Business OnLine - February 8, 2016

From the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce


Accredited, US Chamber of Commerce, **** Rating

Serving all of Charlotte County for more than 90 years


February 8, 2016

Upcoming Chamber Events:


Wed., February 10, Networking at Noon, Kings Gate, 24000 Rampart Blvd., PC. $15. per person. Please RSVP in the Chamber store or by calling 627-2222.

Wed., February 17, 7:15 to 8:30 a.m., Third Wednesday Coffee, Event Center, PG. Sponsor: Transaction Point, LLC. Program: International author and speaker, Kathryn Mackenzie.

Wed., February 24, 8:15 a.m., Baseball and Breakfast with the Tampa Rays at the Sports Park. Breakfast will be provide and there will be a Rays player, coach and/or member of the broadcast team to speak about spring training.  The players will then have a workout and everyone is invited to stay. Complimentary. Please RSVP to 627-2222.

Thurs., February 25, 5 to 7 p.m., Business Card Exchange at Patrice Weston State Farm Insurance Agency, 1946 Kings Highway, PC.

General Information:


Women’s Networking March 3, 2016 – Enjoy a special evening of networking, socializing, wine and hors d’oeuvres with your fellow business women members. We’ll have goodie bags for you filled with health and wellness information and other things to help you look and feel your best. $15.00pp. Held at our Punta Gorda office in the Freeman House, 311 W. Retta Esplanade.  Women’s Networking 03-03-16 Flyer.

Our own, Julie Mathis is “competing” with Pam Seay, Ed Hill and John Wright to have a guest conductor spot at the February 14 Charlotte Symphony Valentine’s Day Concert.  If she wins, she’ll conduct “Seventy Six Trombones.” So, please vote early and often ($10 a vote) at www.charlottesymphony.com.  Thanks for your support. 

International speaker and author Kathryn MacKenzie will the guest speaker at our February 17th Third Wednesday Coffee at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center in Punta Gorda.  The coffee starts at 7:15 a.m. with time to network with fellow chamber members.  Sponsored by Port Charlotte Toastmasters.  Kathryn MacKenzie Chamber Coffee.

Volunteers are having a kickoff for Facelift 41 on Wednesday, Feb 17th at the Beach Complex at 5:30 p.m. We will have information about the plans to enhance the appearance of US 41 in Port Charlotte with landscaping and other improvements.  We are hoping that business professionals and citizens who would like to get involved for this great community project which is a partnership with Charlotte County.  

UF/IFAS Extension, Sea Grant, and Charlotte County are pleased to offer a one day Mangrove Symposium educational program on February 23rd from 8:30am-3:30pm at the Charlotte County Eastport Environmental Campus in Port Charlotte.  The cost is $20 and includes lunch and morning refreshments ($10 for UF/IFAS Master Gardeners or Master Naturalists).  If you need further information, please call Betty Staugler at 941-764-4346 or email Staugler@ufl.edu

Please patronize the Chamber's Sustaining Partners: (Click on the links to go to their websites.)


· Platinum: Buffalo Graffix; Charlotte County Ford; Charlotte Sun/Sun Coast Media Group; Florida SouthWestern State College; Harbor Style Magazine; Monarch Printing & Design, Inc.; The Mosaic Company; Panther Hollow Dental Lodge; State Insurance Agency - Brian Chapman, Jr.; Strang, Olsen & Lynch, CPAs PA; Waste Management of Charlotte County

· Diamond: BMO Harris Bank; Charlotte State Bank & Trust; Farr Law Firm; Fawcett Memorial Hospital; Integrity Employee Leasing; Lexington Manor; Sandhill Healing Centers, Inc.; St. Andrews South Golf Club

· Emerald: Accurate Gas & Plumbing, LLC; Advanced Imaging of Port Charlotte; Bayfront Health Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte; ; Freedom Boat Club; Friendly Floors; Nolan Family Insurance; Palm Auto Mall; Port Charlotte Florist Premier Photographic Events, LLC; South Port Square; WhitCo Insurance Agency-Alexia Martin; The Wyvern Hotel

Ribbon Cuttings (to which all members are invited):


Tues., Feb. 9, 5:30 p.m., Soul Care Solution, 2811 Tamiami Trail, PC

Wed., Feb. 10, 5:30 p.m., Shelney Girl Friday Unique Boutique, 3271 Tamiami Trail, PC

Thurs., Feb. 11, 5:30 p.m., Solaris Health Care, 4000 Kings Highway, PC

Tues., Feb. 16, 5:30 p.m., Springs Day Care, 866 Tamiami Trail, PC

Wed., Feb. 17, 5:30 p.m., State Insurance Agency, Brian Chapman, Jr., 301 W. Marion, PG

Fri., Feb. 19, 4:00 p.m., Murdock Stone, 7621 Sawyer Circle, South Gulf Cove

Wed., Feb. 24, 5:30 p.m., JNA Media, 3355 Bobcat Village Center Rd., NP

New Members                        


FocalPoint Business Coach of Southwest Florida, 2200 Kings Highway, #3L1, PC 33980
Tony Edgar, Ph: 844-537-2622
www.tonyedgar.focalpointcoaching.com   tedgar@focalpointcoaching.com
Sponsor: Sara Wierhake, Charlotte Local Education Foundation                     

Detail A Go Go, 1711 Skagway, NP 34291
Jeff Wilson, Ph: 941-920-2282
www.detailagogo.com detailagogo@gmail.com
Sponsor: Jolisa Stewart, Jolisa Clare Holistic Foundations                             

Chamber Member Events


Meet International Author & Speaker Kathryn MacKenzie, M.Ed., DTM at the Toastmasters Workshop on Tuesday, February 16 at 6pm at the Association of Realtors Building, 3320 Loveland Blvd., Port Charlotte. The workshop is:  Keys to Unlock the Door to your Speaking Potential. Ms. MacKenzie will also be the featured speaker at the Chamber’s February 17 Coffee with a program on developing your “elevator speech.”

St. Andrews South Golf Club will be hosting an Open House on Saturday, February 27th at 10:00am to 2:00pm come join the fun with course tours, free lunch a chance to win a lesson and more. Take advantage of our Open House Incentive Package worth over $2,100. Don’t miss out on this great offer and don’t forget to ask about our “Golf Academy.” R.S.V.P. to Sue Garand, sgarand@standrewssouth.com, 639-5261 Ext. 3.

The Academy, in conjunction with the Charlotte Technical Center, would like to welcome local employers to join us for our 1st Annual Job Fair on February 26th 9am-12noon at the CTC auditorium. This event is part of The Academy’s Pathway Program, focusing on linking employers with students who have expressed a desire to go into the workforce upon graduating. We are seeking employers from the Retail, Hospitality and Service, Construction, Automotive, and Healthcare Industries. If you would like to participate, please contact Mike Bernicchi at mike.bernicchi@yourcharlotteschools.net for details.

“Love Is In The Air” Presented by The Charlotte County Concert Band Sunday Feb 14 at 3 PM in the Theater of the Cultural Center of Charlotte County. Our director Bob Miller selected some of the most beautiful Valentine favorites, include: A Tribute to Stephen Foster, Theme from “Love Story”, My Funny Valentine, Gershwin Tribute to Love, Star Wars Medley, and more. Grab your guy or gal, and enjoy your day with us. Tickets are available online at www.theculturalcenter.com, in person at the ticket office or by calling 941 625­4175.

United Way invites you to the 2nd annual Florida Fest to enjoy Florida culinary favorites on Sat., Feb. 27 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Laishley Pavilion. Music by Still Friends. Florida trivia contest and silent auction. Contact the United Way at 627-3539 or info@unitedwayccfl.org.

Valentine's Day Special Couples Painting Class! - Bring your sweetheart and join us at Art By The Glass for some painting, wine and beer, and chocolate (yes they do go together) on Valentine's Day at our studio from 3-5pm. Oh, and the chocolate is on the house! Each partner will paint half of the painting...and when they are put together....it will be pure awesomeness! Register online at www.artbytheglassllc.com/calendar or call 941 780-1743.

Punta Gorda Charter Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association invites you to “Leap Into Spring” Luncheon and Fashion Show, February 28, 2016 at Visani Restaurant, Port Charlotte, 1:00 PM – 4:00PM, doors open at 12:00 noon. Tickets are $25.00. For tickets and information, call 941-255-3555, or go to pgflabwa@yahoo.com. Fashion Show benefits our Scholarship Program.

Program booklet ads and sponsorships (including tickets) are still available for “Dancing with the Charlotte Stars.” A $500 sponsorship equals 500 votes for your favorite dancer:  Gina!  Alexandria!  Brandon!  Tom!  Rob!  Leslee!  Bob!  Melissa!  Or, we can split your votes. Info at www.DancingWithTheCharlotteStars.org or call Charlotte Arts at 764-8100.

Grace Presbyterian Church, 10548 S.W. County Rd. 769, (Kings Hwy), Lake Suzy, will celebrate their annual Missions Festival on Saturday, Feb. 20, and Sunday, Feb. 21. The theme is "Building Lives for Jesus." Speakers include Andrew Lamb with Third Millennium Ministries and Carla Stevens, a missionary with Mission to the World. At 5:30 p.m., Feb 21st the congregation will enjoy the 17th annual Festival Banquet.   The Festival project is to provide cement "Building Blocks for Haiti" to complete a ministry center for Trinity Church Haiti. For more information, please call 941-743-7971.

Step Back In Tome at Kays-Ponger & Uselton, 635 E. Marion, Punta Gorda, on Thurs., Feb. 11 from 5 to 8 p.m. Presentation by local historians at 7 p.m. View an amazing display of local, historical items from the collection of Linda Wilson. Bucky McQueen, Gussie Baker and Ed Uhland will be on hand to answer questions. Free. Refreshments. Donations to the American Cancer Society will be accepted.

Lutheran Church of the Cross will hold a “Rummage & Bake Sale” Friday February 19th from 7:30am-2:00pm and Saturday February 20th from 7:30am-12:00pm. Start spring cleaning on your closets and garages! This event supports our local Meals on Wheels. Clean items in working condition may be dropped off Monday Feb. 15-Wed Feb 17 from 9am-4pm and Thurs Feb 18 from 8am-12pm. Please no clothing, refrigerators, freezers, box tv’s, washers/dryers, organs or bulk magazines. For more information please contact (941) 627-6060.

Looking for a Fun Ride Saturday Morning? Acme Bicycle Shop in Punta Gorda is the starting point for a Saturday Morning Group Ride.  There are rides for all riders.  Most rides are "no drop.”  If you go with a "no drop" ride leader, they will watch the whole group and slow down until the pace is comfortable for the slowest rider.  All riders are welcome.  Smaller groups of experienced riders will break away and ride at their own pace.  Come out on a Saturday Morning, 8:00 to get ready, 8:30 bikes roll. 

Visit the National Art Exhibition, on display Jan 29 - Mar 12, at the Visual Arts Center. We’re open 7 days a week for this special event, admission is free! Fine art & crafts classes in all media begin Feb 22. See instructors in action at our free Demo Day on Feb 20 from 10am - 2pm. See upcoming workshops on our website: www.visualartcenter.org. 210 Maud St in Punta Gorda.

Gilded Grape Winery and Wine Bar located at 4069 Tamiami Trail Port Charlotte.  941-235-WINE (9463).  Saturday, February 6 and 13, will be presenting the music stylings of ERIC PHELPS. The Wine Bar offers a global selection of wines by the glass, made on-site, and a variety of beer and craft beers to tempt your taste buds. Our hours are Wednesday-Saturday 12:00pm-9:00pm. Nestled inside the Gilded Grape Winery allows you to take home your favorite wine by the bottle, the case, or make your own by the batch. www.gildedgrape.com

Would you like to explore shallow water Seagrass beds at Ponce DeLeon Park and learn more about this amazing and bountiful nursery habitat for the many creatures that make their home in Charlotte Harbor Estuary?  Be sure to dress ready to go in the water and wear closed-toed shoes. Please pre-register - call Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center at 575-5435 today for this free wading trip, from 9-11:30 am, February 15 and 20.  Visit our checflorida.org website for more “Real Florida” adventures.  Wading trips are sponsored by a grant from The Mosaic Company Foundation.

Nav-A-Gator Happenings: Thursday February 11 – Live Music, Sunny Jim 6-9pm; Sat., Feb. 13, USCG Auxiliary Vessel Inspection, 8am-2pm, boats, kayaks, jet skis and more. Free of charge. Call 941-627-3474 for more information; Saturday February 13 – Live Music, Girlz Rule 2-5pm; Sunday February 14 – Live Music, Paul Roush 2-5pm. Never a cover charge; request of canned goods and nonperishable food items that are donated to a local food bank.

Sunrise Kiwanis of Port Charlotte and Charlotte County Community Services present the first annual Duck Race and KidFest, Saturday April 2nd from 10-2 at Kiwanis Park in Port Charlotte.  Kid’s games, activities, food, music and of course-the race!  Heat win-place-show winners get giftcards and $500 to the Grand Finale duck race winner!  Ducks are $5, 3 for $10 and 20 for $50.  All proceeds benefit the youth of Charlotte County through sponsored projects, such as Kiwanis Shoes for Kids and reading books for local elementary schools.  Join us for the fun! www.pcsunrisekiwanis.org.

Innovative Mornings Busey Bank will host a free networking event for businesses at 7:30 a.m., Friday, February 19 at its Port Charlotte Branch, 1490 Tamiami Trail. Coffee and muffins are provided. Following time for networking Julie Flaherty of Busey Bank will present “Preventing Financial Fraud." Innovative Mornings are organized by Busey Bank; Funnls, and Port Charlotte SCORE. Attendees network before and after an educational program. For more information go to https://www.facebook.com/InnovativeMornings.

Lutheran Church of the Cross will hold a “Rummage & Bake Sale” Friday February 19th from 7:30am-2:00pm and Saturday February 20th from 7:30am-12:00pm. Start spring cleaning on your closets and garages! This event supports our local Meals on Wheels. Clean items in working condition may be dropped off Monday Feb. 15-Wed Feb 17 from 9am-4pm and Thurs Feb 18 from 8am-12pm. Please no clothing, refrigerators, freezers, box tv’s, washers/dryers, organs or bulk magazines. For more information please contact (941) 627-6060.

The Charlotte County Hospitality Association will have a Speed Networking meeting on Wed. Feb. 24 at 8 am at the 24Twenty One Event Center. The meeting is free for members and $5 for non-members.

AMIKids presents A Sweetheart Celebration on Sun. Feb. 14 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Isles Yacht Club. Romantic dinner, dancing, the “not so newlywed” game and other activities. Tickets and special Valentine gifts available at www.amikidscrossroads.org/sweetheartcelebration or 941-391-5537.

Charlotte County Community Services presents “A Storybook Wedding: A Vow Renewal Event” at Bayshore Live Oak Park, Port Charlotte. Couples are invited to participate in this Valentine’s Day event by dressing as their favorite storybook couple as they renew their vows. Brunch and dancing to follow with a commemorative keepsake and a raffle, too. The event will be held from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. on Feb. 14, 2016; tickets for the event are only $35 per couple and must be purchased by Jan. 28. Call 941.627.1628 for additional information or to purchase tickets.

Christine Hause and Samuel Kiburz, members of the trust team at Charlotte State Bank & Trust, are holding free educational seminars in February from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the bank’s Murdock office, 1100 Tamiami Trail. Christine will present “Will vs. Trust” on Tuesday, Feb. 9, and “Power of Attorney and Health Care Directives” on Thursday, Feb. 11. Samuel will present “Investment Concepts: Diversification and Allocation” on Wednesday, Feb. 10. Reservations are required. Visit any bank office, call (941) 624-1944 or email fwargo@csbtfl.com for reservations.

Save the date: Kimal Lumber’s 14th annual “Building to a Cure” classic car show, to benefit All Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald Hose. Sunday, April 24, 9 am to 2 p.m.

On Feb. 27, for the third year in TEAM Punta Gorda volunteers will join together to beautify our community. This will send a message of pride and build a sense of community spirit that will last long after the paintbrushes have dried. In partnership with Habitat, we signed up eight homes to be painted! TEAM's Beautification Committee will be assisting the project by doing plant maintenance around the houses prior to painting. Contact TEAM at team@teampuntagorda.org 941-637-8326 or Habitat for Humanity at 941-639-3162 to help

Don’t miss out on getting tickets for “Dancing with the Charlotte Stars.”  March 4th is just around the corner and Advance VIP Tickets -- which include dinner and the high-energy dance show (12 dance performancel!) -- are $75 through February 11th.  Thereafter VIP tickets are $100.  The signature event of the Arts & Humanities Council of Charlotte County is now in its 8th year.  Funds will support all of Charlotte Arts local programming, and, coming back soon with your financial support, arts and humanities grants for CCPS students. More info at www.DancingWithTheCharlotteStars.com!

On February 26 and 27, experience games and activities at the 20th annual Florida Frontier Days Festival will be held at Bayshore Live Oak Park. See artisans, craftsmen, and re-enactors in the festival’s Frontier Village bring Florida’s past to life and historical figures portrayed from our past.   The festival is open from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Friday, and from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. Daily admission fee is just $3 for adults and $2 for children under 12.   For more information, call Frank Desguin at (941) 769-1270 or visit www.CharlotteFl.com. Click on the Historical Center link.

Bayfront Health Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda will be hosting Driving After Dark, our first ever Night Time Golf Tournament at The Cove of Rotonda Golf Center on Friday, February 12! Come out and play for a worthy cause -- the American Heart Association. The scramble will be a shotgun start with registration and barbecue beginning at 4:30pm. Sponsorship packages, hole advertising, and prize donations are available. For more information, please contact Whitney Carney at 941-962-5679 or whitney.carney@heart.org

The Air Show is back! The Florida International Air Show (FIAS) is schedule October 22-23, 2016 at the Punta Gorda Airport. The FIAS needs community support to keep coming back every year. For more information on sponsorships, booth rental, and/or to volunteer, send Jennifer Smith a message on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FloridaAirShow. Visit their website to become an “FIAS Insider” and be the first to get updates on the event, performer announcements and pre-event promotions www.FloridaAirShow.com.

An introductory course in Florida Fishing is being offered at the PGI Civic Association. Topics to be covered include fishing techniques, tackle selection, rigging, knot tying, lures, baits, cast nets, fish identification, tides, and fishing regulations.  Rods, reels, lures, nets and other fishing equipment will be demonstrated.  The instructor is long time local fishing guide Capt. Ralph Allen. The course is held on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for six weeks beginning on Wednesday, February 24. The cost is $40 and advance registration is recommended by calling 941-637-1655.

Harbour Heights Charities, Inc. presents the 2nd Annual Harbour Heights Half Marathon and 10th Annual 5K at Harbour Heights Park on April 2, 2016. We are a non-profit 501(c)3 that donates all of our net profits to benefit Communication Disorder Classrooms in Charlotte County (this year we have increased donations to seven schools), Autism Speaks, and the Blue Haven Project to build a facility for adults on the Autism Spectrum. Since the race is on April 2 we will also "Light It Up Blue" for World Autism Awareness Day. Look for us at the Business Expo 2016. HHCharities-Inc@comcast.net.

Fishermen’s Village Mardi Gras Celebration will be Tues., Feb. 9 from 5 to 8 p.m., featuring Dixieland Jazz music by Leslie Dacosta Jr. & Company. Our Valentine’s Day Dance, Sunday, February 14, 2016, beginning at 3 pm and continuing until 6 pm. The evening will feature danceable jazz music by INGROOV.   The event is free and the public is encouraged to attend. 941 639-8721. www.fishville.com

On February 14th the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra will perform a Valentine’s Day Pops Concert at the Charlotte Harbor Event Center. A special performance by guest artist Al Holland will immediately follow the concert. The Phantoms of the Orchestra, a volunteer group which supports the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, is holding its monthly Composer’s Luncheon on Thursday, February 4, 2016 from Noon until 1 P.M. at the Punta Gorda Woman’s Club, 118 Sullivan Street and is open to the public. Reservations are required and may be made by calling 941-205-9743.

The Punta Gorda History Center invites you to “Come Back to the Punta Gorda USO” of the World War II era, when the Army Air Field now Punta Gorda’s Airport was created and a USO was operated, April 1 from 6 to 10:30 p.m. at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center. Enjoy dinner, music, dancing, silent auction, and historical exhibits and ambiance. Military or glam 1940s dress encouraged. For tickets call (941) 916-8800 or visit www.puntagordahistorycenter.com.

Charlotte Players is proud to announce performances of the musical “Nunsense” written by Dan Goggin. Performances will be on February 19, 20, 24, 25, 26, 27,  2016 at 7:30 pm each evening and on February 21 and 28, 2016 at 2:00 pm in the Cultural Center Theater. Reserved seating tickets are $26 for Adults and $13.00 for students. To order, please call 625-4175 Ext 220 by going to our website: www.charlotteplayers.org. Group ticket sales are available.

Business Professional Women's February 16th, 2016 meeting runs from 11:30 to 1:00 pm at Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club, 4400 Lister St., Port Charlotte.  There is lunch and our guest speaker is Marie Peleck, Director of Cardiac Services Line at Bayfront Health.  Please wear red in support of Women's Heart Health Month.  Cost for lunch is $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers.  Please contact Judy Smith at jackandjudy84@centurylink.net by February 11th.

It is with great anticipation that we look forward to celebrating our 37th Powder Puff Charity Classic Golf Tournament, on February 19, 20, 21 2016 at the Port Charlotte Golf Club. This three-day event, Charlotte County’s largest women’s golf tournament, is recognized as one of the best amateur women’s tournaments in Florida. All proceeds from our 2016 tournament will be donated to your local Tidewell Hospice. Please contact Stacy Jones Sponsor/Gift Chair, 941-815-0291, if you would like to be a sponsor.

Chamber Member News


What’s more romantic than a personalized sailing cruise? Smoke and Roses Sailing Charters is partnering with Star Limousine we are offering the Ultimate Private Luxury Tour at a special price for February. Your personal limousine will provide round trip transportation delivering you to your private yacht for a cruise on Charlotte Harbor. A Long Stem Rose and Chocolate Covered Strawberries will be provided on all Smoke and Roses sailing cruises in February. You choose the time, maximum six passengers. For information call 605-366-7673 or visit, http://www.smokeandroses.com/SPECIALOFFERS.html

Integrity Employee Leasing would like to thank each business owner who stopped by our booth at the Charlotte County Business Expo! We are thankful to do business in a community that offers the chance to network and cultivate local business relationships. If you missed out on seeing us and want to know what Integrity can offer you, give us a call at 941.625.0623. A member of our team will be happy to go over the benefits of employee leasing with Integrity!

Newly launched by the state on Jan. 1, 2016, Veterans Florida grants will assist companies in hiring and providing training to veterans. Companies can receive up to $8000 per veteran to cover the training costs of new hires, with a maximum of $200,000 total. As a designated fiscal agent in Southwest Florida, Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW), via the Corporate Training division of the School of Business and Technology, will help facilitate these grants throughout its service area of Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, and Lee counties.  For more information, contact Kerr at (239) 432-5233 or  adrian.kerr@fsw.edu

Gilded Grape Winery and Wine Bar, 4069 Tamiami Trail Port Charlotte, FL  941-235-WINE (9463).  The Gilded Grape Winery and Wine Bar is the only winery and wine bar in Charlotte Harbor. The Wine Bar offers a global selection of wines by the glass, made on-site, and a variety of beer and craft beers to tempt your taste buds. Our hours are Wednesday-Saturday 12:00pm-9:00pm. Nestled inside the Gilded Grape Winery allows you to take home your favorite wine by the bottle, the case, or make your own by the batch.  

Tickets for 2016 Tampa Bay Rays Spring Training at Charlotte Sports Park are on sale now! Great for your business or personal use, Season Ticket Holders receive tickets to every Spring Training home game and other great benefits, including discounted parking and merchandise, a t-shirt and hat, and an exclusive event with Rays players and/or coaches. Plan a group outing and save $2 per ticket for a group of 15 or more. Catered picnic options are available. Single game tickets are also on sale starting at just $10. Pick 3 games and receive $2 off per ticket with a 3-Game Pack. Visit raysbaseball.com/spring today!

Nickolson's Portrait Studio 255-1888.  Business Portrait Sale.   A new portrait for your website or printed media would be a good way to freshen up your look.  You will get a studio session with two digital files professionally retouched, Special $135. Call now and mention the Chamber special.    Come and see us in our beautiful studio location 983 Tamimai Trail Port Charlotte. Www.nickolsons.com.  

In recognition of Black History Month in February, Charlotte State Bank & Trust is exhibiting Florida Highwaymen paintings at its Punta Gorda office, 2331 Tamiami Trail. The artwork, which is available for purchase, is on loan from Arcadia Realtor and gallery owner Mac Martin. The Highwaymen were mostly self-taught African-American artists who sold their artwork along the side of the road from the 1950s through the 1980s. The bank lobby is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday.

Meet Zahara! She is a 6 year old American Pit Bull Terrier mix who really needs your love. She has a contact allergy to the kennels and has been battling with this since she got here in May.  She can only lay down in her kennel if there is a blanket on the floor so most of the time she just stands and admires what’s going on outside. Zahara can’t wait to find a home where she can roll around on the carpet or relax in a nice doggie bed. Suncoast Humane Society.

Was your household income less than $60,000? IRS-certified volunteers are available for free to prepare your taxes through the United Way and the VITA premium sponsor and volunteers with SunTrust, and grant supporter Wells Fargo. Call 627-3539 to make an appointment. If you have access to a computer and want to do your own taxes free of cost, please visit www.myfreetaxes.com.

The Charlotte County, FL mobile app is now available! Report issues, ask questions, get information--use your smartphone to report an issue such as a damaged street sign or illegal dumping. Receive updates and track the status anytime. Connect with other county services-- lightning alerts at county pools, CC-TV live, park trail guides, and fun things to do. Find the free app in your device’s app store or visit www.CharlotteCountyFL.gov and “Get the App” from the Hot Topics list on the left.

The Punta Gorda Charter Chapter of the American Business Women's Association is a prestigious, national organization established for working women and women business owners. The Punta Gorda Charter Chapter provides scholarships to residents of Charlotte County.  If you are interested in learning more about the Punta Gorda Charter Chapter, please contact: Barbara Jett, 941-249-5166.The meetings are held on the fourth (4th) Wednesday evening of each month at: Hurricane Charley's, 300 W Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda, FL. Networking begins at 5:30 PM, meeting starts at 6:00 PM.  Dinner is $17.00.

Wine and Dine Wednesday at Jacks on Marion - 1/2 off bottles of wine with the purchase of any 2 entree's or appetizers! If that is not enough, every Wednesday there is Smooth Jazz and Pops on the Patio. Jacks on Marion open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner. Make your reservation now, 941-637-8800. jacksmarion@comcast.net. Entertainment Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening. “Life's too short for average food!"

Kudos


The Early Learning Coalition of Florida’s Heartland (ELCFH) announced the results of the book drive to benefit low income children in Charlotte County!  From October through December 2015, over $2,500 in books and donations was collected.  Copperfish Books and the Charlotte Community Foundation collected books and donations for young children served through the ELCFH.  The mission of the Coalition is to support families and children in accessing high quality early care and education services via School Readiness and Voluntary Pre-kindergarten programs. For more information, please call (941) 255-1650 or visit www.elcfh.org.            

Just For Fun


A suggestion from a Human Resources Manager:

HOW TO PROPERLY PLACE NEW EMPLOYEES . . .

  1. Put 400 bricks in a closed room.

  2. Put your new hires in the room and close the door.

  3. Leave them alone and come back after 6 hours.

  4. Then analyze the situation:


If they are counting the bricks, put them in the Accounting Department.

  1. If they are recounting them, put them in Auditing.

  2. If they have messed up the whole place with the bricks, put them in Engineering.

  3. If they are arranging the bricks in some strange order, put them in Planning.

  4. If they are throwing the bricks at each other, put them in Operations.

  5. If they are sleeping, put them in Security.

  6. If they have broken the bricks into pieces, put them in Information Technology.

  7. If they are sitting idle, put them in Human Resources.

  8. If they say they have tried different combinations, they are looking for more, yet not a brick has been moved, put them in Sales.

  9. If they have already left for the day, put them in Management.

  10. If they are staring out of the window, put them in Strategic Planning.

  11. If they are talking to each other, and not a single brick has been moved, congratulate them and put them in Top Management.


 

Do you have exciting information about YOUR business? Send it to the Chamber and we'll share it with our other members! Email news about your business to Julie Mathis at jmathis@charlottecountychamber.org. Please keep it to 90 words or fewer. We reserve the right to publish as well as edit any posting. BOL goes out weekly on Mondays; please email your news by the preceding Friday.
___________________________________________


Julie Mathis
Executive Director
Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce
311 West Retta Esplanade
Punta Gorda, Florida 33950
941-639-2222
jmathis@charlottecountychamber.org

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Charlotte Sun Column - February 3, 2016

So, tomorrow is the big day as we sponsor our 5th anniversary Hottest Business Day in Paradise Business Expo. The free event opens to the public at 10 a.m. Stop by early and pick up one of the 500 “goodie bags” filed with items donated by the exhibitors. In addition to the products and services showcased by the 109 exhibitors, we’ll have live music, the Bloodmobile, door prizes, speed networking and so much more. I know the forecast calls for rain, but don’t let a few sprinkles deter you from learning about our local business community.

Networking at Noon is next Wed., Feb. 10 at Kings Gate Golf Club. Please use the entrance off Kings Highway. You can make a reservation in the Chamber store or by calling 627-2222. Our Feb. 17 Third Wednesday Coffee will feature international speaker and writer, Kathryn Mackenzie, who will teach us how to improve upon and present our “elevator speech.” The Coffee is sponsored by Transaction Point, LLC. On Feb. 24, the chambers, builders and realtors will attend a complimentary Baseball & Breakfast at 8:15 a.m. at the Sports Park. Members of the Rays organization will speak about spring training, season and group tickets, and then the players will have a workout which we can watch. We need to give them a head count, so please call our Port Charlotte office at 627-2222 and let us know if you will be able to attend. Our Feb. 25 Business Card Exchange will be at Patrice Weston State Farm Insurance Agency.

And, for your early March calendar, please add our 7th annual Women’s Networking event on March 3 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Freeman House, our office in Punta Gorda. In addition to wine donated from the Gilded Grape Winery and hors d’oeuvres, you’ll have a great time networking with dynamic women. You can register in the Chamber store.

I am “competing” with Pam Seay, Ed Hill and John Wright to have a guest conductor spot at the February 14 Charlotte Symphony Valentine’s Day Concert.  If I win, I’ll conduct “Seventy Six Trombones.” So, please vote early and often ($10 a vote) at www.charlottesymphony.com.  Thanks for your support.

Business OnLine - February 1, 2016

From the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce


Accredited, US Chamber of Commerce, **** Rating

Serving all of Charlotte County for more than 90 years

 

February 1, 2016

Upcoming Chamber Events:


February 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 5th Anniversary “Hottest Business Day in Paradise Business Expo, Event Center, Punta Gorda.

February 10, Networking at Noon, Kings Gate, 24000 Rampart Blvd., PC. $15. per person. Please RSVP in the Chamber store or by calling 627-2222.

February 17, 7:15 to 8:30 a.m., Third Wednesday Coffee, Event Center, PG. Sponsor: Transaction Point, LLC. Program: International author and speaker, Kathryn Mackenzie.

February 24, 8:15 a.m., Baseball and Breakfast with the Tampa Rays at the Sports Park. Breakfast will be provide and there will be a Rays player, coach and/or member of the broadcast team to speak about spring training.  The players will then have a workout and everyone is invited to stay. Complimentary. Please RSVP to 627-2222.

Thursday, February 25, 5 to 7 p.m., Business Card Exchange at Patrice Weston State Farm Insurance Agency, 1946 Kings Highway, PC.

General Information:


Put your “out of office” message in Outlook on Thursday, February 4 so you can be part of the 5th Annual “Hottest Business Day in Paradise” Business Expo 2016.   If you attend the Expo you can make more than 100 sales calls in one day and in one place just by talking with Chamber members who have a booth at the Expo. You can also: visit various companies and compare prices and services and hear and compare points of view; meet prospects and customers face to face to build rapport and confidence and familiarize yourself with products and services available in our community.

Women’s Networking March 3, 2016 – Enjoy a special evening of networking, socializing, wine and hors d’oeuvres with your fellow business women members. We’ll have goodie bags for you filled with health and wellness information and other things to help you look and feel your best. $15.00pp. Held at our Punta Gorda office in the Freeman House, 311 W. Retta Esplanade.  Women’s Networking 03-03-16 Flyer.

Our own, Julie Mathis is “competing” with Pam Seay, Ed Hill and John Wright to have a guest conductor spot at the February 14 Charlotte Symphony Valentine’s Day Concert.  If she wins, she’ll conduct “Seventy Six Trombones.” So, please vote early and often ($10 a vote) at www.charlottesymphony.com.  Thanks for your support. 

International speaker and author Kathryn MacKenzie will the guest speaker at our February 17th Third Wednesday Coffee at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center in Punta Gorda.  The coffee starts at 7:15 a.m. with time to network with fellow chamber members.  Sponsored by Port Charlotte Toastmasters.  Kathryn MacKenzie Chamber Coffee.

Volunteers are having a kickoff for Facelift 41 on Wednesday, Feb 17th at the Beach Complex at 5:30 p.m. We will have information about the plans to enhance the appearance of US 41 in Port Charlotte with landscaping and other improvements.  We are hoping that business professionals and citizens who would like to get involved for this great community project which is a partnership with Charlotte County.  

Please patronize the Chamber's Sustaining Partners: (Click on the links to go to their websites.)


· Platinum: Buffalo Graffix; Charlotte County Ford; Charlotte Sun/Sun Coast Media Group; Florida SouthWestern State College; Harbor Style Magazine; Monarch Printing & Design, Inc.; The Mosaic Company; Panther Hollow Dental Lodge; State Insurance Agency - Brian Chapman, Jr.; Strang, Olsen & Lynch, CPAs PA; Waste Management of Charlotte County

· Diamond: BMO Harris Bank; Charlotte State Bank & Trust; Farr Law Firm; Fawcett Memorial Hospital; Integrity Employee Leasing; Lexington Manor; Sandhill Healing Centers, Inc.; St. Andrews South Golf Club

· Emerald: Accurate Gas & Plumbing, LLC; Advanced Imaging of Port Charlotte; Bayfront Health Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte; ; Freedom Boat Club; Friendly Floors; Nolan Family Insurance; Palm Auto Mall; Port Charlotte Florist Premier Photographic Events, LLC; South Port Square; WhitCo Insurance Agency-Alexia Martin; The Wyvern Hotel

Ribbon Cuttings (to which all members are invited):


Tues., Feb. 2, 5:30 p.m., The Mortgage Firm, 2511 Vasco St., PG

Tues., Feb. 9, 5:30 p.m., Soul Care Solution LLC Christian Counseling, 2811 Tamiami Trail, PC

Wed., Feb. 10, 5:30 p.m., Shelney Girl Friday Unique Boutique, 3271 Tamiami Trail, PC

Thurs., Feb. 11, 5:30 p.m., Solaris Healthcare Charlotte Harbor, 4000 Kings Highway, PC

Tues., Feb. 16, 5:30 p.m., Springs Daycare (with Spa), 866 Tamiami Trail, PC

Wed., Feb. 17, 5:30 p.m., State Insurance Agency Brian Chapman Ins. Group, 301 W. Marion, PG

Fri., Feb. 19, 4:00 p.m., Murdock Stones, Etc., 7621 Sawyer Circle, South Gulf Cove

New Members                        


Campaign to Elect Tommy Q. White, Clerk of the Circuit Court
Tommy Q. White, Ph: 941-627-0614
www.electtommywhite.com   tommy@electtommywhite.com


BrightStar Care of Venice & Port Charlotte, 425 Commercial St., #F, Venice 34292
LisaMarie Swiatkowski, Ph: 941-412-4070
www.brightstarcare.com/venice   lisa.marie@brightstarcare.com

Chamber Member Events


Meet International Author & Speaker Kathryn MacKenzie, M.Ed., DTM at the Toastmasters Workshop on Tuesday, February 16 at 6pm at the Association of Realtors Building, 3320 Loveland Blvd., Port Charlotte. The workshop is:  Keys to Unlock the Door to your Speaking Potential. Ms. MacKenzie will also be the featured speaker at the Chamber’s February 17 Coffee with a program on developing your “elevator speech.”

Bayfront Health Port Charlotte announces that the Pantyhose-Free Zone Women’s Expo is back again for the eighth year in a row. On Saturday, Feb. 6 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Cultural Center, mothers, daughters, sisters and girlfriends will have the opportunity to reconnect during a day of shopping, demonstrations, pampering, makeovers, educational opportunities and giveaways. Admission is free to the Pantyhose-Free Zone Women’s Expo For more information, or to register to be a vendor, please contact Bevin Holzschuh, at 941-637-2534, or bevin.gallo@bayfronthealth.com.

“Love Is In The Air” Presented by The Charlotte County Concert Band Sunday Feb 14 at 3 PM in the Theater of the Cultural Center of Charlotte County. Our director Bob Miller selected some of the most beautiful Valentine favorites, include: A Tribute to Stephen Foster, Theme from “Love Story”, My Funny Valentine, Gershwin Tribute to Love, Star Wars Medley, and more. Grab your guy or gal, and enjoy your day with us. Tickets are available online at www.theculturalcenter.com, in person at the ticket office or by calling 941 625­4175.

United Way invites you to the 2nd annual Florida Fest to enjoy Florida culinary favorites on Sat., Feb. 27 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Laishley Pavilion. Music by Still Friends. Florida trivia contest and silent auction. Contact the United Way at 627-3539 or info@unitedwayccfl.org.

Valentine's Day Special Couples Painting Class! - Bring your sweetheart and join us at Art By The Glass for some painting, wine and beer, and chocolate (yes they do go together) on Valentine's Day at our studio from 3-5pm. Oh, and the chocolate is on the house! Each partner will paint half of the painting...and when they are put together....it will be pure awesomeness! Register online at www.artbytheglassllc.com/calendar or call 941 780-1743.

Step Back In Tome at Kays-Ponger & Uselton, 635 E. Marion, Punta Gorda, on Thurs., Feb. 11 from 5 to 8 p.m. Presentation by local historians at 7 p.m. View an amazing display of local, historical items from the collection of Linda Wilson. Bucky McQueen, Gussie Baker and Ed Uhland will be on hand to answer questions. Free. Refreshments. Donations to the American Cancer Society will be accepted.

Gilded Grape Winery and Wine Bar located at 4069 Tamiami Trail Port Charlotte.  941-235-WINE (9463).  Saturday, February 6 and 13, will be presenting the music stylings of ERIC PHELPS. The Wine Bar offers a global selection of wines by the glass, made on-site, and a variety of beer and craft beers to tempt your taste buds. Our hours are Wednesday-Saturday 12:00pm-9:00pm. Nestled inside the Gilded Grape Winery allows you to take home your favorite wine by the bottle, the case, or make your own by the batch. www.gildedgrape.com

The 12th Annual Tennis with a Heart Tournament, benefiting The Homeless Coalition and Charlotte County YMCA, is brought to you by Harbor Advisors with Raymond James.  Bring a dish to share Friday, February 5th at 6pm for the Kick-Off Party at the YMCA, 2905 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda. Regular Doubles tennis matches will be held all weekend, February 6 ad 7. Registration is $40 per player and due January 30th.  Forms are located at YMCA in Punta Gorda, Grand Slam Tennis and Wrigley Tennis.  For more information, contact Tina Figliuolo at events@cchomelesscoalition.org.

Sunrise Kiwanis of Port Charlotte and Charlotte County Community Services present the first annual Duck Race and KidFest, Saturday April 2nd from 10-2 at Kiwanis Park in Port Charlotte.  Kid’s games, activities, food, music and of course-the race!  Heat win-place-show winners get giftcards and $500 to the Grand Finale duck race winner!  Ducks are $5, 3 for $10 and 20 for $50.  All proceeds benefit the youth of Charlotte County through sponsored projects, such as Kiwanis Shoes for Kids and reading books for local elementary schools.  Join us for the fun!

Lutheran Church of the Cross will hold a “Rummage & Bake Sale” Friday February 19th from 7:30am-2:00pm and Saturday February 20th from 7:30am-12:00pm. Start spring cleaning on your closets and garages! This event supports our local Meals on Wheels. Clean items in working condition may be dropped off Monday Feb. 15-Wed Feb 17 from 9am-4pm and Thurs Feb 18 from 8am-12pm. Please no clothing, refrigerators, freezers, box tv’s, washers/dryers, organs or bulk magazines. For more information please contact (941) 627-6060.

The Charlotte County Hospitality Association will have a Speed Networking meeting on Wed. Feb. 24 at 8 am at the 24Twenty One Event Center. The meeting is free for members and $5 for non-members.

AMIKids presents A Sweetheart Celebration on Sun. Feb. 14 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Isles Yacht Club. Romantic dinner, dancing, the “not so newlywed” game and other activities. Tickets and special Valentine gifts available at www.amikidscrossroads.org/sweetheartcelebration or 941-391-5537.

Charlotte County Community Services presents “A Storybook Wedding: A Vow Renewal Event” at Bayshore Live Oak Park, Port Charlotte. Couples are invited to participate in this Valentine’s Day event by dressing as their favorite storybook couple as they renew their vows. Brunch and dancing to follow with a commemorative keepsake and a raffle, too. The event will be held from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. on Feb. 14, 2016; tickets for the event are only $35 per couple and must be purchased by Jan. 28. Call 941.627.1628 for additional information or to purchase tickets.

Save the date: Kimal Lumber’s 14th annual “Building to a Cure” classic car show, to benefit All Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald Hose. Sunday, April 24, 9 am to 2 p.m.

On Feb. 27, for the third year in TEAM Punta Gorda volunteers will join together to beautify our community. This will send a message of pride and build a sense of community spirit that will last long after the paintbrushes have dried. In partnership with Habitat, we signed up eight homes to be painted! TEAM's Beautification Committee will be assisting the project by doing plant maintenance around the houses prior to painting. Contact TEAM at team@teampuntagorda.org 941-637-8326 or Habitat for Humanity at 941-639-3162 to help

Don’t miss out on getting tickets for “Dancing with the Charlotte Stars.”  March 4th is just around the corner and Advance VIP Tickets -- which include dinner and the high-energy dance show (12 dance performancel!) -- are $75 through February 11th.  Thereafter VIP tickets are $100.  The signature event of the Arts & Humanities Council of Charlotte County is now in its 8th year.  Funds will support all of Charlotte Arts local programming, and, coming back soon with your financial support, arts and humanities grants for CCPS students. More info at www.DancingWithTheCharlotteStars.com!

Visit the National Art Exhibition, on display Jan 29 - Mar 12. We’re open 7 days a week for this special event and admission is free! Champagne reception for the winners is Feb 4 at 7pm; tickets are $5 at the door. Special workshop: Learn how to critique while exploring the NAE on Feb. 11 at 4:30pm. Call the Visual Arts Center to register: 210 Maud St in Punta Gorda (Across from Fishermen’s Village) Gallery & Gift Shop hours: Mon-Fri: 9am-4pm, Sat: 10am-4pm & Sun: 1pm - 4pm. (941) 639-8810.

Nav-A-Gator happenings: Friday February 5 – Live Music, John Reno 6-9pm; Saturday February 6 – Live Music, Jim Morris 2-5pm; Sunday February 7 – Live Music, Latitude 2-5pm. Never a cover charge; request of canned goods and nonperishable food items that are donated to a local food bank On Saturday February 13, we will host a Vessel Check conducted by US Coast Guard Auxiliary. This safety check is for all Boats, Jet Skis, and Kayaks and will be conducted 8am-2pm 100% free of charge! Call 941-627-3474 for more information.

Christine Hause and Samuel Kiburz, members of the trust team at Charlotte State Bank & Trust, are holding free educational seminars in February from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the bank’s Murdock office, 1100 Tamiami Trail. Christine will present “Celebrity Estate Planning Mistakes” on Tuesday, Feb. 2, and “Out of State Wills, Trusts and Powers of Attorney: What to Know” on Thursday, Feb. 4. Samuel will present “Investment Concepts: Stocks and Bonds” on Wednesday, Feb. 3. Reservations are required. Visit any bank office, call (941) 624-1944 or email fwargo@csbtfl.com for reservations.

Home Instead Senior Care is having a job fair/open house on Saturday, February 6th from 9:00 am-1:00 pm at our Punta Gorda office, 520 E. Olympia. If you have a heart for seniors and have some free time on your hands, then we are looking for you.

The Phantoms of the Orchestra present "An Annual Spring Musical Brunch" on Sunday, March 13, from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm at the Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club. Featuring musicians from your Charlotte Symphony Orchestra! Cash Bar - $40 per person  --Reservations:  941-205-9743

Don’t miss OCEANS Of Opportunity networking and luncheon on Thursday, February 11 at The Springs at South Biscayne in North Port starting at 11:30 am.  Join us for lunch and nationally acclaimed speaker Dr. Jeremiah Joseph from Pivotal Health Physical Medicine.  Open to all industries looking to connect with other business professionals for referrals and new clients. A portion of the proceeds will benefit OCEAN (Our Charlotte Elder Affairs Network) helping local seniors with everyday needs. $15/person RSVP by calling 941.204.2222 or email info@onholdprod. 

On February 26 and 27, experience games and activities at the 20th annual Florida Frontier Days Festival will be held at Bayshore Live Oak Park. See artisans, craftsmen, and re-enactors in the festival’s Frontier Village bring Florida’s past to life and historical figures portrayed from our past.   The festival is open from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Friday, and from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. Daily admission fee is just $3 for adults and $2 for children under 12.   For more information, call Frank Desguin at (941) 769-1270 or visit www.CharlotteFl.com. Click on the Historical Center link.

Be sure to get your tickets early to this year’s “Dancing with the Charlotte Stars” – Advance VIP Tickets (hors d’oeuvres, dinner and high-energy dance show) are $75 through February 11th.  Thereafter VIP tickets are $100.  The signature event of the Arts & Humanities Council of Charlotte County, proceeds will be used for Art in Public Places, Art on the Harbor, Writers Read, Expressions from Beautiful Minds, and Café Philo’s.  And, coming back soon with your financial support, classroom grant funds for art/humanities programs in Charlotte County Public Schools. More info at www.DancingWithTheCharlotteStars.org!

Walk in their shoes - Virtual Experience- gain a better understanding of what it may feel like to live with dementia by attending this event February 16th, South Port Square, 23013 Westchester Blvd., Port Charlotte. Virtual Experiences will be scheduled every 15 minutes starting at 10:00-3:30pm. RSVP is a must! 941-235-4500. Seminars that will also be offered that day in addition to the virtual experiences.

Bayfront Health Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda will be hosting Driving After Dark, our first ever Night Time Golf Tournament at The Cove of Rotonda Golf Center on Friday, February 12! Come out and play for a worthy cause -- the American Heart Association. The scramble will be a shotgun start with registration and barbecue beginning at 4:30pm. Sponsorship packages, hole advertising, and prize donations are available. For more information, please contact Whitney Carney at 941-962-5679 or whitney.carney@heart.org

The next Air Show is scheduled for October 21-23, 2016 at the Punta Gorda Airport (KPGD).  Friends of the Air Show and sponsorship opportunities are now available.  Please follow this publication as well as the Florida International Air Show Facebook page and website www.floridaairshow.com for any further information on this event including acts and show details.

An introductory course in Florida Fishing is being offered at the PGI Civic Association. Topics to be covered include fishing techniques, tackle selection, rigging, knot tying, lures, baits, cast nets, fish identification, tides, and fishing regulations.  Rods, reels, lures, nets and other fishing equipment will be demonstrated.  The instructor is long time local fishing guide Capt. Ralph Allen. The course is held on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for six weeks beginning on Wednesday, February 24. The cost is $40 and advance registration is recommended by calling 941-637-1655.

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office invites you to the Quarterly Awards Ceremony, Friday, February 5, from1130am – 1pm at Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club. Lunch -$15 (proceeds above cost of the meal donated to the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranch). Please RSVP via email or 575-5211 no later than Friday, January 29. Request payment by Tuesday, February 2.  Cash or check made out to CCSO.

Busey Bank will host a free networking event for businesses at 7:30 a.m., Friday, February 5 at its Punta Gorda Branch, 2815 Tamiami Trail. Coffee and muffins are provided.
Following the networking Barbara Langdon will present a talk on “Constant Contact- The Marketing Tool.” Innovative Mornings are organized by Busey Bank; Funnls, and Port Charlotte SCORE. Attendees network before and after an educational program.

Harbour Heights Charities, Inc. presents the 2nd Annual Harbour Heights Half Marathon and 10th Annual 5K at Harbour Heights Park on April 2, 2016. We are a non-profit 501(c)3 that donates all of our net profits to benefit Communication Disorder Classrooms in Charlotte County (this year we have increased donations to seven schools), Autism Speaks, and the Blue Haven Project to build a facility for adults on the Autism Spectrum. Since the race is on April 2 we will also "Light It Up Blue" for World Autism Awareness Day. Look for us at the Business Expo 2016. HHCharities-Inc@comcast.net.

Fishermen’s Village Mardi Gras Celebration will be Tues., Feb. 9 from 5 to 8 p.m., featuring Dixieland Jazz music by Leslie Dacosta Jr. & Company. Our Valentine’s Day Dance, Sunday, February 14, 2016, beginning at 3 pm and continuing until 6 pm. The evening will feature danceable jazz music by INGROOV.   The event is free and the public is encouraged to attend. 941 639-8721. www.fishville.com

Book signings will held today and tomorrow for local author David Abraham and pioneering builder Peter F. Taylor at the Charlotte State Bank & Trust’s Parkside and Punta Gorda offices, respectively. Abraham, author of 11 novels, will be at the Parkside branch from 10 a.m. to noon today. Taylor, whose autobiography traces the career that led him to become a leading builder in Charlotte County, will be at the Punta Gorda office from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday. For every book purchased, Taylor is donating $5 to the Charlotte County Homeless Coalition.

On February 14th the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra will perform a Valentine’s Day Pops Concert at the Charlotte Harbor Event Center. A special performance by guest artist Al Holland will immediately follow the concert. The Phantoms of the Orchestra, a volunteer group which supports the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, is holding its monthly Composer’s Luncheon on Thursday, February 4, 2016 from Noon until 1 P.M. at the Punta Gorda Woman’s Club, 118 Sullivan Street and is open to the public. Reservations are required and may be made by calling 941-205-9743.

The Punta Gorda History Center invites you to “Come Back to the Punta Gorda USO” of the World War II era, when the Army Air Field now Punta Gorda’s Airport was created and a USO was operated, April 1 from 6 to 10:30 p.m. at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center. Enjoy dinner, music, dancing, silent auction, and historical exhibits and ambiance. Military or glam 1940s dress encouraged. For tickets call (941) 916-8800 or visit www.puntagordahistorycenter.com.

Charlotte Players is proud to announce performances of the musical “Nunsense” written by Dan Goggin. Performances will be on February 19, 20, 24, 25, 26, 27,  2016 at 7:30 pm each evening and on February 21 and 28, 2016 at 2:00 pm in the Cultural Center Theater.  Reserved seating tickets are $26 for Adults and $13.00 for students. To order, please call 625-4175 Ext 220 by going to our website: www.charlotteplayers.org. Group ticket sales are available.

Business Professional Women's February 16th, 2016 meeting runs from 11:30 to 1:00 pm at Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club, 4400 Lister St., Port Charlotte.  There is lunch and our guest speaker is Marie Peleck, Director of Cardiac Services Line at Bayfront Health.  Please wear red in support of Women's Heart Health Month.  Cost for lunch is $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers.  Please contact Judy Smith at jackandjudy84@centurylink.net by February 11th.

Boyd Brothers and Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity invite you to join them at the 4th Annual “Putting on the Ritz”, February 6, 2016 at 6 p.m., Kings Gate Golf Club, Port Charlotte. This is an elegant evening of casino-style games, dinner, dancing, auctions and fun! Tickets are $75 per person or $600 for a reserved table of 8. Roaring 20’s or cocktail attire suggested. Reserve your tickets now by visiting www.charlottecountyhfh.org or call 941-639-3162. Proceeds benefit local families in need of safe, decent affordable homes.

It is with great anticipation that we look forward to celebrating our 37th Powder Puff Charity Classic Golf Tournament, on February 19, 20, 21 2016 at the Port Charlotte Golf Club. This three-day event, Charlotte County’s largest women’s golf tournament, is recognized as one of the best amateur women’s tournaments in Florida. All proceeds from our 2016 tournament will be donated to your local Tidewell Hospice. Please contact Stacy Jones  Sponsor/Gift Chair, 941-815-0291, if you would like to be a sponsor.

Chamber Member News


Gilded Grape Winery and Wine Bar, 4069 Tamiami Trail Port Charlotte, FL  941-235-WINE (9463).  The Gilded Grape Winery and Wine Bar is the only winery and wine bar in Charlotte Harbor. The Wine Bar offers a global selection of wines by the glass, made on-site, and a variety of beer and craft beers to tempt your taste buds. Our hours are Wednesday-Saturday 12:00pm-9:00pm. Nestled inside the Gilded Grape Winery allows you to take home your favorite wine by the bottle, the case, or make your own by the batch.  

Tickets for 2016 Tampa Bay Rays Spring Training at Charlotte Sports Park are on sale now! Great for your business or personal use, Season Ticket Holders receive tickets to every Spring Training home game and other great benefits, including discounted parking and merchandise, a t-shirt and hat, and an exclusive event with Rays players and/or coaches. Plan a group outing and save $2 per ticket for a group of 15 or more. Catered picnic options are available. Single game tickets are also on sale starting at just $10. Pick 3 games and receive $2 off per ticket with a 3-Game Pack. Visit raysbaseball.com/spring today!

Raven Air Island Hoppers announced that they will be coming to the Punta Gorda Airport (PGD). They will be using a nine passenger Cessna 402C twin engine airliner. Starting on February 15, 2016. Island Hoppers will offer non-stop flights to Key West, Florida on Monday, Friday and Sunday. Raven Air Island Hoppers can be contacted at www.ravenair.net or call their reservations number at 239-777-4046.

Integrity Employee Leasing is a local full service Payroll Processing, Workers Compensation & Human Resource company. We specialize in Client satisfaction. Are you currently paying for W2’s? Those expenses can disappear along with the stress of processing them by the Jan. 31st deadline. Call Integrity today at 941-625-0623, to see how we can eliminate payroll headaches and add to your company’s success!

Nickolson's Portrait Studio 255-1888.  Business Portrait Sale.   A new portrait for your website or printed media would be a good way to freshen up your look.  You will get a studio session with two digital files professionally retouched, Special $135. Call now and mention the Chamber special.    Come and see us in our beautiful studio location 983 Tamimai Trail Port Charlotte. Www.nickolsons.com.  

According to website WalletHub, consumers in Venice have the highest credit score in this area with a 721 (177th among 2,570 U.S. cities).  Englewood follows at 709, Punta Gorda at 705, Sarasota at 688, Port Charlotte at 680, North Port at 672, and Bradenton at 668.  The Villages tops Florida and the U.S. at 780.  Venice, Englewood, and Punta Gorda all beat out "ritzier" Boca Raton at 699 and Naples at 689!  Contact Doris Hebert-Ferrigno at NRG Background Checks, 941-488-8500, 800-531-6522, or nrginfo@atlantic.net , for FCRA-compliant background screening services.

Was your household income less than $60,000? IRS-certified volunteers are available for free to prepare your taxes through the United Way and the VITA premium sponsor and volunteers with SunTrust, and grant supporter Wells Fargo. Call 627-3539 to make an appointment. If you have access to a computer and want to do your own taxes free of cost, please visit www.myfreetaxes.com.

Meet Gracie! She is a 3 year old Domestic Shorthair mix who is an absolute lover. She would really like to find an adult home with no dogs to spend the rest of her days. Gracie loves being pet, enjoys the company of other felines, and would like to have a comfy seat saved by the window to take cat naps in. Suncoast Humane Society.

Smoke and Roses Sailing Charters is partnering with Star Limousine to bring you the Ultimate Private Luxury Tour at a special price for February. Your personal limousine will provide round trip transportation in Charlotte County and North Port delivering you to your private yacht for a 2 hour cruise on Charlotte Harbor. A Long Stem Rose will be provided for the ladies and Chocolate Covered Strawberries on all Smoke and Roses sailing cruises in February. You choose the time, maximum six passengers. For information call 605-366-7673 or visit, http://www.smokeandroses.com/SPECIALOFFERS.html.

Charlotte State Bank & Trust recently added Mobile Check Deposit to its suite of mobile banking services. The innovation allows customers to deposit checks using the camera on their smartphone or tablet. Customers who sign up for online banking and download the free Charlotte State Bank & Trust Mobile Banking app can use their cell phone or tablet camera to take a photo of the front and back of a properly endorsed check, then send it to the bank electronically. For further information, visit any bank office or call (941) 624-5400.

The Charlotte County, FL mobile app is now available! Report issues, ask questions, get information--use your smartphone to report an issue such as a damaged street sign or illegal dumping. Receive updates and track the status anytime. Connect with other county services-- lightning alerts at county pools, CC-TV live, park trail guides, and fun things to do. Find the free app in your device’s app store or visit www.CharlotteCountyFL.gov and “Get the App” from the Hot Topics list on the left.

The Punta Gorda Charter Chapter of the American Business Women's Association is a prestigious, national organization established for working women and women business owners. The Punta Gorda Charter Chapter provides scholarships to residents of Charlotte County.  If you are interested in learning more about the Punta Gorda Charter Chapter, please contact: Barbara Jett, 941-249-5166.The meetings are held on the fourth (4th) Wednesday evening of each month at: Hurricane Charley's, 300 W Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda, FL. Networking begins at 5:30 PM, meeting starts at 6:00 PM.  Dinner is $17.00.

Wine and Dine Wednesday at Jacks on Marion - 1/2 off bottles of wine with the purchase of any 2 entree's or appetizers! If that is not enough, every Wednesday there is Smooth Jazz and Pops on the Patio. Jacks on Marion open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner. Make your reservation now, 941-637-8800. jacksmarion@comcast.net. Entertainment Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening. “Life's too short for average food!"

New Kids on the Block


Bayfront Health Medical Group welcomes the addition of Justin Boccardo, M.D. to its practice. His office is located in the Bayfront Health Medical Office Plaza on the campus of Bayfront Health Punta Gorda, and he will begin seeing patients February 1. Dr. Boccardo provides vascular care for patients that suffer from venous and arterial disease. Dr. Boccardo will be seeing patients at 713 E. Marion Ave., Suite 131, Punta Gorda. To schedule an appointment, call 941-833-1580. For more information, visit BayfrontHealthMedGroup.com.

Kudos


The Charlotte County Airport Authority has received the Airport Safety Mark of Distinction Award for the Punta Gorda Airport from the Federal Aviation Administration because of the work related to the advancement of airport safety by completing more than 15 safety projects and process improvements. The award states that through professional action and effort of the staff and management have improved safety for the traveling public while experiencing a 45% increase in air carrier operations.

Freedom Boat Club, the nation’s largest and oldest boat club with 10,000+ members now in 20 states, has just reached the 100-club summit and expanded its nationwide fleet to include 1000 boats. Freedom Boat Club’s private boat club model offers flexible membership plans, expansive fleet of quality boats, free instruction by licensed Coast Guard captains, and robust social events calendar attracts a mix of newcomers and seasoned boaters alike who opt for the convenience, cost savings and camaraderie that club membership offers.

Just For Fun


Homographs are words of like spelling, but with more than one meaning. A homograph that is pronounced differently as well is called a heteronym. You think English is easy??  

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.  

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.   

8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.   

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.   

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?   

Let's face it - English is a crazy language.

 

Do you have exciting information about YOUR business? Send it to the Chamber and we'll share it with our other members! Email news about your business to Julie Mathis at jmathis@charlottecountychamber.org. Please keep it to 90 words or fewer. We reserve the right to publish as well as edit any posting. BOL goes out weekly on Mondays; please email your news by the preceding Friday.
___________________________________________


Julie Mathis
Executive Director
Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce
311 West Retta Esplanade
Punta Gorda, Florida 33950
941-639-2222
jmathis@charlottecountychamber.org

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Charlotte Sun Column - January 27, 2016

The Business Card Exchange tomorrow will be held in the headquarters of Zypha Corporation, located on the second floor of the SunTrust building in Murdock. Please join us from 5 to 7 p.m. for great networking. Remember to bring plenty of business cards and a small gift to promote your business.  On Friday, we’re having a joint ribbon cutting with the Punta Gorda Chamber at 4 p.m. at the Visual Arts Center as they open the National Arts Exhibition, one of the nation's most prestigious juried exhibitions of two-dimensional media. The Exhibition runs through March 12.

And then, yikes, February is next week and it’s “Expo Week.” We are ready. Volunteers are lined up, exhibitors are dropping off items for the goodie bags and the prizes for the drawings. This event is free and open to the public, so I hope all readers will stop by the Event Center in downtown Punta Gorda on Feb. 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and see the products and services of more than 100 Chamber members. This will be a one stop Shop Charlotte.

As Feb. continues, we’ll have Networking at Noon on Feb. 10 at Kings Gate Golf Club. Our Feb. 17 Third Wednesday Coffee will feature international speaker and writer, Kathryn Mackenzie, who will teach us how to improve upon and present our “elevator speech.” The Coffee is sponsored by Transaction Point, LLC. On Feb. 24, the chambers, builders and realtors will attend Baseball & Breakfast at 8:15 a.m. at the Sports Park. Members of the Rays organization will speak about spring training, season and group tickets, and then the players will have a workout which we can watch.

Our Feb. 25 Business Card Exchange will be at Patrice Weston State Farm Insurance Agency.

I am “competing” with Pam Seay, Ed Hill and John Wright to have a guest conductor spot at the February 14 Charlotte Symphony Valentine’s Day Concert.  If I win, I’ll conduct “Seventy Six Trombones.” So, please vote early and often ($10 a vote) at www.charlottesymphony.com.  Thanks for your support.

Just a reminder that next Tues., the City of Punta Gorda will host the Goodwill Mobile Job-Link modified Winnebago, outfitted with twelve computer work stations with internet access, for those seeking employment and assistance with resumes, interviewing and much more. The bus will be on the 600 block of Mary Street from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and in the parking lot behind City Hall from 1 to 4 p.m. Please take advantage of this community service on the first Tuesday of each month.

Business OnLine - January 25, 2016

From the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce


Accredited, US Chamber of Commerce, **** Rating

Serving all of Charlotte County for more than 90 years



January 25, 2016

 

Upcoming Chamber Events:


January 28, 5 to 7:00 p.m., Business Card Exchange, Zypha Corporation, 18501 Murdock Circle, #201, PC.

February 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 5th Anniversary “Hottest Business Day in Paradise Business Expo, Event Center, Punta Gorda.

 

General Information:


Put your “out of office” message in Outlook on Thursday, February 4 so you can be part of the 5th Annual “Hottest Business Day in Paradise” Business Expo 2016.   If you attend the Expo you can make more than 100 sales calls in one day and in one place just by talking with Chamber members who have a booth at the Expo. You can also: visit various companies and compare prices and services and hear and compare points of view; meet prospects and customers face to face to build rapport and confidence and familiarize yourself with products and services available in our community. Accomplish all this in just one day at the biggest business event of the year!

Women’s Networking March 3, 2016 – Enjoy a special evening of networking, socializing, wine and hors d’oeuvres with your fellow business women members. We’ll have goodie bags for you filled with health and wellness information and other things to help you look and feel your best. $15.00pp. Held at our Punta Gorda office in the Freeman House, 311 W. Retta Esplanade.  Women’s Networking 03-03-16 Flyer

International speaker and author Kathryn MacKenzie will the guest speaker at our February 17th Third Wednesday Coffee at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center in Punta Gorda.  The coffee starts at 7:15 a.m. with time to network with fellow chamber members.  Sponsored by Port Charlotte Toastmasters.  Kathryn MacKenzie Chamber Coffee.

Volunteers are having a kickoff for Facelift 41 on Wednesday, Feb 17th at the Beach Complex at 5:30 p.m. We will have information about the plans to enhance the appearance of US 41 in Port Charlotte with landscaping and other improvements.  We are hoping that business professionals and citizens who would like to get involved for this great community project which is a partnership with Charlotte County.  

 

Please patronize the Chamber's Sustaining Partners: (Click on the links to go to their websites.)


· Platinum: Buffalo Graffix; Charlotte County Ford; Charlotte Sun/Sun Coast Media Group; Florida SouthWestern State College; Harbor Style Magazine; Monarch Printing & Design, Inc.; The Mosaic Company; Panther Hollow Dental Lodge; State Insurance Agency - Brian Chapman, Jr.; Strang, Olsen & Lynch, CPAs PA; Waste Management of Charlotte County

· Diamond: BMO Harris Bank; Charlotte State Bank & Trust; Farr Law Firm; Fawcett Memorial Hospital; Integrity Employee Leasing; Lexington Manor; Sandhill Healing Centers, Inc.; St. Andrews South Golf Club

· Emerald: Accurate Gas & Plumbing, LLC; Advanced Imaging of Port Charlotte; Bayfront Health Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte; ; Freedom Boat Club; Friendly Floors; Nolan Family Insurance; Palm Auto Mall; Port Charlotte Florist Premier Photographic Events, LLC; South Port Square; WhitCo Insurance Agency-Alexia Martin; The Wyvern Hotel

 

Ribbon Cuttings (to which all members are invited):


Wed., Jan. 27, 5:30 p.m., Home Health Care Resource Corp., 866 Tamiami Trail, PC

Fri., Jan. 29, 4:00 p.m., Visual Arts Center, 210 Maud Street, PG

Tues., Feb. 2, 5:30 p.m., The Mortgage Firm, 2511 Vasco St., PG 33950

 

New Members


Florida Division of Blind Services, 2830 Winkler Ave., #207, FM 33916
Albert Bsales, Brice Emmerton, Ph: 239-278-7130
www.dbs.fldoe.org   albert.bsales@dbs.fldoe.org                                                           


Shelney Girl Friday Unique Boutique, 3271 Tamiami Trail, #F, PC 33952
Michelle Snyder, Ph: 734-306-3676
www.shelneygirlfriday.com   info@shelneygirlfriday.com
Sponsor: Donna Cardenas, Port Charlotte Florist                               

Light After Loss, LLC
Lori Launderville, Ph: 813-767-7473
www.griefrecoverymethod.com   laundervilleflorida@gmail.com
Sponsor: Jim Cull, Freedom Boat Club                                   

GSF Mortgage, 425 Cross Street, PG 33950
Josh Bartlett, Ph: 941-833-2277
www.rodneymassie.com   rmassie@gogsf.com
Sponsor: Mike Martin, State Farm Insurance Company                      

I2 Visual, Inc.. 3849 Acline Rd., #109, PG 33950
John Hose, Ph: 239-209-6767
www.i2visual.com   john.hose@i2visual.com                                             


Jeffrey Tamas, 3005 Caring Way, #1A, PC 33952
Ph: 941-929-5537 www.modern-woodman.org Jeffrey.tamas@mwarep.org
Sponsor: Jason Lucas, Lucas Law Firm

Evans Marketing, 3069 Pellam Blvd., PC 33948
Jim Evans, Ph: 941-276-7121
www.evansmarketing.us
evansmarketingfl@gmail.com

Charlotte County Medical Society, PO Box 494144, PC 33949-4144
Danielle Sorrentino, Ph: 941-625-6229
www.ccmsdoctors.com director@ccmsdoctors.com                                                       


 

Chamber Member Events


Meet International Author & Speaker Kathryn MacKenzie, M.Ed., DTM at the Toastmasters Workshop on Tuesday, February 16 at 6pm at the Association of Realtors Building, 3320 Loveland Blvd., Port Charlotte. The workshop is:  Keys to Unlock the Door to your Speaking Potential. Ms. MacKenzie will also be the featured speaker at the Chamber’s February 17 Coffee with a program on developing your “elevator speech.”

Share the Love for the Kids Home Tours on Jan. 30 from 10 am to 4 pm to benefit AMIKids Crossroads, New Operation Cooper Street and The Back Pack Kidz. The tour begins at the PGI Civic Association. Tickets on sales at the Association and at www.beyondourselves.peapps.com.

Bayfront Health Port Charlotte announces that the Pantyhose-Free Zone Women’s Expo is back again for the eighth year in a row. On Saturday, Feb. 6 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Cultural Center, mothers, daughters, sisters and girlfriends will have the opportunity to reconnect during a day of shopping, demonstrations, pampering, makeovers, educational opportunities and giveaways. Admission is free to the Pantyhose-Free Zone Women’s Expo For more information, or to register to be a vendor, please contact Bevin Holzschuh, at 941-637-2534, or bevin.gallo@bayfronthealth.com.

 United Way invites you to the 2nd annual Florida Fest to enjoy Florida culinary favorites on Sat., Feb. 27 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Laishley Pavilion. Music by Still Friends. Florida trivia contest and silent auction. Contact the United Way at 627-3539 or info@unitedwayccfl.org.

Valentine's Day Special Couples Painting Class! - Bring your sweetheart and join us at Art By The Glass for some painting, wine and beer, and chocolate (yes they do go together) on Valentine's Day at our studio from 3-5pm. Oh, and the chocolate is on the house! Each partner will paint half of the painting...and when they are put together....it will be pure awesomeness! Register online at www.artbytheglassllc.com/calendar or call 941 780-1743.

Lutheran Church of the Cross will hold a “Rummage & Bake Sale” Friday February 19th from 7:30am-2:00pm and Saturday February 20th from 7:30am-12:00pm. Start spring cleaning on your closets and garages! This event supports our local Meals on Wheels. Clean items in working condition may be dropped off Monday Feb. 15-Wed Feb 17 from 9am-4pm and Thurs Feb 18 from 8am-12pm. Please no clothing, refrigerators, freezers, box tv’s, washers/dryers, organs or bulk magazines. For more information please contact (941) 627-6060.

AMIKids presents A Sweetheart Celebration on Sun. Feb. 14 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Isles Yacht Club. Romantic dinner, dancing, the “not so newlywed” game and other activities. Tickets and special Valentine gifts available at www.amikidscrossroads.org/sweetheartcelebration or 941-391-5537.

Charlotte Players announces a special production of Ralph Marco’s Tony Bennett Tribute Show on Tuesday, January 26th at 7:30 pm in the Cultural Center Theater. Live music will accompany Mr. Marco by The Diamondaires Jazz Trio. Special guest appearances by comedian Lee Petrucci and Rondalee as Lady Gaga. And, we’ll present two special performances of The Edwards Twins, famous celebrity impersonators on Sunday, January 31st at 2:00 pm and Tuesday, February 2nd at 7:30 pm in the Cultural Center Theater. Call 625-4175 Ext 220 or visit www.charlotteplayers.org.

Christine Hause, Charlotte State Bank vice president and trust officer, will present two free educational seminars this week from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the bank’s Punta Gorda office, 2331 Tamiami Trail. The first, “IRAs and Your Estate Plan: Best Practices,” will take place on Tuesday, followed by “Life-Changing Events and Their Impact on Your Estate Plan” on Thursday. The seminars are free, but reservations must be made at any Charlotte State Bank & Trust office or by contacting Francine Wargo at (941) 624-1944 or fwargo@csbtfl.com.

The University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee will host the 40th Anniversary HospitaBULL Gala on March 4 at the Polo Grill at 6 p.m. Sponsorships to their 40th year celebration are available by calling 941-359-4552 or jcappadona@sar.usf.edu. www.usfsm.edu.

Grand Opening of the 10th Biennial National Art Exhibition Jan 29 at 4:00pm at the Visual Arts Center. See the best traditional 2D art by artists from Miami, FL to Juneau, AK. We’re open 7 days a week for this special event and admission is free! Champagne reception for the winners is Feb 4 at 7pm; tickets are $5 at the door. Located at 210 Maud St in Punta Gorda (Across from Fishermen’s Village) Gallery & Gift Shop hours: Mon-Fri: 9am-4pm, Sat: 10am-4pm & Sun: 1pm - 4pm. (941) 639-8810.

Charlotte County Community Services presents “A Storybook Wedding: A Vow Renewal Event” at Bayshore Live Oak Park, Port Charlotte. Couples are invited to participate in this Valentine’s Day event by dressing as their favorite storybook couple as they renew their vows. Brunch and dancing to follow with a commemorative keepsake and a raffle, too. The event will be held from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. on Feb. 14, 2016; tickets for the event are only $35 per couple and must be purchased by Jan. 28. Call 941.627.1628 for additional information or to purchase tickets.

Don’t miss OCEANS Of Opportunity networking and luncheon on Thursday, February 11 at The Springs at South Biscayne in North Port starting at 11:30 am.  Join us for lunch and nationally acclaimed speaker Dr. Jeremiah Joseph from Pivotal Health Physical Medicine.  Open to all industries looking to connect with other business professionals for referrals and new clients. A portion of the proceeds will benefit OCEAN (Our Charlotte Elder Affairs Network) helping local seniors with everyday needs. $15/person RSVP by calling 941.204.2222 or email info@onholdprod. 

Be sure to get your tickets early to this year’s “Dancing with the Charlotte Stars” – Advance VIP Tickets (hors d’oeuvres, dinner and high-energy dance show) are $75 through February 11th.  Thereafter VIP tickets are $100.  The signature event of the Arts & Humanities Council of Charlotte County, proceeds will be used for Art in Public Places, Art on the Harbor, Writers Read, Expressions from Beautiful Minds, and Café Philo’s.  And, coming back soon with your financial support, classroom grant funds for art/humanities programs in Charlotte County Public Schools. More info at www.DancingWithTheCharlotteStars.org!

TEAM Punta Gorda’s Annual Community Meeting will be held on Thursday, January 28 at the Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association. All residents are welcome. The evening begins at 6:30 PM with an informal mixer and light refreshments. This will provide volunteers, members and residents with an opportunity to socialize and learn more about the various TEAM volunteer projects. The formal program begins at 7:00 PM with remarks by TEAM CEO, Nancy Johnson. Keynote speaker for the evening is Punta Gorda Mayor, Rachael Keesling. 

Walk in their shoes - Virtual Experience- gain a better understanding of what it may feel like to live with dementia by attending this event February 16th, South Port Square, 23013 Westchester Blvd., Port Charlotte. Virtual Experiences will be scheduled every 15 minutes starting at 10:00-3:30pm. RSVP is a must! 941-235-4500. Seminars that will also be offered that day in addition to the virtual experiences.

Bayfront Health Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda will be hosting Driving After Dark, our first ever Night Time Golf Tournament at The Cove of Rotonda Golf Center on Friday, February 12! Come out and play for a worthy cause -- the American Heart Association. The scramble will be a shotgun start with registration and barbecue beginning at 4:30pm. Sponsorship packages, hole advertising, and prize donations are available. For more information, please contact Whitney Carney at 941-962-5679 or whitney.carney@heart.org

The next Air Show is scheduled for October 21-23, 2016 at the Punta Gorda Airport (KPGD).  Friends of the Air Show and sponsorship opportunities are now available.  Please follow this publication as well as the Florida International Air Show Facebook page and website www.floridaairshow.com for any further information on this event including acts and show details.

An introductory course in Florida Fishing is being offered at the PGI Civic Association. Topics to be covered include fishing techniques, tackle selection, rigging, knot tying, lures, baits, cast nets, fish identification, tides, and fishing regulations.  Rods, reels, lures, nets and other fishing equipment will be demonstrated.  The instructor is long time local fishing guide Capt. Ralph Allen. The course is held on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for six weeks beginning on Wednesday, February 24. The cost is $40 and advance registration is recommended by calling 941-637-1655.

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office invites you to the Quarterly Awards Ceremony, Friday, February 5, from1130am – 1pm at Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club. Lunch -$15 (proceeds above cost of the meal donated to the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranch). Please RSVP via email or 575-5211 no later than Friday, January 29. Request payment by Tuesday, February 2.  Cash or check made out to CCSO.

Busey Bank will host a free networking event for businesses at 7:30 a.m., Friday, February 5 at its Punta Gorda Branch, 2815 Tamiami Trail. Coffee and muffins are provided.
Following the networking Barbara Langdon will present a talk on “Constant Contact- The Marketing Tool.” Innovative Mornings are organized by Busey Bank; Funnls, and Port Charlotte SCORE. Attendees network before and after an educational program.

Harbour Heights Charities, Inc. presents the 2nd Annual Harbour Heights Half Marathon and 10th Annual 5K at Harbour Heights Park on April 2, 2016. We are a non-profit 501(c)3 that donates all of our net profits to benefit Communication Disorder Classrooms in Charlotte County (this year we have increased donations to seven schools), Autism Speaks, and the Blue Haven Project to build a facility for adults on the Autism Spectrum. Since the race is on April 2 we will also "Light It Up Blue" for World Autism Awareness Day. Look for us at the Business Expo 2016. HHCharities-Inc@comcast.net.

Charlotte Symphony Orchestra Concert Dates: Valentine’s Day Pops February 14, 2016 @ 7:30 pm; Brahms March 6, 2016 @ 7:30 pm’ Beethoven March 20, 2016 @ 7:30 pm. “From the Podium” classes on the Tuesday before each concert, taught by Maestro Raffaele Ponti at Florida SouthWestern State College, Lifelong Learning Institute. To register call: 941-637-3533.

Fishermen’s Village Mardi Gras Celebration will be Tues., Feb. 9 from 5 to 8 p.m., featuring Dixieland Jazz music by Leslie Dacosta Jr. & Company. www.fishville.com.

The Charlotte-DeSoto Building Industry Association invites you to join us in our 4th annual Sporting Clays Classic to be held on Sunday, January 31st   at Sarasota Trap & Skeet Gun Club in Nokomis, Florida. Registration for each shooter includes breakfast, lunch, 50 targets, 12 or 20 gauge shotgun shells and golf cart, eyes and ear protection. Station sign promoting your business is included with team sign up.  Sarasota Trap & Skeet Club has a limited supply of shotguns available for rent for $10. To register, please email admin@cdbia.com.

On February 14th the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra will perform a Valentine’s Day Pops Concert at the Charlotte Harbor Event Center. A special performance by guest artist Al Holland will immediately follow the concert. The Phantoms of the Orchestra, a volunteer group which supports the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, is holding its monthly Composer’s Luncheon on Thursday, February 4, 2016 from Noon until 1 P.M. at the Punta Gorda Woman’s Club, 118 Sullivan Street and is open to the public. Reservations are required and may be made by calling 941-205-9743.

The Punta Gorda History Center invites you to “Come Back to the Punta Gorda USO” of the World War II era, when the Army Air Field now Punta Gorda’s Airport was created and a USO was operated, April 1 from 6 to 10:30 p.m. at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center. Enjoy dinner, music, dancing, silent auction, and historical exhibits and ambiance. Military or glam 1940s dress encouraged. For tickets call (941) 916-8800 or visit www.puntagordahistorycenter.com.

Nav-A-Gator happenings: Thursday, January 28 – Live Music, Latitude 6-9pm; Saturday, January 30 – Live Music, Bruce & Tiki D 2-5pm; Sunday, January 31 – Live Music, Rastus Kain 2-5pm. Never a cover charge; request of canned goods and nonperishable food items that are donated to a local food bank. On Saturday February 13, Nav-A-Gator will host a Vessel Check conducted by US Coast Guard Auxiliary. This safety check is for all boats, jet skis, and kayaks and will be conducted 8 am-2 pm. Call 941-627-3474 for more information

Sunrise Kiwanis of Port Charlotte and Charlotte County Community Services present the first annual Duck Race and KidFest, Saturday April 2nd from 10-2 at Kiwanis Park in Port Charlotte.  Kid’s games, activities, food, music and of course-the race!  Heat win-place-show winners get giftcards and $500 to the Grand Finale duck race winner!  Ducks are $5, 3 for $10 and 20 for $50.  All proceeds benefit the youth of Charlotte County through sponsored projects, such as Kiwanis Shoes for Kids and reading books for local elementary schools.  Join us for the fun! www.pcsunrisekiwanis.org

Friday, January 29 Tom Lewis Dancing with the Charlotte Stars Cheerleaders and Punta Gorda Historical Society present the Charlotte Players Comedy for a Cause All Star Improv Troupe lead by Dr. Chris Constance. Tickets are $25 and are limited to 150 people at the Punta Gorda Women’s Club, 118 Sullivan Street, Punta Gorda, FL. Doors open at 6:30pm with curtain at 7:30pm. Tickets may be purchased by calling Charlotte Players 941-255-1022 or www.charlotteplayers.org or PG Historical Society box office at the PG Women’s Club, 941-639-1887. Silent auction 

Boyd Brothers and Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity invite you to join them at the 4th Annual “Putting on the Ritz”, February 6, 2016 at 6 p.m., Kings Gate Golf Club, Port Charlotte. This is an elegant evening of casino-style games, dinner, dancing, auctions and fun! Tickets are $75 per person or $600 for a reserved table of 8. Roaring 20’s or cocktail attire suggested. Reserve your tickets now by visiting www.charlottecountyhfh.org or call 941-639-3162. Proceeds benefit local families in need of safe, decent affordable homes.

It is with great anticipation that we look forward to celebrating our 37th Powder Puff Charity Classic Golf Tournament, on February 19, 20, 21 2016 at the Port Charlotte Golf Club. This three-day event, Charlotte County’s largest women’s golf tournament, is recognized as one of the best amateur women’s tournaments in Florida. All proceeds from our 2016 tournament will be donated to your local Tidewell Hospice. Please contact Stacy Jones Sponsor/Gift Chair, 941-815-0291, if you would like to be a sponsor.


The Charlotte Harbor and Punta Gorda Community Redevelopment Agencies (CRAs) invite residents to participate in the 8th Annual Hands Across the Harbor – Half Marathon Bridge Run, Ride, and Roll on January 30, 2016 and features a half marathon, 5k competitive run, 13.1 mile competitive longboard race as well as 5k fun walk, 13.1, 20 and 30 mile bike rides. Proceeds from Hands Across the Harbor benefit the education programs at the Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center. For more information, visit http://www.handsacrosstheharbor.org/.

The Charlotte Players will host a “Broadway to Hollywood” themed trivia night Monday, January 25th at 6:30pm. The ongoing monthly event will be held at the Punta Gorda Women’s Club, located at 118 Sullivan Street. The cost to play is just $10 per person. Teams are limited to eight players each. Tickets may be purchased through the Charlotte Players 941-255-1022 or online at www.charlotteplayers.org or the Punta Gorda Historical Society box office at 941-639-1887 or at Punta Gorda Women’s Club. 

 

Chamber Member News


Gilded Grape Winery and Wine Bar, 4069 Tamiami Trail Port Charlotte, FL  941-235-WINE (9463).  The Gilded Grape Winery and Wine Bar is the only winery and wine bar in Charlotte Harbor. The Wine Bar offers a global selection of wines by the glass, made on-site, and a variety of beer and craft beers to tempt your taste buds. Our hours are Wednesday-Saturday 12:00pm-9:00pm. Nestled inside the Gilded Grape Winery allows you to take home your favorite wine by the bottle, the case, or make your own by the batch.  

Tickets for 2016 Tampa Bay Rays Spring Training at Charlotte Sports Park are on sale now! Great for your business or personal use, Season Ticket Holders receive tickets to every Spring Training home game and other great benefits, including discounted parking and merchandise, a t-shirt and hat, and an exclusive event with Rays players and/or coaches. Plan a group outing and save $2 per ticket for a group of 15 or more. Catered picnic options are available. Single game tickets are also on sale starting at just $10. Pick 3 games and receive $2 off per ticket with a 3-Game Pack. Visit raysbaseball.com/spring today!

The first month of the New Year is almost at an end. Have you spent these past few weeks not knowing where to begin with your “cut costs” resolution you made for your company? Maybe your resolution is to spend more time at home but the administrative tasks seem to pile up and keep you late. Don’t spend eleven more months feeling financially stuck or tied to the office after hours. Call today to find out how Integrity Employee Leasing can help your company with payroll processing, worker’s compensation, human resources and benefits. 941.625.0623.

Raven Air Island Hoppers announced that they will be coming to the Punta Gorda Airport (PGD). They will be using a nine passenger Cessna 402C twin engine airliner. Starting on February 15, 2016. Island Hoppers will offer non-stop flights to Key West, Florida on Monday, Friday and Sunday. Raven Air Island Hoppers can be contacted at www.ravenair.net or call their reservations number at 239-777-4046.

Was your household income less than $60,000? IRS-certified volunteers are available for free to prepare your taxes through the United Way and the VITA premium sponsor and volunteers with SunTrust, and grant supporter Wells Fargo. Call 627-3539 to make an appointment. If you have access to a computer and want to do your own taxes free of cost, please visit www.myfreetaxes.com.

There's no single source for employers to obtain criminal records.  The FBI maintains a database called the National Crime Information Center ... but access is not allowed to most employers.  So, what options are there?  Crimes are prosecuted in county, state, and federal courts, and records can be retrieved from each ... but ... there are more than 10,000 county, state, and federal courthouses in the U.S.  So, which do you check to see if your applicant has a criminal record?  Contact Doris Hebert-Ferrigno at NRG Background Checks for info.  941-488-8500;  800-531-6522;  nrginfo@atlantic.net 

Meet Pugsley! He is a 6 month old Beagle/Pug mix with lots of love to give. He is still working on his manners and would do best in a home where he would receive continued training. Pugsley enjoys an active lifestyle and would love to have a nice fenced in yard where he can run and play.  Visit him at the Suncoast Humane Society.

 Smoke and Roses Sailing Charters is partnering with Star Limousine to bring you the Ultimate Private Luxury Tour at a special price for February. Your personal limousine will provide round trip transportation in Charlotte County and North Port delivering you to your private yacht for a 2 hour cruise on Charlotte Harbor. A Long Stem Rose will be provided for the ladies and Chocolate Covered Strawberries on all Smoke and Roses sailing cruises in February. You choose the time, maximum six passengers. For information call 605-366-7673 or visit, http://www.smokeandroses.com/SPECIALOFFERS.html.

Charlotte State Bank & Trust’s annual “Guess the Kisses” contest gets under way today at all five bank offices. Anyone stopping by the bank may fill out an entry form and guess the number of Hershey’s Kisses in the jar. The person who comes closest to the actual number without going over will win the jar and the candy. Entries may be submitted during regular lobby hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday. Winners will be notified on Thursday, Feb. 11.

Parrot Outreach Society is a non-profit parrot rescue in Punta Gorda. We have many volunteer opportunities to offer. We are also actively seeking professional Board of Directors. Please stop in to see what we do and meet our volunteers. You may find the perfect volunteer opportunity awaiting you! We are open Tues-Fri 10-5 and Sat 10-4. 1205 Elizabeth St., Suite I, Punta Gorda, parrotoutreach@comcast.net (941) 347-8876.

 Fishermen’s Village reminds you – shops and boutiques are open extended hours of 10 am-8 pm Mon-Sat and 12 noon-6 pm Sundays.  Restaurants remain open later.  Thank you for shopping locally.   Like us on facebook and visit us on line at www.fishville.com.

Do you have an employee, friend or family member being harassed by creditors?  Are they overwhelmed, confused and unsure of what to do?  Well, if they are looking for answers and wondering if bankruptcy is an option, they can request my free book “Bankruptcy in Plain English – The Ultimate Layman’s Guide to taking the Fear and Mystery Out of the Bankruptcy Process so You can get a Fresh Start.”  All they need to do is call my office at 941-206-3700 or e-mail me at mark@martellalaw.com and write “FREE BOOK”.

Cuba is a hot topic of travel right now. There are a few ways to get there, as well as different price ranges.  The Fathom ship by Carnival will be hosting voyages to Cuba. There are also budget friendly 5 & 7 day air/land itineraries out of Miami,  to Luxury tours for 8 days plus. The suppliers are all jumping on board with the required People to People programs. If Cuba has ever been on your Bucket List - contact me for more details.  Pamela White -Time 2 Travel Agency, 417-247-1011 www.time2travelagency.com

The Charlotte County, FL mobile app is now available! Report issues, ask questions, get information--use your smartphone to report an issue such as a damaged street sign or illegal dumping. Receive updates and track the status anytime. Connect with other county services-- lightning alerts at county pools, CC-TV live, park trail guides, and fun things to do. Find the free app in your device’s app store or visit www.CharlotteCountyFL.gov and “Get the App” from the Hot Topics list on the left.

Carmelo's Italian Ristorante is located in Punta Gorda Downtown Historic District. We offer an extensive dinner menu Monday-Saturday, 4pm-9pm. We have Inside and Beautiful Garden Seating and Entertainment in the Garden Thurs-Saturday. Happy Hour is Daily from 4pm-5:30pm with reduced prices on Wine, Beer, Appetizers and our Signature Entrees. We also provide Catering and Special Event Services and can accommodate Daytime Meetings or Functions. Please visit www.CarmelosRistorante.com for more info and join "Our Familia". 209 W. Olympia Ave. Punta Gorda 621.4091.Reservations recommended.

The Punta Gorda Charter Chapter of the American Business Women's Association is a prestigious, national organization established for working women and women business owners. The Punta Gorda Charter Chapter provides scholarships to residents of Charlotte County.  If you are interested in learning more about the Punta Gorda Charter Chapter, please contact: Barbara Jett, 941-249-5166.The meetings are held on the fourth (4th) Wednesday evening of each month at: Hurricane Charley's, 300 W Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda, FL. Networking begins at 5:30 PM, meeting starts at 6:00 PM.  Dinner is $17.00.

Wine and Dine Wednesday at Jacks on Marion - 1/2 off bottles of wine with the purchase of any 2 entree's or appetizers! If that is not enough, every Wednesday there is Smooth Jazz and Pops on the Patio. Jacks on Marion open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner. Make your reservation now, 941-637-8800. jacksmarion@comcast.net. Entertainment Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening. “Life's too short for average food!"

 

Kudos


SERVPRO®, a cleanup and restoration franchise company, maintains its hold on the top ranking in the Restoration Services industry for the 13th consecutive year and moves up to the number four spot overall in the 2016 Franchise 500 rankings from Entrepreneur magazine. This is the seventh consecutive year SERVPRO has been included in the magazine’s Top 10 list, standing out in a group of more than 951 franchises that qualified for inclusion in the list. For more information about SERVPRO® of Port Charlotte, contact Paul Maggio at (941) 629-0966 or servpro9552@msn.com.

Punta Gorda has been named the top affordable down-south destination in the country to escape winter’s chill by TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest online travel source.  The top-rated travel source highlighted 10 affordable destinations across the country to escape winter chill and kick-start 2016 with a “sunny, warm-weather vacation that won’t break the bank.” The city of Punta Gorda topped the list of affordable southern escapes. The complete top 10 list with average weekly rates may be viewed here:  http://www.tripadvisor.com/VacationRentalsBlog/2016/01/11/10-affordable-southern-us-destinations-escape-winter/

 

Just For Fun


A well respected surgeon was relaxing on his sofa one evening just after arriving home from work. As he was tuning into the evening news, the phone rang. The doctor calmly answered it and heard the familiar voice of a colleague on the other end of the line.

"We need a fourth for poker," said the friend. "I'll be right over," whispered the doctor.

As he was putting on his coat, his wife asked, "Is it serious?"

"Oh yes, quite serious," said the doctor gravely. "In fact, three doctors are there already!"

 

Do you have exciting information about YOUR business? Send it to the Chamber and we'll share it with our other members! Email news about your business to Julie Mathis at jmathis@charlottecountychamber.org. Please keep it to 90 words or fewer. We reserve the right to publish as well as edit any posting. BOL goes out weekly on Mondays; please email your news by the preceding Friday.
___________________________________________

Julie Mathis

Executive Director
Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce
311 West Retta Esplanade
Punta Gorda, Florida 33950
941-639-2222
jmathis@charlottecountychamber.org

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Charlotte Sun Column - January 20, 2016

We are pleased that Superintendent of Schools, Steve Dionisio, will be the featured speaker at our Third Wednesday Coffee this morning, sponsored by Koch & Company, CPA, P.A. Even though it’s chilly outside, please join us at the Event Center from 7:15 to 8:30 a.m. Our Jan. 28 Business Card Exchange will be held in the headquarters of Zypha Corporation, located on the second floor of the SunTrust building in Murdock. Please join us from 5 to 7 p.m. for great networking. Remember to bring plenty of business cards and a small gift to promote your business. And, read Business Online to get all the details about the many ribbon cuttings we have this month.

We are getting psyched about our Thurs., Feb. 4, “Hottest Business Day in Paradise” Business Expo 2016. Put your “out of office” message in Outlook on and join us at the Event Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.   In addition to mixing and mingling with fellow exhibitors, here’s what you can expect: continental breakfast, sponsored by W. Kevin Russell, PA and a 10:30 – 11:30 a.m., DIRECTConnect™, otherwise known as Speed Networking event. Starting at noon, the 2016 Dancing with the Charlotte Stars will have a sneak preview of all their dancing moves prior to their March 4 funraiser. There will be a second DIRECTConnect™ session about 1:30 p.m. and at 3:45 p.m., we’ll have the grand prize drawing for attendees (you don’t have to be present to win) on the main stage, sponsored by Francis Wealth Management. Thanks to sponsor, The Martella Law Firm, PL, we’ll have a Mardi Gras themed After Hours Party for sponsors and exhibitors and their grand prize drawing. Plus, you can enjoy a box lunch ($15 pp) while you network and you can purchase your lunch by Feb. 2 online in the Chamber Store. Special thanks to platinum sponsor State Insurance Agency, Brian Chapman Jr., media sponsor: Charlotte Sun, iHeart Radio and Monarch Printing and Design; presenting sponsor Harbor Nissan, associate sponsors You’ve Got Maids, Priceless Ink Jet Cartridge and participating sponsors Charlotte Stone Crabs, Isles Yacht Club, The Mosaic Company, Regions Bank, Arthur Rutenberg Homes/Sandstar Homes, LLC and Wise Choice Photography & Video. Please join us for a great day of networking.

Business OnLine - January 18, 2016

From the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce


Accredited, US Chamber of Commerce, **** Rating

Serving all of Charlotte County for more than 90 years

 

January 18, 2016

Upcoming Chamber Events:


January 20, 7:15 to 8:30 a.m., Third Wednesday Coffee, Event Center. Program: Superintendent Steve Dionisio. Sponsor: Koch & Company, CPA, PA.

January 28, 5 to 7:00 p.m., Business Card Exchange, Zypha Corporation, 18501 Murdock Circle, #201, PC.

February 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 5th Anniversary “Hottest Business Day in Paradise Business Expo, Event Center, Punta Gorda.

General Information:


Brown Bag lunch, Tues., Jan. 19 at noon in the Chamber’s Port Charlotte office - Tips and Tricks for Self Employed and 1099 Non Employee Compensation Recipients, Discussion to include: Tax Updates for the upcoming filing season; General and Commonly Over Looked Deductions for Sch C filers ; Set the Record Straight on the Home Office Deduction; Recording Keeping Tips, Helpful Apps. Please provide your business type with your RSVP and we will provide a complimentary deduction guide. RSVP by Jan. 15 to Heather M. Francis, E.A., CTRS, (941)764-6635 Email: heatherfrancis@francistaxservices.com

International speaker and author Kathryn MacKenzie will the guest speaker at our February 17th Third Wednesday Coffee at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center in Punta Gorda.  The coffee starts at 7:15 a.m. with time to network with fellow chamber members.  Sponsored by Port Charlotte Toastmasters.  Kathryn MacKenzie Chamber Coffee

Put your “out of office” message in Outlook on Thursday, February 4 so you can be part of the 5th Annual “Hottest Business Day in Paradise” Business Expo 2016.   If you attend the Expo you can make more than 100 sales calls in one day and in one place just by talking with Chamber members who have a booth at the Expo. You can also: visit various companies and compare prices and services and hear and compare points of view; meet prospects and customers face to face to build rapport and confidence and familiarize yourself with products and services available in our community. Accomplish all this in just one day at the biggest business event of the year! For more information call Joanne Reid at 627-2222 or jreid@charlottecountychamber.org.

Please join the North Port Area Chamber of Commerce for their Annual Meeting and State of the City Address on Jan. 21 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Heron Creek Golf & Country Club. Email kclark@northportareachamber.com for details.

Please patronize the Chamber's Sustaining Partners: (Click on the links to go to their websites.)


· Platinum: Buffalo Graffix; Charlotte County Ford; Charlotte Sun/Sun Coast Media Group; Florida SouthWestern State College; Harbor Style Magazine; Monarch Printing & Design, Inc.; The Mosaic Company; Panther Hollow Dental Lodge; State Insurance Agency - Brian Chapman, Jr.; Strang, Olsen & Lynch, CPAs PA; Waste Management of Charlotte County

· Diamond: BMO Harris Bank; Charlotte State Bank & Trust; Farr Law Firm; Fawcett Memorial Hospital; Integrity Employee Leasing; Lexington Manor; Sandhill Healing Centers, Inc.; St. Andrews South Golf Club

· Emerald: Accurate Gas & Plumbing, LLC; Advanced Imaging of Port Charlotte; Bayfront Health Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte; ; Freedom Boat Club; Friendly Floors; Nolan Family Insurance; Palm Auto Mall; Port Charlotte Florist Premier Photographic Events, LLC; South Port Square; WhitCo Insurance Agency-Alexia Martin; The Wyvern Hotel

Ribbon Cuttings (to which all members are invited):


Fri., Jan. 29, 4:00 p.m., Visual Arts Center, 210 Maud Street, PG

New Members


The Mortgage Firm, 2511 Vasco St., #111, PG 33950
Toby Lynn, Ph: 941-356-6579
www.tobylynn.com toby.lynn@themortgagefirm.com                                           


4 Seasons Air Conditioning, Inc., 1592 Market Circle, PC 33953
Cozi Ingerham, Shirley Bunford-Erney, Ph: 941-627-2132
www.4seasonsAC.com   shirley@4seasonsAC.com   cozi@4seasonsAC.com                        


Harborside Copier Services, 24549 Nova Lane, PC 33980
Walter Stawarski, Kathy Cash, Ph: 941-626-4556
www.harborsidecopiers.com walter@harborsidecopiers.com
Sponsor: Scott Gable, Gable Home Inspections                                           

Chamber Member Events


Meet International Author & Speaker Kathryn MacKenzie, M.Ed., DTM at the Toastmasters Workshop on Tuesday, February 16 at 6pm at the Association of Realtors Building, 3320 Loveland Blvd., Port Charlotte. The workshop is:  Keys to Unlock the Door to your Speaking Potential. Ms. MacKenzie will also be the featured speaker at the Chamber’s February 17 Coffee with a program on developing your “elevator speech.”

Share the Love for the Kids Home Tours on Jan. 30 from 10 am to 4 pm to benefit AMIKids Crossroads, New Operation Cooper Street and The Back Pack Kidz. The tour begins at the PGI Civic Association. Tickets on sales at the Association and at www.beyondourselves.peapps.com.

Bayfront Health Port Charlotte announces that the Pantyhose-Free Zone Women’s Expo is back again for the eighth year in a row. On Saturday, Feb. 6 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Cultural Center, mothers, daughters, sisters and girlfriends will have the opportunity to reconnect during a day of shopping, demonstrations, pampering, makeovers, educational opportunities and giveaways. Admission is free to the Pantyhose-Free Zone Women’s Expo For more information, or to register to be a vendor, please contact Bevin Holzschuh, at 941-637-2534, or bevin.gallo@bayfronthealth.com.

Charlotte County Community Services presents “A Storybook Wedding: A Vow Renewal Event” at Bayshore Live Oak Park, Port Charlotte. Couples are invited to participate in this Valentine’s Day event by dressing as their favorite storybook couple as they renew their vows. Brunch and dancing to follow with a commemorative keepsake and a raffle, too. The event will be held from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. on Feb. 14, 2016; tickets for the event are only $35 per couple and must be purchased by Jan. 28. Call 941.627.1628 for additional information or to purchase tickets.

Carmelo's Italian Ristorante invites you to our Cigar Aficianado Dinner in the Garden Tuesday January 19, 16 from 6pm-9pm. This will be a night to remember which includes Cigar Aficianado-James Schneider, Spanish Guitar and Bongos by Claudio & Son, Belly Dancer-Ahmeria, Exquisite Appetizers and 3 Course Dinner  by Chef Carmelo, Wine and 3-Hand Rolled Cigars. Seats are limited- Resevation only . Pre-pay tickets are $100 - all inclusive. Go to www. Carmelo’s Ristorante.com for more info and call 621-4091. We are located downtown Punta Gorda at 209 West Olympia Ave. 

Tuesday January 19, Drug Free Punta Gorda Coalition Meeting at Busey Bank - Punta Gorda branch, Tamiami Trail (south of Airport Rd - just past Dunkin Donuts) 8:30 a.m. - 10 a.m. A very special presentation from Sammie Brooks - Encouragement Inc., as well as others. We'll also have coffee and breakfast snacks. Please join us - if you're a regular, or if it's your first time - you are welcome.

Don’t miss OCEANS Of Opportunity networking and luncheon on Thursday, February 11 at The Springs at South Biscayne in North Port starting at 11:30 am.  Join us for lunch and nationally acclaimed speaker Dr. Jeremiah Joseph from Pivotal Health Physical Medicine.  Open to all industries looking to connect with other business professionals for referrals and new clients. A portion of the proceeds will benefit OCEAN (Our Charlotte Elder Affairs Network) helping local seniors with everyday needs. $15/person RSVP by calling 941.204.2222 or email info@onholdprod. 

The Punta Gorda Downtown Merchants Association have an exciting and action packed Third Thursday Gallery Walk planned for January 21 from 5 till 8 PM.  This is not a structured walk so you can start anywhere. Our theme for the evening will be “literary awareness” and we will have activities all around downtown. It’s going to be a very active and fun Gallery Walk.  Bring your family, friends and enjoy!

TEAM Punta Gorda’s Annual Community Meeting will be held on Thursday, January 28 at the Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association. All residents are welcome. The evening begins at 6:30 PM with an informal mixer and light refreshments. This will provide volunteers, members and residents with an opportunity to socialize and learn more about the various TEAM volunteer projects. The formal program begins at 7:00 PM with remarks by TEAM CEO, Nancy Johnson. Keynote speaker for the evening is Punta Gorda Mayor, Rachael Keesling. 

Bayfront Health Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda will be hosting Driving After Dark, our first ever Night Time Golf Tournament at The Cove of Rotonda Golf Center on Friday, February 12! Come out and play for a worthy cause -- the American Heart Association. The scramble will be a shotgun start with registration and barbecue beginning at 4:30pm. Sponsorship packages, hole advertising, and prize donations are available. For more information, please contact Whitney Carney at 941-962-5679 or whitney.carney@heart.org

Compete in the Punta Gorda Quickdraw on Jan. 18 at 8:30am. Over $1,000 in prizes will be awarded. Join us after awards for the wet paint sale, 1pm at the Visual Arts Center. Register online at: www.peaceriverpainters.wix.com/quickdraw.  Art of Photography on display in First Federal Gallery January 5 - 22. View 5 multimedia artists in Goff Gallery January 5 - 22. We’re offering several workshops in a variety of media, see details on our website: www.VisualArtCenter.org.  Gallery & Gift Shop hours: Mon-Fri: 9am-4pm, Sat: 10am-2pm (941) 639-8810.

An introductory course in Florida Fishing is being offered at the PGI Civic Association. Topics to be covered include fishing techniques, tackle selection, rigging, knot tying, lures, baits, cast nets, fish identification, tides, and fishing regulations.  Rods, reels, lures, nets and other fishing equipment will be demonstrated.  The instructor is long time local fishing guide Capt. Ralph Allen. The course is held on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for six weeks beginning on Wednesday, February 24. The cost is $40 and advance registration is recommended by calling 941-637-1655.

One day golf special at Heron Creek Golf & Country Club on Wed., Jan. 20. $49 per player and $175 for a foursome. Please mention the ad for the special offer when you reserve your tee time at 941-423-6955.

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office invites you to the Quarterly Awards Ceremony, Friday, February 5, from1130am – 1pm at Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club. Lunch -$15 (proceeds above cost of the meal donated to the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranch). Please RSVP via email or 575-5211 no later than Friday, January 29. Request payment by Tuesday, February 2.  Cash or check made out to CCSO.

Tobacco Free Charlotte County Partnership Meeting on Thursday January 21. This meeting will be held at Charlotte County Public Schools Administration Building from 8:30 am - 9:30 am. If you have a stake in keeping our youth Tobacco-Free, please join us.  Together we're tackling many different tobacco issues, county-wide.  Don't Miss an important E-Cig presentation. Call with questions - Chrissie Salazar at 941-979-7471

The free educational seminars presented by Christine Hause and Samuel Kiburz of Charlotte State Bank & Trust continue this week from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the bank’s Punta Gorda office, 2331 Tamiami Trail. Christine will present “Value of Florida Residency and Homestead” on Tuesday, Jan. 19, and “How to Fund Your Will or Trust” on Thursday, Jan. 21. Samuel will present “Investment Concepts: Costs and Returns” on Wednesday, Jan. 20. Reservations are required. Visit any bank office, call (941) 624-1944 or email fwargo@csbtfl.com for reservations.

Charlotte Players announces its first Main Stage production of the 2015-2016 Season, the comedy Boeing, Boeing, written by Marc Camoletti. Performances will be on January 22, 23, 28, 29, 30, 2016 at 7:30 pm each evening and on January 24, 2016 at 2:00 pm in the Cultural Center Theater. Prior to the Thursday January 28th performance Charlotte Players will be offering a dinner and show tickets for one night only. For additional information, please call 255-1022. www.charlotteplayers.org.

Busey Bank will host a free networking event for businesses at 7:30 a.m., Friday, February 5 at its Punta Gorda Branch, 2815 Tamiami Trail. Coffee and muffins are provided.
Following the networking Barbara Langdon will present a talk on “Constant Contact- The Marketing Tool.” Innovative Mornings are organized by Busey Bank; Funnls, and Port Charlotte SCORE. Attendees network before and after an educational program.

Harbour Heights Charities, Inc. presents the 2nd Annual Harbour Heights Half Marathon and 10th Annual 5K at Harbour Heights Park on April 2, 2016. We are a non-profit 501(c)3 that donates all of our net profits to benefit Communication Disorder Classrooms in Charlotte County (this year we have increased donations to seven schools), Autism Speaks, and the Blue Haven Project to build a facility for adults on the Autism Spectrum. Since the race is on April 2 we will also "Light It Up Blue" for World Autism Awareness Day. Look for us at the Business Expo 2016. HHCharities-Inc@comcast.net.

Nav-A-Gator Happenings: Saturday, January 23 – Live Music, Jim Morris 2-5pm
Sunday, January 24 – Live Music, Sunny Jim 2-5pm. Never a cover charge; request of canned goods and nonperishable food items that are donated to a local food bank Captain Dennis Kirk is available as a guest speaker for any group or club function, where you want fun entertainment. He conducts speaking engagements at the Chiki Hut, located on the grounds of the Nav-A-Gator, which can accommodate groups up to 100. For availability and to set up your clubs fun, educational entertainment, call 941-627-3474

Charlotte County Sheriff's Office in conjunction with Charlotte Memorial Funeral Home invite the public to an informative luncheon for Project Lifesaver on Thursday, January 21 at 12:00 noon. Project Lifesaver is a program for those with Alzheimer's disease, Dementia, or Autism that have a tendency to wander.   We are able to outfit the adult or child with a personalized wristband to aid in recovering someone who has gone missing.   Lunch is provided by our host at 9400 Indian Springs Cemetery Rd. Punta Gorda. Please RSVP by January 19th to Tammy at 941-833-1824 or tammy.wilkie@ccso.org.

Charlotte Symphony Orchestra Concert Dates: Mahler January 24, 2016 @ 7:30 pm ; Valentine’s Day Pops February 14, 2016 @ 7:30 pm; Brahms March 6, 2016 @ 7:30 pm’ Beethoven March 20, 2016 @ 7:30 pm. “From the Podium” classes on the Tuesday before each concert, taught by Maestro Raffaele Ponti at Florida SouthWestern State College, Lifelong Learning Institute. To register call: 941-637-3533.

The Charlotte-DeSoto Building Industry Association invites you to join us in our 4th annual Sporting Clays Classic to be held on Sunday, January 31st   at Sarasota Trap & Skeet Gun Club in Nokomis, Florida. Registration for each shooter includes breakfast, lunch, 50 targets, 12 or 20 gauge shotgun shells and golf cart, eyes and ear protection. Station sign promoting your business is included with team sign up.  Sarasota Trap & Skeet Club has a limited supply of shotguns available for rent for $10. To register, please email admin@cdbia.com.

Drumroll, please…Charlotte Arts announces the local dance studios for this year’s “Dancing with the Charlotte Stars”…a warm welcome to returning studios Florida Dance Workshop and Higher Ground Performing Arts who will be joined by Dance with Janis and Studio Seven.  All 8 local celebrities have been paired with dancers from the 4 local dance studios and everyone is already hard at work, choosing themes, picking music, and learning choreography for the big day…Friday, March 4.  Go to www.DancingWithTheCharlotteStars.com to check out this year’s spectacular line-up!

The Punta Gorda History Center invites you to “Come Back to the Punta Gorda USO” of the World War II era, when the Army Air Field now Punta Gorda’s Airport was created and a USO was operated, April 1 from 6 to 10:30 p.m. at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center. Enjoy dinner, music, dancing, silent auction, and historical exhibits and ambiance. Military or glam 1940s dress encouraged. For tickets call (941) 916-8800 or visit www.puntagordahistorycenter.com.

Sunrise Kiwanis of Port Charlotte and Charlotte County Community Services present the first annual Duck Race and KidFest, Saturday April 2nd from 10-2 at Kiwanis Park in Port Charlotte.  Kid’s games, activities, food, music and of course-the race!  Heat win-place-show winners get giftcards and $500 to the Grand Finale duck race winner!  Ducks are $5, 3 for $10 and 20 for $50.  All proceeds benefit the youth of Charlotte County through sponsored projects, such as Kiwanis Shoes for Kids and reading books for local elementaries.  Join us for the fun!

Open Casting Call for adults and teens, Saturday, Jan. 23 & Sunday, Jan. 24 from 10 am to 2 pm at Charlotte Players, 1182 Market Circle, Port Charlotte for television, film and theater.  No experience necessary. Bring 2 copies of headshot and comp card/acting resume. Have none, email for template.   The Other West Coast Motion Media Productions will provide the sides and brief screen test. Actors auditioning for theater note this is a cold read audition with no music.  Both areas have specialty projects looking to cast. Please call 941-255-1022  or 941-815-6230.or email shellswells@gmail.com.

Friday, January 29 Tom Lewis Dancing with the Charlotte Stars Cheerleaders and Punta Gorda Historical Society present the Charlotte Players Comedy for a Cause All Star Improv Troupe lead by Dr. Chris Constance. Tickets are $25 and are limited to 150 people at the Punta Gorda Women’s Club, 118 Sullivan Street, Punta Gorda, FL. Doors open at 6:30pm with curtain at 7:30pm. Tickets may be purchased by calling Charlotte Players 941-255-1022 or www.charlotteplayers.org or PG Historical Society box office at the PG Women’s Club, 941-639-1887. Silent auction 

Boyd Brothers and Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity invite you to join them at the 4th Annual “Putting on the Ritz”, February 6, 2016 at 6 p.m., Kings Gate Golf Club, Port Charlotte. This is an elegant evening of casino-style games, dinner, dancing, auctions and fun! Tickets are $75 per person or $600 for a reserved table of 8. Roaring 20’s or cocktail attire suggested. Reserve your tickets now by visiting www.charlottecountyhfh.org or call 941-639-3162. Proceeds benefit local families in need of safe, decent affordable homes.

Business Professional Women's January 19th, 2016 meeting runs from 11:30 to 1:00 pm at Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club, 4400 Lister St., Port Charlotte.  There is lunch and our guest speakers are "The Geek Squad" from Best Buy.  Bring your smart phone, tablet, laptop, etc. to learn how to use Twitter, Snap Chat, Instagram and other popular social media.  Cost is $18 for lunch.  Please contact Peggy Wilbur, 941-889-7283.

It is with great anticipation that we look forward to celebrating our 37th Powder Puff Charity Classic Golf Tournament, on February 19, 20, 21 2016 at the Port Charlotte Golf Club. This three-day event, Charlotte County’s largest women’s golf tournament, is recognized as one of the best amateur women’s tournaments in Florida. All proceeds from our 2016 tournament will be donated to your local Tidewell Hospice. Please contact Stacy Jones Sponsor/Gift Chair, 941-815-0291, if you would like to be a sponsor.


The Charlotte Harbor and Punta Gorda Community Redevelopment Agencies (CRAs) invite residents to participate in the 8th Annual Hands Across the Harbor – Half Marathon Bridge Run, Ride, and Roll on January 30, 2016 and features a half marathon, 5k competitive run, 13.1 mile competitive longboard race as well as 5k fun walk, 13.1, 20 and 30 mile bike rides. Proceeds from Hands Across the Harbor benefit the education programs at the Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center. For more information, visit http://www.handsacrosstheharbor.org/.

The Natural Wonders of Southwest Florida and from Down Under. The area's favorite and funniest natural history author, Mr. Charles Sobczak will do a program and book signing at the Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center on Tues., Jan. 19. BYOB ~ Bring your own book or buy one from the author. Please call (941) 575-5435 or email zuliana@checflorida.org A donation of $5 for members and non-members $10 is recommended. The program starts at 5:00pm for the meet and greet, Fat Point Beer and Trader Joe snacks. Mr. Sobczak's lecture and program will start  at 6:00 p.m.

The Charlotte Players will host a “Broadway to Hollywood” themed trivia night Monday, January 25th at 6:30pm. The ongoing monthly event will be held at the Punta Gorda Women’s Club, located at 118 Sullivan Street. The cost to play is just $10 per person. Teams are limited to eight players each. Tickets may be purchased through the Charlotte Players 941-255-1022 or online at www.charlotteplayers.org or the Punta Gorda Historical Society box office at 941-639-1887 or at Punta Gorda Women’s Club. 

Chamber Member News


Tickets for 2016 Tampa Bay Rays Spring Training at Charlotte Sports Park are on sale now! Great for your business or personal use, Season Ticket Holders receive tickets to every Spring Training home game and other great benefits, including discounted parking and merchandise, a t-shirt and hat, and an exclusive event with Rays players and/or coaches. Plan a group outing and save $2 per ticket for a group of 15 or more. Catered picnic options are available. Single game tickets are also on sale starting at just $10. Pick 3 games and receive $2 off per ticket with a 3-Game Pack. Visit raysbaseball.com/spring today!

Smoke and Roses Sailing Charters is partnering with Star Limousine to bring you the Ultimate Private Luxury Tour at a special price for February. Your personal limousine will provide round trip transportation in Charlotte County and North Port delivering you to your private yacht for a 2 hour cruise on Charlotte Harbor. A Long Stem Rose will be provided for the ladies and Chocolate Covered Strawberries on all Smoke and Roses sailing cruises in February. You choose the time, maximum six passengers. For information call 605-366-7673 or visit, http://www.smokeandroses.com/SPECIALOFFERS.html.

CeJay Associates, LLC – Website Spotlight is www.CharlotteAcademy.com - a new look for a local school.  CeJay Associates specializes in creating business websites on the WordPress platform that can include web-based tools to help you grow your sales.  Easily make changes to your website or have CeJay make updates for you.   We can manage your business email and help you with your online marketing strategies.  To take your business to the next level of success, contact Candee or Lisa at 941-204-0007.  www.CeJayAssoc.com * Candeeg@CeJayAssoc.com

It's understandable that employers hiring people who will drive company vehicles will routinely check the driving records of those persons.  But, checking a driving record may also provide early insights into potential substance abuse (DUI and related).  And, with respect to repeated accidents and infractions, a driving record can also be an indicator of one's general attitude about safety and safety issues; following rules and regulations; and, showing care and consideration for others in a similar situation.  Contact Doris Hebert-Ferrigno at NRG Background Checks for further info.  941-488-8500;  800-531-6522;  nrginfo@atlantic.net 

Parrot Outreach Society is a non-profit parrot rescue in Punta Gorda. We have many volunteer opportunities to offer. We are also actively seeking professional Board of Directors. Please stop in to see what we do and meet our volunteers. You may find the perfect volunteer opportunity awaiting you! We are open Tues-Fri 10-5 and Sat 10-4. 1205 Elizabeth St., Suite I, Punta Gorda, parrotoutreach@comcast.net (941) 347-8876.

Fishermen’s Village reminds you – shops and boutiques are open extended hours of 10 am-8 pm Mon-Sat and 12 noon-6 pm Sundays.  Restaurants remain open later.
Thank you for shopping locally.   Like us on facebook and visit us on line at www.fishville.com.

Meet Journi! She is a petite 5 year old sweetie looking for love. After being abandoned at Suncoast Humane Society, she found what she thought was a good hiding spot. Unfortunately, it turned out to be the underside of the SHS thrift store truck. After a very long ride, her cries were heard and some very nice men came to her rescue. She is now all cleaned up and ready for a forever home!

Do you have an employee, friend or family member being harassed by creditors?  Are they overwhelmed, confused and unsure of what to do?  Well, if they are looking for answers and wondering if bankruptcy is an option, they can request my free book “Bankruptcy in Plain English – The Ultimate Layman’s Guide to taking the Fear and Mystery Out of the Bankruptcy Process so You can get a Fresh Start.”  All they need to do is call my office at 941-206-3700 or e-mail me at mark@martellalaw.com and write “FREE BOOK”.

Cuba is a hot topic of travel right now. There are a few ways to get there, as well as different price ranges.  The Fathom ship by Carnival will be hosting voyages to Cuba. There are also budget friendly 5 & 7 day air/land itineraries out of Miami,  to Luxury tours for 8 days plus. The suppliers are all jumping on board with the required People to People programs. If Cuba has ever been on your Bucket List - contact me for more details.  Pamela White -Time 2 Travel Agency, 417-247-1011 www.time2travelagency.com

The Charlotte County, FL mobile app is now available! Report issues, ask questions, get information--use your smartphone to report an issue such as a damaged street sign or illegal dumping. Receive updates and track the status anytime. Connect with other county services-- lightning alerts at county pools, CC-TV live, park trail guides, and fun things to do. Find the free app in your device’s app store or visit www.CharlotteCountyFL.gov and “Get the App” from the Hot Topics list on the left.

The Punta Gorda Charter Chapter of the American Business Women's Association is a prestigious, national organization established for working women and women business owners. The Punta Gorda Charter Chapter provides scholarships to residents of Charlotte County.  If you are interested in learning more about the Punta Gorda Charter Chapter, please contact: Barbara Jett, 941-249-5166.The meetings are held on the fourth (4th) Wednesday evening of each month at: Hurricane Charley's, 300 W Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda, FL. Networking begins at 5:30 PM, meeting starts at 6:00 PM.  Dinner is $17.00.

Wine and Dine Wednesday at Jacks on Marion - 1/2 off bottles of wine with the purchase of any 2 entree's or appetizers! If that is not enough, every Wednesday there is Smooth Jazz and Pops on the Patio. Jacks on Marion open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner. Make your reservation now, 941-637-8800. jacksmarion@comcast.net. Entertainment Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening. “Life's too short for average food!"

Job Spot


Caregivers Wanted: Home Instead Senior Care is hiring men and women to care for seniors one-on-one, providing companionship, light housekeeping and personal care. The work is part-time, and the schedule is flexible to meet your needs. No experience needed. Home Instead Senior Care provides on the job training. To learn more or apply for a position please go to www.homeinstead.com or contact Safrah Khan at 941-505-0450.

Just For Fun


A company, feeling it was time for a shakeup, hired a new CEO. The new boss was determined to rid the company of all slackers.

On a tour of the facilities, the CEO noticed a guy leaning against a wall and idly picking his teeth. The room was full of workers and he wanted to let them know that he meant business. He asked the guy,

"How much money do you make a week?"

A little surprised, the young man looked at him and said, "I make a little over $400 dollars a week, why?

The CEO said, "Wait right here."

He walked back to his office, came back in two minutes, and handed the guy $1,600 in cash and said, "Here's four weeks' pay. Now GET OUT and don't come back."

Feeling pretty good about himself the CEO looked around the room and asked,

"Does anyone want to tell me what that goof-ball did here?"

From across the room a voice said, "Sure - he was the Pizza delivery guy from Domino's and was just waiting to collect the money!"

 

Do you have exciting information about YOUR business? Send it to the Chamber and we'll share it with our other members! Email news about your business to Julie Mathis at jmathis@charlottecountychamber.org. Please keep it to 90 words or fewer. We reserve the right to publish as well as edit any posting. BOL goes out weekly on Mondays; please email your news by the preceding Friday.
___________________________________________


Julie Mathis
Executive Director
Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce
311 West Retta Esplanade
Punta Gorda, Florida 33950
941-639-2222
jmathis@charlottecountychamber.org

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Charlotte Sun Column - January 13, 2016

Networking at Noon is today at Jacks on Marion, and if you’re not registered, please call our office in Port Charlotte to make sure there’s room (627-2222). We‘ve had to turn “walk-ins” away because we sold out. This is another great networking event, so please plan ahead so you can take advantage of the many contacts and referral sources you’ll meet.   We are pleased that Superintendent of Schools, Steve Dionisio, will be the featured speaker at our Third Wednesday Coffee next week, sponsored by Koch & Company, CPA, P.A. Please join us at the Event Center from 7:15 to 8:30 a.m. Our Jan. 28 Business Card Exchange will be held in the headquarters of Zypha Corporation, located on the second floor of the SunTrust building in Murdock. Please join us from 5 to 7 p.m. for great networking. Remember to bring plenty of business cards and a small gift to promote your business. And, read Business Online to get all the details about the many ribbon cuttings we have this week.

We had a nice crowd at our Expo Kick-Off Party, hosted by Isles Yacht Club, last week and exhibitors who attended got some helpful tips for the Feb. 4 event. We also had two new exhibitors just walk in the training session, thanks to reading my article in the paper last week. ‘Gotta love that. We do have booth space available, if you are interested in participating. You can reach more than 100 business and their staff and over a thousand people who will visit the Event Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. that day.

This is a great opportunity to showcase your products and services and meet and greet all day. Please call Joanne Reid at 627-2222 if you want to join us.

Members, please make sure your brochures are in both of our offices so that residents and visitors can pick up information about your business. We’re busy, busy, busy and want you to be the same!

Tomorrow our Leadership Charlotte class of 2016 will be traveling all over Charlotte County in “the Big Yellow” as part of their Education Day. Please give a honk if you see a school bus full of adults on the road.

Business OnLine - January 11, 2016

From the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce


Accredited, US Chamber of Commerce, **** Rating

Serving all of Charlotte County for more than 90 years

 

January 11, 2016

Upcoming Chamber Events:


January 13, Networking @ Noon, Jacks on Marion, 201 W. Marion Ave., PG. $15 per person. Please make a reservation in the Chamber store or by calling 627-2222.

January 20, 7:15 to 8:30 a.m., Third Wednesday Coffee, Event Center. Program: Superintendent Steve Dionisio. Sponsor: Koch & Company, CPA, PA.

January 28, 5 to 7:00 p.m., Business Card Exchange, Zypha Corporation, 18501 Murdock Circle, #201, PC.

February 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 5th Anniversary “Hottest Business Day in Paradise Business Expo, Event Center, Punta Gorda.

General Information:


Brown Bag lunch, Tues., Jan. 19 at noon in the Chamber’s Port Charlotte office - Tips and Tricks for Self Employed and 1099 Non Employee Compensation Recipients, Discussion to include: Tax Updates for the upcoming filing season; General and Commonly Over Looked Deductions for Sch C filers ; Set the Record Straight on the Home Office Deduction; Recording Keeping Tips, Helpful Apps. Please provide your business type with your RSVP and we will provide a complimentary deduction guide. RSVP by Jan. 15 to Heather M. Francis, E.A., CTRS, (941)764-6635 Email: heatherfrancis@francistaxservices.com

Put your “out of office” message in Outlook on Thursday, February 4 so you can be part of the 5th Annual “Hottest Business Day in Paradise” Business Expo 2016.   If you attend the Expo you can make more than 100 sales calls in one day and in one place just by talking with Chamber members who have a booth at the Expo. You can also: visit various companies and compare prices and services and hear and compare points of view; meet prospects and customers face to face to build rapport and confidence and familiarize yourself with products and services available in our community. Accomplish all this in just one day at the biggest business event of the year! For more information call Joanne Reid at 627-2222 or jreid@charlottecountychamber.org.

Please patronize the Chamber's Sustaining Partners: (Click on the links to go to their websites.)


· Platinum: Buffalo Graffix; Charlotte County Ford; Charlotte Sun/Sun Coast Media Group; Florida SouthWestern State College; Harbor Style Magazine; Monarch Printing & Design, Inc.; The Mosaic Company; Panther Hollow Dental Lodge; State Insurance Agency - Brian Chapman, Jr.; Strang, Olsen & Lynch, CPAs PA; Waste Management of Charlotte County

· Diamond: BMO Harris Bank; Charlotte State Bank & Trust; Farr Law Firm; Fawcett Memorial Hospital; Integrity Employee Leasing; Lexington Manor; Sandhill Healing Centers, Inc.; St. Andrews South Golf Club


· Emerald: Accurate Gas & Plumbing, LLC; Advanced Imaging of Port Charlotte; Bayfront Health Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte; ; Freedom Boat Club; Friendly Floors; Nolan Family Insurance; Palm Auto Mall; Port Charlotte Florist Premier Photographic Events, LLC; South Port Square; WhitCo Insurance Agency-Alexia Martin; The Wyvern Hotel

Ribbon Cuttings (to which all members are invited):


Tues., Jan. 12, 5:30 p.m., UPS Store, 1133 Bal Harbor, #1139, PG

Wed., Jan. 13, 9:00 a.m., Culver’s, 1100 El Jobean, PC  Culvers PC Ribbon Cutting Invite


Wed., Jan. 13, 5:30 p.m., Francis Wealth Management, 12421 SW Sheri Ave., Lake Suzy, Open House 2 – 6 p.m., Free "Shred-A-Thon" from 4 – 6 p.m.

Sat., Jan. 16, 10 a.m., Sunshine Ace Hardware, 3035 Tamiami Trail, PC

Sat., Jan. 16, 2:00 p.m., Pioneer Pizza, 4560 Tamiami Trail, PC

Fri., Jan. 29, 4:00 p.m., Visual Arts Center, 210 Maud Street, PG

New Members


Pioneers Pizza, 4560 Tamiami Trail, #7, PC 33980
Michael Barone, Ph: 941-235-2424
www.pioneerspizzapc.com michael.barone29@gmail.com


Sun Realty, PO Box 510112, PG 33951-0112
Bill Abbatematteo, Ph: 941-740-1660
www.billabbarealtor.com billabbarealtor@gmail.com

Donna K. Bush, Michael Saunders and Company, 101 Taylor, PG 33950
Ph: 941-268-1079 donnabush@michaelsaunders.com
Sponsor: Sheila Meeks, Michael Saunders & Company

Chamber Member Events


Meet International Author & Speaker Kathryn MacKenzie, M.Ed., DTM at the Toastmasters Workshop on Tuesday, February 16 at 6pm at the Association of Realtors Building, 3320 Loveland Blvd., Port Charlotte. The workshop is:  Keys to Unlock the Door to your Speaking Potential. Ms. MacKenzie will also be the featured speaker at the Chamber’s February 17 Coffee with a program on developing your “elevator speech.”

Carmelo's Italian Ristorante invites you to our Cigar Aficianado Dinner in the Garden Tuesday January 19, 16 from 6pm-9pm. This will be a night to remember which includes Cigar Aficianado-James Schneider, Spanish Guitar and Bongos by Claudio & Son, Belly Dancer-Ahmeria, Exquisite Appetizers and 3 Course Dinner  by Chef Carmelo, Wine and 3-Hand Rolled Cigars. Seats are limited- Resevation only . Pre-pay tickets are $100 - all inclusive. Go to www. Carmelo’s Ristorante.com for more info and call 621-4091. We are located downtown Punta Gorda at 209 West Olympia Ave. 

Do you want to have more fun with your friends and help a non-profit organization?  If so – the perfect outing would be to attend “Quizzer” on January 13, 6:00, Cultural Center.  “Quizzer” is a monthly trivia challenge sponsored by Charlotte Harbor Rotary to support a local non-profit.  On Jan. 13, February 10 and March 9 the recipient will be Tidewell Hospice.  Please put together teams of 2 – 6 people, come on over, pay $15.00 (which covers dinner and donation.  If you have questions, please call Nancy Vollmer, (941) 979-4304.

Tuesday January 19, Drug Free Punta Gorda Coalition Meeting at Busey Bank - Punta Gorda branch, Tamiami Trail (south of Airport Rd - just past Dunkin Donuts) 8:30 a.m. - 10 a.m. A very special presentation from Sammie Brooks - Encouragement Inc., as well as others. We'll also have coffee and breakfast snacks. Please join us - if you're a regular, or if it's your first time - you are welcome.

Charlotte Players announces a special production of Sandy Anderson’s Dolly Parton Tribute Show on Tuesday, January 12th at 7:30 pm in the Cultural Center Theater.  Reserved seats are on sale for $26 for preferred seating (center section, first 6 rows) $20 for Adults, $13 for Students by calling the Charlotte Players Box office at  625-4175 Ext 220, Monday through Friday, 10 am to 3 pm or by going to the Charlotte Players website www.charlotteplayers.org. Group discounts are available.

Wilson Realty Warriors Punta Gorda Relay for Life team of the American Cancer Society is holding an open-to-the-public Dart Tournament at the Ice House in Punta Gorda.  The entry fee is $10.00 per person and you do not have to know how to play (they show you) plus there will be some nice silent auction items.  Starts at 4:00 Sunday, January 10, 2016.  Kick off the new year right by helping flight Cancer with your entry fee donation. Call Linda Wilson at 629-6624 for additional information.

Charlotte Players announces its first Main Stage production of the 2015-2016 Season, the comedy Boeing, Boeing, written by Marc Camoletti. Performances will be on January 22, 23, 28, 29, 30, 2016 at 7:30 pm each evening and on January 24, 2016 at 2:00 pm in the Cultural Center Theater. Prior to the Thursday January 28th performance Charlotte Players will be offering a dinner and show tickets for one night only. For additional information, please call 255-1022. www.charlotteplayers.org.

Harbour Heights Charities, Inc. presents the 2nd Annual Harbour Heights Half Marathon and 10th Annual 5K at Harbour Heights Park on April 2, 2016. We are a non-profit 501(c)3 that donates all of our net profits to benefit Communication Disorder Classrooms in Charlotte County (this year we have increased donations to seven schools), Autism Speaks, and the Blue Haven Project to build a facility for adults on the Autism Spectrum. Since the race is on April 2 we will also "Light It Up Blue" for World Autism Awareness Day. Look for us at the Business Expo 2016. HHCharities-Inc@comcast.net

Charlotte Symphony Orchestra Concert Dates: Tchaikovsky January 10, 2016 @ 7:30 pm; Mahler January 24, 2016 @ 7:30 pm ; Valentine’s Day Pops February 14, 2016 @ 7:30 pm; Brahms March 6, 2016 @ 7:30 pm’ Beethoven March 20, 2016 @ 7:30 pm. “From the Podium” classes on the Tuesday before each concert, taught by Maestro Raffaele Ponti At Florida SouthWestern State College, Lifelong Learning Institute. To register call: 941-637-3533.

Jan. 14, 2016 is the school district’s annual Teacher and Support Employee of the Year Celebration. Mark your calendar and purchase your tickets now. Cost is $10 for all CCPS employees, $20 for community members, or $25 at the door. This is Charlotte Local Education Foundation’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Support our students by purchasing a ticket. Please make checks payable to CLEF, 18150 Murdock Circle, Port Charlotte, FL 33948. Come celebrate a night of food, fun and recognition as we announce the Teacher and Support Employee of the Year!

The Charlotte-DeSoto Building Industry Association invites you to join us in our 4th annual Sporting Clays Classic to be held on Sunday, January 31st   at Sarasota Trap & Skeet Gun Club in Nokomis, Florida. Registration for each shooter includes breakfast, lunch, 50 targets, 12 or 20 gauge shotgun shells and golf cart, eyes and ear protection. Station sign promoting your business is included with team sign up.  Sarasota Trap & Skeet Club has a limited supply of shotguns available for rent for $10. To register, please email admin@cdbia.com.

Tickets are now on sale for this year’s “Dancing with the Charlotte Stars” – one of Charlotte County’s “most fun” fundraisers. Benefiting Charlotte Arts, the local Arts & Humanities Council, the event features 8 local celebrities.  Dancers will be asking you and other local businesses to support them through a sponsorship or program book advertising. And remember…every dollar they bring in equals the same number of votes. That’s right…a $500 sponsorship is 500 votes for your favorite dancer!  Check out  www.DancingWithTheCharlotteStars.com for sponsorship and advertising info.

The Punta Gorda History Center invites you to “Come Back to the Punta Gorda USO” of the World War II era, when the Army Air Field now Punta Gorda’s Airport was created and a USO was operated, April 1 from 6 to 10:30 p.m. at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center. Enjoy dinner, music, dancing, silent auction, and historical exhibits and ambiance. Military or glam 1940s dress encouraged. For tickets call (941) 916-8800 or visit www.puntagordahistorycenter.com.

Wine Tasting at Art by the Glass on January 13th! Whether you love Reds or Whites you are sure to find a new wine favorite. Join us for a wine tasting and canvas paint party. Wine tasting along with light snacks will start promptly at 6pm followed by a painting class. $35 per person - seating is limited. Sign up on our website at www.artbytheglassllc.com/calendar or call 941 780-1743 for reservations. Cheers!

Register for the Punta Gorda Quickdraw Jan. 18 at 8:30am. Over $1,000 in prizes will be awarded! Register online at: www.peaceriverpainters.wix.com/quickdraw. We’re celebrating the 26th Annual Art of Photography on display in First Federal Gallery Jan. 5 - 22. View 5 new artists in Goff gallery Jan. 5 - 22. The National Art Exhibition will be here Jan. 28 - March 12, you won’t want to miss it at the Visual Arts Center, 210 Maud St in Punta Gorda (Across from Fishermen’s Village) Gallery & Gift Shop hours: Mon-Fri: 9am-4pm, Sat: 10am-2pm (941) 639-8810.

Nav-A-Gator Happenings: Saturday January 16 – Live Music, 5 & Dime Boys 2-5pm; Sunday January 17 – Live Music, Trop Rock Junkies 2-5pm. Never a cover charge; request of canned goods and nonperishable food items that are donated to a local food bank. We offering Lunch/Cruise combo Boat Tour to small groups and individuals. Your lunch would be before the cruise and served in our restaurant. The cruise is a fully narrated eco-tour along the Peace River. The lunch consists of 8 delicious choices off our special lunch cruise menu. For more information, call 941-627-3474

Advanced Imaging would like to extend an invitation to the Chamber members to attend our open house on Thursday January 14th from 5-7:30 p.m. at 2625 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte. 941-276-1665

Harbour Heights Charities, Inc. would like to invite you to participate in the 10th Annual Harbour Heights 5K and the 2nd Annual Harbour Heights Half Marathon on April 2, 2016, start time 7:15 AM. This fundraiser supports Autism Awareness in Charlotte County providing grants to seven Charlotte County schools Communication Disorder Classrooms’ needs and Autism Speaks. Over the past 9 years the charity has raised more than $145,000 for education intervention and research of this complex brain disorder. To participate, donate, or sponsor, visit www.HarbourHeightsHalfand5K.org.

Gina!  Alexandria!  Brandon!  Tom!  Rob!  Leslee!  Bob!  Melissa!  The Mouseketeers?  No!  It’s this year’s lineup for “Dancing with the Charlotte Stars”. The signature fundraising event for Charlotte Arts will be held March 4th in Punta Gorda at the Event Center. Purchase tickets – Vote for your Favorite Dance Superstar – Become an Event Sponsor. Check out the “Fundraising Leader Board” at www.DancingWithTheCharlotteStars.com.  Let the Games Begin!

Would you like to explore shallow water Seagrass beds at Ponce DeLeon Park and learn more about this amazing and bountiful nursery habitat for the many creatures that make their home in Charlotte Harbor Estuary?  Be sure to dress ready to go in the water and wear closed-toed shoes. Please pre-register - call Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center at 575-5435 today for this free wading trip, starting at 9 am, January 16 and 18.  Visit our checflorida.org website for more “Real Florida” adventures.  Wading trips are sponsored by a grant from The Mosaic Company Foundation.

Christine Hause and Samuel Kiburz, members of the trust team at Charlotte State Bank & Trust, are holding free educational seminars in January from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the bank’s Punta Gorda office, 2331 Tamiami Trail. Christine will present “Will vs. Trust” on Tuesday, Jan. 12, and “Power of Attorney and Health Care Directives” on Thursday, Jan. 14. Samuel will present “Investment Concepts: Diversification and Allocation” on Wednesday, Jan. 13. Reservations are required. Visit any bank office, call (941) 624-1944 or email fwargo@csbtfl.com for reservations.

Boyd Brothers and Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity invite you to join them at the 4th Annual “Putting on the Ritz”, February 6, 2016 at 6 p.m., Kings Gate Golf Club, Port Charlotte. This is an elegant evening of casino-style games, dinner, dancing, auctions and fun! Tickets are $75 per person or $600 for a reserved table of 8. Roaring 20’s or cocktail attire suggested. Reserve your tickets now by visiting www.charlottecountyhfh.org or call 941-639-3162. Proceeds benefit local families in need of safe, decent affordable homes.

Busey Bank will host a free networking event for businesses at 7:30 a.m., Friday, January 16 at its Port Charlotte Branch, 1490 Tamiami Trail. Coffee and muffins are provided. Following time for networking Brent Crawford of Trevett Capital Partners will present “Behavioral Finance: It’s Impact on Business Retirement Plans and Personal Investing."  Innovative Mornings are organized by Busey Bank; Funnls, and Port Charlotte SCORE. Attendees network before and after an educational program.

Business Professional Women's January 19th, 2016 meeting runs from 11:30 to 1:00 pm at Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club, 4400 Lister St., Port Charlotte.  There is lunch and our guest speakers are "The Geek Squad" from Best Buy.  Bring your smart phone, tablet, laptop, etc. to learn how to use Twitter, Snap Chat, Instagram and other popular social media.  Cost is $18 for lunch.  Please contact Peggy Wilbur, 941-889-7283.

It is with great anticipation that we look forward to celebrating our 37th Powder Puff Charity Classic Golf Tournament, on February 19, 20, 21 2016 at the Port Charlotte Golf Club. This three-day event, Charlotte County’s largest women’s golf tournament, is recognized as one of the best amateur women’s tournaments in Florida. All proceeds from our 2016 tournament will be donated to your local Tidewell Hospice. Please contact Stacy Jones Sponsor/Gift Chair, 941-815-0291, if you would like to be a sponsor.                                                              

The Charlotte Harbor and Punta Gorda Community Redevelopment Agencies (CRAs) invite residents to participate in the 8th Annual Hands Across the Harbor – Half Marathon Bridge Run, Ride, and Roll on January 30, 2016 and features a half marathon, 5k competitive run, 13.1 mile competitive longboard race as well as 5k fun walk, 13.1, 20 and 30 mile bike rides. Proceeds from Hands Across the Harbor benefit the education programs at the Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center. For more information, visit http://www.handsacrosstheharbor.org/.

The Natural Wonders of Southwest Florida and from Down Under. The area's favorite and funniest natural history author, Mr. Charles Sobczak will do a program and book signing at the Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center on Tues., Jan. 19. BYOB ~ Bring your own book or buy one from the author. Please call (941) 575-5435 or email zuliana@checflorida.org A donation of $5 for members and non-members $10 is recommended. The program starts at 5:00pm for the meet and greet, Fat Point Beer and Trader Joe snacks. Mr. Sobczak 's lecture and program will start  at 6:00 p.m.

Chamber Member News


Cuba is a hot topic of travel right now. There are a few ways to get there, as well as different price ranges.  The Fathom ship by Carnival will be hosting voyages to Cuba. There are also budget friendly 5 & 7 day air/land itineraries out of Miami,  to Luxury tours for 8 days plus. The suppliers are all jumping on board with the required People to People programs. If Cuba has ever been on your Bucket List - contact me for more details.  Pamela White -Time 2 Travel Agency, 417-247-1011 www.time2travelagency.com

Parrot Outreach Society is a non-profit parrot rescue in Punta Gorda. We have many volunteer opportunities to offer. We are also actively seeking professional Board of Directors. Please stop in to see what we do and meet our volunteers. You may find the perfect volunteer opportunity awaiting you! We are open Tues-Fri 10-5 and Sat 10-4. 1205 Elizabeth St., Suite I, Punta Gorda, parrotoutreach@comcast.net (941) 347-8876

Fishermen’s Village reminds you – shops and boutiques are open extended hours of 10 am-8 pm Mon-Sat and 12 noon-6 pm Sundays.  Restaurants remain open later.
Thank you for shopping locally.   Like us on facebook and visit us on line at www.fishville.com

Do you have an employee, friend or family member being harassed by creditors?  Are they overwhelmed, confused and unsure of what to do?  Well, if they are looking for answers and wondering if bankruptcy is an option, they can request my free book “Bankruptcy in Plain English – The Ultimate Layman’s Guide to taking the Fear and Mystery Out of the Bankruptcy Process so You can get a Fresh Start.”  All they need to do is call my office at 941-206-3700 or e-mail me at mark@martellalaw.com and write “FREE BOOK”.

Tickets for 2016 Tampa Bay Rays Spring Training at Charlotte Sports Park are on sale now! Great for your business or personal use, Season Ticket Holders receive tickets to every Spring Training home game and other great benefits, including discounted parking and merchandise, a t-shirt and hat, and an exclusive event with Rays players and/or coaches. Plan a group outing and save $2 per ticket for a group of 15 or more. Catered picnic options are available. Single game tickets are also on sale starting at just $10. Pick 3 games and receive $2 off per ticket with a 3-Game Pack. Visit raysbaseball.com/spring today!

CeJay Associates, LLC – Website Spotlight is www.HarborStyle.com  - a new look, view their current and past magazines. New features include an expanded Freezeframe/People section (pictures not in the magazine) and a new 'About the Area' listing of businesses to help you find area shopping, services and restaurants.   CeJay Associates specializes in creating business websites that include online tools that help you grow your sales and presence.  Let's make your website WORK for your business and take you to the next level of success! Contact CeJay Associates at 941-204-0007.  www.CeJayAssoc.com * Candeeg@CeJayAssoc.com

New introductory Offer for both Clover & Special Merchant Rates! Stop the Sales Tax Hassel.  Click on the Utube link to see the Davo sales tax app:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlKEMe4a7i0. The Davo Sales tax app for Clover automatically separates, files & deposits your sales tax for you! Sync with QuickBooks, scan bar codes for inventory, schedule customers, split tickets for tables and more!  Steve Marcum, Regional Manager-SW Florida, Total Merchant Services. “Your deposits in Your Bank" Direct-941-417-9800.

Bear is a 7 year old American Pit Bull Terrier who weighs 57 pounds but thinks he’s a lap dog. He is friendly, eager to please, and just loves the company of humans and other canines. He may be a little older than some of the other dogs here but is still a young guy at heart. Come meet Bear at Suncoast Humane Society today!

Is there such a thing as "The Best Background Check"?  Yes!  The best background check is the one that's most defensible in a court of law.  And, typically, the best test of defensibility is the answer to the question:  "Did the employer check everything that should have been checked and could have been checked?"  And, naturally, defensibility also requires the background check to be fully-documented.  To avoid problems ... check thoroughly ... document fully ... and be FCRA-compliant!  Contact Doris Hebert-Ferrigno at NRG Background Checks for further info.  941-488-8500;  800-531-6522;  nrginfo@atlantic.net

Beginning January 1, Seabreeze Behavioral Medicine will be known as Bayfront Health Medical Group and relocates to 713 E. Marion Ave., Ste. 121, Punta Gorda. The new office is located in the Medical Office Plaza on the campus of Bayfront Health Punta Gorda. Mizyl Damayo, M.D. and her staff are available to help with addictions, eating disorders, mental health concerns, depression and more. Patients as young as 5 years of age are welcome to come experience the benefits of therapeutic services, medication management and in-house counseling. For more information, call 941-833-1750 or visit www.BayfrontHealthMedGroup.com.

Registration for the 7th Annual Pedal and Play April 1-2 will go live in January. For details, please visit http://pedalandplayinparadise.com. TEAM Punta Gorda

The Charlotte County, FL mobile app is now available! Report issues, ask questions, get information--use your smartphone to report an issue such as a damaged street sign or illegal dumping. Receive updates and track the status anytime. Connect with other county services-- lightning alerts at county pools, CC-TV live, park trail guides, and fun things to do. Find the free app in your device’s app store or visit www.CharlotteCountyFL.gov and “Get the App” from the Hot Topics list on the left.

The Punta Gorda Charter Chapter of the American Business Women's Association is a prestigious, national organization established for working women and women business owners. The Punta Gorda Charter Chapter provides scholarships to residents of Charlotte County.  If you are interested in learning more about the Punta Gorda Charter Chapter, please contact: Barbara Jett, 941-249-5166.The meetings are held on the fourth (4th) Wednesday evening of each month at: Hurricane Charley's, 300 W Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda, FL. Networking begins at 5:30 PM, meeting starts at 6:00 PM.  Dinner is $17.00.

Wine and Dine Wednesday at Jacks on Marion - 1/2 off bottles of wine with the purchase of any 2 entree's or appetizers! If that is not enough, every Wednesday there is Smooth Jazz and Pops on the Patio. Jacks on Marion open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner. Make your reservation now, 941-637-8800. jacksmarion@comcast.net. Entertainment Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening. “Life's too short for average food!"

Consumers who have not yet signed up for health insurance through the government’s Health Insurance Marketplace still have time. A plan must be selected and the premium paid by January 15 to obtain coverage by February 1; for coverage effective March 1, the plan and premium must be finalized by January 31. Bayfront Health Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda continues to offer free application assistance to help individuals evaluate insurance options on the Marketplace and complete their application forms. Call 941-766-4013 in Port Charlotte or 941-637-2503 in Punta Gorda.

Kudos


Farr Law Firm is pleased to announce the promotion of Forrest J. Bass as a shareholder. Bass joined the firm in 2009 and focuses his legal practice on estate planning, estate and trust administration, and related tax matters.   Bass is Board Certified in Wills, Trusts and Estates which is The Florida Bar’s “Legal Expert” status. Mr. Bass is the immediate past President of the Charlotte Estate Planning Council, a Board Member for the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and an Advisory Board Member for Charlotte State Bank & Trust. For more information, please visit www.farr.com.

The Charlotte County Airport Authority announces the Punta Gorda Airport passenger count for 2015 was 836,472. This is a 33 % increase in passenger traffic for 2015 compared with 2014 (628,075 passengers). For the month of December, 2015 the passenger count was 81,289. This is a 28.9 % increase in passenger traffic for December, 2015 compared with December, 2014 (63,051 passengers). In December there were 38,204 boarding passengers and 43,085 arriving passengers. This is the 27th month in a row that the Airport has seen an increase in passenger traffic in year over year monthly traffic.

Maryann Mize, CCIM, has been reappointed chairperson of the CCIM Institute’s Ward Center for Real Estate Studies. The institute, which governs one of the largest commercial real estate networks in the world, confirmed the appointment when announcing its 2016 Leadership Team and committee chairpersons. The Ward Center was formed in 2007 to provide advanced and continuing education to CCIM Institute members and non-members. Maryann, a former Chamber president, is a CCIM Senior Instructor as well as senior vice president and senior credit officer at Charlotte State Bank & Trust.

Job Spot


Caregivers Wanted: Home Instead Senior Care is hiring men and women to care for seniors one-on-one, providing companionship, light housekeeping and personal care. The work is part-time, and the schedule is flexible to meet your needs. No experience needed. Home Instead Senior Care provides on the job training. To learn more or apply for a position please go to www.homeinstead.com or contact Safrah Khan at 941-505-0450.

Just For Fun


Three spies captured in London -

One is German, one is French and the other is Italian.

First they interrogate the German spy and after 3 hours of torture he talks and is thrown back into the cell with the others.

Then the French spy is interrogated, and after about 8 hours of torture they get him to talk and throw him back with the others.

Last they interrogate the Italian spy and after 20 hours of torture and failing to make him say a word they give up for the day and throw him back with the others. When he is back in the cell with the other spies asked him, "how did you last that long without saying a word"? Then the Italian man says, "I was trying to speak but they had my hands strapped down and I wasn't able to move them".

Do you have exciting information about YOUR business? Send it to the Chamber and we'll share it with our other members! Email news about your business to Julie Mathis at jmathis@charlottecountychamber.org. Please keep it to 90 words or fewer. We reserve the right to publish as well as edit any posting. BOL goes out weekly on Mondays; please email your news by the preceding Friday.
___________________________________________


Julie Mathis
Executive Director
Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce
311 West Retta Esplanade
Punta Gorda, Florida 33950
941-639-2222
jmathis@charlottecountychamber.org

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Charlotte Sun Column - January 6, 2016

Happy New Year! We’re off to a great start of 2016 with one ribbon cutting under our belt and our 5th annual Business Expo Kick Off party scheduled for tomorrow night. Networking at Noon is at Jacks on Marion next Wed., so please make your reservation online in the Chamber store or by calling 627-2222. We are pleased that Superintendent of Schools, Steve Dionisio, will be the featured speaker at our Jan. 20 Third Wednesday Coffee., sponsored by Koch & Company, CPA, P.A. Please join us at the Event Center from 7:15 to 8:30 a.m. Our Jan. 28 Business Card Exchange will be held in the headquarters of Zypha Corporation, located on the second floor of the SunTrust building in Murdock. Please join us from 5 to 7 p.m. for great networking. Remember to bring plenty of business cards and a small gift to promote your business.

Our team is gearing up for the Thurs., Feb. 4 “Hottest Business Day in Paradise Business Expo” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Event Center in Punta Gorda. We still have a handful of booth spaces and sponsorship opportunities available, so if you call before 5 p.m. tomorrow, you’ll be invited to the Kick-Off party at Isles Yacht Club tomorrow night. We’ll have packets of material for all exhibitors with lots of tips for making the most of your time at the Expo. Just think, the room will be full of local business leaders, so you can make more than 100 sales calls in one day and in one place just by talking with Chamber members who have a booth at the Expo. An exhibitors only breakfast and after-hours party gives you more time to make an impression and close some deals. You can also visit companies and compare prices, services and points of view; meet prospects and customers face to face and familiarize yourself with products and services available in our community. Plus, the public is invited to attend this great event for free and last year we handed out all the “goodie” bags in two hours (which include flyers, pens, etc. from the exhibitors’ businesses). This is a “must do” event to start the new year off in a prosperous way. For more information call Joanne Reid at 627-2222 or email jreid@charlottecountychamber.org.

Ready, set, go!