LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Trudy Moon couldn't help herself.
Upon being named Thursday night the 2016 chairwoman of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Moon poked a little fun at herself and her son, Stewart Moon, Jr., after ending up as two of the organization's top volunteer leaders this year.
The younger Moon is also on the board and leads the chamber's Manatee Young Professionals group.
"I hear it's the year of the full Moon," she said to a peal of laughter from about 450 people attending the chamber's annual dinner at the Polo Grill in Lakewood Ranch.
The chamber's 53rd annual dinner was a chance for chamber members to celebrate the past year in business, raise money for the organization and welcome a new slate of officers.
2015 was a good year for the chamber. For the fourth time in its history, it was named Florida Chamber of Commerce of the Year. It received a five-star national reaccreditation, something less than 1 percent of chambers across the nation get. With more than 2,000 members, it is the biggest chamber of commerce in the Tampa Bay region.
Keying on a goal set by her predecessor on the board, attorney Jonathan Fleece, Moon singled out the chamber's growing youth movement as another of its chief accomplishments last year. More than 400 professionals between the ages of 21 and 42 joined the chamber in 2015.
"These are our future leaders," she said.
The evidence of their presence has already made the chamber a national standout, according Jackie Dezelski, chamber executive vice president. Out of the top 100 social mediasavvy chambers in the nation, the Manatee chamber ranks 13th.
In 2016, Moon, the president of Bradenton air conditioning, electrical and plumbing company Air & Energy, said she will push the chamber to be more vocal about business advocacy. Recently, chamber members met for 30 minutes with Gov. Rick Scott.
Additionally, the chamber is pursuing a legislative agenda that includes lobbying to cut the state tax on capital equipment, increase funding for Enterprise Florida and cut taxes businesses pay on rented space or property.
Matt M. Johnson, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 9417457047 or on Twitternote>