NTBC president Hope Allen shows off the Florida Chamber of the year award. (Right, l.-r.) Pasco County Commissioner Mike Moore, Hope and NTBC Board chair Karen Tillman-Gosselin at the Chamber’s Monthly Business Breakfast held Oct. 1 at PHSC’s Porter Campus.

(Big congratulations go out to the North Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce (NTBC) and its president and CEO (and, I’m proud to say, my good friend) Hope Allen for bringing home some impressive hardware from the annual Florida Association of Chamber Professionals’ annual conference. 

The NTBC was named the 2019 Chamber of the Year from among the 300 Chambers of Commerce throughout the state of Florida. “This designation is an absolute honor, as we are able to showcase our organization, its members, and the entire team as an elite chamber,” Hope said in her formal email announcement to the NTBC membership about the award.

“Among the many accomplishments our organization has had over the years, the three major initiatives that set us a part were the development of AdventHealth Center Ice, Metro Development’s Connected Cities, and the RADDSports project (aka the Wiregrass Ranch Sports Campus of Pasco County).”

Along with those accomplishments, Hope said she and her team of Chamber professionals were excited to be recognized for the acquisition of two chambers within the last five years that led to an official logo and name change. “This award is a testament to not only our staff and our Board of Directors, but to our amazing members who make up our thriving community.”

Hope also was recognized as an individual who has dedicated 15 years of service to the chamber profession. 

The hard-working NTBC president showed off the Chamber of the Year hardware (left photo above) at the Chamber’s September 27 Final Friday networking event, which was held the afternoon we went to press with this issue (on Sept. 27) at Grillsmith in the Shops at Wiregrass mall. NTBC chair-elect Dr. Kevin O’Farrell of Pasco Hernando State College’s Porter Campus at Wiregrass Ranch gave Hope big props for her efforts on the Chamber’s behalf and Hope actually gave yours truly and this publication some love, telling me that, “Without you and the Neighborhood News always promoting everything we do, we would never have been able to win this award.”

I’m not sure I agree, because Hope and the NTBC have been so influential and ever-present with regards to everything that is happening business- and development-wise in New Tampa and especially, Wesley Chapel, that it definitely deserved to win on its own merits — but I will definitely take it!   

Great Job, Commish!

Speaking of the NTBC, Seven Oaks resident and Pasco County Commissioner (and someone else I am proud to call my friend) Mike Moore was the featured speaker at the Chamber’s Oct 1 Monthly Business Breakfast at Pasco Hernando State College’s Porter Campus at Wiregrass Ranch and Comm. Moore definitely rocked the packed house.

He touched on Pasco’s recent re-branding as Florida’s Sports Coast, thanks in large part to AdventHealth Center Ice (AHCI) and the Pasco County Sports Campus at Wiregrass Ranch (which will be operated by RADDSports, the company that now employs my wife Jannah) both being here in Wesley Chapel. Moore said the USA Hockey Disabled Hockey tournament at AHCI generated a Pasco record 2,000 hotel room nights and with nearly a million visitors and room nights countywide in 2018, he says  that number will continue to grow. 

Comm. Moore also touted the county’s many road improvements, especially those coming to the Wesley Chapel area — including the recent opening of S.R. 56 all the way to U.S. Hwy. 301 in Zephyrhills, the under-construction Diverging Diamond Interchange at I-75 and S.R. 56, the planned Overpass Rd. interchange off I-75, the in-progress widening of S.R. 54 from Curley Rd. to Morris Bridge Rd. and the widening of Wesley Chapel Blvd. north of S.R. 56.

Mike and I don’t agree on everything, especially his opposition to connecting Mansfield Blvd. in Meadow Pointe to Kinnan St in New Tampa, but I don’t think anyone could argue that he isn’t doing a great job.  

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