Member Tip Monday: 2018 Membership Seal

As the new year approaches, make sure to update your Membership Seal on your website, social media and print materials! Seal-of-Membership-2018-MD-WEBThe membership seal gives you the opportunity to promote your business as a Chamber Member on your business cards, promotional material, website, social media, and much more.

Showcase your credibility in the community and with potential customers by proudly displaying this seal. According to a Schapiro Group study, prospects are 80% more likely to buy from you if you are a member of a Chamber of Commerce.

How to get your Membership Seal:

Your seal of membership is located in the “Members Only” section of the website so it stays exclusive to you, our dedicated member. Log into “Members Only” with your username and password and click the “Membership Seal” link on the right-hand side. Right-click and choose “Save As” to download the graphic.

If you need a larger file or vector image for your print pieces, etc., please contact Dillon Buckland, Communications Coordinator, at dbuckland@sarasotachamber.com or (941) 556-4039.

Click here to login to the “Members Only” portal.

Members, Please Note: Printed Versions & Decals will be mailed out early 2018!


Forgot your username or password?

Contact Megan Neal at mneal@sarasotachamber.com for login information.

Advertisements

From The Chair’s Corner: A Legacy of Leadership

A Legacy of Leadership

I am both honored and excited to enter into my term as Chair of The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. For me, this is a legacy moment in many respects. I look forward to following in not only the legacy of leadership that the Chamber has demonstrated through its many years in Sarasota, but also the legacy of leadership that my firm, Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen, has demonstrated over our more than 90 years in Sarasota. It is with great pride that I follow in the footsteps of a name partner in my firm, George A. Dietz, a past Chair of the Chamber, to carry on the rich history of the Chamber in a community with an equally rich history.

 

bailey_charlie_ybhi_3897
Chair| Charlie Bailey | Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen

 

As we look toward the year ahead, we do so with a focus on strengthening our connections – both within the community and with our membership. Your story is our story – the story of the Chamber is the story of its members. As an organization, ensuring robust layers of connection amongst our membership and bringing their businesses’ stories to life is our greatest priority. It is with that understanding that we enter this year with a tireless commitment to engage members both new and long-standing. We are setting our sights on being the voice of business in the community and focusing on the headline issues facing Sarasota. As an example, in partnership with Gulf Coast Community Foundation and SRQ Media, we are hosting Grid Un-Locked, a six-week program series featuring expert-led workshops which explore the facts, plans, and future of transportation in Sarasota.

We also are pleased to officially welcome Visit Sarasota County as they relocate Sarasota County’s Official Visitor Center to the Chamber of Commerce building on Fruitville Road. We are confident that this partnership will benefit both organizations, our community, and visitors to our beloved area.

We are proud to be an organization for those who are as focused on doing business as they are on where they do business. Your Chamber is here to support, promote, and connect its membership and the greater Sarasota area. We want your experience to be professionally and personally rewarding. As Chair, I can certainly say my experience has been nothing less, and I am committed to making sure yours is as well. I encourage you to stay connected with me throughout this year and I look forward to continuing to write the story of business in our community.

Charlie Bailey

Chair of the Board

Congratulations, Janet & Sharon as Ambassadors of the Quarter!

Congratulations, Janet Arena!

Janet Arena HeadshotJanet was born in Philadelphia.  Lived most of her youth on a farm in Bucks County. Went to Penn State—majored in business education. Very active in a service sorority, cheerleading, and the theater. Went on to Pittsburgh where she taught two years before going to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in East Africa where she taught business procedures to government employees. While there, she took the challenge of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro which she did in three days—19,340 feet (with no oxygen).

Came back to the U.S. where she taught at Suffolk Community College and Nassau Community College on Long Island. At the same time, she completed her Master’s Degree at Columbia University.

Janet moved to Connecticut where she accepted the position of Chairperson of the three high schools in Milford, CT. In 1979, she became President and co-owner of Stone Academy, a business and medical training post-secondary institute.

She moved to Florida in 2003. After working at various jobs throughout the area, she accepted the position in the Marketing Department at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. She is presently involved in various committees for four Chambers, ushers at seven venues, house manager at Venice Theater, serves on the Gala Committees for Goodwill, Save Our Seabirds and the American Cancer Society, works Meals on Wheels every Saturday; Vice President of the Penn State Alumni Association; Executive Committee member and treasurer for the Big Ten Alumni Group.


Congratulations, Sharon Litchfield!

 

Sharon Litchfield HeadshotSharon has lived in the Sarasota community for over 40 years and has been married to Andy for 32 years, with one son, Adam, both of which keep her grounded. They have two rescue dogs, Levi and Ziggy, who are inseparable and a joy every day. Sharon enjoys all activities that Sarasota provides, from walking the Ringling Bridge to exploring what downtown has to offer on a regular basis and all the festivals that Sarasota brings to our community. She loves traveling and exploring other areas outside Sarasota and look forward to many fun trips this summer.

Sharon will be celebrating 27 years at one of the finest private golf clubs in Sarasota, FL, home to the Champions TOUR from 1986 through 2001 as part of the PGA TOUR Golf Course Property Inc. clubs for over 17 years at TPC Prestancia in Sarasota.

Sharon’s involvement with The Chamber is extensive as she serves on three different councils within Thc Chamber: Chamber Ambassadors, Member Services & Small Business Support Council, and the Finance Committee.

In 2014, she returned to USFSM to pursue her Masters in Hospitality and Technology Leadership and graduated in April 2017. Her involvement in many fundraising charitable organizations over the past 25 years includes United Way, Susan G. Komen, MDA, BBBS, Southeastern Guide Dogs and Be The Match Foundation as a Registered Bone Marrow Donor.

Sharon’s philosophy that you need to give back to your community and give to those in need to have a meaningful life.


Congratulations, to both Janet & Sharon! We greatly appreciate the dedication that you give to The Chamber and to The Chamber Ambassadors’ program. Janet and Sharon’s longstanding commitment through The Chamber Ambassadors and other Chamber Programs, make them excellent representatives of The Chamber and its’ programs. Thank you & keep up the great work!

2016-chamber-chamberambassadorslogo-hz

For information on the Chamber Ambassadors program or to join, please contact Megan Neal or Craig McGonigal

Partnering to Build Your Business

The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce

1945 Fruitville Road | Sarasota, FL 34236

http://www.SarasotaChamber.com

Your Chamber Taking the Lead on Education

Why would a chamber of commerce get involved in helping students get to college?

While it is common practice for school districts, college and universities, and education-focused organizations to participate in chamber membership, increasing postsecondary attainment rates is not typically a role chambers are thought of playing. However, your Chamber has taken a different view.Print

The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce has stepped up to take a leadership role in the Talent4Tomorrow Partnership (T4T); an initiative that focuses on bridging the gap between high school graduation and postsecondary educational attainment. Working in close partnership with organizations like the Barancik Foundation, Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, CareerEdge Funders Collaborative, Education Foundation of Sarasota County, UnitedWay Suncoast, and UnidosNow (to name a few), The Chamber has been working over the last year to bring about new, innovative programs that help our local students go beyond high school graduation and into a postsecondary program.

One area Talent4Tomorrow has particularly targeted is FAFSA completion. Financial burdens are often cited as one of the top reasons students do not enroll in a postsecondary program. The FAFSA, or “Free Application for Federal Student Aid”, is a federal form that students must complete to receive Pell grants, most scholarships, and other types of financial aid. However, confusion and lack of awareness around this application process cause many to simply not complete the application. According to the Florida College Access Network, 59 percent of Sarasota students were eligible for Pell Grants in 2012-13, but fewer than half of them filled out FAFSA forms, resulting in more than $2 million left untapped by Sarasota County students. Ultimately, this results in fewer students entering quality educational programs that feed our local workforce needs and causes local businesses to feel the pain of seeking out qualified employees.

However, in the 2015-2016 FAFSA application cycle, the Talent4Tomorrow Partnership orchestrated a multi-faceted strategy to address the need for more students to complete the FAFSA. Thus, Sarasota County was recognized by the Florida FAFSA Challenge with awards in eight categories. Even more impressively, these efforts resulted in an additional $283,000 in Pell Grant funds being accessed by Sarasota County students. With those additional funds, many more students have been able to attend technical/trade schools, two-year degree programs, and traditional Bachelors programs. For our Chamber members, this equates to more skilled workers ready to take on important jobs for their companies.

Efforts of Talent4Tomorrow have not gone unnoticed by those around the state and the nation. Recently, T4T partners collected $62,500 in matching funds to procure a $50,000 grant from the Florida Philanthropic Network. With these grant dollars, T4T can begin to work on other barriers to postsecondary enrollment and attainment, such as college and career awareness. The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce is proud to be a part of this initiative, bringing the education and business communities together to help students see themselves not only in our colleges and universities but also as professionals that contribute to the future of Sarasota County.


Submission contributed by Mimi Cirbusova, The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professionals Group Coordinator.

Celebrate the Tropical Way at Hob Nob

hobnob-fb-cover-1Join us at Hob Nob for tropical luau – a member showcase featuring unique cultural experiences from Chamber member businesses. Looking to join in on the fun? Showcase your business or attend and expand your network to over 400 Sarasotans, elected and business officials.

Hob Nob 2017

Thursday, March 23, 2017 |  5 p.m. – 8 p.m.  |  Phillippi Estate Park
5500 S Tamiami Trail  Sarasota, FL 34231

We invite you to get your ticket and join in on the fun and get involved. How?

1.)  Sponsor. Get your name out to the community and in front of our 400 attendees. Receive recognition on all Hob Nob marketing materials, signage at the event and the opportunity to do giveaways at your booth.

2.)  Exhibit. Showcase your business by participating as a Food Booth, decorate your booth like the tropics, hula and all, and provide a food item. This is a great way to meet contacts and make connections.

3.)  Attend. Bring your staff and connect with other attendees while enjoying complimentary food and drink from over a dozen Chamber Member Teams.

Click here to see Sponsorship and Ticketing options!

Live reggae music from Jah Movement Reggae Band!

Jah Movement Reggae Band specializes in the Best top 40 Reggae, Dancehall, Soca, R&B, Funk, Soul and Old School Hip-Hop to keep you dancing and feeling Irie! Jah Movement was recently voted ‘2016 Best Reggae Band‘ by Tampa Bay Creative Loafing ‘Best of the Bay‘ and Sarasota voted lead vocalist, Shantel Norman, ‘Best Entertainer‘ in the Herald-Tribune’s 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.


Click Here to Register. For more information on Sponsorship Opportunities, please contact Brittany Lamont at blamont@sarasotachamber.com or (941) 556-4040.

From the President’s Desk: Contact and Connection

 

kevin-web-sized
Kevin Cooper, President | CEO

There is a significant chasm between contact and connection. However, many times the two are either confused or used synonymously. The key is often that, at least for many service-based organizations, focus and success are dependent on not just contacting but connecting with stakeholders, including both customers and end-users. Confusing a contact with a connection, in this case, can lead one to be misguided or aimless. It is with this understanding that my first 90-days as President|CEO have been largely focused on connecting with as many stakeholders in the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce as possible.

 

This focus is particularly relevant to chambers of commerce in that we are membership-owned organizations. At its best, The Chamber is little other than a manifestation of the vision that its members have for it.  While that manifestation may not be a measurable goal, it can certainly be linked directly to the achievement of those goals that are measurable. Without a connection to that vision, any hope of properly manifesting it can be lost.

So, what is the difference between a contact and a connection? For me, a contact is made anytime something is done or not done. To be certain, even the absence of something can be a contact. For example, a restauranteur will often pay close attention to what patrons do not order. By not doing something, the patron is creating a point of contact with that restauranteur.

Where a contact becomes a connection is when a response is elicited. Not all responses are positive, but a negative response can be better than a contact absent a connection. Responses can create a loop when the response is directly received by the person who initiated the contact, or an extension when the response is tangential and perhaps even unknown to the person who initiated the contact. In either case, the transition from contact to connection is where opportunity is created. When the restauranteur tweaks a menu based on what patrons are not ordering, an opportunity is created.

Your chamber is in the business of creating opportunities for building value and relationships. In our pursuit to promote, connect, and support your business, we rely on connections to inform us of those opportunities. The challenge, of course, is creating connections with the over 1300 members who invest in the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. So, while I’ve been working to connect with as many of you as I can, there is still a long way to go and I hope to ultimately create a continual connection loop whereby the process never ends.

That being the case, my goal for this column was to simply create another point of contact whereby I invite your feedback and the opportunity to meet with you. I excitedly look forward to the connection.


Blog Post by Kevin Cooper, President | CEO of The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce

4 Ways To Start Your Year Off Right

happpy-new-year-1

As 2017 quickly approaches, don’t let the new year sneak up on you. Now is the perfect time to follow these 4 ways to start the year off right, and take charge of what you are getting out of your Chamber Membership:

1. Update Your Company Profile

Making sure your online presence is current and up-to-date is often a top priority for businesses looking to attract new customers and leads. Here’s a chance to make sure that your Chamber Profile showcases the same. Log in today at SarasotaChamber.com to make those necessary updates so you can start 2017 off right!

2. Post Job Opportunities on The Chamber Job Bank

When we previously surveyed our members, you wanted a way to post job opportunities for job seekers to find. We have it and we want you to use it! Click here to post your Job Opportunities.

3. Submit Your Events Coming In The New Year

Great events need great people. Sharing your events coming up in the new year with your fellow Chamber Members and the community helps you build your visibility with and invite some awesome people who work every day to make Sarasota the place to be. Click here to submit your Events.

4. Share Your Good News With The Press Release Tool

Who doesn’t love good news about our local businesses?! We love bragging about the good deeds, expansions, new hires, etc. that our members do every day. Submit your news through the Member Portal.

In the new year, we want you to be ready for the great opportunities that may come your way and we hope you take this opportunity to prepare for the new year.


If you have forgotten your login information to your Member Portal, please contact Craig McGonigal at cmcgonigal@sarasotachamber.com. For questions on how to take advantage of your online listing, please contact Dillon Buckland at dbuckland@sarasotachamber.com.