I recently celebrated my fourth anniversary with the South Lake Chamber of Commerce. As I reflect on that, I think about how fortunate I have been to work in a business that affords one of the quickest routes to knowing what a community is all about—from the business environment, to civic life, to the quality of life around us.
When I first moved to Clermont and South Lake, I knew I would meet a lot of interesting people. My first day in the office I met the inimitable Ann Dupee and another Clermont icon, the late Oakley Seaver. I remember, in my first hour, the phone ringing and one of the local church pastors, whose name I can’t recall, singing to me over the phone, welcoming me to Clermont. I can still hear his lilting tenor voice with a hint of mischievousness, crooning away. I thought for sure he was going to ask me to join his church in the next verse.
Fast forwarding to the present: the Chamber has completed another strong operating year, both from a financial standpoint as well as in providing programs and services that our membership has asked for. We also have an ambitious business plan in place for 2008 and welcome member input, support, and feedback on the projects and events we provide. A year-end recap and a preview of 2008 were the main topics at our January annual meeting and breakfast at Jenkins Auditorium.
We also formally introduced our new 2008 officers and Board of Directors at the breakfast and at our Annual Installation Banquet. Congratulations go out to Attorney Merideth Nagel, Chair; LSCC President Chuck Mojock, Vice-Chair; South Lake Hospital CEO Leslie Longacre, Immediate Past Chair; United Southern Bank Executive Mike Bucher, Treasurer; and Jeanie Rowin of Riverside Bank, Secretary, for their new positions.
We also welcomed Tom English of Golden State Mortgages, Ron Wallace of the Daily Commercial/South Lake Press, Lucy Hage of Goin’ Postal, Chris Schramm of Peoples First Community Bank, and Jason Meyers of Southern Luxury Homebuilders as new board members. They join incumbent directors Keith Mullins of Bacchus Vino Etcetera, Paul Caldwell of Summer Bay Resort, Mark Graff of Graff Holdings/Sylvan Learning Center, Steve Lightcap of HouseMaster, John Moore of Orlando Regional Healthcare, Eric Roukey of Northwestern Mutual, Kasey Kesselring of Montverde Academy, and Felix Ramirez of City of Mascotte.
Outgoing board members are Gregg Christoff, Gary Clark of Ameriprise Financial, and Susy Gibson of Clermont Automotive & Tire. All three were past chairs with 23 years of combined chamber board experience! Their leadership, chamber history, and commitment to our cause are sorely missed, and we wish them much success in their future endeavors, both within the chamber and in the community at large.
Please call us at (352) 394-4191 to learn about the membership services you will receive when you join the South Lake Chamber of Commerce. Our purpose is to “create and maintain an environment where business and community will prosper.”
Our staff includes Mary Prescott, director of Membership and Special Events, Donia Eastman, coordinator of Administrative Services, and Margie Tingley, receptionist/Customer Service, and they are here to serve you.
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