MARCH 3, 2021
For your quick, weekly nugget of chamber knowledge from
President/CEO Ted Corcoran
Click the video/photo below.
Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center Releases Eight Cold-Stunned Sea Turtles
The Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center in Northwest Florida released eight Kemp’s ridley sea turtles into the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday, February 25th, 2021. 
The sea turtles arrived at the C.A.R.E. Center on Monday, December 14th, 2020 after being stranded off the coast of New England during a mass cold-stun event. The turtles were released in Cape San Blas, as required by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). 
Cold stunning occurs when a sea turtle is exposed to cold water for an extended period of time. This exposure causes their heart rate to decrease, resulting in the turtle becoming lethargic and often unable to eat. Unfortunately, cold stunning events, where large numbers of sea turtles become stranded, are not unusual in Northern areas during the months of November through February as water temperatures drop below 50 degrees.

Upon arrival at the C.A.R.E. Center, the veterinary team assessed each individual turtle, took x-rays and determined the best plan of action to care for these endangered animals. READ MORE...
Tamika Pittman-Cook named Employee of the year.
Congratulations Tamika Pittman-Cook, Senior Health Information Services Specialist for earning the title of Bridgeway Center Employee of the Month for January 2021.

Tamika was selected for this award by the members of BCI’s Program Leadership. 

Tamika was nominated by her supervisor, Stephanie Smith, who said ““I would like to nominate Tamika for employee of the month. Tamika has been with Bridgeway for 15 years and she is a hard worker and a dedicated team player. She never hesitates to go above and beyond to help out, whether it’s for HIS or for any other staff member or department. She has the initiative to get tasks done and it’s usually without being asked. She is always pleasant and never complains. She is the backbone of HIS and I would be lost without her somedays lol.”
Tamika - Thank you for all that you do!  
99ROCK's recent "St. Jude Rocks" Radiothon raised $26,515 for
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. 
99ROCK/WKSM devoted 26 hours of broadcast time in which listeners could become "Partners In Hope" in support of the hospital and its mission. In addition, Step One Automotive Group generously donated $1,000 to St. Jude, and Eglin Federal Credit Union supported the Radiothon as well.

 The 99ROCK on-air personalities and the entire Cumulus Broadcasting/Fort Walton Beach staff want to thank the listeners and sponsors for supporting the "St. Jude Rocks" Radiothon during the midst of a pandemic and tough economic times--thus this year's St. Jude theme "We Won't Stop."
St. Jude Rocks Photo:  (upper left down, then across) Misti, Gonzo, Woofy, Step One Automotive Group Donation Presentation, Henry, Kevin McKay
Welcome Southwest Airlines!
Southwest Airlines has announced new services to Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS). They are now offering nonstop, daily flights from Baltimore/Washington (BWI), Chicago (Midway), Dallas (Love Field), and Nashville.
With Nashville's addition to its route map, VPS will now serve 52 cities. Year-round flights are currently scheduled to commence May 6, 2021, bringing additional connecting or same-plane service to more than 50 cities, with added nonstop service to Chicago (Midway) beginning June 6, 2021.

For more information click on the video below with Jennifer Adams, Director-Destin Fort Walton Beach.
Brooks Bridge Public Input
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) invites you to participate in a bridge aesthetic workshop regarding the Brooks Bridge. The workshop can be accessed anytime, anywhere beginning 12 p.m. (CDT), Thursday, March 18, 2021 at\virtualmeetings.

The workshop provides an opportunity for the public to help FDOT’s bridge architect develop aesthetic guidelines for the project that consider community preferences. Participants will be able to identify what makes the Brooks Bridge unique to the community, provide input regarding preferences on basic shapes and features, identify items of importance to the community that should be considered in the bridge aesthetic design, and provide comments

Additional project information is available on FDOT representatives can be reached via email at to comment on the aesthetic concept options.
TeCMEN Industry Day

Are you involved in the defense, manufacturing, engineering or technology sectors? If not, maybe you have clients operating in these sectors…or maybe you just wish to learn from and connect with these types of companies. 

If so, the 4th Annual TeCMEN Industry Day coming up on April 14 is the place to be! Hosted by One Okaloosa EDC’s Technology Coast Manufacturing & Engineering Network (TeCMEN) at the Destin Fort Walton Beach Convention Center, TeCMEN Industry Day includes a robust speaker’s symposium, optional workshops and an expo hall / technical showcase comprised of more than 40 exhibitors from around the nation! For only $75 ($50 for One Okaloosa EDC / TeCMEN members), attendees can take full advantage of numerous high value networking and learning opportunities. 

Continental breakfast, networking lunch and closing reception all included, and numerous health and safety measures are being taken to protect attendees. Visit today to learn more or register!  
Professional Development
Webinar Series
In addition to the upcoming TeCMEN Industry Day, One Okaloosa EDC will be holding a quarterly webinar as part of the organization’s 2021 Professional Development Webinar Series at 10am on March 25. 

Dr. David Goetsch will be discussing “Building a Winning Career in a Technical Profession”. Topics to be covered include making integrity your hallmark, becoming an effective communicator, setting expectations, and persevering in difficult times.

From student to seasoned professional, Dr. Goetsch will share lessons appropriate to any stage. A free learning opportunity offered by One Okaloosa EDC to our local business community, there is NO COST to participate. However, advance registration is required at Register for webinar HERE!
City of Fort Walton Beach
Municipal Election
Residents of Fort Walton Beach - make plans to vote on March 9! The City's municipal election will be held on March 9, 2021. Early voting takes place March 1-5.

For more information and where to get a sample ballot visit:

For more information on the candidate's, go to:
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Thursday, March 11, 2021
For the complete list of March CHAMBER Events
Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation Announces 2021 Spring Concerts in the Village 

Thursday, April 22, 2021, the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation (MKAF) kicks-off the 2021 Spring Concerts in the Village series with a collaborative and creative event. Presented by MKAF and performed by Sinfonia Gulf Coast, the non-profit duo brings "The Music of Queen" with Conductor Brent Havens and Vocalist Brody Dolyniuk to the Dugas Stage. The concert serves as a celebration of the new partnership between MKAF and Sinfonia Gulf Coast. 

Throughout the 26th concert season, concert-goers can expect exciting performances from an incredible lineup of artists. Click here for 2021 MKAF Spring Concert Lineup
For the complete list of March COMMUNITY Events