Make us your home page

Greater Hernando Chamber of Commerce launches fundraising drive for new office

The request is simple: a dollar out of a business owner's pocket each day for 77 days. The goal: to enable the Greater Hernando Chamber of Commerce to move into new and renovated digs at the Airport Industrial Park by fall.

The Renovation Rally, as the campaign is dubbed, targets the chamber's more than 800 members. Renovation costs are pegged at $100,000, with $39,000 already in hand, said president and chief executive Pat Crowley. Fundraising for the rally began May 27 and continues through Aug. 11.

If each chamber member donates $1 a day for the 77 days, the remaining $61,000 that's needed will be raised.

The chamber bought the 4,300-square-foot building in March 2008 for about $400,000 with a "substantial" down payment and a mortgage, Crowley said.

It leased the structure at 15558 Aviation Drive until recently to the Pasco Hernando Workforce Board, which has moved most of its work to nearby 3185 Premier Drive in the Regent Oaks strip center off Spring Hill Drive. It will maintain several administrative offices at the chamber site.

While the building constructed in the early 1990s was designed with individual office spaces, the chamber aims to create a seminar training room that can accommodate 50 to 75 people, either at tables or in a stadium setting. That means tearing down some walls, Crowley said.

Other renovations include bringing the building up to code standards for the disabled, installing carpet, painting and refreshing six offices for administrative purposes.

The chamber has given up its leased space off Commercial Way in Spring Hill and consolidated at its central office at 101 E Fort Dade Ave., close to the courthouse in downtown Brooksville, where it has offered services since 1959.

"We are the first stop (there) for visitors and newcomers, also businesses," Crowley noted. "I think it's important to maintain a presence. The board of directors hasn't made a decision on maintaining the Brooksville office."

She added that the building in the Airport Industrial Park can be seen from Spring Hill Drive.

The seminar training space is critical to such popular programs as monthly networking sessions, quarterly government affairs luncheons with speakers, an annual new residents reception, an annual business showcase, and courses in assertiveness training, leadership development and public speaking.

"This training center will give us the opportunity to create additional programs to support small businesses," Crowley said.

One member who has taken advantage of the chamber offerings is Cami Sepulveda, founder in 2005 of Multicolor Media of Spring Hill, which creates Web and graphic designs and does printing.

"I've taken the entrepreneurs academy, assertive training, the leadership program, am a mentor in the mentor program and chair of the membership committee," said Sepulveda, 32. "(The chamber) gives me an ability to grow as a person, do business with other people — to get out in the community."

Chamber member Chris Fiffie, owner of Instant Images in Spring Hill, which provides marketing photographs for businesses and advertisers, and also produces TV commercials, is equally grateful for the chamber's offerings.

"The chamber helped us because we came as a brand-new business, not knowing the community," said Fiffie, who moved to Hernando from South Florida in June 2007.

"The chamber helped us, No. 1, in laying groundwork for a new business. The chamber gave us more presence in the community, helped us grow," he said. "We attended monthly chamber breakfasts — all the networking opportunities."

Beth Gray can be reached at [email protected]

fast facts

To donate

To pledge a donation to the Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce's Renovation Rally, call (352) 796-0697, ext. 12, or e-mail [email protected]

Greater Hernando Chamber of Commerce launches fundraising drive for new office 06/28/09 [Last modified: Sunday, June 28, 2009 4:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Seminole Heights restaurants face struggles amid killings, post-Irma

    Food & Dining

    SEMINOLE HEIGHTS — The neighborhood's hip circle of popular, well-regarded restaurants is feeling the squeeze in the wake of a recent killing spree. And the timing is rough.

    Ella's American Folk Art Cafe. Times files
  2. St. Pete-Clearwater holding food, supply drive for hurricane refugees


    CLEARWATER — St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport and Allegiant Air are holding a food and supply drive for the Hispanic Outreach Center in Pinellas County. The event, which will benefit refugees displaced by Hurricane Maria, will be held Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the airport at 14700 Terminal Blvd.

    St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport and Allegiant Air are hosting a food and supplies drive Tuesday for refugees displaced by Hurricane Maria. | [Times file photo]
  3. Tallest building in Pinellas County in search of a new name

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — The name "Priatek" is gone from Pinellas County's tallest building, perhaps to be replaced by that of a much better-known company new to the Tampa Bay area.

    The Priatek name is off of downtown St. Petersburg's tallest building.
 [LARA CERRI  |   Times.  2015]
  4. Estuary wins pier design contest for the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway extension

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — And the winner is… Estuary.

    Voters overwhelmingly supported a pier design called Estuary for the $200-million extension of the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway in Tampa.
[Courtesy of AECOM]
  5. Amazon receives 238 proposals from places eager to become its 2nd headquarters


    NEW YORK — Amazon said Monday that it received 238 proposals from cities and regions in the United States, Canada and Mexico hoping to be the home of the company's second headquarters.

    Earlier this month, an Amazon employee gives her dog a biscuit as the pair head into a company building, where dogs are welcome, in Seattle. Amazon says it received 238 proposals from cities and regions hoping to be the home of the company's second headquarters. 
[AP Photo/Elaine Thompson]