Annual Chamber Conference Sets the Stage for Business Success

Last summer, during what may prove to have been the bottom of the current recession, a record number of Tallahassee business people, elected officials and community leaders representing diverse interests attended the Greater Tallahassee Chamber’s Annual Community Conference. This year, a similar number is expected to make the most of a unique opportunity to learn, share and connect with each other.

“This business community has proven over and over that it will take advantage of opportunities to gain insight into issues that have a direct impact on their ability to be successful,” said Chamber President Sue Dick. “Our community conference is designed to explore those issues as well as provide attendees — both members and nonmembers — varied breakout sessions, lots of networking, and of course some fun and family time mixed in, too.”

The conference, which will be held at the Hilton Sandestin Resort August 13 – 15, will feature prominent keynote speakers that include Chris Hart, president and CEO of Workforce Florida and interim director of the Governor’s Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development; FAMU President James Ammons; and FSU President Eric Barron.

“This year’s speakers signify the importance of both town-and-gown relationships and public-private partnerships in our community,” said Eric Miller, vice president and general manager for CenturyLink, the event’s presenting sponsor. “Now more than ever, our universities are critical economic engines developing key industry segments here in the region, while Workforce Florida is helping to prepare the next generation of workers and offering training dollars for small businesses.”

Complementing the large sessions will be a series of targeted breakouts focused on specific topic areas such as small-business marketing, business resources and tools, and regional economic engines — as well as economic-development projects and opportunities. This year, there also will be a special report on the impact of the oil disaster in the Gulf on Florida, the Emerald Coast and the Tallahassee area.

Members continue to ask Chamber leadership to hold the conference out of town, which accomplishes two important goals, according to Dick. “First, it eliminates the distractions that are inevitable if we were to stay in Tallahassee,” she said. “Secondly, while business issues take center stage, this event provides a great chance to make new relationships and spend time with family in a beautiful and fun setting.”

And given the current circumstances along the Gulf Coast, Dick said it is “more important than ever to support our regional neighbor.”

Although the Chamber hosts several large-scale events throughout the year, some members say they simply cannot afford to miss the late-summer conference.

“After 39 years in the corporate world, I started running my own leadership coaching company in April 2009 and joined the Chamber immediately,” said Joseph Amanfu, owner of Seed Word Communications. “Even though it was not financially convenient, I attended the annual conference last year. The value of the conference education and connections I made far exceeded my financial and time investment. I hope to never miss any future annual conference.”

To guarantee your spot at this year’s conference, register today HERE.

Leave a Reply