- ST. AUGUSTINE – The St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce’s (SJCCC) newly formed Public Policy Committee will help the organization react nimbly to urgent business issues and operate as a stronger advocate on behalf of the business community.
The Chamber’s Public Policy Committee (CPPC) will advise the Board of Directors when adopting policy positions, help to draft the Chamber’s annual legislative agenda, and assist with advocacy efforts at the local, regional, state, and federal level.
According to SJCCC President/CEO Isabelle Rodriguez, the Chamber’s Economic Development Council (EDC) will work closely with the Public Policy Committee and its planning groups to support the organization’s implementation of advocacy services and programs for its membership, including non-profits and the community.
“We are striving to be the sturdiest advocate for the good businesses throughout our county, our region, and beyond,” Rodriguez said. “The formation of the CPPC is a natural progression of the Chamber’s business advocacy efforts. Having the expertise and point of view from members representing different industries will strengthen and speed up our advocacy process. It will allow us to dive deeper on each issue and leave no stone unturned when representing our members.”
The CPPC will work closely with the Economic Development Council to make recommendations to the board and provide the Chamber’s governing body with a clear and precise picture of any issue that may need to be decided. “It is our intention to make sure the board of directors has all the necessary information and the expert opinions of the members of the Public Policy Committee to make these very important and often difficult decisions,” said Bob Porter, government relations manager at the SJCCC.
Now, Porter stated, with contributions from CPPC, the organization will be able to respond more promptly to any arising issues, foresee possible concerns the business community may face in the future, and create a system to improve the organizations public policy decision making process.
For more information about the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Committee, contact Bob Porter, Government Relations Manager at St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce at 904.687.2049 or email Bob.Porter@sjcchamber.com. To join the SJCCC visit www.sjcchamber.com or call 904.829.5681.
Public Policy Committee members: Chairman, Jason Barrett, Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, Flagler Hospital and members Michael Scine, CPA, Scine & Scine; Lou Noir-Jones, Senior Vice President, Wells Fargo; Bill Curtis, Esq., Attorney at Law, Law offices of Bill Curtis; Richard Lovelace, Senior Vice President, Commercial Services, The Stellar Group; Len Weeks, Owner, Len Weeks Construction-Design-Development; Mary O’Brien, Owner, Keen, LLC; Rick Kendust, State and Local Government Affairs Manager; Northrop Grumman Corporation; Mark Nighbor, Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Advanced Disposal, Inc.; Mark Litzinger, Director, Finance, Budget and Management, City of St. Augustine; Beth Sweeny, Governmental Relations Coordinator, St. Johns County Public Schools; Rob Schlingmann, General Manager, The Plantation at Ponte Vedra, and Isabelle Rodriguez, President and Chief Executive Officer, St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce.
Several Members of the Public Policy Committee met with the State of Florida CFO Jeff Atwater during a presentation held at Davidson Realty in the World Golf Village, St. Augustine, Fla., on Nov. 9, 2016. Mr. Atwater led a discussion centered on St. Johns County taxes and the economy, real estate, employment, workforce housing, schools and education, tourism, and job and economic growth forecasts. (L-R) Chamber President / CEO Isabelle Rodriguez; Committee Member Rob Matthews, Matthews Design; Florida CFO Jeff Atwater; Committee Member Beth Sweeny, St. Johns County School District; Committee Member Bill Curtis, The Law Offices of Curtis & Associates; EDC Chair Victor Raymos, St. Augustine & St. Johns County Board of Realtors & MLS.