Chamber Blog

Monday, December 11, 2017
Join the 2018 A-Team - Leadership Orlando Alumni Association

Leadership Orlando, America's largest community leadership program, announces the launch of the 2018 A-Team.

As a division of the Orlando Economic Partnership, new opportunities will be introduced for its valued alumni to engage and stay connected like never before. With more than 40 years of proven success and over 5,000 alumni, Leadership Orlando continues to recruit, cultivate and engage emerging and established leaders to better serve the Central Florida Region.

Leadership Orlando wants alumni to stay connected and be a part of the conversation. Some of the new opportunities will include:

  • A-Team Connections - new and improved networking opportunities for our alumni;
  • Invitations to select Leadership Orlando 2.0 events - more details coming soon;
  • Complimentary Invitations to Leadership Orlando orientation and graduation receptions;
  • Complimentary access to the 2018 Listening to Leaders Series;
  • and more!

Click here to learn more and join the 2018 A-Team Today!

Date and time for the first 2018 A-Team event, Listening to Leaders, will be announced soon.

Questions? or call 407.835.2444.

Posted by: Danielle Permenter @ 8:00:00 am 
Friday, December 8, 2017
Member of the Month - SAK Comedy Lab

A 40-year-old company, SAK helps launch the careers of hundreds of actors, comedians, writers and producers (including Wayne Brady) with more than 50,000 coming through its doors every year. However, most Orlando businesses have no idea about the top-notch intangibles and team-based training it offers for organizations and working professionals. Even many SAK Comedy Lab regulars often forget that its flagship comedy improv show, which is recognized by Orlando Weekly voters every year, is something customizable and can be taken off-site for private events. 

SAK Marketing Director Dale Smith works hard to raise the company's profile to remind locals about the wonderful entertainment and training services. "The Orlando Regional Chamber has been an instrumental ally in helping us to achieve our goals of a broader connection and an expanded outreach," remarked Smith. "We look forward to partnering with the Chamber in future events as we provide additional networking opportunities in our Downtown venue. We hope all members have a happy holiday with even more success in the new year!"

Orlando Regional Chamber members are the foundation of everything we do. Chamber Members that have exemplified their commitment, engagement and outstanding support of the chamber and the community we serve are nominated by our team for special recognition as our Member of the Month.

Posted by: Kellie Prevost Pinel @ 3:00:00 pm 
Ribbon Cutting Celebration - Ability Housing, Inc.

Thursday, December 14, 2017
10 a.m.
Wayne Densch Center, 100 Kingston Ct.
Orlando, FL 32810


Ability Housing, Inc., in collaboration with Orange County, Florida Hospital and Wayne Densch Center,
invite you to join them as they break ground and celebrate their first affordable and supportive housing in Central Florida.
The ceremony will include a special message from Orange County Vice-Mayor Victoria Siplin.

RSVP: or call 904.359.9650 x102

Posted by: Amanda O'Brien @ 1:00:00 pm 
Monday, December 4, 2017
Discounted Citrus Bowl tickets available for Orlando Chamber Members

Enjoy BIGTIME college football at a discounted price by purchasing tickets to the Citrus Bowl!

Notre Dame meets LSU in exciting game action telecast live on ABC. You, your friends and family can enjoy in-person the pageantry and excitement that only the college postseason can offer.

Once you've purchased, share the event with your friends and family via text, email and social media. Not only will you sit with other chamber members, but anyone who buys from your link will sit with you at the game!

Call Jared Eller with any questions, 407.513.1615 or

Posted by: Lisa Addy @ 10:30:00 am 
Ribbon Cutting Celebration - Bodhi Aesthetics & Wellness


Saturday, December 9, 2017
5 - 9 p.m.
1517 E. Robinsion St.
Orlando, FL 32801



Games and trivia. Plan to win free services and products.
"Check-in" on Facebook and/or use # to enter photo contest.
Check out the Snapchat filter to step up your photo game.
Live demos of Hydrafacial and dermal filer injections. Plus, all membership sign-up fees waived today only.

For more information, please contact Autumn Norton, President & CEO, at


Posted by: Greg Mason @ 12:00:00 am 
Monday, November 13, 2017
Member of the Month - Beaux-Arts Group

Orlando Regional Chamber members are the foundation of everything we do. Chamber Members that have exemplified their commitment, engagement and outstanding support of the chamber and the community we serve are nominated for special recognition as our Member of the Month at MemberLink and in Every Monday. Today we are proud to honor Beaux-Arts Group.

Beaux-Arts Group is committed to offering clients an architecturally integrated design approach to interior furniture workplace solutions. The company follows Knoll’s philosophy of "Good design is good business," furthering commitment to total client satisfaction and superior results in all that it does. In this effort, the company exceeds customer expectations by providing leading-edge strategic planning and implementation processes, reliable and competitive quality products, superior design, installation and unsurpassed customer service. In pursuit of its mission, Beaux-Arts Group works hard, takes pride in its work and has fun in the process.

Beaux-Arts Group incorporates intelligent design, research, superior products and innovative thinking to create distinctive, high-performance workplace interiors that address the dynamic needs of our clients. Created by architects, the company's integrated approach to furnishings creates a productive synergy between the building and the areas within. Expect personalized service and 100% accountability in every phase.

"As an Orlando resident for only 3 years, the Chamber has been a valuable platform for me to expand my reach in meeting and accessing great professionals and business owners. I love the Chamber’s energy and Orlando’s business energy and I’m glad to be part of its economic growth." – Ileana Fajardo, Senior Project Designer, Beaux-Arts Group



Posted by: Amanda O'Brien @ 1:00:00 pm 
Ribbon Cutting Celebration - Outback and Carrabba's Express


**NEW DATE** Wednesday, December 20, 2017
12 - 1 p.m.
4400A Curry Ford Rd.
Orlando, FL 32812

Ciao, Mate!
Please join us for the Grand Opening of Outback and Carrabba’s Express – two iconic brands, now under one roof!
Be sure to stay for food sampling and refreshments

For more information, please contact Dawn Otremsky, Marketing Manager, at


Posted by: Joe Horan @ 12:00:00 am 
Monday, November 6, 2017
Welcome New Members - September and October 2017

The Orlando Chamber of Commerce is proud to welcome the following new members for September and October. Members are encouraged to review the following listings for goods and services provided by these new members that may be of value to you and your business. For a complete directory of Orlando Chamber members, click here.


B Resort & Spa
1905 Hotel Blaza Blvd.
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
(407) 827-3145
Ms. Molly Meeker
Hotels, Motels and Resorts

Green Mile LLC
5736 S. Semoran Blvd
Building D
Orlando, FL 32822
(407) 278-5058
Mr. Ronald Barcellos



Jasper Roof
3203 S. Conway Road
Orlando, FL 32812
(904) 510-3786
Mr. Bobby Shifteh
Sales/Customer Service Consultants

200 S. Orange Ave.
Suite 200
Orlando, FL 32801
(770) 876-0236
Mr. Alexander Evans
Cellular Communications and Service


Boot Barn
5716 International Drive
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 563-1063
Ms. Denise Roth
Shoe Stores

California Tortilla
6375 N. Wickham Road
Melbourne, FL 32940
(321) 961-6164
Ms. Nandita Gandhi
Restaurants (Mexican)

Carpe Diem Sales & Marketing
4560 36th St.
Orlando, FL 32811
(407) 682-1400
Mr. Phillip D. Fry
Advertising Specialties

Outback and Carrabba's Express
4400 Curry Ford Road
Orlando, FL 32812
(813) 830-4834
Ms. Jamie Correia


Suddath Relocation Systems of Orlando, Inc.
4850 L.B. McLeod Road
Orlando, FL 32811
(407) 843-6683
Donna Caldwell, CRP
Moving and Storage
Relocation Services

Take 5 Oil Change
1950 Lee Road
Orlando, FL 32810
(407) 295-7742
Mr. Derick Sanders
Automobile (Service/Repair)

Troy University Orlando
220 E. Central Parkway
Suite 1020
Altamonte Springs, FL 32701
(407) 830-2530
Mr. Jordan Henrickson
Colleges and Universities


Aces Wild Casino Parties
1835 Palm Lane
Orlando, FL 32803
(407) 346-7688
Mr. Edgar Comellas
Casino Games/ Entertainment

Black Gauge, LLC
750 North Orange Ave.
Orlando, FL 32801
(616) 813-5533
Mr. Tim Sporte
Advertising (Agencies/Consultants)

Bright Rain Collaborative
733 W. Smith St.
Orlando, FL 32804
(407) 440-3017
Mr. Dave Garsh
Advertising (Agencies/Consultants)

Brown, Brown & Associates, P.A.
7380 W. Sand Lake Road
Suite 500
Orlando, FL 32819
(863) 299-1500
Mr. Hunter Brown
Accountants (Agencies/Consultants)

Dancing for Diabetes
P.O. Box 951750
Lake Mary, FL 32795
(407) 687-3341
Ms. Kelly Simbolick
Organizations (Non-Profit)

eJenn Solutions
3208 E. Colonial Drive
Suite 405
Orlando, FL 32803
(407) 990-1892
Ms. Jennifer Stinnett

Eric Boughman
2200 Lucien Way
Suite 405
Maitland, FL 32751
(407) 255-2055
Mr. Eric Boughman

FASTSIGNS - West Orlando
7154 W. Colonial Drive
Orlando, FL 32818
(407) 770-1500
Mr. Jose Marin


Global Trusted Brand, LLC
8600 Commodity Circle
Suite 131
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 624-9932
Mr. Ahmed D. El-Ghonemy

Homevest Realty - Kathy Williams
1300 E. Michigan St.
Orlando, FL 32806
(407) 203-7305
Ms. Kathy Williams
Real Estate

Local Focus Central Florida
(407) 383-1961
Ms. Bridgette Taylor
Advertising (Indoor)

Orange County Brewers
131 N. Orange Ave.
Orlando, FL 32801
(407) 914-2831
Mr. Jeremy Roberts

Resort Options International
672 N. Semoran Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32807
(888) 308-9668
Member Services Department

Universal Contracting
6901 TPC Drive
Suite 200
Orlando, FL 32822
(888) 830-2951
Ms. Nicole Kinsworthy

Zentech Consulting
2604 W. Azeele St.
Tampa, FL 33609
(941) 928-5152
Mr. Brandon Geers
Employment Agencies/Services



Posted by: Lisa Addy @ 11:00:00 am 
Executive Connection Member Profile - uBreakiFix

Headquartered in the heart of downtown Orlando, uBreakiFix specializes in same-day repair service of electronic devices, ranging from smartphones, game consoles, tablets, computers and everything in between. Cracked screens, water damage, software issues, camera issues and most other technical problems can be repaired by visiting uBreakiFix stores.

The company also offers free diagnostic services. With more than 335 stores in operation across North America, uBreakiFix continues to grow and expects to have more than 360 locations by the end of 2017.

uBreakiFix was founded in 2009 by a savvy millennial duo, Justin Wetherill (2017 Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree) and David Reiff, who married their skill sets with Eddie Trujillo to offer a brick and mortar alternative tech repair option that was quick, affordable and provided a quality customer experience. By filling a gap in the repair marketplace, the company has grown organically without debt, investors or consultants.

There are currently more than 10 uBreakiFix stores in Orlando and the surrounding area, including Ocoee, Winter Park and Winter Springs. For more information and to find a store near you, visit

Posted by: Lisa Addy @ 10:00:00 am 
Monday, October 23, 2017
Ribbon Cutting Celebration - Boot Barn


Friday, November 10, 2017
12:00 p.m.

5716 International Drive
Orlando, FL 32819

Boot Barn has moved!
Come visit its new location on November 10-12 for special grand opening offers the whole family will love.
Boot Barn - America's largest western and work store.

For more information, please contact Holly Wilson, Marketing Coordinator, at


Posted by: Lisa Addy @ 1:30:00 pm 
Ribbon Cutting Celebration - The Addison on Millenia, ContraVest Management


Wednesday, November 8, 2017
5:00 - 9:00 p.m.
4673 Gardens Park Bldvd.
Orlando, FL 32839

For more information, please contact Gretchen Angeli, Property Manager, at


Posted by: Lisa Addy @ 1:00:00 pm 
Ribbon Cutting Celebration - Take 5 Oil Change


Thursday, November 9, 2017
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
1950 Lee Road
Orlando, FL 32810

Take 5 Oil Change is celebrating the grand opening of its fifth Orlando location.
Join the fun and stop by for your chance to win a free oil change. Light lunch will be provided.

For more information, please contact Tiffany Eldreth, District Manager, at


Posted by: Lisa Addy @ 12:00:00 am 
Monday, October 16, 2017
Member of the Month - Cubix, Inc.

In 2017, Cubix, Inc. shifted its focus from simply protecting the flooring assets in a customer’s building to now managing that asset, cradle-to-grave, with the expansion of its installation team. With a new focus on all aspects of flooring, the company has been better able to serve its customers with the knowledge and experience to not only clean, but troubleshoot problem installations or assess where a floor is in its life cycle and guide partners through the planning of eventual replacement.

"While showcasing Cubix, Inc. through the Orlando Regional Chamber has its obvious benefits, the real value has been learning about the other incredible organizations and the evolution of the region," stated Anthony Koscielecki, Cubix Orlando market manager. "As a business development professional, it is important for me to know what Orlando is focused on now and what the strategic initiatives are to move us forward into the future. The Chamber continues to deliver the important topics and insights that keep myself and Cubix, Inc. at the forefront of our industry."

Orlando Regional Chamber members are the foundation of everything we do. Chamber Members that have exemplified their commitment, engagement and outstanding support of the chamber and the community we serve are nominated by our team for special recognition as our Member of the Month at MemberLink and in Every Monday. Today we are proud to honor Cubix, Inc.


Posted by: Lisa Addy @ 8:30:00 am 
Executive Connection Member Profile - Acme Truck Stop

Acme Truck Stop is the only full service truck stop in Orlando since 1984.

Acme's goal is to build a relationship with the local business community while nurturing the relationships it already has with owner/operator truckers and logistics companies. The company has special promotions and discounts on diesel fuel for local fleets and logistics companies. Promotions will also be extended to small businesses who utilize diesel fuel in their day to day operations. This will include moving companies, bus and RV companies, construction companies, paving companies, landscapers, event planners and truck rental companies. Weekend specials are also available.

Acme also provides destination service for truckers which include parking facilities, CATScale for weighing loads, showers, food service, truck repair, a convenience store for your grab and go items or just relax and play a game of pool or watch a movie in the driver’s lounge.

View flyers for more details:


Posted by: Lisa Addy @ 8:00:00 am 
Friday, September 29, 2017
Ribbon Cutting Celebrations - All Uniform Wear

Saturday, November 4, 2017
12:00 p.m.
1563 Florida Mall Ave.
Orlando, FL 32809

Celebrate the grand opening of All Uniform Wear in Orlando!
The store will be offering up to 40 percent off merchandise, door busters, raffles, prizes, music and much more.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Mancipe, Marketing Director, at


Posted by: Lisa Addy @ 4:00:00 pm 
Innovation Academy Sponsor Spotlight - Webster University Metro Orlando

Webster University is one of only five percent of the world’s business schools to have earned specialized accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

The University offers graduate degree programs for working professionals in Orlando, Central Florida and across the world. Programs are focused on student success and taught by faculty with professional experience in their academic fields. Evening programs offered include the MBA, MHA, Cybersecurity, ITM, Management and Leadership, Human Resources, Human Services, Finance and Counseling. No GRE or GMAT is required and financial aid is available for qualified.

This global university has a new Orlando campus at 501 W. Church St., across from the Amway, one block from the new Orlando City Stadium, within walking distance from many major downtown corporations and only blocks away from the proposed Creative Village educational hub.

 For more information, call 407.869.8111 or visit

Posted by: Lisa Addy @ 12:00:00 pm 
Innovation Academy Sponsor Spotlight - FAIRWINDS Credit Union

FAIRWINDS Credit Union is the largest locally owned and operated financial institution in central Florida. With 77,385 members, FAIRWINDS works tirelessly to ensure it is offering the smartest financial solutions to place financial freedom within reach and the latest in banking technology to keep it connected wherever you are.

With locations in Orlando and the greater Central Florida area, you can find the nearest FAIRWINDS Credit Union branch or ATM with the company's online locator. 

For more information, visit

Posted by: Lisa Addy @ 12:00:00 pm 
Innovation Academy Sponsor Spotlight - Orange Technical College

For more than 80 years, Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) has been making history and changing lives through education by providing career and technical training for tens of thousands of students in central Florida. Orange Technical College prepares students for various careers and provides programs of study ranging in length from a couple of months to a year or more. 

Graduates can earn future college credits in most OCPS career certificate programs of study, as well as valuable work-related experience in their field of study. Industry certification(s)/licensure may be available upon successful completion of many of the career certificate programs.

For more information, visit

Posted by: Lisa Addy @ 12:00:00 pm 
Thursday, September 28, 2017
Veteran Entrepreneurship Highlighted at Innovation Academy

All veterans receive a unique set of skills that make them highly qualified employees – especially in fields specific to engineering, high tech, energy, sustainability and more. However, there can often be a disconnect on how to best market these skills within the civilian workforce and the resources available to the business community as it pertains to hiring local veterans and working with veteran-owned businesses.

At the 2017 Innovation Academy on October 6, Vetrepreneurship and the key role veterans play in Central Florida’s talent pipeline will be discussed with featured Vetrepreneur, Matthew Hogan, CEO of Megatonn3D.

Mr. Hogan served in the United States Navy, where he was honorably medically discharged in 2005. He went on to create Captive Digital Records, a multimedia studio located in downtown Orlando. Over the last 10 years, Mr. Hogan studied at Full Sail University with concentrations in Entertainment Business as well as media communications. After graduating Full Sail University, he went on to study at the DAVE school (Digital Animation & Visual Effects) where he learned the pipeline on creating 3D models, 3D animation shorts and console games. Mr. Hogan also has an extensive background in Final cut pro, Pro-Tools 7.0 and up, Adobe Photoshop, Aftereffects and Motion. He has worked on projects for the Discovery Channel, ESPN, WE (Women Entertainment) and “ET” (Entertainment Tonight).

To learn more about Megatonn3D and their unique work in our community, click here.

The Vetrepreneurship Panel at the 2017 Innovation Academy is made possible through the support of the:

For more information on the Duke Energy Foundation’s Hiring our Local Heroes program, please visit our resource page or contact Danielle Permenter at

Duke Energy Foundation
Community and service are integrated into everything our company does. Through the Duke Energy Foundation, we provide philanthropic support to address the needs vital to the health of our communities. Annually, the Foundation funds more than $25 million in charitable grants, with a focus on education, environment, economic and workforce development and community impact.

Education and workforce development are central to our charitable investments. Reading proficiency is the most important predictor of school success and high school graduation. By supporting childhood literacy programs, we help bridge the achievement gap and seek to end the cycle of poverty. Our investment in education and workforce development programs spans K-to-career to help ensure local businesses have a pipeline of talent and a diverse workforce. We will continue to build upon the legacy of our founders, whose dedication to community development and education has continued to enhance the regions where Duke Energy serves.

Posted by: Danielle Permenter @ 11:00:00 am 
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Orlando serves as pilot city for the U.S. Chamber Foundation sustainability project

The Orlando Regional Chamber is proud to announce that the U.S. Chamber Foundation is bringing top-tier sustainability development initiatives to The City Beautiful. Orlando was chosen as the program’s pilot city due to its demonstration of a high degree of readiness for recycling and reuse system development. The City of Orlando’s GreenWorks initiatives, as well as its commitment to 100% renewable energy by 2050, have succeeded in putting Orlando on the map as a leader in sustainability nationwide.

The project, known as “Beyond 34: Recycling and Recovery for A New Economy,” is focused on breaking through the current 34 percent recycling barrier in the U.S. This unique, multi-stakeholder project will provide a scalable model for improving recycling and recovery rates to help communities, cities, and businesses achieve their sustainability and recycling goals.

“As the fastest growing region in the country, Orlando has a unique opportunity to show the world how large-scale sustainable growth can be achieved,” said Jim Thomas, executive director of the Orlando Regional Chamber. “Orlando is already paving the way in sustainability initiatives on a number of fronts including infrastructure, neighborhoods, recreation, transportation and energy. Business and community leaders here are committed to planning for a sustainable future; we are excited to support the Beyond 34 project in order to equip these business leaders with the tools and resources they need to achieve their sustainability goals.”

The U.S. Chamber Foundation, in collaboration with Resource Recycling Systems (RRS) and with funding from the Walmart Foundation, Target, Republic Services, The Dow Chemical Company, and Walgreens, will identify opportunities to improve recycling efficiencies within the region and construct a business plan that quantifies the economic and environmental benefits of recycling. The Foundation will use this project here in Orlando to develop a case study and toolkit for other communities nationwide to emulate. 

“Orlando is an ideal city to begin the Beyond 34 project,” said Marc DeCourcey, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “Its strong private sector engagement, innovative culture, and robust sustainability goals were all factors that contributed to their selection. We look forward to engaging with local leaders throughout the project, and we are confident that Beyond 34 will help support the Orlando area’s mission to advance sustainability and economic growth.” 

The Orlando Regional Chamber is excited to work with B34 to demonstrate its commitment to a sustainable future in the Orlando region. Find out more about the project here.

Posted by: Amanda Roche @ 3:00:00 pm 
Friday, September 22, 2017
Executive Connection Member Profile - Gravitational Marketing

Gravitational Marketing is a full-service advertising agency located in UCF’s Research Park. The company believes that life and business should be ESP–Enjoyable, Simple, Prosperous®. Our goal is to help businesses naturally attract more customers who buy, refer and return repeatedly.

Founders Jimmy Vee and Travis Miller are UCF alumni, and the authors of the best-selling books Gravitational Marketing: The Science of Attracting Customers, Invasion of the Profit Snatchers and The Last Up: A Curious Tale About The Future Of Sales.

At Gravitational Marketing, its team spends days toying, tinkering and testing – tweaking their way to cutting-edge successes and matchless results. They strive to create formulas that help businesses achieve explosive growth. Since 2004, the company has spent more than hundreds of millions in advertising, generating over $20 billion in revenue for its clients.

The company's roots are in traditional media, like radio, TV, mail and print, but recently, Gravitational Marketing has partnered with Facebook. With 98 percent account optimization in Facebook advertising campaigns, Gravitational Marketing has now cracked the code of effective online marketing. Additionally, it has a suite of proven digital marketing strategies that leverage Google, LinkedIn, Facebook and email.

Not only does the company drive results for its clients, but Gravitational Marketing has also cultivated an office culture that is second to none within the Orlando community. Gravitational Marketing was voted one of “Orlando’s Coolest Office Spaces” this past year. Plus, the Orlando Business Journal has ranked Gravitational Marketing one of "Central Florida’s Best Places To Work" the past four years in a row. It has also received the distinguished "National Best Places To Work" certification.

Gravitational Marketing's mission is to inspire and encourage people and companies through creativity to think differently, to be better, to achieve more than they ever thought possible by breaking norms and making life and business ESP–Enjoyable, Simple and Prosperous®. 

Gravitational Marketing is the proud founder of the Same Is Lame® Foundation. Based on the children’s book Little Jimmy Says, “Same Is Lame” by founder Jimmy Vee, the Same Is Lame® organization believes exceptional people create extraordinary impact in the world. The foundation, its projects and its volunteers help outstanding children foster their unique talent through financial support, emotional encouragement and mentorship.

 For more information visit

Posted by: Lisa Addy @ 12:00:00 am 
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Orlando Economic Partnership hires expert to lead research and foundation work

The Orlando Economic Partnership (the Partnership) is proud to announce the hiring of Dr. Dale Brill, who will join the Partnership as a Vice President in mid-October. Dr Brill will lead the organization’s strategic research efforts and fully activate our Foundation for Building Community, creating the opportunity for additional corporate funding and programming.

“Dr. Brill’s analytical acumen and experiences in both the private and public sectors will further strengthen our role in supporting the region’s economic capacity for quality growth and broad-based prosperity,” said Tim Giuliani, President and CEO of the Orlando Economic Partnership. “He will also oversee our flagship Leadership Orlando program. By adding an intellectual, scholarly approach to our work, Dr. Brill will elevate our research efforts, create a robust platform that informs our community on critical business development decisions, our branding efforts, transportation strategy and, most of all, he will stay ahead of economic trends by forecasting developments that could have a major impact on our region.”

Brill, who earned his Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Tennessee, has led a variety of organizations including:

  • Florida Chamber Foundation as President where he introduced the comprehensive, 20-year strategic state-wide platform known as the Six Pillars;
  • Governor’s Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development as Executive Director where he succeeded in helping to diversify Florida’s economy and pioneered the first-ever implementation of Economic Gardening;
  • Visit Florida as the Chief Marketing Officer during which the organization earned the “Atlas Award for Best Destination Branding” from the Association of Travel Marketing Executives; and
  • General Motors Corporation where he served as the Global Business Leader and Dean of E-Commerce teaching the organization to utilize the internet as an effective sales tool.

Currently based in Tallahassee, Dr. Brill serves as the Chair Elect of the Florida Research Consortium, and has contributed to professional and community organizations including the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on State Higher Education Reform.

“The eyes of the state's business community are on the Orlando Economic Partnership’s bold moves in driving the region’s economic transformation,” said Brill said. “The opportunity to be part of this movement couldn’t be resisted.”

Brill comes to the Partnership after founding his own consultancy agency, Thinkspot, Inc., and will begin his new role in mid-October, 2017.

Posted by: Amanda Roche @ 11:00:00 am 
Friday, September 15, 2017
Hurricane Recovery Assistance

As we continue to access damage and begin the recovery process from Hurricane Irma, the Orlando Regional Chamber is also here to help our region’s business community get back to normal as quickly as possible. Currently, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) is assessing the damage caused by the storm. Businesses that have incurred losses due to Hurricane Irma are asked to complete a Business Damage Assessment Survey. This survey will help the State Emergency Response Team determine the needs and level of assistance for impacted businesses. To take the survey, please visit

Florida businesses impacted by the hurricane may apply for various state and federal disaster loan programs. Please share the information below with anyone who made need it:


Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program
Administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) in partnership with the Florida SBDC Network and Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (FFCFC), the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan helps businesses bridge the gap between the time damage is incurred and when a business secures other financial resources, including payment of insurance claims or longer-term Small Business Administration loans. Up to $10 million has been allocated for the program.

Under the program, eligible businesses in all 67 Florida counties with two to 100 employees may apply for short-term, interest-free loans for $1,000 to $25,000 for 90 or 180-day terms. To be eligible, a business must have been established prior to September 4, 2017, and demonstrate economic injury or physical damage as a result of Hurricane Irma. 

To Apply for a Bridge Loan
Visit for more information and to apply for the Florida Emergency Bridge Loan program. The deadline to apply is October 31, 2017.

Florida Chamber of Commerce Post Hurricane Assistance

Florida Emergency Information Line: 1.800.342.3557



Homeowners, renters and business owners in Brevard, Citrus, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Indian River, Lake, Marion, Martin, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Polk, St. Lucie,  Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties may now apply for federal disaster assistance for uninsured and underinsured damage and losses resulting from Hurricane Irma.

To be eligible for federal aid under FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program, storm damage and losses from the hurricane and flooding must have occurred as a result of Hurricane Irma, beginning Sept. 4.

Register with FEMA as soon as possible. If you preregistered with FEMA, you do not have to apply again. If you have phone and/or internet access, you may register:

  • online at
  • via the FEMA Mobile App
  • call 800.621.3362 (FEMA) - applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may also call 800.621.3362; people who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 800.462.7585
    The toll-free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET, seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available. Press 2 for Spanish and 3 for other languages.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is November 9, 2017. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 11, 2018.

Upon registration with FEMA, businesses may apply for a disaster loan a number of ways:

  • Submit an online application at;
  • Download an application from and submit to a SBA disaster recovery center or mail to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155;
  • Visit a SBA recovery center for one-on-one assistance; or
  • Visit their local Florida SBDC for assistance. 
Posted by: Jim Thomas @ 12:00:00 pm 
Monday, August 28, 2017
2017 Central Florida Political Leadership Institute class announced

The Central Florida Political Leadership Institute (PLI) announced the members of its 2017 class. This innovative, groundbreaking program is designed to strengthen and equip the region’s future leaders with training prior to their decision to run for public office. Since its inception in 2008, 17 graduates have served public office in the Central Florida region. Twenty-one finalists were chosen from Central Florida including Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole and Volusia.

A Selection Committee consisting of Investors and Members of BusinessForce reviewed the strength of applications, conducted interviews and selected the participants, ensuring representation from a wide range of business, civic and community organizations across the Central Florida region. They include:

Denise Beamer | Florida Office of the Attorney General

Zane Beard | Florida Department of Financial Services

Melissa Byrd | Orange County Public Schools

Rob Campbell | CNL Financial Group

Lyndon Carter | Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A; Chair, Young Professionals Advisory Council (YPAC)

Harry Ellis | Next Horizon

Wilfredo (Will) Fonesca | La Rosa Realty

Mike Gorritz | Avant Healthcare Professionals

Eric Gray | United Against Poverty Orlando; Graduate, Leadership Orlando, Class 66

Lori Hagey | Feeding Children Everywhere

Brock Hankins | Allen, Dyer, Doppelt + Gilchrist P.A.

Amer Hatoum | ACR Solutions, LLC

Susan Makowski | Orange County Government

Natalie Martinez Varela | Align Public Strategies

Kahalid Muneer | Jupiter Properties, Inc.; Board Member, Orlando Economic Partnership

Amy Pennock | Pennock Consulting Group

Gonzalo Senior | IRM-Investments, Real Estate & Management

Raleigh (Lee) Steinhauer | Greater Orlando Builders Association

Heather Trick | Jordan Law FL P.A.

Matt Weber | ROAR! Internet Marketing

Kari Whaley | President/CEO, St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce

“The Central Florida Political Leadership Institute trains those considering a future bid for public office on how to campaign, teaches leadership skills for effective governing and educates participants on the critical public policy issues that are affecting our community,” said Craig Swygert, chair of BusinessForce. “We are thrilled with the incredible diversity of the selected applicants and look forward to their thoughtful determination if elected office is part of their future,” continued Swygert, of Clear Channel Outdoor Orlando and a corporate sponsor of PLI.

The 2017 Political Leadership Institute sessions will be held Thursday, September 21 through Saturday, September 23, 2017 at the GuideWell Innovation Center in Lake Nona Medical City. During the course of the bipartisan three-day session, Institute participants will hear from prominent local, state and national experts discussing a broad range of topics – government, media, campaigning, fundraising, grassroots efforts, ethics and key public policy issues. Following the campaign school, participants will undergo numerous leadership activities throughout the year and important networking opportunities.

There is no cost to apply or attend. PLI is made possible by the support of its sponsors including AT&T, BusinessForce, Clear Channel Outdoor, Orlando Economic Partnership and Universal Orlando Resort.

For additional information, please contact Robert Agrusa, Executive Director of BusinessForce and Director of the Central Florida Political Leadership Institute at 407.907.8082 or via email at

Posted by: Robert Agrusa @ 11:00:00 am 
Thursday, August 24, 2017
Orlando Economic Partnership settles into new location

Business will go on as usual but it will happen in a new location starting September 8, 2017 when the staff of Orlando, Inc., (Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce) and Leadership Orlando move to the permanent home of the Orlando Economic Partnership on Pine Street in downtown Orlando.

The Chamber occupied the now iconic building on S. Ivanhoe Boulevard since 1968. In that time, a number of changes swept through the city including the construction of the adjacent Interstate 4, explosive growth of high-rise developments in the city’s core, and the completion of Sunrail’s Phase I.

The land the building sits on is owned by the City of Orlando and was leased to the Chamber for 50 years for $1 per year. The Chamber paid for the construction of the building and has been good stewards of the property ever since, maintaining its appearance and functionality.

The move is one of the final steps in completing the merger of the Central Florida Partnership and the Orlando Economic Development Commission. The new combined organization, the Orlando Economic Partnership, works to provide the Orlando region with quality jobs, economic growth, broad-based prosperity and a sustainable quality of life.

The Partnership will conduct all business at 301 E. Pine Street, Suite 900, in Orlando. The location, recently renovated to accommodate the needs of the new organization, includes collaborative work spaces, open staff workstations and a new meeting room designed for large groups.

Posted by: Laureen Martinez @ 12:00:00 pm 
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Business Success Strategies focuses on Orlando' role in leading the innovation economy

The innovation economy is shifting the focus of societies around the world. Instead of economies focused on developing and distributing valuable commodities from scarce resources, society's new goal is to increase the quality of life for all and expand wealth by developing new business models, products and services, and forms of production.

In August, Orlando, Inc. held its quarterly Business Success Strategies (sponsored by Cocoa-Cola and Insperity) with a full house of strategic thinking members who heard a panel discuss Orlando’s role in leading the innovation economy. The panel participants included:

“I’ve seen some great work take place in Orlando and there’s been tremendous advancement with Central Florida’s $6 billion modeling and simulation industry,” said Armstrong. “I like to say innovation is executing on creativity.”

Patel added that he enjoys “manufacturing serendipity” and explained how. “Today you're lucky to hold onto someone's attention for seven seconds, much less 15 minutes. So, when we discovered that virtual reality environments were giving us a tremendous increase in attention spans, we knew we were onto something,” said Patel.

The pinnacle of high stakes innovation can easily be found at NASA where Trey Carlson adopted the mantra "failure is not an option." The Space Coast was on the brink of failure when the shuttle program ended and the community had to find new ways of doing business. “NASA has a renewed focus on partnerships and collaboration that has led to tremendous success, innovation and job growth all around Kennedy Space Center,” he said.

The innovation economy stands to make even more far-reaching changes in the world. The innovations that have been made over the last few decades, alone, have altered the way we live our lives and the way we do business.

About Business Success Strategies
Business Success Strategies is designed for Orlando Inc. members and Orlando Economic Partnership investors to discover business intelligence from local leaders who share their skills, experience and best practices that lead to success. This builds your business by accessing new tools, ideas, resources and connections that will provide a competitive advantage, while exploring new opportunities. To learn more about Business Success Strategies, or for more information about Orlando, Inc., visit

About the Orlando Economic Partnership

The Orlando Economic Partnership (the Partnership) works to provide the Orlando region with quality jobs, economic growth, broad-based prosperity and a sustainable quality of life. It is a not-for-profit, public/private partnership representing Central Florida's seven counties – Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole and Volusia – as well as the City of Orlando. The Partnership was formed from the merger of the Central Florida Partnership and the Orlando Economic Development Commission.

Posted by: Danielle Permenter @ 4:00:00 pm 
Thursday, July 27, 2017
Partnership honored with Florida Regional Impact Award

Leadership Florida, a statewide leadership identification and training program, presented the Orlando Economic Partnership with the Florida Regional Impact Award during the 35th Annual Conference in July. The Florida Regional Impact Award was established to recognize a business or non-profit organization whose specific project or body of work transformed the future of its region while also having the potential to transform Florida as a whole.

Jacob Stuart, advisor to the Orlando Economic Partnership President and CEO and Regional Ambassador, accepted the award at the annual conference. “The Central Florida Region is forever linked to the state of Florida and as a result, the work of Leadership Florida is critical to our shared success,” said Stuart.

The annual conference also showcases the graduates of the most current class of Leadership Florida and formally presents the new President and CEO, Wendy Spencer. More than 400 professionals representing all parts of the state attended the conference.

Leadership Florida has developed a reputation as a builder of a stronger statewide sense of community. As a respected non-partisan convener of committed individuals, Leadership Florida enhances the knowledge and abilities of Florida’s leaders through educational programs and collaborative work. “Leadership Florida provides Floridians essential information and a meaningful forum for their opinions, and creates opportunities for shared experiences that are inviting, inspiring and of lasting value,” added Stuart.

Posted by: Amanda Roche @ 3:42:00 pm 
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