Chamber Connection

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As a strong supporter of businesses in our area and the community we live in, the Manatee Chamber of Commerce has many committees and task forces working to address important issues in order to make the region the most ideal location to live, work, play and grow a business. With more than 20 committees, boards, and task forces, we have a variety of ways for Chamber members to become involved and make a difference.

Area of Focus

Public Policy & Small Business – The Chamber serves as the voice for area businesses to work towards responsible legislation and regulatory practices. Additionally, this division delivers programs to improve the atmosphere for small businesses in the region through education, training, recognition, and special resources.

Workforce & Community Development – This division promotes relationships between businesses and the community in order to advocate for young professionals, education, workforce development, leadership opportunities, and quality of life in Manatee County.

Membership Development and Services – We deliver programs, benefits, and services that attract and support Chamber members. If you have any questions regarding Chamber membership, or would like to find out how to contribute through serving on a committee, please call the Chamber at 941-748-3411

Chamber Committees, Task Forces & Boards

Attainable Housing Task Force – Advocating for diverse housing options for our community’s workforce is a Chamber priority. The mission of the task force is to collaborate with key stakeholders, elected officials, government staff, and business and organization leaders in order to identify and execute strategies for housing solutions.

Better Business Council (BBC) Advisory Committee – Supports the mission of the Better Business Council and offers professional guidance by formally screening applicants requesting BBC membership.

Better Business Council (BBC) Marketing Task Force – Offers professional guidance on marketing and promotion of BBC members and the overall mission of the Better Business Council.

Business Wellness Task Force – Chamber members work with a task force of the Florida Department of Health in Manatee County to increase participation of local business in wellness programs to positively impact their bottom line and improve the health of our community.

Central Manatee Network Alternatives (CMNA) Task Force – Defines and recommends a program of projects that support mobility, safety, economic, and quality of life goals shared by the City of Bradenton, City of Palmetto, Manatee County, and the Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization related to the CMNA study area (US 301/US41 transportation corridors).

Chamber Board of Directors (elected) – The governance body of the Chamber elected to represent specific geographic areas of the county to ensure community-wide representation. The Board sets the policy and priorities for the Chamber with input from Chamber committees, task forces, members, staff and others.

Chamber Executive Committee (elected) – The Executive Committee serves in a leadership capacity within the Chamber’s Board of Directors. A slate of officers is presented by the Nominating Committee and approved by the Chamber’s Board of Directors as stipulated in our Bylaws.

Chamber Friends Committee – Chamber ambassadors who welcome new members and provide experienced perspectives that help members maximize their investment in the Chamber.

Downtown Redevelopment Committee – This committee strives to enhance downtown core areas throughout our county through planning and revitalization efforts. Projects such as Realize Bradenton and the Downtown Mobility Study have been supported by the Chamber and this committee has been active with workforce housing and addressing downtown assets appealing to Millennials.

Education & Workforce Partnership Committee – Promotes and supports the enrichment of education through Business and Education partnerships including Project TEACH, The Big Bank Theory and the Business & Education Partnership Awards Breakfast.

Golf Tournament Committee – Join in on the fun and support the Chamber’s annual tournament through planning, volunteering and promoting this popular event.

Healthcare Committee – Works on healthcare priorities including educating members on healthcare issues, supporting medical residency programs, Manatee Healthcare Alliance, online resources and the Champions of Healthcare Awards.

Infill Committee – Encourages infill and redevelopment opportunities within Manatee County’s urban areas. We have been strong advocates for revisions to the County’s Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Code to bring predictability and certainty to redevelopment in the urban core.

Leadership Manatee Board of Governors (appointed) – Oversees the Leadership Manatee programs ensuring that the program continues its reputation as one of the best leadership development programs in our area.

Legislative Committee – Studies, monitors, educates and advocates on behalf of business concerns on critical state and federal issues. The committee develops the Chamber’s annual legislative priorities, meets with legislators, and collaborates on platforms with other organizations. Members often assist Chamber staff with lobbying efforts in Tallahassee and Washington D.C.

Manatee Chamber Foundation Board of Trustees (appointed) – Oversees the mission and activities of the Chamber Foundation.

Member Engagement Council (appointed) – Assists the Chamber membership team by analyzing retention trends and recommending strategies to enhance member value and engagement.

MYP Community Service Committee – Helps plan and implement community service projects that give young professionals the opportunity to get involved and make a difference in our community.

MYP Leadership Committee – Oversees the Manatee Young Professionals program and takes a big-picture approach to determining MYP priorities, programs, and events while advocating on issues to make Manatee County attractive to young professionals.

MYP Events & Engagement Committee – Plans and implements networking socials and other special events that create opportunities for young professionals to connect and grow their network. Guides messaging about the MYP program to reach young professionals in our region through print and online vehicles to drive membership, event attendance, and community service project participation.

Natural Resources Committee – Investigates and makes recommendations on business regulations and issues affecting our natural resources and land use, including conservation, new technologies, incentive-based approaches and regional solutions. Members work on local and regional public works and water management district topics.

Small Business Council – The Chamber offers a wide variety of programs designed to enhance the profitability of small businesses. The Small Business Council serves in an advisory role on program development, including seminars and the Small Business of the Year Awards luncheon.

Technology Committee – Identifies existing and evolving technologies that can further the Chamber’s mission and shares that knowledge with Chamber members to help grow your business.

Transportation Committee – Studies local needs and facilitates an improved transportation network including regional multi-modal options and advance roadway/transit projects with emphasis on the Manatee/Sarasota area. This committee attracts participation from a wide range of Chamber members including SRQ Airport, Port Manatee, the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority and Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Chamber Programs & Membership Benefits

Access to information – The Chamber has a wealth of valuable information and resources to answer your business and community questions.

Advertising opportunities – Advertising via one of the many Chamber communication vehicles is a great way to increase your visibility.

Advocacy – The Chamber advocates on important local, state and federal issues that impact businesses and the quality of life in Manatee County.

@dvocacy ENews – Stay informed with this newsletter designed to provide you with local, state and federal legislative information with details on how policy impacts your business.

Annual Dinner & Robert P. Bartz Award for Outstanding Leadership – Gives members a chance to reflect on the Chamber’s achievements, recognize leadership volunteers and network with top business leaders. The Chamber introduces goals and initiatives for the coming year introduce board members. We also present the Robert P. Bartz Award for Outstanding Leadership.

Biscuits & Benefits Member Reception – Offers new members the opportunity to get acquainted with Chamber staff and gain an overview of the many benefits and services that can help grow your business. Not just for new members, this reception also offers existing members the opportunity to get reacquainted with the Chamber and maximize your investment. Truly a must-attend!

Better Business Council (BBC) – Membership boosts credibility and consumer confidence in your business and helps you attract and retain customers. The BBC also helps address consumer concerns, publicizes important scam information and offers referrals for local businesses that are members of the Council.

Big Bank Theory – The Chamber presents this financial literacy program to local high school students using Chamber member volunteers. This hands-on, real-life simulation provides students with a look at the realities of being financially responsible adults.

Breakfast with the Chairman – Enjoy breakfast with the Chairman of the Board and fellow members to discuss the challenges and opportunities that exist for businesses in Manatee County and how the Chamber can help on these issues.

Business & consumer showcases – Give members the opportunity to promote their products and services to thousands of potential customers at the annual Ship-Shape Showcase and Chamber Expo events. These are great networking opportunities.

Business & Education Partnership awards – These annual awards honor the many businesses, organizations, and schools that have made the commitment to work together to enhance the education of Manatee County students.

Business After Hours – This casual, monthly networking event offers members the opportunity to connect with current and potential customers. Hosted by Chamber members, these highly popular, free networking events are a great marketing tool for your business. Be sure to bring your business cards!

Business Against Narcotics and Drugs (B.A.N.D.) – This program is available online to all Chamber members who wish to create a drug-free work environment and save on their worker’s compensation premiums.

CEO Roundtable – This self-directed program is designed for CEOs, business owners, and top-level decision makers who could benefit from having an informal “advisory board” of peers to help them work through business issues. This is not a sales/leads program and each group of non-competing members adhere to a strict confidentiality policy. Groups are led by a professional facilitator.

Certificates of origin – The Chamber provides these forms, which are needed to certify the country of origin for certain products prior to export.

Chairman’s Circle Leadership levels of investment – Chamber members invest in Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze leadership levels as a way to increase their visibility and take advantage of enhanced promotional opportunities. Their support enhances the Chamber’s mission and impact and distinguishes these companies as leaders in our business community.

Chamber Expo – Our largest networking event of the year, in partnership with the Sarasota Chamber, the expo offers an ideal marketing opportunity for members to showcase their business to more than 1,000 attendees.

Chamber Friends – This ambassador program matches new members with seasoned ones who are well versed on Chamber benefits and services. A Chamber Friend provides an experienced perspective that helps members maximize their investment in the Chamber.

Chamber member online tools – These tools allow members to manage their membership 24/7 while taking advantage of member-only benefits. Check out these valuable benefits at ManateeChamber.com and click on Member Login.

Chamber offices – The Chamber maintains two offices – one in Bradenton and one in Lakewood Ranch at the McClure Center – to provide easy access to Chamber resources from all parts of the region. More than 25,000 Chamber members, residents and tourists visit our offices each year, so be sure we have a plentiful supply of your business cards and promotional brochures. And, if you are ever in need of business or community information, stop by and see us. Your friendly Chamber staff will be happy to help.

Champions of Health Care Awards – The Chamber recognizes the importance health care plays in our economy, community and our quality of life. Health care professionals and volunteers are recognized for their efforts, accomplishments and the extraordinary impact they are making in Manatee County.

Coalition building/chamber representatives – In order to best utilize the expertise of the Chamber’s member knowledge, we often ask for member volunteers to serve on various boards and/or fill seats on community and governmental advisory committees. These volunteers keep the Chamber’s professional staff up-to-date on the activities and priorities of these groups.

Coffee Club – Join us for breakfast at this free monthly networking event offering members a great business-to-business marketing opportunity. Coffee Club is hosted by Chamber members and is always well attended. Chamber leaders provide updates on programs, events, important issues and member benefit opportunities. Be sure to bring your business cards!

Constant Contact discount – Your membership in the Chamber gives you access to a discount on the subscription of this email marketing tool to promote your business.

Coupons and special offers to members and the public – Chamber members offer coupons to fellow members to support more member-to-member commerce as well as promote special offers to the public thanks to the power of the Chamber’s website.

Business & education partnerships – The Chamber and School Board of Manatee County nurture and foster partnerships that enhance learning opportunities for students in Manatee County while recognizing and rewarding businesses and organizations that support our local schools.

Golf tournament – An annual favorite for golf enthusiasts, this Chamber event offers members the opportunity to network and enjoy a fun day on the course. Promote your business through a sponsorship, volunteering at the tournament or hosting a team. Tournament sponsors receive significant promotional visibility.

Headliners Lunch Series – Each month the Chamber invites key business/community leaders and elected officials to brief the Chamber on important issues utilizing hot topics and cool speakers. These events provide an open forum that encourage dialogue among members and speakers.

Insider email newsletter – Stay informed with this weekly email newsletter that provides you with timely business information, Chamber updates and important state/legislative issues that impact your business. It also provides members with a weekly advertising opportunity to promote their business.

Leadership Manatee – This program is designed to expose business and community leaders to the opportunities and challenges facing Manatee County while honing their leadership skills to make a difference in our community. More than 1,500 local leaders have graduated since the program began in 1982.

Leadership Manatee Alumni Association (LMAA) – Serves as a resource for graduates of the Leadership Manatee program by connecting community leaders, offering educational opportunities and financially supporting the Leadership Manatee and Junior Leadership Manatee programs. More details are available at
LeadershipManateeAA.org.

Legislative initiatives – The Chamber monitors and notifies you of important local, state and federal issues that impact businesses and the quality of life for Manatee County citizens. The Chamber’s Get-Out-the-Vote initiatives give you and your employees information on voter registration and ballot initiatives. The Chamber ensures a strong business voice at the polls and hosts events with elected officials at the local, state and national level to give our members a voice.

Lobbying trips to Tallahassee & Washington, D.C. – Members of the Chamber’s Legislative Committee travel to Tallahassee and Washington, D.C., to meet with legislators, attend briefings and sit in on hearings on behalf of the Chamber. We use this opportunity to push the Chamber’s annual legislative priorities and represent you before our elected officials.

LocalQuotes4U – At the Chamber, we’re focused on driving as much business to our members as possible. Our online LocalQuotes4U tool gives all consumers – business and residential – a way to easily submit a request for a bid for the products and services you seek for your home and office. Your request is sent to all Chamber members who provide the requested products and services saving you time and money while ensuring that consumers are shopping locally and with Chamber members. Find this tool at LocalQuotes4U.com.

Mailing labels – Target your marketing with the hottest mailing list in town. Members may purchase mailing labels to reach our entire membership or target the list to specific criteria (e.g. zip code, business category, etc.)

Manatee Chamber Foundation – The foundation was established for the advancement of education and understanding of economics, matters of public concern, finance, housing, human relations, problems of minority groups, science and technology, economic planning and development, international relations and other subjects related to improved efficiency, development and acceleration of both the quality and quantity of economic growth and employment opportunities.

Manatee County Street Map – The Chamber publishes the official Manatee County Street Map; please stop by and pick one up for you and/or your visitors.

Manatee Chamber seminars & trainings – The Chamber presents dozens of educational panels and seminars each year offering valuable training for you and your staff. The Small Business Council and other Chamber committees and task forces help select topics of relevance to our members.

Manatee Young Professionals (MYP) – Serves as a business, social and community resource for young professionals ages 21-40 in the region. MYP offers monthly networking events, hot topic luncheons, community services projects, special events and much more. We also have alliances with local higher education institutions to get students connected. Members are active on MYP and Chamber-wide committees to ensure the voice of young professionals is heard. Find MYP online at MYPonline.com.

Membership cyber plaque, window decal and placard – When consumers know that a business is a member of the local chamber of commerce, they are 80 percent more likely to purchase goods or services from that business in the future … so proudly promote your Chamber membership with a window decal and countertop sign. And, be sure to download a “Proud Chamber Member” cyber plaque to display on your website and include in your marketing materials.

Mini-Max web enhancement package – Expand your online Preferred Business Directory listing to include your business logo, photos, business description, video, social media links and coupons directed to fellow members or to any consumer visiting the Chamber’s website. The Mini-Max program includes search engine optimized features that help future customers find you.

New resident relocation package – Welcome Manatee! – Attract new customers by including your business literature in a welcome package distributed to prospective and new residents who contact the Chamber for relocation information and through the four offices of the Manatee County Tax Collector. Remember, new residents typically establish buying patterns within 90 days of moving to a community. This programs helps you reach them first!

Notary service – We have a Florida State authorized Notary Public on staff at both Chamber offices for your convenience.

Online courses – Through a partnership with State College of Florida, we are able to offer hundreds of high quality online courses at a discount to Chamber members and their employees with convenient 24/7 access to course content and professor interaction.

Pancakes & Politics/Politics & Pints – Held before and after the state legislative session in Tallahassee, the Chamber hosts our local legislative delegation to provide a preview and recap of priorities and the Florida Legislature’s actions on important bills. These are valuable opportunities to talk with elected officials and let your views be heard.

Power Connection breakfasts and luncheons – These networking events offer members a more intimate environment in which to connect with one another. Enjoy breakfast or lunch at a Chamber-member restaurant and share information about your business and client needs. All attendees have time to give a one-minute commercial, every time you attend.

Press Release Tool – A members-only benefit, this online tool gets your company’s good news into the hands of our regional media in the easiest, most efficient manner possible. Submit your information once, and the Chamber’s online tool emails your press release to more than 100 print, television, online and broadcast media contacts.

Professional development – Your Chamber offers numerous seminars, roundtables and educational activities geared specifically to the business community and the continuing education of you and your employees.

Project TEACH – Designed to increase career awareness among fourth-grade students in Manatee County Public Schools and to stress the importance of first impressions, Project TEACH is presented each year to Manatee County Public Schools and engages more than 120 Chamber member volunteers.

Referrals – The Chamber loves referring your business! Whether through phone inquiries, email or a visit to the Chamber’s offices, businesses, residents and visitors alike will find information about your company. Referrals through the Chamber’s website and online Membership Directory continue to grow and generate new leads for members.

Residential relocation inquiries – The Chamber responds to hundreds of requests from individuals, families and businesses considering a move to Manatee County. Your company can benefit by including your marketing materials in each information package and subscribing to receive this mailing list each month through the Welcome Manatee! program.

Ribbon cuttings – We enjoy celebrating with our members with a Chamber ribbon cutting for the opening, expansion or relocation of their business. We will provide the ribbon, giant scissors and photographer and will promote your event in our monthly Current magazine and on social media.

Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) – The Chamber hosts free business consultation onsite through the professional services of SCORE. Simply call the Chamber at (941) 748-3411 to make an appointment.

Ship-Shape Showcase – One of our annual business showcase events offering members a prime opportunity to promote their products and services and attract new customers. Attended by hundreds of members, this event also features narrated bus tours of Port Manatee, DJ entertainment and delicious food from Chamber member restaurants. Shop Local. Shop Chamber!

Small business assistance programs – The Chamber presents dozens of educational panels, seminars and workshops each year. The Small Business Council and other Chamber committees and task forces help select topics of relevance to our members. Popular offerings include Social Media, How to Get Your Business in the News and Supercharge Your Sales and Networking Techniques.

Small Business of the Year awards – The Chamber recognizes the important role small businesses play in the strength of our economy. Small businesses, through a formal nomination and selection process, are recognized at our annual awards luncheon for their growth, community contributions and customer service.

Social Media – The Chamber utilizes a variety of social media platforms to bring greater exposure to our members, programs, initiatives and community. Be sure to find us online and connect with our pages to receive the latest updates.

Sponsorships – Enhance your visibility through our many sponsorship opportunities, each tailored to offer you premium advertising and marketing exposure. There are many opportunities throughout the year fitting every member at every budget level. This is an important way to raise the awareness of your business and identify your company as one that is involved and committed to our community.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers luncheon – Get the inside scoop from Bucs executives and players on plans for the upcoming season and how the economic impact of having the NFL in our region benefits Manatee County.

Tourist information centers – Both Chamber offices have officially been designated as tourist information centers by Manatee County. Stop by and see us and utilize the Manatee Chamber as a resource for local information.

Travel with the Chamber – The Manatee Chamber offers affordable group travel packages to exciting, vibrant destinations around the world. Contact the Chamber to be added to the “travel list” to receive notifications about upcoming trips.

Workforce development – The Chamber is dedicated to initiatives that will close the gap between post-secondary education, career resources for students and the workforce needs of local businesses.

Publications

Better Business Council Guide to Better Business – A directory featuring BBC member businesses dedicated to building and maintaining good customer relations. This important resource guide is published by the Bradenton Herald and offers helpful consumer information.

Current, the Chamber’s Monthly Magazine – This award-winning monthly magazine reaches more than 3,200 Chamber members and community leaders with information about Chamber programs, events and business initiatives, as well as timely news about our members. Affordable, targeted marketing opportunities to the business community through display and insert advertising are available. Get your business noticed! Members are encouraged to share their business news with us for possible publication.

Manatee County Street Map – The Chamber publishes the official Manatee County Street Map so please stop by and pick one up for you and/or your visitors. Your advertisement supports this important resource and helps place your business “on the map.” Advertising is open to Chamber members only. This year we have a partnership with the Convention & Visitors Bureau that more than doubles our map distribution to 28,000 copies.

Preferred Business Directory and Newcomer’s & Visitor’s Guide – This high-quality magazine is published and distributed annually—free of charge—to more than 14,000 Chamber members, businesses, residents and visitors. Advertising in this publication really gets you noticed by potential consumers. Please pick up extra copies for your new employees as well.

Member Engagement & Benefits Guide – This valuable reference guide will help you determine the programs, events and initiatives that best match your business needs. We have identified the top reasons our members join and continue to support the Manatee Chamber of Commerce and assigned each a color-coded icon for easy identification. Look for these icons to help you find ways to maximize your membership.

Chamber-Affiliated Websites

ManateeChamber.com – The Chamber’s website has a wealth of information, giving you 24/7 access to tools designed to help your business succeed. We also share information about Manatee County and our region with the world. All Chamber members are listed in our online business directory with a link to your website and a detailed description of your company/product/service. We encourage you to take full advantage by using key internet search words to help drive even more traffic to your listing. Our “Members Only” section has web tools offering even greater access to Chamber resources, making managing your business listing easier, allowing you to RSVP and pay for events, as well as giving you access to features like the Press Release Tool.

JobFocus.com – Your local source to finding prospective employees and is offered free to businesses and job seekers. Local employers can post their jobs and find available candidates who best fit their needs.

LocalQuotes4U.com – This tool gives all consumers – business and residential – a way to easily submit a request for products and services to all Chamber members within a specific business category. This saves time and money while ensuring that consumers are shopping locally and with Chamber members.

MYPonline.com – The website for the Manatee Young Professionals program offers pertinent information on upcoming MYP events and activities as well as links to membership, involvement and leadership opportunities.

ManateCalendar.com – A great resource to find out what’s happening in our area and to promote public events and activities. Posting and searching events is free.

Social Media

Facebook – facebook.com/manateechamber
Twitter – twitter.com/manateechamber
Linked In – linkedin.com/company/manatee-chamber-of-commerce
YouTube – youtube.com/manateechamber
Instagram – instagram.com/manateeyoungprofessionals

CONTACTING THE MANATEE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

BRADENTON OFFICE
222 10th Street West,
Bradenton, FL 34205
Phone: 941-748-3411
Fax: 941-745-1877

LAKEWOOD RANCH OFFICE AT THE MCCLURE CENTER
4215 Concept Court
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34211
Phone: 941-748-3411
Fax: 941-745-1877
Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday

U.S. Chamber 5-Star Accredited
Proud winner of the National Chamber of the Year Award and four-time winner of the Florida Chamber of the Year Award.
Info@ManateeChamber.com
ManateeChamber.com

OUR MISSION: To build a positive business environment while enhancing the community’s quality of life.

MANATEE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE STAFF

Terri Behling, Vice President,
Workforce and Community Development
TerriB@ManateeChamber.comext. 172

Kim Dalglish, IOM, Vice President, Membership
KimD@ManateeChamber.comext. 121

Jacki Dezelski, IOM, President | CEO
JackiD@ManateeChamber.comext. 131

Tim Estep, Member Engagement Manager
TimE@ManateeChamber.comext. 275

Tim Fenimore, Membership Development Representative
TimF@ManateeChamber.comext. 241

Michael Gallen, Esq., Vice President, Public Policy & Small Business
MichaelG@ManateeChamber.comext. 124

Carole Guevara, Information Specialist
CaroleG@ManateeChamber.comext. 200

Kimberly Henley, Program & Events Manager
KimberlyH@ManateeChamber.comext. 139

Erica Massey, Executive Assistant, Public Policy & Small Business
EricaM@ManateeChamber.comext. 123

Carey Miller, Office Administrator
CareyM@ManateeChamber.comext. 113

Cara Misiewicz, Executive Assistant, Membership
CaraM@ManateeChamber.comext. 122

Reba Parrish, Information Specialist
RebaP@ManateeChamber.comext. 100

Dawn Plavak, Better Business Council Manager
DawnP@ManateeChamber.comext. 114

Cheryl Richert, Controller of Finance
CherylR@ManateeChamber.comext. 115

Michele Slaughter, Creative Services Manager
MicheleS@ManateeChamber.comext. 116