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Longboat Key Monday, Aug. 26, 2013 4 years ago

Loefgren returns to chamber of commerce

by: Kurt Schultheis Senior Editor

The Board of Directors of the Longboat Key Chamber of Commerce announced Aug. 23 that former chamber president, Gail Loefgren, will return to the chamber in her former role effective Sept. 3.

Loefgren served as the chamber president from 1993 until 2008. During that period, the chamber grew from 285 members to more than 600 members. In 1997 the Florida Association of Chamber Professionals named it the Best Small Chamber in Florida.

“We’re extremely pleased to have Gail rejoin the chamber,” said Yvonne Schloss, current chairman of the chamber board and owner of Sunglass Express Optical on St. Armands Circle. “After Tom Aposporos gave notice that he would be leaving as president at the end of 2012, the board took time to evaluate the chamber’s strategy going forward and who would be best to lead this 55-year-old organization. We concluded there is no one more knowledgeable and experienced about the Longboat chamber and Longboat Key than Gail.”

Schloss said the board unanimously supported Loefgren.

In addition to growing the chamber’s membership and being recognized by her state peers, in 2008 Loefgren led the chamber’s effort to advocate the approval of two town referenda, one allowing properties to rebuild to current density levels and the other to allow the addition of 250 tourism units to replace those lost when the Key's Holiday Inn closed. Loefgren also initiated the annual placing of 2,974 flags along Gulf of Mexico Drive in honor of every individual killed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

“I am honored to be asked back to lead an organization that I love,” said Loefgren, who has been employed by Suncoast Workforce as a career adviser. “I am excited about the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for both the chamber and the community. I look forward to working with the chamber membership and the directors to once again make this the ‘Best Small Chamber’ in Florida.”

Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].

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