Make us your home page

Chamber merger nixed, but not new identity for Trinity business group

ODESSA — The former Trinity Odessa Chamber of Commerce has changed its identity, signaling a rebranding of its market and an end, at least for the time being, to a proposed merger with its counterpart in central Pasco.

The Trinity chamber, which began less than three years ago, rechristened itself as the Greater Pasco Chamber of Commerce earlier this month, according to its state incorporation documents.

The name and website address had been reserved in anticipation of combining with the Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce. The chambers announced in May they were considering a merger and set up a task force to explore the logistics and to conduct due diligence.

The recommendation, at least for now, is to remain separate entities. Among the sticking points was a question over the number of directors who would govern the combined chamber. The Trinity group sought a smaller board, while the Central Pasco chamber members advocated for a larger organization, particularly since so many of its voting board members also are active volunteers.

Despite the difference over governance, Michael Cox, a founding director of the Trinity Odessa chamber, predicted the two groups would merge eventually. It's a sentiment shared by Terri Dusek, president of the Central Pasco chamber.

''There was no yelling or bad feelings. Nothing like that,'' said Dusek. "We both felt like we need to go back and regroup and come back at another point.''

In the meantime, however, the Trinity group moved forward with its own name change, triggered in part by moving its office from the West Pasco Industrial Park in Odessa to Northpointe Village, which has a Lutz address.

"Our view when we started was we were going to focus on Trinity and Odessa, and we found we were getting members from all over the county,'' said Cox. "And it dovetails with the county's Gateway Corridor (along State Roads 54 and 56). This whole corridor, there really is not an over-arching identity. (The name change to Greater Pasco) just seemed like it fit this area a little better.''

Dusek acknowledged the Central Pasco chamber was disappointed that the Trinity group took the Greater Pasco name that both chambers had agreed upon for the combined organization.

"It will cause confusion,'' she said.

The Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce began 42 years ago as the Land O'Lakes Chamber of Commerce, but changed its name in 1998 to better represent the region it served. That name change followed the formation of the separate Greater Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce, which has grown to 500 members and merged two years ago with the New Tampa Chamber of Commerce.

Currently, the Greater Pasco Chamber of Commerce has 386 members. The Central Pasco Chamber has approximately 400 members, and, since the merger talks are off, the group is now moving to fill its vacant executive director's position.

"We do hope we will get back together and work it out it,'' said Dusek. "It would be beneficial to both chambers.''

Chamber merger nixed, but not new identity for Trinity business group 08/18/16 [Last modified: Thursday, August 25, 2016 4:34pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Why are so few Tampa Bay houses for sale? They're being rented

    Real Estate

    Oreste Mesa Jr. owns a modest 40-year-old house in West Tampa just off MacDill Avenue. It's an area where many homeowners are hearing the siren song of builders and cashing out while the market is strong.

    Attorney David Eaton poses in front of his rental home at 899 72nd Ave. North. in St. Petersburg. He's among a growing number of property owners who see more value in renting out unused homes than selling them. 
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  2. Wanted: New businesses on Safety Harbor's Main Street

    Local Government

    SAFETY HARBOR — A green grocery store, a hardware store, restaurants, boutiques and multi-use buildings are all wanted downtown, according to discussion at a community redevelopment workshop held last week. And to bring them to the Main Street district, city commissioners, led by Mayor Joe Ayoub, gave City Manager …

    Whistle Stop Bar & Grill is one of the main stops on Main Street in Safety Harbor. [LUIS SANTANA | Times]
  3. Q&A: A business leader and historian jointly delve into Tampa's waterfront


    TAMPA — As a native of Tampa, Arthur Savage has always had a passion for his hometown's history. And as a third-generation owner and operator of A.R. Savage & Son, a Tampa-based shipping agency, his affinity for his hometown also extends to its local waterways.

    Arthur Savage (left) and Rodney Kite-Powell, co-authors of "Tampa Bay's Waterfront: Its History and Development," stand for a portrait with the bust of James McKay Sr. in downtown Tampa on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017. McKay, who passed away in 1876, was a prominent businessman, among other things, in the Tampa area. He was Arthur Savage's great great grandfather. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Tampa's connected-vehicle program looking for volunteers


    TAMPA — Drivers on the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway can save on their monthly toll bill by volunteering to test new technology that will warn them about potential crashes and traffic jams.

    A rendering shows how new technology available through the Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority will warn driver's about crashes, traffic jams, speed decreases and more. THEA is seeking 1,600 volunteers to install the devices, which will display alerts in their review mirrors, as part of an 18-month connected-vehicle pilot.
  5. St. Pete Sculpture Museum announces move to Central Avenue

    Visual Arts

    Another museum is joining the mix in St. Petersburg's downtown Central Arts District.

    Sculptor Jon Hair with his 26-foot lion sculpture. Hair's St. Pete Sculpture Museum will soon move to a prominent spot on Central Avenue, Hair said. [Courtesy of Jon Hair]