With April’s annual meeting cancelled due to COVID-19 shutdown, the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce is announcing the appointment of new members to its Board of Directors and Executive Board and its new officers through media channels of communication.

Brian Kautz, general manager at The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club, will chair the 2020-2021 Executive Board, replacing retiring chair Mary Bondurant.

“Mary did a stellar job as the ‘face of the chamber’ for the past year, and a big thanks for her dedication and passion,” said John Lai, chamber president and chief executive officer. “Brian has some unprecedented challenges to face in his one-year term, but we look to him for the strong leadership he demonstrated as chair-elect.”

“With the experience of the last 10 to 11 weeks, I think there are a lot of differences between businesses and residents, and a meeting on mutual ground needs to be achieved,” said Kautz, who has served on the chamber board for three years. “It’s going to be a challenging six months to get the chamber and businesses stabilized. There are so many variables, but John Lai is an awesome conduit to get it done.”

Moving into Kautz’s former chair-elect position, Mark Blust from the Prawnbroker Group has served on the board for TK years. New to the executive board, Calli Johnson, joined the board in TK.

“I am excited to join the executive board at a time when advocacy and community is underscored by the recent challenges our islands have overcome,” said Johnson, manager at Bailey’s General Store. “It is an honor to represent the businesses that make Sanibel and Captiva special as well as the generations of business leaders before me.” 

Three new members accepted positions on the board of directors, taking the places of BIG ARTS’ Lee Ellen Harder, who finished her term in April, and Brett Gooch and Kim McGonnell, who both moved to new work situations.

The chamber welcomes Katy Forret, general manager of Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille; Michelle Berger, general manager of ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa; and Ron Clayton, TK at Advanced Disposal.

“The chamber has a strong backbone,” said Kautz. “I think we’ll be able to do some great things in the next six months.”

“I have solid faith in the leadership of our chamber of commerce,” said Lai. “I believe the community will pull together to once again put Sanibel and Captiva at the top of the list of the world’s most admired destinations.”

 

ABOUT SANIBEL & CAPTIVA ISLANDS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to promoting the prosperity of its members and preserving the quality of life of our community. With over 560 active Chamber members from both islands including businesses from Lee and Collier counties, the Chamber plays a key role in facilitating communication and cooperation between business, residents and government to enhance the economic health of the islands. The Francis P. Bailey, Jr. Chamber Visitor Center is located at the entrance to Sanibel Island and welcomes over 160,000 visitors each year. VISIT FLORIDA named the Visitor Center one of thirteen official Florida Certified Tourism Information Centers. The Visitor Center is open 365 days a year and provides visitors with comprehensive information about things to do, places to visit, where to stay, shop and dine. The Chamber website http://sanibel-captiva.org receives over 1.3 million website visits per year.

For more information about the chamber, visit sanibel-captiva.org or contact Ashley Pignato, member services manager, at 239-472-8255  or Ashley@sanibel-captiva.org.