Kathryn Bevilacqua-Ely Takes the Reins
As Bartow Chamber’s Executive Director
Kathryn Bevilacqua-Ely, 30, is the new director of the Greater Bartow Chamber of Commerce, as of January 1, 2020.
At the Chamber’s Annual Meeting on January 25, Bevilacqua-Ely said she is excited to serve. “Despite how fast our world is changing, one thing remains constant – people,” she said during a welcoming speech to the crowd of 350.
“It is people who make up organizations and it is the relationships forged that often determines one’s level of success.” She said the goal of the Bartow Chamber has been, and will continue to be, helping members to achieve personal and business success. The Bartow Chamber provides tools for its members’ success through training and education, community connection, promotion, visibility and relationship building.
Since coming on board, Bevilacqua-Ely has been responsible for groundbreaking programs that have helped the Bartow Chamber remain a viable source for educating its business members, such as providing an opportunity for members to earn a Women in Leadership certificate; revamping a Professional Development Academy in partnership with Polk State College; and helping provide an improved ENGAGE Young Professionals program.
The Bartow Chamber welcomed 33 new members in 2019, updated its digital presence through a new website launch; and added an updated internal membership software system to better serve members. Also in 2019, Bevilacqua-Ely took on the role of Bartow Chamber liaison for one of the Chamber’s most successful programs, Bartow Chamber Leadership.
“It was a very busy 2019,” Bevilacqua-Ely noted. “I look forward to continuing to maintain our Chamber’s relevancy through networking opportunities, both face to face and digitally, and providing you, our members, with the useful resources you want and need.”
She recognized the work of the Chamber volunteers – the Ambassadors, Delegates and Diplomats, and all of the Committee members who help with the day-to-day functions of the Chamber; and also recognized outgoing Executive Director Jeff Clark, thanking him for his nearly two decades of service as Executive Director, saying, “Jeff is a Bartow Icon. He is more than an Executive Director to those who have worked with him. He is a friend, a confidant, a mentor and a source of unwavering support. I hope you know what you mean to those in this room and to the Bartow Community,” she said, as she introduced a short video created by the Chamber’s Communication Director, Virginia Condello, showing scenes from Clark’s time at the Chamber.
Following the video, the crowd rose to their feet in a standing ovation, honoring Clark.
Prior to coming to work at the Chamber in 2018, Bevilacqua-Ely worked at the Villages at Laurel Meadows as the property manager; and at MADE Brands as an account executive. She also worked on several political campaigns throughout Polk County.
“I want to thank each of you for supporting and investing in your Chamber,” Bevilacqua-Ely said. “I am excited to serve as your Executive Director, and look forward to a fantastic 2020!”
Kathryn Bevilacqua-Ely welcomes a crowd of 350 to the Greater Bartow Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting as the organization’s new Executive Director on January 25th.