EDC Roundtable Symposiums

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. In previous years, high profiles speakers have included a representative from the Federal Reserve Bank, the Florida Department of Transportation Director to the Florida Secretary of Commerce. The EDC's morning roundtable event provides a buffet breakfast and approximately 200 community leaders attend these informative morning symposiums.

Economic Gardening: Cultivating Sustainable Entrepreneur Support Structures

On May 22, 2019, guests gained valuable insight on what it takes to cultivate sustainable entrepreneur support structures. The keynote speaker was Jason Hamman, Hamman Consulting Group, who released the summary of his findings in the Okaloosa Incubator Feasibility commissioned by the EDC of Okaloosa County. The guests were then treated to a panel of experts representing existing entrepreneur networks in the surrounding communities. Panelists included: Patrick Rooney, Co:Lab Pensacola; Kelly Reeser, TechFarms Capitall  and Pam Kidwell, Gulf Coast State College Business Innovation Center.

The event was held at The Island, by Hotel RL and the Signature Sponsor for the event was the Okaloosa County School District - Career & Technical Education Program. A special thank you to the Choctaw High School JROTC for presenting the colors.

Brain Chasing: Talent Attraction as a Community Strategy

On March 4, 2019, guests gained valuable insight on what drives workforce today. Talent Attraction is but one way to solve a community’s talent shortage.  Talent Cultivation (undertaken by schools, colleges and universities) and Talent Retention (making certain that a larger percentage of new graduates and exiting military remain here) are equally important, and our community is fortunate to have some outstanding partnerships focused on these opportunities.  The event was held at The Island, by Hotel RL. The event was moderated by Dr. David Goetsch and panelists included: Eric Walker, EMSI; Michele Burns, CareerSource Okaloosa Walton; and Matt Zimmermann, Beast Code LLC. 

The Signature Sponsor for this event was Gulf Power. A special thank you to: Gulf Reflections Photography Studio, The Island, by Hotel RL and the Choctaw High School JROTC.

New Leadership for a New Age: Higher Education

March-2017-Roundtable-Speaker-Picture.jpgOn March 21, 2017, the EDC of Okaloosa County welcomed new leadership to two of our county’s largest post-secondary educational institutions. Panelists included: Dr. Martha Saunders, President of the University of West Florida, and Dr. Devin Stephenson, President of Northwest Florida State College.

The Signature Sponsor for this event was BBVA Compass Bank. A special thank you to: Gulf Reflections Photography Studio, the Ramada Plaza Beach Resort and the Choctaw High School JROTC.

The Sacred Trust: Military Support Organizations and our Great American Defense Community

Sept-2016-Roundtable-Community.jpgOn September 21, 2016, the EDC of Okaloosa County hosted a roundtable breakfast to celebrate our community’s recent designation as a “Great American Defense Community.” Panelists included: Alan Baggett – Executive VP, Building Industry Association of Okaloosa & Walton Counties; Teresa Halverson – President, Fisher House Emerald Coast; Robert Foster – Director, Venture Hive; and Linda Sumblin – Executive Director, CareerSource Okaloosa Walton. 

The Signature Sponsor for this event was Eglin Federal Credit Union. A special thank you to: Gulf Reflections Photography Studio and the Ramada Plaza Beach Resort.

Building a Healthy Okaloosa: Perspectives from the Healthcare C-Suite

Healthcare-Roundtable-2016.jpgOn May 24, 2016, the EDC of Okaloosa County hosted a roundtable breakfast  where guests gained valuable insight on the challenges and opportunities driving healthcare today.
Panelists included: 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; Ronnie Daves –  CEO, North Okaloosa Medical Center
A big thanks to our sponsors: Bay State Cable Ties, CHELCO, Soundside Wellness Consultants, and Warren Averett. A special thank you to: COX Communications, Gulf Reflections Photography Studio, Ramada Plaza Beach Resort 

Community Events

June - September 6, 2019
Concerts at the Landing - All summer long, The Landing, here in Fort Walton Beach, will have live performers playing shows. The family-friendly event will welcome various bands on Fridays through September from 6 PM – 8PM. Arrive and enjoy the free concert! Check out the schedule

July 1, 2019
City of Destin Family Independence Day Celebration - From 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM, the City of Destin blowing off steam; Independence Day style! Families are appreciated to come register the day of at the Destin Elementary School Track. Be sure to impress with your decorated wheels; bikes, scooters, or wagons, for the awards ceremony. Details here

July 3, 2019
Smoke on the Coast BBQ and Fireworks Festival - Enlist yourself in the enjoyment of live music, entertainment, and BBQ samples at the 9th annual Festival in the Destin Commons. The yearly happening is sponsored by community charities efforts; all thanks to the Coins for a Cause program. Remember, to get down and ready from 5 PM – 10 PM for all access party. Details here

July 4, 2019
City of Niceville Fireworks - Join Northwest Florida residents for one of the nicest fireworks displays in the area! Festivities begin at 6 PM with music, and fun, but don’t forget at dusk (8:30ish) the Boggy Bayou will be rocketed in light. There are four viewing spots to see the display; Kiawanis Park, Shipyard Park, Lions Park, and Lincoln Park. Please, remember to arrive early to reserve a parking space. Learn more
July 4, 2019
City of Crestview Fireworks - Beginning with music and games at 6pm, Twin Hills park will host the annual Fourth of July Festival! Join residents for summertime fun including; a watermelon eating contest, and ice cream competition. And be prepared to end your night with a fireworks display bursting off at 9 PM. Thank you to the Park and Recreation Department for sponsoring the event! No admission required.
July 4, 2019
Red, White, and Baytowne - An Independence Day Celebration in The Village of Baytowne Wharf! Join Destin locals for lawn games, inflatables, crafts, and face painting starting at 6 PM, as well as live music beginning at 7 PM, followed by a firework display hosted by Wyndham Vacation Rentals at 9:15 PM.  Admission is free!

July 4, 2019
City of Fort Walton Beach - The Landing will celebrate Fourth of July in style this year with an opening ceremony presented by Mayor Dick Rynearson at 4 PM. Live music begins at 4 PM, followed by plenty of activities for children such as; bounce houses, slides, and games. All at no cost to you! Concessions will be readily available all evening. The fireworks display kicks off at 8:45 PM. Contact the FWB Recreation Department with any question at 850-833-9576.

July 13, 2019
Diane Keller Charity Run - Run for a cause and in memory of a wonderful woman. Proceeds will be donated to One Hopeful Place, and the Special Olympics. The 5k race will commence at 7:30 AM at the The Landing in Fort Walton Beach, and will finish with an after party hosted by the Landing. If you have any questions; contact Amber Carpenter at: (850)-974-182. Register Here

August 29, 2019
TeCMEN Industry Day - Showcase company capabilities, network with industry peers and receive meaningful content from high profile speakers representing government, defense, and the private sector. A list of speakers, panels and exhibitors can be found at as they are announced.

September 6, 2019
Downtown FWB Street Fest - Another series is right around the corner for the Downtown Fort Walton Beach Street fest! The streets of the city will come alive with live music, street vendors, and plenty of live entertainment.  Be sure to reserve the dates; September 6th, 2019, October 4th, 2019, and finally November 1st, 2019 from 6 PM – 9PM, if interested. If looking to reserve a vendor slot, please, register online.

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