Chamber Preferred Business Directory and Newcomer’s & Visitor’s Guide

Have you seen the Chamber’s business directory for 2012?

It’s “beautiful” to quote a member who recently took time to look it over. It’s not by accident that we strive to improve this publication each year. I have had this project under my management since 2006. I love seeing the finished project each year when we package it into envelopes and mail it to our members. Did you know that the entire Chamber staff has a hand in mailing these to our members each year? It is officially called the “annual stuffing party” where all Chamber staff stops work for the morning and stuffs the directories into envelopes to be mailed to our members. During this process we enjoy watching a movie chosen by Carey Miller, our Office Administrator and snacks of course… the staff LOVES to share home recipes of goodies whenever possible with each other.

The process it takes to choose a printer for this magazine is well thought out and takes a great deal of time and research. It is a Chamber specialty company and is searched for locally (especially locally) and nationally!  They have to have a sales team that will come to our area and meet with our members, they need an art department to design and write the guide and all the ads that are purchased by our members – which is included in the price of the ad, and they need to print the final book. That sounds pretty simple, but I assure you, the devil is in the details. The printing portion is offered to all our local print members that can print and perfect bind the finished product (perfect bound is the tricky part).

The most recent company that was chosen is SouthComm Publishing. Betty Revis, who is our sales person from SouthComm is living in Manatee for 2 months to complete the sales for the ads. I can’t imagine having a job where you have to relocate yourself for your job for 8 to 10 weeks at a time, but she does it! (And she does a great job of it too!) My hat is off to her for running from one end of the county to another meeting with members. Like today for instance, she was soaked from the downpour of rain going from University Parkway to Longboat Key, what a gal!

If you haven’t taken a few minutes to look over this year’s directory, I encourage you to do so, it’s a gem! You will find a wealth of information about Manatee, area cities, history, schools, a new hotel guide (this is sweet!) and beautiful photos of the area along with our member listings in the directory portion and much much more.

Many Chambers across the country charge money for these magazines to their members, that’s crazy talk! We offer it free to everyone, visitors who call and want info about the area, members who want many copies to give out at their locations to their clients and everyone in between. 

Stop by either of our Chamber offices in downtown Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch if you can’t put your hand on it at your office. Be sure and take some with you, they are great for visiting family and friends who want to know all about the area and our magnificent Chamber!


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 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 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

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

2010 Manatee Chamber Board of Director Announced

The following Chamber members and community leaders have been elected and chosen to serve on the Manatee Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for 2010.

Executive Committee

Chairman of the Board, Chris Pennewill, Superior Bank

Immediate Past Chairman, Mac Carraway, SMR Farms

Chairman-Elect, Jim Vett, Vanguard Advanced Pharmacy Systems                                                            

Vice Chairman Community Development, Darrell Turner, Turner Tree & Landscape

Vice Chairman Economic Development, Jonathan Fleece, Blalock, Walters, Held & Johnson, P.A.

Vice Chairman Membership Development, Rose Carlson, Bright House Networks

Vice Chairman Public Policy, John Horne, Anna Maria Oyster Bar

Treasurer, Tom Seguin, Suncoast Gem Labs


Directors selected for three-year terms are:

Ron Crowder, Crowder Bros. Ace Hardware

Trevor Gooby, Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball Club

Brian Kennelly, LWR Commercial Realty, LLC

Sandy Kirkpatrick, Investor

George Manson, Manson Roofing, Inc.

Tom Seguin, Suncoast Gem Lab


Directors selected for one-year terms are:

Betsy, Benac WilsonMiller, Inc.

Rick Bisio, Franchoice Consulting

Rose Carlson, Bright House Network

Rae Dowling, Florida Power & Light

Chris Locke, University of Miami

Mike Maddaloni, Beall’s Department Stores Inc.

Alina Mugford, The Translation Link, LLC

Marc Simms, RPM Business Advisors, LLC

Brion Sunseri, Ad-VANCE Personnel Services

John Vita, Morgan Stanley

EDC Chairman, Jonathan Fleece, Blalock, Walters, Held & Johnson, P.A.


Returning 2010 Directors are:

Edward Bailey, NAACP

Mike Burton, Environmental Aquatic Control

Mac Carraway, SMR Farms

Mike Eiffert, Galati Yacht Sales

John Horne, Anna Maria Oyster Bar

Susan Kopstad, Stanley-Lambert Wines

Melynda Lee, Tidewell Hospice & Palliative Care Inc.

Trudy Moon, Air & Energy

Michele Morgan, Keiser University

Will Robinson, Blalock, Walters, Held & Johnson, P.A.

Darrell Turner, Turner Tree & Landscape

Jim Vett, Vanguard Advanced Pharmacy Systems

Kerry Ward, Wachovia Bank, N.A.