Business OnLine - March 27, 2017

From the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce


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

Serving all of Charlotte County for more than 90 years


March 27, 2017

Upcoming Chamber Events:


Tues., April 4, Junior Leadership Charlotte Graduation, 5- 6:30 p.m., Charlotte County School Board.

Thurs, April 6, 5:30 to 7 p.m., 8th Annual Women’s Networking, Freeman House, 311 W. Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda. Cost is $15 pp. Please return the Women’s Networking Flier 2017 or register and pay through the Chamber Store

Wed., April 12, Networking at Noon, Charlotte Stone Crabs.  Enjoy a Baseball Picnic Buffet on the Right-Center Field Boardwalk and watch the Charlotte Stone Crabs vs. Palm Beach Cardinals. Start time for the game is 11:05 a.m. All members who attend N@N, must register. You will have a ticket for the game at the Will-Call box office window. To make your reservation, click on the Chamber Store to to catch all the action!

Wed., April 19, 7:15 to 8:30 a.m., Third Wednesday Coffee, Event Center, Punta Gorda.  The program will be an update on the Sales Tax projects.  Sponsor:  The Key Agency.

Thurs., April 27, 5 to 7 p.m., Business Card Exchange, Microtel Inn & Suites, 4056 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte

General Information


Join the Leadership Charlotte Class of 2017 for Denim & Diamonds!  Come kick off your boots and check out Denim and Diamonds, the amazing LC17 event, to be held on May 20 at 6 pm.  This will be a Country & Western themed night with great BBQ, music and cash bar at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds. There will also be a concert at 8:30 p.m., featuring Nashville artist Logan Dressel. Sponsors are available. See the attached flier for details.  To purchase tickets with Visa, MasterCard or Discover follow this link Chamber Store.

Join Businesses from Venice, Englewood, Charlotte County, North Port and Punta Gorda for a joint Chamber mixer with the Stone Crabs on Tuesday, April 25, 2017.  Early Entrance at 5:00 p.m. (Parking $2) Ticket Includes- Box Level Seat Ticket * Food Voucher for a large hot dog, chips, and 12 oz. fountain drink or beer.  To order tickets, call the Charlotte County Chamber at (941) 627-2222 or Fax Chamber Night-Charlotte County-April 25th-Flier to (941) 627-9730 or order with Visa, MasterCard or Discover in the Chamber Store.

9th Annual Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament - Four Person Scramble - to benefit the Junior Leadership Charlotte program is set for Saturday, June 3rd at Kingsway Country Club.  Individual golfers $75 pp or for more recognition sponsor a team or a hole sign.   We want to thank Don Gasgarth’s Charlotte County Ford for sponsoring the Hole-in-One Car, and Integrity Employee Leasing for sponsoring the more popular every year $1,000 Putting Contest.  For more information print the flier, or call the Chamber office 941-627-2222.   You may also register and pay through the Chamber Store.

FDOT invites you to a public hearing regarding the identification of sites for two new rest areas along Interstate 75 in Southwest Florida. Your participation and feedback about this project are important. FDOT anticipates final site selection in mid-2017. The hearing will begin with an informal open house at 5 p.m., and the formal hearing will begin at 6 p.m. The study team will be available throughout the evening to discuss the project and answer questions on Tuesday, April 18 at the Charlotte Harbor Event Center in Punta Gorda.  www.swflroads.com/i75/restareas

Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor and Convention Bureau’s This Week's Happenings has posted. Click here for the website • Click here to read online (PDF; printer-friendly)

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


· Platinum:  Bayfront Health Port Charlotte & Punta Gorda; Buffalo Graffix; Charlotte County Ford; Charlotte State Bank & Trust; Charlotte Sun/Sun Coast Media Group; Florida SouthWestern State College; Harbor Style Magazine; Monarch Direct; Panther Hollow Dental Lodge; State Insurance Agency - Brian Chapman, Jr.; Waste Management of Charlotte County

·  Diamond: Centennial Bank;  Farr Law Firm; Fawcett Memorial Hospital;  Integrity Employee Leasing; Lexington Manor; St. Andrews South Golf Club

·  EmeraldFreedom Boat Club; Friendly Floors; Nolan Family Insurance; Port Charlotte Florist; Sandhill Healing Centers, Inc.; South Port Square; Strang, Olsen & Lynch, CPAs PA WhitCo Insurance Agency-Alexia Martin; Wise Choice Photography & Video; The Wyvern Hotel

Ribbon Cuttings (to which all members are invited):


Tues., March 28, 5:30 p.m., Charlotte Academy (20th anniversary), 365 Orlando Blvd., PC

Wed., April 5, 5:30 p.m., Midway Pharmacy, 3370 Tamiami Trail, PC

Chamber Member Events


Join us at Zaxby’s in Port Charlotte (Cochran Blvd) for Family Night on Tuesday, March 28. Feed a family of four with our Zak Pak for only $19.99!  Also, don’t forget to call us for all of your catering needs for the Final Four Basketball events April 1st & April 3rd.  We look forward to serving you soon!

Huge car show and garage sale to assist remodel the Port Charlotte High School football team locker room 1st Annual Garage Sale and Car Show at PCHS Football Stadium will be held on Saturday, April 22 from 9 am – 3 pm. Garage sale spaces will cover the entire football field and the car show will display over 250 cars. Food and drink will be available, too. If you are interested in retail space, call 941-626-0551 or 239-895-4259. Sponsored by the “Go Green Team” of Leadership Charlotte 2017.f Leadership Charlotte 2017 To benefit the Port Charlotte High School Locker Room. Please make a donate here at this site: https://www.crowdrise.com/DenimDiamonds. Select Green team, by selecting the Green Team you will be donating to our cause: Please email, share this information with friends and families for this cause!   Thank you for helping the Green Team Leadership Charlotte 17 to Help our youth in need!

Aloha, Win a trip to Hawaii! The 2017 Spring Fling LUAU is April 1, 6PM at Laishley Park, Punta Gorda. Hosted by the Virginia B Andes Volunteer Community Clinic, the Luau feast and hula dancers are just part of food & fun. Lottery Grand Prize is roundtrip airfare to Hawaii for two!  Your support of this event will benefit the Clinic & Pharmacy in their medical mission to save lives in Charlotte County. Purchase individual tickets ($100 p/p) & sponsorships online now. www.volunteercare.org or call (941) 585-1187.

SA Pre✓®  Enrollment Event at the Punta Gorda Airport (Baggage Claim Office) April 3 - 7, 2017   8am–12pm; 1-5pm (closed for lunch noon-1pm).  TSA checkpoints are crowded and the lines are always SO long; however, travelers who are enrolled in TSA Pre✓® get expedited screening, are permitted to keep on their shoes, belts and light outerwear jacket, and can leave their laptops and liquid 3-1-1 bags inside their carry-on bags when they go through the checkpoint.  Want to know more? Click here: http://www.flypgd.com/uploads/pagesfiles/574.pdf  Ready to book your appointment? Click here: https://universalenroll.dhs.gov/workflows?servicecode=11115V&service=pre-enroll

Fishermen’s Village 5th annual Key Lime Festival is scheduled for Saturday, May 13, 10 am-4 p.m.  Thousands of people attend this event each year!  We are seeking exhibitors who specifically have something unique to promote/sell that can be tied into the “Key lime” theme.  If that is you, please contact:  Kathy Burnam, email:  kathyb@fishville.com or call 941 575-3007 to receive a registration form.

Charlotte Players is proud to announce performance dates for the third and final Main Stage production of their 2016-2017 Season, the comedy, Farce of Nature, written by Jones, Hope and Wooten.  Performances will be on March 30, 31, April 1, 2017 at 7:30 pm each evening and on April 2, 2017 at  2:00 pm in the Cultural Center Theater, Port Charlotte. Reserved seating is available by calling the Charlotte Players Box Office at 941-625-4175 Ext 220, Mon-Fri. Tickets are $20 for Adults and $10 for Students.

Ingman Marine presents Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity’s 9th Annual “Hooked on Habitat” Redfish Tournament on May 6th.  Over $5,500 in prize money will be given away…Come see why local anglers call this one of the best tournaments in Charlotte County.  Peace River Seafood’s mouth-watering captain’s dinner and lunch provided by the Crab House are included along with a signature t-shirt, raffle prizes, and more!  Come join the fun!  $350 per boat includes up to 3 anglers.  Sign up by April 28th and save $20!  Visit www.charlottecountyhfh.org   or call 941-639-3162.


Gilded Grape Winery and Wine Bar, 4069 Tamiami Trail Port Charlotte,  941-235-WINE (9463). Friday, March 31, 6:30-9:30pm.  Steve Widmeyer, folk, pop, blues & jazz. Saturday, April 1, 2017, 6:30-9:30pm, Ira Wilkes, Jazz Guitarist. The Wine Bar offers a global selection of wines by the glass or by the bottle, made on-site, and a variety of beer and craft beers. Hours are Tues-Thurs 12 noon-6pm, Friday - Saturday 12:00noon to 9:00pm.  Try our new “Wine Flight” $15.00 person,  4 / 3oz servingswww.gildedgrape.com,  like us on facebook.

Sunrise Kiwanis invites you to the 2nd Annual Duck Race & KidFest on April 1st at Kiwanis Park from 10 to 2. A man-made river will carry rubber ducks to the finish line for prizes. You may adopt a duck to enter the race by visiting pcsunrisekiwanis.org or calling 941-625-1858. This is a free day for the kids and will include bounce houses, games, live music, a magic show and more. Co-presenter is Charlotte County Community Services.

Plans are underway for Charlotte County Pride Fest 2017 at Laishley Park on April 29 from noon to 7 pm. Park on the east side of the Justice Center. At this time we have the Cheaters, Elysian Sex Drive, and Trop Rock Junkies performing with Alyssa Lemay as your emcee. We will have the best beer prices in town during our event.  We are also throwing in a surprise performer. Follow us on [CCP Facebook]. (https://www.facebook.com/CharlotteCountyPride/).  Sponsorships are available at Download the packet from our website http://www.charlottecountypridefl.org/sponsor-vendor-information.html

Join us as we celebrate with our new Auto Partner Maureen Moran, Saturday, April 1, at 4 pm at The IceHouse Pub, Punta Gorda. The ceremony will be immediately followed by the “Darts for Parts” tournament to benefit the programs of A & E Autos 4 The Needy in Charlotte County.  A & E Autos 4 The Needy mission is to help individuals in need obtain transportation that will improve their quality of life which includes their ability to locate employment, hold employment and thrive independently.  www.aandeautos4theneedy.com

The Future Builders of America/Charlotte Technical College Chapter has opened up the application process for scholarship to children wanting a career in construction. The FBA mission is to engage in construction-related educational activities that help young people understand and pursue rewarding careers in the construction industry. Applications should be received at the CDBIA office by April 14.  For details on the application process, contact Donna Barrett, CDBIA,   941-625-0804, donna@cdbia.com, www.cdbia.com

Save the date for A Summer Night in Tahiti, Sat., July 22 for dinner, dancing and much more, to benefit the Charlotte Behavioral Health Care’s Fred Lang Foundation.  Information and tickets at 941-347-6407, kpomerville@cbhcfl.org.

Peace River Sail & Power Squadron's Reverse Raffle Fundraiser - Tickets on sale now. Drawing April 7, Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center. Doors open 530 PM, raffle at 715 PM. Only 300 tickets will be sold - grand prize $1000, lots more cash and prizes. You don't need to be present to win. Tickets are $50, includes raffle ticket and dinner. Your investment helps us continue adult and youth boating education programs. For tickets contact Chuck Troike - 941-639-0619. Peace River Sail & Power Squadron is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Florida Small Business Development Center (FSBDC) at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) deadline to submit final nominations for the 2017 Distinguished Entrepreneur of Southwest Florida is midnight, Friday, March 31. The application process is online. Manual submissions will not be accepted. Apply online at https://fsbdcswfl.org/. For information, contact Amanda Stirn at astirn@fgcu.edu or (239) 745-3706.

Businesses – attend the Job Fair, sponsored by Charlotte Technical College and the Academy on Thurs., March 30 from 9 am to 1 pm at the Tech College auditorium.  Connect with high school and college students and offer insights to students looking to enter the business world.  For more information, contact Mike.Bernicchi@yourcharlotteschols.net or 255-7545x234.

Visual Arts Center exhibits are always free and open to the public. View Primavera in Main Gallery until April 6 and Painters, Potters & Jewelers in Goff Gallery until March 30. Find unique creations by local artists in the Gift Shop. Fine art & craft classes in begin in April – Register today. Art Explorers summer camp for kids ages 8 – 20 starts in June, with scholarships available! Find all the details at www.visualartcenter.org. The Visual Arts Center is located @ 210 Maud St, Punta Gorda. Gallery & Gift Shop Hours: M-F, 9-4 & Sat, 10-2.

Charlotte State Bank & Trust continues its series of “Are You Prepared” estate and investment planning seminars in April with a pair of events on April 12 at the bank’s Punta Gorda office, 2331 Tamiami Trail: Are You Prepared With a Will or Trust? from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and Are You Prepared for Stock Market Fluctuations? from1:30 to 3 p.m. 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.

Heron Creek Golf & Country Club golf specials - Monday, March 27, $49 before 8:30 am or after 12:30 pm and Tuesday, March 28, $49 after 1 pm. Call today to book your tee times. (941)423-6955

Charlotte County Community Services will be hosting the annual April Pool’s Day at two locations on Saturday, April 1. This is a free family fun day of aquatics games and activities, Biggest Splash contest, and more.  Enjoy April Pool’s Day from 11 to 4 p.m. at Ann Dever Regional Park Pool. Englewood. For more information, call 941-681-3743. Enjoy April Pool’s Day from 1 to 4 p.m. at South County Regional Park Pool.  For more information, call 941-505-8686.

The Charlotte- DeSoto Building Industry Association invites you to the inaugural golf tournament called Swing De Mayo to be held on May 5, 2017 at Kingsway Country Club. The tournament will be a four-person scramble.  Registration day of the event will start 7:30am, and shotgun at 8:30am. Team is $400 per foursome, and if you are paid in full by 4/1, you receive a hole sponsor sign with your foursome. To register or to become a tournament sponsor visit www.cdbia.com and download the official entry forms or register online.

A Night of Remembrance & Hope, Wed., April 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. in Laishley Park.  The free event includes light food, kids area, ID kits with fingerprinting for kids, candlelight vigil.  Brought to you by CARE, The Punta Gorda Police Department and the Green Dot program.

You are invited!  Virginia B Andes Volunteer Community Clinic’s 2017 Spring Fling Luau is April 1, 6PM, at Laishley Park, Punta Gorda. The Luau feast and hula dancers are just part of the evening fun. Your support of this event will benefit the Clinic & Pharmacy in their medical mission to save lives in Charlotte County. Purchase individual tickets ($100 p/p) & table sponsorships online now. www.volunteercare.org or call (941) 585-1187.

Crosby Stills Nash and Young. All of Crosby Stills Nash & Young's musical compositions are highly respected by "CSNsongs" and preproduced live as closely as possible to how they were originally written, recorded and performed throughout "Crosby Stills Nash & Young's" musical legacy. Sunday, April 2, Cultural Center of Charlotte County. Tickets starting at $22.  (941) 625-4175 | 7:30 pm showtime.

Busey Bank will host a free lunch and learn event for businesses at 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, April 4 at its Port Charlotte Branch, 1490 Tamiami Trail. Lunch will be provided. Following time for networking, John Boswell, a Port Charlotte SCORE Mentor, will give a presentation of “Salesmanship.” The Lunch and Learn is organized by Busey Bank and Port Charlotte SCORE. Reservations are required. Reserve a seat at www.busey.com/registration.

The Phantoms of the Orchestra, a volunteer group which supports the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, is holding its last monthly Composer’s Luncheon of this concert season on Thursday, April 6, 2017 from 12:00 noon until 1:00 p.m. the Punta Gorda Woman’s Club, and is open to the public. The luncheon program presenter will be Regina Buckley, Executive Director of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, who will provide a preview of the upcoming 2017-2018 CSO concert season. Reservations are required and may be made by calling the Symphony Office at 941-205-9743 by Tuesday noon, April 4th

Swing into action for Charlotte County Habitat’s 4th Annual Charity Golf Classic!  This four person scramble is on April 8th with an 8:30 shotgun start at Port Charlotte Golf Club. $80 per person or $320 per team includes: green fees, cart, continental breakfast, lunch and a lot of fun!  Registration deadline is April 1st.   Event proceeds help local families in need of safe, decent, affordable homes.  Print a registration form or register online at www.charlottecountyhfh.org .  Contact Gabrielle at 941-639-3162 for additional information.


Enjoy spring concerts performed by students in Florida SouthWestern State College’s (FSW) Music program in April and held in the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, 8099 College Parkway, Fort Myers. Doors open at 7p.m., concerts start at 7:30p.m.  The concerts are free and open to the public. Concert schedule:  Monday, April 3,–Concert Band, Trumpet Ensemble, and Percussion Ensemble.  Monday, April 10,– Symphony Orchestra, FSW Choirs, and Guitar Ensemble.  Monday, April 17,– Jazz Big Band, Jazz Combo, and Jazz Vocalists.  For information, contact Kelly O’Neil, FSW Music department, at 239-432-5203 or koneil1@fsw.edu.

Leigh Anne Brown will present “Portrait of a Bride, an Evolving Silhouette,” at an afternoon tea hosted by the Hickory Bluff Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution from noon to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5, at the Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club. Ms. Brown’s program features her unique collection wedding gowns from the Civil War to the present and includes stories and anecdotes about the brides of each era. Tickets are $35 and are available at all Charlotte State Bank & Trust locations or by emailing fundraiser.hb@gmail.com.

The Charlotte Players has dubbed its fifth annual golf fundraiser the “Kentucky Derby Golf Scramble,” since it will take place on Saturday, May 6, at Kingsway Country Club.  The cost for golfers is $70 each ($280 per foursome), which includes green fees, golf carts, gift bag, and lunch for each player. To sign up as a player or foursome, contribute a prize or sponsorship or get more information, contact Dan Mearns at (941) 893-9692, danmearns@gmail.com, or Dave Habershaw at (941) 626-4125, dave17879@aol.com.

The Cultural Center honors Sherrie Moody, executive director of the Charlotte Players, on Fri., April 28, starting at 5:30 p.m.  Tickets are available by calling 625-4175.

Nav-A-Gator Happenings – Live music - April 2, Sunny Jim 2-5pm; April 6, Latitude 6-9pm; April 7, The JP’s 6-9pm; April 8. Yard Dog Charlie, 2-5 pm; April 9, Paul Roush 2-5pm
Cover charge canned goods and nonperishable food items that are donated to a local food bank. Rent a slip at Nav-A-Gator Marina and receive free storage for your boat trailer. Call 941-627-3474 or stop.

Suncoast Humane Society is seeking area business and group sponsorships for our 9th Annual Critter Classic Golf Scramble. This popular charity event will be held Saturday, April 15, at the prestigious Riverwood Golf Club on SR776.   Golfers are encouraged to sign up now, as this event has almost reached the maximum number of golfers. Sponsors and raffle prizes are still needed to make this event a true success. For more information, please contact Manager Marcea Flowers at 941-474-7884 ext 420 Special Events or by email at mflowers@humane.org.

“Dancing with the Stars" of Heron Creek. Join us on Friday, May 5th for dinner and a fun dance contest to raise money for your favorite North Port charity.  Up to 25 couples can sign up to dance for our votes and our cash to the music of our favorite DJ Tony Accardi. Participating contestants will dance for the audience in groups of five couples and dance to a waltz, to swing music, and to disco music selected by our DJ. Contestants should call the club with their reservations by April 28. 941-240-5100.

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. Networking begins at 5:30 PM, meeting starts at 6:00 PM.  Dinner is $20.00

Chamber Member News


The Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau is looking for old (80’s or earlier) photos of people at the beach, Fishermen’s Village, Downtown PG festival, etc. of people on vacation or engaging in leisure activities.  60’s and 70’s photos are most desired.  Please send photos with a one line permission to use the photo, along with first and last name by April 30. Names will not be published, but are needed to attribute permission. Lorah Steiner, Director of Tourism, 18500 Murdock Circle, B104, Port Charlotte, FL  33948 (941) 743-1900, www.pureflorida.com

CeJay Associates, LLC website spotlight is www.TheCatererPuntaGorda.com  - Video is “in”! Use video to draw interest and create an upscale feel to your website. Let CeJay Associates update your online presence. We can manage your social media, newsletters, branding and business graphics.  Together, we can make your Internet marketing strategy work for you, taking your business or organization to the next level of success! Contact CeJay Associates at 941-204-0007 * www.CeJayAssoc.com * Design@CeJay.com

Murdock Stones Etc. has received a new order of fossilized coral rock, many with Shark's teeth embedded.... Check them out at 7621 Sawyer Circle (off Gasparilla Rd. / 771... look for the World's Largest Mailbox) or at 590 Prineville St in Port Charlotte by the Sun Flea Market. We have a great variety of mulch, boulders, stones, shell, stepping stones, pavers, & more! We offer discounts on bulk products to Charlotte County Chamber members. www.murdockstonesetc.com

Be sure to call on “eVentertainment" specialists Tiki Tom and LA Daniels. We'll customize a show tailored to your crowd and theme to be sure your guests have a remarkable time. Don’t host a snoozer event! Liven up your guests with a full bound sound. We’ll get them in the buying frame of mind along with you.  Call us directly at 239.314.6808 or visit www.tikitomrocks.com. Join the fun this week at the Sunset Grill deck party from 6 to 9 PM Friday night.

Wednesday is National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day! Let us celebrate this day with you, by giving our Small Business Owners a break and doing their work for them! Call Integrity Employee Leasing today, we’ll take care of payroll, manage HR and file your workers’ comp! 941-625-0623

Online "background check" and "people search" websites collect personal information from many sources and sell it to anyone.  Name, address, age, birthdate, phone, and relatives' names and addresses are readily available to identity thieves.  More than 250 websites are currently in this business.  Some have privacy policies that allow opting out.  Others that don't, get information from big data brokers that do (e.g., InfoUSA, Intellius, LexisNexis, PeopleFinder, Spokeo, etc.)  Opting out may be a wise choice.  Contact Doris Hebert-Ferrigno at NRG Background Checks for further info.  941-488-8500;  800-531-6522;  nrginfo@atlantic.net

Rob's on the move is a small family owned local moving company that provides professional moving with over 20 years of experience. We are honest, reliable, and take great pride in every move and treat our customers with respect and courtesy. We pad wrap and move all furniture with the highest level of care and we do it affordable rates. We also load and unload rental trucks, pods, and storage units. (941) 237-1823 www.robsonthemove.com


Charlotte State Bank & Trust is giving away Easter baskets at all six branch offices. Customers and visitors are invited to sign up for the drawing at any office, and the winners will be notified on April 13. Bank lobbies are open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday.

Suncoast Humane Society - Meet Elias! He is a 7 yr. old Domestic Shorthair weighing a solid 16 lbs. He sports a mostly black coat with an attention getting white spot on his chest. Elias has shared a home with adults, kids, a dog and another cat. He was happy with everyone. Elias is a relaxed cat but has a playful side as well. http://www.petango.com/Adopt/Cat-Manx-34328159Our senior pets are offered for a lower adoption fee of $50 dollars. And for Senior Citizens adopting a senior pet the fee is reduced to $25.

The MicroEnterprise Institute of Goodwill will host a six week course at Charlotte Technical College designed to help individuals with a business idea put together a solid plan to launch their dream.  Taught in the evenings, two nights a week, participants work with a business coach and hear from subject matter experts to help them build the plan.  For more information or to sign up for the class, contact Dorothy Browning at 239-995-2106 x 2304.


Wine and Jazz Wednesdays at Jacks on Marion. Stop by for Prime Rib Friday and Saturday. 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!"

Suncoast Humane Society Meet Austin, a 7 yr. old Bluetick Coonhound, weighing 75 lbs. He sports the classic coat. He is very vocal. And if he’s not on a leash he may well decide to go on an adventure. Austin is a smart & curious boy and well trained. He is well mannered in the home.  He has lived with adults & teenagers as well as large & small breed dogs. Austin is a playful dog who will make a great addition to a family fond of hiking and other physical activity. http://www.petango.com/Adopt/Dog-Coonhound-Bluetick-34544123

The Gilded Grape Winery and Wine Bar is offering our Venue on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings to members to Host private meetings and functions, 5 pm and after. Call Paul Malcolm at 941-235-9463 to discuss.

Kudos


The free shredding event held at the Charlotte Harbor office of Charlotte State Bank & Trust on March 18 generated more than 7,600 pounds of shred by the end of day. In addition, some 1,700 pounds of food and personal items were donated to the Horn of Plenty Food Pantry at First Baptist Church of Punta Gorda. The bank’s next shred/food drive event will be held at its new North Port office on April 22 and will benefit the Salvation Army food bank.

Job Spot


Immediate shifts available  - Join a leader in the home health care industry that has been awarded Employer of Choice and Provider of Choice.  Home Care Visits and Medical Staffing Opportunities!        Competitive pay, Flexible hours, Caregiver of the Month program, On-the-spot recognition, Orientation/on-boarding program, Plan of care provided prior to assignment, 2017 Leadership in Excellence Award (top 5% in the country).  Call for an interview. - Weekly Orientations -941-306-2172 BrightStar Care of Venice and Port Charlotte, 425 Commercial Court, Unit F Venice, FL 34292 www.brightstarcare.com Lic# 299993733 Independently Owned & Operated.

You’ve Got Maids is hiring. We have direct deposit for qualified maids, paid holidays and one weeks paid vacation after 12 months service. We provide all the cleaning supplies, cleaning equipment and the company vehicle. These are employed positions so we pay all your state and federal taxes which means you can start working on building your credit history. We are a drug free workplace and you must pass a detailed criminal background check. Starting pay is $9:25 per hour (plus tips) rising as you improve. Our Team Leaders are on $15.00 per hour.  Contact us at sarasota@youvegotmaids.com, (941) 979-8462.

Just For Fun


My wife and I were having a very hypothetical discussion... In the unlikely event that Hollywood made a movie based on our lives, we wondered what stars would play us.

"Who would you pick to portray you?" she asked me.

I thought about it for a minute, then answered, "George Clooney."

"In that case," she said, "I’ll play myself."

 

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 - March 22, 2017

     Tomorrow is the Business Card Exchange at Centennial Bank’s Port Charlotte location on Bayshore.  Bring plenty of business cards and a small gift to promote your business.   And, bring your appetite for some grilled hot dogs and more.

     We’re holding our 8th Annual Women’s Networking Event on April 6 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Freeman House, our office in Punta Gorda.  Attendees are invited to put items in a goodie bag that will be handed out that night.  We’ll need 75 items by April 3, delivered to the Port Charlotte office.  This is a fun evening of mixing and mingling, wine and munchies, graciously donated by the Gilded Grape Winery and Sonny’s.  Please join us be registering in the Chamber store or by calling 627-2222.

     Our Junior Leadership Charlotte class had their last day of the program yesterday with trips to the Justice Center, the jail, Emergency Management, the 911 office and lunch with elected officials.  It was a full, fun day.  The class will graduate on April 4.

     The Leadership Charlotte Class of 2017 will host a Denim & Diamonds Country/Western themed night on May 20 at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds. Sponsors are available.  There will also be a concert at 8:30 p.m., featuring Nashville artist Logan Dressel.  For information, please visit www.leadershipcharlotte.net.

     We had so much fun at the Rays game last week that all the chambers will gather again on Tues., April 25 for chambers night at the Stone Crabs.  For a $10. ticket, you can get together with members from other chambers, starting at 5:00 p.m., before the 6:35 game.  This also includes a hot dogs, chips and a beer or soda.  Please call out Port Charlotte office (627-2222) to order your tickets.

     Save the date for the June 3 Golf Tournament to benefit the Junior Leadership Charlotte program.  The 9th annual tournament will be held at Kingsway Country Club.

     I’m seeing some seasonal guests in my neighborhood packing up to head north.  We hope you have a great summer and we look forward to seeing you again in the fall/winter.  Next year, plan to stay longer!  Safe travels.

Business OnLine - March 20, 2017

From the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce


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

Serving all of Charlotte County for more than 91 years


March 20, 2017

Upcoming Chamber Events:


Thurs., March 23, 5 to 7 p.m., Business Card Exchange, Centennial Bank, 22627 Bayshore Road, Port Charlotte

General Information


Join the Leadership Charlotte Class of 2017 for Denim & Diamonds!  Come kick off your boots and check out Denim and Diamonds, the amazing LC17 event, to be held on May 20 at 6 pm.  This will be a Country & Western themed night with great BBQ, music and cash bar at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds. There will also be a concert at 8:30 p.m., featuring Nashville artist Logan Dressel. Sponsors are available. See the attached flier for details.  To purchase tickets with Visa, MasterCard or Discover follow this link Chamber Store.

Enjoy a special evening of networking, socializing, wine and hors d’oeuvres with your fellow business women members at our 8th Annual Women’s Networking event at the A.C. Freeman House, 311 West Retta Esplanade, our office in Punta Gorda, on Thursday, April 6 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.    Cost to attend is $15 pp. Sponsorships are available.  Please return the Women’s Networking Flier 2017 or register and pay through the Chamber Store.

9th Annual Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament - Four Person Scramble - to benefit the Junior Leadership Charlotte program is set for Saturday, June 3rd at Kingsway Country Club.  Individual golfers $75 pp or for more recognition sponsor a team or a hole sign.   We want to thank Don Gasgarth’s Charlotte County Ford for sponsoring the Hole-in-One Car, and Integrity Employee Leasing for sponsoring the more popular every year $1,000 Putting Contest.  For more information print the flier, or call the Chamber office 941-627-2222.   You may also register and pay through the Chamber Store.

Join the University of Florida/IFAS Extension Charlotte County through its Florida Sea Grant and Florida Friendly Landscaping programs for our third monthly Water Quality Seminar on April 10th at the Charlotte County Eastport Environmental Campus from 2–5pm. This program is intended for anyone interested in water quality in our fresh and saltwater environments.  The cost to attend is $5. For more information, please contact Betty Staugler at (941) 764-4346 or Tom Becker at (941) 764-4351. Space is limited so pre-registration is strongly encouraged.

The new This Week's Happenings has posted. Click here for the website • Click here to read online (PDF; printer-friendly)

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



Ribbon Cuttings (to which all members are invited):


Monday, March 20, noon, Bayfront Health Port Charlotte (Gift Shop), 2500 Harbor Blvd., PC

Wed., March 22, 5:30 p.m., Meals on Wheels, 3082 Tamiami Trail, PC

Tues., March 28, 5:30 p.m., Charlotte Academy (20th anniversary), 365 Orlando Blvd., PC

Wed., April 5, 5:30 p.m., Midway Pharmacy, 3370 Tamiami Trail, PC

New Members


Burg’r Bar, Inc., 317 Tamiami Trail, PG 33950
Brenda Lynch, Paul Lynch, Ph: 941-655-8050
www.burgrbarpg.com  burgrbarpg@gmail.com


Escape Room Unlocked, 14969 Tamiami Trail, NP 34287
Lisa Gregory, Ph: 941-295-6880
www.escaperoomsunlocked.com   admin@escaperoomsunlocked.com


Fireservice Disaster Kleenup, 2885 Commerce Parkway, NP 34289
Julie Hoeksema, Chiulin Lo, Ph: 941-423-4556
www.fireserviceusa.com  clo@fireserviceusa.com                   

Chamber Member Events


Prospective college students can apply for admission to Florida SouthWestern State College free of charge from March 20-26.  Fee Waiver Week timing also ensures online applications to the college are submitted with ample time to get started for the summer or fall semesters. Anyone interested in applying to FSW can visit www.FSW.edu/apply to access the application, learn about admissions requirements, and other important enrollment information.

Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary’s Community Appreciation Day is Sunday, March 26 from 11 am to 4 pm.  Please join them and meet the volunteers and residents of the Octagon.  Over 150 exotic animals, photo opportunities, food, beverage and more.  www.octagonwildlife.org, 239-543-1130. 41660 Horseshoe Road, Punta Gorda.

Sunrise Kiwanis invites you to the 2nd Annual Duck Race & KidFest on April 1st at Kiwanis Park from 10 to 2. A man-made river will carry rubber ducks to the finish line for prizes. You may adopt a duck to enter the race by visiting pcsunrisekiwanis.org or calling 941-625-1858. This is a free day for the kids and will include bounce houses, games, live music, a magic show and more. Co-presenter is Charlotte County Community Services.

Businesses – attend the Job Fair, sponsored by Charlotte Technical College and the Academy on Thurs., March 30 from 9 am to 1 pm at the Tech College auditorium.  Connect with high school and college students and offer insights to students looking to enter the business world.  For more information, contact Mike.Bernicchi@yourcharlotteschols.net or 255-7545x234.

Did you register for Pedal and Play, a cycling celebration March 24-15 in Punta Gorda. Wednesday at 6 p.m. is your last chance to sign up online with TEAM Punta Gorda.  You'll be able to register by paper form at packet pickup Friday or on Saturday, ride day, but it'll cost more.  So why wait?  Sign up on line at pedalandplayinparadise.com

You are invited!  Virginia B Andes Volunteer Community Clinic’s 2017 Spring Fling Luau is April 1, 6PM, at Laishley Park, Punta Gorda. The Luau feast and hula dancers are just part of the evening fun. Your support of this event will benefit the Clinic & Pharmacy in their medical mission to save lives in Charlotte County. Purchase individual tickets ($100 p/p) & table sponsorships online now. www.volunteercare.org or call (941) 585-1187.

Busey Bank will host a free lunch and learn event for businesses at 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, April 4 at its Port Charlotte Branch, 1490 Tamiami Trail. Lunch will be provided. Following time for networking, John Boswell, a Port Charlotte SCORE Mentor, will give a presentation of “Salesmanship.” The Lunch and Learn is organized by Busey Bank and Port Charlotte SCORE. Reservations are required. Reserve a seat at www.busey.com/registration.

Swing into action for Charlotte County Habitat’s 4th Annual Charity Golf Classic!  This four person scramble is on April 8th with an 8:30 shotgun start at Port Charlotte Golf Club. $80 per person or $320 per team includes: green fees, cart, continental breakfast, lunch and a lot of fun!  Registration deadline is April 1st.   Event proceeds help local families in need of safe, decent, affordable homes.  Print a registration form or register online at www.charlottecountyhfh.org .  Contact Gabrielle at 941-639-3162 for additional information.


Our 3rd Annual Aiming to C.A.R.E. Dart Tournament is quickly approaching!  Please join us for an afternoon of family friendly fun and competition on Sunday, March 26th at the Ice House Pub.  We will be playing Cricket in teams of 4.  Registration is $25 per person.  We will be starting registration at 4pm, with game play starting at 4:45pm.  Contact Kristie Lawson careauxiliary@gmail.com for registration or questions.

Gilded Grape Winery and Wine Bar, 4069 Tamiami Trail Port Charlotte, 941-235-WINE (9463).  Wednesday, March 22, 7-9pm.  Jeannie Smyth, Karaoke by Jazz & Blues Lady. Friday, March 24, 6:30-9:30pm.   Daniel Klimoski “Muze Jazz” Saxophone. Saturday, March 25, 6:00-8:00.  Steve Widmeyer, Folk, Pop, Rock, Country, Blues & Jazz. The Wine Bar offers a selection of wines by the glass or by the bottle, made on-site, and a variety of beer and craft beers. Hours are Tues-Thurs 12 noon-6pm, Friday - Saturday 12:00noon to 9:00pm.  Try our new “Wine Flight” $15.00 person,  4 / 3oz servings.  www.gildedgrape.com,  like us on facebook.

The Charlotte County Sheriff's Explorers Post 29 and Do The Right Thing of Charlotte County, Inc. invite you to become a sponsor for our second annual Public Safety Appreciation Night in recognition of our Charlotte County public safety personnel on April 28, 2017 at the Charlotte County Event Center beginning at 6:00pm.  It will include a cocktail hour, dinner, and a program honoring our public safety personnel. For questions or more information about sponsorships please contact Tony Pribble, Sponsorship Chair, at (941) 626-8583 or Apribble@pgorda.us   


The Charlotte Players has dubbed its fifth annual golf fundraiser the “Kentucky Derby Golf Scramble,” since it will take place on Saturday, May 6, at Kingsway Country Club.  The cost for golfers is $70 each ($280 per foursome), which includes green fees, golf carts, gift bag, and lunch for each player. To sign up as a player or foursome, contribute a prize or sponsorship or get more information, contact Dan Mearns at (941) 893-9692, danmearns@gmail.com, or Dave Habershaw at (941) 626-4125, dave17879@aol.com.

In partnership with the Fisherman’s Village, Anglers for Conservation (AFC) is coordinating AFC’’s Hook Kids on Fishing program on Saturday, April 29th from 10am-12 Noon  at Fishermen’s Village.  Kids ages 6 to 16, are welcome along with their parents. The first 80 kids registered may receive a free rod and reel. Registration is mandatory by calling Ralph Allen Kingfisher Fleet at 941 639-2628. Parent or guardian must accompany attendees.

Busey Bank will host a free lunch and learn event for businesses at 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, April 4 at its Port Charlotte Branch, 1490 Tamiami Trail. Lunch will be provided. Following time for networking, John Boswell, a Port Charlotte SCORE Mentor, will give a presentation of “Salesmanship.” nThe Lunch and Learn is organized by Busey Bank and Port Charlotte SCORE. Reservations are required. Reserve a seat at www.busey.com/registration.

The Cultural Center honors Sherrie Moody, executive director of the Charlotte Players, on Fri., April 28, starting at 5:30 p.m.  Tickets are available by calling 625-4175.

Nav-A-Gator Happenings – Live music - March 23 –Latitude, 6-9pm; March 24 ,Don Middlebrook 6-9pm; March 25, Bruce & Tiki D 2-5pm; March 26, Sunny Jim 2-5pm; April 1, Bruce & Tiki D 2-5pm; April 2, Sunny Jim 2-5pmCover charge canned goods and nonperishable food items that are donated to a local food bank. Rent a slip at Nav-A-Gator Marina and receive free storage for your boat trailer. Call 941-627-3474 or stop.

Suncoast Humane Society is seeking area business and group sponsorships for our 9th Annual Critter Classic Golf Scramble. This popular charity event will be held Saturday, April 15, at the prestigious Riverwood Golf Club on SR776.   Golfers are encouraged to sign up now, as this event has almost reached the maximum number of golfers. Sponsors and raffle prizes are still needed to make this event a true success. For more information, please contact Manager Marcea Flowers at 941-474-7884 ext 420 Special Events or by email at mflowers@humane.org.

Business Professional Women's March 28, 2017 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 Ann Jones, Back on the Rack.  What is your season, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter.  Cost for lunch is $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers.  Please contact Jan Stephens at bpwccfl@gmail.com by March 23rd.

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. Networking begins at 5:30 PM, meeting starts at 6:00 PM.  Dinner is $20.00

Chamber Member News


Rob's on the move is a small family owned local moving company that provides professional moving with over 20 years of experience. We are honest, reliable, and take great pride in every move and treat our customers with respect and courtesy. We pad wrap and move all furniture with the highest level of care and we do it affordable rates. We also load and unload rental trucks, pods, and storage units. (941) 237-1823 www.robsonthemove.com


Charlotte State Bank & Trust is giving away Easter baskets at all six branch offices. Customers and visitors are invited to sign up for the drawing at any office, and the winners will be notified on April 13. Bank lobbies are open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday.

JolisaClareHolisticFoundations.com - EPT™ Accelerated Coaching & Wellness.  Emotional Polarity Technique has over 25 years of clinical success ending chronic pain, anxiety and all manner of physical and emotional pain and suffering.  EPT™ provides you with a holistic alternative to traditional talk therapy and conventional medical drug therapy.  Our quality service promise to you: It is our mission that your experience remarkable change in your life through 7 EPT™ sessions. Contact Jolisa Clare (941)-585-4564 for more information and to set up your free 15 minute phone consultation.

Today is the International Day of Happiness! What could make you happier than being able to spend your days how you want?! Let Integrity Employee Leasing take care of all your workers compensation claims, payroll administrating and HR paperwork. You should be out on the town, having fun and being HAPPY! 941-625-0623.

Murdock Stones Etc. has their Fire Pits on clearance for half off...ONLY at our Sawyer Circle location...7621 Sawyer Circle (off Gasparilla Rd. / 771.. look for the World's Largest Mailbox). Our other location is at 590 Prineville St in Port Charlotte by the Sun Flea Market. We have a great variety of mulch, boulders, stones, shell, stepping stones, pavers, & more! We offer discounts on bulk products to Charlotte County Chamber members. www.murdockstonesetc.com

Employers conducting background checks must provide job applicants with a release and information on how to obtain a copy of any report resulting in denial of employment.  When deciding not to hire based on a background check, the employer must provide a pre-adverse action disclosure, the applicable screening report, and a document entitled "A Summary of Rights Under The FCRA".  And, when formally informing the applicant of that decision, the employer must provide an adverse action notice.  Contact Doris Hebert-Ferrigno at NRG Background Checks for further info.  941-488-8500;  800-531-6522;  nrginfo@atlantic.net

The MicroEnterprise Institute of Goodwill will host a six week course at Charlotte Technical College designed to help individuals with a business idea put together a solid plan to launch their dream.  Taught in the evenings, two nights a week, participants work with a business coach and hear from subject matter experts to help them build the plan.  For more information or to sign up for the class, contact Dorothy Browning at 239-995-2106 x 2304.


A Charlotte Community Foundation fund: Kudos to the 4th Annual City of Punta Gorda Golf Championship, which recently raised more than $12,000. This was added to their Foundation fund and will be disbursed to 9 designated nonprofits. In the past 4 years, the fund has distributed over $43,000! Charlotte Community Foundation connects people who care with causes that matter throughout Charlotte County.  You can establish a fund, a scholarship, or make a general donation! Get more information on www.charlottecf.org or contact Tami Sender, CEO at 941-637-0077.

Wine and Jazz Wednesdays at Jacks on Marion. Stop by for Prime Rib Friday and Saturday. 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!"

Suncoast Humane Society Meet Austin, a 7 yr. old Bluetick Coonhound, weighing 75 lbs. He sports the classic coat. He is very vocal. And if he’s not on a leash he may well decide to go on an adventure. Austin is a smart & curious boy and well trained. He is well mannered in the home.  He has lived with adults & teenagers as well as large & small breed dogs. Austin is a playful dog who will make a great addition to a family fond of hiking and other physical activity. http://www.petango.com/Adopt/Dog-Coonhound-Bluetick-34544123

The Gilded Grape Winery and Wine Bar is offering our Venue on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings to members to Host private meetings and functions, 5 pm and after. Call Paul Malcolm at 941-235-9463 to discuss.

Kudos


Arlene Dvorak is the first Charlotte County resident to earn her diploma through the Career Online High School program at a Charlotte County Library. In 2016, the Charlotte County Library System applied for and was selected by the State of Florida to offer qualified community members the opportunity to earn an accredited high school diploma and credentialed career certificate through Career Online High School, the world’s first accredited, private online school district.  Residents can learn more about Career Online High School Library, by visiting www.CharlotteCountyFL.gov and click Libraries & History. Or 941-613-3210.

Job Spot


You’ve Got Maids is hiring. We have direct deposit for qualified maids, paid holidays and one weeks paid vacation after 12 months service. We provide all the cleaning supplies, cleaning equipment and the company vehicle. These are employed positions so we pay all your state and federal taxes which means you can start working on building your credit history. We are a drug free workplace and you must pass a detailed criminal background check. Starting pay is $9:25 per hour (plus tips) rising as you improve. Our Team Leaders are on $15.00 per hour.  Contact us at sarasota@youvegotmaids.com, (941) 979-8462.

Just For Fun


My cooking has always been the target of family jokes. One evening, as I prepared dinner a bit too quickly, the kitchen filled with smoke and the smoke detector went off. Although both of my children had received fire-safety training at school, they did not respond to the alarm.

Annoyed, I stormed through the house in search of them. I found them in the bathroom, washing their hands. Over the loud buzzing of the smoke alarm, I asked them to identify the sound.

"It’s the smoke detector," they replied in unison.

"Do you know what that sound means?" I demanded.

"Sure," my oldest replied. "Dinner’s ready."

 

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 – March 15, 2017

     If you’re up and at ‘em, please join us today for a presentation on the “Top Ten Tips to Keep Your Company form Being Sued” by attorneys Mark Martella and Jessica Farrelly, of the firm of Icard Merrill. They are also the sponsor of the Third Wednesday Coffee sponsor from 7:15 to 8:30 a.m. at the Event Center in Punta Gorda.

   On Fri. our local chambers will celebrate Chambers Appreciation Day with the Rays as they take on the Twins at a 1:05 p.m. game.   Your $17. ticket includes complimentary draft beer through the 3rd inning. Call the ticket office at 941-206-4487 to purchase your tickets.

     The Mar. 23 Business Card Exchange will be held at Centennial Bank’s Port Charlotte location on Bayshore. Bring plenty of business cards and a small gift to promote your business.

   The Leadership Charlotte Class of 2017 will host a Denim & Diamonds Country/Western themed night on May 20 at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds. Sponsors are available. There will also be a concert at 8:30 p.m., featuring Nashville artist Logan Dressel. For information, please visit www.leadershipcharlotte.net.

     We’re holding our 8th Annual Women’s Networking Event on April 6 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Freeman House, our office in Punta Gorda. For more information or to register, please visit our website or call 627-2222.

     Save the date for the June 3 Golf Tournament to benefit the Junior Leadership Charlotte program. The 9th annual tournament will be held at Kingsway Country Club.

     Wow, there is a lot going on this month. Please check the community calendar on our website if you’re looking for something to do. And, if you have an event this month or in the future, make sure you get it on the calendar so that others can look and see what’s on a particular date so that there’s double bookings.

     So, did you know that before the doomsday theme of Shakespeare’s “beware the ides of March” this day once signified the new year with celebrations and rejoicing? Why not celebrate tonight at your favorite Chamber member restaurant?

Business OnLine - March 13, 2017

From the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce


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

Serving all of Charlotte County for more than 90 years


March 13, 2017

Upcoming Chamber Events:


Wed., March 15, 7:15 to 8:30 a.m.,  Third Wednesday Coffee, Sponsor: Icard, Merrill, Cullis, Timm, Furen & Ginsburg, PA  Program: “Top Ten Tips to Keep Your Company form Being Sued”

Fri., March 17, 1:05 p.m., Chambers Appreciation Day at the Rays. Call 941-206-3599 or print and return Chamber Appreciation Game the flier.

Thurs., March 23, 5 to 7 p.m., Business Card Exchange, Centennial Bank, 22627 Bayshore Road, Port Charlotte

General Information


The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will open a temporary TSA Pre-Check Program Enrollment Center at the Punta Gorda Airport beginning April 3. Travelers can make an appointment for TSA Pre✓® enrollment online and then complete the enrollment in-person at the TSA Pre✓® application center of their choice. The application fee is $85 and is good for five years.  The temporary enrollment center will be open April 3 through April 7, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed noon – 1 p.m. The enrollment center will be located at baggage claim office, next to carousel 2.

Join the Leadership Charlotte Class of 2017 for Denim & Diamonds!  Come kick off your boots and check out Denim and Diamonds, the amazing LC17 event, to be held on May 20 at 6 pm.  This will be a Country & Western themed night with great BBQ, music and cash bar at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds. There will also be a concert at 8:30 p.m., featuring Nashville artist Logan Dressel. Sponsors are available. See the attached flier for details.  To purchase tickets with Visa, MasterCard or Discover follow this link Chamber Store.

Enjoy a special evening of networking, socializing, wine and hors d’oeuvres with your fellow business women members at our 8th Annual Women’s Networking event at the A.C. Freeman House, 311 West Retta Esplanade, our office in Punta Gorda, on Thursday, April 6 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.    Cost to attend is $15 pp. Sponsorships are available.  Please return the Women’s Networking Flier 2017 or register and pay through the Chamber Store.

9th Annual Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament - Four Person Scramble - to benefit the Junior Leadership Charlotte program is set for Saturday, June 3rd at Kingsway Country Club.  Individual golfers $75 pp or for more recognition sponsor a team or a hole sign.   We want to thank Don Gasgarth’s Charlotte County Ford for sponsoring the Hole-in-One Car, and Integrity Employee Leasing for sponsoring the more popular every year $1,000 Putting Contest.  For more information print the flier, or call the Chamber office 941-627-2222.   You may also register and pay through the Chamber Store.

The new This Week's Happenings by the Visitors Bureau has posted.
Click here for the website • Click here to read online (PDF; printer-friendly)


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

· Platinum:  Bayfront Health Port Charlotte & Punta Gorda; Buffalo Graffix; Charlotte County Ford; Charlotte State Bank & Trust; Charlotte Sun/Sun Coast Media Group; Florida SouthWestern State College; Harbor Style Magazine; Monarch Direct; Panther Hollow Dental Lodge; State Insurance Agency - Brian Chapman, Jr.; Waste Management of Charlotte County

·  Diamond: Centennial Bank;  Farr Law Firm; Fawcett Memorial Hospital;  Integrity Employee Leasing; Lexington Manor; St. Andrews South Golf Club

·  EmeraldFreedom Boat Club; Friendly Floors; Nolan Family Insurance; Port Charlotte Florist; Sandhill Healing Centers, Inc.; South Port Square; Strang, Olsen & Lynch, CPAs PA WhitCo Insurance Agency-Alexia Martin; Wise Choice Photography & Video; The Wyvern Hotel

Ribbon Cuttings (to which all members are invited):

Wed., March 15, 12:00 noon, Charlotte County Realty, at the Cultural Center (front lobby) – 2280 Aaron St., PC

Wed., March 15, 5:30 p.m.,   Salvation Army (2nd location),  3325 S. Access Rd., Englewood (old Badcock Home Furniture store).


Monday, March 20, noon, Bayfront Health Port Charlotte (Gift Shop), 2500 Harbor Blvd., PC

Wed., March 22, 5:30 p.m., Meals on Wheels, 3082 Tamiami Trail, PC

Tues., March 28, 5:30 p.m., Charlotte Academy (20th anniversary), 365 Orlando Blvd., PC

New Members


Aquamarina Palm Harbour, 7080 Placida Rd., Cape Haze 33946
Robert Linn, Don Zimmer, Ph: 941-697-4356
www.ilovemymarina.com  rlinn@ilovemymarina.com                                         


Conditioned Air
3786 Mercantile Ave., Naples 34104, 1040 Knights Trail Road, Venice 34275
Tim Jones, Ph: 941-893-6450
www.conditionedair.com  tjj@contitionedair.com


Harborside El Jobean, LLC, division of Lion Pride LLC
14550 River Beach Drive, PC 33953
Shawn Enoch, Monty Enoch, Ph: 941-421-0620
www.liveharborside.com  senoch@lionpridellc.com
Sponsor: Maryann Mize, Charlotte State Bank & Trust


My Buddies Pet Care, 3186 Tamiami trail, PC 33952
Tom MacDougall, Ph: 941-258-3647
www.mybuddiespercare.com  mybuddiespetcare@gmail.com
Sponsor: Jolisa Stewart, Jolisa Clare Holistic Foundations    


Busy Bee Cabinets, 3455 Bobcat Village Center Road, NP 34288
Diana Uebelacker, Ph: 941-426-5656
www.busybeecabinets.com   queenbee@busybeecabinets.com  
Sponsor: Kathy Robinson, Centennial Bank


Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserves’ Nature Boat Tours and Snorkeling
12301 Burnt Store Road, PG 33955
Melynda Brown, Ph: 941-575-5861
www.FCHAP.org/links

Chamber Member Events


“Fabulous Friday” at Fabulous Finds Resale Shop-  Stop by on Friday, March 17, 2017 to get 50% off on all thrift clothing items.  All net proceeds go to support the Charlotte County Homeless Coalition’s mission to prevent hunger and homelessness in Charlotte County.  We also accept tax deductible donations of clothes, appliances and furniture.  Open seven days a week, come by and check out our fabulous finds located in the Charlotte Harbor Publix Plaza, 4265 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte.

Prospective college students can apply for admission to Florida SouthWestern State College free of charge from March 20-26.  Fee Waiver Week timing also ensures online applications to the college are submitted with ample time to get started for the summer or fall semesters. Anyone interested in applying to FSW can visit www.FSW.edu/apply to access the application, learn about admissions requirements, and other important enrollment information.

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at Fishermen’s Village, Friday, March 17th, 1 pm – 8 pm! Paul Strowe, the Human Jukebox, 11:30 – 3:30; Singer/Guitarist Michael Hirst, 1 – 5 pm; Singer/Guitarist Paul Cottrell 1 – 5 pm; Finest Face Painting & More by MaryRose, 3 – 7 pm; Lee County Pipes & Drums parade begins at main entrance at 5:30 pm, followed by performance in Village Courtyard; Celtic Beat Irish Dancers (immediately following Bag Pipers performance) Village Courtyard, Irish Music, Kelly & Emily Ann Thompson, 6-8 pm, Village Courtyard.

Sunrise Kiwanis invites you to the 2nd Annual Duck Race & KidFest on April 1st at Kiwanis Park from 10 to 2. A man-made river will carry rubber ducks to the finish line for prizes. You may adopt a duck to enter the race by visiting pcsunrisekiwanis.org or calling 941-625-1858. This is a free day for the kids and will include bounce houses, games, live music, a magic show and more. Co-presenter is Charlotte County Community Services.

Student Scholarships Available. The Charlotte Community Foundation will award more than 30 higher education scholarships for Charlotte County residents this year for medical, engineering and general studies. Donor funds honoring Leo Wotitzky, Nora Penton Beatty, David Gerdel, Dennis Munholand, and Virginia B. Andes, along with many others, provide approximately $116,000 in annual scholarships. Deadline to apply for 2017 is March 15th – Hurry! Please pass this message along to anyone you know that might be interested! Get more info: www.CharlotteCF.org/scholarships - or call (941)637-0077.

Charlotte County Emergency Management is offering the CERT, Citizen’s Emergency Response Team training course. This free course emphasizes training of needed lifesaving medical skills, proper use of a fire extinguisher, disaster psychology, and other disaster recovery skills. The 3-day course will be held at the Tringali Park Community Center in Englewood from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 6-8. Register by March 31. To register or for more information call 813.702.3785.

Gilded Grape Winery and Wine Bar, 4069 Tamiami Trail Port Charlotte,941-235-WINE (9463).   Wednesday, March 15, 5-7pm, paint your wine glass, asupplies included with Wine Flight $50.00. Call 941-235-9463 for reservations. Wednesday, March 15, 7-9pm.  Jeannie Smyth. Friday, March 17, 6:30-9:30pm, Mark Dupuy playing jazz.  Saturday, March 18. 6:00-8:00 pm “Gilded Grape Wine Tasting” with karaoke until 10:00pm. The Wine Bar offers a global selection of wines and craft beers. Hours are Tues-Thurs 12 noon-6pm, Friday - Saturday 12:00noon to 9:00pm. www.gildedgrape.com,  like us on facebook.

The Mid-County Regional Library presents the Mid-County Performance Series, a collection of dramatic portrayals of historical figures, as well as an Asian dance performance. Mid-County Regional Library is located at 2050 Forrest Nelson Blvd., Port Charlotte. For more information, please call 941-613-3192. Daring to Dream-Amelia Earhart, Friday, March 10 at 6:00 p.m.Wallis Simpson-Royal Obsession, Friday, April 7 at 6:00 p.m.Dance and Drama from India by Surapsari, Thursday, April 13 at 6:00 p.m.

Businesses – attend the Job Fair, sponsored by Charlotte Technical College and the Academy on Thurs., March 30 from 9 am to 1 pm at the Tech College auditorium.  Connect with high school and college students and offer insights to students looking to enter the business world.  For more information, contact Mike.Bernicchi@yourcharlotteschols.net or 255-7545x234.

The Visual Arts Center will host the 11th Annual Peace River National Art Festival March 18 & 19, 9am - 4pm in Laishley Park – More than 80 booths of fine art, music, food, wine, beer & more! View Primavera in Main Gallery March 7 – April 6 and Painters, Potters & Jewelers in Goff Gallery March 3 – 30. Exhibits are always free and open to the public. Sign up for Classes & Workshops for all media and skill levels, find details at www.visualartcenter.org. The Visual Arts Center is located @ 210 Maud St, Punta Gorda. Gallery & Gift Shop Hours: M-F, 9-4 & Sat, 10-2.

Charlotte State Bank & Trust’s free “Are You Prepared?” seminars take place this week at the bank’s Murdock office, 1100 Tamiami Trail: “Are You Prepared for Disability or Incapacitation?” on Tuesday, March 14; Are You Prepared to Learn the True Costs of Your Investments?” on Wednesday, March 15; and “Are You Prepared to Avoid Probate?” on Thursday, March 16. The free seminars are held from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and reservations are required. You may RSVP at any bank office or by contacting Francine Wargo at (941) 624-1944 or fwargo@csbtfl.com.

Join us in the side yard at Burg’r Bar, located at 317 Tamiami Trail in Punta Gorda, on Tuesday, March 14 from 5 p.m. until late for a fundraiser benefiting the Fred Lang Foundation to support suicide prevention and education in Charlotte County. Local “celebrities” will be on hand to serve attendees food and drink throughout the night. Pulled pork sandwiches and chicken, water and soda, and beer and wine will be available for purchase.

You are invited!  Virginia B Andes Volunteer Community Clinic’s 2017 Spring Fling Luau is April 1, 6PM, at Laishley Park, Punta Gorda. The Luau feast and hula dancers are just part of the evening fun. Your support of this event will benefit the Clinic & Pharmacy in their medical mission to save lives in Charlotte County. Purchase individual tickets ($100 p/p) & table sponsorships online now. www.volunteercare.org or call (941) 585-1187.

Busey Bank will host a free lunch and learn event for businesses at 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, April 4 at its Port Charlotte Branch, 1490 Tamiami Trail. Lunch will be provided. Following time for networking, John Boswell, a Port Charlotte SCORE Mentor, will give a presentation of “Salesmanship.” The Lunch and Learn is organized by Busey Bank and Port Charlotte SCORE. Reservations are required. Reserve a seat at www.busey.com/registration.

Swing into action for Charlotte County Habitat’s 4th Annual Charity Golf Classic!  This four person scramble is on April 8th with an 8:30 shotgun start at Port Charlotte Golf Club. $80 per person or $320 per team includes: green fees, cart, continental breakfast, lunch and a lot of fun!  Registration deadline is April 1st.   Event proceeds help local families in need of safe, decent, affordable homes.  Print a registration form or register online at www.charlottecountyhfh.org .  Contact Gabrielle at 941-639-3162 for additional information.


Our 3rd Annual Aiming to C.A.R.E. Dart Tournament is quickly approaching!  Please join us for an afternoon of family friendly fun and competition on Sunday, March 26th at the Ice House Pub.  We will be playing Cricket in teams of 4.  Registration is $25 per person.  We will be starting registration at 4pm, with game play starting at 4:45pm.  Contact Kristie Lawson careauxiliary@gmail.com for registration or questions.

TEAM Punta Gorda’s Annual Golf Tournament, held each year in memory of its former Chief Operating Officer Judy Brentano, will be held at the Saint Andrews South Golf Club in Punta Gorda on Saturday, March 18. The public is welcome. The reasonable per person fee includes cart, greens fees, continental breakfast, lunch, and great prizes. For more information, contact tournament chairman Ed Bouton at ed.bouton@gmail.com or co-chair Carol Kegley at carol_kegley_186@comcast.net. Find complete details and register online at www.teampuntagorda.org.

The Charlotte High Band Boosters presents - The fifth annual Moonlight Serenade, a delightful evening of dinner and dancing to “Big Band Tunes” Saturday, March 25, at the Cultural Center. 5:45-10:00 p.m. $40 pp/ $75 per couple (dinner included), 7:00-10:00 p.m. $20 pp/ $35 per couple (dinner not included). Entertainment provided by the Charlotte High Blue and Gold Jazz Bands. Silent Auction and 50/50 Raffle. For reservations contact Jeana Kukuk at 941-575-5450 ext. 1120 or 941-916-2948 or via PayPal www.silverkingband.com

The Charlotte County Sheriff's Explorers Post 29 and Do The Right Thing of Charlotte County, Inc. invite you to become a sponsor for our second annual Public Safety Appreciation Night in recognition of our Charlotte County public safety personnel on April 28, 2017 at the Charlotte County Event Center beginning at 6:00pm.  It will include a cocktail hour, dinner, and a program honoring our public safety personnel. For questions or more information about sponsorships please contact Tony Pribble, Sponsorship Chair, at (941) 626-8583 or Apribble@pgorda.us   


Area residents are invited to bring their outdated personal and confidential papers to be shredded free at Charlotte State Bank & Trust’s Charlotte Harbor office from 9 a.m. until noon on Saturday, March 18. The bank is asking those who bring papers to shred also bring non-perishable food and personal care items for the Horn of Plenty Food Pantry at First Baptist Church of Punta Gorda. The Charlotte Harbor office is at 23112 Harborview Road, on the corner of Harborview and Kings Highway in Port Charlotte.

The Charlotte Players has dubbed its fifth annual golf fundraiser the “Kentucky Derby Golf Scramble,” since it will take place on Saturday, May 6, at Kingsway Country Club.  The cost for golfers is $70 each ($280 per foursome), which includes green fees, golf carts, gift bag, and lunch for each player. To sign up as a player or foursome, contribute a prize or sponsorship or get more information, contact Dan Mearns at (941) 893-9692, danmearns@gmail.com, or Dave Habershaw at (941) 626-4125, dave17879@aol.com.

Nav-A-Gator Happenings – Live music -March 16, Trop Country (featuring Jamie & Dave) 6-9pm; March 17, John Reno 6-9pm, March 18 Yard Dog Charlie 2-5pm. March 23 –Latitude, 6-9pm; March 24 ,Don Middlebrook 6-9pm; March 25, Bruce & Tiki D 2-5pm; March 26, Sunny Jim 2-5pm. Cover charge canned goods and nonperishable food items that are donated to a local food bank. Rent a slip at Nav-A-Gator Marina and receive free storage for your boat trailer. Call 941-627-3474 or stop.

Business Professional Women's March 28, 2017 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  Ann Jones, Back on the Rack.  What is your season, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter.  Cost for lunch is $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers.  Please contact Jan Stephens at bpwccfl@gmail.com by March 23rd.

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. Networking begins at 5:30 PM, meeting starts at 6:00 PM.  Dinner is $20.00

Chamber Member News


JolisaClareHolisticFoundations.com - EPT™ Accelerated Coaching & Wellness.  Emotional Polarity Technique has over 25 years of clinical success ending chronic pain, anxiety and all manner of physical and emotional pain and suffering.  EPT™ provides you with a holistic alternative to traditional talk therapy and conventional medical drug therapy.  Our quality service promise to you: It is our mission that your experience remarkable change in your life through 7 EPT™ sessions. Contact Jolisa Clare (941)-585-4564 for more information and to set up your free 15 minute phone consultation.


The FGCU Small Business Development Center received its accreditation without any conditions (clean audit).  Our network of business counselors, programs and services ranks in the top 2% of all US SBDC’s.  Our services include no-cost business and financial counseling, government contracting assistance, training workshops and videos, a minority certification program, international trade assistance, and disaster recovery.  We will be holding our Distinguished Entrepreneur Award of SW FL event (nominations for companies are open until Mar. 31st - https://fsbdcswfl.org/) on May 18 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Harbourside Event Center.

All Charlotte County Libraries are now offering Freegal, an online service that will allow patrons access to music and music videos. Patrons login to Freegal using their library card number and pin. Charlotte County library patrons will be able to download 3 songs per week and stream 3 hours of music each day. Patrons will also be able to create and save their playlists, and Freegal works with multiple devices. Freegal apps are available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

Integrity Employee Leasing wants you to be able to celebrate todays National Holiday, Workplace Napping Day! Let Integrity perform all your payroll duties, file your workers compensation claims, and tackle all your HR needs. That way you can celebrate more important holidays like this in the future! 941-625-0623

The MicroEnterprise Institute of Goodwill will host a six week course at Charlotte Technical College designed to help individuals with a business idea put together a solid plan to launch their dream.  Taught in the evenings, two nights a week, participants work with a business coach and hear from subject matter experts to help them build the plan.  For more information or to sign up for the class, contact Dorothy Browning at 239-995-2106 x 2304.

Higher Education scholarships available from the Charlotte Community Foundation: The Charlotte Community Foundation announces higher education scholarships for Charlotte County residents. Field of study include medical, engineering and general studies. Donor funds honoring Leo Wotitzky, Nora Penton Beatty, David Gerdel, Dennis Munholand and Virginia B. Andes, along with others, provide approximately $115,000 in annual scholarships. Apply now through March 15th. Please pass this message along to anyone you know that might be interested! Visit www.CharlotteCF.org or call (941) 637-0077.

Please join us for business networking at DeSoto Health & Rehabilitation every 2nd Tuesday of each month from 9:30-10:30 a.m. If you would like to sign up to be a speaker, please speak to Cassietta Sanders, Admissions/Marketing Director of DeSoto Health & Rehab.   Each speaker will need to provide a refreshment of their choice, bring a small gift to have raffled at the end of our meeting and may provide packets, brochures and/or information to our attendees, on the tables.  Please call Cassietta at  863-993-8000 or email Cassietta at Desotoadmit@vistalc.com.

Only Fair Credit Reporting Act-compliant businesses, called consumer reporting agencies, are legally allowed to provide data used to make hiring decisions.  Employers not using a compliant consumer reporting agency could face legal action.  An applicant rejected for a job based on the results of a background screen NOT conducted by a compliant business has the right to sue that prospective employer.  Beware of so-called "public record websistes" promising to "provide information about anyone in the U.S."   Contact Doris Hebert-Ferrigno at NRG Background Checks for further info.  941-488-8500;  800-531-6522;  nrginfo@atlantic.net

Suncoast Humane Society Meet Minka! She is a 6 yr. old Domestic Shorthair “Hemingway” weighing 15 lbs.  She has a soft grey with black tiger coat and big, beautiful blue eyes. Minka is a very sweet & affectionate cat who likes to rub up against people. Unfortunately, her owner became quite ill and that is how Minka came to your Suncoast Humane Society. She loves to be petted and will ask for more...a real cuddle cat. Minka is a little chunky and should probably drop a pound or two. http://www.petango.com/Adopt/Cat-Domestic-Shorthair-34528420

V Attractive Nails & Spa located at 4456 Tamiami Trail Unit B-11 in Port Charlotte is now offering Semi-Permanent Eyelash Extensions.  Goodbye Mascara, Hello Lash Extensions! Full Set of Semi-Permanent Eyelash Extensions for just $99.99 to $149.99 (instead of $150.00 to $200.00). This includes the first 2 week refill for free!  Semi-Permanent lashes are applied individually to your natural lashes enhancing their thickness, giving a more glamorous look. Call (941) 284-0334 for details or to make an appointment.

King Fisher Fleet will offer its popular 90-minute Harbor Tour departing from Burnt Store Marina for a limited time. The tours will depart every Friday from February 17 through April 7 at 11:15 am. This 1 ½ hour cruise in the Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserve includes historical narrative, and you'll look for dolphins, seabirds, and other wildlife. For reservations or more information about this cruise, call (941) 639-0969, or visit http://www.kingfisherfleet.com/cruises-harbor-tour-burnt-store.

Wine and Jazz Wednesdays at Jacks on Marion. Stop by for Prime Rib Friday and Saturday. 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!"

The Gilded Grape Winery and Wine Bar is offering our Venue on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings to members to Host private meetings and functions, 5 pm and after. Call Paul Malcolm at 941-235-9463 to discuss.

Job Spot


 You’ve Got Maids is hiring. We have direct deposit for qualified maids, paid holidays and one weeks paid vacation after 12 months service. We provide all the cleaning supplies, cleaning equipment and the company vehicle. These are employed positions so we pay all your state and federal taxes which means you can start working on building your credit history. We are a drug free workplace and you must pass a detailed criminal background check. Starting pay is $9:25 per hour (plus tips) rising as you improve. Our Team Leaders are on $15.00 per hour.  Contact us at sarasota@youvegotmaids.com, (941) 979-8462.

Sleep Number has an exciting opportunity to grow your retail sales career and experience unlimited earning potential in an innovative, team-oriented environment. Our proprietary products, exclusive distribution, best-in-class sales training and relationship-based sales process enable you to build lifelong relationships and a rewarding, long-term career. Our retail sales professionals convey a passion for our products and their customers, have an entrepreneurial spirit, and represent the Sleep Number brand with the highest integrity. P 941.222.0730, SSM.PortCharlotteFL@selectcomfort.com

Just For Fun


We took the grandkids to one of those restaurants where the walls are plastered with movie memorabilia.  I went off to see the hostess about reserving a table and left my wife with the kids. When I returned, I found my 10-year-old granddaughter staring at a poster of Superman standing in a phone booth.

She looked puzzled. "She doesn't know who Superman is?" I asked my wife.

"Worse," my wife replied. "She doesn't know what a phone booth is."


--------------------------

Little Mikey and his family were having Sunday dinner at his grandmother's house. Everyone was seated around the table as the food was being served.

When Little Mikey received his plate, he started eating right away.

"Mikey! Please wait until we say our prayer," said his mother.

"I don't need to," the boy replied.

"Of course, you do," his mother insisted through gritted teeth. "We always say a prayer before eating at our house."

"That's at our house," Mikey explained. "But this is Grandma's house and she knows how to cook."

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 - March 8, 2017

     Networking at Noon is today at the top of the Wyvern at Perch 360. Please call our Port Charlotte office (627-2222) to see if there’s room on the roof.

     Next Wed., Mar. 15 is our Third Wednesday Coffee that will feature a presentation on the “Top Ten Tips to Keep Your Company form Being Sued” by attorneys Mark Martella and Jessica Farrelly, of the firm of Icard Merrill, the Coffee sponsor.  We’ll also ask new members who attend to introduce themselves.  We’ll draw four business cards and ask the “winners” to talk about their business.  We’ll recognize members who are celebrating five year anniversaries.  We’ll hear from a non-profit member.  And, we’ll give you plenty of time to enjoy a cup of coffee and meet and greet your fellow Chamber members.  Please join us from 7:15 to 8:30 a.m. at the Event Center in Punta Gorda.

     The March 23 Business Card Exchange will be held at Centennial Bank’s Port Charlotte location on Bayshore.  Bring plenty of business cards and a small gift to promote your business.

     On March 17 our local chambers will celebrate Chambers Appreciation Day with the Rays as they take on the Twins at a 1:05 p.m. game.   Your $17. ticket includes complimentary draft beer through the 3rd inning.  Call the ticket office or the Chamber to purchase your tickets.

    The Leadership Charlotte Class of 2017 will host a Denim & Diamonds Country/Western themed night on May 20 at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds. Sponsors are available. There will also be a concert at 8:30 p.m., featuring Nashville artist Logan Dressel.

     We’re holding our 8th Annual Women’s Networking Event on April 6 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Freeman House, our office in Punta Gorda. For more information or to register, please visit our website or call 627-2222.

     Save the date for the June 3 Golf Tournament to benefit the Junior Leadership Charlotte program. The 9th annual tournament will be held at Kingsway Country Club.

     Please stop by the Burg’r Bar in Punta Gorda next Tues., starting at 5:30 p.m. for a celebrity bartender gathering to support Charlotte Behavioral Health Care’s teen suicide prevention program. I’ll be selling signature drinks or pouring wine (and asking for tips) during the event.

Business OnLine - March 6, 2017

From the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce


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

Serving all of Charlotte County for more than 90 years


March 6, 2017

Upcoming Chamber Events:


Wed., March 8, Networking at Noon, The Wyvern’s Perch 360, 101 E. Retta Blvd., PG. Please make a reservation in the Chamber store or by calling 627-2222.


Wed., March 15, 7:15 to 8:30 a.m.,  Third Wednesday Coffee, Sponsor: Icard, Merrill, Cullis, Timm, Furen & Ginsburg, PA  Program: “Top Ten Tips to Keep Your Company form Being Sued”

Fri., March 17, 1:05 p.m., Chambers Appreciation Day at the Rays. Call 941-206-3599 or print and return Chamber Appreciation Game the flier.

Thurs., March 23, 5 to 7 p.m., Business Card Exchange, Centennial Bank, 22627 Bayshore Road, Port Charlotte

General Information


Join the Leadership Charlotte Class of 2017 for Denim & Diamonds!  Come kick off your boots and check out Denim and Diamonds, the amazing LC17 event, to be held on May 20 at 6 pm.  This will be a Country & Western themed night with great BBQ, music and cash bar at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds. There will also be a concert at 8:30 p.m., featuring Nashville artist Logan Dressel. Sponsors are available. See the attached flier for details.  To purchase tickets with Visa, MasterCard or Discover follow this link Chamber Store.

Chambers Appreciation Game on Friday, March 17 Rays vs Twins at the Charlotte Sports Park at 1:05 pm.  Enjoy a boardwalk ticket to the game -  $17. includes free draft beer through the 3rd inning.  Call the ticket office 941-206-3599 or print and return Chamber Appreciation Game the flier.

Enjoy a special evening of networking, socializing, wine and hors d’oeuvres with your fellow business women members at our 8th Annual Women’s Networking event at the A.C. Freeman House, 311 West Retta Esplanade, our office in Punta Gorda, on Thursday, April 6 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.    Cost to attend is $15 pp. Sponsorships are available.  Please return the Women’s Networking Flier 2017 or register and pay through the Chamber Store.

9th Annual Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce Golf TournamentFour Person Scramble – to benefit the Junior Leadership Charlotte program is set for Saturday, June 3rd.   For more information print the flier, or call the Chamber office 941-627-2222.   You may also register and pay through the Chamber Store.

As preparations begin for development of the City’s FY 2017-2018 budget, we are seeking public input on the city's operating (day-to-day operations, such as police and fire, road maintenance or sanitation) and capital improvements (parks, pathways, lighting, drainage, sidewalks, municipal marina or parking) budgets. Staff will be conducting a Community Budget Conversation on Monday, March 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the Laishley Park Community Room to garner customer feedback. There will be no presentations or proposals; we will simply be listening to the community’s requests and ideas. If you are unable to attend the meeting, please share your ideas with us by emailing them to citymgr@pgorda.us.

The 3rd Annual Punta Gorda Short Film Festival is Wed., March 8 at 7 pm. at the Event Center.  Tickets are available at http://pgsfftix.bpt.me.


The new This Week's Happenings has posted. Click here for the website • Click here to read online (PDF; printer-friendly)

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

· Platinum:  Bayfront Health Port Charlotte & Punta Gorda; Buffalo Graffix; Charlotte County Ford; Charlotte State Bank & Trust; Charlotte Sun/Sun Coast Media Group; Florida SouthWestern State College; Harbor Style Magazine; Monarch Direct; Panther Hollow Dental Lodge; State Insurance Agency - Brian Chapman, Jr.; Waste Management of Charlotte County


·  Diamond: Centennial Bank;  Farr Law Firm; Fawcett Memorial Hospital;  Integrity Employee Leasing; Lexington Manor; St. Andrews South Golf Club

·  EmeraldFreedom Boat Club; Friendly Floors; Nolan Family Insurance; Port Charlotte Florist; Sandhill Healing Centers, Inc.; South Port Square; Strang, Olsen & Lynch, CPAs PA WhitCo Insurance Agency-Alexia Martin; Wise Choice Photography & Video; The Wyvern Hotel

Ribbon Cuttings (to which all members are invited):


Wed., March 15, 12:00 noon, Charlotte County Realty, at the Cultural Center (front lobby) – 2280 Aaron St., PC

Wed., March 15, 5:30 p.m.,   Salvation Army (2nd location),  3325 S. Access Rd., Englewood (old Badcock Home Furniture store).


Monday, March 20, noon, Bayfront Health Port Charlotte (Gift Shop), 2500 Harbor Blvd., PC

Wed., March 22, 5:30 p.m., Meals on Wheels, 3082 Tamiami Trail, PC

Tues., March 28, 5:30 p.m., Charlotte Academy (20th anniversary), 365 Orlando Blvd., PC

New Members


The Salvation Army Family Store, 3325 Access Road, Englewood 34224
Captain Josue Prieto
Carlos.osorio@uss.salvationarmy.org


Inside Realm Multimedia, Inc.
PO Box 510148, PG 33951-0148, 3857 Acline Rd., #101, PG 33950
Jon Henry, Ph: 941-882-0026
www.insiderealm.com   jon@insiderealm.com

Chamber Member Events


Join us as we celebrate the Charlotte DeSoto Building Industry Association’s Parade of Homes. The Parade of Homes will be held from March 4th-March 12th from 10am-5pm each day (Sundays 12pm-5pm). Sixteen spectacular model homes are rolling out the red carpet at various locations. Visit www.swflparadeofhomes.com to view a map of all the model homes and download the Southwest Florida Parade of Homes app and visit all 19 homes for a chance to win $500 gift card to Bacon’s Furniture.

Businesses – attend the Job Fair, sponsored by Charlotte Technical College and the Academy on Thurs., March 30 from 9 am to 1 pm at the Tech College auditorium.  Connect with high school and college students and offer insights to students looking to enter the business world.  For more information, contact Mike.Bernicchi@yourcharlotteschols.net or 255-7545x234.

The Visual Arts Center will host the 11th Annual Peace River National Art Festival March 18 & 19, 9am - 4pm in Laishley Park – More than 80 booths of fine art, music, food, wine, beer & more! View Primavera in Main Gallery March 7 – April 6 and Painters, Potters & Jewelers in Goff Gallery March 3 – 30. Exhibits are always free and open to the public. Sign up for Classes & Workshops for all media and skill levels, find details at www.visualartcenter.org. The Visual Arts Center is located @ 210 Maud St, Punta Gorda. Gallery & Gift Shop Hours: M-F, 9-4 & Sat, 10-2

Come join the Charlotte County Community Services Department and the Charlotte Harbor Community Sailing Center at “Come Sail Away”, a free sailing event 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, March 11 at Port Charlotte Beach Park. Novice sailors are invited to experience the thrill of harnessing the wind and sailing the waters of beautiful Charlotte Harbor in an O’Day or Hobie Cat sailboat. Instruction and all equipment is provided. Register now by calling 941-627-1628.   For more information, contact us at 941-625-PLAY (7529) or visit our website at www.CharlotteCountyFL .gov.

You are invited! Virginia B Andes Volunteer Community Clinic’s 2017 Spring Fling Luau is April 1, 6PM, at Laishley Park, Punta Gorda. The Luau feast and hula dancers are just part of the evening fun. Your support of this event will benefit the Clinic & Pharmacy in their medical mission to save lives in Charlotte County. Purchase individual tickets ($100 p/p) & table sponsorships online now. www.volunteercare.org or call (941) 585-1187.

Gilded Grape Winery and Wine Bar, 4069 Tamiami Trail Port Charlotte,  941-235-WINE (9463).  Wednesday, March 8, 7-9pm, Mark DupuyWine and Jazz. Friday, March 10, 6:30-9:30pm.   Leslie DaCosta   “Saxy and Soulful”  Jazz Evening. Saturday, March 11. 6:30-9:30 pm, Ira Wilkes   Jazz Guitarist. We offer a global selection of wines by the glass or by the bottle, made on-site, and a variety of beer and craft beers. Hours are Tues-Thurs 12 noon-6pm, Friday - Saturday 12:00noon to 9:00pm.  Try our new Wine Flight” $15.00 person,  4 / 3oz servings.  www.gildedgrape.com,  like us on facebook.

Busey Bank will host a free lunch and learn event for businesses at 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, April 4 at its Port Charlotte Branch, 1490 Tamiami Trail. Lunch will be provided. Following time for networking, John Boswell, a Port Charlotte SCORE Mentor, will give a presentation of “Salesmanship.” The Lunch and Learn is organized by Busey Bank and Port Charlotte SCORE. Reservations are required. Reserve a seat at www.busey.com/registration.

Swing into action for Charlotte County Habitat’s 4th Annual Charity Golf Classic!  This four person scramble is on April 8th with an 8:30 shotgun start at Port Charlotte Golf Club. $80 per person or $320 per team includes: green fees, cart, continental breakfast, lunch and a lot of fun!  Registration deadline is April 1st.   Event proceeds help local families in need of safe, decent, affordable homes.  Print a registration form or register online at www.charlottecountyhfh.org .  Contact Gabrielle at 941-639-3162 for additional information.


Charlotte Symphony Orchestra Matinee– Students 18 and under free with adult purchase, March 19, 2017 at 2:00 pm and at 7:30 pm Charlotte Performing Arts Center. Guest Artist: Franklin Cohen, Clarinet. Tickets may be purchased by calling 941-205-9743 or on website at www.charlottesymphony.com

Our 3rd Annual Aiming to C.A.R.E. Dart Tournament is quickly approaching!  Please join us for an afternoon of family friendly fun and competition on Sunday, March 26th at the Ice House Pub.  We will be playing Cricket in teams of 4.  Registration is $25 per person.  We will be starting registration at 4pm, with game play starting at 4:45pm.  Contact Kristie Lawson careauxiliary@gmail.com for registration or questions.

Crowdfunding for Non-profits, Thurs., April 6th 5:30 - 6:30, Charlotte County Chamber Conference Room, 2702 Tamiami Trial, PC. As more and more donors are being exposed to crowdfunding for products and services, they’ll expect your nonprofit’s fundraising to shift towards those approaches as well.  In this session, you’ll figure out all the nuts and bolts of launching a nonprofit crowdfunding campaign. You’ll learn what works and what doesn’t work, as well as tactical approaches used in crowdfunding that works. Free, please RSVP at www.meetup.com/Tech4Good-Charlotte-County. Sponsored by 2Webgroup, TechSoup and NetSquared.

This week’s free estate and investment planning seminars at Charlotte State Bank & Trust’s Punta Gorda office, 2331 Tamiami Trail, ask the questions “Are You Prepared for Disability or Incapacitation?” on Tuesday, Are You Prepared to Learn the True Costs of Your Investments?” on Wednesday and “Are You Prepared to Avoid Probate?” on Thursday. The free seminars are held from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and reservations are required. You may RSVP at any bank office or by contacting Francine Wargo at (941) 624-1944 or fwargo@csbtfl.com.

10a-6p on Saturday, 11a-5p on Sunday. Seafood Festival with a twist, featuring The Platters, The Boogiemen, The Rockadials and Eddie And The Edsels. As always seafood, vendors, craft vendors, boats, fishing info and products. There will also be a huge kids’ activity area including Heaven Help Us Clydesdale rides and a petting zoo. Admission $2-Hours are 10-6 on Saturday the 11th and 11-5 on Sunday the 12th.

TEAM Punta Gorda’s Annual Golf Tournament, held each year in memory of its former Chief Operating Officer Judy Brentano, will be held at the Saint Andrews South Golf Club in Punta Gorda on Saturday, March 18. The public is welcome. The reasonable per person fee includes cart, greens fees, continental breakfast, lunch, and great prizes. For more information, contact tournament chairman Ed Bouton at ed.bouton@gmail.com or co-chair Carol Kegley at carol_kegley_186@comcast.net. Find complete details and register online at www.teampuntagorda.org.

Sleep Number is having special event pricing just for Chamber of Commerce members. All you have to say when you visit the store is that you belong to the Chamber of Commerce and you will receive special pricing. The dates are from March 12-March 19. NetworkingOpenHouseFlyerMarch2017


An all-star lineup of literary luminaries will punctuate the Punta Gorda Literary Fair beginning Monday, March 6 through Saturday, March 11. The fair features lectures by authors Mark Antonacci and Randall Kenneth Jones accompanied by 25 authors and writers leading workshops such as “Writing the Off-beat Novel” and “Conquering Cyberspace as a Writer.” Most events are free to attend.  Tickets for events are available online at Eventbrite or by calling (941) 258-4920. Visit for a complete schedule and additional information Facebook.com/PuntaGordaLiteraryFair or call (941) 258-4920.


The Charlotte High Band Boosters presents - The fifth annual Moonlight Serenade, a delightful evening of dinner and dancing to “Big Band Tunes” Saturday, March 25, at the Cultural Center. 5:45-10:00 p.m. $40 pp/ $75 per couple (dinner included), 7:00-10:00 p.m. $20 pp/ $35 per couple (dinner not included). Entertainment provided by the Charlotte High Blue and Gold Jazz Bands. Silent Auction and 50/50 Raffle. For reservations contact Jeana Kukuk at 941-575-5450 ext. 1120 or 941-916-2948 or via PayPal www.silverkingband.com

Fawcett Memorial Hospital is offering free stroke-risk education courses through May at Charlotte State Bank & Trust. These one-on-one consultations will take place at bank offices from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The first one is on Wednesday at the bank’s Murdock office, 1100 Tamiami Trail. While the assessment is free, reservations are required; calling Consult-A-Nurse at 941-624-4441.

The Charlotte County Sheriff's Explorers Post 29 and Do The Right Thing of Charlotte County, Inc. invite you to become a sponsor for our second annual Public Safety Appreciation Night in recognition of our Charlotte County public safety personnel on April 28, 2017 at the Charlotte County Event Center beginning at 6:00pm.  It will include a cocktail hour, dinner, and a program honoring our public safety personnel. For questions or more information about sponsorships please contact Tony Pribble, Sponsorship Chair, at (941) 626-8583 or Apribble@pgorda.us  


The Charlotte Players has dubbed its fifth annual golf fundraiser the “Kentucky Derby Golf Scramble,” since it will take place on Saturday, May 6, at Kingsway Country Club.  The cost for golfers is $70 each ($280 per foursome), which includes green fees, golf carts, gift bag, and lunch for each player. To sign up as a player or foursome, contribute a prize or sponsorship or get more information, contact Dan Mearns at (941) 893-9692, danmearns@gmail.com, or Dave Habershaw at (941) 626-4125, dave17879@aol.com.

Peace River Sail & Power Squadron’s Reverse Raffle Fundraiser – Tickets on sale now. Drawing April 7, Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center. Doors open 530 PM, raffle at 715PM. Only 300 tickets will be sold – grand prize $1000, lots more cash and prizes. You don’t have to be present to win. Tickets are $50, includes raffle ticket and dinner. Your investment helps us continue adult and youth boating education programs. For tickets contact Chuck Troike - 941-639-0619. Sponsorships available. Peace River Sail & Power Squadron is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

The Phantoms of the Orchestra, a volunteer group which supports the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, is sponsoring a “Mad Hatter” Sunday Brunch on March 12th at the Twin Isles Country Club from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Local celebrity Al Holland will be entertaining everyone in attendance from 1 - 1:30 p.m.  Prizes will be awarded for the best decorated hat in both women's and men’s divisions. Reservations are required and may be made by calling the Symphony Office at 941-205-9743. Seating is limited to 200 people.  The cost is $40 per person.

Nav-A-Gator Happenings – Live music  March 9, The JP’s 6-9pm; March 11, Paul Roush 2-5pm, March 12, MC Squared 2-5pm. March 16, Trop Country (featuring Jamie & Dave) 6-9pm; March 17, John Reno 6-9pm, March 18 Yard Dog Charlie 2-5pm. Cover charge canned goods and nonperishable food items that are donated to a local food bank. Rent a slip at Nav-A-Gator Marina and receive free storage for your boat trailer. Call 941-627-3474 or stop.

Business Professional Women's March 28, 2017 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  Ann Jones, Back on the Rack.  What is your season, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter.  Cost for lunch is $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers.  Please contact Jan Stephens at bpwccfl@gmail.com by March 23rd.

The Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program, a conference sponsor, invites you to attend: FGCU Biodiversity Conference 5:30 – 8:00 PM, FGCU Cohen Center.  Plenary Speaker: Reed Noss "Florida: The Hottest Spot in an Unexpected Global Diversity Hotspot."  Program includes refreshments, poster session, live music and interactive session with Dr. Noss.  Note sponsors, full program and registration at: www.fgcu.edu/biodiversityconference/index.html

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. Networking begins at 5:30 PM, meeting starts at 6:00 PM.  Dinner is $20.00

Chamber Member News.


 CenturyLink and Kitson & Partners announced they will provide one of the fastest residential internet speeds available in the U.S. to residents of the new, solar-powered town of Babcock Ranch.  CenturyLink will be the exclusive broadband provider delivering gigabit internet service over its fiber network to every home and business. The quality broadband network will be the two-way data conduit for municipal services, the fabric for social networks within the community, and the backbone for the smart grid security system, transportation network, health care network and much more.

The MicroEnterprise Institute of Goodwill will host a six week course at Charlotte Technical College designed to help individuals with a business idea put together a solid plan to launch their dream.  Taught in the evenings, two nights a week, participants work with a business coach and hear from subject matter experts to help them build the plan.  For more information or to sign up for the class, contact Dorothy Browning at 239-995-2106 x 2304.


Higher Education scholarships available from the Charlotte Community Foundation: The Charlotte Community Foundation announces higher education scholarships for Charlotte County residents. Field of study include medical, engineering and general studies. Donor funds honoring Leo Wotitzky, Nora Penton Beatty, David Gerdel, Dennis Munholand and Virginia B. Andes, along with others, provide approximately $115,000 in annual scholarships. Apply now through March 15th. Please pass this message along to anyone you know that might be interested! Visit www.CharlotteCF.org or call (941) 637-0077.


V Attractive Nails & Spa located at 4456 Tamiami Trail Unit B-11 in Port Charlotte is now offering Semi-Permanent Eyelash Extensions.  Goodbye Mascara, Hello Lash Extensions! Full Set of Semi-Permanent Eyelash Extensions for just $99.99 to $149.99 (instead of $150.00 to $200.00). This includes the first 2 week refill for free!  Semi-Permanent lashes are applied individually to your natural lashes enhancing their thickness, giving a more glamorous look. Call (941) 284-0334 for details or to make an appointment.

March 7th, 2017 is National Be Heard Day. At Integrity Employee Leasing we want you to hear how great our company is and how much we can help your company succeed! Integrity can take care of payroll and deliver it to your door! We also provide you with workers compensation coverage and file your claims for you, as well as take care of all your HR needs! Call us today to hear how Integrity can improve your business. 941-625-0623.

Murdock Stones Etc. has their Fire Pits on clearance for half off...only at our Sawyer Circle location...7621 Sawyer Circle (off Gasparilla Rd. / 771.. look for the World's Largest Mailbox). Our other location is at 590 Prineville St in Port Charlotte by the Sun Flea Market. We have a great variety of mulch, boulders, stones, shell, stepping stones, pavers, & more! We offer discounts on bulk products to Charlotte County Chamber members. www.murdockstonesetc.com

Background screening is often the most decisive factor in the hiring process.  The information provided empowers hiring managers to decide if a candidate will be hired or not.  Employers must follow several key guidelines in this process ... and it's crucial for hiring managers to understand the legal requirements they must follow when screening any applicant.  First and foremost, employers must obtain background reports for hiring purposes ONLY from a Fair Credit Reporting Act-compliant entity.  NRG is FCRA-compliant.  Contact Doris Hebert-Ferrigno at NRG Background Checks for further info.  941-488-8500;  800-531-6522;  nrginfo@atlantic.net

Charlotte State Bank & Trust recently opened its first branch office in North Port. The full-service office is at 4300 Aidan Lane along Tamiami Trail, just south of Home Depot and across from the Cocoplum Village Shops. “The new office gives our many North Port customers a place to bank closer to home, while offering our services to many more area residents and businesses,” said bank President Craig DeYoung. Assistant Vice President Amira Cizmic serves as branch manager, Amanda Losada is the personal banker and Assistant Vice President Kelly Louke is the residential lender.

Meet Jake at the Suncoast Humane Society. He is an 11 month old Lab Mix weighing 49 lbs. This is one happy, good natured and affectionate dog. He likes to jump up on people and get in their laps, but this is all in friendly & youthful enthusiasm. Jake loves to chase after a Frisbee and will bring it back and drop it. He is loving towards adults and children alike. And he does well with other dogs. (Cats on the other hand are not good companions for him.) http://www.petango.com/Adopt/Dog-Retriever-Labrador-34398778

King Fisher Fleet will offer its popular 90-minute Harbor Tour departing from Burnt Store Marina for a limited time. The tours will depart every Friday from February 17 through April 7 at 11:15 am. This 1 ½ hour cruise in the Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserve includes historical narrative, and you'll look for dolphins, seabirds, and other wildlife. For reservations or more information about this cruise, call (941) 639-0969, or visit http://www.kingfisherfleet.com/cruises-harbor-tour-burnt-store.

Wine and Jazz Wednesdays at Jacks on Marion. Stop by for Prime Rib Friday and Saturday. 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!"

The Gilded Grape Winery and Wine Bar is offering our Venue on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings to members to Host private meetings and functions, 5 pm and after. Call Paul Malcolm at 941-235-9463 to discuss.

Job Spot


 Sleep Number has an exciting opportunity to grow your retail sales career and experience unlimited earning potential in an innovative, team-oriented environment. Our proprietary products, exclusive distribution, best-in-class sales training and relationship-based sales process enable you to build lifelong relationships and a rewarding, long-term career. Our retail sales professionals convey a passion for our products and their customers, have an entrepreneurial spirit, and represent the Sleep Number brand with the highest integrity. P 941.222.0730, SSM.PortCharlotteFL@selectcomfort.com

We are actively seeking an Executive Director to provide oversight for all aspects of the operation and management of the Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association, a large multi-use facility with a growing membership. This position reports to the President of the Association and will be responsible for communications with our members and the Board of Directors as well as be an interface with key community organizations.  Applicants must have prior management experience, excel in organizational and communication skills, and be highly skilled in computer activities.  Interested parties are encouraged to send resumes to: PGIsearch2017@outlook.com

The Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association (PGICA) is seeking a part-time document design and layout Manager for their monthly newsletter. This position requires approximately 25 hours an issue. Responsibilities include receiving news articles and photos, enhancing the photos and organizing the newsletter layout using Microsoft Publisher. The organization of in-house and external ads is also included as part of the process. When the issue is ready for the printer, the on-line version is created for web publication. Experience with Microsoft Publisher and Photoshop (or similar program) is required. Please submit resumes to:  PGIsearch2017@outlook.com

Just For Fun


A daughter asks her mother, “What are character qualities that I should look for marriage partner? You know, for someone that I will be spending eternity with."
The mother replied, ”Go ask your father, he did better than I did.”


---------------------------------------------------

While attending a marriage seminar dealing with communication, Tom and his wife Grace listened to the instructor, "It is essential that husbands and wives know the things that are important to each other."
He addressed the men, "Can you describe your wife's favorite flower?"
Tom, smiling but looking a little nervous, leaned over, touched his wife's arm gently and whispered, "It's self-rising flour, right?"


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 - March 1, 2017

     I just love this time of year.  It is so much fun to be a consigliere to the people who visit our offices looking for things to do, places to eat, walkways to walk, paths to bike (you get my drift).  Maps, the Spring Training schedule, bike loaner brochures and our Community Guides are walking out of our offices.  Visitors love our community.  They think the traffic is less than our neighbors to the north and south.   They love that the harbor isn’t lined with tall buildings.  They remark about our “small town” feeling.  And, they ask for real estate magazines and how to book for season in 2018.  It is reaffirming to see our community through the eyes of strangers.

     Grab your March calendar and note the March 8 Networking at Noon at the top of the Wyvern at Perch 360. Our March 15 Third Wednesday Coffee will feature a presentation on the “Top Ten Tips to Keep Your Company from Being Sued” by attorneys Mark Martella and Jessica Farrelly, of the firm of Icard Merrill, the Coffee sponsor.  The March 23 Business Card Exchange will be held at Centennial Bank’s Port Charlotte location.

     On March 17 our local chambers will celebrate Chambers Appreciation Day with the Rays as they take on the Twins at a 1:05 p.m. game.   Your $17. ticket includes complimentary draft beer through the 3rd inning.  Call the ticket office or the Chamber to purchase your tickets.

    The Leadership Charlotte Class of 2017 will host a Denim & Diamonds Country/Western themed night on May 20 at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds. Sponsors are available and funds raised will support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Charlotte County, Charlotte County Homeless Coalition, Crossroads, Port Charlotte Pirates Football and Junior Leadership Charlotte.  There will also be a concert at 8:30 p.m., featuring Nashville artist Logan Dressel.

     We’re holding our 8th Annual Women’s Networking Event on April 6 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Freeman House, our office in Punta Gorda. Gilded Grape Winery will do a wine tasting for us. Sponsorships are available for some additional recognition (your business name in this column, for instance), and everyone who attends has the opportunity to put some information about their business in the goodie bags that we’ll hand out. For more information or to register, please visit our website or call 627-2222.

     Once again, rabbit, rabbit!

Business OnLine - February 27, 2017

From the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce


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

Serving all of Charlotte County for more than 90 years


February 27, 2017

Upcoming Chamber Events:


Wed., March 8, Networking at Noon, The Wyvern’s Perch 360, 101 E. Retta Blvd., PG

Wed., March 15, 7:15 to 8:30 a.m.,  Third Wednesday Coffee, Sponsor: Icard, Merrill, Cullis, Timm, Furen & Ginsburg, PA  Program: “Top Ten Tips to Keep Your Company form Being Sued”

Fri., March 17, 1:05 p.m., Chambers Appreciation Day at the Rays. Call 941-206-3599 or print and return Chamber Appreciation Game the flier.

Thurs., March 23, 5 to 7 p.m., Business Card Exchange, Centennial Bank, 22627 Bayshore Road, Port Charlotte

General Information


Join the Leadership Charlotte Class of 2017 for Denim & Diamonds!  Come kick off your boots and check out Denim and Diamonds, the amazing LC17 event, to be held on May 20 at 6 pm.  This will be a Country & Western themed night with great BBQ, music and cash bar at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds. There will also be a concert at 8:30 p.m., featuring Nashville artist Logan Dressel. Sponsors are available. See the attached flier for details.  To purchase tickets with Visa, MasterCard or Discover follow this link Chamber Store.

Chambers Appreciation Game on Friday, March 17 Rays vs Twins at the Charlotte Sports Park at 1:05 pm.  Enjoy a boardwalk ticket to the game -  $17. includes free draft beer through the 3rd inning.  Call the ticket office 941-206-3599 or print and return Chamber Appreciation Game the flier.

Enjoy a special evening of networking, socializing, wine and hors d’oeuvres with your fellow business women members at our 8th Annual Women’s Networking event at the A.C. Freeman House, 311 West Retta Esplanade, our office in Punta Gorda, on Thursday, April 6 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.    Cost to attend is $15 pp. Sponsorships are available.  Please return the Women’s Networking Flier 2017 or register and pay through the Chamber Store.

9th Annual Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce Golf TournamentFour Person Scramble – to benefit the Junior Leadership Charlotte program is set for Saturday, June 3rd.  Registration includes golf, lunch, range balls and cash prizes.  Individual golfers $75pp or for more recognition sponsor a team or a hole sign.  Check in at Kingsway Country Club is at 7:30 a.m.   For more information print the flier, or call the Chamber office 941-627-2222.   You may also register and pay through the Chamber Store.

North Port Area Chamber of Commerce’s 31st Annual Business Expo is Sat., March 4 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the George McMullen Activity Center.  Call 941-564-3040 for details.

The 3rd Annual Punta Gorda Short Film Festival is Wed., March 8 at 7 pm. at the Event Center.  Tickets are available at http://pgsfftix.bpt.me.


The new This Week's Happenings has posted. Click here for the website • Click here to read online (PDF; printer-friendly). Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau

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


· Platinum:  Bayfront Health Port Charlotte & Punta Gorda; Buffalo Graffix; Charlotte County Ford; Charlotte State Bank & Trust; Charlotte Sun/Sun Coast Media Group; Florida SouthWestern State College; Harbor Style Magazine; Monarch Direct; Panther Hollow Dental Lodge; State Insurance Agency - Brian Chapman, Jr.; Waste Management of Charlotte County

·  Diamond: Centennial Bank;  Farr Law Firm; Fawcett Memorial Hospital;  Integrity Employee Leasing; Lexington Manor; St. Andrews South Golf Club

·  EmeraldFreedom Boat Club; Friendly Floors; Nolan Family Insurance; Port Charlotte Florist; Sandhill Healing Centers, Inc.; South Port Square; Strang, Olsen & Lynch, CPAs PA WhitCo Insurance Agency-Alexia Martin; Wise Choice Photography & Video; The Wyvern Hotel

Ribbon Cuttings (to which all members are invited):


Thurs., March 2, 5:30 p.m., Harpoon Harry’s (outside bar renovation), 1200 W. Retta Esplanade, PG


Wed., March 15, 12:00 noon, Charlotte County Realty, at the Cultural Center (front lobby) – 2280 Aaron St., PC

Wed., March 15, 5:30 p.m.,   Salvation Army (2nd location),  3325 S. Access Rd., Englewood (old Badcock Home Furniture store).


Monday, March 20, noon, Bayfront Health Port Charlotte (Gift Shop), 2500 Harbor Blvd., PC

Wed., March 22, 5:30 p.m., Meals on Wheels, 3082 Tamiami Trail, PC

Tues., March 28, 5:30 p.m., Charlotte Academy (20th anniversary), 365 Orlando Blvd., PC

New Members


Gelato World, 2686 Tamiami Trail, #4, PC 33952
Werner Wegener, Ph: 239-247-1503
freshandfreshcafe@yahoo.com
Sponsor: Celene Galvan, Celene’s Clean Team & Homewatch Service


First International Title, Inc., 992 Tamiami Trail, #C2, PC 33953
Robin Lindecamp, Ph: 941-883-4665
www.firstintitle.com  robin.lindecamp@firstintitle.com


With Heart Rentals, LLC, 474 Tamiami Trail #2, PC 33953
Brenda Roguska, Ph: 941-979-8165
www.withheartrentals.com  Brenda.rentals@gmail.com


Ragin’ Cajun Restaurant, 4104 El Jobean Road, PC 33948
Nick Simmons, Ph: 941-456-7778
ragincajunrestaurant@gmail.com


Hoover Pressure Cleaning, 5802 Espanola Ave., NP 34287
Eric Camehl, Missy Ordiway, Ph: 941-697-6886
www.hooverpressure.com  hooverpressure@gmail.com


Worksite Employee Leasing, 2565 N. Toledo Blade Blvd., #3, NP 34289
John Mackle, Ph: 941-677-0110
www.worksiteemployee.com  johnmackle@worksiteemployee.com                                                      


Konnie Capra, Nix & Associates Real Estate
417 Fireball Court, PG 33950
Ph: 941-889-8619  Konnie.nixteam@gmail.com

Chamber Member Events


Friday night VIP tickets to FunkFest8 - buy them now at this link! VIP area, food, beer/wine for $50 and supports the United Way of Charlotte County!


Businesses – attend the Job Fair, sponsored by Charlotte Technical College and the Academy on Thurs., March 30 from 9 am to 1 pm at the Tech College auditorium.  Connect with high school and college students and offer insights to students looking to enter the business world.  For more information, contact Mike.Bernicchi@yourcharlotteschols.net or 255-7545x234.

Come join the Charlotte County Community Services Department and the Charlotte Harbor Community Sailing Center at “Come Sail Away”, a free sailing event 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday March 11 at Port Charlotte Beach Park. Novice sailors are invited to experience the thrill of harnessing the wind and sailing the waters of beautiful Charlotte Harbor in an O’Day or Hobie Cat sailboat. Instruction and all equipment is provided. Register now by calling 941-627-1628.   For more information, contact us at 941-625-PLAY (7529) or visit our website at www.CharlotteCountyFL .gov.

The Charlotte Chorale Presents:  “Mozart to Mancini”, with 26 piece professional orchestra. March 4, 2017, -   4:00 PM at the Performing Arts Center,  701 Carmalita Street,  Punta Gorda, Varied music, from classical to contemporary, by Wolfgang Mozart, Antonia Vivaldi,  Johnny Mercer, and Henry Mancini. For Tickets call:  941-204-0033. The Charlotte Chorale consist of 70 voices and the concerts are presented under the leadership of Artistic Director, Dr. William Dederer.  The Chorale is honored to have been awarded the Harbor Style’s “Best Performing Arts Group” for 2015/2016.

Fishermen’s Village will host The Band Anastazja in concert, Monday, February 27, 12 Noon-2 pm and again from5-7 p.m. Mardi Gras Celebration, Tuesday, February 28, 2-5 pm, featuring Dixieland Jazz by Leslie DaCosta Jr. & Company.  The Tuesday night Guitar Army
has relocated to Fishermen’s Village while Gilchrist Park is being renovated.  This group features a plethora of musicians performing each Tuesday evening, 5-9 pm in the Village Courtyard.

You’re invited to join our team Virginia B. Andes Volunteer Community Clinic on March 4th for the 2017 Komen Southwest Florida Race for the Cure®.  (Coconut Point Mall) See the link on our home page to sign up. Save the date for our 4th Annual Spring Fling Luau. Sponsorships & Tickets available now on our website. Help Us Save Lives in Charlotte County. Visit our website for more information for both events: www.volunteercare.org or call 941-276-9570.

Gilded Grape Winery and Wine Bar, 4069 Tamiami Trail Port Charlotte,  941-235-WINE (9463).  Wednesday, March 1, 7-9pm.  Jeannie Smyth, evening of jazz & blues. Friday, March 3, 6:30-9:30pm.   Mark Dupuy will be playing Jazz. Saturday, March 4. 6:30-9:30.   Jeannie Smyth. The Wine Bar offers a global selection of wines by the glass or by the bottle, made on-site, and a variety of beer and craft beers. Hours are Tues-Thurs 12 noon-6pm, Friday - Saturday 12:00noon to 9:00pm.  Try our new “Wine Flight” $15.00 person,  4 / 3oz servings.  www.gildedgrape.com,  like us on facebook.

Swing into action for Charlotte County Habitat’s 4th Annual Charity Golf Classic!  This four person scramble is on April 8th with an 8:30 shotgun start at Port Charlotte Golf Club. $80 per person or $320 per team includes: green fees, cart, continental breakfast, lunch and a lot of fun!  Registration deadline is April 1st.   Event proceeds help local families in need of safe, decent, affordable homes.  Print a registration form or register online at www.charlottecountyhfh.org .  Contact Gabrielle at 941-639-3162 for additional information.


Crowdfunding for Non-profits, Thurs., April 6th 5:30 - 6:30, Charlotte County Chamber Conference Room, 2702 Tamiami Trial, PC. As more and more donors are being exposed to crowdfunding for products and services, they’ll expect your nonprofit’s fundraising to shift towards those approaches as well.  In this session, you’ll figure out all the nuts and bolts of launching a nonprofit crowdfunding campaign. You’ll learn what works and what doesn’t work, as well as tactical approaches used in crowdfunding that works. Free, please RSVP at www.meetup.com/Tech4Good-Charlotte-County. Sponsored by 2Webgroup, TechSoup and NetSquared

Charlotte State Bank & Trust’s “Are You Prepared?” free seminar series resumes in March at the bank’s Murdock and Punta Gorda offices. Vice President Christine Hause and Portfolio Manager Samuel Kiburz will address learning the true costs of one’s investments, how best to avoid probate and how to ensure estate plans and goals can be achieved in cases of disability or incapacitation. A full schedule and reservations are available at any branch office or by contacting Francine Wargo, (941) 624-1944 or fwargo@csbtfl.com.

Young Life has been helping kids consider the direction of their lives and offering hope for their future. Currently, YL Charlotte Harbor is reaching more Charlotte county kids than ever before! Our highly-trained leaders earn the right to be heard by kids, meeting them on their turf, at schools, sporting events and weekly clubs. Our annual fundraising event, GALA 2017, is Monday, March 6, 2017, at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds. Sponsorship opportunities are available Gala Sponshorship 17.  If you have questions, please contact Tom Parker, Area Director, at 941-456-5433 or at www.charlotteharboryounglife.com.

TEAM Punta Gorda’s Annual Golf Tournament, held each year in memory of its former Chief Operating Officer Judy Brentano, will be held at the Saint Andrews South Golf Club in Punta Gorda on Saturday, March 18. The public is welcome. The reasonable per person fee includes cart, greens fees, continental breakfast, lunch, and great prizes. For more information, contact tournament chairman Ed Bouton at ed.bouton@gmail.com or co-chair Carol Kegley at carol_kegley_186@comcast.net. Find complete details and register online at www.teampuntagorda.org.

Charlotte County Community Services will host “Fit for Life” Senior Games 2017 from March 2 through March 26. This Olympic-style event focuses on athletic competition and recreation opportunities for senior citizens. Events will take place around Charlotte County at various recreation facilities and parks. Registration information is available at the Tringali Park, 3460 N. Access Road, Englewood and on our website www.CharlotteCountyFL.gov, click the Playing tab and then click Senior Games. Registration deadline is Feb. 17. For more information please call 941-681-3742.

The Charlotte High Band Boosters presents - The fifth annual Moonlight Serenade, a delightful evening of dinner and dancing to “Big Band Tunes” Saturday, March 25, at the Cultural Center. 5:45-10:00 p.m. $40 pp/ $75 per couple (dinner included), 7:00-10:00 p.m. $20 pp/ $35 per couple (dinner not included). Entertainment provided by the Charlotte High Blue and Gold Jazz Bands. Silent Auction and 50/50 Raffle. For reservations contact Jeana Kukuk at 941-575-5450 ext. 1120 or 941-916-2948 or via PayPal www.silverkingband.com

Check out the fundraising “LeaderBoard” at www.DancingWithTheCharlotteStars.org. Who’s in the lead for the March 10th event -- Rosa Benghtt?  Ashley Maher? Tara Nemec? John Milone? Danny Nix? Mike Ruiz? Norm Wilson? Phyllis Walker?  These 8 local celebrities are battling it out to raise big bucks to support The Arts in Charlotte County.  Which celebrity dancer will take home the coveted “People’s Choice Award” for the most dollars raised?  Vote, Vote, Vote at www.DancingWithTheCharlotteStars.org.


The Charlotte County Sheriff's Explorers Post 29 and Do The Right Thing of Charlotte County, Inc. invite you to become a sponsor for our second annual Public Safety Appreciation Night in recognition of our Charlotte County public safety personnel on April 28, 2017 at the Charlotte County Event Center beginning at 6:00pm.  It will include a cocktail hour, dinner, and a program honoring our public safety personnel. For questions or more information about sponsorships please contact Tony Pribble, Sponsorship Chair, at (941) 626-8583 or Apribble@pgorda.us  


The Charlotte Players has dubbed its fifth annual golf fundraiser the “Kentucky Derby Golf Scramble,” since it will take place on Saturday, May 6, at Kingsway Country Club.  The cost for golfers is $70 each ($280 per foursome), which includes green fees, golf carts, gift bag, and lunch for each player. To sign up as a player or foursome, contribute a prize or sponsorship or get more information, contact Dan Mearns at (941) 893-9692, danmearns@gmail.com, or Dave Habershaw at (941) 626-4125, dave17879@aol.com.

Four new voices will add to the magical sound of The Charlotte Chorale at its next concert: Saturday, March 4, 2017, 4:00 PM at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center, Punta Gorda. Mozart to Mancini, accompanied by 26 piece orchestra. The Charlotte Chorale, a 70 voice choral group, has provided quality choral music since 1989. The Chorale’s subsequent concert will be  Made in America, featuring music by American Composers, on Saturday, April 22, 2017,  4:00 PM at CPAC. To order tickets, please call:  941-204-0033;  $20.00 adults,  $10.00 Students. rev2512gmail.com

Busey Bank will host a free lunch and learn event for businesses at 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, March 7 at its Port Charlotte Branch, 1490 Tamiami Trail. Lunch is provided. Following time for networking, Emerson Schoonover III, VP of Busey Bank and colleagues will give a presentation of “Business Financing.”  The Lunch and Learn is organized by Busey Bank and Port Charlotte SCORE. Reservations are required. Reserve a seat at www.busey.com/registration.

Peace River Sail & Power Squadron’s Reverse Raffle Fundraiser – Tickets on sale now. Drawing April 7, Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center. Doors open 530 PM, raffle at 715PM. Only 300 tickets will be sold – grand prize $1000, lots more cash and prizes. You don’t have to be present to win. Tickets are $50, includes raffle ticket and dinner. Your investment helps us continue adult and youth boating education programs. For tickets contact Chuck Troike - 941-639-0619. Sponsorships available. Peace River Sail & Power Squadron is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

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. Networking begins at 5:30 PM, meeting starts at 6:00 PM.  Dinner is $20.00

The Phantoms of the Orchestra, a volunteer group which supports the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, is sponsoring a “Mad Hatter” Sunday Brunch on March 12th at the Twin Isles Country Club from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Local celebrity Al Holland will be entertaining everyone in attendance from 1 - 1:30 p.m.  Prizes will be awarded for the best decorated hat in both women's and men’s divisions. Reservations are required and may be made by calling the Symphony Office at 941-205-9743. Seating is limited to 200 people.  The cost is $40 per person.

Nav-A-Gator Happenings – Live music  February 25, Sunny Jim 2-5pm; February 26 – Sunday – Live Music, Latitude 2-5pm. March 4– Live Music, J.R. Southern 2-5pm; March 5 – Sunday – Live Music, Gary & Kerri 2-5pm. March 9, The JP’s 6-9pm; March 11, Paul Roush 2-5pm, March 12, MC Squared 2-5pm. Cover charge canned goods and nonperishable food items that are donated to a local food bank. Rent a slip at Nav-A-Gator Marina and receive free storage for your boat trailer. Call 941-627-3474 or stop.

Chamber Member News.


Join Zaxby’s in Port Charlotte for our newest promotion! Nibbler Mondays and Zalad Fridays!  On Monday’s, buy an individual nibbler for only 99 cents or a complete Nibbler Meal for only $5.99! On Friday’s, receive a free drink with every Zalad purchase. We also cater so give us a call at 941-456-7519 to help with your next event. Please also remember that Zaxby’s appreciates our Community Heroes. All firefighters, police and military receive 10% off any meal Every Day at Zaxby’s. https://www.zaxbys.com/locations/fl/port-charlotte/19590-cochran-blvd/


MedExpress offers a wide range of urgent care, employer health and basic wellness and prevention services. With warm, welcoming centers and a full medical team, patients can receive walk-in treatment for everyday illness and injury, including more advanced offerings such as X-rays, IVs, labs, minor surgery, stitches and treatment for broken bones, sprains and strains. Centers are open every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with no appointments necessary. MedExpress is located in Port Charlotte & North Port. Visit medexpress.com for more information.

Today is National No-Brainer Day! Integrity Employee Leasing can take care of payroll, and workers’ compensation along with handling your companies HR needs. It’s a total no brainer to call us and let us help your company become more efficient and save yourself time and energy! 941-625-0623

Suncoast Humane Society  - Meet Chloe! She is an almost 3 yr. old Domestic Shorthair weighing just 7 lbs. She has a silky grey coat and lovely green eyes. Chloe is a sweet & snuggly lap cat. She’s also a playful girl who likes all sorts of toys and enjoys chasing after treats. Chloe is definitely fond of people and loves to have her belly rubbed. However, she will not tolerate the company of dogs and makes it very clear that they are not welcome in her world!  http://www.petango.com/Adopt/Cat-Domestic-Shorthair-34165725


Charlotte Cares a success!  The Charlotte Community Foundation appreciates all who donated to our First Annual Charlotte Cares Campaign. With a stretch goal of $100,000, you donated just over $105,000, which will allow the Foundation to increase our capacity to do more and to help more in need in Charlotte County.  Thank you!  You can also set up your own tax-deductible fund to support causes that matter to you: Endowments, Donor Advised Funds, Scholarships and other tax exempt Funds. Visit our website for more information: www.CharlotteCF.org or call 941-637-0077.

Many online purveyors of criminal records and "background checks" are NOT legally-defined as consumer reporting agencies and are, therefore, not in compliance with the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  Consequently, their data is NOT to be used for establishing suitability for hiring, housing, insurance, licensing, credit, or any other purposes covered by the FCRA.  The more ubiquitous of these online providers include BeenVerified, CheckPeople, InstantCheckmate, Intelius, PeopleFinders, PeopleSmart, Spokeo, USSearch and many others.  Contact Doris Hebert-Ferrigno at NRG Background Checks for further info.  941-488-8500;  800-531-6522;  nrginfo@atlantic.net

In response to Major League Baseball’s security regulations for spring training ballparks, Rays spring training home games played at Charlotte Sports Park will feature enhanced security procedures as fans enter the stadium. Among these regulations, all fans in attendance will be subject to security screening by various detection devices prior to entry. Fans are encouraged to arrive early and be prepared to follow instructions as they enter the ballpark. The Rays and Charlotte Sports Park are committed to creating a safe, comfortable and enjoyable ballpark experience for our guests.


King Fisher Fleet will offer its popular 90-minute Harbor Tour departing from Burnt Store Marina for a limited time. The tours will depart every Friday from February 17 through April 7 at 11:15 am. This 1 ½ hour cruise in the Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserve includes historical narrative, and you'll look for dolphins, seabirds, and other wildlife. For reservations or more information about this cruise, call (941) 639-0969, or visit http://www.kingfisherfleet.com/cruises-harbor-tour-burnt-store.

Wine and Jazz Wednesdays at Jacks on Marion. Stop by for Prime Rib Friday and Saturday. 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!"

The Gilded Grape Winery and Wine Bar is offering our Venue on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings to members to Host private meetings and functions, 5 pm and after. Call Paul Malcolm at 941-235-9463 to discuss.

Job Spot


We are actively seeking an Executive Director to provide oversight for all aspects of the operation and management of the Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association, a large multi-use facility with a growing membership. This position reports to the President of the Association and will be responsible for communications with our members and the Board of Directors as well as be an interface with key community organizations.  Applicants must have prior management experience, excel in organizational and communication skills, and be highly skilled in computer activities.  Interested parties are encouraged to send resumes to: PGIsearch2017@outlook.com

The Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association (PGICA) is seeking a part-time document design and layout Manager for their monthly newsletter. This position requires approximately 25 hours an issue. Responsibilities include receiving news articles and photos, enhancing the photos and organizing the newsletter layout using Microsoft Publisher. The organization of in-house and external ads is also included as part of the process. When the issue is ready for the printer, the on-line version is created for web publication. Experience with Microsoft Publisher and Photoshop (or similar program) is required. Please submit resumes to:  PGIsearch2017@outlook.com

Kudos


DEX Imaging won their 7th straight year in a row JD Power and Associates award for customer satisfaction, according to Amy Bouffard, 941-894-4142,  amy.bouffard@deximaging.com

Just For Fun


Jennifer's wedding day was fast approaching. Her parents divorced, but that never stopped her from wanting to get married. Her mother had found the perfect dress to wear. A week later, Jennifer was horrified to learn that her father's new young wife had bought the exact same dress as her mother.

Jennifer asked her stepmother to exchange it, but she refused. "Absolutely not. I look like a million bucks in this dress and I'm wearing it," she replied.

Jennifer told her mother who graciously said, "Never mind sweetheart. I'll get another dress. After all, it's your special day."

A few days later, they went shopping and did find another gorgeous dress.

When they stopped for lunch, Jennifer asked her mother, "Aren't you going to return the other dress? You really don't have another occasion where you could wear it."

Her mother just smiled and replied, "Of course I do, dear. I'm wearing it to the rehearsal dinner, the night before the wedding."


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 22, 2017

     State Insurance Agency, Brain Chapman Insurance Group will host the Business Card Exchange tomorrow night, but the location has changed to their Port Charlotte office at 2455 Tamaimi Trail. Bring plenty of business cards and a small gift so that you receive some added name and face recognition.

     The Leadership Charlotte Class of 2017 will host a Denim & Diamonds Country/Western themed night on May 20 at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds. Sponsors are available and funds raised will support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Charlotte County, Charlotte County Homeless Coalition, AMI\Kids Crossroads, Port Charlotte Pirates Football and Junior Leadership Charlotte.  There will also be a concert at 8:30 p.m., featuring Nashville artist Logan Dressel.

     Writing of our Junior Leadership program, the students will be doing their community service project this week. Some spent a few hours last night with the Back Pack Kidx volunteers, assembling back packs of food for students to take home over the weekend, and others will be at the Homeless Coalition tomorrow to help prepare and serve dinners to the clients. The best part is that more than half of the students plan to attend both. These projects are a great way for the students to “give back” and to learn about some of the challenges in the community. And, during their Local Economy Day on Monday, a few students asked for job applications from the sites they visited. Love this program! Thanks, LC 1993, for developing it!

     We’re holding our 8th Annual Women’s Networking Event on April 6 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Freeman House, our office in Punta Gorda. Gilded Grape Winery will do a wine tasting for us. Sponsorships are available for some additional recognition (your business name in this column, for instance), and everyone who attends has the opportunity to put some information about their business in the goodie bags that we’ll hand out. For more information or to register, please visit our website or call 627-2222.

     And, save the date for the 9th Annual Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament Saturday, June 3 to benefit the Junior Leadership Charlotte program.  The Four Person Scramble will be held at Kingsway Country Club.

   On March 17 our local chambers will celebrate Chambers Appreciation Day with the Rays as they take on the Twins at a 1:05 p.m. game.  Your $17. ticket includes complimentary draft beer through the 3rd inning.  Call us for details.