The Destin Chamber celebrated the graduation of 19 business professionals May 7 from its 11th Destin Forward class. During the event, the prestigious Destin Forward Leadership Award, chosen by class vote, was presented to Brooke Zannis of Destin Commons.
Destin Forward, a community education and leadership program, was created to help find and educate future city and business leaders.
After a retreat in August, the class spent the next eight months touring and learning about Destin’s waterways; tourism industry; arts, culture and nonprofits; environment; city programs and services; military bases; and the state legislature.
Class requirements also included attendance at several chamber and civic functions, as well as a project that created a lasting impact on the city of Destin. Knowing that the health of the area depends upon that of its waterways, the class completely restored two boats essential to the mission of the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA) of Northwest Florida State College. The CBA’s mission is to promote swimmable, fishable waterways through education, monitoring, research and restoration of the streams, rivers and estuaries within the Choctawhatchee River Basin.
During the graduation, five class members chosen by the class to join the Destin Forward Advisory Committee for a 3-year term were announced. Those graduates included Zannis, Denise Kendust of Fort Walton Beach Medical Center, Logan Law of Destin Water Users, Trisha Marks of SimpleHR, and Robert McFarland of Newman-Dailey Resort Properties.
Other graduates included Brian Booth of Best Western Sugar Sands Inn & Suites, Jenni Brunson of Okaloosa Gas District, Gale Colbourne of Emerald Coast Title Services, Lynnemarie Dunn of Bonefish Grill, Hillaree Durso of Frances Roy Agency, James Geveden of Trustmark National Bank, Stephanie Kerr of ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals, James Lauria of ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals, Jan-Marie Lombardi of Hancock Whitney Bank, Blake Mobley of Community Bank, Nicole Noblitt of Warren Averett, Nichole Parkton of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast, Bryana Bahmer Wellem of Destin Chamber and Chrissy Wetzel of Beachworx.
For more information about the program or how to join the class of 2020, call 850-837-6241 or email mail@DestinChamber.com. Applications are being accepted through July 19.