Looking forward to another busy year
February 22, 2011
First off, I would like to wish everyone a prosperous and healthy new year. Thank you for having the confidence in me to represent the Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce as your president. I would like to thank Adam Jackson for his dedication to the chamber and for the outstanding job he did as our 2010 chamber president. The last several years have been some of the most economically challenging in US history. I congratulate those of you who have worked hard and tried new approaches to persevere in these difficult times.
2011 chamber events started with a card exchange on Thursday, Jan. 20, hosted by Little Lilly’s Island Deli and the Island Exchange Center. Members and guests enjoyed great food and entertainment by Vytas.
For those members who did not attend the annual dinner meeting on Monday, Jan. 24, at the Sandy Hook Restaurant, you missed a very good meeting and an excellent meal. We were privileged to have several dignitaries there. John Manning, our Lee County Commissioner, representing Matlacha and Pine Island, spoke about the Cetius Boat lock and lift and the ongoing bridge construction. Mei-Mei Chan, president and publisher of the Fort Myers News-Press, was the keynote speaker. She spoke about how the News-Press was working with the community and businesses. She acknowledged that the media is changing and becoming more Internet based. Also attending were Tammy Piggott, executive director of the Lee County Parks Visitors and Convention Bureau and Elaine Mclaughlin, president of the Friends of Florida State. We were honored to have the presence of many of our loyal volunteers and several past MangoMania queens.
Adam Jackson presented Lisa Benton with a bouquet of flowers and a gift certificate in recognition of her continued outstanding performance as executive director of the chamber.
One of the evening’s highlights was the presentation of the prestigious Al Mills award recognizing outstanding contribution to our community. Carlyn Herring presented the award to Elsie Stearns, Southwest Capital Bank.
We welcome new board members Pat Burman with Ad&Print Craft of SW Florida (a past board member) and Jennifer (Ginny) Kormos from Two Fish Inn. re-elected to the board were Buzzy Phillips of Raymond James Associates, John Paeno from Calusa Ghost Tours and Jim Roach with TSI Strategies.
As your new president, I am hoping to achieve some important goals in 2011.
1. Bring more business to Matlacha and Pine Island
2. Increase membership and membership participation
3. Bring MangoMania and other Pine Island events back to Matlacha and Pine Island.
4. strive for a better working relationship between Matlacha and Pine Island businesses and the county/state permitting, codes and code enforcement departments.
The traffic flow over the Matlacha/Pine Island bridge will be restricted from time to time and the chamber will be emailing updates to our members on a regular basis.
I would like to recognize Andre’ Mule’, Andre’s Creative Photography. He is retiring from the board of directors after 11 years of service. Andre’ has given much to the chamber and he will continue as the chairman of the Pine Island Pole Painting project.
The chamber is looking forward to a successful year for all. I welcome your comments and suggestions.