Vol 7 No. 13 - December 20, 2006

Chamber greets new members at breakfast

From left to right: Betty LaPietra, of Bella by the Sea; Tom Barger, a retired electronics executive; and Susan Moir, of Exquisite Events were the three new faces at the December Chamber of Commerce breakfast. LaPietra and Moir joined the Chamber and Barger came because he read about it in The Sun and wanted to learn more about what the Chamber had to offer. The breakfast was sponsored by Coast Bank.

By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer

Two new members and a prospective member met with Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce members during a monthly breakfast at the Sun House restaurant last Wednesday morning.

Betty LaPietra, of Bella by the Sea resort, and Susan Moir, of Exquisite Events, a wedding and special events planner, met their fellow chamber members. Retiree Tom Berger, who worked in the electronics industry, also mingled with the group.

The breakfasts are billed as an opportunity for members to meet new and prospective members. Last Wednesday’s breakfast was sponsored by Coast Bank, and representatives Ellen Aquilina and Susie Kruse spoke about their bank’s commitment to the area.

"We pride ourselves in being a community bank that loves its community," said Aquilina, who spoke of the bank sponsoring 160 events in the area, including 75 school events.

Former Chamber Board Chairman Don Schroder spoke about changes in the Chamber in the 12 years he has been on the board, including three years as the head.

"One goal we had was to change the makeup of the board to reflect the character of the Chamber," he said. "As a result, the board went from nearly all men to nearly all women."

Newly elected Board Chairman Mark Davis said Chamber members would be getting e-mail poll questions reflecting events and trends in the business community and he hoped that they would respond. He said the Chamber would be monitoring trends that affect the businesses on the Island.

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