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This, That, and other chamber stuff

June 15, 2020

This, that, and other chamber stuff


Have you heard that we’re having an in-person Third Wednesday Coffee membership meeting this week?  It is being sponsored by Gator Wilderness Camp School, and our featured guest speaker will be Dr. Joe Pepe, the Administrator of the Florida Department of Health in Charlotte County. It will be wonderful to see everyone, at least the top half or your faces, at 7:15 a.m. Wednesday at the Event Center. All recommended safety precautions will be in place.

New Teachers Breakfast Parade

As mentioned last week, the annual New Teachers’ Breakfast on July 30 has been magically transformed into a New Teachers’ Breakfast Parade. From 7:15 a.m. until 8:30 a.m. the new cadre of educators to our school system will be welcomed and celebrated by their sponsoring chamber businesses at the Event Center parking lot. For $35 a business can be a sponsor and spread-out to line the parking lot parade route with banners, balloons, signs, and their smiling faces. This will be a private event …. open only to the confirmed business sponsors … so please don’t delay your confirmation. The new teachers will drive past the well-wishers and pick up their boxed breakfasts and goody bags. Any chamber member business can contribute gifts for the goody bags by delivering 90 items to the Port Charlotte office, at 2702 Tamiami Trail, before July 24. But only gifts and promo items, please. (#noflyers #savethetrees)

Candidates’ Forum

With the qualifying period complete, we now have our slate of candidates for the 2020 election cycle. The traditional Candidates’ Forum hosted by the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce will be on July 15 from 7:15 a.m. until 8:30 a.m. at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center. Those running for key local, state and federal offices have been invited to attend. To ensure the greatest exchange of information, each candidate will have his or her own table where information and promotional pieces can be displayed and distributed. This will allow our members the opportunity to visit and converse with each candidate. There will be no time allotted for candidates to make speeches, but we will visit each table and ask for a brief introduction.

Additionally, we have provided each candidate with questions submitted by our Government Affairs Committee. Candidates have been asked to answer each question in 300 words or less and then return them to the chamber. The answers will be reproduced in an unedited format and distributed at the Candidates’ Forum, made available in both chamber offices, and posted for review on our website at (And, yes, all recommended safety precautions will be in place.)

Leadership Charlotte Class of 2020

Wow, of all 31 years of the Leadership Charlotte program, this class has really been put to the ultimate leadership test. For those of you familiar with SimSoc, would it have helped you? Even good ol’ Ron Thomas couldn’t have dreamed up this scenario.

Leadership Charlotte is our signature program offering a maximum of 25 local professionals the opportunity to take an in-depth look at Charlotte County. This is by application only, and the selection process can be tough. Once selected, the class begins monthly day-long sessions in October and ends in June, followed by a fun graduation event.

If you just did the math quickly in your head, this class obviously had several of their sessions cancelled. But, they have now been rescheduled and are ready to roll beginning on July 8. The final sessions will be completed between July 1 and September 17, with their gala graduation scheduled for September 18. Hail to LC2020!

But the world hasn’t stopped, so if you are interested in applying for the Leadership Charlotte Class of 2021, please contact me and keep watching for the new application on our website at


   Teri Ashley is the executive director of the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce, now in its 95th year, with offices in both Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte. She can be reached at 941-639-2222 or at