Zephyrhills Chamber receives Statewide Honors

The Florida Association of Chamber Professionals (FACP) recognized the Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce for outstanding achievement and superiority within the area of communications during the organization’s Annual Conference last month.

The Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce was the recipient of the award in the Audio/Visual/ Online Communications category.

“We could not have been more impressed with or proud of the caliber and diversity of the entries that were submitted for this year’s communications awards, and we are pleased to honor each and every one of the winning chambers. The judges noted that it was impressive to see so many exceptional entries knowing what a challenge the past year and a half has been for everyone,” stated Tammy C. Bracewell, President, FACP.

FACP is a statewide organization whose mission is “Advancing excellence in chamber management” and whose vision is “Enhancing Florida’s business communities by cultivating successful chamber professionals.”

The Greater Zephyrhills received this communication award from their work on the “JumpStart Z’Hills” series implemented 17 months ago.

Melonie Monson, CEO of the Greater Zephyrhills Chamber said, “When COVID hit we all believed things would get back to normal quickly. Well, we soon saw this was not the case. As a chamber, there was no playbook as to what to do in a situation like this, but we knew we were not going to just sit back and wait to see what happened.

“The chamber staff brainstormed and decided that we needed the public to know our businesses were still open and needed them. So, we quickly created the “JumpStart Z’Hills” series to showcase our community. We started with a “Restaurant Recovery” series which spotlighted more than a dozen local restaurants with videos, interviews, and an interactive scavenger hunt for our citizens. We realized we had thousands engaged via social media and knew we were on to something. From there, staff kept creating new series focusing on different sectors in our community and we are continuing to this day to make an impact in Zephyrhills.”

The “JumpStart Z’Hills” series has brought town halls, where both local and state leaders gave messages, via zoom, with pertinent updates such as a “we are in this together” video with the mayor, city manager, police chief and many more who gave words of encouragement. This series has focused on different sectors or our community, including: Adventures in Z’Hills, Main Street Gives Back, Spark your Style, Blooming Business, Women in Business, Be Well, 12 Days of Christmas Lights, and many more. 

 “I’m not sure in the beginning we knew the impact this series could have,” Monson said, “but the board of directors and staff are thrilled that we were able to keep Zephyrhills on the map during these unprecedented times.”

Along with the communication award, The Florida Association of Chamber Professionals (FACP) recognized Monson as one of Florida’s top chamber professionals for their outstanding achievement and dedication to the industry.

“These individuals have exemplified excellence in chamber management and are true industry professionals. We are pleased to recognize their achievements through this certification program,” stated Tammy Bracewell, FACP President. 

Monson added, “I feel blessed; blessed to have had two professions in my life that bring me such love and gratification. My first profession as a cosmetologist for 33 years gave me amazing satisfaction knowing that what I did helped others feel good about themselves and built lifelong friendships. When I retired from being a hairdresser, I was thrilled to find another way I can still make a difference in people’s lives.”

The FCCP designation is earned after a minimum of 5 years in leadership of a chamber of commerce. It is only earned after years of continuing education and work toward forwarding the chamber’s mission.

Through Melonie’s leadership, the Greater Zephyrhills Chamber achieved the FACP Certified Chamber+ designation two years ago, which is only achieved through advancing excellence in the chamber organization by providing best practices among all sectors in the chamber industry. The ZCOC is one of only 16 chambers in the state who have earned this designation.

“Melonie is great to work with and has more energy and persistence than anyone I know,” said Dr. Randy Stovall, ZCOC Chairman, “Her work does indeed make a difference for our chamber and our community.  The FCCP designation just puts a stamp on her work.’

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