Over the last 11 months in this office, we have made it our mission to become more visible and continue to strive to provide value for the membership. But there is so much more to do, and we need your help.
It is essential that we have representation from our membership on committees, nominations for serving on our Board of Directors and volunteers for our many events that we organize throughout the year.
The successful partnerships we create when we work together benefit not only our business association but they enrich our community as a whole.
Our new Board of Directors:
• Richard Edwards: President, Key Agency• Kevin Hyde: Vice President, Michael Saunders & Company• Jennifer Burch: Treasurer, Ariel, Ltl Ariel, Palm on Park• Marcy Shortuse: Secretary, Boca Beacon• Nell Iba: Director, Boca Grande Travel• Bart DeStefano: Director, South Beach Bar & Grille• Chad Lach: Director, Florida Department of Environmental Protection
The Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Fund delivers a major benefit to the entire community. This past year we awarded 32 scholarships to eligible local students.
Our annual Fall Golf Scramble benefitting the Scholarship Fund is held at the Gasparilla Inn & Club and is the only time the Club opens the course to the public.
Our Golf tournament held in October of 2011 posted a 7 percent increase over the previous year, allowing us to continue to offer our scholarship awards to more students in 2012.
Our annual membership investments posted a 74.9% year to date increase over last year and includes 41 new members.
In addition, the Chamber is currently running a 20.4% decrease in expenses over the previous year.
We have reached out to State and County government to keep informed about issues that affect small business. The Chamber has arranged State Representative Gary Aubuchon to speak at the Boca Grande Community Center on March 27. He will be able to articulate some of the issues debated and voted on during the Florida Legislative Session which will conclude in March.
The Chamber will continue to reach out to our local Representatives and schedule more events like this one if they prove informative and helpful.
Our monthly “Business to Business” meetings will continue with our February 9 meeting, held at Creative Window Treatments in Englewood. These meetings are an opportunity for our members to get together to share ideas and network with one another while at the same time addressing any challenges that they would like the Chamber Board to review for resolution.
Our biggest undertaking this year is the revival of the “World’s Richest” Tarpon Tournament. This event will be a multi-day event including the Gasparilla Island Kids Classic and the 22nd Annual Ladies Day Tournament. But this will be more than just the tournaments; this will be about economic development combined with conservation. Our All-Release, No-Weigh, And No Kill Tournaments will promote the mission of Conservation, Education and Sportsmanship. High profile sponsors like Guy Harvey and support from conservation associations like the IGFA, Bonefish and Tarpon Trust and now Project Tarpon to name a few, speak to an urgent need for rehabilitation of our fisheries to maintain a healthy sport fishing environment which in turn becomes the economic generator for widespread business growth and job creation.
The Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce is here to take the lead to promote business and, with all of your help, we’re off to a great start.
We are proud of what we have accomplished so far and as we look forward into 2012, we are committed to improving our value by continuing to deliver results.View More images >>
Lew HastingsExecutive DirectorBoca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce
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