Small Business Development Committee Update - April 2016

Under the leadership of Rhonda Smith of Rhonda Smith Coaching and Training, the Small Business Development Committee is busy planning the Chamber’s upcoming salute to small businesses with our Small Business Week Breakfast. The committee received more than 180 nominations for small business awards in 5 categories. Determined by an independent panel of judges, the awards will be presented at the Small Business Breakfast, to be held at Heathrow Country Club on Wednesday, May 4, 2016, beginning at 7:30 AM. Guest speaker for the event will be Chrystal Scribner, one of the owners of the Chamber’s 2015 Small Business of the Year, Look Local. Block the time now and plan to attend.

Secondly, the committee is working in concert with the Economic Development Committee to plan the Chamber’s annual Silent Auction. The auction is planned in conjunction with the Industry Recognition Dinner on September 14. This initiative provides an excellent opportunity for our members to receive visibility with attendees while supporting a not-for-profit that the committee will select to receive a portion of the proceeds. Speak with any committee member now to get involved.

Finally, the committee is working with local company Convergent Partners to determine on-line opportunities for training, small business visibility and growth. More information about this initiative will follow as it develops.

Economic Development Committee Update - April 2016

The Chamber’s Economic Development Committee, under the direction of Chairwoman Dawn Sipley of Link Staffing, is busy with two initiatives. First, the committee is partnering with the City of Sanford Economic Development Department to arrange and complete visits to Sanford based companies. Through the visits, the committee is building a database of information about the larger businesses in our community, looking for opportunities to assist businesses and looking for trends in the data that they are collecting. Currently every business that the committee has visited is hiring or planning to hire additional employees in 2016.

The committee is also planning the Chamber’s annual Industry Recognition Dinner. Planned for Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at the Marriott Lake Mary, the dinner is also held in partnership with the City of Sanford.

The Chamber will honor long-time Seminole County Sheriff Donald Eslinger for his outstanding career and achievements with a Lifetime Achievement Award. SAVE THE DATE and plan to attend. The event will start with a cocktail hour at 5:30 PM. Sponsorships are available and provide an excellent opportunity to support growing businesses that are investing in our community while gaining important visibility with business and community leaders.

Education Committee Update - April 2016

Led by Guss Rahal of Metrovista Printing, our Education Committee has been busy over the past few months. The committee is working to honor an outstanding teacher and student from an area Middle School each month, held a book drive to support Seminole County schools, recognized teachers and staff at Greenwood Lakes Middle School with a breakfast sponsored by Central Florida Regional Hospital and is currently collecting applications for the Chamber’s 2016 Scholarship Award.

The committee is able to complete many of initiatives from the contributions made by each of our members. $10.00 from each Chamber membership goes into reserve for use by the committee. As a result, the committee has nearly $6,000.00 to invest in local education efforts each year.

Upcoming for the committee is a planning effort for the 2016-2017 school year. If you have ideas to share please speak with any committee member of Guss Rahal at Metrovista Printing.

Frank's Focus - April 2016

As the Sanford Chamber grows—so do our efforts. Recently the Chamber partnered with Sanford based Maus Media Group to expand our internal and external communications. As a result, we are circulating weekly press releases and expanding electronic communications through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other sites. Starting this month we are also publishing a monthly newsletter.

Progressions, our former printed publication is now back as an electronic publication and will be delivered monthly. With Progressions our goal is to bring you up to date information on the many initiatives of the Chamber as we work to improve business and the communities in which we do business, live and play.

Progressions will include updates from your Board of Directors and committees, welcomes for new and thanks for renewing members, recaps of recently passed and information about upcoming events, ribbon cuttings, Chamber initiatives and much more. The much more includes MEMBER NEWS. If your business has news that you would like to include please get it to us in print ready form no later than the 25th of each month. Send news to

The Chamber works when we collectively leverage the individual investments made by each of our members as we work to improve business and our community. Thank you for your support of the Sanford Chamber—we are working hard to earn it every day.

Please look for our Progressions publication on the first Friday of each month. We look forward to sharing our growth and success. Thank you for your support!

Women’s Connection Committee Update - April 2016

The Women’s Connection Committee is one of the busiest groups in the Greater Sanford Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Chaired by Deborah McDonald (financial advisor at Edward Jones) and Brandyn Seiferth (Technology Consultant at Next Horizon Networking and Technology), the committee has organized an ambitious schedule of events designed to bring together local businesswomen for connection, education, inspiration – and a little fun.

“Women are an important part of the economy,” Deb McDonald said. “It’s essential that we have opportunities to get together for professional development and also just to get to know our peers in the community.”

The committee has planned both business-oriented luncheons and evening networking socials throughout the year.

Luncheons are held quarterly at area restaurants and feature speakers with expertise in various aspects of business that interest women.

CJ Sugita-Jackson, owner and spa director at Healing Revolutions Wellness Spa in Altamonte Springs, will discuss the connection between health and wellness and lifestyle changes, as well as food, exercise and supplements at the upcoming luncheon on Friday, May 13, at St. Johns River Steak and Seafood in Sanford.

Karla Radka, COO of Goodwill Industries of Central Florida headlines the Aug. 26 event(location to be announced). The final luncheon of the year is set for Nov. 11 (speaker and location to be announced).

The events begin at 11:30 a.m. and are open to all area business and professional women, regardless of chamber membership. Fees are $18 for members, $20 for non-members. RSVPs must be made at least three days prior to the event. Online sign-up and payment the Chamber website are encouraged.

But sometimes businesswomen just wanna have fun. The committee’s networking socials offer Chamber members and non-members a chance to get to know each other in a more casual setting.

Bring your own wine and nibbles to the fused-glass workshop on Wednesday, March 30, at Gateway Center for the Arts in DeBary. Professional artist Vera Rekstad will be the instructor. All materials are included in the $25 fee.

Coming up:

Events start at 5:30. Locations, activities and prices vary. RSVPs must be received at least three days prior to the event. Online sign-up and payment the Chamber website are encouraged.