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Overall Excellence Chapter Award



Sponsor Spotlight - Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort and Hotel Effie

By: Megan Perks, MBA, CMP, CMM | Nov 9, 2021


Nancy Wilkerson
National Sales Manager, Group Sales
Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort & Hotel Effie
MPI Member since 1993




Explore all there is to do at Hotel Effie and Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. Nancy is a veteran chapter member and recently sponsored the Fall Classic Golf and Bocce Tournament. All work and no play? Not at Sandestin. From beach and bay, you’ll find adventure-filled activities for the golfer, shopper, outdoor enthusiast – and everyone in between.

How did you get into the industry?
I stumbled upon the hospitality industry by happenstance. My background was in property management and real estate sales while living in Alabama. When I moved to Florida, I saw an ad in the paper (yes, that’s how we searched for jobs back then in the 80s) for a Director of Sales position at a beachfront hotel on the Emerald Coast. It sounded fun so I met with the owner and was offered the position where I stayed for two years. When asked to sign a non-compete contract, I called the Human Resources Department at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort to ask if this was customary in the industry. Little did I know that they had an Associate Director of Sales position open… the HR Director invited me to apply for the position. To my surprise, I was offered the position, and this was the beginning of my career with Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. I guess you can say I caught the hospitality bug because I’ve been in the industry ever since.

Tell us about when you moved to Atlanta to open a satellite office:
I lived on the Emerald Coast for fourteen years and was based on site at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort for eight years. I moved to Atlanta to open a Satellite Sales Office during the 1996 Summer Olympics. Since Georgia has always been a major market for Sandestin, our executive team was committed to offering full-time representation to provide meeting planners a convenient way to conduct business with our resort. As a result, our business doubled within twelve months. Georgia continues to be one of our major markets for group and leisure business.  

My time with MPI Georgia:
I’ve been a member of MPI Georgia since 1993 and I attribute much of my success to the relationships I’ve developed. I always believe that you “get what you give.” There’s always an opportunity to serve on committees and attend valuable networking opportunities. This has allowed me to develop amazing relationships with clients (of whom many I consider to be true friends). I can honestly say that my involvement with MPI Georgia has helped our business move to the next level and become more prominent in the marketplace.

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What does Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort offer?
Of course, the Northwest Florida sugar-white sand beaches are our claim to fame.  We are a convenient drive or fly destination served by three airports.

Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort is a full destination resort offering a collection of 1,300 unique lodging options to suit all preferences and budgets. You may choose from economy, upscale, luxury, or vacation rental cottages all within the gates of Sandestin without ever leaving the resort. The resort is on a coastal barrier reef which means we border two bodies of water, the Gulf of Mexico and the Choctawhatchee Bay, as well as freshwater lakes scattered throughout stocked with bass and bream. You can expect amazing views of either the Gulf of Mexico, Choctawhatchee Bay, a lakeview or golf course view depending on the accommodations you select.

With four championship golf courses onsite you can have a different golf experience each day without leaving the resort.  Tom Jackson designed the Links & Baytowne Courses, Robert Trent Jones, Jr. designed Raven Course, and Rees Jones designed the Burnt Pine Course. We are the only resort in the nation that offers courses designed by both of the Jones brothers. 

We offer 85,000 square feet of meeting space with two 13,000 sq. ft. ballrooms so we can accommodate groups up to 850 comfortably, however, the majority of our groups are smaller.  All groups are backed by an experienced conference services department, conference technology, and a tremendous culinary team. We offer several outdoor venues and our most popular include the Beach, Marina, and Grand Lawn.

During free time, you can enjoy The Village of Baytowne Wharf, a 28-acre entertainment complex with over 15 restaurants, shopping, night life, and the host to our signature events featured throughout the year (music, art, wine, culinary, sporting festivals); a tennis club, water sports, marina, fishing, fitness center, spa, biking and walking trails, or just relaxing on the beach… we truly have something for everyone… including supervised children’s programs.

What’s new at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort? Here are a few highlights:

2020 – Opened Osprey Pointe, a new 77-unit luxury condominium offering with 2-4 bedroom units. This development is owned by Sandestin, not individually owned, so the décor is consistent throughout.

2020 – Total renovation of the 32,000 sq. ft. Baytowne Conference Center to complement the new meeting space located in Hotel Effie.

2021 – Opened 250-room luxury hotel, Hotel Effie. Affiliated with Preferred Hotels and Resorts and dining experience curated by Chef Hugh Acheson, James Beard award-winning Chef from Georgia.

These projects signify the resort’s commitment to providing the highest quality meeting experience for attendees and resort guests.

From our front doors to our signature rooftop pool and everything in between, take a look at all you can do at Hotel Effie. Take a Tour of our latest boutique hotel and download a brochure to learn more about Sandestin.



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Megan Perks, MBA, CMP, CMM

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