By Nathan Sparks, CEcD
Executive Director of One Okaloosa EDC
Is it just me, or do the holidays already seem like a distant memory? We sincerely hope that 2023 is off to a fine start for each of you. As busy as 2022 was for the One Okaloosa EDC team, 2023 is shaping up to be even busier. Along with continuing to work an incredible pipeline of active investment opportunities, our organization has added some new talent to our small but mighty team. Specifically, John Ferrandini was selected as our new Administrative Assistant and began his duties with us earlier this month. John is a proud US Army veteran who recently transitioned from the 7th Special Forces Group following his service as an Intelligence Analyst. Currently a full-time student at Northwest Florida State College, John is a part-time One Okaloosa team member. Secondly, after bidding farewell to Kevin Lovelace who accepted a position with one of our investors, we are pleased to announce that Martin Pringle has been selected as One Okaloosa EDC’s Project Manager. Another proud veteran, Martin recently retired from the US Air Force where he most recently served as Chief Resource Advisor and Director of Facilities. You can read more about both John and Martin later in the newsletter.
We’ve also been busy compiling information for our 2022 Annual Report (keep an eye out for that in March) and putting together some exciting upcoming community events. In particular, planning efforts are well underway for our 6th annual TeCMEN Industry Day (TID), scheduled for May 17 at the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Convention Center. Along with closing out the Early Bird exhibitor registration period on December 31 with 42 booths sold, we are very pleased to welcome LiveOak Fiber as this year’s TID Signature Event Sponsor. LiveOak joins our 13 other sponsors in helping us ensure that this year’s event will be the best one yet. Please visit www.tecmenindustryday.com to learn more or register!
In keeping with the “technology” theme, we also recently announced that Choctawhatchee High School alumnae – and current Associate Director, Technical at Kennedy Space Center – Jennifer Kunz will be joining us for our March 15 One Okaloosa EDC Roundtable Breakfast at The Island Resort. Jennifer has shattered glass ceilings her entire career, first as one of a very few women enrolled in Auburn University’s Aerospace Engineering program and now in a leadership role at NASA. Her talk will highlight her journey while also touching on exciting new NASA programs like Artemis and the future of space tourism. As this one is sure to sell out, please consider registering today at https://florida-edc.org/our-organization/one-okaloosa-events and note that all registrations must be received by March 2!