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Chamber president talks to Kiwanis

Vince DeLisi holds the Kiwanian president’s plaque that was found missing in Ohio.

Longboat Key Kiwanis January Program Chairman Vince DeLisi introduced Longboat Key, Lido Key, St. Armands Key Chamber of Commerce President Tom Aposporos as the guest speaker at its Thursday breakfast meeting. Aposporos hails from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and at the age of 27 was elected mayor, where he served four terms. Aposporos has worked extensively as a stage actor in summer stock, repertory, cabaret and experimental theater, has narrated for film and television, and has been a radio commentator. His topic Thursday was “What’s ahead for the Chamber?”

Aposporos began by noting the chamber’s Business After Hours Community Expo set for Wednesday, Jan. 19 is now open to the entire community. He said that making this private event a public one is part of the chamber’s goal to be a trusted community resource, and he hopes that every Chamber of Commerce effort and event will be a “win-win” for the entire community, residents, businesses and visitors alike.

The event will be held in the Longboat Key Club Harbourside Dining Room with food and entertainment as well as a cash bar. Cost is $5 per person in advance (reservations taken at the chamber office by calling 383-2466) and $10 at the door. He urged advance reservations as there are occupancy limitations at Harbourside Dining Room.

Aposporos said the October 2010 Triathlon, the chamber’s first such event of this type, was a huge success. There were 350 participants in all, some of whom were local, but many who came from out of state. There were also 225 volunteers.

The cyclists rode on Gulf of Mexico Drive at speeds greater than the cars. He received a message from Longboat Key Police Chief Al Hogle at the end of the event — his first thought was there had been an accident or injury. However Chief Hogle simply said “Congratulations. It went very well.”

The chamber plans to build on the success of this event. Aposporos will be announcing plans for several 2011 events at the Jan. 19 event at Longboat Key Club Harbourside. He hinted about a human powered, silent water sport event planned for April.

Prior to taking questions from the audience, Aposporos noted that when he first became the chamber president, he sought input on the mission of the chamber. Was it to simply foster business interests or to be a strong voice and help in the community? There were advocates of both ideas, but the conclusion was that the chamber should be both. He reminded the audience the chamber is open to membership not only from area businesses but also to individuals and organizations, and he thanked the Kiwanis Club for its recent membership.

(Parts of this article are reprinted from Kiwanian Bill Sceva’s Keynotes newsletter, which can be found  at http://keynotes.homestead.com/jan13newletter.html.)

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