Burning Bridges

Dec 22, 2023 -- Posted by : admin

I've lived here for over 35 years. I've been in many different networking groups and have always been a member of a Chamber of Commerce. I've been an Ambassador, served on the Board as Chairman, and most recently, Past Chairman of the East Lee County Chamber of Commerce.

I resigned my position on December 1, 2023.

I resigned for two reasons:

  • Treatment of Small Businesses
  • Disappearance of the Scholarship Fund

This Chamber, like others, has courted major businesses and politicians for membership, allowing small businesses to fall by the wayside. I get that, they have money. What I don't get is, they no longer support the small business owner or offer much of anything of value to them. When the Chamber does business with small business owners, it's been my experience recently, that the small business owner will get screwed.

This chamber has purchased subscriptions and services from Red Sneakers for more than a decade. I'll admit, after my wife's death, I didn't pay much attention to receivables, especially of clients that typically paid on time. But over that year, payments were all but non-existent from this chamber. Instead of sitting down to discuss their lack of cash due to the steady decline of membership, they resorted to bullying tactics, telling me why I should turn over the subscriptions to them immediately, without payment.

I offered a solution.

The solution was for the Chamber to take the amount owed to Red Sneakers from the Scholarship Fund. Not to worry, it would be deposited in the Foundation for Lee County Schools in my name, where I would sign whatever documents were needed to make certain it went to the scholarships for the Top Chef Scholarship Challenge. The bottom line, Red Sneakers would not get paid, the Chamber would not have money taken out of its operating budget, and the scholarship could continue. I thought it was a win-win solution.

They said no.

I was informed there was no scholarship fund. What? $35,000+ missing from the Scholarship Fund? I asked for an accounting of the scholarship fund and asked every Board Member to chime in and request an audit. Complete silence from EVERY Board member was the answer. 

The East Lee County Chamber Chairman decided to burn a bridge that had been built over decades. There is a lesson to be learned here...

I will not support an organization that pretends to be community-focused once a year during the GALA, honoring teachers, when they allow scholarship funds for students to mysteriously disappear. I will not allow the Top Chef Scholarship Challenge to end just because the Chamber allowed the Scholarship fund to fall into the abyss.

I have contacted the Foundation for Lee County Schools and we've established a scholarship fund for the Top Chef Scholarship Challenge. They will be collecting the money and will be distributing it from now on. If you'd like to be involved or donate to the scholarship fund, click the button below to learn more.


- Ed Moore, SEO Coach favicon-16x16.png


Recent Posts
May 17, 2024, 2:34 PM
As an experienced digital marketer, I've seen firsthand the power of blogging when it comes to boosting a website's search…
May 3, 2024, 2:53 PM
Geo-fencing is a location-based digital marketing strategy that allows businesses to create virtual boundaries around…
Apr 26, 2024, 3:22 PM
As an experienced SEO professional, I've come to understand that competitive analysis is a vital component of any successful…

Servicing Estero, Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Naples and Lehigh Acres.

Red Sneakers Mobile Marketing & Communication