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Southern Ocean Chamber Of Commerce Ramps Up Tourism Efforts

First meeting of 2014 an important one

by Patricia A. Miller

The temperatures might be hovering in the single digits, but the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce is already prepping for warm summer days.

"We are promoting a full calendar of events," said Lori Pepenella. "Right now we are in full winter and summer promotion."

The goals for 2014 - the Chamber's 100th anniversary - will be detailed at 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 14 at the Holiday Inn in Manahawkin, when chamber officials discuss new program roll-outs, economic development announcements and enhanced events, she said.

Two of the chamber's partners are also slated to speak. Norris Clark of Princeton Strategic Communications will discuss how to promote stories about business and events throughout the Southern Ocean region - with a focus on New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Washington, D.C., Pepenella said.

Erik Hastings, the co-founder of Olive Bone Productions, will discuss new videos aimed at attracting visitors and investors to the Southern Ocean area. The videos will be shot this year.

2013 was a year of recovery for the region. The chamber had to cope with the devastating effects of Superstorm Sandy and the continuing sour economy, she said.

But there were some bright spots, especially the 25th Annual Chowderfest held in Beach Haven last fall, Pepenella said.

"It was very important for a lot of reasons," she said. "It was the 25th anniversary. It kind of reconnected a lot of people. It was the familiar we were missing."

Southern Ocean County Chamber Funding Committee will also present checks to the Lighthouse International Film Festival, Cake That and Tuckerton Seaport at the meeting..

The Southern Ocean Chamber kicked off its 100th anniversary in November by targeting municipalities in the region, beginning with Barnegat.
Tuckerton businesses will be highlight this month, followed by Lacey in March, Stafford in May and Long Beach Island during the summer months.

Tickets to the Jan. 14 meeting are $20 per person. That includes a buffet lunch, networking and the programs. Contact the Southern Ocean County Chamber at 609-494-7211, or online www.visitLBIregion.com.


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