Who are We?

Our Mission

To unite the community by providing the awareness, resources, and hope needed to help families and individuals combat life controlling issues such as drug and alcohol addiction, mental illness, violence, and suicide.

Perian & Eddie Herring

CO-Founders
CEO/CFO

Perian and Eddie Herring are co-founders of Niceville Strong, Inc.  Since 2013, they have run a local ministry called Parakaleo, a weekly support/prayer group for families that have loved ones suffering from life controlling issues.  Early in 2017, they saw the need to bring awareness and hope on a broader scale to our area after a particularly devastating year of suicides among local young residents.  Out of that concern, Niceville Strong Community Prayer Rally was born, bringing together the community, local resource representatives, civic leaders, and area churches.  Their desire is for this annual event to morph into a movement and replicable resource tool for bringing awareness and hope to those affected by drug and alcohol addiction, mental illness, violence, and suicide.  Eddie is a graduate of Auburn University in electrical engineering and currently works as an engineer for a local contractor.  Perian is also a graduate of Auburn University as well as Florida State University with a Ph.D. in math education.  She taught at NWFSC as an adjunct faculty member of the math department for many years before becoming a quality assurance analyst for a contractor at Eglin AFB.  They have been married since 1992 and have two children.

Selena Chavis

public relations /media

Selena Chavis brings more than 25 years as a writer and public relations strategist to the Niceville Strong team. A journalism graduate from the University of GA, she runs a boutique communications business from her home and serves as the pianist for her local church. Selena has lived in Niceville since 1994 and believes in the power of Christian community and unity. She feels privileged to be part of the Niceville Strong Board and is excited to see how God uses this movement to transform and strengthen individuals and families in our community and beyond. Selena is married to Max Chavis, and they have three grown children and three grandchildren. 

James Ross

Board Member

James is the Lead Pastor of First Baptist Church on Bayshore.  He has served as a pastor in Okaloosa Country for fourteen years.  He has also been heavily involved in the community including mentoring and coaching youth sports.  James and his wife, Christie, have four children of their own and have been serving as a foster family for over three years.  James’ exposure to those who are struggling in the community and church has led him to be passionate about leading others to be active in breaking the cycles of sin. James earned a B.A. in Christian Studies from The Baptist College of Florida, Master’s degree in Religion from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, a Master’s of Divinity from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Ministry through New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. 

Chase Depew

board member

Chase received his undergraduate degree from Johnson University. He spent his senior year as a resident at the Leadership Institute at Christ’s Church of the Valley in Phoenix, AZ. While there, he developed practical skills for multiple ministry areas including student ministry and multi-site ministry. Chase has over 8 years of experience working in multi-site churches ranging in size from 5,000 to 30,000+ members.  He has served in various roles. He is currently serving at Crosspoint in Niceville, Florida as the Director of Student Ministries. 

Chris Shinnick

board member

Chris is the lead pastor at Manna Church in Niceville and on the board of directors for Niceville Strong. Chris is an ordained minister who graduated from Denver Seminary with a Master’s of Divinity degree in 2010. He has served in full-time ministry for over 14 years, seven as a youth pastor in Hawaii, and the last six years at Manna Church Cape Fear in Fayetteville, NC. He loves teaching God’s Word, building up men, helping families thrive, and equipping people to change their world

Amanda Grandy

Community Outreach coordinator

Amanda Grandy is a Florida resident who relocated to Niceville Florida with her family in 2011. An Air Force spouse of 20+ years and counting, Amanda has worked in diverse settings and job markets, successfully growing her career while passionately supporting her family through multiple moves, TDY’s and deployments. She is a small business owner, Key Spouse Mentor for Duke Field and avid volunteer. She’s spent years advocating for the local community, helping military families, accumulating experience in community organizing and developing a strong bond with community stakeholders. Getting to serve on the Niceville Strong board is a dream role for her as a dedicated advocate for suicide awareness and prevention. In 2017 she volunteered to host Niceville, Florida’s first “Out of the Darkness” walk which was held at Niceville High School. For fun, she loves to paddle board, read and listen to podcasts.

Claire Jones

Community event coordinator

Claire has been a Niceville resident for over 22 years. She is married to Josh Jones, retired Air Force, and is the mother of three wonderful boys. Claire is an avid runner and has a heart to help those in need in our community. She currently serves as president of Niceville Sharing & Caring, leader of Crosspoint Benevolence office, and in the children’s nursery ministry at Crosspoint. She is honored to serve on the board at Niceville Strong. In her own words, “I care so deeply for the needs of people in our town. We are fortunate to live in an extremely generous community of people who want to help others, and I’m proud to be a part of that.”

Christa Swanick

legal representative

Christa is a board member for Niceville Strong and holds a degree in law. She helps us with legal questions and provides support to our cause.