By Marie Gilmore

The 100th member has just submitted its application for the Valrico/FishHawk Chamber helping the one-year-old organization to achieve its goal for 2014.

Publix #878, in the Shoppes of Lithia, Manager Chris Gordon was excited to be the official 100th member of the Valrico/FishHawk Chamber of Commerce.

“We are happy to be involved in a business organization right in our community,” said Gordon. “We have always partnered with our community groups to support events and activities in the community.”

In fact, Publix recently participated as a food vendor at the 10th anniversary celebration After Hours at Ajay’s Fine Wines & Liquors. The Valrico/FishHawk Chamber event was a success with more than 50 attendees and was sponsored by chamber member Ann Spire of CMIT Solutions.

In addition to achieving its 100th member, the chamber has seen great success with its merger late last year with the FishHawk Area Networking Group, an 11-year-old business networking group in FishHawk Ranch and host of the annual Back to School Festival.

In addition to members and events, the Valrico/FishHawk Chamber has established two consistent monthly events for its members. The first, a general assembly breakfast on the second Tuesday of each month at River Hills Country Club also includes a community insight speaker. Previous speakers have included State Attorney General Pam Bondi and Todd Cross, son of FishHawk Ranch visionary developer Glen Cross.

Current chamber president and owner of Cardinal Roofing and Solar Technologies, Bridget Jenkins-Wilson is proud of the accomplishments of the chamber this year.

 “We couldn’t be happier with the businesses joining the chamber this year and getting involved in the community. We have an excellent group of small businesses who are all eager to support each other and are actively promoting this corridor,” said Jenkins-Wilson.

The second monthly event is held on the fourth Thursday evening each month and is a networking After Hours or Speed Networking event designed to encourage interaction with members.

Membership in the chamber is $150 per year for businesses and $75 per year for non-profit organizations.

This year’s 12th Annual Back to School Festival event will be held indoors at the Campo Family YMCA on Sunday, July 27 from 1-4 p.m.

For more information about the Valrico FishHawk Chamber of Commerce, visit

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Marie is the Managing Editor at the Osprey Observer. She covers news, transportation, education and likes to make a positive impact on the community and be 'in the know'!