If you don’t know Beth Oltman, President & CEO of the Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce, now would be a good time to drive down to Richard Jackson Boulevard and get to know one of Panama City Beach’s leading ladies. Beth hails from South Carolina, born in California, she has been the president of the Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce for nearly 4 years.
We sat down with Beth for our Optimism on Panama City Beach series and talked PCB, current and future prospects.
Beth Oltman on the Panama City Beach Community:
“I’m very, very happy with the direction of our community. We’ve been able to take some traditions and rethink them. To have a successful community we have to sometimes re-evaluate how things are done and accept change. This community is taking hold of that. Just because things have always happened one way, doesn’t mean its the best way. We cannot just rely on tourism. To continually advance this area, this region, we have to keep up with the times in terms of education, infrastructure and technology. Already, we’ve been thinking out of the box.”
“Panama City Beach has always been tourist driven and the people here enjoy a high quality of life. But for a healthy community tourism is only one sector. It is a three-pronged stool; tourism, yes, but also a good education and industry are things we have to continue to work on to make this a healthy community. It is important to remember that this community has been splintered for some time. The county and community lines are breaking down. The relationships between the TDC’s and Chambers has grown and in doing do has helped governmental leaders work together to make better plans. We are one community.”
“I’ve lived in New York City, Chicago and many different places, but I know of a fact that this place is where my husband and I want to be. ”
Beth Oltman on the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport:
“The new airport is going to be huge for our community. But mostly I see your children, my children, truly benefiting. There will be instant gratification, of course, but I think it will change the whole region and bring it into the 21st century. What’s also going to happen is our infrastructure is going to naturally improve. These arteries that lead to I10 and can take you across the country are very important.”
“The airport is also giving us an opportunity to grow by bringing in new people into this area, strong leaders and new outlooks. Already, places like Tallahassee are seeing us, this area…this region, in a new light.”
Beth Oltman On Panama City Beach in 10 Years:
“In 10 years PCB will be bigger, better, smarter and working in better harmony with other communities around us and working with nature as well because lets not forget that the reason we’re here is that beautiful beach out there.”
“More affordable housing in areas like Breakfast Point, which will bring more people and better jobs. I see the airport naturally breeding more technical jobs across the region.”
“I also expect Panama City Beach to become a one-stop-shop for businesses to get all their licensing and be able to progress.”
“To me the most rewarding thing about this community is people all work together towards a common goal: to make this a better place for our children.”