Gulf coast chambers of commerce merge

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News,Business,Chambers of Commerce

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) — Two Gulf coast chambers of commerce have merged, culminating a yearlong effort that combines the boards of both groups.

The Sun Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1dCLQN3) that the merger of the Orange Grove/Lyman Chamber with the Gulfport Chamber was praised Friday night by Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes.

Roy Mattina Jr., the 2013 president of the Orange Grove/Lyman Chamber, said the merger was inspired in part by Hewes' "One Coast" campaign.

As part of the agreement, the Orange Grove/Lyman board members will serve on the board of the Gulfport Chamber.

The Shelly Johnson Scholarship that was awarded by the Orange Grove/Lyman group will continue as will the group's regular Legislative Breakfast.

The quarterly breakfasts that honored military, first responders and businesses also will continue and will be held at locations throughout the city.

"The days of the division are over," Hewes said at a press conference Friday at the Knight Nonprofit Center, where the Gulfport Chamber has its offices. "Congratulations on this day."

Mattina said 88 percent of the Orange Grove/Lyman chamber members and 100 percent of the board members approved the merger.

The combined chambers will promote, improve and develop the economic growth of all areas of Gulfport.

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Information from: The Sun Herald, http://www.sunherald.com

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