The North Port Area Chamber of Commerce will be celebrating and congratulating the participants of the 2019-2020 Leadership North Port Class at their upcoming graduation ceremony.

Chamber members and the public are invited and encouraged to join in the celebration. It happens Aug. 21 at Heron Creek Golf & Country Club. There will be a reception at 6 p.m. and includes a cash bar (happy hour pricing), and the dinner and graduation ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m. The cost is $40 per person or $70 per couple, and the deadline to register is Aug. 17. Register and pay at Seating is limited to 60 people and will be sold on a first-come/first-serve basis.

This year’s class includes Mindy Adams-Buckley, Nicole Dixon, Ashley Gabor, DeeDee Gozion, Carole Holden, Shannon Hoyt, Chris Porter, Paul Patterson, Kenneth Rappuhn, Trevor Schorzmann, Zoey Schorzmann, Sue Schultz, Cyndi Shelton and Richard Shipp.

The North Port Area Chamber of Commerce would like to congratulate each of these individuals for their participation in the 2019-2020 Leadership North Port Program.

Lunch & Learn

The next workshop will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 13, at Olde World Restaurant, 14415 Tamiami Trail, North Port. Carole Holden of Gelmtree Advertising will show how to budget one hour a day to promote your business.

North Port Small Business Lunch and Learn workshops are presented by the North Port Area Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the City of North Port and Toastmasters International of North Port. Lunch will be provided at no charge thanks to our workshop sponsor Rothco Signs and Design. Please register for the workshop in advance at

Back-to-school supplies

As students and families prepare to send their children back to school, the chamber, in collaboration with Clara’s Clubhouse, is a collection site for school supplies and mask donations for families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Collections will take place all over Sarasota and Charlotte counties until Aug. 18. Drop off donations from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at our office, 1337 N. Sumter Blvd.

At 10 a.m. Aug. 22, Clara’s Clubhouse will begin distributing bags of supplies and masks to families in need via two drive-thru style events, one at the North Port Sun, 13487 Tamiami Trail, and the other at Shapes, 5451 Fruitville Road, Sarasota.

Families affected by COVID-19 who are in need of assistance, whether their children are returning to school virtually or in person, are welcome. Parents are asked to bring their children with them to pick up one bag per child in the vehicle. For more information, please visit


We’re having a free ribbon-cutting ceremony for Dixon and Sons Plumbing at noon Wednesday, Aug.19, at our office, 1337 N. Sumter Blvd., North Port. Please join us as we welcome Dixon and Sons to the chamber and to our community. Barbecue and more will be provided. Please register in advance at

Business Spotlight

Every week, the North Port Area Chamber of Commerce hosts a 30-minute “Business Spotlight Show” on WKDW 97.5 FM Radio. These shows are taped each Friday at 11:30 am and air the following Wednesday on 97.5 FM Radio Station at 6:30 pm. These shows are also broadcast live on the Chamber’s facebook page at 11:30 am each Friday. The “Business Spotlight Show” is design to showcase Chamber businesses and organizations that provide great products and services to our community. This week, the Chamber will be talking to the Compassionate Cannabis Clinic. Please join us and learn more about our wonderful Chamber businesses and organizations.

Coffee with the Docs

Check out our “Coffee with the Docs” show with Dr. Lee Gross and Dr. William Crouch of Epiphany Health on the chamber’s Facebook page at 8 a.m. each Friday. Dr. Gross and Dr. Crouch are very knowledgeable and are frequently in contact with the White House and the State Capital. Submit questions in the “Comment Box” on the chamber’s Facebook page, or email in advance to

BILLboard campaign

Our “BILL”board campaign is a smashing success for the chamber and its participating partners. Each day, I wear different business attire that has been provided by various business partners that request to have their business or organization promoted through this campaign. During the day, I will email a promotional flyer about their business or organization, post the promotional flyer and conduct a live posting on the chamber’s Facebook page. I’d like to thank Goosehead Insurance, Stellar Web Production, Family Spine and Pain Care Institute, Security Alarm Corporation and Compassionate Cannabis Clinic for participating this week.

New members

We would like to welcome Daralyn A. Duquette-Coldwell Banker Sunstar Realty, Howard’s Pool World, and Storytelling-Images as new members of the North Port Area Chamber of Commerce.

Bill Gunnin is executive director of the North Port Area Chamber of Commerce and can be reached at 941-564-3040 or e-mail, or visit


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