2022 President of the Palm City Chamber of Commerce Christina Franco
I want to thank EVERYONE for this amazing opportunity to serve as President of the Palm City Chamber of Commerce. It is an honor and privilege to serve the business community in this capacity. I am so excited to have your trust in doing so. I want to thank Missi, Nikki and Liz for being the best group of women to lead this Chamber over this past year. We cannot wait for the new events and fun you have to share for the upcoming year! We are grateful for your dedication and love for our Palm City Chamber of Commerce and our community. Thank you for making us the Chamber of Commerce that local businesses want to be part of. I also want to send a big thank you to Tyson Waters, our Immediate Past President, for his leadership this past year. Tyson was also a great mentor, every time I said I couldn’t do this he said, “Yes and you will be great”. For that I thank you, Tyson.
On February 5th, the Palm City Chamber of Commerce held its 43rd Annual Installation Gala. The theme for this year’s gala was a Salute to Service where we celebrated the 100th Birthday of World War II Veteran Seymour Hoffman. Missi had arranged for an American flag to be flown over the Capitol to celebrate Seymour’s birthday. The flag was presented to him at the gala by Representative John Snyder and Commissioner Ed Ciampi. We had everyone dressed in red, white and blue which added the final touches to the wonderful event. Senator Gayle Harrell swore in the 2022 Board of Directors. As I mentioned in my speech, we are a great organization striving to do great things for our community.
Keep and eye on our Palm City Chamber website, Facebook page and emails. We have exciting events in the weeks and months to come. I encourage you to get involved with the Chamber! We can help you and your business grow. In addition to our monthly breakfasts, after hours and ribbon cuttings, the Palm City Chamber of Commerce continues to create opportunities for our local businesses to network and promote themselves.
We are here for you and your business, big or small. The Palm City Chamber of Commerce is a great resource for you and your company. As we look forward to 2022, we will keep the focus on our community and its needs. This is why we are #YourCommunityChamber!
January started off with a bang at the Palm City Chamber of Commerce. Literally. Last month the Palm City Chamber of Commerce hosted the 2nd Annual Clay Shoot at the South Florida Shooting Grounds. It was an exciting, and loud, day. Many thanks to all of our participants and sponsors. The Clay Shoot was followed by an enjoyable monthly breakfast at the Rockin H Ranch. We also started the year with a couple of Business After Hours events. If your company has not hosted or sponsored a Business After Hours, I would encourage you to contact Missi Campbell to get more information about how your business can participate. These after hour events are a great way to introduce, or reintroduce, your company to a large group of active business leaders.
As we start the month of February, it is hard to believe that my year as President of the Palm City Chamber of Commerce is coming to an end. I am excited about the leadership, energy and enthusiasm our incoming President brings, but saddened to know that my time serving you and the Chamber as President is over. First and foremost, I want to say thank you. Thank you to Missi Campbell, our incredible Executive Director, for all that you do for the Chamber and our business community. As a Chamber member we all know you do a lot, but this past year as President I have had the privilege of working by your side and seeing all that you do behind the scenes. You are a brilliant, special person and we, as a Chamber, are so very lucky to have you. Thank you also to Nikki and Liz. Your energy and endless effort make such a difference for what the Chamber can offer our members. Thank you to our Board of Directors for the commitment and willingness to serve. This Chamber is what it is because of your commitment. And thank you to all of our members, for the Chamber exists because of and for you. Over this past year I have had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with many of you. For that I am forever grateful.
I have stressed over this past year that the Palm City Chamber of Commerce is your “Community Chamber.” Attending so many events, talking with so many people and learning so much about our local businesses, this message has been reinforced time and time again. We are stronger together. We are better when we support each other. Thank you for this past year and I look forward to the years ahead and your Palm City Chamber of Commerce leading the way.
Happy New Year! If you are like me, and like many others, as we say goodbye to 2021 and hello to 2022, we make our annual New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions for both personal growth and business success. Personally, we make resolutions that we will exercise more frequently (or at all), we will eat healthier, along a long list of other goals. Professionally, our resolutions may be to work less, be more productive, make more money or grow our client and customer base (at least one resolution should also be to join or become even more active in your Palm City Chamber of Commerce!). And if you are like me, within a month, a week, or sometimes even a few hours, those great intentions and wonderful resolutions are forgotten or breached.
As I contemplated this year’s resolutions, I was struck by some words that I recently heard. Last month I attended the Education Foundation of Martin County’s Teacher of the Year event. A great event each year to celebrate the teachers of the year from each school and to award the Elementary School Teacher of the Year, the Middle School Teacher of the Year, the High School Teacher of the Year, and the Martin County teacher of the year. At this year’s event, the State of Florida Teacher of the Year for 2020-2021 was the guest speaker. A very impressive individual, she spoke about some of the struggles that she had during the past couple of years and coping with Covid restrictions, restrictions that had an emotional effect on both her and her students. She explained how frustrated she would get as technology failed and students struggled. Her frustration at times ended up being directed at her students. One day, as technology failed her and her students again, with frustration and anger rising to the surface, one of her students questioned what was wrong, and wisely told her that she needed to take a deep breath and “find joy.”
Find joy. The words stuck with her for the rest of the year and became her and her class’s motto. Find joy. Those words also struck all of us listening to her at the event. And now, as we enter 2022, those words remain with me.
In addition to those resolutions, we always make each year, I would encourage you to make one additional resolution this year: Find joy. Find joy with your friends and family. Find joy in raising two teenagers, and the roller coaster of attitudes and odd looks you get from them (yes this is a personal one). Find joy in your business, your co-workers and your clients and customers. Our professional lives are often trying as we address unexpected issues almost every day. We struggle to meet expectations and demands (and yes, another personal one). We began to lose sight of who we are and why we do what we do. When this happens, slow down, look around, and find joy in all the other things that you do that make such a difference on so many others.
Find joy in 2022. And find joy in the Palm City Chamber of Commerce. We are here for you, no matter the need or issue. Missi, Nikki and Liz work tirelessly each day to bring our members more information, opportunities and events. Your Board of Directors is dedicated to improving what the Chamber can do for our members. The Palm City Chamber of Commerce is your Community Chamber. Find joy in the future of Palm City, Martin County, and all of you.
Happy New Year and cheers to lasting resolutions!
Though we should be doing it much more often, November is the month we often slow down and think about what we are thankful for. For me, number one on the list is always this easiest: I am so very thankful for my wonderful wife and two incredible children. I am fortunate to be a part of such a loving and caring family. I am also very thankful to have the opportunity to serve as the President of the Palm City Chamber of Commerce. Working with Missi, Nikki and the Board of Directors on an almost daily basis has been a wonderful experience. As President, I have attended more events than ever and realize what a great membership we have in this Chamber. We live in such a terrific community and being active in the Palm City Chamber of Commerce has allowed me to see all the incredible business leaders we have here. Though I have many, many more Chamber members I want to meet and talk with, the new relationships I have developed over these past few months will last long after my Presidency ends.
As we get closer to the end of the year, your Chamber of Commerce is as active as ever. In October we held the first annual Boos and Brews event at Charlie Leighton Park. Thank you for all who attended (and a special thanks to those that also dressed up). Our very own Speak Life End Bullying non-profit (located right here in Palm City) had a sneak peek viewing of its new anti-bullying video, which allowed Martin County residents the opportunity to get a first look at the new movie they produced, which will soon be released nationwide. If you do not know about Speak Life End Bullying and its campaign, please visit their website. They do, and will continue, to make such an impactful difference on our youth. We should all be thankful for their efforts.
We also had the second annual Veterans Memorial Bridge 5K, which allows us all to say a very, very special thank you to all of those men and women that have served this great country of ours over the years. Moving forward, be on the look out for information on the Holiday Village celebration at Town Center on Mapp Road. The event is scheduled for December 1st and will be a fun way to kick off the holiday season.
Thank you for all that you have done as part of the Palm City Chamber of Commerce. We are your community Chamber and would not be here without your support and involvement.
Exciting, active times, at the Palm City Chamber of Commerce. We celebrated the grand opening of the Mapp Road and Palm City Community Redevelopment Area improvements in August and continue to be excited about the improvements and expectations for what’s ahead. Stay tuned as we hope to get new projects off the ground and moving in the CRA. Thank you to Commissioner Ed Ciampi, Martin County staff and Sunshine Land Design for all the work in getting the project completed.
We are also excited to prepare for and announce the first Annual Brews and Boos event. Friday night, October 22nd, we will have beer tastings, food trucks, music and lots of fun. Please visit the Palm City Chamber website or check out our Facebook page for more information. Sponsorships are still available, but you need to hurry before the opportunity has passed.
Please also mark on your calendar the Palm City Chamber of Commerce Veterans Memorial Bridge 5K run (and walk). We had an incredible turnout last year and expect an even bigger event this time. The run will start at Jock Leighton Park and continue over the Veterans Memorial Bridge. We are planning on some very special attendees, so whether you run or not please plan on attending to celebrate our veterans on that very special day.
Your Palm City Chamber of Commerce is busy this month so please visit our website so you can stay up to date on all the events we have lined up in the weeks and months ahead. I have said it before and will always believe it, you get from the Chamber what you put into the Chamber. These events are for you and an opportunity for you to grow and learn. And remember, we are your community Chamber and are here for you whenever you need us, for whatever reason. Be safe!
One step closer to fall and cooler weather (well cooler weather somewhere!). Having thought we had moved on from Covid concerns, or at least reduced those concerns, we are now once again faced with wearing masks when out and about and last month confronted with sending our children back to school, with or without a mask requirement. As we encountered last year around the same time, the decision to wear or not wear mask often results in heated discussions and strong beliefs one way or the other. We have seen these emotional responses across the nation, within the state and our County. Those that know me well know my feelings and past requests for respectful discussions, whether with the idea of having a cup of coffee with someone whose opinions may differ from you or just a simple statement on thinking before we speak. With what has occurred recently, and with anticipation that emotions may remain high in the weeks and months ahead, I wanted to use this month’s article to republish the Chamber’s statement on civility that we prepared and issued around this time last year. Please read. We are a small community, but a strong and vocal one. We must slow down and give all others the same level of respect we desire to be given to ourselves. It is okay to disagree and in fact that is what makes us stronger and better. Even if you don’t agree with another person, slow down and take the time to listen and try to understand why they believe and feel the way they do. You may likely still not agree with them, but you at least will hopefully appreciate their feelings. This remains true for your neighbors, for strangers and especially our local officials. If you find yourself on the other side of a discussion with someone, take a deep breath and before posting something on social media, writing an angry letter or providing public comment at a meeting, give that person a call, take the time to sit down with them (and yes have a cup of coffee or a beer with them) and just listen. You will be amazed at the difference it will make. I would love to be your first call to have a cup of coffee (or beer) with! We are your Community Chamber and are always Keepin’ It PC.
Civility – a formal politeness and courtesy in behavior and speech. As we struggle our way through the Covid-19 pandemic, the resulting regulations, mandates and closures, and in anticipation of local, state and federal elections in the coming months, we must never forget this word, its meaning and the underlying principles. We must never forget we are but one community, one state and one country. We, as individuals and as the Palm City Chamber of Commerce, cherish our rights of free speech and the value of honest debate and discussion. But as we debate and discuss the issues that confront us, and the tough decisions that follow, we must always demonstrate civility, and respect, especially to those that may disagree with us and to those we have placed in charge to govern. We must appreciate differing views and opinions, even if we don’t agree with them. We must listen. The next time you make public comment at a Commission or Board meeting, the next time you go to post a message on social media, or even the next time you debate a neighbor, friend or stranger, slow down, think about the words you are about to say and the actions to come. Think of these words. CIVILITY. RESPECT. Embrace them. Too many in our community, our state and in our country have lost sight of the basic principles. If you will not uphold and honor these words in your actions, why should others. Why should our leaders? Why should our teachers? Why should our children! Change starts with you. Change starts with us. Change starts with our community. Let us appreciate each other and our differing views and opinions, without name calling, demeaning rhetoric or, even worse, hate filled speech. We, as the Palm City Chamber of Commerce, as leaders of the community, and as your neighbors and friends, take the pledge to do so. As we work our way through these difficult and trying times, let us respect our differences. Let us be civil in our words, actions and deeds. The time is now. We, as individuals and as a community-oriented Chamber of Commerce, will demand this of our leaders and of those that exercise their rights of free speech and public comment. Please, let us all practice civility.