President, Board Member
Shelley grew up in Baton Rouge, LA and attended Louisiana State University. She graduated from the University of South Alabama in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She knew early on that she wanted to do something that involved working with children. She moved to Santa Rosa Beach, FL in 2005 to be closer to her then fiancé, Casey, and began working at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center as an RN in the Newborn Nursery and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where she worked for 12 years. In 2015, Shelley and Casey founded Sandcastle Kids. They had friends and acquaintances around them that were all walking through childhood cancer and felt a strong calling to do something to help. “We wanted to share the beautiful place that we get to call home with those going through the unimaginable and create a week for them to be together and create beautiful memories.” Shelley resides in Santa Rosa Beach with her husband Casey and children Mason and Madelyn.
Vice President, Board Member
Since leaving North Georgia over a decade ago, my path has been one blessing and experience after another. I have held various positions that include Golf Professional, Project Manager, Director of Sales, and now Realtor. I have lived in beautiful resort areas such as Palm Springs, California and Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. I have had the opportunity to work for some of the world’s top real estate and resort development companies. Destin has been home for me and my family for over 10 years now. Having lived in many desirable areas, I can honestly say that there is no more beautiful landscape or quality people than you will find on the Emerald Coast. I cannot imagine a better place to experience life with my amazing wife Shelley, and two kids Mason (8) and Madelyn (5). It is an absolute pleasure introducing people to our amazing real estate opportunities, but our growth with Sandcastle has been more rewarding than I ever could have predicted. I challenge everyone reading this to explore what we feel is a special opportunity.
Treasurer, Board Member
James D. “Jim” Mitchell is a native and current resident of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Following graduation from Broadmoor High School, Jim earned a bachelor’s degree from Mississippi State University and has spent his entire 33-year professional career in the accounting and finance fields. Now in his 26th year of employment with the St. James Parish School Board in Lutcher, Louisiana, Jim serves the board as CFO. Jim and his wife Karen recently celebrated 30 years of marriage and celebrate their two married daughters and their families daily. Both Jim and Karen are honored to be able to serve Sandcastle Kids.
Farrar Barker is a business and corporate attorney at Barker Williams, PLLC, and an owner in Shoreline Title, LLC. Farrar’s legal practice focuses on representing private, public and nonprofit entities in a variety of transactional matters across a wide range of industries, including real estate, hospitality, technology, manufacturing and health care. Her husband Kelly and their two children moved to Santa Rosa Beach in 2012 to be closer to family. She loves that the heart of Sandcastle Kids, Inc. is bringing families to our beautiful beaches for a week to just be a family – to hopefully be able to take a deep breath, enjoy and re-connect with one another and escape for a week from the hard realities that many of these families have endured during their child’s illness.
Ronnie earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, where he studied speech communication with an emphasis on advanced persuasion. After accepting a position with Northwest Florida State College in 2002, he relocated to the area where he currently teaches public speaking and interpersonal communication courses. Award twice as the college’s “Professor of the Year” in 2006 and 2010, he has also served on various campus committees including co-chair of the General Education Task Force, the Presidential Search Advisory Committee, and the Equity Committee. Furthermore, he is a former advisor for the Forensics team and a graduate of the college’s Leadership Program. As an instructor of the Costa Leadership Institute, Ronnie has been the key speaker for a wide variety of civic and service organizations in the community, including the Rotary Club, United Way Youth United, Walton County Young Professionals, Emerald Coast Association of Realtors and several college-based organizations. In 2002, he served as the commencement speaker for Wood College’s graduation ceremony. Notably, he has also consulted for several companies, including the Joint Special Forces Operations at Hurlburt Field and Gulf Power. Ronnie currently serves as a board member for Seaside Schools, Inc. He has also served as Vice-President of the Thrivent Financial Regional Board from 2012-2014. He resides in Santa Rosa Beach with his wife, Nancy, and their daughter Chloe.
I graduated from the University of Southern Indiana in 2013 with a BA in Marketing, accepted a summer internship with acclaimed local artist Justin Gaffrey, and South Walton has been my home ever since. I have worked as a Sales Coordinator for Visit South Walton, an office manager at Sacred Heart, served as the Special Events/Marketing Coordinator for Rosemary Beach and most recently joined Casey Joiner’s team at Scenic Sotheby’s International Realty. I very quickly discovered Shelley and Casey’s heart for this organization. It is undeniable – just give them a minute to tell you about where it all began! Having recently lost a grandmother to cancer and knowing her heart for children as well as my own, when asked about joining their team, it was a very easy “YES!” This area holds thousands of childhood memories for me and I am so grateful to a play a small role in bringing these precious families to the area. When away from work, I enjoy running, baking, and stopping by every antique store I can find! I can also be found at one of the many local beaches with my beloved four-legged companions, a miniature Australian Shepherd and a rescue dog from the Walton County Animal Shelter.
Jessica grew up in Live Oak, FL and moved to Santa Rosa Beach in 2006 with her husband, Cole. She always knew she would be a part of the medical field. She attended Florida Gateway College and obtained her nursing degree. After moving to the area, she began her work in Labor and Delivery, postpartum and nursery settings where she remains to date at Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast. She met Shelley while working together in the nursery at Ft. Walton Beach Medical Center. She knew after learning of Sandcastle Kids and their mission that she wanted to be a part of bringing solace to these families. Jessica has 2 children, Judah (8 years old) and Adair (6 years old). When not working she enjoys spending time with her family and friends at the beach.
Proudly able to call himself an Emerald Coast “local,” Corey and his family moved to the enchanting beaches of Northwest Florida when he was a young child. After countless vacations to the sugar white sand coastline, they knew it would be the ideal locale to raise their family.
Upon graduation from Choctawhatchee High School in Ft Walton Bch, he made the move to Fayetteville to attend the University of Arkansas, pursuing a degree in advertising and public relations. Upon receiving his degree, he returned to the sunshine state to begin a career in the real estate auction industry. It was there that Corey developed experience as an office manager, marketing director, and vice president of operations; but as a self-proclaimed “people person,” he knew his heart was in sales.
Today, Corey is a vital part of the Chris Abbott Group, turning a childhood friendship into a business relationship. Specializing in coastal properties from Destin to Rosemary Beach, Corey works tirelessly to help his clients achieve their real estate goals. Being a part of a full-service team, the Chris Abbott Group is able to serve both primary and secondary homebuyers, property investors, builders and developers, providing hands on assistance every step of the way.
Corey sits on the boards of The City of Destin’s local planning agency and the non-profit Sandcastle Kids. He is a licensed auctioneer, working numerous charity auctions per year. He loves performing karaoke, paddle boarding and enjoying the Destin Harbor area with his son, Warner.