• North Port Sun Weekly Column July 1, 2020

    Chamber to Host Virtual Candidate Debates
    The North Port Area Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Cowork Hive of North Port, will be hosting a North Port City and Sarasota County Commission Debates for the Primary Elections. The North Port City Commission Debate will be held on Tuesday, July 7th from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm for District Seats 1 and District Seat 2. The Sarasota County Debate will be held on Thursday, July 9th from 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm for District Seat 5. Both Debates will be broadcast LIVE on the North Port Area Chamber Facebook Page. Candidates in both debates will be able to provide an opening and closing statement and will answer questions established by the North Port Area Chamber of Commerce Government Relations Committee. Candidates for the Debates include:
    City of North Port Commissioner, District Seat 1:

    • David Iannotti
    • Richard Suggs
    • Nicholas Trolli
    City of North Port Commissioner, District Seat 2:
    • Cheryl Cook
    • Barbara Langdon
    • Jacqueline Moore
    Sarasota County Commissioner, District Seat 5:
    • Ron Cutsinger
    • Christopher Hanks
    • Alice White
    Board of Directors Election Ballots
    The North Port Area Chamber of Commerce officially announces the 2020-2021 Board of Directors Election Ballot. There are twelve nominees seeking to join the Board of Directors beginning October 1, 2020. Chamber Members are requested to vote for five individuals to fill the Board of Directors seat vacancies. Once Chamber Members have completed their voting, they are requested to return their Nomination Form by mail, fax, e-mail or in person to the Chamber office by 5:00 pm on Friday, July 17, 2020. Each Board member is required to serve a minimum three-year term with the option to be included on the Nomination Ballot for a second three-year term after their first term is completed. The five (5) Nominees that receive the most votes from the Chamber membership will be selected to fill the Board of Directors Seat Vacancies. Nominees include:
           Dale Barghausen                                            Walmart, Inc. #3387
     Kristin Cawthorne                                           Stitching Solutions
           Kim French                                                     Willis Smith Construction
           Kristen Gentry                                                 Encompass Medical, LLC
           Tony Gustitus                                                  Rhonda Gustitus Team – Keller Williams Realty
           Carole Holden                                                 Gelmtree Advertising
           Sharon Matthews                                            Allstate Insurance – Steve matthews Agency
     Kim Moreland                                                  EXIT King Realty
    Craig Olson                                                     Edward Jones
    Lorsi Pizza                                                      Lightspeed Voice
     Ed Rinkewich                                                  Dream Vacations – Ed & Robin Rinkewich
            Debbie Snowden                                            Coldwell Banker Sunstar Realty
    Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration
    The City of North Port invites the community to unite and enjoy a special fireworks-only display, presented by American Irrigation. Those who wish to view the fireworks display virtually can join via a livestream on the Parks & Recreation Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NorthPortParksandRec/. Listeners can also enjoy the show by tuning in to WKDW 97.5 FM.

    To adhere to CDC guidelines, the event plan for the annual Freedom Festival has been amended to a drive-in fireworks show that will be launched from the North Port High School site used in previous years. Attendees will be invited to park in the lots at North Port High School, Heron Creek Middle School, and at Butler Park. Parking will open at 8:00 p.m. to accommodate the 9:00 p.m. fireworks show start. The display is expected to end around 9:30 p.m.

    Although it is uncertain what physical distancing and sanitation protocols will still be in effect at that time, the following safety precautions are currently planned:
    • Attendees will be asked to park in every other parking space
    • No tailgating, alcohol, personal fireworks, or sparklers will be permitted
    • The North Port High School stadium, and all green spaces surrounding the three parking areas will remain             closed to public gatherings
    • The festival vendors and activities that encourage gathering will be canceled
    • Restroom and handwashing facilities will be made available at all three parking lots
    The North Port Area Chamber of Commerce office will be closed on Friday, July 3rd in observance of the Fourth of July Holiday.

    Free Face Masks
    The North Port Area Chamber of Commerce has teamed up with Sarasota County and the Department of Health to distribute face masks to the public. They are cloth face coverings that are washable and re-useable. Residents can stop by the Chamber office, located at 1337 N. Sumter Boulevard in North Port, from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm, Monday thru Friday, to pick up these masks. Face masks are free and limit to five (5) masks per person.
    Summer “BILL”board Campaign
    The Chamber’s Annual Summer “BILL”board Campaign  continues to be a smashing success for the North Port Area Chamber of Commerce and each of the Chamber Partners that are participating in this promotion. Each day, I am wearing different business attire that has been provided by various Chamber Business Partners that request to have their business/organization promoted through this Campaign, will e-mail a promotional flyer about their business/organization, post the promotional flyer and conduct a live facebook posting on the Chamber’s facebook page. This program is free to all Chamber businesses and dates are still available. I would like to thank the following businesses that are participating in the campaign this week. They include: Richard’s West Coast Cleaning, AAA Auto Club Group Port Charlotte, Gene Matthews Boys & Girls Club and Sign Shark, Inc.
    New Chamber Member
    The North Port Area Chamber of Commerce would like to welcome the following businesses that recently joined the North Port Area Chamber of Commerce: Change Consulting Solutions, LLC, Cocoa Yoga Café, Keller Williams Island Life Real Estate – BH Henry Group and The Tree Store, LLC.
    For more information, please call the North Port Area Chamber of Commerce office at (941) 564-3040 or visit the website at www.northportareachamber.com.
    Bill Gunnin is the Executive Director of the North Port Area Chamber of Commerce and can be reached at (941) 564-3040 or e-mail at wgunnin@northportareachamber.com.

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