Message from the Chairman

It is my sincere honor to accept and assume responsibility for leadership at the Chamber.  I follow in the footsteps of the impressive and accomplished Alex Chamberlain and 94 other predecessors before me who have led this strong and important organization. 

Now I may be going out on a limb here but I suspect that I may be the only chairperson of this Chamber who has been a Harbormaster, Designed Surgical Instruments, Operated an English School in Czechoslovakia, and Founded a Medical Spa.  People often look at me puzzled when they learn about my somewhat random and varied background and they ask – how did all that happen?  But, in fact, there is a common theme to my endeavors and that theme is a love for community and helping and serving others.  I can’t necessarily say that I recognized this early on in my career or that it was a calculated plan but as I’ve looked back, it is apparent to me that I gravitate towards opportunities, groups, and situations that allow me to bring people to together for the purpose of helping others, giving back, and accomplishing great things.  We are here because we care about the Clearwater region and we take responsibility for making it a better place.    

Clearwater is the jewel in the crown of Pinellas County.  This beautiful place we get to call home offers the world’s best beaches, a top vacation destination, breathtaking sunsets, iconic local restaurants like Salt Rock and Island Way, Frenchy’s and ClearSky.  We have state of the art health care including BAYCARE, one of the best health care systems in the country.  We are proud home to the Philadelphia Phillies spring training and to the Clearwater Threshers.  We enjoy St Pete College, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, and a vibrant and diverse cultural scene including Clearwater Jazz Holiday, Ruth Eckerd Hall and The Capitol Theatre.  And so so much more.

So many things make this area great, I could go on and on.  But what makes this area great?  Did it happen by accident?  Was it the geography?  Or is it that generations of residents, civil leaders, and businesses had a vision and committed their time and resources to that vision to make it reality?  By virtue of the fact that you are all here tonight verifies that you know the answer.  You get it.  You are the drivers.  You are the leaders.  You are the givers who contribute your time and resources to making the Clearwater region a very very special place to live and to work.   You drive business and industry, you teach our children and young adults, you push the limits of technology every day, and you lift our hearts with sport, entertainment, and culture.

Along with this important priority, we as a Chamber will also continue to focus our resources in the coming year on 4 strategic areas of priority – Tourism, Economic Development, Advocacy, and Member Experience.  And we have an amazing team assembled to help accomplish great things in all these areas in the year ahead.   Carol Hague, our fearless leader, along with her talented staff, Zach, Ella, Mitzi, Kristina, and Johanna are already hard at work towards making this year a success.  And we are so incredibly fortunate to have such an impressive and accomplished group of Board Members and Member Volunteers to help guide and execute our strategic plans for the coming year.      

As the new Board Chair, I ask you to join me as we pool together all our diverse backgrounds and experiences to work together to make Clearwater and the region even better for future generations.   Thank you all for your generous service and for dedicating your time and resources to helping this diverse and rich community continue to thrive.

Stephanie Schlageter
Founder and Owner of Radiance Medspa
2017 Board Chair                                            


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