The theme may have been "disaster preparedness," but the Longboat Key Chamber of Commerce luncheon was far more pleasant.
Chamber members and their guests spent the midday July 16 at Cafe L'Europe in St. Armands Circle networking with other local businesspeople and learning about disaster preparedness. Christina Gay-Poppen of WrightWay Emergency Services hosted the event, which Gail Loefgren and Andrew Vac ensured ran smoothly.
Speakers Bruno Kapacinskas of Manatee County and Rochelle Gallant of Sarasota County, both involved in business relations in their communities, defined disaster as "anything that inhibits your ability to do business." This includes more than just your obvious hurricane.
"Besides hurricanes, what do you think of as a disaster?" asked Gallant.
"Red tide!" attendee Nancy Taussig shouted. And don't forget air conditioning outages, fires, and a host of other events.
Kapacinskas and Gallant work with businesses in their communities to prepare them for disaster, so they can get back up and running quickly after something hits.
"I don't want to know your business, I just want to know you're in business," Kapacinskas said.