Kathy Lehnerr.jpg

Kathy Lehner

Each year we celebrate businesses by honoring them at the Venice Chamber Business of the Year Awards. In its 40th year, this event recognizes member businesses in five categories. This year the Chamber will be introducing a new award category for “Employee of the Year.”

This year’s awards luncheon is on Friday, May 31, at Plantation Golf & Country Club. Applications are reviewed and finalists will be interviewed by a panel of chamber members. Organizations must be a member of Venice Area Chamber of Commerce.

We are proud to announce the following categories for 2019.

• Health Care & Wellness Organization of the Year. To qualify for the Health Care/Wellness category, applicants must be active and operating organizations in the field of health and wellness.

• Professional & Financial Services Business of the Year. To qualify for the Professional Services category, applicants must have professional designations.

• Non-Profit Organization of the Year. To qualify for the Non-Profit category, applicants must be local 501(c)3 or 501(c)6 not-for-profit organizations registered in the state of Florida.

• Service & Retail Business of the Year. To qualify for the Service & Retail category, applicants must provide a service or product or operate a “bricks and mortar” business.

• Employee of the Year. To qualify for this category, the employer must nominate the employee.

Visit VeniceChamber.com/BOYA for more information.

The Golf ChallengeWe look forward to continuing this grand chamber tradition of golf on Friday, April 26, at Plantation Golf & Country Club once again. Team cost is $600 and individual player cost is $150 (teams are open to non-chamber members.) Price includes mulligan, raffle ticket, putting contest and longest drive. We are pleased to partner with a brand new presenting sponsor, Conditioned Air! Visit VeniceChamber.com/Golf for more information.

Focus Forward ForumFocus Forward Forum is a brand new one-day event put on by Venice Area Chamber of Commerce (VAYP) leadership to present an enriched entrepreneurial exchange and inspire best practices for professionals of all ages. It takes place on Friday, May 17, at State College of Florida, 8000 South Tamiami Trail, and is $45 for Chamber members and $55 for future members. We have partnered with a presenting sponsor, Gulfside Mortgage, to bring you this event. Visit VeniceChamber.com/FocusForward.

Value addedAnother new development kicking off recently is the official partnership bringing Visit Sarasota County in-house, offering visitor services in Venice. Starting at the beginning of 2019, VSC has already installed racks on one wall within the VACC and is distributing material that includes the official Visitor Guide of Sarasota County and more.

In the upcoming weeks, VSC plans to add some additional signage to the outside and inside of VACC to ensure all those driving by know they are welcome to come in to learn about all there is to see and do throughout the county. Also in the plans for the weeks ahead is to add some design features — including some canvas art — that use augmented reality to play video content.

We look forward to continuing these and other creative opportunities to promote the success and growth of our member businesses. Come see what we are doing and “Get on Board for 2018-19!” at VeniceChamber.com

Kathy Lehner is the President and CEO of the Venice Area Chamber of Commerce.

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