For Immediate Release

Keep It Local, LLC Announces The Chili Cook Off To Help Fight Multiple Sclerosis

Keep It Local is the fastest-growing professional development organization offering networking and educational services fostering business growth within local communities.

Trinity, FL – Wednesday, June 22, 2016 – Keep It Local, LLC announces it’s first ever Chili Cook Off to help fight Multiple Sclerosis scheduled for Saturday, June 25, 2016 from 6:00pm – 10:00pm.

Each quarter Keep It Local networking and business development chapters located throughout Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough and Hernando Counties select individual charities where they can donate either supplies or monetary funds.  During 2nd Quarter, 2016, Keep It Local Founder Lora Shipman challenged the organization to raise funds for one particular cause, Multiple Sclerosis.  The cause hit close to home for Shipman, as she has Multiple Sclerosis.  Shipman also had a vision and had a passion to give back to an organization which helped her manage the disease; The National MS Society – Mid Florida.

“My goal in this endeavor was to directly impact the four counties in which we operate, in the state of Florida”, said Shipman.

One of the Keep It Local Chapters in the organization rallied behind the challenge posed by Shipman and took it to a level of exposure the organization has never seen before!  The event has gone viral on social media, caught the attention of several media outlets, and commercials have been donated to raise awareness of the epic community event!

26 chili varieties will be available for tasting and judging will be conducted by local celebrity judges including Shalyah Fearing from The Voice.  All proceeds from the event will be given to The National MS Society – Mid Florida Chapter.

“The success of this event is due to the committed local businesses who are members of the Keep It Local Trinity Morning Chapter led by John Fairbanks, Principal of Genesis Preparatory School.  Their support and genuine commitment to the community, is the driving force behind the success of this event.” said Shipman.

Keep It Local invites everyone to make a difference in the fight against Multiple Sclerosis and  join the Chili Cook Off on Saturday, June 25, 2016.  The event will take place at Big Storm Brewing Co, 2330 Success Drive, Odessa, FL, 33556 from 6:00pm – 10:00pm

Keep It Local, LLC currently has chapters located throughout Pasco, Pinellas, Hernando and Hillsborough Counties. For more information, visit


Media Contact

Lora Shipman

(813) 405-7815



For Immediate Release

Keep It Local, LLC Announces the Opening of Marketplace Exchange – Wesley Chapel Chapter
Wesley Chapel, Florida — May 18, 2016 – Keep It Local, LLC announces its expansion into Wesley Chapel with the opening of its newest Concept chapter, Keep It Local Marketplace Exchange, located at Branch of Christ Church, 26312 Wesley Chapel Blvd, Lutz, Florida 33559. The chapter is dedicated to conducting business for the Glory of God by exemplifying Christian practices with integrity and developing relationships. It is a body of believers who gather together to share their gifts and talents to advance the Kingdom of God in the local community by exchanging ideas, expertise, friendship and support.

Keep It Local Marketplace Exchange is run by Co-Presidents Pastor Debra Kaplan of Branch of Christ Church and Debbie Yoerg of Purposely Designed Coaching. The new group will kick off with an Open House on Friday, June 3.  Networking will begin at 7:45 followed by a meeting from 8 to 9 a.m. Businesses in the area are invited to come and learn about Keep It Local and its many benefits. To RSVP, email Debbie Yoerg at or call (813) 300-3825.

The innovative format of Keep It Local, LLC has made it a huge success throughout the Tampa Bay area and New York City. Membership is seat-specific. Meetings strictly adhere to 1-hour in length. In addition to networking with other local businesses, Keep It Local provides an array of marketing opportunities, social media plans, business development and community involvement as well as access to members throughout all their chapters.

“We are so excited to launch Keep It Local Marketplace Exchange,” said CEO and Founder Lora Shipman. “We’ve been getting many inquiries about coming to this area. We believe our successful blueprint of being seat specific, offering many valuable membership benefits, marketing opportunities and access to all chapters will give businesses in Marketplace Exchange a new and exciting networking format.”

Keep It Local is the fastest-growing national business development and networking organization dedicated to supporting local business success and community growth while offering a host of marketing and business benefits to its members. Keep It Local, LLC currently has chapters located throughout Pasco, Pinellas, Hernando and Hillsborough Counties as well as New York City. For more information, visit


Media Contacts:

Pastor Debra Kaplan

Branch of Christ Church

(813) 435-1469

Debbie Yoerg

Purposely Designed Coaching

(813) 300-3825

Networking Group Strives to Keep It Local

Special Correspondent
Published: April 8, 2015

Tampa Tribune

See original post HERE

“A Realtor, an IT repair tech and a photographer walk into a bar.”

While it may sound like the opening of a joke, it is happening as a business networking group all over Tampa Bay and beyond thanks to the determination of Keep It Local LLC founder Lora Van Zandt-Shipman.

Van Zandt-Shipman began the first chapter of the networking group in January 2013.

“I moved to Pasco from St. Petersburg where I was very well connected. I knew that in order to build my business as a virtual assistant, I needed to get connected to the community and join a networking organization, but many networking and referral organizations are expensive,” said Van Zandt-Shipman. “With my skills, experience and aptitude for marketing, I knew I could create a high-quality networking organization without charging an arm and a leg. That’s when the first chapter was born, Keep It Local, Odessa-Trinity.”

With a background in social media, marketing and design, it didn’t take long for the local group to build a buzz. It also helped that Van Zandt-Shipman offered a basic annual membership for just $75, keeping the cost affordable for any size business as well as independent entrepreneurs.

“When I created Keep It Local LLC, I added aspects of what I would want to get out of a networking organization and then I listened,” she said. “I listened to members and prospective members to their needs and wants and grew the organization to fit those needs.”

Capped at 30 members per chapter, Keep It Local LLC has adopted a business incubator culture that provides seat-specific membership, workshops featuring business instruction and techniques, online social media marketing and a website directory listing. Additionally, members have access to both corporate strategists and hedge funds, as well as private money to build or expand their business.

Though some may argue a seat-specific networking group means you see the same people over and over again, Van Zandt-Shipman contends that it helps build a relationship.

“Seeing the same people week after week builds a level of trust and a greater understanding of all the businesses in the room,” she said. “Once that trust and understanding has been created among the members, it creates an environment that encourages the passing of leads and referrals.”

To open a chapter of Keep It Local LLC, Van Zandt-Shipman looks for dynamic, organized, self-starters who are looking for a system that helps them build their business through a referral and networking program that also includes a business incubator program.

For example, Keller Williams Tampa Properties Realtor Amanda Alexander opened the Westchase chapter in January 2015. As a part of the competitive market of real estate, Alexander finds networking especially beneficial in her field.

“It helps people know who I am,” she said. “A referral-style networking group is the most important thing in business.”

Both Van Zandt-Shipman and Alexander attribute the success of Keep It Local LLC to the referral culture in the group and the attendance requirements.

“Each chapter becomes a close-knit group of businesses focused on supporting each other and celebrating the success of business growth,” said Van Zandt-Shipman.

Since its first chapter in Odessa, Keep It Local has expanded to cover Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, and Hernando counties with 10 chapters and Van Zandt-Shipman has no plans of slowing down.

“We look forward to adding four to five in the next few months,” she said.

As for the future, Van Zandt-Shipman is positive.

“Five years from now, I would like to see Keep It Local LLC in every community across the country, making a positive impact and seeing businesses taking advantage of the programs we offer and propelling their business to the next level.”

To learn more about Keep It Local LLC, how to join and see what seats are open in your area, visit Find them on Facebook at ItLocal.LLC.

Exceptional leaders with a vision wanting to start a Chapter in their community should contact Lora Shipman at (813) 405-7815 or email


Read about Keep It Local, LLC, its members and business programs in the latest edition of It’s Your Home Magazine, Trinity Edition. Read it HERE