Annual Report


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South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce 2016-2017

Annual Report

The South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce Annual Report - October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017 Table of ContentsMission ................................................................................................................................................ 1 Structure and Membership .................................................................................................................. 1 Past Chairmen .................................................................................................................................... 1 Board of Directors ............................................................................................................................... 2 Staff..................................................................................................................................................... 2 Message from Chairman of the Board, Courtney Hayden ................................................................... 2 President’s Overview .......................................................................................................................... 3 Committees

Business Services & Training .......................................................................... 4 Education ........................................................................................................ 5 Government Affairs ......................................................................................... 7 Islanders.......................................................................................................... 8 Junior Leadership Laguna Madre .................................................................... 9 Laguna Madre Education Foundation ............................................................. 9 Other Committees .......................................................................................... 9

Events

Holiday Gala.................................................................................................... 10 Ladies Kingfish Tournament............................................................................ 10

Media

Facebook and Google + .................................................................................. 12 Newsletter ...................................................................................................... 12 Website .......................................................................................................... 13 The Guide to South Padre Island ................................................................... 13 Winter Discount Coupon ................................................................................ 14

Other

Chamber Membership and Meetings ............................................................. 15 Membership/Contributions/Sponsorships ........................................................ 16

Chamber Mission Statement The South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce is a membership based non-profit business organized to advance the business interests of its members making South Padre Island a premier location to live, work, vacation, and do business.

Structure and Membership The South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce is a 501(c) 6 non-profit organization, incorporated in February 1989. The Chamber’s Laguna Madre Education Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Any person, association, corporation, partnership or estate having an interest in the mission of the Chamber is eligible for membership.

Past Chairmen of the Board 1989-1990 1990-1991 1991-1992 1992-1993 1993-1994 1994-1995 1995-1996 1996-1997 1997-1998 1998-1999 1999-2000 2000-2001 2001-2002 2002-2003 2003-2004 2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017

Ray Elledge Keith Foree Keith Foree/Jess Alford Jess Alford Jess Alford Dave Friedman Dave Friedman Patricia Mayes Ebbie Ahadi Ebbie Ahadi Tom Hansen Tom Hansen Jennifer Porter-Davis Jennifer Porter-Davis Elizabeth Money Elizabeth Money Charles Rogan Charles Rogan Marie Ferrier Marie Ferrier Darrell Mangham Darrell Mangham Timothy O’Leary Timothy O’Leary Timothy O’Leary Courtney Hayden Courtney Hayden Courtney Hayden

South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce Representing Island and Laguna Madre Area Businesses since 1989

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2016-17 Board of Directors The Board of Directors is comprised of seventeen (17) total directors. Four (4) positions are ex-officio Community Partners, including the City of South Padre Island City Manager, South Padre Island Economic Development Executive Director, Cameron County Parks Director and the Executive Director for the South Padre Island Convention and Visitors Bureau. The remaining thirteen directors are elected Business Members and have voting rights. Our organization is driven by our Mission Statement and governed under Corporate By-Laws During the fiscal year 2016-2017, Courtney Hayden served as Chairman of the Board, Jimmy Hawkinson served as Vice Chairman/Secretary, and Charles Rogan served as Treasurer. Barbara Gonzalez, served as the Board’s additional representative on the Executive Committee. Tim O’Leary served as Immediate Past Chairman. Additional directors – Keith Arnold, Jon Creinin, Lonnie Gillihan (appointed 7/17/17), Susan Guthrie, Mark Haggenmiller, Chad Hart, Lesa Labar (to 7/17/17), Darla Lapeyre, Alta Monroe, Karla Scimeca, Bettina Tolin (to 7/17/17), and Joe Vega. Retiring as of September 30, 2017 is Barry Patel.

Staff Roxanne M. Ray, President and CEO, 16 years service Dianna L. Harvill, Marketing and Business Services, 17 years service Sue Warner, Membership Services and Office Manager, 8 years service Alita Bagley, Membership Specialist, 11 years service

Message from Chairman of the Board, Courtney Hayden As I close my third and final year as Chairman of the Board of the South Padre Island Chamber, I want to give special thanks to all of those who have served on the Board of Directors during this time, as well as all of our Committee Chairs and Committee members. Of course, all our members are very important to the continued success of this organization, but I do want to especially recognize everyone who has served in any leadership or representative capacity for it is through your efforts, diligence and creativity that we continue to be a strong voice for, and supporter of, our business community. Please let your voice be heard by serving on one of our many committees: The Gala Committee, Ladies Kingfish Tournament, Business Services, Islanders, Junior Leadership Laguna Madre, Education, or Governmental Affairs. To learn more about the responsibilities of each of these committees you can check in this annual report. Furthermore, I encourage each of you to attend a Board of Directors meeting, normally held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 2:00, to learn the progress of each of these committees on a monthly basis.

South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce Representing Island and Laguna Madre Area Businesses since 1989

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As our Mission Statement says, “The South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce is a membership based non-profit business organized to advance the business interests of its members, making South Padre Island a premier location to live, work, vacation and do business.” It takes all of us working together to make this a reality. Finally, I say thanks to our outstanding staff whose diverse talents and extensive experience continue to keep us all on track, moving in the right direction. It has been an honor to serve as your Chairman, and I thank you all for your help and support. You have a dynamic leadership team taking over and I urge you to continue to be active and supportive as they move forward into a bright future.

President’s Overview IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU! “Hello! I am not calling to ask for your membership renewal. I’m calling to talk about how we might remain a part of your business strategy this next year?” We challenged ourselves this past year to assess and to determine how to best serve the needs of our members – our business community. Believe me when I say, “We want to provide our members what you need to run a successful business”. We spent a great deal of time listening to your comments and suggestions. We have reviewed how we do things, the services we offer, and how we communicate benefits to our members. Some benefits have been discontinued, others modified and new benefits added. Staff, Directors and our Committee Members reviewed services and programs, stepping back to objectively assess our Chamber Program of Work and benefits. Do the benefits provide a needed service? Will the benefits help our member businesses grow? Will the benefits improve member’s level of customer? Will our businesses attract more visitors by utilizing the member benefits? Does our Chamber promote a positive business environment? For example, we may not be able to walk that customer through your front door, HOWEVER, we can provide the customer service training you need to acquire and retain customers. We may not be able to purchase advertising for your business across the State of Texas, HOWEVER, we can (and do) provide you the opportunity to advertise in The Guide to South Padre Island that has State wide distribution, and beyond. We aren’t able to build a webpage for every member, HOWEVER, we do offer you enhanced website listings that you can manage yourself to obtain maximum online exposure. Our Chamber offers an extraordinary array of benefits and services to our members. We are happy to assist you to fully utilize your membership and receive value. We ask you to continue to tell us what you need and how we can be a part of your business strategy! As we work to re-invent ourselves, our Chamber efforts will focus on providing you information, training, networking, advocacy, promotional opportunities, community relationship building and resource services which deliver value to you, and contribute to a vibrant business environment. In the end it is all about YOU! Cheers to our members! Thank you for being a member of the South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce. South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce Representing Island and Laguna Madre Area Businesses since 1989

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Committees Business Services & Training Programs

The Business Services Committee serves as the workforce education arm of the South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce. Barbara Gonzalez, Chair and committee members Eliza Higginbotham, Ramona Kantack Alcantara, Tracey Krieghbaum, Darla Lapeyre, and Dianna Harvill are responsible for arranging the Quarterly Public Affairs Luncheons and workforce development opportunities. The following is a brief overview of the accomplishments of the committee during the 2016-2017 year: Luncheons The December 16, 2016 luncheon was held at Hilton Garden Inn. Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. was the guest speaker. He provided a brief legislative update. The luncheon was sponsored by Blue Marlin Supermarket. Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino, Jr. was guest speaker at the April 11, 2017 luncheon held at Schlitterbahn Beach Resort. Trevino talked about his goals for Cameron County. The luncheon was sponsored by Schlitterbahn Beach Resort. The June 14, 2017 luncheon was scheduled to be held at Daddy’s Seafood and Cajun Restaurant, and sponsored by Kantack Alcantara Law Office and Padre Elite Team - RE/MAX Elite. Unfortunately, guest speaker Jodi Goodwin, an Immigration and Nationality Attorney from Harlingen, was called out of town by the Foreign Minister of El Salvador. Craig Krause, Owner and Founder of Direct Development Training, joined chamber members on September 14, 2017 at Pearl South Padre. Krause provided a philosophical and practical presentation that left attendees with an insight into their potential. Kantack Alcantara Law Office and South Padre Island Board of Realtors sponsored the luncheon. Job Fair The First Annual South Padre Island Job Fair was held on February 2, 2017 at the South Padre Island Convention Centre. A joint project between the SPI Chamber, City of South Padre Island, and Workforce Solutions Cameron, 22 employers participated in the event. Chamber members participating were Comfort Suites, Dairy Queen, Denny’s, Dirty Al’s, D’Pizza Joint, Gabriella’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria, Hilton Garden Inn Beach Resort, Island Grand Beach Resort, La Copa Inn & Suites, La Quinta Inn & Suites Beach Resort, Meatball Café, Motel 6, Pearl South Padre, Schlitterbahn, Stripes, and Suntide III Condos. Training ServSafe Food Managers Certification Classes were held on October 10-11, 2016 at the South Padre Island Convention Centre. 13 people registered for the classes taught in both English and Spanish by training staff from Focal Point in San Antonio. Chamber members participating in the classes were BurgerFi, Café on the Beach, City of South Padre Island, Long Island Village, Meatball Café, and Pearl South Padre. South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce Representing Island and Laguna Madre Area Businesses since 1989

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Basic Food Handling Classes were held at the South Padre Island Convention Centre on October 12, 2016. 14 people registered for the class taught by training staff from Focal Point in San Antonio. Chamber members participating in the class were D’Pizza Joint, Island Cinema, and Long Island Village. A partnership with UTRGV in Edinburg and their Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides the Business Services Committee the opportunity to offer numerous classes to small business owners, and their employees. Customer Service Plus! was held on April 20, 2017 at the South Padre Island Visitors Center. 30 people attended the class. Chamber members in attendance were Breakaway Cruises, City of South Padre Island, First national Bank-SPI, Fishing Adventures with Captain Bryan Ray, Palms Resort & Café on the Beach, Peninsula Island Resort & Spa, Pier 19, Pirate’s Landing, S.O.S., Schlitterbahn Beach Resort, SPI-EDC, and Suites at Sunchase. The second class scheduled was Competitor Analysis/Social Media Strategies which was held on May 11, 2017 with 14 people attending. Chamber members attending included Affordable Beach House Vacation Rentals, Dream Board to Life, Franke Realty, Furcron Realtors & Property Management, Kantack Alcantara Law Office, Palms Resort & Café on the Beach, Pearl South Padre, S.O.S., SPI Birding & Nature Center, and SPI Convention Centre. Certified Pool Operator classes were held August 22-23, 2017 at the SPI Community Center. 30 people registered for the 2-day state certification course. Chamber members attending were Back to Action, Comfort Suites, La Copa Beach Resort, Long Island Village, Pearl South Padre, Seascape Condo Owners’ Assoc., SPI Rentals, SPI Golf Club, and Troy Giles Realty & Property Management. Small Business Boot Camp through the Women’s Business Center of Cameron County was a sixweek course that started on September 28, 2017. 13 participants from throughout the Rio Grande Valley signed up for the courses held at the SPI Community Center. Chamber members attending were Breakaway Cruises, Neighbors Emergency Center, Padre Island Brewing Co. and S.O.S.

Education Committee

The Education Committee is comprised of Chamber members and Point Isabel Independent School District administrators who meet during the school year to discuss and address issues of common concern for the school district and the area business community. At each meeting, particular attention is given to reviewing school activities, attendance, testing, dual enrollment and curriculum at each school campus within the district. Additionally, the Chamber receives reports from Career and Technology instructors. Diane O’Leary served as Chairman for the committee, other committee members and meeting attendees included: Alta Monroe, Ginny Ossanna, Mickey Furcron, Kyra Hudson, Dr. William Roach, Nancy Gonzalez, Ana Holland, Henry LeVrier, Dr. Lisa Garcia, Maribel Valdez, Reina Salinas, Victor Barrera, Romeo Ruelas, Robin Ochoa, Josie Torres and Roxanne Ray. The committee held meetings at each of the school campuses and at the Central Administration Office.

South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce Representing Island and Laguna Madre Area Businesses since 1989

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Highlights for the year include: * At a SPI-PI Joint Membership Meeting on December 2, 2016 held at the Port Isabel Event Center our chambers hosted the Garriga and Derry Elementary Choirs who sang holiday songs, followed by hot chocolate and cookies. This was an opportunity for our business community to interact with elementary students; *The committee visited classrooms during several of their regular meetings to witness students using Blended Learning methods * Committee members assisted with identifying internship and job shadowing opportunities for teachers and students. * Awarded Senior student Dalton Swink $150 in recognition of qualifying to attend the 2017 DECA International Competition. * Chamber hosted our 16th annual Teacher Appreciation Party, May 17, 2017, at Sea Ranch Restaurant, with nearly 104 teachers and administrators in attendance. Bob Friedman owner and manager for Sea Ranch Restaurant donated food for the teachers and many Island businesses donated door prize drawing gifts; * During the legislative session opposed proposed school voucher legislation; supported efforts to return to uniform and later school start dates. * In August 2017, the chamber prepared welcome bags for new teachers filled with gifts and information donated by our area businesses. This is an opportunity for businesses to promote themselves while welcoming teachers new to Point Isabel Independent School District; * Hosted a New Teacher Welcome Luncheon, Monday, August 15, 2017 at Marcello’s Restaurant, with about 30 guests in attendance. Our Chamber and the Port Isabel Chamber jointly hosted this event to welcome new teachers to our school district. Each Chamber had three representatives on hand to greet everyone; * Represented our Chamber of Commerce at the Port Isabel High School Scholarship Awards Night, April 24, 2017, to announce the names of the ten graduating students receiving $1,000 scholarships from the Chamber’s Laguna Madre Education Foundation; * In support of the DECA Club membership drive the Chamber purchased 20 DECA memberships in the names of directors and staff in September 2017.

South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce Representing Island and Laguna Madre Area Businesses since 1989

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Government Affairs

The Government Affairs Committee included Chairman Alta Monroe and active committee members Darla Lapeyre, Darla Jones, Alta Monroe, Ramona Kantack Alcantara and Roxanne Ray. “Coffee and Conversations” speaker series continued but with fewer sessions this year. Designed to create opportunities for our Chamber members to meet and greet area leaders and public officials, the program is also a learning opportunity. The program is held in a casual setting, over coffee and pastries and is limited to one hour. Meetings are held at Kranzler and for that our thanks go out to owner Sue Singer. 2016-17 Coffee and Conversations guest speakers were: Susan Guthrie, SPI City Manager- Welcome & Insights; Darla Jones, Assistant City Manager – Venue Tax Proposition; Bryant Walker, Brownsville South Padre International Airport Director of Aviation – operations and expansion plans; Amanda Dave, Program Manager UT Community Health- LRGV Active Transportation Plan; Randy Smith, SPI Chief of Police-spring break preparations, Doug Fowler, SPI Fire Chief- Welcome & Update. During the past year the committee followed a variety of issues including: school start date; 2017 State Legislative Session; RGV Artificial Reef Program; LNG at the Port of Brownsville; Texas Competes and the economic impact of discriminatory legislation; rental property regulation; mass gathering ordinance; November Presidential Elections; Padre Blvd. sidewalk project; school vouchers immigration; border wall; NAFTA; locating Big River Steel at the Port of Brownsville; Tax Code 313; sanctuary cities. Our Chamber organized a regional meeting of business leaders in April 2017 to meet with representatives of a large steel manufacturing plant who were considering location of a new manufacturing facility at the Port Brownsville. The meeting represented our unified and enthusiastic support for the project. Leaders from the Port of Brownsville and from all cities in the lower valley were represented. Through the Chamber’s association with the Rio Grande Valley Partnership networking opportunities included working with all the Partnership’s Board of Directors; new TXDot District Engineer Pedro “Pete” Alvarez. P.E.; Devin Hotzel, Enbridge Valley Crossing Pipeline; Eddie Campirano, Port of Brownsville; Chris King, UTRGV Director of Athletics; Mario Reyna, Dean of Business & Technology at South Texas Regional Center for Public Safety; Eddie Trevino, Jr. Cameron County Judge; Lower Rio Grande Development Corporation; UBER’s launch of business in the RGV. Additionally, our Chamber helped to sponsor the 2017 State Legislative Tour for the Lower Valley Area which was organized by the RGV Partnership. Throughout the various election seasons, the Chamber provided our members with reminders of important dates such as registration, early voting and election dates, locations and hours. In September, the committee started work on the October 2017 SPI City Candidate Forum.

South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce Representing Island and Laguna Madre Area Businesses since 1989

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The Chamber maintains an active membership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Texas Association of Business both serve as an active advocate for Texas business at all legislative levels. Our Chamber is also a member of the Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives and the SPI Board of Realtors both also provide active representation on the state legislative front. The Chamber issued letters for several RESTORE ACT and CMP Grant requests for the City of South Padre Island, the Rio Grande Reef Program and Texas Parks and Wildlife; also supported the City of South Padre Island Venue Tax Proposal; opposed request of City which would have restricted rentals in Zone E; opposed attempt to consolidate all Cameron County Schools into one school district; support changes for a later and uniform school start date; U.S. Chamber letter writing campaigns to Congress for tax reform, NAFTA revision not abolition; represented the Chamber on the Mass Gathering Ordinance review/development Committee.

Islanders

The Islanders Committee serves as Chamber Ambassadors and acts as hosts at Chamber member mixers, ribbon cuttings, anniversaries and open houses. Islanders also provide volunteer services for many Chamber and community events. The committee is chaired by Cristin Howard. Other committee members are Alita Bagley, Jim Enholm, JoAnn Evans, Anna Hardcastle, Mark Haggenmiller, Cristin Howard, Lesa Labar, Ginny Ossanna, Karla Scimeca, Wendy Van De Boogerd and Sue Warner. During the past year, Islanders organized and promoted 15 mixers and ribbon cuttings for member businesses, as well as 2 Sunset Business After-Hours Mixers. This year in February the Islanders coordinated an event at the Sea Ranch Marina, Walk the Dock at Sea Ranch Marina. This event involved 11 Chamber businesses who participated with over 100 guests. The committee and businesses plan to make this an annual event. As an added benefit, the Chamber sees to it that all new member mixers and ribbon cuttings are publicized in local newspapers and featured in the Chambers Business Leader newsletter. Another successful Shop the Island promotion ($500 shopping spree) was held in December 2016. Through the New Member Call Program, Islanders visited approximately 38 new Chamber business members delivering a small gift and completing a brief questionnaire about the new member's experiences thus far. It is a good way for Islanders to get acquainted with new businesses and for the Chamber to get feedback from its members. New members are contacted numerous times throughout their first year through visits by the Islanders, letters of appreciation, event reminders, follow-up reminders to take advantage of Chamber benefits as well as a one year anniversary survey that is sent to each new member asking for their input on their experience with the Chamber. The Islanders, in conjunction with United Blood Services, organized a Blood Drive on the Island. This year’s Blood Drive was held on May 24, 2017 with 11 units of blood donated. The event was located at the SPI Community Center. In conjunction with the City’s Environmental Health Services Department, the Islanders continued The 5 Star Club featuring member restaurants who score a 90 or above on the City’s Environmental Health Services Department Inspection Report Card. The members are awarded a decal and are recognized on the Chamber Facebook Page, Chamber Website and Weekly Business Newsletter. South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce Representing Island and Laguna Madre Area Businesses since 1989

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Islanders also attended various meetings and luncheons and volunteered at events such as Ladies Kingfish Tournament, Gala, and many other community events.

Junior Leadership Laguna Madre

Junior Leadership Laguna Madre is a nine-month program designed to increase awareness of community needs, opportunities, challenges and resources; and to develop the leadership concept of active involvement combined with integrity as an integral part of community responsibility. Class XIV was led by Chairman Heather Scott along with Steering Committee members Alita Bagley, Cecilia Castillo, Diana Cavazos, Cindy Cespedes, Megan Chilcutt, Javier Ch. Garza, and Dianna L. Harvill. Accompanied by Junior Leadership PIISD representative Victor Barrera, 20 Port Isabel High School students participating in Class XIV began their year with a full-day Leadership Retreat on September 27, 2017, at the Port Isabel High School. The Junior Leadership program is managed by the Leadership Laguna Madre Steering Committee and all costs are covered by the Chamber’s Leadership Program.

Laguna Madre Education Foundation

The Foundation was organized May 1, 1996 as a 501(c)3 non profit, by the South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce for charitable and educational purposes to include but not limited to leadership training and fundraising to provide scholarships. The Foundation encompasses both the Chamber’s Leadership Laguna Madre Program and the Chamber’s Scholarship Program. The South Padre Island Board of Directors is designated as the Foundation’s members and annually the members elect four (4) Chamber members to serve as Directors of the Foundation. Alta Monroe, Mickey Furcron, Diane O’Leary and Ginny Ossanna served as the Foundation Directors for 2016-17. The Directors oversee the activities of the Foundation and administer the student scholarship program. The first student scholarship of $1000 was awarded in 1996 to then high school senior Daniel Salazar, now General Manager at the Isla Grand Beach Resort. Through 2017, a total of $274,250 has been awarded to 128 graduates of Port Isabel High School. The Foundation scholarship program relies upon the South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce and our members for funding. The Foundation itself does no separate fundraising. In September 2017, the Wahoo Classic Fishing Tournament voluntarily donated $1500 to the scholarship fund.

Other Committees

Several important single purpose committees are called into action throughout the Chamber year. By-Laws Committee – Comprised of Chamber directors with expertise in organizational bylaws, this committee is appointed by the Chairman when there is a need to review, update and propose revisions to the Chamber’s by-laws. No meetings were held in the 2016-17 fiscal year. However, based on the consensus of the Board of Directors, and with proper notifications, the By-Laws were changed to allow Directors to assign their proxy to another Director for use at Board meetings to establish quorums and vote on action items. Recognition Awards Selection Committee – The 2017 committee was comprised of Chamber directors Mark Haggenmiller, Karla Scimeca and Barbara Gonzalez. This committee is appointed annually by the South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce Representing Island and Laguna Madre Area Businesses since 1989

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Board of Directors to select deserving recipients for the Chamber’s various leadership recognition awards in accordance with established criteria. Nominating Committee – The 2017 committee was comprised of Courtney Hayden, Chad Hart and Barbara Gonzalez. This committee is appointed annually by the Board of Directors to make nominations for election to the Board of Directors based on vacancies and needs of the Chamber. They also make recommendations for the selection of the Chamber Executive Committee.

Events Gala and Scholarship Fundraiser, November 19, 2016

The 27th annual gala, “A Roman Holiday” was the first major event of the Chamber’s fiscal year. Hosted at the Isla Grand Beach Resort, guests enjoyed a wonderful Chef’s Buffet, which featured various serving stations along with dancing and music provided by The Agency. Special wine arrangements were provided by Ben’s Liquor, Fine Wine and Tobacco. Guests had the opportunity throughout the evening to bid on numerous auction items in the silent auction. In addition to being a fabulous night out, the evening activities raised money to fund the Chamber’s program of work and Laguna Madre Education Foundation scholarship program. Thanks to the community’s support of the annual Gala, over $274,000 in scholarships have been awarded to area students since 1996. Committee members for the 2016 event were: Chairman - Courtney Hayden, Alita Bagley, JoAnn Evans, Anna Hardcastle, Lesa Labar, Ginny Ossanna, Karla Scimeca and Sue Warner. Countless others were involved with donations, sponsorships and decorating. 2016 Gala Table Sponsors included: 1219 Island Holdings, Cameron County Insurance Center, Inc., City Of South Padre Island, Dee Dee’s Boutique, E. Pena & Associates, P.C., First Community Bank-SPI, Furcron Realtors and Property Management, Hilton Garden Inn Beach Resort, Isla Grand Beach Resort, La Copa Inn & Suites Beach Resort, LaQuinta Inn & Suites Beach Resort, Leadership Laguna Madre, Lynne & Gary Tate, Marcello’s Italian Restaurant & Bar on the Piz, Origins Recovery of Texas, LLC, Pearl South Padre, Point Isabel Independent School District, Ramada South Padre, Rio Grande Valley Abstract Co., Inc., Russo’s New York Pizzeria SPI, Sea Ranch Restaurant, South Padre Island Convention & Visitors Bureau, South Padre Island Economic Development Corp., Super 8, The Arts Group, and Tropical Smoothie Cafe Planning for the 2017 event began in August and will be held November 18th at the Isla Grand Beach Resort featuring “A Little Night Music” theme.

Ladies Kingfish Tournament, August 11-13, 2017

The Chamber’s largest event, LKT, celebrated its 36th anniversary. 2017 saw a decrease in participation. Staff and committee members feel this decrease was a result of the early school start date and sales tax free shopping weekend. A number of schools throughout the state, and locally, returned to school on August 14, 2017. A total of 208 lady anglers in 103 boats hit the Laguna Madre Bay and the Gulf of Mexico fishing for seven species of fish. 97 anglers weighed in seeking the chance to be named bay or offshore grand champion. South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce Representing Island and Laguna Madre Area Businesses since 1989

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This signature Island event was planned by committee chairs Javier Ch. Garza and Joy Hartung, and committee members were Kyra Hudson, Charla Givens, Janie Petty, Sharon Taylor, Jon Wilson, Patty Johnson, and Tommie Elium, along with Chamber staff. Registration and awards activities were held at the South Padre Island Convention Centre, which generously donated Convention Centre space and support staff to our event. The Shrimp Haus Restaurant with David Clark and staff took on all catering responsibilities. Sea Ranch Marina provided dock space for weigh-in at SouthPoint Marina in Port Isabel. A complete list of winners is on the Chamber website www.spichamber.com. For the second year, during Friday night registration, Leslie Blasing- Leslie Presents played music for throughout the evening. Committee members made a change to the Friday night events with the addition of door prizes for early angler registrants in lieu of the Team Shirt contest done for the previous two years. For the 12th year, marine and nature artist Dinah Bowman was commissioned to create unique event logo art, and to design and produce one-of-a-kind awards for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th places in seven different species, bay grand champion and offshore grand champion. Each of the thirty framed art trophies was sponsored by Chamber members and other area businesses. Trophy sponsors included: American Diving, Captain Bryan Ray Fishing Adventures, Coastal Décor by Canvas Creations, Coral Reef Lounge, DeeDee’s Boutique, First Community Bank-SPI, Fudge Consulting, PLLC, Furcron, Inc. REALTORS® and Property Management, Gabriella’s Italian Grill & Pizzeria, Harbor Street Laser Wash, Inertia Tours, Isla Grand Beach Resort, Island Cinema, Kranzler, Laguna BOB, Vicki Lambert, Louie’s Backyard, Mike and Patty Johnson, Padre Elite Team - RE/MAX Elite, Padre Island Brewing Co, PI/SPI Guides Association, Red Mango South Padre Island, Renee’s of South Padre, Rio Grande Valley Abstract, Sea Ranch Restaurant, Ship Shape, South Padre Marie, Lynne and Gary Tate, Tequila Sunset, White Lumber and Yummies Bistro. For the 16th year, the tournament weigh-in was held at Sea Ranch Marina at SouthPoint. Javier Ch. Garza headed up the Dock Crew and served as the Dockmaster. Chamber member Jon Wilson served as Assistant Dockmaster, and provided invaluable assistance with dock setup. Over thirty volunteers worked from 10:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday to pull together a first class tournament weigh-in. With the assistance of Rental World, for the 13th year, comfortable and covered dockside seating was arranged for spectators, and was again an overwhelming success. Schlitterbahn Beach Resort provided refreshment concessions. A great change to the dock this year was the addition of Fruia Motors as our Dock Sponsor. Fruia staff members helped to add their logo to our leader board, and fish buckets. They handed out frozen treats to spectators in the stands, and volunteers, and had several new vehicles on display at the dock and convention centre.

South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce Representing Island and Laguna Madre Area Businesses since 1989

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Again this year the LKT Committee arranged for angler event bags, which were stuffed with many great items donated by local businesses, bearing the LKT Chamber logo along with the logos of all our important event sponsors. Event sponsors were: Title Sponsors: La Copa Inn & Suites/La Quinta Inn & Suites/Hilton Garden Inn, Shallow Sport of Texas/The Sportsman and South Padre Island Convention & Visitors Bureau; Gold Sponsors: Rental World, and Sea Ranch II at SouthPoint; Bronze Sponsors: First National Bank-SPI, KVEO-TV News Channel 23, Louie’s Backyard, Palms Resort & Café on the Beach, and Rio Grande LNG, LLC, and Friend Sponsors: A Clean Portoco, Anglers Marine, Blackbeards’, Blue Marlin Supermarket, Central Texas Concealed, Leslie Blasing – Leslie Presents!, Nevill Document Solutions, Padre Island Brewing Co., Pirate’s Landing Fishing Pier, Port Isabel South Padre Press, Republic Services, Salinas, Allen & Schmitt, LLP, Schlitterbahn Beach Resort, Sea Ranch Restaurant, SPI Equestrian Centre & Polo Club, and Tequila Sunset. This year’s Awards Lunch Sponsor was Furcron, Inc. REALTORS® and Property Management and Dock Sponsor: Fruia Motors. Sharon Taylor and her crew of volunteers did an extraordinary job selling LKT logo and promotional items this year. Event shirts displaying the commissioned event artwork of Dinah Bowman were sold along with caps and visors. At registration, and at awards, we welcomed some great vendors. De La Cruz Signature Designs, Dinah Bowman Studio & Gallery, Island Native, Laguna Lifestyle, Lips by Pammy, Luke Fruia Motors, Rio Grande LNG, Ruby Ribbon, Shabby FuFu, The Sportsman Tropical Imports and Walk for Women promoted their businesses, and sold merchandise to attendees. Sponsors promoted their businesses by providing banners which lined the perimeter of the convention hall. Dinah Bowman, our event artist, displayed a collection of her work and offered the items for sale in a silent auction format with a portion of the proceeds donated to our tournament. For the 8th year our Awards Brunch was sponsored to help defray costs, and for the fourth year Furcron, Inc. REALTORS® and Property Management graciously offered to be the sponsor. Chamber staff member Alita Bagley served as our event emcee for awards and dockside. An event raffle was again included in this year’s tournament and added extra fun for the anglers and another fundraising activity for our Chamber. Many great items were donated and our vendors donated the majority of the raffle items.

Social Media

Media

The South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce continues to utilize Facebook and Google+ to interact with members and people interested in our Island. Prior to the 2017 Ladies Kingfish Tournament Instagram was set-up as another means to communicate with members and people interested in the Island. Search us, like us, and share with others!

Newsletter

The Business Leader is sent each Friday and is also available on the Chamber’s Facebook page. This informative newsletter highlights Chamber meetings and events, ribbon cuttings and mixers, items of interest for businesses, job postings, member “Spotlight”, member events and community events. South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce Representing Island and Laguna Madre Area Businesses since 1989

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Chamber members have the opportunity to attach their promotional flyer to the emailed newsletter, at no cost and it is a great way for members to promote and highlight their business and services not only to other Chamber members, but to thousands of potential customers who visit the Chamber website.

Website www.spichamber.com

Chamber staff continues to work with members regarding the many benefits available through the membership software purchased in March 2015. All information entered into member records automatically populates into the new website, which was included in the purchase. Members have their own personal login and can add features to their listing such as job postings and events. With these changes the Chamber website continues to be a reliable and up-to-date information source for members, visitors and those wishing to relocate to South Padre Island. Visitors making telephone inquiries are regularly referred to our website to shop for services. The home page provides a snap shot look at important upcoming events, and training, sponsorship and networking opportunities, as well as a complete planning calendar of all scheduled meetings at the Chamber. Advertising opportunities for members on the home page remain available, and we continue to provide direct link buttons on the homepage for those most sought after items by our visitors. A full-color 3-D flip version of the Guide to South Padre Island is also available on our website along with a click through to allow the request of a hard copy. The website is under the direction of Dianna Harvill, Marketing/Business Services Director for the Chamber.

The Guide to South Padre Island

Since 2001, The Guide to South Padre Island has been produced in-house by the Chamber of Commerce Marketing/Business Services Director, Dianna Harvill. The 2017 Guide was 76-pages and was delivered on schedule in December of 2016. Copies of The Guide were delivered to all advertisers and Valley distribution points before Christmas. Ads were sold in the 2017 Guide by Chamber staff to defray costs of creating and printing The Guide. Local graphic design company, Toucan Graphics, produced the majority of the ads, Chamber staff did the conceptual design and layout of the book, and the computer-generated layout of The Guide, was South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce Representing Island and Laguna Madre Area Businesses since 1989

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contracted out to Clarissa Creel in Corpus Christi. Printing of The Guide took place in San Antonio, Texas at Shweiki Media. The number of copies was increased from 75,000 to 100,000 through a partnership with the SPI Convention & Visitors Bureau. The SPI-CVB paid for the printing and shipping of the additional 25,000 copies for use in their marketing program. All 100,000 copies of The Guide to South Padre Island were printed and distributed on an international basis. All calls that come into the Chamber office and the South Padre Island Visitor Center requesting information about the Island received The Guide, as well as being available at both locations for visitors and residents. The Guide was also available in-room at many hotels/motels/condos on the Island, and mailed to Chambers and welcome centers around the state, including all entry points into Texas. The Guide was distributed to travel agents, visitor centers and tour companies throughout the United States, as well as Europe, Mexico and Canada. The South Padre Island Convention and Visitors Bureau used The Guide at trade shows attended throughout the year and mailed the additional 25,000 copies to requests received through their fulfillment house, and the South Padre Island Economic Development Corporation included The Guide in their relocation packet used for both individuals and businesses looking to locate on South Padre Island. The Guide is easily obtainable online, in a full-color 3-D flip format, at the Chamber website www.spiChamber.com. With just a click of a button, the Chamber office continues to receive thousands of requests for The Guide from around the world. Production of the 2018 Guide to South Padre Island began in May 2017, and ad sales were completed in September 2017. Used for vacation planning, relocation purposes, new business development, and convention and conference development, The Guide to South Padre Island is the single most comprehensive and professionally produced promotional tool published for our community. We look forward to unveiling the 2018 edition in December 2017.

Winter Discount Coupon Book

In 2016-2017, our Chamber, along with our coupon savvy Chamber members, published the 9th Edition of our SPI Chamber Winter Discount Coupon Book. With design and printing assistance from Adrian and Stan Hulse, owners of Toucan Graphics, advertisers proved that Island visitors still love “a coupon discount”. The Chamber coordinated the production of 20,000 coupon books, which included 34 advertisers. The books were distributed by Chamber staff, with the assistance of Lili DeRousie and the staff at the SPI Visitors Center, during the period of November 2016 through early March 2017. Work on the 2017-2018 Winter Discount Coupon Book, 10th Edition, began in September 2017.

South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce Representing Island and Laguna Madre Area Businesses since 1989

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Other Chamber Membership/Meetings

During the year, 40 new members joined our Chamber. As of September 30, 2017, our membership totaled 343 active members, 323 business members and 20 associate members. During the 2016-17 fiscal year, our Chamber Directors, through the leadership of Chairman Courtney Hayden, conducted an in-house Membership Drive. Directors Karla Scimeca brought in 5 new members. Other Directors recruiting new members were Chad Hart, Jon Creinin, Lesa Labar and Darla Lapeyre. The Chamber keeps our members updated through weekly email blasts and frequent Facebook posts. Additional opportunities are provided for our members with the Chamber’s investment in state of the art membership software and mobile friendly website. The membership software offers our members a chance to enhance their website listing with photos and additional services description, post special deals and create job postings. Members can also purchase website banners or go really big with an ad placement on our homepage and other interior pages. Staff continues to actively promote full utilization by our members. In October, at our Annual Membership Meeting members gathered to reflect on past achievements. The 2016 meeting was held at Sea Ranch Restaurant. Written annual reports were distributed and annual recognition awards presented. Diane O’Leary, Island businesswoman, Education Committee volunteer, Director of the Laguna Madre Education Foundation, Trustee for the Point Island ISD, and many other community volunteer commitments, was recognized with the Chamber’s 2016 Directors’ Award for her support of the Chamber and as an outstanding leader in our community. Past recipients include: Tom O’Connell, Sharon Taylor, Rick Legere, Cynthia Sellers, Dan Stanton, Loraine Johnston, Darrell Mangham, Ginny Ossanna, David Clark, Tom Hansen, Liz Money, JoAnn Evans, Alta Monroe, Courtney Hayden, Guy Blatnik, and Bob Friedman. Chad Hart owner of Inertia Tours and Karla Scimeca owner of Karla’s Katering, were each awarded the 2016 Kukui Award for their outstanding leadership as truly active Chamber members and community volunteers. First awarded in 2004, past recipients include: Dianna Harvill, Shelton Coleman, Mary Ann Tous, Russell Judah, Liz Money, Alita Bagley, Bobby and Betty Vanzant, Guy Blatnik, Tim O’Leary, Alma McLeroy, Sue Singer, Joy Hartung, Javier CH. Garza, and Jody Hughes. The 2016 Ambassador’s Award went to Lesa Labar for her support of everything Chamber and for always being willing to help in any way she can. First awarded in 2009, past recipients include Bob Fudge, Jim Harvill, Bobby Vanzant, Anne Weiss, Candace Gray, Victor Baldovinos, and Cristin Howard.

South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce Representing Island and Laguna Madre Area Businesses since 1989

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The 2016 Community Partner Award went to Shallow Sport Boats - Wes and Kyra Hudson. Community Partners are awarded for their extraordinary contributions to the success of our Chamber of Commerce, and their investment in our growing business community. First awarded in 2010, previous recipients include South Padre Island Convention and Visitors Bureau, Brownsville South Padre International Airport, Sea Ranch Restaurant, Toucan Graphics, Point Isabel Independent School District, and Hilton Garden Inn Beach Resort. In January 2017, the South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce nominated Chamber member, Jimmy Parker, to the Rio Grande Valley Walk of Fame. Parker was inducted into the 2017 RGV Walk of Fame in honor of his life achievements in our area business community. Previous Walk of Fame recipients include Troy Giles (2005), Richard Franke (2006), Robert N. Pinkerton, Jr. (2007), Jake Falgout (2008), Darrell Mangham (2009), Dan Stanton (2010), David Friedman (2011), Lynne Tate (2012), Bill Donahue (2013), Gary Meschi (2014), JoAnn Evans (2015), and Mickey Furcron (2016).

Memberships/Contributions/Sponsorships

In 2016-17, our Chamber held memberships in the following organizations, and our association with these organizations provided valuable business advocacy, information, and resources to our Chamber members: Texas Association of Business, Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, SPI Board of Realtors, and the Rio Grande Valley Partnership, and the Better Business Bureau. Our Chamber also made contributions to many worthy organizations and events: Governors Small Business Forum; Brownsville Women’s Conference; RGV Partnership 2017 Legislative Tour; Leadership Laguna Madre; El Paseo Arts Foundation; Winter Texan Style Show; PIISD student DECA program; Helping Our Heroes- Wounded Warriors/ALS; Rotary Club – Flag Program; PI Rotary Winter Texan Appreciation; SPI Birding and Nature Center Spoonbill Golf Classic; International Game and Fish Association; Port Isabel Guides Association; First Responders Thank You Ad; SPI Windsurfing Association; Explorer Scouts Post 975. Many other non-profit organizations benefited by the Chamber providing them with complimentary email blasts, Facebook announcements and mailing labels.

South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce Representing Island and Laguna Madre Area Businesses since 1989

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