Chamber dinner Oct. 13 – 5 business to be recognized for commitment

Despite the present economic times, the Everett Chamber of Commerce will be noting a positive year at its Annual Dinner introducing the Officers and Directors on October 13. In addition, five local companies will be recognized for their continued commitment to the Everett community.

Chamber Executive Director Bob Laquidara says that while the Chamber lost a few members over the past year, it also gained many more new businesses, for a total of more than 250 members. “It’s funny, but that’s the way business works now,” said Laquidara. “We lost a few members, but we gained more members than we lost, which in this economy is excellent.”

Despite the economy, the chamber gains new members all the time, Laquidara said, because most businesses understand that the relative costs of joining the chamber pays back in increased business and networking opportunities through mixers, dinners, seminars, and opportunities for swapping services. For many small businesses joining the chamber, these opportunities were a key to the survival during the stressful economy, said Laquidara. The chamber’s online list of local businesses helps to encourage residents to use local services, and to eat locally.

Laquidara is celebrating his first year as chamber director, too. Looking over the past year, he was excited about the success of the annual events, such as the Christmas tree lighting with the city of Everett, a $10,000 raffle dinner in March, the annual golf tournament, an appreciation night dinner, and the 9/11 remembrance ceremony. “It was very successful year, “ he said. “Our raffle dinner was sold out. We had our most successful golf tournament in history — we had 100 sign up.”

Laquidara said that his goals for the upcoming years are to increase membership by about 25 new members and to “continue to outreach to the Everett community, for businesses to network with other businesses, and to move the Chamber of Commerce forward.”

To celebrate the past year, the chamber is hosting its annual dinner, to be held at Anthony’s 105 Canal St., Malden, on October 13. At the dinner, the chamber will welcome the new officer lineup for 2009–2010: President Robert W. Mitchell Jr., of Eagle Bank will take the lead, while taking his place as vice president will be Atty. David O’Neil, of Silverstein & O’Neil. Carol Churchill of Distrigas/GDFSUEZ moves up to second vice president. Former president Stephen Sachetta of Sachetta and Company is now chairman of the board, and treasurer will be Vincent P. Panzini of Ameriprise, replacing the Chamber’s Carmin Mercadante.

The chamber will also recognize five businesses that have invested in Everett by either building or significantly renovating their existing facilities. The five businesses are Eagle Bank; Frederick Cafasso & Sons Funeral Home, Inc; GTA Landscaping, Inc; The Bank of New York Mellon and The Community Family. “There have been many other businesses as well who have given to the community, but these five were chosen for their investment in the community. We’re going to make that a theme every year, to recognize those who help the community,” said Laquidara.

Cocktail hour is at 6:30 p.m., and dinner at 7:30 p.m. The dinner is open to anyone interested in the chamber, and so nonmembers can also buy tickets, which are $45, or $400 for a table of 10. There are 200 tickets available, and so far more than a hundred have been sold. “We expect it to be a sellout,” said Laquidara, who encourages non-Chamber members to attend. “It’s actually a great way to introduce yourself and become a chamber member.”

To buy tickets, call the chamber at 617-387-9100, or stop at the Chamber office at 465 Broadway.

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