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Chairman's Message: Destin Forward Offers Community Education & Chance to Make Lasting Impact

I am constantly amazed and grateful for the beautiful and wonderful community we have the pleasure of calling home to our families and businesses. If you have been paying attention to national news and trends, you know that Florida continues to grow and expand, and as a State we are doing very well when it comes to new jobs and unemployment. According to the Florida Scorecard, our State currently has 509,987 open jobs and only 339,000 unemployed persons. Also, Florida is ahead of New York and California for new business openings. As we get ready for the summer tourist season and all the extra people and traffic that it will bring, we can at least be thankful for all the out of towners pumping more money into our local economy and helping our businesses continue to grow and thrive. 

The month of May also brings graduation for one of my favorite Chamber programs: the Destin Forward Class. Destin Forward has a special place in my heart. As a past graduate and leadership award winner myself, I am always recommending that everyone in our community consider participating in this amazing community education program. Whether you grew up in the Destin area or are a transplant, I guarantee you will learn something about our community that you did not know and gain an appreciation for all aspects of our community from non-profits, to businesses from many different industries, to local government and the military. You also will have the opportunity to make many friends and business connections with your classmates and prepare a class project that will make a lasting impact on the community. The 2022 Destin Forward class members recently held the ribbon cutting for their educational beehive and garden at the Destin High School, which will provide education and opportunities for the Destin High School science classes for years to come. Applications for next year’s Destin Forward class are now available. Please consider applying or having someone from your business apply, as it is an experience you will not regret. 

Don’t forget to check the Weekly Wave email for all the upcoming Chamber events, including the return of BizTech on May 18, at the Emerald Grande. I hope you have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend and hope to see you at a Destin Chamber event soon. 

Jennifer Gutai Comella
2022 Destin Chamber Chairman of the Board
Hand Arendall Harrison Sale 

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