Guest column: Marco Island Chamber sets goals for 2014

Time flies when you are having fun! That pretty much describes the first 30ish days as Chamber president. The Chamber has had a busy start to the year 2014 and I’d like to share with you some of the excitement.

We had several meeting and workshops with our board members to reaffirm our commitment to the Chamber mission statement “to promote a healthy business and tourism climate in order to protect the quality of life in the community.” In keeping with the mission statement, our board of directors set the following three goals for the year:

1. Maximize the tremendous strengths of the existing Chamber of Commerce board members. The board of directors encompasses an amazing group of individuals that represent a variety of industries including retail, real estate, healthcare, finance, marinas, construction, law, marketing, media, museums, and hospitality. They are not only dedicated to the businesses within the Chamber, they are also key participants in many of the activities on the island such as meeting the new city manager, participating in the Council town hall meetings, attending information meetings about the Marriott expansion and participating in quality causes such as the Souper Bowl on Feb. 2 and Wet Paint on Feb. 12 (both events designed to raise money directly for the scholarship program for Marco Island high school seniors).

If you have not had a chance to meet a member of the Board of Directors, I encourage you to introduce yourself or invite one for a discussion. Although we actively promote the business community, we are also residents of the island living here 12 months out of the year and dedicated to keeping Marco Island the paradise that we all love. We want to hear from the business and the residents in order for us to accurately and fairly represent the best interests of all.

2. Capitalize on the diverse membership of the Chamber to engage more businesses in active dialog about current topics and business challenges. The current membership of our Chamber is approximately 700 business and represents over 90 percent of the businesses on Marco Island. We have active members with businesses that have been on the island for over 30 years and have members that have new businesses started within the last six months. The collective knowledge, passion, and expertise of the members represent Marco Island very well. A historical criticism of the Chamber has been “it’s always the same people it’s just one big clique.” When Curt and I joined the business community in 2008, we were well received and welcomed not only the Chamber but by many of the businesses on the island. Over the years we have created strong relationships with many of the business and community organizations and are actively involved. I encourage every business owner to seek ways to be involved whether the chamber, the various foundations or charity organizations you will be welcomed!

3. Maintain our mission statement to actively represent and advocate business interests with city and county government. All cities and communities have their challenges, and our unique paradise comes with unique challenges. As residents and business owners on the island, the Chamber has a vested interest in serving its community. Over the last 30 days, we have been introduced to our new city manager, Roger Hernstadt, and we enthusiastically welcome him to our community. We support our county and city governmental officials they are to be commended for their dedication to their roles and we encourage new candidates for this year’s upcoming elections.

We support the combined city and civic efforts to fund our annual firework celebration.

We commit to stay engaged with governmental issues that may impact our members and proactively educate and involve our member community as needed.

We are here to promote the positive aspects of the paradise that we all love. Here’s to the success for all the business and residents of Marco Island in 2014. I look forward to sharing our activities throughout the year and encourage you to reach out to me with your ideas and thoughts about our community.

© 2014 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 13

2themoon writes:

How about a public apology to the Marco homeowners for throwing them under the bus for the last tens tears or so...

Oh no did I awaken the the 800 lb. gorilla in the room?
... Sorry chamber, you're approval rating on this island is lower than the U.S. congress.

Konfuzius writes:

"We support the combined city and civic efforts to fund our annual firework celebration."

That is a straight declaration of war o all eagle friends.
I guess the Chamber is in a big s... (trouble).
Not the smartest people on Marco Island!

CopWatch writes:

Is it time to boycott any business associated with the chamber? Naples is not that far away from Markup Island!

BarbieDoll writes:

I just researched Koon's business on Yelp. Pretty bad.

2.0 star rating
1/18/2014

Two stars for the view. Staff lazy and self absorbed. No business being in the hospitality business. Zero personality or customer engagement. Too busy talking with each other. Shame. Overpriced tourist spot.

1.0 star rating
12/31/2013

Probably the worst meals my husband and I have ever had on Marco Island. Husband gagged down his -less than small - 28.00 grouper. I had a vegetarian wrap which was also tough to swallow. This place is all about the ambience. I'd probably only rec a drink at the outside bar.

1Paradiselost writes:

in response to Konfuzius:

"We support the combined city and civic efforts to fund our annual firework celebration."

That is a straight declaration of war o all eagle friends.
I guess the Chamber is in a big s... (trouble).
Not the smartest people on Marco Island!

FYI... The "Annual Fireworks Celebration" is on the 4th of July, or don't you live here? Not on Christmas or New Years Eve!

BTW... It might be a good idea if you learn the law. Any fireworks that are aerial displays in the state of Florida are against the law without a PERMIT!

CopWatch writes:

in response to BarbieDoll:

I just researched Koon's business on Yelp. Pretty bad.

2.0 star rating
1/18/2014

Two stars for the view. Staff lazy and self absorbed. No business being in the hospitality business. Zero personality or customer engagement. Too busy talking with each other. Shame. Overpriced tourist spot.

1.0 star rating
12/31/2013

Probably the worst meals my husband and I have ever had on Marco Island. Husband gagged down his -less than small - 28.00 grouper. I had a vegetarian wrap which was also tough to swallow. This place is all about the ambience. I'd probably only rec a drink at the outside bar.

urbanspoon Diner reviews CJ'S on the Bay
06/13/13
Doesn't like it
Phone Mobile review
by Kristin – 1 review
Service wasn't good so we left. Went to a different restaurant/bar a few hours later and saw the "bartender" out in his Cj's shirt who was being inappropriate and out of control drunk, he was screaming obscenities that I can't even mention and being racist. I would NEVER recommend this to anyone, it's overpriced and I felt like we were being judged and talked about by the staff, like we were in high school.

Konfuzius writes:

in response to 1Paradiselost:

FYI... The "Annual Fireworks Celebration" is on the 4th of July, or don't you live here? Not on Christmas or New Years Eve!

BTW... It might be a good idea if you learn the law. Any fireworks that are aerial displays in the state of Florida are against the law without a PERMIT!

So what makes the difference?

2themoon writes:

in response to CopWatch:

Is it time to boycott any business associated with the chamber? Naples is not that far away from Markup Island!

Its not fair to pick on the livelihood of a small business owner. If you want to pickett, pickett the Marco Chamber itsself. The Chambers past and present 'leadership' must address their agendas that has 'politicized' a neutral business friendly non profit, into an enforcer arm of local govt'. They have intimidated and blackballed citizens for their God given rights to take a position that is not their own.
Lets start with Monte Lazarus explaining his insults he has hurled at the Marco taxpayer over the years because they opposed the local govt of Marco.

RayPray writes:

in response to Peter_Panzer:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

CopWatch writes:

Customer versus crony - make your choice and be ready to face the consequences.

MrBreeze writes:

I have always found these groups to be like said in the article a "Big Clique" and a place to gossip about each other. I for one have no time for such a group due to at the end of the day there opinion carries no weight.

Hardleymarco writes:

You'll see them once for your grand opening, they'll eat all your food & drink all your drinks, and then they're gone.

CopWatch writes:

in response to Hardleymarco:

You'll see them once for your grand opening, they'll eat all your food & drink all your drinks, and then they're gone.

Sounds like seagull syndrome.
The Seagull Syndrome is when some person flies in to your midst, eats your food, squawks at everyone and finally poops on everything as they fly out.

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