What is the Chamber?
The Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization designed to meet the needs of our business community, which in turn will benefit businesses, organizations, and individuals who are committed to our mission of promoting and encouraging business prosperity and to enhance economic development through advocacy, engagement and cooperation.
Who funds the Chamber?
The North Port Area Chamber of Commerce is funded through the investment with our partners as well as special events and fund raising activities. The Chamber also seeks grants and explores public-private partnerships in order to lessen the financial burden on our local businesses and organizations.
How does the Chamber operate?
The Chamber of Commerce currently employs full-time and part-time staff. The Executive Director reports to a fifteen member Board of Directors, as elected by the general membership. Volunteering their time and leadership, the Board of Directors sets the policy and program of work for the organization. The Chamber relies on members and volunteers to serve on various committees.
The Chamber in the Community:
The North Port Area Chamber of Commerce believes in “Business and Community Growing Together”; a vibrant and successful business and happy community. To this end, the Chamber hosts a number of community events throughout the year, including the Annual Golf Tournament, Annual Business to Business Expo, Annual Business and Community Expo, and ribbon cuttings to welcome new businesses to North Port.
The Chamber also partners with the City of North Port as well as other non-profit organizations to support their own missions and special events.
Visit the Chamber… often!
The Chamber is North Port’s visitor center, as well as an excellent resource for new residents and businesses. The Chamber has promotional materials from our business partners, the City of North Port and Sarasota County, tourist brochures for attractions throughout the state of Florida, and useful maps, phone books and community guides. There is always something going on in North Port.
The Chamber is here for the businesses of North Port
The Chamber serves as a resource to the business community.
When a business becomes a partner of the Chamber of Commerce, it receives a listing on our website as well as in our community guide, published annually.
Membership also affords a business the opportunity to display its materials and business cards in our office. As a member of the Chamber, a business will be welcomed at our regularly scheduled monthly networking events, including:
- Breakfast Club
- Business After Hours
In addition, several special members-only events are scheduled throughout the year.
History of the Chamber
The North Port Area Business Association, Inc. (NPABA) was established in 1982 with the help of 12 local business owners.
As a marketing tool, the NPABA and later the NPACC, hired James and Coleen Henry’s hot air balloon to promote the City for the next 20 years. The Chamber paid $600.00 to put the North Port lettering on the balloon.
When the North Port Area Chamber of Commerce was organized on February 25, 1986, Theodore F. Baszto Jr. became the first chamber president and Walter “Wally” Lindaman was hired as the first executive director. The organization evolved from the existing 54 members of the North Port Business Association. The Chamber was initially chartered as a not-for-profit organization member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on October 20, 1986 with 186 cornerstone members. The organizing board included not only Ted Baszto, but Nita McGuire as vice president; Gene Sisson as treasurer; Mary Jo Baszto as secretary; as well as board members Joseph Cardinale, Jim Pribe, Ed Faile, Cord C. Mellor, Peggy Schuler, Phil Farley, Dr. Alfred S. Giuffrida and Sam Herron.
By 1989 the Chamber had a membership of 305 business that included merchants, organizations, and friends in the greater North Port, Sarasota and Charlotte county areas. “Serving the Greater North Port & Warm Mineral Springs Areas”. Committed to helping build a better North Port. The Chamber was providing a tourist bureau, a visitor’s guide, the better business council, the annual Poinsettia parade, beautification of the city through improving businesses’ appearances, a scholarship fund to encourage local students to excel, creative marketing opportunities, inter-business social activities, and a business expo designed to introduce local consumers to local businesses.
At the end of 2022, the Chamber had 633 active members.
1986 – Walter Lindaman
1990 – Nita Edmondson
1993 – Ed Benson
1995 – Ted Johnson
1996 – Patricia Foster Hodgkins
2007 – Mindy Tew
2010 - William Gunnin