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Chamber holds annual membership meeting

February 27, 2019
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

The North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce not only held its monthly Business Leaders Luncheon last Wednesday at Heron's Glen, but also its annual membership meeting, where those who came got an opportunity to talk about any issues of concern.

Among the things discussed were the lack of volunteers and outside-the-box ideas to raise money, as well as who they get as speakers at the luncheon.

Past president Lenny Cannova, who ran the meeting for president Al Giacalone, said there were some issues the Chamber needed to resolve. They are still looking for a president-elect for 2020 and for someone to staff the office from time to time.

With the need of a new part-time administrative assistant, the need for volunteers becomes all the more important. The problem is that the same handful of people are doing most of the work. With 109 members, that is unacceptable, Cannova said.

"We set up events to raise money, but we do nothing to bring our name forward. We do the same things with the same people," one member said.

The Chamber has more than $16,000 in the bank account with more in its foundation which provides scholarships for local students. However, the group has had trouble finding applicants.

The Chamber has reached out to North Fort Myers High School for help.

The events have been successful, for the most part.

The Calvin Peete Classic golf tournament has been a big hit, and summer Bingo at Sabal Springs has also been successful.

The Taste of North Fort Myers, another signature event, will be pushed back to April 7, with the Calvin Peete tournament being played toward the end of October. Bingo will also return to Sabal Springs, with events in May, June, August and September, though exact dates were not yet finalized.

There was also consideration bringing back the "Celebrity Waiter" event, which has been successful.

What won't be brought back is "Seminars and Snacks," as it fizzled after a promising start.

As far as monthly guests for the luncheon, the group said it would help if they find someone to give advice regarding their business. One person suggested someone who can design phone-friendly websites, since people tend to use their phones more for information than personal computers these days.

The speaker this month was Micah Brienen, an optometrist at the Eye Centers of Florida location in North Fort Myers. He spoke about the aging eye, which tends to begin at the onset of middle age.

For more information on the chamber, visit or call 997-9111.



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