MANATEE COUNTY – Duncan Real Estate owner Darcie Duncan is the new chair of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce.
The honor was bestowed on the Anna Maria businesswoman during a Chamber event at the Bradenton Area Convention Center in Palmetto on Wednesday, Jan. 31.
“It’s an honor to be the first islander to be appointed as the chairman of the board. I’m ready to put my flip-flops on and go to work. I’m proud to be representing Anna Maria Island and serving the entire county,” Duncan said the following day.
“I’m very excited to serve as chairman of the board of the Chamber. It truly is an incredible organization. As a small business owner, it’s nice that the Chamber recognizes that our small businesses are big business, because we make up the majority of the Chamber. We’re made up mostly of businesses with less than five employees, which is amazing,” she added.
“I’m basically the face of the Chamber this year. I’ll be out with Chamber President and CEO Jacki Dezelski getting into the community and working on the issues the businesses have. One of my main focuses is we started a task force on obtainable housing that we are rolling out this month. There are issues with finding obtainable housing. Employers are having a hard time finding employees and getting obtainable housing,” Duncan said.
“I’ll be visiting businesses throughout the county and the community to hear what’s going on. We’re talking a lot about transportation and the issues we have with congestion and transportation, so that’s also at the forefront this year. And we’ll be moving into the new parking garage building in downtown Bradenton, so that’s exciting,” Duncan said.
Duncan has served on the Chamber board and/or the smaller executive board for the past eight years. Her new duties will include chairing board and executive board meetings.
“Everything goes to our main board for decisions, but the executive board oversees the committees and things like that,” she said.
Karen LaPensee, Stewart Moon Jr. and Sean Murphy also represent the Island on the Chamber board of directors.
Duncan was asked how her involvement with the Chamber benefits her as the owner of Duncan Real Estate.
“I make so many connections and meet so many new people, creating relationships with other businesses that are helping my business grow. The Chamber has a lot of educational workshops that help small businesses – on marketing, using social media, employee retention, health benefits and those kinds of things. There are also a lot of networking opportunities to get out and meet people and meet your peers. My business is all about relationships,” Duncan said.