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Leadership North Broward: Tourism Day 2014!

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Tourism Day for the 2014 Leadership North Broward class was intense and eye-opening, as about 20 of the area’s newest business leaders learned all about one of Pompano Beach’s top priorities for the city’s future economic stability and prosperity.

The city has been on a roll for the last three to four years to improve itself through tourism. It wants to enjoy the extra tax base and economic boost as a leisure destination, and at the same time improve the quality of life here for local residents with upgraded public facilities and infrastructure that leads to private sector investments and improvements.

The Leadership class, spearheaded each year by the Greater Pompano Beach Chamber of Commerce, began the day at the Chamber’s monthly breakfast.  Then it was classroom time followed by a road trip, lead by the day’s facilitator Elaine Fitzgerald, President of Beach Vacation Rentals and member of the Economic Development Council’s Tourism Strategic Planning Team.

“We showed the class that Pompano Beach has all of the right ingredients to be a top, family-friendly destination, with the City and the business community working very well together toward new infrastructure to make it happen,” said Fitzgerald.  “The track record so far speaks for itself, with many new and exciting projects yet to come.”

This year’s leadership class boarded a John Knox Village bus to visit face to face with the movers and shakers who are helping to transform the city.  They travelled to the fishing pier to meet with Kevin Rickard, co-developer of the Pier project with several proposed new beach area restaurants, boutiques, and outdoor leisure areas.

They visited Jeff Torode, president of South Florida Diving Headquarters, who showed the newest watersport to hit the area, and told about the latest effort to sink a ship offshore to support diving and our artificial reef system.  The group moved on to the new Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa, where GM Marco Fuentes told the group how occupancy has far exceeded the company’s expectations in just the first year of business.

After lunch, hosted by the Marriott, the group visited Bahama Beach Club to see an example of one of the area’s Superior Small Lodgings.  The Leadership group also met with Greg Martzoff, General manager of the city’s golf facility and new Greg Norman signature Pines Course.

The bus tour ended in Old Pompano where city engineer Horacio Danovich talked about how the city is restoring the original downtown into a quaint complex of restaurants, galleries and boutiques.  He showed plans for a public plaza at the corner of Atlantic and Flagler that will be an inviting entry to the restored old town area.  As a special treat and finale for the day, the group was invited in to see the just-completed Bailey Contemporary Arts building – a renovation of the original Bailey Hotel built in the 1920s. An open and free-to-the public art gallery occupies most of the first floor, while working artist lofts occupy most of the upstairs.

“By the end of the day, our Leadership North Broward class had a broader appreciation for the economic impact of tourism and the practical benefits to residents who live here,” said Chadia Ghanem, Chair of Leadership North Broward.  “We see how the efforts of the city and the business community working together are making a big impact on improving the quality of life here through tourism.”

For more information, please contact:

Elaine Fitzgerald, Tourism Day Facilitator (954) 471-6704
Chadia Ghanem, 2014 Leadership North Broward Co-Chair (954) 946-9730
Photos, below:
Group meets with Kevin Rickard, co-developer of the Pier project
Group meets with Jeff Torode, president of South Florida Diving Headquarters
Group meets with Marco Fuentes, General Manager of Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa
Group meets with Greg Martzoff, General manager of the city’s golf facility and new Greg Norman signature Pines Course
Group meets with city engineer Horacio Danovitch in Old Pompano

Leadership North Broward program looking for applicants


Pompano Beach - If you are striving to be an emerging leader in your community, one way to gain support is through “Leadership North Broward,” an interactive learning experience design to develop leadership skills and provide an introduction to the communities of North Broward.  Leadership North Broward encompasses Pompano Beach, Lighthouse Point and the surrounding market areas.

Led by Chadia Ghanem of Auto Tech & Body, and now, Chuck Bell, of Bell & Bell Law Firm, this program meets one day a month for a tour and introduction of various areas within the community. The theme of the tour changes monthly from public service, public health, regional government, tourism, history day, business, non-profit and port sectors. The program will give the individual insight and access to the inner circle of local business, government, civic and community leaders.

“The Leadership North Broward vision is to inspire, inform and advance accomplished business men and women leaders who will influence our region’s future,” said Ghanem. “The program offers participants a close-up view of political, business and social issues and trends, information that is invaluable to them as executives or entrepreneur and active participant in the community.”

Leadership North Broward will also help develop and enhance participant’s leadership skills, business acumen and increase their personal marketability. This program is a great opportunity to belong to a unique group of business leaders, charting their course through today’s challenges and setting their compass for success in 2014.

Leadership North Broward is actively seeking tomorrow’s leaders. Class enrollment is limited to ensure each participant access and visibility. This year’s program will be comprised of 6 full day programs beginning in February and ending in September.  Keep the wind in your sails, complete the application and return it to the Pompano Beach Chamber of Commerce today! Class selection will be determined by creating a diverse group of individuals from the applications submitted, who have fully committed to the time requirements of this program.  For an application, email the Chamber at or contact Chadia Ghanem at Auto Tech and Body,, 954-946-9730. Leadership classes begin in February and will follow on the 3rd Thursday of every month. There is still time to apply.

About Greater Pompano Beach Chamber of Commerce: Celebrating its 67th anniversary, The GREATER POMPANO BEACH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, INC. is dedicated to broadening and strengthening the local economy by orderly growth and development; improving the quality of life in the area; developing a positive attitude toward business and the free enterprise system; promoting cooperation among governments, organizations and special interest groups in North Broward County to solve mutual problems and accomplish mutual goals. Visit for latest news and events from the Pompano Beach Chamber of Commerce. Media Contact: Andrea Freygang, 954-822-7501.