Chamber to Showcase "Platform for the Future" at Annual Meeting

By Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce

The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce will host the region’s top leaders in business, government, education, healthcare and other sectors at its 2014 Annual Meeting on Jan. 30, at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center.

Sponsored by Butler Enterprises, doors to the Annual Meeting open at 6 p.m. with dinner and the program beginning at 7 p.m. A special Circle of Champions VIP reception will precede the dinner at 5:30 p.m. in the lobby. The invitation-only reception is presented by CareerSource North Central Florida (formerly known as FloridaWorks).

The meeting will feature prominent Florida businessman  Marshall Criser, III, as the keynote speaker. Criser was recently named chancellor of Florida’s state university system. Criser is an alumnus of the University of Florida, where his father, Marshall Criser, Jr., served as the eighth president of the school.

“The Chamber’s Annual Meeting provides us the opportunity to outline how we intend to lead the community forward in 2014,” said Mitch Glaeser, Chairman of the Gainesville Chamber Board of Directors. “We have made great strides in recent years, and we look forward to accelerating the momentum of job creation and economic growth in our thriving region. There is no better way to get things started than with our largest gathering of chamber members later this month.”

Glaeser is beginning his second term as chairman of the Chamber, a result of the Board’s desire to continue the momentum of key initiatives that started in late 2013.

This year’s Annual Meeting, which marks the 90th anniversary of the Gainesville Chamber, is a particularly important event, said Gainesville Chamber President and CEO Tim Giuiliani.

“Every year, the Chamber comes together with the business community at its annual meeting to celebrate the previous year’s accomplishments and outline plans for the new year. In 2014, we will announce efforts at making the Gainesville region a global hub for talent, innovation, and opportunity through six lines of business: Business Development, Economic Development, International Trade, Public Policy, Regional Growth, and Talent Alignment & Workforce Development,” Giuiliani said.

“Economic potential and momentum are terms that have accurately depicted the Gainesville region, but 2014 marks the next step in seeing Gainesville begin to realize its potential,” he added.

Tom Anderson, Producing Director at the Hippodrome Theatre, will host the event. Anderson is an actor, singer, and visual artist who returned to Gainesville as  the new Producing Director of the Hippodrome. He has accumulated 20 years experience leading start-up companies and working with state and federal governments and university programs, raising over $30 million in venture and philanthropic capital in his career.

The Chamber will also present awards to businesses and individuals who have been major difference makers in the community in 2013, Giuliani added.

The event is expected to sell-out but tickets are still available. Tickets can be purchased at www.GainesvilleChamber.com/2014AnnualMeeting. For more information, contact Frank Avery at Frank@GainesvilleChamber.com.

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