Walton Area Chamber of Commerce announces 'The Next BIG Thing' speakers

Special to Gannett
Walton Area Chamber of Commerce seeks speakers for annual symposium, "The Next BIG Thing."

The Walton Area Chamber of Commerce will host “The Next BIG Thing” on Thursday, Dec. 9, at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in the Baytowne Conference Center.

Presented by Fort Walton Beach Medical Center, the annual symposium has three distinctive tracks, including leadership development, business and

entrepreneurship, and women in business. The event is aimed to inspire growth in all areas of professional development.

Attendees will begin the morning with a keynote presentation from Teresa Allen entitled “Profiting from Common Sense Service.” Allen has been ranked as one of the world's top customer service experts on for six consecutive years with two years ranked as No. 1. Allen’s presentation will be interactive, fun, and upbeat to kick off the event. 

To keep the momentum going, Shawn Rhodes will take the stage in the afternoon with his presentation, “Bulletproof Selling,” which will teach attendees how to systemize their sales processes and how to never lose a sale. In 2014, Rhodes was named as one of the top 20 public speakers in the world by Toastmasters International. In addition to his hundreds of published articles, videos, nationally syndicated business column, podcast, and Ted Talks, Rhodes has been featured in TIME, CNN, NBC, INC, and hundreds of media outlets around the world.

Throughout the day attendees will hear from other various speakers, including Aaron Hale, a 14-year veteran, military chef, and explosive ordnance disposal (E.O.D) team leader who has overcome all odds and will be sharing his entrepreneurial journey, as well as Amy Tunick, the chief marketing officer at National CineMedia, who will help guests understand their career superpowers.

Those interested can find the full line up of speakers and topics online at

Registration and check-in begin at 8 a.m. with a continental breakfast in the vendor ballroom. “The Next BIG Thing” will begin promptly at 8:30 a.m. with welcoming remarks from Walton Area Chamber of Commerce CEO Megan Harrison. Lunch, provided by Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, will begin at 11:30 a.m.

Attendees are encouraged to stay until the end of the event for the $500 VIP door prize drawing from Silver Sands Premium Outlets. The symposium will conclude with a cocktail reception and Business After Hours at Slick Lips Seafood and Oyster House.

Early bird tickets are $125 for Walton Chamber members and $150 for non-members. Prices go up on Nov. 20. Interested individuals can register for the event by visiting Military and group discounts are available.