PHOTO GALLERY: Formal welcome for new Chamber members

Chamber gets down to the business of orientation

New members of the Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce might initially have underestimated the depth of the organization they’d just joined.

At an orientation gathering held April 1 at Orion Bank, the new members learned about the many and varied committees that keep the chamber percolating.

As importantly, they discovered the many benefits attached to joining the Chamber.

The Governmental Affairs committee, explained chair Pat Neale, is in continual contact with city government — particularly if issues bubble to the surface.

Under Nancy Carrington and Kevin Donlan, the Business Alliance Committee promotes networking, recruits new members and also handles orientations.

One ongoing goal of this committee is to investigate buying power by joining forces with other members for volume discounts.

Part of this committee is the Chamber’s Ambassador Program, which officially welcomes new businesses to the island and solicits press coverage of the events.

The attendees also learned about the Education Committee (under Mac Chaudhry and Alan Brown) in partnership with the Naples Daily News and Marco Eagle, awards the Student Choice Awards; the Teacher of the Year and Support Staff Person of the Year, to the island’s feeder schools.

The Chamber is also involved with Florida Gulf Coast University and has conducted several small business seminars.

Also under the mantle of this committee is Leadership Marco, a program that enlightens 12 volunteers about all aspects of the island during a 12-week series of lectures and field trips.

The Financial and Special Events Committee reviews the Chamber’s financials to assure sound fiscal results, and help to develop ideas for future revenue enhancing and value generating activities.

The Public Relations Committee handles press releases, advertising and the publicizing of upcoming events.

Towards the end of the orientation, Financial and Special Events co-chair Vip Grover encouraged new members to put all their faith in the Chamber’s resident staff, Executive Director Sandi Riedemann, Administrative Coordinator Donna Niemczyk and Creative Director Vicki Willams.

“They make up such a small staff, but they are amazingly helpful,” Grover said.

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