Members of the Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce and the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce came together last week to mark a historical milestone.
They are merging effective July 1, and a special gathering was held to announce the new chamber’s name.
The new chamber is expected to have more than 1,000 members and will cover an area from Wesley Chapel to the Gulf of Mexico, from county line to county line.
The recent gathering, dubbed the “Come Together Ambassador Mixer” drew a crowd .
So many people streamed to Spring Hill Suites Tampa North Land O’ Lakes in Land O’ Lakes — that parking was at a premium. The hotel’s lot filled up. Cars made their own spaces along the street. And, more parked on a nearby grassy lot.
Meanwhile, inside, the room was buzzing with conversation as members of both chambers networked, lined up for a hot food buffet and listened to live music.
Those attending also had a chance to win numerous prizes — with winners announced periodically during the celebration.
The main event was the announcement of the unified chamber’s new name.
But before that , Les Saland, president of the Central Pasco Chamber board, told the crowd that he believes the merger was meant to happen.
Greg Armstrong, chairman of the board for the West Pasco Chamber, observed that it’s an opportune time for the two groups to come together.
“This new chamber of commerce sits in the center of the fastest-growing county in the United States,” Armstrong said — eliciting cheers, applause and woo-hoos from the crowd.
“What that means for every business and every citizen is unparalleled opportunity — and that’s what this new chamber is going to be all about, is bringing to our businesses unparalleled opportunity to do exactly what? More business,” Armstrong said.
Tim McClain, an executive with the West Pasco Chamber staff, announced the winner for the naming contest for the new chamber.
Tim Hoppes, of Big State Financial of Florida, won the contest with his suggestion: Greater Pasco Chamber of Commerce.
“It overwhelmingly was the No. 1 choice,” McClain said, noting numerous people suggested the name.
Hoppes was declared the winner because he submitted it first — within the first hour of the naming contest. The rules said the winner would be the first person to suggest the selected name, McClain said.
Next up, the two chambers will come together for an awards banquet and installation of the new officers. That event is planned for June 20 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 2155 Northpointe Parkway in Lutz. For more information, visit CentralPascoChamber.com.
Published May 15, 2019
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