Make us your home page

Pasco/Hernando Hispanic Chamber of Commerce opening

WESLEY CHAPEL — Between them, Pasco and Hernando counties already are served by six chambers of commerce.

Get ready to add a seventh.

A group from the two areas is preparing to launch the Pasco/Hernando Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

"There's not a Hispanic chamber anywhere in Pasco or Hernando," said Rocio "Rosie" Paulsen, owner of Good Faith Insurance in Wesley Chapel. The closest group is the Tampa Bay Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Paulsen got the idea to start one after going out on her own as an agent.

"A lot of the small businesses may not be completely bilingual," she said. "They may need information to be addressed in Spanish."

The group has nine members so far and plans a formal launch next month. Paulsen said she expects about 200 Latino business owners and guests to attend.

The group's stated purpose is to promote the professions and welfare of its members; provide a warm business environment; contribute to the creation and expansion of existing markets by assisting Hispanics in and relocating to the area; and improve the quality of life of the Hispanic community in Pasco and Hernando counties.

While the general population of Pasco County grew 16 percent between 2000 and 2004, according to U.S. Census figures, the Hispanic population grew by only 2 percent. It also estimated in 2004 that 8 percent of Pasco's population was Hispanic.

According to 2007 figures from the Pew Hispanic Center, Pasco's population is about 10 percent Hispanic, while Hernando's is 9 percent.

However, Paulsen said she thinks the latest census results will likely show greater growth.

"I think a lot of people are going to be in for a reality check," she said.

The group also aims to provide education and networking opportunities. It now is conducting a contest in conjunction with the Pasco County School District for the creation of its logo. The winner will be announced during the inaugural event in April.

A communication seminar by journalist Maria del Pilar Ortíz will be offered in Spanish from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 27.

The new chamber meets the third Thursday of each month at the Best Western Summer Crest hotel at 5639 Oakley Blvd. in Wesley Chapel. Paulsen said the group is still experimenting with meeting times to see what works best for members. She urged anyone interested in attending to contact her at (813) 909-6965 or

The new chamber joins the West Pasco, Hernando County, Central Pasco, Wesley Chapel, Dade City and Zephyrhills chambers of commerce.

Joey Wubbena, president of the Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce, said he wishes the new group well. However, he said the Dade City chamber has had Hispanic representation in its membership and on its board.

"Obviously they have a mission and need for their action," he said. "They certainly have the right to form their own chamber. Perhaps we can partner with them."

Researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this report.

Pasco/Hernando Hispanic Chamber of Commerce opening 03/05/10 [Last modified: Friday, March 5, 2010 8:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Who's best global airline? Qatar Airways takes No. 1 spot but Delta tops U.S. carriers


    The good news? Delta Airlines tops all U.S. airlines in a new Skytrax global airline passenger satisfaction survey of the world's best airlines. The bad news? At No. 32, Delta still ranks behind dozens of Middle East, Asian and some European airlines. For Tampa International Airport and the major airlines that operate …

    Southwest Airlines, the biggest carrier at Tampa International Airport, improved its customer satisfaction rating among global airlines in a recent survey.
[Times file photo]
  2. Vinoy resort will ask St. Petersburg voters to approve new parking garage (with tennis courts on top)

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club is undergoing a $50 million redevelopment and part of that plan calls for building a new one-story parking garage over eight existing tennis courts.

    The Vinoy Renaissance Resort and Golf Club is undergoing a $50 million redevelopment. The Vinoy wants to build a one-story parking garage as part of that project, in place of eight existing tennis courts. The tennis courts would be moved on top of the garage, which would hold 270 parking spots. But the Vinoy needs St. Petersburg voters to approve the project in a November referendum. This is an artists' rendering of the new garage from the street. [Courtesy of Vinoy Renaissance Resort and Golf Club]
  3. House committee passes Florida-sponsored flood insurance bill


    The House Financial Services Committee pushed through a Florida-sponsored bill intended to cut flood insurance costs. If passed, the bipartisan bill would help create a marketplace for private flood insurance.

    A House committee passed a Florida-sponsored bill meant to lower flood insurance rates.
[Times file photo]
  4. 3 new restaurants open: Deccan Spice Indian food, Farmacy Vegan Kitchen, the Cake Shop

    Food & Dining


    Deccan Spice has opened at 2325 Ulmerton Road, in what used to be the elegant and vast Grand Siam space in Feather Sound. It's getting high marks so far for its traditional Indian lunch buffet, and offers a range of southern Indian dishes (vadas and dosas and idlis, oh my) seldom seen …

    Farmacy Vegan Kitchen + Bakery serves wraps, acai bowls, smoothies and juices and plant-based baked goods like strawberry cupcakes. Photo courtesy of Charles Rumph.
  5. The driver who died in a Tesla crash in Florida using Autopilot ignored 7 safety warnings


    When Joshua Brown's Tesla slammed into the side of a tractor-trailer last year at more than 70 miles per hour, the fatal accident became the world's first known car crash involving a partly autonomous vehicle.

    Tesla requires its drivers to keep their hands on the wheel even when Autopilot is engaged. A crash in Florida showed that the driver was warned to keep his hands on the steering wheel.  (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) TXTG101