SUPPORTING OUR BUSINESS AND COMMUNITY
Southern Ocean Chamber’s History
Adapting to the Decades
Lifting Regional Infrastructure
March 4, 1914 – People interested in the prosperity of Long Beach Island met in Philadelphia for the first of what was to become many meetings of the now Southern Ocean Chamber of Commerce.
May 1914 – The chamber was founded at Long Beach Island Board Of Trade.
1938 – Our chamber oversaw the first local guidebook and has since served as the main resource for tourism information and guidance to the LBI community.
1940 – We screened the first regional promotional video. Since then we have grown a robust media library, including sponsoring the Just Beneath the Surface Series
1942 – Officially operating as a staffed visitor center, running educational programs out of the office.
1960’s onward – Official Chamber-led programs began to support the regional businesses and support the betterment of the community. Some ran for decades, such as…
Operation Christmas Tree which repurposed trees to fortify the dunes.
Miss Magic Pageant – An annual summer highlight where a young woman was selected to represent the island.
LBI Surf Fishing Classic – A competition for our local anglers, the annual fishing tournament
1964 – The chamber championed a Long Beach Island day at the World’s Fair held in New York.
1989 – The first of Chowderfest Festival was held – a weekend of community events surrounding our Chowder Cook-Off Classic.
1996 – Launched the region’s first Website to represent Long Beach Island businesses and the community
2000’s on – Our organization represents the business community through panels and keynotes at League of Municipalities Annual Convention, Stockton University Jersey Shore Cast, Ocean County Business and Tourism Advisory Board, Ocean County Culture and Heritage Commission, NJTIA State Tourism Conference, Ocean County College Sink or Swim Business Competition, Destination International Annual Convention.
2007 – Held community strategic sessions to generate name Long Beach Island Region to better reflect out of area marketing efforts by newly established Destination Marketing Arm.
2007 – Held community strategic sessions to generate the name Long Beach Island Region to better reflect out of area marketing efforts by newly established Destination Marketing Arm.
2008 – Wedding Road Show & Party Planning Tour became the premier wedding event in southern NJ.
2012 – Opened Business Emergency Response Center At Stafford Historical Train station day after the storm. First in state to host SBA Recovery center in Stafford
2012 – Super Storm Sandy Response, founded the Radio Show in response
2013 – LBI Region Report Radio Show goes on air with WBNJ to promote
2013 – Hosted New Orleans Destination Manager at the State Of Chamber to discuss the recovery process for businesses
2013 – Ran We Are LBI recovery campaign and held media Conference at NY Times Travel Show
2013 – Promoted LBI and NJ at Superbowl Media day in New Orleans
2013 – Appointed as Huddle Zone Captain for tourism committee NJ/NY Super Bowl 2014
2014 – The organization was one of the first in the state to achieve global accreditation through DMAI Washington DC.
2014 – 100th Anniversary of Continuous Service creates the Economic Development Council
2014 – Received Global Accreditation for Visitor Center/ Destination Marketing Organization
2015 – Continuous recognition as NJ Top Chamber Of Commerce
2017 – Featured Speaker at Global Tourism Convention, Anaheim California
2017 – The annual Southern Ocean Made Surf & Sip Brew Trail was born, featuring local craft breweries and surf lifestyle artisans
2018 – Established Southern Ocean Chamber Association, A NJ
2018 – Became a trusted verifier for Google
2018 – Named the Chowder Capital of NJ, after international competitor at 30th Anniversary Chowderfest
2018 – Re-accredited as one of NJ’s two globally accredited organizations; one of 200 internationally
2019 – Thrive in 105 Year focusing on Volunteer First Responders and community Non-Profits
Established Coastal Resiliency Committee
2020 – COVID-19 Regional response with ongoing support and destination marketing and management
2021 – Received recognition for recovery programming and
ongoing post pandemic support
2021– NJ Tourism Industry Association Tourism Excellence
Award for Digital Chowder Trail
2022 – Generated national attention with LBI Mobile Savings
2023 – Launched Coastal NJ Newsroom
2024 – 110 years of continued service