News Room

Voice Newsletter Overview - March 2016 - 03/22/2016

This issue features an article by Nathan Sparks, EDC Executive Director, recapping the decisions of the Florida Legislature and how it impacts economic development.     Click here ...

Great American Defense Community - 03/01/2016

Eglin-Hurlburt Community Selected as Great American Defense Community   At the National Association of Defense Communities (ADC) Installation Innovation Forum held in Charleston, SC thi...

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 on the image for a full size invitation

March 3, 2016 - Made in Okaloosa EDC Roundtable Event
Manufacturing is big business in Northwest Florida, with Okaloosa County manufacturers leading the way. The Economic Development Council of Okaloosa County invited community leaders to its first Roundtable breakfast of 2016, as we featured some of our community's manufacturing all stars and their innovative products that are "Made in Okaloosa".

Featured panelists included:
• Greg Britton – CEO, Fort Walton Machining & Chairman, Northwest Florida Manufacturers Council
• Corey Cooper – CEO & Founder, BOTE Boards
• Simona Faroni –  Co-Founder, G.S. Gelato
• Robert Sires – CEO, Bay State Cable Ties

The event was moderated by Dr. David Goetsch.

A big thanks to our event sponsors: Bay State Cable Ties, Gulf Power, Landrum HR and the Okaloosa County School Districts' Manufacturing Academy. A special thanks goes out to Cox Communications for taping this production!

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. 
May 4, 2016
Venture Hive Fort Walton Beach Presents Free Business Lunch-n-Learn – As part of the Venture Hive Fort Walton Beach Free Business Seminar Series, guests will learn techniques such as utilizing hyperbolic iconography, surrogating, and left right brain switching to solve the latter problems – and more during a free lunch-n-learn seminar held at the Fort Walton Beach Venture Hive located at 139 Brooks St. SE, Fort Walton Beach, Fla. on May 4 at 11:35 a.m. Register for the event here   Read the event press release here
May 24, 2016
Building a Healthy Okaloosa: Perspectives from the Healthcare C Suite - The Economic Development Council of Okaloosa County invites you to join us for our second Roundtable breakfast of 2016, as we gain valuable insight on the challenges and opportunities driving healthcare today. Panelists include: Alan Gieseman – CEO, White Wilson Medical Center; Daniel Cobbs – CEO, Bridgeway Center Inc.; Dave Whalen – CEO, Twin Cities Hospital; Mitch Mongell – CEO, Fort Walton Beach Medical Center; Roger Hall – President, Sacred Heart Emerald Coast; and Ronnie Daves –  CEO, North Okaloosa Medical Center. The event will be moderated by Dr. David Goetsch.

Event sponsors include: Sound Wellness Consultants (A Division of Bridgeway Center Inc); Bay State Cable Ties; CHELCO; and Warren Averrett (In support of the American Heart Walk).

The event will be held from 7:30 AM to 9:30 AM Ramada Plaza Beach Resort—Empire Room, 1500 Miracle Strip Parkway, Fort Walton Beach and registration is required. The registration fee is $25 and includes a Breakfast Buffett. Please RSVP by registering online or by calling the EDC at (850) 362-6467 by May 20th.

June 11, 2016
2016 "Teach at the Beach!" Recruiting Fair - Hosted by the Okaloosa County Schoool District on June 11, 2016. Primary and secondary principals will be at Niceville High School to meet with potential candidates and share the important work being done in our schools. Please register by March 15th by calling 850-833-5901. Review the flyer here.
To submit your community or business event, please submit it to caroline@florida-edc.org. 


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