Chamber membership is an investment in your business. Take advantage of the variety of ways to connect with members and promote your products and services. Seek opportunities to “Call A Chamber Member First” to promote commerce among members. You will realize a return on your investment!
“Membership in the Chamber has been integral to the growth of my business; my development as a business person; and my greater involvement in the community as a whole.” Jared Blaut, DRW Magazine
“The Chamber has provided the opportunity to network with local businesses. I have realized a two fold increase in my business through the referrals received from fellow members and been able to refer associates and clients to Chamber members as well. ” Ted DeSibio, Whisper Travel
“Chamber membership has been very beneficial for my business in attracting new clients and as a resource for growing and sustaining my business. Additionally, membership has provided me with a trusted referral source to meet client needs.” Tom Sewell, Heritage Tax & Accounting Services
My name is Brett Gittelman and I am the owner of CanesWear at Miami FanWear, in Davie. My business partner, Ken Graff and I could not be happier to have been chosen as the featured member of the month. We greatly appreciate the Davie-Cooper City Chamber and what it has done for us in such a short time.
In March of this year, Alex came into our store to purchase some Dolphins items for a friend. When ringing up her order, I asked what she did, she explained she was with the Chamber. We discussed the current status of the Chamber and all of the exciting things that were happening. It is a perfect fit for CanesWear. We can help out the community and promote our business at the same time! A win win for everyone.
The Chamber has been amazing. We have attended a few events and have met a lot of great people. Everyone we have met so far have been extremely friendly and have welcomed us with open arms! We are looking forward to a very long and prosperous relationship!
The staff has been fantastic! They have personally reached out to us to see if there is anything that they can do to help us. It is a perfect time, since we are about to have our Grand Opening of our new store on August 10! Nikki and Alex are great! They are very responsive and are always looking out for all of their members. Ken reached out to Alex to help promote the Chamber at a local UM Alumni event. She immediately got him in contact with Chamber members that are also Alumni. Due to the value we see in the Chamber and its staff, we are extending our partnership and sponsoring the upcoming golf tournament!
In 2010 a friend and I bought out a warehouse in Dania that had items from many Colleges and NFL teams. It mainly contained apparel from the big 3 college football programs (Miami, Florida, Florida State) in the state. Having grown up in Miami, I have always had a passion for the University of Miami. In April of 2010, we moved our warehouse from Dania to Davie and named our business Home Team FanWear. A few months later a friend took some University of Florida items up to Gainesville to try to sell to the stores. He found a company that was happy to sell all their ‘Canes items in exchange for all our Gator items. That was the moment CanesWear was born! We ran the business entirely out of that little unconditioned warehouse for four years. During that time, we developed quite the following in the ‘Canes Community, thanks to social media and our marketing efforts. Fans from South Florida started learning about us, as well as fans from all 50 States. Starting in 2011, we were approached by Beth Azor at the Shoppes of Arrowhead to come and try a store in her plaza for a month. I was not convinced that we were ready to make a move of that size. We also turned her down in 2012 and 2013. In 2014, I decided to go to her office and ask if they would be interested in a 6 month trial run, to see how we would do for the upcoming football season. In August of 2014 we opened in our new store in the Shoppes of Arrowhead and the response has been amazing. The location turned out to be a great fit! The newly remodeled shopping center, Laspadas Subs and all of the other stores provided walk-in traffic that continued our growth. Fast forward to August 2018 and we have outgrown our “trial” store. We are moving to a larger more modern store in the same plaza that has done so much for us. We are now closer to Mission BBQ and Burger 21.
Shortly after moving to the new store location, Ken came to the store for the first time. He is a University of Miami alumnus with a BBA and MBA from there. The Broward ‘Canes Community was looking for sponsorship’s for a golf tournament that was in the works. Ken introduced himself to me and explained what the organization was looking for. The tournament never got off the ground, but that meeting proved to be very beneficial for both of us! Ken would visit the store often and help out when a couple of extra hands were needed. I knew that we needed Ken to have a more permanent role in the company if CanesWear was going to grow to my level of expectations. I asked Ken to be part of the team officially and he agreed. Ken has been an excellent partner. We complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses pretty well and have indeed grown the business together.
We started our company with one goal. We strive to give world class customer service to each and every customer. CanesWear has the largest selection of University of Miami merchandise outside of Coral Gables. The atmosphere of family and positivity brings a smile to almost everyone that walks in the door. Customers like to look at merchandise in person and have wanted a place like this in Broward County. CanesWear is also on the way to the stadium. It has become a pregame ritual to stop by the store for the latest gear and see fellow ‘Canes fans before tailgating and watching the ‘Canes at Hard Rock Stadium.
CanesWear has become a company that is respected in the University of Miami community. We have sponsored events for the UM Sports Hall of Fame, UM athletics, Homecoming, and more. Alumni from across the country have come to us and expressed their appreciation for what we are doing for them and the promotion of The U. It is great! We also sell local pro team merchandise, so our slogan is fitting. We are the spot that Miami fans shop!
We would recommend local businesses to join the chamber or to come back and give it another try. It is a fun way to be involved in the community and to meet fantastic people. Most importantly, local promotion of your business. Nothing can replace that. You never know who you will meet that will catapult you to the next level.
CanesWear at Miami FanWear
2511 S. University Drive
Davie, FL 33324
My name is Michele Singer and I am the owner of Tasteful Thoughts, a handmade chocolate store, locate in Cooper City. I am honored to be chosen as the featured member of the month and appreciate everything the Davie-Cooper City Chamber has done for me.
I have been making chocolates for 33 years as a hobby. For over 30 years, my full time job was in Television, working behind the scenes. I did everything from staging to cameras to bringing in live shots and satellite feeds. I have worked at Channels 4, 6 and 7. I also worked as a free lancer for the Florida Panthers, Dolphins, Heat, and the Marlins, which is where I met my husband. Three years ago, I left WTVJ, NBC 6 to make my hobby my career. We tested the waters to see if people who received my chocolate for free would now pay for it and tell their friends. They did. Things were going well so we decided to take the next step and look for a storefront.
I signed a lease on my store the last week of May in 2017. The first thing I did after freaking out about what I had done was call the Davie-Cooper City Chamber of Commerce. I reached Nikki right away. I asked a million questions about business, how the Chamber works, the events they do, and the people involved, etc. She answered each and every one of them and made me feel totally comfortable. We hung up. I had more questions so I called her again. She answered them honestly. A few hours later Nikki called me back to see if I had more questions. We talked some more. I found out only a few months ago that Nikki was on vacation when we originally spoke. That shows you the type of person she is and what she brings to the Davie-Cooper City Chamber.
I know that Nikki was totally honest with her words and advice because I’ve been a Chamber member for one year now and everything she said has been true. Now, I’d like to tell you what I have seen and what the Chamber means to me.
I first started giving out my chocolates at the breakfasts as a way of introducing myself and my business. I also know that people have come into the store because of the samples I’ve been leaving. Now I do it because it’s fun to do. I love hearing the reactions of people who enjoy the chocolate and take the leftovers to bring to their office. If I can put a smile on your face with one piece of chocolate, then my job is done. But, if one piece of chocolate puts you in a good mood, imagine how you will feel after coming to my store!
I joined the Women in Business group when I became a Chamber member. These ladies have been awesome. They welcomed me with open arms, and just like the Davie-Cooper City Chamber staff, helped me with any questions I had, gave me support and lots of suggestions to help my business. They have now become friends and have been the first ones to support me in everything I do.
When I had my ribbon cutting with the Chamber I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought a few people might attend, cut the ribbon, stay and have lunch and then go home. It wasn’t until Tami Wolfe, from my Women In Business group said to me, I hope you are stocked up because we are coming to buy from you. It was then that I realized how much they were all supporting me. And buy they did. I was so busy helping Chamber members purchase chocolate that I wasn’t able to mingle with everyone who came out to support my ribbon cutting. During the almost 3 months Tasteful Thoughts has been open, Chamber members have been in the store, not only to buy, but just to stop in to say hello and see how I’m doing. Chamber members have shared my Facebook posts which have brought me business from people I have never met. But most of all, it’s the friendships I’ve made from the Chamber that I cherish the most. I know that when I advertise with someone from the Chamber, like I did with Nikki Reading, from Sports and Activities, it’s because I trust them and know them. I know that I will be purchasing TV spots from Chamber member Lauren Olevitch from Comcast Spotlight because of our relationship. I have Comcast in the store because of Michelle Ceballos, who I met through the Chamber. They provided Chamber rates to other chamber members that made it affordable for me have marketing opportunities. I know there are others in here that I would like to do business with as well, I just haven’t gotten to you yet.
Networking costs money no matter where you go or what you are involved in. But when you realize how much it costs to be a Chamber member and what you get out of it, I highly recommend it because the value is 100% there. For a small annual fee you get over 6 events or opportunities to attend to help grow your business every month. I love the fact that even though I couldn’t attend a meeting because I was at my store, I had a few people tell me that my chocolates were mentioned. Who does that? These ladies do! They have all of our backs and recommend our businesses. I have called Nikki myself to have her recommend a business and was very happy with the results from that. Nikki’s book of contacts within the chamber and resources are incredible. I always get an answer or a solution.
I have found that working with and referring other Chamber businesses is very helpful to all of us. My store is located 2 doors away from Victoria Duke from Academy of Glam. These are a very powerful and dynamic group of women that have been awesome to me. Nikki made the introduction immediately when I started to work on my new space. If you haven’t been there, you should go. You feel welcome from the moment you walk in the door. Victoria and her employees have been very helpful in getting the word out about my business to their clients and I so appreciate that. We enjoy the cross marketing and having our business in the heart of Cooper City.
I highly recommend being involved and joining the Davie-Cooper City Chamber for three reasons. It will bring awareness to your business, it will bring revenue and you will meet the nicest group of people that not only want you to succeed but want to help you succeed as well. You can’t pay your bills with kindness, but when Chamber members talk to their friends and co-workers about the businesses in the Chamber, that’s who we want to target. I don’t necessarily want you coming to my store everyday to buy chocolates, you can of course, but I want to get your friends and neighbors shopping here as well. I want them to think of me when they need a basket or have an event. I need the Chamber to help spread the word about my business and that’s what the Chamber does and has done for me.
You don’t only have to have a business in the Davie or Cooper City area to join this Chamber. Some of our businesses are here, but we live in other places. I would recommend joining the Davie-Cooper City Chamber whether you lived in this area or out west. It’s worth it. I would do business with someone I met at a Chamber event or was recommended from the Chamber before I would look up the number of a business of someone that I don’t know. It’s trust within the people you know and let me tell you, from Day 1, I’m very happy with the people in this room and also those that couldn’t attend this morning.
I have always been about charity and giving back. When the Chamber needs something for an event, I donate a basket. When desserts are needed, I donate a platter. Nikki, Alex and Krystal work very hard in this community and I honestly believe that they work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week just so that we can network ourselves and our businesses. Their job is to help us succeed and they do that and much more. Charity events are their way of giving back to the community so helping them is the least I can do.
Signing up for the Davie-Cooper City Chamber is a decision that I made on my own because of Nikki Hanna. Continuing to be involved is something I do because of everyone I met in the Chamber and what the Chamber ladies do. Sometimes it takes time for people to frequent your business but trust me they will. I’m learning the business end step by step and am grateful for everyone’s help and advice. I know my business is more successful due to the Davie-Cooper City Chamber of Commerce and I’m very proud to be a member.
8692 Griffin Rd, Cooper City, FL 33328
1-What made you choose to join the Davie-Cooper City Chamber?
As a seasoned business woman I know the importance of getting involved with your local chamber. For me, it was a two-fold decision. First, to become acquainted with local businesses and develop new friendships, and second, to actively promote and grow my real estate company. I chose this particular chamber because of its location, but more importantly, because of its leadership and the great energy of the group.
2- What made you spear head the creation of the Wednesday’s Leads Group? How did you build it? What results have you seen personally that you gained in business contacts and what has your other leads group members gained?
I had researched and attended other leads groups, including the BNI, and found the need for a luncheon group with a strong network of business owners and professionals that would be successful in growing in a different structure.
I found that meeting every week was a greater time commitment than most could give. I have always been the type of person to create my own path and chart new waters. I knew that many professionals have small children or other morning obligations and wanted a centrally located meeting place. It was natural for me to want to create and grow a successful group of business owners and professionals. Growth comes from leadership, true, but not without a successful team of active members. Carefully selecting the correct mix of members, you can create the dynamic you want for growth. Being committed to growth and a strong referral system is essential to joining the group. It works! If you offer a platform for your members to shine and grow their business, others want to get involved. It’s natural. We all want to grow and become the best at what we do, offering our services to members of the community. As a whole, both myself and virtually everyone in our group, has benefited by obtaining leads and growing their businesses. We are dedicated to that result and report the results of our networking activities each time we meet, including our successes. Our success become the success of the group. It is a strong, wonderful connection that I believe we all appreciate. If you put in the effort you will achieve results.
3- What type of growth have you seen in the Chamber since you joined?
For those involved in the Chamber it’s easy to see the change in our membership and direction. Having overseen a cities operation, it was, and is, evident, that managements tone down will create the environment for ALL staff and those you do business with. That being said, Nikki, Alex and Krystal, have an infectious way about them that attracts people. When you combine that with extremely hard work, focus and a goal, it becomes evident in all they do – its explosive.
4- What is your favorite event?
I actually love them all. I have a special fondness for the Marando Farms & Ranch events because it is a place I have visited often with my grandchildren.
5- Why do you believe in sponsoring Chamber events? The benefits you got. The venues you chose to sponsor for visibility.
I love helping others grow. It is rewarding. I was taught at an early age that if you give, you shall receive. You cannot expect to grow if you don’t help others grow. It is truly a community driven affair! The benefits for myself in sponsoring events is to help the chamber grow and to assist in the more specific needs of the community. I must admit, it is also a ton of fun!
6- What future plans do you have to get involved in more Chamber events.
As chair of the Wednesday leads group I feel a responsibility to help any of my members who help lead an event. As such, I will help sponsor them to ensure continued growth of my group and its members. I also love meeting new people and helping others grow. I am excited to be sponsoring the Golf Tournament in November, 2018, being involved with the speed networking event we are currently planning, as well as continued support of the events given and offered by the members of my group and members of the chamber.
7- What is your professional background? How do you use your transferable skills to create a successful real estate career?
I started my career as a CPA in 1984. I joined the Princeton Chamber of Commerce and quickly became a speaker at the Wednesday Small Business breakfast meetings, talking about taxation, financial statements and anything helpful to the community. I worked as an accountant in private industry and transitioned to public accounting, which gave me a very broad set of skills. I eventually opened my own firm.
I then became interested in the law when I wanted to give back in a different way; my father, having influenced me, was an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Connecticut. I studied at the Rutgers School of Law, where, as a student, I founded and directed the second Innocence Project in the country. I taught other students for two years, with a commitment to the law school to run the Innocence Project (pro bono) for an additional two years after graduation. At graduation, I was the recipient of the Eli Jarmet l Memorial Prize/Public Interest Award “For the student demonstrating the greatest interest and proficiency in public interest law.” I joined the adult felony division of the Essex County Public Defenders Office, where I fell in love with litigation. After a number of years, I transferred to Denver, CO, where I practiced as an attorney, CPA and real estate developer. I specialized in real estate, corporate and criminal law, including the negotiation and sale of businesses, contract review, trial litigations, formation of businesses and more.
I later moved to South Florida to be near family, where I joined a South Florida municipality as the City Auditor, overseeing a city with an annual budget of approximately $194M and 800 employees. Unfortunately, as an auditor and attorney, the degree of separation between you and your clients is very real.
I wanted to combine my skills with something I truly loved, where I could interact more freely with people and my community. It was a natural transition into real estate full time, as the CEO of The St John Group at Keller Williams in Plantation. Having worked with real estate in a variety of capacities, I fell in love with the idea of serving clients at a very professional level. I believe my highly specialized skills uniquely help others in the purchase, sale and investment of real estate. My legal and CPA background offer my clients an exceptionally strong ally in negotiations, contracts (in understanding and drafting the right language to protect my clients) and overall attention to detail. It is always my goal to exceed my client’s expectation and operate my business with a high value on professionalism and successful transactions. My motto is “Keep the $ in YOUR pocket” with Lori St John.
8- Any other community associations or awards you have received in your career?
Yes, I have been recognized in the legal community with a Scholars paper award, speaking presentation awards and other achievements throughout my life. However, the most important recognition to me now is in serving my community with a high degree of professional and expertise, with great success for my clients. It is truly a dream to match a family’s lifestyle with their real estate needs and develop lifelong friendships with my clients. It is wonderful to love what you do!
Lori is also the Chair of the Wednesday Leads Group that meets on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month at Blue Moon Diner from
We want to thank Lori for launching this leads from in September of 2017.
Dr. Aimee Sanchez-Zadak
Entrepreneur * Innovator * Public Speaker * Psychology Professor * Philanthropist
You have an entrepreneur spirit and have created several amazing businesses in the community while being an adjunct psychology professor at NSU. What got you started in your first role and how did you evolve into other avenues of business?
In 1992, Rich convinced me to go for my passion in psychology. I started my masters at NSU in Mental Health Counseling. During my 2nd semester, I found out I was pregnant. At the time I was working for Electronic Data Systems, traveling quite a bit, working on my masters and now with a baby on the way. Rich and I came up with the idea of decorating parties, but strictly with balloons (years ago I met a woman who had a balloon/basket business and loved it). We did, I joined the chamber in 1993, joined the communication committee which led me to meet with the Dolphins who were sponsoring a breakfast. I was to write an article for them in the Chamber newsletter. I donated all the balloon decor for that breakfast and asked them to consider me in the future. They did and 25 seasons later, we still work with them. In the meantime, I received my masters, pursued and received my doctors in Leadership and Human Services at NSU and began teaching in 1997 in our Psychology School.
Balloonatics is one of the leading companies within Florida. Zadak Research & Development is my best kept secret. I work closely with high profile individuals, who put their full trust in my behavioral strategies that help them cope with life.
You are a consultant, public speaker and authored a book. What made you start this journey? I can only say a passion to help people work through life. It’s not easy and it takes a village. I love being part of that village.
You created “This is Improv”. Explain what this company is all about.
This Is Improv, was really Angelica and Alexandra (my daughter’s vision), my part is the behavioral aspect of the business. I realized that Improv could assist people in “rehearsing” reality. I’m just over the moon with the idea that I could use my daughter’s expertise and training to help people cope
How have you seen NSU grown over the years since you first started?
Beyond my expectations. I’m probably NSU’s biggest cheerleader. When I attended there was Mailman Building and Parker Building. Now it’s just phenomenal. I would love to re-educate parents that it’s okay if your kids don’t go away to college. They can stay locally and have an amazing education. There are so many alumni that should be prompted to have their children become part of the NSU family. I did, both my daughters are now alum
Why did you re-join the Davie-Coper City Chamber?
Because Nikki came onboard! Unfortunately I left the Chamber right after my mom passed away. It was difficult being president and running to her chemo treatment. I think I was overwhelmed and burnt. Life happened. When Angelica and Alexandra started This is Improv, they wanted to be part of a community. They tried various associations in Miami and then I heard there were changes happening at the Chamber. Diane Grant, who I trust 100%, said the changes were amazing. I went to a breakfast, saw the energy of your team and thought the chamber would be a great place for the girls and me!
What Leadership roles have you held in the chamber over the years and in the community?
Since 1993 I was part of the Communication committee, chaired the communication and education committee. Wrote the procedures for the chair’s of all the committees, created the new logo brand “A world of Resources” with the help of the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, led the retreats for the Chamber for their yearly vision, worked on the newsletter, created a partnership with the Miami Dolphins and was president.
In the community, I was named 2012 Hispanic Women of the Year, was Chair of the International Live Events Association and currently I am Chair of the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation. I have reviewed grants of over 1 million dollars in the Scientific Committees and the Education Committees for the FBCF. I am a partner with Kakes4Kids, a foundation for foster children in the community. Spoke at NSU TEDx which was a life long goal.
How has your company evolved since you first opened the doors?
Balloonatics became the “all American Dream”. We are very active in the community. Our clients are really an extended family. To be able to say we have clients that are still with us after 25 years means a lot to me. We are constantly reinventing ourselves and listening to our extended families. We focus on service. Anyone can buy a balloon, but it’s the trust that we will deliver that makes it important. As a Behavioral Strategist, the same rule applies. Trust is key in any relationship. My father was one of the top insurance reps for United. He taught me the power of relationships. That can only be fostered through a mutual trust.
Your daughter, Angelica Zadak, and you are both chamber members. Tell us how you both work together on work projects and in the community as a team.
Angelica and Alexandra understand the imporatance of a relationship. They would both attend the board meetings with a small lunch box full of snacks to keep them entertained (we didn’t have an Ipad back then — LOL). They are members and on the board of the Davie Women’s Club and I am a member. We have meetings every Sunday on business. Stephen Covey said, “Treat your business like a family and your family like a business”. I took that to heart. The girls are both very grounded in the community. They were born and lived in Cooper city for the first 10 years of their life and then we moved to Davie. So their entire life has evolved in this community. They take their loyalty very seriously.
We love working on projects together. We have the same goals, to make projects a success for EVERYONE involved. It’s never about the money, that makes things muddy. It’s the end result. If we are selling strawberry shortcakes at the Women’s Club, we’re going to make the entire experience a fun one for everyone involved. Attitude and energy is important.
Why would you recommend someone to join the chamber or rejoin the chamber?
I was just talking to Norma Reed from Delicious Delights and suggested she rejoin. Absolutely! Because the energy is amazing. I believe in the community. I believe in your team!
What changes have you seen in the chamber since you came back? How is this chamber impacting the business community?
I see people being engaged and happy. The luncheon in June was a perfect example. Important topics were addressed (what to do in the case of a shooting) and people were engaged. We have so much that is happening in the world. I still believe the chamber can be a “world of resources”. How wonderful that the business community can have a place where they can feel safe enough to call and get answers. If you don’t have the answers, your team will assist in guiding their members to the right place or person. That’s priceless. Leadership is key. I think Nikki brings that to the Chamber.
This is Improv- 1-888-622-0551