In 2004, Jason and I moved to a place we knew very little about – not knowing what to expect. And what we found was a city that embraced us, allowed us to build a business, welcome a family and become a part of an amazing community. Marathon is our home and we are fortunate to live in such a beautiful and welcoming place.

This past Friday night, I was humbled and honored to be sworn in as the new Chair of the Marathon Chamber of Commerce.

As business leaders, we must join together to explore the future, so that we may seize opportunities and conquer challenges together. We have all been through some trying times and it seems that we have found ourselves in a rebirth of Marathon – a revival – a renaissance.  The economy can be solved. It is happening right now. A new hotel will open in a couple weeks, homes are being sold, the lobsters are plentiful, and our progress on wastewater has made us the envy of the county.

I am excited to be among young professionals and business leaders who are ready to receive the torch that has been passed on by so many great men and women.

We look to those of you that have been pioneers of this town. We ask you for your hand and guidance to further strengthen this city. We need your voice.

Through Chamber action, we have created committees like the Community Affairs to form a tighter bond with local government and fight for issues that affect our business community. It is the synergy between an efficient government and involved businesses that allow a city to thrive and grow. We are fortunate to have a city council that acts in our best interests, but long-range goals need to be established between both entities so there is a clear path to a brighter future for everyone.

Marathon’s heritage is as deep as the ocean is blue. Founded as a railroad work camp and transformed into a commercial fishing capital, Marathon boomed into a family orientated city that now boasts some of the most unique natural attractions in the country.

The Dolphin Research Center, Turtle Hospital, Crane Point, Pigeon Key, our bountiful reef and with a little work and determination – Boot Key will be added to our world renowned assets that everyone should be invited to behold.  We are the boating destination of the Keys and our community reflects the free-spirited nature of the open ocean. But we offer so much more. Commercial and Sport fishing, numerous diving opportunities, inviting parks and beaches compliment our collection of incredible restaurants, unique shopping and extensive array of hotels, motel, resorts and vacation rentals that can accommodate any traveler.

As for my goals this year, I want us to stop expecting visitors to come revel in our beauty and start inviting them to explore our paradise.

In just a couple short weeks, two of our members will be traveling to an Orlando franchise expo. Their mission: to offer the Islands of Marathon to the world.

But we cannot forget our most important asset – each other. As members of our chamber, we must support each other because success is contagious and our prosperity starts at home.

Kate Koler is the co-owner of the Weekly Newspapers and Chair of the Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).



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