• The Tavares Chamber of Commerce is an economic development engine. Our mission is to advocate on behalf of businesses in Tavares and throughout Lake County creating greater opportunity for all.

  • Office Staff and Volunteers Office Staff and Volunteers

    Erika Buigas, Director of Operations

    Bio to come.

    Cheryl Rhoads, 
    Customer Care Specialist

    After moving to Lake County in 2014, Cheryl realized she missed the interaction with her patients of 48 years.  Retirement wasn’t enough for her! She met Janet Noack 6 months later and she encouraged her to volunteer at the Chamber of Commerce.  That was 2015 and it has been her pleasure to work with J. Scott, the Chamber members and to be a Customer Care Specialist for all visitors to the Chamber of Commerce. The rest of her days are spent enjoying fishing with her husband and spending time with her 8 grandchildren.

    Julia Van Beck, 
    Customer Care Specialist

    Born in England, raised in Illinois, and after living in nine states and three foreign countries, Julia finally came to rest in Lake County 16 years ago.  Since then she has been actively involved in civic organizations and her church.  She thinks this is the perfect place to be even though her family lives elsewhere.  Daughter, Jenna, lives in Bradenton, Fl. and son, Ted, and his wife, Cindy, and son, Chad, all live in Huntsville. Alabama.  Julia's other two grandchildren live in Washington, D.C. and Oregon state.  This gives her the perfect opportunity to travel.
    With her deceased husband, Donald, she has owned numerous businesses and served on the board of several corporations.  She served on the Hospitality Committee of the 1996 Summer Olympics and is a Past President of the Georgia Association of Landscape Design Appraisers.  Julia is most happy to be working for the Chamber with all of the opportunities to meet and greet local businesses and visiting tourists.

    Joe Gillespie, 
    Customer Care Specialist
    Joe and his wife Cathy and have lived in Mount Dora for 22 years, moving from Orlando.  When looking for some Volunteer opportunities he was told the Chamber needed someone and voila!  It has been at least ten years and Joe enjoys coming in each Tuesday and doing what he can to be of help.  He is amazed at the questions visitors have and looks forward to when visitors visit our area again.  Joe also enjoys volunteering at the Mount Dora Library.  Just recently he and his wife moved into Waterman Village and are getting use to a new lifestyle.