New Names, Faces, & Kudos in The EC

Here is just a little of the news we’ve heard people buzzing about on the EC scene … 


Chef Dan Pearsall has opened Bistro 449 in Fort Walton Beach (in the former Black Angus location). The restaurant will feature lunch and dinner.

The Market Shops at Sandestin has undergone the first renovation in the center’s 29-year history and has added new merchants, including a new fine dining concept by the management of Bistro Bijoux, Sirens at the Beach, Favori Gift Boutique and Market Shops Nails & Spa, with more to come. Several additional new merchants will be announced in the coming weeks, and many of The Market Shops merchants will be open for business during the renovation of the center. 

▪ Governor Rick Scott appointed six business leaders to the Gulf Consortium, formed to meet requirements of the RESTORE Act. The group is tasked with developing a State Expenditure Plan for economic and environmental recovery of the Gulf Coast in Florida following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The gubernatorial appointments to the Gulf Consortium include: Pam Anderson of Capt. Anderson’s Marina in Panama City Beach; Peter Bos, CEO of Legendary LLC in Destin; Lino Maldonado, vice president of Wyndham Vacation Rentals North America; Collier Merrill,
co-owner of Merrill Land Company in Pensacola; Mike Sole, vice president of state governmental affairs for Florida Power and Light in Tallahassee; and Neal Wade, executive director of the Bay Economic Development Alliance in Panama City.

Walton Area Chamber of Commerce

Boys & Girls Club of the Emerald Coast

Boys & Girls Club of the Emerald Coast opened a new location on Greenway Trail in South Walton. Boys & Girls Clubs offer programs and services “to promote and enhance the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence.”

FedEx Office has opened a new Ship Center in Destin at 34737 Emerald Coast Parkway.

Terri Smith




Sara Noel Childers has joined Coastal Skin Surgery & Dermatology as director of Business Development and Community Outreach. 

Pam George has been promoted to the general manager, and Secret Holmes-Douglas has been promoted to the director of Animal Care and Training at Gulf World Marine Park. 

Blue Marlin Realty Group, based in Destin, welcomes Rebecca Browning Miller, Heather Hebert, Carrie Plasier and Tina Spicer to its team of 30 Realtors.

Blue Marlin Realty

Miller and Hebert



Drink up, Destin. The city’s tap water won bragging rights for having the best-tasting tap water in a four-county area that includes Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton. Four utilities entered, including Emerald Coast Utility Authority (ECUA), Destin Water Users (DWU), People’s Water and Auburn Water System. Destin advanced to the regional level held at the 2014 Florida Water Resource Conference, but Floridians will raise a glass to Orlando Utilities Commission, which was named the best in the state by the Florida section of the American Water Works Association. 

Auto-Owners Insurance announced that locally based insurance agency Insurance Zone, of Miramar Beach, has been named the No. 1 Auto-Owners agency in the Tallahassee region for 2013. The Fortune 500 company has served Florida since 1952 and is the 18th largest property/casualty insurance company in the nation. 

Avantgarde Salon & Spa, with locations in Destin and Miramar Beach, was named a Top 200 Salon by Salon Today 200 (ST200) for excelling in the Growth category. Between 2011 and 2012, Avantgarde grew its business by 33 percent.

Wine Spectator magazine has ranked the 2013 Destin Charity Wine Auction as sixth in the nation. Proceeds from last year’s auction allowed the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation to donate more than $1.37 million to 14 different children’s charities in Northwest Florida. Total auction revenues in 2013 were $1,295,581, a 13.3 percent increase over the 2012 event.  

Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast has been named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by Truven Health Analytics for the third year in a row and the fourth time since opening in 2003. Truven Health Analytics, formerly Thomson Reuters, is a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of health care.

For the second consecutive year, Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa has been named among the 30 Best Meeting Site Boardrooms by ConventionSouth magazine.

Categories: Business, News