TRINITY — Since consolidation of several business groups during the mid 1990s, only West Pasco Chamber of Commerce has existed here to represent interests of business owners.
Trinity-Odessa Chamber of Commerce, however, incorporated last week.
Dan Sullivan, its executive director, said he enjoyed his time with the West Pasco Chamber, but after nearly nine years he wanted to pursue new challenges.
Plenty of room exists for two chambers, Sullivan believes. “Trinity wasn’t even built at that point” when the three chambers merged in the 1990s, Sullivan said. “Trinity and Odessa want their own identity.”
Pasco County’s population has mushroomed during the past few decades, Sullivan noted. Census figures give the number of residents as 281,131 in 1990. An estimated 470,000 live in the county today.
Plus the Trinity and Odessa corridor could be ready to lead a resurgence in growth now that the Great Recession is loosening its grip, Sullivan notes. Several major housing projects are in the pipeline, including a project on Starkey Ranch land along S.R. 54.
“I think that area is getting ready to expand,” Sullivan said. He polled some 40 people in recent months who expressed enthusiasm for the new chamber.
Sullivan would like to see 200 members for the Trinity-Odessa Chamber within its first year.
Sullivan is talking with former West Pasco Chamber President Joe Alpine about coming on board in some part-time, membership recruiter role. Alpine retired in late 2012 after 15 years leading the New Port Richey-based chamber.
In retirement, Alpine has followed the basketball career of his grandson, Justin, among many other pursuits. But Alpine expressed interest in helping to launch the new chamber.
Many other community leaders are working with Trinity-Odessa Chamber.
Michael Cox with Wells Fargo Advisors will serve as Trinity-Odessa Chamber board chairman through June 2015. Other charter members include Bob Memoli of Florida Luxury Realty, Jeff Lucas of law firm Lucas, Green, & Magazine, Stephen Ward of Allstate-Ward Insurance & Financial Services and James Milazzo of 72HRPrint.com.
The new chamber’s first official event will be a breakfast meeting 7:30-9 a.m. Wednesday, March 5, at Fox Hollow Golf Club, 10050 Robert Trent Jones Parkway.
Speakers will be Mike Shumate, manager of Pasco County Animal Services, and Commissioner Pat Mulieri.
Breakfast costs $12 per person by check, cash, credit card at the door. Reservations are required by calling (727) 992-1491 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The chamber office is at the Better Back Store, 4018 Little Road. “Our permanent (office) might not have even been built yet,” Sullivan said.
The mailing address is 2107 Gunn Highway, #400, Odessa, FL 33556.
For more information go online to www.trinityodessachamberofcommerce.com.
Sullivan said the new chamber will strive to live up to its motto, “Where Community and Commerce Connect.”