Going Forward: 15 graduate from Chamber community education and leadership program

Special to The Log

“You have taken the first step in becoming a leader in the Destin community.  Don’t stop what you’ve started.  Keep visible, keep active, keep learning, keep leading,” charged the Chamber’s President and CEO Shane Moody as he addressed the 2013 Destin Forward graduates during a May 7 ceremony.

Destin Forward, the Chamber’s hands-on community education and leadership program, was created by the Board of Directors 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; development and real estate; arts, culture, and non-profits; environment; city programs and services; military bases; and the state legislature. Class requirements also included attendance at several Chamber and civic functions.

During the graduation event, the Destin Forward Leadership Award, which was chosen by a class vote, was presented to class member Matt Algarin of The Destin Log. 

“Destin Forward is more than a leadership program, it's an opportunity to learn about the rich history of Destin, while giving back to the community and making a difference,” Algarin said.

Four graduates were also chosen by class vote to join the Destin Forward Advisory Committee for 3-year terms.  Those graduates included Algarin; Sarah Sholtis, ResortQuest Real Estate; Missy Windes, Real Estate Professionals of Destin, Inc.; and Justin Woodard, Community Bank, Destin. 

Other graduates included David Bell, Carter & Company CPA, LLC; Sarah Lee Chason, Coastal Bank and Trust; Melissa Forte, ACN Independent Business Owner; Suzy Nicholson Hunt, Destin Area Chamber of Commerce; Marilu Lammon, Fountain Investments; Holley Langille, Northwest Florida State College, Pamela Martin, Gulf Power; Lanier Motes, Baytowne Wharf Neighborhood Association; Rosanna Padova, Southern Residential Leasing; John Toombs, Harmony Beach Vacations; and Maggie Woods, Emerald Grande and HarborWalk Village.

For more information about the program or how to join the class of 2014, please contact Suzy Nicholson Hunt at 850-837-2711, ext. 2.  Applications are being accepted through July 22.