By Bridgette Waldau

On June 11, 2021, the Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County celebrated their 10th Anniversary. The well attended event was held at the Chamber Building at 55 South Parrott Avenue.

The celebration included a ribbon cutting, video presentation and light refreshments. Mariah Parriott was also honored for her dedicated 10 years as office manager with the Chamber.

The Chamber also celebrated the 10 year Anniversary with a lobby face lift. The remake includes new brochure racks, seating area and framed photography by local photographers.

After a brief hiatus, the Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County reassembled and reestablished itself in January 2011. The Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County was launched because of the hard work and efforts of Okeechobee Main Street’s Economic Restructuring Committee. The successful launch of the organization would not have been possible without the collaboration and financial support of Okeechobee County and the City of Okeechobee. Business leaders throughout the community and partner organizations such as the Economic Council of Okeechobee were also instrumental in helping get this effort off to a great start.

JD Mixon was the first president of the then newly formed Chamber. A charter member, Mixon remembers getting started and he takes pride in being a part of the new Chamber that is now ten years old. He recalls the hard work it took to get the Chamber started up again. JD and others put in a lot of long volunteer hours to find ways to move the new chamber forward.

They faced several unique challenges such as communicating to local businesses that they were different while at the same time assuring that they would maintain the same positive aspects of the former chamber.

The primary goal of the Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County is to strengthen and build on their history and tradition in tourism and agriculture while working to diversify the base of industries and encourage the creation of additional high wage job opportunities. Okeechobee has become home to several manufacturing firms fabricating products ranging from specialty construction components and marine industry products to telecommunications equipment. Businesses seeking to relocate or expand in Florida will find a great home in Okeechobee.

Former Chamber President Terry Burroughs, now Okeechobee County Commissioner Chairman said, “We are committed to making Okeechobee a better place to live, where people want to stay and work in a vital and growing economic climate.”

Current President of the Chamber Tabitha Trent states, “The Chamber is here to showcase what makes Okeechobee unique from all the surrounding communities. Our Chamber board and staff work tirelessly to bring a competitive advantage to Chamber members in their growth through our programming, special events, small business seminars and networking opportunities”.