September Legend

September 2021 Vol. 23 No. 271

Remembering Our Members This month we dedicate the Legend to remembering the inspiring and dedicated Key Largo Chamber members we have sadly lost over the last nine months.

Rob Mitchell Former board member and friend to many, Rob was a filmmaker and fashion photographer who gave up his career to become a professional dive instructor. In 2008, Rob opened Keys Divers. Rob made it his mission to help protect the oceans for generations to come. Rob served on the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary's Advisory Council and worked

Ron Cole Captain Ron Cole was a colorful Keys character, well known for his passion for the Great Seal of the United States and our country's founding. He frequented many community celebrations with his displays of the Great Seal. Ron was a United States Navy Aviator and later worked as a pilot for Eastern and United Airlines. He was also a founding member of Keys to Peace and served several roles at the American Legion Post 333, Key Largo.

Angela Wittke Angie, as she was best known, relocated to the Florida Keys in 1986. She spent two years traveling up and down the island chain with the Boy Scouts, teaching boys from around the country to snorkel. She worked at a few restaurant locations before applying for a job at Mrs. Macs's. In 1987, when the owner of Mrs.'s Macs decided to sell, Angie stepped in, and the rest is history. Angie was a terrific woman who cared deeply for others and this community.

Commissioner Mike Forster Mike Forster moved to the Florida Keys in 1990 and is well known as the owner and operator of Mangrove Mike's Cafe and Catering. Mike was a passionate person who volunteered wholeheartedly, helping countless people in and outside of this community. Mike also served many years on the Islamorada Village Council, and in 2020 he was elected to the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners representing Key Largo.

with Key Largo's Coral Restoration Foundation.

In This Issue Luncheon Happenings PAGE 2 • Rescue 911 Remembrance PAGE 4 • 2022 Visitors Guide PAGE 5 Vaccination Event PAGE 6 • Calendar PAGE 7 • Protect Against Delta Outbreak PAGE 8 • SBA: Get More Funding PAGE 11 Student Contest PAGE 12 • BPW Scholarship PAGE 13


Chamber Luncheons Happenings Thank you to everyone who attended our August luncheon at Playa Largo Resort & Spa.

New Member Stephanie Russo Attorney and Mediator.

New Member Coastal Angler Magazine-Flori- da Keys Region.

New Member Coastal Waters Revitalization Inc.

New Member Doc on the Rock Dr Morrison.

New Member Henry Quintana Realty, Inc.

New Members Upper Key Republican Club.

Chamber Vice President Eileen Eadie and Bob Stuart.

State Attonery Dennis Ward and Incoming Chairman Roberto Alonso.


Guest Speaker Leah Stockton of United Way of Collier and the Keys (UWCK).

Maria Jones Florida Keys Electric Co-op/UWCK with Jessica from United Way of Collier and the Keys

Clark Boggs of the Florida Keys Wildlife Society.

The 4th of July Parade Float Winners!

Manage Your Business Account Anytime, Anywhere

• Deposit Checks • Check Balances • View Statements • Transfer Funds • Pay Bills • Manage Your Debit Card

Get the KeysBank Mobile App today!

Standard phone, data, and messaging rates apply. Check with your mobile phone carrier for details. App store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Apple and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc, registered in the U.S. and other countries. Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google LLC. First State Bank of the Florida Keys. Member FDIC.


Monroe County Fire Rescue to Remember Those Lost on Sept. 11

September 11 marks the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks against the United States, which claimed the lives of 2,996 people and injured more than 6,000 others at the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon, and United Airlines Flight 93 in Pennsylvania. On Sept. 11, 2001, in addition to law enforcement officers, medical service providers, and other public servants, 343 firefighters made the ultimate sacrifice to help others. “Let us never forget the bold and brave actions of all the men and women who commit to public service above personal safety, especially on Sept. 11,” said Chief Steve Hudson. Monroe County Fire Rescue invites the public to join (please wear a mask or observe from a car or a safe distance) at any Monroe County Fire Rescue stations on Saturday, Sept. 11 to reflect on the lives lost. The observance will also be hosted live on Monroe County Fire Rescue’s Facebook page at www. • 09:50 a.m. – Primary apparatus brought out of the station bay. • 09:59 – Time of the South Tower WTC collapse, sound apparatus air horn in three sets of five blasts followed by one minute of silence. • 10:00 – Station flag lowered to half- mast. • 10:00 to 10:28 – Time for personal remembrance and reflection. • 10:28 – Time of the North Tower WTC collapse, sound apparatus air horn in three sets of five blasts followed by one minute of silence. • 10:29 – Flag raised. • 10:30 – Return apparatus to station and resume normal duties

Monroe County Fire Rescue Station 13 servicing Big Pine Key lowered the flag to half staff in remembrance of Sept. 11 at last year’s ceremony.

During the remembrance, normal emergency response actions will be observed. Monroe County Fire Rescue stations can be found at the following locations: • Station 8 - Stock Island, 5655 MacDonald Avenue, MM 5Station 9 - Big Coppitt, 28 Emerald Drive, MM 10 • Station 10 – Sugarloaf, 17175 Overseas Highway, MM 17

• Station 11 – Cudjoe, 22352 Overseas Highway, MM 20 • Station 13 - Big Pine Key, 390 Key Deer Boulevard, MM 30.5 • Station 17 - Conch Key, 10 S Conch Avenue, MM 63 • Station 18 – Layton, 68260 Overseas Highway, MM 68.5 • Station 22 – Tavernier, 151 Marine Avenue, MM 92


The 2022 Visitor Guide is in development and will be on the streets in January! Over 50,000 copies are disbursed and downloaded each year, with an average of 55% printed going out of the market. We distributed the guide by direct request from potential visitors by mail and at visitor information centers throughout the Keys and disseminated it to locals in the Key Largo market. We designed the Key Largo Chamber of Commerce Visitors Guide to influence travelers researching and planning a trip and inform visitors and residents already in the area. We publish in print once a year, and many view it on our website throughout the year. The Visitors Guide presents the latest information on things to do and places to dine, shop, and stay in the area. Get Directly in the Hands of Visitors Be seen by visitors planning their trip to Key Largo and those already here. Currently, we are seeking Chamber Members who would like to sponsor the guide by advertising in it. If you want to stand out in our members-only publication, please reach out to Eileen at or call 305-451-1414. Make Sure Your Information is Current The Visitors Guide is one of the great benefits of being a Chamber member. Each year you receive a placement in the business directory, so please be sure your information is current. You can update your listing by going to the members portal at www.KeyLargoChamber, click on "Member Login" in the upper right-hand corner. If you don't recall your user name or password, call the Chamber at 305-451-1414 or click "login in for information." Fill in your email, and an automated email request will go to the Chamber. If you are having trouble and need assistance with updating your information, give us a call. Coming Soon: 2022 Official Key Largo Chamber Visitor Guide


Florida Keys, Home to 6,000 Patch Reefs

Just Add Water

A Slice of Key Largo History

Sanctuaries, Parks and Refuges Surrounding Key Largo and The Florida Keys

Tips to Protect Yourself from Illegal Vacation Rentals & Scams Come to Key Largo and the Fabulous Florida Keys Cover Photo — Meet Nada Khalaf-Jones our Featured Photographer









The deadline for advertising is October 31, deadline to update your information is November 15.




Due to health concerns from some of our members, the Key Largo Chamber has suspended all networking events in September. We hope to restart the events in October. In October, we are working with a venue to host our membership luncheon, and we already have the Members in Motion scheduled at Cirque Salon to celebrate their third anniversary. The luncheon will be on the second Thursday of October, and Members in Motion will be on the last Thursday. September Networking Events Canceled At the October luncheon, we will announce the Board of Directors candidates. Each candidate will have the opportunity to speak, and those members wishing to self-nominate for our board will also have the chance to speak. Please be aware that attendance capacity at upcoming networking events will be limited. No walk-in guests will be permitted, and it will be organized NOT to promote the spread of COVID- 19. Registration and complete payment must be in advance. Also, due to capacity restrictions, we will not give credit to people who reserve and pay but do not attend. Thank you for supporting our schedule changes while we work to protect everyone's health safety.

There is no registration required, however, help ensure there are the correct amount of booster shots available by registering. To register go to Click on the events tab >> Scroll down to the date>> click and register.

If you have any issues, please give us a call at 305-451-1414.


September 2021 For event details visit











For more information check out our event calendar












16 KLCOC Government Affairs Committee 12:30 PM 23 KLCOC Board of Directors Meeting 12:00 PM League of Women Voters Constitution Essay Winners Announced

17 KLCOC Governance Committee 3:00 PM


Monroe County BOCC 9:00 AM Immerse Yourself Keys Underwater Archaeology 7:00 PM

TDC Meeting 10:00 AM

League of Women Voters Constitution Essay Contest ends 11:59 PM












Save The Date 10/14 Members Luncheon 10/28 Members in Motion

Key Largo Chamber of Commerce Trustees


Protect Your Business from a Delta Outbreak

The best way to protect your business from a COVID-19 Delta outbreak is by being proactive. Given what we know about the Delta variant, you can safeguard your business and take action to ensure you are doing everything possible to diminish possible outbreaks. Actions include: Inspire employees to get the vaccine. The Delta variant triggers more severe side effects among the unvaccinated population. Encouraging people who are authorized to get the vaccine can assist in protecting their health, as well as those who may be at risk or are unable to get the vaccine. Employees who feel sick should stay at home . People who are unvaccinated and were exposed to COVID-19 or come in close contact with someone infected need to quarantine for 10 to 14 days. Those who are vaccinated and come into close contact with someone with

suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should get themselves tested 3-5 days after exposure. They should also wear a face mask indoors for two weeks until they receive a negative test result. Ask customers and staff to wear a mask. Wearing masks indoors does help to prevent transmission. Encouraging masks in the workplace can provide more excellent protection for yourself, your employees, and customers. Having a hygiene station when entering a building can be an effective way to promote a clean setting. For example, offering face masks for those without, hand sanitizer to reduce bacteria, and thermometers to ensure no one on-site is unknowingly running a fever. Disinfect all touch surfaces. Regularly cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces will help decrease the probability of the virus spreading

in your facility. These surfaces will vary but usually include: • Handrails • Tables • Counters • Light switches • Doorknobs • Faucet handles • Refrigerator door handles • Shared computer keyboards or touch screens • Work tools that may get transferred from person to person • Surfaces that customers come into contact with, for example, gym equipment, furniture, tables, chairs, door knobs, etc. By forming and keeping open communications and policies, you can motivate your employees to make decisions that affect those they work with and serve wisely.


Please follow/Like/Subscribe to our Social Media outlets and join us in promoting Key Largo and The Florida Keys... Let’s Stay Connected





Have Something to Share? The Legend is a great way to connect with your fellow members, and share tips, tricks, or motivation. We want to hear from you! If you have a story or an article to share, we are always looking for items to publish in this monthly newsletter. Please send the content in a Word document and attach any pictures you may have in the email (not in Word) to

Beware of Utility Scams!

Florida Keys Electric Cooperative warns member-consumers to beware of scammers. If you receive a suspicious call threatening to disconnect your electricity if payment is not given immediately, hangup and call (305) 852-2431 to ensure you are talking to a FKEC representative. Rremember you can ONLY pay your FKEC utility bill over the phone by calling FKEC’s secure phone payment

number 1-855-385-9912. If you are given a different number to call, or if the thief asks for your payment information over the phone it is a SCAM! FKEC is working with co-op members and law enforcement to prevent these scams, but the best defense is to be alert and informed. Please help ensure no one falls victim to these scammers by warning your friends and family. Learn more at



SBA: How to Get More Funding If your business is up and running but needs more capital, you can rely on familiar options. However, funding an existing business still requires slightly different preparation. process you’d go through if you were planning to sell your business. Valuation methods vary, but you can do a self-evaluation or seek out a qualified business appraiser. structure will determine your options. Remember, whenever you sell ownership in your company, you dilute the ownership of current owners. An LLC or a partnership can

Prepare to request more funding: Anyone who gives you funds wants to feel confident that their investment will pay off. Prepare a business case and financial statements to convince lenders, Crowdfunder’s, or investors to fund your small business. Make your business case: You’ll need to make a solid business case for more funding. Produce a short statement with the total requested amount and specific reasons for it. Maybe your business is cyclical— like construction or education — and could use funding to get through expected slow periods. Or maybe it needs capital to invest in new machinery or launch a product line. Whatever the reason, update your business plan to include this stage of funding. A business case should give assurances that new funds won’t be mismanaged. Include descriptions of your management team to highlight their skills and expertise. Prepare financial statements: Display that your business is doing well with financial history statements and show growth by reporting revenue, expenses, and profit over time. If you don’t have a history of positive growth, explain why more funding will allow you to turn it around. Prove you’re financially responsible with a business credit report. If you’ve already applied for a DUNS number, you can get a business credit report from Dun & Bradstreet. Review your business credit file to make sure it’s accurate before sharing it. Determine how much your company is worth today by performing a business valuation. This is the same

Show how your business will grow in the future with a forecast. Your business forecast can be based on intuitive judgement, quantitative analysis, or both. Show your projected revenue and expenses, and clearly explain how you arrived at those estimations. Connect with a local SBA resource center: If you need help preparing your business to get more funding, meet with local experts, counselors, and business mentors at a local SBA resource center. Choose your funding source, Get loans, credit, or crowdfunding: Additional funding options for existing business are similar to funding options for a new business. You’ll have the same general set of options, which include small business loans, credit cards, and crowdfunding. Existing businesses have the advantage of an established financial history with credit reports, business bank accounts, and internal financial reports. Lenders, investors, and even crowdfunders can use that information when they decide whether to fund your business. Sell ownership in your company: If you decide to sell an ownership stake of your company, your business

accept new members and give them a percentage of ownership in exchange for a capital investment. Just make sure you comply with your articles of organization and operating or partnership agreements. Then notify your state as necessary. Some states may require your LLC to be dissolved and re-formed with new membership. Corporations can sell shares of the company, so long as it’s done in compliance with your articles of incorporation and bylaws. Again, notify your state if necessary. Use Lender Match to find lenders who offer SBA-guaranteed loans: If you have trouble getting a traditional business loan, look into SBA- guaranteed loans. When a bank thinks your business is too risky to lend money, the SBA may guarantee your loan — that way the bank has less risk and could be more willing. Use Lender Match to find lenders who offer SBA-guaranteed loans: programs/loans/lender-match Need help? Get free business counseling, visit the website for more information: offices/district/fl/miami.




Scholarship Program for Adult Women Accepting Applications for Fall

This fall, scholarship funding is being offered to adult women in the Upper Keys for certifications, training courses, or classes, and required materials for higher educational degrees. Applications due by September 15 The Adult Women Scholarship program, sponsored by the Upper Keys Business and Professional Women (BPW) in partnership with the Holly Given Fund, grants individual scholarships of up to $1,500 to successful applicants. The deadline to apply for the 2021 fall season is September 15. Applicants need not be members of Upper Keys BPW, but must have at least five years of post-high school work experience and have resided in the Florida Keys for at least three years. “Working women in our community face many challenges as they seek to advance their careers and pursue their passions,” said Suzi Youngberg, Upper Keys BPW President. “Our scholarship program helps to remove some of the financial barriers for these women so they can more easily reach their personal and professional goals.” The BPW scholarship program accepts applications and makes awards twice each year, in the Spring and Fall. The Spring 2021 winners were: Jackie Patterson, for taking courses on how to teach reading strategies to struggling upper elementary and middle school students. Lauren Sanchez, who is enrolled in the Miami-Dade College and Nova Southeastern University Master of Health Science and Bachelor of Applied Science with a concentration in Physician Assistant Studies program.

Spring 2021 Scholarship Committee and Award Winners (from left) BPW President Suzi Young- berg, BPW Scholarship Committee Chair Jennifer Cappadona, Scholarship Winner Chelsea Trawick, Scholarship Winner Jackie Patterson, Holly Given Fund Representative Annie Hagen, and BPW Board Member Gina Boilini.

Chelsea Trawick, who is pursuing a Master of Science in Applied Nutrition through the University of New England Online. “The BPW Adult Women Scholarship program is made possible by the support of our members, event sponsors and the local community,” said Jennifer Cappadona, Scholarship Committee Chair. “It is through their ongoing generosity that we are able to raise these scholarship funds every year and provide much-needed financial support to our local working women.” To Learn More or Apply: To learn more about requirements and download the 2021 application, please visit www.UpperKeysBPW.

org/scholarship-application. Questions or comments can be sent to Completed applications are due by September 15. For more than 50 years, the BPW has been empowering women in the Upper Keys to achieve their full potential through a range of monthly meetings and programs, including awarding of scholarships for education and career advancement. With close to 100 members, the Upper Keys BPW is the largest local organization within BPW/Florida. For more information on programs and monthly meetings, please visit or find us on Facebook @upperkeysbpw.


Dennis Caltagirone (2020 – 2022) Chairman Art By Lee 2020 Board of Directors

Roberto Alonso (2020 - 2022) Chairman Elect Borland & Associates Mark Charles (2020 - 2022) Immediate Past Chairman Bungalows Key Largo

Enrique“Henry”Menendez (2020 - 2022) HNO Productions Inc.

Wil Peña (2020 – 2022) Financial Planning Consultant

Stephanie A. Russo (2021 - 2023) Russo Law Office & Sealutions Mediation Company Ruth Schrader-Grace (2020 - 2022) Treasurer Keys Core Fitness

Ilja Chapman (2021 - 2023) Voyage Blue Travel

Kristine Cox (2021 - 2023) Playa Largo Resort & Spa

Spencer Slate (2020 - 2022) Captain Slate’s Scuba Adventures

Don Fanelli (2020 - 2022) Monroe County Sheriff’s Office

Blaine Vernicek (2021 - 2023) The Structure Group

Melissa Fernandez (2021 - 2023) J.A. LaRocco Enterprise Inc & All Keys Concrete, LLC

We are stronger together!




As a Sponsor, your business will be featured on the 'Big Screen' Scoreboard Every weekend from Mid December through Mid January, Sponsors endless loop will scroll for 15 minutes at 11AM, 1PM, 3PM, and 5PM Saturday and Sunday for patrons and park visitors to see. Additionally, you will be published on the event t - shirt. Sponsorship is $ 250. Contact Kelli at 305-923-9427 to secure your sponsorship by 15 October 2021.

IS PROUD TO JOIN THE KEY LARGO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE! Founded in 1988, Golden Sands is a national general contractor serving 36 states. We are proud to serve the commercial general contracting needs of the nation’s largest financial institutions, commercial office buildings, corporate interiors, national retailers, one of the Southeast’s primary sports venues, and a steadily growing list of prestigious clients, including Fortune 500 companies, leading U.S. nuclear power utilities and the U.S. Navy. We look forward to continuing to serve the Florida Keys!

Host a Key Largo Chamber Members in Motion

Tips for a successful event

The Host Provides:  Event Facility  Hors d’oeuvres & beverages (expect 50+ attendees)  We encourage the host to provide door prizes  Table for registration and sign in  We inspire you to be creative with your décor, offer tours of your business and make your Members In Motion a fun, social event….

 Get the Team involved in greeting and welcoming Guests  Play light background music or provide entertainment  Be creative with your dé may want to create a theme  Make a brief presentation to offer some com- ments about your business; i.e. what you are most proud of or what products and service you offer  Place food and beverages in strategic locations that promote cross-trafficking and social interaction of the Guests  Give away small promotional items to the Guests; i.e. note pad, pens, key chains, etc.  Provide unique door prizes; consider asking your supplier to contribute items  Offer a special drawing that requires the Guests to submit their business cards to be eligible to win...then follow-up  And lastl y... HAVE FUN!

We Promote & Support:  Event promotion to entire Chamber Membership  Broadcasted on social media  Event registration during the event  Assistance planning and executing your event  Audio Visual equipment upon request  Tickets for drawing or door prizes  An attendee list for post-event marketing

We encourage co-hosting with other Chamber Members. If you operate out of a home office, you are welcome to use the Key Largo Chamber Visitor Center

Follow Us #BuildingTogether

Contact Us Today 305.451.1414

The focus of the Key Largo Chamber of Commerce is the promotion of the economy through support of good business, good government


Payable with your monthly electric bill

Interested in Solar? Finance with FKEC! Learn more at or call 305-852-2431

Key Largo Chamber of Commerce 106000 Overseas Highway

Key Largo, FL 33037

Mission Statement of the Key Largo Chamber of Commerce Creating a vibrant business and community environment



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