Let’s frame it!

A Member’s Perspective – Is it Worth it to Join?

When we first joined the Tamarac North Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce we were not only
new to our business but new to the entire State of Florida. Except for our very friendly
customers, we barely knew a soul when Peter Mason entered our art shop on that sunny, and of
course humid, Florida Fall day.
I have to admit that I personally was less than enthusiastic when Mr. Mason asked us to join the
chamber. You see, in my hometown the chamber of commerce was seen as nothing but a
bunch of stuffy businessmen giving speeches. But, with the encouragement of my business
partners (my husband, Ian and father, Claudio), we joined.

We started with baby steps; an after-hours “wine & cheese” type of event. As my husband and I
huddled shyly together by the bar, we were pleasantly surprised as guest after guest hugged
and greeted each other like old friends. People must have noticed that we looked like deer stuck
in the headlights, because one by one they came to greet us with smiles and curiosity about
what we did and who we were. Several people mentioned the breakfast, “Oh, if you like this
you’ll love the breakfasts!” We smiled politely all the while thinking, “Oh, hell no. There’s no way
i’m getting up that early!”

It did take a couple of months to wear us down, but after receiving “the nudge” a few more
times, we bravely set our alarm clocks, gassed up on caffeine, and hit the road… If you haven’t
been to a TNLCOC breakfast you’re truly missing out – they weren’t kidding! 100+ guests ready
to mingle, yummy food, jokes, songs, games, educational speeches, and let’s not forget the all-
needed coffee! This isn’t your average chamber of commerce, folks! We were hooked! From there,
we kept going – from breakfasts and after-hours, to volunteering for events, co-chamber events,
golf and bowling tournaments, holiday parties, and even hosting a couple events of our own!
Now, I know you’re wondering, “That’s all fine and dandy, Linda, but did you make any business
contacts?” Well, that is at the point after all, isn’t it!? The simple answer is a resounding, yes!
We made several contacts that helped us gain momentum and grow our business… But more
importantly, we made friends. When we succeed, our fellow chamber members cheer us on,
and though it is virtual nowadays, we very much look forward to seeing everyone’s faces again
in person soon.
Today, I am on the board of directors , giving back to the community who gave and continue to
give so much to us. So, if you’re asking yourself if joining the Tamarac North Lauderdale
Chamber of Commerce is worth it, my answer is this… If you’re looking for not only great
business contacts, but a community of neighbors who help each other and their city, all while
having a fantastic time, you’re in the right place. Welcome neighbor!

With a background in screenwriting and copywriting, Linda Tomassone Jerrell is a
regular contributor to several blogs from around the country. She is a proud TNLCOC
Board Member and co-owner of Heritage Art Galleries & Framing in Tamarac.