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Business editorial by Florida Secretary of Commerce - 05/21/2015

How to attract new business to Florida - Editorial  By Bill Johnson - Florida Secretary of Commerce and President & CEO of Enterprise Florida When the Florida Legislature reconve...

Manufacturer Expands to FWB Commerce Park - 05/20/2015

UWF OEDE awards grant to help Fort Walton Beach manufacturer relocate, expand   Pensacola, Fla. – The University of West Florida Office of Economic Development and Engagement has ...

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.

Click here to open PDF of the June 26, 2015 Roundtable Invitation

Click here to register

2015 Events

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. 

May 18 - May 22, 2015
Envision Destin - The City of Destin is looking for your help to Envision Destin’s future. As the city prepares to update its Comprehensive Plan, the document that sets the guidelines for future growth of Destin, a series of public workshops will take place to find out from you how the city should plan for growth, redevelopment, transportation and other key development components. The city has hired Canin Associates to assist in this process of Envisioning Destin’s future. At the public meetings in May, Canin Associates will provide 3-D conceptual digital models and images of how the city would look based on the current guidelines. The input you provide during the meetings will be used to develop new, updated digital models and images that will be brought back to for further input and discussion in late July. The four planning areas in Destin are: Crystal Beach - May 18 at 5:30 PM; Harbor District - May 19 at 5:30 PM; Town Center - May 20 at 5:30 PM; and Holiday Isle - May 21 at 5:30 PM. Daytime Drop-ins: May 21, Noon to 2 PM and May 22, 11 AM to 1:00 PM. All meetings will take place at the Destin Community Center (101 Stahlman Ave.) Updates will be posted to EnvisionDestin.com. Contact Doug Rainer, Public Information Manager for City of Destin with questions at (850) 837-4242.

May 20, 2015
Disney Institute Professional Development Course - Disney Institute is bringing its renowned professional development course, "Disney's Approach to Quality Service," to the Emerald Coast, FL. The one-day event will help area professionals determine how they can differentiate their service to become a provider of choice and understand the processes necessary to develop a culture that consistently delivers that exceptional service. This day of Disney Institute training will offer time-tested Disney business insights that can help in assessing and improving an organization. The course is appropriate for any type of leader; from project managers to senior executives. WHEN: Wednesday, May 20, 2015 8:30 a.m. -4:30 p.m. WHERE: The Costa Leadership Institute at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville. Seating is limited. Sponsorships are available. For more information regarding "Disney's Approach to Quality Service" please contact leadership@nwfsc.edu or find additional information here.

May 20, 2015
Fourth Annual Community Health and Fitness Fair - Fort Walton Beach Medical Center and Twin Cities Hospital will host the 4th Annual Community Health & Fitness Fair Wednesday, May 20th, at Santa Rosa Mall in Mary Esther from 8:30 am until Noon.  This health and fitness fair is FREE and open to the public and offers a complimentary continental breakfast until 9:00 am. Over 30 vendors and multiple healthcare professionals will provide health information, educational materials, and basic health screenings for blood glucose, blood pressure, and body mass index, as well as vein screenings by the team from Fort Walton Beach Medical Center. Take charge of your own health and well being by attending this event!  

May 30, 2015
ECAR Sponsors Golf Tournament to Benefit Emerald Coast Toys for Tots - ECAR is hosting a golf tournament May 30 at the Eglin Golf Course in Niceville to benefit Emerald Coast Toys for Tots. Registration will begin at 10 a.m., followed by lunch and a silent auction at 11 a.m. and a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. For more information about sponsoring or golfing, contact Kim Kirschling at kim@ecaor.com or call 850-243-6145. To register for the tournament, visit www.mkt.com/emerald-coast-association-of-realtors
June 4 - 8, 2015
60th Annual Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival - The dastardly Billy Bowlegs has been seen off the shores of The Emerald Coast and rumor is that he be plannin’ to dock his ship once again at The Fort Walton Beach Landing! The Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber o’ Merchants welcomes landlubbers and swabbys of all ages t’dis jolly family event. Event schedule: Thursday, June 4th  – Festival at the Landing; Friday, June 5th – Festival and Fireworks; Saturday, June 6th – Festival  and Pirate Landing and Monday, June 8th - Billy Bowlegs Torchlight Parade. Additional information can be found on the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber website here
June 11, 2015
Third Annual Northwest Florida Brownsfield Redevelopment Forum - The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Northwest District, U.S. EPA, and the West Florida and Apalachee Regional Planning Councils are pleased to invite you to the Third Annual Northwest Florida Brownfields Redevelopment Forum. DEP representatives will be present to answer your questions and discuss available tax incentives for designated Brownfields. In addition, we offer a unique opportunity to learn about the Brownfields experience from three different panels consisting of local government, private redevelopment, and technical assistance. Based on feedback from last year, we will also be providing another opportunity at this year’s forum to receive expert advice on writing EPA grants, so don’t miss out! The event will be held at the Callaway Arts and Conference Center on June 11, 2015 from 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM. For more information about the Third Annual Northwest Florida Brownfields Redevelopment Forum, please contact Kate.Daniel@wfrpc.org or 850-332-7976 ext. 245. Register online here
June 26, 2015
Cracking the Code: A Midyear Report from the Federal Reserve - As we prepare to celebrate our Nation’s independence, the Economic Development Council invites you to hear from one of our country’s most important and enduring institutions. Our featured speaker is Adrienne Slack, Vice President and Regional Executive of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta - New Orleans Branch. The event will be held from 7:30 AM to 9:30 AM at Northwest Florida State College (Niceville Campus). Thank you to CenturyLink, our Signature Sponsor for the event! Registration is $25 and you can register online  

To submit your community or business event, please submit it to caroline@florida-edc.org. 


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