Chambers move forward on merger, form transition teams

By now, just about everyone in the South Shore business community has heard that the Ruskin-SouthShore and Apollo Beach chambers are planning to merge.

The week of May 20 about half of the Apollo Beach chamber’s 200 eligible members voted on the proposed merger, with 93 percent of them approving a move forward through the formation of a transition team. That team will be comprised of five board members: Greg Conley of TSI Inc., president; Jose Alvarez of Alvarez CPA; Ron Seagren of ServiceMaster 24 Hour, Ron Kobosky of Mosaic; and Mike Doherty of Dedicated Transport Solutions Inc., with chamber member Ron Satterfield as alternate.

The Ruskin-SouthShore chamber’s transition team is comprised of the following board members: Patti Thornton of SunTrust Bank, president; Joel Meek of All Bay Insurance; John Smith of H&R Block; Tony Zipperer of Zipperer’s Funeral Home & Crematory; and Ron Simpson of Weichert, Realtors — SouthShore, with the Rev. Charlie Lewis as alternate.

The group began meeting May 25 to resolve and agree on pressing issues before the proposed merger date of July 1, Conley said in his May 22 letter to members announcing the results of the vote. Those issues include staffing, integration of member services, finances, facilities, and board representation, he said.

Apollo Beach attorney Mike Peterson of Commerce Realty Services is legal counsel for the transition team.

Speaking of voting …

The annual Best of South Shore Readers Poll has begun, so if you haven’t already done so, get your ballot in today’sSouth Shore News & Tribune or online at Rules are available on both types of ballot, so check them out and get your votes in.

Paper ballots also will be published in the South Shore News & Tribune on June 8 and 15, which must be returned and postmarked by June 17.

Get your friends, staff, business associates, even your mama to have their say. Who knows? Your business could end up the Best of South Shore.

Congrats all around

Three Weichert, Realtors — SouthShore agents were recently honored by Weichert Real Estate Affiliates and Weichert Florida West Central Broker Council: Carol Newcomb and Susan Detweiler received certificates for their 2010 sales production, and David Madden was honored with the Outstanding Service Award, in recognition of his selfless support to the Apollo Beach office.

Owner and broker Colin Howgill said he was proud of their achievements in a “particularly testing market.”

The trio was recognized among more than 7,000 associates within the Weichert Real Estate Affiliates franchise.

For information, call (813) 649-1002.

Getting to know you

A group of South Shore area business people recently visited seven Ruskin and Sun City Center businesses and nonprofit groups to take an up-close and behind-the-scenes look during the first Tour de SouthShore of 2011.

The group of “tourists” included Ron Simpson of Weichert, Realtors — SouthShore, Robyn Payant of Payant Financial Services Inc., Sherill Shelley of Champion Self Storage, Gary Schumacher of Kaeser & Blair Inc., Connie Huber of the St. Petersburg Times, Kathy Wallin of K&B Travel, Deb Adams of M&I Bank, Betsy Martinez and Danny Cooper of the Suncoast Community Health Center and the Rev. Charlie Lewis of Christ Community Church.

Businesses participating as “stops” were Homewood Residences, Champion Self Storage, Scentsy, the National Weather Service office, South County Career Center, Wilhelm Heating & Air Conditioning and the Big Draw Studio.

The next Tour de SouthShore will be June 24, so if you’re interested in taking the tour and learning more about the community, call the chamber at (813) 645-3808.

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