BRANDON — Florida is on the financial upswing and Tampa Bay is a huge part of that recovery, state Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater told the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce Wednesday at a membership luncheon.
"We recognize that the port, the innovation, the new industry is happening here in Tampa Bay," Atwater said after the luncheon. "This is the real emerging economic engine."
As economic growth shifts from southeast Florida to the Interstate 4 corridor, the state must continue to place an emphasis on education, small business and life sciences, Atwater said.
"I don't believe Tallahassee led us out of the recession," he told chamber members. "I believe you did. This recovery was driven by people not giving up."
The Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce is now accepting applications for Brandon's 2013 Key Citizen and the 2013 Greater Brandon Community Leadership Awards. Awards will be presented at the chamber's annual dinner on Jan. 31. Key Citizen nomination forms are available at brandonchamber.com/2013KeyCitizenAward. Community Leadership nominations should be submitted as a resume or essay.
The nomination deadline for both awards is 5 p.m. Dec. 2. Mail or deliver nominations to the chamber, 330 Pauls Drive, Suite 100, Brandon, FL 33511, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For information, call (813) 689-1221.
Young Professionals of Brandon and the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce will hold the third annual Jingle Bell at the Rack Holiday Fest from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Rack Sushi Bar & Billiards Lounge, 1025 W Brandon Blvd.
The event will include sponsor exhibitors and door prizes. Admission is $5 per person, or free with a donation for A Kid's Place. Requested items include 13-gallon trash bags, laundry detergent, all-purpose spray cleaner, liquid hand soap, deodorant bar soap and shampoo.
Jingle Bell sponsors include Maria Maranda Insurance Agency, Focus Magazine and Traventours Travel Designs and Group Tours. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. For information, contact Suzanne Dowdy at email@example.com or (813) 689-1221, ext. 8836.
The Valrico Fishhawk Chamber of Commerce announced its merger with the Fishhawk Area Networking Group, creating a special membership rate for FANG members, at a meeting Thursday. FANG members will have all membership privileges including access to ribbon cuttings, membership, the website, education and more. For information, contact chamber president Michael Holmes at (813) 380-4392.
Caitlin Johnston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 661-2443.