Dear West Orange Chamber Members,

I am excited to serve as this year’s Chairwoman of the West Orange Chamber Board of Directors and proud to be the first Hispanic to lead this prestigious organization.  I will continue to work closely with our immediate past chairman, Tim Haberkamp of Hardee’s in Pine Hills along with two others remaining in leadership positions, Camille Evans of Virtus Law (Chairwoman 2021) and Mark Marsh, President /CEO of Orlando Health-Health Central Hospital.  I am also happy to announce that J.T. McWalters of our Orlando Magic will join the Executive Committee in 2020 as well.  The wealth of their combined talents and experience, along with the 27 other board members, continues to excite me and the entire WOCC Team. 

The first exciting news is that some of our most revered members will be recognized as our 2019 award winners at the Big Orange Awards, at Walt Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort on Friday, January 31. These men, women and businesses have demonstrated leadership, philanthropy, community service, collaboration, just to name a few traits they possess. Congratulations to Dawn Willis, Ellen Korbin, Ken Harker, Christian Service Center, Winter Garden Heritage Foundation, Pam Birdsong, Jim Karr and Pat Gleason. 

Even as the Chamber Team prepares for this premiere event, they are feverishly working on some wonderful surprises for fans of Best Fest-The Taste of West Orange which will take place at the spectacular Starke Lake in Ocoee on March 26th. I don’t want to spoil the surprises, so stay tuned.  I do know, you won’t want to miss it!   

Something else you won’t want or be able to miss is the 2020 election. To help you navigate and help you decide who will be the best leaders in our county and state races, join us at for the Chamber’s Hob Nob and straw poll on July 30th. This event will give voters an opportunity to share their opinions on ballot initiatives.  At this point, the Chamber is monitoring the multitude of local and state amendments that may make it onto the November ballot.  

In addition to these Premier Events, the Chamber Team will continue to focus on workforce development.  The West Orange businesses and employers need all of our help in developing the right labor force for the jobs of today so that our future continues to be bright.  

I know that 2020 is going to be a successful year for you and all of our West Orange Chamber members. I look forward to seeing you at future events and programs.  If you ever need assistance, please do not hesitate to talk to me or the Chamber Team.

Thank you, 

Deborah Rios-Barnes