Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce

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

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Vintage Weekend Wonders

The History of Diving Museum

The Story of Man’s Quest to Explore Under the Sea

82990 Overseas Hwy – MM 83

Islamorada, FL  33036

Phone 305-664-9737 Fax 305-664-9736       |

History of Diving Museum presents Vintage Weekend Wonders, Aug. 12-13

Vintage dive event also includes barbecue, lagoon cleanup, and free photo restoration

Islamorada, FL – The History of Diving Museum will hold Vintage Weekend Wonders, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 12-13, where visitors can experience a classic diving experience reminiscent of the 1960s TV Show, “Sea Hunt,” and also preserve their own classic photos.

Saturday’s activities, at Lookout Lodge, begin at 1 p.m. include a dive in vintage gear using old Mike Nelson style double hose regulators. There will also be a barbecue and viewing of “Sea Hunt” episodes. Attendees can capture the moment by making digital souvenir postcards with Vivid-Pix Land & Sea software, learn about ways to preserve and conserve our planet with the NAUI Green Diver Initiative and also participate in a lagoon cleanup.

Donation is $15 for museum members and $25 for non-members. Since space is limited, register now for your dive time. Therefore walk-ins will be welcome as space allows.

Sunday’s events, at the History of Diving Museum at Mile Marker 83 on US-1 in Islamorada on the Bay Side, start at 11 a.m. with tutorials on do-it-yourself photo restoration, using Vivid-Pix RESTORE software. Attendees can bring up to 12 photo prints or slides, an SD card or a USB drive, and also Vivid-Pix experts will restore your faded or discolored photos for free! Revive family photos and wedding portraits in seconds. Record and also share your military experiences or travel escapades in vivid color, black & white, or sepia tone movies. Learn how to enhance those old underwater slides to beautiful tropical colors. The Museum will also have guided tours at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to highlight new exhibit updates.

Sponsors for the event include NAUI Green Diver Initiative, Captain Slate’s Scuba Adventures, Vivid-Pix, Lookout Lodge Resort and also Commercial Diver Services of Florida.

About History of Diving Museum

The History of Diving Museum ( is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational institution dedicated to the international story of man’s quest to explore under the sea. It also celebrates the special role that South Florida and the Florida Keys played in this story. HDM hosts a FREE Immerse Yourself educational outreach presentation on the 3rd Wednesday of every month at 7 pm.

The museum is located at Mile Marker 83 on US-1 in Islamorada on the Bay Side. The museum exhibits and store are pet friendly and open daily from 10 am-5 pm.

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




Become A Foster Parent

Raise Hope & Foster Dreams

Wesley House Family Services is actively seeking nurturing families interested in providing a loving home to children who are in the foster care system. Please join us for an Information Session on Tuesday, 8/22 @ 6pm in Key West

Foster Family Information Session
Tuesday, 8/22/17  6-7pm

Wesley House Family Services

1304 Truman Ave, Conference Room 1

Key West

To RSVP please Contact: Megan Burgess, Foster Care Licensing Coordinator at 305.809.5020

Or by email at

Become a Foster Parent


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.

24th Annual Battle of the Bars

Don’t miss the 24th Annual Battle of the Bars!

Hilarity for Charity!


Worlds will collide in Key West at high noon on Sunday, Aug. 6th, and all are invited to watch the spectacular showdown.

Schooner Wharf Bar will host the 24th Annual Battle of the Bars, starting at noon at the foot of William Street.

            Despite the fierce competition for trophies and a year of bragging rights, the battle is all in the name of charity and has raised $319,752 to date for local non-profits.

“It’s been 24 years, but the enthusiasm, excitement and generosity from the teams is still amazing and ongoing,” said Schooner Wharf owner Evalena Worthington, who drew the very first battle lines behind her bar more than two decades ago.

Benefit The Boys & Girls Club of the Keys Area

Proceeds from this year’s Battle will benefit The Boys & Girls Club of the Keys Area, whose mission is to enable all young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens in a safe place to learn and grow; and Bahama Village Music Program, which provides free musical education and instruction to children aged 6 to 16 in our community. The program creates a great sense of community spirit and pride, fosters important mentor relationships and enhances students’ self-esteem.

Teams of seven “soldiers” from local bars and also restaurants compete in a hilarious relay race that tests their skills on the front lines of Schooner Wharf Bar.

The race involves an obstacle course that challenges battle veterans and new recruits to mix and serve a perfect margarita, sort recyclables, tap a keg, pour seven draft beers, carry the tray across a balance beam, and then chug a beer with the team until each member can place the glass upside down atop their head.

Teams with the fastest times advance to the next round. The other teams are encouraged to bribe the judges to buy their way into the next round of competition.

Longtime competitors Bourbon St. Pub are in rigorous training. Capt. Joey Schroeder said, “We set up a makeshift course, including walking over a small plank holding a tray of drinks and chugging.

If someone chokes, he’s off the team.” One of their secrets: “We carb up with French fries — we eat a bunch of fries and then we can drink more. The salt from the fries helps us drink the beer fast.”

He added, “I just want to challenge anyone who thinks they can beat the professional ‘Bourbon Boozers’. It took us 20 years to get it right,” (they took 1st Place in 2014), “but now we’ve got the formula, so bring it on — we are the professional boozers and we’re going for another win!”

In addition to the coveted team trophy for the victors, prizes are also awarded for Most Outrageous Team Costume. Many teams come in themed and also creative costumes. Last year, 801 Bourbon took home the award with their Flintstones characters.

Deepest Pockets

The Deepest Pockets award goes to the team that contributes the most money for the charities. Salute! On the Beach took it home last year, as well as capturing 2nd fastest.

Tony Gilletly, Salute!’s team captain, said, “We are the ‘Beach Bums’! Beach Bums came in 2nd last year, but as much as we want to win overall fastest. We challenge everyone to try to beat us at winning the “Deepest Pockets” award. We love contributing and  also giving back to Key West. As a team we love to be part of having fun, getting together and drinking, but our main motivator is giving back.”

Captain Schroeder added, “We look forward to the Battle every year. All the bars love to get together to raise money for two great causes.”

Registration starts at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 6th and the Battle Cry is sounded at noon. So don’t miss the heated – and hilarious – competition. Come and cheer on your favorite team from your favorite watering hole. It’s all for fun for two great causes!

Teams can still enter: call 305 292-3773. For general info., visit or call 305-292-3302.

Village Barbershop

Welcome New Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce Member

Village Barbershop

Village Barbershop was established in 1987,  and family owned for 30 years.

Located in the Gulfside Village

5800 Overseas Hwy #16, Marathon, FL 33050

Offering men, women and children haircuts.

Barbershop has been in Marathon for over 30 years offering a friendly experienced staff.

All haircuts $16.00
Children under 12 years old $12.00
Beard Trims $5.00

Walk in only


Welcome New Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce


Need help building a business? Conchit will help you leverage technology to build and also promote your business, community, charity….more

The people, communities and small businesses of America are it’s strength.  They drive the economy and also improve quality of life for everyone.  Since the Internet Age has introduced us to cyber-communities, as well.  People with shared interests and ideas make for strong communities too.

Healthy people are essential to healthy communities.  In this increasingly complex world, with our rapidly aging population, access to timely, accurate health resources is essential. Finding the healthcare information you need can be quite a chore.

Conch IT and it’s network of partners are on a mission to empower local communities and also local businesses.  Central to this mission is giving people all over the country better access to information about their own communities.  News, government services, local business services and also access to healthcare resources…all from the phone that they carry with them everywhere.  Timely information for informed decision making.

Let’s build a great America from the ground up!

CANCELLED Seminar #2 Cyber Security


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 /
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.


7 Ways to Use LinkedIn to Grow Your Small Business

Grow your small business with LinkedIn by using these seven proven tactics.

There are nearly 30 million small businesses in the United States, but only half of them will make it past five years. To ensure your small business is in the successful half, we encourage you to capitalize on the various ways LinkedIn can evolve your business.

With LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, you can generate leads, produce sales, and hire top professionals to fuel your growth. Here are seven ways to grow your business using LinkedIn:


  1. Create a LinkedIn Company Page

We’ve found that LinkedIn members are 50% more likely to buy once they’ve engaged with your business on LinkedIn. But they can’t connect with you if you don’t have a LinkedIn Company Page. According to Forbes, only 57% of companies have pages. The remaining 43% are missing out on a free opportunity to generate leads, talent, and, ultimately, revenue.

If you don’t already have one, create a LinkedIn Company Page. Personal profiles don’t have the same marketing, advertising, and recruiting features as Company Pages, making them less effective at promoting your business. As you create your page, think about the kind of impression you want to create among potential customers and employees. This will help you select the right photos and messages to use on your page.

For a step-by-step guide on how to create an above and beyond Company Page, view our LinkedIn Company Page Best Practices.


  1. Promote Your Company Page

Once you have a Company Page, announce it to your clients, employees, and personal network. This will help you gain your first followers, who in turn will help to promote your Company Page on the content you post to it.

Promoting your page on other platforms or via email is also a great way to grow your audience. Here are some simple ways to get the word out:

  • Announce the launch of the Company Page on your personal LinkedIn profile
  • Encourage employees to follow the Company Page by making it a part of your onboarding process—Social Media Today reports that content shared by employees receives eight times the engagement as brand shared content
  • Link to your Company Page in the footer of your marketing emails or newsletters
  • Embed a Company Follow button onto your website so visitors can easily follow your LinkedIn Company Page


  1. Share Content Regularly

The more you post, the more people you can potentially reach and convert. Best-in-class LinkedIn Company Pages are consistently updated to ensure that visitors have plenty of new content to consume and share.

To get started, try posting at least once per week. It’s not uncommon for companies to post three or more times per day. Post whenever you have something worth saying. Posting consistently shows Company Page visitors that your company is active on LinkedIn. Use LinkedIn’s Company Page analytics to see your top performing updates, your best times to post, and which members of your audience are the most engaged. With this information, it’s easy to make data-driven decisions to optimize your Company Page content.

In addition to posting often, here are a few more stats to help you boost engagement:

  • Posts with links receive up to 45% more engagement
  • Images see an incredible 98% increase in engagement
  • Posts that have relevant “best-of” lists get almost 40% more amplification

When a post gets good engagement, consider promoting it to a wider audience with LinkedIn Sponsored Content. Take the Sponsored Content Tour and discover how Sponsored Content amplifies your best content.


  1. Showcase Thought Leadership

Seventy nine percent of buyers say thought leadership is critical for determining which companies they want to learn more about. To get started with thought leadership content, try to provide a unique perspective on your industry, product, or organization. Sharing your opinion on the future of your industry or creating a definitive guide on your product are just two ways to demonstrate your expertise and position your company as a credible partner.

For more ideas and advice on expanding your brand’s authority, download our Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to Thought Leadership to learn more.


  1. Target Sales Prospects

LinkedIn has over 500 million users to date. That may seem like a lot to sort through, but LinkedIn also provides you with tools to identify and target your ideal audience.

LinkedIn members are more likely than other social media users to keep their profiles up-to-date, making it easier for you to find the right people. Use LinkedIn profile data to search for LinkedIn members based on geographic location, education, experience, and even connections. Once you’ve found prospects using the search feature, visit their profiles. Their endorsements or recent profile views might surface additional qualified prospects, too.

For more ways to reach your ideal audience, learn how to advertise on LinkedIn.


  1. Build an All-Star Team

LinkedIn has helped 75% of job switchers make informed career decisions, making LinkedIn a top recruiting network. What are candidates looking for when making those decisions? Our research shows that 66% of candidates want to see company culture over everything else. To take advantage of this preference, consider enhancing your Company Page with a LinkedIn Career Page.

Career Pages allow you to target audiences with a personalized look into your company, culture, and jobs. They give you dedicated Life and Jobs Tabs on your Company Page that attract and engage relevant professionals.

In addition to creating Career Pages, encourage employees to share job postings and “day in the life” content as well. This gives visitors a genuine idea of what it’s like to work for you and adds to your authenticity. If you have a few employees who lead the pack in sharing content, consider linking them to your Company Page’s Life Tab. Their shared articles and recent updates will automatically populate, providing visitors with up-to-date information. Watch our video below on how to use the Life Tab to attract the right talent for your company.

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  1. Hire Freelancers

You’ve probably had an employee who took on a task outside of their domain. You might have even done it yourself a few times. While the effort is commendable, learning on the fly can also be detrimental.

Fortunately, finding the right talent for the task at hand isn’t as tricky as it once was, even if you can’t afford the salary of a full time employee.

LinkedIn ProFinder enables you to post your projects, receive free proposals, and hire trustworthy professionals all in one place. ProFinder will even pair you with local professionals to ensure you have the best freelance experience possible. With 172 professional services available on ProFinder, it’s easy to find the perfect professional for any task.

LinkedIn vets all of the professionals on the platform to ensure they are qualified and leverages your network to find freelancers your connections have used, so you’re never in the dark about who you’re hiring.

By using freelancers, you’ll get access to outside perspectives & broad experience of professionals of all kinds, from creating websites and designing logos to managing your books or crafting your marketing strategy. Plus, with none of the management overhead of a full-time employee, you can focus solely on the job at hand.

Financial Literacy Classes


Marathon, FL (July 11, 2017) – United Way of the Florida Keys is offering FREE Financial Literacy classes to anyone interested in improving their budgeting and also money management skills.


Tuesday, July 25 2017:

A class is scheduled in Marathon at the Power Squadron Building, located:

5211 Loggerhead, across the street from St. Columba Church.

Class runs from 6:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Materials are furnished.


“Money Matters” and includes instruction on how to:

  • Identify ways to increase income
  • Decrease spending
  • Track spending habits
  • Prepare a personal spending plan/budget to help balance monthly income and also expenses
  • List and prioritize financial goals to help you reach them
  • Identify budgeting tools that help you manage your bills
  • Create a personal workable and also realistic plan for your specific circumstances

Class is absolutely FREE and is also open to anyone.  Additional classes with different topics will be scheduled in Marathon and also Key West.

For more information and free registration, please contact Loretta Geotis at or call 305-797-1704.


About United Way of the Florida Keys:

United Way of the Florida Keys is an independent, local 501(c)(3) organization that has been supporting the Keys community for more than 30 years. UWFK supports strong working families and also funds nonprofits that provide critical services to Keys residents. Therefore money raised in the Keys stays in the Keys.

United Way also plays a unique role in convening businesses, nonprofits and government to work together to address community needs. For more information, visit our website: or call (305) 735-1929.  Give. Advocate. Volunteer. LIVE UNITED.

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