Looking to the Future
The Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce is in it's 61st year of operation. The past 60 years of operation has been – of all things – a superb learning experience.
Even before IBM released the first personal computer in Boca Raton in 1981, this great City has been known for its entrepreneurial spirit. The troubled economic times we live in have made one thing very clear: that spirit of resilient determination continues today.
Over the past year, we have seen business leaders honor the past by acting in the present to create a better future. They are generating new ideas, developing innovative new business models, and thinking outside the box about how to help our entire community on the road to economic prosperity. Chamber Members are at the forefront of this effort, engaged in our networking opportunities, educational programs and economic development initiatives. Over the past year, we have seen more and more businesses reach out to their fellow Chamber Members for business opportunities and alliances, forming creative strategic partnerships to enhance the local economy.
The Chamber continues to work with the City of Boca Raton, the Palm Beach County Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County and Workforce Alliance, Inc., to ensure Boca Raton is seen as a premiere location for business creation, enhancement and relocation. The Chamber also has partnered with community members and large companies on education initiatives and community-enhancing opportunities. We have held several free educational seminars on technology and business building, as well as three highly successful free business expos and presentations.
The eyes of the nation were focused on Boca Raton for the final debate of the 2012 Presidential Election. The Chamber was proud to partner with Lynn University to promote the local business community through the Official Small Business Debate Partner program.
Boca Raton’s A-rated school system and its appeal as an elite college town are providing a resource pool of local talent uniquely qualified to succeed in an ever-changing workforce. The MedUTech initiative, started by local business leaders, is designed to attract business in these sectors, so that Boca Raton can provide opportunities for local college grads to stay in our community.
Through the Chamber’s Golden Bell Education Foundation, we launched the Boca Chamber’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy - the first chamber in the state to take on this program, which is headquartered in Rochester, NY. The 33-week curriculum takes students through every step of the process of setting up their own business. A total of 18 students completed this intensive program, and one student from the inaugural class, Rebecca Zerbo, CEO of Positive Pocket, an anti-bullying campaign, went on to compete at the national level – where she won first place in the Saunders Scholar Competition, the nationwide business plan competition.
As you can see, the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Boca Raton. As your Chamber finishes its 60th year of service to the local community, we remain focused on maintaining a strong pro-business environment that supports job creation, economic sustainability and an unmatched quality of life in this great community.
Troy M. McLellan, CCE, FCCP, President & CEO
Keith O'Donnell, 2013 Chair of the Board
Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce