2023 March Legend

Monthly Newsletter

Legend MARCH 2023 Vol. 25 No. 289 Official Newsletter

CEO Report: Aiming For Sustainability

A lot has been written elsewhere about the function of teams and the better practices of non-profits, but that will not be our purpose in this little piece. We aim for sustainability because we are committed to our Chamber's vision to make better outcomes possible for our members and enrich and beautify the community that nurtures us. Everything we do at the Chamber needs to concentrate on accomplishing and forwarding this vision, and herein lies the issue of sustainability. When I look at our financials in preparation for our Board of Directors meeting every month, what catches my eye is how we grow our sources of revenue or profit centers (whichever terminology you prefer). Here is the truth, if you are not increasing your source or sources of revenue and creating additional income opportunities for the organization, which raises the success ratio of your sustainability proposition, you are

going backward and getting farther away from achieving delivering on your vision to your members, and the community at large. By being stagnant and delaying the implementation of the appropriate action plans, the organization betrays its mission and the desired result of delivering on the vision and the purpose of the entity and thus fails its constituency. We at the Key Largo Chamber of Commerce are committed to delivering excellence in every way every day to our members and our community. To this end, we have achieved the immense talents and expertise of an extraordinarily gifted and experienced group of volunteers. We now have a well-balanced representative group of entrepreneurs and professionals, highly successful in their fields, and we are all working towards increasing the value proposition of your membership. Expect greatness from your Chamber.

Roberto I. Alonso Chairman of the Board

Key Largo Chamber of Commerce

In This Issue Members In Motion PAGE 2 • RESF Real Estate Ribbon Cutting PAGE 3 • Dive Into Art & Music PAGE 4 What to Consider When Buying a House PAGE 5 • Events Calendar PAGE 7 • 2023 Travel Trends PAGE 8 Insurance Scores PAGE 9 • Luncheon Happenings PAGE 11


Members In Motion! Thank you Marine Resource Development Foundation and Key Largo Undersea Park for hosting our February networking event.

Beautiful photo by David Hartman.

Glenn Wright and Jill Kuehnert from Lucky Fish Scuba.

Jill from Lucky Fish Scuba and Lisa from the History of Dive Museum.

Great set up at Marine Lab.

Fantastic crowd. Is that Michael behind those shades?

Inside the underwater lab. Photo courtesy of David Hartman.

David Hartman getting some Marine Lab Education.

Would you be willing to get into this lab?

And that's a wrap!


MARCH 2023

In February we celebrated the grand opening of RESF Real Estate's new water front office located at 93997 Overseas Hwy. Celebrating RESF Real Estate

Join Us In Congratulating Lori Bailey

First State Bank is proud to announce the promotion of Lori Bailey to Senior Vice President.

Lori has been an integral part of our team since 2006, providing commercial and residential lending services to

our customers in the Upper and Middle Keys. Her strong work ethic, positive attitude, and commitment to her customers and her co-workers are unparalleled. Congratulations Lori!

Lori Bailey Senior Vice President Market Lending Leader 305-809-5510 LoriB@KeysBank.com NMLS: 812459

97670 Overseas Hwy • 305-852-2070 & 101433 Overseas Hwy • 305-451-3033 KeysBank.com

Member FDIC

Equal Housing Lender

MARCH 2023 3

Jerry Garcia Foundation Contributes Artwork to History of Diving Museum

The History of Diving Museum hosts “Dive Into Art & Music” on March 31. Join the museum under the stars at Safe Harbor Angler House in Islamorada from 5:30-9:00 pm to celebrate Jerry Garcia's love of diving and protecting our oceans. The Jerry Garcia Foundation donated limited-edition museum quality giclees of his art to the History of Diving Museum. A JGF Edition Certificate of Authenticity is included with each piece of fine art, each hand-signed by Jerry's daughter, Keelin, and his wife, Manasha. We will be offering these fine art pieces for sale at the event. Enjoy dancing to live music featuring Waynard Scheller and Rainbow Full of Sound, which will provide a special musical tribute experience with many of Jerry Garcia’s favorite tunes. The opening performance will feature the Schells & Vine Trio, with special music set by guests Tony Saunders and Jair-Rohm Parker Wells. Dead fans will also be treated to treated to a special appearance by Peter Agelasto, Jerry Garcia Archivist. Seating will be limited, with several options available: Poolside access, dinner by Mona’s Reggae Catering, and admission to the History of Diving Museum is $100 per person. For $3,000, you will receive your very own signed giclee, VIP reserved seating, dinner for four, poolside access, and a family pass to the History of Diving Museum. There will be a limited number of general admission tickets divingmuseum.org/events-calendar. The event will be held, rain or shine, and if unable to attend, you can view remaining art available for purchase at the museum. The History of Diving Museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit located in Islamorada (MM83). Divers and non-divers alike are amazed by over 4,000 years of “the quest to explore under the sea.” The Museum has 14 core exhibits plus two annual limited-time Featured Exhibits as well as a Museum Store with unique gifts. Check out DivingMuseum.org for more details, to become a member, or shop online. available at $35 per person. Purchase tickets on-line: at


MARCH 2023

What to Think About When Buying a House (by Age)

Baby Boomers: Most baby boomers are nearing retirement, and you're likely looking for a house because you want to downsize or move closer to those adorable grandbabies. You've got a huge advantage in the housing market because you've had a lifetime to build up equity in your current house. You can use that equity wisely by selling your existing home, then paying cash for something smaller. Think carefully about how you plan to pay for your new home. After all, you don't want your mortgage to take up too much of your income or keep you from retiring. Generation X: You're about halfway through your career, the kids are growing up and heading off to college or trade school, and it feels like the right time to move. The best part is that you've got 10–20 years left

When you are ready to buy a home, always work with a qualified realtor, mortgage loan officer and title closing expert. Visit keylargochamber.org to review all our skilled members. No matter how old you are, it is always recommended you save at least a 10–20% down payment (5% for first-time home buyers), keep your monthly payment to no more than 25% of your take-home pay, and only get a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage. But let's face it; life changes as you go. One day, you're young and carefree. The next, you're cruising in a minivan singing "Baby Shark." Followed by the day you're at your own retirement party. Let's consider what affording a house looks like for your generation and how you can use your life situation to your advantage.

money and save for a home. That earning power is a huge advantage, but remember, it doesn't mean you must buy right now. Don't rush into a purchase you feel pressured to make. First, take control of your money then you'll be able to afford a house. Generation Z: Your most significant advantage is that you've got loads of time. Your whole life is still ahead of you, which is why you probably shouldn't buy just yet. It's smart to wait until you have a good idea of where your career, spouse, and passions might take you.

in the workforce, so you can comfortably pay off a 15-year mortgage just in time for retirement! The trick here is to ensure your new home doesn't put your financial future at risk. Make sure you still put yourself in a good position to retire in a few years without risking the kids' college funds. Millennials: Millennials are building their careers and families. You may feel like you'll only be able to afford a house after you're done paying for groceries and diapers. But you can. Your generation is now the backbone of the American workforce, so you have tons of opportunities to earn

A Monroe County Building Department Investigator cited an unlicensed asphalt paver who paved a business driveway without the owner’s permission and demanded payment from the company with a bogus contract. The county investigator gave the asphalt company a $1,500 fine. “The public needs to know that there are people out there who will try and extort money out of unsuspecting customers,” said Monroe County Building Official Rick Griffin. Monroe County requires all property owners or licensed contractors to pull a permit for things like paving and asphalt. If you feel you are being targeted by an unlicensed contractor in unincorporated Monroe County, call 305-289-2516.

Asphalt Scam

MARCH 2023 5

Members in Motion March 23, 2023 5:30 to 7:30PM Join us for a Key Largo Sunset and a fabulous evening of networking and getting to know other members

ϭϬϰϬϱϬ KǀĞƌƐĞĂƐ ,ŝŐŚǁĂLJ $10pp Chamber Members Advance Registration - Advance Registration Closes 3/21/2023 - $15 at the door Non-Chamber Members $25 – Register online @ www.web.keylargochamber.org/events For more information call - 305.451.1414


MARCH 2023

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







Key Largo Chamber of Commerce Trustees











11 Habitat for Humanity 20th Annual Cocktail Party 6:30 PM

Sip & Shop Anthony’s 5:00 PM

Chamber Social Networking Luncheon Pilot House 11:30 AM








Plant Sale Civic Center 5:00 PM Survival of Coral Reefs 6:00 PM

Community Resource Fair 11:00 AM

Florida Keys Wildlife Society Lecture Series 7:00 PM





23 Members in Motion Florida Bay Outfitters 5:30 PM


25 Raise the Reef Gala 5:00 PM

BOCC Meeting 9:00 AM Murray Nelson







Florida Keys Wildlife Society Lecture Series 7:00 PM

Dive into Art 5:30 PM Yacht Rock Party 6:00 PM

TDC Meeting 10:00 AM

MARCH 2023 7

2023 Travel Trends: What’s Changing?

The Spotlight is on Local Communities:

More Opportunities to Switch Off: It’s hard to truly disconnect when you’re living in the digital age. But hotels are now focused on providing people a way to unplug from their devices. Tranquil rooms with hammocks and cabanas allow guests to escape the noise and distractions of their daily lives. To keep up with travel and hospitality trends, other hotels are adding extra chill-out zones on site with the editions of libraries, meditation rooms, and even nap pods where visitors can go somewhere quiet to take a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of life. Sustainability is Here to Stay: As the world continues to become more conscious about the state of Mother Nature – travel businesses will need to comply to stay relevant. Hotels and tour operators are taking big steps to be 100% sustainable. Although the hotel industry has slowly embraced sustainability, there’s been a noticeable shift to more eco-friendly designs. Naturally, sustainability goes hand in-hand with more locally created amenities and activities. From hotels incorporating more local products

into guestrooms and restaurants, to tour operators ensuring their tours are environmentally friendly and creating jobs for local communities. In addition, energy is a hot topic and is likely to influence travel-related businesses to pay more attention to their energy consumption – with an attempt to reduce carbon footprints through LED lighting and solar panels. Embracing Technology: While it may come as no surprise, tech plays a central role in the global travel forecast – particularly for business travel. This may be one of the most obvious when it comes to travel trends 2023, but digitalization is everything these days. According to a new report from Egencia, 96% of travelers say they value disruption management technology – and 74% say they’re more likely to use digital tools to address travel disruptions. Thankfully, we’re in an era where travelers spend less time waiting in airport lines, thanks to biometric technologies. And trip disruption technology means that travel companies can send real-time trip updates to traveler’s mobile devices. Even getting healthcare while abroad

Tourists of today are seeking experiences – particularly local (sustainable) ones. They want to have an authentic stay in a destination – including eating local food and interacting with locals. As far as travel trends 2023 go – we’re likely to see hoteliers and travel businesses alike focus more on local and transform their offerings to suit that need. By leveraging the local culture and community, businesses will be able to create a distinct identity, and engage the new generation of travelers. Family Friendly Travel is Important: The future of hospitality is all about family. Families are traveling together more than ever before. This means accommodations (and service offerings) should be geared towards multi-generational and mixed-aged travelers. Families who travel together will naturally give preference to kid friendly (and pet-friendly) restaurants and places to stay. That means they’ll also be looking for furnishings, amenities, and offerings that meet these requirements.


MARCH 2023

is simpler thanks to platforms like Air Doctor, which connect travelers who need medical assistance to local doctors who speak their language all through an easy-to-use app. Technology has evolved beyond airports and train stations to make travel easier. And just as much as some travelers want to unplug – there are others who seek and expect the convenience of staying connected. While the worst of the pandemic seems to be behind us, the business travel landscape is still experiencing a bit of a slowdown. Although it’s expected to recover fully, other aspects like political tensions and trade issues also contribute to its slower growth. In addition, practices like video conferences and other remote alternatives are likely to stick, which means avoiding unnecessary travel – as well as the expenditure that comes with it – will still impact business tourism. . . but this next trend will be a game changer. The Rise of Bleisure Travel - Who said you can’t mix business with pleasure? As far as travel trends 2023 go, bleisure travel – trips that combine business and leisure – is proving to be a significant outcome of the demographic shift in corporate travel. This is in part thanks to the younger workforce. Even though 92% of companies suspended business travel during the early stages of the pandemic, pre pandemic figures suggested 90% of millennial business travelers coupled their business trips with leisure activities. And they’re willing to extend their stays to do so. Business Travel is Still Playing Catch Up:

Insurance Score What is an insurance score and how it is calculated?

An insurance score is calculated by insurance companies based on information in your credit report and your claims history. It can have a big effect on your insurance rates. Did you know that your credit can affect your insurance rates, and an insurance credit score isn't quite the same thing as the credit score that's involved in getting a loan. Credit is one of the many pieces of information about you that insurance companies use to calculate your rates. Although it's illegal in a few states, in most places you can expect that an insurance score is impacting what you pay for insurance. Below explains what an insurance score is, how it differs from your FICO score, and how it impacts rates. What is an insurance score? An insurance score is calculated using some information found in your credit history. Statistically, some pieces of credit information relate to the likelihood that you will file a claim. Insurance companies use a calculation based on those statistically significant credit factors to create an insurance score. It's a credit score that's designed specifically for insurance companies.

When you apply for auto insurance or home insurance, your insurance score will be factored into your rates. Similar to how your credit score will impact the kind of interest rate you get a loan; your insurance score will impact how much you are charged in premiums. What's the difference between an insurance score and a credit score? An insurance score and credit score are alike, or at least connected, in some ways. If you have a high or low credit score, that can affect your insurance score. Both scores use information that is taken from your credit report to determine the risk you represent. It's also known as a credit-based insurance score. The main difference between a credit score and an insurance score is the type of information that is used. When an insurance company runs your insurance score, it's not the same as having a credit check done for a loan. It doesn't affect your credit score or appear on your credit history. While a credit score can be the sole reason for being denied a loan, insurance companies can't use a credit-based insurance score as the sole reason to turn you down for coverage.

Source: www.airdoctor.com

MARCH 2023 9

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

MembersWho Joined in February

Harbor Management Services 305-246-5867 www.harborms.com

Everglades Outpost Wildlife Sanctuary Martha Frassica-Rivera 305-247-8000 www.evergladesoutpost.org

10 MARCH 2023

February Luncheon Happenings

Upper Keys Business and Professional Womens Club's Suzie Youngberg, Cathy Brewer, and Jill Kuehnert.

State Attorney Dennis Ward with Nichole Jenkins and Lori Bailey from First State Bank of the Florida Keys.

Chair Elect Henry Menendaz and his lovely wife, Julie.

Board Director Captain Spenser Bryant and Michael Kane from the Chamber.

Chamber Director Michael Rojewski and Claire Montang Element Home Loan.

New Member Sara's Flowers.

New Member Time Out Magazine.

David Hartman, Fantastic Endeavors; Courtney Dorchak, Keys to Nutrition; and Bill Doxey, SouthState Bank. Karrissa and guest Speaker Clinton Barras from Two Oceans Digital.

New Member The Florida Villager.

Everglades Miami Connection New Member The Arcia Law Firm.

MARCH 2023 11


• SmartHub Online Account Management & Usage Tracking • Residential Rebates • Solar Loans • Solar Net Metering FKEC Offers...

• Standby Generator Loans • Meter Surge Protection • Live Outage Map

www.FKEC.com • 305-852-2431

Food For Thought: Upcoming Chamber Luncheon Speakers Thursday, April 13 Guest Speaker: VietnamWar Veteran & Purple Heart Recipient John Donnelly Thursday, May 11 Guest Speaker: Deborah Koch from America Red Cross

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