MANATEE - As the new Manatee Chamber of Commerce
chairman of the board, Rich Pierro
has outlined a three step agenda that he
hopes to implement in 2005: More statues, more young professionals and more cooperation among municipal and county governments.
At the chamber's January membership banquet, Pierro
announced plans to help brand the Manatee Riverwalk, attract younger workers and support The Accord.Pierro
new board of 34 members were installed for their annual term last month.He
hopes to facilitate the development of a plan for the Manatee Riverwalk District that addresses the best use for the area.
"People are very interested in the chamber's new plan to bring art and statues to the riverwalk," Pierro
said."We hope to drive awareness of art in local businesses and expand the project."Pierro also wants to work with the Manatee Chamber and its Manatee Young Professionals group of 685 members to attract young professionals to the area.
"Young professionals are the future of Manatee County," Pierro
said."With all of the growth that we are seeing, we need people to fill new positions."He is also the chairman of the Manatee County Housing and Finance Authority, which helps to create affordable housing and offer affordable financing for first-time home buyers.
Pierro plans to use his
expertise in that field to help find ways to offer affordable housing for young professionals in the area.
"Homes in Manatee County
are so expensive as it is," Pierro
"We enjoy our relationship with county commissioners and would like to see if they can work on The Accord and put some teeth into it," Pierro
...Pierro, 47, is a lifelong resident of Manatee County and has been a member of the chamber for the last 15 years.He has also been a past vice chair of the chamber for the positions of treasurer, public affairs, and membership and development services.He
is a partner of Kitchner & Pierro
, an insurance company at 5550 26th St. W., which he
oversees with partner Skip Kitchner.Pierro
said the chairman of the board position is a time-consuming job that is also very rewarding.
"I have met so many great people through the Manatee Chamber of Commerce
said."My main goal is trying to communicate through our membership of more than 2,200 members."Pierro
works with the entire chamber staff and attends an executive and regular board meeting once a month, He
also holds monthly "Breakfast with the Chairman" events
for members who are invited to come receive updates and ask questions.
"I estimate that I attend about four of five chamber events
a week," Pierro
said.Neil Spirtas, vice president of public affairs at the chamber, believes Pierro is a solid choice for the chairman of the board position.