Bonita Springs Chamber of Commerce
I remember the first time I met Christine Ross. She was the incoming Executive Director – replacing Nancy during her retirement from the Bonita Springs Chamber.
Actually, let me jump back for a moment – my history with the Bonita Chamber is pretty vast. I moved to SWFL in 1997 – my grand mother worked as the CFO and her and my grandfather were very active in the local small business community. My mother ended up working there – in her first job here in Southwest Florida as their sales person (I can’t believe my mom was in sales! – love you mom).
As an interesting side-story, the Chamber, back in 1999(?) was surrounded by cops after an armed robbery at the bank next door. My mother – on a sales call at the time – saw a man with a gun outside, surrounded by an army of police officers (personally I picture one of those final scenes in HEAT). She politely asked the person on the phone if she could put them on hold for “one moment” – got under her desk, and then after an altercation outside, and the subduing of the perp – she unmuted the call and continued the conversation as if nothing had happened.
Long story long – I’ve been connected to the Chamber in many ways since I was 12. I used to go to the Chamber Business lunches, and dinners, and events because I had to. I loved seeing the various small businesses, their booths, and collecting the small candies and tchotchkes they had for give aways.
Fast forward nearly a decade and here I was – meeting Christine Ross. I remember how kind, easy-going, and intelligent she struck me. We set a date and time, and over the course of a number of afternoons and evenings she listened to me talk about the Internet and everything I knew that I thought could help the Chamber and the local business community in general.
In hindsight I can’t believe she would listen to some cocky 22 year old.
But our relationship has continued since then. In our first post on thanking everyone I mentioned awards… well Christine and her team at the Chamber have been one of the driving forces behind that, letting us know of various local and State-wide opportunities, as well as even submitting us for various awards.
So thank you to everyone at the Bonita Springs Chamber, thank you all past and present staff, and thank you to Christine Ross, Tiffany Esposito-Kittinger, Cindy Burgess, Chealsea Birczak, Anna Theobald, Natalie Gagnon, and Rosemary Stevens, we appreciate your kindness and support and all the work you guys do for Southwest Florida.