SUN PHOTO/PAT COPELAND
AMIYP President Will Bouziane, VP Brandy Booth, Program
Director David Zacagnino and Secretary Melissa Williams
meet at Duffys to discuss the upcoming program
By Pat Copeland
sun staff writer
They are the Islands leaders for tomorrow, and they
are securing their place in the business world today.
The Anna Maria Island Young Professionals group was initiated
five months ago by Will Bouziane and Derek Pettigrew and
has about 15 members.
"We are all in the infancy stages of our careers,"
Bouziane explained. "Our main mission is to protect
the businesses that are here, promote them and procure business
for the Island for the future. If we can get peoples
attention now, well be better off in the future."
Bouziane, 27, a 1997 graduate of St. Stephens School, received
his undergraduate degree from Stetson University in 2000
and his MBA from Stetson in 2002. He is currently a sales
associate with Boyd Realty.
"Most of us were born and raised on this Island,"
Bouziane said. "We love this Island and we want to
Meetings on Mondays
The group has been holding its meetings at Duffys
Tavern, on the first Monday of the month, but meeting locations
may change in the future. Meetings are currently suspended
for the summer and will resume in October.
"At our meetings, we introduce new people and we have
a speaker, a successful business person or government official
or civic leader, Bouziane said. We want to focus
on leadership and development.
"Developer David Teitelbaum is helping us focus our
objectives and is a great support person for us. Don Schroder
from the Island Chamber is also a great supporter."
The groups vice president, Brandy Booth, executive
administrative assistant at the AMI Chamber of Commerce,
added, "David (Teitelbaum) is a big fan. He is helping
us start a bank account. Darcie Duncan has also helped us
Members are diverse and range from real estate agents, financial
consultants and attorneys to fishing guides, divers and
Booth, who also owns her own business as a wedding coordinator,
pointed out, "The group has nothing to do with age.
Its for people who are young in their businesses or
starting second careers."
Booth said program director David Zaccagnino has developed
an exciting schedule of programs for October through May.
In October, elected officials will explain issues affecting
the Island. In November, AMI Historical Society Executive
Director Sissy Quinn will tell members how they can help
preserve the Islands history. In December, the group
will learn about planning parties and holiday events. In
2007 programs on investments and taxes are planned.
We welcome guest speakers," Booth said. "Anyone
who wants to be a speaker can call me."
The group has participated in several projects. The
first was to function as a support group for the second
annual skateboard contest held at the Holmes Beach Skate
Park in May. Members dispensed snacks and beverages and
helped Mayor Carol Whitmore with the contest.
Another was to facilitate two scholarships for Island youths
to the Devil Rays Baseball Camp.
A current project is a mentoring program with teens at the
Island Community Center. The teens shadow one of the members
during a day of work to learn about a particular career.
"I thought it was great," Zaccagnino, a Holmes
Beach commissioner and financial planner, said. "There
were three young men and they were very perceptive. I took
them to city hall and my office. They asked great questions."
"We are doing things in the community," Booth
added. "We are advocates of working with middle and
high school youths who need outlets and places to go."
Booth said the group plans to have a logo and T-shirts by
the end of the month, and Melissa Williams, the groups
secretary has developed a business start-up kit that soon
will be available to those starting businesses on the Island.
Booth said the group has formed four committees philanthropic,
political, social and programs to work on projects. In October,
the group project will manning a booth at Bayfest on Pine
Avenue in Anna Maria.
To learn more or volunteer to be a guest speaker, call Booth
at the Chamber of Commerce at 778-1541.