Daytona chamber exec. sees better business outlook in 2013

Video by Multimedia Editor Serafina Frederick / Jim Cameron, the longtime vice president of government relations for the Daytona Area Chamber of Commerce is Headline Surfer's guest for 'The Sunday Conversation,' the online video show on Central Florida's 24/7 Internet newspaper that features one-on-one interviews with newsmakers.

Daytona Area Chamber of Commerce banner / Headline SurferDAYTONA BEACH -- The past year has been a trying one for business, but Daytona's top chamber executive responsible for cultivating businss relationships between the private marketplace and municipal and county governments with the goal of building stronger business said his organization held it's own in the entrenched recession and stands ready to make progress in 2013.

Headline Surfer interview Cameron, the 30-year chamber executive jut before Christmas on the issues that impacted business in 2012 ands what lies ahead for 2013, and his agenda to deal with helping to improve economic conditions. 

"We're holding our own," said Jim Cameron, vice president of government relations for the Daytona Area Chamber of Commerce. "Everyone would like to be more active, including us."

Cameron said he was most surprised this past year by the active participation by voters in the elections. He said the so-called I-4 voter corridor from Daytona to St. Petersburg showed that as the vote goes there so it goes statewide.

Among the major initiatives Cameron is looking at is lobbying Tallahassee legislators to do something to address what he and others see as an imbalance of state aid that comes back to the county for school funding because Daytona and its 15 other municipalities are either on the oceanfront or closer to it.

He's also looking at getting the state to consider an Internet sales tax for online businesses like that don't pay taxes for goods and services that local businesses have to charge consumers.

Newsmaker Bio: JIM CAMERON

Daytona Area Chamber VP of Gov't Relations Jiom Cameron / Headline SurferVice president of government relations for Daytona Area Chamber of Commerce, 1983-present

Serve as liaison with elected officials from Daytona Beach City Commission, Volusia County Council, State Legislative delegation, and Congressional delegation; registered lobbyist with Florida Legislature since 1987; organize 20 workshops/seminars including Local Government/Business Procurement Conference, Workers' Compensation Reform Legislation, Coastal Construction Control Line Legislation; health Insurance and others. 
Established and continue to oversee the chamber's "HobNob" program to provide citizens the opportunity to meet candidates for elected office; organizes the Chamber's Business Update Sessions with Volusia County Council and Daytona Beach City Commission; initiated the Chamber's monthly membership issue survey. 
Director for Leadership Daytona program and Leadership Alumni Council, 1988-present, annual 12-week community awareness program that involves 30 or so individuals; coordinate education committee activities including Junior Achievement (teaching 10th-grade Daytona public schools students job search/interview skills), and Business/Education Roundtable (quarterly meetings between the Volusia County School Board and representatives from local chambers of commerce).
Past achievements/Responsibilities: Served as chamber's liaison to Florida chamber, Associated Industries of Florida, and other state business organizations in Tallahassee; established and prepared chamber's weekly Legislative Status Report to update members of Florida Legislative Session; coordinate Washington & Tallahassee fly ins for the chamber. Established and coordinated chamber's political action committee, 1984-'92, with a 38-4 record; assisted in several local referendum campaigns, including Daytona Beach/Halifax Area consolidation campaign, Volusia Charter amendment referendums; coordinated approximately 20 candidate forums involving elections for Daytona Beach City Commission, County Council, and State legislature (Volusia districts). 
Professional/Civic Involvement: United Way Board of Directors; chamber representative to Daytona Beach Enterprise Zone Commission; past president, American Cancer Society  Honors: Juneteenth Hometown Hero Recipient, June Heister Award, Volusia/Flagler Coalition for the Homeless.
Education: University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Ala., BA in history with minor in political science.
Family: Wife, Rita; daughter, Holley (married);  two grandsons, Antonio Wesley and Royce Rider.
Hobbies: Golf, cooking and big fan of University of Alabama Crimson Tide football.

Editor's Note: You can watch the full interview with Jim Cameron by clicking the video at the top of the story. In the interest of full disclosure, Headline Surfer is a paid member of the Daytona Area Chamber of Commerce, but is not on its executive board and has no involvement with any of its committees or funding initiatives. We do everything we can to maintain the independence and integrity of our news coverage while also looking for ways to build advertising and marketing opportunities that will generate revenue vitally needed to advance our overall mission of reporting the news.