Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce

Supporting, advocating, and promoting our local business-members in the heart of the Florida Keys!

Category: CEO Corner (page 1 of 3)

August 2017 CEO Letter

Dear Marathon Chamber of Commerce Member

While lobster mini-season keeps our hotel rooms, restaurants, and businesses busy; we are all glad when it’s over! We have a lot of exciting initiatives going on over the next few months, since we aim to keep you, our valued business-member in-the-know here is what we are working on.

Seminar #2 on Cyber Security has been cancelled.

First, we have the second of three business-seminars set for this month. As you know education is a huge part of what your Marathon Chamber does. We understand the value of education, and how improving our skills and abilities can lead to improved business performance, profitability, and also longevity. Our Aug. 14th seminar focuses on Cyber Security for Small Businesses. No business is immune to online hackers and criminals seeking to steal your, and/or your customers’ information and data. Plus your liability insurances will not cover any losses from cyber security breaches. We hope you will attend to learn how to better protect yourself, your customers, and your business. Please sign up for this month’s seminar, you will not be disappointed (flyer included in this month’s newsletter).

Annual Chamber Board of Director Elections

August is also when we begin preparations for our annual Chamber Board of Director elections. If you are interested in running for a seat on the Marathon Chamber Board of Directors, please email or contact me to receive an application (also see flyer insert). Elections take place in early September and this year we have six (6) open seats on the Board. This is a great way to help lead the overall direction of your Marathon Chamber and help to have a real impact on our business community.

BIG Raffle Contest

Finally, this month signifies the beginning of our annual BIG Raffle Contest. Winners will be drawn at our annual Awards Banquet on Friday, Oct. 6th at Hawks Cay Resort (please save the date). Again we are offering a vacation package for two (winner can choose from 4 vacation options) as our grand prize ($3,000+ value), or if a vacation is not your cup of tea, the grand prize winner can choose a cash prize of $2,000.00. Other prizes include a stay at Hawks Cay Resort with spa for two, as well as $100 restaurant gift certificates, a staycation in Key West, and more. See flyer insert for more info please. As always tickets are only $25.00/each and we will only sell a max of 500 tickets. Proceeds help to fund our annual Academic and Continuing Education Scholarships to Marathon students and also our business-members.

Have a great August everyone; please be sure to get your raffle tickets and to sign up for our Aug. 14th business-seminar; and be safe out there getting those delicious Florida Lobsters after full season opens up August 6th!

Most Respectfully,

Daniel Samess, CEO

Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce

(305) 743-5417

ceo@floridakeysmarathon.com

Website

www.RelocateToTheFloridaKeys.com

www.MarathonSeafoodFest.com

August

August

KEYS TOURISM ADVISORY

KEYS TOURISM ADVISORY    July 31, 2017 • 10:00 a.m.

News and Information from the Monroe County Tourist Development Council

Special Filming Event Scheduled Tuesday, Aug. 1

A film production company is planning to shoot portions of a new television commercial Tuesday, Aug. 1, which is to likely result in brief traffic delays that day between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.

The Enthusiast Network, Inc. is to have support of Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies to help control and direct traffic between mile marker (MM) 65.5 and also 50.8, according to production officials. No lane closures are scheduled.

Aerial and also ground-level driving footage is planned to be shot for Lamborghini car company.

Motorists planning to use the Overseas Highway during the film production window should allow extra travel time to arrive at their destinations.

Filming is subject to change due to inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances.

KEYS TOURISM ADVISORY    July 31, 2017 • 8:00 a.m.

News and Information from the Monroe County Tourist Development Council

Road Work to Continue at Key West’s Triangle 

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) will continue work at the “Triangle,” where US 1 meets North Roosevelt Blvd. at the entrance of Key West, according to FDOT public information personnel.

Scheduled to be some night time lane closures between 9 p.m. and also 6 a.m., in order to remove existing concrete and place new sidewalks for the relocated crosswalk.

The outer lane, outbound will be the first to be closed at night. Later, the outer inbound lane will be affected.

This project is expected to improve the traffic flow for the turn lanes, and includes the installation of a new traffic control cabinet, pedestrian signals, milling and asphalting, concrete modifications on the island and new roadway striping.

Therefore work is expected to take up to 2 months.

CANCELLED Seminar #2 Cyber Security

CEO’S CORNER

Seminar Cyber Security CANCELLED

Chamber Members, Friends, Colleagues:  Please consider attending our upcoming Business Seminar Classes which are a great opportunity for you and also your employees to learn about:
  1. August 14th: CANCELLED Cyber security to protect your online information, customer info/data, websites, etc.
  2. September 11th: How to read and utilize financial reports to make good business decisions.

Have a great and safe weekend everyone.  Lobster Mini Season is next week, please be safe out there; ensure all your gear is in good working order, your lobster and fishing licenses, etc.  May the lobster be with you!

To sign up & RSVP please contact Erika at your Marathon Chamber: 305-743-5417 / Erika@floridakeysmarathon.com
Click here for PDF of Seminars Flyer

Cyber Security for Small Business:
Monday, August 14th
This class will provide small business owners tools to protect company
and customer data and assets. Therefore using these tools, businesses can avoid
being victims to ransom terrorists.
Steve Prettyman has over 20 years experience in the IT industry and
also as a college professor. Over the years, he has taught classes in
programming, mobile app development, web design and also cyber security.
Steve is also an author of two PHP programming textbooks and also a third
is in development. After 40+ years in Atlanta, he returned to South
Florida in 2016 accepting the role as Computer Science Chair at FKCC.

July 2017 CEO Letter

July 2017 CEO Letter:

SCHOOL IS OUT, BUT NOT AT YOUR MARATHON CHAMBER

Join June Membership Drive

Join June Membership Drive

School’s out for summer (as Alice Cooper said), but that doesn’t mean we stop learning and trying to educate and empower you, our valued
member! I am very excited for the three (3) educational seminars we have planned for you this summer and fall. Each class is specific to
local business’ needs that will help to further improve your marketing, security of valuable data, and to better understand and utilize financial
reports to make sound business decisions.

Seminars:

First class focuses on social media marketing. It takes place on July 10th from 8:30AM – 11:30AM at the Hyatt Place conference room. We hope to see you there as this will be a great class. Also opportunity to learn about how to effectively market your business, products, and also services to current and potential customers online via Facebook and other widely used social media platforms.

Second class will focus on cyber security for your business, and how to protect important data, customer data, etc. that you may store on your computer, point of sale system, etc. This class will take place on August 14th (same time and location).

Third and final class will focus on cash flow management and effective use of financial reports for your business. Here you will learn how to construct, read, and effectively use financial reports to help your business survive and also thrive. This class will be on September 11th, again same time and also location as the previous two.

We hope you will join us for one, two, or all three classes; as always chamber members receive a discounted rate. If you sign up for all three classes you receive an even more heavily discounted rate. All classes include coffee, beverages, fruit and pastries. Please contact us your Marathon Chamber to RSVP (305-743-5417; Erika@floridakeysmarathon.com).

Board elections, and annual Awards & Installation Banquet

Lastly, we are beginning to plan ahead for our upcoming Board elections, and annual Awards & Installation Banquet (save the date please: October 6th at Hawks Cay Resort).

We recently awarded (10) ten Business Beautification Grants to local business-members as well. Our education committee Chairman TJ Patterson announced our five MHS senior scholarship recipients, each received $1,000.00 from your Marathon Chamber of Commerce.

Congrats to: Carlie Meehan, Theodore Violissi III, Amanda Ban, Alyssa Turner, and Rachel Philcox!

Have a great, safe, and happy 4th of July everyone; see you all at Sombrero Beach for the amazing Marathon Rotary Beach Party and City of Marathon Fireworks Show. Be sure to contact us for any business assistance, needs, or also services you may need either directly from us or from someone else we can connect you with. Our doors are always open and no request is out of bounds.

Most Respectfully,

Daniel Samess, CEO

Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce

(305) 743-5417

ceo@floridakeysmarathon.com

Website

www.RelocateToTheFloridaKeys.com

www.MarathonSeafoodFest.com

BAH-Dolphin Research Center

Marathon Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours at the Dolphin Research Center!

Everyone had a Blast watching the Dolphin show, and being able to walk around and learn about the animals! They even had the Splash Zone open. Thank you to the Dolphin Research Team! Also a great Networking opportunities! If you would like to join our Business After Hours please contact Erika Goodman  at either Erika@FloridaKeysMarathon.com OR call at (305)743-5417. We love to have you join our Chamber! In addition a huge thank you to Centennial Bank for providing the Food & Beverages. Dolphin Research Center trys to have a Business After Hours there, at least once a year. We also hold our 50/50 raffle, and any other prizes for a drawing that other companies offer. This time DRC offered a Free Dolphin Splash!

www.facebook.com/pg/floridakeysmarathon/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1704924442857950

June 2017 CEO Letter: Education & Growth

Education & Growth

 

We have all heard the term, “information is power.”

Because the more we know, the better we can understand, solve problems, overcome adversity, and accomplish goals. Your Marathon Chamber values this sentiment; not only is Education one of the pillars of your Marathon Chamber, but it’s also part of our mission statement.

This year your Board of Directors has taken its involvement yet again to a new level, by further investing in our youths’, as well as our business-members’ educations. We recently expanded our budget to award $10,000.00 in continuing education grants to current business-members. In total we were able to fund twenty two (22) business-members so they can engage in continuing education opportunities to further their knowledge, skills, and abilities. All which will have a positive affect and ROI in our community.

Your Chamber is also about to award five (5), $1,000.00 scholarships to Marathon High School seniors to help pay for their college tuition, books, etc. Lastly, we previously donated $5,000.00 to our local (Middle Keys) Take Stock in Children program. In total we will have awarded $20,000.00 in educational-related grants in 2017; something the Board of Directors and I are so very proud of. Actually, since 2010 your Marathon Chamber Board has awarded and donated over $85,000.00 in educational scholarships and grants. Once again we are so honored to be able to provide our members and local students with such funding and to connect them to their desired educational opportunities.

Here are some of the businesses that received our 2017 continuing education grants:
Sol Shine Yoga • Tildens Scuba Center • Bliss Massage Loft • Law Offices of Patrick Stevens • Middle Keys Habitat for Humanity • Martin Luther Chapel • Holiday Inn Express • Marathon Aviation Associates • S.A.L.T. • Pilates in Paradise • Marathon Weekly • FL Keys Children’s Shelter • Amy Gertz, LLC • MLKAR • PST Style • Hyatt Place Resort • Florida Keys SPCA

Changing gears a bit; we are excited to announce that our annual Membership Drive will take place this entire month of June. Please be sure to tell your friends, other businesses, etc. about this program. We have some great incentives for new members to join during the membership drive, such as free radio ads, newspaper ads, special discounts on other services, and many more items that will all help your business succeed. After all, it is due to our growth in membership (and your membership) that we are able and continue to fund such educational endeavors.

Lastly, please be sure to say hello and welcome to our newest team member, Erika Goodman, who recently started full time with your Marathon Chamber as our Membership & Benefits Coordinator. Have a great June everyone; please be sure to contact us for any business assistance, needs, and any advice/help you may need. Our doors are always open and no request is out of bounds.

Most Respectfully,

Daniel Samess, CEO

Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce

(305) 743-5417

ceo@floridakeysmarathon.com

www.FloridaKeysMarathon.com

www.RelocateToTheFloridaKeys.com

www.MarathonSeafoodFest.com

May 2017 CEO Corner: Scholarships, Grants, and such!

Scholarships, Grants, and such!

Now that we are past tax season (unless you filed an extension of course), we can focus on our spring and summer seasons. As you know Marathon is no longer just a winter destination, but a year round one. In fact our summers (April-July) have become so strong we typically average about 75% occupancy in our Middle Keys resorts, hotels, and campgrounds! After all it is the best time for fishing, diving, and all else that brings us in the water. BUT, aside from the great weather and busy summer your Marathon Chamber remains steadfast in serving you, our valued business-member. In fact we have two programs that are designed to help, support, and benefit you!

1) Currently we are accepting applications for our annual Continuing Education Scholarships, where the Chamber Board of Directors will award up to $10,000.00 in scholarships to chamber-members who wish to further their skills, abilities, and education; which in turn will allow their business to further improve and thrive. Applications went out about a month ago and are due May 5th (see application inside newsletter).

2) Also, our 2017 Business Beautification Grant applications recently went out; once again your Marathon Chamber Board will award up to ten (10), $2,000.00 matching grants to help business-members improve the visual appearance of their buildings/facilities.

We are proud to offer these two great programs to you, our valued business-member. By improving business-members abilities through education, and by improving the appearance of our businesses; your Marathon Chamber aims to raise the status, appeal, and performance of your business so all our businesses can reach new heights!

Have a great May everyone; please be sure to contact us for any business assistance, needs, and any advice/help you may need. Our doors are always open and no request is out of bounds.

Most Respectfully,

Daniel Samess, CEO

Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce

(305) 743-5417

ceo@floridakeysmarathon.com

www.FloridaKeysMarathon.com

www.RelocateToTheFloridaKeys.com

www.MarathonSeafoodFest.com

January CEO Corner

2015, you’re here already?!

 I hope you all had a great Holiday and New Year!  We had a great inaugural Florida Keys Craft Beer & Bubbly Fest, thank you to our sponsors, volunteers, supporters, and our event partner, The Fishermen’s Community Hospital Foundation.  We hope you all had the opportunity to get out there and partake in our newest event, and of course that you were able to sample some libations while having a great experience.

2015 has some great things in store for us, so let’s list them out:

1)      New look to our Chamber Connection Newsletter; we will also be going digital so please be sure to let us know if you would still prefer to receive your monthly Chamber Connection Newsletters via mail as a hard copy

2)      Hyatt Place at Faro Blanco Resort and Lighthouse Grille is open for business.  This will have a huge economic impact on you all, our local business-members, as well as our overall community.  We thank the Spottswood family, Steven Robbins, the resort’s GM, and his team for doing an amazing job in getting open so quickly while offering a quality product for visitors and locals.

3)      Marriott Courtyard Resort; scheduled to open around April of 2015, will provide yet another brand new name brand resort for our visitors.  Don’t forget, they will also have a restaurant on site for visitors and locals alike to patronize.

4)      Marathon Airport Port of Entry (Customs/Immigration) will also open around April of 2015. Allowing for locals and visitors to travel internationally to and from Marathon Airport, by air or by sea!  This new, exciting service, of which your Marathon Chamber Board donated $25,000 towards; will have a huge economic effect on our businesses and community, now and for many years to come.

5)      Adult/Professional Educational Opportunities for you, our valued members. Your Marathon Chamber plans on offering a plethora of educational seminars for you and your staff this year. Topics will include: Customer Service, Leadership & Management, Conflict Resolution tactics for staff, colleagues, and customers, and more..

6)      Holiday Decorating Grants; where your Marathon Chamber will award fifteen (15) of our business-members each $150.00 to cover costs to purchase and set up holiday lights and decorations, so our Middle keys/Marathon community can look its best during the holidays in 2015!

7)      Our annual Business Beautification Grant Program will be back for its fifth year, where we will award ten (10), $1,500.00 grants for selected business-members who will be improving their façade.

Thank you again for being a member of The Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce in 2014, and we hope you will stay with us in 2015.  If you have any questions about your membership renewal invoice please call us anytime. Want to know more about what the Marathon Chamber can do for you and your business? Please call us to set up an orientation/member benefits meeting; we will travel to your place of business if need be.

Here’s to a healthy, safe, and fruitful 2015!

Most Respectfully,

Daniel Samess, CEO

Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce

(305) 743-5417

ceo@floridakeysmarathon.com

www.FloridaKeysMarathon.com

www.RelocateToTheFloridaKeys.com

www.MarathonSeafoodFest.com

December CEO Corner

IT’S BEER N BUBBLY TIME!

Happy Holidays to you, our valued member! The New Year is around the corner, so is high-season; which I know all our businesses are excited about.  It felt like the off-season (if we can still call it that) flew by this year.  Not sure about you, but I definitely feel there were no breaks in the action.  But that is also why I love not only my job but your Marathon Chamber of Commerce.  We are always working for you, and seeking new, exciting ways to add value to your membership, and what our impact is on our businesses and community.

Last month you heard me mention our newest event, the Florida Keys Craft Beer & Bubbly Fest.  Well, it is almost here; and we are very excited about our new event.  We are still in need for volunteers, so if you are interested in helping us out for a few hours we would greatly appreciate it.  Our volunteers will receive a complimentary drink ticket for any beer, wine, or bubbly of your choice.  It’s also a lot of fun and all for a great cause.  All event proceeds go to the Chamber’s Scholarship Fund and Fishermen’s Community Hospital’s Foundation.  To volunteer please call or email Rhonda (305-743-5417 / Rhonda@FloridaKeysMarathon.com) and she will get you set up.

If you are interested in purchasing access to our VIP tent please also contact us to secure your space today.  VIP’s receive complimentary food, beer, wine, and bubbly as well as other goodies; VIP tickets are only $60.00/each.  Lastly, just please be sure to stop by Marathon Community Park on December 27th for our event, have some cuisine from any one of the eight food trucks that will be onsite, try some of the 23+ craft beers, wines, and bubblies we will be serving.  Do some shopping, and listen to our live entertainment throughout the day. For more info please find us on Facebook, or type in www.KeysBeerAndBubblyFest.com.

Congratulations again to our newly elected Marathon City Council members; as well as those who ran to be on City Council.  Not an easy endeavor to say the least, and we appreciate everyone’s efforts.  We look forward to working with Chris Bull, Bill Kelly, and Dan Zieg over the next two years, in addition to Councilman Mark Senmartin and Rich Keating.  Looks like a great group that will have some great opportunities to take our City of Marathon to new heights!

The Marathon Chamber Board of Directors, staff, and I are all committed to working for and with you and your staff.  Please be sure to get involved in our beneficial programs; ask questions, and let your Marathon Chamber work for you.  Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s later this month; be safe in your travels, and see you all at the Florida Keys Craft Beer & Bubbly Fest on December 27th from 11am-7pm at Marathon Community Park!

Most Respectfully,

Daniel Samess, CEO

Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce

(305) 743-5417

ceo@floridakeysmarathon.com

www.FloridaKeysMarathon.com

www.RelocateToTheFloridaKeys.com

October CEO Corner

Dear Marathon Chamber of Commerce Members:

Hoping this letter finds you well!  With October brings a busy time for your Marathon Chamber of Commerce.  On Oct. 6th we are co-hosting our annual candidate forum with the Weekly Newspapers.  Please be sure to attend or watch on TV (Comcast Ch. 76); forum begins at 6PM.  We also have our Awards & Installation Banquet on the 24th of this month; invitations have been sent out so please be sure to RSVP; last year we maxed-out the grand ballroom at Hawks Cay, so be sure to secure your seats ASAP.  At the banquet we will be awarding our annual business-awards as well as swearing-in our newly elected Board of Directors that you, our valued member, voted for this year.

Congratulations to our Business Awards Nominees:

AWARD CATEGORY

NOMINEES

Customer Service

UPS Store

Glunz Ocean Beach

Publix

Law Offices of Patrick Stevens

Beautification

Aquarium Encounters

FL Keys Steak & Lobster House

Brutus Seafood Market/Eatery

 
Community Contributions: Large Business

Centennial Bank

Publix

Fishermen’s Community Hospital

 
Community Contributions: Small Business

UPS Store

Keys Grafix & Signs

Royal Furniture

 
Newcomer

Aquarium Encounters

Law Offices of Patrick Stevens

DK Style Hut

 
Tourist Attractor

Aquarium Encounters

Dolphin Research Center

Conch Records

 
Humanitarian

BPW-Marathon

Habitat for Humanity-Marathon

KAIR

 

Congratulations to our newly elected Board Members:

Ryan Elwell, Rich Malafy, Scott Newton, Leigha Fox, TJ Patterson, Chryssee Langley, and Dustin Sedlak!

You will also have the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for our annual BIG RAFFLE CONTEST, which culminates at our Awards Banquet on Oct. 24th at Hawks Cay Resort (save the date please).  Prizes include a luxury vacation of your choice or $2,000.00 cash, $100.00 gift certificates to great restaurants, 2-night stay (plus spa) at Hawks Cay Resort, Marathon Aquarium Encounters experiences, and more.  Tickets are only $25.00 each and benefit our scholarship program; only 600 tickets max will be sold, and with over 8 prizes your odds are very good to win!  Please be sure to contact us anytime to get your tickets before they run out.

Lastly, I am honored to say that I will be serving on the City’s Workforce Housing Committee/Taskforce.  This group will be responsible for putting our heads together to come up with ideas, methods, plans, etc. to alleviate our community’s workforce housing shortage and issues.  As Marathon grows it is vital we have affordable housing for our valued employees, managers, and personnel that make/allow our businesses operate and be successful.

Have a great October everyone; please be sure to contact us for any business assistance, needs, etc. you may need.  Our doors are always open and no request is out of bounds.

Respectfully,

Daniel Samess, M.S.

Chief Executive Officer

Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce

12222 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050

W: (305) 743-5417 / F: (305) 289-0183

Email: ceo@floridakeysmarathon.com

www.FloridaKeysMarathon.com

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