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CHAMBER TO HOST FORUM ON SIGN ORDINANCE

LARGO

Did you know that Largo has a citywide ban on business signs that are mounted on poles? Instead, the city only allows monument-style signs, no taller than 8 feet.

Businesses have until 2017 to comply with the 2007 law and replace their existing pole signs with monument signs. But many businesses don't know that.

Given that, the Central Pinellas Chamber of Commerce will hold a public forum in two weeks, detailing what businesses should know about Largo's sign ordinance. It will be Oct. 24 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Largo Public Library, 120 Central Park Drive.

There's no cost to attend, but registration is required. Email tom@centralchamber.biz or call (727) 584-2321.

The Central Pinellas Chamber, which includes more than 460 businesses and organizations, has been busy lately, electing new leaders and handing out awards.

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New leaders chosen for Central Pinellas Chamber

Dr. James Rivenbark of Diagnostic Clinic is chairman of the chamber's board for the next year; Rick Donohue, general manager of Hampton Inn & Suites in Largo, is chairman-elect; Debra Jones of Regions Bank is immediate past chairman; Chris Johnson, president of Piper Fire Protection, is treasurer. Three vice chairmen are Rob England of England Brothers Construction, Joe Falanga of Proxity Electronic Commerce and Melody Hunter, Realtor, Charles Rutenberg Realty.

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Citizen of the Year, other award winners named

Several Largo business leaders were recognized at the chamber's 61st annual meeting and awards breakfast.

Chris Johnson of Piper Fire Protection was named the 2013 Citizen of the Year. A Largo High School graduate, Johnson helped his father's fire sprinkler business grow from four employees and two service trucks to 130 employees, 70 vehicles and $11 million in annual revenues. A father of six, he's also a youth soccer coach and referee coordinator.

Scott Lake of the financial planners R.S. Williams and Associates was named ambassador of the year. Jim England of England Brothers Construction was named committee chairman of the year for his oversight of the economic development committee. RegionsBank, which sponsors many chamber events, was the business member of the year. Rick Donohue of Hampton Inn and Suites in Largo got the President's Award for his time and service to the chamber.

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