West Orange Chamber of Commerce Facilitating Opportunity
West Orange Chamber of Commerce Facilitating Opportunity
 
West Orange Chamber of Commerce Facilitating Opportunity

WOPA

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The purposes of this Corporation shall be as follows:

  • To identify and monitor regulatory and legislative activity at the state and local levels which affect the economy and culture of West Orange County, Florida, and to seek to influence these activities in such ways as to bring benefit to the West Orange County community.
  • To unite the West Orange County community to combine their efforts to promote the growth and development of the community.
  • To support candidates for county and state offices (including school board and judicial candidates). The Corporation may not participate in the election of candidates for federal or municipal offices.
  • To encourage well-qualified individuals who utilize principles of responsible free enterprise to meet the needs for sound growth and development in the West Orange County community.
  • To stimulate a more active and effective role of the citizenry in government affairs.
  • To raise funds and provide support to candidates, without regard to party affiliations.
  • To participate in support of or opposition to local or statewide issues.
  • To develop an intelligent, aggressive and serviceable organization to represent and support the business, civic, residential and community interests of West Orange County, Florida.
  • To provide an opportunity to individuals for political expression and recognition, to train them as political workers and leaders, and provide a practical means by which they may contribute to the development and betterment of West Orange County businesses, residents and the community.
  • To take all actions which are extensions of any of the foregoing purposes.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Jeff Milhausen,
Chairman

Camille Evans,
Vice Chairman

Nick Asma, 
Secretary

Stina D'Uva,
Ex-Officio

Joe Alarie,
Ex-Officio

Kurt Ardaman, Austin Arthur, Melanie Becker, David Billsborough, Derek Blakeslee, Debbie Clements, Mark Griffith, Jeff Jonasen, Gerald Jowers, Randy June, Tim Keating, Gary Merideth, Charles Roper, Adrianna Sekula, Michelle Strenth, Craig Swygert and Beth Thibodaux.


Many people within the West Orange Chamber of Commerce and the West Orange community realized the need for a political voice for West Orange County. The WOCC facilitates many opportunities and provides many benefits to its members, yet cannot endorse political candidates. This need was filled by the formation of The West Orange Political Alliance (W.O.P.A.). W.O.P.A., governed by a board of 21 individuals, represents businesses and the West Orange Chamber. The Chairman and President of the WOCC serve as ex-officio members of the board and the Chamber Board of Directors appoints an additional four board members each year.

The alliance is a non-profit, non-partisan organization originally formed in December 1997 as a Committee of Continuous Existence to provide the first formal political force focused on candidates and issues that are important to West Orange County. This organization focuses on issues, and primarily seeks and endorses candidates in county, school board and state offices that will further the business interests of West Orange County. In 2013, the organization, in order to comply with legislative changes and the Florida Division of Elections, reformed itself as a Political Action Committee (PAC), while always maintaining its focus on West Orange County.

Since its formation, W.O.P.A. has endorsed, supported and assisted in the election of key proponents of business and West Orange County. Candidates seek and understand the value of endorsements by the alliance for the furtherance of their campaign efforts. W.O.P.A. is proud of its track record, which includes the election of notable West Orange County residents: Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, County Commissioners Scott Boyd, Betsy VanderLey and Bryan Nelson, Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles, Orange County Public School Board Members Pam Gould and Christine Moore, State Representatives Eric Eisnaugle and Bruce Antone and State Senator Randolph Bracy.

In addition to supporting qualified and competent candidates, W.O.P.A. has taken on issues that have had the potential of creating economic disadvantages to the West Orange community. Most recently, the organization supported changes in the Orange County Charter that allow for non-partisan elections, term limits, and a more transparent initiative petition process. W.O.P.A. was also victorious on its position to oppose the “paid sick leave” initiative that would have put Orange County at an economic disadvantage and added costs to employers of all sizes.

You are invited to make a voluntary contribution to W.O.P.A. With this contribution, W.O.P.A. will continue its work, while you are working on your business, to protect your business interests. Together, speaking with one voice on behalf of West Orange County, the organization will continue to be recognized as one that protects and promotes this community’s best interests.

 

Sincerely,

Jeff Milhausen

Chairman

 

We invite you to make a voluntary contribution to W.O.P.A. and may do so by downloading the application below and mailing it to W.O.P.A. at 12184 West Colonial Drive, Winter Garden, FL 34787 with a $25 check. Become a part of this political voice for West Orange.

To contact W.O.P.A., please send an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Download a copy of the 2017 W.O.P.A. Application here

Follow the new W.O.P.A. Facebook page for the latest news on candidate endorsements and supported causes!

The West Orange Political Alliance, Inc. is a non-profit, non-partisan organization formed to provide an active political voice in the interests of West Orange County. WOPA is governed by a set of by-laws approved by Florida’s Division of Elections.