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Date of Issue: August 02, 2007

Chambers win state awards

Representatives with the Manatee and Anna Maria Island chambers of commerce recently returned from a statewide convention with some souvenirs - chamber-of-the-year awards.

The two local chambers received the awards last week from the Florida Association of Chamber Professionals, a statewide membership group.

FACP held its 88th annual leadership conference in Jacksonville, where the group presented its top awards.

Mary Ann Brockman, president of the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce, accepted the 2007 chamber-of-the-year award on her organization’s behalf.

Robert Bartz, president of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce, accepted the 2007 chamber-of-the-year award on his organization’s behalf.

The prizes were presented for chambers in different size categories - Manatee won as a metropolitan chamber with a budget of more than $1 million and the Island chamber won as a medium-sized organization.

In both cases, judges from outside the state used criteria such as membership recruitment and retention, strategic and long-range planning, committee involvement, technology, government affairs, financial stability, special events, communications, and innovative programs and services.

Mark Davis, chairman of the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce, said he is “extremely proud of the AMI Chamber board of directors and the staff and volunteers who made this award possible.”

“It is extremely gratifying to know that all the programs that we do in the community have been recognized by the Florida Association of Chamber Professionals,” added Davis, of the Harrington House Bed & Breakfast in Holmes Beach.

“With everyone’s support and involvement, we lead an effective, progressive and successful organization,” Bartz said regarding the Manatee organization, which includes a number of Island members. “Our priorities include some of the leading issues in our community.”