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.

Spring 2020 Roundtable Event has been scheduled!

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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

January 9, 2019
Sordid Secrets of the Stars Planetarium – From 6 PM to 9 PM, the Emerald Coast Science Center will present a spectacular viewing in their planetarium. This adult (18+) only affair will venture through the tales of Norse legends and mythology displayed in the night sky of the planetarium dome. Each showing will be approximately 45 minutes, so purchasing your tickets ahead of time is highly recommended. Thank you to RequestQuest for sponsoring this planetarium event! For more information on the event click here.

January 16, 2020
Winter Guest Fest – This January 16th from 8 AM to 12 PM will be another trade show to remember! Together, RequestQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals & the Greater Fort Walton Chamber will host the venue featuring a plethora of local businesses, vendors, entertainment, and more! Plenty of coupons and freebies will yours to grab during the event. Admission will be $2 at the door of the Emerald Coast Convention Center. For more about the trade show, or to register as a vendor, please call the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber at; (850)-244-8191, or click here.
January 19 - February 23, 2020
Brunch, Rhythm & Brews at HarborWalk Village – Enjoy a lovely brunch, live entertainment, and fun every Sunday starting the 12th of January to the 23rd of February. Beginning at 2PM, live music from a host of performing artists and groups will be played at the main stage of Harry T’s Lighthouse, Jackacuda’s Seafood & Sushi & Margaritaville. A special performance from Northwest Florida State College’s Jazz band will be held on the January 19th!  Don’t miss out on the excitement. HarborWalk village is located at 10 Harbor Boulevard, Destin, Florida 32541. For more information, click here.

January 31, 2020
MKAC Hosts: John Quinones – On the 31st of January starting at 7:30 PM, you are invited to attend the NWF President’s speaker series put forth by the Mattie Kelly Arts Center. This riveting event will showcase John Quinones’ thought-provoking question, “What would you do?”, encompassing what it takes to always do the right thing. The event will be free, but seating is limited. The Mattie Kelly Arts Center is located at; 100 College Boulevard E., Niceville. Click here to learn more about the speaker.

February 17, 2020
David Seering & Friends Benefit Concert; Sponsored by Children in Crisis, Inc. – Fill this year will good deeds, and attend the David Seering & Friends Benefit Concert, beginning at 7 PM on February 17th, to ensure another wonderful year for the Children in Crisis, Inc. All ticket proceeds will directly benefit the organization. To purchase tickets please call (850)-864-4242, or when available book them online at; The venue will be the Village Church in Destin. For more information, click here.

February 29, 2020
Inaugural Community Unity Flashlight Walk­ – The City of Crestview Police Department will present their first ever Unity Flashlight Walk. Come join an amazing atmosphere of togetherness that upholds our great communities! The walk honors partnership, the spirit of inclusion, and provides a wonderful opportunity at community fellowship. The flashlight portion is symbolic of the community harnessing light on the perception of crime. Don’t miss out on the movement and meet the department in front of the City of Crestview’s Town Hall on February 29th at 5:45 PM. For more on the community event, click here.

March 7, 2020
MKAC Hosts: Dance! The Music of Beethoven & Bernstein – NWFSC will be having their Symphony Orchestra perform the works of Beethoven & Berstein under the tutelage of renowned guest Conductor Steven Byess on February 7th beginning at 7:30 PM at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center; located in Niceville.  The exciting event will be an evening of rhythmic music celebrating the elements of dance. Tickets will be on sale for $25 for Adults & $16 for Youth. Purchase your tickets here.

March 27, 2020
Rocky Bayou Christian School 2nd Annual Blue & White Gala – Rocky Bayou Christian School will be hosting their second-ever Blue & White Gala with special guest speaker; former White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. The event will be held at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa on Friday, March 27th from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM. The tickets will go on sale in early February 2020, and all proceeds will benefit the RBCS Fund. For more information, or purchase a sponsorship, click here.

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