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Longboat Key Wednesday, Jun. 17, 2009 10 years ago

Chamber elects Aposporos official president

by: Robin Hartill Managing Editor

As the Longboat Key, Lido Key, St. Armands Key Chamber of Commerce board completed its job-search description for the position of president, members made the same observation: The chamber already had the person board members were looking for in Acting President Tom Aposporos.

The chamber board voted to elect Aposporos the official president of the organization at a meeting Thursday, June 11, four months after he was named acting president.

According to chamber Chairman Marnie Matarese, the group wanted a leader who would focus on adding value to the chamber — something Aposporos had been striving to do since he assumed the role by working to help the chamber launch a redesigned Web site Aug. 1, and creating new networking opportunities for members.

“We think he will be able to work in the areas that need strengthening,” Matarese said.

Aposporos, who became the interim leader of the chamber following the Dec. 31 resignation of President Gail Loefgren, said that his duties as president have been more time-consuming than he originally expected, however, his past experiences have prepared him for the job.

Aposporos says he thrives in a challenging environment.

He began his real-estate business in 1972 in New York, at a time when credit was difficult to attain for potential buyers. He served as mayor of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and helped to jumpstart economic redevelopment of the city. And, he served as chairman of Progressive Bank Inc., which he helped steer toward financial recovery in the early 1990s.

“When things are completely normal and smooth-running, I’m not sure that I’m as excited or challenged as I am when they are not,” Aposporos said.

While serving as president, Aposporos will continue to operate his business, Aposporos & Son Realty LLC, which is located in the Centre Shops.

Aposporos said one of the biggest challenges he faces as president is to expand membership in the chamber, which currently has more than 350 members. Since he assumed the position, Aposporos has spent much of his time speaking to potential new members.

“Every day, we have to place on the table something of value to our members,” he said.

Aposporos is an Anna Maria resident and has been a member of the Longboat Key, Lido Key, St. Armands Key Chamber of Commerce since 1998. He is a former Anna Maria city commissioner and chaired the Anna Maria Charter Review Commission.

“Our ship is now totally stable,” Matarese said. “We have a captain.”

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