Destin Chamber awards outstanding members

Special to The Log
Chamber Chairman Lockwood Wernet (left) recognizes the chamber’s outgoing board members, including (left to right) Jonathan Ochs, Trustmark National Bank; Jennifer Lovell, Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa; Fred Fenn, Fenn Properties, LLC; Steve Barber, VIP Destin Magazine; and Rebecca Jones, The Rehabilitation Institute of Northwest Florida. [DENA CRITCH/BARBER & GALL PROMOTIONS]

The Destin Chamber celebrated its annual Holiday Party & Awards Gala presented by Fort Walton Beach Medical Center and Twin Cities Hospital on Dec. 14.

Almost 250 chamber members were present to witness the festivities, held at the Destin luxury resort The Henderson. The awards were presented by chamber Chairman Lockwood Wernet of Destin Water Users Inc.

For her years of service to the chamber’s Ambassador Program, serving as its chair for multiple years, and her willingness to volunteer to assist at almost all chamber events, Trisha Marks with SimpleHR received the James D. Neilson Sr. Chairman’s Award for Volunteer Service.

Bob Perry, general manager of Destin Commons, was named the Business Person of the Year.

“He leads one of the most recognizable businesses in the Destin community," Wernet said. "He’s led his company to expansion and growth over the past several years, creating hundreds of jobs for residents and improving the economy for all. He and his employees are active across many parts of the community, touching the lives of many each and every day.”

Dion Moniz with Harrison Sale McCloy received the Ann Gibson Community Service Award. In presenting the award, Wernet explained Moniz’s involvement in many Destin non-profit organizations, his assistance in securing them funding, and his encouragement to those within his firm to also get involved in the community.

The winner of the Paul Woolman Ambassador of the Year Award was Skip Overdier, American Legion Post 296, for his service to the chamber and its Ambassador Program.

“He works tirelessly as an Ambassador to ensure the events and activities in which he is involved flow seamlessly to those in attendance. Never one to back away from responsibility or tasks at hand, he has influenced the success of the chamber in every way possible,” said Wernet.

Chief Master Sergeant Brooke P. McLean, USAF, Ret., received the Retired Military Person of the Year Award. After 30 years of military service, McLean became the director of development for the Air Force Enlisted Village in 2013 and continues his service there now as its president and CEO.

Wernet also recognized the chamber’s outgoing board members, including Steve Barber, VIP Destin Magazine; Fred Fenn, Fenn Properties LLC; Rebecca Jones, The Rehabilitation Institute of Northwest Florida; Jennifer Lovell, Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa; and Jonathan Ochs, Trustmark National Bank.

After the awards presentation, guests crowded onto the dance floor, as locals’ favorite dance band Deja Vu took the stage.