Teri Ashley

Teri Ashley

The Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce will be streaming live into your home or office at 7:15 a.m. Wednesday with its Third Wednesday Coffee. This is the time-honored, perhaps even iconic, monthly membership meeting.

The difference this Wednesday is that we will be welcoming anyone, worldwide, who wants to tune-in via Facebook Live. In fact, that is the only way to partake. Logging on at www.facebook.com/charlottecountychamber will take you directly to our Facebook page and the live Third Wednesday Coffee.

I’m envisioning something along the lines of a “Today Show” remote broadcast with a producer, anchors, guests and beautiful scenery behind the Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center for our monthly event. Producing the show will be the talented Marie LaBrosse with WKDW 97.5 FM.

Third Wednesday Coffee

The Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce has been presenting this early morning meeting for its business members for more of its 95 years than I can find documentation. It has a tight one-hour agenda beginning at 7:30 a.m. following 15 minutes of socializing while grabbing coffee and light breakfast treats. The timing allows everyone to be to their places of business before 9 a.m.

There are usually chamber event photos, graphics and guest presentation documents scrolling on the big screen as we go along. It’s always fun to have everyone take their seats, then introduce the current board president to preside over the agenda, only to have him ask everyone to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Our board president, Tony Smith, CPA, with Ashley Brown and Company CPAs, leads the meeting. Agenda items include introductions of attending chamber VIPs and elected officials, 30-second mini infomercials by four lucky business representatives drawn randomly, a surprise guest explaining a little tidbit about a chamber benefit, and introduction of the event sponsor with appreciation to allow them to address the audience.

(By-the-way, we don’t have a sponsor this month. Soooo, if any member out there in Chamber Land wants to step up, now is the time for a tremendous amount of exposure and accolades!)

Following the three-minute sponsor presentation, one of our nonprofit members also provides a brief overview. This month we will be welcoming Angela Hogan with the Gulf Coast Partnership to explain how they have been helping our community.

Next it’s time to introduce our new chamber members. This month we will have 11 new members “attending” to receive their plaques and say a few words about their businesses. This is always my favorite part of the agenda. They are excited to be a new member, proud of their plaque, and do a great job speaking to the audience. There are often one or two who forgot they would be speaking in front of a large audience, and that’s always fun as well.

Along with Board Prez Tony, introducing the new members will be our V.P. of Membership, Steve Lineberry, with Premier Photographic Events. Our new members to be recognized this month are:

The Alzheimer’s Association; Carolyn Gorton — Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate; DK Consultants of Florida, LLC; In-N-Out Marine Services; Johnson-Taylor Funeral and Cremation; K & K Hobby Shop; Laurie Goodwyne, Nix & Associates Real Estate; MRT Ace Hardware and Garden Center; Payne Ryan, PLLC; The Grill At 1951; and Tint World.

We will be welcoming them each with virtually open arms.

Congressman Greg Steube will be our special guest speaker. He represents Florida’s 17th District in Congress covering all of Charlotte, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Highlands and Okeechobee counties, as well parts of Sarasota, Lee, and Polk counties. He has been working tirelessly on our behalf, and will take questions following his remarks.

Please virtually join us bright and early on Wednesday morning.

As if anything could go wrong

Yes, I am envisioning a delightful “Today Show” quality experience. There will be none of those audio glitches, people talking while muted, stutters or stammers, bizarre selfie camera angles, weird things happening in the background, me trying to be funny, suddenly blank video, or dead air.

Nope. None.

Teri Ashley is the executive director of the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce, now in its 95th year, 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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