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Weston Business Chamber of Commerce Year in Review

By Thomas M. Kallman – Chairman Weston Business Chamber

Four years ago when we hatched the idea of forming a new chamber of commerce for the City of Weston, I could have never dreamed how successful this venture would become. But thanks to the hard work of our founders and our association with the Greater Ft. Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, we have grown to 450 members and established ourselves as THE premiere business networking organization in the city!

As one of three initial founders of this incredible organization, Chairman, and Director since inception, I am so proud to be part of Weston’s history and the formation of something I am sure will continue to be the major force behind Weston’s business community for years to come.

I began my tenure as Chairman on January 6th, and we immediately kicked off the year at Weston Hills Country Club on January 11th with a full main dining room of more than 150 people. We then helped kick off “Fondue It” with a great outdoor party on the back deck for more than 100 business folks. The food was outstanding and the event was great.

In February we went to Cooper City where we helped launch 1st United Bank and once again a packed house. This was special since we were staging an event outside of Weston, but that did not seem to hold our members back. Again in February we held our new member reception at The Bonaventure Golf & Country Club where we filled the ball room with all of our new members.

In March we sponsored the incredible outdoor concert at Weston Regional Park, put on by The Rotary Club of Weston. The concert attracted more than 4,000 people and featured RPM, (Rock and Pop Masters), a group comprised of big named Rock legends, which included, Orleans, Edgar Winter, Jimi Jamison, formerly of Survivor, Joe Lynn Turner of Deep Purple and Rainbow, 70’s legend Robbie Dupree, and John Cafferty and Michael Antunes, “Tunes,” of John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band. Also in March, Erin and Bill Londos, owners of Anna Bella Boutique welcomed chamber members and hosted a very unique business after hours event.

April brought another packed house at our quarterly breakfast at Weston Hills Country Club, sponsored by Advanced Cable Communications. Rick Case Luxe Collection sponsored our April after hours, attracting 150 + members.

May took us to Cypress Bay High School where we got a great inside peak at one of Weston’s great high schools. On to Pangaea Night Club at the Hard Rock Hotel in June for yet one more incredible evening. This event attracted over 125 members.

Next up, the new and stunning Hyatt Regency Bonaventure Conference Center & Spa for our July breakfast where our speaker was Senator Nan Rich. Our special guests included The Weston Fury soccer team.

The Courtyard Marriott is always a favorite in Weston and there we were again, also in July, for another Business after Hours with great food and networking. Thank you to Alan Pinado and his staff for their hospitality. August brought us to Citibank in Town Center. Thank you to Orestes Porras and staff for hosting the event.

Now came September and of course A Taste of Weston again, which has become a staple here in Weston. To no surprise, The Weston Business Chamber set an attendance record of more than 600 people. This has become the premier event of Weston each fall. We were able to donate more than $11,000 in cash to two well-known charities this year, Kids in Distress and The Children’s Home Society. Again this was held at The Hyatt Regency Bonaventure Conference Center & Spa.

October brought another breakfast at Weston Hills Country Club with another standing room only group sponsored by The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, which included the entire Editorial Board and featured Broward County Supervisor of Elections Dr. Brenda Snipes.

November included a business after hours at the Grape Merchant in Town Center.

This event attracted well over 110 members and guests. Thank you to Michelle Lambros, owner of The Grape Merchant for hosting our event.

Finally, I must tell you about my last “Business After Hours”event as your Chairman in December, The Mid Town Athletic Club (formerly the Weston Athletic Club). I was amazed at the number of members that attended, which was estimated at 400 plus. We raised $ 1,000 in raffle ticket sales for “The Circle of Love” Foundation, (Kids helping Kids with Cancer). Thank you to all who participated and donated prizes for this raffle. A special thank you to Steve Strumpf and his staff of The Mid Town Athletic Club.

Along the way we held Biz Perks events, Ribbon Cuttings and seminars always to packed houses including, American Intercontinental University, Great Florida Bank, Citibank, POC Buffet and Radiance Medspa of Weston. I also want to thank the staff and volunteers at the Greater Ft. Lauderdale Chamber for all of their support this year.

In closing, I must tell you that this has been the experience of my life as the leader of this great organization and I am extremely proud to have had the honor to create and lead such a wonderful group of dedicated business leaders.

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