2023 February Legend

Monthly News Letter

FEBRUARY 2023 Vol. 25 No. 288

The Profit Conundrum for Non-Profits

important to the nonprofit board is determining if the expenses causing the red ink to bleed are mainly being spent to further the organization's vision and mission for the community. If the answer is yes, you are experiencing a bump on the road to meeting your budget goals. Do not light up your hair on fire. It will eventually work itself out as the action plan takes effect to correct the revenue imbalance. Your organization is heading in the right direction. All the above sounds easy and almost banal. Many non-profits apply the same profit and loss and model the organization the same as a for-profit; wrong, two different beasts. Sure, many common-sense good business practices apply to nonprofits. Prudence, discipline, and the list goes on. Still, a touch of boldness in pursuing your foundation's or organization's mission should be encouraged, even if it could cause a temporary shortfall in the bottom line. An enterprise that continuously bleeds red ink on its financials will need corrective action, hopefully, sooner rather than later, but that is not what I'm arguing. Instead, my argument defends

the position that strategic planning, along with a well-designed budget, must be strictly followed in the business cycle of the enterprise. Progress towards sustainability and financial fluency, or lack thereof, should be quantified often and regularly. Still, the critical question that needs to be regularly answered is: are most of our expenses directed at pursuing our mission? The answer to this last question trumps an occasional red figure. You, our members, should feel confident that we at the chamber are always prudent, responsive, and very much aware of our community's vision and mission and pay attention to our membership, management, and board directors. We have broad representation from all segments of the business community and professions, including law enforcement, fitness/wellness, construction, accounting, legal, real estate, banking, diving, the hotel/food industry, events, and insurance, to mention a few. Participate in your chamber and ask your friends and colleagues to join. You'll be happy you did!

Roberto I. Alonso Chairman of the Board Key Largo Chamber of Commerce

A month or even several months in the red at the bottom of the income statement should not cause drama or panic for a nonprofit board if the directors have identified the cause and an action plan is in place to correct the resulting factors. What should be Let's put the bottom line of this article at the start of our chat.

In This Issue Members In Motion PAGE 2 • Commissioners Welcome Dr. Fry PAGE 3 • County Speaks to State Delegation PAGE 4 Board Retreat Updates PAGE 5 • RESF Ribbon Cutting PAGE 6 • Events Calendar PAGE 7 • Small Business Challenges PAGE 8 Luncheon Happenings PAGE 11 • FKEC Online Services PAGE 12


Members In Motion! Thank you SBI Windows and Doors for hosting our January networking event.

The Key Largo Chamber team with our friends from SBI Windows and Doors.

Thank You SBI Windows and Doors for a great event.

It was a fun evening!

Eric with Zuny from First Horizon Bank and Director Michael Rojewski.

Directors Ruth Schrader-Grace and Spenser Bryan, with Lt. Chuck Kellenbergor and Jill, The Keys Weekly.

Board Director Stephanie Russo with David Hartman of Fantastic Endeavors Inc.

Kevin from Aetna with Dawn of Keys Destination Weddings.

New Member Mailen Sarazola of Sara's Flowers and Pedro of SPF Contracting Group.

The Cigar Queen Gretchen Holland.

Victor owner of Keys Smartphone Repair and his son.

The Raffle Queen Ilja Chapman of Voyage Blue Travel and Enrique.



Everglades Miami Connection

CommissionersWelcome Dr. Carla Fry

The Monroe County Board of Commissioners welcomed Dr. Carla Fry as the new Florida Department of Health in Monroe County (DOH Monroe) Administrator and Health Officer at last months BOCC Meeting. Fry joined DOH-Monroe in December 2021 as Nursing Director. She was promoted to Assistant County Health Department Director in October 2022 when Mary Vanden Brook retired from the department after 13 years of service. “We are pleased the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners voted today at its regular meeting to approve a resolution supporting the appointment of Carla Fry,” said Bob Eadie, current administrator and health officer. In a letter to Mayor Craig Cates, State of Florida Surgeon General

Joseph A. Ladapo wrote, “Dr. Fry has an excellent and diverse background in all aspects of public health and has demonstrated her ability as a skilled leader. I believe Dr. Fry will be an asset to the Florida Department of Health and Monroe County as its new health department director.” Prior to joining DOH-Monroe, Fry was the Director of Nursing and Health Sciences at The College of the Florida Keys. She served as Director of Nursing in academic settings for 12 years with 20 years of supervisory experience in her career. Dr. Fry is a U.S. Army Veteran who served for six years as an Army Medic and LPN. She received her PhD in Nursing with a minor in Public Health from the University of Florida in 2012 and her MSN in Nursing and Education in 2008 from Jacksonville University.

Fry’s first day in her new role will be in late February 2023. Bob Eadie will retire in March 2023 following 16 years of dedicated service in the role. n

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Monroe County Speaks to the Florida Keys Delegation

Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi, County Attorney Bob Shillinger, Legislative Affairs Director Lisa Tennyson, and Planning and Environmental Services Director Emily Schemper, traveled to Tallahassee to speak to the Florida Keys delegation, as well as other State officials to discuss the Florida Keys Critical Area of State Concern and other important Florida Keys issues at the State level. A brief recap is below: • Gastesi met with Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie. The County requests a $6 million legislative appropriation for the Emergency Operations Center being built in Marathon to cover additional expenses. Gastesi also discussed the FDEM and FEMA review process for the Twin Lakes Key Largo project to see what can

be done to expedite the process. • The group met with Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, Senate Present Chief of Staff Andrew Macintosh, and Senator Ana Maria Rodriguez to discuss affordable housing. • Hurricane evacuation modeling was discussed with the Dept. of Economic Opportunity Director Barbara Powell. The modeling determines the Rate of Growth Ordinance (ROGO) on how quickly the Florida Keys can be evacuated if a storm threatens. The timeframe for the modeling remains unclear. Powell spoke about new included data in the modeling, such as the increased population. Monroe County’s population jumped to 82,874 in the 2020 Census. • The team sat with Rep. Jim

Mooney to discuss a draft bill addressing local occupational (contractor’s) licensing. “He’s very aware of the issue this causes for our locally licensed contractors,” said Gastesi. Also discussed were housing issues and the future inclusion of the County in the Land Acquisition Trust Fund, securing Stewardship Act funds in the future. mitigation support was discussed with Speaker Paul Renner’s Chief of Staff, Allison Carter. “We will have some very major needs regarding our $1.6 billion roads vulnerability and flood mitigation projects in the future,” said Gastesi. “We hope to gain support from the legislature for our needs.”

• Infrastructure and flood



Updates from Annual Board Retreat

On February 2, 2023, the Key Largo Chamber Board of Directors held its annual retreat. The yearly gathering is the first opportunity for board members to get better acquainted and develop the business plan for the upcoming year. Working closely with Chamber President Elizabeth, Chairman Alonso and Chairman-Elect Henry Menendez led the retreat focusing on the sustainability of the Key Largo Chamber and how we can maintain and improve our marketing efforts for tourism and non-tourism members. The board questioned whether to rebrand the chamber, and the consensus produced missed results. Since we already have a well-known brand, the decision was made not to rebrand but to make fundamental changes to what we currently are doing. Marketing the Key Largo Chamber is critical to not only the organization's success but for our members. What are we doing for you? Current marketing efforts are reasonable; however, there is a need for improvement. We decided it's time to update the website and our social media efforts and improve our emails, newsletter, and advertising. Our events also need to be enhanced. Currently, we host luncheons and members-in-motion networking. We have the 4th of July, and hopefully, we will be able to hold the fireworks again this year. The gala will make a comeback, and the possibility of the cook-off with a significant twist. We were all left with the question: what else can we do? Structural changes are also needed for the Visitor Center. Over the last few months, the number of visitors has risen over the previous few years, which is positive, but more needs to be

done to bring in the tourist. We need to develop partnerships, improve the displays and look into a new electronic sign that people can see when they first enter Key Largo off the Jewfish Creek Bridge. Governance, Finance/Audit, Executive Evaluation, and Real Property are Board Committees. President committees are as follows: Membership – Chair Mellissa Fernandez, Events – Chair Henry Menendez, and Government Relations – Chair Stephanie Russo. Two new e swere also established: Marketing – Chair Michael Rojewski; and Accountability — Chair Captain Spenser Bryan. Also, at the retreat, the board reestablished the committees. So, what are the key takeaways? 1. Research other tourism-area chambers to see what they are doing for their members and to bring in tourism. 2. Put together an RFP to bid on our website, improve our presence

on the internet, and increase our marketing efforts. 3. Get proposals for a new Visitor Center sign. 4. And most importantly, work to determine what our members want from us In the upcoming weeks, a survey will be going out to all our members, and we want to hear back from you. Think about what you want from your chamber. If you want more events, tell us what type. Are you willing to join a committee? If so, what committee? Please keep in mind your chamber is only as good as what you put into it. Membership is about much more than getting referrals. Being an active member is such a remarkable and rewarding experience. The number of resources, networking opportunities, and connections that come with being a member are endless. We give you the tools, but it is up to you to be involved.

We are stronger together!


2023 Members in Motion

Members in Motion February 23, 2023 5:30 to 7:30 PM & 51 Shoreland Drive – Key Largo Join us for an evening of networking and getting to know our members

March 23: Florida Bay Outfitters April 27: Key Largo library May 25: Cruisin Tikis June 22: Playa Largo July 27: Pending Aug. 24: Element Home Loans/ Tav. Business Center

Sept. 28: Oc. 26: Nov. 16: Dec. 21:

Voyage Blue Travel

Cirque Salon

Centennial Bank MarrVelous Pets

$10pp Chamber Members Advance Registration - Advance Registration Closes 2/21/2023 - $15 at the door Non-Chamber Members $25 - For more information call - 305.451.1414

You’re invited…. to a Grand Opening Thursday February 23 4:00 to 7:00 PM Ribbon Cutting 5:30 PM

93997 Overseas Hwy


Delicious Food, Drinks, Live Music, Door Prizes, Games & MORE! Please RSVP https://www.eventbrite.es/e/resf-keys-office-grand-opening-tickets-525840883237



February 2023 For event details visit https://web.keylargochamber.org/events







Key Largo Chamber of Commerce Trustees









9 Social Networking Luncheon @ the Pilot House Lunch & Learn “Digital Marketing” 11:30 AM 16 REEF Fish & Friends: Dolphin Cognition in the Florida Keys 6:15 PM FLA. Keys Wildlife Society Spring Lecture 7:00 PM Grand Opening RESF Keys Office 4:00 PM Members in Motion - Marine Resources Development & Jules Undesea Lodge 5:30 PM Microplastic Danger Event by Marine Lab 7:00 PM Great Decisions Day Key Largo Library 2:00 PM FLA. Keys Wildlife Society Spring Lecture 7:00 PM 2 23







17 Ladies of Simone Seminole Theater 8:00 PM


Wesley House 41st Annual Valentine's Gala!

BOCC Meeting 9:00 AM

Keys Mobile Medical Service - Hormone Therapy: Is it right for you? 10:00 AM Garden Walk 2023 Garden Club of the Upper Keys 10:00 AM



21 Florida Keys Day

22 Florida Keys Day






March 1

3 Full Moon Kayak Excursion 5:00 PM


DAC V 10:00 PM

Seaside Soiree Presented by: The College of the Florida Keys


Six Biggest Small Business Challenges

1. Cash Flow Issues: Money problems in their various forms are top of most lists of company woes, and for small businesses the major worries are clients stalling payments, unexpected outgoings, and outstanding bills that won’t wait to be paid. There are some tried and tested money management tools that can help you to manage cashflow, multi talented apps that can create budgets, calculate VAT, automate bill payments, alert you to unusual outgoings and provide a free credit score. Managing cash flow in a small business is a challenge. Using online invoices and reminders is also a powerful way to persuade reluctant clients to part with money. 2. Tiredness affecting small business owners: It’s tempting to try to do everything if you’re a small business owner, and long hours add pressure. Fatigue, one of the most overlooked small business challenges, can leave you disorganized, forgetful and cranky, not paying as much attention to clients as you should, and making mistakes. Business owners must pace themselves, which includes embracing strategic delegation, something that for any highly motivated individual isn’t an easy ask. Start by identifying business elements that don’t require your expertise, such as

mailing, and take on an assistant, even part-time, to help – after all, it’s an investment that frees you up to do what you do best! You could also consider delegating tasks that are outside your skillset to specialists, such as accountants or legal experts – the results will likely be more professional and can save you endless headaches. 3. Finding and Retaining Profitable Customers: There is a business adage that you need customers with a problem only you can solve, and it’s for you to identify that unique selling point and communicate it clearly to your would-be customers. You can start by researching your customer base and identifying the characteristics of your existing best customers (those with the highest volume of sales, and the most repeat custom). Make sure you integrate into this analysis any costs associated with customers, so you have a clear view of their net value to you. Once you’ve done this you can focus your energies on attracting new clients from your most profitable segment, carefully differentiating your offer to ensure it appeals directly to this type of customer. To understand what customers, want, you can ask for feedback from

current best clients, which also counts as part of your follow-up engagement – another ‘must do’ when you’re looking at keeping valued partners. Find out what forums or other types of social media these customers use, and make sure you’re in there and taking notes. 4. Motivating Employees: Employee buy-in is very important for small businesses, as there tend to be fewer of them and apathy has a greater impact. There’s a real need to understand what employees want (other than a million-pound paycheck), and there are a few possibilities to boost employee engagement for when this isn’t an option. Ensuring employees are happy and productive means communicating clearly, and being approachable. Good companies foster a relaxed atmosphere where staff feel

able to talk to management. Perks like free tea and coffee, free biscuits or fruit, and staff Christmas parties cost relatively little and can really help create a favorable impression. You should also ask for employee feedback on their needs – this is not an option, it’s a must. Too many businesses don’t look at what their employees want, assume everything is fine, then wonder why they have a high staff turnover. Don’t let this common small business problem sneak up on you too. 5. Having Too Many Overheads: Overheads are one of the biggest small business challenges, and excessive overheads have driven many otherwise good companies to the wall. Resolving them involves paying close attention to what customers actually want and providing products



6. Staying Current: Small business owners can be so busy they forget to keep up with what’s current in their sector. It takes so much time just to keep on top of the work that blue-sky thinking can seem an unnecessary burden. Nevertheless, you need to keep up. When you’re scheduling your week, don’t forget to allocate time to track competitors and undertake awareness-raising activities such as reading (or writing) blog posts. Create Google Alerts, use Twitter hashtags to keep up with what’s trending, and mine the wealth of free, and very targeted online information out there on sites like newsnow. If you can schedule

or services sharply tailored to suit. This means working out what customers need and trimming back gold plating or unnecessary services, or elements of products that they won’t use or aren’t interested in. Analyzing your transactions and asking existing customers what they want is helpful. Where you add value, make sure that it doesn’t increase overheads (for example through well judged deals on less-popular products, or other offers that benefit both you and the customer). And don’t forget to ask yourself hard questions, such as whether you need that new car or printer, or whether it’s just for show…

days out to go to sector conferences and exhibitions, the payback in terms of contacts and potential sales can be massive. Research events thoroughly to make sure that their target audience is precisely your target client group. If an event is important, you could also investigate becoming a speaker, positioning yourself as a thought leader among your peers. Small businesses have unique challenges that need to be navigated with intelligence and care. Small business owners do not have the resources available to large corporations, so creativity and ingenuity play a big role. As we have discussed, overcoming

the main small business challenges involves several key actions: • Use software to manage your cashflow and keep money rolling in. • Delegate, automate, and set aside time for yourself. • Target your most profitable customers to maximize your returns. With forethought and tenacity, there’s no issue that can’t be overcome. As a small business entrepreneur you already have these skills in abundance, and applying them to boost your business should come naturally. • Work hard to create employee satisfaction Ruthlessly cut back your overheads •


Roberto Alonso 2023 Chairman of the Board of Directors Borland & Associates Your Chamber Board of Directors

Angie Alvarez (2022-2024) First Term

Henry Quintana (2022–2024) First Term Henry Quintana Realty, Inc – Owner/Operator Michael Rojewski (2023–2025) First Term Rojewski & Rebl Group Stephanie A. Russo (2023-2025) Second Term Attorney and Mediator

Centennial Bank – Branch Manager

Manuel Alvarez (2022-2024) First term Verdeja, De Armas & Trujillo, LLP – CPA Spenser Bryan (2023–2025) First Term Captain, Monroe County Sheriff Office Kristine Cox (2023-2025) Second Term Playa Largo Resort & Spa - General Manager

Ruth Schrader-Grace (2022-2024) Third Term Keys Core Fitness- Owner/Operator Spencer Slate (2022 - 2024) last term Captain Slate’s Scuba Adventures - Owner/Operator Blaine Vernicek (2023 - 2025) Third Term The Structure Group – Manager

Kevin Donlan (2022-2024) First Term Publix Supermarkets, Inc - District Director

Melissa Fernandez (2023-2025) Third Term J.A. LaRocco Enterprise/All Keys Concrete, Sales Henry Menendez (2022-2024) Second Term Chairman Elect HNO Productions Inc.- Owner/Operator

Rhonda Whitfield (2022-2024) First Term Baker's Cay Resort Key Largo Sales Director

10 FEBRUARY 2023

January Luncheon Happenings

It was nice to see everyone at the start of the new year!

Guest Speaker Theresa Gavin Yong.

Great turn out! We love our members.

New Member Effectv.

A selfie by Nola.

Next Luncheon on March 9

Montel Law The Arcia Law Firm Key Largo Kleaners Sara’s Flowers Largo Save Coin Laundry LookWho Joined in January

The March luncheon will be called to order as an official meeting to change the Chamber Bylaws. The bylaws change is a motion to amend the Key Largo Chamber Bylaws Article IV – Board Meetings – Section 4 quorum. Change from: Except as may otherwise be provided for in the Articles of Incorporation as may be amended or these Bylaws, a simple majority (i.e., 50% plus 1) of the Board members then in office shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. Change to: 33% of Board Members present shall constitute a quorum if more than a week's notice of the agenda and meeting has been provided; if proper advance notice is not provided, 50% plus 1 constitutes a quorum. Plus, Chamber 101 – “Understanding your Chamber Benefits” Join Jessica and Michael for a lunch and learn, as they go over your Chamber benefits, and how you can take full advantage of them?

FEBRUARY 2023 11

Earn up to $500 in Residential Rebates

Florida Keys Electric Co-op members can obtain rebates (up to $500 maximum per member per calendar year) for completing qualifying, energy-efficient upgrades and improvements at their homes. We hope this program encourages FKEC members to invest in decreasing their energy consumption to benefit the environment. AVAILABLE REBATES • Central A/C Rebate (30% up to $500 – SEER 16 or more) • Ductless Mini Split A/C Rebate (30% up to $400 – SEER 18 or more) • Room A/C Rebate (30% up to $100– EER 10.5 or more) • Window Replacement Rebate (10% of replacement cost or up to $500) • Insulation Rebate (30% up to $300) • Window Film or Solar Screen Rebate (100% up to $200) • Caulk/Weather-stripping Rebate (100% up to $100) • Cool/Reflective Roof Coating Rebate ($25 per 5 gallon bucket)

For a complete list of rebate rules, steps and forms visit www.FKEC.com or call 305-852-2431

Payable with your monthly electric bill Interested in Solar? Finance with FKEC! Learn more at www.FKEC.com or call 305-852-2431

12 FEBRUARY 2023

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