Government Relations
September 6, 2019 - UPDATED!
Each week, the Daytona Regional Chamber meets with elected officials and attends numerous City, County and School Board meetings. Below is a recap of our recent activity along with information for upcoming events.

The Chamber is constantly working to build relations with our state agencies in Tallahassee as well as Volusia County entities.

To learn more about the Chamber’s Government Relations activities,
call Jim Cameron at 386.566.2140.
Takeaways from Hurricane Dorian
Even though Dorian turned out to be a "non-event", don't be fooled that we're out of the woods. This early in season means that there is another storm out there....somewhere...

Before and during this storm, the Daytona Regional Chamber was stationed at the ESF 18 desk in order to keep the business community informed. Consistant messages direct from Volusia's Emergency Management Center were sent to the business community....the Chamber also provided these messages on Facebook.

So don't get rid of those sand bags.You might need them again in a few weeks. TSA program.
Cities, County, School Board Preparing FY 2019-20 Budgets
Each year at this time, local entities conduct budget workshops to get an idea from their finance staff on how their upcoming fiscal year will look.

Chamber staff attends many of these budget workshops and contacts budget directors to get the necessary background info behind each spending plan.
For the past 12 years, the Chamber has prepared this budget/tax rate matrix to provide our members a better sense of how their property tax dollars are spent.
Keep in mind that while homestead properties are protected by Save Our Homes amendment, the difference is made up by non-homestead business/commercial and residential rental properties.

Please note that due to Hurricane, some budget hearings will have to be postponed.

Click here to see the FY 2019-20 Budget/Tax Rate matrix.
Legislative Action Committee begins drafting 2020 Priorities
Legislative Action Committee members discuss issues for 2020 Session
The Legislative Committee ( Phil Maroney - Chair, Root Company ) is finalizing its 2020 priority recommendations which will include the Chamber’s (business) viewpoint on education, economic development, city/county capital projects, human services, environmental as well as other issues.

It will be delivered to the Board in September and presented to the Volusia legislative delegation on November 20, 9 am - 1 pm, DeBary City Hall. 

The committee is scheduling meetings with delegation members to discuss the Chamber's viewpoint.

Note – the 2020 legislative session begins January 14. Volusia Days at the Capitol will be January 15-16, where business leaders and community officials will meet with legislators and other State officials in support of projects that benefit our community.
Each month, the Daytona Regional Chamber INVITES Congressional/State Official Staff members to visit
Michelle Crockett, Kyle Symolon,
London Rotundo at Costa Del Mar
London Rotundo, Senator Tom Wright, Zane Beard
August 9, the Chamber hosted London Rotundo (Regional Director for Sen Marco Rubio) and Zane Beard (Regional Director for CFO Jimmy Patronis) . The day began with the Q2 Volusia Economic Report Breakfast followed by meetings with County Council-member Heather Post, Costa Del Mar, Space Square, Ormond Strong Veterans’ organization, Synergy Medical Billing and CareerSource.
London Rotundo & David Vandervoort
at Synergy Medical Billing
London Rotundo, Christine Sikora,
Robin King at Career Source
August 22, the Chamber hosted Micah Ketchel and Barrett Walker from Congressman Michael Waltz’ Washington office . They both work closely with Waltz’ District Director Ernie Audino.

Meetings were arranged with County Council-member Ben Johnson, International Speedway Corporations' Cheryl Coxwell, Gonzalo Aida, and NASCAR’s Dan Klenetsky and Jason Lagosh, Kevin Kyle and Dan Kiesling at Germfree, Daytona Beach Public Works Executive Director Andy Holmes at the First Step Shelter, SMA Healthcare’s Shawn Blasko, Tomoka Pointe Apartments' Jack Weir (Eastwind Development), County Councilwoman Deb Denys and Duane DeFreese, Executive Director of the Indian River Lagoon Council.
Micah Ketchel, Walker Barrett,
Andy Holmes at First Step Shelter
Dan Kesling, Kevin Kyle, Micah Ketchel, Walker Barrett at Germfree Labs
The Chamber works to schedule these type meetings each month in order to build relationships with offices in Tallahassee and Washington. We’d be glad to schedule a meeting with your office in the future...
Chamber Tallahassee Speaker Series
Congressman Michael Waltz
Space Florida
President/ CEO Frank DiBello
On August 6, the Chamber hosted Growing the Aerospace Footprint in Volusia County  at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with approximately 130 business leaders and elected officials in attendance.

Frank DiBello , Space Florida CEO said the new commercial space race is creating a need for “supply chain” companies to be located close to Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center. As the north end of Florida’s “Space Triangle” that includes Melbourne and Orlando, Volusia County can expect an increase in aerospace-related companies looking to either relocate or expand here. This is Florida’s time and Volusia’s time as well.”

In addition to its close proximity to the Cape, Volusia County provides skilled workers thanks to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. President  Dr. Barry Butler  noted that the university’s MicaPlex business incubator is now completely full, with a total of 15 tenants, mostly startup companies involved in either aerospace or aviation.

With the 10,000-sq-ft MicaPlex completely full, ERAU announced its agreement to lease a 12,000-sq-ft space to open a second business incubator at Space Square , a planned aerospace research park proposed by real estate developer Chad Hagle.

Space Square is a proposed 200,000-sq-ft research/development park by renovating vacant stores in the old Volusia Square shopping center on West International Speedway Blvd. It will allow growing startups to occupy flex space units of up to 50,000 square feet in size with the goal of eventually expanding to the point where they can build or lease a larger manufacturing facility elsewhere in the county.

Attracting aerospace startups and suppliers to the commercial space industry that offer high-paying jobs is a top priority of the Daytona Regional Chamber.
Congressman Michael Waltz , who serves on the US House Science Subcommittee on Space & Aeronautics was our final speaker, stated “There is no reason why (the commercial space industry) shouldn’t grow into Volusia County which offers a wealth of human capital. We here in Volusia have what the industry needs.”

Pam Underwood, a manager with the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation told of efforts to promote new ventures in Central Florida. Rick Navarro, director of launch operations for The Boeing Co at Kennedy Space Center, outlined plans for his company’s new investment in Central Florida.

State Sen Tom Wright was master of ceremonies and stated, “In 2011, we were sad when the Space Shuttle program came to an end, this new commercial space race is a wonderful second chance.” 
ERAU President Barry Butler announces agreement with Space Square's Chad Hagel
Sen Tom Wright was Master of Ceremonies
At this program, County Councilwoman/Space Volusia Chair Deb Denys commented, “We have strong leaders. We have collaboration and the momentum.She also announced that Space Volusia is being reactivated and will begin meeting again to renew its efforts to recruit new aerospace businesses. This group includes Daytona Regional Chamber, as well as Port Orange/S Daytona Chamber and Southeast Volusia Chambers, Team Volusia, CEO Business Alliance. Click here to join our Facebook page.
County Councilwoman/Space Volusia Chair Deb Denys
Volusia's School Board's Superintendent Search Process
Volusia’s School Board is in the process of seeking a new Superintendent. Heather Vargas, Chair of the Education Committee will represent the Daytona Regional Chamber on the Superintended Search Citizen Advisory Committee Part of the process will include  four community forums on September 16 at DeLand HS 800 North Hill Ave, DeLand; September 19 at Deltona City Hall, 2345 Providence Blvd, Deltona and September 23 at Holly Hill School, 1500 Center Ave, Holly Hill

The intent is to get input from parents, business community and general public on what they’d like to see in a Superintendent. 
Until they make a selection, Interim Superintendent Tim Egnor fills the bill until they hire a new permanent Superintendent January.
The District’s application period is open until September. 25. The Superintendent Search Committee will meet three times to identify a list of recommended finalists for the board.
The School Board will then decide how they want to proceed. A community reception with the finalists will be held in Deland on November 12. 
The Chamber's Education Committee has stayed in contact with the State Office of Economic & Demographic Research which is performing a "statewide wage-base" study which was ordered by the legislature in reference to the District Cost Differential which determines funding for each School District. The completion date for this study is now November 1 . The Chamber will notify members of any public meeting to discuss the results of this study.
Why is it important? The DCD funding formula (implemented in 2004) will cost the Volusia District approximately $10.5 million this coming fiscal year.
Daytona Beach Commsioner Quanita May meets with Local Government Committee
On August 14, the Local Government Committee met with Daytona Beach City Commissioner Quanita May to discuss current city issues.

A major concern was vacation rental units. Commissioner May feels that many of these units are not collecting the proper sales/bed taxes required of hotels/motels/campgrounds. She wants Code Enforcement to seek means to better regulate these facilities.

The Committee is in the process of drafting their 2020 County/City Priority Recommendations which it will finalize in October.
Chamber & Daytona Beach CVB Hosts Visit Florida CEO
Visit Florida CEO Dana Young addresses audience
In 2018, Florida drew a record 126.98 million visitors (2017 saw 118.8 million visitors). So far this year, Florida has had 68.9 million visitors despite a 34 percent cut in state funding. In 2018, the Daytona Beach CVB reported that Volusia County attracted 10.2 million visitors, a sixth consecutive record year (2017 saw 10.05 million visitors).

In FY 2017-18, the Legislature allocated $76 million for Visit Florida for tourism-promotion. However, the recent the FY 2019 -20 budget allocated only $50 million which meant that strategic marketing be reduced by $17.8 million.
On August 27, Visit Florida President/CEO Dana Young told a group of tourism leaders said that the agency will “continue to develop cutting edge marketing programs.”

She stated that tourism numbers were driven by visitors from other parts of the US — 61.2 million, up from 58.5 million during the same period last year — and Canadians.

She also stated that Florida hosts a quarter of all visitors to the US with many from the United Kingdom, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia.

Young closed her remarks by pointing out that Florida’s Office of Economic & Demographic Research said that the State recoups $2.50 for every $1 allocated for Visit Florida.

The Chamber is on record in support of full funding for Visit Florida. 
Eggs & Issues Breakfasts
July 11, Carrie Baird, Chair, Commission on Homelessness for Volusia/Flagler and Dwight Selby, Ormond Beach City Commission/First Step Shelter Board spoke on managing the area’s homeless population post-panhandling & trespass ordinances. 
Baird stressed that while homeless individuals are not as visible, they're still in Volusia. Selby provided the latest plans for approximately 45 individuals to initially reside in the facility when it opens.
August 8, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University President  Dr. Barry Butler  stated that the University’s MicaPlex business incubator is now completely full with 15 tenants, mostly startup companies involved in aerospace/aviation) just two years after its opening.
He also talked about their newest tenant:  Arralis , a developer of high-resolution radar and antennas for autonomous vehicles, satellites, helicopters and space science and military defense.
Butler and Space Square developer Chad Hagle discussed their agreement to lease a 12,000-square-foot space to open a second business incubator at the shopping center (Williamson and W ISB).
Butler said ERAU’s campus expects 7,000 students on August 20 for the fall semester. He stressed the importance of internships with local companies and the need to attract aerospace startups/suppliers to the commercial space industry .
$15 per person advanced reservation) or $20 at the door.
Click here for X-press RSVP or email or 523-3675
Chamber to Offer Public Leadership Institute
The Flagler Volusia Public Leadership Institute (FVPLI), a joint program of the Daytona Regional and Flagler County Chambers, is finalizing its application process for a nonpartisan, free training program to teach local PRO-BUSINESS individuals how to become involved in the political process and promote a robust local economy.
It will coach participants how to use their business experience, skills and talent to advocate for pro-business policies, engage in political campaigns, land appointments to government boards or explore a future run for elected office.
Applicants will undergo a competitive selection process and only a limited number will be invited to participate. A full scholarship is provided to all members, thanks to our program sponsors.
Sessions will be held 8 am – 4 pm on Friday, October 4 and Saturday, October 5 at the Daytona Regional Chamber and Friday, October 18 and Saturday, October 19 at the Flagler County Chamber. A kick-off reception will be held Thursday, October 3 at 5:30 pm at the Daytona Regional Chamber.
The curriculum will use an active-learning format of simulation and small group exercises to cover topics in public leadership, policy and advocacy. Course titles include:  Preparing for Opportunities in Public Leadership; Understanding the Political Process and Political Environment; Strategies for Engagement; Advocacy and Policy Objectives for the Business Community; Political and Advocacy Fundraising; Building a Grassroots Coalition: Keys to Advocacy and Political Messaging  and others. 
Several elected leaders will also share their insights and experiences. Mark Mills will facilitate the program.
The Flagler County and Daytona Regional Chambers are nonpartisan organizations that do not endorse or support candidates for office. 
For more information or to receive an application for the program, call
 Jim Cameron, Daytona Regional Chamber, at 566-2140  or email
We would like to thank our sponsors -
Coleman Goodmote Construction
DME Sports       
Doan Management
GDA Investments
Ghyabi & Associates
Vesta Property Services
Key Upcoming Meeting Dates
Your Chamber staff already attends many of these meetings. For more information of the key agenda items to be discussed at these meetings, please call
Jim Cameron,
Upcoming Meetings
  • First Step Shelter Board:
September 16, 4:15 pm, Daytona Bch City Hall, Rm 149
  • Daytona Beach City Commission:
September 18, 6:00 pm City Hall
  • Volusia County Council:
Sept 17, 10:00 am Cty Admin Bldg Deland
  • Chamber Eggs & Issues Breakfast:
Sept 12, 7:30 am, LPGA Clubhouse
  • Elected Officials Roundtable:
Sept 9, 12 noon, Daytona International Airport
  • Volusia School Board:
Sept 10, 5:30 pm Deland Admin Bldg
  • South Daytona City Council:
Sept 9, 6:00 pm, City Hall
  • Port Orange City Council:
Sept 11 & 24, 6:30 pm, City Hall
  • Ormond Beach City Commission:
Sept 18, 7:00 pm, City Hall
  • Holly Hill City Commission:
Sept 9 & 24, 7:00 pm, City Hall
  • Daytona Beach Shores:
Sept 9 & 24 , 7 pm, City Hall
This Government Relations E-News was sponsored by
Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce
126 E. Orange Avenue, Daytona Beach, FL 32114
386.255.0981 |
Your Chamber of Influence