Chamber Returns to In-Person Meetings

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The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce will return to its pre-pandemic format for its June 17 business luncheon meeting at 11:30 a.m. at Sundial Beach Resort, in partnership with the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FRLA). Adventures in Paradise sponsors the meeting.

Guest speaker Dana Young, president and chief executive officer of Visit Florida, will speak about the current state of tourism from the perspective of Florida’s official destination marketing organization. FRLA general counsel Samantha Padgett will be giving a breakdown on this year’s legislative session and providing insight on the restaurant, lodging, and hospitality industry.

By recommendation of Gov. Ron DeSantis and unanimous approval by the Visit Florida Board of Directors, Young took the lead position on Jan. 7, 2019. A sixth-generation Floridian born and raised in Tallahassee, she previously served in the Florida House from 2010 through 2016, rising to Majority Leader for the 2015 and 2016 legislative sessions. In 2016, Young was elected to the Florida Senate, where she represented parts of western Hillsborough County for two years. In addition to her current duties for Visit Florida, Young is a member of the U.S. Travel Association’s Chairman’s Circle.

Throughout her career as a Florida attorney, Young has served in leadership positions working to cultivate and protect Florida’s exceptional business climate and a world-class quality of life.

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.

“We are so excited to announce our first in-person luncheon meeting since March 11, 2019,” said John Lai, chamber president and chief executive officer. “Dana and Samantha couldn’t be a more fitting speakers for this return to normalcy, a sure sign of tourism recovery. We look forward to hearing their expertise on the topic of where tourism is headed in today’s post-vaccine climate.”

The Chamber Business Lunch is a monthly networking opportunity held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at member locations. The chamber attempts to provide speakers to discuss relevant business topics for the membership.

Cost for luncheon attendance is $30 for chamber members only. Advanced registration is required to attend; walk-ins are not accepted. Register by 5 p.m. on Friday, June 11, at or by calling 239-472-8255. Payment is due at time of registration.


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