Dear Fellow Chamber Member,
The experiences, we as members, endured during the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that change is inevitable and perseverance is what keeps us going as individuals. As we enter into the second month of 2021, we are moving forward and understanding there are many choices we must continue to make. We must continue to learn and continue to move forward.
In the meantime, I wanted to share my experience when I joined the Chamber in 1993. I was working in Corporate America, I had my first daughter who was 6 months old and two new step-children. My husband, Rich and I were trying to have additional income. The idea of having a little side business felt right and we started Balloonatics. We simply delivered balloons to our office co-workers. I did all the paperwork needed to become an official small business in Cooper City and our journey began. I received a call from a Davie-Cooper City Chamber representative letting me know they would love for me to join. Of course, my reaction was “no thank you!”. She was kind and said she could sit and share with me how I could grow the business and although I just wanted a side business, I agreed. We met, I became a member and then came the other “pitch”. “You need to join a committee,” she said. Of course, I took a deep breath, was frustrated, thought of babies, corporate work and school and my time was very limited. I can’t explain what made me say yes, although my husband did buy me a book shortly after that called “How to say NO!”. I attended my first meeting with the marketing/communication committee. I was teaching Communication at the Art Institute at the time so I thought it would be an easy fit. Everyone was so extremely welcoming and kind. Chuck Bonfilgio from Century Twenty-one and one of our Past Presidents was the Chair.
The meeting was focused on how to promote the Chamber breakfast for that month, which was being sponsored by the Miami Dolphins. They asked if I would reach out to the Miami Dolphins and ask for an article on what they would like the promotion to look like. I took the assignment, overwhelmed and not knowing what I would actually need to accomplish. A young man by the name of Rhett Butler Ticonni (can’t make this up), was the person in charge. A young college graduate with whom I instantly connected with. I offered to write a brief paragraph and have it approved Rhett AND asked if I could provide him with balloons for his breakfast as a courtesy. We met the day of the breakfast and he was very grateful for the table balloons. I asked if he ever had an event to please keep us in mind. He did! That afternoon, I received a call at 4:57 p.m. I remember this time, because I was still at work and I didn’t want to not take his call. He said the Miami Dolphins were starting an idea called Sports Town and if I would give him a quote on balloons for every home game. I immediately said yes, knowing I had no clue on how to provide a quote or create balloons for a large event. Twenty-seven seasons later, we are proud to be a part of the events that take place at the Stadium and Training Camp. We were additionally fortunate that Mr. Wayne Huizenga owned the Panthers and the Florida Marlins at the time, so we became vendors for them as well.
Moral of the story, join a committee!!! Yes, but in reality, RELATIONSHIPS are the roadway to our business success. As a custom we must save the best for last, and what would the Chamber be without the hard work of Charinus Johnson-Davis and Alex Giordanelli. I warmly thank both of them for their continuous efforts in searching for ways to assist us, the members. Their hard work, although seems seamless, without a doubt does not go unnoticed. If their job looks easy, it’s just because they are so good at it!
As I take a deep breath with gratitude for all the members I have met and I continue to meet, I reach out with our heartfelt campaign. This time as a question, How Can I Help? Followed by a quote I used in 2001 when I was President of the Davie-Cooper City Chamber the first time around, “If enough of us keep trying- we’ll get somewhere” Amelia Earhart. That somewhere begins with the Davie-Cooper City Chamber committee, The Town of Davie and Cooper City.
Courage, Wisdom and Serenity,
Dr. Aimee Sanchez-Zadak
Chamber Board President