Greetings as we welcome 2018! I am excited for the year ahead and honored to serve as your Southeast Volusia Chamber of Commerce President. Thank you for trusting me with this important responsibility. I am indebted to the Past Presidents who have mentored me over the years, particularly Immediate Past President Lillian Conrad. Thank you, Lillian, for providing meticulous guidance and leadership. The Chamber had another tremendous year in 2017. We thank you for your dedication and unwavering commitment to this fine organization.
Economic Development is the theme for 2018! President Elect Krissy Chalk, Elected VP Rick Hawes and our amazing Board of Directors look forward to the revival of our basic mission. And that mission is to:
"PROMOTE BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FOR THE COMMUNITIES IT SERVES
TO THE BENEFIT OF ITS MEMBERS."
Our goal is to ramp up economic development communication to inform our members as well as the community at large. Economic growth is a lively topic of discussion and it’s vital that everyone is heard. Southeast Volusia is experiencing growth. Smart, balanced growth is the key to a successful community that we can all be proud of in the decades to come.
Look for business focus groups, an improved process for evaluating new projects, and a new Legislative Affairs Committee to round out the 2018 Program of Work.
We are also excited about our up and coming leaders in the business community. The Chamber is proud to have a well-organized young professionals group called Next Gen. As a committee within the Chamber, these young members (40 & under) provide a social networking channel with activities and projects geared for the next generation. They truly make a difference in Southeast Volusia and we embrace their fresh ideas and innovation.
I encourage everyone to activate in 2018. Get involved in a committee. Participate in planning a special event. Check out our website (www.sevchamber.com) to learn more about the many ways you can be a part of the positive progress we are making.
Happy New Year,
The Chamber was firmly established by 1926 with over 2,000 members, but it wasn't until 1932 that the first official charter was adopted. In 1933 construction of a chamber building began using federal funds and in 1934 the new Chamber of Commerce opened.
Throughout the ensuing years, many of the ideas that resulted in progressive milestones for Southeast Volusia originated within the Chamber. The Chamber championed projects such as laying the foundation for better road systems, a stabilized inlet, new and improved bridges, river dredging, a new hospital and golf course for our area.
The Chamber has continued to be the catalyst for community expansion, and has supported many causes to enhance economic growth. Recently, the Chamber petitioned the County Council to reform County Impact Fees related to new business construction, and has promoted referendums in area cities to grant ad valorem (property) tax exemptions to encourage investment in new and expanding businesses.
The Chamber's first official charter in 1932 stated its mission as "promotion of civic, economic, and social welfare of the people of New Smyrna and vicinity..." Half a century later, the Chamber is proud to honor that promise.