News Room

The Voice Newsletter - September 2015 - 09/28/2015

This issue features an article by Nathan Sparks, Executive Director, about the Governor's visit to Okaloosa County to tout two manufacturing companies. Read the September 2015 Newsletter ...

Florida governor lauds Crestview company's expansion, job creation - 09/25/2015

Florida governor lauds Crestview company's expansion, job creation By BRIAN HUGHES | Crestview Bulletin Staff Writer      CRESTVIEW — The front sign may sa...

Symposium Information | Sponsorship | Speakers


The EDC Roundtable is a symposium focused on providing EDC members, county and city officials, military delegates, and guests a unique networking opportunity with a keynote speaker. The EDC's morning roundtable event provides a buffet breakfast and features a keynote speaker providing pertinent information concerning Okaloosa County. Approximately 200 community leaders attend these informative morning symposiums.

On September 10, 2015, Bill Johnson, Florida Secretary of Commerce and CEO of Enterprise Florida, gives a very high energy speech at the Economic Development Council of Okaloosa County's third and final roundtable of FY 2015.
Secretary Johnson's passion for Florida was evident and he sees tremendous opportunity in the Panhandle and spoke highly of the region’s willingness to work as one to promote economic development. He also noted the significance of the $1.5 billion Triumph opportunity for the eight counties that were disproportionately affected by the Deepwater Horizons oil spill. The state's continued investment in sound infrastructure systems including highways, ports and airports will help us prevail in the competition for new jobs. 
The EDC thanks our event sponsors: Coastal Bank and Trust, Warren Averett and Okaloosa Gas District. A special thank you to Cox Communications for taping the event!

On June 26, 2015, the Economic Development Council of Okaloosa County proudly presented our second roundtable of the year as we prepared to celebrate our Nation’s independence. The EDC of Okaloosa County invited business and community leaders and elected officials to hear from one of our country’s most important and enduring institutions. This roundtable featured speaker Ms. Adrienne C. Slack - Vice President and Regional Executive at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta – New Orleans Branch. CenturyLink Business was the signature sponsor for this event held at Northwest Florida State College. 



On March 31, 2015, the Economic Development Council of Okaloosa County proudly presented our first roundtable of the year by celebrating Okaloosa County’s century of progress, focusing on key drivers in the Okaloosa County economy. The event was entitled “Fishhooks, Ferris Wheels & F-35s: A Century of Progress”. Panelists included Captain Kelly Windes - Charter Boat Sunrise & Okaloosa Commissioner, Greg Britton - Fort Walton Machining & Northwest Florida Manufacturers Council Chairman, Gordy Fornell - Lt. Gen. USAF, Ret. and Ed Schroeder - Okaloosa County Tourist Development Department. The panel was moderated by Dr. David Goetsch.
“With Okaloosa County's centennial celebration this year, we felt it appropriate to use the EDC's first Roundtable breakfast of 2015 as an opportunity to highlight some of the economic sectors that have contributed to our county's progress over the past 100 years.  Defense, tourism, commercial fishing and manufacturing have all played key roles in shaping the Okaloosa County of today, and we are fortunate to have some of the most noted representatives of these sectors committed to speak on March 31.,” stated Nathan Sparks, EDC Executive Director. The event was held at the Ramada Plaza Beach Resort on Okaloosa Island.  Sponsors included CHELCO, Gulf Power, North Okaloosa Medical Center and Warren Averett. 

In 2014, in recognition of the EDC's 25th anniversary, the organization launched a multi-part roundtable series focusing on key drivers of the Okaloosa County economy.

  • February 26, 2014 - The first event was entitled “Workforce and Education in the New Economy”, and was designed to provide forward-looking insight into the future vision of area education and workforce development leaders. Keynote panelists included: Ron Garriga – Director of Campus Operations - Northern Florida, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University; Mary Beth Jackson – Superintendent, Okaloosa County School District; Dr. Margareth Larose-Pierre – Associate Dean and Professor, FAMU College of Pharmacy; Dr. Pam Northrup – Executive Director & Associate Provost, Academic Innovation, University of West Florida; Dennis Sherwood – Dean of Career & Technical Education, Northwest Florida State College; Linda Sumblin – Executive Director, CareerSource Okaloosa Walton. The panel was moderated by Dr. David Goetsch.
  • May 6, 2014 - “The Future of Transportation" was designed to provide insight into long-term transportation planning while also allowing state and local transportation leaders to share their visions. Secretary Ananth Prasad, Florida Department of Transportation will served as the event’s keynote speaker. The event also featured panelists offering local perspective including James Wood – Chairman, Okaloosa-Walton Transportation Planning Organization & Destin City Councilman; Sunil Harman – Airports Director, Okaloosa County; and John Hofstad – Public Works Director, Okaloosa County. The panel was moderated by Mike Chesser, a local attorney and Chairman of the North Okaloosa Transportation Committee.
  • August 19, 2014 - The last and final event was entitled “Building a Culture of Entrepreneurship”.  Panelists included Dr. Susan Amat – Founder of Venture Hive, a renowned Miami-based technology incubator and accelerator; Louis Erickson – COO and Co-Founder of Bit-Wizards, a leading technology business based in Fort Walton Beach; and Blaire Martin, Director of Florida Angel Nexus, an Orlando-based organization focused on supporting the growth of Angel investor groups throughout the state. The panel was moderated by Dr. David Goetsch. 
                   $2,000                $1,000                $500
  Signature Event Sponsorship    
Admission Tickets 8 8 4
Announced at Symposium
Speaking Time at Podium    
One Company Event Banner/Easel  
Promotional Material on Sponsor Table
Promotional Material on Guest Tables  
Business Logo on Program
Business Logo on EDC Easel
Business Logo on Promotional Pieces
Business Logo on Website

Contact the EDC today for your sponsorship level!


The EDC welcomes the opportunity to promote noteworthy events taking place in Okaloosa County.  Check back often for current listings. 

October 2 – 4, 2015
37th Annual Destin Seafood Festival - Each year that the festival continues the layout along the beautiful Destin Harbor Boardwalk the event continues to grow. The Destin Seafood Festival is hosted along the Destin Harbor and is free to the public! This festival hosts almost 70,000 guests in three days. The Destin Charter Boat Association that has kept this tradition alive! The event is free to the public but VIP tickets are available for purchase. Festival hours are as follows:  Friday, October 2nd, 4 pm - 10 pm; Saturday, October 3rd, 10 am - 10 pm; Sunday, October 4th, 11 am - 4 pm. Visit the festival website here
October 10, 2015
Emerald Coast Aviation Annual FLY-IN - The team at Emerald Coast Aviation would like to personally invite you and your family to come out and enjoy this day with them. The FLY-IN will be held at the Emerald Coast Aviation hangar and new FBO facility at the Bob Sikes Airport on Saturday, October 10 from 10 AM – 2 PM. Download the event flyer here

October 11-13, 2015
Gulf Power Economic Symposium – This year’s event will be held at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. This year’s agenda features speakers: Daymond John, Founder & CEO of FUBU & Investor on ABC’s Shark Tank; Jess Panuccio, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity; Will Seccombe, President & CEO of VISITFLORIDA; Dr. Kevin Michaels, Vice President of ICF International; Todd Henry, Founder & CEO of Accidental Creative and many more. Registration for this event is required. Learn more here

October 15, 2015
Government Contractor Compliance Challenges Seminar - This full day seminar will include a broad range of topics for existing or potential government contractors with presenters sharing their accounting/auditing, legal/business ethics and compensation/human resources expertise. Learning Objectives: At the completion of the eight hour seminar, attendees will be able to: Identify the FAR provisions which address contractor business ethics and the laws applicable to FCA (False Claims Act) and FCPA (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act); Identify the regulatory and non-regulatory requirements for adequacy checklists applicable to contractor assertions; Identify the proposed or final regulations which implemented 2014 Executive Orders impacting government contractor personnel practices; Identify and obtain contract audit (DCAA) audit policies; and Obtain current and future reports issued by the DOD-IG (Department of Defense-Inspector General). The event starts at 8:30 am and will end at 4:00 pm. It will take place at the Doolittle Institute located at 73 Eglin Parkway NE, Suite 112 in Fort Walton Beach. Registration is $89, click here to register

October 16 – 18, 2015
39th Annual Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival - Recognized as one of the South’s top fall festivals, featuring three days of exciting family fun, delicious food, eye-catching arts & crafts, local and commercial vendors, and live entertainment showcasing both local talent and some of the nation’s best loved performers. The weather in Niceville during the month of October is typically mild and comfortable — warm days and cool nights — perfect for enjoying all the Mullet Festival has to offer. The Mullet Festival site is located at the intersection of College Blvd. and State Road 85 North in Niceville, FL 32578. This festival will feature 40+ Arts and Crafts Booths; 40+ Food Booths and 30+ Local and Commercial Booths. Visit the event website here
November 12 & 13, 2015
3rd Annual Emerald Coast Transportation Symposium - The Emerald Coast Transportation Symposium provides a forum for leadership in transportation to explore cross-organization collaboration, develop lasting local and regional partnerships, share best practices, and give innovators a platform to inspire others. This well-attended event brings together professionals and policy-makers to openly discuss ways we can adapt our transportation system to the 21st century economic and environmental realities. Early bird registration and sponsorship opportunities are available! Find out more about this event

November 13 & 14, 2015
Emerald Coast Autism Center Charity Bass Tournament  - First annual Charity Bass Tournament to benefit Emerald Coast Autism Center. $5,000 guaranteed 1st Place prize. 1 in 7 entries paid.  Captain's Dinner will be Friday, November 13, 2015 and the Tournament starts at daylight on Saturday, November 14, 2015.  The tournament will be held at Freeport Marina at Marina Village in Freeport, FL. Click here for more information
November 19, 2015
3rd Annual Bourbon at the Bay Presented by Coastal Bank and Trust -  Sip on bourbon, scotch, and champagne, enjoy hors d’oeuvres, and start your holiday shopping early, during the third Bourbon at the Bay presented by Coastal Bank and Trust! Silent auction items will include trips, restaurant gift certificates, gift baskets, and more.  This event is open to the public.  Tickets are $35. The event will take place at the Regatta Bay Golf and Yacht Club from 5:30 to 8:00 PM. Like www.Facebook.com/BourbonAtTheBay to stay up-to-date on event details.
To submit your community or business event, please submit it to caroline@florida-edc.org. 


Okaloosa County is host to a wide array of businesses and industries. From Tourism to Aerospace & Defense, our diversity reflects th...
Read More