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17 Graduate from Destin Chamber’s Community Education & Leadership Program

2024 Destin Forward Leadership Award - Wendi DavisOn May 2, the Destin Chamber celebrated the graduation of 17 business professionals from its 15th Destin Forward class. During the event, the prestigious Destin Forward Leadership Award, chosen by class vote, was presented to Wendi Davis of Eglin Federal Credit Union. She is seen in the photo on the left with 2024 Chamber Chairman Christian Carlee of Trustmark.

Destin Forward, a community education and leadership program, was created to help find and educate future city and business leaders.  After a retreat in August, the class spent the next eight months touring and learning about Destin’s waterways, tourism industry, arts & culture, non-profits, environment, city programs and services, economic development, and military. With the graduation of this class, the total number of program alumni is now 253.

Class requirements included attendance at several Chamber and civic functions, as well as a group project that creates a lasting impact on the City of Destin. The class chose to raise funds and volunteer their time for the beautification of Clement E. Taylor Park. Improvements included educational signage, upgrades to the volleyball court, and the planting of Florida native plants.

Graduates of the Destin Forward Class of 2024 include April Atkinson, Community Bank; Kasey Bebus, CJL Homes; Katie Cagle, Renasant Bank; Danny Collins, United Community; Anthony Collito, Scenic Stays; Wendi Davis, Eglin Federal Credit Union; Steve Farris, First Baptist Church of Destin & Preschool; Matt Means, Destin High School; Ana Michalzik, Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy Center; Brad Monk, Destin Water Users, Inc.; Michael Moody, Emerald Coast Business Intermediaries; Kevin Pope, Regions Bank; Amy Roe, Pen Air Credit Union; Ryan Scott, City of Destin; Jordan Taylor, Leonardo DRS; Tamara Young, City of Destin; and Sabina Pennington, Choctawhatchee Bay Estuary Program.

Four class members, chosen by class vote, will join the Destin Forward Advisory Board for a 3-year term, where they will help steer the program for future classes. Those chosen include Kasey Bebus, Katie Cagle, Wendi Davis, and Tamara Young.

Applications are now available for the Destin Forward Class of 2025. For more information about the program, please call (850) 837-6241 or email

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