Councils & Committees
The Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce offers an array of groups members can join. Each council is governed by its own Board of Governors. Certain councils are open only to members whose businesses reside within a specific zip code. Council events, however, are open to all. Committees are open to any member within the Chamber. Click on the logos below for information. If you have additional questions, contact the chair or Executive Vice President Carolyn Michaels
Committee engagement is an excellent way to build relationships within the Chamber. These groups are responsible for some of the most meaningful programming within the organization, and are an integral part of the Chamber's mission and vision. If you are interested in becoming involved in a committee, please contact the chair.
Branding & Marketing Committee
This group is responsible for the promotion of the Chamber. They assist the Director of Communications with the annual marketing strategy and in trade deals with different media partners.For more information, contact Chair Laurie Menekou, President of Conceptual Communications, or
Vice Chair Janet Granger, President of Granger Digital Marketing
This committee works in conjunction with the city of Fort Lauderdale on a joint business and expansion program designed to proactively address the needs and ideas of local companies. The BusinessF1rst program was born in the wake of the economic recession in 2009 and designed to aid, retain and expand business throughout the Fort Lauderdale area. The group surveys local companies and conduct one-on-one visits with key established and emerging decision makers in order to gauge the current business climate and hone in on areas which need improvement. This two-pronged approach enables the BusinessF1rst team to reach a cross-section of industry leaders and map plans for future growth.
The BusinessF1rst program also generates requests for business assistance, which are relayed to the proper channels in the hopes of decreasing the wait time for surveyed organization.For more information, contact Chair Danielle Clermont, Vice President of Marketing and Business at the Broward Council of Miami Association of Realtors, orVice Chair Fernando Mesia, Senior Vice President, Middle Market at Mercantil Bank.
This committee reviews amendments to the Chamber's governing documents and makes recommendations on a periodic basis to the Board of Directors.This committee is by invitation only.
Coastal Resiliency Committee
This group deals with issues related to resiliency throughout South Florida and looks for steps the business community should take to combat sea level rise.For more information, contact Chair Alec Bogdanoff, President of Brizaga.
The Diplomat Committee is charged with perpetuating the success of new Chamber members so that they become long-term, active members. Diplomats are responsible for reaching out to Chamber members who submit a Concierge Profile online; directing them to events and committees that will support their success in the Chamber; introducing them to potential “strategic partners” – people whose clients are the same target market that the member is seeking. Diplomats are also responsible for selecting the Chamber “member of the month.” This group is a subcommittee of the Small Business Committee.
Education & Workforce Committee
A group committed to providing members with information that is applicable in a wide range of situations for stimulating growth and increasing competitiveness in a rapidly changing marketplace. Currently, the committee provides chamber members with dynamic workshops in an effort to bridge the gap between business knowledge and the practical application of leading business principles.For more information, contact Chair Andy Fernandez, Executive Director of Firewall Centers
The investment you make in the Chamber is critical to our success. The Finance Committee works closely with the administration to make sure we are making responsible fiscal decisions. This group studies the financial condition of the Chamber and recommends the proposed budget to the Board of Directors.
This committee is by invitation only.
Government Affairs Committee
This important Chamber group reviews and develops public policy positions that are "pro-business and pro-South Florida." Research is involved. The Chamber leadership then takes the positions to elected officials and staff.For more information, contact Chair Vince Yarina, Principal/Vice President at Langan Engineering & Environmental Services, orVice Chair Burnadette Norris-Weeks, Esq., Attorney/Partner at Austin Pamies Norris Weeks, LLC.
This committee focuses on some of the major issues affecting the medical industry in South Florida, and produces one of the Chamber's Signature Events, Perspectives on Florida's Healthcare.For more information, contact Chair Suzanne Higgins, Director of Development at Henderson Behavioral Health, orVice Chair Cynthia Peterson, Executive Director of the Neuroscience Institute at Holy Cross Hospital
International Trade (iConnect) Committee
This group helps promote international business within South Florida. They also organize events showcasing different nations at the Tower Club Fort Lauderdale as well as the Florida International Trade & Cultural Expo (FITCE).For more information, contact Chair Rufus James, Assistant Airport Manager at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport
Marine Advisory Committee
This group provides guidance to the Board of Directors on issues related to sustaining a strong marine industry.For more information, contact Chair Bill Walker, President of Water Taxi or
Vice Chair Lori Wheeler, Director of Operations for the Marine Industries of South Florida
The Membership Committee reviews and recommends strategies, procedures, and best practices for the recruitment and retention of Chamber members. A goal is to facilitate business between members and proactively add value to every member’s association with the Chamber.For more information, contact Chair Yamilet Strauss, President & CEO of Merchant Processing Solutions, orVice Chair Blanca Puerta, Director of Business Development at Fast Printz.
These members are responsible for integrating non-profit and for-profit Chamber members, coordinating the “feature non-profit message” at Trustee events and selecting the “Chamber Hero of the Month”. The committee hosts a monthly breakfast at the chamber.For more information, contact Chair Robert Boo, Executive Director of The Pride Center at Equality Park.
This group is in charge of selecting the Chair-Elect and Directors of the Chamber and is appointed by the current Chair. It is responsible for publishing the slate to the membership committee in December.This committee is by invitation only.
Political Affairs Committee
This group dissects currently political issues and determines stances the Chamber will take during key times. The committee is responsible for the Washington Summit, a biennial working trip which provides an intimate opportunity for delegates to meet with members of Congress and the South Florida Congressional Delegation to discuss critical issues affecting their businesses. Delegates participate in briefings with congressional department heads, attend receptions with the Florida Delegation and join meetings with our trade partners. Additional events are planned to take place at the Capitol, National Press Club and the Pentagon. The committee also heads up Broward Days, a similar trip to Tallahassee held on opposite years.For more information, contact Vice Chair Melissa Milroy, Senior Marketing Manager at The Galleria at Fort Lauderdale.
Real Estate & Construction
This committee focuses on the changing landscape of the Greater Fort Lauderdale area, including upcoming and ongoing development, as well as issues relating to the land on which the Chamber building sits.For more information, contact Chair Jon Marcus, Partner at Holland & Knight LLP.
This group focuses on professionals in the early stages of their career. Members help create and enhance programming designed to integrate rising leaders into the business community by offering educational opportunities and access to mentors. The Rising Leaders are a subcommittee of the BusinessF1rst Committee.
Small Business Committee
The Small Business Committee is the voice designed to engage, support and celebrate the local small businesses within the Chamber. The SBC is responsible for the oversight of several value-added programs that enhance membership and involvement in the Chamber. These programs include a free monthly Biz Perks networking event, seven different Leads Groups, the Chamber Diplomat program, educational Business Forums, a representation in Government Affairs and our annual Small Business of The Year Award ceremony.
They meet in the Chamber’s Chart Room the 4th Friday of each month at 8:30 a.m.For more information, contact Joe Akin, Sales Manager at Oriental Rug Care.
South Florida Business Council
A group that fosters collaboration between and among organizations with similar interests to grow the economy.For more information, contact Heiko Dobrikow, General Manager of The Riverside Hotel, or
Vice Chair Jack Seiler, Principal at Seiler, Sautter, Zaden, Rimes & Wahlbrink.
This committee keeps the pulse of the ever-changing world of technology, hosting a series of education workshops called "Tech Talks." Previous seminars included topics such as digital marketing and cyber security.For more information, contact Chair Michael Goldstein, President of LAN Infotech, orVice Chair Gordon Merle, Senior Account Executive at SL Powers
This group works with Government Affairs and Beach Council on issues pertaining to local tourism.For more information, contact Chair Amaury Piedra, General Manager at Pier Sixty-Six Hotel & Marina, orVice Chair Thomas Parke, Vice President of Marketing & Sales for Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort.
Transportation/ Sustainability Committee
This committee focuses on the evolving transportation needs of Broward County and the improvements needed to keep our community moving.For more information, contact Chair Julie Medley, Executive Director for the Urban Land Institute Southeast Florida/Caribbean.