Women’s Connection Committee Update - June 2016

The Women’s Connection is currently getting ready for the Next Networking Social event, the socials are designed to allow women to come out and let their hair down and network on a more fun and laid back environment. Please join us for our next social “Ladies Bunco Night” win door prizes, cash and have fun with other fabulous ladies like yourself. Please click here to register today.

BIKEFEST Committee Update - June 2016

Chairman Jim Neumann of Select Merchant Services has taken the reigns of the Chamber’s largest event, the Sanford BIKEFEST. Scheduled for March 2017 the event is being planned for downtown Sanford. Committee members include Don Kirkendall, Affordable One Insurance; Krysty Carr, Aerosim; Moire Wisdom, Little Fish-Huge Pond; Paul Osborne, Venture One Properties; Ronnie Larue, Larue Steel; Scott Sturgill, Durable Safety Products and Wiley Plummer, Park Avenue Popcorn Shoppe.

Jim and his committee are welcoming additional members to plan and manage BIKEFEST. If you are interested please contact Jim atjim@selectmerchantsolutions.com.

Frank's Focus - June 2016

This month my Focus is written with melancholy and great trepidation.

Why? Voting has always been important to me. I am proud that since turning 18 all those years ago I have never missed voting in any election at any level. However, I have to tell you, in many of those elections I had to hold my nose and vote for unfavorable candidates because those were the choices I was given.

As we approach the 2016 Presidential election I once again look at the possible candidates and am again holding my nose. Given the current status of the primary process, I see no clear choice for the highest office in our country. For me, both major party candidates are unworthy.

So I have to tell you, frankly, I have had serious thoughts about sitting out this election for the first time in my life. Yes, I have seriously considered not going to the polls on election day in protest of the system. I have also thought about going and just skipping the Presidential ballot altogether. However, in telling you that, I will keep my string intact and vote on November 1, 2016.

For me, as much as I am challenged by the system we have established and support and the candidates we need to select from, I also realize that by not voting I am giving away something that is very important in a democracy. As a student of political science I know that by not voting I am giving greater weight to the votes of others who do vote and also supporting a system where low voter turnout benefits insiders who have given us the system that we have.

I ask that you to join me in voting. Throughout our history millions of American men and women have lost lives, been severely injured or have and have fought and returned home to secure many freedoms for each of us, including the right to exercise a vote on election day. Each day we salute our veterans at events and through other opportunities. We can strengthen those salutes by exercising the vote that they have fought to preserve. We also have the right to hold our nose in doing so!

Women’s Connection Committee Update - May 2016

The Women’s Connection Committee is gearing up for its Quarterly Luncheon, presented by CJ Sugita-Jackson, PhD, owner of Healing Revolutions Wellness Spa, on May 13, 2016. Ladies, enjoy a great meal at St. John's River Steak & Seafood, and networking and learning with other local professionals. Members and non-members are welcome to attend. Register online today.


Frank's Focus - May 2016

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Kemmons Wilson, founder of the Holiday Inn chain of hotels, often bragged that he only worked half days while his original Memphis, Tennessee roadside lodge was getting off the ground. The best part, he used to say, was that he could pick which half of the day he wanted to work – the first 12 hours or the second 12.

So it is with most of the small businesses and their owners who drive our local, state and national economy. Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation celebrating National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.

As part of National Small Business Week, May 1-7, 2016, the U.S. Small Business Administration takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from all 50 states and U.S. territories. Every day, they’re working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness.

To give these unsung local economic heroes the recognition they rarely receive but so greatly deserve, the Greater Sanford Regional Chamber of Commerce celebrated its second Small Business Week Celebration to coincide with National Small Business Week.

According to Chamber Board chair Scott Sturgill, owner of local small business Durable Safety Products, “the Chamber is pleased to have the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs and small business owners. Every day, they’re working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, improve the local economy and increase America’s global competitiveness.”

The Sanford Chamber celebration included an awards and recognition breakfast at Heathrow Country Club where the Chamber honored small businesses in several categories. From the 181 businesses nominated for recognition honorees included Home-Based Business of the Year—Emmy Zumwalt, Mary Kay Cosmetics; Entrepreneur of the Year—Michelle Simoneaux, The Colonial Room Restaurant; Family-Owned Business of the Year—Harry Ellis, NEXT HORIZON; Not-For Profit Business of the Year (Large)—Kid’s House of Seminole, Ernest Hamilton and Not-For Profit Business of the Year (Small)Pet Rescue By Judy, Judy Sarullo.

The Chamber’s Small Business of the Year Awards (Large) was presented to Christopher Stubbs of Link Staffing Services and Small Business of the Year Awards (Small) Paul Dunkman of Dunkman Painting and Wallcovering, LLC .

An independent and anonymous judging panel led by the Chamber’s Small Business Development Committee chairperson Rhonda Smith of Your Quickbooks Coach based on information provided from each business. Judges included Amy Kirkland of the Seminole State College Small Business Development Center, Jim Carlson of Mainstreet Community Bank of Florida and Frank Muni, Professional Business Coach.

Guest speaker for the breakfast was Crystal Scribner, owner of Look Local, the Chamber’s 2015 Small Business of the Year honoree.  Ms. Scribner spoke on her experiences as a small business owner and talked about some of the lessons she has learned. She told the attendees that they needed to continuously be aware of providing excellent customer service for the retention of business.

Sponsors for the event included the Better Business Bureau of Central Florida, Inc, Heathrow Country Club, Your Quickbooks Coach-Rhonda Smith, The Meehle Law Firm, Convergent Partners, Sunniland Corporation, True Choice Telecom and Caraway Gardner Associates, CPA.

The Greater Sanford Regional Chamber of Commerce is an association of businesses and community supporters working to create and maintain an environment where business and community prosper.

Economic Development Committee Update - May 2016

The Economic Development Committee is planning to honor retiring Sheriff Don Eslinger at the 2016 Industry Recognition Dinner on September 16, 2016. The committee will also honor the Seminole County Health Department, Allegiant Airlines and manufacturer Industrial Lighting Products with 2016 awards.

Education Committee Update - May 2016

The Education Committee spent time at their April meeting discussing opportunities for the 2016-2017 year. The committee typically goes dark in the summer months but Chairman Guss Rahal is looking for ways the committee can be more proactive. Additional information will be provided when it becomes available from the committee.

Small Business Development Committee Update - May 2016

The Chamber’s Small Business Committee recently completed a survey of Business Connections attendees to determine ways to improve the weekly event. The committee will review the results and publish them in a future Progressions edition.