Sometimes the second chapter of a person’s story is even more interesting than the first.

Recently, the Daily News followed up on several people with ties to the Emerald Coast to see what they’ve been up to in the months and years since they first entered the public eye. 

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Who: Tom Hammonds

What he is known for: Crestview High School basketball star who went on to play for 12 seasons in the NBA.

Where is he now? After retiring from professional basketball in 2001, Hammonds moved back to Crestview and began to pursue his second professional sports career — drag racing — full time. While Hammond enjoyed many successes in his racing career, he says he’s now found a new passion: Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

“Racing is in my blood, so I haven’t given it up cold turkey,” Hammonds, who just turned 50, said with a laugh. “I have a ’69 Camaro that I race periodically just to fuel my passion. But I spend most of my energy now on jiu-jitsu.”

In typical fashion, Hammonds threw himself into mastering the martial art, and has managed to achieve international success in a third sports category.

When he’s not pursuing his athletic challenges, Hammonds stays busy with his company, Hammonds Enterprises, which has offices in Bluewater Bay and Washington, D.C.

Hammonds recently sold his home in Crestview, and now lives in Miramar Beach.

“I enjoy being closer to the water,” he said. “These days, I want to slow down and enjoy life more. I want to enjoy what God has given me.”


Who: Alexis Tibbetts

What she is known for: Longtime Okaloosa County educator who served as superintendent of schools from 2006 to 2012; inducted in Okaloosa County Women’s Hall of Fame in 2016.

Where is she now? After losing to Mary Beth Jackson in the 2012 school superintendent race, Tibbetts bounced back quickly, signing on as an administrator for the Walton County

School District in December of that year. For the past three years she has served as the principal of South Walton High School.

Tibbetts said she is proud of the accomplishments and growth the school has experienced under her tenure.

“Our school has grown by 250 students since I’ve been here,” she said.

While her work keeps her busy, Tibbetts finds time for her many charitable and community service activities.

“I’m the new campaign chair for the United Way of Okaloosa and Walton Counties, and I serve on several charitable boards,” she said. “I’m also the chairman of my church council at Shalimar Methodist.”

But the dearest things to her heart, Tibbetts said, are her three grandchildren.

“I just had a new grandson born this week,” she said. “My life is very full.”


Who: Chris Hughes

What he is known for: Served as Okaloosa County tax collector from 1992-2011

Where is he now? After being elected as tax collector for five consecutive terms, Hughes ran into controversy in 2009 following revelations that he gave his employees hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of bonuses. He resigned from office in 2011, announcing that he wanted to pursue his calling to the ministry full-time.

For the next three years Hughes accompanied his wife, Vicki, then an active-duty Air Force officer, on her assignment to Hawaii. While there, he met many people of Filipino descent and made several mission trips to the Philippines. In 2014, he and his family moved to Boone, North Carolina.

“I’ve really concentrated on my ministry since then,” Hughes said. “About a year ago God gave me a vision to plant new churches in the Philippines. We started 17 last year, but ultimately I hope to start 20 a year for a total of 200.”


Who: Cris Judd

What he is known for: The Niceville High School graduate made a name for himself as a backup dancer for Michael Jackson in the 1990s, and later met and fell in love with superstar Jennifer Lopez while working on her video “Love Don’t Cost a Thing.” He and Lopez were married from 2001 to 2003.

Where is he now? According to Judd’s father, Larry Judd, the dancer/choreographer/actor lives in Los Angeles and is “staying very busy.”

“We didn’t find out until later, but he actually can be seen dancing in the big opening number of the movie ‘La La Land’ “ Larry Judd said. “He’s always working on some project.”

Shortly after his divorce from Lopez in 2003, Judd became a reality television star when he competed and won the first season of “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me out of Here!” Larry Judd said his son has since gone on to serve as a judge on shows such as “New Zealand’s Got Talent.” Sharp-eyed viewers were able to pick out Judd on the series finale of “American Idol” last year, when he danced in front of Lopez, who served as a judge on the program.

Larry Judd said he and his wife joined Cris and his wife and daughter for a visit to Niceville back in October.

“It was wonderful,” Larry Judd said. “It was great for all of us to be together.”


Who: Pat Hollarn

What she is known for: Served as Okaloosa County supervisor of elections for 20 years; inducted into Okaloosa County Women’s Hall of Fame in 2004.

Where is she now? After retiring in 2009, Hollarn started a consulting firm, Integrity Unlimited. Her work took her around the country and around the world as she shared her elections expertise with a wide array of clients. From 2013 to 2016 she served on the Florida State Elections Commission.

“I finally took two weeks off and went to the Far East for a vacation,” she said. “These days I don’t have any great desire to do much traveling — at least not for business.”

While she has cut back considerably on her business in recent years, Hollarn has stayed busy. Her calendar is crowded with community service commitments, from her work with the Crestview Main Street Association to her service with Catholic Charities’ mobile food pantry in North Okaloosa County.

Hollarn helped plan Crestview’s centennial celebration last year, and has a special place in her heart for the Crestview Rotary Club.

“I’ve held multiple positions within the club, but I'm learning to let go," she said. "We have some new, young members who are really engaged, and I'm gradually turning things over to them."

Despite her busy schedule, Hollarn manages to find time for what means the most to her.

“I have two great-granddaughters, and their mom is expecting twin boys,” Hollarn said with a laugh. “My family is growing!”


Who: Dawn Moliterno

What she is known for: Served as the president and CEO of the Walton County Chamber of Commerce and as the executive director of the South Walton Tourist Development Council.

Where is she now? Following the BP oil spill in 2010, Moliterno and several other Gulf Coast tourism officials gained national attention by starring in a series of commercials aimed at luring visitors back to the area. Since resigning from her post at the TDC in 2013, Moliterno has remained in the tourism business, now serving as the regional director of operations for Wyndham Vacation Rentals.

“My job keeps me busy, to say the least,” Moliterno said. “We manage around 3,600 rental properties on the Alabama Gulf Coast, Northwest Florida and the Orlando area. I spend a lot time in the field, which I love.”

Moliterno said her new position allows her to use her experience in tourism and marketing without having to deal with all of the bureaucratic red tape associated with the TDC.

“It’s been great not having all of the restrictions that come with working in the public sector,” she said.

While she has offices in Mary Esther and at Tops’l Resort, Moliterno continues to make her home in South Walton.

“I am enjoying my kids and making up for lost time during the oil spill,” she said.


Who: Sam Seevers

What she is known for: Served as mayor of Destin from 2010 to 2014; inducted into Okaloosa County Women’s Hall of Fame in 2013.

Where is she now? Seevers still makes her home in Destin, where she and her husband operate “Life’s a Beach” publications.

“I do a little bit of everything — editor, photographer and even some writing,” Seevers said. “But I’m also extremely involved in community service, and I’ve enjoyed being able to do a lot of traveling with my husband.”

Gov. Rick Scott appointed Seevers to the Governor’s Commission on Community Service, also known as Volunteer Florida.

“I’ve been the chairman of the board for five years, and I really enjoy it,” Seevers said.

In 2015, Scott appointed her to the state Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to still be involved in the issues that face our state,” Seevers said. “Life is good.”


Who: Don Gaetz

What he is known for: Served as an Okaloosa County School Board member, school superintendent, state senator, and Florida senate president from 2012 to 2014.

Where is he now? Since retiring from the state senate at the end of last year, Gaetz hasn’t exactly faded into the sunset. In addition to helping with his son Matt’s successful campaign for the U.S Congress last year, Gaetz has stayed involved with multiple charitable and business boards of directors, and is a sought-after speaker at civic events.

The state Senate recently appointed him to serve on the Constitution Revision Committee, which requires that he travel around the state for public meetings.

“I’m involved with a small company I started called TLC Caregivers, which provides private duty personal care in Santa Rosa and Escambia counties,” Gaetz added. “Not only that, I’ve got a stack of books about 12 feet high that I finally have time to read.”

Gaetz is quick to knock down rumors that he might run for office again, although he acknowledges that it’s hard to predict the future.

“Every time I’ve said I have no plan to run for public office in the past, I’ve found myself involved in another political campaign,” he conceded. “But I will say this again: I have no political plans. Right now, my favorite thing to do is sit on the sidelines beside my wife and cheer on our children.”