Tue, December 10, 2019
Tue, December 10, 2019
PJ Food Service, Inc.
Schmid Construction, Inc
Community Partner 2
Foundation for a Healthier West Orange
June Engineering Consultants, Inc.
Junebug Foundation, LLC
City Center West Orange, LLC
Eddie V's Prime Seafood
House Blend Café
La Boucherie Restaurant Grille and Lounge
Le Café de Paris
McCoy Federal Credit Union
Park Development Corporation
Sherwin-Williams Paint Store in Winter Garden
Sherwin-Williams Paint Store in West Colonial
Arthur Slowe & Associates, P.A.
Exchange Place, Inc.
Geosam Veranda, LLC
Market to Table
Mike the Mechanic
The Big Easy
The Sacred Olive
Tony's Liquors Inc.
Trilogy by Shea Homes
Winter Garden Animal Hospital
City of Orlando
Whispering Oak Elementary
Mon, December 09, 2019
OAKLAND, FL — The Oakland Police Department's Annual Christmas Toy Drive is underway! Now through Dec. 18, the Department will be collecting toys at various locations throughout Town. Collection boxes are currently set up in the lobbies of the Oakland Police Department, Town Hall, Oakland Avenue Charter School, DG Doughnuts and 7-Eleven.
Residents are asked to consider dropping off a new, unwrapped toy or gift card to a toy or department store.
“Each year, many residents have generously donated to this cause and it is greatly appreciated,” said Oakland Police Chief Steven Thomas. “Giving children a chance to enjoy the holiday season is something that we hope to do every year.”
In addition to donations, the Oakland Police Department has also been able to purchase hundreds of toys due to financial contributions.
Those wishing to make a financial donation can do so by Dec. 15. All checks should be made out to the Town of Oakland with “PD Toy Drive” written on the memo line. Cash or checks can be dropped off at the PD or mailed to the Oakland Police Department, P.O. Box 521, Oakland, FL 34760.
With assistance from the faculty, staff and students from the Oakland Avenue Charter School, the Department also recently prepared Thanksgiving dinner baskets for area families. Thanks to donations made by residents and local businesses, the Department assembled and distributed Thanksgiving dinner baskets complete with turkey, pie and all of the fixings for several families who might not otherwise have been able to enjoy this Thanksgiving Day tradition.
Mon, November 25, 2019
Ahhh, the weather is finally staring to cool down in West Orange County, but cooler temperatures doesn’t mean there is any slowing down in our community. With winter just around the corner, the West Orange Community is gearing up for the holiday season. Starting with #Small Business Saturday just 4 days away, followed by Downtown Winter Garden’s Holiday Boutique Crawl, then the municipal light ups followed by the local Holiday parades; our community is busy. Please remember, when you are out and about, choose to do business and support our local small businesses and Chamber members. You can always find the current chamber members listed on wochamber.com .
The Chamber is also busy with end of the year preparations. We are excited about the final Chamber event of the year, the Member Celebration Brunch. This signature event, scheduled for Friday, December 13 at the Ocoee Lakeshore Center, will feature the celebration of YOU, our loyal Chamber members. I will also be passing the gavel to our incoming Board Chairwoman, Deborah Rios Barnes of CenturyLink and we are delighted to have Charlie Freeman – President of Business Operations for the Orlando Magic as our keynote speaker. You don’t want to miss this event!
I hope that you have a good Thanksgiving Holiday and I look forward to seeing you at the Member Celebration Brunch.
Mon, November 25, 2019
For many families in the U.S., Thanksgiving means striking up the stove, cooking a turkey for hours on end, and setting the table for a day’s worth of plentiful feasting. But for one in seven Americans who struggle to put food on the table, celebrating the holiday isn’t as easy. Members of the West Orange Chamber have recognized this food insecurity issue for over a decade, and have worked hard to make a difference.
For over 15 years, members of the Chamber have donated their time and treasure to feed hundreds of families in West Orange County via a partnership with three local Community Centers, Lila Mitchell, Pine Hills and Maxey Community Centers. Throughout the years, volunteers have raised thousands of dollars to purchase and assemble baskets that contain everything one would need for a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner including a gift card to purchase a turkey or ham. Once the baskets are assembled, they are delivered to the Community Centers who then distribute them to the families in need.
This community outreach could not have been accomplished without the volunteers of the West Orange Chamber. Linda Osterberg of Mortgage Solutions has led the effort for many years. Via her leadership, many members, specifically the chamber networking groups and board of directors, have contributed to the cause. Chamber members Publix and WalMart have been instrumental in this program as well. We want to thank everyone who makes this project a reality; this year 90 families served. We appreciate your dedication to the West Orange Chamber and West Orange Community. Thank you!!
Fri, November 22, 2019
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) issued the following statement today after releasing the House legislative schedule for calendar year 2020:
“I am pleased to share with you the House schedule for the Second Session of the 116th Congress. "
Over the past year, the new Democratic Majority hit the ground running with an ambitious schedule to allow for legislative work on the pressing issues affecting the American people. The calendar for the First Session this year allowed for the House to return to regular order while passing major legislation to protect health care access, open up government For The People, address gun violence, raise wages, alleviate the uncertainty facing Dreamers, confront the worst abuses of the Trump Administration, help more workers save for a secure retirement, and fund 96% of government before the end of June, among other actions. While providing the House time to do its job effectively, the 2019 schedule also reflected a commitment to Members with young families and ensured that Members would have crucial time in their districts to meet with constituents.
“The 2020 schedule continues this dual commitment to providing time for important work both in Washington and in our districts. Like the 2019 schedule, it also ensures that committees have the time they need to hold hearings and conduct critical oversight. As we move into the Second Session, Democrats will use our Majority to ensure that the House continues addressing the most pressing concerns of the American people. These include continuing efforts to bring down health care costs, addressing the need for infrastructure investment, confronting the climate crisis, and expanding economic opportunity so that all of our people can make it in America.”
View the schedule for the U.S. House of Representatives for calendar year 2020 here, where you can download a printer-friendly PDF or view the always-up-to-date digital version that can be subscribed to as a webcal through Outlook, Google Calendar, iOS's calendar app, or many other calendar programs. The digital calendar is also available to view or subscribe through the DomeWatch app (iOS or Android).
The U.S. House of Representatives schedule for calendar year 2020 one-pager, provided by Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, can be viewed here.
The House will convene for its Second Session on January 7, with votes postponed until 6:30 p.m. It will meet for 113 days in 2020, which is similar to the 109 days the House was scheduled to meet in the second year of the new Republican Majority in 2012. While the House met for twenty-eight weeks in 2012 and will do so again next year, two more of those weeks in 2020 will be five-day weeks. Most of the remainder will be four-day weeks. The 2020 schedule seeks to ensure that Members can get their legislative work done in Washington and maximize their time home in their districts interacting directly with constituents.
As with this year, there will be no votes scheduled in the House before 1:00 p.m. or after 7:00 p.m., except during consideration of appropriations bills. If necessary, the House may debate and consider other legislation after 7:00 p.m., but no votes will be held past that time. On the first day of each week, votes will occur at 6:30 p.m. The last votes of the week may be necessary prior to 1:00 p.m. and will not occur after 3:00 p.m.
Mon, November 18, 2019
I4 BUSINESS MAGAZINE ANNOUNCES 2019 BUSINESS LEADERS OF THE YEAR
(Orlando, Fla.) — i4 Business magazine will recognize some of the most admired and influential individuals in Central Florida on December 10 at the 2019 Business Leaders of the Year Awards dinner at the Country Club of Orlando.
Nominations opened in September of this year for individuals whose business success, community engagement and innovation have moved the region forward. Nine business leaders have been selected from this year’s nominations.
The key honoree for 2019 is Charlie Gray, an influential presence in the development of Central Florida’s economy for more than four decades. Through his work as a founding partner of GrayRobinson law firm, he helped establish the Orange County Convention Center, creating opportunity for economic growth that continues to thrive. His in-depth work with the Orlando Economic Partnership has had a widespread impact on the region, including the development of BRIDG at NeoCIty.
The other 2019 Business Leaders of the Year honorees are:
PRIVATE INDUSTRY – Harry Arnon, president and CEO of Hernon Manufacturing. The company’s brands and technologies include those impacting government services, industrial companies and chemical suppliers. Hernon has recorded 104% growth over the last three years and has been named on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies. In more than 40 years in the business, Arnon has created a worldwide company that works in virtually every industry.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT – Linh Dang, chief development officer for Addition Financial. Dang’s work includes overseeing the community engagement and partnerships as well as leadership and talent development for the credit union. Her projects have included implementing a new leadership program for employees, an internal service survey and the WeConnect weekly training podcast for the organization. She was also instrumental in guiding the rebrand of Addition Financial from CFE Federal Credit Union.
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES – Daniel Entwistle, managing director and U.S. co-founder of Curium Solutions. Entwistle and his family moved to Central Florida in October 2016 so he could establish the first U.S. office of the UK-based consulting firm. Entwistle has established partnerships with several high-profile U.S. clients and has developed a strong connection to the Central Florida community, ultimately surpassing projections by 400%.
SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP – Katia Medina, senior business consultant at Prospera. Medina’s work advising Hispanic entrepreneurs from within the state, Puerto Rico and a variety of Spanish-speaking countries includes overseeing all client programs for Prospera in Central Florida, serving 2,000 entrepreneurs per year. Recently, Medina has focused her work on helping people displaced by Hurricane Maria start, expand or relocate their businesses in Central Florida.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP – Marsha Robbins, CEO of Dramatic Education. Robbins’ work as a teacher and leader inspired her to found the company in 2003 to help fill the growing gap in arts education in elementary schools. Now serving more than 6,000 youths annually, the company oversees 40 programs focused on using the arts to develop students’ cognitive, social and physical skills. Robbins recently added after- and before-school, expanded her staff.
SPORTS TOURISM – Jason Siegel, CEO of the Greater Orlando Sports Commission. Under his leadership, GO Sports has helped secure millions of dollars in funding and landed marquee events that include the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games and are projected to drive more than $500 million in economic impact from 2016 to 2019. Siegel served on the transition team of Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings in 2018 and has been recognized by several organizations for his leadership and innovation.
HEALTHCARE – Daryl Tol, president and CEO of the Central Florida Division of AdventHealth. Since 2000, he has served as a leader in several of the system’s hospitals and now oversees the 16-campus division across six counties. Tol has played a key role in projects such as the rebranding of Florida Hospital to AdventHealth and the launch of WholeMe, and has served the community in organizations that include the Orlando Economic Partnership Governors Council.
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT– Thad Seymour Jr., interim president at the University of Central Florida. Seymour’s work with UCF has included his previous role as vice president for partnerships and chief innovation officer, and as vice provost for UCF downtown. Expanding the university’s work in the community and leading the completion of a new campus, Seymour has been an advocate for educational and economic development in the region through innovative projects with diverse partners.
VISIT ORLANDO TOURISM LEADERSHIP AWARD - Brian Comes, area vice president at Hyatt Regency Orlando, covering eight properties in Florida and Georgia. Comes has been with Hyatt Regency for over 30 years, having been recognized several times for his exceptional leadership. Through his work with his employees, his community, and as a member of boards like Visit Orlando and the Orange County ARC committee, Comes works intentionally to improve the lives and experiences of those around him.
ABOUT i4 BUSINESS MAGAZINE
i4 Business was launched in 2013 as a voice for the business and entrepreneurial community in Central Florida. The print and digital magazine share inspiring and informative stories through the words of area business and community leaders in order to support the region’s multifaceted and vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Mon, November 18, 2019
OCOEE, Fla. – The City of Ocoee Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) recently received the Florida Redevelopment Association’s (FRA) 2019 award in the Small City Annual Reports category. The CRA’s “Fifty West” Annual Report was recognized for its unique brand and the way improvements were highlighted. The City of Ocoee’s Fifty West Redevelopment District is located along State Road 50 between State Road 429 and Clarke Road. This statewide recognition is a significant achievement for the City of Ocoee and shines a spotlight on the CRA’s accomplishments.
Each year, FRA accepts entries for the annual awards from its members in a variety of categories, ranging from annual reports to cultural enhancement. The entries are examined for effectiveness and completeness including the narrative, supplemental material and compliance with the submittal instructions. A cross section of Florida redevelopment professionals, individuals and business organizations judge and rank all of the entries and select the winners.
For more information, please call 407-905-3100 or visit www.ocoee.org.
Fri, November 15, 2019
Bright Future Electric, LLC
Blue Cord Design and Construction LLC
Blue Cord DevGroup, LLC
Brookdale Senior Living Solutions - Ocoee
Main Street Mower, Inc.
Marriott - SpringHill Suites
Marriott - TownePlace Suites
Miller's Ale House - Winter Garden
Roper Garden Building
Winter Garden Feed Store
Any Lab Test Now
Atlas Injury to Health
Kathleen Roat & Company, Inc.
Orlando Solar Bears
PremierMED - Family and Sports Medicine
Servpro of West Orange
The Chiropractic Center
Windermere Flowers and Gifts
Aldo's Fine Jewelry
Cariera's Fresh Italian
DeGusipe Funeral Home & Crematory
Design Pro Screens Inc.
DV8 Computing & Consulting, Inc.
Edward Jones - Bruce Young, CFP®, CRPC® - Financial Advisor
Engel & Volkers Windermere
Erb & Young
Gator's Dockside Ocoee
GP Consulting Orlando
J. Richard Watson Construction Co., Inc.
JB Meridian Advisors
Josie's Pizza & Wings
Locksley A Cameron, CPA
Orange County Commissioner Betsy VanderLey
Subway Winter Garden # 7013
The Corporate Brand, Inc.
The UPS Store
Linda Osterberg - Mortgage Solutions of Central Florida, Inc.
Lorraine Burch - Engel & Volkers Windermere
Patricia L Gleason
Thu, November 14, 2019
NBDA NAMES LOCAL BIKE SHOP ONE OF AMERICA’S BEST BIKE SHOPS FOR 2019
Full Circle Cycle in MetroWest was named one of America’s Best Bike Shops for 2019.
The National Bicycle Dealers Association (NBDA) has certified Full Circle Cycle as a top local bicycle retailer in the United States. Fewer than 200 qualified for this honor and Full Circle Cycle is the only recipient in Central Florida.
“We are extremely proud of our seasoned crew,” says Full Circle Cycle co-owner Fred Hewett, “and we strive every day to provide our loyal customers with the best cycling experience.”
Certification is a lengthy application process that quantifies key elements found in successful retail operations of all kinds. Evaluations include mystery shoppers who observe dealers through phone and email contacts, website appeal and accuracy, and an in-store visit with detailed breakdown of their experience—from a customer’s perspective, provided to all shops participating. This process gives an outside perspective and allows each retailer the opportunity to recognize their strengths and weaknesses.
“The application process and mystery shopper report are great tools to help us identify any shortcomings in our service and be a better bike shop,” said Hewett.
America’s Best Bike Shops certification requires not only great shopping experiences and expert staff, but also support for local and national cycling advocacy.
Full Circle Cycle supports many local and regional cycling events including initiatives to get more kids on bikes. “We love teaching kids about bicycle safety and the joys of riding a bike,” Hewett says.
The NBDA is a non-profit organization promoting the interests of cycling and specialty bicycle retail since 1946.
Full Circle Cycle has served the cycling community of Southwest Orange in beautiful MetroWest since 1993 with quality bicycles, sales and service.
Tue, November 12, 2019
When the West Orange Dental Alliance (WODA) started in 2017, the organization’s immediate initiative was to help uninsured and low-income residents in the West Orange Healthcare District get relief from dental pain while being forced to visit the local ERs for temporary treatment. As an indication of success, WODA was able to decrease the dental visits by 15% to Orlando Health’s, Health Central Hospital’s ED over the past two years. While treating residents for their dental pain, it became apparent to WODA that the patients needed more of an opportunity to get out of poverty and restore their smiles to be more presentable. This would lead to better job opportunities with medical and dental benefits.
In 2018, WODA expanded its program by creating the “Jump Start Program-Restorable to Employable”. By partnering with CareerSource Central Florida, this program provides West Orange residents the opportunity to restore their smile while increasing their employability through job opportunities and resume preparation. The aim is to empower them to get back into the workforce or advance at their current employer – thus lifting them out of poverty level and giving them an opportunity to medical and dental benefits. The ultimate goal is access to preventative and continued care for both themselves and their family members and no longer needing to go to emergency rooms for dental care.
Applicants must submit a resume, testimony, and additional income/residential documents to apply to the program. Each quarter their applications are submitted to WODA’S Jump Start Committee, comprised of West Orange area professionals that have a heart for the program. Patients are then rated on 10 items that apply to their application thus prioritizing them based on need while considering the available funds allotted for care. Once a patient is granted the opportunity, he/she completes treatment with WODA’s local providers, return for post-operative appointments and submit testimonies (in writing and video) regarding how the program has impacted their lives. “Believe it or not a broken smile can be the difference between a job at a gas station or a receptionist position” states Tiffany Williams, the Executive Director of WODA, “Your smile can be the first thing interviewers notice and can definitely determine the type of job offers you get,” she said. “In the past year we have treated a patient with an under the table cash paying landscaping job and now he has become a truck driver with full benefits! We also had the pleasure of helping a young lady working as a sales clerk at a local Walgreens to advance to an assistant manager with the company! Seeing the impact of fixing someone’s smile has been life changing for all of us involved in the program”.
WODA is now providing the opportunity to “Sponsor a Patient” reaching out to local residents and businesses in the community. “It doesn’t take much to get involved and help change the life and smile of your neighbor” states Tiffany Williams “and we are excited about opening up this opportunity to the public so they can make an impact firsthand”.
For more information on the Jump Start Program and how an individual or business can get involved, please visit http://www.wodentalalliance.org.
Mon, November 11, 2019
CFX GOVERNING BOARD VOTES TO ADVANCE LAKE / ORANGE COUNTY CONNECTOR
(ORLANDO, FL) – The Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX) Governing Board on Thursday, October 10 unanimously approved the Lake/Orange County Connector Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Study and advanced the project to production phases that include design and construction.
The future 5-mile tolled expressway will provide a nonstop access route linking heavily traveled US 27 in south Lake County to State Road 429 in west Orange County. Design is expected to begin in Spring of 2020 with construction potentially beginning in Fall of 2022.
The CFX Board’s decision contributes to the larger regional effort to improve connectivity and mobility in the rapidly expanding south Lake County and west Orange County area. The PD&E study area fell within the Wellness Way Area Plan and the Horizon West Special Planning Area, with Wellness Way anticipated to generate over 26,000 jobs and Horizon West growing to a projected workforce of more than 27,000.
About the Lake / Orange County Connector PD&E Study
In March 2018 CFX began the Lake/Orange County Connector PD&E Study to evaluate a limited access expressway between US 27 in south Lake County and SR 429 in west Orange County. The goal of the study is to evaluate and recommend a viable and fundable transportation corridor that will improve regional connectivity; accommodate anticipated transportation demand; provide consistency with local and regional plans; support economic viability, job creation, and intermodal opportunities; and enhance evacuation and emergency services.
The study evaluates engineering, estimated project costs, and all alternatives and their potential impacts to the physical, natural, social and cultural environment. The study determined that the project is viable and fundable in accordance with CFX policies and procedures.
The recommended preferred alternative, Alternative 3, had the lowest social impact and overall cost impacts among the alternatives considered. A map for the preferred alternative can be found at the following link: https://www.cfxway.com/agency-information/plans-studies/project-studies/lake-orange-co-connector-pde/.
Public involvement and interagency coordination was a crucial component of the study. For the Lake/Orange County Connector PD&E Study, CFX engaged more than 400 people through three public meetings and hearings, six Environmental Advisory and Project Advisory Group meetings and more than 18 stakeholder meetings.
About the Central Florida Expressway Authority
The Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX) is an independent agency of the State of Florida that operates and maintains a regional network of expressways for 3 million residents of Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties and more than 75 million annual visitors to Central Florida. CFX’s 118- mile, user-funded system includes 815 center lane miles, 69 interchanges, 14 mainline toll plazas, 74 ramp toll plazas and 335 bridges and seven named expressways. On average, more than 1 million toll transactions are recorded daily, 85 percent of them electronically. CFX operates E-PASS, the first electronic toll collection system in Florida, with nearly 500,000 E-PASS accounts.
For more information, visit CFXway.com.
Wed, October 30, 2019
The West Orange Foundation, founded by the West Orange Chamber of Commerce, held its Grant Giving Reception on Tuesday, October 29 at the home of Pam & Thorp Thomas. At the event, the foundation presented the recipients of the 2019 Committee of 101 Member Fund grant awards.
Committee of 101 Member Fund donations are distributed as grants to organizations that fit the mission of the West Orange Foundation, to enrich our community so that it is a sought after place to live, work and play. Over the years, C101 has distributed over $250,000 to worthy community charities.
This year’s grants were awarded to:
To learn more about the West Orange Foundation and the Committee of 101 Member Fund, please visit wochamber.com.
About the West Orange Foundation
The West Orange Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization that serves as the community-based, philanthropic arm of the West Orange Chamber of Commerce (WOCC). The Foundation’s vision is to create a broader community reach, streamline the Chamber’s philanthropy and community outreach programs, engage more industries & businesses, create and embolden alliances and foster positive change, health and growth. It will support many WOCC philanthropic initiatives, including its adult and youth leadership programs, scholarships for local students, community-need projects, educational Chamber events and the Committee of 101 (C101) grant program.
Fri, October 18, 2019
CenterState Bank, formerly United Legacy Bank, operates as one of the leading Southeastern regional bank franchises headquartered in the state of Florida. Both CenterState and its nationally chartered bank subsidiary are based in Winter Haven, Florida, between Orlando and Tampa. With over $16 billion in assets, the Bank provides traditional retail, commercial, mortgage, wealth management and SBA services throughout its Florida, Georgia and Alabama branch network and customer relationships in neighboring states. The Bank also has a national footprint, serving clients coast to coast through its correspondent banking division.
Fri, October 18, 2019
Last week, the Chamber board met for its monthly meeting, yet this one was not our routine meeting.
This meeting included incoming board members for 2020. To get them off to a good start, Stina shared some history about the Chamber, our purpose, vision, core values and other information we all needed to know as the policy setting and financial oversight group for our Chamber. All of this information was great to hear, even for those like me, who have been involved for many years.
The scope of work our Chamber is involved in can be overwhelming, especially if you actually know all that is available for your business. That got me to thinking about the many programs, activities and resources that our Chamber has and whether or not, you as our members, realize all there is to know.
To facilitate this, I have developed a “Did you know?” list. So, did you know that the Chamber:
Acts as the voice of business, when we’re all busy doing business? The Chamber keeps an eye out for local, state and federal issues that can help or hurt the business community, https://wochamber.com/advocacy/current_initiatives
Promotes tourism for Winter Garden, Ocoee, Oakland and Windermere? We partnered with WG Heritage Foundation and Observer Media to produce a tourism brochure distributed by Visit Florida and through local sources, https://wochamber.com/resources/explore_orlandos_west_side
Hosts Florida Small Development Center at UCF in the Chamber’s Conference room on a monthly basis? This program, which we call “Revive and Thrive” brings an expert to you to assist you with issues, challenges and provides resources to help your business without driving to East Orlando, https://wochamber.com/resources/revive_and_thrive_with_the_florida_sbdc
Has a foundation? It is called West Orange Foundation and it runs Leadership West Orange, the youth leadership program, called WOPTE, provides scholarships to high school students and Thanksgiving baskets for families in need, https://wochamber.com/foundation/west_orange_foundation
Has a political action committee (PAC)? It is called West Orange Political Alliance and its primary purpose is to seek out pro-business candidates that will further the interests of the West Orange business community, https://wochamber.com/advocacy/WOPA
Supports OCPS Teach In? Our support of Teach In is a means for high school students to learn of different career paths, especially those in the talent gap shortage industries, https://wochamber.com/news/news_detail/you_can_make_a_difference
Offers a discount program in partnership with Office Depot, Inc.? We have partnered with Office Depot to provide exclusive savings on many of your business needs, including deep discounts, https://wochamber.com/benefits_programs/office_depot_chamber_savings_program
The Chamber has so many more resources to help your business. I hope you will all actively engage and take advantage to grow your business, gain more knowledge, and expand your world.
Thank you for your continued commitment to the West Orange Business Community!
Thu, October 17, 2019
Now in its seventh consecutive year, initiative provides free screenings to women in need
ORLANDO, Fla. (October 11, 2019) – Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. Every year, more than 250,000 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed; an average of one woman every two minutes. Unfortunately, many women in Central Florida will forgo this important annual screening because they lack health insurance.
Shepherd’s Hope and Sand Lake Imaging are partnering to provide free mammograms to women in need in Central Florida. For each new patient who gets a mammogram at Sand Lake Imaging during the month of October, the facility will donate a free mammogram screening to an uninsured Shepherd’s Hope patient. It is the seventh consecutive year for the “Get a Mammogram, Give a Mammogram” initiative held in conjunction with national Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, but for those who are uninsured, this life-saving procedure is far from reach,” said Pam Gould, President and CEO of Shepherd’s Hope. “We are grateful for our longstanding partnership with Sand Lake Imaging that allows Shepherd’s Hope to provide local uninsured women with this essential medical exam at no charge.”
Shepherd’s Hope provides free primary and secondary medical services to the one in four Central Floridians who are uninsured or underinsured at five health center locations in Central Florida.
Annual mammogram screenings can detect breast cancer early and help reduce breast cancer mortality. “Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among American women of all ages, with 21 percent of all cases occurring before the age of 50,” said Dr. Robert Posniak, women’s specialty radiologist and president of Sand Lake Imaging. “Routine annual screening mammography for an average-risk woman beginning at the age of 40 has been proven to save lives and gives more treatment options if diagnosed early. Our new Hologic® SmartCurve™ system offers a more comfortable patient experience without compromising image quality, exam time, dose or workflow.”
Screening mammogram appointments can be scheduled at any of Sand Lake Imaging’s three convenient outpatient radiology centers. To schedule an appointment for the “Get a Mammogram, Give a Mammogram” program, call 407-363-2772.
About Shepherd’s Hope
Shepherd’s Hope is the leading voice for the uninsured and underinsured in Central Florida. Founded in 1997, the faith-based nonprofit organization provides free primary care and specialty care medical services to uninsured men, women, and children from five free-standing health centers in Orange and Seminole counties. In 2018, Shepherd’s Hope provided 19,575 free patient visits and medical services thanks to partnerships with 2,800 licensed medical and general volunteers, 3 community hospital systems, 100 diagnostic/secondary providers and 23 multi-faith partners. To learn more, visit www.shepherdshope.org or call (407) 876-6699, ext. 228.
About Sand Lake Imaging
Sand Lake Imaging is committed to providing the highest quality diagnostic imaging to the patients and physicians of the Central Florida community in a cost-effective and timely manner. The staff and radiologists recognize that, in the performance of their duties, they must continually seek to improve services while remaining sensitive to patients’ needs. Learn more at www.SandLakeImaging.com or call (407) 363-2772.
Thu, October 17, 2019
Jennifer Koren joined the Fleming’s team five years ago and worked at the Miami, Tampa and Charlotte restaurants. She assisted in opening the Metairie and Brickell restaurants before finding her permanent home in Orlando (8030 Via Dellagio Way, Building F Orlando, FL 32819) where she was most recently named Operating Partner.
Born and raised in Miami as a second generation native, Koren received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from The University of Central Florida. During school, she visited Israel three times before deciding to move to the beautiful country after college, where she lived just outside of Tel Aviv. While in Israel, Koren spent her time traveling throughout the country and trying all the cuisine she could. What she remembers most from her time in Israel is the Mediterranean Sea, which created fresh seafood and flavors that were inspiring and addicting. When she returned to the United States, she worked at a small Italian restaurant, and fell in love with hospitality. She decided to go back to school and received her master’s in hospitality and tourism management from Florida International University.
Currently, her favorite ingredients include Branzino, Israeli couscous, roasted tomatoes and Kalamata olives, which are all inspired by her Mediterranean past. She helps curate a menu for only her restaurant with Chef Hugh every six weeks which uses seasonal and unique ingredients.
While Orlando has an abundance of restaurant and a unique dining scene with varying styles and cuisines, Koren was drawn to Fleming’s because of the constant innovation and evolution of the dining experience that the brand strives to achieve. Fleming’s has been the cornerstone of her service industry career, offering an amazing platform to showcase her skills in hospitality, people and business management.
Thu, October 17, 2019
ORLANDO, Fla. – Treating 100 underprivileged children to a lasting gift of more comfortable sleep, City Furniture teamed up with Orlando City Soccer Club to surprise the youngsters with new twin-size beds and bedding at the first ever Delivering Hope Pajama Party on Oct. 4 at Exploria Stadium in Orlando.
“This was a great launch for the Delivering Hope program, bringing the kids an evening to remember at Exploria Stadium and the ongoing health benefits of supportive, restful sleep,” said City Furniture President Andrew Koenig. “As our partnership with Orlando City Soccer Club continues growing, the Delivering Hope Pajama Party is already one of our favorite traditions.”
Within the stadium, the children enjoyed dinner before burning some energy with activities including a tour of Exploria Stadium, an arts and crafts station and music by a DJ. Upon arrival, all attendees were also signed to a one-day contract with the Club. Orlando City and Pride players joining in the fun and signing autographs included Goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh and Forward Abby Elinsky, plus team mascot Kingston.
The rows of beds, each decorated with a purple comforter, were hidden and when revealed, the children rushed to find their new beds. The next day, City Furniture delivered the beds to the children’s homes.
The event hosted by Orlando City SC expands national Top 100 furniture retailer City Furniture’s ongoing community partnership with the Club’s Orlando City Foundation. Opening its first two Central Florida stores in Ocoee and near Mall at Millenia in recent months, the top-selling South Florida furniture retailer also sponsors the Everyday Hero program, honoring a military veteran or former first responder, during every Orlando City home match.
“It’s an honor for the Club to be able to utilize our partnership with City Furniture for such an incredible event, that will provide life-changing resources to so many children from Orlando,” Orlando City CEO Alex Leitao said. “We look forward to making this an annual event so we can continue to create a positive impact on our local community for years to come.”
Delivering Hope is the latest initiative in City Furniture’s 5% Giving Pledge, through which the retailer donates a minimum of five percent of annual profits to a host of charities throughout Florida. A long-time community steward in the areas it serves, City Furniture announced a $1 million donation for Covenant House of Florida in 2018, benefiting homeless and at-risk youth in Central and South Florida.
Companies helping City Furniture and Orlando City create the Delivering Hope Orlando Pajama Party were Sherwood Bedding (mattresses) and Rize (frames), with refreshments provided by Publix Supermarkets, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Chick-fil-A, Papa John’s, Dunkin’, Frito Lay, Post and Kellogg’s.
City Furniture operates 19 showrooms from Miami through Vero Beach, and in Fort Myers, Naples, The Villages and Orlando, as well as 12 Ashley Furniture showrooms as that brand’s Southeast and Southwest Florida licensee. For information visit www.cityfurniture.com.
About Orlando City SC:
Orlando City SC joined Major League Soccer (MLS) as the league's 21st franchise in November 2013, becoming the first MLS team in the Southeast. The Lions began league play in March 2015, and in 2017, moved into its privately owned downtown soccer stadium. In 2019, Orlando City SC will launch OCB in the newly formed USL League One to bridge the gap between its successful youth development academy and the First Team.
In November 2015, the Club announced its intention to bring professional women’s soccer to Central Florida and launched Orlando Pride in National Women's Soccer League. The Pride began league play in April 2016 with a star-studded team of FIFA World Cup Champions. For more information, visit orlandocitysc.com or orlando-pride.com.
Thu, October 17, 2019
Orange County Public Schools Teach In
Thursday, November 21
Here in West Orange County, workforce development is an increasingly important topic. The economy is thriving and businesses continue to flock to our area, but we know that finding and providing qualified employees is a mounting issue. We know one of the solutions is to start engaging High School students and making them aware of the possibilities available to them for a future career.
On Thursday, November 21, 2019 Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) is hosting the annual OCPS Teach-In program. This is a great opportunity to get in front of students and bring awareness to the various jobs that are in demand now and will continue to be in the future.
The West Orange Chamber is partnering with OCPS to assist in finding the best participants for the High Schools (Olympia HS, West Orange HS, Windermere HS, Ocoee HS, Dr. Phillips HS and Evans HS) located in West Orange County for this year’s Teach-in program. We are requesting that you or someone or many from your organization volunteer to participate this year.
This is your opportunity to join community and business leaders to help shape the future of our workforce. If you are interested in participating, please let Tracy Seebach know which school works best for you. We will then connect you with the right people to get you registered and prepped for November 21.
If you would like to learn more about this valuable program please visit https://www.foundationforocps.org
Tue, October 08, 2019
Tue, October 08, 2019
OCOEE, Fla. – City of Ocoee residents will have the chance to provide feedback about the city’s parks and recreation programs. The city is updating its Comprehensive Plan and the Parks, Recreation, & Trails Master Plan and is asking residents to take an online community survey.
The survey, which the city is conducting in partnership with the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, will provide questions focusing on city parks, recreation and trails. The city is asking citizens to give their thoughts on existing parks, recreational programs and special events. Results from the survey will be used to guide future decisions on programming and how to improve the city’s park system.
The Parks & Rec Community Survey is online at www.ocoee.org under the “Quick Links” menu. The direct link is https://ocoeeparksnrec.metroquest.com. For residents that do not have access to a computer, they may stop by Ocoee City Hall to take the survey on a city computer. City Hall is open on Mondays – Thursdays, 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. and Fridays, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. The online survey will be open through the end of October.
For more information, please call 407-905-3100.
Tue, October 08, 2019
MoleSafe USA, LLC, the provider of the Skin Surveillance Program, “The world’s most thorough skin surveillance program for the early detection of skin cancer, primarily melanoma,” today announced that it will partner with Advanced Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery (ADCS), one of the nation’s leaders in high-quality dermatologic patient care.
MoleSafe’s first screening location in Florida will be located at Advanced Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery’s Windemere, Florida office. “Many Florida residents have personal or family histories of skin cancer and many more are at high risk to develop skin cancer in their lifetime. We are pleased to be able to provide the Orlando community with access to the best technology available for the early detection of skin cancer by partnering with MoleSafe to open the first Skin Surveillance Program in Florida,” stated Dr. Willian Steffes, Board Certified Dermatologist leading the program for Advanced Dermatology.
One in five people will get skin cancer in their lifetime. Skin cancer, such as melanoma, can appear at any time in a person’s life and the risk increases as you age. The good news is that if it’s detected early, it’s almost always treatable. “MoleSafe has partnered with Advanced Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery to make the MoleSafe Skin Surveillance Program available to the many patients in Florida that have been diagnosed with skin cancer or are at high risk of developing skin cancer. We are excited to work with Advanced Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery to bring our early detection technology to the Orlando area. Early detection not only saves lives but will lower overall health care costs,” says Kevin Sheridan, CEO MoleSafe. “Expanding our Skin Surveillance Program centers into Florida will allow us to make available the latest skin cancer detection technology to a large segment of the high-risk population.”
“Our newest practice has an excellent health care team offering a full range of services,” said Dr. Matt Leavitt, founder and Chief Executive Officer and Founder of ADCS. “Our mission is to provide easy access to high-quality dermatology services in a comfortable, patient-friendly setting, and we are proud to be part of the dynamic and growing Windermere-Winter Garden community. We are also excited to partner with MoleSafe and to harness their world-leading Skin Surveillance technology that provides the ability to access high-quality images of individual moles to identify change as early as possible, a new level of skin cancer detection. From this, we can detect potential problems earlier and treat patients more quickly and effectively.”
“At MoleSafe, we pride ourselves on being an innovative, caring company that makes life-saving skin surveillance technology available to all those at risk of skin cancer. Our goal is to protect and improve their quality of life.” says Dr. Mark D Kaufmann, Chief Medical Officer, MoleSafe USA. “There are over 1,250,000 individuals who have been diagnosed with melanoma in the USA and millions more who are considered high risk for melanoma. Our world-class Skin Surveillance Program combines total body photography with clinical and dermoscopic imaging of moles/lesions, allowing MoleSafe to more accurately distinguish between benign lesions and those suspicious enough to warrant a biopsy. Most importantly, the evaluation is undertaken by a team of Board- Certified Dermatologists who are pigmented lesion experts.”
MoleSafe will begin screening patients at the new convenient ADCS location on 4020 Winter Garden Vineland Road, just south of State Road 429 (Daniel Webster Western Beltway). The new office is easily accessible to patients in nearby communities Skin Surveillance Program screenings will be available effective Sept. 23, 2019. To schedule a screening, contact MoleSafe at 1-877-665-3723.
Tue, October 08, 2019
Did you know that there is a designated day to celebrate your Chamber of Commerce? Annually, the third Wednesday in October is recognized as Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day. The first Chamber of commerce was formed in 1599 in France, and in 1768, 20 New Your City merchants founded the first American chamber of commerce.
Today, chambers of commerce are important parts of every community in which they are located. While chambers are not a government institution, and therefore have no authority or direct role in the writing or passage of laws, chambers frequently advocate for laws that are favorable to the businesses and communities they serve. Through promoting local businesses, providing learning opportunities for professional development, advocating, and providing networking opportunities for business owners and leaders, chambers of commerce help build up the community.
The West Orange Chamber is proud to work for and represent the West Orange business community as your unifying voice and act as a catalyst for developing opportunities for our members. We understand that we wouldn’t be in existence if it weren’t for our members’ support and investment in this organization and the continued commitment of our dedicated volunteers: the board of directors, the committee members and the beloved Ambassadors . So, yes, Wednesday, October 16 is officially Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day, yet, to the WOCC, that translates to Support Your Local Chamber and its Members’ Day. Let’s practice supporting one another every day and investing in one another. Together, we can build an even bigger and better network of strong business that continue to enhance the West Orange Community!
Tue, October 08, 2019
Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress
Andretti Indoor Karting & Games
Cotney Construction Law LLP
Fifty West Realty, LLC
Florida Golf and Beaches
Guardian Protective Services
Hub International Florida
Institute for Hormonal Balance
Nick Duffy Golf
Orlando Pressure Wash and More, LLC
Rhapsodii Lozano, LLC
Travel Advisors Group - Dream Vacations
Wilson Equipment Etc.
ADT Security & Fire Services
Arbours at Crown Point, LLC
Browning's Health Care
C Solutions, Inc
Florida Center for Hormones and Wellness
Pathway Financial Group
Premier Elevator Co Inc.
Winter Garden OBGYN
AAA Bay Hill - Orlando
American Backflow & Fire Services, LLC.
American First Bancard
Arellano Realty & Investments, LLC
Consolidated Pipe and Supply
Floor to Ceiling
Hardee's Of Ocoee
Hillcrest Insurance Agency, Inc.
Holehouse Center for Complete Dentistry
J&J Building, LLC
Little Greek Fresh Grill - Windermere
Living Frames LLC
Mason Accounting & Consulting Services
MetroWest Master Association, Inc.
Proforma Albrecht & CO.
Teak Neighborhood Grill
The Whiddon Group, LLC
Westside Crossing Condominium Association
Elementary & Middle Schools
Tildenville Elementary School A World Language Academy
Tue, September 24, 2019
R. C. Stevens is gearing up for another exciting project in historic downtown Winter Garden! The Exchange, a three-story office/retail/restaurant building will break ground autumn 2019. Located on Plant Street between the Winter Garden Pavilion, Splash Pad, and City Hall, it will take on the architecture and charm of the city.
R. C. Stevens Construction Company President Tim Keating commented, “Downtown Winter Garden has been thriving for years. I am very excited about how The Exchange will further evolve the landscape. The new addition of retailers and commercial office tenants will add to the exciting dynamic on Plant Street.”
The Exchange will be built along Plant Street in the heart of downtown Winter Garden. Construction groundbreaking will take place autumn 2019 with the building being completed by the summer of 2020.
Tue, September 24, 2019
Small businesses are the life blood of Florida’s economy, creating new markets, transforming communities and stimulating economic growth. As the Florida Chamber works to secure Florida's future, it is important that we know what issues are most important to small business leaders. Please take a few minutes to answer the questions below and share your opinion with us in our Small Business Index Survey.
Tue, September 24, 2019
Our Chamber is so fortunate to have developed wonderful partnerships over the years with individuals and organizations in different industries, of different sizes, each bringing wonderful resources to our Chamber. These resources allow our Chamber to live up to our purpose statement which is “Facilitating Opportunity.” Hopefully, even if you are a new member, you have heard or seen this statement repeated in print, digitally and verbally. It was developed by our board back in 2010 and it really has taken root and is built into everything that we do.
As I recall the development of this very deliberate, simple purpose statement and the elimination of a much longer, hard to remember mission statement, I also recall that we all knew that those two simple words, “facilitating” and “opportunity” would mean different things to each business within our Chamber. For me, those words mean the chamber provided me, my business and my community with a voice with our local government, gave our thoughts and ideas for our community the respect and credibility we deserved and avenues for getting things done. The chamber created a path that enabled me to get things done for my community. They were the unifying voice that we needed. The value of this isn’t measurable in dollars; rather immeasurable and invaluable.
However, as the owner of a Hardee’s in Pine Hills, I too, like most chamber members love it when members visit my store as do all other eateries and retail members. Transactional business does help the bottom line and the Chamber does provide opportunities for you to know what businesses we have in all categories so you can do business with one another. Other businesses may value and consider that facilitating opportunity means having the Chamber as a resource that provides learning opportunities, as we do with our Lunch and Learns, topical luncheons or spotlight speakers.
The point is that as Chamber members we all have the common purpose of facilitating opportunity, whatever it means to us individually. The Chamber also has a brand promise, which is lesser known to most of us. The board adopted that too and the promise that everything we do is with integrity, accountability, quality, effectiveness and fun. This is all ingrained in the culture of our chamber too.
I am sure if you all took time to think about it, you too will recognize your company’s purpose, promise which all create the culture. Identifying these, as our Chamber has done has enabled us to stay on focus and working for our members.
Thank you for your continued committment to the West Orange Chamber Business Community!
Tue, September 24, 2019
In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, the City of Ocoee recognizes the diverse contributions of its Hispanic and Latino residents who have enriched and shaped our community for generations. The city is proud to join the nationwide observance of Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15 to celebrate the Hispanic community's heritage and culture.
A proclamation in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month was read at the Ocoee City Commission meeting on September 17. Motorists traveling on Clarke Road will see festive “Ocoee Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month” pole banners along the street. Colorful framed posters featuring Hispanic art greet visitors to Ocoee City Hall.
The city’s government station, Ocoee TV, is airing a series titled “Latino Americans: The 500-Year Legacy that Shaped a Nation.” “Latino Americans” is a landmark six-hour documentary featuring interviews with nearly 100 Latinos and more than 500 years of history. The series is the first major television documentary to chronicle the rich and varied history and experience of Latinos. For the past 500-plus years, Latinos have helped shape what is today the United States and have become, with more than 50 million people, the largest minority group in America.
Viewers can watch the seven, one-hour episodes on Spectrum Channel 493 on these days at 6 p.m. through the end of October: “Empire of Dreams” on Mondays; “War and Peace” on Tuesdays; “The New Latinos” on Wednesdays; “Prejudice and Pride” on Thursdays; “Perile and Promise” on Fridays; “Famous Hispanic Americans” on Saturdays and “Foreigners in Their Own Land” on Sundays.
Tue, September 24, 2019
REED AUTOMOTIVE GROUP AND EMBRACE FAMILIES SURPRISE
TWO YOUTHS IN FOSTER CARE WITH NEW CARS
Cars for Kids Partnership Celebrates Fifth Year Providing Life-Changing Transportation
Now in its fifth year, the Cars for Kids program has donated 10 cars to 10 deserving young adults. The most recent recipients – Ashley Roberts, 20, and Hope Fuller, 18 – were surprised with 2019 Nissan Sentras.
“Our partnership with Reed Automotive Group allows us to take on the role a traditional family often provides for young adults when it comes to buying their first car,” said Glen Casel, president and CEO of Embrace Families. “Having reliable transportation is a game-changer for kids trying to achieve self-sufficiency because it eases the challenges of getting to work and school, empowering them to reach their goals.”
Cars for Kids recipient Ashley Roberts has been working to move past the trauma that placed her in foster care. After receiving an A.A. degree from Valencia College in May, she recently started classes at UCF – and she’s had to rely on ride-sharing programs to get to school, work and therapy appointments twice a week. This new car will make it easier and more cost-effective to travel around town.
Like Roberts, Hope Fuller also refuses to let her past dictate her future. She graduated high school one semester early, earning a cosmetology certificate. Fuller obtained her driver’s license through Embrace Families’ Keys to Independence program, created to help teens in foster care maintain a sense of normalcy by supporting them through the licensing and insurance process. By working at a fast-food restaurant, she saved enough money to buy a used car that hasn’t been dependable, but that’s now part of her past as well.
“It’s a joy to see the excitement in the faces of these teens when they hear that they’re getting a new car,” added Aaron Hill, managing partner of Reed Automotive Group. “We’re thrilled right along with them – because we know the impact that owning a car will have on their lives.”
To learn more about how Embrace Families supports local parents and kids, visit www.EmbraceFamilies.org.
About Embrace Families
As the region’s lead nonprofit agency overseeing foster care, adoption and other child welfare services in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties, Embrace Families, formerly known as Community Based Care of Central Florida, serves more than 8,000 children and their families. For more information, visit www.embracefamilies.org, “like” Embrace Families” on Facebook at www.facebook.com/embracefamilies or follow it on Twitter at www.twitter.com/embracefam, and Instagram at www.instagram.com/embracefamiliesfl.
Mon, September 09, 2019
The West Orange Chamber members voices are essential to the right outcomes happening in Tallahassee & Washington, D.C. In today’s often divisive environment, uniting to help ensure the right things happen in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C. is more important than ever.
In partnership with the Florida Chamber, the West Orange Chamber is pleased to provide our members with an opportunity to make sure the right things get done in Florida’s Capitol and our nation’s Capital. Simply take a quick moment to complete the Florida Business Agenda survey. By taking the Florida Chamber’s Business Agenda survey, they can ensure we’re fighting for what matters to business leaders in our community.
Thank you for participating in the Florida Chamber’s Business Agenda.
Mon, September 09, 2019
Community Trustee Level
Archis Technologies, Inc.
Asma & Asma, P.A.
Barbara Leach Law, PL
Benchmark Real Estate Group, Inc.
Commercial Design Services
Mary Anderson CPA
Miller Seal Coating
Molly Maid of West Orange and South Lake Counties
Orange County Pottys Inc.
Project Finance & Development, LLC
Salon Technologies International Inc
Sand Lake Dermatology Center
Shaklee - Nancy Brown
State Farm Insurance - Gary Merideth Insurance Agency
West Orange Cinema
West Orange Nephrology
Community Partner I
Aries HR Consulting
Bruno Portigliatti - Candidate for Florida House 44
Camp Gladiator Orlando
Fish Window Cleaning
GFW Hamlin LLC DBA The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill
Howard L Markowitz PA
JMC Landscape Services
Fri, August 30, 2019
Dear West Orange Chamber Members,
Don’t panic, PREPARE, try to help others around you and of course, remember patience.
Please be safe, West Orange Chamber Team
Duke Energy customers can visit www.duke-energy for storm and outage information.
Text REG to 57801 to receive outage alerts (Standard text and data charges may apply)
Text OUT to 57801 to report an outage (Standard text and data charges may apply)
Duke Energy social media outlets:
Facebook: Duke Energy
OUC customers are encouraged to visit www.ouc/com/stormcenter for storm preparation tips and outage information.
Text REG to 69682 to receive outage alerts (Standard text and data charges may apply)
Text OUT to 69682 to report an outage (Standard text and data charges may apply)
OUC social media outlets:
Orange County: The most current Hurricane Dorian information is available at
This website houses all updates issued by Orange County including but not limited to sandbags, safety and recovery information.
311 is the best resource during a storm for assistance with non-emergency flooding, debris, downed trees, traffic matters, road conditions and animal or neighborhood concerns. You can reach 311 by dialing the numbers 311 from your mobile or landline phones, or by calling 407-836-3111.
For any emergencies, please dial 911.
Orange County's Emergency and Information Apps (OCFL Alert, OCFL News & OCFL 311 - all free on Apple and Android devices) : www.ocfl.net/apps
Storm Preparedness: www.ocfl.net/storm
Emergency Medical Information: www.ocfl.net/EmergencyMedical
Orange County's Social Media: https://newsroom.ocfl.net/social-media
Social Media Live Updates
Yard Waste: Prior to the storm, Orange County residents can take their yard waste to various landfill sites (www.ocfl.net/WasteSites) and follow there guidelines as provided.
Emergency Debris Removal: After the storm has passed, Orange County has developed a plan to assist private/gated communities where debris removal is necessary. The County may not remove vegetative debris from private/gated communities because they are private property. Orange County's plan consists of four options for debris removal. Visit our Emergency Debris Removal page for details
To Register to receive emergency alerts and other public safety notifications in your community. https://apps.floridadisaster.org/alertflorida/
City of Winter Garden:
City of Ocoee:
Town of Oakland:
Town of Windermere:
City of Orlando:
Orlando Emergency Management: (407) 246-4357
To get up to date information on what is happening in our area:
Other helpful resources:
Download the FEMA app to your phone.
Florida State Assistance: (800) 342-3557
From the U.S. Chamber
Resilience in a Box—Resource guide based on best practices designed to help educate business leaders on disaster preparedness and business resilience. This tool is available in Spanish as well and includes a Top 20 Tips that businesses can do now in advance of the storm.
Disaster Recovery Quick Guides—made possible by Shell, has tailored tips in English for small businesses and chambers looking to prepare and recover.
Tue, August 27, 2019
University Ace Hardware Honored with Beacon Award
August 17, 2019 — University Ace Hardware in Oviedo was one of five retailers honored as Beacon Award winners for 2019 during the 2019 Hardware Conference, held August 16-18, 2019, at the JW Marriott in Marco Island, Fla. The Beacon Awards are a premier national industry awards program developed by The Hardware Connection magazine and The Hardware Conference to recognize the “best of the best” independent hardware/home improvement retailers.
The 2019 Beacon Awards are sponsored by Apex Tool Group, Epicor Software Corporation, Rust-Oleum and Ettore Products Company, with wholesaler sponsorship support from Ace Hardware Corp. and other wholesalers.
The Beacon Awards, now in their seventh year, honored the Retail Beacon Award winners for each of the three participating wholesalers, plus the Best New Stores in two categories: under 20,000 square feet and over 20,000 square feet. University Ace Hardware was honored as the Best New Store under 20,000 square feet.
“This year’s Beacon Award winners are an outstanding group of retailers. They all share similar traits of operating well-merchandised stores with unique niches and strong community involvement,” stated Chris Jensen, editor/founder/principal of The Hardware Connection, the hardware industry’s leading digital publication.
What follows is an overview of University Ace Hardware:
Best New Store Under 20,000 Sq. Ft. —University Ace Hardware, Oviedo, Fla.
University Ace Hardware was previously a Walgreens until Owner Walter Toole and his team at Toole’s Ace Hardware took over and began transforming the building into the perfect hardware store. The team started the transition with an LED conversion, repainted inside and out, polished concrete floors, turned the pharmacy into the back room and converted the photo center into the Stihl department.
Walter Toole has been in the hardware business for over 35 years and is a life-long hardware guy. He is a past president of the National Retail Hardware Association and his store in Winter Garden, Fla., was Ace’s first “Store of the Future” in the state. He got into the business when he and his wife Patty bought Bray Hardware in Winter Garden in 1983. This store dates back to 1906, which makes it a member of The Hardware Connection Century Club.
When University Ace Hardware opened in June 2017 it represented the 10th store for Walter and Toole’s Ace Hardware. Walter’s success has been fueled by an incessant drive to run the best hardware stores in Florida. His partner, Bill Asma, has been with him for nine of the stores. Bill is a lawyer who takes a more passive role in the business, however, his son Neil is extremely active as the general manager. Neil Asma is Walter’s second in command and is poised to take over the business when Walter retires. Walter and Patty’s son, Thomas, takes an active role in the merchandising side of the business, ensuring high standards are maintained.
The 12,000-square-foot store in Oviedo features a customer-friendly layout and some of the best decor, finishes and merchandising in the industry. The store reached Ace’s Platinum level during the first year—even though they only had five months to do it. The following year, they achieved Pinnacle level performance—Ace’s highest level. During their first year, they way outperformed Ace’s expectations and proforma plan.
Understanding the ever-evolving retail landscape, Walter and his team knew how important it was to have the right merchandise. Not only are the shelves bulging with core hardware, the sales floor is filled with niches to excite customers. The large grilling area features Big Green Egg, Traeger and Weber grills and accessories, next to a dominant assortment of Stihl outdoor power equipment. They also carry an expanded assortment of bird, fishing tackle, fishing rods and live bait, along with the premium Benjamin Moore paint brand.
University Ace has been a pilot program for Stihl Power equipment delivery. Customers order Stihl products online and University Ace delivers an assembled piece. Not only does Manager Dan Tanner and the team participate in Ace’s in-store pickup, they also embrace online delivery. “We know the value of staying relevant in the community,” Walter says.
All 10 Toole’s Ace stores support the communities they serve. University Ace works with several organizations such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Haggerty High School and the Kiwanis Club, and they donate products to the University of Central Florida’s engineering department and the Concrete Canoe team. Programs and monetary donations are used to support the Children’s Miracle Network.
“Any time you get an award like this you feel pretty special,” says Walter. “It means that they like what you did. It’s a testament not only to me, but to my staff, to Neal, my son Thomas, everyone who works for me and to Ace Hardware.”
The Hardware Connection
The Hardware Connection is the only magazine designed and distributed solely in an electronic format for independent hardware retailers. With a circulation of more than 60,000, The Hardware Connection has been honored with six awards for editorial excellence in the past five years including the 2017 Eddie Digital Award from FOLIO magazine for Best Standalone Digital Magazine in the B2B category.
The Hardware Conference Now in its 31st year, The Hardware Conference is the industry’s largest gathering of independent hardware retailers regardless of wholesaler affiliation.
University Ace Hardware and other Beacon Award winners will be featured in the September/October 2019 issue of The Hardware Connection magazine. For more information on the Beacon Awards, go to www.thehardwareconnection.com.
Tue, August 27, 2019
At Duke Energy, we know that strong connections ensure reliable power and powerful communities. Today, I am pleased to announce that Kari Conley has been selected as the new government and community relations manager in Orange and Osceola counties.
Kari brings a 25-year history of building relationships and meeting community needs through public-private partnerships in Central Florida to her new role. This makes her uniquely qualified to support the energy, growth and sustainability goals of your county and communities. Kari will also focus on advancing initiatives to better serve customers and the public every day and during emergencies.
She joined DEF on August 5, 2019 and will be based in Winter Garden.
Most recently, Kari was community relations director for Orlando Health. Her experience in community and communications leadership also includes roles with the Orlando Magic and the Salvation Army.
She is a graduate of Leadership Florida and served as the region’s chair in 2019. Her commitment to people and volunteerism includes service to many diverse organizations focused on children, women and business growth. Following the Pulse Nightclub tragedy in Orlando, Kari’s role on the organization’s Crisis Communication team led to the development of new protocols for responding philanthropically after a tragedy.
Her efforts have earned her several awards including Orlando Magazine’s Women of the Year, Women’s Executive Council Community Champion and the Orlando Business Journal’s 40 under 40.
She earned a BA degree from Samford University and a MA from Baylor University and is accredited in public relations (APR).
DEF is confident that with Kari’s experience, relationships and proven heart for community will support our most important work in Orange and Osceola counties -- powering the lives of those DEF serves.
Tue, August 27, 2019
School’s back in session and this is the perfect time to congratulate OCPS on earning an “A” grade for the entire system. OCPS strives to give the best education to all of its students and prides itself on being fiscally responsible with its $4 billion budget. In July, the Chamber board of directors, the Economic and Governmental Advocacy and 3D Committees and the board of the West Orange Political Alliance (WOPA) learned first-hand what revenue sources are available to OCPS for students and capital projects, as well as how the school siting policies work. This was the first of two meetings with OCPS, with the second one focusing on programs to assist students to make the right choice of career fields and paths to get them the jobs that fit them best.
The Chamber plans to use this information along with information gathered from UCF, Valencia College, and CareerSource Central Florida to learn all the resources available to employers and employees to help fill the talent or skills gap we are experiencing. WOPA will use all the information shared by OCPS to facilitate their candidate interviewing process in 2020’s election that will identify the right candidates to further education and talent development.
Developing and showcasing talent is important to a growing community like West Orange. This month, our Foundation is seeking applicants for Leadership West Orange. This is a great program that provides the class members with information on issues ranging from industry innovations, environment, culture and history. To learn more about Leadership West Orange and how to participate, click here.
Next month, we will showcase three extraordinary women in different fields; OCPS Chairwoman Teresa Jacobs, Royetta Ginther, co-owner of Twistee Treat and Christine McGuirk, Chief Nursing Officer for Orlando Health – Health Central Hospital. You will want to attend Celebrating Extraordinary Women on September 18th to be inspired and learn valuable lessons from these accomplished women
Next month, we will also present some Spotlight Speakers which focus on areas of our strategic plan as well. The Chamber board is committed to fulfilling objectives from our strategic plan, especially on our objective of Identifying and Addressing Quality Workforce and the Talent Gap. Take a look at the full Strategic Plan.
Enjoy your Labor Day!!
Tue, August 13, 2019
The Chamber’s Economic & Governmental Advocacy Committee is hosting several Spotlight Speaker presentations based on transportation current and future needs in Central Florida.
The first presentation, took place last week and highlighted I-4 Beyond the Ultimate project which impacts the interchanges at Sand Lake Road and Daryl Carter Parkway. The next presentation, scheduled for Friday, September 27 will feature Orange County Commissioner VanderLey discussing the current status of transportation and future transportation needs in West Orange county.
Finally, on Friday, October 25, Orange County Mayor Demings will be our Spotlight Speaker and he will discus the proposed 1 cent transportation tax and the recommendations of the affordable housing task force he created.
These Presentations are open to the Chamber membership and everyone is encouraged to attend. Since, the Chamber be vetting and possibly taking a position on the proposed 1 cent transportation sales tax , your input will be invaluable to our issues protocol.
Mon, August 12, 2019
Community Trustee Level
Supporting Trustee Level
Community Partner I
Community Partner II
Allstar Drywall & Texturing
Community Partner I
Mon, August 12, 2019
Although the new diverging diamond interchange between Interstate 4 (I-4) and Sand Lake Road (State Road 482) won’t be built for some time, motorists can preview the interchange via a new 360-degree virtual drive video.
Users watching the videos on either a tablet or smartphone can move their device around as the video plays to experience what they would see at the new interchange. If watching on a desktop computer, users may use their cursor to click and drag within the video in the direction they would like to view. The video also is compatible with most virtual reality headsets.
The videos were debuted at an informational open house in June for the improvements at the Daryl Carter Parkway and Sand Lake Road interchanges with I-4. Both interchanges will be diverging diamond interchanges (DDIs).
Dozens of participants took turns sitting in rows to simulate being in a vehicle and watched on a large monitor as one person holding a tablet played the video and “drove” through the newly designed Sand Lake Road interchange.
The 360-degree videos place users nearly 17 feet above the roadways at the virtual interchange to show things such as traffic movements, lane counts, signage, and lane markings.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is creating visual aids — such as these new videos — to help breathe life into the more technical design plans and to assist the public in understanding the improvements coming to their interchanges as part of I-4 Beyond the Ultimate.
The videos are available on the website and on the I-4 Ultimate and Beyond YouTube channel.
If you would like to learn more about the planned improvements at Daryl Carter Parkway and Sand Lake Road, please book a presentation by filling out a contact form
Mon, August 12, 2019
Carrie Wilson, IOM and Kelly Jones, IOM,
both of West Orange Chamber of Commerce,
Graduates from Institute for Organization Management
A Leadership Training Program Produced by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Institute for Organization Management, the professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, is pleased to announce that Carrie Wilson, IOM, Director of Events, of the West Orange Chamber of Commerce, and Kelly Jones, IOM, Events Manager of the West Orange Chamber of Commerce have graduated from the program and has received the recognition of IOM. Awarded to all graduates of the Institute program, the IOM Graduate Recognition signifies the individual’s completion of 96 hours of course instruction in nonprofit management. In addition, participants can earn credit hours toward the Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) or Certified Association Executive (CAE) certifications. Nearly 1,000 individuals attend Institute annually.
“Institute graduates are recognized across the country as leaders in their industries and organizations,” said Raymond P. Towle, IOM, CAE, the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s vice president of Institute for Organization Management. “These individuals have the knowledge, skills, and dedication necessary to achieve professional and organizational success in the dynamic association and chamber industries.”
Since its commencement in 1921, the Institute program has been educating tens of thousands of association, chamber, and other nonprofit leaders on how to build stronger organizations, better serve their members and become strong business advocates. Institute’s curriculum consists of four weeklong sessions at five different university locations throughout the country. Through a combination of required courses and electives in areas such as leadership, advocacy, marketing, finance, and membership, Institute participants are able to enhance their own organizational management skills and add new fuel to their organizations, making them run more efficiently and effectively.
Institute for Organization Management is the professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. It is the premier nonprofit professional development program for association and chamber professionals, fostering individual growth through interactive learning and networking opportunities.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness. We educate the public on the conditions necessary for business and communities to thrive, how business positively impacts communities, and emerging issues and creative solutions that will shape the future.
Wed, July 31, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 30, 2019 – AdventHealth Orlando has been recognized as the No. 1 hospital in Florida and the top in Orlando by U.S. News & World Report, which released its 2019-20 Best Hospitals ratings today.
The annual Best Hospitals rankings and ratings, now in their 30th year, are designed to assist patients and their doctors in making informed decisions about where to receive care for challenging health conditions or for common elective procedures.
The hospital was also recognized as having seven nationally ranked specialty programs: diabetes and endocrinology; gastroenterology and GI surgery; geriatrics; gynecology; nephrology; neurology and neurosurgery; and urology.
In addition, AdventHealth was recognized for having four “high-performing” programs: cancer; cardiology and heart surgery; orthopedics; and pulmonary and lung surgery.
Just last month, AdventHealth for Children was also honored by U.S. News, when its neonatology program was ranked among the nation’s best in the annual “Best Children’s Hospitals” issue. And with these most recent rankings, AdventHealth for Women is now recognized as providing the best women’s care in Florida.
“We are honored that our clinicians are being recognized nationally for providing exceptional, compassionate, whole-person care,” said Daryl Tol, president & CEO of AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division. “It’s our goal to always keep the needs of the consumer at the forefront of everything we do, and to be a health-care partner for life.”
For the 2019-20 rankings and ratings, U.S. News evaluated more than 4,500 medical centers nationwide in 25 specialties, procedures and conditions. In the 16 specialty areas, 165 hospitals were ranked in at least one specialty. In rankings by state and metro area, U.S. News recognized hospitals as high performing across multiple areas of care.
“For 30 years, U.S. News has strived to make hospital quality more transparent to healthcare consumers nationwide,” said Ben Harder, managing editor and chief of health analysis at U.S. News. “By providing the most comprehensive data available on nearly every hospital across the United States, we give patients, families and physicians information to support their search for the best care across a range of procedures, conditions and specialties.”
The U.S. News Best Hospitals methodologies in most areas of care are based largely on objective measures such as risk-adjusted survival and discharge-to-home rates, volume, and quality of nursing, among other care-related indicators.
Best Hospitals was produced by U.S. News with RTI International, a leading research organization based in Research Triangle Park, N.C.
For more information about the 2019-20 rankings and ratings, please visit the FAQ. The rankings will be published in the U.S. News “Best Hospitals 2020” guidebook (ISBN 9781931469937), available for pre-order now from the U.S. News Online Store and for purchase at other bookstores in mid-September.
Founded in 1908 by pioneering Seventh-day Adventists who believed in whole-person health — healing the body, mind and spirit — AdventHealth has grown into one of the largest nonprofit hospitals in the country, caring for more than two million patient visits per year in metro Orlando alone. AdventHealth operates nearly 50 hospitals and hundreds of care centers in nearly a dozen states, making it one of the largest faith-based health-care systems in the United States.
AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division encompasses 16 hospitals in the six counties in and surrounding metro Orlando: Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake, Volusia and Flagler. The Central Florida Division’s care network also includes more than 30 CentraCare urgent-care centers; dozens of sports-rehab and imaging centers; and hundreds of physicians, ranging from primary care to a full spectrum of specialties.
AdventHealth Orlando, the division’s flagship campus, serves both as a community hospital and as a major tertiary referral hospital for the region, much of the Southeast, the Caribbean and Latin America.
AdventHealth Orlando is a designated statutory teaching hospital and trains physicians from around the world on the newest technology and procedures. The system provides a wide range of health services, including many nationally and internationally recognized programs in cardiology, cancer, women’s medicine, neuroscience, diabetes, orthopedics, pediatrics, transplant and advanced surgical programs.
The AdventHealth Research Institute has more than 250 investigators and more than 500 clinical trials in progress. AdventHealth Orlando is also home to the Translational Research Institute for Metabolism & Diabetes and the Nicholson Center for Surgical Advancement.
ABOUT U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT
U.S. News & World Report is the global leader in quality rankings that empower people to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives. A digital news and information company focused on Education, Health, Money, Travel, Cars and Civic, USNews.com provides consumer advice, rankings and analysis to serve people making complex decisions throughout all stages of life. More than 40 million people visit USNews.com each month for research and guidance. Founded in 1933, U.S. News is headquartered in Washington, D.C.
Tue, July 23, 2019
by: Jennifer Ha, Dragonfly Robata Grill
While the truth of global warming and climate change issues are still controversial to some, one thing we can all agree on is that plastics pollution has become a world-wide issue. Some recent reports have found that as many as eight-million pieces of discarded plastics find their way to our oceans daily, and that plastic waste is responsible for 60-90% of all marine debris. While no one person can solve this issue, there are things each of us can do to help.
As a restaurant serving 100’s of guests every week one way we’re helping is by limiting our use of single-use, non-degradable, plastic straws. We are now offering an option for eco-friendly paper straws with all cocktails, water, tea, and soda orders. In addition, we now only provide traditional single-use plastic straws upon request. Reducing our reliance on single-use plastic straws might not seem like a big change or movement, but it does take a step in the right direction. Join us in our fight to make a better planet for our neighbors, family, and children.
Tue, July 23, 2019
Now that we are beyond the midway point of my year as Chairman, I thought it would be a good time to review our performance in the year that our board determined as “the year of the member”. Truly every year is about our members, yet with the focus on the building renovation in 2018, we wanted to make sure you know that providing services and programs to you is always our main focus of business. With review of the strategic plan for this year, we appear to be on track in all areas and very specifically on our 3D Committee initiatives.
Our new 3D committee is focused on Business, Professional, and Workforce Development. It was created to accomplish the following:
This committee has worked hard and added the Horizon West Wednesday Networking Group, sought ways to support our Dr. Phillips group which now meets on Thursdays at the YMCA. This committee is also delivering professional growth opportunities through our Lunch and Learns focused on “the development of soft skills/emotional intelligence”. This topic was identified as an area of interest through our chamber member survey.
The committee’s Health & Wellness Task Force convened and determined ways to support members within the Task Force focused industries, one of which will be revealed at our Celebrating Extraordinary Women’s event in September and through development of future programs scheduled for next year. The Food & Beverage Task Force continued with its promise to move forward with “Dining Deals” which supports this industry during a slower time of year; summer.
The summer hasn’t slowed down on new member recruitment and our Ambassadors continue to provide the service of ribbon cuttings and anniversary celebrations. To date, the Ambassadors have facilitated over 60 activities to support our members. Our Economic & Governmental Advocacy Committee completed its work to secure “doggie dining” for all of West Orange and is now reviewing the proposed one cent transportation tax by Mayor Demings. All of this happens while the Events Department continues to deliver opportunities for networking, partnerships, collaborations and more.
Continue to Enjoy your Summer!
Tue, July 23, 2019
How to Prepare for the Microsoft Windows 7 and Server 2008 End-of-Life
As you may have already learned, Microsoft will be discontinuing support for Windows 7 and their Server 2008 Operating Systems on January 14, 2020. This means all product support for applications and software updates from Windows Update, that help protect Desktops/Laptops and Servers, will no longer be available for those Operating Systems.
Computer Business has compiled a FAQ to help guide you through this process.
Why is Microsoft not supporting their older products?
Microsoft is constantly developing newer technologies and is allocating their resources towards the development of those technologies.
What do I do with my existing older Windows 7 and Server 2008 systems?
Microsoft recommends upgrading or replacing your Desktops and Laptops to Windows 10 and your Servers to Server 2016 or 2019. Often moving to new hardware will be the recommended path forward. Today's PCs and Servers are faster, lightweight, more powerful, and more secure, with an average price that's considerably less than that of eight years ago.
For the Servers, there is an option to migrate to cloud-based solutions and avoid the costs of buying new servers. Computer Business can provide you with a cost analysis and assist or manage this process for you.
What does end of support mean for me?
After January 14, 2020, Windows 7 & Server 2008 will no longer receive security updates. Therefore, it's important that to upgrade to a modern operating system which can provide the latest security updates. Support for most applications will also no longer be available. As newer technologies are developed in software and database programs and as third-party software and apps are developed, they will not be focused on supporting older Operating Systems.
Can I upgrade my existing PC to Windows 10?
To take advantage of the latest hardware capabilities, we recommend moving to a new PC with Windows 10. As an alternative, compatible Windows 7 PCs can be upgraded by purchasing and installing a full version of the Windows 10. This will require several hours of IT services to accomplish and may be more costly than replacing the hardware.
Windows 10 upgrade is free?
The Windows 10 free upgrade offer ended on July 29, 2016. To get Windows 10 you will need to either purchase a new device or, if you have a compatible PC, purchase a full version of the OS to upgrade your existing device. We recommend that you don’t install Windows 10 on an older device, as some Windows 7 devices are not compatible with Windows 10 or could experience reduced feature availability.
Can Windows 7 and Server 2008 still be activated after January 14, 2020?
Both Windows 7 and Server 2008 can be installed and activated after end of support; however, they will be vulnerable to security risks and viruses due to the lack of security updates.
Who should I call to help transition my business to the latest Operating Systems?
Finding the right IT Company to guide your business through this process can be difficult. Computer Business has the experience and resources to ensure the transition to Windows 10 and Server 2016 or Server 2019 is done with the highest level of quality and efficiency while working within your budget.
Contact us by visiting www.ComputerBusiness.com or by calling our service team at 407-654-5600.
Tue, July 09, 2019
The West Orange Chamber of Commerce (WOCC) announced today that their goal to make all West Orange County “doggie dining friendly” was accomplished earlier this month with the city of Ocoee adopting its own ordinance, as Orange County, Oakland and Windermere had done recently. The Chamber’s interest in this issue began in late 2017 when it learned that several member eateries were approached by the state health department for allowing dogs to dine with their owners without having the appropriate license by Orange County. Further investigation revealed that the county, Oakland, Ocoee and Windermere needed to enact an ordinance that would allow eateries to apply for permits to allow for outside doggie dining.
Winter Garden and Orlando had enacted ordinances years before after the state had passed legislation in 2006 that would allow for outside doggie dining if a restaurant wanted to offer that service to its patrons. The West Orange Chamber understood the confusion that patrons experienced because jurisdictional lines are blurred. Patrons and even restaurants were not aware of the law but the popularity of doggie friendly businesses was growing. In order to gain economic equality for all its restaurant members, the Chamber embarked on an awareness campaign and enactment of the ordinance by the county and its remaining municipalities to bring all of West Orange County to doggie dining friendliness.
Late last year, Mayor Jacobs and the Board of County Commissioners took up this matter and passed its ordinance. Oakland, Ocoee and Windermere followed suit by modifying the county’s ordinance. “We are thrilled to have all West Orange County as a doggie dining friendly place. This just adds to all the other reasons why West Orange is the fastest growing residential community in Orange County,” stated Stina Duva, WOCC President/CEO.
About West Orange Chamber of Commerce
Founded in 1972, the West Orange Chamber of Commerce (WOCC) serves as the leading business advocate in Central Florida by building partnerships, promoting economic growth in the community, and facilitating opportunities for its 1,100 member businesses. In 2009, 2012, and 2015, the WOCC received the prestigious State of Florida’s Chamber of the Year award.
Tue, July 09, 2019
Heartland Payment Systems
Crown Property Holdings, Inc
Griffith Financial Services
COMMUNITY PARTNER I
COMMUNITY PARTNER II
Thu, June 27, 2019
Small businesses create two out of every three jobs in Florida, and are the backbone of our state's economy. The Florida Chamber would like to know what issues are impacting your small business. As the Florida Chamber works to secure Florida's future, it's important to measure the health of small businesses. Please take a few moments to answer this brief survey. Your feedback will help guide the Florida Chamber.
Mon, June 24, 2019
Each week, Observer Media editors and reporters work to make sure you receive engaging and relevant content about West Orange that you can’t find anywhere else. The Observer’s editorial coverage not only delivers news and information focused on where you live, work and play, but they also aim to surprise and delight with fresh ideas and features. Whether it’s breaking news posted daily from each of their coverage areas to OrangeObserver.com or weekly features that have become reader favorites over the years, the Observer Media staff is dedicated to providing a complete news report of West Orange County for its residents and business owners. To show our commitment to the West Orange Business community, the Observer Media Group is offering a complimentary one-year subscription to West Orange Chamber members. To take advantage of this offer, click here.
Mon, June 24, 2019
Back in 2003, I and a few other business leaders in Pine Hills approached the Chamber to discuss opportunities to support economic development initiatives in our community. Because of the positive response we received and actions taken by the Chamber ever since then that are supportive of the entire business community, I knew that I had made a great decision to invest my time and resources to this Chamber. Even though I got involved, I never imagined that I would be asked to join the Chamber board and certainly never expected to become its Chairman.
I rolled up my sleeves and got involved on committees and participated in events, The commitment I demonstrated is what led me to being asked to join the board back in 2011 and as they say, the rest is history. Serving on this board has allowed me to work alongside and build lasting relationships with some of the greatest business leaders in our community.
The same commitment I showed years ago is what we still look for today when seeking out new board members. If you are committed to the Chamber and are interested in being asked to join the board, the first step is to complete the 2020 Expression of Interest Form. Click here to download the 2020 Expression of Interest Form.
Once you submit the form, more details will be sent to you on the process which is led by the Chairman of this year’s Nominating Committee, Chair-elect Deborah Rios Barnes of CenturyLink. She and the rest of her committee will be busy this summer determining the number of aboard seats available, reviewing applications and ultimately developing the slate for 2020. Good luck!
Another member of the Chamber’s Executive Committee who will be busy over the summer is our Treasurer, Camille Evans of Virtus LLP. In addition to her service on our Executive Committee and Board of Directors, she serves as Chairman of the West Orange Political Alliance. Apparently, that isn’t enough for her for volunteer service. She was asked by Commissioner VanderLey to serve on the Orange County Charter Review Commission and was elected its chair. We are proud of the work Camille is doing on that appointed Board as they are tasked to assess the powers of the home-rule document, the Orange County Charter; our constitution.
If you want to provide input on changes or keeping the charter as is, you have many opportunities to do so throughout the county. There will be a meeting in West Orange on August 7th tentatively scheduled to be held at Dr. Phillips High. Commissioner VanderLey is slated as its guest speaker. For more information on meetings and more click here.
Have a great summer!
Mon, June 24, 2019
“Crime Free Certification is a notable accomplishment that requires great dedication on the part of the owners and management team at each of these communities,” said Julie Sanchez, MetroWest Master Association General Manager.
The MetroWest communities that have received Crime Free Certification are:
Goldelm at MetroWest, Indigo West, Vista Verde
MetroWest now boasts 11 Crime Free Certified communities. Eight other MetroWest communities received Crime Free Certification in 2018. They are Alvista MetroWest, Amara at MetroWest, Central Park a MetroWest Condominium Association, Horizons at Stonebridge Place, The Residences at Veranda Park, Stonebridge Reserves, The Summit and Vistas at Stonebridge Place
Attaining Crime Free Certification is a three-phrase process, requiring an eight-hour certification class, inspections by both the Orlando Police Department and Orlando Utilities Commission, and fulfilling Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) requirements.
Mon, June 24, 2019
At the recent Aimbridge Hospitality National Sales Conference in Dallas, TX the 80-room Fairfield Inn & Suites Hotel by Marriott Orlando Ocoee was awarded the coveted President’s Award for tops in their significant increase of Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) from 2017 to 2018.
According to Bob Marx, General Manager of the Aimbridge managed property, “this award is significant in that it recognizes our achievement in both occupancy and guest room rate.” Revenue Per Available Room is the standard by which hotel profitability is measured.
Says Marx, “our hotel was not only surprised by this award, but honored to be in the top 1% of the 500 plus Select Service brand hotels owned and/or managed by Aimbridge. Our team does an extraordinary job of managing the hospitality experience and it shows in our average monthly occupancy of 87%.”
The Fairfield Inn & Suites Orlando Ocoee was initially opened as a Marriott Courtyard hotel over 15 years ago and transitioned to the highly successful Fairfield brand some seven years ago. Aimbridge Hospitality, based in Plano, TX owns and/or manages over 900 first class hotel properties throughout the U.S. and Caribbean covering all of the major hotel brands both in full and select service properties.
Tue, June 11, 2019
Tim & Team Club LLC
New York Life - Orlando
Thu, June 06, 2019
The lazy days of summer are a great time to enjoy the food, service and atmosphere of some of our popular WOCC chamber member restaurants, bars and grills and even more. To make it an even better experience and to drive business to these members, we have partnered with many to develop the Chamber’s “Dining Deals.” From June 3rd through August 16th, our chamber members will be able to receive special discounts to our participating members. To receive the discount, just tell your server and they will take care of the rest. To see all the “deals” click here.
Mon, June 03, 2019
The U.S. Chamber Foundation visited Orlando to discuss business success and growth through LGBT inclusive culture. Community leaders, Chamber presidents and others met in Orlando to better understand the positive impact to businesses which adopt and demonstrate authenticity in LGBT inclusive policies. For more information, click here.
Tue, May 28, 2019
Daytona Beach, FL, May 23, 2019 --(PR.com)-- The Florida Blue Foundation received the Outstanding Community Partner Award at the 2019 FloridaLiteracy Conference, which was held on May 1-3rd at the Daytona Beach Plaza Resort. Florida Blue has been a generous supporter and leader in promoting literacy and health literacy since it became the founding sponsor of the Florida Health Literacy Initiative 10 years ago. This statewide program, administered by the Florida Literacy Coalition (FLC), provides training, resources and funding to assist Florida ESOL and family literacy programs to integrate health education into their instruction.
“This award recognizes Florida Blue Foundation’s unwavering commitment to helping Florida’s adult literacy and ESOL students become informed health advocates for themselves and their families,” said Greg Smith, executive director of FLC. “We are excited to recognize the important work of the Florida Blue Foundation in the area of health literacy.”
The Initiative has served more than 18,000 learners and has developed more than 300 new community partnerships. Florida Blue and the Florida Blue Foundation have contributed $1.1 million to this effort, resulting in health literacy grants to 59 local organizations to help them build successful and robust health literacy projects.
“We are certainly changing lives at our school and the support that we have received from Florida Blue Foundation is one of the driving factors behind our accomplishments,” said nominator Kathy Severson, director, DeSoto County Adult Education, “None of what we have been able to achieve would have happened without this amazing opportunity to partner with Florida Blue.”
Susan Towler, vice president, Florida Blue Foundation, agreed that changing lives is the real reward. “We are thrilled to receive the Outstanding Community Partner Award. It is our partnerships with groups such as Florida Literacy Coalition that allow us to make a difference. As a result of the Initiative, students report visiting a doctor, enrolling in health coverage, feeling empowered to talk with their doctor and sharing their newfound health knowledge with their friends and families. That is truly rewarding.”
Tue, May 28, 2019
ORLANDO -- The Walt Disney Company is expanding its employee education program, adding the University of Central Florida to the list of institutions eligible employees can attend free of charge.
Through its Disney Aspire program first announced in 2018, the company will cover tuition costs upfront and reimburse application fees and other eligible expenses for employees attending UCF and other in-network institutions.
Eligible employees will be able to choose from 34 UCF programs, both undergraduate and graduate, including multiple that are completely online. UCF will be the first school in the network to offer an undergraduate degree in entertainment management.
Other in-network institutions include Wilmington University, Valencia College, University of Florida and University of Denver.
"We could not be more excited to be working with Disney to make a high-quality college degree even more accessible," UCF Interim President Thad Seymour Jr. said in a news release announcing the partnership. "Many of our students already are Disney employees who will immediately benefit, and this program has the potential to change lives in our community for generations."
Disney said Thursday that 40 percent of the company's 85,000 eligible employees had signed up for the program since it launched last year. More than 6,000 are currently enrolled in classes.
Disney joined other large corporations that have begun paying tuition for workers in a job market with historically low unemployment. In 2018, Walmart said it would offer workers the chance to get a college degree at three universities with online programs.
Disney's program is being administered by Guild Education, the same Denver-based firm operating Walmart's program.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Tue, May 28, 2019
ORLANDO, Fla. (May 17, 2019) – Axiom Bank, N.A., a Maitland-based community bank serving customers in Central Florida and beyond, promoted G. Hunt Dawkins to the position of VP, SBA Division Manager. In his new role, Dawkins will lead Axiom’s programs for extending government-guaranteed loans to small businesses.
Dawkins has more than three decades of experience in banking. He joined Axiom Bank in 2018 as VP, Commercial Relationship Manager.
“By understanding the challenges local small business owners face, Hunt has been finding customized solutions that allow for growth and new jobs in Central Florida,” said Ted Sheppe, Axiom’s Executive Vice President of Commercial Banking. “We’re excited to have Hunt leading our effort in continuing to build a strong SBA business for the benefit of customers and the community.”
Dawkins graduated from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance. Later, he went on to complete the graduate program in banking at Louisiana State University.
For more information about Axiom Bank and to find the nearest location, visit AxiomBanking.com.
Tue, May 28, 2019
WINTER GARDEN, FL – Community Health Centers’ President/CEO, Margaret Brennan, was recently, recognized by the Orlando Business Journal as a CEO of the Year honoree. The Orlando Business Journal recognized 19 individuals in the 2019 CEOs of the Year Awards. The program honors highest-level executives at companies, organizations or agencies based in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake, Volusia or Brevard counties who have had significant achievements in their careers in the past year, have a strong record of innovation, outstanding performance in their work and are actively involved in our community.
Margaret has worked tirelessly to help in improving patient access to care throughout Central Florida and ensuring a respectful, positive work environment. Her leadership has helped Community Health Centers establish a strong vision, by involving employees in bringing that vision to fruition while making significant contributions to the community overall.
Community Health Centers, Inc. (CHC), a Federally Qualified Health Center, provides quality and compassionate primary healthcare services to insured, uninsured, underinsured, and underserved children and adults within Central Florida. With more than 500 team members, CHC provides care to nearly 70,000 patients each year in the Apopka, Bithlo, Clermont, Forest City, Groveland, Lake Ellenor, Leesburg, Meadow Woods, Pine Hills, Tavares and Winter Garden communities. www.chcfl.org
Tue, May 14, 2019
Associates in Dermatology -Your skin cancer & Skin care Specialists-, wants to remind you that soaking in the sun carries serious health risks. Younger patients and those with darker skin tones often believe they are at a lesser risk for cancer. Nonetheless, recent studies confirm that just the opposite is true… Truth is anyone can be at risk for developing dangerous skin conditions regardless of his or her age, ethnicity, or skin tone.
In light of the on-and-off sunny days throughout the year, and especially in May -Skin cancer awareness Month-, Dr. Steppie says: "I feel my most important goal is to help patients avoid the effects of overexposure to the sun, premalignant growths and skin cancer."
The best gift you can give yourself or your loved ones is the gift of good health. To schedule a free skin cancer screening* or book an appointment for any concern with your skin, hair or nails, call 800-827-SKIN (7546).
Dr. Michael Steppie and his team of providers proudly continue to deliver an unrivaled level of care to patients across 15 communities, including Dr. Phillips and Ocoee. Associates in Dermatology is celebrating 30 years of dedicated dermatologic care to Central Floridians. To learn more about Associates in Dermatology, click here.
*Restrictions may apply
Tue, May 14, 2019
Tue, May 14, 2019
Civic leaders from West Orange including Tracy Swanson and Lesa Boettcher of Healthy West Orange, Bryan Fifer of the Rotary Club of Horizon, Ralph DiSciullo of the Rotary Club of Winter Garden and Stina D’Uva shared ideas on the needs within and outside of the park for amenities and connectivity. To share your thoughts, visit www.HorizonWestRegionalPark.org
Tue, May 14, 2019
Central Florida Expressway (CFX) Authority held its Project Advisory Group to share the preferred alternative, Alterative 3 for the proposed limited access toll road connector between SR 429 and US 27. This proposal and the “no build” alternative will be brought to the public on June 27th. The CFX board will hear the recommendations with the possibility of a vote in August. For more information, click here.
Tue, May 14, 2019
Property Fraud Alert
According to the FBI, property and mortgage fraud is the fastest growing white-collar crime in the United States. The Orange County Comptroller offers a free service called “Property Fraud Alert” that helps you protect your property from fraud by monitoring documents such as deeds, mortgages and liens that are being recorded in the Orange County Official Records Department.
The Comptroller must record all documents that meet the requirements outlined in the Florida Statutes. If a document is properly executed and presented with payment, it is the responsibility of the Comptroller’s office to record the document. If you sign up for this free service, you will be notified via email or telephone if any documents containing your name are recorded in the Official Records. This free service helps you protect yourself from document fraud or other issues affecting your real estate title.
Sign up for Property Fraud Alert: https://pfa.fidlar.com/FLOrange/
Tue, April 30, 2019
The Top 3 Things Which Determine How Often to Post on Social Media
One of the most common questions I hear is – “Dhariana, how often do I need to post on social media?”
The answer isn’t always so clear cut - in this post, I’ll outline some of the questions I ask when determining how often a brand should post on social media, and what's an adequate posting frequency ongoing.
First, let's tackle a key element. Need. Lets eliminate that word.
Why? Because there's no magic number. The number of times you post on social media is determined by many factors, including the niche you're in (and what your competitors are doing) and, of course, what your audience responds to. No two accounts, even within the same industry, will be exactly the same.
The one thing I want you to realize is that you don’t need to post every day, and you definitely don’t need to post multiple times a day. I cringe whenever I hear a marketer suggest that this is an absolute necessity. With the decline of organic reach, spending time to interact, to find and take part in conversations, is just as important as posting. Now more than ever, you need to focus on being social, on social media.
Now that we’ve made that little mindset shift, let’s discuss the top three things which determine how often you’ll want to post on social media. To Read More...
Tue, April 23, 2019
As the year progresses, the West Orange Chamber’s (WOCC) continued focus of providing the proper programs and activities should demonstrate our commitment to being “All about the Members”. With that in mind, and referring back to the strategic plan the board set in place last year, the WOCC is focusing on areas of greatest importance to our membership. Those areas are Business, Professional and Workforce Development. In response to that, the WOCC Board of Directors retooled our committee structure to better fit the needs of our membership. It was decided, the best way to accomplish this was to combine the Education and Small Business Development Committees into one, the Business, Professional and Workforce Development Committee (3D Committee). The Board knows that the development and improvement in all of these areas will benefit the bottom line for our businesses which in turn builds a stronger business community which is a keystone for a thriving community like West Orange County.
This year, the 3D committee is developing a 3 session, Lunch and Learn Series with the theme, “Fit & Ready”. This themed series will focus on the soft skills/leadership traits to fit the culture of each business to maximize profits. The WOCC has heard from many of our members that they hire for hard skills, the specific knowledge and abilities required for success in a job, yet they fire for a lack of soft skills. Soft Skills are much harder to define but include communication and listening skills or any skill that can be classified as a personality trait or habit.
The first session in this series is, “How to Work a Room So it Works for YOU!”. This session, led by Annetta Wilson, will help you grow the skills to get the most from business gatherings and develop the art of networking to build relationships that will ultimately benefit your career, your business and/or your organization’s mission. By the end of the session, you will know how to mingle, read body language, build rapport and think on your feet without your Power Point and handouts. Then, to enhance our members learning experience, we are offering the attendees of the Lunch and Learn a special Interactive Bonus Workshop. This bonus workshop, held at the WOCC office, will give participants the opportunity to practice the techniques and further fine tune the newly learned skills.
We are very fortunate to have Annetta Wilson leading these two events. She is a Certified Mastery Coach and Certified Trainer, who is a business strategist specializing in presentation skills training, communication skills coaching and media training for executives, entrepreneurs and subject-matter experts. Annetta trains and coaches individuals and groups, such as, on-air journalists, Walt Disney World’s Ambassador Program, executives at AAA and Tupperware Brands, among others.
“Having been coached by Annetta, I feel more in control and empowered with my public image, and focusing my message and personal brand” stated WOCC Board Member & OCPS Board Member Pam Gould.
To learn more about the upcoming Lunch and Learn session, please click here. Another big project the 3D committee is working on is Dining Deals. This special program, still being developed, is geared to driving business to our member food & beverage vendors during a slow time of the year. Stay tuned for more detailed information to be presented soon.
Tue, April 09, 2019
ORLANDO - With the demand for used cars in high gear and no plans to slow down, Manheim has invested nearly $5 million in a new state of the art, 80,000 square foot body shop and reconditioning center at its Manheim Orlando location.
“The vision for our new reconditioning facility is to meet not only the growing needs of today’s dealerships, but also tomorrow’s mobility and fleet providers, “said Alan Lang, division vice president, Manheim. “This investment represents Manheim’s continuing commitment to help clients and manufacturers navigate this completes and exiting segment of the automotive industry.”
Manheim’s reconditioning offerings provide everything needed to prepare vehicles for retail or wholesale sales, including a comprehensive inspection, mechanical and body reconditioning, paint, detail, merchandising, imaging and more. Replacing the former 22,000 square foot reconditioning center, the new building spans 80,000 square feet and features two 140-foot long paint booths, that can accommodate up to seven vehicles at a time, LED lighting and more. With a team of highly-trained technicians who can perform minor and major component repairs, the new reconditioning center enables the location to service 160 cars per day, more than triple it previous capacity.
The conveniences and flexibility generated by Manheim’s reconditioning offerings enable dealers to improve efficiency, speed, capacity and margins. It can even help reduce costs, by avoiding transport to/from multiple locations and enhance the vehicle’s value.
On any given Tuesday at Manheim’s operating facility in Ocoee, FL, approximately 5500-7000 vehicles are offered for sale in under four hours in a fast and furious 250lane auction. The other days of the week, thousands more cars are inspected and reconditioned for sale.
Manheim’s newest reconditioning center is an extension of Manheim Orlando, a 268-acre wholesale auction operating location. With 436 full and part time employees, Manheim Orlando is a driving force for the Central Florida regions. The company also invests in the community in other ways.
“Our team members are always enthusiastic about partnering with organizations that make a difference for our Central Florida neighbors,” added Butch Herdegen, general manager at Manheim Orlando. “We support a diverse number of interests, including American Red Cross, The American Cancer Society, BRAKES Teenage Defensive Driving Course, Bryce Your Memorial Fund, City of Ocoee Founders Day, Ducks Unlimited, Embracing Hope Event Sponsor, Ester Singer Mother’s Outreach, New Hope for Kids, The Russell Home for Atypical Children, Semper Fidelis America and Sunshine State Superkids.”
Sustainability initiatives also are a component of Manheim Orlando’s corporate citizenship. The installation of indoor and outdoor LED lighting at the facility is saving 951 tons of carbon annually (the equivalent of more than two million miles driven by the average passenger vehicle), and its team members recycle an average of 262 tons of waste each year.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new reconditioning center took place on April 9, hosted by the Manheim Orlando leadership team. Guests included employees, clients, local business leaders and elected officials. The event included a rare behind the scenes tour to learn all that’s involved in getting a used vehicle ready to re-enter the marketplace. Attendees also heard from Manheim leadership about trends in the auto industry and other investments and initiatives the company is making to help dealers and manufacturers cut costs, save time and focus on growing their business.
About Manheim (www.manheim.com)
Manheim® is North America’s leading provider of end-to-end wholesale solutions that help dealer and commercial clients increase profits in their used vehicle operations. Through its physical, mobile and digital sales network, Manheim offers services for inventory management, buying and selling, floor planning, logistics, assurance and reconditioning. With its omni-channel approach, Manheim Marketplace enables wholesale vehicle clients more efficient ways to connect and transact business how and when they want. Approximately 17,000 team members help Manheim offer 7 million used vehicles annually, facilitating transactions representing nearly $61 billion in value. Headquartered in Atlanta, Manheim North America is a Cox Automotive™ brand. For more information, visit http://press.manheim.com .
Mon, April 08, 2019
Best Version Media
Zaira Liliana Mejia LLC
June Engineering Consultants, Inc.
K-8, ELEMENTARY & MIDDLE SCHOOLS
Fri, April 05, 2019
The West Orange Chamber of Commerce (WOCC) Ambassadors celebrated the anniversary of Clear Channel Outdoor, located at 5333 Old Winter Garden Road in Orlando. Clear Channel Outdoor is one of the world’s largest outdoor advertising companies. They help advertisers create inspiring out-of-home campaigns via traditional and digital display formats in roadside, urban, transit and airport environments, on street furniture and at retail near point of sale. To learn more, visit www.clearchanneloutdoor.com
Tue, March 26, 2019
The WOCC Economic Governmental Advocacy Committee presented the 1st Spotlight Speaker on Friday, March 22nd, prior to their committee meeting. The Spotlight Speaker presentation focused on Opportunity Zones and their locations within West Orange County. Dan Kilponen with Orange County Government, delivered a comprehensive view of this newly formed economic development incentive. There are multiple Opportunity Zones located in Orange County, with several in the West Orange County footprint.
The Opportunity Zone incentive is a new community investment tool established by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which encourages long-term investments to low-income urban and rural communities nationwide. Opportunity Zones provide a tax incentive for investors to re-invest their unrealized capital gains into dedicated Opportunity Funds. Investors who sell assets have 180 days to invest their taxable capital gains into an Opportunity Fund. Tax on the original reinvested gain isn't due until 2026, and the taxable gain is cut by up to 15%. Meanwhile the new Opportunity Fund investment grows tax-free, like a Roth IRA, provided it's held for at least ten years. To learn more about this new economic development incentive, please click here. https://eig.org/opportunityzones
After Dan’s explanation of the Opportunity Zones, Ken Dwyer with the Pine Hills Community Council talked about the renewed Pine Hills and the benefits of investing in the different areas within. Ken also highlighted the Pine Hills Neighborhood Improvement District (PNID) Uptown & Downtown, Westside Crossings (Chinatown), along with the various restaurants and entertainment amenities.
Tue, March 26, 2019
By Tim Haberkamp, WOCC Chairman
As 2019 marches on, the West Orange Chamber of Commerce (WOCC) continues to facilitate opportunities for our business community and beyond.
The Horizon Networking Group, has officially kicked off. Many of those in attendance, have already been enjoying this new business opportunity to connect with fellow members in one of the fastest growing developments in Florida, Horizon West! To learn more about this networking opportunity, please contact Viviane at firstname.lastname@example.org
Later this week, on Thursday, March 28th, the WOCC will be hosting the first Celebrating Extraordinary Women’s Event for 2019. This event provides West Orange’s leading women the opportunity to share ideas and gain inspiration from other successful businesswomen, in a fun and casual environment. We are thrilled to welcome three of the areas most accomplished women: Marva Johnson - VP of State Government Affairs for Charter Communications South Region; Ellen Korbin - Entrepreneur & Small Business owner of Hill of Beans Coffee Company, Creative Culineers and Elli Lou’s Brews & BBQ; and Betsy VanderLey - Orange County Commissioner District 1. Guests will enjoy hearing about the experiences of each of our guest speakers, with plenty of time for cocktails and conversation.
The West Orange Foundation is also facilitating opportunities via the Danniel J. Petro Foundation Scholarship. Please spread the word to those you might know who can benefit from this educational scholarship opportunity. The scholarship fund, administered by the West Orange Chamber of Commerce, was established to make it possible for eligible students from local high schools to further their education at Valencia College, Orange Technical College or the University of Central Florida. The West Orange Foundation is able to fund the scholarships through the generous contributions of the Petro Family Foundation. To learn more about the scholarship including qualifications, deadline to apply and to download the application, click here.
To learn more about these events and the many additional opportunities available to you with your WOCC membership, visit wochamber.com.
Mon, March 18, 2019
The West Orange Foundation is proud to present a new scholarship opportunity for area students this year, The Danniel J. Petro Scholarships.
The scholarship fund, administered by the West Orange Chamber of Commerce, was established to make it possible for eligible students from local high schools to further their education at Valencia College, Orange Technical College or the University of Central Florida. The West Orange Foundation is able to fund the scholarships through the generous contributions of the Petro Family Foundation.
In order to qualify, eligible senior students must:
· Live in one of the following communities (Dr. Phillips, Gotha, Horizon West, Lake Avalon, MetroWest, Oakland, Ocoee, Orlo Vista, Pine Hills, Windermere or Winter Garden);
· Attend a high school in one of the above service areas;
· Have a current GPA of 2.75 (either weighted or unweighted); and
· Apply to attend Valencia College, the University of Central Florida or Orange Technical College.
Several student recipients may be awarded $1000 scholarships; the number of recipients will be dependent upon the amount of money available in the scholarship fund at the time of the award. Two student recipients will be awarded $2500 scholarships from the Petro Family Foundation. Any unspent funds will be allocated to the following academic year.
To download a copy of the application, click here. Eligible students should complete the application in its entirety, which includes a list of activities, leadership positions and honors, community involvement and special recognition awards and honors, along with a personal essay in which they should describe themselves and provide information about their most significant accomplishment.
For any questions regarding this scholarship, please contact Carrie Wilson at the above email address.
About the West Orange Foundation
The West Orange Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization that serves as the community-based, philanthropic arm of the West Orange Chamber of Commerce (WOCC). The Foundation’s vision is to create a broader community reach, streamline the Chamber’s philanthropy and community outreach programs, engage more industries & businesses create and embolden alliances and foster positive change, health and growth. It will support many WOCC philanthropic initiatives, including its adult and youth leadership programs, scholarships for local students, community-need projects, educational Chamber events and the Committee of 101 (C101) grant program.
About West Orange Chamber of Commerce
Founded in 1972, the West Orange Chamber of Commerce (WOCC) serves as the leading business advocate in Central Florida by building partnerships, promoting economic growth in the community, and facilitating opportunities for its 1,100 member businesses. In 2009, 2012, and 2015, the WOCC received the prestigious State of Florida’s Chamber of the Year award.
Tue, March 12, 2019
The West Orange Chamber of Commerce (WOCC) announced today that American Forklift Rental & Supply has taken advantage of the highly beneficial Trustee investment level of membership. American Forklift Rental & Supply is family owned and operated by Joe Garcia, Owner and Chris Garcia. They specialize in forklift rentals for the Central Florida area including Orlando, Tampa, Lakeland, Orange County, Polk County, Lake County, and surrounding areas. At American Forklift Rental & Supply, you always get great prices and timely delivery!
This investment will further support the integration and presence of American Forklift Rental & Supply within Central Florida and West Orange County. The Chamber’s Trustees benefit from increased levels of exposure, while providing the Chamber with additional financial stability. Learn more about Trustee investment level of membership and all the ways that the WOCC, the 2015 Florida Chamber of the Year, can facilitate opportunities for your business at wochamber.com.
Mon, March 11, 2019
COLLEGE MEMBERSHIP INVESTMENT
Thomas Meena, CPA
K-12, HIGH SCHOOL & VOCATIONAL
Mon, March 11, 2019
COMMUNITY PARTNER I
COMMUNITY TRUSTEE AFFILIATE
West Tree Service
Tue, February 26, 2019
MetroPlan Orlando, in conjunction with the City of Ocoee, is leading a study on the Silver Star Road Complete Streets Study. The Study will provide a lower cost alternative to widening the road with improved safety, and to include the extension of the West Orange Trail to Downtown Ocoee. The Silver Star Road study area is generally defined by the alignment of SR 438 (Silver Star Road/Ocoee Apopka Road/Franklin Street) through downtown Ocoee.
MetroPlan held the second Project Visioning Team (PVT) meeting on January 31. At the meeting, comprised of regional and local stakeholders, including the West Orange Chamber of Commerce, MetroPlan provided updates on the project, including a recap of existing conditions observations, alternatives that had been evaluated, and introduced a recommended alternative and potential implementation strategies.
For full information on this study, visit https://metroplanorlando.org/board-committees/working-groups/silver-star-road-study/. A public meeting is being planned for mid-March. As soon as we know more details, we will post them on our website.
Tue, February 26, 2019
Since August 2018, the West Orange Chamber of Commerce has participated as a member of the project advisory group for Central Florida Expressway Authority(CFX) for the possibility of a limited access toll road to connect US 27 to State Road 429. The most recent study back in 2007 anticipated the need for several east-west connectors to relieve traffic on Hwy 50 and US 192, with a toll road being an option.
The purpose of this current study is to determine alternative alignments and if one is economically and environmentally feasible. The Chamber, even though we are supportive of connector roads in Horizon West, has not taken a position on any alignment.
The alignments are now available for public view with the corridor designated as Porter Road on the north and Old YMCA Road on the south. The majority of this proposed road is in Lake County.
At the conclusion of this study process, a specific corridor alignment will be suggested by the CFX team, as well as the possibility of a "no build" scenario. The CFX Board of Directors will ultimately make the decision to build or not to build in late summer.
For full information on this study and the opportunity for public input, visit https://www.cfxway.com/agency-information/plans-studies/project-studies/lake-orange-co-connector-pde . A public meeting will be held on Thursday, March 7 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at Bridgewater Middle School in Horizon West.
Mon, February 11, 2019
Bailey Bleus, LLC
Big Paw Pet Care
Bryan Fifer, State Farm Insurance
Clancy & Theys Construction Co.
Classic Care Of America
CORE Construction Services of Florida, LLC
Culver's of Winter Garden
Dixie Pools and Spas, Inc.
Go Travel, Inc.
Knox Nursery, Inc.
Morgan Stanley Windermere
Oelrich Construction, Inc.
Ogden Orthodontics / Robert T. Ogden D.D.S.
Quick Response Fire Protection
Robert H. Foster, D.D.S., M.A.G.D.
The Closing Agent / Barry Miller Law
The Mortgage Firm
Tri & Run of West Orange
United Legacy Bank
US Health Advisors
West Oaks Mall
Wildflower Beauty by Jessica
Winter Garden Smiles- General and Pediatric Dentistry
Advance Chiropractic Orlando, PLLC
Applied Vascular Therapy
Branch Garage Doors Sales
Geneva Financial, LLC
Gillard Financial Solutions, LLC
Insurance Services of Central Florida, Inc.
Maguire Park Street Owner LLC / Park Place at Maguire
Oasis at Lake Bennet
Orlando on Wheels, LLC
Orlando Solar Bears
Paradise Barbershop & Spa
Realty Executives Central Florida
Shannon Till - State Farm Insurance
State Farm Insurance - Jo Barsh Insurance Agency, LLC
Associates in Dermatology - Dr. Phillips
Brookdale Senior Living Solutions - Dr. Phillips
Hawkers Asian Street Fare - Mills 50
Inspired Living at Ocoee
M/I Homes at Hickory Hammock
McDonald's - Sandlake Rd.
Sherwin-Williams Paint Store - West Colonial Drive
Taylor Morrison - Reserve at Carriage Pointe
Trustco Bank - Winter Garden
Valencia College District Office
Associates in Dermatology - Ocoee
Brookdale Senior Living Solutions - Dr. Phillips
Critical Intervention Services, Inc.
Hawkers Asian Street Fare - Windermere
M/I Homes at Summerlake Groves
McDonald's - S. Hiawassee Rd.
Ocoee Health Care Center
Resource Employment Solutions
Sherwin-Williams Paint Store - Tilden Rd.
Trustco Bank - Orlando
Validus Senior Living
Falcons Fire Golf Club
MetroWest Golf Club
Pro-Tech Air Conditioning & Plumbing Service, Inc.
Bread of Life Fellowship, Inc.
Florida Small Business Development Center at UCF
New Beginnings of Central Florida Thrift Store
Roper YMCA Family Center
Share the Care
CareerSource Central Florida
Community Health Centers, Inc.
Winter Garden Heritage Foundation, Inc.
Walt Disney World Company
Windermere Preparatory School
Dillard Street Elementary School
Dr. Phillips Elementary School
Ocoee Elementary School
Prairie Lake Elementary School
Southwest Middle School
Fri, February 08, 2019
GOODWILL SERVES RECORD NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN 2018
Local Nonprofit Helped More Than 49,800 People Across Six Counties, Placed 10,700 in Jobs.
ORLANDO, Fla. (Feb. 4, 2019) – Across the board, 2018 was a stellar year for Goodwill Industries of Central Florida.
The nonprofit organization served a record number of 49,863 individuals by connecting them with resources and job training. Goodwill placed 10,768 of those people with local employers, a nearly 33 percent increase over 2017.
“The people we help want to work; they just need a chance,” said Nima Hodaei, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Central Florida. “Despite a record-low unemployment rate in Central Florida, we’re seeing a steady stream of individuals seeking our services. These individuals may be working, but need higher wages, or a second job.”
At all 11 Job Connection Centers across Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake, Brevard and Volusia counties, job placement specialists work with participants to assess their skills and strengths, build an employment plan, help with resume writing and prepare for a job interview. Goodwill also connects people with education and certification opportunities, such as computer training and teaching English as a second language.
About Goodwill Industries of Central Florida, Inc.
Since 1959, Goodwill Industries of Central Florida has provided vocational and job placement services to hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities and other barriers to employment. With 28 retail stores, 23 Donation Xpress locations and 11 Job Connection Centers in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Volusia counties, Goodwill directly channels more than 90 percent of its annual revenue into programs that enable individuals to secure long-term employment and become self-sufficient. For more information about Goodwill Industries of Central Florida, visit www.goodwillcfl.org, “like” Goodwill Industries of Central Florida on Facebook or follow @goodwillcfl on Twitter.
Tue, January 22, 2019
Mark’s Floors of Minneola, Florida, has been named the 2018 Omnify Retailer of the Year by Mohawk, the leading global manufacturer of flooring. The award was presented to Mark Compston, who started his business only a decade ago and has already grown it from an 800-square-foot warehouse to a 27,000-square-foot showroom facility with two additional locations, at Mohawk’s first Edge dealer convention in Orlando last month.
In naming the ColorCenter Elite retailer, Jeff Meadows, Mohawk’s senior vice president of residential sales, said, “This retailer’s commitment to Mohawk’s innovation in retail strategy and product has proved to be a fruitful partnership. Mark’s Floors is on track to become a $4 million business. We couldn’t be prouder of Mark Compston, who persevered during the economic downturn and was able to align with us almost from the start, becoming a true Mohawk loyalist.”
Mark’s Floors was one of the first Mohawk retailers to embrace the brand’s Omnify digital platform, which helps to cultivate sales leads and convert them into steady customers. In its first six months using Omnify, site traffic to the Mark’s Floors website increased by 37% and has since shown a current increase of 97%. In addition, Mark’s Floors has increased its digital advertising budget by 68%, leveraging Mohawk’s ready-to-go campaigns, increasing lead submissions and decreasing cost per lead by 45%.
“When selecting our Omnify Retailer of the Year, we looked for retail stores that were enthusiastic advocates of our Omnify program and demonstrated an evolving dedication to training, in-store and online standards, brand building, merchandising and a seamless customer purchase journey,” explained Meadows.
Additionally, the company’s strong focus on community involvement and customer service helped to confirm its Retailer of the Year win. Mark’s Floors is one of the first dealers in the country to bring Mohawk’s Air.o hypoallergenic soft flooring to market. In fact, Compston made headlines for installing it in the home of a single mom who needed a flooring solution that would accommodate her toddler with chronic allergies.
For more information on Mark’s Floors, visit marksfloors.com. To learn more about Mohawk and its products, visit mohawkflooring.com.
Mohawk Industries is a leading global flooring manufacturer that creates products to enhance residential and commercial spaces around the world. Mohawk’s vertically integrated manufacturing and distribution processes provide competitive advantages in the production of carpet, rugs, ceramic tile, laminate, hardwood, stone and vinyl flooring. Our industry-leading innovation has yielded products and technologies that differentiate our brands in the marketplace and satisfy all remodeling and new construction requirements. Our brands are among the most recognized in the industry and include Mohawk, American Olean, Daltile, Durkan, Karastan, Marazzi, Pergo, Unilin and Quick-Step. During the past decade, Mohawk has transformed its business from an American carpet manufacturer into the world’s largest flooring company with operations in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Europe, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia and the United States.
Thu, January 10, 2019
We all know that electricity is essential to our everyday lives. Unfortunately, so do scammers. And utility customers throughout the country are being targeted by imposter utility scams every day.
One of the most common types of utility scams involves customers receiving unsolicited telephone, electronic or in-person communications from an individual claiming to be a utility company representative. The scammer warns that the customer’s electric will be disconnected if the customer fails to make an immediate payment — typically using untraceable cash such as a reloadable prepaid debit card. Scammers have even duplicated the Duke Energy upfront Interactive Voice Response system, so when customers call back phone numbers provided by the scammer, it sounds like a legitimate Duke Energy phone number. Some of these criminals also use caller ID spoofing to replicate Duke Energy's customer service number. Here’s a link to the audio files of actual scam calls.
While scammer tactics change daily, ways to protect yourself do not. If you get one of these phone calls hang up, call the police and your utility provider using the phone number on your bill. Stay vigilant and put scammers out of business. Fight back by being informed and sharing with friends, family and the businesses you support. For more information on how to spot a utility scam and protect personal information, visit www.duke-energy.com/StopScams. Duke Energy is the founder of the Utilities United Against Scams collaborative consisting of more than 114 gas, electric and water utility companies across the country and Canada. Members of the organization work across the utility industry and with regulators, law enforcement and other telecommunications partners to help stop scams targeting utility customers.
Customers should call police immediately if they believe the person is an imposter.
Wed, January 09, 2019
The West Orange Chamber of Commerce (WOCC) announced today that Mark’s Floors LLC has taken advantage of the highly beneficial Supporting Trustee level of membership. Mark's Floors is family owned and operated by Mark Compston. It services homeowners, realtors, contractors, and builders in Winter Garden, Clermont, Minneola, and surrounding areas. At Mark's Floors, you always get great service and great prices.
This investment will further support the integration and presence of Mark’s Floors within Central Florida and West Orange County. The Chamber’s Supporting Trustees benefit from increased levels of exposure, while providing the Chamber with additional financial stability. Learn more about Trustee level membership and all the ways that the WOCC, the 2015 Florida Chamber of the Year, can facilitate opportunities for your business at wochamber.com.
Tue, January 08, 2019
Water. It’s all around us. Literally. As humans, our bodies are naturally made up of around 65% water. So it is natural that water would find its way to revolve itself around our world, the same way it revolves around THE world. That doesn’t mean that we should let our lives be submerged by water. Whether it's cleaning, cooking or staying hydrated, our lives simply cannot function without it. Which means that every household stares at the potential for water damage, every day.
If you find yourself standing in a water damage situation (almost always literally), your first call should be to a water damage restoration professional. While they gather their arms and prepare to head to battle with your intrusion source, there are a few things that you can do to get the process started, potentially making the situation swifter and less nerve-racking.
Immediately upon arriving in the scene, a professional will begin to dispatch equipment. Once set up, they will begin the water extraction process on all that you could not dry yourself. Technicians use state of the art, high-tech moisture detection devices and procedures to aid in finding any and all persisting water, down to the very last drop. This ensures that your property and possessions are all dry by the time they leave your home.
Regardless of the time, the professionals at CEO Restoration are available for you at all hours of the day. We hope you don’t find yourself ankle deep in a water damage situation. If the day comes, however, we’re here for all of your needs. Performing services in the Greater Orlando area. Give CEO Restoration a call at (407) 584-7779.
Fri, January 04, 2019
While millions gather around the country to watch the most anticipated sporting event of the year, there are thousands of families right here in our community who struggle from one meal to the next. To them, Super Bowl Sunday is just another day.
Starting January 1 through February 3, you can serve the less fortunate around you by helping to replenish the pantries of the Christian Service Center. All food and basic hygiene products collected and donated are distributed through the Christian Service Center’s core programs to feed those who need immediate assistance.
Join us! Register your church or business at SouperSunday.org and make your office or church a designated collection site. Simply ask everyone to bring in at least one can of soup or other nonperishable food item to your location on or before Sunday, February 3 (day of Super Bowl).
Game or Movie Night
Thu, January 03, 2019
Florentine Strategies, LLC
Frank Armes Installations, Inc.
P. H. Freeman & Sons, Inc.
Holland Properties, Inc.
Floribra USA, Inc.
South Lake Apopka Citrus Growers Association
Land Plus, Inc.
Tony's Liquors Inc.
Joseph J. McClellan
Theodore H. VanDeventer
Fri, December 21, 2018
The West Orange Chamber of Commerce (WOCC) installed its 2019 Chairman in front of over 200 members at the Member Celebration Brunch, hosted by Valencia College on December 13. Joe Alarie, President of Alarie Design Associates and 2018 WOCC Chairman, passed the gavel to Tim Haberkamp of Hardee’s, officially signaling the beginning of his term as 2019 Chairman.
Mr. Alarie will remain on the executive committee as Immediate Past President, and will serve on the board of the West Orange Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Chamber. He and newly installed chairman Haberkamp will be joined on the executive committee and Foundation board by Deborah Rios Barnes of CenturyLink – Chairman-Elect, Camille Evans of Greenberg Traurig – Treasurer, and Mark Marsh of Orlando Health-Health Central Hospital – Director of Human Resources.
The Chamber also took time to recognize its departing board members for their service and dedication: Keith Bradford, formerly of Walt Disney World, Tim Cook of Florida Hospital, Andrew Ngo of SeaWorld Orlando, and Dawn Willis, now with Orlando Health.
Tue, December 18, 2018
It is hard to believe that we are nearing the end of another successful year of building business and facilitating opportunity at the West Orange Chamber. The Chamber thrived in 2018, as we completed the Growth Matters campaign and building renovation, premier events were bigger and better than ever, and we advocated for causes that will positively influence our members and the business community.
At the Member Celebration Brunch on December 13, I handed off the Chairman’s gavel to Tim Haberkamp, so this will be the last of my articles as the Chamber Chairman. This wraps up an amazing and memorable stretch for me, as I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to be involved with such an important time of transition for the Chamber. However, I am excited to welcome Tim to the Chairman’s role. He is a longtime board member and a fixture in West Orange County. The Chamber will continue to be in great hands under his leadership.
I would like to express my immense gratitude to those business leaders who give of their time and talents to serve on the Chamber Board. During our Membership Breakfast we recognized a number of our board members who helped lead this organization over the course of this past year. We also said goodbye to outgoing board members, including Keith Bradford, Tim Cook, Andrew Ngo and Dawn Willis. We sincerely appreciate those board members for their service and dedication throughout their terms.
On behalf of the Board of Directors and the Chamber Team, I wish you all a wonderful holiday season as we look forward to a successful and happy New Year. Merry Christmas!
Tue, December 18, 2018
Whether you’re looking to open a personal or business bank account (or both), you have many options from which to choose. On any given day, your mailbox may be stuffed with promotional offers from big banks, community banks and credit unions.
So, how do you choose the one that will best meet your needs? Here are a few elements to consider:
Of course, the first step is making sure the bank is a secure home for your money. Look at rating services such as BauerFinancial and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation website to verify the bank is well capitalized and in good regulatory standing.
Then, review the bank’s website to get an understanding of its product mix, rates of return and tools such as mobile banking. With those basics covered, you can have a productive conversation with your prospective banker.
Many banks offer similar lines of products and services. But these offerings are only part of what makes a successful banking relationship. That’s because your bank should be more than a place to park your money – it should offer you the tools and experts to help you meet financial goals.
We often ask prospective customers, “Who’s your banker?” If they can’t come up with a name, that’s a sign they may not have a personal connection at their current bank.
Community banks such as Axiom Bank take pride in establishing a one-on-one relationship with every customer. We want to know what stage of life they’re in – are they building an emergency fund, preparing for retirement, saving to put their kids through college, or seeking to buy a bigger home? It’s only by talking with them that we can understand their needs and earn their trust.
Bottom line? Seek out a bank where you’ll be treated as more than just an account number.
Financial concerns are a source of stress for many customers, and they want reassurance that they can find answers quickly. Here again, you should have a go-to banking expert who’s readily available.
Your bank should be responsive, regardless of the channel – whether you’re visiting the local branch or sending a message on social media. If you must dial a 1-800 number and endure a lengthy hold every time you have a question, consider whether your bank is doing enough to meet your needs.
Many customers want a financial partner that cares about the community. And often, that starts with having roots in the local area. As a Maitland-based community bank, Axiom Bank has served customers in Central Florida since 1963. Our decision-makers live here. We invest in an array of nonprofits that improve our region. And at our Winter Garden branch, we offer free meeting space for small businesses and nonprofits.
When considering your options, look at each bank’s charitable commitments – not only its grant-making, but also employee volunteerism. If you see a cause you care about, it’s a sign that you and the bank may share similar values.
If you own a business, you’ll have another set of considerations. Finding a bank that will champion your entrepreneurial goals should be a primary factor in the decision.
Look for a bank that offers a suite of solutions, such as treasury management, savings and checking accounts with low or minimal fees, and mobile tools that help you operate efficiently. Ask your would-be banker how their products and services will save you money and simplify your life.
And if you need a commercial loan, seek a bank that holds Preferred Lender status with the Small Business Administration. That designation means the bank has a streamlined approval timeline for your application.
Bringing It All Together
Choosing a bank is a personal decision, and it’s perfectly fine to take your time evaluating options. Determining whether the bank’s products match your needs, building a rapport with your banker, and observing the staff’s interactions with other customers will all be helpful indicators in the process.
The right bank should make your life easier – and your financial goals more attainable. And that’s the reward that makes all your research worthwhile.
Ron Strand-Sorrell is an Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer at Axiom Bank, N.A., a Maitland-based community bank with a Winter Garden branch at 16418 New Independence Parkway, Suite 100.
Mon, December 10, 2018
Blue Cord DevGroup, LLC
Arthur Slowe & Associates, P.A.
Jose A. Cantero P.A.
Mon, November 26, 2018
Fall has finally arrived here in West Orange County and the winds of change are bringing excitement to the area. We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. With shopping season underway, we ask that you continue to support our local small businesses and Chamber members when you are out searching for deals and picking up gifts. If you are looking for an easy way to locate Chamber businesses while you’re out and about, you are in luck! The West Orange Chamber business directory is conveniently available for quick access, whether on your computer or while on the go. Click here to access the directory.
Now that the election season has officially concluded, we would like to congratulate all of the winners who will be leading our community into the next several years. The West Orange Political Alliance (WOPA), the political arm of the Chamber, celebrated victories for its endorsed candidates and causes in many races. These candidates and causes were selected due to the belief that they will be the best fit to lead the rapidly growing West Orange business community. To see the full list, click here.
As we prepare to wrap up a successful 2018, you will not want to miss one of the Chamber’s signature events, the Member Appreciation Brunch. Join us on Thursday, December 13 at Valencia College West Campus, as I will be passing the gavel to our incoming Chairman of the Board, Tim Haberkamp of Hardee’s. We will also celebrate our incoming and outgoing board members, and most importantly, the hundreds of members that make the West Orange Chamber strong and successful. Click here to RSVP for the event.
Wed, November 21, 2018
Community Based Care of Central Florida (CBCCF) is seeking help in bringing the holidays to hundreds of Central Florida children and families. Donations of food and gifts are needed to support up to 1,700 children in foster care and local families in need this holiday season.
CBCCF, the lead agency responsible for child welfare services in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties, would like to provide 75 families in its tri-county service area with Thanksgiving dinners. Most of these donations will go to participants in the Pathways to Home program, which prioritizes immediate shelter and long-term stability for families with children who are homeless, or on the verge of homelessness.
“The holidays are often called the most wonderful time of the year, but for many families, it’s a reminder of what they don’t have,” said Glen Casel, president and CEO of Community Based Care of Central Florida. “Our goal is to make sure every child in foster care has a gift to open this holiday season and every family has a delicious meal.”
Donations can be dropped off at 4001 Pelee Street, Orlando, Florida, 32817 now through December 17 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Requested items include:
· Stuffing mix
· Cranberry sauce
· Rolls or cornbread mix
· Green beans and/or corn
· Pumpkin pie
· Powdered potatoes
· Gift cards to local grocery stores
In addition to food items, the nonprofit is collecting toys and gifts to be distributed to children of all ethnicities, ranging in age from newborn to 17. Individual and business sponsors are also sought to fulfill the three-item wish lists of older youth transitioning out of foster care.
“We have found our 18- to 23-year-olds in extended foster care all too often get overlooked during the holidays because they’re considered adults,” said Maureen Brockman, vice president of CBC Foundation. “Going through the holidays without a ‘forever family’ is tough. More than anything, we want them to enjoy the same holiday magic as everyone else.”
Tue, November 13, 2018
Fully Promoted Branded Products & Marketing Services
Patricia L Gleason
Wed, October 24, 2018
For some, the Thanksgiving Dinner is a luxury they can’t afford. The West Orange Chamber membership in conjunction with three of the local Community Centers enables us to serve 100+ local families this Thanksgiving.
Your cash donations and/or gift cards from Walmart or Publix are needed. Please make checks out to “West Orange Foundation” and in the memo line, please add “Thanksgiving” for proper allocation.
Your credit card donations can be made below using the PayPal link. Please click ‘Write a message’ and add ‘Thanksgiving Basket’ to ensure proper allocation.
Donations can be made at committee meetings, networking meetings, and other Chamber events. We thank you for your continued generosity – it is GREATLY appreciated!
Contribute to the 2018 Thanksgiving Drive:
West Orange Foundation, Inc. is a public charity registered with the IRS as a “501(c)3” non-profit organization with Employer ID Number 81-4529999.
A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE 1-800-HELP-FLA OR ONLINE AT http://www.floridaconsumerhelp.com, REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. REGISTRATION #: CH50578
Tue, October 23, 2018
Here in Orange County, workforce development is an increasingly important topic. The economy is thriving and businesses continue to flock to the Orlando area, but are we as a community doing enough to provide qualified employees to fill these jobs?
On November 14, business leaders have the opportunity to reach students directly via the annual OCPS Teach-In program. Participants can take advantage of this unique opportunity to become a teacher for the hour, showcasing some of the qualities they are looking for in their next great employee, while inspiring students and getting them to start thinking about their next steps after school.
Take advantage of this opportunity to share enriching stories about your career or your organization, and provide information on the many exciting career paths available to our area students. Whatever your skills, no matter your topic, there is a classroom of students waiting to hear from you! Learn more about this valuable program at www.foundationforocps.org.
Wed, October 17, 2018
In response to Hurricane Michael and the overwhelming generosity of people who want to help, the Florida Goodwill organizations have established a response plan to directly bring much needed support and aide to the communities that have been directly and critically affected by Hurricane Michael.
Throughout the State of Florida, Goodwill is positioned to accept, sort, store and distribute donations of clothing and household goods. People who would like to donate items can visit any Goodwill Industries Donation Center location throughout Florida and designate their donation to Hurricane Michael. While Goodwill can accept almost anything, for this effort we are focusing on clothing, shoes, towels, linens and other household goods. For local listings visit www.goodwill.org/donate-and-shop/donate-stuff.
Local Goodwill locations will process the donations earmarked for Hurricane Michael and provide material goods and/or funding to those affected by Hurricane Michael in the affected areas. In some cases, vouchers will be allocated based on need and can be redeemed for selected items in Goodwill locations throughout Florida.
If people would like to make monetary donations to Hurricane Michael relief efforts, please visit Goodwill’s disaster relief partners, the American Red Cross at www.redcross.org.
“Goodwill is grateful for the generosity of our donors and shoppers. With their support, we can provide necessary items to those affected by the hurricane,” said Nima Hodaei, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Central Florida. “This partnership shows the strength and magnitude of what collaboration can do.”
Donors are encouraged to check with their local Goodwill management for specific instructions on how to donate items for Hurricane Michael relief.
For a list of Goodwill locations in Central Florida, please visit www.goodwillcfl.org.
Tue, October 09, 2018
Page One Marketing
Mrs. K Speech, LLC
Healy Hands Massage
Tue, September 25, 2018
The Florida Association of Chamber Professionals (FACP) recognized Florida’s top chambers of commerce throughout the state for their outstanding achievement and dedication to the industry. The awards were presented at the organization’s Annual Conference, held September 18-20, 2018, at the beautiful Sundial Beach Resort & Spa on Sanibel Island.
This year, the West Orange Chamber of Commerce received the Certified Plus Chamber status. In, 2003, FACP implemented the distinction of Florida Certified Chamber to recognize standards of professional excellence in Florida. In 2012, the association enhanced its certification program to include a Certified Plus designation, for chambers of commerce that score an 86 or above during the judging process or are an Accredited Chamber through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Both the Certified and Certified Plus designations recognize chambers that have met high standards and strengthened free enterprise by protecting the business environment.
The WOCC joins an elite list of Certified and Certified Plus Chambers in Florida, representing the pinnacle standards of excellence in Organization Management, Service Intent and Capacity, Professional Administration, Financial Management, and Marketing/Public Relations.
“The Florida Association of Chamber Professionals congratulates the recipients of this prestigious distinction,” said Tammy C. Bracewell, President of FACP. “We are proud of each Chamber’s dedication and commitment to excellence within the business community. The Certified Chamber of Commerce program sets standards within the industry and recognizes chambers that have met those standards while offering guidelines for those to improve their effectiveness. In many ways, it is like the good housekeeping seal of approval for a chamber of commerce.”
The Certified Chamber of Commerce program is designed to promote the public awareness of the intent of the Chamber of Commerce brand as a not for profit community development based business membership organization.
Tue, September 25, 2018
At the West Orange Chamber, we are always aiming to help our members make meaningful business connections. In many cases this means providing opportunities to connect with your fellow members to collaborate on mutually beneficial business partnerships. We also strive to bring great business leaders to you for entertaining and educational presentations. A pair of these valuable events is coming up in October.
Next Wednesday, October 3, Dillon Knight Kalkhurst joins us for Lunch and Learn – Intergenerational Engagement: Understanding the Five Generations in Today’s Economy. Knight Kalkhurst is an Intergenerational Engagement expert, with over 25 years’ experience helping Fortune 500 companies, national nonprofit organizations, school districts, and their families navigate internal and external generational communications challenges. Attendees will enjoy an engaging presentation and discussion that will offer ideas on how to bridge the gaps between each generation.
On Tuesday, October 16, seize the opportunity to meet one of the most accomplished women in sports, as Donna Orender joins us for the next Celebrating Extraordinary Women event. Orender is known for leadership roles with the WNBA and PGA Tour, as well as her 2016 TEDx Talks appearance. Mark your calendar to be at Oakland Meeting Hall for this highly anticipated, women's-only event!
We hope you’ll join us and take advantage of these opportunities to take your business to new heights. Visit our Events Calendar to keep up with all of the business-building opportunities available to you as a WOCC member!
Mon, September 24, 2018
The West Orange Chamber of Commerce (WOCC) announced today that Stratus Roofing has taken the step to become the newest Community Trustee, the WOCC’s highest level of membership.
Stratus Construction & Roofing is the combination of three families who share a passion for all aspects of real estate development and construction. While each of these families enjoyed individual success, they decided to join together in the late 90’s to become the team they are today. Together with their faith, integrity and their commitment to excellence, they have evolved as a leading residential and commercial roofing contractor in the area. The corporate office is currently located in Oakland, Florida but soon will be moving to their new location in Winter Garden.
This investment will further support the integration and presence of Stratus Roofing within Central Florida and West Orange County. The Chamber’s Community Trustees benefit from the highest levels of exposure, while providing the Chamber with additional financial stability. Learn more about Trustee level membership and all the ways that the WOCC, the 2015 Florida Chamber of the Year, can facilitate opportunities for your business at wochamber.com.
Wed, September 19, 2018
The S&ME leadership team is pleased to announce the appointment of Matt Ryan as the new President.
Matt joins the firm having served the engineering and construction industry for 30 years. His previous experience has afforded him vast industry knowledge and he will serve S&ME well as it continues to deliver quality work to clients. In addition to providing leadership, direction, and management for all aspects of the firm, Matt will bring new capabilities and fresh perspectives to the award-winning S&ME team.
Tue, September 18, 2018
Axiom Bank, N.A., a Florida-based national bank, and FCTI, Inc. recently launched a multi-year agreement to provide Axiom customers with no-charge unlimited access to cash at 7,934 ATMs located inside 7-Eleven stores. This partnership also includes branded marketing messages to be shared on the machine’s screens and toppers.
“Expanding ATM access outside our branches and existing network allows our customers to take greater control over their money without paying fees,” said Daniel Davis, President and CEO of Axiom Bank. “Our partnership with FCTI also provides another platform to promote the Axiom Bank brand nationwide and introduce more customers to our banking model.”
“FCTI’s MBA program affords a unique opportunity for banks and credit unions to generate greater awareness of brand, products, and services – utilizing technologies not available at other ATMs,” said Robel Gugsa, CEO for FCTI, Inc. “We are very excited to be working with Axiom Bank to help provide their cardholders with surcharge-free ATM access nationwide at 7-Eleven, as well as extending their marketing toolbox with a package of flexible and dynamic options to better reach their ATM users.”
For more information and to find the nearest Axiom Bank location, visit www.axiombanking.com.
Tue, September 18, 2018
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. Each year, more than 250,000 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed; an average of one woman every two minutes. Unfortunately, many women in Central Florida will forgo this important annual screening because they lack health insurance.
Shepherd’s Hope and Sand Lake Imaging are partnering to provide free mammograms to women in need. For each new patient who gets a mammogram at Sand Lake Imaging during the month of October, the facility will donate a free mammogram screening to an uninsured Shepherd’s Hope patient. It is the sixth consecutive year for the “Get a Mammogram, Give a Mammogram” initiative held in conjunction with national Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, but for those who are uninsured, this life-saving procedure is far from reach,” said Marni Stahlman, president and CEO of Shepherd’s Hope. “We are grateful for our longstanding partnership with Sand Lake Imaging that allows Shepherd’s Hope to provide local uninsured women with this essential medical exam at no charge.” Shepherd’s Hope provides free primary and secondary medical services to the one in four Central Floridians who are uninsured or underinsured at five health center locations in Central Florida.
Annual mammogram screenings can detect breast cancer early and help reduce breast cancer mortality. “Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among American women of all ages, with 21 percent of all cases occurring before the age of 50,” said Dr. Robert Posniak, women’s specialty radiologist and president of Sand Lake Imaging. “Routine annual screening mammography for an average risk woman beginning at the age of 40 has been proven to save lives and gives more treatment options, if diagnosed early. Our mammography provides better, earlier breast cancer detection for patients with results that are significantly more accurate that 2D exams alone, detecting 20-60% more invasive breast cancers than its 2D counterparts. We also reduce callbacks by up to 40%, compared to 2D alone.”
To schedule a screening mammogram appointment at any of Sand Lake Imaging’s three facilities, located in Orlando, Maitland and Lady Lake, call 407-363-2772.