Chamber members approve merger

400-KIRK-WENDLANDKirk Wendland reported to Historic City News that the general membership of both the Ponte Vedra Beach Chamber of Commerce and St Johns County Chamber of Commerce overwhelmingly approved a resolution Friday to merge the two organizations; as previously endorsed by each body’s board of directors.

For the first time since the two organizations split in 1996, the St Johns County Chamber has united the county’s two largest geographic areas of employment.

“The overwhelming support from our respective memberships affirms our belief that our organizations will be stronger together,” Wendland, who is president of the St Johns County Chamber, said. “We look forward to exploring the new opportunities this partnership will make possible.”

The organizations will be merged under the flag of the St Johns County Chamber of Commerce. Part of the merger resolution creates a “Ponte Vedra Beach Division” which will have a dedicated office and staff.

The St Johns County Chamber of Commerce held its special general membership meeting at the St Augustine and St Johns County Board of Realtors. The membership voted unanimously, 83-0, to merge the two organizations.

A few hours earlier, the members of the Ponte Vedra Beach Chamber met at the Sawgrass Marriott and voted 54-2 in favor of the merger.

“The passing of Friday’s resolutions ensures that our county’s businesses will speak with one powerful voice,” Sandra Kavanaugh, Ponte Vedra Beach executive director, said. “As we move forward in partnership I am excited about what we can accomplish together.”

Currently, the Ponte Vedra Beach Chamber has more than 300 members and the St Johns County Chamber has just about 800 members. The merger is expected to be official in mid-March.

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