By Nathan Sparks, CEcD
Executive Director of One Okaloosa EDC
Welcome to Fall! After the scorching hot summer that we experienced, the (slightly) cooler temperatures are, quite literally, a breath of fresh air. Fall not only brings cooler weather, lighter traffic, fewer crowds and, my personal favorite, FOOTBALL – it also brings a change of leadership at One Okaloosa as our new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.
We cannot say enough about what a pleasure it has been to serve under Jillian McQueen, Hilton Garden Inn, as our FY 2023 Chair. Likely our youngest chairman in the 34 year history of One Okaloosa EDC, she has proven to be a seasoned pro in every sense of the word. And while we will miss having Jillian as our chair, we’re delighted that she will remain on our Executive Committee for another year as our Immediate Past Chair. We‘re also equally excited to welcome Dr. Mike Mosley as our FY 2024 Chairman. As the Superintendent of Rocky Bayou Christian School, Mike is well-known throughout Okaloosa County, having previously chaired the Niceville-Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce. Bottom line, One Okaloosa EDC will once again be in excellent hands.
Speaking of leadership transitions, many of you will recall that during the month of July we solicited nominations for two seats that would soon be opening on One Okaloosa’s Executive Committee. In the end, 17 highly-qualified individuals were nominated for these two slots – a record! While our Nominating Committee certainly had a difficult task, in the end, two outstanding leaders were put forward for consideration and voted on by our full membership (our sincere thanks to those of you who participated in this process).
So, in case you haven’t yet heard the news, Bonnie Barlow, CEO, Bridgeway Center was selected as One Okaloosa’s Board Secretary - which will also place her in the role of chairing our Investor Value & Growth Committee. Bonnie is an outstanding leader who currently serves on Okaloosa County’s Affordable Housing Advisory Committee and was recently honored as an inductee into the Okaloosa Women’s Hall of Fame. In addition, Jason Monroe, Director of Solution Consulting, Bit-Wizards, was selected as One Okaloosa’s Member-at-Large. Another fantastic partner and community champion, many of you will recall that Jason served as Chairman of One Okaloosa’s Technology Coast Manufacturing & Engineering Network (TeCMEN) committee in 2021. Please join me in congratulating Bonnie and Jason, along with all of our FY 2024 Executive Committee members!