It’s Annual Meeting Week and the centerpieces have been ordered, awards imprinted, tables arranged and speeches drafted. We’re ready! I hope you’ll join us.

We’re recognizing Denise Dull, Jim Cull, Freedom Boat Club, Howard Kunik, City of Punta Gorda, and Ray Sandrock, Charlotte County, who are leaving the board after years of service. Denise and Jim joined the board in 2014. Denise jumped into our tourism efforts, chairing the Charlotte County Hospitality Association, was Ambassador of the Year in 2012, became president in 2017 and reignited our Tourism Committee. Jim focused on membership, was Ambassador of the Year in 2015 and continues to have great ideas for all things membership. Howard and Ray are passing the batons to colleagues in the city and county. I so enjoy having them at board meetings because we learn about the ins and outs of local government and they get a good sense of how members of the business community think. It’s a win-win. All four are active supporters of the Chamber and our work in the community, and I know they’ll stay that way. Thank you!

Kathy Robinson, president, will remain on the board as chair of our Government Affairs Committee. Kathy has been a tireless advocate with her “membership matters” message, so we’ve all worked hard to engage our members with lunch and learns, orientations and more. She is an unfazed professional, and even when we’re on the phone or emailing, I can “see” her smile as she listens, nods and offers words of wisdom. Thanks, Kathy, for making the Chamber your priority this year, and kudos to her Centennial Bank team for sharing her! The good news is that you’re staying with us as chair of Government Affairs.

On Friday, we’ll thank everyone who has made our organization shine and we’ll welcome others who will further our mission “to advance the prosperity and general welfare of its business members and the community they serve.”

And, as the month continues, please join us for Networking at Noon on Oct. 9 at Visani. Our Third Wednesday Coffee is Oct. 16 and will feature a presentation by Special Agent Juan Molinary with Homeland Security Investigations, who will give us an overview of the E-verify program. WFTX Fox 4 is the Coffee sponsor. Nix & Associates Real Estate will host the Business Card Exchange on Oct. 24. And, in between all of this we’ll introduce the new Junior Leadership Charlotte class and watch them enjoy their Team Building Day, hear about the Leadership Class’ Simulated Society experience and cut some ribbons. Please read our weekly Business Online to get details about the Chamber and our members activities. It’s generally on our website by 10 a.m. every Monday.

Have a great October!

Julie Mathis is executive director of Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at jmathis@charlottecounty

chamber.org

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