Message from the CEO: Moving Business Forward

Governor DeSantis announced the opening of four FEMA vaccination sites, which will be located in Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville, and Orlando. These sites will be able to vaccinate between 2,000 and 3,000 people per day. Additionally, the Governor has announced all school employees and childcare workers in Florida, regardless of age, can receive the COVID-19 vaccine

At our International Business Alliance meeting this week, Andrew Duffel, President & CEO of the Research Park at Florida Atlantic University, presented the new Soft Landings Center Initiative, Global Ventures at FAU. This initiative helps second-stage companies from around the world scale-up to the next level of development by becoming profitable and sustainable companies that positively impact South Florida’s economy. A Soft Landings designation recognizes entrepreneurial centers that excel in providing companies with various services and ensure foreign companies experience a soft landing when entering a new country. Global Ventures is one of only two designated Soft Landings centers in the entire state of Florida. 

The City of Boynton Beach has unveiled a new sculpture that pays tribute to first responders and health care workers. Displayed in front of the new City Hall, the healing heart sculpture was inspired by the police, fire, and hospital workers who have been the community’s heroes during the pandemic. The11-foot sculpture is interactive and allows people to place themselves in the sculpture by putting their heart in front of the stethoscope. To pay tribute to the hospital workers, representatives from Bethesda East hospital were invited to attend the unveiling. To view the new sculpture, click here. 

On Wednesday evening, the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) held its virtual 2021 Investor Panel Presentations. Twelve students from various schools within Palm Beach County presented their individual business ideas in a 3-minute presentation to four local entrepreneurs. This year’s Boca chapter winner will represent our region in the national competition later this year. Jordan Herold, a 10th grader from American Heritage School, won the favor of the judges with his company, Stericart. This product was designed out of concern for the safety of his family and friends during the current pandemic. Stericart provides shopping carts with a “carwash” of UVC light. By applying this light to shopping carts, the handles become more sterile than when cleaned with a traditional sanitizing wipe. This year’s runner-up was Chloe Levine, a 10th grader from Saint Andrews School, with her business, Buddy Belt. Designed with the dog owner in mind, this unique belt features 9 customizable, adjustable, and detachable compartments. Buddy Belt is a product that can accommodate any dog walker.


Thank you to all of the Instructors and Mentors who helped to make this year’s virtual program a success. Additionally, thank you to this year’s Investor Panel Judges: Robert Finizio, CEO of TherapeuticsMD; Zoe Maloney, Senior Vice-President, and Chief Human Resources Officer, Office Depot; Lise Orr, Vice-President of Minuteman Press; and Sam Zietz, CEO, and Founder of TouchSuite.  As always, this program would not be possible without the support of Office Depot and its CEO, Gerry Smith, who shared some encouraging words with the students before the start of the competition. If you would like to view the competition it will be available on the Chamber’s YouTube page. To learn more about this amazing program, please contact our Foundation Manager Sherese James-Grow

Looking for a quick way to find an event, register for an event, and receive pop-up notifications of important Chamber, County, City of Boca Raton, and City of Boynton Beach information? Download the Boca Chamber App – found on the App Store and Google Play Store. Keep your Chamber at the tip of your fingers! You can also stay up to date on all Chamber activity by visiting us at bocachamber.com. We continue to provide you with valuable virtual and in-person experiences. Most virtual programs are recorded and available for you to access on the Boca Chamber’s YouTube Channel. Hit the subscribe button to find out when new content is posted on our channel. Below is a list of our upcoming virtual and in-person experiences:  

3/10 – 12:00 p.m. Virtual Boynton Beach Lunch and Learn Sponsored By: iTHINK Financial Topic: Be the CEO of Your Success: 3 Game-Changing Strategies to Maximize your 2021 Results Speaker: Patricia Cimino, Certified Coach for Entrepreneurs Click here to register

3/11 – 7:45 a.m. In-Person Membership Breakfast    Sponsored By: Virgin Design Topic: Step into the Center: Update on the Boca Raton Center for the Arts & Innovation and How it’s Set to Make Waves in Our Local Economy Speaker: Andrea Virgin, President, Boca Raton Center for the Arts & Innovation Location: Boca Raton Marriott at Boca Center, 5150 Town Center Circle in Boca Raton

Click here to register 3/11 – 11:30 a.m. Virtual Government Affairs Committee Meeting Topic: Business in D.C.Speaker: Moore Hallmark, Vice President, Regional Affairs and Advocacy Congressional and Public Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Click here to register 

3/16 – 8:30 a.m. Virtual FREE WorkshopTopic: How to Write a Press Release (Part1of a 3-part Public Relation Workshop Series)Speaker: Jennifer Palumbo McFarland, Assistant Professor, College of Business, Lynn University Click here to register

3/16 – 12:00 p.m. Virtual PULSE Presentation Topic: CEO spotlight Speaker: Daniel Cane, CEO & Co-Founder, Modernizing Medicine Click here to register

3/16 – 3:00 p.m. Virtual Economic Development Committee Meeting Topic: Innovation in Boca Raton Speaker: Angelo Bianco, Managing Partner, Crocker Partners Click here to register

3/17 – 8:30 a.m. Virtual South Healthcare Advocacy Network (S.H.A.N.)Sponsored By: Memorial Healthcare System Topic: Information on COVID and the brain, along with emotional health, general neuro service information, and a comprehensive overview of neurology services provided by Memorial Health Speakers: Dr. Scott Rafa-Neurosurgen at Memorial Neuroscience Institute & Dr. Daniel Aghion, Neurosurgeon at Memorial Neuroscience Institute Click here to register


You know the saying – “all politics is local.” In four days, Boca Raton will hold its local city council election. Our local elected officials have the ability to impact our daily lives more than our representatives in Washington, DC. The Chamber strongly encourages everyone to VOTE on March 9th and allow those voices to be heard at the ballot box. Click here to view your polling location. If you have already mailed in your ballot – thank you for voting! 

The Chamber’s Business Leaders United Political Action Committee (BLU-PAC) has endorsed Constance Scott for Seat C. Constance is a proven leader and has the experience to keep Boca Raton moving forward. BLU-PAC has also endorsed Brian Stenberg for Seat D. Brian is a local business and neighborhood leader who has demonstrated that he will be committed to both residents and businesses. 

In addition to the candidates on the ballot, the city will be asking residents to consider two amendments to the City Charter. The first proposed question considers changing the residency requirement for candidates running for municipal office from the current 30 days to one year. If passed it would also disqualify anyone with a non-City homestead exemption. The second question considers eliminating the qualifying fee and requiring a candidate to secure a minimum of 200 signatures from electors. If approved, both amendments would take effect on April 1, 2021. The Chamber encourages you to vote YES on both questions. Together, with pro-business leaders, we will continue to Move Business Forward in Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, and South Palm Beach County, making our region the best place to Live, Work, Learn and Play.  

Moving Business Forward,

Troy M. McLellan, CCE, FCCP
President & CEO
Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce

#movingbocaforward, #movingboyntonforward, #movingdelrayforward

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