. with any questions on events or to find out how to participate as a community partner.

CONTACT FOR BOOKINGS:

Wendy Woodruff (702) 301-0129 wwoodruff@dlrmc.com Only valid on groups of 20 or more. Offer applies to new bookings only. Must have signed event agreement and guaranteed deposit by September 30th. WWW.PCBEACH.ORG

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community updates

florida film office, inc.

JULIE GORDON FILM COMMISSIONER

Music videos continue to showcase The World’s Most Beautiful Beaches. Christon Birge made his “full time music career debut” after losing his other career to Hurricane Michael. We are thrilled that he chose PCB’s Sandpiper Beacon as his location for his original “Suncreen on You”. Wishing you much success, Christon!

ant neighbors of Grand Lagoon, this huge job was a dream come true for Cody and her daughter. The tv show brought in around 60 crew members who worked literally night and day to finish this home. In addition, the host was taken on tours of the damaged areas, and there is a great opportunity for a return visit. Thanks also to Downtown Panama City for allowing us entrance and filming opportunities at the Panama City Marina. While devastating, it certainly tells a story. This show is set to air August 30.

On the heels of Christon’s release, we were contacted by the vocal group HOME FREE. This acapella group has a strong following and are honored that PCB was their beach of choice for the video. The vocalists have toured with Florida Georgia Line and have been hearing about PCB in the Nashville scene where they usually work. HOME FREE is definitely a group to keep tuned in. Their harmonic flair combined with their own beat boxing gives some of the cover songs new life, and their originals are, well, really original.

Emerald Tails and Chasin' the Sun, both filmed by local production company Pinfish Media, has kept on filming. While it’s hot for all of us, the fish keep biting and they keep filming.

Military Makeover spent close to a month in Bay County working on a Gold Star Family’s home. Cody Patron is a widow of Sgt. Daniel Patron, who lost his life serving our country while stationed in Afghanistan in 2011. The home endured extreme damage during Hurricane Michael and A&E’s show, Military Makeover starring Montel Williams, took the time not only to repair, but to give the home a complete makeover. THANKS to the amazingly toler-

Look for a new show to come this fall on NBC just after Saturday Night Live. TAM TIME! will be an Out-of-This-World look at Extraordinary People living Extraordinary Lives. Personality-plus host Tam Taylor will dive into the experiences and provide lively commentary and interviews filmed live at the Todd Herendeen Theater. As always, if you are approached about filming in your business or on your property, please contact Julie Gordon, Film Commissioner at 850.819.4694 or floridafilmoffice@knology.net. These days anybody with a PHONE can claim to be shooting a movie, but you need to be protected and make certain they have the proper credentials. See you IN the movies!

Mold and Indoor Air Quality Testing Experts 850-633-3394 | info@moldtestpro.com Offices located in Panama City FL. Lic. MRSA2363

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THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019


bay county board of county commissioners As we approach the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Michael’s landfall in Bay County, it’s fitting to look back on all that we have accomplished toward recovering from the third-strongest storm to ever reach our nation’s shores. Bay County embarked on the largest-ever county-led debris cleanup following Hurricane Michael, and in the months since, we have collected more than 8.5 million cubic yards of debris in the unincorporated area. Almost 16 million cubic yards has been removed countywide. Additionally, we have been working, alongside leadership from the affected municipalities, to formulate a long-term recovery plan that will assist our community in ensuring that we collect the governmental and private funding that will be necessary to fully recover from this event. Details about the Long-Term Recovery Task Force can be found at recoverbaycounty.com, including a link to the full plan.

bay economic development alliance Northwest Florida has a rich history of military and aerospace assets located throughout the region. There are six major military installations situated in the panhandle of Florida. Specifically in Bay County, where Panama City, Panama City Beach, and Lynn Haven are located, are two major military installations, Tyndall Air Force Base and Naval Support Activity Panama City. Because of these assets and more, community leaders within Bay County made significant investments a decade ago that to help capitalize on the talent from the exiting military and other resources in the area. In May 2010 the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport opened its doors. During the planning and construction process, community leaders invested significantly to ensure project ready sites were developed to support industrial growth. Many project ready sites were developed, including sites with direct access to the 10,000 LF runway and others situated near the airport. Additionally, in this process The St. Joe Company (NYSE: Joe) developed VentureCrossings, a 195-Acre Certified Project Ready Industrial Park. Because of these commitments by Bay County leaders, the community is seeing the return on investment. In 2017, GKN Aerospace (GKN) announced their new $50M, 170-employee advanced manufacturing facility would be locating in VentureCrossings. Fastforward to today, GKN now occupies their new 135k sq. ft. manufacturing space and currently employs approximately 75 employees. In addition to the project ready sites in VentureCrossings, one of the main reasons that GKN selected Bay County for this facility was due to the workforce partners that were committed to ensuring success for their operation. Sherri Murrish, director of work transitions at GKN says: "Since the announcement of our new operation, we have received tremendous support from the local community. The workforce partners are fulfilling their commitments and have

PHILIP "GRIFF" GRIFFITTS DISTRICT 5

Because October 10th left such an indelible mark on our community, Rebuild Bay County, Inc., the nonprofit arm of the county’s recovery effort, plans “A Night to Unite” from 6 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 10th at Bay High School’s Tommy Oliver Stadium in downtown Panama City. The event will feature entertainment and a festival atmosphere in a family friendly, positive, and forward-looking commemoration of Hurricane Michael. Everyone is invited to attend. In other notable beach news, the commission approved an $8.1 million contract in early August to repave more than three miles of Thomas Drive, a long-awaited and much-needed improvement for the area. The contract provides for fully resurfacing Thomas Drive between Joan Avenue and Bristol Street and includes storm-drain repairs. It is being funded via half-cent sales tax dollars, with construction expected to begin in January and continue through May.

BECCA HARDIN PRESIDENT

worked hand-in-hand with our operation on the talent recruitment process. From CareerSource, Gulf Coast State College, Florida State University- Panama City, and others, our workforce development team is working to ensure GKN has the talent needed to be successful. Additionally, Bay County, Florida has proven to be an ideal location for talent recruitment for individuals exiting the military.” The benefits of being located in Bay County are also being realized by other aerospace companies. In 2018, ACMT Inc. and Butterfly Training both announced that they would be locating new operations in the community. ACMT, headquartered in Connecticut, is a leading aerospace manufacturing supplier. In 2018 they announced that they would be purchasing an existing 159k sq. ft. facility, creating 105 new aerospace jobs. According to Michael Polo, President, ACMT, “During our site selection process for the expansion of a new manufacturing location, we found an economic and workforce development team in Bay County, Florida, eager to assist our company and meet our long-term needs to ensure success. This expansion into Bay County better positions ACMT to meet the growing demand from key customers throughout the nation. Because of the community assets and community support we know that we have made the right decision for our company by selecting Bay County for our new manufacturing facility.” The commitment to growing the aerospace sector and keeping the exiting military talent local are key priorities for our community. To support this sector FSU-PC started a new bachelor’s program in Mechanical Engineering and a master’s in Systems Engineering last Fall. Additionally, GCSC has developed the new Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Institute (AMI2), and Haney Technical Center is expanding their FAA Certified A&P program. The community investments towards growing the industrial base surrounding this thriving sector will continue. Bay County is on the leading edge of this thriving industry and will ensure our community remains an attractive location for aerospace and defense investments.

WWW.PCBEACH.ORG

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community updates

g ulf coast state colle g e

DR. JOHN HOLDNAK PRESIDENT

Like the phoenix in Greek mythology, this college is rising out of the ashes (or at least rubble and other storm debris) of its predecessor, to be reborn or regenerated into a new and improved college better able to focus on and support the communities we serve. Said in a different and perhaps more applicable way (paraphrasing Nietzsche’s famous quote) – what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger! At Gulf Coast we take our role as the community’s college in great earnest. We, and those who came before, prepared our college to meet the needs of the community in its direst hour and darkest days. Using taxpayer-provided resources in the most efficient way possible, we developed an educational facility that could double as Bay County’s Emergency Operations Center in times of need or duress. We insured dual purpose in the design and survivability in the construction. We included in this facility the ability to support media/news outlets that wanted to broadcast during and after an activation event (like a hurricane or an oil spill), and well before the beginning of last year’s hurricane season we made arrangements with the county’s emergency management staff to embed college radio station personnel (90.7 FM) at the EOC during any activation for a hurricane. The unsung heroes of those two efforts were the college trustees and personnel, as well as county governmental leaders and emergency management staff - then and now – who had the ability to foresee the direst of potential circumstances and the vision to build capacity and plan for the worst. In the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, all three campuses of the college were utilized to house and support first responders, utility workers, and disaster recovery operations. In some instances, we were used as a logistics hub and in others a distribution site for disaster relief supplies; all while rebuilding our capacity to return to the business of higher education as quickly as possible. Our pre-Michael

visit panama city beach

Escaping to Panama City Beach will take you away from it all and make you feel at home all at the same time. It’s a quality that has enchanted generations of travelers who have made vacationing at Panama City Beach a family tradition. Whether you are a visitor planning a vacation this fall or a local looking for a “staycation”, Panama City Beach is ready for you! While some things never change, like our annual Pirates of the High Seas Fest, our community continues to surprise even repeat visitors. Our fall events calendar offers a surf-and-turf menu of festivals and events for both visitors and locals that include the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam, Oktoberfest, Lobster Fest and even a Bloody Mary & Music Festival just to name a few! THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019

When learning that 30% of our employees and students had their homes destroyed or so damaged that it would take months and months to implement repairs, and that much of the rest of the communities we serve had suffered a similar or greater level of damage, I swallowed my well-intentioned but inadequate “we’ve got this” pride and started making phone calls. Offers of support, along with truckloads of supplies, and stacks of checks and gift cards began rolling in from sister colleges around the state, and beyond. Folks from the Department of Education, Division of Florida Colleges, and our system’s Risk Management Consortium quickly made their way to the area and began to pitch in. Food, water, cleaning supplies, and even comfort items came rolling in from colleges and colleagues I knew and many I didn’t. Our college’s own GCSC Foundation then stepped in and began providing hot meals to all of our students and employees, other types of financial support for employees, and expanded scholarships and grants for our students – all to the tune of $1.5 million to-date. Money and other types of tangible support continues to roll in from college presidents and their foundations, from local and state-wide student clubs and organizations, as well as college-based and the state-wide student government associations, and other community based supporters. Our fans and biggest cheerleaders in the response, recovery, and rebuilding efforts have been friends and strangers, locals and people far away, those with a vested interest in the college and those with only care in mind. If it takes a village to raise a child, then it takes a far larger group to rebuild a college and keep the hopes and dreams of our students alive and well. We will be stronger, better, and we will forever be grateful and indebted to all those who were there for us and whose compassion and support kept us going when we needed it most. We are Gulf Coast!

DAN ROWE PRESIDENT & CEO

Relax! You’re in Panama City Beach. The Real. FUN. Beach. that is always full of sunshine, friendly smiles and year-round fun!

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plans were to “take care of our own” and remove the burden of our recovery support from what was likely to be an overtaxed response system. Little did we realize how inadequate our planning and preparation would turn out to be in the aftermath of a category 5 hurricane.

With endless sunshine and 27 miles of pristine beaches, the fall season signals milder temps, crystal clear waters and blue skies that provide the perfect combination for exploring the destination’s State Parks! Get outside and discover one of Panama City Beach’s many eco-adventures. The parks are alive with wildlife including deer, migratory birds and alligators. Plus, the activities are endless. Hiking is the most popular pastime of park visitors, but you can also enjoy the water with kayaking or snorkeling. When the sun goes down, make the night sky your canopy by spending a night or two camping in the park. It’s this mix of beautiful surroundings and fun events for locals and visitors that puts the FUN in Real. FUN. Beach. Every time of year is special in Panama City Beach but the fall season brings its own brand of magic with spectacular weather that simply makes you want to wiggle your toes in the sand and experience the best of what the destination has to offer.


bay district schools

B I L L H U S F E LT SUPERINTENDENT

“Back-to-School” is an exciting time of any year but this year it’s very special as we’ve welcomed back students and families in our post-hurricane world. We’re so pleased to see familiar faces, and welcome new ones, and we know that the success of our school system is a strong indicator of the recovery of our community. As you move throughout our community, and visit and support our schools, we want to make sure you know that we welcome you to become involved in Elevate Bay, our mentoring initiative, and we hope you will encourage your employees to do the same. The minimum commitment is just 30 minutes twice a month but those mentors have almost an unlimited capacity to change the lives of the children with whom they are matched. You can find out more about Elevate Bay on their Facebook page or by calling Coordinator Stacey Legg at 767-4100. I’d also like to take a moment to encourage all of you to support our football, band, cheer, volleyball, track, soccer, ROTC and countless other students who have been working hard all summer, in that heat, to showcase their skills for you. There are few things I enjoy more than a Friday night at Joe and Jeannette Chapman Field at Tommy Oliver Stadium watching our student athletes compete and hearing our band members cheer them on. Those Friday nights (and some Thursdays) require the support of an entire village of adult volunteers and local business sponsors and we appreciate all of them and hope you’ll join us for our version of “Friday Night Lights” this season. Our student athletes sincerely appreciate your support more than you will ever know so time spent in the stands at any event is time well spent.

fsu panama city

As many of you know, our road to recovery will be a long one just like the journey of so many of our fellow residents. Currently we have approximately $40 million in reconstruction contracts underway but those contracts are merely a fraction of the estimated $300 million needed. While we’re working as expeditiously as we can to restore our buildings, we all know there simply aren’t enough qualified contractors to go around and sometimes work is delayed by insurance and FEMA processes. Suffice to say, it’s going to take time for us to run this “marathon” but we’re determined to accomplish our goals and rebuild our schools even better than they were before. And, finally, I’d like to give a HUGE shout out to all of the businesses, and private individuals, who have supported our school supply and clothing drive. This year, more than ever, we know that we have families who are struggling and so we set about the lofty goal of providing supplies, and clothing, to all children who need assistance. Thanks to your generosity, we’ve made huge steps towards this goal and our schools and teachers appreciate your support and thoughtfulness. The needs will continue all year, and we will continue to work to support them, but we couldn’t have accomplished any of this without your generosity and community spirit. And the word community brings me to my last point. Our theme for this year is #Community … we are excited that you are a part of our #Community and we know that we will rebuild our schools, and Bay County, by working together. As we roll into the new school year, and beyond, we will be focusing on those community connections and on strengthening our bond with everyone who plays an integral role in the “village” for our children. We are #850Strong and we are on our way to recovery!

D R . RA N DY H A N N A DEAN

Showcasing our commitment to Northwest Florida and local military leaders, Florida State University Panama City is sharing its expertise to help the Navy better traverse coastal environments, from land to deep ocean.

26 defense contractors, local businesses and technology companies from 13 states.

Through a $100 million Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) with Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD), FSU and four other teams will provide research and prototyping for the Navy’s rapid Expeditionary Warfare (EXW) capability requirements for up to six years.

The FSU OTA encourages innovative solutions from non-traditional defense contractors that normally might not desire to participate in the traditional Federal Acquisition Regulation-based procurements. The agreement encompasses innovative technology solutions to address current and future systems in the EXW environment, such as seas, bays, estuaries, riverine, islands, coastal areas, beaches and the airspace above these areas. As modern sensors and weapons advance with ranges extending hundreds of miles both seaward and landward, land and sea can become a single battlespace.

FSU Panama City is the only academic institution selected to compete.

This is yet another example of how important Northwest Florida and the military are to the university.

Systems engineering program coordinator, Daniel Georgiadis, Ph.D., who will serve as the principal investigator for the project, assembled the FSU team, which includes the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, FSU Panama City’s crime scene investigation program,

FSU Panama City’s graduate-level systems engineering program was developed in direct response to an NSWC PCD request. The program welcomed the first cohort of students in 2018.

WWW.PCBEACH.ORG

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Visit Us at PanamaCityToyota.com OR Call (850) 387-0204

TASTY TREATS • COOL DRINKS • FUN FOR ALL! 15700 LC Hilton Jr. Drive, Panama City Beach, FL • 850-888-0020 • www.SkyWheelPCB.com

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THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019


LETTER FROM YOUR CHAMBER REP As

we

of

hurricane

the

are

one-year

approaching anniversary

Michael,

I

look back and realize how thankful,

grateful

blessed we are!

and

Although

things are not what they

were, we have really pulled

together to show how great I knew our community is; we

are truly #850STRONG! Our

CELEBRATING OVER 40 YEARS!

Chamber

is

We

had

ever!!

SAME LOCAL FOOD.

SAME GREAT SERVICE. The 1920’s family owned grocery business evolved into serving it to you to eat instead of to take home. Since then, it’s continued to be family owned and oriented with a foundation built on quality and recipes that span generations.

to

the

growth

and

the

revitalization of Bay County and the surrounding areas.

to

SAME FAMILY OWNERS.

essential

have say,

We

our

several

are

obstacles,

membership

approaching

is

but

I

am

stronger

1,200

proud

than

members!!

Our events are growing by leaps and bounds and if you have not made it a priority to check out an event, you are missing a huge opportunity.

Some of our events

include Business After Hours, Friday at the Beach, and IdeaCamp.

We also host a bi-weekly leads lunch and

have a very active Ambassador committee. Get plugged

in, it will be the best decision you make for your business. Not a member of our Chamber family yet?

Whether you

are a business with no employees or have hundreds, you can enjoy an exceptional return on investment by leveraging our

marketing,

advocacy,

and

networking

benefits.

Feel free to contact me for more information and like I always say “Members do business with Members”. Let me help you connect the dots! Shannon Richmond

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK

(850) 233-2055 3210 THOMAS DR | PCB, FL

shannon@pcbeach.org | 850-890-8069 P.S.

We are working on our printed Relocation/Visitor’s

Guide that will include our membership directory (this is the

edition that goes out all year long), make sure we have all your information updated. available.

Advertising opportunities still

WWW.PCBEACH.ORG

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GRAND OPENINGS & RIBBON CUTTINGS 1. Firestation No. 30, Wall Raising | 2. Hairology of PCB | 3. Swampy Jack's Wongo Adventure | 4. Hancock Whitney Bank 5. Centennial Bank | 6. Escape the Room PCB | 7. Christo's Sports Bar & Grill | 8. Panhandle Shrimp | 9. Sureterra Wellness | 10. Sureterra Wellness 11. Biomat USA | 12. The LH Bead Gallery

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

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THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019


13. 90Works | 14. Rx Express Pharmacy | 15. Serenity Spa 16. VBA Design | 17. Seagrass Village - Independent Living | 18. Beef 'O' Brady's - PCB

13

16 14

15

16

18 17

18 ARE YOUR COMPANY’S CREDENTIALS FOR SALE ON THE DARK WEB?

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of hacking-related breaches leverage either stolen and/or weak passwords

FLUXLABS IT Ser vices for your Business

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850-250-5590 WWW.PCBEACH.ORG

73


NEW + RENEWING MEMBERS

|

6/11/19 – 08/14/19 NEW MEMBERS

90Works

Kirkland Insurance Agency, Inc.

Splash! Condominiums/Vacasa

Air Quality Assessors (AQA)

LGBTQ Center of Bay County, Inc.

Panama City Beach Beachfront

Ace Restoration Services, LLC AMVETS Post 47

Arrow Pest Service Back Yard Burgers

Box Drop Mattress

Burke Merchant Solutions, LLC Buster's Hangar 67

Centennial Bank - Panama City Coastal Wildlife Removal

Due South Surveying, LLC Escape the Room PCB

FIRE DOG Simply Smarter Connectivity

LAT30 Strategic Partners

Made in the Shade Bay Walton

New York Life Insurance Company Office Depot

PCB Youth Leadership Development, Inc. (Beach Dolphins) Prime My Body

Rest Ashore Home Inspections, LLC Ripplify Media

Rotary Club of Panama City Beach Rotolo Consultants, Inc. Royal Escape Rooms

Rx Express Pharmacy of Panama

Habitat Hardwood Floors

City, Inc.

Hang Five

Skater's Choice

Springhill Suites By Marriott, Starbucks

Sterling Beach/Vacasa

Sterling Breeze/Vacasa Sterling Reef/Vacasa

Stump Grinding By Steve Sunrise Cafe & Bakery Supreme Paper, LLC Surterra Wellness

Swampy Jack's WONGO Adventure T-Mobile

The Hideaway Panama City Ti Adoro Studios, Inc.

Hamco Business Solutions, LLC

Sandbar Seafood and BBQ Joint

US Construction & General Contracting, Inc.

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)

Sonya Hall

Zuma Painting Services, LLC

Zee Medical Company

RENE WALS 1 YEAR

2 YEARS

4 YEARS

Food 4 Kidz

Dermatology SouthEast Panama City

Chewie's Kitchen

Diego's Burrito Factory (East)

Cook's Pest Control

Gulf Coast Leak Detection, LLC

Comcast Spotlight

Counts-Oakes Resort Properties Emerald Coast Jiu-Jitsu

Lindsey's Suite Deals Furniture Lisa's Resale Gone Upscale LSI Vacation Rentals Outlaws Bar-B-Q

Panama City Beach Photography By Jenny Party Pix

PCBeachesDirect.com

Beachtown Chiropractic Co. Plum Delightful

The Anti-Aging Clinic of Northwest FL Think Real Estate

Just Jump Trampoline Park

Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Northwest Florida

Nibbs and Associates Realty Palmetto Dental

Panama City Beach Winery

Texas Roadhouse

Sandcastle Beach Rentals The Hartley Press, Inc. TripShock Vacasa

5 YEARS

The Premier Property Group

Carpe Diem 365

The Place at Grand Lagoon

Thomas Donut and Snack Shop Turnkey Vacation Rentals 3 YEARS

Affordable Home Insurance

Beach House Logos Paradise Gulf Properties Sequence Fitness

The Arc of the Bay

The Work Studies Institute

Bay Point Golf Club

6 YEARS

Davis Appliance On The Beach

Beach Liquors & Wine Merchants

Hill Coleman, LLC

Your Accountant My Accountant, LLC THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019

Emerald Beach Properties, Inc.

Shrimp Boat Restaurant

D.R. Horton. Inc.

74

Dee's Hang-Out

Beach Art Group

Capt. Jack's Front Beach Road Casa Loma


Domino's Pizza/DeBest Pizza, Inc.

Vascular Associates, LLC

Modern Air Solutions, LLC

Development Council

Mason Title & Escrow Company Noble Public Adjusting Group Pirates Cove & Lighthouse Marinas

7 YEARS

Buster's Beer & Bait

Disposal Services, LLC

Fishale Taphouse & Grill 8 YEARS

Digestive Diseases Center Emerald Coast Behavioral Florida Film Office, Inc.

Holy Nativity Episcopal School Miles Interiors, Inc.

Snelling Staffing Services 9 YEARS

Beachy Beach Real Estate

Boon Docks Restaurant, Inc. Capt. Anderson III

Centennial Bank - Panama City Beach

Miracle Strip Junior Woman's Club

Washington County Tourist

12 YEARS

Another Broken Egg

Buddy Gandy Seafood

C.W. Roberts Contracting, Inc.

Cahall's

Life Management Center of Northwest Florida, Inc.

Ocean Towers Beach Club Sunsations

Woodlawn United Methodist Church

11 YEARS

Coastal Marina Management

Hawthorn Suites By Wyndham Panama City POPS Orchestra Press Print Graphics, LLC

Hospital

The News Herald

24 YEARS

Florida

Sunspot Realty

Big Brothers Big Sisters of NWDermatology Specialists of FL Redwire/Sonitrol 14 YEARS

Laguna Beach Christian Retreat McInnis Builders, LLC 15 YEARS

Aqua Condominiums/Aronov Resort Management Sunset Inn

Agency

Oyster Bar

Encompass Health Rehabilitation

13 YEARS

WonderWorks

Bayou on the Beach Cafe &

22 YEARS

23 YEARS

Snowbirds Gulf Coast

16 YEARS

10 YEARS

Beach TV

Larry Mason

Servpro of Bay County, Inc. Southwest Airlines

21 YEARS

Coastal Community Insurance ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals

17 YEARS

Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate Frimet to Z Auto Center 19 YEARS

Capt. Jack's Family Buffet Covenant Care

CYber SYtes, Inc.

J. R. Arnold High School

iHeartMedia, Inc.

CPC Office Technologies

25 YEARS

Cher's Hallmark Shop 26 YEARS Gulf World

WOW Business 27 YEARS

Gulf Glo Banners & Signs WPGX TV Fox 28 28 YEARS

Ace Home Helpers

Hooter's/Gulf Coast Wings, Inc. 29 YEARS

Commodore Condominiums Schooners

Sheraton Panama City Beach Golf & Spa Resort 32 YEARS

Palmetto Inn & Suites Pineapple Willy's

RC Real Estate Group

Signal Hill Golf Course

Summerhouse Condominiums TECO/Peoples Gas

20 YEARS

Boys & Girls Club of Bay County Pinnacle Port Vacation Rentals

WWW.PCBEACH.ORG

75


Contact Beach Mosquito Control District 850-233-5030 www.pcbeachmosquito.org

rc

WEDDINGS + EVENTS

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76

THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019

Malaria

Zika


VACAT I O N . H O M E .

SW E E T B AY F L .C O M

WWW.PCBEACH.ORG

77


PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID PERMIT NO 50 PANAMA CITY, FL

309 Richard Jackson Boulevard, Suite 101 Panama City Beach, FL 32407 (850) 235-1159 | PCBeach.org

PAST. PRESENT. FUTURE.

WE’RE HERE FOR YOU • During Hurricane Michael, Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center was able to continue providing care for our community when it was needed most.

• We are honored to serve this community and look forward to continuing to provide you with superior quality care.

• Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center reopened services to the community as soon as we were able to safely do so.

• We were transparent as we reopened services in phases and we’ll continue to be to better serve you.

• We are committed to the care and improvement of human life in Bay County and surrounding communities.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON GULF COAST REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER THE CIRCUIT September/October 2019 PLEASE CALL US AT (850) 864-0213 OR VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT GCMC-PC.COM

78

Profile for PCB Chamber of Commerce

The Circuit - The Fall Issue 2019  

The Fall Issue features a great featured about Unsung Heroes from Hurricane Michael and additional updates from Chamber members and local le...

The Circuit - The Fall Issue 2019  

The Fall Issue features a great featured about Unsung Heroes from Hurricane Michael and additional updates from Chamber members and local le...