Packed house for historic chamber meeting

Posted on September 15, 2016 by Romi White

There was a standing-room-only crowd at the Sept. 13 charter membership meeting of the newly formed Greater Navarre Area Chamber of Commerce.

“The tremendous turnout reinforces our decision to start The Greater Navarre Area Chamber of Commerce,” said CEO Tony Alexander. “It’s obvious there is a want and desire for a strong advocate for business in the community and we are excited to fill that role.”

According to Alexander, dozens of businesses have already signed up for membership. “Our first year goal is 100 members,” he said.

Jon Kagan, president of Soundside Wealth Advisors in Navarre, is serving as interim chairman of the group. He welcomed more than 50 attendees and made a presentation detailing how the new chamber would be different.

“Everything we do will be purposefully directed by our membership. We will be completely transparent,” Kagan said, pointing out there will be quarterly open forums where membership will receive updates on the state of the organization, including its finances.

Kagan said that also, in accordance with Florida State Statutes, chamber leadership will be elected volunteers from and by all members in good standing. He pointed out he’s only temporarily leading the organization until an official vote can take place.

Alexander projects that vote will probably take place in December after the organization has been up and running for a few months.

Following Kagan’s presentation, questions were accepted from the audience.

NiCol Olney, Director of Baptist Medical Park-Navarre, asked how membership would be determined and whether or not a business would be limited to having a certain number of participants.

Alexander explained that the number of employees will not determine membership. “Businesses or individuals select from seven membership levels offering different benefits,” he said.

“I see that as a two-fold benefit,” Olney said.

Alexander said charter memberships cover a two-year period and range from a $150 individual memberships to a $2,000 chairman’s membership level. A $75 Military Affairs Council membership is also available for members for an additional $75 per year. Monthly billing is available.

“Charter members of GNACOC will ‘forever’ be known as founding members of the organization,” Alexander said, noting the Charter Membership enrollment period will run through mid-February 2017.

Local business owner Will Goulet at the meeting offered a $500 gift certificate to Navarre Auto Repair for the member who makes the most new member referrals during that period.

Membership applications are available at Dirt Road Cookers, located at 6900 Navarre Parkway.

Alexander said the chamber’s website will also be launched in a couple of weeks and prospective members will be able to join online.

East River Smokehouse owner James Dabney, a charter member, provided food and drinks for the historic event. Dabney said applications will also be available at the restaurant.


The first regular meeting of the Greater Navarre Area Chamber of Commerce will take place at 8 a.m., Oct. 14 at the Navarre Conference Center. Breakfast will be catered by Golden Corral. Cost is $10 for members and $15 for non-members. RSVPs are required via