Chamber leadership change
Melonie Monson, the CEO of the Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce, will step down on Oct. 1, after leading the organization for 6 ½ years.
She plans to spend more time with her family and also to work at her family’s business, Bahr’s Propane Gas & AC, on marketing the business and increasing awareness of the new Bahr’s Technical Center, according to a news release.
The chamber’s board has selected Vicki Wiggins, the chamber’s COO, to step into the CEO’s role.
The board praised Monson for her leadership and performance, in the release.
In welcoming Wiggins to her new role, board chairman Randy Stovall said the board looks forward to her continuing “the caliber of leadership we have come to expect here at the Zephyrhills Chamber. The board of directors look forward to a seamless transition in October.”
Chicken Salad Chick
Chicken Salad Chick Wesley Chapel celebrated its grand opening on Aug. 2. The fast casual chicken salad restaurant concept is located at 25038 Wesley Chapel Blvd., in Lutz.
Rent King ribbon-cutting
The Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce is celebrating its 19th location of Rent King, in a ribbon-cutting on Aug. 4 at noon, at 38925 County Road E., in Zephyrhills.
The Greater Pasco Chamber of Commerce’s next Land O’ Lakes Brochure Exchange is set for Aug. 11 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at New Beginnings at 18935 Michigan Lane, which is about one-fourth mile north of State Road 52, along U.S. 41. Registration is free for chamber members, plus the cost of the food. Non-members pay a $10 registration fee, plus the cost of the food. If you’re not a member and would like a free one-time admission to try it out, call 727-842-7651.
The next regular meeting of the East Pasco Networking Group is set for Aug. 9 at 7:30 a.m., at the Sarah Vande Berg Tennis and Wellness Center, 6585 Simons Road in Zephyrhills. The group meets in the Ron Oakley Room. Maria Reza and John Malley, of Career Source, will be the featured speakers. For information, contact Nils Lenz at or Vicky Jones at .
Temporary reinsurance plan
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) has announced a plan to establish a temporary reinsurance arrangement through Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Citizens) in the event of disruptive financial rating downgrades from Demotech Inc., according to a news release.
The step was taken to ensure that Floridians can maintain coverage during hurricane season.
“OIR’s greatest priority is ensuring consumers have access to insurance, especially during hurricane season; and because of the uncertainty with the status of Demotech’s ratings, we’ve been forced to take extraordinary steps to protect millions of consumers,” said Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier.
“This innovative arrangement satisfies requirements set by the secondary mortgage market. In the event we need to implement this temporary solution, consumers will not need to seek coverage elsewhere, agents will not need to move policies, and lenders can have confidence that these insurers continue to meet the mortgage qualifications,” the news release says.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac require that property insurance policies for properties with a mortgage backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac must be written by an insurer meeting financial rating requirements.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac each offer an exception to the financial rating requirements for an insurer that is covered by a reinsurer who assumes, by endorsement, 100% of the insurer’s liability for any covered loss payable, but unpaid by the insurer, by reason of insolvency. In the event that a participating insurer is declared insolvent, the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association shall carry out its statutory duties under Part II of Chapter 631, Florida Statutes, and pay claims as set forth in the statute.
Hotels and the workforce
The hotel industry continues to make strides toward recovery, with nominal hotel room revenue and state and local tax revenues projected to exceed 2019 levels by the end of this year, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA)’s 2022 Midyear State of the Hotel Industry Report.
Key findings include:
- Hotel occupancy is expected to average 63.4% in 2022, approaching pre-pandemic levels
- By the end of 2022, hotels are expected to employ 1.97 million people — 84% of their pre-pandemic workforce
- Hotels are projected to generate 6.6% more in state and local tax revenues in 2022 than they did in 2019
“After a tremendously difficult two-and-a-half years, things are steadily improving for the hotel industry and our employees. This progress is testament to the resilience and hard work of hoteliers and hotel associates, who are welcoming back guests in huge numbers this summer,” AHLA President & CEO Chip Rogers said in the release.