JULY 21, 2021
Thank you Emerald Coast Harley Davidson for being the awesome host of July's Business After Hours. Great food, prizes, hospitality, and chamber camaraderie! Participants were even able to try their hand at riding a motorcycle (virtually) or "trying on" a tattoo!
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MEMBER APPLAUSE!!
The International Business Brokers Association Recognizes Local Business Broker 
The International Business Brokers Association (IBBA) has recognized Daniel Herring, Senior Intermediary of Emerald Coast Business Intermediaries, Destin, with the Chairman’s Circle Award for outstanding performance in 2020 as part of its Member Excellence Awards Program. 
 
“Business Brokers support the health of small businesses and communities worldwide, and these award recipients are among our industry’s best,” stated IBBA Executive Director, Kylene Golubski. “2020 presented many unique challenges, yet these individuals rose to the occasion and delivered impressive results.” READ MORE...
Twisted Grape Wine Bar & Cafe Win Award
A2Z Advertising honored Twisted Grape Wine Bar & Cafe with the Gabby Bruce You Make A Difference Award.
Congratulations!
Mitch Mongell, CEO of FWBMC Announces Retirement
“After serving more than 40 years in healthcare, Mitch Mongell, CEO at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center, has announced his retirement effective later this year. He and the Fort Walton Beach Medical Center team have been very successful at growing the hospital’s capacity to care for the Northwest Florida community. We are grateful for Mitch's leadership and his 25 years of service to HCA Healthcare, and wish him the very best in his retirement. A national search is underway for his successor.” said Richard Hammett, president, HCS Healthcare North Florida Division.

Mitch joined the Fort Walton Beach Medical Center in 2013, and through his leadership has facilitated the hospital’s growth through new and expanded services and sites of care. Mitch’s main accomplishments while at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center:

-  Expansion of the inpatient rehabilitation facility in Destin
-  Two free standing ERs in Destin and Navarre
-   Full renovation of the main hospital ER
-   Construction of a new two-story patient tower, which will provide 42 new beds, a new supply warehouse, dietary kitchen and cafeteria, and a new four-floor parking garage to the facility.

He has also led his team through times of crisis, from managing the impacts of the pandemic to serving in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. He was named the Destin Chamber’s 2019 Business Person of the Year and the following year, Fort Walton Beach Medical Center was named the 2020 Corporate Business of the Year. 
Chairman Carolyn Ketchel Presented with
FAC Presidential Advocacy Award
The Florida Association of Counties (FAC) presented Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners Chairman, Carolyn Ketchel with the Presidential Advocacy Award at its recent Annual Conference, for her work during the 2021 Legislative Session.

“We are thankful to Governor DeSantis for the approval of State funding in all four of our top priorities, totaling over $2.5 million in the 2021 State budget,” said Ketchel. “As an advocate for agriculture and consumer services in Okaloosa County, I am grateful for the $854,100 in state funding for a brand new 2,800 square foot agriculture extension office.”

The construction of the 2800 square foot South Okaloosa County Agriculture Center will ensure that master gardeners have a place to hold community workshops, the youth will have a place to gather for 4-H activities, commercial horticulturists will obtain industry certificates and licensing, and residents will have access to family and consumer services including food safety, personal finance, and youth development.
For your quick, weekly nugget of chamber knowledge from
President/CEO Ted Corcoran
Click the video/photo below.
Goodwin Law Group
5 Clifford Drive
Shalimar, FL 32579
(850) 710-1980
COMMUNITY NEWS
TOURISM NEWS

The Destin-Fort Walton Beach Coastal Resource staff have been replacing damaged, worn out, or missing “No Wake” signs throughout the county. They are also in the process of increasing the number of “No Wake” signs in high vessel traffic areas such as East Pass, and recently replaced the Emergency Safety Corridor buoys on Crab Island. This corridor allows unobstructed access for emergency services. Boaters should never anchor the vessel inside the corridor. These updates will help keep our waterways safe!
The team also installed informational snorkel reef signs at three public beach access snorkel reef locations. The signs offer safety information, help orient snorkelers to the reef, illustrate the unique design of each reef, and inform snorkelers about what sea life they may observe while visiting the reef.  Destin-Fort Walton Beach’s reef program creates excellent sites for fishingdiving, and snorkeling activities that are easily accessible to locals and visitors. Our area's artificial reefs consist of anything from concrete piles to specifically designed modules and even large shipwrecks! Every year more artificial reefs are deployed off our coast so be sure to keep an eye out as we update our maps regularly.
COMMUNITY SURVEY
The Choctawhatchee Bay Estuary Program (CBEP) is developing a Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP), to serve as a blueprint for the restoration and protection of the natural resources and economic health of our waterways. We would love for you to share your input by participating in our Community Survey to help the program determine the community’s values and uses, which will inform the development of the CCMP and future stewardship actions.
NEW Fort Walton Beach Historic Walking Trail
The Susan Myers Fort Walton Beach Historic Walking Trail was a project developed by the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce and sponsored in part by the Department of State, Division of Historical Resources, and the State of Florida.

The Gulfview Hotel, which anchors the trail, is the oldest remaining original structure in downtown Fort Walton Beach and is one of the sixteen sites highlighted on the downtown trail along with the Native American Indian Temple Mound, the Civil War Camp Walton, and Brooks Landing. Self-guided tours are available for the Trail, as well as a video on the History of Fort Walton Beach, also produced by the Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce.  

The public is invited to a ribbon cutting and dedication on July 29, 2021 to commemorate the official opening of the trail. The event will take place at the Gulfview Hotel at 5:00PM.
City of Fort Walton Beach Branding Initiative
The City of Fort Walton Beach will hold a final public branding collaboration session on Thursday, July 22, from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in the sUAS Lab at the HSU Innovation Institute South (709 Anchors Street NW).

This branding session will focus on the family perspective and the opportunities the City of Fort Walton Beach holds for them. Please RSVP HERE to attend. A boxed lunch will be provided. READ MORE...
CHAMBER BOARD NOMINATIONS
You are invited to nominate yourself or another Chamber member for a three-year term on our Board of Directors. Any Chamber member in good standing is eligible to nominate themselves or another Chamber member to serve on the Board of Directors. 

Any questions regarding the process or qualifications, contact Seth Luttrell at the FWB Chamber: 850-244-8191 or seth@fwbchamber.org
Download Board Nomination Form and Instructions Here: Board Nomination Form
Department of Health-Okaloosa’s Okaloosa County Health Survey is now live. The survey is an important part of our next Community Health Assessment (CHA) cycle. The answers we receive will shape what data is highlighted in the CHA document and what Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) groups are developed by the community. Please take a few minutes of time to help define the needs of our community.
UPCOMING CHAMBER EVENTS
For the complete list of JULY CHAMBER Events CLICK HERE
For the complete list of JULY COMMUNITY Events CLICK HERE