The North Port Area Chamber of Commerce will hold its 35th Annual Board of Directors Installation Banquet Sept. 25 at the Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club, 4400 Lister St, Port Charlotte.

We’re planning a Luau theme, so come dressed accordingly. Cocktails and hors d’ oeuvres are from 5-6 p.m. The special plated dinner and program will be 6-8 p.m. We’ll have live Hawaiian dance entertainment and complimentary 4-by-6-inch photo portraits for everyone. Cost is $60. Full- and half-table sponsorships are available. We’ll have a charter bus to and from our chamber office with complimentary drinks for $15 per person. Visit for additional sponsorship information and to register.


The North Port Chamber will host a Special Surtax community forum from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 8 at the Olde World Restaurant, 14415 Tamiami Trail. Sharon Matthews, of the Sarasota County Surtax Task Force, and representatives from the city of North Port will provide a presentation on the surtax and how it impacts our community.

The surtax is a major funding source for North Port to complete capital projects in our community. It will be on the November 2022 ballot for approval by voters. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the surtax funding and how North Port has used it for capital projects. North Port leaders will soon discuss capital projects for the next 15 years to present to Sarasota County as part of the surtax funding and want the public to help identify projects. This event is open to all. Light appetizers and beverages will be provided. To register, please visit the “Event Page” at


Please join us at 4 p.m. Sept 8 to celebrate a ribbon-cutting for 360 Business Growth & Cutco Closing Gifts. We’re holding it at our chamber office, 1337 N. Sumter Blvd. The holidays are just around the corner. See all the products 360 Business Growth & Cutco Closing Gifts have to offer. Get your Cutco knife sharpened for free. Food and beverages will be provided. It’s free. Please register at


The chamber will host a Job & Career Fair from 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 24 at the George Mullen Activity Center, 1602 Kramer Way, North Port. It’s designed to match businesses and employees. Businesses can reserve a table. It’s $50 for members and $100 for nonmembers.


We’ve rescheduled the 2020-2021 Leadership North Port’s graduation ceremony for Sept. 17 at Heron Creek Golf & Country Club. The reception begins at 6 p.m. and includes a cash bar. Dinner and the ceremony are at 6:30 p.m. It’s $45, or $80 per couple, if you register by Sept. 13. The public is invited.

This year’s Leadership North Port Class includes Lesley Baber, Fur to Feathers Pet Sitting Service; Sharma Bachan, Busey Bank; Kristin Cawthorne,; Commander Joseph Fussell, North Port Police Department; Nicole M. Galehouse, city of North Port; Nicholas W. Herlihy, North Port Fire Rescue; Dave Krieger, DK Consultants of Florida; Erin Lilly, United Way South Sarasota County; Linda Meeks, Energy Wellness Life; Tanya Orr, Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties; Lorsi Pizza, Lightspeed Voice; Emily R. Shaw, North Port Chamber, Whitney Stetler, Cocoa Yoga Café; Diana Uebelacker, Busy Bee Cabinets; Tammie Underwood and Lester Williams.

Congratulations to each of these graduates of the 2020-2021 Leadership North Port program.


We’re accepting applications for the 2021-2022 Leadership North Port program. This is a series of city-wide sessions that enhance your awareness of our community and its needs by examining how leadership in the historical, geographical, educational, economic, governmental and cultural segments work together to perpetuate and advance our community and its citizens. It’s also designed to nurture and engage the leadership skills of potential and current leaders by providing an atmosphere that stimulates and fosters diverse viewpoints, resulting in innovative answers to the critical questions facing our community. The program strives to create awareness and to connect leaders with issues; it is not an academic leadership training program. Application deadline is Oct. 1. Orientation is Nov. 30, and begins with SIMSOC Dec. 3. Visit for more information and an application.


Learn the why, what, who and how of preparing a promotional video. Scott Heinis from Bytestorm will show us some of the equipment that can be used to create your own video. Ron Elkhatib, a professional film maker from Vortex Productions will put it all together to create a two-minute promotional video. It doesn’t have to be expensive. What could you promote with a video? Bring those ideas to the workshop at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 9 at the Hampton Inn and Suites, 5664 Tuscola Blvd., North Port. Lunch & 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 Gale West, Your Speech Coach. Watch live on our Facebook page.


We recognizes that vaccinated and non-vaccinated people are concerned about the effects of the COVID-19 delta variant. That is why we’re offering free KN95 face masks, thanks to Dan Platt of who donated and provided these masks at no cost to the public, while supplies last. Each packet contains five masks. Due to the anticipated demand, only one packet of face masks will be available per person, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.


We would like to welcome Get Social Marketing, Mary Pena Insurance Specialist, and Safe Place Florida as new members of the North Port Area Chamber of Commerce.

Bill Gunnin is executive director of the North Port Area Chamber of Commerce. Reach him at 941-564-3040 or e-mail at or visit

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


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