Happy New Year!

Excitement is building over the Annual Dinner on Tuesday, January 25th. Invitations went out in the mail last week. The new venue this year (Feté Ballroom at Polo Grill and Bar) will be more inviting than ever! We have added a silent auction this year with some fantastic opportunities to consider. A sneak peek at one of these items being auctioned is “Happy Trails” Imagine you’re a cowboy or gal and working on a cattle ranch for an afternoon. This fun auction item will let you try your hand at roping, skeet shooting and eating lunch grilled the cowboy way. Don’t miss your chance to bid on this and many others escapes and adventures during the networking social at the Annual Dinner. For more information and to RSVP, contact ElbaV@ManateeChamber.com or call 941-748-4842 ext. 122.

The latest buzz around the Chamber office is our 2 new employees who have joined us recently. Chyanne Payne is our newest Membership Development Representative. She has many years of experience with two previous Chambers and we are glad she decided to join us. Cindy Unzicker, Business Development and special project Coordinator in the EDC, is sitting in Debbie Scott’s old seat but with new responsibilities. Cindy is busy helping prepare for the Economic Forecast Breakfast next week on January 20th at the Bradenton Auditorium. This annual event features Hank Fishkind, Ph.D who will give his economic forecast of the coming year for Manatee County. To RSVP for this coming event, contact Cindy directly at CindyU@ManateeEDC.com or call 941-748-4842 ext. 126. Welcome Chyanne and Cindy to the Chamber, we’re glad you’re here.

On that same note, Debbie Scott can be found at Senator Mike Bennett’s office in Bradenton. Congratulations on your new position, Debbie!

Our first coffee club of the year will be this week on Thursday, January 13 at the Manatee County Fairgrounds. Jim Vett will be there to officially kick-off his year as our 2011 Chairman. That same day beginning at 5 PM our Manatee Young Professionals will be at Urban Flats. No RSVP is needed for either of these events. For more information contact the Chamber at 941-748-4842 and Reba, our Information Specialist can answer any questions you may have or direct your call to the correct person for more details.

Tina West, our Better Business Council Manager, is busy proofing the 2011 BBC Directory this week. This publication is of all our current BBC members and will be published and placed in the January 28th edition of the Bradenton Herald. It will also be available in the Chamber’s two lobbies, downtown Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch if you would like additional copies. For more information about membership in our BBC contact Tina at TinaW@ManateeChamber.com.

Well, this week starts the beginning of planning and laying out the February issue of Current. The cover will feature the Pittsburgh Pirates and spring training. Look for it in your mailboxes the first week of February. All for now!

Karen Jones
Communications Director
Editor Current magazine