Proudly launching 17 graduates from its 8th “Destin Forward” leadership and community education program, the Destin Chamber of Commerce celebrated its latest class of prospective local leaders with a recent awards ceremony highlighting their achievements.
The program, devised by Chamber constituents to identify and support future community pillars, offered participants an August 2015 retreat followed by eight months of intensive learning focused on Destin’s particular features — waterways, tourism and real estate development; arts and culture, with an eye toward non-profits; municipal and environmental affairs, and government and military outposts.
Students also attended various Chamber events and other civic functions during the hands-on training period.
At the event, the Chamber named four graduates chosen by the class to join the program’s advisory committee for three-year terms: Jason Connor of BrightView Landscape Services; Christian Carlee of Trustmark National Bank; Michelle Sanchez of Destin Commons; and Doug Rainer, City of Destin.
Sanchez also earned the major Destin Forward Leadership Award based on a vote by class participants themselves.
Additional alumnae included Lindsey Anderson and Vickie Giles, ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals; Alan Chester, Destin Computer Repair; Shelby DeSoto, Northwest Florida Daily News; Victoria Hargroder, Hargroder Real Estate Group Inc., and Jenny Larson, SummerPlace Inn.
Rounding out the list of grads were Bertram Little, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast; Daniel Magistri, Three Lefts Consulting; Bryan Osborn, Anderson Engineering Inc.; Donald Slappey, Hancock Bank; Brittany Tate, Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance of Northwest Florida State College; Bryce Trafford, Destin Chamber of Commerce, and Kristi West, Southern Rentals and Real Estate.