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History of the Chamber

In November of 1985, a steering committee meeting was held at the restaurant in Omni Drug Store.  Present were Johnny Treadwell, Sam Wiggins, Cecil Bodiford, Catherine Hanson, Shirley Grantham and a few others.

On March 17, 1986, the East Lake County Chamber of Commerce was formed and became incorporated in the State of Florida.  Founding members were Johnny Treadwell, Catherine Hanson, Bert McDonald, Jo Moseley, Tom Hampton, Sandra Richardson, Dan Sabin, Buddy Silcox, Sam Wiggins, Cecil Bodiford, David Daughtery, Bert Gnann, Milton Rains, Terry Scott and Shirley Grantham.

The first president of the Chamber of Commerce was Bert McDonald.  Additional past presidents since the founding have included Sam Wiggins, Shirley Grantham, Judy Paul, Mike Kennedy, Melissa Vu, Lynn Anderson, Dee Myslik, Jerry Cobb, Peggy O'Neil, Betty Ann Christian, Dr. Ron Holman, Catherine Hanson, Sue Brooks, Bill Smalley and Lisa DuRant.

The first office space was offered to the Chamber by the First National Bank of Mount Dora, using a desk in the lobby in the Sorrento office on a temporary basis (approximately 1 year).  Offering greetings from the chamber desk were several names you will remember:  Jann Gnann, Dot Pegues, Catherine Hanson, Maggie Fisher.

After much searching, the Board of Directors found property on Highway 437 South consisting of 3 ½ acres with a two-story house.  The chamber purchased the property for $82,000.

In October 1988 the loan was refinanced to obtain $29,400 to purchase, erect and pour concrete for a new community building. The Chamber still owns this property and it currently houses the East Lake County Library. The house on the property was hit by a car and declared unsafe.  The house was torn down and the Chamber rented the building on SR 46 owned by Dr. Holman for a few years.

In 2016 the board of directors purchased the current Chamber building and property at 24214 Sorrento Avenue.

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