In This Issue - October 2017 Newsletter
October 2017
Beth L. Mitchell, President & CEO

We have a new look and format for our Chamber Newsletter!  Beginning with this edition, you will receive our newsletter once a month, through Constant Contact, without having to click through several links to get to it.  And it is streamlined, without advertising, so you can get the news you need in a more efficient method.  We haven't changed the level of information that is provided to you, you will still see our monthly calendar, staff columns, membership spotlights, important articles, etc.  We also will continue to send out our weekly updates.   And if you are interested in reaching a larger base of potential clients there are opportunities to advertise on our website.  We hope you appreciate the more streamlined presentation!

It was a wild month of September, but as I write most everybody has returned to a level of normalcy, after all of the preparation, and teardown for Hurricane Irma.  We were very lucky, and while we had to hit the pause button on a number of Chamber activities, we will be going forward in October, which will be jam packed with opportunities to get back in the Chamber groove. 

Our Media Auction has been rescheduled for October 13, and information about this event can be found within this newsletter.  We hope to see you there because we have over $30,000 in media packages and auction items to giveaway!

Another event that is still on our calendar in October is the Active Shooter Class that will be presented by the Sebastian Police Department.  There's room for twenty participants in the chamber conference room, and it is free, but you must have a reservation to attend this informative class. 

The Annual City of Sebastian Council Candidates Forum is scheduled at the end of the month.  Our Legislative/Government Affairs Committee is working diligently to prepare for this Forum. They will be focused on questions for the candidates that are specific to business development in Sebastian.  If you have questions for the candidates, send them to me and I will make sure the Committee considers them for the forum.  Nothing snarky, we pride ourselves on a high level of professionalism, objectivity and fairness to the candidates!   

We missed our Installation and Awards luncheon in September, going forward we will skip the official swearing in ceremony for our Board members (they are already dedicated and committed to the Chamber membership) but we really want to give out our Annual Awards.  This important task will be included in our November lunch agenda.  The Chamber's Executive Committee has selected a number of very deserving businesses that will be recognized for their achievements over the last year! We hope you will join us in November to celebrate the business community! 

And if that's not enough Chamber activity, our breakfast in October is sponsored by Nightingale Private Care here at the Chamber and lunch at Marsh landing Restaurant will include Chief Touchberry, Police Chief of Fellsmere. We look forward to seeing you!

Have a prosperous month!  

Whispering Palms RV Resort & Manufactured Home Community
10305 US-1, Sebastian, FL 32958

Whispering Palms Resort is a manufactured home and RV resort that has many year round residents and we are a destination community for those who come to stay in our beautiful Treasure Coast from the north. We offer many amenities such as tennis and pickleball, horseshoes, shuffleboard, an active calendar of events from October thru March, an onsite Bargain Corner that sells many different items at very reasonable prices are among the few things we offer. We also have 2 pools, one of which we just completed. It is over 70,000 gallons of water (took 3 days to fill it) and will hold 81 happy swimmers. We also have 3 onsite laundry/shower facilities and 3 clubhouses, one is pool tables, to host events and special functions of our residents.
Whispering Palms has been around since the 70's and we are a well-established 55 plus community that caters to an amazing group of citizens who enjoy life and being in a community that offers many experiences and friendships.
We have manufactured homes that are seasonal rentals and for sale. We are a manufactured home dealer and we sell Clayton 2 bedroom/2 baths homes fully furnished from the mid $40's or design the home you want and have it set on an available site.

(Left to right) Heidi - Assistant Park Manager & Barbara - Park Manager


Chamber Breakfast

Chamber Luncheon

Special Event
Date: Friday, October 6th

Time:  8am - 9am

Sponsor:  Nightingale Private Care, Inc.

Location:  Chamber Office,  700 Main Street, Sebastian

Date:  Tuesday, Oct. 10th

Time:   Noon - 1pm

Sponsor:   New Horizon of the Treasure Coast

Police Chief Keith Touchberry, City of Fellsmere

Marsh Landing Restaurant, 44 N Broadway Street, Fellsmere

Reservations requested, $15.00 with reservation, $20 at the door
24th Annual Media Auction

Date:   Friday, Oct. 13th

Time:   6pm-9pm

Location:   SpringHill Suites
5115 Indian River Blvd.
Vero Beach

Catered by:
Marsh Landing Restaurant

Chamber Members: $10.00
General Public:  $20.00

Pictures from past Networking Events can be found on our Facebook page!
Contact us at 772-589-5969 if you would like to host or sponsor a Networking Event!
Committee Meetings

Executive Committee Meeting
Thursday, October 5th
From:  8AM-9AM
Chamber Office
700 Main St., Sebastian
Active Shooter Class
Wednesday, October 11th
From:  10AM
Chamber Office
700 Main St., Sebastian

Tourism Committee Meeting
Tuesday, October 17th
At:  4PM
Chamber Office 
700 Main St., Sebastian

Ambassador Luncheon
Friday, October 20th
At:  Noon
Chamber Office
700 Main St., Sebastian

Candidates Forum
Thursday, October 26th
From:   7pm - 9PM
Sebastian City Hall

Community Event Calendar

Chamber Projects
2018 Directory Sales are Underway!
We encourage all Chamber members to consider the added benefits of advertising in the Chamber Business Directory & Community Guide. Your ad will appear in all 5,000 copies, and be distributed in multiple outlets throughout the community.
As an advertiser in the Sebastian River Area Chamber of Commerce Business Directory & Community Guide you will:
  • Be able to send your message directly to your customers;
  • Display a format that has lasting value and utility;
  • Reach residents that are new to our area;
  • Reach clients & customers outside of our area.
Contact Vicki Wild to discuss Advertising Opportunities! Call 772-589-5969 or email
By Nicole Capp Holbrook - Tourism Director
October kicks off our new fiscal year for 2017-2018! 2016-2017 was a great year for tourism. To date, tourist taxes are up $42,694 or 26.4% for the month, and up $157,988 or 7.2% for the year. We look forward to another great year and tourism season ahead!
October Tourism Committee Meeting
Our next Tourism Committee Meeting is Tuesday, October 17th at 4 p.m. at the Chamber. For those of you that are new to the Chamber, we have a Tourism Committee that meets on a quarterly basis and it is comprised of Chamber members that are in the tourism industry (hotels, restaurants, attractions, shops, boat tours, fishing charters, etc). The purpose of the committee is to create new ideas on how to promote tourism in the Sebastian River Area that will benefit our community. The meetings are also an opportunity to brainstorm ideas and network with other tourism businesses throughout the community. At the end of the meeting, we will be drawing the Tourism Spotlights for December, January & February. You must be present to win this FREE advertising opportunity which is featured in the Chamber Currents and in the Chamber Tourism E-blast which is distributed to our database consisting of over 6,500 email addresses. I encourage all of our Tourism Partners to attend and I look forward to seeing everyone on the 17th!
Certified Travel Information Summit
In partnership with Capt Hiram's Resort, we will be hosting the 2nd Annual VISIT FLORIDA Certified Travel Information Summit at Capt Hiram's Resort later this month! We are so excited to bring this 3-day summit to Sebastian and host VISIT FLORIDA and various tourism partners throughout the state.
Hotel Books
I will be updating hotel books this month with information on October, November & December. If you need more visitor's guides, please let me know!
Social Media

We are actively posting on Facebook & Instagram and building a great following. If you aren't already following us, please do:
            Like us on Facebook  

October Tourism Spotlight
Holiday Inn Vero Beach
3384 Ocean Drive,  Vero Beach, Fl 32963
772-231-2300   |

The Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites is located seaside on the beautiful tranquil Orchid Island , surrounded by quaint shops, entertainment and restaurants all within walking distance.  With one hundred and four guestrooms we have an array of room types to accommodate your traveling need s inclu ding Ocean-View Suites.  Our spacious guestrooms include a mini-fridge and keurig for yo ur convenience.

Mulligan's Beach House Bar & Grill is our o nsite restaurant serving breakfast from 6:30am till noon, lunch, dinner and room service.  Poolside service and outdoor adirondeck seating for cocktails service.  We love our furry guests and allow up to two dogs.  Our HoliDoggy Package is sure to make them wiggle their tail when they taste their special treats and play with their new toy.  There's even a special gift for the owner included.  

Planning a social or corporate event is a breeze thru our sales department, extending all the resources you may need to help plan a successful memorable experience that includes weddings, retreats and regional meetings or training to name just a few.  Meeting and banquet space can accommodate up to one hundred guests with Mulligan's Beach House exclusively catering your event.  With our private beach access to our backyard, beach and aquatic rentals are available for personal enjoyment or team building thru Sharkbait Rentals.  

Customer Service is one of our top priorities and with our continued training for our First Impression Specialist agents we ensure you feel like you're at home.  Our heart of the house staff ensures each guestroom is freshly a ppointed to our IHG Standard with the Holiday Inn Brand with advocating our Environmentally Friendly Green Engage Program.  The Management staff at the Holiday Inn is dedicated to their team members including the newly appointed General Manager, Jennifer Bates, who has been with the hotel for eleven years in the Sales Department,  Elisa Sielinski our Front Office Manager serving five years, Bill DeGamario the Chief Engineer celebrating his one year anniversary and our Executive Housekeeper Reluncher Johnson shining her light with us for forty-two years.  We are so very proud of our entire team and their continued hard work ensuring each  and every g uest feels they have a  h ome away from home.  

Holiday Inn....Great hotels guests love.           


By Vicki Wild - Membership Director
Guess what time it is?  You guessed it, Sebastian River Area Chamber of Commerce 2018 Business Directory Time. Our *AWARD WINNING BUSINESS DIRECTORY* *2 YEARS IN A ROW* by Florida Association of Chamber Professionals (FACP).  

What's that, your company wants to have additional exposure and access to people all over the world?  Well, we can help with an ad in our Directory.  Did you know that we print over 6,000 every year?  You can find them here in the Sebastian Chamber, hospitals, airports, Dr. Offices, hotels, restaurants, festivals, and many other locations including our website at  

This is a member only Business Directory and only features business members of the Sebastian River Area Chamber of Commerce.  The public loves this book and uses it as their personal phonebook.  The Business Directory is a wealth of information and additionally includes the history of all the communities in our area.  The public likes to read about our business climate, economic development, demographics, taxes, tourism, education, health care, recreation, festivals, and the inlet.  It also includes the elected officials, relocation & important phone numbers, and all of our member's contact information. 
If your company would like to know about advertising in our wonderful Award Winning Directory, then please contact me, Vicki Wild at 772-589-5969 or email at  

Welcome New Members!

Friendship Christian Community
Thrift Shop

Gene Summers
611 Schumann Drive
Sebastian FL 32958
Wabasso Beach Shop
Jonathan Beatty
4880 87th St.
Wabasso, FL 32958
A Great Escape Salon
Day Spa
Pamela Reed
633 Sebastian Blvd., Ste C
Sebastian, FL 32958

Dawn V. Gilmore Photography
153 SW Iffla Ave
Port St Lucie, Fl 34953

Birding with David Simpson
139 S Willo St.
Fellsmere, FL 32948

Rozanne Brown

New Horizons of the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee
Lisa Rymer
4500 W Midway Road
Fort Pierce, FL 34981

Member News and Announcements

Tell us your good news and
we'll share it with the business community! 

Email your news to

Have you worked with SCORE?

SCORE offers FREE confidential one-on-one business mentoring and advice for existing and start-up businesses.  

For over 50 years, SCORE has served as America's premier source of free business mentoring and education.

To make an appointment or sign-up for a workshop visit

Download Treasure Coast SCORE Client Engagement Results

By Britney Melchiori - Communications & Marketing Director
Join us for our 24th Annual Media Auction on Friday, October 13th!

Well, our hurricane season has been eventful to say the least, and while much of our area was fortunate to not sustain extensive damage, Irma did, however, cause us to do some rearranging of Chamber Events originally scheduled in September. One of those events, which is near and dear to me as a marketing person, is our 24th Annual Lifestyle & Media Auction. 

So, now that we've all returned to some state of normalcy, we hope you'll join us  for the newly rescheduled auction date of Friday, October 13th. We look forward to hosting this awesome event at the beautiful SpringHill Suites Vero Beach from 6-9 PM and having the soirée catered by the renowned Marsh Landing Restaurant. Our Beverage Sponsor, White Glove Moving, will be keeping everyone happy and hydrated by providing a complimentary beverage (of your choice) to everyone in attendance. 

This event is the perfect opportunity to purchase advertising and consumer goods at a reduced cost - allowing you to leverage your advertising budget for big success!  This year's event will feature a SURPRISE auctioneer who will be very busy auctioning off over $25,000 in donated media and more! 

There's certainly something for EVERYONE and EVERY BUDGET at this event! In the "advertising department" there will be packages available from savvy social media representatives, rockin' radio hosts, website whizzes, on-point publishing/printing companies, and very cool video production peeps! In the "fun and adventure department" there will be packages for staycations and relaxation, thrill seeking like skydiving and rock climbing, one-of-kind team building experience from the FIT Challenge Course, and family-fun with miniature golf, escape rooms, dining certificates and theatre tickets! 

  • If you're interested in donating, there's still time - all donations must be in by October 6th and a donor form can be found HERE.
  • Planning to attend?  RSVP HERE!

Advertising is smart; saving money on advertising is even smarter! See you at the 24th Annual Lifestyle & Media Auction!


Public Health Emergency - Florida's Opioid Crisis

On May 3, 2017, Governor Rick Scott did something unprecedented in our state by declaring the opioid epidemic a public health emergency.   Our federal government has been fighting this "drug war" for many years and this step is just the latest in a series to move toward a lasting solution.

In 2015, Florida had almost 3,900 documented deaths related to opioids.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that prescription opioids are medications used to treat moderate-to-severe pain and often prescribed following surgery or injury, or for health conditions such as cancer. However, in recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the acceptance and use of prescription opioids for the treatment of chronic, non-cancer pain, such as back pain or osteoarthritis, despite serious risks and the lack of evidence about their long-term effectiveness.  Medications that fall into this class include Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Morphine, Hydromorphone, Fentanyl, Methadone and others.  Some of the risks include physical dependence, drowsiness, dizziness, drug interactions with other medications, confusion, depression and many others.  And, of course, addiction and even overdose as stated above.

There has been a multi-faceted approach to trying to solve this crisis, that includes education to physicians about the dangers and risks of prescribing these medications, changes to state laws to limit prescribing of some of these medications to a one week supply for new patients, changes to drug plan formularies to include more layers of approval before a patient can receive opioids, and others.  Also, to ensure that patient who do have pain are adequately treated guidelines have 

been issued to help distinguish between acute (short term) and chronic pain and which medications are the "best practice" for each type of pain.  Prescribers are also encouraged to have patients pursue non-drug therapies such as physical therapy, massage, relaxation techniques, acupuncture and others. All of these tactics should help start to decrease the overall prescribing of prescription opioids.

However, that is only half of the story.  The reason we have a crisis is that many patients have become addicted to prescription and illegal opioids.   Fortunately, a positive outcome of Governor Scott declaring this emergency is that our first responders will now have access to an opioid reversal agent called naloxone ( brand name, Narcan).  Many counties in our state are securing this life-saving medication to be available in the vehicles of all emergency responders.  This will undoubtedly save the lives of patients who have accidently overdosed, but also, potentially of a first responder who has unwittingly come into contact with one of these powerful and deadly chemicals.  Other monies have been allocated by the federal government for mental health counseling and treatment centers to allow more access by patients who are seeking to treat their addiction.

In summary, the state of Florida has done much to address this crisis, but it will not go away quickly.  Pharmacists are on the front line to prescribe and dispense naloxone to at risk patients and their caregivers.  

Please ask your pharmacist for more information or call us at Bay Street Pharmacy if we can help answer your questions, 772-589-2043. 
Executive Team
Dawn Biehl, The Tiki Bar and Grill  -  Chair
Michelle Napier, Napier & Rollins - Vice Chair
Bob Morgan, Marine Bank and Trust  - Treasurer
Kim Ellis, Vintage to Vogue - Immediate Past Chair
Elected Directors
Capt. Christy Lenz, "Casual Cruisin"
Theresa Tolle, Bay Street Pharmacy
Sue Skirvin, Tupperware
Joel Stout, Sandpiper Pest Control
Anna V. Tillery, White Glove Moving & Storage
Appointed Directors
Jim Belanger, Live Now Team/Dale Sorensen Real Estate
Nancy Flickinger, Florida Power & Light
Theresa Kannapes, VNA
Ben Maffett, Oculina Bank
Chuck Mechling, Insite Solutions
Ali Qizalbash, Cemco Construction
Robin Raiff, Robin Raiff Real Estate Team
Ex Officio
Susan Adams, Indian River County Commissioner
Andrea Coy, Councilwoman, City of Sebastian
Jason Nunemaker, City Manager, City of Fellsmere

Chamber Staff
Kimberlee Armstrong, Accounting
Gail Cavallo, Administrative Assistant
Nicole Capp Holbrook, Tourism Director
Beth L. Mitchell, President/CEO
Britney Melchiori, Marketing & Communications Dir
Vicki Wild, Membership Director
Chamber Ambassadors
Opey Angelone, Action Realty            772-633-8617
Terry Gardner, Seacoast Bank            772-581-1341
Sandi Gehrke, TD Bank                      772-581-1490
Cindi Green, Florida Eye Institute       772-569-9500
Jackie Hart, Hart Escapes                   772-646-4828
Gina Melton, LF Staffing                      772-564-8777
Isabel Marron, Oculina Bank               772-571-1400
Michael Natale, M N Worldwide, Inc.   772-388-0044
Sue Skirvin, Tupperware                      772-913-2010
Cynthia Williams, Primerica                 772-713-1991
Kristie Woodward, Oculina Bank         772-581-3199
Anna Valencia Tillery, White Glove      772-232-7843
Moving, Storage & Delivery