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!

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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

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Welcome Megan Neal & Darlene Martin to The Chamber Team!

We are pleased to announce the addition of two new staff members to The Chamber Team! 

Megan Neal croppedMegan Neal joins us as our new Membership & Events Coordinator. Megan will assist the Membership Team as the go-to person for your event and member related questions. She is the friendly face you will see at registration and at our upcoming networking events. Raised in Sarasota, she spent most of her days growing up on our gorgeous Gulf beaches and is a graduate of the University of South Florida. Outside of her professional pursuits, she spends her time writing, enjoying time with her wonderful husband, traveling to her favorite Disney parks, and being a proud aunt to 17 beautiful nieces and nephews.

“As a true Sarasotan, it’s rewarding to be at the forefront of the growth and development that is flourishing throughout our amazing community. I am grateful to have the opportunity to serve an organization that truly looks towards bringing together a greater good within our city and am excited to dive into my role here at the Chamber!”

You can contact Megan at mneal@sarasotachamber.com or (941) 556-4031.


Darlene Martin croppedDarlene Martin joins us as our new Membership Investment Representative, responsible for bringing in new Chamber members. Hailing from New York originally and growing up in Atlanta, GA. Darlene is a graduate of Kennesaw State University in Georgia with an associate’s degree in Business Administration and comes to us with over two decades of sales and business-to-business experience working to increase value to customers. She resides in the Sarasota/Bradenton area and enjoys the beaches, water and practicing hot yoga for the past 5 years.

“From being a member of The Chamber in my past role, I am excited to be an ambassador in the community to new and existing businesses in the Greater Sarasota area!”

You can contact Darlene at dmartin@sarasotachamber.com or (941) 556-4029.


Please join us in welcoming Megan & Darlene to The Chamber team. We are excited to have both of them onboard!

From the President’s Desk: Contact and Connection

 

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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

Help Us, Help You! Updating Your Profile for the 2016 Membership Directory

To ensure that your company’s listing is correct, please take the time to update your profile in the Members Only section of our website. Go to www.sarasotachamber.com and log in using your company username and password. Once you’ve logged in, click on “Update Your Contact Information.” Simply update the fields that need correction and click ‘Save Change Requests.’ You can also take this opportunity to add/remove outdated employee information to make sure your staff is receiving all the benefits your Chamber membership provides.

Here are a few tips for updating your information:

Organization Name/Display Name: Is the title of your business correct in the way it should be referred? Be sure that we meet your company’s standard by double checking the way it is listed in your profile. This would also be referred to as the “display name.”

Primary Directory Listing: The directory lists all members under their selected category. Help readers find your business type by selecting the “primary directory listing” that’s right for you. We have hundreds of categories for you to choose from.

Address, Website and Telephone: This information is important in guiding readers to learn more about your business. To maximize your visibility and business referrals, be sure your address, website URL and phone number is correct.

Need help logging in to your profile? Contact Craig McGonigal at cmcgonigal@sarasotachamber.com or (941) 556-4034.

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