By Tamas Mondovics

brandon_chamber_477x280The Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce was pleased to host its final monthly membership luncheon for the year, which in light of its guest of honor and key speaker, turned out to be one of the best attended.

The event comes in the face of stagnant membership numbers and on the heels of some major changes within the agency’s leadership front that has triggered its sense of direction and continual role in the community.

To make sure things not only get back on track, but improve as well, the Chamber named former Hillsborough County Schools Superintendent and former Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Earl Lennard as interim chamber president.

Lennard was considered for the job to assist the Chamber while it gets back on its feet following the recent resignation of Chamber president and CEO Laura Simpson, coupled with reports of two more resignations that vacated the position of the chairman of the board and the volunteer chamber attorney.

Addressing the issues head on, the Chambers newly elected Chairman Michael Matthews, turned the attention of the audience toward what he called necessary changes.

“We have to take advantage of the opportunities,” Matthews said. “The changes will be meaningful. The largest change is the way we make decisions, how we say yes or no to a project, how we conduct business.”

Matthews focused on making better use of the chamber’s leadership representatives including its board members, ambassadors and its president.

Speaking of decisions, Matthews proudly announced to all present, the Chamber’s most recent and what he considers “best decision to date.”

“We need somebody who understands, has experience as well as emotional intelligence to guide this agency the right direction,” he said as he introduced Lennard to the audience.

While Lennard thanked the Board members for their hard work and commended the Chamber for its strong foundation and past history serving the Brandon Business community, which he said remains the main focus of the agency, he reminded all present of the Chamber’s far reaching hand within the community its serves.

“We want to be a Chamber that first serves our business community, which in turn will serve the community at large,” Lennard said. “The key is to have the right heart condition and the desire to serve the community,” he said.


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