Chamber Partners with FRLA for Hospitality Virtual Legislative Update 2021

provided to The Santiva Chronicle

Two speakers with the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association will address hospitality industry issues in the upcoming state legislative session during a Hospitality Virtual Legislative Update 2021 scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 24, from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce and Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce are partnering on the presentation, which is sponsored by SENTEXT.

“We dive into this year’s legislative updates for Southwest Florida and get the inside scoop on what to expect from Tallahassee this year, and how it will impact the hospitality industry,” said Lois Croft, FRLA Southwest director.

As FRLA general counsel, Samantha Padgett provides legal advice and services to FRLA and its leadership and serves as an advocate for the restaurant and lodging industries at the federal, state, and local levels. She previously served for 10 years as the vice president and general counsel of the Florida Retail Federation.

Padgett, a member of the Florida Bar, graduated cum laude from the University of Florida College of Law and received her B.A. from Emory University. She has served on the VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors, the University of Florida Center for Retailing Executive Advisory Board, and the Florida Recycling Partnership Board of Directors.

Richard Turner assumed the role of FRLA senior vice president of government relations in September 2002. He has been a member of the Florida Bar for more than 25 years, and has more than 17 years of experience in state government. His last position at the state level was as director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco, Department of Business & Professional Regulations.

Turner represents the industry before the Florida Legislature and such various Florida organizations as the Florida Cabinet, Department of Revenue, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Business and Professional Regulation, plus, on occasion, in Washington, DC.

“These two are the experts on how the 2021 Florida legislative session could affect the outlook for hospitality in the coming year,” said John Lai, chamber president and chief executive officer. “This is a presentation that chamber members won’t want to miss. Non-members can also register by emailing me for information.”

The Sanibel-Captiva chamber already has sent its members Zoom invitations to register for the virtual event. When members RSVP, they will receive a link to the Zoom meeting in advance. For more information, contact Lai at

The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to promoting the prosperity of its members and preserving the quality of life of our community. With over 560 active Chamber members from both islands including businesses from Lee and Collier counties, the Chamber plays a key role in facilitating communication and cooperation between business, residents and government to enhance the economic health of the islands. The Francis P. Bailey, Jr. Chamber Visitor Center is located at the entrance to Sanibel Island and welcomes over 160,000 visitors each year. VISIT FLORIDA named the Visitor Center one of thirteen official Florida Certified Tourism Information Centers. The Visitor Center is open 365 days a year and provides visitors with comprehensive information about things to do, places to visit, where to stay, shop and dine. The Chamber website receives more than 1.3 million website visits per year.

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