There are 366 days of 2020 ahead of us. Let’s just get this all out of the way now, shall we? There are more catchy, cute, and creative slogans, themes, and promotional ideas for 2020 than we have days to advertise. They involve throw-backs to the Roaring (18)20s, rhymes, and obviously … eyesight. I’m starting a 2020 collection:

I can see clearly now, my nice green lawn. (Adapt as needed.)

Have the perfect vison with (insert company name here.)

With us, the future is clear. (Works for almost everyone.)

This one, or … this one? This one, or … this one? (Get it?)

Moving along as we get off to a terrific start in 2020, the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce calendar for January is already bursting at the margins. The Government Affairs Committee will meet at 5 p.m. on Jan. 6 followed by the Chamber ACTION Committee the next morning. These are two of the most important committees of the chamber.

The Government Affairs Committee has historically been the arm of the chamber assisting with monitoring, and relaying information to and from, government entities to its business members, and vice-versa. The committee remains proactively involved in the government process with the overall goal being the advancement of prosperity and general welfare of the chamber’s business members and the community they serve.

Serving on the Government Affairs committee alongside local business professionals are representatives from Charlotte County Administration, City of Punta Gorda, Charlotte County Public Schools, Punta Gorda Airport, Charlotte County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, and the Charlotte County Economic Development Office. It’s at these meetings that requests are often made for initiative or project support. Action can be taken by the committee in the form of support, nonsupport, or abstaining from the issue. This recommendation is then sent to the chamber board of directors for the final determination. Over the past 95 years, the Government Affairs Committee has taken a level-headed approach to representing the business interests of Charlotte County. To ensure continuity from year to year, the immediate past board president serves as the committee chair and its guidance and support are frequently requested.

The ChamberACTION Committee is all about the membership! Chambers are membership driven. These committee members support all of our activities, disseminates information, and provides education about the multitude of benefits to being a member of the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce. I’ve always wondered why a qualified business wouldn’t want to be a member of the chamber and — excuse my bluntness — I’ve yet to hear a valid reason. This committee makes sure the value of membership is spread far and wide, hither and yon, over hill and dale.

Along with those two committee meetings, the Jan. 8 Networking at Noon (11 a.m.) event will be harbor-tastic as we enjoy a fun and relaxing cruise with King Fisher Fleet. Please make a note that noon does mean 11 a.m. this month! The cost remains $15 and reservations can be made by calling the chamber at 941-627-2222 or by visiting the Chamber Store at charlottecountychamber.org.

On Jan. 9, the Leadership Class of 2020 will experience Education Day as they travel throughout the county. Many of these community leaders have not been on a school bus or in a classroom since their own school days … let alone have a conversation with school board members and the superintendent.

Also on Jan. 9, we will be cutting the ribbon at 5:30 p.m. to celebrate Labor Solutions at 2726 Tamiami Trail, Suite A, in Port Charlotte. All chamber members are invited to attend.

Wow, and that’s just the first few days of 2020! Oh yes, please feel free to send me your unique 2020 slogans to share as we navigate through the year! Do you have the perfect vision? (20rry not 20rry!)

Teri Ashley is the executive director of the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce, with offices in both Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte. She can be reached at 941-639-2222 or at tashley@charlottecountychamber.org.

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