Chamber Announces Destin Forward Class of 2016

Special to The Log

On Aug. 18-19, the Destin Area Chamber of Commerce welcomed 22 into its Destin Forward community education and leadership program. During the retreat, class members participated in personality and teambuilding exercises and discussions to explore the issues and challenges Destin faces. Chamber Board members greeted them during a reception to thank them for their willingness to learn more about the city and the leadership it needs moving forward.

The class will met monthly from September to April to build leadership skills through hands-on training. It will explore Destin’s heritage, hear from community leaders and industry experts about current issues, and participate in discussions about resolutions for its future.

Activities include field trips to explore Destin’s harbor area, its utility services, and city resources; panel discussions with business leaders in tourism, development, arts and philanthropy, and more; and presentations from area transportation, economic, and tourism experts. Class members will also visit state legislators in Tallahassee and see the Senate and House in action.

The class will graduate in May with a better knowledge of Destin and the leadership skills needed to continue building this world-class community.

Class members include Lindsey Anderson, ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals; Christian Carlee, Trustmark National Bank; Alan Chester, Destin Computer Repair; Jason Connor, ValleyCrest Landscape Maintenance, Inc.; Shelby DeSoto, The Walton Sun; Vickie Giles, ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals; Victoria Hargroder, Hargroder Real Estate Group, Inc.; Kevin E. Kelly, Morgan Stanley; Jenny Larson, SummerPlace Inn; Bertram Little, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast; Jacqui Luberto, Destin Area Chamber of Commerce; Heather Lustgraaf, Southern Vacation Rentals; Daniel Magistri, Three Lefts Consulting, LLC; Bryan Osborn, Anderson Engineering, Inc.; Doug Ranier, City of Destin; Michelle Sanchez, Destin Commons; Donald H. Slappey, Hancock Bank; Neil Spencer, Coastline Calvary Chapel; Brittany L. Tate, Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance; Francis M. Teacher, Winter Spires & Associates, P.A.; Bryce Trafford, Emerald Grande at Harborwalk Village; and Kristi West, Southern Rentals & Real Estate.

For more information about the Destin Forward program, see or call 837-2711.