To move forward, the Chamber first looked back at their successes over 2019.
The Longboat Key Chamber of Commerce is looking forward with 20/20 vision.
At its 61st annual meeting and awards luncheon on Jan. 21, the Chamber celebrated 2019's new heights, and announced goals for the new year and decade. In a fitting move, their vision for 2020 is “People. Programs. Purpose,” with emphasis on supporting their nonprofits, community and Chamber members.
“We’re encouraging you to make 2020 your year of giving,” Chamber president Gail Loefgren said. “Pick your passion and make a difference.”
Loefgren shared some of the ways that sponsor Gettel Automotive gives back to the community, including monthly donations to Chalkboard Champs and annual donations to the Education Foundation and Toys for Tots, before encouraging Chamber members to give back in their own ways and share how they’ve done it with the Chamber.
Along with the Chamber’s hot-off-the-press 2020 Visitors Guide, the tables were set with a list of random acts of kindness, like buying coffee or tea for someone else, smiling at every person you pass for a day or hanging out high-fives.
Before Chairwoman of the Board Tonya Atchison and Loefgren announced the 2019 award winners, Atchison detailed a few key points in the Chamber’s 2020 goals and high points of 2019.
“2019 was our year to grow the Chamber,” Atchison said.
Last year, the Chamber installed their Each One, Reach One campaign, attempting to double their membership by having current members bring prospective ones to meetings and networking events. It didn’t double, but the Chamber grew by 75 members and had an 86% retention rate. Attendance at events grew overall, as well.
Loefgren spoke about the reasons each winner got their award, plus where the awards came from. Ed and Marge Moran were outstanding members of the Chamber who have since died, while the Eager Beaver award celebrates an eager Chamber member and was actually named after former member Suzie Eager. For the first time ever, the Chamber announced two winners of the Chamber Member of the Year award, AKA the "VIP award."
In 2020, the Chamber hopes to continue to increase membership, repurpose networking events to better help members, grow to 88% retention and explore innovative social media and marketing strategies, among others.