Back in 1963 when a handful of mom and pop businesses decided it would be good for Lehigh Acres to form a chamber of commerce, for networking purposes and to get to know one another and promote the small sleepy town of Lehigh with a population of only a few thousand people, a chapter was formed which probably included the help of the Lehigh Corporation, the actual founders of Lehigh Acres.
Some 50 years later with Lehigh now at an official population of more than 88,000 people, according to the latest U.S. Census, the group is going to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
The big gala event will be on Saturday, Jan. 26 at Pelican Preserve in nearby Fort Myers at 10571 Veneto Drive.
Mary Lynn Ziemer
Inke Baker, the interim president and CEO of the new Greater Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce said the 21st annual awards gala where the Chamber will recognize an outstanding Citizen, member, Employee, Volunteer and Law e officer for the year 2012.
The keynote speaker will be Mary Lynn Ziemer, a life coach for Living a Joyful Life, which is the title of her book.
Ziemer is likely to talk about the importance of networking within a community through its chamber of commerce.
Ziemer is the founder and CEO of Living a Joyful Life and as a certified life coach and business consultant, she helps clients hungering to lead more joyful and prosperous lives. She does this with simple and proven techniques that work for the rest of their lives, according to an announcement promoting her skills.
Her empowering coaching style and presentations fit both corporate and personal needs as she moves individuals towards positive change. She leverages nearly 30 years of experience as a successful corporate leader and as a trendsetting entrepreneur to work for her clients, the people she represents.
Current president Inke Baker says the gala this year has selected a wonderful speaker who will captivate the audience. Ziemer does it all because it is her passion, Baker said. She does it because once upon a time, she was at a crossroad in her own life and she knew she wanted to help more people than her corporate experience could offer.
This past July, Ziemer spoke to the Young Professionals of Bonita Springs Area chamber of commerce and told them that "learning the art of effective networking is so essential in business. She said she was excited for the opportunity to share her knowledge and experience with young professions who are eager to succeed in business.
"Networking is more than just exchanging business cards; it's about genuinely relating to others and leaving a lasting, positive impression. Some of the tools she taught them were about business networking and said it may also be applied to their personal interactions with others.
The program includes a history of the chamber along with the awards and the installation of officers and directors for 2013.
A silent auction with interesting items to bid on and a raffle will complete what Baker calls a very special evening for the Greater Lehigh Acres chamber of Commerce and all its members and residents of Lehigh who are also invited to the event.
The cost of a ticket is $50 and the chamber is asking members and guests to RSVP to the chamber at 239-369-3322.
The chamber has also received a letter from U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio congratulating the chamber on its anniversary and underlined the vital role of the chamber for the economic recovery of the Lehigh Acres community.
The letter can be seen on the Internet at: www.lehighAcreschamber.org.
Inke said that donations for the Silent Auction are encouraged from the community. She said table and event sponsorships were still available beginning at $100.
Although guests should have sent in or called in their RSVP by Jan. 12, you should still call the chamber at 369-3322 if you want to attend.
Formal wear and black tie are requested for the gentlemen.
The gala is sponsored by Accent Business Products, Coldwell Banker Preferred Properties, Edward Jones Investments, Landex International, Paulie The Pool Guy and the Preferred Community Bank.
Baker said the event will include music, a "fabulous dinner" and drinks.