North Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce makes debut

A new chamber came into view last summer with the merger of The Greater Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce and The Greater Pasco Chamber of Commerce.

Now a new name is representing the combined chambers, which will now be known as the North Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce, according to an email sent to chamber members from Zack Kalarickal, the chamber’s board chairman.

Zack Kalarickal, chairman of the board of directors for North Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce

The name brings “renewed focus on the broader geography that is home to those we serve and consistent with the momentum of this evolving community,” the email states.

National and international businesses are seeking to invest in Pasco County’s growth, and the new name provides “a readily identifiable location,” as well as describing the inclusive nature of the merged chamber, according to the email.

The North Tampa Bay chamber has about 830 members and is the largest in Pasco County. It serves Wesley Chapel, New Tampa, Lutz, Land O’ Lakes, Trinity, Odessa and New Port Richey.

“We happen to be in a great part of the county with so much dynamic growth,” said Kalarickal, a dentist and owner of Wesley Chapel Dentistry.

The North Tampa Bay name acknowledges that growth, but Kalarickal said the chamber will “co-brand” the uniqueness of every community within its membership.

In his email, he cites the long history of Wesley Chapel and its chamber, which began in 1998 with only a small group of business owners.

It had grown in recent years to nearly 600 members prior to merging with the Greater Pasco chamber in July.

In January, the chamber moved to a new location at 1868 Highland Oaks Blvd., Suite A. The office is in the Highland Oaks Medical Center, off State Road 54.

In the next months, more transition work is needed, Kalarickal said.

The board of directors went from 17 to 24 members.

A day-long planning session was held to discuss an overall strategic plan. Standing committees were formed.

And, North Tampa Bay members were invited to participate in a logo design contest. The winning entry will be announced on March 8.

For information, call the chamber at (813) 994-8534.

Published February 7, 2018

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